Sunday, February 24, 2013

Curtis Granderson (forearm) out for 10 weeks

If you have had any fantasy baseball drafts before Sunday, hopefully you did not use an early-round pick on Yankees outfielder Curtis Granderson.

To alter a phrase from John Sterling, "the Grandy Man can't" (at least, for the month of April).

In his first at-bat of spring training, Granderson was hit by a fastball from J.A. Happ in the right forearm, which was fractured.  Unfortunately for the Yankees and his fantasy owners, the injury will keep Granderson out for the next 10 weeks.

Well, it’s not what you want,” Manager Joe Girardi said. “We have plenty of time to figure out what we’re going to do. I mean, Grandy’s not a bat that you’d say is easy to replace, but we’re going to find a way.”

The only good thing is we are more than a month away from the start of the regular season.  As Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said, “If Curtis is going to miss two months, you’d rather have one of the two not count.”

Granderson finished tied for second in baseball with 43 home runs and 11th in runs batted in (106) last year.

In my updated fantasy baseball outfielder rankings, I've dropped Granderson from No. 13 to No. 24.

Andrew McCutchen, Pirates to steal more bases in 2013?

Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen is one of baseball's elite players and sure to be an early first-round pick in fantasy baseball drafts this year.

Over the past three seasons, however, his base-stealing production has continued to decline: 33 steals (2010), 23 (2011) and 20 (2012).

That said, that trend could very well be reversed in 2013 as McCutchen and the Pirates make a more concerted effort to swipe more bases.  And McCutchen is studying some successful base-stealers that don't have his natural gifts to help make that happen.

"I know that with my speed I should be able to get to the next base without a problem," McCutchen said, per Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "I like to watch the guys who need a little more than just speed to get to the base. You can really see their mechanics and their form."

"His attitude toward us is, 'I want you to go,'" [teammate Alex] Presley said (of manager Clint Hurdle). "'I want you to be aggressive. If you get thrown out, you get thrown out.'"

Although McCutchen stole a career-low 20 bases last year, he set career highs across the board in other categories: .327 batting average, 31 home runs, 107 runs and 96 runs batted in.

Along with Milwaukee's Ryan Braun and Angels rookie Mike Trout, McCutchen was one of three 30-20 players last season.

Going into the 2013 season, McCutchen is currently the fifth-ranked player on my overall big board.