Spring Training Thoughts: Robinson Cano, Aroldis Chapman, Matt Kemp, and Others

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Ray Guilfoyle offers his thoughts on some recent spring training news, including thoughts on Robinson Cano and Brian McCann.

There might be some out there who think moving Aroldis Chapman to the rotation is not a wise decision by the Reds, and manager Dusty Baker has already come out saying, or implying, that he prefers Chapman in the pen, and who could blame him. Outside of Craig Kimbrel, Chapman is probably the second best closer in the game. But, I think he will be just fine in the rotation. He pitched well in spring training last season, and made his spring debut yesterday, throwing two scoreless innings. According to MLB.com, Chapman used four pitches in his 23 pitch, two inning performance, throwing 19 for strikes. He induced four ground ball outs, a pop up and a strikeout. He's a target of mine in one of my leagues this season. But, I did trade him ($6) in a package for Giancarlo Stanton ($28) in one of my keeper leagues this season.

Speaking of Stanton, many feel his numbers will be down this season because he doesn't have anyone hitting around him. Well, the Marlins traded Hanley Ramirez midseason last year, so their lineup really hasn't changed much since last year. I saw Jason Collette tweet the following last evening regarding the lineup around Stanton last season:

Yeah, and the lineup really isn't that much better this season. I think the "bad" Marlins lineup issue is really overblown right now and not something fantasy owners should be worried about this season.

Fellow fantasy baseball writer, Ray Flowers from Baseball Guys, tweeted the following last night to show how valuable Hanley Ramirez is in fantasy:

Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp may make his spring debut today, and contrary to earlier reports, he may skip DH'ing and start in the outfield. Kemp is coming off offseason shoulder surgery, and from all reports appears to be in great shape. He lost a few pounds and he has vowed to run more on the base paths this season.

Dodgers outfield prospect Yasiel Puig has made a positive impression thus far in spring training, showing off a solid bat, and aggressiveness on the bases. The team will have a decision to make in the next year or two, as he could push the them to deal one of their outfielders, most likely Andre Ethier. Ethier was the subject of a few offseason trade rumors, and as long as Puig is in their system, the rumors will probably continue.

Braves catcher Brian McCann swung a bat for the first time since his shoulder surgery yesterday. He will probably start the season on the DL. I heard pieces of an interview with Braves GM Frank Wren recently, and he indicated that the best case scenario for McCann to be ready would be mid-April. I tend to think GM's are more optimistic when talking to the press, so I could see McCann returning in late April, early May.

Yankees GM Brian Cashman went public yesterday saying that the team has made a significant offer to second baseman Robinson Cano recently. Is this Cashman saving face by going public with this now, only for us to hear in a few weeks that he has cut off talks with Cano? Scott Boras is Cano's agent, so I don't see him signing before testing free agency next offseason. Should the Yankees sign Cano to a long term deal? What kind of deal do you expect him to get next offseason? I can see 7 years, $175 million.

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