No. 10 – This is why it’s
best to save your drafts until the very end of Spring Training. Early March
drafters of Ryan Madson, Joakim Soria, Chris Carpenter, Drew Storen, Salvador Perez,
etc. are noticeably mad. Careful what you say around them.
No. 9 – Michael Pineda’s not hurt, he’s fat and out of shape. Good cover-up
by the New York Yankees, though. Pineda owners, whenever he does return,
sell before his first outing.
No. 8 – Speaking of fat and out of shape, Asdrubal Cabrera showed up to camp that
way and has been terrible. The last time he did that was in 2008. And
2010. His average stats those seasons – 44 runs, five home runs, 38 RBI,
five stolen bases, and a .266 average. Run away.
No. 7 –
(hat tip to Baseball Sharks staff
writer Scott Martin for steering this bandwagon) Jeff Samardzija is on the
brink of a break out. Everything has always been there, except his control
(career walks per nine innings pitched – 5.3). This spring? One walk, total. Go
get him, now.
No. 6 – The best pitcher no one is talking about now, but will be all the buzz
by the end of April – Matt Harrison. His improvements last year were
legit, but weren’t so great that he became a hot name in draft season. That’s
going to change. I’m not one to usually put much stock in spring training,
but Harrison has turned the corner.
No. 5 – Before discussing this next guy, I mean it, I really don’t usually put
much stock in spring training. Except in the shallowest of leagues, go get Henry
Rodriguez now. Even if he doesn’t get save opportunities he is going to be a
strikeout machine and, like Jeff Samardzija, he seems to have harnessed his control.
It can only help that the only man standing in his way his the “Human ninth
inning meltdown himself,” Brad Lidge.
No. 4 – Speaking of meltdowns, as a heavy investor in Hanley Ramirez I
nervously await the first clash between him and Ozzie Guillen. A part of me
just hopes they get it out of the way Wednesday night. Entertainment and a
buy-low opportunity. A man can dream.
No. 3 – The more I look at what’s available on waivers in the infield vs.
outfield and pitching, the more I realize that every team needed to focus on
infield early in drafts. Even more than I realized. Before it’s too
late I urge you to trade a middling outfielder for an uninspiring backup at all
infield positions because if you don’t and you have a hole created in-season,
you’re screwed if you try to find the answer on waivers.
No. 2 – As a lifelong Detroit Tigers fan, this is a warning to all those who
have hopped on the bandwagon post Prince Fielder signing. Remember
2008. I’m not saying a repeat is in store; in fact, since several guys on
the club endured that awful season it may be even more reason to believe it won’t
happen. However, if there’s one situation you should not be patient given
a slow start it’s Detroit. Keep them on notice.
No. 1 – Is there a better sports day than Opening Day? That’s a rhetorical
question because we all know that answer is an emphatic no. Play ball!