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Some Opening Day Observations

The Marlins are utilizing Cameron Maybin n the second slot and played Gaby Sanchez in the 8th slot. This may have been a lefty/righty match-up lineup. Regardless having someone who strikes out over 30|PERCENT| of the time (and he struck out in 3 of 4 at bats to boot) in your number two slot, even if he has blazing speed, is not a formula for scoring runs when you have a superior contact hitter like Sanchez, with equal or better patience, as an option to use in that spot.

Apparently the Mets are not interested in scoring runs either – opting to leadoff with Alex Cora. Also known as "he of the career .313 OBP". This will be a continuing theme until/if the return of Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran. Actually it will continue to be an issue even after that as long as Mike Jacobs, Francoeur, and Barajas continue to darken the lineup. In other words, wins may be scarce for those of you who own Mets pitching as run support like yesterday is likely to be an outlier.

Mark Kotsay may, longshot here, be quite the bargain this year as he finds himself as the left-handed portion of a DH platoon. While it begs the question – "why did the White Sox forego the opportunity to have a Thome/Jones platoon instead", Kotsay is still a disciplined contact hitter who hits plenty of line drives and can hit for average. While he hits grounders in the mid to high forties, he is not completely without loft in his swing and is a mid 30's fly-ball guy who has pretty consistently converted about 5|PERCENT| of his home runs into fly balls. Playing DH might even keep him healthy for a change. He also qualifies at OF and 1B. It is conceivable that he could achieve 350 or more at-bats. Well worth a look in FAAB in AL only leagues or in the end-game if you are in a traditional, after the first week of the season, drafter.

Nothing like starting your lineup with a career .238 .329 guy in Jose Bautista to strike fear into the hearts of your opponents. The key item here though is that Bautista, for now, looks like he will be the everyday right-fielder with Lind DHing and Ruiz limited to platooning with Overbay at first base.  Bautista's underlying numbers are far from awful – he has good patience, hits fly balls, and has legitimate home run power. The issue – he is miscast as an everyday player. A right-handed hitter who strikes out a quarter or so of the time is platoon player. Bautista is a career .227 hitter against righties and a  .265 hitter against lefties. He'd be more valuable for fantasy purposes if he played less often.

One has to love Placido Polanco in the number two spot for the Phillies, sandwiched by Rollins and Utley. Surprised he did not get more pre-season hype, though of course one cannot expect 6 RBI everyday from him.

Drew Stubbs owners should note that the Reds will try to stack their lineup against tough righties – Laynce Nix got the start over him, but Stubbs came in as soon as Carpenter was lifted. They're calling it a semi-platoon.

Jim Edmonds did indeed get the start over Corey Hart in right field against the right-handed Ubaldo Jimenez. Hart is getting a start tonight against Greg Smith, a lefty. Hart owners cannot be happy about him being on the wrong side of a platoon which could continue over the next few weeks or months if it proves successful. Considering Edmonds is nearly forty and Hart, still a part of the future of the organization at just 28 years of age, that this situation will not last in the long run.

In other platoon player notes – Dexter Fowler and Seth Smith are in one with Smith getting the opening day nod. The Brewers are sending out a pair of lefties in the next two games, so Fowler will pick up some starts then.