More closer news is coming out as we inch closer to the start of the season. We have one officially named, and one going out with injury. We have more injury news as always, some good, some bad, some that shouldn't surprise you at all.
There is news of some old top prospects who might be finding their way back on to the fantasy radar and so much more.
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Brian Wilson will be re-evaluated by team doctors on Monday regarding a strained oblique he suffered in an outing on Thursday. The Giants are still hopeful that he will be ready for Opening Day, but it is too soon to give an exact timetable.
This is the second injury that he suffered this spring, as he complained of a stiff back earlier, and the concern for him grows slightly.
As of right now, I wouldn't treat him any differently during drafts because of this, but if you do pick Wilson, you might want to handcuff him with Sergio Romo just to be on the safe side.
I don't know if it is because of the fact that he is having a pretty good spring, or just the condition of the Yankees' pitching staff, but A.J. Burnett has been named the No. 2 starter for the Bronx Bombers.
Burnett has a 2.77 ERA this March with 11 strikeouts in 13 innings, but the best news is that he has not walked a batter. I think that Burnett could be a nice pick this year in fantasy drafts, as he has fallen so far in drafts so far this year.
According to Mock Draft Central's Expert ADP, Burnett is being selected with the 315th overall pick, and well after A.J. Pierzynski, for crying out loud! I am not a huge fan of his, but he is being selected in the 26th round?
The guy can whiff 200 batters if he is right. I'm not saying use a 10th round pick on Burnett, but once you slip by the 18th, 19th, or 20th round it is worth taking a shot on a guy who is on one of the best teams, and has a history of racking up the strikeouts.
There was positive news on the condition of Brewers' new acquisition Shaun Marcum after he had left Thursday's start with tightness in his shoulder.
There doesn't seem to be any sort of significant injury, and he is likely just going to miss a couple of days of side throwing sessions and perhaps a start this spring, but this doesn't appear to have any effect on his availability once the season starts.
Marcum is one of the players a lot of fantasy managers are targeting with his move to the National League.
This news just reaffirms that he should be fine and you can go ahead and draft him where you had originally planned. No need to bump him down the rankings.
Brian Roberts is scheduled to play in his first game in nearly two weeks on Sunday as the second sacker tries to recover from back spasms. With me personally, it is getting to the point that you could almost not pay me to select Roberts.
The past few years, he has just been dealing with too many injuries with his back and obliques, and I just can't trust him to stay healthy. There are too many other reasonable options at second base this year to trust a 33-year-old guy with a run of injuries.
Give me a young guy with some upside at this point. I wouldn't want Roberts to be any more than my middle infielder.
Speaking of a guy you couldn't pay me to draft, Carlos Beltran had a cortisone injection into his right knee, which has been suffering from tendinitis and will be set back a few more days.
The Mets are still hopeful that Beltran will be ready for Opening Day, but the guy hasn't even really played in a meaningful game yet, and both of his knees are a mess.
There is an outside chance that he could put up some decent numbers this year, but to me unless it is the last round or two, he is not worth the risk.
Brad Lidge threw a 35-pitch bullpen session and came out of it pain-free. Lidge could return next week to game action as he tries to heal from bicep tendinitis, and right now things appear to be on track.
He is a very risky option this year because of his health as well as his penchant to melt down completely on the mound, but as a low-end second closer, he is a reasonable player to have, as he is on the best team in the National League.
Don't look now, but Cameron Maybin is actually having a pretty good spring. The former top prospect of the Florida Marlins, Maybin had two more hits for the Padres, including his second home run of the exhibition season.
He is now hitting .394 in March, and will be the starting center fielder for San Diego. It might seem like a long shot at this point, but some guys just take a little longer to figure it out in the majors, and perhaps that is the case with Maybin.
He has only stolen one base so far, but the kid has talent. I wouldn't draft him unless you are in an NL-only league, but he is definitely a name to keep on your radar to start the season to see how he comes out of the gate.
Speaking of guys who fell off the radar, Lastings Milledge is doing very well for the White Sox in spring training. Unfortunately, unlike Cameron Maybin, he does not have a starting job waiting for him, but he has given himself a chance to make the team.
But with Alex Rios, Juan Pierre and Carlos Quentin entrenched, it will take an injury to get him an opportunity. After his one hit today, Milledge is batting .326 and has driven in 10 runs to go with his four home runs.
Again, definitely not some one to draft, but Quentin isn't exactly the picture of health, so maybe at some point, Milledge gets a chance.
Jake Peavy has been suffering from a terrible stomach virus. He came out and threw 86 gritty pitches in a spring game against the A's, and even though he wasn't sharp, it now seems that he will be ready to be a part of the White Sox rotation from the start of the season.
He is coming back from a really tough injury and isn't the pitcher he once was, but I think that Peavy is worth a look at the end of drafts.
This shouldn't come as much of a surprise, but Matt Thornton was officially named the closer for the Chicago White Sox, beating out Chris Sale. Chicago just gave Thornton a contract extension, and he had a much better spring than Sale.
I am actually higher on Thornton than I was earlier in the month and now think that he is a higher-end second closer. Look for him to get plenty of opportunities with the White Sox and record a good number of strikeouts.
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