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Spring Training Job Battles: Opportunity Knocks

Brian Pelowski

Brian Pelowski writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire.

With two weeks' worth of spring training games in the books, it is time for another look into the job battles to keep an eye on as you prepare for your fantasy drafts. Many of these situations are very fluid at this time of the year. An injury or a poor outing or two can change the outlook for a player instantly. I suggest making use of the player news on the site to keep up to date on the situations that are of most interest to you. At this time of the year you should consider the player news pages daily reading prior to your draft. The depth of the news coverage here can give you a leg up on your league mates in the end game of your draft.

Note that there will be one more version of this article on March 28 to cover any new developments, and to review which jobs remain open and which jobs have been won. Please make use of the comments section below if you have questions about any situations that were not covered here.

Arizona Diamondbacks
Shortstop: The Diamondbacks are looking to go young at shortstop this season. Didi Gregorius is in a battle with Chris Owings and Cliff Pennington for the starting job. Owings' bat offers more upside, so fantasy owners would prefer to see him come away with the job. However, general manager Kevin Towers has said that Gregorius is the favorite for the job. Cliff Pennington is unlikely to earn the starting gig, and will back up whoever becomes the starter. None of the three have stood out offensively thus far this spring.

Center Field: A.J. Pollock has gotten off to a great start at the plate this spring which should secure the starting job in center field for him. He was the heavy favorite entering camp.

Closer: Addison Reed is favorite for the job and has looked good thus far this spring. He faces stiff competition from veterans J.J. Putz, David Hernandez, and Brad Ziegler. Barring a disastrous spring, expect Reed to enter the regular season with the job.

Fifth Starter: The bulging disc in Bronson Arroyo's back could jeopardize his chances of being ready for the start of the regular season. If that happens, Archie Bradley would likely open the year in the Arizona rotation, although Randall Delgado might also be considered

Atlanta Braves
Starting Rotation: The Braves added Ervin Santana this week with Kris Medlen likely headed for Tommy John surgery. Mike Minor and Brandon Beachy are also dealing with arm problems, creating at least one temporary opening in the Braves' rotation. The rash of injuries ensures that, at least in the short term, Alex Wood and Freddy Garcia will open the year in starting roles. David Hale is also still be in the mix for a spot, depending on how Minor and Beachy feel in the coming weeks. Gavin Floyd is also a name to remember here. He is expected to be ready to pitch in May, and could slide into the rotation at that point. He is worth stashing in deeper leagues. Wood is worth an endgame pick in deeper mixed leagues as he could return solid value if he sticks in the rotation. Garcia needs to be avoided.

Baltimore Orioles
Left Field/DH: Manager Buck Showalter has said David Lough, who is the favorite for the left field job, will not play much against left-handed pitchers. Nolan Reimold is the favorite to platoon with Lough, but Steven Pearce and Delmon Young remain in the mix for at-bats as well. Henry Urrutia and Francisco Peguero are likely headed to the minors at the start of the season, but they could see some time in the Baltimore outfield later this year.

Second Base: Ryan Flaherty, Jemile Weeks and Jonathan Schoop are competing for the starting job at second. Schoop has played well thus far this spring, turning this into more of a competition than initially expected. He has the most upside of this group and should be owned in AL-only leagues, as he is likely to see time in the majors this year even if he does not win a job this spring. This is a battle that could extend into the regular season as Flaherty may have to fill in at third with Manny Machado possibly sidelined for the early part of April.

Fifth Starter: Bud Norris is the favorite for the job, but Zach Britton, Kevin Gausman, Steve Johnson and Brian Matusz are all in the mix for the final spot in the Orioles' rotation. Gausman has the most upside out of this group, but he hasn't even surpassed 100 career innings in the minors yet. The O's may want to give him more time to develop. Matusz would like to start, but given his success he's had in the bullpen, he's likely headed back there. Britton and Johnson are temporary options at best. Suk-Min Yoon, who came over from Korea this year, will open the year in the minors, but could be an option later this season.

