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Fantasy Baseball 2011 Offseason Movement: Shortstop

There is no position in fantasy baseball this year more shallow than shortstop. The position is so bad that I got physically ill while doing research for this article.

Even at the very top, where Hanley Ramirez and Troy Tulowitzki are firmly entrenched, there are doubts about the performance you will receive. Hanley hasn’t shown the power he did back in 2008 and Tulo can’t seem to stay healthy for a full season.

Maybe there is help on the way, with some exciting young prospects who are coming up the ranks, so stay tuned and in the meantime we’ll help you search for the diamonds in the rough. 




2010 TEAM


Clint Barmes




Jason Bartlett


Tampa Bay

San Diego

Yun. Betancourt


Kansas City


Alcides Escobar



Kansas City

J.J. Hardy




Edgar Renteria


San Francisco


Miguel Tejada


San Diego

San Francisco

Ryan Theriot


LA Dodgers

St. Louis


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I understand that the Brewers are going World Series or bust and all this year, but they might have made a big mistake in giving up on Alcides Escobar. 

Scouts drool over this kid, as he is still a bit raw with the bat, but has all of the tools you would want in a franchise shortstop. For fantasy purposes, Escobar should put more balls in play this year and thus will raise his on-base percentage and consequently stolen bases and runs scored. 

This kid has the speed to steal 60 bases, yet when he fills out physically I believe he could be a 12-to-15-homer-per-season guy. There will be little pressure on him in Kansas City, but the one sure thing is that Escobar will help the Royals pitching staff with his superb range and throwing arm. 



Jason Bartlett is not an exciting fantasy player, and he should not be valued highly in drafts this year at all.

There is upside for some positive batting average there, but otherwise Bartlett is devoid of any skill that could make him a fantasy standout in 2011.

I do not anticipate Ryan Theriot remaining the Cardinals’ starting shortstop for the entire season. Tyler Greene is a much better player at this stage of the game, and the only upside the pesky Theriot has is if he hits directly in front of Pujols for the entire season. 

I wouldn’t recommend wasting a draft pick on Theriot in mixed leagues, and he’s only worth a very late-round pick in NL-only leagues. 


Don’t forget to check out our 2011 fantasy player rankings to see how all of the offseason changes will impact your fantasy baseball draft this year. 

Also, before you draft be sure to view and print out our 2011 real time fantasy baseball cheat sheets.

Take Fantasy Alarm to your draft this year and relax knowing you have all the information you need to draft a winner in 2011. 

Listen to The Fantasy Alarm Show LIVE every Tuesday (9:30 PM EST), Friday (9 PM EST) and Sunday night (10 PM EST) for all the latest fantasy sports news, information and entertainment.

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2011 Fantasy Baseball Offseason Movement: Second Base

We continue our offseason role call with second base, only to find there are hardly any notable players at this position who switched teams this season. 

Luckily, for the purposes of this article, there were a couple notable second basemen traded including Dan Uggla and super-sub Omar Infante. 

As always, the middle infield positions are incredibly thin this year and I strongly suggest locking down a couple good ones early, unless you really like to live life on the edge. 




2010 TEAM


Argenis Diaz




Kevin Frandsen


LA Angels

San Diego

Jerry Hairston Jr.


San Diego


Bill Hall




Brendan Harris




Willie Harris



NY Mets

Orlando Hudson



San Diego

Omar Infante




Adam Kennedy




Brett Lawrie




Jose Lopez




Tsuyoshi Nishioka




Dan Uggla




Juan Uribe


San Francisco

LA Dodgers


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Good Moves

I am not a big fan of Dan Uggla to be honest as I just can’t help but feel he is one of the last men standing from the steroid era and something about him just grinds my gears. But, in coming to Atlanta Uggla finally has a productive lineup to hit in and therefore should be able to drive in quite a few more than he did with the Marlins. 

I love Jose Lopez’s power potential now in the NL and especially coming to Colorado and out of the spacious Safeco Park in Seattle. Lopez could have a real big season and should be on just about everybody’s sleeper list this season. 


Not So Much

Juan Uribe is a free swinging all or nothing player who can carry a club when he is hot or look like he shouldn’t be in the league when he’s not. 

He has a great season every third year or so and thus, I don’t see it happening this year in L.A. 

