Tuesday, March 31, 2009

You need to know this

For those of you who haven't drafted yet (and even those who have):

Bradenton's Chris Perez has been sent to the minors, meaning Jason Motte is now the frontrunner to earn the bulk of the saves in St. Louis. Ryan Franklin is still lurking, and I think Perez will ultimately end up handling ninth-inning duties, but for now Motte's the man, and a must-add.

Lance Berkman has a sore shoulder and has been diagnosed with biceps tendinitis. Doesn't seem to be a huge deal though, as he hopes to return to the Astros' lineup this week. I wouldn't panic.

B.J. Ryan hasn't looked too hot this spring, Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston is concerned, and there's some discussion about Scott Downs and Ryan sharing closer duties. Handcuff alert! Drop Ryan down a peg in your closer rankings.

Brett Gardner has won the Yankees' starting CF job over Melky Cabrera. Why should you care? Because Gardner swiped 37 bags last year in 94 games in Triple-A and 13 more in 42 games in the bigs. Are you familiar with the term "cheap steals?"

The Cubs' closer (for now): Kevin Gregg. He's officially beaten out Carlos Marmol for the job entering the season. Gregg may not be the greatest, but he's coming off seasons of 29 and 32 saves - nothing to sniff at, and the Cubbies should win a bunch of ballgames. Marmol's got some value as a setup guy and might eventually win the job, but for now it's Gregg's to lose.

Photos by The Associated Press

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