You might think this post is about trying to make sure you have as many St. Louis Cardinals on your fantasy baseball roster as possible, but it’s not. (That is a good way to win though.)

There are a few cardinal rules you need to abide by before heading to your draft or auction in fantasy baseball.  First make sure you know the scoring system of the league you are about to try and win.  Unless winning isn’t your thing, then just show up and draft based on any old ranking system.  At least you will really like your team with that method, even if it ends up in second to last.

Kris Medlen Injured

My second cardinal rule is to make sure you have up to date injury information.  Do not go to the draft and assume Thursday’s injury report will be good for Sunday’s draft.  A lot of things can happen in two days time.  For example, the Atlanta Braves starting pitching rotation was decimated in a 48 hour window with elbow injuries to Kris Medlin and Brandon Beachy.  Imagine how bad your rotation would look right after the draft if you had no idea they both had appointments with Dr. James Andrews.

The reason I’m posting this today is because I got bit by the lack of information bug this weekend.  I took over a keeper league team that was built primarily around it’s position players and knew I needed to concentrate on starting pitching to make a dent in this particular points league.  I had a very busy weekend planned and knew i wasn’t going to be able to do as much research on Saturday or Sunday morning as I would have liked, but I felt fairly confident.

Patrick Corbin InjuredI had seen a blip of a story on Patrick Corbin leaving his Spring Training start because of pain in his elbow.  The particular post I saw only mentioned forearm tightness that seemed to be effecting his slider and that it was something to monitor, but didn’t seem like a huge issue.  If it had been a draft during the week I would have been looking up every Diamond Backs beat writer’s Twitter timeline and trying to see if this meant he should be dropped down my rankings.  Unfortunately the draft was on Sunday and the injury was on Saturday while I was out all day with my wife and kids.  Only so much research can be done on your phone while your wife reads the menu.

Long story short I had an extra third round pick from a predraft trade and I used that on Corbin.  Obviously in retrospect it was a huge mistake, but that mistake was compounded by me not drafting enough healthy pitching that didn’t have question marks around it.  Sonny Gray as my ace doesn’t feel as comfortable without Corbin there as my second starter.  Clay Buchholz as my third starter was worth a gamble if Corbin was healthy, but with Corbin out Buchholz makes my rotation very vulnerable.

Long story short I wrote this post as friendly reminder/warning that injuries do happen while your cooking steak on a stone and consuming mass quantities of sangria.  Wake up just a little early or go to bed just a bit later and pour over the day’s injuries.  Don’t take one story or article as the undisputed truth on the severity of an injury.