Astros’ closer Brandon Lyon was utterly pitiful as he gave up three runs on six hits in 1/3 of an inning. Lyon wasn’t one of the better closing options entering the season and things just got a little shakier. Keep an eye on Wilton Lopez as he should be next in line for the closers role in Houston.
The Phillies’ John Mayberry had a nice spring hitting .294 with five home runs and four stolen bases as he made a push to make the team. On Friday he came off the bench for a pinch-hit game winning single. It may only be a matter of time before he gets regular at-bats.
Those in shallow leagues should keep an eye on Cubs’ shortstop Starlin Castro. Castro was 3-for-5 in Friday’s opener. During the off season Castro decided to partake in Cubs’ outfielder Tyler Colvin’s workout regimen. A regimen that Colvin started prior to the 2010 season that lead to 20 homeruns in 358 at-bats during the 2010 season. Castro had a great spring in which he hit .348 along with four home runs to lead the Cubs. Castro’s power appears to be arriving sooner than many thought.
WHITE SOX 15
In a game that looked more like a slow-pitch softball game than a major league baseball game it’s hard to take anything of value away. The game had 25 runs and 35 hits and saw every starter except for Alex Rios of the White Sox and Austin Kearns of the Indians get a hit.
One thing of interest is that White Sox reliever Chris Sale gave up two hits in 1/3 of an inning. Matt Thornton will need to falter for Sale to have any chance at the closer’s role, but in the mean time, Sale will need to right the ship.
RED SOX 5
No need to sweat Jon Lester’s terrible outing on Friday as he had a 4.71 ERA through five starts in March and April of 2010.
Daniel Bard, who is supposed to be next in line behind Jonathan Papelbon, gave up four earned runs in 2/3 of an inning. Make sure to keep Bobby Jenks on your radar for possible saves.
Julio Borbon got the start in center field and subsequently ran into right fielder Nelson Cruz causing a routine fly ball to drop thus committing his first error of the season. David Murphy pinch-hit for Borbon later in the game and homered. Keep Murphy on your radar as Rangers’ manager Ron Washington has not been happy with Borbon’s defense or mental preparedness.
Owned in only 5% of Yahoo leagues, Rockies right fielder Seth Smith batted second and went 3-for-6. Batting ahead of Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki he has some nice sleeper potential.
J.J. Putz got the save for Arizona pitching a perfect 11th inning while striking out two. If only he could stay healthy.
BLUE JAYS 13
Blue Jays’ catcher J.P. Arencibia, who had a miserable spring hitting .161 with only one home run in 62 at-bats, got off to a great start by hitting two home runs and driving in five. Arencibia needs to be owned in two catcher leagues and should be rostered in larger leagues. His power is legit, but he will drag your batting average down. I can deal with that from my catcher.
Good news for owners of Brian Roberts as he made it through the game without getting hurt.
Orioles’ pitcher Jeremy Guthrie was just downright filthy as he allowed only four base runners while striking out six in eight innings of work.
The biggest news out of this game is that Marlins’ outfielder Mike Stanton had to leave in the fifth inning due to some mild tightness in his left hamstring. The Marlins don’t believe the injury to be serious. I am fully invested in Stanton this year and would not be surprised if he hit 35-plus home runs.
I know that we’re only one game into the season, but feel free to throw Stanton’s owner a low-ball offer…you never know.
Carlos Beltran got the start in right field for the Mets and was able to play a full nine innings.
After hitting .343 with six home runs and four stolen bases during spring training I climbed on board the Alex Gordon bandwagon. I was able to get him late in drafts and his upside is huge. After just missing a three-run homer on Thursday Gordon bounced back with two hits in four at-bats on Friday. Gordon is probably sitting on your waiver wire and is more than capable of providing 20 home runs and 15 stolen bases at the cost of a mouse click.
Royals first baseman Kila Ka’aihue proved that his torrid spring wasn’t a fluke. Ka’aihue hit .397 with seven home runs and 20 RBI during the spring and showed on Friday that his power is for real as he hit a walk-off home run. Ka’aihue has no business being on the waiver wire in any league.
Per the MLB Network, Billy Butler has at least one hit in his last 104 consecutive series dating back to April 10, 2009.
Trevor Cahill couldn’t get out of the fourth inning despite striking out eight batters as he walked four and threw 105 pitches in 4 2/3 innings.
The A’s Josh Willingham went 1-for-3 with a home run and is flying under the radar in most leagues. If you could use some power, he’s your man.
It looks like Ichiro is going to run and run and run this year. He attempted three stolen bases on Friday, successfully swiping two. Rumors of his demise may have been a bit premature.
Jonathan Broxton pitched a perfect ninth inning for his second save of the season.
Giants’ first baseman Brandon Belt hit his first home run of the season and should contend for NL rookie of the year.
Jim Bukowski is a staff writer for BaseballSharks.com and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.