Ray's Ramblings - Tiding You Over
It’s a new year. There’s little going on in the world of baseball right now as teams continue to wait out the free agent market with little to no movement in sight. It will likely change with a flurry of activity, and soon. Until that happens, here’s a little something to tide you over.
Zach Britton is set to miss the first half of the 2018 season after having surgery on his Achilles tendon on December 21st. That’s what the reports are saying, but it should be noted that it often takes, even pro athletes, longer than that to get back up to full-speed. Brad Brach should fill in for the Orioles in the 9th inning, as he did last year.
David Dahl has been cleared to swing a bat. His mysterious back/rib/stress fracture issue is apparently finally behind him. We think. It only took like 19 starts and stops to get him there. "The more activity I would start doing, I would start feeling it a little," Dahl said. "If I would take 2-3 weeks off, I'd feel good or I wouldn't feel it anymore. I was like, 'OK, I feel good. Let's ramp it up. I'm ready.' Then we'd start doing more stuff again and I'd feel it a bit. Once I started swinging, it would flare up again." Whatever. Dahl has 20/20 talent, and plays in Colorado. That’s enough to warrant your attention. Given a totally lose season in 2017, and the 2015 season that was limited to 81 games because of a spleen injury, it’s good to monitor Dahl to see if that 20/20 talent still resides in his body before you make the call to spend a draft pick on him.
Matt Duffy seems likely to get the first shot at the starting third base gig with the Rays now that he seems to be fully over the Achilles issue he dealt with last season (sorry Christian Arroyo). Duffy didn’t appear in a game last season, and in 2016 he appeared in just 91 games making 2015 his last healthy season. In fact, it was his first and only full season when he went out and hit .295-12-77-77-12 for the Giants. The Rays, and AL-only participants, would love it if he could replicate that effort in 2018.
Jacoby Ellsbury is still looking for a team that wants him. Clearly the Yankees don’t.
Dallas Keuchel (foot) says that he is out of his walking boot, and has already starting throwing. He dealt with the foot in the second half, and the aggravated it at the World Series winning parade. He looked sharp last season, that 2.90 ERA and 1.12 WHIP were sparkling, though he failed to reach 150-innings last season (he’s been under 170 the last two years). Workload is the issue we worry about with the lefty.
Did you know that Carlos Santana and Felix Hernandez share the exact same birthday – April 8th, 1986. I can’t be the only one who thinks that can’t be right, right? Turns out, it is.
Yangervis Solarte appeared at third base 22 times, shortstop 28 times and second base 80 times in 2017 (he even played eight games at first base). I bring it up because he’s a solid option in AL-only leagues now that he’s been dealt from the Senior Circuit. Solarte was dealt to the Blue Jays for minor leaguer Edward Olivares, and outfielder, and RHP Jared Carkuff. Solarte may not be a great add at all in mixed leagues, but he could end up with a ton of playing time in Toronto in what was a good baseball move. The middle infield is a mess for the Blue Jays – 2B Devon Travis and SS Troy Tulowitzki certainly cannot stay healthy – and Solarte can obviously play third base if the Jays end up selling Josh Donaldson to the highest bidder.
This shark is... amazing.
Tyson Ross signed with the Padres trying to recapture the glory he flashed with the team in 2013-15. He threw one game in 2016, was hurt, and then could never find it last season (7.71 ERA, 1.84 WHIP over 49 innings). League specific is the only direction to go with him at the moment. Here are his contract details.
Joakim Soria was added in a deal with the Royals by the White Sox. The 33 year old had 64 punchouts with a 1.23 WHIP over 56 innings last season. For the second year in a row he posted 20 holds, but the question is an open one – will he be given a chance to close for the White Sox? It would seem like Juan Minaya and Nate Jones are his main competition. Minaya posted a 4.53 ERA and 1.33 WHIP with 51 strikeouts over 43.2 innings while racking up nine saves. He can be wild though. Jones had surgery on his elbow, it moved the nerve and didn’t repair it (no Tommy John), and it’s hoped he will be good to go for Spring Training. Keep an eye on this one.
In that White Sox, Royals, Dodgers three way deal, the Dodgers picked up lefty reliever Scott Alexander. The 28 year old was death on batters in 2017, especially righties who posted a terrible .281 wOBA (lefties were barely better at .303). He’s a potential add in NL-only leagues with his massive 72.9 percent career ground ball rate. Just wish he generated a few more punchouts (7.47 per nine).
Ray Flowers can be heard Monday-Friday, 7-10 PM EDT on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius 210, XM 87). Follow Ray’s work on Twitter (@baseballguys).