I don't always play fantasy baseball, but when I do, I use the Rotoworld Fantasy Draft Guide

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RW.jpgWe interrupt this program for some shameless promotion. Partially self-promotion, actually, which you’re used to from me by now, so it shouldn’t be a big deal.  Anyway:

As you all know, Aaron, Matthew, D.J., Drew and many others spend a huge amount of their time making your fantasy baseball life better over at Rotoworld.  Their biggest labor of love with that stuff, however, is putting together the annual Rotoworld Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide.  The 2010 edition is on sale now, and it’s more than worth the Andrew Jackson plus shipping they’re asking for it.

What do you get for your money? Plenty: analysis, projections, and profiles for over 1,000 players ranging down to A-ball.  Articles covering prospects, keeper-league strategies, mock drafts, sleepers and busts. There are customizable, printable cheat sheets, updated depth charts for
all teams and all manner of other goodness.

I’m a fantasy baseball moron, but I wrote a couple of articles for the thing too, most notably the 2010 “Year in Preview” in which I make hilarious predictions of what might come to pass this year, such as “Joe Mauer gets his tongue stuck to the flag pole of Target Field, ‘Christmas Story’-style following a triple dog dare.” Of course, the piece went to press before the McGwire stuff broke, rendering my “hilarious” prediction that, no matter how much candor McGwire displays, reporters will still call for him to “come clean” and call him a “distraction” less humorous than prescient. This could bode ill for Joe Mauer.

Anyway, I don’t try to sell you a lot of stuff around here, but the Rotoworld Draft guide is definitely worth buying.  Details here. Order here. Operators are out having a smoke break, so some automated order-fulfillment application is standing by!

Twins’ top prospect Nick Burdi will undergo Tommy John surgery

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Twins’ right-hander Nick Burdi is set to undergo Tommy John surgery on his right elbow, the team announced on Friday. Burdi made 14 appearances for Double-A Chattanooga before succumbing to a torn ulnar collateral ligament and is not expected to make his major league debut until mid-2018 at the earliest. A UCL tear doesn’t always require Tommy John surgery — less severe cases can be treated with platelet-rich plasma injections, for example — but Twins’ chief baseball officer Derek Falvey told the press that surgery was unavoidable as Burdi had sustained a “full thickness tear” in his elbow.

Entering the 2016 season, Burdi was widely considered a top ten prospect in the Twins’ system. His exceptional velocity and potent fastball-slider combo made him a fearsome relief option as he came off of his first season in Double-A Chattanooga in 2015. During the 2016 season, however, the 24-year-old experienced a significant setback after a bone bruise cut his season short in late July. Prior to Friday’s diagnosis, he appeared to be staging an impressive comeback with the Chattanooga Lookouts this spring, decorating his efforts with a sparkling 0.53 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 10.6 SO/9 over 17 innings.

It’s a tough break for the Twins, whose farm system was ranked 21st in the league by Baseball America. “Obviously he’s proven when he’s healthy he’s an absolute premium prospect, and the Twins are treating him that way,” Burdi’s agent, Matt Sosnick, told Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press. “We just want to make sure everything we do ultimately leads to the goal of getting him back on the field as quickly as he can.”

Brock Holt has been shut down from game activity

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Things have gone from bad to worse for Red Sox’ outfielder Brock Holt, who was shut down “for the foreseeable future” on Friday after meeting with head trauma specialist Michael Collins. The Red Sox placed Holt on the 10-day disabled list in April after he began experiencing vertigo, the latest in a series of head injuries he’s sustained since last spring.

According to the Boston Herald’s Jason Mastrodonato, the outfielder was initially advised to attempt playing through his symptoms, but it quickly became apparent that the strategy wasn’t going to work. Now, the plan is to shut him down from any game activity in the hopes that he’ll be able to recover from all lingering symptoms before returning to the roster. Club manager John Farrell told reporters that the 28-year-old is still cleared to take batting practice and work on his defense, but won’t continue his rehab starts in Triple-A Pawtucket for the time being.

Holt had been making regular appearances for the Pawtucket Red Sox and was batting .209/.292/.372 with two home runs through 14 games this spring. This season marks his fifth run within the Red Sox’ organization. He experienced a bit of a slump at the plate in 2016 and slashed .255/.322/.383 after breaking out during his first All-Star year in 2015.

Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe suggests that the team’s concern for Holt extends past his setbacks at the plate. It’s still a long road to a full recovery, and while Farrell told reporters he believes the outfielder is on track to make a return sometime in 2017, he’ll need to make sure that Holt is both physically and mentally prepared to do so.