Closer: Tommy Hunter is the favorite for the job, but his skill set is mediocre for a closer. Darren O'Day was impressive for a second season in a row, but he also had some problems with lefties which might make manager Buck Showalter hesitant to use him as the closer. Brian Matusz could also work his way into the mix if he fails to win a starting spot. Ryan Webb and Brad Brach are unlikely to be candidates, though Brach could get consideration if he were to finally take a step forward with his command this season. He's off to a good start this spring with a 7:1 K:BB ratio in 5.1 innings, and he should be owned in deeper AL-only leagues.

Boston Red Sox
Center Field: The Red Sox brought in Grady Sizemore this winter to give Jackie Bradley competition for the center field job. Sizemore has not played in the majors since 2011 due to knee problems, but he has been healthy thus far in camp. He has also been the more productive of the two, though it is just a small sample size this early in camp. Even if he manages to win the job, it would be unwise to invest much in Sizemore given his lengthy injury history. Don't be surprised if Bradley logs a significant amount of time in center for the Red Sox this season.

Fifth Starter: Felix Doubront is competing with Chris Capuano for the last spot in the Boston rotation. Doubront is the heavy favorite for the job, and has looked good thus far in camp. Brandon Workman, Rubby de la Rosa and Allen Webster are also in the mix, but all three are likely headed to the minors at the start of the season.

Chicago Cubs
Third Base: Donnie Murphy, Luis Valbuena, Emilio Bonifacio, Ryan Roberts and Mike Olt are all competing for playing time at third this spring. The Cubs would certainly like to see Olt take the job, but he will need a solid performance this spring given his monumental struggles in the minors last year. If Olt doesn't win the job, the likely scenario is a Bonifacio or Murphy platoon with Valbuena at third. Prospect Kris Bryant should be on the radar in NL-only leagues as well. He is developing fast and could be starting at third for the Cubs by midseason if the team doesn't decide to shift him to the outfield.

Left/Center Field: The Cubs have Junior Lake, Ryan Sweeney, Ryan Kalish, Josh Vitters and Justin Ruggiano along with a handful of other non-roster invitees in camp to compete for two spots. Given the Cubs' rebuilding status, it makes sense for them to give Lake plenty of at-bats this season. It is possible they will go with a platoon of Sweeney and Ruggiano in center. Kalish and Vitters, who has been moved off third base, are interesting given their previous status as prospects, but both have failed to do much with their opportunities to date. Neither has done much with their opportunities this spring either.

Fifth Starter: Jake Arrieta is questionable to be ready for the start of the season, leaving Carlos Villanueva, James McDonald, Tsuyoshi Wada and Chris Rusin to compete for the fifth starter job. The Cubs seem to prefer Villanueva in the bullpen, and McDonald has a lot to prove this spring after shoulder problems torpedoed his 2013 season. Wada and Rusin may be the favorites to hold down the final spot until Arrieta is ready.

Closer: Manager Rick Renteria said Jose Veras is likely to open the year as the team's closer. The Cubs have a number of potential options should he struggle including Pedro Stop, Kyuji Fujikawa and Arodys Vizcaino. All three should be rostered in NL-only leagues. If you are forced to choose one to speculate on, go with Vizcaino due to his pedigree and high-90s heater.

Chicago White Sox
Catcher: Josh Phegley, Tyler Flowers and Rule 5 pick Adrian Nieto are battling for playing time behind the plate this spring. Flowers has pop, but he is a batting average liability. Phegley was awful last year, but he could hit .250 to .260 given his contact rate. He was hurt by a very low BABIP last year. It would be a surprise if Nieto was named the starter, but if the Sox want to keep him he may cost one of their other two roster spots.

Third Base: Matt Davidson, acquired from the Diamondbacks for Addison Reed this winter, has a real opportunity to win the starting job at third. With Jeff Keppinger likely to start the year on the disabled list, Davidson only has to beat out Conor Gillaspie for the job. Thus far, Davidson has not done enough, and appears to be on his way to the minors for more development time. Keppinger is a decent endgame pick in AL-only leagues as he could see plenty of playing time this season when he gets healthy.

Left Field: Adam Eaton is expected to open the regular season with the starting job in center, pushing last year's starter Alejandro De Aza over to left to battle with Dayan Viciedo for playing time. Both are capable starters. The White Sox may look to trade one of the two before the end of camp.

