Before I get into my spring training thoughts, where the heck can one find an NL-only, 5 x 5 mock draft? I checked out Mock Draft Central (yeah, I know-why?) last night and didn't see one till Sunday morning. I couldn't find the mock drafts on CBS. Anyone know where I can find an NL-only mock?
It appears that Will Middlebrooks gave us a scare last night, huh? It was reported that he had suffered a wrist injury last night on a check swing, and according to some tweets I read from some Red Sox beat writers, it didn't look good. The tweets stated that he was in a lot of pain. Well, it appears that it was just a false alarm, as Middlebrooks is fine, suffering from wrist "soreness", and could take batting practice later today. More from Alex Speier on Twitter:
Says he has all his strength and the pain went away. He feels he dodged a bullet. Says best case scenario is taking BP tomorrow.— Alex Speier (@alexspeier) February 28, 2013
But he hasn't received an MRI or x-ray yet either. From Speier at WEEI.com:
However, when Middlebrooks returned to the Red Sox clubhouse, the news — at least at first glance, pending further evaluation on Thursday in Fort Myers — represented a best-case scenario. While Middlebrooks has yet to get an X-ray or MRI, initial strength tests showed that he had all of the strength in his wrist. And with the pain in the region already subsiding considerably within the first hours after the injury, the third baseman was optimistic that he’d avoided an issue that would represent a threat to his season.
His fantasy owners are hoping for the best, as are Red Sox fans. I will be interested to see what Middlebrooks can do with a full season of at bats. Can he improve the plate discipline?
Orioles pitching prospect Dylan Bundy pitched well yesterday vs the Yankees, throwing two shutout innings, giving up two base runners on a hit and a walk and striking out one. After making just 3 starts in AA last season, I see Bundy returning to AA Bowie to start the season. His strikeout rate dropped and his walk rate jumped in his three AA starts, so I am sure the Orioles want to see him succeed there before a promotion is considered.
Speaking of pitching prospects, Mets top prospect Zack Wheeler was scratched from his start on Wednesday due to a mild right oblique strain. He suffered the injury while swinging a bat before the game. He will probably miss a week of action, but should be good to go to start the season in AAA Las Vegas.
With Shaun Marcum and Johan Santana on the Mets roster, Wheeler could get a quick promotion call in 2013. Marcum and Santana won't be seen on the mound till at least early to mid March. Marcum will play long toss to strengthen his shoulder before returning to the mound.
One prospect who I am warming up to is Astros outfield prospect George Springer, and yesterday he showed off some of the skills he possesses. He went yard twice and drove in five runs in the Astros win over the Blue Jays. Springer has plenty of swing and miss at the plate, but is the Astros center fielder of the future. He struggled in his promotion to AA last season, striking out in 31% of his 81 plate appearances. In High A, he went 22-102-82-28 at the plate, showing off the 20-20 potential he could bring fantasy owners in a few years. He has some work to do at the plate before that happens though.
If you're not following Jason Parks on Twitter, you are missing out. Check out his twitter scouting report on Mariners pitching prospect Taijuan Walker last night:
After going over my game notes on Taijuan Walker, I decided to take a long shower. Locked the door. FB worked 94-97; CT was nasty at 91-92— Jason Parks (@ProfessorParks) February 28, 2013
Walker tossed two scoreless innings last night, giving up a walk and striking out two. And yes, I DID just trade him in my AL only keeper league in a package for a $10 Jesus Montero.
There was talk over the weekend that the Marlins should deal Giancarlo Stanton this season, before he becomes arbitration eligible next season. If the Marlins go into full rebuild mode, which I think they have, they can get a real haul in return. FanGraphs' Dave Cameron thinks they could get a young major leaguer, and a few top 100 prospects in return for Stanton. Should the Marlins deal him? More importantly, will he struggle in the Marlins decimated lineup this season? I don't think he will, but I think I am in the minority here.
UPDATE: Feel free to post tweets that you feel can impact fantasy owners going forward. Let's use this as a community thread for sharing tweets, quotes, etc. that you come across during the day.