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Kicking Rocks: The Not So Hot Corner

Blame it on the injuries.  Blame it on the fact that the once lush and dense forest of talent to be found at third base is thinning out faster than a middle aged guy’s hairline.  Blame it on Rio or the bellboy, I don’t really care.  The fact of the matter is, the position is like a fantasy nightmare that picks right back up where you left off no matter how many times you wake yourself up and try to calmly fall back asleep.  And it just keeps getting scarier each time.

When we were looking at the 2011 Third Base Rankings, we could see just how thin the position was getting.  Your top two tiers had a total of five names to love on and then in the middle of that third group, it just started to get ugly.  Sure, there were some hopefuls, some rookies, some guys with potential upside, but for the most part, plenty of us were investing in the upper tier talent to ensure ourselves of locking down the position.

Well, where did that leave us?  Evan Longoria played two games and then hit the DL with an oblique injury.  Ryan Zimmerman hit the DL after eight games and is now out for an additional six weeks following surgery to fix a sports hernia.  David Wright, Alex Rodriguez and Kevin Youkilis, the remaining top five overall, have put up solid numbers so far, but their batting averages are sitting in the toilet.  How’s that for a return on your investment?

As you start moving down the tier, it doesn’t get much better.  Sure, Jose Bautista is a beast but he’s currently out with a neck injury and probably won’t be around until the beginning of next week.  Aramis Ramirez has shown no power, Martin Prado has been a disappointment, and really….Mark Reynolds?  How in the world did we rank him that high?

Pablo Sandoval was hot right out of the gate and was suddenly hitting like the Panda of 2009.  Our reward for drafting him?  How about a seven week DL stint with a fractured hamate bone in his hand?  Looking forward to a long recovery there.  Pedro Alvarez has fantasy owners who drank that Kool-Aid tearing their hair out and who else wants to slam their head in a door after drafting Ian StewartScott Rolen is out, David Freese is out, as is Casey Blake, while Casey McGehee, his thumb, and Chone Figgins just plain suck right now.

Yes, again, those of you who drafted Michael Young….well, you know what you can do.  And Adrian Beltre owners can smile for now, atleast until he tears, sprains or pulls something in the coming weeks.  But for the most part, the only fantasy owners that are resting easy at third are the ones who got stuck settling for Placido Polanco or accidentally stepped in that big steaming pile of Alex Gordon on their way to the draft.

For those of us who weren’t so lucky, we’re just going to have to just bite the bullet and hope that our Ryan Roberts, our Wilson Betemits, and our Jamey Carrolls can toe the line and keep Freddy Krueger out of our fantasy dreams.

Bonus Kick to the Fantasy Groin:

Francisco Liriano throws the season’s first no-hitter and was likely sitting on fantasy benches across the country.  I have him in three leagues and there was no way I was trusting that 9.13 ERA on my active roster again.  If you had him active for you, then you’re a much more trusting soul than I.  Thanks for the swift kick, Francisco.  Time for me to go ice ’em down.