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MAMBINO Fantasy Mondays: Errbody on the Field Gettin’ Injured

What’s happening in the water in major metropolitan cities across the US? Has the trace amount of fluoride in the tap just suddenly started to disintegrate tendons in your joints? Has pine tar gained the properties that destroys calcium in your bones? I’m not sure exactly what’s causing our favorite athletes to drop faster than Charles Barkley does names on TNT. Let’s take a look at who exactly went on the 15-day DL this week, how it’ll affect their team, but most importantly, how it’s going to affect YOUR fantasy team.


OF Carlos Gomez, SS Alex Gonzalez and 1B Mat Gamel, The Good Land Brewers

All in a week, three Milwaukee starters went down with leg injuries, including Gomez with a strained hamstring, and both Gonzalez and Gamel with a torn ACLs. Extremely bad news for a Brewers team that’s already under .500 and trying to get their postseason mojo back after losing Prince Fielder to free agency and trying to escape Ryan Braun’s cheatery scandal.

The problem here isn’t so much that these guys are integral parts to the Milwaukee offense; Gomez was an above-average player, while Gamel and Gonzalez were giving the Brewers replacement-level production. Nor was it that they had any particular upside as the season went on. The real hurdle to their absences, especially a season-ending injury like Gamel’s and Gonzalez’s, is that the players replacing them are indicative of Milwaukee’s lack of depth. Two punchless hitters in SS Cesar Izturis and 1B Travis Ishikawa are now the starters, and an under-achieving OF Nyjer Morgan is replacing a cresting Carlos Gomez. Sure, Gamel, Gonzalez and Gomez weren’t All-Stars or highly productive hitters, but at least they were decent, rather than the below replacement-level stink performed by their understudies. All in all, a devastating week for Milwaukee.

Fantasy Spin: None of these three are worth even holding on your DL spot, unless you’re in a very deep mixed league or NL-only league (in both Gonzalez’s and Gamel’s situation, they’re a must-drop for everyone). Their replacements aren’t worth picking up either, so if you owned anyone that I just talked about, you’re pretty much screwed. Sorry.

RP Huston Street, SP Cory Luebke San Diego Padres

Like the Brew Crew, an awful week for the San Diego Padres. Almost already out of the race for the NL West at 9-20, the Padres just lost their best starting pitcher to potentially a season-ending Tommy John surgery (not confirmed yet), and their injury-prone closer to a strained lat muscle. It’s not so much the on-field performance for both of those guys, but rather how they fit into the Padres future plans.

Luebke of course is young and controllable contract-wise for years to come. Surgery to repair a torn UCL in his pitching elbow would knock him out well into next season, when the young Padres would begin to be at least competitive, if not working for a NL West title. On the other hand, Street is a free agent at the end of the season, so his value to the Padres lies entirely in if he were to be dealt at the trading deadline for at least one decent prospect. Unlike the win-now Brewers, this was a bad week for the Padres because of how it affects them down the road.

Fantasy Spin: Word is that the human machine-gun Andrew Cashner is the trendy pick for the closer’s role, so if you’re in a league of any respectable activity, he’ll already be gone at this point. Luke Gregerson might be a guy to hold onto just to make sure Cashn… Read more...

MLB: Bold and/or Reckless Predictions

MLB Opening Day is the best day of the year. The Fourth of July, Christmas, and the Super Bowl all have nothing on Opening Day. On the first day of the season, every baseball city in America has a legitimate chance to set course on a path towards the World Series (well everyone except those who root for the Cubs). Look at the champions over the last 10 years in the MLB and tell me if you would’ve correctly predicted: St. Louis, San Francisco, NY Yankees, Philly, Boston, St. Louis, Chicago White Sox, Boston, Florida, Anaheim, Arizona. Barring the normal Yankee dominance and a stint in their time as a ‘roided up Red Sox team, all those teams listed were not expected to win the whole thing on the first day of the season.

As a kid, I waited nervously for opening day. I checked spring training box scores and standings each morning in the LA Times. Now, as an adult (albeit a fairly irresponsible one), I feverishly read everything on the Internet about the upcoming summer of lazy days and double plays.
Everyone who knows anything about baseball can tell you the Dodgers are going to be a shitty team this year. We have the worst infield in the League and we still haven’t ensured that Frank McCourt is going to be out of lives forever (seriously, he still owns the parking lot/land in joint venture with Magic). So even though KOBEshigawa went through the trouble of doing a full season preview on the boys in the blue, I don’t see the point in guessing exactly how many players on our starting 9 will be hitting under .250. Instead, I would like to spend my time here with thegreatmambino making reckless predictions about the upcoming season that you will not get anywhere else…
Prediction 1: The Marlins AND the Pirates will WIN a playoff series
The Miami Marlins have been making a name for themselves this offseason. They no longer have to play in their cavernous hole of a stadium, and somehow they landed the craziest manager in baseball. Add that to a lineup that now has speedy (yet fragile) Jose Reyes, a rotation that boasts Josh Johnson (not crazy), Mark Buerhle (kinda redneck crazy), and Carlos Zambrano (batshit crazy), and you have a recipe for dominance. Granted, success in Miami will only come if this witches brew of talent can gel, but with the powerhouses in the East set to have down years (looking at you Braves and Phillies), a hot Ozzie-led squad will eek out a playoff series win this fall.
The Pittsburgh Pirates are finally going to do it this year. I live with a die-hard fan of the losingest team in baseball over the last 25 years and he has assured me that this season is the one! With the expanded playoffs and a Central that no longer has a Pujols or a Prince, the Pirates will finally put it all together and make it into the playoffs as a wild-card team. The playoff series they win… that first game to get into their series with Miami.
Prediction 2: This is the last season without a DH in the NL

The MLB has been run by a bunch of drunks for decades. Each league used to have power beyond anything you can imagine in any other professional sport. So much so that one league plays by entirely different lineup rules. This has been allowed to continue for decades for no apparent reason other than the fact that the AL prefers winning a lot, and the NL has cited tradition/purity in the game. Don’t get me wrong, I hate the DH, but with the new way the MLB has set up the schedule for 2012, the DH has to go. Currently, almost every single baseball league in the world uses a DH (all minor leagues, Japan, Latin leagues etc.).

Teams are soon going to be playing interleagu
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