We’re just one week away from the games that count!
On today’s agenda:
1. St. Louis Cardinals closer questions
2. Another Colorado Rockies starter injury
3. Joe Benson to Triple-A
St. Louis Cardinals closer questions
Even when not being managed by TLR, the Cardinals closer situation is still muddy heading into the regular season. News broke yesterday afternoon that current closer Jason Motte will miss a week of action, effectively ending his spring training. The team has announced that he is suffering from forearm tightness after a one inning appearance on Thursday. The tightness occurred on the team bus some time after the game and the decision to sideline him for a week is a result of an MRI. When asked if Motte will begin the season on the DL, Cardinals General Manager John Mozeliak has said that “We’re certainly going to be as aggressive as we can with the rehab, but in terms of DL, I would say that’s likely going to happen…” For the foreseeable future, the new closer in St. Louis will be Mitchell Boggs. Despite his lack of saves — just four in his career — Boggs does have plenty of late inning experience and was second on the team with 27 shutdowns. If you planned on drafting Motte as one of your closers, make sure to handcuff him with Boggs.
Another Colorado Rockies injury
In yesterday’s Roto Riteup we learned of Jhoulys Chacin being scratched from a start, and apparently injuries are contagious in the Rockies locker room. Now it is Jorge De La Rosa‘s turn to miss his scheduled throwing program as he didn’t appear in his regular spot yesterday. The team announced that he is dealing with tightness in his throwing forearm but he may pitch today anyways. As each starting pitcher injury becomes more and more grave, the Rockies are sure to be missing pitching prospect Edwar Cabrera, who was moved to the 60-day disabled list just a month and a half ago with a left shoulder impingement. While their prospect list does offer hope in the terms of pitchers, most of them are at least a full season of development away. The Rockies appear to be once again strapped to find warm bodies to cover their rotation needs, and something drastic — like a six man rotation or a five inning limit again — maybe in order for them. Highlighting (or perhaps more appropriately, low lighting) the Rockies woeful state of pitching is the results from Mock Draft Central. Over at MDC they rank the top 396 players in fantasy baseball. The Rockies have exactly one pitcher representing their staff: Rafael Betancourt. Go ahead and avoid the Rockies staff in its entirety. You won’t be missing anything.
Joe Benson to Triple-A
The fact that Benson will start the season in the minors isn’t the real story here. The biggest takeaway is that by moving Benson to Triple-A, the Minnesota Twins have basically announced that Aaron Hicks will be their starting center fielder. Hicks, 23, has no experience above the Double-A level but has shown an early ability to hit for average, draw walks, and steal some bases. If you’re in the final few rounds of a snake draft or in the dollar days of an auction, take a flier on Hicks. Don’t expect his batting average to be outstanding, but a season of .250, 30+ steals, and 70 runs is basically what Coco Crisp did last year. I’ve done several mock drafts and two actual drafts already and I’ve only seen Hicks be drafted (by someone other than myself) a total of two times. Grab him when you need to get some steals on the cheap.
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