I'm sure you already know this, but I'm on Twitter like all the time (I'm waiting for the aqua-phone so I can tweet from the shower). Here are a few questions that were recently sent my way. Sometimes you need more than 140 characters to make a point.
Do you like George Springer for this year? When do you see him in the everyday lineup?
First off, the Astros have been extremely budget conscious the past few years (they began last season with a payroll under $23 million. That's less money than Ryan Howard is making this year). Seems like they should have the financial wherewithal to go with Springer and not worry about his arbitration situation, but there is always a chance they keep him in the minors into June. Looking at the Astros' outfield though, it's Dexter Fowler and then yikes: Robbie Grossman, Jesus Guzman, L.J. Hoes. Springer may not have even a half season above Double-A under his belt, but after hitting 37 homers with 45 steals in 135 minor league games last season the 'Stros should find a spot in the daily lineup for him from day one, but we'll see.
What can I expect from Dan Straily this year?
More of the same? Maybe I don't need 140 characters? Straily allows a lot of fly balls so the homer could be an issue. He can also walk too many at times, but overall he's got a solid skill set and should settle in as a 4/5 starter this year in mixed leagues. His career numbers are a pretty fair guide as to where you should set your expectations: 12-9, 3.94 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 156 Ks in 191.2. innings.
Martin Perez on the radar as a sleeper this year?
Perez gets grounders an I like that (48 percent for his career). Unfortunately he doesn't miss many bats, he only has a 6.04 K/9 mark, and that really hurts his fantasy outlook. There are tons of hurlers that have skills like this. If you want to target Perez that's fine, but he's not likely to do any better than he did last year leaving him as more of a spot starter in mixed leagues than a breakout candidate.
Don't try this at home... I went out Saturday night with Howard Bender and we had a lot of fun in San Francisco. That is until 1:30 AM when I banged by head on a low overhang and cut my forehead. Surprisingly, trying to hit on women while holding a towel to your head doesn't work too well.
As great as Cabrera has been the last two years he's earned about $43 and $47 dollars (sources will vary a bit on this). Can Cabrera be better than he has been? Boggles the mind to think he can be. That means if you hold Cabrera you are guaranteed to take a loss on that investment. Much like when you buy a house, if the price tumbles that sucks but you still own the house. In this case, even if you don't make a profit with Cabrera he's still providing you whopping numbers and there is certain value in that no matter the cost. Still, I can't tell anyone that holding on to a guy in the $50's makes sense. Pass on him. Take Donaldson for a $1, you aren't going to find a better bargain, and if you have to go ahead and get Cabrera again at the draft you can bid whatever it takes given that you're rostering Donaldson at such a a huge discount (if you keep Cabrera and have to pay $23 for Donaldson, then you've invested $75. If you keep Donaldson you could still spend $55 on Cabrera and have laid out a total of just $56).
Better keeper in roto for the next 2 years: Matt Adams or Trevor Rosenthal?
I don't normally go in the direction of a reliever, but I will here. Rosenthal has a flat out dominating arm, and I see no reason to think that he won't be able to rack up the successful outings over the next two seasons. People seem very excited about Adams which I get. He has 35 homer power. At the same time there are two big concerns. (1) Other than homers, what does he bring? He has a 25 percent K-rate, has little shot to replicate that .284 batting average and won't steal bags. (2) Where will he play? 'First base Ray, come on.' That's where he's slated to play but don't you see a potential logjam? Look at the Cardinals' outfield. Matt Holliday plays every day. Allen Craig plays every day. They then have Peter Bourjos and Jon Jay in center so they are fine. But what happens when the Cards' best prospect, Oscar Taveras, shows up? He's going to play everyday. That likely means Craig shifts back to first base and Adams becomes a utility guy. If Taveras starts off hot, if Adams struggles and/or if Craig's foot doesn't respond to playing in the outfield, it's even possible that Adams doesn't start on Opening Day. Just saying.
By Ray Flowers