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Fantasy Baseball Thoughts: Shelby Miller, Matt Kemp, and Others

Ray Guilfoyle offers his thoughts on some news around baseball with a fantasy spin.

Brad Barr-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

It was reported last night that Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp will undergo surgery on his left shoulder on Friday for either a minor cleanup or to repair a labrum tear. The recovery for the minor surgery ranges from 6-8 weeks, while the recovery from the labrum work would be close or to 4 months. If they repair the labrum tear, he could miss some of spring training and be behind once the 2013 season starts. We should learn more about his surgery tomorrow. He could fall in my Top 100 and outfielder rankings for 2013 depending on the results of the surgery.

Cardinals pitching prospect Shelby Miller made his first major league start vs division rival Cincinnati Reds last night, and he looked great. He took a no-hitter into the sixth inning and ending his outing giving up just one hit, walking two and striking out seven. We will get to see more of him in the playoffs, but more than likely it will be out of the bullpen. Miller made six appearances with the big league club this season giving up just 2 runs on 9 hits, 4 walks and 16 strikeouts in 13.2 innings of work. Very small sample size, of course, but a positive development nonetheless for Miller who struggled earlier this season in AAA.

Last week, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly suggested that he may consider platooning outfielder Andre Ethier in 2013. Ethier hits left handed pitching to the tune of .222-.276-.330 with just 4 home runs, 29 RBI and a 63-11 strikeout to walk ratio in 221 at bats this season. Not good, so you can't blame Mattingly, but Ethier recently signed a long term contract worth $85 milliion so platooning a player with a huge salary wouldn't make the signing look good. Then again, it tells me that Mattingly is not afraid to make decisions that will help the team win, rather than keep a player happy. If the team signs a right handed hitting outfielder this offseason, and I think they will, Ethier could see his number of at bats drop in 2013.

One starter who I will be drafting next season is Phillies ace Cliff Lee. Lee ended the season with just 6 wins, but a 3.16 ERA, 3.13 FIP, 3.06 xFIP, and a 207-28 strikeout to walk ratio in 211 inning next season. I have a feeling he will drop in drafts next season. In NL-only leagues, I can see him dropping a round or two, but he is the same pitcher he was in 2011, just with not as many wins.

Orioles first baseman Chris Davis was not expected to be an everyday player this season, but ended the season hitting 33 home runs and driving in 85, while hitting .270-.326-.501. Who expected that from him in 2012? I know I didn't. He still strikes out a ton (30.1%), and his HR/FB rate jumped from 10.0% in 2011 to 25.2% this season, so fantasy owners will have to ask themselves whether this season was a fluke or not. Alex Kantecki wrote this piece on Davis on Mionday asking if Davis is a keeper in 2013. Check out what Alex has to say about Davis in the link.