Amidst all these early season bombs, head-scratching starts from ace pitchers, fantastic starts from what’s-their-names, platoon battles, and, ahem, an appendectomy – betwixt all the frenzy of the start of the season, we have the nuts and bolts issue of position eligibility to watch for. To try and make your life just a teensy bit easier this time of year, here are a few guys that are picking up eligibility in the very near future that might help plug a hole in your lineup.
He’s a second baseman in most formats, but is considered a second baseman and shortstop in Yahoo. However, in just about any format, he’s soon to become a third baseman, which could be a real boon for any of you stony CBS-ers and others with the corner infield slot to fill. In Yahoo, he’ll need 3 more starts or 7 more appearances at third. In ESPN, he will need 7 more appearances. In CBS he needs just 2 more games to qualify at 3b and CI.
It’s worth noting that although he’s a sworn enemy of the free pass, Aviles appears to be the leadoff hitter of choice in Kansas City, which will increase the number of at bats over the course of a full season and ought to positively impact his runs scored. Aviles has always had a pretty good bat, and should be able to provide a plus average to go along with 10-12 HR’s and 10-12 SB’s. Having a guy on your roster eligible at three infield positions can also be awfully handy.
Lopez appears to have won the gig at second base for the Colorado Rockies, which will soon give him dual eligibility at 3b and 2b. In Yahoo, he needs 3 more starts or 8 more appearances at second; in CBS he needs 3 more appearances at second; in ESPN, he needs 8 more appearances. So depending on your format, he will either be eligible later this week or mid-week next week. Same note as Aviles, Lopez will help anyone with middle infield and corner infield positions as he could potentially fill either and in becoming eligible at 2b, he probably sneaks somewhere into a respectable tier, and may very well start for your squad – even standard 12 team leagues. It’s been well documented that Lopez has a swing nicely suited for Coors, and most projections foresee a pretty respectable contribution for him in four categories.
With Evan Longoria on the shelf for up to three weeks, expect Rodriguez to add third base to his eligibility. He has started one game and appeared in another at third, so he will only need 4 more starts or 8 games in Yahoo, just 3 appearances in CBS, and 8 appearances in ESPN. He’s eligible at 2b/OF in all three formats, so the addition of 3b will give him added corner infield eligibility, and quite nice versatility all around. You’re probably well versed enough at this point in his upside, and if you can stomach a middling batting average, he could be a cheap source of power while he’s got regular playing time.
Two long timers at the 6 have crossed the bag, so to speak, as both Orlando Cabrera and Jack Wilson have been shifted to second base. It would be worth writing up Jack Wilson if his offense weren’t a total black hole, so let’s just focus on Cabrera, who just might be useful. He has SS eligibility now (duh) but should qualify in your league at 2b in about the same time frame as the gentlemen above. He appears to be sticking in the 6-7 slot in the order, so temper expectations on runs, but it might create a few more RBI opportunities. Chances are he’s more valuable to you as a SS, but having the extra versatility to slot over to second might just make him a decent pickup in more shallow leagues.
Lastly, it probably goes without saying but Kevin Youkilis and Chone Figgins become third basemen in a matter of days. One guy to keep an eye on if you’re in need of a 2b is Michael Young as he recently got a start there and if there’s enough tinkering with the lineup to keep Ian Kinsler fresh enough to avoid the DL, Young might qualify at his old digs sometime before June.
Michael was born in Massachusetts and grew up in the Seattle area but had nothing to do with the Heathcliff Slocumb trade although Boston fans are welcome to thank him. You can find him on twitter at @michaelcbarr.