The beginning of the 2012 Baseball season has revealed a host of injuries that makes it resemble the amount of injuries we’ve seen at the end of this Basketball season. As most of you have already finished drafting, here are some last minute tips for tweaking your closer position and a list of Starters to avoid:
Andrew Bailey-RP-RedSox- The former Athletics closer will have thumb surgery on his throwing hand which will keep him on the shelf until the All-Star break. Mark Melancon who recorded 20 saves last year with the Orioles will get to share the closing duties with former Yankees reliever Alfredo Aceves as well as hard throwing Daniel Bard.
Kyle Farnsworth-RP-Rays- An MRI on Wednesday showed an elbow strain which will force Farnworth to the 15 day DL. It’s unclear if he will be further sidelined after the 15 day stint is up. Another committee is in the offing with Joel Peralta, Fernando Rodney, and J.P. Howell all getting save opportunities.
Ryan Madson-RP-Reds- Madson is set to have season ending Tommy John surgery thus opening the door for must add Sean Marshall to receive the majority of saves. Aroldis Chapman will serve as the Reds’ set up man.
Frank Francisco-RP-Mets- After undergoing an MRI on Monday, Francisco had his knee drained after taking several cortisone shots but will still begin the season as the Mets closer. We would recommend that you proceed with caution here as Francisco has had a rocky Spring and is a health risk.
Drew Storen-RP-Nationals- Storen (elbow) went on the 15 day disabled list effective March 26th and is expected to return to the roster by mid April. In the meantime, closing duties will be split between Brad Lidge and Henry Rodriguez.
John Lannan-SP-Nationals- If Lannan was one of your picks on draft day and you’ve been hiding under a rock, you need to run to your league site, drop him, and pick someone else. In an unexpected move, the former opening day starter in ’09 and ’10 was released and optioned to Triple A-Syracuse. A starter on most other clubs, he was sent down because of the log jam that formed with the off season signings of Gio Gonzalez and Edwin Jackson.
Chris Carpenter-SP-Cardinals- The 36 year old right-hander went on the 15 day disabled list with nerve irritation in his throwing shoulder. He is not expected to return until sometime in May. SP Lance Lynn will fill the slot in the rotation until then.
Ivan Nova-SP-Yankees- The former 16 game winner has had a nightmare of an exhibition season. Following tuesday’s bomb vs the Mets where Nova surrendered 5 runs on 8 hits, his pre-season ERA is a hefty 8.06. There is a chance that once Andy Pettitte returns next month Nova could be sent down.
Tsuyoshi Wada-SP-Orioles-The 31 year old from Japan who signed a 2 year $8.15 million contract in the off season, has had a shaky Spring and has now been confirmed that he will be on the 15 day disabled list with a sore elbow; not a good sign this early in the year. Put him on your ‘watch’ list for now.
Jeremy Hellickson-SP-Rays- He’s another pitcher that you need to be ‘cautious’ with. We know that spring training is never the do-all-to-end-all, but Hellickson is pushing it. He’s given up 33 hits in 20 innings and has a bloated ERA of 9.00. Entering his third year in the majors, he finished last season with an unimpressive 13-10 record.