As much as Omar Infante is a valuable player for the Marlins, he should be given little fantasy consideration in mixed leagues. Infante isn’t likely to challenge for a batting title ever again and has very little power and run producing potential thus is worthy of a late round flier if anything on draft day. 


Don’t forget to check out our 2011 fantasy player rankings to see how all of the offseason changes will impact your fantasy baseball draft this year. 

Also, before you draft be sure to view and printout our 2011 real time fantasy baseball cheatsheets

Take Fantasy Alarm to your draft this year and relax knowing you have all the information you need to draft a winner in 2011. 

Listen to The Fantasy Alarm Show LIVE every Tuesday (9:30 PM EST), Friday (9 PM EST) & Sunday night (10 PM EST) for all the latest fantasy sports news, information and entertainment. 

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Fantasy Baseball Waiver Time: The Hot 8

Last week I told you it was time to add Buster Posey and Stephen Strasburg to your roster.

Less than a week later Posey collects three hits and three RBIs for the big league club in a 12-1 win over the Diamondbacks.

If you listened to The Hot 8 last week you already had Posey on your roster causing the rest of your league to search for him and witness that you indeed already had the coveted backstop.

That is what The Hot 8 is all about, being ahead of the curve and especially your league.

This week’s list is no different as I’ve got a few more players that will soon be household names and leave your fellow owners cursing your name.


Long Term Investments

Carlos Santana – Catcher – Indians 

As good of a hitter as Buster Posey is, Carlos Santana is probably a bit better.

His defense may not rival that of the Giants prospect but in fantasy baseball who cares about defense?

Santana can flat out hit and do so from both sides of the plate with plus power.

He has shown no ill effects from a broken bone in his hand that he suffered this winter and is hitting a robust .319/.448/.577 with 10 HR, 42 RBI, 32 runs, 10 doubles, and even 6 steals for AAA Columbus.

Perhaps even more impressive is that he has walked (37) more times than he’s struck out (32) this season.

Santana is ready and if you missed out on the Posey derby fear not.

This is your chance to make good on grabbing a very good hitting catcher right in time to make a run in your fantasy league.


Mike Stanton – OF – Marlins

Stanton has all of the skill and desire to be a superstar major league player.

He is tremendously athletic having been a three sport star in high school and highly recruited by former USC coach Pete Carrol as a wide receiver.

Stanton has been a man amongst boys while playing for AA Jacksonville this season.

He’s slugged 18 homers and drove in 47 runs already this season and is just biding time until the first week of June when the Marlins are likely to promote him south.

While Stanton’s power is well documented, his speed is usually underestimated.

Stanton will be a regular 20/20 player in a full major league season.


Corey Hart – OF – Brewers

Nobody is as hot right now as Milwaukee OF Corey Hart.

With 5 HR and 12 RBI in his last ten games, Hart is a welcome blessing for the suddenly hot Brewers.

Hart is another athletic outfielder who has good power but also can swipe a base here and there.

He’s a streaky player but also one that I believe will continue to have an impact in the Brewers lineup for the remainder of this season.


Quick Fixes

Seth Smith – OF – Rockies

The Rockies wealth of outfielders is nothing short of ridiculous.

This week the player with the highest upside, Dexter Fowler finds himself odd man out as Seth Smith has started earning more starts in left field.

Smith is one of those player who never stops hitting.

He produces while in the lineup, in platoon roles and off the bench as a pinch hitter.

He offers good power and run producing ability in a lineup full of on base percentage.

For as long as he’s seeing regular time in the Rockies lineup, Smith is worth occupying the fourth or fifth OF spot on your fantasy team.


John Axford – RHP – Brewers

Axford shot through the Brewers organizational ranks last season as he went from mediocre starter to a dominant relief pitcher in one season.

He is basically a two pitch pitcher with a fastball that clocks in around 95 MPH and a sharp breaking curve that he changes speed and plane on regularly.

Axford has assumed the role of closer for the Brewers and will hold this job until Trevor Hoffman is ready to give it another go.

While I would normally suggest staying away from any closer situation that may change again in the coming weeks, the Brewers are finally playing good ball and there is a real opportunity to collect saves here by picking up Axford.

Just know that whatever you get out of him in the next week or two it may not last if the aging Trevor Hoffman can regain prior form.


