Oh, isn't it great that baseball season is finally here? Today is Opening Day for most teams, and there will be baseball being played from 1pm ET to 1am ET. Lots of baseball.
We had just one game on Easter Sunday, the Astros-Rangers game on Sunday night, and who the heck thought the Astros would win their very first game in the American League? Certainly not me. Not against the Rangers.
Justin Maxwell went 2-3 with 2 triples, 2 runs, 2 RBI and a walk last night. Two triples in one game by ONE hitter is something you don't see all too often. Heck, it is rare to see two triples in a game at all. Maxwell has a chance to impact fantasy leagues this season, as he has the tools to put up a 20-20 season, but all that comes with lots of swing and miss, and a low batting average.
Probably the best fantasy hitter on the Astros is second baseman Jose Altuve, and he went 2-4 with an RBI last night. He surprised fantasy owners last season by hitting .290, scoring 80 runs and stealing 33 bases, and should duplicate those stats this season, with a few more runs scored.
The Rangers lineup just doesn't seem as dangerous without Josh Hamilton, does it? Lance Berkman as their #3 hitter just doesn't strike fear in opposing pitchers like Hamilton did. I can see Jurickson Profar receiving an early call up this season to help spark this offense. Ok, ok, it is just one game, I know.
Astros lineup: Strikeouts galore
If you play in any 5 x 5 AL-only leagues this season, make sure you start any starting pitchers vs the Astros, as that lineup is chock full of hitters who will strike out quite a bit. Take a look at the whiiff potential in their lineup, along with their 2012 K%:
Brett Wallace - 28.7%
Chris Carter - 31.9%
Carlos Pena - 30.3%
Justin Maxwell - 32.4%
Jason Castro - 20.7%
Rick Ankiel - 34.5%
Yeah, no need to turn on the air conditioning at Minute Maid Park this season. There will be lots of strikeouts in Houston this season. Yu Darvish could lead the AL in strikeouts this season as a result.
Jason Motte to miss all of April?
Jason Motte (flexox tendon strain) is still a significant time away from picking up a baseball. He won't be re-evaluated until the middle of the next home stand, more than a week from now.
So, Motte won't be evaluated for about the next two weeks, and even if he comes out of that healthy and ready to start throwing, he will probably miss another two weeks. My estimate for his eventual return is late April/early May, and that assumes his elbow is fine. If we hear in two weeks that he is scheduled to visit Dr. James Andrews, the new could get even worse. With that said, Motte owners should go out and grab Mitchell Boggs or Trevor Rosenthal.
Dylan Bundy Injured
Dylan Bundy experienced some mild tightness in his right elbow, according to Steve Melewski:
Dylan Bundy dealing w-mild tightness in rt elbow. Dan Duqette said "is resting until it's resolved which we expect will be in couple days."— Steve Melewski (@masnSteve) April 1, 2013
I am sure the Orioles will take every precaution before Bundy gets back on the mound this season. He is slated to start the season in AA, and has a chance to see the big leagues this season, assuming good health and he continues to dominate AA hitters.
Elvis Andrus close to 8 year, $120 million contract extension
Today is April Fool's day, and Foxsports Ken Rosenthal tweeted the following right after midnight this morning:
Sources: Andrus, #Rangers close on eight-year deal, believed to be for $120 million.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) April 1, 2013
I was watching the first few innings of the Astros-Rangers game with my brother in law, and I told him that Andrus won't be a Ranger for long due to Jurickson Profar almost ready and the fact that Scott Boras is his agent. Well, this news certainly makes me look like a liar and a fool, now doesn't it?
What this means for Profar is one of the following:
1. He will be playing second base in AAA this season, or
2. Profar will be dealt for a power hitter (Hi Giancarlo) to replace Josh Hamilton.