Happy Friday, everyone! We're back ... we're back baby. Opening Day 2023 was a blast with the MLB jampacking the schedule full of awesome showdowns across the entire day from just after lunch to way after dark with the featured game -- Astros-White Sox -- living up to the hype of being a pitchers duel with two of the best starters from the 2022 season squared up against each other. Nothing is more common to Opening Day than Opening Day overreaction and we're about to see plenty of those on social media (if you haven't already). It's important not to use this one game sample size -- one of 162 -- to shape your opinion of anyone on your roster. Some players start hot, others slow and some players start hot or slow after looking the exact opposite in their first game.
We'll break down some of the fun Opening Day overreaction, but first let's get the nitty gritty out of the way. This is a Fantasy Baseball newsletter so there's nothing more important than being caught up on the news and latest on injuries. There was only one big injury surprise and of course it involved my home team. Knowing my home team you can snap understand why I would be so used to this happening.
Injuries to know
- Out of what seemed like nowhere Opening Day began with news that Mets SP Justin Verlander was placed on the IL with a low-grade teres major strain. The Mets said it was minor and that Verlander will continue throwing at moderate intensity. I listened to Verlander's interview with the press and he didn't sound all that concerned. Tylor Megill will replace Verlander in the rotation.
- We had another major injury just moments into Opening Day action when Braves SP Max Fried left his start early after suffering a hamstring injury. Early speculation out of Atlanta is that Fried is a lock to miss his next scheduled start and that he may even be placed on the 15-day IL.
- Rockies RP Daniel Bard is also set to go on the IL as he battles anxiety. If you don't know Bard's story, he didn't pitch in a game between 2014-2019 while battling these same issues.
- So who is going to close for the Rockies with Bard on the IL? Here are the candidates and their stats from the spring:
- Dinelson Lamet spring: 9 IP 4 H 1 ER 2 BB 9 K
- Pierce Johnson spring: 7.2 IP 6 H 2 ER 4 BB 9 K
- Brad Hand spring: 6 IP 6 H 5 ER 4 BB 3 K
- Somebody named Justin Lawrence had 13 K to 3 BB over 7.1 IP this spring and has a frisbee like slider
- Twins 2B Jorge Polanco was officially placed on the IL. Here's what the Twins head trainer had to say: "I think the one thing that we all need to be cognizant of is that Jorge hasn't had a spring training this year and the smart thing, and I think the wise thing, to do is to allow him to progress along like we have allowed the 26 guys that are on our team."
- Ryan Pepiot was placed on the IL with a left oblique strain. Michael Grove will enter the Dodgers rotation.
- Cardinals offseason acquisition C Willson Contreras exited Opening Day with a right knee contusion. The Cardinals have not provided any further details on this.
- Cardinals RP Giovanny Gallegos is day-to-day with lower-back tightness.
- Brewers 3B/SS/2B Luis Urias limped off the field in the ninth inning with a left hamstring injury. There are no further details on the injury at this time.
- Adalberto Mondesi was placed on the 60-day IL as he continues to rehab his ACL injury. The Red Sox and Mondesi are taking this very slowly.
Fantasy Baseball Today Newsletter
Your Cheat Code To Fantasy Baseball
You're destined to gain an edge over your friends with advice from the award-winning FBT crew.
Thanks for signing up!
Keep an eye on your inbox.
There was an error processing your subscription.
News & notes
- Astros GM Dana Brown said Yordan Alvarez will not be an everyday player to begin the season. Alvarez blasted a 442-foot homer off Reynaldo Lopez on Thursday night.
- Astros 2B Jose Altuve is optimistic that he could be back before June. He was placed on the 10-day IL, not the 60-day IL.
- Rockies OF Jurickson Profar will remain at extended spring training for a stretch of tune-up games before joining the Rockies.
- Astros SP Hunter Brown will start Monday against the Tigers.
- According to Evan Grant who covers the Rangers for the Dallas Morning News, Jose Leclerc is likely to see the first save opportunity for the Rangers. Leclerc pitched the ninth inning with a four-run lead Thursday night.
- Athletics OF Esteury Ruiz is expected to serve as the everyday center fielder with Christian Pache traded away.
- Jhony Brito was recalled by the Yankees and will start Sunday against the Giants. Domingo German was pushed back a few days.
- Braves vs a left-handed pitcher: Ozzie Albies batted cleanup, Michael Harris batted 7th, Marcell Ozuna was in LF, Travis d'Arnaud was at DH and Eddie Rosario was not in the lineup.
