This week in (fantasy) baseball 4/16-4/22by Karl de Vries
April 23, 2012
It’s hard enough following one’s own fantasy team without having to keep track of an entire sport’s daily transactions. To assist you, here’s a column dedicated to recapping the most notable trades, signings, promotions, demotions and role changes across the majors over the past week as they relate to fantasy. We'll do this on a weekly basis. If you feel I've missed anything important, please don't hesitate to keep the conversation going in the comments below.
• Prudence already called for fantasy owners not to expect big things from Michael Pineda in the first half of 2012, but the Yankees’ decision to shut down their most prized young pitcher is nonetheless depressing. We’ll see what today’s MRI reveals, but anyone expecting the Bombers to rush this guy back before June—even under the best of prognoses—is certifiably nuts.
• There probably isn’t a long list of MLB starters who can pitch 10 shutout innings days before going on the disabled list, but then again, Cliff Lee isn’t like most MLB starters. Fantasy owners will stash Lee in the hopes he makes a speedy recovery from a left oblique strain, which will probably cost him at least a few starts.
• The good news: Sergio Santos really isn’t as bad as his early-season numbers would have you believe (9.00 ERA, 2.000 WHIP, two blown saves in four opportunities). The bad news: the probable explanation for his troubles thus far lies in his inflamed right shoulder, which has now landed him on the disabled list.
In his place, of course, there’s Francisco Cordero, who’s presented not only with an opportunity to put up some saves, but perhaps steal the job altogether from Santos if he pitches well enough. If you need saves and have room, you might as well pick up Cordero to see if he can emerge as Toronto’s closer for 2012.
• There probably aren’t too many people walking around wearing Chris Narveson t-shirts, but for those with strong attachments to the Brewers’ left-hander, this week brought some bad news, as a torn rotator cuff has nuked his season.
Marco Estrada, who went 3-2 with a 3.70 ERA in seven spots last year, will take his spot in the rotation, though fantasy owners should keep an eye on super prospect Wily Peralta, who was promoted last week. One of the club’s best prospects, the Brewers might not rush the 22-year-old, but he’s certainly someone who could have a significant fantasy impact later this season—or sooner, depending on how Estrada fares.
• How serious is Daniel Hudson’s shoulder problem? He just landed on the DL with impingement in his throwing arm, though an MRI apparently showed no structural damage. Still, one imagines the D-backs will take their time in rushing back a key member of their rotation, so kiss him goodbye for the next couple of weeks.
Reliever Wade Miley will make tonight's start, manager Kirk Gibson said, but there's hope that prized prospects Trevor Bauer, Tyler Skaggs and Patrick Corbin could see some opportunities open up down the road, depending, of course, on how long Hudson will be sidelined.
• A strained right quadriceps knocked Ryan Dempster to the disabled list, giving Randy Wells a rotation spot for the time being.
• Recovering from a bruised right shoulder after crashing into a wall, Chris Young will be out of action for this week.
• A left calf strain has pushed Lance Berkman to the DL, which will also destroy his fantasy value in week four. In the meantime, rookie Matt Carpenter will likely pick up some playing time.
Other bumps and bruises
• The oft-injured Adrian Beltre is scheduled to undergo a MRI today to review a bothersome left hamstring, which kept him out of action at the end of last week. We’ll see how serious this ailment is, but it might be best to bench him for this scoring period just to be safe.
• Ryan Zimmerman, on the other hand, looks like he could be ready to return to action as soon as Tuesday, as his right shoulder inflammation doesn’t appear serious enough to cause him to miss any time this week.
On the move
• Marlon Byrd is now a Red Sox (or is that Sock?), which certainly adds to his fantasy value. Okay, so he won’t be considered much more than an AL-only outfielder as he gets his feet wet, but as Boston languishes without Jacoby Ellsbury or Carl Crawford, Byrd could provide some power for fantasy owners.
• So long, Graham Godfrey; it was nice knowing ya, but you and your 0-3 record and 5.06 ERA won't be missed in Oakland now that you've been demoted to Triple-A. But who knows? Perhaps you'll get a chance to make a fantasy impact after all, since super-prospect Jarrod Parker will get a chance to take your spot in the rotation.
Parker was pulled after just 48 pitches Saturday night, and manager Bob Melvin announced he'd be taking over Wednesday's assignment. Fantasy owners should immediately consider adding Parker to their rosters, even if one might consider waiting to see how he handles his second career MLB start (he made one last year for Arizona) before activating him.
• Santiago Casilla is officially the man in San Francisco, replacing Brian Wilson. He converted his first save opportunity of the season last week and has yet to allow a run, making him an extremely attractive waiver-wire addition right now.
• Brad Lidge blew the save in Saturday’s ballgame against the Marlins, which only helps Henry Rodriguez’s case as Washington’s closer in Drew Storen’s absence. Rodriguez has been picking up more save opportunities in recent days and leads the team with four saves.
Karl de Vries is a New Jersey-based writer and journalist who prefers following fantasy baseball to watching his hapless Mets embarrass themselves on TV every night. He can be reached at karl[dot]rotodiamond[at]gmail.com or followed on Twitter at @Karl_de_Vries.
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