Originally written on Baseball Professor  |  Last updated 4/7/12
A8

Every morning we recap the previous night’s games, news and notes so that you’re up-to-date on everything baseball. As always you can follow us on Twitter (@BaseballProf) and like us on Facebook to get updated, fantasy-relevant news, tidbits and analysis.

1. You think Carlos Pena likes Tampa Bay? He had two shots at a grand slam yesterday, connecting on one and settling on a mere game-winning single in his other opportunity. I guess we’ll settle for that in the first game of the season.

2. Speaking of the Rays-Yankees game, the 42-year-old Mariano Rivera blew his first save chance of the season and has the masses claiming that he should’ve retired. To keep our readers on the calm side I will point out this stat that I saw somewhere on the Twittersphere: In his career, Rivera has a 82.2 percent save rate in March/Apri and a 90.4 percent rate the rest of the season.

3. Was that an Adam Dunn home run sighting?! It’s not time to start laying bets on a 40-homer season, but it’s definitely a welcome sight for all owners who took a flyer on the slugger in the spring.

4. Eventually Yoenis Cespedes is going to stop seeing any pitch that resembles a fastball, but there’s no doubt about how good his raw power is. His 462-foot home run last night is the longest in the league so far and could remain so for quite a while.

5. Welcome back Chad Billingsley? It definitely helped that he was facing the Padres in San Diego, but 11 strikeouts to just one walk is a great start. Pitching in the NL West, Billingsley will have his favorable matchups along the way, but until we see him perform well for more than a week or two it’s tough to buy him as a rosterable player in standard leagues.

6. If you didn’t think that wins and losses were already a pointless stat to play with in fantasy baseball, let me point you to Jered Weaver‘s line last night: 8 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 10 K. Had it not been for a five-run 8th inning the game would have gone into the 9th tied 0-0. Go with quality starts and you’ll be much happier for it.

7. Staying in the Royals-Angels game, do you think Jonathan Broxton‘s leash got a little bit longer after last night? Both bullpen arms that were supposed to be in competition for the closer’s job (Aaron Crow, Greg Holland) turned in poor performances that cost the Royals the game and possibly themselves some early save opportunities.

8. I think Yovani Gallardo would like a do-over to the start of the season after allowing four home runs en route to an 11-4 loss. What was especially troubling was his lack of control (5 BB in 3.2 IP) and while that has been a problem of his in the past he’s done enough in his career where we can write this off as a bump in the road.

9. How about that Nick Markakis! There’s that power that we’ve been missing since 2008! He started off the season right, hitting a home run and a triple in his first two at-bats. I’ve been off the Markakis bandwagon for a while now because other than a .300 batting average he doesn’t bring much to the table. However, in leagues that count doubles, OBP and hits he gets a significant boost in value.

10. David Freese has picked up right where he left off in his World Series, MVP campaign last year as he is 5-for-10 with two runs, a home runs and five RBI. He’s always been hyped as a great hitter and has been the future for the Cardinals at third for quite some time. The issue here is his health and whether he can stay on the field for 150 games. That still remains to be seen.

11. Buster Posey caught nine innings. It doesn’t seem impressive, but after missing the majority of the 2011 season due to a leg injury it was nice to see him back on the field (he went 2-4 with a walk) without any lingering problems. Expect the Giants to give him the occasional day off and maybe he gains first base eligibility depending on your league’s rules, but Posey is back and all is right in San Francisco.

12. Another injured player from 2011, Kendrys Morales, took the field for the first time last night and, like Posey, he didn’t do anything spectacular. Just seeing him on the field was a step in the right direction and it looks like he’s on his way to at least 500 at-bats this year, which means you should be able to count on 25 home runs.

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