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[Editor’s Note: After two minutes of basic research it was determined that the information contained in the introduction of this update was 100% false. The Cactus League Updates that follow it are where you need to really listen]

When I dated Cindy Crawford in high school (She grew up near me you know) everything was going well, but eventually things hit the skids. I had to dump her because of that damn mole.

A couple of years ago my wife bought me a new Mercedes for our 10th wedding anniversary. I took it back because the leg room wasn’t quite what I needed.

Last year when I won $50,000,000 on the Powerball, I had to return it because I didn’t want to deal with the taxes. You know after taxes it would have been only about $25,000,000.

Kris Bryant is leading Major League baseball with six spring home runs after blasting 43 a year ago in his mockery of the minor leagues. He’s an obvious threat to hit 30+ home runs this year, but there is no doubt he needs three more weeks of seasoning to work on his footwork at third base. You know, that one time he made a bad throw that could have cost the Cubs a run. I’m sure his defense will be much better toward the end of April.

 

Cactus League Updates for March 15, 2015

San Francisco (2) @ Arizona (5)

Giants Fantasy Highlights:

  • Brandon Belt went 2-for-3 with a home run and 2 RBIs. He’s hitting .435 on the spring with two HRs and five RBIs. If he can avoid injury, this may be the year he truly breaks out.
  • Ryan Vogelsong’s comeback story has been an interesting one over the last few years. It may be over. He gave up six hits and two earned runs in his four innings. I’m not sure there’s any Fantasy value here, even in NL-only leagues.

Diamondbacks Fantasy Highlights:

  • A.J. Pollock went 2-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI. His spring batting average sits at .435 and he’s starting to win me over as a nice value for some cheap speed with a solid average.
  • Mark Trumbo had a couple of RBIs. I’m not sure there’s a cheaper hitter out there, that is almost a lock to hit 30 HRs if he stays healthy. It will also be fun watching him and Yasmany Tomas roam the Arizona outfield if Tomas can’t handle third.

 

Oakland (1) @ Chicago Cubs (3)

Athletics Fantasy Highlights:

  • Jesse Hahn got nicked up a bit in this one, giving up 5 hits and 2 runs in his 3.1 innings. I still like Hahn as a late round value. Once the season starts he’ll enjoy one of the better pitching parks in baseball.

Cubs Fantasy Highlights:

  • Hmmm, where should we start. Maybe Kris Bryant? He didn’t start the game because of some shoulder fatigue. I guess it wasn’t too tired as Bryant came on at DH later in the game to club two more homers. He now has six on the season and has also rescued three kittens from burning buildings.
  • Javier Baez now has five strikeouts in 20 Spring Training at-bats. That’s a huge improvement over what he did in his late season trial in 2014. The other numbers aren’t there just yet, but his work in that area may be just enough to keep him on track to be at second base on Opening Day.
  • Kyle Hendricks, who is being almost completely ignored in mixed league drafts continues to roll on. In this one he pitched five perfect innings with three strikeouts. It’s time to believe folks.

 

Los Angeles Angels (7) @ Kansas City (6)

Angels Fantasy Highlights:

  • C.J. Cron went 1-for-2 with a run scored and two walks. I’m not sure what happens when/if Josh Hamilton comes back, but right now I like Cron as one of the few potential sources of power you can get late in drafts.

Royals Fantasy Highlights:

  • Alcides Escobar had two hits and is up to .389 on the spring. Did you realize that Escobar has hot over .280 with 30+ steals in two of the last three years? If he does that again he’ll be a steal in his own right at his current ADP.
  • Kendrys Morales hit his second HR of the spring. He’s been an afterthought in Fantasy drafts, but it was just in 2013 that he hit .277 with 23 HRs. There’s potentially some late round value here.
  • Jason Vargas gave up eight hits  and five runs in three innings. There’s Fantasy value to be had if your league only uses pitchers who throw under 85 mph.

 

Chicago Cubs 10 @ Milwaukee (5)

Cubs Fantasy Highlights:

  • Wellington Castillo had two hits and three RBIs. If he can find full-time at-bats on the Cubs or another team, I think he could be a decent second catcher in deeper mixed leagues.
  • Edwin Jackson threw three shutout innings. You may now feel free to move on.

Brewers Fantasy Highlights:

  • Adam Lind went 2-for-3 with a homer. He’ll likely face only right-handed pitching this season and that’s a good thing for Fantasy owners. He represents decent end-game value in all formats.
  • Jonathan Lucroy made his spring debut with no barking from his gimpy hamstrings. With the amount of time he is likely to get at first base, there’s a pretty strong argument for Lucroy as the first catcher off the board.
  • Jimmy Nelson is a top pitching prospect with very good stuff. Jimmy Nelson has failed so far in getting Major League hitters out. I like the talent as a late-round flier, but make sure he’s stashed on your bench until he proves himself.

 

San Francisco (2) @ Oakland (5)

Giants Fantasy Highlights:

  • Casey McGehee had two hits and two RBIs. It looks like he isn’t satisfied with last year’s nice comeback story. The power is limited, but he may be a decent source of RBIs if you wait too long to fill your utility slot.
  • After a nice spring debut, Matt Cain was roughed up in this one, giving up six hits and four earned runs in just 1.2 innings. Ignore the numbers and keep your ears open regarding his health. Cain still represents an opportunity to roster a No. 2 Fantasy starter very late in your draft.

Athletics Fantasy Highlights:

  • Billy Burns had three more hits and is now 13-for31 on the spring. Currently the plan is for Sam Fuld and Craig Gentry to platoon in center field for the A’s. If Burns can grab that job 40+ stolen bases isn’t out of the question.
  • Jesse Chavez pitched 4.1 innings and allowed two earned runs on five hits. Despite last season’s nice start, right now it looks like Chavez will be in the bullpen.

 

Colorado (1) Cincinnati (0)

Rockies Fantasy Highlights:

  • Jordan Lyles looked solid. You might want to grab him in the end game… if you happen to like extreme pain.

Reds Fantasy Highlights:

  • Anthony Desclafini looked good and may be closing in on the No. 5 slot in the Reds rotation. I’m not ready to run out and roster him, but I will be keeping an eye on his results early in the year.

 

Cleveland (2) Los Angeles Dodgers (7)

Indians Fantasy Highlights:

  • Jose Ramirez went 3-for-4. I’m not sure how long he holds off Francisco Lindor, but Ramirez offers a little speed and is not a bad stopgap in deeper formats. four Cleveland starters you want to be targeting.
  • Bruce Chen got the start and gave up seven hits and three earned runs. Needless to say he’s not one of the

Dodgers Fantasy Highlights:

  • Jimmy Rollins went 2-for-3 with a run and an RBI. He’s not the sexy pick, but shortstop is thin and I think the new environment will keep Rollins fresh.
  • Scott Van Slyke had a couple of hits, including a homer. If Carl Crawford goes down, think the Dodgers will turn to him over Andre Ethier? They should.
  • Brett Anderson pitched three shutout inning, allowing two  hits and a walk. It’s a bit of a gut call, but I think Anderson is going to provide some value this year, as a streamer if nothing else.

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