Bobby Crosby (SS/3B, OAK): Surprise, surprise, Eric Chavez is hurt. Chavez is out “for the time being” according to ESPN and Bobby Crosby will be filling in at 3B. FANTASY BASEBALL ADVICE: With rumors surrounding Crosby being traded to the Yankees or Cardinals it looks like his best bet might be to stay in Oakland. Chavez can’t stay on the field and Crosby could be a useful player in AL only leagues as a 3B or a SS.
Pedro Martinez (SP, Free Agent): Pedro threw 3 innings of one hit ball on Saturday with 4 Ks versus the Netherlands in the WBC. He followed that up with 3 perfect innings tonight with 2 Ks. FANTASY BASEBALL ADVICE: Pedro is pitching for a job and his results in the WBC (Dominican Republic was eliminated tonight) probably secured him a spot on some major league roster. Depending on where he signs, Pedro is somebody to keep an eye on, especially if he signs with the Dodgers or Mets, both rumored suitors.
Francisco Liriano (SP, Twins): Liriano threw four perfect innings the other day improving his spring stats to 9 innings pitched, 2 ER, 7 Ks and 1 BB. FANTASY BASEBALL ADVICE: Liriano is showing he is healthy and has his command and can still be effective with a slightly slower fastball. His spring stats combined with the way he finished last season should erase all worries in prospective fantasy owners. He may never be the fantasy ace he once was, but he could very well be a very solid #2. Take him before Justin Verlander, Dice-K, Eric Bedard, Chien-ing Wang and Matt Garza among others.
Ervin Santana (SP, Angels): The LA Times reported today that Santana may miss the entire month of April with a sprained ligament in his pitching elbow. FANTASY BASEBALL ADVICE: This is horrible news for a guy coming off a monster season. I had him ranked as the #17 Starting Pitcher before this news. He certainly needs to be moved down all lists and should not be considered until you have at least 3 other healthy options in your rotation.
Chipper Jones (3B, Braves): Chipper pulled his oblique muscle in WBC action this week. It does not appear too serious as he is staying with Team USA with hopes of playing in the next round. FANTASY BASBALL ADVICE: Get used to this if you are going to be an owner of Larry. When he’s in the line-up Chipper is as good as they come at 3B minus the guys in the Big Apple. He can be absolutely maddening for leagues with weekly lineups….he could get hurt on Monday or Tuesday and you are playing a player short for that week. Chipper is my 5th 3B with Wright, Longoria, Ramirez and ARod being ahead of him. If you think ARod will be out longer than Mid-May and it’s not a keeper league, move Chipper to #4. I wouldn’t hold it against you if you passed on Chipper and took Adrian Beltre, Michael Young or Garrett Atkins with a later pick or less auction dollars.
Fausto Carmona (SP, Indians): Keith Law of ESPN.com had a great note on Carmona today. He is throwing great out of the wind-up but as soon as he allows a base runner and has to throw from the stretch his fastball is elevated and he becomes far less effective. FANTASY BASBALL ADVICE: Carmona still has plenty of time to refine his mechanics but this is some great data that you won’t see in the box scores this spring. Carmona had a dreadful season last year and he is a very nice bounce back candidate. Don’t buy too high on him. I have him as the #55 SP behind Scott Baker, Jered Weaver & Brandon Morrow and right ahead of Aaron Cook, Joe Saunders and Armando Galarraga.
Joe Mauer (C, Twins): Mauer’s back is acting up on him and he was going in for some magnetic tests that required him to be injected with dyes. He is out indefintely. FANTASY BASBALL ADVICE: Mauer has had his fair share of injuries in his young career. Catcher is not a very forgiving position and it appears that Joe has a little “Mr. Glass” in him. A back injury is never good for a guy who makes his living with a bat. I immediately move him behind Russell Martin and Brian McCann and strongly consider Geovanny Soto over him until I hear some more news.