One Week Wonders

Gio Gonzalez – LHP – Athletics

Gonzalez is finally pitching like the guy we were promised a couple of years ago.

Much of the credit should go to the A’s coaching staff that have ironed out Gonzalez’s delivery and have gotten him to repeat it consistently.

This has allowed him to pound the strikezone more often and cut down dramatically on his free passes.

This week Gonzalez will take on John Lackey and the Red Sox in his first start and Nick Blackburn and the division leading Twins on his second.

Still, I expect good numbers to come out of these matchups and for Gonzalez to collect at least one win and plenty of strikeouts.


Hisanori Takahashi – LHP – Mets

Takahashi’s performance against two of the best hitting teams in baseball, the Yankees and the Phillies, has gotten the attention of the Mets coaching staff.

Jerry Manuel announced that Takahashi will remain in the rotation for the foreseeable future and that is good news for fantasy owners in need of a starting pitcher.

Takahashi is a two start pitcher this week drawing Kevin Correia and the Padres on Monday and Ricky Nolasco and the Marlins on Saturday.


Keep An Eye On

Michael Brantley – OF – Indians

With Grady Sizemore out for what could be the rest of the season, the Indians are in desperate need of some offense.

Brantley was demoted after just 32 AB’s this season but has caught fire for AAA Columbus of late.

He will definitely be recalled soon and should see plenty of AB’s this time around.

Brantley has very good discipline and patience at the plate and has always hit for a good batting average.

I fully expect this kid to develop some power somewhere along the line as he is a big athletic guy and should learn how to hammer pitches while in favorable counts.

Keep him on your watch lists for now but there should be some opportunity for Brantley in the near future.

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That is The Hot 8 for this week.  What do you guys think?  Agree?  Disagree?  Post your comments below or email me at . 


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Fantasy Baseball: Closing Time—May 26th

Let’s take a spin through the closers circuit and see what guys are on the move up and which are trending down. We’ve also got the latest news on injuries, rehab appearances and a couple minor league prospects worth keeping an eye on.

It’s all closers, all the time that’s why we call it, closing time!


Huston Street threw 20 pitches in the Rockies bullpen on Tuesday and reported no pain in either his elbow or sore groin.

Street will throw two more bullpen sessions before heading off again on a brief rehab assignment. If all goes well, he will rejoin the Rockies sometime in mid-June.

Brad Lidge also threw a successful bullpen session on Tuesday. He has yet to mix in anything but fastballs but is expected to do so on Thursday. If all goes well, Lidge will go on a weekend minor league rehab and could return by the end of next week.

It should be noted that he is not likely to regain the closer duties in Philadelphia at least for awhile as Jose Contreras has locked down the job for the near future. Lidge will have to prove that he can stay healthy and be effective in a setup type role before being considered once again to close out ballgames.

Original Orioles closer Mike Gonzalez is throwing in extended spring training games and reporting no pain in his balky left shoulder.

The O’s plan on bringing him along slowly however and don’t expect him back until at least the end of June. He will be going out on a minor league rehab assignment of his own in a couple weeks, so keep track of his progress. At this point the only closer candidate worth considering in Baltimore when he is healthy.


Future Closer Of The Week

Chris Smith – Nashville Sounds (Brewers) – RHP – It can’t be long before the Brewers call Smith up to aid their struggling bullpen. Although his stuff isn’t overpowering, he commands the strikezone well especially with his off-speed pitches.

Smith’s best pitch is probably his hammer-like power curve that he can locate down in the zone or get swings and misses down in the dirt.

Smith is leading the PCL in saves with 15 to go along with 24 K’s in 17.2 innings. He is bound to be recalled soon and if Trevor Hoffman cannot get it back together, he could be in line to see some save opportunities down the road.

