My favorite story of the fantasy baseball season so far: Fantasy guru Eno Sarris of FanGraphs told me yesterday that because he's in 12 leagues, he hired an intern to help set lineups for him. I wonder if that guy is going to put "Fantasy Lineup-Setting Intern" on his resume.
On to the news:
- Rays OF B.J. Upton will start the season on the DL due to lower back issues. Don't worry too much, as this isn't expected to be a long-term absence. It's hard to say if this will be a recurring problem, though.
- On a related note, Rays manager Joe Maddon says that infielder Jeff Keppinger will see some time in the No. 2 slot of the batting order this season. This suggests that Ben Zobrist will be in right field quite a bit, with Keppinger playing plenty of second base. The Rays like to use their entire roster, so expect the usual juggling, benchings, etc.
- It sounds like the Red Sox aren't expecting OF Carl Crawford (wrist) to join their lineup before late April.
- Tigers 3B Miguel Cabrera (broken face) will return to the lineup today and is expected to be ready for Opening Day.
- Prospect watchers: Blue Jays OF Anthony Gose led off the eighth inning yesterday with a walk, and then stole second, third and home. Gose stole 70 bases in Double A last season, and could be a fantasy impact player by 2013.
- Though the White Sox haven't decided on a closer, Matt Thornton finished Thursday's game. He's the logical choice to start the season with the job, but rookie Addison Reed is still on my radar for the long haul.
- No word on the closer situations from the Reds or Royals. The picks here are still Sean Marshall and Greg Holland, respectively.
- Once Nationals 1B Adam LaRoche (foot) is healthy - which should be soon - he's expected to be in a platoon with Mark DeRosa.
- The Rangers' rotation is set, with Yu Darvish in the No. 4 slot. In reality, he'll be No. 1 if things go well.
- Did you see the game Bartolo Colon pitched yesterday? Sure, he'll wear down in a couple of months, but for awhile he'll probably help you in AL-only leagues. Yes, I know he was pitching against the Mariners.
- Pirates SP Charlie Morton (hip) will start the season on the DL, but it sounds like a move meant to give him a little more time to get ready.
- Despite not starting on Opening Day, Josh Donaldson is the A's everyday third baseman. Donaldson hit 17 home runs while stealing 13 bases in Triple A last season, and qualifies at catcher in most formats. Hmm ...
- As for the A's first-base situation, it's still a mess.
- It looks like the Twins will open the season with Chris Parmelee at first base and Justin Morneau at DH. Morneau's bat has come alive lately.
- If the Indians trade Bobby Abreu to the Indians to clear up their outfield logjam, Abreu's fantasy value will come back from the dead in AL-only leagues. He hit eight homers and stole 21 bases last season, so he's not done yet.
- We should know today if Dodgers SP Ted Lilly (neck) will start the season on the DL.
- Royals SP Felipe Paulino, who should be a source of Ks in AL-only leagues, will start the season on the DL due to forearm tightness.
- Marlins OF Giancarlo Stanton (knee) should return to the Marlins' lineup today after a lengthy absence. Fifty homers or bust!
- The Cubs have set their rotation, with Randy Wells being the odd man out.
This blog will be updated every weekday starting on Monday, April 2. If you have any questions that aren't answered here - but really, what are the odds of that happening? - you can reach me via Facebook or Twitter. Have a great weekend!