Fantasy Baseball March 18 Round Up: Ronald Acuna Jr. to Open 2022 Season on Injured List
Published: Mar 18, 2022
You can feel the fantasy baseball excitement growing, can’t you? More fantasy baseball drafts are starting, both best ball and full-season, the majority of big-named MLB free agents have signed and spring training reports are in full swing. We’re still looking for landing spots for guys like Trevor Story and Carlos Correa, but fortunately, these guys are expected to hit wherever they land, so we still feel comfortable drafting them at their current ADP. In order to help keep you better prepared this spring, the Fantasy Baseball Daily Round-Up takes a snapshot of what is happening around baseball so you never fall behind in your draft prep.
Atlanta Braves GM Alex Anthopoulos Reveals 2022 Season Plan for Ronald Acuña Jr.
Did you happen to catch Thursday’s Fantasy Alarm Show on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio? Anthopoulos joined the show (which you can find on the SXM App) and brought to the fantasy community, the team’s tentative plan for their star outfielder. Acuna will open the season on the injured list and then serve as the Braves DH around April 21 for about a month. The expectation is for him to return to the field by May 21. Now, this is just the framework of the plan as things could change. The important takeaway is that, barring any setbacks, Acuna is only going to miss roughly 10-12 games. If you’re drafting right now, you may want to start looking at him midway through the first round. There was no talk of restrictions at all, so while many believe the steals will drop significantly, they aren’t planning to hold him back which means he should still do some running. Are we looking at 30 steals? Probably not. But I’ll take 15-20 with everything else he brings to the table.
New York Mets OF Dominic Smith Confesses to Last Season’s Injuries
We’re keeping a close watch on Smith right now and the reports of him finally being healthy are encouraging. Smith could get traded at some point this spring as many teams are still in the market for a DH, but even if he were to stay with the Mets, he will at least serve as the righty half of a DH platoon with J.D. Davis. Smith has tremendous power potential and if he were to land regular at-bats this season, he could be an intriguing late-round grab for power.
St. Louis Cardinals Shut Down RHP Alex Reyes for Two Weeks
The hits just keep on coming for Reyes who is still experiencing shoulder soreness and has just received therapeutic injections to alleviate the pain and discomfort. There was fleeting hope when the Cardinals said they were going to try stretching him out, but those hopes were dashed immediately. Even if he returns in two weeks, what are we left with? Will they try to use him as a closer? That worked for about five minutes last year before he got hurt again and fell apart in the second half. Let’s just move on, shall we?
MLB Free Agency:
Texas Rangers Signing RHP Garrett Richards to One-Year Deal
While the Rangers are looking for rotation arms, it’s difficult to see Richards being any sort of a solution. The veteran righty has seen both his overall numbers and peripherals decline and he’s lost value even more in fantasy as he doesn’t strike anyone out either. The back-end of the Rangers rotation looks pretty gross right now and Richards isn’t going to make it any prettier. Avoid in all drafts.
Danny Duffy Stays with Los Angeles Dodgers for Another Year
It looks like the Dodgers still believe in Duffy, whom they acquired from Kansas City last year, but didn’t throw a pitch for them as he suffered from flexor issues that required surgery. The team thinks he can make his way back, though it seems unlikely that he would be anything more than a long-reliever at this point. Maybe an opener? Either way, with so much risk for injury, we can leave Duffy to the waiver wire and take another look when he’s closer to showing us something.
Chicago Cubs Add Jonathan Villar and Mychal Givens
The Villar news probably has more fantasy relevance as he is still capable of producing double-digit homers and steals if he were to hold down a regular starting job this season. The Cubs brought him in for defensive reasons as this moves Patrick Wisdom to the DH spot, but if you’re looking to round out your infield depth at some point late in the draft he’s intriguing. Just don’t expect him to return to the 30-40 range for stolen bases. Fantasy owners tend to elevate players who can steal, but there’s no reason to push him up right now. As for Givens, he’s got closer experience and could push incumbent Rowan Wick for saves at some point if he throws well.
Cincinnati Reds Sign 1B Colin Moran to One-Year Deal
As the Reds continue to maneuver their way through mediocrity, they add Moran to serve as a left-handed DH and back-up to first baseman Joey Votto. The problem is that things are starting to get a little crowded in the Queen City infield. They brought in Donovan Solano as well and already have Mike Moustakas, Kyle Farmer and, eventually, Jose Barrero. Keep an eye on the spring training games and see how the team configures things early on, but someone is going to be the odd-man out. Maybe that’s Solano and Barrero for right now, but it’s not like Moustakas is a bastion of health or Moran is a consistent hitter. Stay tuned.
MLB Rumor Mill
Atlanta Braves and San Diego Padres are in Talks with Outfielder Jorge Soler
Another little nugget taken from the Anthopoulos interview was that the team is clearly still in the market for another outfielder and bringing back World Series MVP Jorge Soler is a serious option. The Braves GM is not allowed to speak on specific free agent players, but he gave every indication the Braves are not done configuring their roster for their title defense. What this does for the value of Eddie Rosario and Marcell Ozuna once Acuna is back on the field is not yet known, but for the first month of the season, we are likely to see some sort of a platoon in left field and DH.
Chicago White Sox 3B Yoán Moncada Says He Plans to Steal More Bases in 2022.
You have to love a player’s enthusiasm when it comes to stolen bases, but you always have to take things with a grain of salt. Still, Moncada was a big base-stealer when he first landed in the Boston Red Sox farm system. He swiped 94 bags in two seasons between Low and Double-A but then focused more on his emerging power as he moved up the ranks. If he can come in and steal double-digit bases this season, we could be getting a really nice Middle-round bargain at the hot corner. The position is a mess anyway, so this might be a good angle to take if you don’t land an elite third-base bat.
Trevor Bauer’s 2022 Status Remains a Mystery
There was a little confusion Thursday when The Rich Eisen Show said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts told them Bauer wouldn’t pitch for the Dodgers “for the foreseeable future, if ever again.” The show retracted the statement as Roberts said nothing of the sort and simply said there was no update on the pitcher’s status. The MLBPA extended Bauer’s administrative leave through April 16 and everything is sitting in limbo. Some people are drafting Bauer in the mid-to-late rounds with the hope that he comes back with the proverbial chip on his shoulder, but given the situation and the optics, there could still be a suspension looming as MLB sorts this out.
San Diego Padres Showing Interest in Yankees 1B Luke Voit
This is just in the rumor gestation phase as Yankees GM Brian Cashman outlined a rotation plan for the team’s infield, given the list of guys they currently have in-house. I wouldn’t just dismiss it, however, as the Yankees still look like they have a move or two in them before the season begins. Voit would certainly fill a power gap for the Padres, so if he lands there, he could split time between first and DH with Eric Hosmer. We’ll see.
UPDATE: According to Jon Heyman of the MLB Network, the Yankees have traded 1B Luke Voit to the San Diego Padres for RHP Jutsin Lange. Now we'll see what they do with Hosmer.
Detroit Tigers Rookies Spencer Torkelson and Riley Greene May Open the 2022 Season in the Majors
Word came down from Tigers GM Alex Avila that he would not hold back the two rookies for service time manipulation, something we expected as Jim Bowden noted the new CBA gives teams plenty of incentive to start their youngsters early. We’re talking added draft picks should they finish in the top three of the Rookie of the Year voting, something very possible for both Greene and Torkelson. We’ll have more on this during today’s Fantasy Alarm Show on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio as Tigers manager A.J. Hinch joins the show at 6:30pm ET. We’ll see you there!
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