Out of the Box: Pedro party ends early
The news on Martinez, who was owned in 100 percent of ESPN standard leagues after being (over)drafted in the 15th round on average, is not good, and the Mets and fantasy owners are none too pleased. It's worse for the Mets. They're already using Mike Pelfrey as their fifth starter, hoping 63-year-old Orlando Hernandez can pitch in the next two weeks, and it's not like there's much left on the farm to help out. It's all in Minnesota, courtesy of the Johan Santana trade. Jorge Sosa will likely fill in for Martinez's next start, but since Sosa will face the high-scoring Phillies, fantasy owners should avoid him. Buster Olney reported on "SportsCenter" that former Brewers underachiever Claudio Vargas, who was released a week ago, could become a Met soon. Fantasy owners wait with bated breath.
Before outright dropping Martinez, fantasy owners should wait to see what the results of the MRI show, and I'm sure our injury maven Stephania Bell will chime in with repercussions as well. It's possible Martinez will not miss much time, and if you were one of the believers that he was going to recapture his Cy Young glory, you shouldn't give up so fast. Personally, I thought his five starts from 2007 were a bit misleading, and there was little chance he'd be durable this season.
Martinez wasn't throwing well on Tuesday in the first place, even before the fateful fourth-inning pitch to Matt Treanor caused the "pop" (as Martinez called it) in his left hamstring. Pedro grabbed his leg and limped off the field. After the game, manager Willie Randolph confirmed the injury could be significant. As for the game results, Martinez threw more fastballs than normal and reportedly couldn't reach 90 mph with any of them. Dan Uggla and Luis Gonzalez homered, and Martinez left the game with a 10.80 ERA. As of this moment, nobody knows when he'll get a chance to lower that ERA.
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• A day after seeing fill-in closer Tom Gordon implode in the ninth inning of what became an 11-6 loss to the Washington Nationals, the Phillies took a no-risk shot on journeyman reliever Rudy Seanez. Don't expect Seanez to figure into the saves picture, even if Gordon and Brad Lidge are unavailable, but this could be a sign Gordon's poor, five-runs-allowed performance was hindered by an injury. Also, Seanez permitted 10 home runs in 76 innings for the Dodgers in 2007. Doesn't sound like a great fit with Philly's bandbox, does it?
• Fantasy owners have long since moved on from Rocco Baldelli, and now it appears the Rays are distancing themselves as well, declining the oft-injured outfielder's 2009 contract option. It makes sense, since Baldelli has not been able to stay on the field, having appeared in only 127 games in the past three seasons. It's a shame, really, since Baldelli brought so much promise early in his career. There's no timetable on his 2008 debut.
• The Rays did find a way to commit to spending money on Tuesday, however, wisely exercising the 2009 contract option on Carl Crawford and inking middle reliever Dan Wheeler to a three-year, $10.5 million extension. The Crawford move makes perfect sense, but what in the name of David Riske is going on here with Wheeler? He doesn't figure to be in the saves mix this season, unless Troy Percival and Al Reyes fall on their respective faces. Actually, on second thought ...
Eric Karabell is a senior writer for ESPN fantasy games. You can e-mail him here.