News, Analysis & UpdatesMarch 30, 2012

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The Deal: Smokin’ Cuban

By R.J. White

Oh, so you weren’t buying the Yoenis Cespedes stock this year? You thought he was overvalued? Well, he flashed his upside in the second game of the season, depositing a Shawn Kelley pitch over the left-center wall for a two-run homer to give the A’s the lead for good. He went 1-for-3 in each game, with three of his four outs being strikeouts. Obviously, that last little bit about the strikeouts is a problem, one he’ll have to correct to reach his potential. Still, for one early, early morning, he cashed in.

The Athletics received a gem from Bartolo Colon, who pitched eight one-run innings to lead the A’s to a 4-1 win. Colon gave up just three hits and a walk with his 86 pitches, while Grant Balfour posted a one-two-three ninth for the save. Colon is definitely usable in the right matchups (mostly at home), while Balfour is still probably being undervalued in your league. You may want to do a price check. In addition to Cespedes, Josh Reddick, Jonny Gomes and Justin Smoak also went fukai in Game 2 of the season.

Feeling Grand

Curtis Granderson, my top outfielder in my main dynasty league, scared us a bit when he needed an MRI on his elbow, but things checked out fine and he was able to DH on Thursday, tallying one hit in four at-bats. Cross your fingers that he doesn’t have a setback today, but it looks like he’ll be ready for the Yankees’ first game.

On Sale

Chris Sale is poised for a huge year, as the 2010 13th overall pick transitions into the starting rotation. The lefty had it working against the Dodgers on Thursday (who, to be fair, have spent the last 48 hours making it rain in the clubhouse ), striking out seven in six innings while allowing four hits and no walks. He’s up to 22 Ks against two BBs in 24 innings. This is a spring performance I expect to carry over in full in 2012.

Angel With Wings (Maybe)

Bobby Abreu clearly isn’t in line for a lot of playing time with the Angels this year, and it looked like the Angels had finally found someone to take the veteran off their hands. However, a proposed trade to the Indians that appeared to be happening is now in a state of flux. Abreu obviously has a lot more value in Cleveland, but I wouldn’t expect much from him either way.

Who’s on First? Minnesota Edition

Justin Morneau is going to spend most of his time at DH early in the season, leaving first base open for the Twins and Ryan Doumit without a normal role. Instead of just playing Doumit at first, the Twins are expected to give Chris Parmalee a look. The 24 year old is hitting .269 with three HRs in 52 at-bats this spring, and he’s struck out 11 times while walking six times. Doumit should still find a spot on most days, and I still like him as a second catcher this year.

Yu Better Get Ready For “Yu” Puns

The Rangers announced that Yu Darvish would make his regular season debut on Monday, April 9. In a related note, my scheduled has just been cleared off for Monday, April 9. Owners in weekly lineup leagues are likely getting this news too late to bench Darvish in the prolonged Week 1 that ends April 8, but if not, be sure you get a start from someone else.

Spring Lines of the Day

Albert Pujols: 4-for-4, 1 R, 3 RBI
Matt Kemp: 0-for-4, 4 K
Eric Hosmer: 3-for-4, 2 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI
Erick Aybar: 3-for-4, 2 R, 1 SB
Ben Revere: 1-for-4, 3 R, 2 BB, 2 SB
Anthony Gose: 0-for-3, 2 R, 1 BB, 4 SB
Brian Dinkleman: 3-for-4, 2 R, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 BB, 1 SB
Beau Mills: 3-for-3, 2 R, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB
Cole Hamels: 5.2 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K
James McDonald: 3.2 IP, 7 H, 10 ER, 7 BB, 1 K
Matt Thornton: 1 IP, 2 K, Save

Bottom of the 9th

The Royals appear to be favoring Jon Broxton in the closer race over Greg Holland, which may be a case of keeping their best reliever in more high-leverage situations. Broxton’s strikeout pitches have been working this spring, as he’s tallied seven punchouts in six innings. Even if he winds up with the first save chance, I think Holland deserves a roster spot in all leagues, both for elite peripherals and save potential.

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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