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Sunday 17th Dec 2017

David Price. Mike Trout. Carlos Correa. Aaron Sanchez. Now maybe Stephen Strasburg and Clayton Kershaw? What a season. I was trying to remember a year as rife with injuries to star players, but just couldn't. And, I don't really think this has anything to do with the 10-day DL, which does wreak a kind of havoc, adding another variable to the insanity of trying to manage a season-long roto team.

Personally, I hate having to deal with this stuff, and most of my teams are failing a lot more due to key injury holes--Kershaw, Sanchez, Cameron Maybin, Freddie Freeman, Devon Travis, Kevin Kiermaier, etc.--but I am also pretty clear just about anyone reading this has suffered the same fate.

To make things dicier, we have the trade deadline looming. In fact, tune into The Tout Wars Hour on FNTSY radio this Thursday as Justin Mason and I welcome Paul Sporer to talk about all the moves to date and the impact. Later in the show, Matt Thompson will join in to shine a light on the prospects most likely to arrive in the bigs the soonest.

Since there are holes now and future, we are here, however, to at least examine the availables, most of whom we like, or at least want to like. So, what better place to start all this insanity than with Pablo Sandoval's "return" to the Giants. I am sure I have written about The Panda over the years, both pro and con.

He was not only pretty good in San Francisco, he was good fun, and though Pablo carried a spare tire of sorts, at least while he was young, he was deceptively quick. In fact, I liked watching Pablo cover the hot corner because he jumped on a ball just like he could jump on a pitch. He was also a good bad ball hitter: I always thought of the Panda as Vladimir Guerrero lite, in fact. 

I suppose the Giants have little or nothing to lose in giving Sandoval a shot at reclaiming a portion of the glory he foolishly abandoned in favor of Boston. But let's face it, the Panda is toast. Try to keep adding Pablo to your roster at a minimum. I really think he has had it. I thought he had last year. 

A year older, though a better gambit in a deep AL format right now, is the Tigers' Jim Adduci, who has sort of become a professional hitter, at least in short spurts. A first-base/outfielder, Adduci has a fairly anemic career big league line of .218-1-15, but he spent 2014-16 in Korea to the tune of .288-41-171 with a .357 OBP, comparable to his minor league numbers of .285-44-373. Adduci is .298-0-7 over 53 at-bats with the Tigers, and in an AL-only format is a safe guy with which to plug a hole and at least garner a few plate appearances.

In the wake of the injury to Carlos Correa, the Astros advanced their #1 pick from 2013, Colin Moran to augment the left side of the infield. It is true that Moran was smacked in the face by a freak foul ball Sunday, is on the DL, and might need surgery. But he was hitting .308-18-73 at Sacramento with a strong .373 OBP (31 BB/55 K). Obviously, Moran is damaged goods at present, but if the parms of your league do not allow for the claim of a player until he becomes a Major Leaguer, and if you are working towards the future, Moran makes an interesting roster spot investment.

The Cards' Carson Kelly seems like he has been bouncing around the league for years, but he is still just 23, and really only made his big league debut last year. A second-round selection in 2012, Kelly advanced seemingly in concert with how the Redbirds fare over the next few weeks and whether or not Yadier Molina becomes expendable. With a .253-5-243 line in the Minors, although augmented by a .283-10-41 mark at Memphis this season, St. Louis might as well see what they have as the season hits critical mass. Kelly is pretty good as a future investment, and could be pretty good right now.

The Angels' Alex Meyer is just off the DL, and is quietly having a pretty good season, with a 4-5, 3.74 record over 67.3 innings with 75 strikeouts, but sadly, 42 walks, meaning a 1.337 WHIP. Still, pitching is so iffy, and as Scott Pianowski pointed out not long ago on Twitter, "I am ok with the day of the 4.00 ERA and 1.30 WHIP being here." Well, here it is.

The Padres' Dinelson Lamet is a tall (6'4") 25-year-old Dominican right-hander who has a pretty good minor league resume of 20-20, 2.99 over 298.3 innings with 336 strikeouts and a 1.23 WHIP, with a 3-2, 3.23 line at Triple-A El Paso this year. Lamet has certainly struggled in the Minors thus far with a 4-4, 5.92 record over 51.3 innings. Lamet kind of reminds me of Luis Perdomo on the development scale, save a year removed, making him worth a look for the rest of the season as the Friars retool. 

The Jays have been pretty much as injury plagued as have our Fantasy teams, but they just swapped for the Yankees' Rob Refsnyder. With the ineffective Ryan Goins and Darwin Barney covering the middle in lieu of Devon Travis, and Troy Tulowitzki nursing a sore groin, Refsnyder might get a chance to really play every day. I realize this is a sort of man-love thing, but the guy has a .294-37-294 minor league mark over 522 games with an excellent .379 OBP (243 BB/345 K), and depending upon your league could qualify all over the diamond. All I am saying is give Rob a chance?

Hit me up @lawrmichaels.

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