Fifth Starter: Erik Johnson has a pretty firm hold on a rotation spot, leaving just one spot up for grabs this spring. Felipe Paulino is the favorite to take that last spot, and is a nice target late in AL-only drafts. Should either Johnson or Paulino fail to impress, the Sox could turn to Andre Rienzo, Dylan Axelrod or Erik Surkamp.

Closer: Matt Lindstrom is a bit behind in camp due to an oblique injury, giving Nate Jones a good shot at entering the season as the closer on the South Side. Ronald Belisario and Daniel Webb are also in the mix for the job, and nothing has been settled yet, so this remains a situation to monitor in the coming weeks.

Cincinnati Reds
Center Field: Billy Hamilton is the heavy favorite to open the year in center for the Reds. The team brought in Skip Schumaker and Roger Bernadina just in case Hamilton bombs this spring.

Fifth Starter: Tony Cingrani is expected to open the year as the Reds' fifth starter, but Mat Latos' recent meniscus surgery may create a temporary opening in the rotation. At the moment, it sounds as if he may be ready to pitch when the Reds first need a fifth starter. If not, Chien-Ming Wang or Jeff Francis may get a spot start or two. Stay away from both.

Cleveland Indians
Third Base: Carlos Santana has looked comfortable at third thus far this spring. If he continues to play solid defense there, it will make it more difficult for Lonnie Chisenhall to establish himself, as he'll have to compete with a number of others for at-bats from the DH spot.

Fifth Starter: The Indians have Carlos Carrasco, Josh Tomlin, Trevor Bauer, Aaron Harang and Shaun Marcum in the mix for the last spot in their rotation this spring. Carrasco is out of options, so he is sure to get a long look. If he wins the job, he is worth speculating on in AL-only leagues. Tomlin may be Carrasco's top competition for the job. He's been solid thus far this spring. Harang is coming off a mediocre season, but has been decent in three games this spring. Bauer is a very good prospect despite his difficulties last season. He made some changes to his delivery that he hopes will pay dividends this year, but the early results this spring have not looked good. Marcum has yet to pitch in a game as he works his way back from offseason surgery.

Colorado Rockies
Second Base: D.J. LeMahieu is the favorite to open the year as the starting second baseman for the Rockies. Josh Rutledge will likely end up as his backup.

Center Field: The Rockies have opted to keep Carlos Gonzalez in left leaving Corey Dickerson, Charlie Blackmon, Brandon Barnes and Drew Stubbs to compete for the starting job in center. A platoon is possible should one of them fail to separate himself from the others. In that case, either Dickerson or Blackmon would likely pair up with Stubbs or Barnes.

Fifth Starter: The injury to Jhoulys Chacin has created two openings in the Rockies' rotation. Juan Nicasio, Jordan Lyles, and Franklin Morales are competing for the two spots. Nicasio once possessed solid upside as a starter, but he saw his velocity dip last season which has dimmed his outlook moving forward. Lyles doesn't generate enough strikeouts to be trusted in Coors Field. Morales has strikeout potential, but he's never been able to cut down on the walks when starting. This is a situation to stay away from.

Closer: LaTroy Hawkins is expected to be the Rockies' primary closer, but manager Walt Weiss said Rex Brothers could also see some save chances depending on matchups. Brothers has the more impressive skill set and should eventually overtake Hawkins for the closing gig this season. He should be owned in all NL-only leagues, and most mixed formats as a result.

Detroit Tigers
Third Base: Miguel Cabrera is moving back to first base this season, creating an opportunity for Nick Castellanos to take over at third. The Tigers did not bring in any real competition for Castellanos, so it looks like he will be given a chance to establish himself as a regular this season.

Left Field: The injury to Andy Dirks has created an opportunity for Rajai Davis to see increased at-bats over the first two months of the season. He must be owned in mixed leagues due to his stolen-base potential. Manager Brad Ausmus said Davis is unlikely to play every day which should allow Don Kelly and Steve Lombardozzi to earn some extra at-bats as well.

