Before we get started, a quick word about Miguel Cabrera's fractured orbital bone, since he's the highest-ranked fantasy player in the news right now. Cabrera might be ready for Opening Day, and if he's not, he should play pretty soon afterwards. Until you hear more bad news, leave him exactly where you already have him on your draftboard. This injury probably isn't serious, and Cabrera's potential for another big season hasn't changed.
On to the rest of the news:
- The A's have decided to go with Grant Balfour as their closer. Balfour is 34 years old and has never closed on a full-time basis, but with a career rate of 9.92 strikeouts per nine innings, he's got the stuff to succeed. I'll still be keeping an eye on Fautino De Los Santos in AL-only leagues, though.
- Chase Utley's knee issues make his return date uncertain, and some are speculating that his career may be in jeopardy. Rookie Freddy Galvis appears to be Utley's short-term replacement. Galvis brings a little bit of speed to the table for fantasy owners, but not much else. Stay away from this mess, even if you're considering a buy-low pick on Utley.
- Rangers SP Neftali Feliz left his Tuesday start due to shoulder stiffness. Stay tuned.
- There's no definitive news on Joakim Soria's prognosis, but the Kansas City Star reports that elbow surgery is "likely" for the Royals' closer. As I wrote here in Monday's entry, I'm leaning toward Greg Holland over Jonathan Broxton as Soria's replacement. I cut Holland at $5 last week in my AL keeper league, and I now hate myself for it.
- Lost in the Royals' acquisition of defensive catcher Humberto Quintero from the Astros was the fact that they also got speedy OF Jason Bourgeois, who stole 31 bases in part-time duty last season. AL-only owners looking for late-game speed should seriously consider Bourgeois.
- As a reminder, the Royals got Quintero to replace Salvador Perez, who recently had knee surgery and might miss half the season, according to the Royals' website.
- Cubs' closer Carlos Marmol left Tuesday's game with what was apparently just a cramp in his right hand. There's nothing to worry about here, except Marmol's inability to find the strike zone despite the use of a guide dog, a sherpa and Google Earth.
- Handcuff alert: Padres RP Andrew Cashner struck out the side in the ninth inning on Tuesday. That'll happen when you throw as hard as he does.
- So far, so good this spring for Marlins' ace Josh Johnson. If healthy, he'll be a fantasy stud. That's a big IF, though.
- Stephen Strasburg had another strong start on Tuesday. All systems are go with Strasburg except for that pesky innings limit he'll encounter late this summer.
- Yankees SP Michael Pineda hit 94 mph on the radar gun during his up-and-down outing on Tuesday. We're not worried about his velocity anymore, right?
- One Diamondbacks' beat writer thinks Josh Collmenter is the front-runner for the team's fifth starter slot.
- Braves' rookie RP Arodys Vizcaino is done for the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
- Here's a look at the probable Orioles' rotation, which includes no roster able mixed-league starters.
- Daniel Bard doesn't yet have a rotation slot locked up with the Red Sox.
- The Astros have four pitchers competing for their final two rotation slots. You don't want any of them.
- One Indians' beat writer projects that Jack Hannahan will beat out rookie Lonnie Chisenhall for the starting third-base job. If only Hannahan could hit.
- Still waiting for Angels DH Kendrys Morales to play in an actual spring game? It might happen on Thursday.
- The Twins' website suggests that rookie Brian Dozier still has an outside shot to win the starting shortstop job. Dozier batted .320 with nine homers and 24 stolen bases between A ball and Double A in 2011. He's young, but interesting.
- Mets OF Andres Torres left Tuesday's game with a strained left calf, and his prognosis is TBD.
- Reid Brignac's foot injury might lock up the Rays' starting SS job for Sean Rodriguez. Rodriguez's batting average is usually pretty bad, but he has decent power and speed for a middle infielder, and qualifies at second, short and third.
- Chris Sale tossed six scoreless innings for the White Sox on Tuesday. The 23-year-old Sale spent 2011 as a reliever, but will join the team's rotation this season. Sale is talented, and offers plenty of upside in AL-only leagues.
See you back here Friday morning.