Internet problems forced me to post this late, but hopefully some of you still see it.
Even if Freddy Sanchez starts the season on the DL, he will only miss the first week. It seems as if the debate within the Pirates' organization is centering around whether to put him on the DL even though it looks like he would be ready to return a little bit before it is eligible. If he is not placed on the DL, he will still miss a few games at the start of the season. The bottom line is his long term value is not greatly affected, but his usefulness in the first week will be impacted.
Although Hayden Penn owned a 1.80 ERA this spring, the Orioles assigned him to AAA Norfolk. This is most likely due to continuing control problems when Penn faces major league pitching. He has issued 34 walks in 58 career major league innings and had walked 7 in his 10 innings of work this spring. Penn needs to get to his minor league ratio of 3.07 BB/9 or better to be able to stick with the big club.
Put Kerry Wood in the doubtful column as far as being on the Opening Day roster goes. After getting smacked around yesterday Wood has given up 7 runs and 7 hits in 5 innings of work this spring. With his velocity down yesterday he does not look like his rehab has been as successful as needed to get him into the Cubs' bullpen by next week. It would not be surprising to see him need surgery after all.
Dmitri Young became the Nationals' starting 1B by default when Travis Lee was granted his request for an unconditional release. This does not make Young a desirable acquisition, however, as he is still a big question mark as far as his remaining abilities are concerned and he is also just keeping the position warm for Nick Johnson, who will reclaim it in two months.
Jim Edmonds' first spring training game was a success, in that he did not suffer any aggravation of injuries to his shoulder and toe. There is a good chance that Edmonds will be recovered enough from his offseason surgeries and have gotten enough work this week to be able to go when the regular season opens. Still, the Cardinals are what could be described as cautiously optimistic. "We don't know what to expect,'' manager Tony La Russa said. ``You work out and you're under control. He may make one break today and his toe would be sore and that's the end of it. Who knows?''
Pencil Edmonds into the Opening Day rosters for now.
Mike Pelfrey will get a chance to prove whether the hype that accompanies him is accurate, as he has officially joined the Mets' rotation. As with many young pitchers, control is a question mark, as he brings a 3.09 BB/9 minor league ratio in 96 innings of work last season, his first as a pro, which was followed up with 12 walks in 21 major league innings. Expect some growing pains, making him more valuable in keeper leagues than those where you need production immediately.
Zack Greinke could be a sleeper candidate as he has made the KC rotation. On the plus side, he has performed well in the past (his 2004 rookie campaign), the problems that sidelined him for most of last season were not physical, and he did not get much use last season (which is a good thing for a young pitcher). On the minus side, he is pitching for KC, which means there will not be much support for him as far as the win column goes. He is fairly low risk, but has a decent upside, which is what you want when looking for sleepers.
Don't think that just because Adam Dunn went 14 ABs without a strikeout it means that he has stopped his free swinging ways. He still has 11 Ks in 44 spring at bats. In his previous 3 spring trainings, he also struck out in exactly 25% of his at bats. Once the games started to count his strikeout percentage surged, with a 32.7% career mark and 34.6% in 2006. One possible bright light about Dunn's superlative spring batting average is that the last time he hit well in the Grapefruit League, posting a .377 average in 2004, he went on to hit a career high .266 for the Reds in the regular season.
Jake Peavy looks to be ready to bounce back strong from a 2006 that saw his ERA creep above the 4.00 level. The underlying stats for him make that look like a statistical fluke- someone with that performance should not have posted that high an ERA. Plus, Peavy has a moderate level of usage. Despite posting seasons of over 200 IP the past two years, he has been very efficient. He has faced fewer than 850 batters in each of those two campaigns. Although Peavy was 12th in the NL in pitches thrown last year, with 3357, he had crossed the age of 25, where the greatest risk of damaging a developing arm is past. In 2005, he threw only 3160 pitches, a reasonable amount for a player of his age.
Edinson Volquez took a major hit to his fantasy value when the Rangers, in essence, decided to tear him down all the way and start over. He was assigned to Class A Bakersfield in the hopes of getting his potential channeled back on track. "We're putting him in the best position to succeed," general manager Jon Daniels said. "He's still got youth on his side. He's a good kid and a good talent, and we're going to take him back to where he dominated the league." Unless you are in some sort of bizarre fantasy setup, you don't need pitchers who can dominate the California League. With John Danks in Chicago, Thomas Diamond shelved for the year, and Volquez back to the low minors, Texas has nothing left of their vaunted DVD trio near the majors.