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As we get closer to Opening Day, teams are making decisions on roster spots and starting rotations. Here a few noteworthy decisions that have occurred recently.
Patrick Corbin Lands Spot In Rotation
Corbin had a good season in 2013 with a 3.41 ERA and 1.17 WHIP in 2013. He missed 2014 due to Tommy John surgery but pitched well in 16 games in 2015. His comeback made him a popular late round pick in 2016. That turned out to be awful.
Corbin struggled with a velocity drop and was hit hard. He was booted from the rotation. He appeared in 36 games, including 24 starts with a 5.15 ERA and 1.56 WHIP. It was his first full season after Tommy John surgery.
Corbin's walk rate was 3.82, which was well above his 2.62 BB/9. He had a .322 BABIP and a low 64.8 percent strand rate. Corbin has 17 strikeouts and three walks in 18.1 innings in the spring. He has had success before, so he's worth watching to see how he pitches early in the season.
Matt Boyd Wins Fifth Spot in Tigers Rotation
Matt Boyd pitched so well this spring the Tigers had no choice but to put him in the starting rotation. Anibal Sanchez had a late surge to make it interesting, but Boyd had a 2.49 ERA, 21 strikeouts and no walks in 21.2 innings. Boyd made strides in the second half last season. He pitched 63 innings with a 3.86 ERA, 1.22 WHIP and a 55:16 K:BB ratio. Keep him on the radar in 15-team mixed leagues.
Jacob May Expected to Start for White Sox
Out of nowhere, Jacob May is the favorite to be the starting center fielder on Opening Day for the White Sox. I did several 15-team, 50-round drafts and he wasn't selected in one draft. May is 25 and has yet to appear in the majors.
The rookie is batting .349 with a .369 on-base percentage with one home run and four stolen bases this spring. Charlie Tilson was supposed to be the starter but is out with a foot injury and the team traded Peter Bourjos to the Rays. May played 83 games in Triple-A last season and hit .266/.309/.352 with 38 runs one home run, 24 RBIs and 19 stolen bases. He stole 37 bases in Double-A in 2015, so he's worth a look for steals in AL-only leagues.
Ryan Pressly Falling Under Radar
Brandon Kintzler is the closer to start the season for the Twins, but he doesn't profile as one that could dominate. If Kintzler falters, Ryan Pressly is next in line and he rarely gets drafted. Back in February, I took him in round 50 of a draft champions league.
He should be drafted in AL-only leagues and 15-team leagues. Pressly has one of the top spin rates in baseball and averages 95 miles per hour with his fastball to go with a slider and curveball. Pressly had a 67:23 K:BB ratio in 75.1 innings with a 3.70 ERA last season.