For those of you that don’t know me, I am one of the newest writers to Rotographs and I was bestowed the honor of being the fill-in for this marvelous series. If you have read my work, whether here or on my other site, I will attempt to offer some of my usual flair while obviously being a tad bit more serious here than I am in the intros on my weekly pieces or podcast. Big thanks to Eno and Paul for bringing me aboard, Zach for tolerating me, and to David Wiers for vacating his parking spot.
On today’s agenda:
- Ruben Tejada signs with the Cardinals
- Lucas Giolito’s arrival
- Garrett Richards hits 100
- Wed, Bed, Behead
Ruben Tejada signs with the Cardinals
Tejada signed a one-year Major League deal with St. Louis on Friday. Sure, Tejada probably has little to no value outside of the deepest leagues (hooray for NL Only owners!), but this could hurt the short-term boost in value of Jedd Gyorko, who was to receive with Jhonny Peralta on the shelf to start the season. In NL Only, Tejada is worth $1 at the end of an auction, especially if you have rostered Peralta or Jung-ho Kang.
Lucas Giolito’s arrival
According to Jayson Stark of ESPN, one MLB scout said that “something would have to go wrong” for Giolito not be pitching for the Nationals by June. Considered one of the top prospects in baseball, Giolito offers two plus pitches and a third with plus potential. I think the June timetable is hasty considering Dusty Baker’s penchant to prefer veterans to youth and the Nationals history of babying young pitchers that have received Tommy John (i.e. Jordan Zimmerman). Giolito only pitched 117 inning last year between High A and Double A, so even if we did see him in the Majors this season I doubt he would be given enough innings to make a serious impact.
Yasmany Tomas vs. Socrates Brito
Yasmany Tomas returned on Friday from nagging knee pain to go 3-for-3 against the Dodgers. Tomas, who needs a big spring to hold off Socrates Brito, hit .208/.228/.325 in the second half. Brito, who has one of the best names in the Major Leagues, has been crushing the ball this spring, hitting .412/.444/.618 in 34 at bats. If I was a betting man, and I am, I would be putting my money on Brito to, at worst, get the strong-side of the platoon with Tomas. Brito has an ADP of 554.03 on NFBC and is over 300 picks after Tomas. Brito has enough power to be respected by pitchers and the speed to make a difference in virtually every format (20+ stolen bases in each of the last three seasons.) He is worth a pick up or last round pick even in mixed leagues.
Brantley made his spring debut on Saturday, going 1-for-3 with a 2-run home run. He has been recovering from shoulder surgery since November, but is optimistic that he can be ready for opening day. Personally, I have never been much of a Brantley fan and was definitely out on him considering he was still going as the 30th outfielder off of the board on NFBC (105.71 overall.) While I am no doctor, I would worry that this appears to be pretty hasty as initial reports had him out as late as August. The home run is encouraging that maybe the shoulder injury won’t affect his power too much, but I would rather spend my 8th round pick on someone I feel a little more confident will stay healthy through the season.
In other Indians news, Carlos Carrasco and Corey Kluber look to be in midseason form in their latest spring starts. Carrasco gave up two runs in his latest start, but did not walk anyone while striking out five. Kluber struck out four with only one walk in four scoreless innings. Both should be in line for great seasons with an improved Indians defense behind them.
Garrett Richards hits 100
In my Bold Predictions article, I said that Richards will win the Cy Young, so it is nice to see that he is already dialing up the velocity. According to Pitchf/x, Richards sat around 95.5 last year with the fastball. So far this spring, he has pitched 9.2 innings with seven strikeouts and only two walks. While his ERA and WHIP have not been great, none of his runs allowed were home runs, which is encouraging. I am looking forward to big things from Richards this season. He is currently going just inside the top 30 pitchers on NFBC which is nice value for your number two pitcher and amazing if he is your third.
Wed, Bed, Behead
Ok, I said I would be a tad more serious. On my podcast, we play a silly little game (invented for the podcast by my wife) every once in awhile that goes by a different (and much more explicit) name. However, Zach said I could institute a PG version here. We look at three similar players and decide who we would Wed, Bed and Behead.
Tyler Goeddel, OF, PHI: Goeddel was the first overall pick in the Rule 5 draft. The injury to Aaron Altherr opens the door for him to take the LF job and run with it. Cody Asche is obviously not the answer. While I actually like the other two guys as well, right now Goeddel has the clearest path to playing time and is on a team that has few options to replace him.
Joey Rickard, OF, BAL: Rickard currently leads the Orioles in at bats, stolen bases, and stolen base attempts. Baltimore is clearly giving him the opportunity to show he belongs and so far he is succeeding with a .341/.413/.512 line in 17 spring games. Hyun-soo Kim’s struggles this spring only help Rickard’s value. He could be very Jarrod Dyson-esque.
Jabari Blash, OF, SD: This is not to say I dislike Jabari, but I don’t see a path to playing time. We know that Blash can mash, but he is going to strike out a ton. He could be Chris Carter or he could be Kyle Blanks. It is hard to tell at this point. I would still stash him in deeper formats, but I wouldn’t expect a breakout necessarily.
If you are interested in listening to the extremely profane, explicit, NSFW version of this game, you can hear it here: Preseason MFK.
Justin is the co-host on The Sleeper and The Bust Podcast and writes for Rotographs covering the Roto Riteup as well as random topics that float into his juvenile brain. In addition to his work at Rotographs, Justin is the lead fantasy writer/analyst and co-owner for FriendswithFantasyBenefits.com, owner of The Great Fantasy Baseball Invitational, and a fantasy football and baseball writer for Fantasy Alarm. He is also a certified addiction treatment counselor. Follow Justin on Twitter @JustinMasonFWFB.