Justin Maxwell tripled twice, Bud Norris pitched well and Rick Ankiel slugged a pinch-hit three-run homer as the Astros beat the Rangers 8-2 on Sunday night in the first game of the 2013 regular season. Baseball is back, baby. And so too is Rotoworld’s Baseball Daily Dose.
This column will go up every weekday morning from now until October. It’s a recap of the previous day’s news with a fantasy twist, written by various members of the Rotoworld Baseball staff. He’s our five-man starting rotation for this year’s Daily Dose duties:
Monday: Drew Silva
Tuesday: D.J. Short
Wednesday: Ryan Boyer
Thursday: Pat Daugherty
Friday: Nate Grimm
Click on the names above and you’ll be sent to our Twitter profiles. We’re all pretty active on there and willing to offer fantasy advice at just about any hour of the day. You should also follow the @Rotoworld_BB account for quick news updates, links to new Rotoworld Baseball columns and live chat alerts. It’s going to be a great summer.
“JBJ” Named Boston’s Starting Left Fielder
Few players looked sharper during spring training than Red Sox outfield prospect Jackie Bradley Jr., who batted .419/.507/.613 with two home runs, four doubles, a triple, two stolen bases and 10 RBI in 28 Grapefruit League games. He was named Boston’s starting left fielder on Sunday morning and will be in the Red Sox starting lineup on Monday afternoon against Yankees ace CC Sabathia.
“JBJ” hasn’t made a single plate appearance above the Double-A level and is certain to experience some growing pains during the early part of the 2013 baseball season, but he’s worth rostering in deeper mixed fantasy leagues because of his speed and rapidly-maturing plate approach. The 22-year-old stole 24 bases in 128 games last season between High-A Salem and Double-A Portland while posting a promising .315 batting average and .911 OPS. He hit nine home runs and tallied 63 RBI, drawing 87 walks alongside 89 strikeouts.
Bradley could easily become a valuable third fantasy outfielder before the 2013 season is through.
Fernandez Earns Spot In Miami Rotation
The Marlins made a shocking final roster decision on Sunday morning, officially handing the fifth spot in their starting rotation to 20-year-old top pitching prospect Jose Fernandez.
Fernandez was the 14th overall pick in the 2011 MLB Amateur Draft and has logged less than 140 innings in the minor leagues, but the Marlins’ decision-makers think he’s ready and most scouts seem to agree. Fernandez boasts a high-90s fastball, a very good changeup and an improving curveball and slider. He used that advanced-for-his-age arsenal to register a superb 1.75 ERA, 0.93 WHIP and 158/35 K/BB ratio across 134 frames last season between Low-A Greensboro and High-A Jupiter.
Fernandez was in high school this time two years ago and is obviously highly unproven, but he’s not a bad guy to take a chance on for fantasy purposes. The talent is there, and Marlins Park is extremely pitcher-friendly. Pick him up and see how his first few outings go. He will at least make the fledgling Fish somewhat watchable.
Motte Not Close To Throwing
Cardinals closer Jason Motte was placed on the disabled list Friday evening with a flexor tendon strain in his right elbow. And the bearded right-hander is not going to be activated anytime soon.
Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch wrote Sunday afternoon that Motte is “still a significant time away from picking up a baseball.” His next checkup with team doctors isn’t until early next week, and there is no guarantee that he will be cleared for throwing at that time. The Cardinals are notoriously guarded about injury information and seem to be holding the curtain extra tight in this particular situation.
Mitchell Boggs needs to be owned and active in all standard fantasy formats. The 29-year-old right-hander had a 2.21 ERA, 1.05 WHIP and 58/21 K/BB ratio in 73 1/3 innings last season as a setup man and should do fine in the ninth-inning role. If he falters, the Cards will probably turn to young flame-thrower Trevor Rosenthal next.
National League Quick Hits: The Dodgers placed Ted Lilly, Scott Elbert, Hanley Ramirez and Chad Billingsley on the disabled list Sunday night … Braves left-hander Jonny Venters was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a left elbow sprain … The Reds designated Jason Donald for assignment, opting to roll with Cesar Izturis instead as a backup middle infielder … The Pirates placed Brandon Inge, Charlie Morton, Jeff Karstens, Francisco Liriano and Brandon Inge on the disabled list … The Marlins put first baseman Logan Morrison (knee surgery) on the 60-day disabled list, which means he won’t be eligible to return until May 31 … The Diamondbacks put Adam Eaton, Willie Bloomquist, Didi Gregorius and Cody Ross on the disabled list … Mets infielder Justin Turner (calf) will be available for Monday’s season-opener … The Cubs placed Matt Garza, Ian Stewart and Scott Baker on the disabled list … Kyle Lohse is scheduled to make his first regular-season start for the Brewers on Friday against the Diamondbacks … The Padres placed Logan Forsythe, James Darnell and Chase Headley on the disabled list … Placido Polanco, who owns a .747 career OPS, is slated to bat cleanup in the Marlins’ season-opener.
American League Quick Hits: The Rangers are close to agreement on an eight-year, $120 million contract extension with shortstop Elvis Andrus … The Blue Jays placed Brett Lawrie on the 15-day disabled list with a left rib cage injury … Erik Bedard tallied his first major league save in Sunday night’s season-opener against the Rangers but will serve as the Astros’ fifth starter this season … Orioles top pitching prospect Dylan Bundy is dealing with mild elbow tightness … The Yankees placed Phil Hughes, Derek Jeter, Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira on the disabled list Sunday night … Astros right-hander Alex White could need Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery … The Mariners designated outfielder Casper Wells for assignment, choosing instead to carry veteran Jason Bay on their Opening Day roster … The Rangers placed Martin Perez, Colby Lewis and Joakim Soria on the disabled list Sunday … Miguel Tejada has cracked the Royals’ Opening Day roster as a backup infielder … Red Sox DH David Ortiz was placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to March 22, with inflammation in both of his heels … Luke Scott (calf) could be out for as long as five weeks.