Gabriel Moreno is staking his claim behind the plate with two home runs already this spring. I think he’s safe to take in the one-two catcher fringe. I’d prefer him to Keibert Ruiz, for example.
Scott McGough is the new crime dog as far I’m concerned, though I guess that reference is pretty old these days. “Scruff McGruff, Chicago Illinois, 60652!” Manager Torey Lovullo says they’re “gonna be fluid in that area,” which sounds like a trip to the doctor and means nothing, but I think McGough is gonna be the closer, if anyone’s gonna be the closer.
Carlos Vargas comes from Cleveland and throws big-time late innings pitches in his fastball and slider. If someone comes from deep in the pack to claim the role, my money’s on Vargas.
Corbin Carroll could sign a long-term contract as I’m typing this. Was pulled from the lineup on Friday before this extension news leaked, so it feels connected somehow. He and Moreno are the only pieces of the lineup that feel like long-term fixes to me. Oh dip, he did just sign: eight years and $111 million. Get it, Corbin.
Drey Jameson and Ryne Nelson are competing for the fifth spot in the rotation. Jameson felt like the frontrunner to me from the outset and has eight strikeouts and a 1.05 WHIP in three starts and 6.2 innings. In his two starts covering 2.2 innings, Nelson has a 4.50 WHIP and 23.63 ERA. Don’t have to be Perry Mason to see which way this is going.
Elehuris Montero got some clearance when Ryan McMahon got moved to second base to cover for Brendan Rodgers, but then the club signed Mike Moustakas because they’re the Rockies. I still think it’s probably Montero at third to open the season, but I’m ready to be hurt here, too.
Michael Toglia’s path cleared out when Sean Bouchard went down with a ruptured bicep, but now we’re hearing rumors of a Jurickson Profar signing in Colorado.
Mike Moustakas deserves the love and respect a human ought to grant to any sentient creature.
Alan Trejo is the cheapest way to get involved with the Rockies infield extravaganza. Doesn’t hurt to kick the tires.
Ezequiel Tovar should take the every day shortstop gig and will be a fantasy monster if he hits enough to keep it.
2023 opens with way more sleeper-tunities than usual in Chavez Ravine.
Ryan Pepiot pitched three scoreless innings with four strikeouts his last time out on Wednesday. With Tony Gonsolin on the shelf, or rather on the couch given that he’s not putting any weight on his leg, Pepiot has pole position for some early season starts. The way these things shake out between injuries and Kersh-management, Pepiot could secure his spot as the sixth starter and remain in the rotation to some extent throughout the year.
Gavin Stone is on the case of the missing innings as well, but the seniority factor is working against him. He’s tossed two shutout innings this spring and looks like the first man up from the minors when the need arises.
Andre Jackson is in this picture too and threw three shutout innings on Friday against the Angels, bringing his spring total to six shutout innings. He could break camp in a swing role and would be an interesting streaming option for spot starts.
Michael Grove has also thrown six good innings, posting 0.33 WHIP and 1.50 ERA. A lot of things are changing around the game of baseball this year, but the Dodgers having plenty of pitchers to choose from remains a constant.
Remember Rubby De La Rosa? He’s in camp with 2.1 perfect frames so far. Keep an eye peeled.
James Outman is slashing .389/.478/.667 in his 18 at bats. We’ve heard a lot about Jason Heyward and David Peralta this spring, and Outman’s redraft cost has tumbled a bit in the aftermath. The logic checks out, and JD Martinez clogging up the DH spot is another strike against Outman’s upside, but I’m in the Jurassic Park, Richard Attenborough camp here: life finds a way. This offense does not look awesome on paper. Miguel Rojas, Jason Heyward and David Peralta seem to be lineup fixtures. Los Angeles might soon see a need for the threat a burgeoning power bat like Outman can offer.
Trayce Thompson demolished right handed pitching last year (.308/.409/.602 10 HR in 159 PA), so I’m a little confused by the idea that Thompson will form a short-side platoon in left field with David Peralta. So it goes.
Miguel Vargas had already been declared the opening day second baseman, but the Gavin Lux injury grants him even more runway. The Dodgers tend to get good outcomes from their rookies, and Vargas is as talented in the batter’s box as any rookie hitter they’ve had in recent memory.
Evan Phillips, Brusdar Graterol and Daniel Hudson would all be must-have closers if they grabbed even a 50 percent share of the ninth inning in Los Angeles. They all seem pretty easy buys to me at their current ADPs.
