Fantasy Baseball Finds, Flukes, Trade Baits and Busts
By Eric Radom
• Don't panic. It's only been one week.
• Again, don't panic. Albert Pujols is hitting .222 right now. Does that mean you should trade him?
• Injuries are mounting for MLB teams. See below.
• Hector Santiago is the closer for the White Sox. Surprising, but it looks to be permanent.
• Ubaldo Jimenez dropped his appeal after his first start. He will now be pushed back to Saturday, April 14 for his next start.
• The Red Sox have a reliever emergency. Alfredo Aceves is still the closer for now, but the pressure is mounting to move Daniel Bard back to the bullpen.
• Chicago Cubs manager Dale Sveum is looking like a genius for giving Jeff Samadzija a chance to start.
• Johnny Damon has signed with Cleveland and will likely start in left field until Grady Sizemore returns.
• Every time I think Fernando Rodney has had his last-save chance, he shows up again somehow.
• It is great to see Johan Santana and Kendrys Morales back on the field.
• Is Tim Lincecum thinking about Matt Cain's contract while he is on the mound? If so, he'd better stop.
• The Yankees' motto is: "When in trouble, just go to Baltimore."
• Brian Roberts hopes to return in June from a concussion.
• Zach Britton is out until at least May with a shoulder injury.
• Andrew Bailey is out until at least July with thumb surgery.
• John Lackey is out for the season with elbow surgery.
• Daisuke Matsuzaka is out until at least late June after elbow surgery.
• Carl Crawford is having a slow recovery from wrist surgery and should be back in May.
• Michael Pineda has shoulder tendinitis and is out until at least early May.
• Kyle Farnsworth has an elbow strain and is out until at least late April.
• Jeremy Hellickson was hit in the head with the ball. He should make his next start.
• Luke Scott strained his hamstring and is day to day.
• B.J. Upton has a sore lower back. He should be back before May.
• Dustin McGowan has a sore foot. He could be back around May.
• Grady Sizemore had back surgery and is out until at least June.
• Doug Fister is out until at least late April with a ribcage injury.
• Victor Martinez is out until at least August with a torn knee.
• Joakim Soria is out for the season with a torn elbow.
• Lorenzo Cain is day to day with a groin strain.
• Felipe Paulino should be out another couple of weeks with a strained forearm.
• Salvador Perez is recovering from knee surgery. He hopes to be back in June.
• Scott Baker is out for the season with an elbow injury.
• Jerome Williams is on a rehab assignment from a hamstring injury.
• Dallas Braden has had a setback in his recovery from shoulder surgery.
• Chad Pennington fouled a ball off his foot and is day to day.
• Josh Reddick is day to day after being hit in the shoulder.
• Brett Anderson is out until at least August after elbow surgery.
• Manny Ramirez is suspended for the first 50 games of the season.
• Tim Hudson had back surgery, but will make a rehab start this week.
• David Wright has a small fracture in his finger, but he plans to play through it.
• Andres Torres is out until at least late April with a calf strain.
• Ryan Howard will be out until at least late May with an infection in his repaired Achilles.
• Chase Utley has serious knee issues. He might try to come back in May.
• Michael Morse is out until at least May with a strained lat.
• Drew Storen had bone fragments removed from his elbow. He will be out until July.
• Brandon Phillips is day to day with a hamstring injury.
• Ryan Madson is out for the season with an elbow injury.
• Jed Lowrie should be back any day from a thumb injury.
• Ryan Braun is day to day with a strained chest.
• A.J. Burnett could be back in May from a broken orbital bone.
• Lance Berkman is dealing day to day with a calf issue.
• Chris Carpenter has no timetable for return with nerve issues in his shoulder and neck.
• Allen Craig should be back soon from knee surgery.
• Stephen Drew is behind schedule from ankle surgery. Expect a May return at the earliest.
• Jorge De La Rosa is on track for a June return from elbow surgery.
• Ted Lilly expects to return from a neck injury this weekend.
• Carlos Quentin could be back by late April from minor knee surgery.
• Tim Stauffer is at least three weeks away with elbow inflammation.
• Buster Posey is day to day with shingles.
• Ryan Vogelsong is expected to return from a back injury April 15.
