Welcome back! Today marks the first Roto Riteup of the 2014 season with yours truly. Just like last season as well as 2012, Zach Sanders and I will be bringing you relevant fantasy baseball tidbits from the previous day.
On the agenda:
1. David Freese’s RBI chances
2. Addison Reed officially named closer
3. Jose Iglesias could miss the entire season
4. Los Angeles Dodgers lineup notes
David Freese’s RBI chances
The struggles of Josh Hamilton against left-handed pitchers is no secret and the Los Angeles Angels may be doing something about it. Yesterday Angels manager Mike Scioscia was quoted as saying “We’re going to work around the middle at times until we get it settled…” Coincidentally, the Angels faced a left-handed starter and it was Freese, not Hamilton penciled in at the clean up spot. For his career, the right-handed hitting Freese has crushed opposite handed pitching to the tune of a .312/.377/.465 line, good for a 134 wRC+. If anyone is need of RBI or just a useful third baseman, Freese is a decent fantasy option. He is available in 54% of Yahoo! leagues, 60% of CBS formats and 79% of ESPN leagues.
Addison Reed officially named closer
It shouldn’t be a big surprise, but yesterday the Arizona Diamondbacks formally announced Addison Reed will be opening the season as their closer. Reed had been in competition with the D-backs closer from last year, J.J. Putz, for the closer gig. Should Reed falter, Putz is most likely the next in line. Even in a setup role, Putz’s strikeout rate makes him useful in deeper leagues.
Jose Iglesias could miss the entire season
With stress fractures in both shins, team doctors for the Detroit Tigers have advised Iglesias to be limited to non-weight-bearing activities for at least four months. The team will re-evaluate Iglesias at that point, however club general manager Dave Domrbowski said “Perhaps he’ll be back late in the year. But in my thought process, that’s more unlikely than likely at this time.” He then went on to emphasize that for now, the Tigers are looking at internal replacements.
Signing current free agent Stephen Drew is a popular theory, but one that the Tigers front office has continually denied. At this point the Tigers are focusing on in-house options such as backup infielders Steve Lombardozzi and Hernan Perez and minor leaguer Eugenio Suarez. None of those names invoke thoughts of fantasy relevance, though Suarez and his bat is the most interesting option as his upside is the highest.
Los Angeles Dodgers lineup notes
The Dodgers announced their opening night lineup and they plan on hitting Yasiel Puig leadoff. This is good news for his steals potential, though his RBI numbers may take a dip hitting atop the lineup. Puig should hang on to his leadoff spot even after the return of Carl Crawford.
In the same announcement, skipper Don Mattingly said that Justin Turner will be the starting second baseman against left-handed pitchers. Mattingly did not specifically cite a platoon between Turner and Dee Gordon at the keystone, though that situation is expected. With Gordon lined up to be on the larger side of the platoon plus his speed, rostering Gordon is acceptable. He is available in over 80% of both ESPN and Yahoo! leagues as well as 70% of CBS leagues.
You can catch David spouting off about baseball, soccer, esports and other things by following him on twitter, @davidwiers.