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Fantasy Baseball 2012: Each MLB Team's Player You're Screwed If You Drafted

Eric MatulaContributor IIApril 4, 2012

Fantasy Baseball 2012: Each MLB Team's Player You're Screwed If You Drafted

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    Every year, there are players who get hurt or just flat-out suck in spring training.

    While you have an idea of the injury-prone players going into the draft (Jose Reyes, Nelson Cruz, etc.), there are some freak accidents.

    For that, you just have to hope you can dodge a bullet. For most managers, you know you'll be starting the season with a player on the DL. You just pray to the fantasy gods that it isn't a serious injury to one of your key players.

    Then, there are players who played so miserably that they ended up getting cut or losing a starting position.

    In either situation, it's a terrible start to such a hopeful, visions-of-grandeur season.

    Here's a list of each MLB team's player that screwed your fantasy roster.

Arizona Diamondbacks: Trevor Cahill, SP

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    Trevor Cahill is struggling to regain his masterful ways that he showed in the 2010 season.

    Cahill was 18-8 with a 2.97 ERA in 2010, but slumped last year, posting a 12-14 record with a 4.16 ERA. To make things worse, he had a terrible spring.

    In 12.2 innings this spring, Cahill went 0-3 with a 6.39 ERA and allowed opponents to own a .314 batting average.

    It's not exactly the way to make a first impression with a new team. Plus, Cahill's ADP of 179 suggests managers were expecting Cahill to turn things around. 

Atlanta Braves: Julio Teheran, SP

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    Coming into the start of spring training, MLB.com tabbed Julio Teheran as the fourth-best prospect in baseball.

    He sure didn't perform like that, though.

    Once it was clear that Tim Hudson would begin the season on the DL, many thought Teheran would inherit the last spot of the rotation. But he pitched so poorly that it looks like he's going to lose to Randall Delgado (who didn't exactly light things up either).

    Teheran's spring line looks like this: 1-4, 9.37 ERA, 10:8 K:BB in 16.1 innings pitched. Yikes.

Baltimore Orioles: Mark Reynolds, 1B/3B

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    Question: What's the fastest way to destroy your batting average? Answer: draft Mark Reynolds.

    Since becoming a full-time starter in 2008, Mark Reynolds has posted batting averages of .239, .260, .198 and .221.

    He does bring a lot of power (an average of 35.25 in the same span), but is it worth it? He hasn't driven in over 86 RBI since joining the O's and his OBP hardly ever gets out of the .320s.

    And Reynolds isn't changing his approach. In 47 spring at-bats, Reynolds has a .170 average with just one homer and 10 strikeouts.

    Expect much of the same once the season starts.

Boston Red Sox: Andrew Bailey, RP

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    Surprise, surprise, Andrew Bailey is going to hit the disabled list again.

    When healthy, Bailey is nasty. In 2009, he had 26 saves with a 1.84 ERA and in 2010 he had 25 saves with a 1.47 ERA.

    He has great stuff, but he has a hard time staying on the field. Bailey, who underwent Tommy John surgery in 2005, will require surgery for his right thumb. The surgery is supposed to leave Bailey sidelined for months.

    Bailey owners are hurting because most likely you took him in Rounds 10-12. Hopefully you have a chance of adding Mark Melancon or Alfredo Aceves.

Chicago Cubs: Alfonso Soriano, OF

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    Alfonso Soriano is killing the ball in spring training. He is hitting .314 (16-for-51) with six home runs. But if you drafted him, I hope you took him very late.

    Soriano put on a display similar to this last season. In the month of April, Soriano belted 10 home runs and drove in 20 runs. He looked like his old self—until April ended.

    Soriano hit just four home runs combined in the next two months and finished the season with 26 after hitting 10 in the first month.

    Don't fall for the Soriano trap again. He's going to kill your batting average and he doesn't run anymore.

Chicago White Sox: Alex Rios, OF

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    Alex Rios should put up better numbers than he did in 2011, but if you drafted him hoping he'd return to his 2010 season, good luck.

    I often take spring stats with a grain of salt for veterans, but it's hard to in Rios' case. This spring, Rios is hitting a whopping .224 (13-for-58) with one home run and no stolen bases.

    It's hard to brush these spring stats off because you would have liked to see Rios light it up after having such a disappointing season in 2011. It's not like he's Robinson Cano, who's hitting .246 in the spring.

    I have no concerns about Cano, but Rios, on the other hand, might just screw your fantasy team for the second year in a row.

