MLB In Full Bloom - How long will Jose Reyes Be Out? - 4/1/2014

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Opening Day lived up to the anticipation and excitement for baseball purists! I was fortunate enough to be in Anaheim for the Los Angeles Angels home opener against the Seattle Mariners. Mike Trout hit a two-run homer in his first AB of the 2014 season, and yours truly was asked to be quiet as I sat in the Angels press box with Julie Buehler. I briefly forgot that I am not supposed to show any emotion while sitting in the press box and for all you that know me that is difficult to do for extended periods of time! The Angels bullpen looked woeful, especially Kevin Jepsen who gave up 5 ER in 2/3 of an inning as the Mariners scored nine unanswered runs to defeat the Halos 10-3. If that was not bad enough, Hitting Coach Don Baylor broke his right femur while catching Vladimir Guerrero's ceremonial first pitch. Baylor sat motionless on the ground for a few moments before trainers helped him off the field. Baylor will have surgery today. It was certainly a rocky and bizarre way to start Monday night in Anaheim.

MLB NEWS & NOTES

  • Jose Reyes (hamstring) is back on the 15-day disabled list with left hamstring tightness. The Blue Jays won't know the extent of Reyes' hamstring injury until he undergoes an MRI Tuesday, but they already know it's bad enough to place Reyes on the disabled list. No surprise here as Reyes has been nursing the injury for over a week and aggravated it in his first at-bat Monday. Maicer Izturis is expected to start at shortstop while Reyes is sidelined. Fantasy owners that gambled on Reyes should expect him to be out longer than the 15 days on the disabled list.
  • Grady Sizemore homered and singled against the Orioles in a losing effort on Opening Day. The home run was his first since July 15, 2011 - 991 days. After joining the Red Sox on a minor league deal over the winter, the oft-injured 31-year-old won the starting center field job over Jackie Bradley Jr. with a strong showing in spring training. Who knows how long the resurgence will last, but Sizemore could be a huge bargain for the Red Sox and fantasy owners.
  • Mike Trout went 2-for-4 with a two-run homer on Opening Day against the Mariners on Monday. Trout homered off Felix Hernandez in his very first at-bat of the season, what else would you expect!
  • Felix Hernandez gave up a two-run homer to Mike Trout and was shaky early, but he settled down to strike out 11 Angels over six innings and earned his first victory of the year. King Felix is now 5-0 in Opening Day starts in his career.
  • Adam Wainwright picked up right where he left of last year with a dominating performance in Cincinnati on Opening Day. Wainwright struck out nine over seven scoreless innings in Monday's 1-0 victory over the Reds. He did walk four batters, which is very uncharacteristic for the right-hander, but he allowed just three singles and never encountered any real trouble. He face the Pirates in his next start.
  • Buster Posey went 2-for-5 with the go-ahead two-run homer in a 9-8 Opening Day win over the Diamondbacks. Posey's homer came off Addison Reed in the ninth inning that snapped a 7-7 tie. Posey struggled during the second half last year due to a fractured finger, but he's back to 100 percent right now and should be one of the most productive catchers in the game this year.
  • Francisco Rodriguez received a save opportunity and he shut the door as the Milwaukee Brewers defeated the Atlanta Braves on Opening Day. This came as a surprise as many thought manager Ron Roenicke had Jim Henderson as his closer to start the year. It now appears that Rodriguez will be the Brewers closer until further notice. The decision came after Henderson struggled with diminished velocity and command in spring training.
  • Jose Abreu went 2-for-4 with an RBI single and a run scored Monday against the Twins. Abreu signed a six-year, $68 million contract last October with the White Sox and then he struggled in spring training. But Abreu didn't disappoint in his major league debut. He posted huge power numbers during his time in Cuba and carries significant fantasy potential.

MLB In Full Bloom 3/31/2014 - OPENING DAY EDITION!

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0 - Days Until Opening Day!

Opening Day should be a National Holiday in my book! But, since I am fortunate to have the greatest job as the co-host of Buehler's Day Off it is my job to watch the games! Opening Day is an exciting day for so many reasons, but the word that is most often thrown around is hope. Every fan base has hope on Opening Day that this is the year their team will win it all. For Cubs fans, that hope won't last very long and soon we'll be saying "Wait til next year". But, not today - it's Opening Day and it is one of the best days of the year!

MLB NEWS & NOTES

  • Mike Trout and the Los Angeles Angels agreed to a six-year $144 contract extension over the weekend. An extension has been discussed for awhile and the two sides finally came together on this one. The deal also includes a no trade clause, which for a player at 22-years old is not common. This was uncharted waters for the Angels, but they certainly did the right thing to lock up Trout for as long as possible. Trout's average annual average salary as a result of the deal is nearly $24.1 million. He'll be eligible for free agency when he is 29, so expect another huge payout coming his way.
  • Miguel Cabrera and the Detroit Tigers agreed to an eight-year extension $292 contract extension over the weekend. The exact value of the contract is vague, but Cabrera's extension will be tacked onto the two years remaining on his current deal, so he will receive the $292 million over the next 10 years -- the largest sum ever handed to an MLB player. While the contract is certainly staggering, Cabrera earned it by winning each of the last two AL MVP awards.
  • Clayton Kershaw (back) was placed on the 15-day disabled list with upper back inflammation. Kershaw is maintaining a consistent 5-day workout regimen while he is out with the injury. There remains no clear timetable for how long the Dodgers star southpaw will be on the shelf, but the team doesn't want to rush him back and risk further aggravation. This is the first time in Kershaw's career that he has been placed on the disabled list.
  • Seth Smith blasted a game-tying home run in the eighth inning on Sunday as the Padres came back to earn a 3-1 season-opening victory over the Dodgers. Smith is expected to see regular playing time in the Padres' outfield against right-handed pitching this season, and could be worth picking up in NL-Only leagues and deep mixed formats.
  • Shane Victorino (hamstring) was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right hamstring. The move is retroactive to March 30th. While Victorino is out, Jackie Bradley has been added to the Opening Day roster in a corresponding move and will get some playing time. Grady Sizemore is starting in center field today and will split time with Bradley.
  • J.P. Arencibia will get the bulk of playing time at catcher for the Rangers for the first three months of the season while Geovany Soto recovers from knee surgery. He could be a sneaky fantasy pick in AL-Only formats and deep mixed leagues.
  • Yu Darvish (neck) was placed on the 15-day disabled list with neck stiffness. The move is retroactive to March 21st  and the good news is that he threw a 32-pitch bullpen session Sunday without any issues. He will throw another bullpen session Tuesday. Darvish will be eligible to rejoin the Rangers' rotation next weekend, and it sounds like there's a chance he'll be ready at that time.

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