Lets go straight to some highlights coming from the camps. Ken Griffey Jr is all about revivals, he signed with the Mariners yesterday. Griffey doesn't have much superstar production left in the tank, but at DH he could squeeze in 450+ ABs and although we saw a significant drop in production last year, he was averaging 30+ HRs for the 3 years coming into last year P Chris Carpenter is improving in his side sessions, throwing at 75-80 % of his norm. 3B Troy Glaus, who had shoulder surgery 4 weeks ago, hopes to return in mid to late April. But Glaus concedes he could be months away. Vlad Guerrero's knee is feeling much better after surgery in Novemeber. Guerrero is not expected to miss anytime to open the season. The team brass has made it clear: Julio Lugo is expected to win the Sox starting job out of camp. This doesn't mean that Jed Lowrie isn't the team's starting shortstop this summer either through trade or injury.
Mark Ellis is not expected to play 2B this spring as he recovered from off season shoulder surgery. He could miss parts of April because of the rehab. P Eric Chavez admits that he won't be able to play until the middle of the exhibition season. Chavez who had off-season shoulder surgery hopes to play 140 games this year (and that may be a tad optimistic). The Cubs are considering moving Alfonso Soriano down in the order. This would be a boon for his RBI opportunities (which could eclipse 100 this year), but it may take a toll on his SB attempts. Kelvim Escobar threw without difficulty from 200 feet. Escobar is recovering from right shoulder surgery. He seems ahead of his mid season scheduled return. The Cards say they are open to the dreaded Closer by Committee approach. The front runners are Chris Perez and Jason Motte. Perez is likely to open as the closer, but Motte offers the longer term potential. Chase Utley participated in the Phils first full squad workout. A great sign that Utley may not miss significant time to open the season as he recovers from hip surgery (November). Kenny Rogers is close to calling it quits. Despite agreeing to a contract only 2 weeks ago, the Nats Odalis Perez wants 'mo money. David Eckstien is expected to hit 2nd in the Padres lineup, which should boost his RS totals in deeper leagues. The Brewers resigned Eric Gagne to a minor league contract, although Gagne did show some life at the tail end of last year, he's going to need to have a big spring to unseat Trevor Hoffman.
Technical Indicators 2nd basemen
Castillo, Luis Excellent EYE (1.3) offers decent OBP, which should
translate into a decent number of RS and BA.
Polanco, Placido BA will help your team, and the expected rise in production from the Tiger's lineup should increase RS and RBI opps
DeRosa, Mark Career Year in '08 (at 33 YO). Downturn expected as RS% and RBI% were inflated and outside of career norm.
Lopez, Felipe Once showed decent power with 3.6 HR%, but that's all gone. Should see rise in Runs Scored with move to AZ
Roberts, Brian Consistent producer (87% consistency factor), but his best attribute SBs are at risk with advancing age
Phillips, Brandon Poor 2nd half decimated overall numbers. Unlucky Singles% cost him 20 BA Points. Comeback expected
Hudson, Orlando Still Looking for home, still has late round fantasy value as he gets on base
Ellis, Mark Poor Consistency Factor of 26, offers little outside of 20ish SBs.
Sanchez, Freddy Freddy hit .321 in the 2nd H last year. He's healthy and we project a comeback season for him.
Utley, Chase Coming off hip surgery, April may be spotty. Unlucky Singles% lower '08 BA by 10-15 points
Weeks, Rickie High K% 23% limits his opportunities and consistency. Constant injury concern (Wrists)
Matsui, Kazuo SB% success is starting to decline, naturally at 33.
Lopez, Jose Poor offense around him limits both RS/RBI opps. However we saw a big jump in his XBH% (9.1%), breakout possible.
Hill, Aaron Injury plagued '08. Completely undervalued coming into '09 draft. 66 XBH in '07. 20th+ round ADP...A Steal!
Kinsler, Ian 63 XBH despite missing 40 games with Sports Hernia! Good EYE .67
Cano, Robinson Unlucky Singles % cost him 20 BA points. Strong 2nd Half. Poor EYE and OBA limits his Runs Scored Potential
Johnson, Kelly K/AB (20%) still a concern considering lack of power. Improving XBH% of 10.5% could be on verge of breakout
Pedroia, Dustin Excellent EYE (.98), 73 XBHs in '08, Great SB success ratio 96%. Solid Fundamentals
Uggla, Dan On his way to monster season before 2nd half injuries/woes (23/58/.289). Still ended up with 70 XBP
Kendrick, Howie Once a top prospect, showed great progress last year with XBH% of 9.1. Poor EYE (.20) stymies upside
Ramirez, Alexei Despite lack of plate patience, Cuban All Star had big second half 16/53/.287. Poor Consistency Factor (39)
DeWitt, Blake Still learning the trade, Consistency factor is a concern as Blake looks like a Hot/Cold type hitter
Aviles, Mike Poor EYE is concerning (.31), as pitchers will capitalize on this in '09. Lucky Singles% (.291) added 30+ to BA
Have a great day!
Statistician and Publisher -Fantistics Insiderbaseball.com