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Out Of Left Field: Week 1

All eyes are on Matt Harvey early in the season.

With this post we will be entering the first full week of Fantasy Baseball and with it the first Out Of Left Field post.

Each week I am planning on raising questions for the upcoming week(s), discussing some oddities or controversies of the season, and pretty much anything else that may pop in to my mind. It is called Out Of Left Field after all.

So since the season has not started as I write this, I am going to bring up some interesting topics to think about early on in the week, as well as the young season.

1. Masahiro Tanaka and Matt Harvey’s First Start

Both Tanaka and Harvey will be watched closely with each and every pitch this week. Harvey has fully recovered from Tommy John surgery and has looked sharp this spring with only a few hiccups. The Mets are going to handle him with care this season, but he has had the full recovery time, and will be allowed to pitch 90 pitches in his first start Thursday against the Nationals. A great test to say the least.

Tanaka has also looked very good this spring, however the elephant in the room is his tear in his UCL, which is the ligament that gets repaired in Tommy John surgery. Tanaka is going to try to pitch through it and because of this the excitement of seeing how he does, and if he will indeed need to go under the knife is a very big question. His Fantasy stock in redraft leagues was low and most owners expect him to eventually go under the knife. Tanaka faces the Blue Jays at home on Monday.

Another interesting tidbit is Tanaka admitted his velocity is down and he is changing his delivery. Two big red flags folks. Either way, I am curious to see how these pitchers on opposite side of the injury spectrum fare this week.

2. Will Joc Pederson’s torrid spring carry over into the regular season?

Pederson had a very nice spring training for the Dodgers and will be the everyday starter. His strong performance was somewhat overlooked, however, because of some other guy in Chicago … I can’t quite remember his name.

Either way, Pederson held his own and looks more than ready to hit the ground running slashing .338/.377/692 along with six Home Runs and three stolen bases. Not too shabby and I am sure I will be covering plenty of Pederson this season.

3. Who will hit the first Home Run of the 2015 regular season?

I have no guesses, just something that is always fun to make note of. Heck, it could even be Sunday night in the Cubs vs Cardinals. For kicks I am guessing Jorge Soler Sunday night.

4. Will the San Diego Padres revamped outfield start off strong?

This is a tough one, but I think it will take some time. However, their completely revamped outfield is going to be very exciting to watch and I think they will be free-swinging out of the gate. Matt Kemp, Justin Upton and Wil Myers will all have chips on their shoulders and are looking to prove the Padres are a legitimate contender.

5. Is there a better time than now to buy Anthony Rendon

Rendon has a sprained MCL, but no tears. He will miss some time early on.

Rendon has a sprained MCL, but no tears. He will miss some time early on.

The answer is no, there isn’t.

He had three opinions, all returning a clean bill of health. He visited the wonderful, but oft-feared Dr. Andrews and got the “No Structural Damage.”

That being said, he is going to miss some time, but how much time is the real question. I have heard anywhere from three to five weeks. To me that is not significant enough to avoid him or try to trade him by any means. If an owner is panicking in your re-draft leagues or ESPECIALLY Keeper/Dynasty leagues, do what you can to get him.

6. The Bryce Harper breakout watch begins.

It may not happen immediately, but myself and many others feel this is the youngsters season to leave his mark. Hitting .267/.450/.556 with three home runs, eight RBIs and 15 walks is a nice start. The key to Harper is health and he sounds and looks poised for a full season. That leaves me excited for the 24-year-old to truly break out and show off his five-tool skill set.

7. Jedd Gyorko Bounceback Season Begins.

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Gyorko is a player I have always been a big fan of. If you read my posts or follow me on Twitter you know this already. I am also a believer in track records and Gyorko has one that gets overlooked too often. He is a career .290 plus hitter across all levels with 25 games played. That makes me think injuries and  lack of a solid lineup hurt Gyorko in 2014.

As mentioned above, Gyorko is now surrounded by an outfield with a significant upgrade in talent. He is also fully healthy, so projecting a .255/25/80 RBI season is not far-fetched, at least in my Gyorko lovin’ eyes :)

Check back next week for the regular season version of Out Of Left Field.

Matt Harvey image courtesy of slgckgc.

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