Houston Astros
First Base: Top prospect Jonathan Singleton is in camp to compete for the first base job and would see regular playing time if he proves he is ready for the assignment. He's off to a slow start thus far in camp. If he starts the year back at Triple-A, Chris Carter, Jesus Guzman, Marc Krauss, and Japhet Amador will be in the mix for playing time at first. Besides Singleton, Amador, 27, is the most intriguing guy here given his .361/.409/.655 and 36 home runs in the Mexican League last year. Guzman and Krauss are also in the mix for playing time in the outfield, while Carter could serve as the primary DH.

Corner Outfield: Prospect George Springer is not expected to open the year in the majors, so Robbie Grossman, L.J. Hoes, Jesus Guzman, Marc Krauss, J.D. Martinez and Adron Chambers are competing for playing time this spring. Grossman and Hoes did enough with their opportunities last season that they should be considered the favorites for starting roles. Both have a little speed giving them some value in AL-only leagues. Guzman should be able to carve out enough at-bats between the outfield and first base to have some value in AL-only leagues as well.

Starting Rotation: Scott Feldman will have a rotation spot and Jerome Williams probably will as well leaving up to three spots available in the Astros' rotation. Jarred Cosart, Brad Peacock, Brett Oberholtzer, Dallas Keuchel, and Lucas Harrell are all in the mix. Keuchel is unscored upon thus far this spring, putting him in the lead for one of the spots. Oberholtzer probably did enough with his opportunity last year to earn a spot, but he is an uninspiring fantasy option. Cosart and Peacock are the upside plays here, but come with plenty of risk. Alex White and 2013 No. 1 overall pick Mark Appel could see time in the rotation later this year.

Closer: Chad Qualls, Matt Albers or Josh Fields may come out of camp with the closing job, but Jesse Crain has the best skills of the relievers in the Houston bullpen. Crain won't be ready for Opening Day, but hopes to be ready to pitch in April. He should eventually take the closing job when healthy and is the guy to gamble on here.

Kansas City Royals
Fifth Starter: Bruce Chen is reportedly assured of a rotation spot leaving Yordano Ventura and Danny Duffy in the mix for the only opening in the Royals' rotation. The Royals would probably like to see Duffy take the job to give Ventura a little more development time in the minors.

Los Angeles Angels
Catcher: Chris Iannetta and Hank Conger will likely platoon behind the plate, but a strong spring from one of these two could create the opportunity for additional playing time.

Fifth Starter: The Angels have Tyler Skaggs, Joe Blanton and Wade LeBlanc in camp to compete for the final spot in their rotation. Skaggs has looked pretty good this spring outside of some control issues. He is the most talented of the three, and will likely be in the mix for this job until the end of camp. Blanton is being paid to be a starter, but he has struggled this spring outside of his last start. He will need to build on that outing to have a shot at the job. LeBlanc is unscored upon this spring. He is a capable fill-in should the Angels decide that Blanton is better off in the pen or with another team.

Los Angeles Dodgers
Second Base: Alex Guerrero seems to have fallen behind Dee Gordon in the battle for second base. Neither had done much with the bat, but Gordon has made the quicker transition from short to second on the defensive side of the ball. Gordon is an interesting sleeper in fantasy leagues thanks to his stolen-base potential if he can hit enough to hold the job.

Outfield: Carl Crawford, Matt Kemp, and Yasiel Puig are the likely starters across the outfield for the Dodgers. Kemp will not be ready for the Dodgers' season-opening series in Australia, so Andre Either is likely to start at least the first few games of the season. A trade involving one of the guys not named Puig would not be surprising.

Fifth Starter: Josh Beckett is the heavy favorite for the job assuming he can stay healthy this spring. The Dodgers have Paul Maholm available as a fallback option. Chad Billingsley could be back from Tommy John surgery in May and is worth stashing in deeper leagues.

Miami Marlins
First Base: It looks like the Marlins will go with a platoon of Garrett Jones and Jeff Baker at first. Greg Dobbs could also work his way into the mix. Baker can also pick up at-bats at other spots around the infield giving him the potential to be a nice MI/CI option in NL-only leagues.

