In a story that may have little to do with fantasy baseball on the surface, the Dodgers (along with their stadium) have finally been sold, so the organization can finally put the Frank McCourt era to bed and move on with their future. The new owners are a group led by former Laker Magic Johnson, baseball exec Stan Kasten and global financial services firm Guggenheim Partners, according to MLB.com.
But does this have something to do with fantasy baseball after all? We know Matt Kemp and Clayton Kershaw are stellar, but the team as a whole underachieved last year, winning 82 games and finishing third in the division despite the presence of the league’s MVP and Cy Young winners. The sale of the team was surely a distraction for many of the players, and now the organization can start working on a plan that doesn’t involve paying Juan Uribe $9 million a year to play third.
On the whole, this has to be a positive development for Dodgers players in fantasy, though I wouldn’t really adjust the value of anyone based solely on the news.
The Red Sox made the expected decision at shortstop, tabbing Mike Aviles as the starter and sending Jose Iglesias back to the minors to work on his hitting. While Iglesias’s glove would have been nice to have for Red Sox pitchers, the youngster had zero upside in fantasy leagues this year. Aviles, however, is a guy that’ll soon qualify at 2B, 3B and SS, can post a nice power/speed mixture in his fantasy line, and ohbytheway could hit leadoff for the team. He’s certainly a worthy MI play in leagues right out of the gate.
Talk to the Hannahan
Another position battle was decided yesterday, and fantasy owners will likely be a little more shocked at the winner. Lonnie Chisenhall, who hit .255 with seven HRs in 212 at-bats in his first major-league action last year, was sent to Triple-A Columbus, leaving Jack Hannahan as the starter in Cleveland. While the younger guy has the better bat for fantasy purposes, it makes perfect sense to go with Hannahan’s superior glove at the hot corner when the rotation is filled with ground-ball savants. If you drafted Chisenhall already, I wouldn’t wait around for him. Find another spring fling.
Casey Not at the Bat
The Rockies cut ties with Casey Blake, who was the complete opposite of impressive this spring after entering this season as the expected starter at 3B. That role now is expected to go to Jordan Pacheco, who by contrast is having a terrific spring, with a .405/.468/.595 line in 42 at-bats. However, he hasn’t shown much power or speed in the minors and should remain on most fantasy waiver wires in Week 1. Chris Nelson could also get some PT, but both will clear the way for Nolan Arenado eventually.
Rays Rotation Set
The Tampa Bay Rays settled on a fifth starter Tuesday, announcing that Jeff Niemann has made the rotation while Wade Davis would pitch in the bullpen. It’s a move that makes sense, considering Niemann struck out 2.84 batters for every guy he walked last year and Davis posted a subpar 1.67 K/BB ratio. With Niemann secure in his rotation spot, the Rays could have the best rotation in baseball one through five this year.
Yankees outfielder Curtis Granderson is scheduled for an MRI on his right elbow today after missing Tuesday’s game. It doesn’t sound too serious yet, but it’s definitely not something you want to hear in the final week of March about your OF1. His value holds steady till we know more.
Cincinnati fans and fantasy owners worldwide (myself included) had a little scare today when Mat Latos was forced from his game early due to injury. However, the team has said it’s just a calf strain for the ace, who is expected to make his next scheduled start despite the injury. And we can all let out our collective breath.
Lines of the Day
Eric Hosmer: 2-for-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 0 BB
Mike Napoli: 2-for-3, 3 R, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB
Freddie Freeman: 2-for-2, 3 R, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 2 BB
Michael Bourn: 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 1 SB
Brandon Phillips: 4-for-6, 0 R, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0 BB
Ian Kinsler: 3-for-3, 3 R, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1 BB, 1 SB
Brent Morel: 2-for-3, 2 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 0 BB
Yasmani Grandal: 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB
Jeremy Hermida: 2-for-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 0 BB
Brian Bogusevic: 2-for-3, 3 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB
Cliff Lee: 6 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K
Josh Beckett: 5 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 5 K
Kyle Drabek: 5 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K
R.J. White is the head editor at the Cafe, writes for FanDuel and has previously written for FanHouse and Razzball. Catch up with him in the forums under the name daullaz. Follow him on Twitter; don't follow him in real life.
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