Previous editions are here. For the most part, I’ll try to avoid repeating players.
Could be poised for a breakout. Mesoraco always posted great power numbers in the minor leagues, but it hasn’t translated to the majors yet. With catchers, it can take a while, and Mesoraco is only 26. He also plays in a great park for hitters.
Avisail Garcia is out for the year, and it looks like Viciedo will be the primary beneficiary in playing time. I’m not a big fan, but he definitely has some power, and he’s only 25. That is, if you believe he started playing in Cuba’s national series at 15 years of age. (Surprisingly, no one seems to doubt this, but it’s hard for even a follower of Cuban baseball such as myself to track down articles from back then.)
Josh Hamilton is out for 6-8 weeks, opening the door for Shuck. Absolutely zero power, and not a whole lot of speed, but the batting average should be good, if you’re desperate in that category.
Ross is on his way back from hip surgery. If healthy and gritty enough, he has a decent chance to push A.J. Pollock bench-wards. Ross has power, and Jason Kubel is no longer around to contend for playing time.
Tis the season to gamble on pitchers off to hot starts. Nate Eovaldi has always thrown really hard, and it looks like he may have figured out how to make people miss this year. Coming in to the season, I liked Ian Kennedy‘s chances to bounce back after a tough 2013, and he’s off to a decent start. Jesse Chavez is worth a look. Roberto Hernandez has had remarkable peripherals so far in Philly, though it’s worth noting that he started last year in similar fashion in Tampa. Josh Collmenter is moving into the rotation in Arizona, he has been good for the past two years in long relief. Jason Hammel is also worth rostering at the moment. His sinker usage is up to start the season after tailing off last year due to elbow pain.
Koji Uehara is experiencing shoulder tightness, seemingly opening up the job for Edward Mujica. Mujica hasn’t been very good so far, however, and his velocity is down. Tazawa has always had great peripherals, and may get a chance in Boston. He’s a decent speculative add.
When a team moves to a “closer by committee,” 99% of the time what they mean is that the first pitcher to convert two saves in a row wins the job. With the A’s, there’s a slightly better chance that the committee actually sticks for a while. The team went out of their way to build a deep bullpen this offseason, and has options. Gregerson got the save yesterday, while the lefty Doolittle got the nod today, facing two lefties. Doolittle is filthy, so even if he gets fewer opportunities than Gregerson, he will still help your rate stats. I also think there’s a decent chance that Jim Johnson gets the job back eventually. Some swear by Ryan Cook, but I’m not one of them.
Veras is safely droppable, but both Rondon and Strop probably need be owned. My money’s on Strop, since manager Rick Renteria strikes me as about as pretty traditional, which means promoting the 8th-inning guy. He’s been bad so far, though, and has a history of poor control, so Rondon is worth an add.