Thursday, May 8, 2008

On the Shelf: Jackpot!!!

By: Dan King

The fantasy baseball writing gods are good to me. Honestly. I could quit my day job, hole up in my house for a week and rattle off like 53 articles on injuries that occurred in the last week and a half in the MLB. Problem is, if I wanted my day job back, I’d never get it back, and eventually end up homeless without a computer to write fantasy baseball injury articles. So I suppose I’ll be sticking to the once-a-week deal.

Before we get to the injuries, your FB101 update: as of Wednesday, we had a seven point lead over the rest of the pack… that’s right, first place Baby! I can honestly say that Lance Berkman, Dan Uggla, and Kevin Youkilis’ Sunday didn’t hurt – a combined 10-for-13 with three dingers, seven runs scored, and eleven RBI. Yeah, I know, Berkman is on fire, rated the number one fantasy player in Yahoo! mixed league formats. Also doesn’t hurt to have two of the top five fantasy pitchers either in Jonathan Papelbon and Carlos Zambrano. The demotion to Triple-A Iowa for Cubs pitcher Rich Hill doesn’t help my starting cause, but I was at least cautious and didn’t activate him for his last few starts. So let’s keep our fingers crossed for another string of good outings for the FB101 team….

Injury time!

John Smoltz: It was revealed via text message, TEXT MESSAGE, that the Braves starter is going to become the Braves closer when he returns from the DL from an inflamed biceps tendon and rotator cuff. No surgery is in the near future for Smoltz, but it may be speculated that with Smoltz’ return to the ‘pen for Atlanta, Rafael Soriano’s right elbow tendonitis may be worse that previously expected. Soriano cut short a bullpen session on Tuesday and had an MRI and other diagnostic tests planned for Wednesday. For those who bought high on Soriano in their drafts and then scrambled for either Peter Moylan or Manny Acosta, you may be out of luck. And speaking of Moylan, he is scheduled for surgery with Dr. James Andrews (uh, oh) to remove a bone spur in his pitching elbow, but Dr. Andrews may, in all likelihood elect to perform Tommy John surgery (read: “No Peter Moylan for 2008 or 2009.”)

Jimmy Rollins: Rollins is about just about ready to return to the Phillies lineup. He has shown no ill effects in his rehab starts and his ankle should be good to go this weekend.

Chone Figgins: Figgins strained his hamstring and has been working on a stationary bike to keep it loose. He hasn’t been running much and this may prove to be a big problem for a player who relies greatly on his speed. Monitor his progress before panicking, however.

Rich Harden: Harden, who was suffering from a strain below his throwing shoulder, threw six innings in a rehab start should be ready to go on Sunday. Might not be a bad idea starting him then, as the A’s have the Rangers for their weekend series this week. Justin Duchscherer pitched well in Harden’s place in the rotation and may be worth keeping on a few rosters if he continues to pitch well as a starter.

Alex Rodriguez: As a Red Sox fan, you could say that I’m a bit happy about this one. A-Rod claims that his strained quadriceps is good to go, but is not eligible to come off the DL for another week. It’s too bad though that he missed the birth of his second daughter… on second thought, maybe it’s good he did – saves the nurses extra work waking up the fainted guy.

Curt Schilling: The Big Schill actually threw this week. That’s a good thing for him. But like I said before, even if he comes back, I’m not picking him up, and neither should you.

Pedro Martinez: Speaking of aging pitchers, Pedro is getting ready to throw to live batters soon. Don’t get your hopes up too soon, but he may be back late May to early June.

Just a quick interlude here… did anyone else watch the Celtics/Cavaliers Game One Tuesday night? If Bron-Bron doesn’t turn things around, Cleveland’s not sticking around too long.
Alright… back to the injuries… that’s what you people don’t pay me for anyway…

Orlando Hudson: For all you people who picked up Hudson later on in your NL-only drafts (I’m raising my hand here), you may have to wait a bit for his steals to come around. The two-time Gold Glover had an MRI on his right hamstring and may be making a visit to the DL retroactive to some date earlier this week.

Noah Lowry: Dr. James Andrews (uh, oh) has instructed Lowry not to touch a baseball for four weeks. OK… nuff said.

Aramis Ramirez: Aramis missed three games before returning to the Cubs lineup on Tuesday with a sore wrist. Normally I wouldn’t worry about a sore wrist, but Ramirez is a power hitter, if his wrist doesn’t work properly, the power numbers dip accordingly.

Ryan Zimmerman: Zimmerman’s “Iron Man” streak of 205 games was broken when he asked for the day off on Sunday. Not really injured here, but is anyone ever going to get close to Cal Jr.’s record?

Josh Willingham: Willingham has been benched since the end of April with a lower back ailment. According to Willingham, “There's usually no rhyme or reason to when or where” which would indicate that he has no clue as to the cause or remedy of his back problem. He’s averaged 143 games over the past two years, so he should be back soon – if you’re in a pinch, Luis Gonzalez will be picking up Willingham’s extra AB’s.

Joe Borowski: The Indians closer is still nursing a triceps injury, but is getting closer to closing for Cleveland. Gotta say I’m thrilled though with Rafael Betancourt as a replacement.

J.J. Putz: Putz is back, but not in save situations quite yet for the Mariners. He has struggled finding the plate with his fastball, but with his ribs no longer being a problem, feel free to insert him back into your active lineups.

Jorge Posada: Told ya so folks. Posada’s earliest estimation for his return puts him about six weeks out. That’s a real long time for someone who has never been on the DL before in their career to regain their timing. As a Sox fan, I hate to say this, but if anyone is going to make it back quick, it’s going to be Posada, but Posada owners are going to have to be patient with his return.

That’ll do it for this week guys and gals. Happy Mother’s Day to all the Moms out there!

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