The Studs

1) Mariano Rivera – Yankees

2) Jonathen Papelbon – Red Sox

3) Jonathen Broxton – Dodgers

4) Joakim Soria – Royals

5) Carlos Marmol – Cubs


Must Have

6) Francisco Rodriguez – Mets        

7) Heath Bell – Padres

8) Brian Wilson – Giants

9) Rafael Soriano – Rays

10) Andrew Bailey – Athletics

11) Jon Rausch – Twins

12) Francisco Cordero – Reds



13) Neftali Feliz — Rangers

14) Matt Capps – Nationals

15) Jose Valverde – Tigers

16) Ryan Franklin – Cardinals

17) Billy Wagner – Braves

18) Leo Nunez – Marlins

19) Octavio Dotel – Pirates


On Thin Ice

20) David Aardsma – Mariners

21) Bobby Jenks – White Sox

22) Brian Fuentes – Angels

23) Jose Contreras – Phillies

24) Matt Lindstrom – Astros

25) Kevin Gregg – Blue Jays

26) Chad Qualls – Diamondbacks

27) Manny Corpas – Rockies


Keeping A Seat Warm

28) Carlos Villanueva — Brewers

29) Kerry Wood — Indians

Not Worth Owning

30) Will Ohman/Alfredo Simon — Orioles


On The Horizon (Minor Leaguers)

1) Ernesto Frieri – Portland Beavers (San Diego)

2) Jay Sborz – Toledo Mudhens (Detroit)

3) Craig Kimbrel – Gwinnett Braves (Atlanta)

4) Chris Smith – Nashville Sounds (Milwaukee)

5) Scott Mathieson – Lehigh Valley Ironpigs (Philadelphia)



Want to talk closersGive us your opinions right here or by emailing us at







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MLB Fantasy Baseball: The Hot 8 (Waivers)—Week Seven

It’s all about PITCHING this week. After six weeks of regular season baseball, it is time to start reading into some of the trends and stats that we are seeing develop.

There are some real good starting pitchers who are being used for nothing more than pitch and ditch purposes, and it is time for wise fantasy baseball owners to pick these guys up and keep them while ditching other starters who just aren’t getting it done this season.

Therefore, this edition of The Hot 8 is heavy on starters with a sprinkling of closers and middle infield help as well. I’ve even thrown in an extra name this week, so we could actually call this The Hot 9, or at least The Hot 8.5. 


Long-Term Investments

1) Mat Latos – RHP – Padres

The Latos situation is an interesting one. Here is a kid with outstanding stuff, the kind of stuff Cy Young Award winners possess. He has a sharp downward plane fastball that runs 95 MPH on a regular basis. His slider is already one of the better ones in the game with tight two-plane movement down and away to right-handed hitters.

His command gets poor at times, however, and he will go through phases where he cannot find the strike zone. His stuff has such good break that it’s hard for him to command all his pitches each time out, and thus when hitters are patient against him, the walks will rack up.

He also is a fiery kid with a big chip on his shoulder. He doesn’t take to coaching well and has been known to ignore the catcher’s signs at times and throw what he wants to throw and when. This attitude will come off as passionate and aggressive when the team is winning and times are good. But when the team is losing or he is struggling, it can become a distraction. Think Carlos Zambrano without the violence.

So, with the Padres winning right now it is no coincidence that Latos is getting better and better with every start. He is playing with great confidence right now and is making his run. Inevitably, the league will catch up to both him and probably the Padres, and thus it will be necessary to watch his demeanor during the poor stretches.

For now, he is a must add starter with great strikeout and win potential. The upside of Latos is well worth the risk involved with his attitude issues, especially right now while all is well in San Diego.


2) Derek Holland – LHP – Rangers

Holland has the look of a young pitcher who has figured out the art of getting hitters out. While he isn’t trying to strike out everybody, he is allowing his natural stuff to do the work for him. Holland was called up after absolutely dominating in AAA with a 0.93 ERA and 1.01 WHIP in six starts.

The key for Holland this season has been his slider, which he has developed into a perfect bridge between his high 90s fastball and extreme fade changeup. He’s also attacking hitters early in the count and finding that they are not able to square him up very often.

With the Rangers leading the AL West, I am certain that Holland will stick around for as long as he’s rolling along, and he can be a big find at this point in the fantasy season. Don’t let him slip through your mitts, people. 


3) Mike Aviles – SS/2B – Royals

Sure, the focus of this week’s Hot 8 is pitching, but I would not be doing my job if I didn’t mention Aviles and his resurgence this season. He is one of the few Royals who are hitting right now and thus has become a fixture in the starting lineup.

