The A’s and Mariners finished off their two-game series in Japan, as we will now need to wait nearly a week for the rest of the regular season action to begin. Let’s take a look at the fallout from that game, as well as all the Spring Training action from yesterday:
- Yoenis Cespedes – Oakland Athletics – Outfielder – He has definitely made a good impression over his first two games. He hit one of three home runs for the A’s (along with Josh Reddick and Jonny Gomes), going 1-3 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 1 R. He has started his career by going 2-6 with 1 double and 1 HR, though 3 K. That’s going to continue to be his biggest issue, as he needs to learn to make more consistent contact in order to be able to maintain a viable average.
- Anthony Gose – Toronto Blue Jays – Outfielder – He went 0-3, yet had 4 SB and 2 R in the game. It just shows the explosive potential that he has, which is why he needs to be on all fantasy radars. However, I wouldn’t anticipate him making a major impact in 2012 (and if he does, it likely won’t be until late in the year). The 21-year old spent all of 2011 at Double-A, where he hit .253 with 69 SB. Strikeouts were the issue (26.2% strikeout rate), something that he has shown this spring (9 K in 30 AB). He needs to get that part of his game in order if he wants to excel.
- James McDonald – Pittsburgh Pirates – Starting Pitcher – Are we still waiting for him to turn things around? Taking on the Minnesota Twins he allowed 10 ER on 7 H and 7 BB, striking out 1, over 3.2 IP. Yes, he was coming off a good outing (1 ER on 2 H and 0 BB over 7.0 IP), but he’s now allowed 5 ER or more in two of his past three outings. He is inconsistent, to say the least, despite having significant talent. He’s nothing more than a flier in the deepest of formats, as these types of poor outings are too common place.
- Chris Sale – Chicago White Sox – Starting Pitcher – His spring got off to a slow start (8 ER in 7.1 IP), but he has definitely turned it around. In one of his most impressive outings yet, Sale allowed 1 ER on 4 H and 0 BB, striking out 7, over 6.0 IP against a Dodgers’ lineup that included Matt Kemp, Dee Gordon & Andre Ethier. Sale is one of numerous young pitchers trying to transition from the bullpen to the rotation, and there is no doubting his potential. While he is not going to average 95.3 mph on his fastball (as he did working out of the bullpen in 2011), he has electric stuff, solid control (3.42 BB/9) and a good groundball rate (49.7%). Exactly what is there not to like?
- Aroldis Chapman – Cincinnati Reds – Starting Pitcher – Is he a starter or a reliever? His biggest issue coming out of the bullpen has been his control, something that we haven’t seen this spring. In 5.0 innings against the Brewers he allowed 2 ER on 7 H and 0 BB, striking out 6. On the spring he has now gone 17.0 innings, with just 2 BB and 18 K. That’s a fry cry from the pitcher who walked 7.38 batters per 9 innings in 50.0 innings in 2011, isn’t it? I have said it before and I’ll say it again, it is possible that being forced to pace himself could go a long way in helping him correct the control issues. Hopefully we get a decision from the Reds soon, but with the way he’s pitched keeping him in the rotation makes plenty of sense.
- Chris Perez – Cleveland Indians – Relief Pitcher – He made his spring debut yesterday, tossing a perfect inning against the Rockies. It wasn’t as much about the results, as the fact that he was out there and still has a week until Opening Day. At this point it appears likely that he is going to be ready, so those hoping Vinnie Pestano would steal a few saves for them early could be disappointed. That doesn’t mean that he won’t take the job before year’s end, so keep that in mind.
- David Wright – New York Mets – Third Baseman – Wright continues to get himself into shape for Opening Day, and he delivered a huge blow for the Mets yesterday. He went 1-4, but the hit was a grand slam. He is now 2-8 on the spring, with the 1 HR and 5 RBI. Obviously, there are still significant health concerns, but at least he appears to be on the right track.
- Jason Bourgeois – Kansas City Royals – Outfielder/Second Baseman – Acquired this preseason from the Astros, Bourgeois has the potential to make an impact in Kansas City. He went 1-2 with 2 SB yesterday and is now hitting .282 with 8 SB this spring. The Royals 2B job is wide open, and he also could work as a fourth outfielder. If you are desperate for speed, he’s a name that you want to keep filed away. If he can work his way into every day playing time he could pile up the SB.
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Make sure to check out all of our 2012 rankings: