Marcus Semien (3B-CHW): Marcus Semien went 1 for 4, belting his 1st homer of the season. All totaled he scored 2 runs, drove in 2, and added a walk. This is a welcomed sight for Semien and his owners, and look for him to settle in and continue producing batting 2nd in the White Sox lineup. Last season Semien hit 19 homers and stole 24 bases across AA/AAA in 137 games, posting a stellar 98:90 BB:K ratio. For now, he's a MI option in deeper mixed leagues, but I envision him becoming a viable option in shallower formats as the season progresses. Buy.
Matt Lindstrom (RP-CHW): Matt Lindstrom blew his first save of the season, allowing 2 earned runs on 2 hits and 1 walk against the Twins. I'm skeptical Lindstrom can keep the job into May. His career 18.4% K-rate is below average for late-inning relievers. Between his control issues and lacking put away stuff, he carries a 1.42 career WHIP. And lefties can give him fits, as they have posted a significantly higher wOBA while striking out 6% less of the time. Nate Jones reportedly is dealing with a gluteal strain and may miss some time. Daniel Webb could receive some looks, but he's had control issues himself. Lindstrom has some leash left. But approach with caution.
Yangervis Solarte (3B/SS-NYY): Yangervis Solarte took advantage of his first start at 3B, going 3 for 3 with 2 runs, 1 RBI, and 1 BB. While the versatile Solarte could find the occasional start as the Yankees look to shuffle their infield and keep their aging lineup fresh, he doesn't offer much upside. Even in the hitter-friendly PCL, Solarte posted rather pedestrian OPS's of .745 and .727 the past 2 seasons. He does have a solid approach at the plate, posting EYE's over .50 the past two seasons, and he does make consistent contact (113 K's in 1000+ AB's). He could make for a speculative add in DEEP AL-only leagues, but he is not even deep mixed league relevant unless significant injuries befall the Yankees.
Dexter Fowler (OF-HOU): Dexter Fowler is scorching to start 2014. After a 2-for-4, 1-run, 1-RBI night, the Astros' main offseason acquisition is now 6 for 12 with 5 runs and 2 RBI in the season's first three games. Fowler had himself a breakout season in 2012 and could have taken a step forward in 2013 if it weren't for several injuries keeping him from playing in more than 119 games. He still put up a .263/.369/407 line with 12 homers and 19 steals. While I like Fowler as decent #3 OF in mixed leagues, his home/road splits with the Rockies raise reason for caution, as he posted a .887 OPS at Coors vs. a .694 elsewhere. His power tends to come as a lefty to his pull side, so the Crawford Boxes at Minute Maid likely won't help him greatly. Hold steady with your pre-season evaluation, and if somebody wants to overpay, oblige.
Chris Archer (SP-TB): Chris Archer tossed 6 quality innings against the Jays last night in picking up the W. He allowed 2 earned runs on 4 hits and 2 walks and added 7 strikeouts. In our pre-season prep, we noted that Archer was working on fixing his issues against lefties, as they posted a .346 wOBA vs. a .211 mark for righties in 2013. While he was tinkering with a changeup in spring, according to Brooks Baseball, he threw only 4-seamers, 2-seamers, and sliders last night. He threw 22 out of 28 sliders to lefties, striking out Colby Rasmus and Adam Lind 5 times with the pitch. He looked quite sharp last night and had some extra zip (94.45 MPH) on his FB. Keep an eye on his splits in moving forward, as he could be on the verge of a breakout with better neutralization of lefties. I'm buying.
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