Drew Silva

Spring Training Daily

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Well, Well, Wells

Monday, March 25, 2013

One week from today, we’ll have nearly a full slate of real, important baseball games to watch and analyze and actually enjoy.


For now, the longest spring training ever rolls on.

If you’re looking to set up a custom league or want to join a public one, you can do no better than the free platform Yahoo! provides. And if you're seeking even more in-depth fantasy analysis, check out our award-winning 2013 Rotoworld Online Draft Guide. It's loaded with tools and updated constantly to help you dominate your league.



Yankees Hit With More Bad News


The Yankees had a rough weekend. Derek Jeter felt renewed discomfort in his surgically-repaired left ankle on Sunday morning after serving as the DH in a minor league game Saturday afternoon and has been ruled out for the start of the 2013 campaign. The Yankees are expected to place him on the 15-day disabled list, but his stint can be backdated so that he’s available on April 6 for the fifth game of the regular season. Eduardo Nunez will fill in at shortstop in the early going. If Jeter’s problems persist and Nunez gets enough playing time, the 25-year-old’s ability to steal bases will make him relevant in standard mixed fantasy leagues.


And then there’s this Vernon Wells trade. The Yankees are desperate for power bats with Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez and Curtis Granderson all on the shelf, so they decided to pay $13 million of the $42 million that is owed to Wells over the next two seasons to lure him away from Anaheim. That’s a large chunk of money for a guy who has batted .222 with a .258 on-base percentage in 791 plate appearances since the start of the 2011 campaign. Wells hits home runs and will see a significant boost in playing time with the move to New York, so he might be worth trying as a third fantasy outfielder in a deep format. But he’s no savior.



Twins Name Hicks To Starting Outfield


Twins manager Ron Gardenhire announced Sunday at Twins camp in Fort Myers, Florida that prospect Aaron Hicks is going to open the 2013 season as the team’s starting center fielder. It’s an exciting development for Twins fans and it makes Hicks a sudden fantasy sleeper.


The 23-year-old former first-round pick batted .286/.384/.460 with 13 home runs, 61 RBI and 32 stolen bases in 129 games last summer at Double-A New Britian. The power probably won’t transfer quickly to the major leagues -- especially considering he’ll be playing his home games at the cavernous Target Field -- but Hicks is worth trying as a third outfielder in deep mixed leagues because of his steals. He will probably bat leadoff in front of the Twins’ 3-4 combo of Joe Mauer and Josh Willingham, so the run total should be strong as well.


Hicks is batting .304/.359/.607 with four home runs, three stolen bases and 15 RBI in 17 games this spring.



Miller In Lead For Cards’ Final Rotation Spot


Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Sunday morning that top pitching prospect Shelby Miller “has the lead” over Joe Kelly in the race for the final spot in the Cardinals’ starting rotation. Miller will start on Monday against the Twins in Fort Myers and will be followed in relief by Kelly. After that game, Cards manager Mike Matheny is expected to officially announce a winner.


Our readers should be rooting for Miller because he carries far more fantasy upside. The 22-year-old right-hander posted a sparkling 1.32 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and 16/4 K/BB ratio over his first 13 2/3 major league innings last season and then joined the Cardinals for their playoff run. He boasts a hard fastball, a sharp curve, and a burgeoning mound presence. The youngster also had an 11.1 career K/9 in the minors, and should continue to rack up strikeouts at a decent pace as a starter in the bigs.

The loser of the Cardinals’ fifth-starter competition is expected to fill a long relief role. Kelly suits that much better.

Drew Silva is a baseball editor for Rotoworld and also contributes on NBC Sports' Hardball Talk. He can be found on Twitter.
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