It’s almost the weekend, which means it’s almost Opening Day! If you and your friends are anything like me, you have a draft tomorrow because scheduling is hard. Some slow drafts — including one of mine — figure to wrap up Sunday. I hope.
Rusney Castillo to the minors
Yesterday the Boston Red Sox cleared up the outfield logjam. The club sent down Castillo as well as Jackie Bradley Jr. to Triple-A Pawtucket, thus giving Shane Victorino the right field job, at least to begin the season. If you’ve already drafted him, be sure to hang on to Castillo and not sell low. While an injury to the outfield might open up playing time, with Allen Craig, Brock Holt and Daniel Nava all able to play the corners — at least to some degree — Castillo could still remain the odd man out. In keeper and dynasty formats Castillo should still be worth the investment, but counting on 2015 being his breakout season is looking like it may leave some disappointed.
Coco Crisp to the disabled list
The Oakland A’s will lose their starting left fielder for six-to-eight weeks in the wake of upcoming elbow surgery. The procedure to remove bone chips and spurs is yet to happen, however the club announced surgery is needed. With Crisp and Josh Reddick both opening the season on the DL, expect Billy Burns to get some starts. Burns’ bat struggled in the upper minors, but his speed remained a threat. From 2013-14 — including time at High-A, Double and Triple-A — Burns stole over 50 bases while being caught a mere seven times in both seasons. Despite his undeniable speed, Burns may not have too long of a time to get up and running as Reddick figures to return in mid-April at the latest. Presuming Reddick’s return is on time, Burns will likely be sent down as the A’s have enough speed with Craig Gentry and Sam Fuld.
Thoughts on Nate Karns
After coming into spring training as bit of a longshot, Karns now finds himself slotted in the Tampa Bay Rays rotation. Karns has shown an ability to miss bats in both Double and Triple-A, posting 28% and 24.5% strikeout rates respectively. He does have issues with the long ball as his 16 home runs allowed last season was tied for eighth most in the International League. The dinger woes followed him to the majors as in Karn’s two start, 12 inning cup of coffee in the bigs last season, he surrendered a trio of home runs with all three coming at home. Overall Tropicana fares quite well in suppressing home runs, as the 94 HR index last year was tied for eighth lowest in baseball. Given how well Karns can generate strikeouts plus a home park that should help keep fly balls in the yard, he makes for a great pickup. His ownership between CBS, Yahoo! and ESPN isn’t above 6% combined and for a starter with upside, Karns should be at minimum streamed in every format.
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