As I've admitted many times on the podcast, I am very reactive in Fantasy Baseball. It's definitely one of my flaws as a player and as an analyst. You can imagine how I felt Monday when there was a new pitcher injury being revealed every hour! Now don't be like me. Breathe in, breathe out. Those injuries of course came to Zac Gallen, Kirby Yates and Jose Leclerc, a top-20 starting pitcher (before the injury) and two presumed closers.
The question is what comes next? Well, we talked it out. Obviously we've dropped each of them in our rankings while moving up the closers-in-waiting. Find out more about each situation below and on the podcast. Other than that, we've added some new players to our Sleepers and Breakouts 3.0. It's time to buy on Corey Kluber and Victor Robles!
We talk injuries to Zac Gallen, Kirby Yates and Jose Leclerc on the Fantasy Baseball Today in 5 Podcast. And of course, you can follow to make sure you get the latest episodes of Fantasy Baseball Today right when they drop on Apple and Spotify.
- Zac Gallen was scratched Monday with lateral forearm soreness in his pitching arm. He's been getting treatment for the injury over the last 10 days. Gallen is still being evaluated, so there is currently no timetable for him. Scott White dropped Gallen to SP32 in his rankings, just behind Chris Paddack, Ian Anderson and Jesus Luzardo.
- Kirby Yates has a flexor pronator strain and will miss a few weeks. He also had surgery last season to remove bone chips in his elbow. Jordan Romano is the next man up and he had a great season last year, finishing with a 1.23 ERA and a 0.89 WHIP. Assuming Romano is the guy, he moves up to a top-20 closer.
- Jose Leclerc was the other injury domino to fall Monday and he'll miss extended time with an elbow injury. I wasn't much of a fan of Leclerc for this season anyway. With him and Jonathan Hernandez out, the team will have to turn to Matt Bush and/or Ian Kennedy. Bush has not pitched since 2018 while Kennedy face-planted with the Royals last season. My first guess was Kennedy because he converted 30 saves back in 2019.
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New Sleepers and Breakouts
- Corey Kluber was a new addition to Scott White's Sleepers 3.0 column. Kluber was one of those pitchers we just needed to see perform in spring training before getting excited about him. So far, so good as he's climbed up to 150.2 in ADP.
- Josh Rojas is a deeper sleeper but somebody who has been turning heads with the Diamondbacks. So for this spring he's 18-for-53 with three home runs. Back in 2019, Rojas hit 23 homers with 33 steals in the minors. As of now it looks like he'll play second base with Ketel Marte in the outfield.
- Brady Singer was great over his final four games last season, pitching to a 1.50 ERA with a 3.68 xFIP. He's looked solid this spring and has been working on his changeup, that elusive third offering.
- Tarik Skubal is a new one in Scott's Breakouts 3.0. Skubal is part of a trio of Tigers pitching prospects who flashed his upside at times last season but with little consistency. Scott is hoping that an offseason with Driveline Baseball will help Skubal unlock the rest of his talents.
- Chris Towers is excited about Victor Robles, and I'm starting to buy-in as well. Robles has led off in each spring game he's played and is 10-for-35 with three home runs and four steals. If he hits well enough to remain atop the Nationals lineup, this is an easy profit.
- Nick Senzel just needs to stay healthy. So far he looks at that way this spring; he's gone 11 for 32 with two home runs and a stolen base. He's slated for an everyday role with the Reds in a great ballpark with a solid lineup around him.
Other news and notes
- Julio Teheran left Monday's start with back tightness. Spencer Turnbull is in the COVID health and safety protocols as well for the Tigers. This might ensure both Skubal and Casey Mize are in the opening day rotation.
- Reynaldo Lopez was optioned to the White Sox alternate training site Monday. That means Carlos Rodon will be the team's fifth starter.
- Dinelson Lamet will make his spring training debut Wednesday against the Giants. He's been throwing sim games but has yet to exceed 29 pitches. He's still likely to open the season on the injured list.
- Enrique Hernandez has done "everything possible" to be the Red Sox leadoff hitter to start the season, according to manager Alex Cora. Hernandez's ADP is all the way down at 362.8.
- Phillies starting pitcher Zach Eflin is expected to avoid the injured list as he works through a back injury.
So which Fantasy baseball sleepers should you snatch in your draft? And which undervalued first baseman can help you win a championship? Visit SportsLine now to get Fantasy baseball rankings for every single position, all from the model that called Will Smith's huge breakout last season, and find out.