The Jays have all but conceded the closer role to Jason Frasor. They must love Frasor’s witticisms! See if you can trade Kevin Gregg for Nadir Bupkus. Otherwise, I’d drop him as soon as it’s official, which it may be by the time you read this. Gregg’s not worth the stack of napkins you’re using until you buy more toilet paper. I moved Frasor up my Closer Look from the other day. His days of brain freezing could be behind him quickly; he can easily be a donkeycorn by May. Gregg isn’t much of a challenge to Frasor and Gaston seems content with Downs in middle relief. Anyway, here’s what else happened over the weekend in fantasy baseball:
Jon Rauch – The Twins are going with the dreaded closer-by-committee. (Rauch moved down that same Closer Look.) Matt Guerrier will see some save chances, Jose Mijares could see some situational saves, but I think Rauch will see the majority. I own Rauch and Guerrier in different leagues. If there’s one bullpen that can pull through losing their closer, it’s the Twins. In years past, I’d say they definitely would ride it out, meaning no trade. But they’re opening a new park and I think they want their fans to think they’re out there trying their best, so I think they acquire a closer, namely Heath Bell. When will they acquire him or someone? Either very soon, or June assuming they’re still in the race.
Cliff Lee – To start the year on DL. Did I not call this or what?! I didn’t, actually. I did say something to the effect, “If I believe in Cliff Lee this year, he’s going to let me down.” And that’s me paraphrasing me! I told you I called it… Kinda. Supposedly, the Mariners are looking to acquire a starter with this injury to Lee. That’s not good. Why are the Mariners looking for pitching help if they trust Lee to be okay in a week or two? Probably because they don’t think Lee’s going to be okay in a week or two. Weak, indeed.
Ian Desmond – You can’t spell Nationals without Ian! (From Nationals, you could also spell, Nasal Into, the Indonesian tissue manufacturer.) Desmond won the starting shortstop job. Look at the Nats making sense. I already went over Desmond’s sleeperitude. He’s a 10/20 guy, i.e., a cheap Asdrubal. (<– Sounds like a condition that Nasal Into could help with.)
Roy Oswalt – Hamstring tightness, while easy to chew around on the Hormel, not great on pitchers. Oswalt says he’s going to be fine to open the season. I have my concerns.
Milton Bradley – Announced he will bat cleanup for the Mariners. Pretty ironic considering what a mess he is personnel-wise.
Russell Branyan – Will begin the season on the DL. LaPorta will get a chance to Pipp him and if that doesn’t work out, he’ll have a place in the outfield. LaPorta is a decent sleeper as an endgame flier. Could easily have 20+ homers in his bat. Though, not sure if his upside is anything more than Ludwick.
Austin Jackson – Officially named leadoff hitter and center fielder. Now he just needs to live up to his predecessor, Curtis Granderson. Word is there’s a fiddy percent chance he’ll change his name to Curtis Jackson.
Ian Kennedy – With his strong spring, he snagged the 5th starting spot in the desert. He’s a solid flier in 12 team mixed leagues as I pointed out in the starters to target post.
Jason Heyward – That noise you heard on Friday was a thousand Yeti mitts clapping for Heyward as he was named the Braves’ Opening Day RF. (No, not Ralph Furley.) When I wrote up the Jason Heyward 2010 Fantasy Outlook post in November, I kinda thought he was going to make the starting lineup out Spring Training, so nothing changes from that post. When you’re done reading it, this will all still be here. Promise!
Ian Kinsler – Out for a few more days after having an injection in his foot. They should’ve asked Hamilton, he can easily find a vein between toes. I will say this in an upcoming post, but I’ll give you a sneak here. Spoiler Alert! If Kinsler isn’t good in April and has a poor 2nd half as he’s had in the past, that doesn’t make for a good season. Cust kayin’.
Ben Zobrist – Looks slated to be the Rays’ three hitter and headed into the outfield, which brings us to…
Sean Rodriguez – Seems like he’s going to be the starting 2nd baseman for the Rays. I love punting MI when drafting. Sean-Rod is on the radar now, big time. I’m going to leave his projections at the top 20 2nd basemen post alone, even though they’re for only 400 ABs. I won’t believe he’s going to get 401 at-bats, until he gets 401 at-bats. Nevertheless! He’s got some security now cause he’s in the hunt for 401, ‘kay?
Jaime Garcia – La Russa says Garcia is not officially the 5th starter yet. I’m not sure it’s a matter of time either, but Garcia’s still in the running. Or throwing, I guess.
Jeff Clement – All but confirmed he’ll be the starting 1st baseman. Could easily be a top ten catcher this year just because of how many ABs he’ll get vs. most catching options. Rudy dropped Iannetta from one of our teams for Clement. I put up a small fight and lost. Right now, Iannetta and Clement are tomato-tomahto, but they could easily be tomato-Olivo’s stealing all my tomahtos.
Dallas Braden – Has a staph infection. This is following a (probably) unrelated condition where he lost feeling in two of his toes last year. This feeling has not returned and causes Braden to lose control of at least one pitch a game. Is it me or does this sound like it’s headed to a TV movie of the week starring Danny Masterson?