Clearing The Bases
Arizona Diamondbacks: Funny how things work out. During the off-season the DBacks were making deals because they thought they had a stockpile of outfielders, but after trading Justin Upton and Chris Young, and with the elbow injury suffered by Adam Eaton , that depth has been severely depleted…..Speaking of Upton, he just hit his second HR in two games for the Braves and one of the players the DBacks received in the deal, Randall Delgado, was hammered during spring training. Every fiber of my being believes Arizona will regret this deal for years to come.
Atlanta Braves: This could very well be one of the best hitting Braves teams we have seen in quite some time, but I have my doubts as to whether or not C Brian McCann will add much to that offense when he returns from the DL. Shoulder surgery is never easy to come back from and can certainly take away a players power. Don’t really believe McCann returns to his former self until next season.
Chicago Cubs: Now the Cubs pulled Carlos Marmol from his first save chance of the season on Monday and Kyuji Fujikawa looks to be the closer of the future, but the Cubs are going to give Marmol every chance to keep the job. They want to trade him, and the only way to do that and get something good in return is for Marmol to pitch in high leverage situations, and pitch well. Not like the Cubs are going to break their World Series streak this year anyway…..Matt Garza is expected to start throwing off a mound this week, he’s another player the Cubs will look to deal this season, but he’s still a few weeks away from joining the Cubs rotation.
Cincinnati Reds: Tough break for OF Ryan Ludwick and the Reds. Ludwick suffered a dislocated shoulder while diving into third base on Monday. He will require surgery and probably be lost to the team for a couple of months. Now, those who think this opens the door for speedster Billy Hamilton, slow your roll. Hamilton is only now learning how to play CF, he’s certainly not ready to man that position on a MLB level, plus he needs to prove he can hit big league pitching, something he has yet to do as of now. Think September call up. Now there is a silver lining here. Chris Heisey will take over for Ludwick and he can play CF, which will allow Shin-Soo Choo to move to a corner outfield spot, something he is much more adept at playing.
Colorado Rockies: Good to see SS Troy Tulowitzki and OF Carlos Gonzalez get off to hot starts. What’s even better is that there doing this kind of damage away from Coors Field…..Most were shocked when OF/1B Tyler Colvin was sent down to AAA before the season started. This seems to be a case of a player thinking he was entitled, have a terrible spring, and the team deciding he needed a wakeup call. Those who play in deep or NL only leagues, I wouldn’t drop him just yet. He should be called back up sometime in the early portion of the season.
Los Angeles Dodgers: What a performance on Opening Day by SP Clayton Kershaw. Not only did he throw a complete game shutout, but he also delivered the first run of the game with a bomb of a HR in the 8th inning. Have to admit when I saw the HR, I didn’t originally know it was Kershaw at the plate, assumed it was OF Andre Ethier or 1B Adrian Gonzalez. His price tag just keeps getting higher and higher…..There is a ton of pressure on manager Don Mattingly this season to win, maybe as much or more than any other manager in the game.
Miami Marlins: I’m a bit surprised that the Marlins are allowing one of their top prospects, SP Jose Fernandez, to start the season with the team, thus also starting his arbitration clock. This team isn’t going anywhere this season, why not let him get a few more innings under his belt at AAA and call him up once his Super 2 status is gone? One player I would’ve preferred to see start the season with the team is OF Christian Yelich, he can rake, should be a fun player to watch.
Milwaukee Brewers: John Axford’s first save chance of the season was typical Ax, strikes out the side, but let up the tying HR in the process…..How bad is your bench when you have Alex Gonzalez playing 1B on a regular basis? Is there no one you can call up from AAA, AA, pee wee, anyone…..Norichika Aoki may be one of the most underrated players in the game today, kid is pretty good.
New York Mets: The Mets are absolutely obliterating the Padres once again. There was probably a bit of concern about 1B Ike Davis after he went 0-5 on Opening Day with four Ks in a game the Mets scored 11 runs, but he has hit a HR tonight, think he’s going to have a 35+ HR season. Outfielder Lucas Duda is a bit underrated as well, think he could hit 25 as well, but not with much else, and his defense will be a problem….For the Mets this season is all about development. You want SP Matt Harvey to take that next step, C Travis D’Arnaud to be capable of taking over the starting role later this season, and SP Zack Wheeler ready to make the team next year.
Philadelphia Phillies: Not sure what to make of Roy Halladay’s first start of the season. He’s needed a ton of pitches to get through the first couple of innings, has given up four runs, including two HRs, but his velocity is also up to the 91-92 range, and he has struck out nine in 3.1 IP, strange…..Outfielder Delmon Young is close to being ready to play in an extended spring training game, if all goes well he should be back in about three weeks.
Pittsburgh Pirates: Right now Jason Grilli is the closer for the Pirates but you have to wonder how long it will be before they give Mark Melancon a shot…..Francisco Liriano is on a throwing program, and if all goes well he could return to the rotation later this month or in early May…..A.J. Burnett has actually hinted that he may retire after this season. On first thought I kind of doubted this, but then again, knowing A.J., nothing would surprise me.
St. Louis Cardinals: Outfielder Carlos Beltran was given the day off Wednesday after playing the first two games of the season. Fantasy owners better get used to this as the Cards will look to manage Beltran’s playing time to keep him healthy over the long haul…..Word is that closer Jason Motte isn’t all that close to returning so Mitchell Boggs will continue to hold the closer’s role in his absence but if Motte were to be out long term, look for Trevor Rosenthal to take over that role.
San Diego Padres: How bad are the Padres to be wrecked by the Mets in their first two games?
San Francisco Giants: Has anyone seen 3B Pablo Sandoval? I have been wondering whatever happened to Aubrey Huff, I think Sandoval ate him. Sandoval is bigger than he has ever been. How can any team seriously think about giving him a multi-year deal? In this day and age to be that out of shape is a travesty. How much money will he cost himself in the long run? Good for C Buster Posey in not trying to squeeze every last dollar out of the Giants and taking a contract that is fair and will secure his family’s financial future for generations.
Washington Nationals: So far so good for the Nationals. Two games, two shutouts. Sort of puts the pressure on Jordan Zimmerman Thursday to keep that streak going now doesn’t it…..Have no problem with manager Davey Johnson pulling Stephen Strasburg after seven shutout innings in a 2-0 game Monday, not with that bullpen, but I also don’t want to see this become a habit…..I took a little ribbing for drafting OF Bryce Harper 11th overall in the SiriusXM hosts league. Certainly feeling better about that now, even more so after he went 4th overall in the NFBC.
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