Three weeks into the season, and the march of injuries around the league, minor transactions, and the delineation of timeshare patterns should force us to take a second (or third look) at some players.
Without any further ado...
Starters: Brennan Boesch, Collin Cowgill
The Angels' outfield took a second hit over the weekend, with Kole Calhoun joining Josh Hamilton on the disabled list for the next month-plus. The club called up former Tiger and Yankee Brennan Boesch from Triple-A Salt Lake City to platoon in right with Collin Cowgill. Boesch fizzled with the Yankees in 2013, and he was ultimately released from that organization in July. However, his exposure should be limited to right-handed pitching, against which he has hit 39 of his career 45 home runs. Cowgill should primarily play against left-handed starters, in addition to subbing in the other two outfield slots. Career minor leaguer Matt Long could be the next outfielder up from Salt Lake if another injury hits.
Starters: Matt Joyce, David DeJesus
Next: Sean Rodriguez, Logan Forsythe, Brandon Guyer
Manager Joe Maddon was one to use platoons last season, but he has fed a consistent stream of playing time to a core of seven guys this season. The exception is left field, where Maddon has already used six (yes six) different starters in left field through the first 19 games of the season. The lefty-lefty combo of Matt Joyce and David DeJesus has played more than half of the team's innings here so far, while guys like Sean Rodriguez, Logan Forsythe, and Brandon Guyer have come off the bench to play against left-handed starters. Joyce has far out-hit DeJesus to this point (1.024 OPS versus .410 in roughly the same number of at-bats), but he has yet to emerge with more playing time.
Starter: Andrew Romine
Next: Danny Worth, Stephen Drew?
The Alex Gonzalez-can-still-play-shortstop-in-Detroit experiment ended Sunday, with the 16-season veteran getting his release. From a fantasy perspective, neither of his potential replacements, Andrew Romine or Danny Worth, are upgrades. Romine, who figures to be the starter, stole a pair of bases against the Angels on Sunday, and while he has never had much speed at the major league level, he frequently stole 20+ bags in the minors. Worth has not hit a home run in the majors since July 2010 .I would expect the “Sign Stephen Drew" drumbeat to increase in the coming days, but I'm not sure it will happen, at least not before June's draft. Is five or six weeks of Drew worth the draft pick/draft money at this point, especially when the Tigers should handedly carry the AL Central with the pieces they already have?
Starter: Lucas Duda
Next: Josh Satin, Bobby Abreu?
The Ike Davis era in Queens ended over the weekend when the Mets sent him to the Pirates for a minor league reliever and a PTBNL. His departure solidifies Lucas Duda's standing as the team's starting first baseman. Duda does not put the ball in play as much as you would like from your starting first baseman, nor does he put the ball over the fence as much as you would like. But now he only has to contend with Josh Satin for playing time, who should come in against tougher left-handed pitchers. Bobby Abreu will join the team this week to serve as a bench bat, but he could conceivably see some at-bats here.