Ray’s Ramblings: Hitters, March 29th
Altherr is bashing. Castellanos is dropping. Bregman hitting second? Polanco healing. Judge to minors? Grichuk hurt? Zimmerman in fire.
Aaron Altherr hit his fourth homer this spring for the Phillies. The addition of Michael Saunders has pushed Altherr into a reserve role to start the year, and that stinks. However, Saunders isn’t as good as some think, and he’s already dealt with health concerns this spring. Altherr may not have much value, pretty much not draftable in a mixed league at the moment, but it’s pretty easy to see him making an impact in 2017.
Alex Bregman will start the season hitting in the two hole for the Astros. Can’t really be in a better spot as a youngster as he’s set to hit behind George Springer and ahead of Jose Altuve. The longer spring goes, the more excited I’m starting to get with Bregman.
We thought that Nick Castellanos might hit second this season. Turns out that may not be the case. With J.D. Martinez likely to miss April with a foot issue, Castellanos might be needed in the middle of the order. “I would say I haven’t come to a decision as to what I’m going to do,” said manager Brad Ausmus said. “I was scratching lineups out on a piece of paper to see what we’d have and what we’d lose. “I think it’s a little more straight-forward against a left-handed pitcher. It would be less obvious if it’s a right-handed pitcher.” Either way, the low ADP of Castellanos (199 in NFBC) suggests he’s solid addition (see his Player Profile).
Aaron Judge is still batting Aaron Hicks for work in the outfield. Most folks want the mammoth slugger to win the gig. Well, even with a strong spring (.564 SLG) it sounds possible that Judge will still begin the season in the minors. Hopefully you didn’t take the plunge in mixed leagues.
Mitch Haniger is using his hits far too much right now. He leads the majors with 28 hits this spring and his total of 11 doubles is a Mariners’ Cactus League record. I’m still recommending caution despite his wonderful spring.
Steven Moya has been released by the Tigers leaving Tyler Collins/Mikie Mahtook to handle right filed until JDM is back. A former high level power prospect, Moya will latch on with another team in his ongoing attempt to gain a full-time spot in the big leagues.
Gregory Polanco (shoulder) had 10 at-bats Wednesday in a minor-league game. He also made throws from 90 feet. He is set to return to game action Friday. Sounds like Opening Day is a strong possibility at this point for the multi-category threat.
Corey Seager is set to return to action Saturday. He will have missed more than 25 days of game action with his oblique issue, but the Dodgers still maintain that he is fine. Even if he’s physical close to 100 percent, a slow start wouldn’t be surprising given how much time he’s missed.
Since March 15th Ryan Zimmermann has gone 16-for-35 with six extra base hits (including his second homer Wednesday). As long as he’s on the field the bat figures to be productive. Never know how long that will be of course.
Ray Flowers can be heard Monday/Tuesday and Thursday/Friday, 7 PM EDT, Wednesday 8 PM EDT on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius 210, XM 87). You can also hear Ray Sunday nights at 9 PM EDT PM on the channel talking fantasy sports. Follow Ray’s work at Fantasy Alarm and on Twitter (@baseballguys).