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Podcast: Evan Longoria Heads List of Early Injuries

April 4, 2011 | By Tim McLeod | comment on this post
Matt Joyce is looking for his first hit of the season for the Tampa Bay Rays.
Matt Joyce is off to a slow start, but could be a decent waiver wire pickup for those that lost Matt Holliday.

What would a Sunday night be without the opportunity to join the fine folks at FantasyPros911 on Blogtalk Radio to talk some baseball? This week Rich Wilson and yours truly were joined by Gabriel Lundeen, who came off the bench to provide his eloquent style of banter as always. The first week of the new season — albeit a short one — has come and gone and there was no shortage of topics to examine in this show.

We got things off and running with a rather lengthy discussion on a couple of key injuries. Evan Longoria of the Rays and Matt Holliday of the Cardinals will be taking the bulk of April to heal and the search is on for replacements. Ben Francisco, Ryan Ludwick, Matt Joyce and Jon Jay were all discussed at length. An April without those two high draft choices is causing some early scrambling on waiver wires throughout the land.

The next topic of discussion was a look at the bullpen issues faced by many MLB squads. It was a weekend from hell for too many closers. Will it be Drew Storen or Sean Burnett in the ninth for the Nationals? Does John Axford bounce back from that Opening Day debacle (four earned runs in two-thirds of an inning)? Brandon Lyon left a bit to be desired while allowing six hits and three earned runs in 1/3 of an IP Friday. Is it time to start stashing Wilton Lopez on your bench? Has interim Oakland closer Brian Fuentes pitched himself into middle relief fodder leaving Grant Balfour or Michael Wuertz as the best options until Andrew Bailey returns? There was no shortage of topics when looking at the bullpen conundrums currently being endured around the majors.

As always, the opening weekend provided its fair share of surprises. J.P. Arencibia went 3-for-4 with two homers and five RBI in his 2011 debut, We’ve seen this before haven’t we? Melky Cabrera went 3-for-4 with a stolen base for the Royals. Carlos Gomez went yard back-to-back with Rickie Weeks and chipped in with a theft. Jeremy Guthrie pitched lights out and allowed only three hits and one free pass in an eight-inning gem. Are these performances that will be built on or just simply temporary aberrations? What does Week Two have in the cards for some of the players currently enjoying hot starts to the 2011 campaign?

We took a few minutes to review one of Tony Cincotta’s picks to click this year — Kila Ki’aihue of the Royals. Since 2008, the Kila Monster has amassed 86 homers and compiled a 340/311 walk-to-strikeout ratio in 1,417 minor league at-bats. These are very impressive numbers and worthy of your attention — especially for those Fantasy owners partaking in OBP leagues.

Closing out the show we took a look at the history of Japanese players and their relative successes in North America. Is it worth the gamble to be investing in these players, especially in dynasty leagues? Who could Fantasy owners be looking at as options down the road? The opportunity to discuss some of the nuances of the Japanese game versus the North American game is a personal favourite topic of mine (for those of you that have been living under a rock).

As always a fun time was had by all and the full show can be heard by clicking the play button below.

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