The imaginary gunshots have been fired into the sky to
signal the beginning of the baseball season. After an offseason chock-full of
pandemonium, including the blockbuster acquisitions of Prince Fielder and
Albert Pujols, season-ending injuries to several stars, and sale of the Los
Angeles Dodgers to the Magic Johnson Group, Opening Day cannot arrive any
sooner. I look forward to the opportunity of leading the
into victory in the
Sports Trade Association
. I have provided commentary on several of my key
players and waiver adds, which you may also own on your teams. Hopefully our
players will be blessed with healthy productive seasons.
Spring Thoughts: My team performed well for the most part this spring. Here are
some highlights of several key performers.
Joe Mauer – A .358 average and 13 runs batted in this spring. The power
stroke has not arrived, but at least positive signs of health and consistency.
Lance Berkman – Berkman may not be hammering the ball over the
fences this spring, but is hitting .324 and claims his knees are finally healthy.
Although I wish I had taken a first baseman earlier in the draft, Berkman
showed last season that he still has gasoline left in the tank.
Solid spring with five home runs, 15 runs batted in, and a .333 average for the
Los Angeles Angels sophomore. Manager Mike Scioscia has guaranteed more
than 40 starts at third base, which will lead to added eligibility and
value. If he can duplicate his 2011 numbers in a much more potent lineup,
Trumbo may have been a steal.
Andrew McCutchen – McCutchen appears strong out of the gate with four
home runs, 12 runs batted in and four stolen bases while batting .304. My
only concern for this season will be the lackluster offense hitting around the
Chris Young – Apparently, old dogs can learn new tricks as we saw last
season when Curtis Granderson adjusted his swing. Young has tinkered with this
batting stance this spring and already noticed positive results. He ended
spring with five home runs, seven runs batted in, three stolen bases and a .407
Alfonso Soriano – Most people will dismiss Soriano’s scorching spring
which included six home runs, 16 runs batted in and a .314 average. Considering
the veteran will be batting fifth in the order and seems to be healthy, he may
be the best the Chicago Cubs’ most prolific bat this season.
Roy Halladay – Halladay owned a 5.73 earned run average this spring, but
no reason to worry given his track record. On the bright side, his strikeout
per nine inning statline – 27 strikeouts in 22 innings (1.23 strikeouts per
inning) is also worth noting.
Adam Wainwright – The St. Louis ace has returned with a vengeance
this spring. Owners should still hold concern, but feel much more confident
after a 1.45 earned run average through 18 innings.
Andrew Bailey – After losing Joakim Soria, I was initially concerned
with Bailey’s thumb injury. Concern has now evolved into worried. It has been
announced that Bailey will need surgery and is out 3-4 months.
Waiver Adds: The first
Free Agents Acquisition Budgets
) draft may be the most important of the
season. It offers the opportunity to remove irrelevant or injured players for a
few valuable additions. After losing Joakim Soria, I hoped to win Sean Marshall
or Jonathan Broxton. Marshall ended up costing $317, which was much more than I
planned to spend. I should have spent more trying to grab Broxton especially
after the delayed start for Andrew Bailey.
Raul Ibanez – Ibanez did not have jaw-dropping numbers this spring, but
should have plenty of opportunities to produce in a potent New York Yankees’
lineup as designated hitter and backup outfielder.
Cody Ross – Ross has attempted to win over Boston with a hot spring
batting .372 with six home runs and 16 runs batted in. He will be playing
full-time with Carl Crawford sidelined and is likely to continue as long as he
Chris Parmelee – Spring training stud or fluke? Parmelee is in line to
start at first base for Minnesota while Justin Morneau handles designated hitter
duties. Parmelee posted five home runs, 13 runs batted in, and a .277 average
Well, here goes everything!