Casey Janssen (RP - TOR) - After missing most of the spring due to a sore shoulder, the pitcher tweaked his back on Friday. The Blue Jays decided to play it safe with their closer and start him on the DL to begin the season. Janssen showed diminished velocity in his few appearances at the end of the spring, so it's also possible his shoulder is not 100% yet. The injury to Janssen opens the door for Sergio Santos to fill in at closer. Santos has excelled when healthy and it wouldn't be surprising to see him run away with the job all year.
Ian Kinsler (2B - DET) - Ian Kinsler will be batting leadoff for his new team on opening day. While he will probably never go 30/30 again, he still possesses the skills to go 15/15 at a rather shallow 2B position this year. Kinsler is always a batting average risk due to his high flyball rates, but he maintains an above average contact rate and below average chase rate. A combination of these things helped him post a career low 10% strikeout rate last year. A change of scenery could be good for Kinsler and hitting ahead of Miguel Cabrera should help him be near the top of the league in runs scored.
Wil Myers (OF -TB)- In an interesting move, Rays' skipper Joe Maddon announced Wil Myers will be batting second in the team's first game. Maddon likes to change his lineup regularly, but if Myers sticks in the two-hole, it will likely decrease his fantasy value. Myers is a power hitter and would probably be better suited hitting in the third slot of the lineup instead of Ben Zobrist. Myers' owners hope he can repeat his great rookie campaign this year. His 2013 batting average of .293 was probably a little inflated considering his 20% LD rate and .362 BABIP, but he should be able to take another step forward in the power department in 2014.
Tommy Hunter (RP - BAL) - The Orioles have yet to name an official closer. While the team may publicly call it closer-by-committee, Tommy Hunter will likely be given the first crack at saves. Hunter doesn't have the type of overwhelming, strikeout stuff that is characteristic of many closers, but with solid groundball rates and pinpoint control, Hunter has tools to be successful closing out games. Interestingly, he saw a 5 MPH jump in his fastball velocity last year once he moved to the bullpen. The Orioles led the league in save opportunities in 2013 so he could see plenty of chances again this year.
Tanner Scheppers (SP -TEX) - Filling in for the injured Yu Darvish, Tanner Scheppers will start on opening day against the Phillies. It's an interesting move for the Rangers, considering it will also be Schepper's first career start. In the minors, he pitched mostly as a reliever and started just 8 games. The right-hander pitched pretty well this spring, with a 14:4 strikeout-to-walk ratio, 3.07 ERA and 1.02 WHIP. Scheppers doesn't have the traditional arsenal of a starting pitcher, throwing his fastball 80% of the time and his curveball 17% of the time. He does offer excellent control and keeps the ball on the ground, so he could have success if he's able to mix his pitches a little more. Should he succeed early in the year, he could stick in the Rangers' rotation all year.
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