In contrast to Los Angeles, there’s not much playing time on offer in San Diego. When Fernando Tatis Jr. returns after 20 games, Matt Carpenter and Nelson Cruz figure to share designated hitter duties, which tells us a lot about the depth here. If Trent Grisham doesn’t hit this year, Tatis could probably kick over to center and open right back up to Carpenter. Same goes for Ha-Seong Kim, in the sense that he’ll probably have to hit to play. It’s a good thing. Means plenty of days off for Tatis with the shoulder, Cruz with the eyes, and Carpenter with the mustache.
Luis Campusano is hitting .125 across 16 at bats in his bid to take the primary catching job. His swing has always looked a little long to me. Could shorten up, target right-center field, but the plate discipline would have to jump. He’s young yet, but I’m not optimistic.
David Dahl leads the team in total bases this spring. Brandon Dixon was unfathomably hot in his 25 games at Triple-A last fall, slashing .371/.447/.866 with 13 home runs and three stolen bases. Either could make the team with a break here or there.
Brent Honeywell looked great to me his last time out. He’s got a 1.34 WHIP and 6.14 ERA but also has nine strikeouts and one walk in 7.1 innings. The Padres have a lot of options for the rotation this season, but Honeywell was dominant in winter ball and looks reborn to my eyes.
Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair.
Blake Sabol is one of my favorite sleepers this year. He figured something out about pitch selection and launch angle last season with Pittsburgh, who lost him to the Rule 5 draft partly because they’re feeling catcher-rich with Henry Davis and Endy Rodriguez. Sabol could wind up the everyday catcher, first baseman or left fielder with the Giants, who have to send him back if they don’t keep him around. Joey Bart could take the job, but he hasn’t been particularly adept at defense or offense in his career, and at some point, the outcomes speak for themselves.
David Villar was anointed the third baseman by Farhan Zaidi before the spring began. He’s struggled so far this spring, which shouldn’t matter, except that the Giants hottest prospect is Villar’s fellow third baseman Casey Schmitt, who is seven for 18 with just two strikeouts. Villar is still going to be the guy on opening day, and I have him in about half my leagues, but Schmitt is starting to feel like an inevitability due in part to his plus defense. Doesn’t mean they won’t have room for both. Nobody’s really locked in a first base either.
Ronald Guzman is pushing for a swing role as a two-way player with high-nineties heat from the left side. Fun to follow even as it’s not especially relevant for our game.
Thanks for reading!
Is Mervis a drop in 15 team dynasty at this point? Maybe for Sabol, Nolan Jones, or even Jarren Duran.
And what are your thoughts on Waldichuck’s struggles?Same 15 team dynasty. Fujinami(I am just curious), Wesneski, Clark Schmidt, Jared Shuster, Carlos Vargas and McGough are available on waivers. Would you make a swap for any of them?
Nah, I’d hold the Merve there.
Thanks for this Itch……Was offered J. Montgomery for my Stone in a dynasty. Thoughts? Thanks Itch
I’d prefer Stone.
if there were to be a 101-200 group these likely in it, but if having to drop some amount of these, what is the order (my guess below is i’m ranking them best to worst, so opposite):
e.leonard, e.periera, k.robinson, w.diaz, h.perez
Hey Itch- is Pfaadt going to pitch for AZ this year? July? Earlier?
Howdy Powdered Toast Man,
Itch – need some full dynasty input w no yrs or $… I need 3b bad. Was offered Breg and Lauciano for my Elly and Riley Greene. Thoughts? I have Lawler as a future SS and Lindor now. I have lots of quality OF so Riley is movable. So is Elly gonna stick at SS or 3B? Is Bregman worth the few years? Or do I move towards a Jung or Miranda? Or trade a bag of Doritos for Rendon?
Always appreciate you and Greys input! Cheers!
Not Itch but I would hold on Elly and Greene as tight as I could.
Yeah I hear that… was leaning Breg for Eloy but that is now back seat… could maybe get Jung for a couple SPs. But may just play a fast start or pray Rojas starts hot. Have Soto Betts Yordan set so sorta why Eloy could for the right price or Greene is a good bait.
Thanks though for replying!
I would hold Elly.
I like the idea of moving Greene as the centerpiece for Jung.
Hello Itch. NL only keeper auction league, where prospects aren’t available to draft until the supplemental, so players like Carroll are already rostered up from last year. Assuming Jordan Walker makes the big club, who are your top three prospects to prioritize. I have the 2nd pick in our supplemental.
Elly and Chourio, if I’m reading this right.
I’m assuming Vargas and Tovar got snagged when promoted last year.
Thanks for these ST writeups, very useful!
A few D’back guys I’m keeping an eye on:
Yu-Min Lin do you think he has SP potential? Had an interesting stat line in Low A ball.
Blaze Alexander Is his bat going to play
Also Deyvison De Los Santos The bat seems to be making progress, but does he stick at 3B?