Cincinnati Reds: Ryan Madson, RP

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    Ryan Madson is the no-brainer of the list. After signing with the Reds in the offseason, fantasy owners had high expectations for Madson.

    Then he tore the ligament right off his bone and left owners scrambling for a backup plan.

    Madson was a middle-tier option, being the 13th closer drafted on average. So the news that he needed Tommy John surgery was a very costly one.

    If you are in a deep league, the chances of getting another closer are very slim, especially since Sean Marshall was viewed as one of the most valuable non-closers to own. Luckily, every year a few closers emerge out of nowhere, but it will be a huge blow to start the season.

Cleveland Indians: Lonnie Chisenhall, 3B

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    After having an incredible spring training in 2011, Lonnie Chisenhall hit .205 (8-for-39) with zero home runs and 16 strikeouts this spring.

    The poor performance led to his demotion to Triple-A.

    There was some hype surrounding Chisenhall coming into the season and Yahoo! even ranked him as the No. 21 third baseman in their original rankings.

    Chances are that if you drafted Chisenhall, you waited pretty long to snag a third baseman, so finding a replacement might be very difficult.

Colorado Rockies: Dexter Fowler, OF

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    I've heard Dexter Fowler's name get thrown around in the sleeper mix, but I'm not buying it and I'm hoping you didn't either.

    Fowler is supposed to be the man that sets the table for studs Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki, but I'm just not confident he's breakout material.

    His spring stats have been absolutely putrid. He's hitting .129 (8-for-62) with two stolen bases in three attempts.

    I'm not buying into the sleeper talk with Fowler. At best, he'll hit .260 with a handful of home runs and 20 stolen bases.

Detroit Tigers: Jacob Turner, SP

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    Jacob Turner was one of those sexy rookie picks once spring training started, but if you were baited, you're paying the price.

    Many thought Turner could earn a spot in the rotation out of spring training (myself included), but an awful spring resulting from shoulder tendinitis ruined those hopes.

    Now it's going to take Turner a while to build up his strength again. Luckily, Turner wasn't being ranked like Matt Moore. Instead of losing a pretty high pick, you probably lost a late-rounder with Turner.

Houston Astros: Brett Myers, RP

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    The last two seasons in which Brett Myers was used as a reliever were very shaky. In 2007, Myers compiled a 4.33 ERA and in 2009, Myers had a 4.84 ERA.

    Myers' velocity has dropped from 92.6 mph in 2007 to 88.1 mph in 2011. Those hoping to get a good closer option in Myers are dreaming.

    Myers wasn't very good as a starter last year and there's no reason to think he'll fare much better in the 'pen. The closer situation in Houston will be interesting to follow. Guys like Brandon Lyon, Wilton Lopez and Juan Abreu could fill in if Myers struggles.

Kansas City Royals: Joakim Soria, RP

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    Like Madson, Joakim Soria's 2012 season ended when he decided to get Tommy John surgery.

    Even though Soria had his worst MLB career in 2011, he was still generating interest from fantasy owners for the 2012 campaign. On average, he was a middle-tier guy, getting drafted a few spots behind Madson.

    He was a big-name closer who had the potential to return to his dominant form. With the injury, Soria owners are hoping Greg Holland or Jonathan Broxton are still available.

Los Angeles Angels: Jordan Walden, RP

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    Jordan Walden earned the closer role after Fernando Rodney faltered last season, but all wasn't perfect with Walden.

    Yes, Walden saved 33 games with a 2.85 ERA, but he also blew 10 saves and carried a below-average reliever WHIP of 1.26.

    Scott Downs is a very impressive setup man, and while Downs is pitching pretty well in the spring, Walden has a 7.36 ERA in 7.1 innings.

    I think Walden keeps his job, but don't expect Superman numbers with him in 2012.

Los Angeles Dodgers: Matt Kemp, OF

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    Okay, Matt Kemp certainly won't screw your team like other players on this list, but I do believe Kemp's expectations are way too high.

    The dude has never gone 40/40 and he's talking about being the first 50/50 player. The truth is, Kemp is going to struggle to even reach 30/30 in 2012.

    Kemp, on average, is being drafted No. 2 overall. Using him with that pick might end up ruining your season. I would take Ryan Braun or Albert Pujols before Kemp.

    Kemp should get 25-plus homers and steals, so he's obviously not going to kill your team, but just don't think Kemp is automatically going to repeat.

