D.J. Short

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Thursday, April 05, 2012




AL-ONLY

Drew Smyly SP, Tigers (Yahoo: N/A, ESPN: 0.3 percent)

The Tigers were considering a host of names for the fifth spot in the starting rotation, but Smyly ended up getting the nod after posting a 4.00 ERA and 14/7 K/BB ratio over 18 innings this spring. While not as highly-regarded as fellow prospect Jacob Turner, the 22-year-old southpaw thrived in his first year of pro ball by posting a 2.07 ERA and 130/36 K/BB ratio over 126 innings between High-A Lakeland and Double-A Erie last season. The 2010 second-round pick isn't a hard-thrower, mostly sitting in the high-80s to low-90s, but is pretty polished for a pitcher with so little pro experience. He's not slated to make his major league debut until April 12 against the Rays, but he could surprise with the powerful Detroit offense behind him.

Chris Parmelee 1B, Twins (Yahoo: 3 percent owned, ESPN: 0.6 percent)

While Parmelee impressed in a small sample last September, it appeared that he would open this season with Triple-A Rochester unless Justin Morneau had a setback with his concussion symptoms. However, Morneau's recent declaration that he would prefer to be a designated hitter has thrust Parmelee into the starting first base job. I'm not sold that the 2006 first-round pick will end up being anything more than a platoon player in the long-term, as he has traditionally performed much better against right-handed pitching than southpaws, but he's worth the gamble with the clear path to early playing time.

NL-ONLY

Tyler Colvin OF, Rockies (Yahoo: 0 percent owned, ESPN: 0.2 percent)

You may have noticed that popular sleeper Dexter Fowler batted just .149 with a 17/3 K/BB ratio over 67 at-bats during Cactus League play. I wouldn't normally bring this up since spring statistics are mostly meaningless, but it's worth noting that the Rockies have a lengthy history of jerking him around. If he gets off to a slow start, it wouldn't be shocking to see Colvin steal some playing time. Keep in mind that Colvin batted .150 over 222 plate appearances with the Cubs last year while striking out 26.1 percent of the time, so he's no lock for success, but he did sock 20 homers in 2010. Hitting in Coors Field can only help his chances at a rebound.

Juan Francisco 3B, Braves (Yahoo: 1 percent owned, ESPN: 0.2 percent)

Desperate for some extra depth following Chipper Jones' latest knee surgery, the Braves picked up Francisco from the Reds over the weekend for right-hander J.J. Hoover. Things haven't really changed much for Francisco in his new locale, as he has essentially traded in backing up one old, injury-prone third baseman for another. The early word is that Jones could return before the Braves' home opener on April 13, but I have a feeling this won't be his only DL-stint this season. Francisco's pop from the left side of the plate could surprise.



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D.J. Short is a Rotoworld baseball editor and contributes to NBCSports.com's Hardball Talk blog. You can also find him on Twitter.
Email :D.J. Short



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