Facts & Flukes

Dan
Becker
March 23, 2012 12:04 AM GMT
In a lineup full of more veteran boppers, Brett Gardner (OF, NYY) provides some youth and zip on the bases. Gardner has become a great asset to the Yankees because of his speed and defense, but is there room for more growth in his game?
Jeffrey
Tomich
March 22, 2012 1:04 AM GMT
Joey Votto (1B, CIN) faced a tall order last year—expectations that he would repeat his 2010 MVP and career highs in average, home runs, RBIs and SBs. Instead, his numbers were down across the board, though still very good. Does last season make a new benchmark for which to base expectations?
Dave
Adler
March 21, 2012 12:03 AM GMT
While the top of the Seattle rotation is pretty much set, the back-end is a work in progress. One competitor for a spot is non-roster invitee Kevin Millwood (RHP, SEA). While Safeco provides a safe haven for pitchers, there are reasons to be leery about Millwood.
Brent
Hershey
March 20, 2012 12:05 AM GMT
Many fantasy owners rode Matt Kemp's (OF, LA) breakout campaign to championships last season. And even though we here at BaseballHQ.com have written recently of the danger of paying for last year's performance, Kemp is surely the exception. He'll pick right up where he left in September—right?
Dan
Becker
March 19, 2012 12:03 AM GMT
Last summer, it appeared that the Cardinals were making a big mistake by sending Colby Rasmus (OF, TOR) to the Blue Jays less than a year after he posted a breakout season. In the short term, the trade worked just fine for the Cards as they went on to win the World Series, while Rasmus went into the tank not long after joining his new team.
Dave
Adler
March 16, 2012 12:03 AM GMT
Coming off of an MVP season in which he took his team to the World Series in 2010, there were questions about whether Josh Hamilton (OF, TEX) could stay healthy long enough to produce a solid encore performance. Despite missing six weeks early in the season with a shoulder injury, the answer was a resounding yes.
Jeffrey
Tomich
March 15, 2012 12:01 AM GMT
At certain times last year, James McDonald (RHP, PIT) pitched like a budding ace—the kind of arm that led him to be considered a very solid prospect in the Dodgers organization. But he also saw the wheels come off all too often during starts. Two-thirds of his nine losses were PQS-0 outings. At 27, he should be in his prime. Is there a step up coming, or has he plateaued?
Dave
Adler
March 14, 2012 1:02 AM GMT
It sucks to get old – just ask Alex Rodriguez (3B, NYY), who turns 37 this summer. Rodriguez’s aches and pains have included hip surgery in 2009, groin and calf issues in 2010, and oblique tightness, a torn meniscus in his knee, and a sore thumb last year. Those injuries have taken a toll on his bottom line.
Brent
Hershey
March 13, 2012 1:03 AM GMT
While so many backstops come with some sort of caveat, Brian McCann (C, ATL) has been the rare catcher with the combination of batting average, power, and importantly, health. As he enters his age-28 season, is another repeat in the offing?
Dan
Becker
March 12, 2012 12:04 AM GMT
Throughout his MLB career, Matt Joyce (OF, TAM) had shown flashes of his ability but never managed to produce consistently enough to stick on the big league roster. Everything changed in 2011 as Joyce consolidated his versatile talents and enjoyed a mini-breakout season. So what's next for Joyce?
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