1. Blake Treinen will be closing for the Nationals. Nope, it’s not Koda Glover and it’s not Shawn Kelley and, as of this writing, there’s not David-Robertson-to-the-Nats trade buzz. Treinen’s sinker is of the highest quality, making him a groundball machine. He also punched out 8.5 batters per nine innings last season. He’s legit, and he’ll have the ninth for a 90-win team. Go get him.
2. Lance Lynn is back. Lynn is 16 months removed from TJ surgery, and he impressed throughout the spring: 1.20 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, 15.0 IP, 8 Ks, 2 BB. He’s ready for the regular season, and there’s no obvious reason to think he can’t return to his 2014-15 level of performance. Keep him in your end-game plans.
3. Aaron Judge is the opening day right fielder for the Yankees. Judge has had a terrific spring for New York (21-for-61, 3 HR), beating out Aaron Hicks for the starting gig. Judge is an enormous human (6-foot-7, 275) with excellent power upside. He isn’t going to hit for average, but we can expect a few moonshots.
4. Robert Gsellman has made the Mets’ starting rotation. Not that there was really much doubt, especially with Steven Matz (elbow) opening the year on the DL. Gsellman is a hard-thrower who coaxes plenty of grounders, coming off a very good spring (1.07 WHIP). Plenty of Ks here. Salfino loves him, but he is known to be irrationally exuberant with Mets and Jets.
5. Yandy Diaz is gonna play for Cleveland. So that’s fun. Diaz basically lives on base — his career minor league slash is .307/.403/.410 — and, at 25, he doesn’t have anything left to prove at the lower levels. He’ll see time at third for Cleveland, with Jose Ramirez shifting to second as a placeholder for the injured Jason Kipnis. Diaz probably won’t offer a ton in terms of power or speed, but the kid can hit.
6. Delino DeShields will be leading off for Texas. This fact has already been discussed a time or two around here, but it’s worth repeating, just in case you missed it. DeShields has had a monster spring for the Rangers, swiping 12 bags in as many attempts, drawing 14 walks, and going 19-for-60 at the plate. As a top-of-the-order hitter for a team that will pile up runs, he needs to be drafted in any mixed league. Speed like his is hard to find.
7. Jesus Aguilar is a Cactus League legend. Aguilar has made the Brewers’ opening day roster, because … well, because he game the team no choice. The 26-year-old first baseman hit seven home runs this spring, scoring 16 runs and driving in 17 while slashing a ridiculous .466/.523/.897. Don’t be surprised if he takes early season at-bats from Eric Thames.
8. Joe Musgrove will open the year in Houston’s rotation. Maybe it’s nothing, maybe it’s something. The Astros have a deep, impressive collection of everyday players, but the starting staff seems less than pennant-quality. Musgrove is an interesting young arm, 24 years old, and he’s had a stellar exhibition season (3-0, 2.45 ERA, 1.05 WHIP). He struck out 87 batters in 85.1 innings in the high minors last season. He’s a spot-start candidate in fantasy, at the very least.
9. Jeanmar Gomez is closing for the Phillies (for now). We basically knew this was coming, but it’s officially official. Gomez saved 37 games last year for Philadelphia, but he also produced a miserable 1.46 WHIP. He’s a clear candidate to lose his closing gig early in the year. Hector Neris and Joaquin Benoit should both be owned in deeper fantasy formats.
10. Mitch Haniger is happening, you guys. He delivered a big spring (28-for-72, 1.089 OPS), earning a starting role in Seattle’s outfield. Last season, Haniger slashed .321/.419/.581 across two minor league levels, launching 25 homers and swiping 12 bases. He added another five bombs when he arrived in the big leagues, too. He’s buried in the Yahoo draft ranks, so make sure you add his name to queue.