Fantasy Baseball Hot Stove: Rickie Weeks, Victor Martinez, Jarrod Parker, Brad Peacock, Tom Milone, more

by Nicholas Minnix on January 30, 2012 @ 11:53:37 PDT


Your fantasy baseball draft isn't far off.'s Fantasy Baseball Hot Stove surveys free agency, trades, salary arbitration and injuries that will affect your rotisserie or head-to-head baseball league. You're cleared for your MLB offseason program: The Arizona Fall League, Baseball Winter Meetings, Rule 5 draft and more will shape your fantasy baseball rankings.

Milwaukee Brewers 2B Rickie Weeks still not 100 percent

It's a little disconcerting that he still isn't completely recovered from the serious ankle sprain he suffered in July. He's pretty close to it, he notes, and he was cautioned that it may take plenty of time to get there.

Detroit Tigers DH Victor Martinez
A giant arrow to the knee

Early in September, he was back in the lineup here and there in an attempt to get into playing shape by the time the postseason rolled around. He hit poorly in October, however; the instability of the ankle obviously affected his play.

Although he was cleared to return to action, it seems fair to wonder whether he should've been playing on it. If it's not yet 100 percent, perhaps it hasn't been healing properly, and the early return couldn't have helped.

If the news was on a player with better health record, it wouldn't be as alarming. There's nothing about this report that damns Weeks or his fantasy baseball value. He's working on strengthening the muscles around the joint; how much of that he gets back prior to spring training is pretty important to his ability to create a full stride and generate power.

It serves as a reminder that Weeks isn't the most stable choice, and this year, the market for him should reflect the risk involved. If he's off to a hot start in exhibition play and can sustain a good effort, owners should be much more encouraged and then consider him a more enticing target.

Detroit Tigers DH Victor Martinez's left knee in worse shape than expected

It turns out that he needed and underwent microfracture surgery as well as repairs his medial and lateral meniscus on Friday. He's expected to have his ACL reconstructed in six to eight weeks. CBS Sports' Danny Knobler reports the additional surgeries could really be a good thing for V-Mart.

His availability for the start of 2013 has to be in doubt, regardless of the optimism about what the additional procedures mean, however. The degree of microfracture is unknown, but even a minimally invasive procedure has complicated his recovery from his torn ACL, which can take anywhere from six to 18 months to recover from, depending on a range of factors.

Martinez will be 34 next year, and his power production is on the decline. With a less-than-stable lower half, his ability to operate in form from opening day on has to be questioned. The possible returns on an investment in his age-35 season and beyond will have diminished a bit, too.

SPs Jarrod Parker, Brad Peacock and Tom Milone among those to battle for two rotation spots

Brandon McCarthy, Dallas Braden and Bartolo Colon are expected to man the top three slots. The three young gladiators listed made their debuts at the tail end of the 2011 season with different organizations and arrived in shrewd offseason trades.

Parker, 23, has a ton of upside and last season made an impressive return, with steady progress, after missing 2010 while recovering from Tommy John surgery. Control problems should've been expected, but he gradually reined them in and has no long-standing history of them. Although he's far from a sure thing and hasn't played Triple-A ball, the historically heavy-grounder righty is even worth a deep-mixed flier.

Peacock, soon to be 24, has a ton of upside, too, and could also be worth of a deep-mixed flier. Like Parker, he throws in the low to mid-90s (although Parker may recover more velocity). Peacock hasn't adjusted to new levels quickly and may need a little more seasoning, but he'll pitch for the A's this season at some point. Once the right-hander settles in, his plus command makes him an intriguing roto commodity.

Milone, 25 in February, has the least long-term upside, easily, but he's the best prepared of the trio. He spent a full season at Triple-A Syracuse and went 12-6 with a 3.22 ERA, a 9.40 K/9 and - you're reading this correctly - a 0.97 BB/9. The southpaw has no velocity to speak of - he's all about pinpoint location, and he's unafraid to attack - rare for a young hurler, let alone one without so-called hard, high-end "stuff." The K's won't translate in the majors, but the control will, and his fly-ball nature is perfectly suited to Coliseum. He's an intriguing AL target who could have occasional mixed-league value.

Oakland Athletics SP Brett Anderson on track to return in August

Initially, the left-hander had hoped to be ready in July, but a bit later comeback seems more realistic. He'll likely deal with the command problems and whatnot that come with a recovery from TJS. The news just confirms that Anderson, 24 this week, should have little or no value in redrafters, except perhaps in AL-only formats.

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About Nicholas Minnix

Minnix is baseball editor and a fantasy football analyst at KFFL. He plays in LABR and Tout Wars and won the FSWA Baseball Industry Insiders League in 2010.

The University of Delaware alum is a regular guest on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio and Baltimore's WNST AM 1570.

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