The big news of the day on Tuesday was that Red Sox closer Andrew Bailey will miss at least the first 3 months of the season, as he will have surgery to repair the ulnar collateral ligament on his right thumb. Who knew we have a UCL in our thumb? Anyway, the closer spot in Boston is down to Mark Melancon and Alfredo Aceves. Read Marc Normandin's piece here where he talks about who will close if Bailey misses time.
Well, as a follow up to my Tuesday morning article, I decided to keep Cubs starter Matt Garza as my 15th keeper in the UBA NL-Only keeper league, which will leave me with just $36 to spend on 9 players on draft day, which is Friday. I don't usually spend so much on starting pitching, but like the idea of having 3 solid starters in Garza, Cole Hamels and Zack Greinke to go along with my two closers Craig Kimbrel and John Axford. I just hope Garza remains in the NL this season.
More Roto Roundup after the jump:
I am sure everyone has heard that Reds first baseman Joey Votto got a humongous contract on Monday. His contract will pay him $225 million over 10 years beginning in 2014. Fangraphs Dave Cameron wrote an excellent piece explaining how this signing has changed the game. I am not sure this signing changed the game. I thought the Troy Tulowitzki deal two offseason's ago was a game changer as well. I wonder if this signing signals the Reds won't be able to sign second baseman Brandon Phillips long term. Frankly, I wouldn't give him a long term contract as he will turn 31 this June, and his production will only drop from here. I think they should focus on signing Jay Bruce long term, as he has yet to hit his peak as a power hitter.
Giants first baseman Brandon Belt made the 25 man roster and will be the Giants starting first baseman to start the season. ESPN's Jim Bowden tweeted as much last night:
JimBowdenESPNxm JIM BOWDEN
Brandon Belt has won the opening day first base job for the SF Giants with Aubrey Huff expected to start in Left Field. #WellDeserved
If Belt plays a full season, you never know with Bruce Bochy, I expect him to hit around .280 with 18 HRs and 75 RBI. Aubrey Huff will play outfield and will probably platoon with Nate Schierholtz in right field.
And here is Daniel Brown from the San Jose Mercury News on the Belt decision, or possible decision:
Manager Bruce Bochy dropped his strongest hint yet that Brandon Beltwould be the Giants opening day first baseman, with Aubrey Huff shifting to left field. Bochy repeatedly stressed that that all decisions are in pencil until at least Wednesday’s final roster cuts. But when asked if Belt will be at first base for the regular-season opener against Arizona on Friday, he did nothing do dispel the notion. “He’s been getting most of the playing time there,’’ Bochy said. “We’ve said we’d put the bats out there that are swinging well.”
Manager Bruce Bochy dropped his strongest hint yet that Brandon Beltwould be the Giants opening day first baseman, with Aubrey Huff shifting to left field.
Bochy repeatedly stressed that that all decisions are in pencil until at least Wednesday’s final roster cuts. But when asked if Belt will be at first base for the regular-season opener against Arizona on Friday, he did nothing do dispel the notion.
“He’s been getting most of the playing time there,’’ Bochy said. “We’ve said we’d put the bats out there that are swinging well.”
Rays closer Kyle Farnsworth will start the season on the DL due to elbow soreness. The closer job will come down to Joel Peralta or Fernando Rodney in my opinion, but those of you in keeper leagues should keep your eye on Jake McGee. He may not see many save pops this season, but with the way the Rays like to take it slow with their young arms, they could ease him into the role later this season with a shot to take the job next season.
With Padres outfielder Carlos Quentin out for the first month or so, you can expect to see Jesus Guzman's name penciled into the SD lineup quite a bit, per this tweet from Dan Hayes at the North County Times:
Dan Hayes @NCTPadres
Jesus Guzman follows w/ 6th HR of spring, a laser into the bullpen. You can pencil him in for a lot of Carlos Quentin's ABs while he rehabs.
Guzman is a decent late round choice in NL-only leagues, as he hit .312-.369-.478 with 5 HRs, 44 RBI and 9 stolen bases in 247 at bats last season.
Will the Giants do the right thing and start Brandon Belt at first base to start the season? I think they should as he is one of the best hitters. Let Aubrey Huff platoon in left field or right field. Belt is ready and Huff is a free agent at the end of the season.
Blue Jays outfielder Eric Thames, who beat out Travis Snider for the starting left field job in Toronto, hit his 2nd HR of the spring yesterday and finished the spring hitting .359-.408-.578 with 2 HRs, 8 doubles, 13 RBI and a 14-6 strikeout to walk rate in 64 at bats. I won Thames in an AL-only league and think he can go 20-80 in 2012.
Matt Kemp started the day with a 24-2 strikeout to walk ratio and struck out in his first two times at the plate last night. It is just spring training, but he has struck out in 26 of his 64 at bats this spring. As a Kemp owner, I just hope we can look back and say, "spring training stats are worthless." when it comes to Kemp's performance in 2012.
The Rangers are talking to second baseman Ian Kinsler on a 6 year extension. With shortstop Elvis Andrus signed through 2014, and top prospect Jurickson Profar starting the season in AA, who will be trade bait between Andrus and Profar when the Rangers are looking for starting pitching at the trade deadline this season?