Monday, February 25, 2008

Spring Training Fantasy News and Notes: Ichiro Atlanta, Texas, David Wells, Chicago Cubs

Seattle Mariners/Ichiro

Manager John McLaren wants All-Star centerfielder Ichiro Suzuki to run more this season, telling reporters he believes he can reach, 80 steals for the season.

Fantasy Impact

We all know Ichiro is great for Hits, AVG and SB. Well, if his own manager is telling him to run more, that might be something to note and get excited about. I doubt he'll reach 80, his previous high was 56), but it shows he'll always have the green light to do what he wishes on the base paths. With the amount of times Ichiro gets on base, it wouldn't be surprising to see him challenge the previous Mariner's record for SB in a season, held by Harold Reynolds with 60.

Mike Hampton Feeling Good

It's February and March is quickly approaching, which can only mean one thing. MIKE HAMPTON IS ON THE COMEBACK TRAIL AGAIN!! Hampton has battled elbow injuries, and more recently a hamstring injury while playing winter ball but finally looks like he is ready to give it a Major League go again. Hampton said his elbow feels fine, but his hamstring does give him some problems when throwing. Hamstring injuries have a tendency to linger just a bit, and if Atlanta plans on being cautious and pace Hampton along they might hold him back a bit in Spring training until he is totally healthy.

Fantasy Impact

Hampton might actually be a decent bet to bounce back if he can stay healthy, and as always thats a big IF. If you are one of those drafters who wants to take a flier on a late round veteran, instead of a younger pitcher with upside, than take Hampton. I think he has the potential to better than a guy like Bartolo Colon. Colon is an aging power pitcher, who has lost a lot of his power. Hampton is more of a finesse guy, who relies on control and movement to get hitters out.

Kevin Millwood... Not So Good

Kevin Millwood was scratched from his first scheduled spring training start because of... get this... a hamstring injury. Millwood had a career high 5.16ERA last season, to go along with two stints on the DL. At 33 he mght be aging quickly, and his years of being a workhorse, might finally be catching up to him.

Fantasy Impact

Millwood has been a decent pitcher for most of his career, Millwood might be on the downside at 33. Playing in a hitter's park in Texas certainly won't help his numbers either. Avoid Millwood at draft time. Let someone else take him, too early, because of his past accomplishments on far better teams.

Wells; Have Arm Will Pitch

David Wells' agent Greg Clifton has apparently contact the St. Louis Cardinals, asking if they would have interest in signing the 44-year-old lefty. The Cardinals declined the offer, showing they have more of a desire to use their young pitchers to fill any spots vacated by injury.

Fantasy Impact

Always good to see Boomer Wells looking for work. If he does wind up signing with a team, avoid him at draft time. He is useless.

Brian Roberts Rumors to the Cubs

The Brian Roberts to the Cubs rumors are quickly becoming like the villain in a horror flick. They just won't die.'s Jon Heyman says that the potential trade still has a little life, and that the Orioles' are monitoring different players in the Cub's farm system. Other rumors have the deal being closer than that. Some say all Baltimore has to do is select the players they would want from Chicago to get a deal involving the 2B completed

Fantasy Impact

You have to wonder if this is some how tied to Mark DeRosa recently being hospitalized with a rapid heartbeat during spring training drills. We have said here that the thing keeping the Cubs from getting to that next level as an offensive team, is having a bat like Roberts at the top of the order.

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