Second Base: Rafael Furcal will open the year as the Marlins' starting second baseman provided his hamstring strain remains a minor issue. The Marlins could turn to Donovan Solano or Derek Dietrich if Furcal needs to miss any time.

Third Base: Casey McGehee is back after one year in Japan and is competing with Ed Lucas, Greg Dobbs and Derek Dietrich for playing time at third. The Marlins gave McGehee a $1.1 million deal which makes him the strong favorite for the starting job.

Center Field: Marcel Ozuna is the favorite to open the year in center, but the Marlins have Brian Bogusevic and Reed Johnson available if Ozuna ends up needing more time in the minors. Jake Marisnick may also be an option in center, but his struggles with the bat last year should earn him a ticket back to the minors at the start of the regular season.

Fifth Starter: Jacob Turner will likely open the year in the number four spot, leaving Brad Hand, Tom Koehler, Brian Flynn, Kevin Slowey and Andrew Heaney to compete for the final spot in the Marlins' rotation. Heaney is the Marlins' top prospect and is worth keeping an eye on this spring, but Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill said earlier this winter that he will likely start the year in the minors. Hand has decent stuff and could take a small step forward this year if he can cut down on his walks. Slowey, Flynn and Koehler lack the skills necessary to make much of an impact.

Milwaukee Brewers
First Base: Mark Reynolds, Lyle Overbay and Juan Francisco are the top contenders for the first base job in Milwaukee. This looks like a prime situation for a platoon with Reynolds on the weak side and Overbay or Francisco on the strong side.

Second Base: Scooter Gennett entered camp as the favorite for the starting job at second, but he has gotten off to a slow start which may have created an opportunity for Rickie Weeks to get his job back. The Brewers would surely like to see Weeks re-establish some of his trade value with a strong spring, as his lack of versatility does not make him a great fit for a bench role. There is also a chance the Brewers could platoon the two as Gennett hit just .154 against lefties last year, though that was over a small number of at-bats.

Fifth Starter: Wily Peralta and Marco Estrada likely have the fourth and fifth spots locked up, but the Brewers have Tyler Thornburg in camp should the need for a starter arise. Prospects Jimmy Nelson and Johnny Hellweg could be options later this season.

Minnesota Twins
Catcher: Josmil Pinto is the catcher of the future in Minnesota, but the signing of Kurt Suzuki this winter probably has Pinto ticketed for the minors at the start of the season. Suzuki does not offer much from a fantasy perspective, so it is probably best to avoid him in fantasy leagues. Pinto could be a nice stash in AL-only leagues as he will likely be up later in the year.

Shortstop: Pedro Florimon is recovering from an appendectomy, but appears to be on target for Opening Day. If he is not ready, Jason Bartlett, who was out of baseball last season, could open the year at short in Minnesota.

Third Base: Miguel Sano's elbow injury ended this battle before it began. Trevor Plouffe will open the year as the Twins' starting third baseman. Sano might be able to return late in the season, but he would likely be limited to DH duty.

Center Field: Alex Presley is the favorite for the center field job, but he will have to hold off Aaron Hicks and Darin Mastroianni. Whoever earns the job is just keeping the seat warm for top prospect Byron Buxton, who could arrive in the majors as soon as this summer.

Fifth Starter: Samuel Deduno and Kyle Gibson may have opened up a bit of a lead over Scott Diamond and Vance Worley for the fifth spot in the Minnesota rotation. Gibson was once a top rated prospect and would be a nice endgamer in AL-only leagues if he wins the job. Prospects Trevor May and Alex Meyer could be options for the Twins later this season.

New York Mets
First Base: Ike Davis and Lucas Duda are the primary competitors for the job, but both have been slowed by leg injuries this spring. Manager Terry Collins said this winter that if neither guy steps up this spring, the Mets could go with Daniel Murphy at first and Eric Young Jr. or Wilmer Flores at second.

Shortstop: The Mets recently gave Wilmer Flores a start at short in their effort to find someone to play short over Ruben Tejada. Flores lacks the range necessary to stick at the position, so it is possible this experiment could end before the regular season begins. Omar Quintanilla is also back as a non-roster invitee and gives the Mets a solid defensive option at short if they feel Tejada or Flores cannot handle the job.