Aviles, you will remember, had a dynamic rookie season where he hit .325 with 10 HRs and 51 RBI. When healthy he is a productive hitter, as seen by his .378 current batting average. Aviles is a good middle infield addition right now, especially for teams dealing with injuries or slumping players like Jose Reyes, Alexei Ramirez, or Marco Scutaro.


Quick Fixes

4) Jose Contreras – RHP – Phillies

It was a long debate over whether or not to include Contreras in the Long-Term Investments area, as he is even more likely now to hold onto the closer job in Philadelphia. Brad Lidge is just not healthy, and Ryan Madson won’t be back for a long time, leaving Contreras to compile saves for the Phillies.

Contreras is a big game pitcher who is more than capable of nailing down one-inning saves over and over again.

This is the last time I am going to warn you guys. You want Jose Contreras on your team right now even if your closer situation is adequate enough. Making yourself dominating in one category is never a bad idea, and it will also free you up to make deals for areas you do need more desperately.

What you don’t want is for one of the teams in your league who are weak at saves, WHIP, and ERA to pluck Contreras and solve a need, making them a whole lot better free of charge.


5) Mike Leake – RHP – Reds

Leake has been nothing short of amazing since becoming just the 21st player ever to bypass the minor leagues after being drafted the year before. He is 4-0 with a 3.09 ERA and 1.20 WHIP in six starts compiling 46.2 innings. He is a huge part of the Reds’ surge of late and a must have ingredient if they are to sustain this success throughout the season.

As with any young pitcher, there will be adjustments that need to be made, but he has already passed the most difficult test of all, and that is adjusting to pitching in the major leagues. The rest should be a piece of cake.


6) A – Jason Vargas – LHP – Mariners

Vargas was at one point a highly thought of prospect with the Florida Marlins. Since an impressive rookie season in south Florida, he has bounced around until finally finding a home, it seems, in Seattle. Vargas is 3-2 with a 2.93 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, and 33 K’s in 46 innings.

At this point Vargas has established himself as a starting pitcher, something neither the Marlins, Mets, or Mariners thought he was. With a big ballpark as his home field and the best defense in the major leagues behind him, there is good reason to believe in Vargas as a longer term solution to your starting pitching woes.


6) B – Doug Fister – RHP – Mariners

Like Jason Vargas, nobody expected Fister to have any real fantasy value coming into the season. Furthermore, he is available in over 80 percent of fantasy leagues still because nobody believes that it will last.

No matter how skeptical you are of either Vargas or Fister, the fact is both guys are getting it done each and every time out, and your fantasy team would be far better off with them than waiting for Bud Norris, Rich Harden, or Kevin Slowey to turn it around. 


Weekly Wonders

7) Chris Volstad – RHP – Marlins

This is going to be a good week for Volstad, as he draws the last-place Diamondbacks and the anemic White Sox as his two starts for Week Seven. Both of these matchups are very winnable, and he should be able to put up low ERA and WHIP totals while collecting plenty of strikeouts.

Volstad has been on the come lately and after this week will likely double or triple his ownership in fantasy leagues. It’s time to get on board early and enjoy the ride this week and possibly have yourself a guy you can keep for the longer term or pawn off in a deal for a bigger need.


8) Manny Corpas – RHP – Rockies

It is embarrassing to have Corpas on this list; however, it would be ignorant to ignore him in your waiver searches this week. Franklin Morales is out with left shoulder trouble, and Huston Street just suffered a setback in his elbow recovery while pitching in AA. Corpas will have the job at least for another week or two and could easily collect decent save totals during this stretch.

Also, keep an eye on Esmil Rogers here in Colorado. If Corpas falters early on here, Rogers could be the guy the Rockies go to next, and he has the stuff of a quality closer.


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That is The Hot 8 for this week. What do you guys think? Agree? Disagree? Let me know by leaving your comments below or email me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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Farm Report — May 15th

A couple of new names are spicing up our Farm Report this week as some middle of the road prospects are progressing right before our eyes. We’ve added a few categories as well as we will now start defining prospects as Ready, Rising or Falling depending on their current minor league production and how they fit into their organizations. 

