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Fantasy Baseball 2011: Troy Tulowitzki, Chase Utley and Other Spring Training Thoughts

On Thursday, we heard that Rockies SS Troy Tulowitzki was pulled from a spring training game with an injured leg. As it turns out, in his follow-through on a swing, the bat hit his heel. He apparently will be fine, but freak injuries or not, he is injury prone. Whether you change your ranking on him is up for argument, but I am starting to have some concerns, and not just injury concerns. He had a fantastic season in 2010, but take away his insane September and he hit just 12 HRs and drove in 55 though August. Something to think about on draft day. Check out Jeremy's Bust post on Tulo which he posted earlier today.

I ranked Buster Posey as my 3rd ranked catcher in 2011 after initially ranking him #1. He very well could be the best fantasy catcher this year, but I worry that Posey will play too much and wear down as the season goes. Manager Bruce Bochy said that Posey will start 135 games at catcher this season, with only a few, if any, starts at first base. Last year he started 76 games at catcher and 30 games at first base. I hope he doesn't wear down like Russell Martin did a few years ago.

More after the jump:

Rays super utility man Ben Zobrist is playing some first base in spring training, according to Joe Smith at the St. Petersburg Times:

Zobrist, who played mostly the outfield and second base last season, said he's still struggling receiving pickoff throws from pitchers, something he said he will have to work on in the spring as the Rays could use him at first regularly against left-handed starters.

Zobrist played 11 games at first base in 2010, and it sounds like he will be getting more starts there this year. Does Sean Rodriguez get more playing time when Zobrist moves over to first this season?

Look for the Angels to join the list of teams who are planning on being more aggressive on the basepaths this season. Kevin Baxter from the LA Times penned an article which included this quote from manager Mike Scioscia:

"We have some depth in our running game," he said. "It's going to create some situations, maybe, that will help us put guys in motion, whether it's a run-and-hit, hit-and-run or straight steal."

Baxter went on to list Peter Bourjos, Vernon Wells, Bobby Abreu and Erick Aybar who could be counted on to run more in 2011. 

Nick Piecoro from the Arizona Republic wrote a blog post on Diamondbacks outfield prospect A.J. Pollock, with these quotes from GM Kevin Towers:

Pollock likely will open the year in Double-A Mobile, though GM Kevin Towers doesn't think he's too far from being big-league ready.

"There's no doubt in my mind he's going to be a good big-league player," Towers said, "and it's probably not too far off."

Pollock missed all of the 2010 season, but was ranked as the third best DBacks prospect by Baseball America; and this season they ranked him as their #6 best DBack prospect. Pollock plays CF, has average power and can steal some bases. Chris Young is signed through the 2013 season, so Pollock more than likely will play LF or backup Young when he finally makes it up to the bigs.


Update on Utley injury:


Utley was given a cortisone shot. Phillies think it could be worse than patellar tendinitis.

about 5 hours ago via Twitter for iPhone

Retweeted by 14 people

Are the Phillies hiding something from us? We will know in the next few days or so, I think.