By now you should know the drill: Every weekday morning until Opening Day, we'll provide five blurbs, most of which will have fantasy relevance. (OK, sometimes it will be seven blurbs. But always a prime number). Let's get to it…
• Spring statistics really shouldn't influence many fantasy decisions, except in cases where a player's spring performance impacts an actual on-field MLB decision. If we know that a position battle is taking place or a player in recovering from injury, then it's worth checking their otherwise meaningless stats. Arizona's Conor Jackson(notes) happens to be a player whose spring performance matters quite a bit. He was a non-factor in '09 due to a bout of Valley Fever, but he was terrific during winter league play, and he's carried that performance into spring. Thus far, Jackson is 8-for-14 with two doubles, one homer, two walks and no strikeouts. So far, so good. Jackson is absolutely buried in the Yahoo! pre-ranks (No. 1059), but he's worth queuing as an end-of-draft play.
• Matt Holliday(notes) apparently strained a muscle in his rib cage during a workout on Wednesday, and the injury will shelve him for a little while. "Minimum (Matt) won't play this week, I'm sure," said Tony La Russa (via the St. Louis Post-Dispatch). Albert Pujols(notes) (lower back pain) is expected to return to spring action sooner than Holliday.
• The Twins are reportedly kicking the tires on Jason Frasor as they prepare for the likelihood of a Joe Nathan(notes)-less year. Don't assume that the 32-year-old Frasor would inherit the ninth inning, but he does have closing experience. He saved 11 games in '09 while posting the best ratios of his career (by far).
• Francisco Rodriguez(notes) (pinkeye!) returned to the mound this week, now that he apparently is not contagious. (Still gross, though. Cancel all playdates with K-Rod, just to be safe). He's reportedly eyeing Monday for his spring debut. With one of his disgusting eyes.
• Cincinnati's Aroldis Chapman(notes) and his million-mph fastball will continue to get the screaming headlines, but dynasty owners shouldn't let Mike Leake fall off the radar. Leake was the Reds' top pick in the '09 draft, and his college numbers (at ASU, against the highest-quality collegiate competition) were nearly as impressive as Stephen Strasburg's.(notes) Leake has tossed three scoreless frames so far this spring, and he successfully navigated the top of the Angels' order on Wednesday. Leake was impressive in the Arizona Fall League, too: 19.2 IP, 1.37 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 15 Ks, 3 BB.
Photo via AP Images