Morning News and Notes- April 7, 2013- Freddie Freeman to the DL
Morning News and Notes
After a torrid start to begin the season, Freddie Freeman of the Braves (.412 BA, 3 Runs scored, 1 HR, and 7 RBI) is heading to the DL with a strained right oblique. Two things are effected here in Atlanta: One, Chris Johnson is likely going to be the beneficiary of this, as he is going to move to first base. Second, Juan Francisco will be able to get more playing time at third base.
The bad news, other than Freeman getting hurt of course, is that this surprisingly affects Francisco and Johnson’s value in a negative way in certain formats. For many NL-Only league owners, Francisco getting the third base job to himself with Freeman on the shelf, means that he will be facing lefties. That is a dangerous proposition for his batting average. Similarly, Chris Johnson will now be facing righties, which also will tank his batting average. True, in NL-Only leagues, at-bats reign supreme, but if the quality of the at-bats begin to severely diminish, it should cause some owners to look the other way and go with better options.
Here are first some mixed league first base replacement options for Freddie Freeman:
Adam Lind- Toronto Blue Jays- Owned in only 2.6% of ESPN leagues.
Spin: Lind is one of my crutch players; I’ve been chasing his 2010 season for $1 at the end of my drafts, seemingly every year. He’s 1/16 to begin the season, but hey, he has a stolen base! Furthermore, Lind has only struck out once in that 1-16 slump.
Yonder Alonso- San Diego Padres- Owned in only 7.2% of ESPN leagues.
Spin: Alonso is actually my ideal first choice. He is a great source of batting average, is hitting in the middle of an improving Padre lineup, and hey, he’s got 20 HR potential in his bat. Alonso also walks at a respectable clip, making him in an option in OBP formats as well.
Mitch Moreland- Texas Rangers- Owned in only 3.0% of ESPN leagues.
Spin: Moreland has also gotten off to a rough start – like Lind -. Moreland is 1/17 to start the season but he did hit a mammoth shot HR off Tommy Hanson. He could be in a platoon if he continues to struggle, but since Lance Berkman is getting old there is really no path for Moreland to lose too much playing time. The only plausible situation on that front is if Ian Kinsler is eventually moved to first base to create room for Jurickson Profar. For now though, Moreland’s job is safe, and for AL-Only league owners and deeper mixed league owners, he’s a good addition.
In other news, Carlos Marmol –unsurprisingly- lost his job as the Cubs closer this morning. Although Kyuji Fujikawa imploded last night as well, Fujikawa was named the closer this morning. He should be the first closer taken off the waiver wires this week.