Just a couple of interesting tid bits to help you get through your upcoming drafts....
Some of us were looking at Curt Schilling as a sleeper late in drafts, but Gordon Edes of The Boston Globe reported that Schilling received a cortisone shot in his right shoulder on Feb. 8th and that the partial tear in his rotator cuff could keep Schilling off the field.
Also, last week, Curt Schilling reported this on his blog....
Schilling last week in his blog, in fact, wrote: "There was absolutely no reason for anyone involved to believe I would be anything other than completely healthy and ready for the 2008 baseball season."
So whats the real story? You decide.....
If in fact Schilling cannot pitch, this will open the door for super prospect Clay Bucholz who could take over that 5th spot in the rotation and never look back. With this in mind, Bucholz should be drafted before the 17th round in all normal 12 team leagues, especially keeper leagues and leagues with benches. Grab Bucholz and stash away as either trade bait or to use later one in the season. Either way, I expect Schilling to miss time in 2008 so if you draft Schilling, make sure you handcuff him with Bucholz.
With Jose Valverde shipped to Houston, the D-Backs were thought to promote Tony Pena to the closer role but Bob Melvin has other ideas. The East Valley Tribune reported that Melvin has name Brandon Lyons the Closer going into Spring Training. Lyons last season went 6-4 with two saves and a 2.68 ERA in 74 IP. Here is my take that I posted in my closer report....
The word is B.J. Ryan threw off the mound the other day for the first time since he was injured last season as was reported in the Toronto Star by Richard Griffin. As written "Ryan has surprised some observers and confounded the experts. He has thrown his two bullpen sessions with no physical problems and is slated to throw next from the mound Saturday, the first official day for pitchers and catchers. The 32-year-old is three months away from reaching one year post-surgery, the accepted rehab period for pitchers who have undergone the same tendon transfer procedure."
Griffin also said "Of all the question marks on the Jays coming into camp, Ryan's ability to be ready for opening day has the most repercussions. If he proves he can pitch like he has in the past, then Jeremy Accardo can be moved back to a setup role and the spring can be spent allowing Casey Janssen to compete for a starting spot. If Ryan is not ready, Janssen would have to remain in the 'pen, with Jesse Litsch the leading candidate for the fifth spot."
What this means fantasy wise? First, I wouldn't go crazy. I'd still draft Accardo first just in case Ryan either A. comes back and then reinjures or B. doesn't rush it and come back as quickly. Either way, Accardo is dominant and could help your team in the late rounds of the draft as a closer or a middle reliever helping lower ERA/WHIP and providing a few K's....and/or providing some Holds in leagues that count that. If Ryan is ready, this also means that Casey Janssen could be a nice late round sleeper in leagues with deep benches and keeper leagues. Janssen has some talent and he's still young and I feel he can beat out Jesse Litsch and Gustavo Chacin for that 5th spot. I will predict that at some point in the season, you will see Janssen start. Whether he is solid or not, that's a different story!
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