Ready to update your fantasy baseball cheat sheets? Before Diamond Market can sell the players in your rotisserie league's free-agent pool, Fantasy Baseball Diamond Mining polishes them for fantasy baseball drafts. It's time to dig for fantasy baseball sleepers and toss the busts.
Hart ahead of schedule
X-rays showed no structural damage in Troy Tulowitzki's elbow, and he hopes to play in one more spring exhibition before the Colorado Rockies break camp. Phew.
Tulo won't say it, but he might have interest in breaking something besides camp - like, say, a certain Cleveland Indians pitcher. Given the background of the story between Ubaldo Jimenez and the Rockies, the right-hander will be hard-pressed to offer a sincere reason for his actions and, it just seems too likely, to avoid suspension. Jimenez could miss one start, and given the heinous nature of the offense, more. Prepare for it.
The Milwaukee Brewers won't open with Corey Hart (arthroscopic knee surgery) on the DL. He recovered a little more quickly than expected. The right fielder played in five straight games in minor league camp, with no problems.
It sounds like the Brew Crew avoided creating a situation like they did last year, when they pushed Hart too hard in his return from an oblique strain. They aren't out of the woods yet. He'll probably receive time off more frequently than he would otherwise. Still, this is great news. Those who have yet to draft should have little reservation.
Inflammation in Michael Pineda's right shoulder has alleviated the pressure on Joe Girardi to decide how his rotation will look on opening day. Pineda will begin the season on the DL. It may be fair to wonder if the ailment's development affected the righty's spring outcomes, but no one denies that he came to camp in somewhat poor shape, which is the likelier culprit.
Pineda's isn't a serious health problem, but it could be one for his current and future roto managers. The New York Yankees have shoved Freddy Garcia into their final rotation spot with no hesitation or reservation. If Andy Pettitte's comeback proves to be successful, the club will have more veteran depth at its disposal.
The Yanks were already open to having Pineda begin the season in the minors. They gave up serious goods to get him and won't do anything to damage his long-term outlook, which is still golden. He'll be up, perhaps before April concludes, but the risk involved may finally be becoming apparent to those who were too eager to overlook it.
The Rockies will take prospect Wilin Rosario north. He'll serve as the backup catcher, but because he wouldn't benefit from sitting for long periods, expect him to receive semi-regular playing time behind Ramon Hernandez.
Rosario, 23, has plenty of power but poor BA indicators, so fantasy baseball players should take some aspects of his torrid spring with a grain of salt. It's encouraging that he struck out only six times in 48 at-bats, at least. Because of his upside, aided by his home-field environment, and Hernandez's propensity for developing nagging injuries, however, Rosario is worth a reserve spot in very deep mixed leagues and NL formats, for sure.
Rosario played way onto Rox
The Boston Red Sox have settled on Felix Doubront and Daniel Bard for the final two spots in their rotation. Alfredo Aceves will head to the bullpen, where he may continue to offer fine supplementary roto marks to those in deep leagues.
Doubront, 24, has made strides because of his increased confidence, reportedly, and his results in exhibition action were very good. He's had mild control issues and been an inconsistent performer in his career, but he has interesting stuff and can probably strike out six or seven per nine innings. He's worth little more than an AL-only flier.
Bard, 26, certainly has more upside, and his progress in ST encouraged the BoSox. Expect him to take lumps here and there, at least early on, but he can strike out eight or nine per nine innings with relative ease. AL and deep-mixed owners should own him but keep him reserved and monitor the progress of his command.
Jeanmar Gomez won the Indians' final rotation spot. He's worth an AL-only pickup or end-game choice because of the progress he's made in inducing ground balls and the success he's had this spring. He doesn't have much upside, but he stands a very good chance to be serviceable.
The tribe optioned Kevin Slowey to the minors. In the last couple of years versus major league hitters, the righty has just been too hittable, and that didn't change this spring. Even the hopeful should probably let go of that one.
Scott Baker (elbow tendonitis) begins the season on the DL (no shock), and Jason Marquis (personal matter) will probably end up on the bereavement list, so the Minnesota Twins will go with Liam Hendriks in the rotation.
Hendriks, 23, pitched well enough this spring to earn a job, however, and appears to have made Ron Gardenhire a believer. The skipper has essentially put the rest of the rotation on notice by stating that the youngster can hold on to that spot if he continues to pitch well. When the Twinkies have all their arms in a row, someone must go.
Hendriks is worth an end-game bid for those who have to yet to draft. Like many Minnesota-raised pitcher, he exhibits great control, but he's basically a ground-ball pitcher, unlike most other recent Twins farm grads. If he sticks, who goes? Nick Blackburn seems likeliest, on the surface. It wouldn't be a surprise if Baker has a setback, though, and Hendriks still has a lot to prove. Outside deep AL leagues, most of this rotation doesn't matter anyway.
Minnix is baseball editor and a fantasy football analyst at KFFL. He plays in LABR and Tout Wars and won the FSWA Baseball Industry Insiders League in 2010.
The University of Delaware alum is a regular guest on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio and Baltimore's WNST AM 1570.