Clearing The Bases
Baltimore Orioles: Tough news for 2B Brian Roberts. He ruptured a tendon in the back of his knee and will miss most of, if not all of April. The problem for Roberts is this, even if he does return during the 2-4 week timetable, it would seem to be highly unlikely that he wouldn’t suffer another injury at some point this season…..Outfielder Adam Jones is looking more and more like an MVP candidate every game…..Starting pitcher Chris Tillman’s return from the disabled list didn’t go as planned as he was pretty much beat up by the Twins, give him time though, still think he has a solid season.
Boston Red Sox: John Lackey’s first start of the season started out well but ended on a bad note when he has to leave the game after straining his forearm. The good news is that the MRI came back clean, no further damage was done to his pitching arm, and he may not even go on the DL, he will however miss at least one start….. Designated hitter David Ortiz looks like he could re-join the lineup as soon as next week. He is performing all of the necessary baseball activities and will play in rehab games this weekend. Outfielder Jackie Bradley could be the odd man out when Ortiz returns.
Chicago White Sox: First baseman Paul Konerko is off to a slow start and normally this would be no big deal but there has to be some reason for concern after a disappointing 2012 season. Konerko was given a bit of a pass for last year due to a wrist injury but if he isn’t able to turn it around shortly, it will be safe to wonder if age has finally caught up with him…..Good news for fantasy owners is that OF Alex Rios is showing that last season was no fluke.
Cleveland Indians: Starting Pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez looked horrible versus the Yankees on Monday, His velocity barely reached 90 and even a weakened NYY lineup had no problem battering him around, the Indians can hit, but not enough to make up for the runs this staff is going to give up…..I still like the trade the Indians made to acquire SP Trevor Bauer, but this kid still needs seasoning in AAA, not to mention a good deal of maturity, might be nice to find the plate with a pitch every now and again also.
Detroit Tigers: The closer situation goes round and round in Detroit. For the time being it looks like Joaquin Benoit will assume the closer’s role but how long that lasts is anyone’s guess. The team also signed former closer Jose Valverde to a minor league deal just to muddy the waters even further…..Catcher Alex Avila looks like this season will resemble 2011 a whole lot more than 2012…..Congratulations to OF Torii Hunter for collecting his 2000th hit Tuesday. Is he a possible Hall of Famer?
Houston Astros: The Astros as a team are on their way to strikeout more than any other team in history, and they are on their way to accomplish that feat by August, they won’t need air conditioning in Minute Maid Park…..Have to wonder when, not if, the Astros will trade Bud Norris and Lucas Harrell. Norris is a good, not great, SP who could bring back a solid return on the market, but Harrell is just a little better than average…..Relief pitcher Josh Fields was placed on the DL with a strained right forearm. Some believe he might be the closer in waiting if and when Jose Veras loses the job.
Kansas City Royals: The closer game is also taking place in Kansas City as Greg Holland has had a couple of rough outing allowing Kelvin Herrera to gain some traction, not to mention Aaron Crow was brought in Monday to close out the game and get a save. Now Crow only pitched because Holland and Herrera were unavailable for the game. The Royals have come out and said the job is still Holland’s, but at this point he has a pretty short leash and most scouts believe Herrera’s stuff is actually a better fit for the closer role.
Los Angeles Angels: Tough break, literally, for the Angels as it was announced that SP Jered Weaver suffered a broken elbow while attempting to avoid a shot up the middle Sunday night. The good news is that the break was to his non-throwing elbow which should allow him to come back sometime in mid-May, the bad news is that his velocity was mainly in the mid-80s during that start, this coming off average about 88MPH last season, and one has to wonder what is going on there. Is it mechanical, physical, or just father time? The reason I didn’t pick the Angels to win the AL West was because of their starting pitching, and this won’t make me feel any better.
Minnesota Twins: Outfielder Aaron Hicks is the reason why I rarely select a rookie in anything but the last round or two of fantasy drafts. For every Mike Trout and Bryce Harper, there are 20 Hicks who quite obviously need more time in the minor leagues or who be wildly inconsistent in their first go around MLB…..Outfielder Darin Mastroianni would be the obvious winner if Hicks were to be sent out.
New York Yankees: While everyone is worrying about their offense, it may also be time to worry about the starting pitching. CC Sabathia had a good start Sunday, but his velocity is still down, Hiroki Kuroda is still dealing with the after effects of having reached up for a line drive and having it go off his fingers, while Ivan Nova and Phil Hughes has been little more than batting practice, even the bullpen outside of David Robertson has been less than expected…..The Yankees are still saying they will put Curtis Granderson back in CF when he returns next month. This team can’t afford to weaken their defense any further, Gardner should be in CF, he is the much better defender…..Speaking of defense, Lyle Overbay has been well below expectations at 1B, he keeps ranging way to far to his right, not realizing where 2B Robinson Cano is, this has cost the NYY a few big innings.
Oakland Athletics: Brett Anderson, he of the immense talent, once again suffered an injury when he developed a contusion on his thumb, the good news is that X-rays were negative and Anderson will be able to make his next start, if Anderson can ever stay healthy…..News wasn’t all good for Oakland however as OF Josh Reddick sprained his wrist while attempting make a catch in foul territory and sliding into the wall. He isn’t on the DL as of yet, but that may be coming later this week.
Seattle Mariners: So much for the theory that hitters generally suffer when they move from one league to the other, OF Michael Morse has been murdering the ball in the early part of this season…..First basemen Kendrys Morales has also been hitting well…..Starting Pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma is having trouble with a blister on his pitching hand. It has yet to callous over, and like Yu Darvish on Sunday night, may have trouble going deep into games until it does…..Brandon Maurer, who was a popular pickup in AL only leagues had a pretty poor debut, he is not considered to be anywhere near a top prospect.
Tampa Bay Rays: That strike call on Ben Zobrist which ended the game Monday was a horrible call and we all know that, but those calls happen hundreds if not thousands of time throughout the season. Home plate umpires who call balls and strikes are usually tough to figure out. None of them are consistent, what’s a strike in the first inning is rarely a strike in the ninth and some of them seem really reluctant to want to call a hitter out on strikes. Really believe balls and strikes should be called electronically so that it is fair for everyone and more importantly, the same for everyone.
Texas Rangers: Nick Tepesch starts for the Rangers on Tuesday, but I wouldn’t expect much from him and certainly would be rushing to the waiver wire to acquire him. Even in AL only leagues, if I had him, he’s probably a wait and see kind of player, you don’t want to start him in Texas and have him completely wreck your ERA and WHIP…..The more 1B Mitch Moreland hits, the longer it will be before IF Jurickson Profar is called up from AAA, without an injury anyway.
Toronto Blue Jays: So much for pre-season predictions as the Jays are off to a division worst 2-5 start, I say that tongue in cheek as seven games is way to small a sample size to determine anything, but they do have some injury concerns to deal with. Jose Bautista played RF Tuesday after missing a couple of games with a sprained ankle, so that’s good, but 3B Brett Lawrie’s timetable is still unknown as he has yet to resume hitting…..R.A. Dickey is finding pitching in the AL and in the Rogers Center not to his liking so far this season. Wish I could say I didn’t see this coming.
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