Roto Roundup: Cole Hamels, Derek Jeter, Mat Latos and others

Jim McIsaac

Pitchers and catchers are reporting!!! Ray takes a break from the offseason rankings series to talk about some players in the news this week.

Once our offseason rankings series is over, I will pick up on the daily Roto Roundup, where I will offer my thoughts on player and spring training news that could impact their fantasy value on draft day. With that said, I am taking a break from the ranking series…..just for today….and offering my thoughts on Cole Hamels injury, Derek Jeter's retirement and more.

Cole Hamels suffering from shoulder tendonitis

It was reported a few days ago that Hamels is a week behind in his offseason throwing program due to some tendonitis in his left throwing shoulder. I honestly don't think we should make too much of this news at this point in the offseason. As long as he looks good once he gets into game action in spring training, all is good. If you are drafting soon, and his value drops as a result of this news, be ready to pounce.

If we see that he is struggling with his command, or getting hit around the ball yard in spring training, giving up homer when the wind isn't blowing out in Clearwater, then I will get concerned. The reason is because we heard similar news from Hamels in spring training last year. Maybe he has damage in the left shoulder from all the innings he has thrown over the last eight years in the majors (1,596 innings)? We will learn more as we get deeper into spring training, but don't let this news impact his fantasy value just yet.

Derek Jeter announces his retirement

Yankee great Derek Jeter announced that he will retire after the 2014 season……via Facebook!! I cannot explain why he chose Facebook as the means to make this announcement, but there has to be some reason for his decision, right? Apparently, the news took everyone, including the Yankees, by surprise.

As far as his fantasy value goes, we ranked him as our 25th ranked shortstop in our consensus shortstop rankings this week, and this news doesn't change that. Actually, I think the Yankees may play him more than ever for all he has done for them. But, he is no spring chicken and will need a day off here and there. That is assuming he stays healthy, which is a big question mark at this point. Jeter is coming off a season where he missed 145 games due to ankle surgery, and he turns 40 years of age this season, so he is a risk for fantasy owners on draft day.

Victor Martinez to catch more in 2014

Tom Gage of the Detroit News reported earlier today that Tigers catcher/DH Victor Martinez may catch more this season than in 2013. Here is an excerpt from Gage's piece:

At some point, probably early in the season - and probably more than last year - Martinez is going to catch.

"I called Victor in early January and asked him about catching," manager Brad Ausmus said Friday before the first official workout for pitchers and catchers. "He was thrilled about it.

"But there is a reason why I asked him to come down early. We play 10 games in National League parks this year.

For those of you in leagues where position eligibility is 10 games or less, this is good news. I own him an an AL-only keeper league at $7, and our league position eligibility rule is just ONE game, so this may impact my draft day strategy when it comes to the available catchers in the pool.

Mat Latos has knee surgery

Reds #1 starter Mat Latos had surgery on his left knee (his landing knee) to repair a torn meniscus. He injured it while throwing. Reports indicate he will resume throwing in about 10 days or so, so he may not miss much time in spring training.

Hisashi Iwakuma strains tendon in finger

We got news this week that Mariners #2 starter Hisashi Iwakuma will miss 6-8 weeks due to a strained tendon in the middle finger of his throwing hand. Reports indicate he shouldn't miss much more than that, so we will probably see him on the mound in Seattle toward the end of April or beginning of May. His draft day value falls a bit as he will miss at least a month of the season, and it may take him some time to return to form once he does return.

The news got worse for the Mariners too.

Taijuan Walker experiences shoulder soreness

Mariners top pitching prospect Taijuan Walker had to delay his first bullpen due to soreness in his right shoulder. At this point, the Mariners may decide to take it slow with him in spring training, and if this injury is more serious, we could see the Mariners splurge to sign one of the remaining starting pitchers on the free agent market. There are rumors that they are still talking with former Royals starter Ervin Santana. Santana signing in Seattle would be a boon for his fantasy value, as he is a fly ball pitcher, prone to the long ball.

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