Yes, Lin has a pitch mix that works and repeats his delivery beautifully. Very high command ceiling.
Yeah he can hit RE Blaze and the Monster Machines. I wish Arizona played in more neutral parks coming up the chain, but he looks good.
I think DDLS can hang at third.
Definitely some interesting options in this division, decided to take a flier on Alek Thomas given how well he’s been hitting this spring. Do you think he does well enough to hang onto the CF job for this year at least? My only fear is that the bat doesn’t maintain, and the dbacks start to rearrange the outfield without him given their options. Especially if the Kyle Lewis acquisition rejuvenates his career.
I think they want to see Thomas take it.
But I agree that Lewis will be freight train coming for that job if healthy.
Thanks for the heads up on McGough, Itch. Our 20-team dynasty league is saves and holds as separate categories. My bullpen is Clase, Romero, Iglesias, Phillips, Swanson, Robert Suarez, and Matt Bush (tucked in an SP slot teehee). Would you swap out any of them for McGough? I’m probably good on saves, but I don’t want one of the other contenders to snag him.
Also, how bent would you be on moving Freddy KBB? I’ve been shopping him around and the return is looking pretty slim. I have too many SP but think I’m just gonna hold and let him sling it.
I’d swap Bush out for McGough.
Yeah I agree I’d hold Freddy if I can’t get any traction.
Dodgers have so many question marks this year. Batters 6-9 are merely average and sp injuries are just about guarranteed. This will be a fun season to watch how management deals with a not-nearly-perfect team.
This series of articles has been great. Thanks.
Agreed, I’m extremely curious about the Dodgers’ build.
lol, Itch, great article as always!!!, glad to see McGough in this list, we talked about him the other day, our favorite for closer’s job in Arizona.., the guys he’s competing with are set up guys plus Melancon , who’s done…, he was the closer for Championship Team in Japan , plus saved 69 games there the last 2 years.., The DBacks have a lot of success with pitchers coming from far east… I grabbed him late in multiple D&H leagues , happy to see you’re onboard.., You’re always my go to guy for unearthing fringe guys that end up winning leagues, the Tommy Edmans, Adolises Garcia, John Bertis of the world…, Cheers and good luck( you’re going to need a lot in that new league, lol) in your 2023 leagues….
I second that about helping me find guys before they are owned or bid on in faab. These articles are great.
and keepin my eye on OAK 1B Noda – LOL
Yeah that draft has been snipe city for me.
Sabol just got popped!
Good morning Itch!
I have a trade question for you, how highly do you think of Edward Cabrera? How much would you add to Orelvis Martinez, if anything, to get him?
Thanks for all your help!
Hi, Prawn Lord!
He’s interesting. I could another piece to Orelvis to make it happen. Something else in the Orelvis range.
Itch – fun series. I like these insights.
10 team home league, 6×6 with OBP and total bases, QS and SVHld. Head to head, daily. We keep 12 plus one prospect.
Gleyber, Gimenez, and Grissom are available in the draft. I think all three will go in the first round. I’m trying to convince myself on Grissom but I kind of like Gleyber. He’s still only 26. How do you rank the three? Here’s my keepers:
1B – Vinnie P
3B – Gunnar
SS – Trea
INF – Lindor
OF – Trout
OF – Springer
OF – Carroll
Utility – Jordan Walker
SP – Cole, Verlander, Kirby, McKenzie, Morton
Gimenez, Gleyber, Grissom at the moment.
Good morning Itch!! Outman or Garrett Mitchell? Thank you!
Mitchell at the moment.
a. Great report, man. As always but as we approach OD, manna from heaven. Of biblical proportions!
b. Intrigued by Honeywell, Grove and Sabol a lot! Who do you like best in a re-draft, who do you like best in a dynasty, if you could just choose one?
c. Jerry Seinfeld quote of the day for March 12, 2023
‘Stories about your children are not good stories. They’re not interesting, amusing, or relatable. […] That took me a long time to learn. And a lot– I have a lot of friends with kids that don’t know it: what happened with your kid this morning at breakfast is not funny.’
“Sunday Sitdown” Interview (2018)
b. I rarely leave a draft without Sabol. The ideal outcome is a near everyday player with catcher eligibility.
Hope life’s good on your end!
I ‘m competing in a dynasty league. I need to trim one more from my roster for a 4 rd supplemental draft. I tried moving marte but couldn’t get fair value. Which prospect would you throw back into the draft out of hence, espino or noelvi marte? I don’t want to hear it, but maybe I need validation to tell me espino. I heard he has the same injury that urias had. Maybe he will make it back, but others with that injury didn’t do so well. Thanks
Yeah smart money is probably Espino, especially considering he might be pretty easy to get back at the moment.