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Picked Off: Spring Training Boxscores 2/25/2009

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CF Jordan Schafer, Atlanta Braves:  He started the Spring off with a HR and SB from the nine hole.  With the game moving towards a defense-oriented one, a centerfielder with a reputation for good defense and a strong throwing arm could move quickly.  Unfortunately for Schafer, Josh Anderson started in CF and was replaced by Brandon Jones while Schafer moved from RF to LF to replace Matt Diaz.

1B Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds:  He hit third in what looks like the expected Opening line-up.  Coming off an 84 RBI rookie campaign, Votto spend most of his time hitting 6th or 7th.  In 87 Batting 3rd ABs, he drove in 17 runs with a 347/425/680 slashstat line.  This bears serious watching.

3B Joe Mather, St. Louis Cardinals:  Most of the fantasy focus in the Cardinals' infield is on converting-OF Skip Schumaker.  More interesting is who plays third base while Troy glaus is out.  In the team's Grapefruit League opener, Joe Mather started at the hot corner.  He slugged .474 in 133 ABs last season, so he is someone to watch in NL-Only formats.

LHP Brett Cecil, Toronto Blue Jays: In two innings of work, the converted Maryland Terrapin reliever allowed just a homerun to the first batter of the game to go with four strikeouts.  Will he be the next surprisingly under-the-radar Blue Jays starter?

C Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Texas Rangers:  He started at catcher in the Rangers' Cactus League opener.  Taylor Teagarden replaced him with Max Ramirez spelling DH Hank Blalock.  The boxscore doesn't show anything of note i.e. a Royal caught stealing or just stealing a base or any E's.

1B Travis Ishikawa, San Francisco Giants:  While Pablo Sandoval started at 3B and hit 3rd in what looked like a realistic Opening Day line-up, the day's news goes to Ishikawa who hit two HRs.  Can Sandoval's combustion-powered hype machine afford to give another Giants some of its oxygen?