Miami Marlins: Carlos Zambrano, SP

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    After imploding in Chi-Town, Carlos Zambrano will try to find a home in Miami. I'm not too sure on how that's going to work.

    It's never a good trend when a pitcher's FIP constantly goes up and his K/9 rate consistently goes down, and that's exactly what's happening with Zambrano.

    Zambrano is on a decline and he is an absolute WHIP killer (1.45 and 1.44 WHIPs the last two years). His spring stats don't look very good either: 6.23 ERA with 21 walks in 21.2 innings.

    He's a very risky fantasy option.

Milwaukee Brewers: Aramis Ramirez, 3B

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    Aramis Ramirez signed with the Brewers, but he could be a dud for the 2012 season.

    A-Ram was very consistent for the Cubs, but he played his home games in the friendliest park for right-handed hitters. At home last year, Ramirez hit 14 home runs and hit .332. On the road, Ramirez hit .282.

    More importantly, Ramirez hit just .216 with one home run in 37 at-bats at Miller Park last year.

    Another note: Ramirez is getting less patient. After posting walk percentages greater than eight percent in 2008 and 2009, A-Ram was down to 6.7 and 6.9 the last two years. This is significant, because who knows who will be protecting Ramirez if Corey Hart misses a bulk of time?

    I think Ramirez struggles to hit more than 20 home runs in 2012.

Minnesota Twins: Justin Morneau, 1B

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    In several drafts, I've seen managers draft Justin Morneau, expecting him to reach his MVP days again. I don't think that's going to happen.

    Aside from being injured and missing huge portions of the season the last three years, Morneau has struggled in the Twins' new field.

    Morneau hit zero home runs in 118 at-bats at home in 2011 and had just four in 152 at-bats in 2010. Taking Morneau as a flier in the last couple rounds is okay, but I just don't see him turning it around.

New York Mets: Frank Francisco, RP

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    Frank Francisco will start the year at Mets closer, but I have feeling he'll have a very short leash.

    Francisco needed an MRI on his knee just a couple days ago, but it appears he'll be ready for Opening Day. Healthy or not, Francisco is going to have a tough time keeping his job.

    Francisco's biggest threat lies in Ramon Ramirez. While Ramirez doesn't have the closing experience Francisco does, he's had an ERA under 3.00 in each of the last four years, whereas Francisco has never had ERA under 3.10.

    Don't be surprised if Francisco loses his job by summertime.

New York Yankees: Michael Pineda, SP

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    There were high hopes for Michael Pineda when he joined the Yankees, but those expectations will have to be on hold.

    After seeing a drop in his velocity this spring, Pineda admitted that he was pitching through pain in his right shoulder. After having tests done, Pineda was diagnosed with shoulder tendinitis, placing him on the DL to start the season.

    While it's probably too early to give up on Pineda, this has a familiar feeling to it, doesn't it? It's kind of like Phil Hughes last year. Hughes was awful and then was said to have had a dead arm (who has a dead arm in spring training?).

    And these are the same symptoms that abruptly ended Josh Johnson's season a year ago. Johnson kept complaining of shoulder soreness and they shut him down after just nine starts. 

Oakland A's: Jarrod Parker, SP

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    For those of you who were hoping to cash in on Jarrod Parker to start the year in the MLB, it looks like you're going to be disappointed.

    Parker looked like he was going to win the fifth spot in the rotation at the beginning of spring training, but he's choked it away the last few weeks. In his last start, Parker gave up six runs (three earned) and four walks in two innings while pitching against Triple-A foes.

    It looks like Tyson Ross and Graham Godfrey will finish out the A's rotation to start 2012. 

Philadelphia Phillies: Chase Utley, 2B

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    Chase Utley missing time is just as common as Mark Reynolds striking out.

    For the second straight year, Utley will be sidelined on Opening Day. The chronic left knee injury will victimize him again for the start of 2012.

    Utley's talent is undeniable, but after playing in no more than 115 games in each of the last two seasons, his health has become a liability.

    The problem with Utley is that you most likely reached on him. On average, Utley was being selected with the 116th pick, but he should have been targeted much lower, even prior to the news he'd be starting the year on the DL.

Pittsburgh Pirates: A.J. Burnett, SP

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    Who knew bunting in spring training would be so dangerous?

    Perhaps you drafted A.J. Burnett thinking he'd pitch much better in Pittsburgh than he has in New York the last two seasons. It could happen, but now we'll just have to wait and see until he recovers from a fractured orbital socket.

