The Rotoworld Draft Guide is … Go!

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Yes, I’m shilling something here. But it’s a good something.  The Rotoworld Draft Guide drops today, and you really should consider buying it.

What is it?  Tons of 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.

And I even wrote some stuff in it.  Yes, I’m a fantasy baseball moron, but don’t worry: my stuff is not fantasy-related. It’s for the yuks.  Specifically, my 2011 “Year in Preview” in which I make hilarious predictions of what might come to pass this year, such as:

February: Given the addition of Cliff Lee to a rotation that already includes Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels and Roy Oswalt, Commissioner Selig decides to call off the rest of the season and award the Phillies the 2011 World Series trophy.  Phillies fans still complain, however, saying that they were “disrespected” by virtue of the fact that Selig did not have the words “and all of the rest of you are losers” engraved under the team’s name on the trophy.

August:  The pennant races really begin to heat up:

  • The Red Sox – powered by Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez – hold a commanding 10-game lead over the Yankees.  Yankees fans complain about the Sox “buying a championship.”
  • The White Sox, Tigers and Twins are in a three-team dogfight for the AL Central.  The White Sox begin to fade, however, when team chemistry goes in the toilet after Ozzie Guillen’s son Oney buys a six-pack of Four Loko and decides to spend a quiet evening at home on Twitter telling everyone exactly what he thinks of the current White Sox roster.

And it just goes on and on like that.  I also have a rundown of the top 25 offseason moves, though that may actually be baseball writing rather than my usual snark-fest.

The real appeal, here, however, is for you fantasy players.  It’s chock full ‘o the kind of goodness you need to pwn your leagues.  Arron, Matthew, D.J., Drew and many others worked a metric-butt-ton of hours to put this bad boy together.  It’s great stuff.

Take it for a test drive here, and then order it.  You won’t be sorry.

Video: Angels use eight pitchers in spring training no-hitter

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Who says no-hitters can’t be just as fun when they happen during spring training?

Angels’ right-hander Bud Norris delivered two perfect innings on Friday night, paving the way for an eight-pitcher no-hitter against the Mariners at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Jose Alvarez, Cam Bedrosian, Andrew Bailey, Austin Adams, Drew Gagnon and Justin Anderson each filed a hitless inning of their own, leaving right-hander Abel De Los Santos to close out the ninth inning with just three pitches — and three game-saving plays by the defense.

Of course, it didn’t hurt that the Angels were facing a bevy of Mariners’ backups, rather than their starting lineup. In fact, Seattle’s lineup featured just two starting players — outfielder Leonys Martin and shortstop Jean Segura — while the majority of their everyday position players took on the Royals in a 4-3 win elsewhere in the Cactus League. The Mariners managed to reach base twice, first on catcher interference in the fourth inning, then on a four-pitch walk in the sixth, spoiling the Angels’ chances of turning their combined no-hitter into a combined perfect game.

Still, whether it’s executed in spring training or the regular season, against an All-Star lineup or one comprised of minor leaguers, a no-hitter is a no-hitter. The team’s eight-pitcher effort marked the first spring training no-no the Angels had completed since 1996, when they took on the Giants in a 15-0 showdown. Unfortunately for the 1996 squad, their regular season ended with a 70-91 record, good for last place in the AL West. Perhaps this no-hitter will prove a better omen for the coming season.

Tanner Scheppers leaves Cactus League game with lower core injury

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Rangers’ bullpen candidate Tanner Scheppers left Friday’s Cactus League game with pain in his “lower half,” according to reports by Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. The specifics of the right-hander’s injury have yet to be determined, but he was accompanied by the athletic trainer when he exited the game and is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Saturday.

Scheppers, 30, has a long history of elbow and knee injuries. He missed all but 8 2/3 innings of the 2016 season after undergoing a procedure to repair torn articular cartilage in his left knee. While he appeared healthy enough through his first seven appearances this spring, he failed to impress with three runs, five walks and six strikeouts over 7 2/3 innings with the club.

Should Scheppers find himself on the disabled list for another lengthy stay, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan speculates that his absence could clear some room in the bullpen for Rule 5 draft pick and fellow righty Mike Hauschild. Hauschild, 27, has dealt seven runs, five walks and 15 strikeouts through 17 1/3 innings in camp.