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Tuesday night was so loaded with action that it’s tough to know where to start here. Do I appeal to your traditional baseball side and talk about the hot, young starting pitching that we saw or do I go lowest common denominator and appeal to your inner thug? Decisions , decisions. Well, why don’t I do both and we can cover it all? And since that Dodgers/Diamondbacks game got pretty crazy and had some fairly big names involved, let’s just lead with that, shall we?
Another Happy Sunday to you all and I hope you’re having an enjoyable Memorial Day Weekend. I’m aware that this weekend is likely filled with all sorts of barbecues and celebrations and your time is limited here so we’re going to make this recap short and sweet today. With so many other distractions in life, including a significant other who is likely standing over you right now wondering why in the world you could be sitting in front of a computer when it’s time to leave for your brother’s house and your kids are in the car waiting, sometimes you just want the straight news. Give me the important stuff, short and sweet, and we can move on from there. So while you’re slathering yourself full of sunscreen right now, here’s a look at the Saturday highlights.
Every year we get the rush of people who, acting like it's a holiday sale at Walmart, aren't afraid to run over their competitor to add the hot new toy to their basket (in this case we're talking hot shot youngster to their fantasy team). Believe me I understand the temptation. Just look at what guys like Trout and Harper did last season. But for every successful rookie standout there are tons of youngsters who fail to live up to the overblown expectations of many in the fantasy game. I'll try to lend some sanity here. I'll then touch on some of the news of the day including will Manny Ramirez play in 2013? Is Joe Saunders a reliable innings eater? What were the Phillies thinking signing an unreliable veteran righty? Is Mike Napoli every going to sign with the Red Sox? Is Jose Valverde's career as a closer over even though he had 35 saves last year?
Ever wonder where the Angels would have been had Mike Trout not been called up to save the day? Angels fans shudder to think about it and fantasy owners of Trout want little to do with a baseball world that doesn’t include the 20-year old center fielder. With his incredibly humble, team-first attitude and his .355-64-13-44-30 batting line, Trout has injected new life into this game that simply gets everyone excited about the game.
It feels like forever ago that we started interleague play this year and finally, it is coming to an end. This is the final week of the cross-league match-ups and then these players won’t see each other until the All Star Game and then the World Series. I couldn’t be happier. Aside from the baseball purist inside of me that cringes every time he hears MLB try to hype one of these match-ups, the fantasy player in me gets aggravated by the unnecessary wrinkles that it causes in our game. If you’re in an AL-only or mixed league and rely on designated hitters like Billy Butler or David Ortiz, you suddenly lose them for a few games a week and in some cases, either have to take a zero for the day, or use up a waiver claim to get a (probable) subpar replacement for a pair of two-week stints. Why should I lose out on either player’s power because MLB wants to make a few extra bucks?
Apologies for the late start here today, folks, but sometimes life just throws you a few curveballs and today I’m swinging more like early-movie Pedro Cerrano. Jobu is not helping me do nothing here! But better late than never, right? So let’s get down to business and the first thing I want to do is to hit on one more pitching item that yesterday’s “pitcher injury” piece seemed to spark. I received a few emails actually asking, so what better way to address the big question than to do it right here: What the heck do I do with Tim Lincecum?
It’s déjà vu all over again, right Yogi? Pablo Sandoval hitting the DL with the exact same injury as last season? Kung Fu Panda joining fellow third sackers, Evan Longoria and Ryan Zimmerman, just as he did one year ago today? Brutal. Just brutal. Fantasy owners that invested in a top third baseman because of how thin the position remained this year are banging their heads against the wall trying to find an adequate replacement on the waiver wire, something that probably doesn’t exist even anymore. By the time Sandoval owners got the news, third base-eligible waivers had already been picked clean by owners of Longoria, Zimmerman and throw in Kevin Youkilis this time for good measure. Shallow league owners are likely deciding between Pedro Alvarez and Chris Johnson while deeper league victims are probably staring at Wilson Betemit, Alex Liddi and John McDonald and just shaking their heads both in disgust and disbelief.
With Evan Longoria out of action for up to two months with a hamstring issue, who can you turn to in an effort to give your corner infield spot a boost? Also, we'll have an update on two injured Rangers' sluggers - Josh Hamilton and Adrian Beltre - an a soon to be returning power hitter for Padres.
Wednesday was a pretty big day in the world of baseball – both real and fantasy. You’ve got the news that Michael Pineda has a torn labrum in his shoulder and is headed for season-ending surgery before throwing even one regular season pitch for the New York Yankees. Then there’s Paul Konerko hitting his 400th career home run, a solo shot to tie the game in the top of the ninth inning and force it into extras. Or how about The Kansas City Royals ending their 12-game losing streak with a four-home run assault? And if you stayed up late, then what about Javy Guerra taking a vicious line drive off the face and still staying in the game to finish the innings? Just a day steeped in baseball deliciousness.
The trade deadline is less than 24 hours away and the deals, or rumors of deals, are starting to fly in. We have a number of them here tonight, and the fantasy ramifications of the guys being dealt on both sides, and sometimes the ones left behind from the teams making the deal. There is also talk of a rookie in the Pacific Northwest who is kicking butt, and a Yankee pitcher just recalled who is showcasing his skills to potentially be traded. There are going to be a bunch of moves over the next day so you have to keep tabs on them all so you know how they all will impact your team. Keep it here going forward so we can all win championships together on Rounding The Bases.