Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Return of Grady Sizemore and Joey Votto

posted by Jon Williams
If you noticed more smiles than usual around the water cooler today it may be that you are looking at the fantasy owners of Grady Sizemore and Joey Votto. It does not matter what format you were playing in or how good your team has done in the meanwhile. Getting one (or even both) of these guys back in action is like pulling off a major trade in which you gave up absolutely nothing. It feels almost as good as it hurt when you lost them in the first place.

Grady Sizemore

Sizemore is avoiding rehab in the minor leagues for the elbow injury that has bothered him since spring training. The Cleveland Indians have been calling the injury an inflamed elbow. The Indians also caution that any further set backs will likely result in season-ending elbow surgery. Sizemore is insisting that his elbow feels good and that he did not feel any pain when he tested the elbow over the weekend. We can only hope that he is telling the truth and that the tests were strenuous enough to be conclusive.

Playing through the pain did not do anything good for Sizemore's early season numbers. When he hit the disabled list he was batting .223/.309/.417 with nine homers and seven stolen bases (of 13 attempts) in 206 at-bats. It is very difficult to measure how much the injury played into his start. His walk rate was down, his strikeout rate was up but other than that everything (excluding the SB-rate) seemed to be typical of Sizemore.

There is no avoiding the fact that Sizemore is a risk for fantasy teams. A sore elbow has the potential to alter his swing and significantly change his results. It could also make him more cautious on the base paths. All that said if I had the opportunity to add Sizemore to one of my rosters I would do it without hesitation. The risk is extremely high but so is the reward. Don't part with your best cogs to add him but if you can manage it without them, I would endorse the move in leagues of every format.

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Joey Votto

Unlike Sizemore, Votto has been rehabbing in the minor leagues and looks on his game. What exactly was ailing Votto has been kept under wraps by Votto and the Cincinnati Reds. We know that he had an inner-ear infection which was complicated by continuing to fly with the condition. He was forced to leave a few games with dizziness. But then he was placed on the disabled list with what the Reds called a stress-related problem. This could be almost anything from stress over the vertigo to a more serious problem they probably exacerbated by not sidelining him when the problem first occurred. Apparently the secrecy over his condition is at the request of Votto himself.
From the National Post:

"Have faith in me as a person that I would make the right decisions for myself and the ball club. I would never sell the team or the city of Cincinnati short,'' he said. "I think I give every single Cincinnati Reds fan exactly what they pay for. I feel like at times, I give more, because [baseball] engrosses my life. It takes a lot of my time emotionally and physically --off the field, too.'
Votto was on fire to start the season and was blasting homeruns even while suffering from the ear infection complications. He went on the disabled list with a slash line of .357/.464/.627 with eight homeruns and two stolen bases in just 126 at-bats. It appears to me that this was totally inline with Votto's development into a great baseball player.

I think the risk with Votto is minimal. He looks and sounds healthy and in a positive state of mind according to local reports. Which is extremely significant if stress alone truly did lead to his DL stint.
From the National Post:

"I was just joking around with people," said Votto as he smiled through a post-game interview on Sunday. "I was in such a good mood today because it's been such a struggle getting through games that I couldn't help but have a smile on my face."
I believe that Joey Votto will go directly back to proving himself one of the best players in the National League. He should hit for a great batting average and very nice power. His owners should not hesitate to activate him. If for some reason he is available in your league grabbing him should be your number one priority.

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1 Comments:

Blogger Joely08 said...

With Votto out of the way, I now wait for Aramis Ramirez to return.

What hurt the most is that these ARam and Votto were both on my fantasy team. It hurt to have Konerko and Hairston in.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009 at 1:45:00 AM EDT  

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