Injury Sleepers in Heavenly Peace

This NL Easter may not lay an egg in '10.

It’s Easter and we’re gonna give you more baseball sleepers for those of you who want to do some add/drop shopping or have a late draft.  In last week’s Simon Says, I told you that Geovanny Soto and Jeff Clement were two catchers to jump on and I hope you did. We covered the good sleepers to go for in the GeekSpeak Fantasy Baseball Preview Show. To that group, I’m going to add some sleepers coming off of injury. First, I’d like to say good luck with your season. By the way, if you are worried that basketball is my expertise and I am just winging baseball, I have won more fantasy baseball trophies than hoops awards, so worry not! You are in Geekly hands…

Rafael Furcal is someone worth taking a flier on in 2010. After a lower back injury ruined his 2008, he spent 2009 in recovery mode. Furcal was not very fertile from a stats perspective. He says he is feeling better than he has in years, and has looked more comfortable so far this spring. He’s a late-round risk worth taking for batting average, runs and stolen bases.

In the past two seasons, Alfonso Soriano has averaged just 113 games per year due to injury. With where he seems to be falling in drafts, you can’t afford not to take him as a third or fourth outfielder and hope that he stays healthy. If he can, there is no reason why he can’t give owners .280-30-80 with 12 to 15 SBs. The year you let this Cubby roam could be the year he roars loud.

Vladimir Guerrero is an injury sleeper of sorts. The Geek would say, “Oh, how the mighty have fallen,” but this Texas DH who you can grab in the middle to late rounds of drafts could prosper. He is playing in a hitter’s paradise. Now all he needs is to stay healthy. He should play the field very little, so fate is hopefully on his side.

Starting out healthy, Chris Young should show some fight this season.

Remember Chris R Young? He used to be an up-and-coming starting pitcher with the San Diego Padres. He was having a great career in a good pitcher’s park until injuries got the best of him for two consecutive seasons. He has healed from his arthroscopic shoulder surgery over the winter and seems to be pitching pretty well this spring. You can never have enough potential quality pitchers, so near draft’s end, see if he is out there and grab him.

Lance Berkman is starting the season on the disabled list, thus many are shying away from drafting him. He is still recovering from off-season knee surgery and recently suffered from some swelling, which should push his return to the Astros’ lineup to early May. There is no reason not to grab him as an extra CI late in the game when all the other first basemen have disappeared. His career is not over quite yet and he’ll still hit for some power. An extra quality CI usually comes in handy to cover for eventual injury and if your team is healthy, you can always package him in a trade for what you need later.

Brandon Webb is falling lower and lower in Average Draft Position due to question marks surrounding his return. Look for him to make some noise for your team by mid-May if you take him after the #2 pitchers go in your drafts…People are staying away from Roy Oswalt because of the little injured tag by his name, but Houston says he is ready to go. If you can overlook the occasional dents and dings that will keep him out a start or two, he is still money on the mound…Erik Bedard was once a #1 pitcher. He has been injured a lot the past two seasons, but he will be back in June, so if you can get him after round 20 and stash him, you might have a quality guy if he is truly recovered. He is reported to be throwing very well in his pitching rehab program…Grady Sizemore is my main man, because if he goes back to putting up first-round numbers, he will be a bargain in the fourth round. Don’t overlook him, because after all, Sizemore matters!

Players to keep an eye on before committing to them for Week 1 include Elvis Andrus (wrist injury, though allegedly probable), Roy Oswalt (hamstring, though probable), Nate McLouth (hamstring), Nick Johnson (knee), Dan Uggla (hand), and Ian Kinsler (ankle, on DL).

There are a lot of two-start pitchers out there. Know who is a must-start and who is a must-be-crazy-to-start:

Use 'em:

Carlos Zambrano
CC Sabathia
Chris Carpenter
Dan Haren
Edwin Jackson
Felix Hernandez
Jered Weaver
Johan Santana
Josh Beckett
Josh Johnson
Justin Verlander
Roy Halladay
Tim Lincecum 
Ubaldo Jimenez
Yovani Gallardo
Zack Greinke

Steady and willing:

A.J. Burnett
Ben Sheets
Derek Lowe
James Shields
Joe Saunders
Mark Buehrle
Randy Wolf
Roy Oswalt
Scott Baker
Scott Feldman
Shaun Marcum

Only if you have to, but take an antacid first:

Aaron Harang
Dallas Braden
Jake Westbrook
Jon Garland
Kevin Millwood
Nick Blackburn
Vicente Padilla
Zach Duke

♫ ♫ ♫ ♫ You’ll be sorrrryyyyy ♫ ♫ ♫ ♫:

Ian Snell

John Lannan

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