Alberto Callaspo-ARI- Idea- All of the cool kids have a "super utility"player nowadays and Callaspo is slated to be the Diamondbacks version of Chone Figgins (that would be the "play a lot of positions"Figgins and not the "fractured two fingers"Figgins). Callaspo's batting average has nowhere to go but down as he singled in his pinch hitting appearance yesterday. The plan is to play Callaspo primarily at the middle infield positions and also to get him some time at 3B and in the OF. Expect him to accumulate 300+ ABs and produce a decent average with them. If you are in a league where that kind of output is valuable, then Callaspo is worth a look.
Edgar Renteria- ATL- Hot- We have a winner for the Tuffy Rhodes Award for 2007. Renteria, who has averaged fewer than 10 homers per season over his 11 year major league career, parked two yesterday in the Braves' Opening Day victory over the Phillies. The second homer was an extra-inning game-winner that came after Renteria had failed to lay down a bunt and had to swing away with two strikes. Do not expect him to maintain this 324-homer pace for long.
Willy Taveras- COL- Rise Value- Word comes that Taveras has the green light on the basepaths, something he was not given as an Astro. In his only time on the basepaths, a leadoff walk, he got his first steal of the season. Expect many more to follow, as well as an improvement on the 4 Ks Taveras recorded in his other plate appearances yesterday.
Aaron Harang- CIN- Hot- Harang picked up the win on Opening Day by posting a fine performance, allowing just 1 run (unearned at that) on 6 hits and 2 walks while striking out 5 in 7 innings of work. However, he gets the dubious honor of being my first potential overwork warning if the season, as Harang threw 112 pitches before turning the game over to the bullpen. It's only a hair above the 110 pitches that constitutes the outer limits of a safe start, but it is a lot for this early in the season. Watch to see how he bounces back in his next appearance.
Florida Marlins- FLA- Rookie- Alejandro de Aza may have won the CF job over Eric Reed, but there is the possibility that he is really just a place holder until the Marlins can acquire someone else. It's hard to get a lot of solid info on him. He didn't crack the Baseball America top 30 Marlins' prospects, but then neither did Reed. Now, if de Aza was playing basketball for the Gators, I could probably pick up any newspaper here in south Florida and find out everything there is to know about him. This jump from limited AA experience to the majors just doesn't seem to be something that de Aza can sustain. He has shown some speed in the minors, swiping 119 bases in 396 games, and his hitting has been improving, with a .278 average in 230 ABs after getting promoted to AA last year, but it just seems like a huge step. Don't expect the Marlins to be satisfied with de Aza as the CF all season. The odds of finding another Dan Uggla are slim.
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