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Baseball Notes – February 18, 2009

Pitchers and catchers have begun to arrive at spring training, and The Corner of Knowledge is turning its attention to baseball. Granted, this may seem a little weird on what has previously been an all-football site, but Tony figured, “what damage could I do?” and has given his permission to move forward with baseball coverage.

I’m not sure how many fantasy baseball players we have still reading Fantasy Sharks at this point, but I’d love to hear from you guys. Be it a specific question or just something that you’d like me to cover, let me know. You can reach me at 

thecornerofknowledge@yahoo.com. Also, if you guys would like, we can put together a little Fantasy Sharks baseball league and crown a site champion.

When are we going to get an apology from

Bud Selig for making $18,000,000?

Washington

1B

Nick Johnson’s biggest problem throughout his career has been staying healthy. If, for some reason, Johnson can remain healthy in 2009, we could be looking at the reincarnation of

Ted Williams or a steroid-less version of

Barry Bonds. New hitting coach

Rick Eckstein was been able to detect a flaw in Johnson’s swing and after comparing it to the swings of Williams and Bonds, Johnson was more than eager to make the correction. Don’t let the addition of Adam Dunn scare you, if Johnson is healthy, he’s going to play. There is also the possibility of a trade should Johnson be able to remain healthy throughout spring training.  At this point Johnson is nothing more than a late draft gamble in deep leagues.

San Francisco

OF

Fred Lewis needs to get a new wardrobe due to the 15 pounds of muscle that he has added to legs. I expect Fred to hit at least 15 HR and pilfer 20+ bases.

If you’re looking for an end of the draft flyer you may want to keep an eye on

Washington pitcher

Troy Patton. His fastball is back in the 95-mph range after undergoing surgery to repair a torn labrum and a solid spring could earn him a spot in the rotation.

Don’t let the word of Angels’ catcher

Mike Napoli’s shoulder injury effect your draft strategy.  Apparently, his shoulder only bothers him when he throws and is being considered for the DH role should he not be ready to resume catching once the season starts.

Cubs’ SP

Rich Harden is still nursing a sore shoulder, but claims to be feeling better than he has in a long time. Harden began struggling at the end of last season, so you may want to pass on Harden unless he falls ridiculously far in your draft.

Rangers’ OF

Nelson Cruz is poised to have that breakout season that everyone has been predicting for the last couple of years. After tearing up AAA last season to the tune of 37 home runs and a .342 average, Cruz was promoted to the Rangers and proceeded to hit .330 with seven home runs in 115 at-bats. You say that you still aren’t buying Cruz as a breakout player, then I guess his .354 batting average and four home runs in 96 Dominican League at-bats won’t impress you either.

While we’re down in the Dominican, let’s not forget

Kendry Morales, OF/1B for the Angels.  He’s hitting .368 with six home runs in 87 at-bats.

The Mets are talking about moving SS

Jose Reyes into the third spot in the batting order. That definitely makes me feel good about my decision to take

Hanley Ramirez first overall.  There is also talk about moving Ramirez into the third spot, but it will be much easier for him to steal 30+ bases from the three-hole than it will be for Reyes to steal 60+, and that is what you’re paying for with Reyes.

The Orioles have already stated that catcher

Matt Wieters will start the season at AAA, so make sure that if you draft him you have a backup plan for early in the season.

According to the MLB Network,

Carlos Zambrano became the first pitcher in MLB history to throw a no-hitter and win the Silver Slugger award in the same season, 2008.

Also according to the MLB Network, the Florida Marlins have won two World Series but have never finished in first place in their 16-year history. Take that Cubs fans!

Finally, I couldn’t pass up the chance to have a little fun with

Michael Phelps.

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Questions?  Comments?  Complaints?  I can be reached at

thecornerofknowledge@yahoo.com.

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