Yesterday brought the terrible news from Reds camp that closer Ryan Madson will have Tommy John Surgery and will miss the 2012 season. For those of you who have drafted already, or retained him, should look to grab Sean Marshall until further notice. He is the leading candidate to close for manager Dusty Baker, but as I stated in my fanpost from yesterday, I could see the Reds dealing for an established closer. Francisco Cordero maybe?
Checking out Twitter last evening, I came across some tweets indicating the Phillies second baseman Chase Utley will address the media sometime today. No word on what he will say, but this doesn't sound good. Utley is one who rarely talked to the media during his rehab this spring. Here is a tweet from Matt Gelb from the Philadelphia Inquirer yesterday:
The Phillies say Chase Utley will address reporters Sunday. That is all.
I checked Phillies.com and they had nothing on this. But Gelb had more in this article at the Philadelphia Inquirer last night. Any time a team or GM is secret about something, it usually is not good news. I wonder if he has opted to have surgery on his knee(s).
Minor League Ball's John Sickels has been posting daily Prospect Notes, and yesterday he wrote about the Blue Jays left field competition:
**Buzz from Toronto Blue Jays camp is that Eric Thames has the edge over Travis Snider in the competition for the regular left field job. Both are hitting well (Thames 13-for-40, .325/.378/.500, Snider 13-for-43, .302/.375/.698) but Thames is reportedly impressing more with his defense and athleticism, which looks like the deciding factor since both are hitting. Thames is also making better contact, with eight whiffs against Snider's 14.
I own Thames in my AL-Only keeper league and am hoping he wins the job. I think he could hit 20+ HRs in a full time role.
John also stated that he thinks Cubs first baseman Bryan LaHair will have about a month to prove he is more than a AAAA hitter before prospect Anthony Rizzo gets the call up.
More Roto Roundup after the jump:
Rays starter Jeremy Hellickson probably can't wait for spring training to end especially after his performance on Saturday. He game up 11 runs on 10 hits, 2 walks and 3 home runs in 3 innings to raise his spring ERA to 15.30. I know some of our readers like him, but his FIP and xFIP were more than a run higher than his ERA in 2011, and his K rate dropped from 8.17 to 5.57 last year, his walk rate increased and he was extremely lucky, as his .223 BABIP indicates. I can see a down year from Hellickson in 2012.
Twins first baseman/DH Justin Morneau had his best day of the spring, hitting 2 home runs off of the previously mentioned Jeremy Hellickson, and drove in 5 runs. It was reported yesterday that Morneau would see more time as the Twins DH in 2012 to keep him healthy.
A guy who I like a lot this year is Orioles catcher Matt Wieters. Wieters gave ups a glimpse of what we could see from him in 2012, as he went 4-4 with a HR and 6 RBI yesterday. I am projecting a breakout season from Wieters in 2012, and see him in the 25-28 HR range.
Mets third baseman David Wright is scheduled to return to game action on Tuesday, and he is expected to be ready for Opening Day. Can he stay healthy in 2012? If so, he is a top 5-6 fantasy third baseman, capable of putting up a 25-20 season. He is a year removed from a .283-.354-.503 triple slash line with 29 HRs, 103 RBI and 19 stolen bases.
Dodgers shortstop Dee Gordon had 2 more hits on Saturday to raise his BA to .415 this spring. He was timed in 3.79 seconds from home to first on a bunt single in the first inning. Here is ESPN's Tony Jackson on Gordon:
At that point, a scout in the press box clocked Gordon going from home to first base in 3.79 seconds. "That's Ichiro time," the scout said. "In his prime."
I see Gordon stealing 50 bases in 2012, with the potential for more.
Braves third baseman Chipper Jones will have arthroscopic surgery on his left knee to repair a torn meniscus. The Braves will more than likely move Martin Prado to third base with Matt Diaz and Eric Hinske platooning in left field. If all goes well for the 40 year old Jones, he may only miss the first 5-6 games of the season.