Mar 16, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) takes a moment on the mound after walking Atlanta Braves right fielder Jason Heyward (22) during the third inning at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
While spring training stats don’t matter much, it’s the positional battles or injury reports that do. Here are 5 open questions from spring training that will impact fantasy owners.
Archie Bradley or Randall Delgado?
Randall Delgado is no slouch either and he’ll certainly pick up some of those innings. Unfortunely, he doesn’t have the fantasy potential of Bradley so this situation is something to watch this spring.
Will Tanaka pitch well for the Yankees?
The New York Yankees teased us all by insisting they intended to keep their salary under the luxury cap, only to ultimately give Masahiro Tanaka a huge contract.
But will be worth the contract. Japanese players have both translated into superstars and busts. With the contract Tanaka got, there will be no middle ground, and the star or bust label will be thrust on him soon enough. Fantasy owners will have to wait and see.
Who will play second base for the Dodgers?
Somebody has to man the keystone for the Los Angeles Dodgers and early reports are that Dee Gordon has a leg up over Alexander Guerrero.
While Gordon can certainly bring stolen bases to fantasy owners in bunches, absolutely no one has any confidence that he’ll keep the job long term. The job will ultimately be Guerrero’s and the question during spring training will be if has to spend some time in Triple A first.
Is Billy Hamilton ready to man center field for the Reds?
I certainly think the answer is yes, and I even wrote a post I showed step-by-step that Billy Hamilton can be the league’s worst hitter in 2014 and still steal 100 bases.
But ultimately it’s the decision of the Cincinnati Reds. Hamilton is making the decision an easy one as he’s getting on base at an excellent clip during spring training.
Are the old stars back?
Braun is slugging this spring, while Albert also looks like he has a little more in the tank. Fantasy owners are hoping both guys bounce back.