Drew Silva

Baseball Daily Dose

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Already Missing Mauer

Friday, April 15, 2011


Let's add another major injury to the pile.

The Twins placed catcher Joe Mauer on the 15-day disabled list late Thursday night due to what is being called "bilateral leg weakness." It's a condition that can sometimes be related to serious neurological problems and the Twins are pulling out all the stops to ensure that they have a good read on what's going on in their star catcher's body. Mauer will visit a specialist on Friday in Baltimore and the Twins should have an update soon after that appointment concludes.

For now, Drew Butera is going to start behind the plate for Minnesota and Steve Holm is going to serve as the backup. Butera has a frightening .193/.231/.287 career major league batting line and the 31-year-old Holm boasts only 107 big league plate appearances. The only fantasy implication here is doom and gloom for Mauer owners. Butera and Holm can be avoided altogether.

Before this Daily Dose gets too depressing, let's move on to the good stuff...

* I was asked two intriguing questions on a Sirius-XM radio spot this week. The first? "Name a player, a surprising player, who is off to a hot start and will be able to maintain a high level of production all year."

My thoughts immediately honed in on one name: Brian Roberts. The Orioles second baseman was a perennial second-round pick in fantasy leagues before back and hip problems ruined his 2010 season, and he fell to the middle rounds of drafts this year. But the results so far this season have been positive. Roberts has three home runs and 10 RBI through just 47 at-bats and was successful on his one stolen base attempt. If he gets more aggressive on the basepaths, it's quite possible that he could wind up as one of the top fantasy second basemen of 2011. And finding a productive fantasy second baseman this year has been tough.

* Now to the second question. "Is there a player whose production you are already questioning here in early April? Someone waiver wire vultures should avoid?"

I was initially stumped. All I could see was John Lackey's sad face and so I blurted out something like, "avoid the back end of the Boston rotation." Now given time to think about my answer, I've come up with a couple.

Rays outfielder Sam Fuld drew all sorts of waiver additions this week after he nearly hit for the cycle on Monday night against the Red Sox. If you added him, drop him. Fuld is a stellar defender, but he was basically a throw-in this winter in the Cubs' trade for Matt Garza and his current .943 OPS is going to be hovering under .800 by the time late May arrives. Fuld never hit more than six home runs in a minor league season.

Diamondbacks infielder Willie Bloomquist is also getting far too much attention in fantasy leagues. He did a fine job filling in for Stephen Drew while Drew was sidelined by an abdominal strain, but that's all over. Bloomquist has a .266/.318/.340 career big league batting line and his playing time going forward is going to come in waves. He's an attractive option because he has eligibility at a range of positions, but even the worst players can have nice 10-game stretches. Remember, it's only April 15.

National League Quick Hits: Phillies second baseman Chase Utley has been cleared to begin a running program … Brandon Phillips is expected to return to the Reds' lineup this weekend … Astros closer Brandon Lyon picked up his second save of the season Thursday against the Padres … Randy Wolf struck out 10 batters over six-plus shutout innings Thursday against the Pirates … Nationals starter Jordan Zimmermann carried a perfect game into the sixth inning Thursday against the Phillies … Huston Street has successfully converted his first six save chances … Pirates reliever Joe Beimel could return as soon as Friday … Astros third baseman Chris Johnson is expected to return to the starting lineup Friday … The Brewers are hoping that Corey Hart will be ready to return to the major league starting lineup around April 22 … Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki slugged two home runs in a doubleheader Thursday against the Mets … Wilton Lopez will have his elbow examined by a specialist this weekend … Boof Bonser will undergo Tommy John surgery next week … Brewers reliever LaTroy Hawkins will continue his minor league rehab assignment this weekend at Triple-A Nashville … Alan Johnson on Sunday against the Cubs.

American League Quick Hits: A's reliever Michael Wuertz is expected to begin a minor league rehab assignment this weekend … Evan Longoria did rotational exercises in a pool on Thursday and is on track for a late April return from the disabled list … Tigers outfielder Magglio Ordonez remains sidelined with an inflamed bursa sac in his ankle ... Joe Nathan blew his first save of the season Thursday and is looking like a shell of his former self at the moment … Phil Hughes struggled again Thursday, allowing five runs over just four-plus innings … Yankees catcher Jorge Posada now has five home runs on the season … Pedro Feliciano has a torn capsule in his left shoulder and is likely to require season-ending surgery … Twins starter Carl Pavano tossed eight shutout innings Thursday in an extra-innings loss to the Rays … Damaso Marte is likely to miss all of the 2011 season as he continues to recover from shoulder surgery … The Royals have placed Robinson Tejada on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation … Joel Pineiro is scheduled to throw a simulated game this weekend … Yankees pitching prospects Dellin Betances and Manny Banuelos have both landed on the minor league disabled list with blisters.


Drew Silva is a baseball editor for Rotoworld and also contributes on NBC Sports' Hardball Talk. He can be found on Twitter.
Email :Drew Silva



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