Top Preseason Fantasy Players For 2012 (By Position)
Top 15 Fantasy Catchers: Carlos Santana, Mike Napoli, Matt Wieters, Brian McCann, Joe Mauer, Miguel Montero, Buster Posey, Jesus Montero, Alex Avila, J.P. Arencibia, Russell Martin, Wilson Ramos, Chris Iannetta, Kurt Suzuki, Yadier Molina
Top 15 Fantasy First Basemen: Albert Pujols, Miguel Cabrera, Adrian Gonzalez, Joey Votto, Prince Fielder, Mark Teixeira, Eric Hosmer, Paul Konerko, Billy Butler, Mark Reynolds, Lance Berkman, Michael Young, Adam Lind, Michael Cuddyer, Paul Goldschmidt
Top 15 Fantasy Second Basemen: Robinson Cano, Dustin Pedroia, Ian Kinsler, Ben Zobrist, Brandon Phillips, Michael Young, Dan Uggla, Rickie Weeks, Michael Cuddyer, Howard Kendrick, Neil Walker, Aaron Hill, Chase Utley, Dustin Ackley, Kelly Johnson
Top 15 Fantasy Shortstops: Jose Reyes, Troy Tulowitzki, Hanley Ramirez, Starlin Castro, Elvis Andrus, Asdrubal Cabrera, Jimmy Rollins, Alexei Ramirez, Erick Aybar, Derek Jeter, Dee Gordon, Yunel Escobar, J.J. Hardy, Jhonny Peralta, Ian Desmond
Top 15 Fantasy Third Basemen: Miguel Cabrera, Jose Bautista, Evan Longoria, Hanley Ramirez, Adrian Beltre, Ryan Zimmerman, David Wright, Alex Rodriguez, Kevin Youkilis, Pablo Sandoval, Aramis Ramirez, Brett Lawrie, Mark Reynolds, Michael Young, David Freese
Top 25 Fantasy Outfielders: Ryan Braun, Matt Kemp, Carlos Gonzalez, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jose Bautista, Justin Upton, Josh Hamilton, Andrew McCutchen, Curtis Granderson, Hunter Pence, Matt Holliday, Giancarlo Stanton, Shin-Soo Choo, Nelson Cruz, Jay Bruce, Brett Gardner, Michael Bourn, Shane Victorino, Carl Crawford, Ichiro Suzuki, Desmond Jennings, Alex Gordon, B.J. Upton, Drew Stubbs, Jayson Werth
Top 25 Fantasy Starting Pitchers: Clayton Kershaw, Justin Verlander, Roy Halladay, Felix Hernandez, Cliff Lee, David Price, Jered Weaver, C.C. Sabathia, Tim Lincecum, Cole Hamels, Zack Greinke, Jon Lester, Dan Haren, Mat Latos, Madison Bumgarner, Yovani Gallardo, Matt Cain, Ian Kennedy, C.J. Wilson, Ricky Romero, James Shields, Yu Darvish, Daniel Hudson, Adam Wainwright, Stephen Strasburg
Top 20 Fantasy Relief Pitchers: Craig Kimbrel, Jonathan Papelbon, Heath Bell, Mariano Rivera, John Axford, J.J. Putz, Jose Valverde, Joel Hanrahan, Brian Wilson, Jason Motte, Sergio Santos, Carlos Marmol, Rafael Betancourt, Brandon League, Jordan Walden, Joe Nathan, Huston Street, Sean Marshall, Grant Balfour, Matt Capps
Finds: J.D. Martinez, Edwin Encarnacion, Rafael Furcal, Adam Laroche, Daniel Murphy, Hector Santiago, Juan Nicasio, Luke Hochevar
Flukes: Omar Infante, Jordan Schafer, David Murphy, Zack Cozart, Kyle Seager, Barry Zito, Fernando Rodney, Jake Arrieta, Jason Hammel
Trade Bait: Ubaldo Jimenez, Fernando Rodney, Ryan Dempster, Johan Santana, Yoenis Cespedes, Josh Willingham, Rafael Furcal, David Wright
Trade Targets: Tim Lincecum, Yu Darvish, Mat Latos, Daniel Bard, Ryan Zimmerman, Brennan Boesch, Shin-Soo Choo, Kevin Youkilis
On Fire: David Freese, Miguel Cabrera, Chad Billingsley, Jered Weaver
Ice Cold: The Boston bullpen, Tim Lincecum, Ike Davis, Alex Gordon
Hot Pickups Of The Week: Alfredo Aceves, Hector Santiago, Fernando Rodney, Juan Nicasio, Henderson Alverez, Kyle Lohse, Luke Hochevar, Bryan Lahair, Juan Rivera, Alcides Escobar, Chipper Jones, Johnny Damon
Fantasy MVP Pitcher for the Week: Jered Weaver
Fantasy MVP Hitter for the Week: David Freese
Ut Oh Of The Week: Ozzie Guillen. I hope he thinks more about his in-game strategy than his off-field remarks.