- Giants vs. a right-handed pitcher: LaMonte War led off, Blake Sabol was in LF batting 8th.
- Yankees vs. a right-handed pitcher: Oswaldo Cabrera was in LF, Anthony Volpe was batting 9th.
- Red Sox vs. a right-handed pitcher: Alex Verdugo led off, Masataka Yoshida batted clean up, Triston Casas batting 6th.
- Cubs vs. a right-handed pitcher: Miles Mastrobuoni hit 9th, Trey Mancini at DH, and Edwin Rios was not in the lineup.
- Tigers vs. a left-handed pitcher: Matt Vierling led off, Austin Meadows hit 6th.
- Rays vs. a left-handed pitcher: Isaac Paredes hit 3rd, Brandon Lowe hit 7th.
- Cardinals vs. right-handed pitcher: Brendan Donovan led off, Lars Nootbaar batted 2nd, Nolan Gorman was at DH 7th, Jordan Walker 8th and Tommy Edman 9th.
- Marlins vs. a right-handed pitcher: Jazz Chisholm batted cleanup, Bryan De La Cruz 7th.
- White Sox vs. a left-handed pitcher: No Oscar Colas in the lineup and Romy Gonzalez batted 9th while playing in RF.
- Astros vs. right-handed pitcher: Jeremy Pena leadoff, Yainer Diaz was at DH batting 6th, Maricio Dubon at 2B with Framber Valdez on the mound.
- Rockies vs. a left-handed pitcher:: Elehuris Montero started at 3B batting 5th, Ezequiel Tovar hit 9th.
- Padres vs. a right-handed pitcher:: Trent Grisham led off, Matt Carpenter batted 6th, Ha-seong Kim 8th.
- Diamondbacks vs. left-handed pitcher:: Kyle Lewis was at DH and led off, Corbin Carroll batted 7th, Jake McCarthy 9th.
- Guardians vs. a right-handed pitcher:: No Oscar Gonzalez in the lineup and Will Brennan hit 7th.
Early waivers (hopefully not overreactions)
Do you need a catcher?
Braves C Travis d'Arnaud went 4-for-5 with a double, two runs and two RBI. He's 72% rostered in CBS leagues.
Frank Stampfl pre-draft favorite Yasmani Grandal cracked a homer in his 2023 White Sox debut. He's 73% rostered.
Do you have issues at the corner?
Reds 3B Spencer Steer walked twice and blasted a homer on Thursday. He is just 20% rostered in CBS leagues.
In a deep league and low on outfielders?
Robbie Grossman cracked a three-run shot off Aaron Nolan on Thursday. He is just 4% rostered.
Ji Hwan Bae went 2 for 3 with a double, walk, three runs and two stolen bases in his 2023 debut for the Pirates. He racked up 30 steals in just 108 games at Triple-A last year and racked up a 90th percentile sprint speed in his time with the Pirates last season. He is just 2% rostered.
Other fun Opening Day moments
- Aaron Judge cracked a homer in his first at bat and became the fourth player in MLB history to hit a home run in his first game following a 60-homer season the year before.
- The Orioles stole five bags! Cedric Mullins had a pair, Jorge Mateo had a pair and Adam Frazier grabbed one as well.
- The best catcher prospect to come out since _____, Adley Rutschman made an incredible impression on the Orioles fan base by going 5 for 5 with a home run and 4 RBI. His homer was a 400-foot blast.
- Everyone's favorite breakout pick Oneil Cruz walked twice, scored twice and oh yeah -- he blasted a homer off Hunter Greene.
- The prospect who most shot up draft boards in the last month -- Yankees SS Anthony Volpe -- didn't get a hit but did steal his first bag of 2023.
- The player with the widest range of ranking among industry leaders this draft season was Red Sox OF Masataka Yoshida. If Thursday's action was any indicator of what's to come, those who were bullish on Yoshida will reap the benefits. Yoshida racked up two hits, a run and an RBI but more importantly his indicator stats were awesome. He hit four hard hit balls, one at 108.4 mph.
- I'm really sad I didn't get enough exposure to Alec Bohm (just one league) after all the crumbs were leading me to the breakout -- but in my auction leagues -- others felt just as strongly about the breakout and budgeted better than me. In other leagues, I drafted one of the elite 3B tier and then filled my CI with a 1B. But enough about my draft mistakes and more about Bohm, who went 3 for 4 with a double and home run off Jacob deGrom.
- The Blue Jays and Cardinals combined for 19 runs and 34 hits.