Reds prospect Juan Francisco has always had prodigious power and appeared to be headed for big things this year when he made the big league club out of spring training.  However, a miserable start got him sent back down to AAA where he continued swatting flies to the tune of a .115 batting average in April. Francisco has improved dramatically of late and posted an amazing stat line last week going 14-for-24, 5 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 14 RBI, 9 R, 3 BB and best of all just 1 strikeout on the week. The Reds are quietly making a run at the top spot in the NL Central and have a wealth of outfielders already. Look for Francisco to be trade bait in the coming weeks as the Reds try and add some depth to their pitching staff. Francisco could get a lot of playing time for whatever team acquires him and he has the power potential to be a forceful fantasy player at such a time.

A player I have my eye on is Jose Tabata , who is currently thriving for the Pirates AAA affiliate in Indianapolis. He’s hitting a solid .326/.388/.432, 2 HR, 11 RBI, 25 runs and a whopping 17 steals. Tabata is a fun player to watch as he goes about his game with a sort of moxie that reminds you of a young Sammy Sosa. Tabata has a nice quick stroke and does a good job of staying inside on pitches and driving them to all fields. Once on base he is almost a guarantee to run as he’s made himself into a very good base stealer despite having good but not great speed. The Pirates have some young players who should get a look pretty soon.  Something about watching Tabata play tells me this is a guy to keep your eye on once he is given that chance.

It’s nice to see former Baltimore Orioles washout Jay Gibbons raking again for the Dodgers AAA Albuquerque affiliate. Gibbons is hitting .398/.415/.739, 6 HR, 24 RBI and 16 runs scored. He is finally healthy after suffering with injuries much of his time with Baltimore. Gibbons is downright smashing LHP to the tune of a .583 batting average. He surely has gotten the attention of the Dodgers front office and if he continues at this pace he could be called up or dealt very soon.


  1. Carlos Santana – Catcher – Cleveland Indians (AAA – Colunbus)
  2. Brett Wallace – 3B – Toronto Blue Jays (AAA – Las Vegas)
  3. Buster Posey – Catcher – San Francisco Giants (AAA – Fresno)
  4. Vin Mazzaro – RHP – Starter – Oakland Athletics (AAA – Sacramento)
  5. Mike Stanton – OF – Florida Marlins (AA – Jacksonville)



  1. Stephen Strasburg – RHP – Starter – Washington Nationals (AAA – Syracuse)
  2. Alex Gordon – OF – Kansas City Royals (AAA – Omaha)
  3. Jake Arrieta – RHP – Baltimore Orioles (AAA – Norfolk)
  4. Chris Tillman – RHP – Baltimore Orioles (AAA – Norfolk)
  5. Neil Walker – 3B – Pittsburgh Pirates (AAA – Indianapolis)



  1. Aroldis Chapman – LHP – Starter – Cincinnati Reds (AAA – Louisville)
  2. Todd Frazier – 1B – Cincinnati Reds (AAA – Louisville)
  3. Dillon Gee – RHP – New York Mets (AAA – Buffalo)
  4. Emilio Bonifacio – 3B – Florida Marlins (AAA – New Orleans)
  5. Jordan Danks – OF – Chicago White Sox (AAA – Charlotte)

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MLB Fantasy Baseball: Closing Time—May 16

A couple developments on the closer front this week should have fantasy owners taking notice and making the necessary adjustments.

Included in today’s report is some breaking news that one of the most exciting future closers has been called up to the big leagues.

We break down these situations and give you a couple more names to look for out on the horizon in today’s edition of Closing Time.

I have just gotten word that the Washington Nationals have promoted 2009 first round draft pick…Drew Storen . Thought I was going to say Stephen Strasburg , didn’t you? Well, most people forget that Storen was also a first round draft pick last year, and it appears his stay in the minors was even shorter than Strasburg’s.

As good as Storen is it must be remembered that Matt Capps is doing a real good job and is in no danger of losing the closer job in Washington any time soon. That is unless a trade is made. But for now, look for Storen to get used to big league life slowly by being used in a middle relief role.

This is a move that shows the Nationals are kinda serious about competing this year, and if they can stay close until Strasburg is recalled, they may actually make a decent run of things this season.

Unfortunately Huston Street ’s second rehab performance didn’t go as well as his first, and this just might be the worst-case scenario as he was lifted after firing just five pitches for AA Tulsa last night. The Rockies are calling it arm fatigue again, and maybe they are just being overly cautious here, but it doesn’t look good.

