Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Albert Pujols Saga Continues.... APE??

Some of us have been following the Albert Pujols Elbow saga, let's call it A.P.E. or APE!

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March 13, 2008
Now, according to CBS Sportsline, Albert Pujols is saying he can probably play through the year without the surgery thanks to a lot of rest. He's already got 4 HR this spring in 27 AB so he's obviously not showing any discomfort! The risk is still there that this elbow thing can go at any minute, but from the way it sounds, maybe you can feel a little better about taking the risk! I mean seriously, if Pujols falls to you in the 2nd round of your draft, how can you pass him up?...even if its for only half a season! With the strong finish in 2007 and a hot start this spring, I think he's worth the risk! Draft him anytime at the end of the first round or later if he slips and draft a back up 1B for your bench late in the season. Don't have a big bench? Then make your CI slot more useful and draft someone with 1B eligibility, or simply draft another power bat that plays 1B for the CI slot! That's the safest way to play this. For example, you draft Pujols in the early 2nd round. You guys know me, I love Carlos Pena and I'll take him in the 4th or 5th in any draft! Or take Morneau in the 3rd or 4th. I'll put Pujols at 1B, Pena or Morneau at CI and then later in the draft, I'll get a high upside guy like Edwin Encarnacion, Josh Fields, Alex Gordon or Kevin Kouzmanoff that can eventually take over that CI spot if you have to move Pena or Morneau or whoever later in the season in the event that Pujols goes down.

Simple as that!


March 7, 2008
Here is an article I found on on the APE situation. It pretty much confirms what we said earlier in that it looks like he'll play until the pain is just too much. According to this article, the cut off is July 31st. If Pujols quits by July 31st, he'll have enough time to get the Tommy John Surgery and rehab and be ready for opening day 2009!

So now, knowing this, here is how I would deal with this from a fantasy perspective....
Pujols is falling as far as the middle of the second round in some snake drafts. To be honest, if he lands to me anywhere in the 2nd round, I have to take him, especially in keeper leagues. Hey, if the Cards stink, which hopefully they will, you'll have Pujols in 2009! Plus, if he gets off to a hot start, which I have a hunch he will, you should have plenty of time to pick up a young player with some upside to take his place off the waiver wire....maybe Daric Barton for example. Also, kowing the situation ahead of time, maybe it would be wise to load up on CI's early in the event that at some point you lose Pujols later in the season.

Even better, in auction leagues, you can now land Pujols in the $30-$35 range which could be a huge discount in 2009 if he opts for the surgery half way through the year. So if you are in a keeper league and you're in rebuilding mode, this is an option you seriously need to look at.

Lastly, look, I am never one to panic about news like this, but it looks promising that Pujols will opt for the surgery on July 31st...I just don't see the Cards having a shot with Chicago, Milwaukee and maybe Houston looking great this year in the N.L. Central. I also feel, and its just a hunch, that with all this "hoop-la" that Pujols will bust out of the gates on fire! I mean, isn't that how these things always seem to work out. Remember when everyone said Alfonso Soriano would suck in Washington??? Then the guy goes 40/40!! Ridiculous. I just have this feeling it could happen with Pujols.

So draft him in the 2nd round if he falls to you knowing the risk and that you will lose him by mid season, and make sure you compensate for that later in the draft. Its as simple as that!

Draft with confidence my friends......

Here is what I posted here on January 25, 2008

Yesterday, I participated in the Krause Publications 2 Expert League Draft which will be featured in the March issue of Fantasy Sports Magazine. I had the 5th pick. I was sitting there thinking I'd have a great shot at David Wright but also though if one of Alex Rodriguez, Hanley Ramirez, Albert Pujols or Jose Reyes slipped, I could grab one of them. Turns out, David Wright gets picked 4th leaving Pujols available for me to take 5th. I just couldn't resist!

This story gets more interesting though. The St. Louis Dispatch reports that Pujols as been battling elbow problems. At this point, according to reports, they say he can't extend his elbow all the way. This is the main reason he slipped to me in the draft. The manager with the 2nd pick who was all set to pick Pujols, opted for Hanley Ramirez instead after hearing this news. It seemed like a panic move to me. Are you aware that Pujols hit .346 in the second half last season with this same problem?

There is a solid chance that Pujols does not last the entire season, especially if the Cardinals are out of the race. For now, it appears that Pujols will be ready by spring training and will play through this. My belief is that if he hit .346 with this problem last year in the second half, there's no reason to think that he can't continue hitting and putting up first round type numbers in the first half of 2008 (or at least until the pain is too much to bear). I look at it like this... If he starts hot and lasts until the All-Star break, I'll have plenty of time to find a back up option and prepare for the worst. As its stands now, there are a couple of quality 1B's available on the waiver wire in this particular league, which has no reserves, only two DL slots. On the other hand, this could turn out to be a bunch of analysts getting to excited and jumping ship much to early, in which case, will allow Pujols to fall in drafts more consistently.

The Fantasy Man

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