Monday, April 28, 2008

On The Shelf: We're Baaaaack...

By: Dan King

“Finally”, you say after a 3 ½ week hiatus, On the Shelf is back for more MLB injuries and their fantasy relevance. I quite honestly have no excuses other than the fact that I have been fixed to my television set (yeah, yeah, it’s a 50” plasma, but “set” just sounds better) watching my Boston Bruins (yeah, yeah, it’s baseball season, but I can still watch hockey) get my hopes up, only to mercilessly crush them after losing to Montreal last week. I think a week in mourning is enough.

One quick note on the ongoing Roger Clemens “saga”… Roger, get on a plane, go to Bora Bora with the whole family, and don’t come back for six months. Seriously, get out of Dodge. Get a tan, go snorkeling, deep-sea fishing, ANYTHING! I’d much rather be on reading about <> the NBA playoffs than anything Roger Clemens – it’s irrelevant and ridiculous. We all like a good juicy drama once in a while, but this is Britney Spears/Amy Winehouse drama.

Anywho, on to baseball, and on to our injury report:

John Smoltz: The Braves hurler reported that he was having shoulder soreness during his start this past Sunday – this could be bad news for Smoltz owners as he is getting long in the tooth (read: getting old) and a little soreness now could mean a lot later. Monitor the situation, but don’t go dropping Smoltz quite yet.

Jimmy Rollins: J-Roll is eligible to come off the DL next Monday, but was having his ankle re-evaluated today. He’s still a top three SS in fantasy land; just make sure he’s been activated before putting him in your starting line-up.

Jorge Posada: Posada was placed on the 15-day DL Sunday due to a slight tear in a muscle in his right shoulder. It’s Posada’s first trip to the DL in his entire career, so this injury could be more serious than first thought. A reasonable pickup off the waiver wire to replace him would have to be Jose Molina, of the infamous Molina Brothers catching clan – he’s going to have to be, as Molina is the only other catcher the Yankees had on the roster as of Monday.

Bengie Molina: Speaking of the infamous Molina Brothers catching clan, Jose’s older brother has been sitting out the past couple of games due to general soreness in his legs. Needless to say, a catcher in the NL with general soreness in his legs can’t DH, so, Bengie has been riding some pine lately.

Aaron Rowand: Bengie Molina’s San Fran teammate took a fastball to the ribs on Sunday – X-ray results were negative, so don’t despair, Rowand will be back in the anemic Giants lineup soon enough.

Justin Upton: The younger Upton brother sat out the D-backs game this past Sunday with what manager Bob Melvin explained to be “either kind of a deep cramp or a real mild strain.” Frankly, I’ve never heard of a “deep cramp,” so let’s assume that Upton’s injury is a strain. The speed numbers may be slightly down over the next few weeks as Upton’s hamstring heals up.

Scott Kazmir: The Rays (God forbid I write “Devil Ray”) ace is expected to rejoin the team this coming weekend after making his final rehab start on Monday. His elbow should be good to go for activation off the DL this weekend.

Scott Rolen: The new Blue Jay 3B recently came off the DL to provide Alex Rios some protection in the batting order. Let’s face it, with Frank Thomas gone, Rolen is going to have to be big in the Toronto lineup if they are going to compete in the AL East.

Mike Jacobs: Jacobs sprained the middle finger on his right hand when he fouled a ball off at the plate. He is considered day to day, but may eventually need a stint on the DL to heal up completely. If he’s still available, Wes Helms will provide capable backup at your 1B/CI position, particularly in NL-only leagues.

Joe Borowski: The Indians’ closer has been suffering from a strained triceps muscle and will not be available until at least mid-May. Rafael Betancourt is the Cleveland closer of the future (and apparently present) and is a must pick-up in all formats.

David Ortiz: Big Papi has sat out the past two games with a bruised right knee. I can’t say I’m not skeptical of Ortiz’ recent absence from the Red Sox lineup, as they’ve lost five straight, but I hope for Boston’s sake that Ortiz’ injury isn’t more severe than just a bruise. He hasn’t been the same hitter in 2008 as he has been over the past three years, and it shows – I hate to say it, but bench him until he starts to turn things around.

Nomar Garciaparra: The son of Ramon Garciaparra is injured once again. Anyone… anyone… Bueller… Bueller…. Nomar tweaked his calf on Friday’s game and has paved the way for Blake DeWitt’s recall to the Dodgers at 3B. Grab him if you can.

Alfonso Soriano: Speaking of oft-injured superstars, Soriano is currently rehabbing his calf and is scheduled to come off the DL on Thursday. Make sure he is active before inserting him into your lineup. He’ll provide a nice boost to a Cub roster that has held its own in Soriano’s stead.

Ben Sheets: Does this look like a trend to you? Sheets threw a bullpen session and felt good. The Brewers starter is slated to pitch in Tuesday’s game against the Cubs. If I owned Sheets, I’d keep him benched for this upcoming tilt against Chicago; the Cubs bats are just consistently too good to be bringing in Sheets for his first start post-injury.

FB101 league update time!

We’re holding steady in 3rd place, only 6 points behind the league leader. Recently drops and additions have been Mark Lowe for Rafael Betancourt, the new Indians closer as well as Jeremy Accardo for Doug Brocail. It was rumored that Brocail may be in line for the Houston closing job if Jose Valverde falters, so let’s keep our hopes up for that. Frankly, I’m shocked that Betancourt was available, but we got him – now he just needs some save opportunities. Frankly, a few bum outings from Tom Gorzelanny and Accardo haven’t helped, along with “slumping” Jose Reyes and Ichiro Suzuki, we’re in pretty good shape heading into May I’d say.

Until next time...

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