Just a few quick thoughts on some players in the news recently.
Kris Medlen strains forearm
I am sure you have hear by now, but Braves starter Kris Medlen strained his forearm pitching in a spring training game on Sunday.The video of his outing showed that he appeared in some discomfort before his last pitch, when he hopped off the mound and headed straight for the dugout. Prior to the last pitch, he was shaking his arm and rubbing his elbow, so there were signs something was wrong. My question is why didn't Fredi Gonzalez go out to see how he was doing? Seems strange that one of your best starters is not right and you don't go out to see what is bothering him,
I am expecting the worst here, and think Medlen could miss some significant time with this injury, but I hope I am wrong. Either way, his fantasy value has dropped, it's just a matter of how much. We will learn more about his injury later this morning, I imagine.
Brandon Beachy dealing with bicep injury
When it rains, it pours for the Braves. One day after Kris Medlen left his start with a forearm injury, Beachy was limited to just two innings of work with a bicep injury. Here is Grant Macauley with the news via Twitter soon after it happened:
#Braves RHP Brandon Beachy said he had tightness is his biceps, something he's been working through this Spring. Describe it as a dull pain.— Grant McAuley (@grantmcauley) March 10, 2014
The guys at Talking Chop, along with Fox Sports Jon Morosi, mentioned that Beachy's velocity was down and the Talking Chop readers stated he was in the 87-88 mph range, which is not good. Beachy is a year removed from Tommy John surgery, and had his 2013 season shortened due to an arm injiury, so he is a big health risk on draft day if he is healthy.
After the news on Medlen and Beachy, the Braves are rumored to be interested in signing free agent starter Ervin Santana.
Read more about this and the Beachy and Medlen news over at Talking Chop, SB Nation's Braves fan site.
The Dodgers signed Cuban infielder Alex Guerrero to play second base this season, but the early spring results shows that his bat is ready for the big leagues, but he needs more work at second base. Luckily for the Dodgers, the have several candidates in camp vying for their starting second base job, Dee Gordon and Chone Figgins. Figgins seems to be more of a bench guy for me, while Gordon has looked good playing second base thus far.
As we are less than two weeks from their two game trip in Australia to open their regular season, it's becoming more and more likely that Gordon will win the second base job. Here is more from Ken Gurnick at MLB.com:
Dee Gordon seems to be the primary 2B. He's teamed with starting SS Hanley Ramirez in lineup, while Alex Guerrero is in intrasquad game.— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) March 10, 2014
and there's more:
Dee Gordon is on the travel list tomorrow and Alex Guerrero is not, further evidence that Gordon is winning the competition at second base.— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) March 10, 2014
I was watching the Dodgers game vs the Mariners on Saturday night, and Orel Hershiser was glowing about how well Gordon has played at second base this spring. He also talked about how Gordon is working on his bunting skills more and hitting the ball on the ground as much as possible. Gordon isn't hitting for a high average this spring, but is 8-8 in stolen base opportunities, and there is talk that he will leadoff vs right handed pitchers this season. That is, until Guerrero is ready, I assume.
Gordon offers fantasy owners with stolen base potential, but I would not go out and spend an early pick on him. There is a good chance that Gordon is a stop gap at second base till Guerrero is ready. There is also a chance, a slim one, I think, that he keeps the job.
Sergio Romo getting rocked this spring
Giants closer Sergio Romo is one of the better closers in the game. Daniel Kelley ranked him as his 8th ranked closer in his 2014 Closer Rankings yesterday, behind Trevor Rosenthal and ahead of Joe Nathan.
Spring training may mean nothing, and for the most part it doesn't, but Romo is having a tough time on the bump this spring. Here is Andrew Baggarly from Comcast Sportsnet San Francisco:
The spring numbers don’t look pretty for Sergio Romo. He has appeared four times, pitched three-plus innings, allowed 11 hits and has a 33.00 ERA. In his last outing against the Seattle Mariners on Saturday, Romo didn’t retire any of the five batters he faced. It was three hits, two walks – one with the bases loaded – and then the showers.
The Giants will tell you that the story extends beyond the box score, though. Romo has thrown almost exclusively fastballs and changeups this spring. He is keeping his boomerang slider lashed behind his back. Before he draws his sharpest weapon, he wants to prove he can stand and fight in close combat.
It could be that he is working on his other pitches this spring, and saving his arm from more and more sliders, so hopefully that is the case. But, is it possible he is injured and doesn't want to throw the slider as a result? Time will tell. It's spring training, and this is when pitchers and hitters can try different things in games that don't count.
Should Romo be injured or lose his job this spring, one candidate to replace him is Heath Hembree, who has closed games in the minors for the past two seasons. I wrote about him in my Closers-in-Waiting article that is scheduled for tomorrow morning.