Left Field/Center Field: Manager Terry Collins has indicated that Chris Young will see regular playing time this season despite his past struggles against righties. Whether he plays center field or a corner spot depends on the competition between Eric Young Jr. and Juan Lagares for playing time. Young offers more offensive upside, while Lagares, who has started off hot at the plate this spring, is the superior defender. This could be a battle that plays out deep into spring training.

Fifth Starter: The Mets have Jenrry Mejia competing with veterans Daisuke Matsuzaka and John Lannan for the final spot in their rotation this spring. Matsuzaka has pitched well this spring and may have moved ahead of Mejia for the job. Lannan appears to be ticketed for the pen. Mejia has flashed some talent in the past and needs to be owned in deeper NL-only leagues regardless of the outcome here.

Closer: Bobby Parnell, who had herniated disc surgery last summer, will open the year as the Mets' closer as long as he has no setbacks this spring. The Mets have veterans Jose Valverde and Kyle Farnsworth in camp to give them options if needed, while Vic Black is an intriguing arm to watch as he gains more big league experience.

New York Yankees
Third Base: Kelly Johnson, Eduardo Nunez, and Scott Sizemore are competing for playing time at third this spring. The likely scenario is a platoon with Johnson seeing the majority of the starts and Nunez or Sizemore getting the other at-bats. All three of these guys could play second as well which may be a ticket to extra at-bats if the oft-injured Brian Roberts fails to stay healthy.

Fifth Starter: Michael Pineda, David Phelps, Adam Warren and Vidal Nuno are competing for the final spot in the Yankees' rotation. Pineda is the guy to watch here. His velocity, which was a concern after missing the last two years with shoulder issues, has been good early in camp. He has the inside track for the job and makes a nice late-round target in mixed leagues.

Oakland A's
Catcher: The A's said they see John Jaso as their catcher and not a DH as had been rumored this winter. He will platoon with Derek Norris behind the dish. Both of the Oakland catchers are rosterable in AL-only leagues that require starting two catchers.

Second Base: Eric Sogard is competing with Nick Punto and Alberto Callaspo for playing time at second. The A's love to platoon their guys, so expect to see Sogard split time with the other two.

Starting Rotation: Dan Straily and A.J. Griffin are the heavy favorites for the back of the Oakland rotation, although Griffin will be examined for a potential elbow issue Saturday. It should also be noted that Jarrod Parker has a visit scheduled with Dr. James Andrews on Monday. Tommy Milone and Drew Pomeranz are probably the next two in line should the A's need a starter. Both have some upside, and are worth keeping an eye on in AL-only leagues.

Philadelphia Phillies
Third Base: The Phillies have top prospect Maikel Franco in camp to battle Cody Asche for the third base job, but general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. has said Franco is a longshot for the job. Expect Asche to be named the starter before the end of camp.

Fifth Starter: The Phillies opened camp with minimal competition for the fifth spot in their rotation, but injuries to Cole Hamels, Ethan Martin, Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez and Jonathan Pettibone have created an opportunity for some non-roster invitees. David Buchanan and Jeff Manship have both pitched well this spring, and have likely opened up a lead over Sean O'Sullivan for a rotation spot. These guys shouldn't be on the fantasy radar in the majority of leagues, especially with Pettibone targeting an April return and Hamels expected to return in early May.

Pittsburgh Pirates
First Base: Unless they decide to sign free agent Kendrys Morales, the Pirates will likely go with a platoon at first. Gaby Sanchez will form half of the platoon with either Andrew Lambo, Travis Ishikawa or Chris McGuiness. Lambo is coming off of a very nice year at Double-A and Triple-A, and has some power potential. He can also play the corner outfield spots. He has the potential to be a nice pickup in NL-only leagues, but he needs to start hitting this spring to avoid a return to the minors. McGuiness has been decent this spring which could earn him a look. He has some pop, but would likely be a batting average liability even in a platoon role.

