Happy Easter everyone! And Happy Opening Day for the 2013 baseball season. The offseason seemed very long this year, and I hope our fantasy baseball coverage here at Fake Teams helped bridge the gap between the World Series and Opening Day for you. I am looking forward to an exciting and successful 2013 fantasy baseball season, and we are here to help you win your leagues.
Eric Young Jr: Fantasy Sleeper
Lost in the news that the Rockies sent Tyler Colvin down to AAA yesterday is why they sent him down. One reason is to give him more at bats to work his way out of the slump he is in. Troy Renck, a Rockies beat writer from the Denver Post, has the second reason:
There are two factors at work here: First, Eric Young Jr., if you haven't been following my stories and columns this spring, is going to play. A lot. He's in line to get at-bats when Cuddyer moves to first base. Weiss is also willing to play CarGo in right field to carve out more at-bats for EY in left. So that's the first issue.
Well, fantasy owners finally have a reason to draft Eric Young Jr. this season. EYJr. will be playing all over the field, apparently, and I think could be an impact player in the stolen base department should he receive 400+ at bats. He will probably bat leadoff when he does play, which I think could be 3-4 times per week. He should be a solid source of runs and stolen bases on fantasy rosters this season.
Buster Posey: Third Baseman?
In the midst of the new 9 year contract extension give to Giants catcher Buster Posey, ESPN's Buster Olney discussed the possibility that the team may eventually move him out of the catcher position and to either third base or first base:
But it figures that the clock has started ticking on Posey's time as catcher, whether it's two years or longer. The Giants got a nightmarish reminder 22 months about how much more risk there is for a catcher, when Scott Cousins ran over Posey and shattered his ankle, and know full well what kind of toll Posey's position can take on a player.
Poaey's fantasy value would take a hit should he eventually move to third base or first base, but at this point in time, we don't know how his power will/will not develop. If he becomes a 30 home run per year hitter, while maintaining a .290-.310 batting average, he will be one of the top fantasy first baseman or third baseman. But should his power stagnate, or possibly drop, his value would be negatively impacted. With all that said, we, as fantasy owners, probably don't have to worry about that for at least a few seasons, and maybe longer. Posey played 29 games at first base last season, and you have to figure that number could increase this season. Or, heck, could they try him at third base this season should Pablo Sandoval's elbow cause him to see time on the DL early this season? It's possible. Posey was a shortstop at Florida State before he was moved to catcher, so I am sure he could handle the position defensively.
Justin Sellers: Dodgers starting shortstop
The writing is on the wall for Dee Gordon. The Dodgers may as well deal him for whatever they can get for him. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly announced yesterday that Justin Sellers will be his starting shortstop this season, at least until Hanley Ramirez returns from his injury. I have to say I am pretty shocked at this decision, as Gordon has more offensive potential, but I guess Sellers has the better glove at this point. As a result of this decision, the Dodgers will go with Luis Cruz at third base for the foreseeable future. I can still envision a Dodgers infield where Ramirez is at third base and Gordon is at shortstop, but until I see it with my own eyes, I won't believe it.
Maybe the Dodgers have an offer for Gordon and one of their excess starting pitchers that they are pondering, and we will hear about it later today. Time will tell, but until then, Sellers is only draftable in deep NL-only leagues, and that is it. The same goes for Cruz.
The Diamondbacks have named Patrick Corbin as their fifth starter, and he could have some fantasy value in NL-only leagues this season. Corbin made 17 starts for the Diamondbacks last season, going 6-8 with a 4.54 ERA, 4.00 FIP, and 3.73 xFIP. He struck out just over 7 batters per nine, and limits the walks, as his 2.10 BB/9 indicates. His strikeout rate was higher in the minors, so there is potential for more strikeouts, if you can handle the normal ups and downs of a young starter. He also keeps the ball on the ground, which should work to his benefit pitching at hitter-friendly Chase Field. In his last spring start on Friday, he limited the Reds lineup to just two hits, two walks and seven strikeouts in six shutout innings.
Ryan Madson has been placed on the 15 day DL by the Angels, so Ernesto Frieri will open the season as the Angels closer. Reports state the Madson will miss the first month of the season. Wow. He is still pretty far behind in his return from Tommy John surgery. Frieri will move up my closer rankings this week, as a result.
The Giants are still holding out hope that Pablo Sandoval will not need a stint on the DL with his elbow injury. I have to say that as a Sandoval owner, I am getting worried about him. I saw one report yesterday hint that he may need Tommy John surgery.
Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira stated that he is targeting May 1st as his return date from the wrist injury he suffered during the WBC. Here is more from Pete Caldera from the Bergen Record:
Teixeira is due to have the plastic brace removed from his wrist (partially torn tendon sheath) on Monday, and expects to be swinging a bat in two weeks.
But, "if I ever feel soreness or pain, I have to back off," Teixeira said. "The doctors made it very clear to me."
If Teixeira can start swinging a bat in a few weeks, he could return around May 1st, but I imagine the team will take every precaution in his rehab. In the meantime, Lyle Overbay is the Yankees starting first baseman until Teixeira returns. Overbay hasn't been fantasy relevant since 2010, and even then his power and batting average are not worth much to fantasy owners. He is only draftable in AL-only leagues at this point.