Welcome back to the 2013 version of the Roto Riteup, coming at you daily for a second straight season.
Mashing Mariners and Safeco Field
One of the spring’s coolest storylines is the display of power by the Seattle Mariners. The Ms revamped their roster this offseason with the hopes of adding some offensive firepower in support of Felix Hernandez and the rest of the Mariners rotation, and even though it’s only Spring Training, the offseason moves are already paying dividends. Of course, it’s important to remember that Spring Training numbers are as worthless as they get; however, the plot thickens when spring bombs are paired with the new renovations to Safeco Field.
Safeco’s left-field fences have been brought in and the wall has been lowered, creating a more appealing environment for right-handed hitters. While many fantasy-relevant Mariners hit from the left-side a majority of the time, guys like Mike Morse and Jesus Montero could poke an extra couple of dingers out of the yard this year.
Matt Carpenter and Second Base
While Rafael Furcal sucombing to a serious injury is perhaps the biggest real-life story surrounding the St. Louis Cardinals’ infield, the biggest fantasy story comes from Matt Carpenter and the Cards’ second base position. Carpenter played the corners in both the infield and outfield last year, but as of right now, he’s the favorite to start at second for St. Louis.
Carpenter is not what you’d call a small man, but reports on his defensive play have been positive. Already eligible at first base, third base, and the outfield, adding second base to the mix makes Carpenter a supremely tempting bench candidate in mixed leagues. Beware of Kolten Wong, though, as the top prospect could push Carpenter out of the lineup should he be struggling come June.
Zack Wheeler goes to Triple-A
Even though there was a 0% chance he opened the season in New York, it would have been nice to Zack Wheeler get a little more work against major league hitters before being shipped off to minor league camp. The electric starting pitcher should be in the majors after the Mets are confident the Super-Two deadline has passed, and he should be racking up strikeouts from the get-go.
Stephen Drew’s injury concerns
A very promising career took a turn when Stephen Drew ripped apart his ankle a couple years back, and the shortstop is once again being plagued by the injury bug. Drew was hit in the head with a pitch last week, and now it appears as though the Red Sox may have suffered a concussion in the process. Drew was never going to be a fantasy cornerstone this year, but it’s supremely disappointing to see him get off to such a rough start. Concussions are serious business and can plague players for longer than they’d care to admit, so be cautious when evaluating Drew’s status.
Since drafts are upon us all, I figured I’d treat you Roto Riteup readers to a few of my personal player projections.