Zach’s Musings (10/25)
What do Babe Ruth, Reggie Jackson, Albert Pujols and now Pablo Sandoval have in common? Yep, they’re the only players in MLB history who have homered three times in a single World Series game. And the fact that two of Sandoval’s three homers last night came off Justin Verlander makes his performance all the more impressive. I still expect this to be a long series, but if the Giants continue to score runs at this clip, it could very well be over in four or five games. I’m sticking with my Tigers in seven prediction. Let’s see tonight if Madison Bumgarner has fixed whatever mechanical problems he says he’s been battling throughout the postseason.
But getting back to Sandoval. I owned the Panda in three different fantasy leagues this year, and I have to say that he’s one of the most frustrating guys to deal with. He’s missed a combined 99 games over the past two seasons and many have questioned his dedication to staying in shape. We have him ranked as the #8 3B heading into 2013, right behind the equally frustrating Ryan Zimmerman, and I think that’s pretty accurate. I’d be open to drafting him again due to his solid AVG and power numbers, but be careful not to overpay. It’s very common for a player who enjoys a signature postseason moment to be overvalued going into the following season.
Anyway, let’s run through a bunch of fantasy-relevant news stories that have developed over the past week.
CC Sabathia to see Dr. James Andrews about left elbow
Scary stuff but since his ligament remains intact, there’s no chance he’ll need Tommy John surgery. Rather, it’s believed that he has just a bone spur in the elbow, which would require only a minor procedure. A model of durability throughout his career, the 32-year-old Sabathia now enters 2013 as a slight injury risk, and while he’s still an ace, he’s no longer a top-5 SP. We had him at #10 before this news surfaced, and I’d think about bumping him down a couple of spots. Another example as to why you shouldn’t invest too heavily in starting pitching on draft day. Even the sure things aren’t really sure things.
***UPDATE (10/25 NYY Press Release on Sabathia)
New York Yankees LHP CC Sabathia was seen by Dr. James Andrews today in Birmingham, Ala. Dr. Andrews performed arthroscopic surgery on Sabathia’s left elbow to remove a small bone spur. Sabathia is expected to fully recover prior to the start of the 2013 regular season.
Derek Jeter undergoes successful ankle surgery, out 4-5 months
Continuing with the Yankee theme, it was really a shame to see Jeter’s fantastic season come to an end on such a bitter note, and we’re reminded that he’s 38 years of age. I’m not overly concerned about his availability for the start of spring training, but will he look like the same player? I’d be OK with him as my starting SS but wouldn’t go out of my way to draft him. He’s not running much these days and I’m more intrigued by some of the younger players at the position, like Elvis Andrus and Asdrubal Cabrera, both of whom I might be able to draft at a lesser cost.
Marlins trade Heath Bell to D-Backs for Yordy Cabrera
And so ends Bell’s disastrous stint in Miami and in all likelihood his stint as a fantasy-worthy pitcher. He’ll serve as a middle reliever for the D-Backs, and even if the oft-injured J.J. Putz misses any time, don’t expect Bell to handle closing duties. David Hernandez has already proven that he can thrive in the ninth inning role.
A’s acquire Chris Young from D-Backs for Cliff Pennington and Yordy Cabrera
A sneaky move by A’s GM Billy Beane, who surely hopes that a change of scenery will help the struggling Young, but going from hitter-friendly Chase Field to the spacious Coliseum in Oakland doesn’t excite me all that much. We all know the deal with CBY. He’ll give you solid power and speed production at the expense of a mediocre AVG. Young’s best all-around season came back in 2010 when he smacked 27 homers with 91 RBIs, 91 runs, 28 steals and a tolerable .257 average. I don’t see him duplicating those numbers, but he’s still a decent mid to late-round flier just because he could go 20/20, but I’ve spent enough years drafting Young with the hope that he can develop into a star. I’m done with him! Pennington should slot in as Arizona’s everyday shortstop and makes for an intriguing NL-only pick as his offensive production could improve now that he’ll be playing in a more favorable ballpark.
And by the way, who is this Yordy Cabrera guy? A .232/.293/.332 line at High-A ball this year has me wondering why he was such a hot commodity.
C.J. Wilson’s elbow surgery goes well
Maybe Wilson’s elbow is to blame for his poor second half (4-5, 5.54 ERA, 1.57 WHIP), but either way, the fact that the surgery was considered minor is good news, and I wouldn’t hesitate to draft Wilson as a high-end #3 SP in 12-team mixed leagues. Your league mates might overlook his exceptional first half (9-5, 2.43 ERA, 1.16 WHIP). There’s value to be had here.
Until next time,