Somewhere, someone is asking Rebecca Black what today is, probably.
On today’s agenda:
1. The San Diego Padres fifth starter situation
2. Stephen Drew to the disabled list
3. Dylan Axelrod as the Chicago White Sox five starter
4. (Daniel) Bard‘s Sad Song
The San Diego fifth starter race
During a press conference yesterday afternoon, Padres manager Bud Black said that the club will “probably” go with Tyson Ross over Andrew Cashner for their final rotation spot. That isn’t final, as over the weekend there will be a coaches meeting before announcing who gets to join the rotation. Ross doesn’t offer the long term upside that Cashner can bring to the table, but Ross has performed very well in spring training, so, yeah. I expect Ross to have a fairly short stint in the rotation, even pitching at Petco. The club has concerns about Cashner making such a large jump in innings, so he will most likely become the Padres long reliever early on. I am guessing here, but I would imagine that before the calendar hits June, we’ll see Cashner as a member of the rotation.
Stephen Drew to the DL
The move is being made retroactive to Wednesday the 27, but an early season stint on the disabled is an ominous sign. This is of the 7-day variety for a concussion after being struck in the head by a pitch back on March 7. The decision to start him on the disabled list comes after the club sent Drew to see a concussion specialist. Given that Drew hasn’t played in even 100 games since the 2010 season, even missing the bare minimum amount of time is sure to cause rumblings in Beantown. Drew is owned in just 10% of Yahoo! leagues and 3% of ESPN formats, but if you are looking to replace him try Pete Kozma or Maicer Izturis. Kozma should see plenty of playing time as the primary shortstop in St. Louis and Izturis will get plate appearances now that Brett Lawrie will miss part of the early season the disabled list.
Dylan Axelrod as the White Sox fifth starter
He may have appeared in just 14 games last season, split evenly between starting and relieving, but Axelrod has been given the keys to the final spot in the White Sox rotation. He posted a solid 17.3% strikeout rate as a starter, but we are still within the realm of small sample sizes. The various projection systems have him pegged everywhere from a 3.62 ERA all the way up to a brutal 4.97 mark. He makes for an interesting stream candidate, but as of now, not much more. If his 10.1 SwStr% begins to pull up his strikeout rate, then he will be a rosterable player. Unless you’re in an AL-only league of a very deep 14-team mixed league, go ahead and just add Axelrod to your watch list.
Daniel Bard to Double-A
Pitching if a fickle thing, particularly relieving. The sample sizes that are at hand are often far too small and the reactions to them are often all too large. After three very good seasons in a row, Bard struggled mightily last season. His walk rate sky rocketed and his strikeout rate dropped dramatically. His velocity also took a nosedive, as his 2009-2011 fastball never averaged less than 97.3, but his 2012 heater came in at just 93.1 on average. Once upon a time he was thought to have been the heir apparent to Jonathan Papelbon, it appears as though Bard’s road back to the majors is more than a song away.
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