Giancarlo Stanton, pre-beaning (Getty)
Giancarlo Stanton, unrivaled star of a dreadful Marlins roster, was hit in the helmet on Wednesday by a Jose Fernandez fastball, but there's no obvious reason for anyone to panic — Fernandez included. This from the AP...
Giancarlo Stanton spotted downcast teammate Jose Fernandez in the Miami Marlins' clubhouse Thursday and flashed him a grin.
''Relax,'' Stanton said. ''Relax.''
X-rays were negative, there was no sign of a concussion, and Stanton said his vision returned to normal after a few hours. He expects to play in the Marlins' first spring training game Saturday.
All of that was good news for the Marlins, and especially for the 20-year-old Fernandez, who is in his first major-league spring training camp.
So this is apparently not a crisis situation. I just needed something to headline today's news & notes feature. Stanton's biggest issue this season by far will be finding someone willing to throw him a strike.
You should probably file away Fernandez's name for later use, by the way, if you haven't done so already. The young righty went 14-1 at two Single-A stops last season, striking out 158 batters and walking just 35 in 134.0 innings. His ERA was just 1.75, his WHIP 0.93. It's not out of the question that Fernandez could make his major league debut in 2013, but he'll first need to log a few effective innings at Double-A.
[Baseball 2013 from Yahoo! Fantasy Sports: Join a league today!]
• If you've dragged Alex Rodriguez's name into the do-not-draft column, I get it. He's on the 60-day DL rehabbing from hip surgery, plus his name keeps surfacing in PED-related investigations. But it's still worth noting that he's making noises about returning at mid-season, assuming he isn't suspended and/or re-injured. For now, Kevin Youkilis' name sits atop the depth chart at third for the Yankees. It's a deep position, fantasy-wise, so it shouldn't be tough to avoid the New York mess.
• We haven't focused much around here on the saves chase just yet, but it's coming. We've spent even less time focusing on the Houston Astros, because...well...ick. But every team delivers a few saves, even those that lose 100-plus games. Deep leaguers should note that Jose Veras is, according to his manager, "the front-runner" to close for the Astros.
• Matt Garza is dealing with a lat injury, but he sounds upbeat about being OK to open the season. You'll recall that elbow issues limited Garza to 103.2 innings in 2012.
• Ryan Madson has dealt with elbow soreness this month, and it seems highly unlikely he'll be available to open the season for the Angels. He's now on an every-other-day throwing schedule, hoping to ramp up his activity next week. Ernesto Frieri seems like the leading candidate for April saves in LA.
• From the Research Dept. at Razzball, here's a look at statistical goals for 5X5 default leagues. Helpful stuff. Please use responsibly.
• Shelby Miller entered spring training as the favorite to claim the final spot in the Cards' rotation, but he soon dealt with shoulder discomfort. But he'll throw a side session on Friday, which seems like good news. Miller whiffed 160 batters last season at Triple-A in just 136.2 innings, then he fanned another 16 in the bigs. He remains a late-rounder to target.
• Because I'm currently prepping for an auction in a thin-bench league: Here's a quick list of (semi-)notable hitters who enter the season with eligibility at three or more positions...
Ben Zobrist, 2B/SS/OF
Mark Trumbo, 1B/3B/OF
Martin Prado, 2B/3B/SS/OF
Todd Frazier, 1B/3B/OF
Matt Carpenter, 1B/3B/OF
Michael Young, 1B/2B/3B
Marco Scutaro, 2B/3B/SS
Jordan Pacheco, C/1B/3B
Jeff Keppinger, 1B/2B/3B
Donovan Solano, 2B/3B/OF
Adeiny Hechavarria, 2B/3B/SS
Those of you in standard mixers should really only care about the top six or seven names above, but there's a format for almost everyone. For those who don't already know, Carpenter is getting a look at second base this spring, so he's likely to gain eligibility at a premium spot.
And while we're talking players who are making the move to second...
• Padres prospect Jedd Gyorko was the subject of a recent Q&A with MiLB.com, and he addressed his move to the other side of the infield. Good stuff there. And you'll even learn how to pronounce his name, which I've butchered in the past. Gyorko hit 30 homers across two minor league levels last season, finishing with a .328/.380/.588 slash at Triple-A. He's one of the more interesting prospects in the player pool, thanks in part to the position shift.