Fantasy Baseball: Start 'Ems Of The Week
Must-start Batters: Miguel Cabrera, Albert Pujols, Ryan Braun, Matt Kemp, Jose Bautista, Robinson Cano, Evan Longoria, Carlos Gonzalez, Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia, Jose Reyes, Troy Tulowitzki, Adrian Gonzalez, Hanley Ramirez, Joey Votto, Justin Upton, Ian Kinsler, Prince Fielder, Adrian Beltre, Josh Hamilton, Andrew McCutchen, Curtis Granderson, Carlos Santana, Hunter Pence, Matt Holliday, Mike Napoli, Mark Teixeira, Giancarlo Stanton, Ryan Zimmerman, Alex Rodriguez, Shin-Soo Choo, Nelson Cruz, Kevin Youkilis, Matt Wieters, Brian McCann, Eric Hosmer, Jay Bruce, Ben Zobrist, Elvis Andrus, Pablo Sandoval, David Wright, Brett Gardner, Michael Bourn, Brandon Phillips, Joe Mauer, Michael Young, Brett Lawrie, Asdrubal Cabrera, Rickie Weeks, Dan Uggla, Corey Hart, Mark Reynolds, Miguel Montero, Jimmy Rollins, Desmond Jennings, Ichiro Suzuki, Paul Konerko, Andre Ethier, David Freese, Carlos Beltran, Kendrys Morales
Others to consider this week: Michael Cuddyer, Drew Stubbs, Jayson Werth, Howard Kendrick, Chris Young, Adam Jones, Billy Butler, Lance Berkman, Buster Posey, Neil Walker, David Ortiz, Aaron Hill, Adam Lind, Jason Heyward, Coco Crisp, Paul Goldschmidt, Cameron Maybin, Alex Rios, Jesus Montero, Ike Davis, Nick Markakis, Erick Aybar, Derek Jeter, Martin Prado, Gaby Sanchez, Nick Swisher, Logan Morrison, Brennan Boesch, Dexter Fowler, Jeff Franceour, Melky Cabrera, Lucas Duda, Delmon Young, Austin Jackson, Matt Joyce, Josh Willingham, Dee Gordon, Alex Avila, Yunel Escobar, J.J. Hardy, J.P. Arencibia, Jason Kipnis, Dustin Ackley, Freddie Freeman, Russell Martin, Kelly Johnson, Ryan Roberts, Jemile Weeks, Ian Desmond
Must-start Pitchers: Clayton Kershaw, Justin Verlander, Roy Halladay, Felix Hernandez, Cliff Lee, David Price, Jered Weaver, CC Sabathia, Tim Lincecum, Cole Hamels, Zack Greinke, Jon Lester, Dan Haren, Mat Latos, Madison Bumgarner, Yovani Gallardo, Matt Cain, Ian Kennedy, C.J. Wilson, Ricky Romero, James Shields, Yu Darvish, Daniel Hudson, Adam Wainwright, Stephen Strasburg, Tommy Hanson, Matt Moore, Josh Johnson, Gio Gonzalez
Others to consider this week: Matt Garza, Max Scherzer, Josh Beckett, Ubaldo Jiminez, Shaun Marcum, John Danks, Anibal Sanchez, Jeremy Hellickson, Jordan Zimmermann, Brandon Morrow, Colby Lewis, Trevor Cahill, Ervin Santana, Brandon Beachy, Derek Holland, Hiroki Kuroda, Chad Billingsley, Wandy Rodriguez, Ted Lilly, Justin Masterson, Johnny Cueto, Jaime Garcia, Cory Luebke, Clay Buchholz, Bud Norris, Gavin Floyd, Edwin Jackson, Jonathon Niese, Brandon McCarthy
And, now some other guys we like this week ...
Sleepers Of The Week ...
Or, what DUD will become a STUD, at least for one week.
Hitters: Nick Swisher, Jayson Werth, Kendrys Morales
Pitchers: Johan Santana, Justin Masterson
Busts Of The Week ...
Or, what STUD will become a DUD, at least for one week.
Hitters: Yoenis Cespedes, Brandon Belt, Mike Moustakas
Pitchers: Kyle Lohse, Colby Lewis
Based on our extreme knowledge of each team's talent and depth, here is how we think things will turn out this year.
AL East: Rays
AL Central: Tigers
AL West: Rangers
AL Wild Cards: Angels and Yankees
AL Champion: Rangers
NL East: Phillies
NL Central: Reds
NL West: Diamondbacks
NL Wild Cards: Braves and Giants
NL Champion: Diamondbacks
World Series Champion: Rangers
Posted April 12, 2012