Brett Gardner (OF NYY) was able to beat out Melky Cabrera to start in CF for the Bombers. This is significant because Gardner as the ability to wipe 30 bags with regular playing time. Fantasy Advice: Pick this guy up off waivers in larger Roto leagues for his SB potential.
News out of Cleveland is that Kelly Shoppach is only going to start 2 or 3 days a week. This isn’t great news for a starting C. Fantasy Advice: Hold on to Shoppach because otherwise they are going to have to find Ryan Garko a spot in the lineup, this would not be the best option for the Indians. Shoppach should register more than 400 AB, plenty for a catcher.
Mark Teahen (OF KC) continues to rake and has even chipped in 3 SB with his 6 hr. Teahen has teased before, but some ballplayers take longer to develop. Fantasy Advice: Teahen is probably available in your leage. He could be a good pickup as a 4th outfielder.
Chris Davis (3B Tex) continues to put his slow start behind him. His batting average is up to .310 and Davis has 5hr to go with the lofty BAvg. He has slowed considerably in striking out, but still represents an awful 23K in 71AB, almost 33%!! Fantasy Advice: Look for Davis after the top 3B are off the board and expect 30hr.
Taylor Teargarden (C Tex). Taylor is currently a battle for a starting position with the big switch hitting Jarrod Saltalamachia. After a slow start Teargarden is beginning to make a case for himself; .297avg and 3hr. Fantasy Advice: As of right now the job goes to Saltalamacchia but Teargarden could take that spot via trade or by performing to the level we expect from him.
Brandon Inge (C Det) Very few people probably even realize Inge does qualify for catcher. Fantasy Advice: Any catcher who qualifies and hits 20hr has value.
Carl Crawford (OF TB) He’s baaaccckkkk. Crawford has swiped 7 bags this spring with only 1 caugt stealing. Fantasy Advice: Expect numbers around .285 12hr 40sb; lets hope Carl is all done dealing with leg injuries from last year.
Kansas City sent Luke Hochevar(SP) to the minors while giving Sidney Ponson (SP) a chance in the rotation. Neither warrant any fantasy consideration.
Over in Oakland Brad Ziegler (RP) is going to become a valuable fantasy asset in the absence of Joey Devine and his elbow trouble. Fantasy Advice: Add Ziegler in all large mixed or AL only leagues. Devine has never proved healthy and a visit to Dr. James Andrews is never positive.
Justin Verlander (SP Det) has a deceiving 2.30 era. Verlander has walked more batters (15) than he has struck out(14). Fantasy Advice: At this point Verlander is no higher than top 40, and that may be generous.
Kyle Davies (SP KC) is starting to get some praise by lot’s of baseball people. Davies is still young (25 years old) and has the ability to put up decent fantasy numbers, evident by last Septembers 4-1 2.27 era display. Fantasy Advice: In larger mixed leagues and AL-only leagues Davies now deserves consideration. He should not be a go to option at this point but may return reliable fantasy numbers in the future.
Watch out for Gavin Floyd (SP ChiW). Last year Floyd struck out only 145 batters; has 20 strike outs in 21 IP this spring. Floyd was once a can’t miss, monster prospect with the Phillies organization. He has a great knock out pitch, his knee buckling curve. If he keeps pounding the zone, getting ahead of hitters, he will rack up more strikeouts. Fantasy Advice: Coming into the season I had Floyd right around top 60, in light of his performance this spring, new contract, and good offensive team I am willing to bump him up a few spots to 45-50 range.
Jon Lester (SP Boston) continues to take steps toward ace material. More than a strike out per inning with a 1.72 era, on an offensive machine only makes Lester’s value more appealing. Fantasy Advice: You will be able to get tremendous value with this pick. He will be anywhere from the 15th-25th pitcher off the board on draft day. He might just pitch you a top 10 return as soon as this year.
Cliff Lee (SP Clev) has been getting pounded this spring. Lee has given up 37 hits in 16IP. I know spring stats don’t count for much but they counted for Cliff last year when he had a lights out spring. His control is still excellent which gives us a sigh of relief; somewhat. Fantasy Advice: I’m looking for Lee to take a step back this year but still put up respectable numbers. He is a top 30 pitcher at this point in my rankings.
Nick Adenhart (SP ANA) is the beneficiary of injuries to the Angels staff. With injuries to John Lackey, Ervin Santana and Kelvim Escobar, Adenhart now has the opportunity to start a few games for the Angles this April. If he pitches well, who knows what could happen from there. His spring stats are 3.26era 19IP 13/4 K/BB ratio. Fantasy Advice: Take a flier on Adenhart in larger mixed leagues, he has the ability to pitch himself into the rotation even as the other return from injuries.