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Andy Behrens

5U: Texas confirms Kinsler to the DL; uncertainty in Mets 'pen

Andy Behrens
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As expected, Ian Kinsler's(notes) high ankle sprain will force him to begin the season on the disabled list. Texas general manager Jon Daniels confirmed the plan on Thursday:

"We haven't made the roster move yet so please blame the Texas Rangers for any fantasy inconvenience, not the bloggers at Yahoo! Sports, but the plan is for him to open on the DL," Daniels said.

Kinsler's recovery timetable isn't perfectly clear. According to the team's Website, he isn't running yet, nor is he doing agility drills. Andres Blanco(notes), a non-factor in fantasy, is expected to play second base for the Rangers in Kinsler's absence.

In other Texas news, the team claimed Ryan Garko(notes) off waivers from Seattle. He's not someone you need to own except in the ugliest formats, of course, but it's worth noting that the right-handed hitting Garko will likely take a few at-bats from the left-handed hitting Chris Davis(notes) – and Davis owners shouldn't really mind. Those were going to be terrible at-bats. Davis has posted a .226/.271/.428 line against LHPs over two seasons.

Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez(notes) left the team after learning that a family member (believed to be his brother) was involved in a serious car accident. It's clearly too soon to speculate on K-Rod's status for opening day, even if his general manager believes he'll be available. Here's hoping the family gets some good news. The Mets are still settling their bullpen hierarchy – only 20-year-old Jenrry Mejia(notes) and lefty Pedro Feliciano(notes) have impressed this spring. Feliciano may have the primary setup role entering the season. Stay tuned.

Blake DeWitt's(notes) excellent spring (.339/.435/.532) gave him a clear edge over Ronnie Belliard(notes) in the battle for the Dodgers' second base gig. On Thursday, Joe Torre confirmed that DeWitt had won the job (though not before pulling a semi-cruel April Fool's joke). DeWitt is only qualified at third base for fantasy purposes at the moment, based on last year's playing time. But he should be 2B-eligible in a week or so. DeWitt should be rostered in NL-only, though the power/speed combo is modest.

As long as he's in the player pool, I will be vulnerable to BJ Upton(notes) propaganda. So when the Tampa Tribune delivers a headline like, "Rays Upton might be back to his old self," I'm going to read it and link it. Here's a sample:

Upton said his batting woes can be traced to a physical problem - he was still recovering from offseason shoulder surgery - that eventually affected his confidence.

[…]

"B.J. is definitely on a mission," Rays third baseman Evan Longoria(notes) said. "He has worked hard. Hopefully, it transfers into the season."

"B.J. looks awesome right now," Rays left fielder Carl Crawford(notes) said. "I think he's determined to get back to being his old self."

Upton is hitting .305 this spring and slugging .576. He's swiped 40-plus bases in each of the last two seasons, but he hasn't been a power asset since 2007. He's clearly no longer the Alpha Upton, but at age 25, we're still allowed to discuss potential.

Philadelphia's Joe Blanton(notes) will open the season on the DL due to a "mild oblique strain." The injury will require 3-6 weeks to heal, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. Kyle Kendrick(notes) is expected to take Blanton's spot in the rotation, which will of course creates additional problems in a bullpen that's already heavily damaged.

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