Utley / Lidge OUT / Madson / Castillo IN (with a side of Valdez)

The Phillies injuries continue. The oft injured Lidge will be starting the year on the DL. This means the wacky and often emotionally unstable Ryan Madson is now the closer. Madson has the stuff just not that killer instinct. This is the year where we see if he can finally get is sh*t together. IF he can there is a good chance he could have major fantasy value. Lidge, for all the grief he takes, has the warrior mentality. He will go out there and battle; even as his body is breaking down. I respect the guts Lidge has. I do not respect the wimpy kid nature of Madson. If you a gambler you roll with Madson with the possibility of HUGE upside. He will be the most consistent cog in the Phil bullpen. With 4 starters that can easily go into the 8th the Phils will need “Mr Bonehead” Madson to get it done.

Though Lidge has got guts they don’t translate into fantasy points. Lidge has burned owners not once but twice in the past 2 years. He is going on his 3rd year removed from his 47 for 47 save conversion. Don’t let him burn you for a 3rd time! It is time to let Lidge fade from fantasy relevance.

The Utley injury train-wreck is more of a quandary. He has yet to actually field in spring training. He is taking ground balls while sitting on a chair. He has seen “rehab” consultants and has taken batting practice. This is leading to the inevitable DL stint to open the season. The signing of has been Luis Castillo confirms that. However, the Castillo signing baffles me. Wilson Valdez did an admirable job filling in for Jimmy and Chase last year. I would feel more confident in Valdez then a worn out has been Castillo. Has Castillo even got a hit yet this spring?

Bottom line is I do not recommend going near Utley unless you can get him late. His trend of weird injuries has scared me off. As for Castillo and Valdez- I wouldn’t draft him unless your bored in round 14. Both can be had off waivers. Though Valdez performed well last year in Utley’s absence he is not much of a hitter and is more of your classic journeyman. Let him journey on another fantasy players roster.

editor’s note: I can’t take the NFL strike any longer, so I am bringing back my first true love —-fantasy football talk. Next week I will break down some of the trades that have occurred on various fantasy rosters in this offseason.

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