Dellin Betances admitted what everyone following the Yankees was thinking - where did the velocity go? “I haven’t asked about it, but it’s nowhere near where it should be,’’ Betances said. Manager Joe Girardi said who cares. “If it goes on for a long time, it will be a concern. Power pitchers usually take a little longer.’’ Whatever. He's concerned. Don't lie Joe. Betances is regularly sitting at about 92 mph and barely hit 94 Tuesday. Last season he was often at 98-99 mph and his average heater on the year was 96.7 mph. The knocking you hear is Andrew Miller getting ready to see some time in the 9th inning for the Yankees.
Logan Forsythe will start the season at second base for the Rays as Nick Franklin will be on the shelf with an oblique issue. Who is Logan? He's a career .235 hitter with a .646 OPS, has only stolen 19 bases and hit just 18 homers in 986 career at-bats. He's an early season fill-in at best in mixed leagues, and his chances of running away with the second base job and doing something of note all year are small. He's a 28 year old and is really only an option in AL-only leagues.
Anthony Gose might hit first or second this year for the Tigers when a righty is on the bump according to Chris Lott. Gose has oodles of speed and has swiped 34 bags over 616 plate appearances the last three seasons. Alas, he has no idea how to get on base with a career OBP of .301. He's an 8/9 hitter, not a leadoff man on a championship team. So strange how so many teams don't get the importance of getting on base at the top of the order.
Jason Kipnis (back) has missed the last five days. He's also dealt with a finger issue that required surgery in the offseason. I'm still buying Kipnis, but I'm a wee bit less excited than I was a month ago.
Who will the Mets bat leadoff? Mike Puma is reporting it's down to two men - Juan Lagares and Curtis Granderson. Lagares has performed well this spring and he did hit .281 with 13 steals over 452 plate appearances last year. He'd be an interesting option at the top of the order but he, like Gose, just doesn't get on base close to enough (.302 career OBP). There's also an article from Joel Sherman that suggests Lagares could hit 9th with the pitcher batting 8th, so there's that. Granderson has been below .330 the last three seasons, but his worst mark in that time is still way better than Lagares at .317. Really interesting to me how many folks seem to overlook completely the fact that Granderson had 20 homers last season and with the fences being moved in at his home park that he could easily hit 25 in 2015.
Daniel Norris looked great Wednesday allowing one run over six innings. He didn't walk one batter and struck out seven. A second round selection in 2011, he's a borderline elite prospect and I'm gonna predict he ends up grabbing the 5th spot in the Blue Jays rotation. If he does, he's got a shot to vie for the AL ROY. He also lives in a van. He's awesome.
What will the Red Sox do with their outfield? According to Sean McAdam there may be no trade coming, Rusney Castillo may start the season on the DL and Mookie Betts is a rock star. Check out how far up the rankings that Betts has moved the last few weeks in the Fantasy Alarm Rankings as it appears with each passing day that his spot in the starting lineup becomes more secure.
Anthony Rendon's sprained MCL is making it appear likely that Opening Day might not happen. Here are my thoughts on Rendon. (1) He's always been unlikely to fully repeat least year's effort. (2) He's dropped a hair in the FA rankings but he's still an elite option at second and third base. (3) People are starting to panic a bit. Don't be that guy or gal (don't want to be sexist). If Rendon missed the first week or even two it's OK. He's not going to miss two months. Don't go too far in the other direction.
Alex Rodriguez is going to open the year as the Yankees starter at DH. Brian Cashman pretty much said so on Wednesday. In 33 plate appearances this spring ARod's slash line looks fantastic (.286/.394/.536). It's just spring, and in the grand scheme not overly important for most, but for a guy like ARod who missed last season it's huge. He now has to prove his body can hold up. I'm starting to feel pretty decent about the $6 I tossed his way at AL LABR.