Fantasy Baseball news travels fast. Scott Gilroy of Staten Island, a devoted Fantasy owner, was at Citi Field Friday afternoon when he heard the Roto bombshell about Manny Ramirez. The Tampa Bay Rays designated hitter had abruptly retired instead of facing a 100-game suspension for reportedly testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug during spring training.
Gilroy expressed minor disappointment as he noted that he had drafted Ramirez in two leagues. “I spent 14 dollars for him in an AL-only league,” Gilroy said. With that statement, Gilroy moved on and back to his seat in the upper tier at Citi Field.
It’s pretty easy for Fantasy players to move on from Ramirez. Most who drafted him were taking him on at a discounted rate as compared to past seasons. Ramirez’s Average Draft Position was 153.88 on the latest ADP report on Mock Draft Central. It’s not like he cannot be replaced in many lineups.
It may be more challenging to replace Ramirez in AL-only leagues. RotoExperts.com projected Ramirez to hit 21 homers with 79 RBIs over a full 2011 season. Still, Ramirez had hit only 28 home runs in the past two seasons combined, and at age 38, his owners were simply hoping for some optimistic remnants of days gone by.
There does not appear to be much to gain from Ramirez’s loss, initially, either. The Rays recalled Casey Kotchman, and he will now be an option at first base, while Dan Johnson can now move to designated hitter. Kotchman has minimal Fantasy appeal.
Those who have stashed away Desmond Jennings can now keep their eye out for a possible promotion, though. The Rays could elect to have Jennings come up and play the outfield some time soon, with Johnny Damon moving to DH. Jennings’ upside is apparent, especially for speed, so it’s time to start monitoring his status.