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Fantasy Baseball Triple Play: Ike Davis, Pablo Sandoval, Ivan Nova
By Tim Heaney
Come along for a quick spin around our Major League Baseball Hot off the Wire news to brush up before pitchers and catchers report next week.
New York Mets 1B Ike Davis (ankle) confessed that his bout with valley fever last year left him very fatigued. "I had to limit a lot of things last year as far as workload," Davis said. "I didn't have a beer all of spring training last year. I went home and laid on the couch. And I usually fish for another six hours every day (after Mets workouts)." Davis' ankle wasn't fully healthy at the start of last season, either. Now, he feels a noticeable difference in his ability to push off during batting practice and described it as an "explosion."
In case you missed the Metropolitans' Burning Questions.
Look, his diet and body care has been a hot topic for several years. He's broken both of his hamate bones. That being said, you could see his power coming back in a slow arc last year, culminating in his three-homer World Series affair. He still boasts a run-producing lineup spot, sound batting average components and 20- if not 30-homer thump.
The third base class is deep this year, so mixed leaguers shouldn't reach. But I grabbed him at 6.1 in the 13-team Fantasy Sports Trade Association draft. That's a fine place to target him and negate his downfall to hope that he'll finally surpass 2009, while settling for his fine full-season baseline of low-20s homers and a team-rescuing BA.
New York Yankees SP Ivan Nova, who will compete with SP David Phelps for the No. 5 starting rotation spot, could have a leg up in the battle, according to pitching coach Larry Rothschild. "You look at Nova and he's had a lot of wins the last two years," Rothschild said. "My job going into spring training is to get him back to where he should be and pitching the way he's capable of, and the rest will take care of itself." Rothschild said Nova had a few bad months because he kept going with a pitch even though he wasn't having success using it.
While I don't concur with Rothschild's reasoning that the victories constitute the reason Nova will rebound, it adds to the confidence they have to giving the righty the opportunity to extract more from the 8.08 K/9 and 2.96 BB/9 that were hidden by his 5.02 ERA last year. That 3.92 xFIP isn't crazy. His homer allowance was skewed, but he was hit hard, apparently because of effects that eventually led to a diagnosis of rotator cuff inflammation.
Plenty can still go right for the 26-year-old. I dare say he'll generate the most profit of any Yankees SP this year if given the chance.
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