Fantasy Baseball Hot Stove will post updates every Tuesday about what’s happening in the Cactus League. We’ll highlight injuries, position battles, and other news fantasy managers might want to keep an eye on as they gear up for the regular season. Be sure to also check back on Thursdays for Grapefruit League news and notes.
Chicago Cubs: For those of you in deep NL-only or mixed leagues, Andrew Cashner has begun battling it out with Randy Wells and Carlos Silva for the last two spots in the Cubs’ rotation. Cashner was touted as a top prospect prior to his 2010 debut season, and is someone to keep an eye on to fill a starter sport on your roster via the waiver wire in May or June.
Chicago White Sox: Ozzie Guillen is testing out Adam Dunn in the #3 spot, with Paul Konerko and Alex Rios protecting him in the 4 and 5 spots. The move to U.S. Cellular is almost certainly going to increase Dunn’s home run totals, but the extra ABs and the guys hitting behind him could significantly improve his runs scored.
Cincinnati Reds: Visa issues are keeping Edinson Volquez from getting into spring training games with paying fans, so he’s throwing against minor leaguers for the time being. He’s still slated to pitch for the Reds on opening day, though Dusty Baker has “no clue” when this issue will be resolved.
Cleveland Indians: Shin-Soo Choo is dealing with a sore elbow and will sit out a few days until it gets better. Choo is especially worried about the elbow because he had surgery on it in 2007. The current soreness is unrelated to his previous injury, according to Indians trainers.
Colorado Rockies: Carlos Gonzalez collided with Ian Stewart while chasing down a pop-up in the team’s spring training opener. Gonzalez is day-to-day with a bruised shin and swollen ankle. He missed Monday’s game.
Kansas City Royals: Mike Moustakas and Eric Hosmer homered against the Rangers on Monday. It’s possible both of the Royals highly touted prospects could be called up to the majors by the end of the end of this summer. After a strong showing in Double and Triple-A last year, Moustakas is the more likely of the two to see action in the show this season.
Los Angeles Angels: Kendry Morales is not close to running at full speed yet.
Los Angeles Dodgers: Despite posting a solid overall stat line last season, Andre Ethier says he never felt all that comfortable last season, and that his injured pinky still bothered him occasionally after he came off the DL.
Milwaukee Brewers: Corey Hart will be sidelined for two weeks with a strained lower abdominal muscle.
Oakland Athletics: Rich Harden suffered a setback in his battle for a starter spot. He’ll be out at least a week.
San Diego Padres: With Adrian Gonzalez out of the picture, Will Venable will look to steal more this season. Venable stole 29 bases last season and actually has some power, which should make him an appealing option to those managers that don’t like using a roster spot on one-dimensional steal threats.
San Francisco Giants: Pablo Sandoval, who lost nearly 40 pounds over winter, homered Saturday. His draft stock could rise quickly if he continues his hot start this spring and gets over-hyped as a bounce-back candidate.
Seattle Mariners: The Mariners likely won’t break camp with Dustin Ackley as their starting second baseman. The position is thin and managers should keep an eye on him whenever he does make his major league debut.
Texas Rangers: Michael Young will have all sorts of position eligibility this year. He started at first base on Monday.
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