Before leaving for a long weekend Thursday, I wanted to make sure my rankings, auction values and tiers were completely up to date for every format: Rotisserie, Head-to-Head, mixed, AL-only, NL-only etc. To do so required me to stay late. Like, really late. Like, stay-away-from-my-children-until-you-get-your-priorities-straight late.
But I left feeling like I had accomplished something. It was a big draft weekend, after all, and there's nothing worse than printing out a set of rankings you think you can trust only to see Aroldis Chapman still alongside Craig Kimbrel atop the relief pitchers list. With the rankings finally caught up, I could rest easy.
Now if only they had stayed that way.
As always seems to happen toward the end of spring training, we got hit with a few bombshells this weekend, including some for players I've targeted in just about every league. If you've followed my lead and targeted them yourself, you're probably stressing today.
Maybe you don't need to be.
Jurickson Profar, 2B, Rangers (torn shoulder muscle): This one really hurts because Profar was one of my favorite breakout candidates and a big reason why I waited until late to fill my middle infield spot in Rotisserie leagues. Half the season is too long to wait him out. You need a replacement now. Fortunately, Kolten Wong, a recent addition to my sleepers list, has closed the gap on him a bit with his performance this spring and might be available on waivers. Failing that, you could do worse than to grab Rickie Weeks in the hope his hot spring bumps him ahead of Scooter Gennett or Nick Franklin in the hope that the Tigers, Mets or even the Rangers will acquire him. Adam Aizer, Al Melchior and I discussed the possibilities in greater detail on today's podcast.
Josh Johnson, SP, Padres (strained forearm): I was feeling pretty encouraged by Johnson's spring results -- enough to draft him late in mixed leagues, knowing his track record. For as bad as he was last year, he had his best strikeout rate ever, so I wouldn't consider him a lost cause. Obviously, this injury greatly diminishes his chances for a rebound season, whether he's back in six weeks or not. By now, everyone is on board with Alex Wood, Yordano Ventura and Michael Pineda, but I wouldn't sleep on rookies James Paxton, Jake Odorizzi and Erik Johnson. Paxton is especially exciting now that Scott Baker is out fo the picture.
Geovany Soto, C, Rangers (torn meniscus): In two-catcher leagues, Soto was sort of my backup plan if I missed out on breakthrough candidate Devin Mesoraco, but I had a backup backup plan in Dioner Navarro. They have their similarities as former All-Stars who slumped their way out of starting duty only to get a second chance this year after performing well as part-timers last year. I also wouldn't sleep on Yasmani Grandal, who has as much breakout potential as Mesoraco but is a little more under the radar coming back from knee surgery. Even if he begins the year on the DL, you'd rather wait a couple weeks for him than suffer through Chris Iannetta or J.P. Arencibia.
Jonathan Broxton, RP, Reds (forearm surgery): Well, so much for that ready-made replacement for Chapman. I still like J.J. Hoover the most in the Reds bullpen, but nobody of any authority has singled him out. Only the Astros have a shakier closer situation., and I'd take Hoover over anything they have to offer.