Either way, those of us who have been holding on to Street all season will likely have to wait even longer now, as we were less than two weeks away from his return. In the meantime, Manny Corpas has assumed the closer role on Colorado by default. Corpas has been brutal for the most part but now has a chance to resurrect himself and close out games for the Rockies.

If Corpas fails like many believe he will, Esmil Rogers is a name you all should keep in mind. Rogers has a real good mid 90s fastball and a good hard curve. He has been hit hard by left-handers, however, and needs a changeup or other offering to keep them from sitting on his fastball.

Rogers has good stuff and makeup to be a closer and may get a shot at some point this season, especially if Street is out for a greater length of time.

Brad Lidge is once again on the disabled list with elbow soreness. This situation with Lidge is far too volatile for a contending team like the Phillies to deal with. Enter Jose Contreras , who we’ve been touting now for several weeks as the next closer in Philadelphia.

Contreras got his first save the other day and is doing a very good job out of the bullpen these days. He is a must own right now for fantasy leaguers because there will be plenty of save opportunities in the days and weeks ahead in Philadelphia.

For the time being, Kerry Wood still technically holds the title as Indians closer. However, he is nowhere near ready to assume that role, as his velocity and command are just not there yet. If you’ve been holding Chris Perez , for one you are probably in a deeper league, but I would suggest continuing to hold him just a little while longer.

In leagues of twelve or fewer teams, I would go ahead and let both Wood and Perez loose on the free agent wire, as the opportunities and conversions just aren’t enough to justify the roster space at this time. 

Alfredo Simon blew his first save in grand fashion Saturday by allowing four runs to cross the plate against the lowly Indians. Simon had been gaining momentum since becoming the Orioles closer, but this was quite a disaster indeed.

He will get another opportunity in the ninth inning soon, and thus I wouldn’t cut bait on him yet. The Orioles are a better team than how they’ve played so far this season, and more help will be on the way as some key minor leaguers are called up and trades are made.

I still believe that Kam Mickolio is the best closing candidate for the Orioles, but he is once again struggling with command down in AAA Norfolk. 


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MLB Fantasy Baseball Injury Update: May 15

The Phillies placed Brad Lidge on the DL with elbow tightness. We were told that Lidge’s MRI came back clear and only showed inflammation, but in the end I guess the Phillies are comfortable with Jose Contreras and Danys Baez in the back of the bullpen until Lidge can some back healthy.

Contreras is the guy you want to own, as he’ll be called upon to get the saves, and he has been throwing the ball real well this season.

Speaking of closers, Huston Street was shut down today after only five pitches due to a tired arm while pitching for AA Tulsa. It is not known at this time what or how bad this setback is, but it appears that Street won’t be back until June at the earliest now. Manny Corpas will try to finish off games until Street is healthy.

X-rays on Dodgers slugger Andre Ethier’s jammed pinkie finger showed a small fracture on the tip. Ethier is being fitted for braces that he might wear if he decides to stick it out and play through the pain. Ethier has been the Dodgers’ best hitter all season, and it will be a big loss to the Dodgers and to fantasy owners if he has to hit the DL as a result.

The Rockies will be without speedy 2B/OF Eric Young Jr. after Young suffered a broken tibia while rounding first base the other night. He will miss between six to eight weeks of the season and very likely could be sent to AAA Colorado Springs on a rehab assignment afterwards.

Rumors out of New York (imagine that!) are that injured 1B Nick Johnson might actually need surgery on his injured wrist because the cortisone shot he received hasn’t helped as much as originally thought. Johnson is out for at least another month and definitely more if and when he has the surgery on his wrist. Marcus Thames will continue to see some more playing time until Johnson comes back.

Kung Fu Panda, otherwise known as Pablo Sandoval, had X-rays on his foot after being plunked by a Jeff Francis pitch late in Friday night’s game. The X-rays came back clear of any breaks, but there is some swelling and discomfort that kept him out of the lineup today.

Be careful when inserting him into your Sunday lineup, as the team might shut him down until Monday or Tuesday in hopes of getting him all straightened out by then.


Remember to listen to Fighting Chance Radio every Tuesday at 9:30 PM EST (8:30 PM CDT) and Sunday at 11 PM EST (10 PM CDT) for all the latest news, injury updates, waiver pickups, minor league reports, starting pitching advice, and so much more. 

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