Right Field: Jose Tabata, Travis Snider, Andrew Lambo, Jaff Decker and top prospect Gregory Polanco are in the mix for playing time in right field this spring. Tabata earned a share of the at-bats with his solid performance last season. Snider is running out of chances to establish himself after struggling to produce again last season. Lambo could see some time in right, but he may also platoon at first base. Decker is more likely to end up as the fifth outfielder on the roster. Polanco was optioned to Triple-A on Friday, but he could take over the starting role after the Super Two arbitration deadline passes in June.

Fifth Starter: Edinson Volquez's primary competition, Jeff Locke, looks like he will be sidelined into the regular season with an oblique injury. That leaves Jeanmar Gomez and few fringe options in camp to push Volquez. Jameson Taillon, the Pirates' top pitching prospect, could be an option by midseason.

San Diego Padres
Catcher: Yasmani Grandal, who is recovering from ACL surgery, said he expects to be ready for Opening Day. Should he suffer a setback, it will create an opportunity for Nick Hundley or Rene Rivera to open the year behind the plate for the Padres.

Outfield: Cameron Maybin is going to miss at least the first few weeks of the regular season with a ruptured biceps. That should allow Carlos Quentin and Will Venable to get regular at-bats early on. Seth Smith and Chris Denorfia are likely to platoon in right. Given Quentin's past difficulties staying healthy, there will likely be plenty of at-bats to go around for most of these guys, even after Maybin returns.

Fifth Starter: The fifth spot is reportedly Eric Stults' to lose, and the way he has pitched thus far this spring that could become a reality. The Padres have Robbie Erlin, Joe Wieland and Burch Smith in camp to push him for the job. Casey Kelly is recovering from Tommy John surgery and could be an option later this year. He should be stashed in NL only leagues.

San Francisco Giants
No job battles of significance at this time.

Seattle Mariners
Catcher: Mike Zunino is going to get a chance to establish himself as the Mariners' everyday catcher. The team brought in John Buck as a backup, but he is a capable starter and could see a decent amount of playing time this year if Zunino struggles.

Shortstop: The signing of Robinson Cano pushed Nick Franklin off second base and into a competition at short with Brad Miller. Both players made good impressions as rookies last season, and both have played well this spring. Miller probably has a leg up for the job. The Mariners are rumored to be shopping Franklin, with the Orioles, Rays and Mets as the primary suitors.

Outfield: The outfield situation in Seattle was unsettled during the first installment of this article, but it sounds like the team will go with Dustin Ackley in left, Corey Hart in right and Michael Saunders in center. Abraham Almonte will likely be the team's fourth outfielder.

Starting Rotation: Hisashi Iwakuma and Taijuan Walker are both expected to be sidelined into mid-April leaving four rotation spots in Seattle up for grab this spring. Erasmo Ramirez has looked good thus far in camp and should be able to secure one of the spots. James Paxton was good in his cameo last season and has followed that up with a solid spring. He should also have a leg up for a spot. Scott Baker, Matt Palmer, Blake Beavan, Randy Wolf, Hector Noesi and Brandon Maurer round out a long list of candidates for the last two spots. Beavan has been pretty solid thus far which may move him slightly ahead of the others for a spot. Wolf or Baker may get the last spot as the Mariners will likely want another veteran presence in their rotation until Iwakuma returns.

St. Louis Cardinals
Second Base: The Cardinals are giving prospect Kolten Wong a chance to win the starting second base job this spring. He's looked good thus far and seems to be well on his way to securing the job. Mark Ellis will back up Wong and could have some value later in NL-only leagues should Wong struggle this season. Recently signed Cuban defector Aledmys Diaz could also be an option at second later this season.

Center Field: Peter Bourjos is battling Jon Jay for playing time this spring. Bourjos is considered an elite defender which should give him the upper hand in the competition. It is likely that Jay will still see plenty of at-bats this season backing up the corner spots and potentially platooning a bit with Bourjos in center.

Fifth Starter: Jaime Garcia will not be ready for the start of the season due to shoulder inflammation. The primary contenders to take his spot are Joe Kelly and Carlos Martinez. Martinez has gotten off to a better start then Kelly this spring, and may have a leg up in the competition. Tyler Lyons is also in the mix, but he has been shaky. Martinez has the most upside here and needs to be owned in all NL-only leagues.

