The 2013 MLB Spring Training season is well underway. Most players are working their way into “game shape”, but others are simply recovering from pre-season (or post depending on how you look at it) surgeries. Regardless spring training injuries do have an impact on those playing fantasy sports. Those who want to win should be checking on injury lists before their draft or else deal with drafting a injured player. There are many embarrassing moments during a fantasy draft but none more than drafting a player who is injured…unless you’re a CFL team and manage to draft dead players.
A look around the major league camps this week and we’ve heard some major set backs for some teams. Mark Teixeira will likely start the season on the disabled list (DL) after he strained a tendon in his right wrist. The New York Yankees really didn’t need this injury on top of injuries to Curtis Granderson (fractured forearm), Phil Hughes (back), and Alex Rodriguez (hip). For fantasy players, it is an elite level first baseman that can’t be drafted in the first 4 rounds of a draft (but if you’re willing to use a bench spot, Teixeira is a bargain if you get him after the 8th round).
The Toronto Blue Jays got some bad news as well, with Brett Lawrie missing the World Baseball Classic due to a strained rib cage. This should change Lawrie’s draft position since he is expected to be ready for opening day. The Jays also had to scratch Sergio Santos from his scheduled spring appearance due to a sore triceps. The Jays are also hoping that Casey Janssen’s recovery from off-season surgery stays on schedule so that the Jays closer can be ready for opening day.
Another injured player that will probably be downgraded during drafts is Corey Hart. Hart has had two solid seasons and looks set to contribute once he fully recovers from his knee surgery. He should be there on the board for someone to take in the mid-teen rounds of your draft. Over the past two seasons I would say that Hart has been undervalued in fantasy leagues, so if the price is right go get this guy (I know I will be willing to use a bench spot to stash him until mid-April).
In St. Louis there are a couple of big name injuries. Fantasy junkies should be reminded that Chris Carpenter will not pitch this season as he is still dealing with weakness in his neck and shoulder that effected him at the start of last season. He is taking the year off and may be done for good. Also Rafael Furcal needs Tommy John surgery and will be out for most of the season, leaving the Cards SS position wide open.
In Oakland, Bartolo Colon is serving a 50 game suspension for the use of PEDs, and should be downgraded accordingly.
The Texas Rangers will have to deal with injuries to Neftali Feliz (August) and Colby Lewis (June), throwing a number of question marks into their pitching staff.
In general there are quiet a few others injuries on the MLB Injury Report page, but nothing to be concerned about as most players appear to be ready for opening day or shortly thereafter.
I mentioned the World Baseball Classic above…and I must report that I am saddened that the South Korean baseball team failed to advance to the next round of the WBC. Pool B will be represented by The Kingdom of the Netherlands and Chinese Taipei. I guess the early exit of the team from the Motherland means that I can root for Joey Votto and the Canadian team…but there goes my prediction of a South Korea vs. Canada WBC final.
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