    Taking Burnett was a gamble in the first place, but once he got injured, your team got screwed even more. Burnett could be back at the end of April, which is pretty good news—although it could be even worse news.

San Diego Padres: Carlos Quentin, OF

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    Carlos Quentin was off to a good start in the spring (he was 8-for-15 with a home run), but he got injured—again.

    Quentin was drafted in 94 percent of all Yahoo! leagues. This means that his right knee injury has effected many people.

    Quentin is definitely starting the year on the DL and there's not set timetable for his return. The Padres organization is hoping Quentin will be back in late April or early May.

    When healthy, Quentin is capable of putting up solid power numbers.

San Francisco Giants: Tim Lincecum, SP

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    Like Matt Kemp, Tim Lincecum isn't going to destroy your team. He's on the list because you most likely overpaid for him and you won't get the results you were hoping for.

    It's hard to take spring stats seriously, but it's a little alarming to see Lincecum's ERA at 5.70.

    On average, Lincecum is the fifth starting pitcher coming off the board. It's a place that once suited Lincecum, but he should be taken lower than that now.

    It's very hard to believe that Lincecum is going to get any better, so if you drafted him envisioning the 2008 Lincecum, your season could be in shambles.

Seattle Mariners: Dustin Ackley, 2B

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    Okay, so Dustin Ackley went yard in the first game of the year. He's now on pace to belt 81 home runs this season.

    Seriously, Ackley has generated a lot of attention coming into the 2012 season, but he's nothing special. He'll be a guy who hits .270 with 10 home runs and 10 stolen bases.

    Chances are if you drafted Ackley, you took him before Jemile Weeks, Neil Walker or Jason Kipnis, and I expect those three to have better fantasy seasons.

St. Louis Cardinals: Chris Carpenter, SP

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    Chris Carpenter has nerve inflammation in his right shoulder and he'll be out for at least a few months.

    Carpenter's 2011 postseason heroics left managers optimistic for the new season. That was until he started having trouble with his shoulder.

    Shoulder injuries are always a mess. Just look at how long it took Johan Santana to come back and look what it did to Josh Johnson last year.

    Carpenter was going somewhere near Round 12, so this injury will hurt many owners. There is no timetable for his return, but you have to figure it will be a couple months.

Tampa Bay Rays: Kyle Farnsworth, RP

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    We've already seen two closers go down with elbow injuries, and Kyle Farnsworth might join them.

    In today's game, any time you see "elbow soreness" or "elbow injury," you have to cringe. Tommy John surgery is so prevalent that it's no surprise to see player after player opting to have it done.

    If you own Farnsworth, then you should be paranoid right now. Farny has had a history with arm issues to begin with, so there might be something serious brewing here.

    Farnsworth is going to start the year on the DL, so you better look to add Joel Peralta or Fernando Rodney, the two front runners to start the year as Rays closer.

Texas Rangers: Nelson Cruz, OF

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    Nelson Cruz's fireworks display in the 2011 postseason will certainly bait managers into drafting him early.

    Drafting Cruz doesn't screw your team—using a high pick on him does.

    Cruz's ADP is 40, which means people are forgetting this is the same guy who has never played in more than 130 games in his MLB career.

    Cruz is a very talented player, but there's no reason to expect him to stay on the field healthy. If you hoped that Cruz would be a top-10 outfielder, then your season is already over.

Toronto Blue Jays: Colby Rasmus, OF

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    So you think Colby Rasmus can be the player he was in 2010? Yeah, that's probably not going to happen.

    Before looking any of his stats from last year or this year's spring, you have to realize that his 14.8 percent HR/FB rate and .354 BABIP from 2010 will be near impossible to duplicate.

    His numbers were that good in 2010 because of those two inflated stats.

    Now, this spring, Rasmus is batting .185 (10-for-54) with zero home runs.

    Rasmus should hit better than the .225 average he had last season, but don't expect him to light things up in 2012.

Washington Nationals: Edwin Jackson, SP

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    Edwin Jackson's 2010 no-hitter is the epitome of his career.

    Of course, throwing a no-hitter is impressive, but in the process of allowing no hits, E-Jax surrendered eight walks and threw 149 pitches.

    The lesson of the story: Jackson can get the job done, but it's hardly ever pretty. Jackson's 3.79 ERA in 2011 is pretty good, but then you see his 1.44 WHIP and want to hurl.

    Jackson is always playing with fire, so it's hard to believe his ERA will be below 4.00 again. If your league includes WHIP, I'd strongly advise against to using Jackson.

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