Tampa Bay Rays
DH: Matt Joyce will likely be the Rays' primary DH this season, but he is certain to be platooned. That will create an opportunity for Sean Rodriguez, Wilson Betemit and Logan Forsythe to accumulate some extra at-bats this season.

Starting Rotation: Jeremy Hellickson may not be ready to pitch until June after undergoing elbow surgery this winter. That has created an opportunity for Jake Odorizzi or Erik Bedard. Odorizzi spent some time with the Rays last season and is coming off a good year at Triple-A. He is the favorite for the job. Bedard is likely the fallback option, but he has not looked good thus far. Cesar Ramos is also in the mix, but looks like a longshot for the job. Alex Colome is probably next in line for a rotation spot, followed by Enny Romero. Both are nice looking young arms with upside.

Texas Rangers
Fifth Starter: Derek Holland is expected to be sidelined until midseason creating an opening in the Rangers' rotation. Matt Harrison is also expected to open the year on the disabled list while he builds up his innings after back stiffness sidelined him earlier this spring. Joe Saunders, Tommy Hanson, Nick Tepesch, Colby Lewis and Robbie Ross are the primary candidates to fill the two spots. Saunders recently signed with the Rangers and will be the favorite for the job if he is decent this spring. Hanson was once a very good young arm, but injuries have taken a toll on his ability. The Rangers may end up giving him a shot, but he is not a good gamble in fantasy leagues. Lewis did not pitch last year due to a torn flexor tendon, but he has been solid in the past. He might be a nice late gamble in AL-only leagues if he wins a job. Ross might also be an interesting option if his strikeout rate doesn't fall off too much with the move from the bullpen to the rotation. The early returns this spring are not promising.

Closer: The Rangers have three solid options for the closer role in camp. Joakim Soria and Neftali Feliz both saw limited work last season as they made their way back from injuries. Both have prior closing experience and are the front runners for the job. Tanner Scheppers is also in the mix, but is likely a distant third and has been working as a starter this spring. He has the best fastball of the group, but his strikeout rate was pedestrian last season for someone with his stuff. Manager Ron Washington said he would like one of the three to emerge as the closer, but he is willing to open the year with a committee if needed.

Toronto Blue Jays
Second Base: Ryan Goins is the favorite for the second base job. Maicer Izturis and non-roster invitee Chris Getz give the Jays options should Goins let his grip on the job slip away.

Fifth Starter: Manager John Gibbons recently said the Drew Hutchison is also on his way to earning a rotation spot. J.A. Happ, who has been struggling with a back issue this spring, is expected to pitch in a game soon. If he is not able to get healthy, it creates an opportunity for Esmil Rogers, Todd Redmond, Marcus Stroman, Sean Nolin, Ricky Romero, Kyle Drabek and Dustin McGowan to compete for one spot. Stroman is one of Toronto's better prospects, but he is considered a longshot to break camp with the team. Nolin is another quality young pitcher, but he probably needs time at Triple-A. Drabek is a one-time prospect that has now undergone two Tommy John surgeries. He struggled with his command throughout his career, making him a risky play if he were to earn the job. Redmond got his first real chance in the majors last year as a 28-year-old. He had a very nice strikeout rate, but struggled with the long ball. His mediocre fastball makes it easy to wonder if he can maintain his success when he is facing teams for a second and third time. McGowan has some skills, but the Jays seem to like him better in a relief role.

Washington Nationals
Second Base: Anthony Rendon and Danny Espinosa are competing for the starting job at second. Rendon is coming off a solid rookie season, and has looked good early in camp. He definitely has a leg up for the job. Espinosa says he is fully healthy after struggling with wrist injuries that impacted his numbers last season. He'll need a big couple of weeks to beat out Rendon at this point.

Fifth Starter: Ross Detwiler is the favorite for the fifth spot in the Nationals' rotation, but with Doug Fister's elbow issues, there may still be a chance for Chris Young, Tanner Roark or Taylor Jordan to open the year in the rotation. Jordan has impressed with 11 strikeouts in seven innings this spring. He may be slightly ahead of Roark and Young, but it is still early.