Spring training is upon us and with it brings a renewed sense of hope to fans of all 30 Major League teams (yes, even Pirates and Royals fans…). Each day gives us news on injuries and stories on how players have lost or added weight and how it will affect them in the up coming season. So without further adieu here are my top headlines and notes for your daily baseball rush.
- We’ll lead off with the biggest story of the day in Josh Beckett. Taking a ball to the noggin earlier this afternoon, he was sent home with mild concussion symptoms. Not good news for a pitcher who already has trouble hitting the mitt when he can see straight, so if these effects linger, expect more of a 2010 season this year rather than something like his 20-win 2007 season. This is a guy whose been statistically overrated the past couple of seasons, but when you look at his value to the Boston Red Sox, he is an enormous piece of their very expensive puzzle. We all know about the Red Sox offense with the addition of Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford, but this is a team that is in desperate need of someone to complement John Lester and youngster Clay Buchholz at the top of the rotation. John Lackey is coming off of a down year, and nobody knows how effective Dice-K’s gyro ball will be this year, so this is a major story to monitor.
- I know the general story is old, but Miguel Cabrera is finally through with his whole pre-camp ordeal, or at least until his court date in March. He got his first spring training action today and finished 0-2 on the day. Obviously stats do not equate to much in February and March, but it is worth noting that he looked fairly hefty running down to first base on both of his groundouts. I’m not saying that is a bad thing, often times for sluggers weight equals better power, but for a guy with an off-season of turmoil, this could be bad news for Tiger fans, and Cabrera fantasy owners.
- Other Notes- Mark Prior pitched a perfect inning today in his latest comeback with the Yankees, who would look awfully good in that number five slot of their rotation… Speaking of the Yankees, according to ESPN they may be going after lefty Fransisco Liriano of the Minnesota Twins. After losing out on Cliff Lee to the Phillies and Andy Pettitte to his family, the Yankees need another solid arm… Carlos Beltran and his bulky knees are being shifted to rightfield for this season in a desperate attempt to keep him healthy in a very weak New York Mets lineup.
Now with games everyday, expect more and more injury notes, which for fantasy owners who have already drafted means possible doom. Read more tomorrow or leave a comment you have on baseball or fantasy baseball.