Sunday, February 24, 2008

1B Californication

San Francisco Giants

The Giants have given 1B candidate Dan Ortmeier a full time tutor to help him in his transition to first, a good indication that they are committed to giving him serious playing time there to start the season. Former Giants 1B J.T. Snow has been assisting Ortmeier learn the nuances and intricacies of playing first, as well as things to look for and expect.

We listed Ortmeier as a potential sleeper in our Giants season preview, but he could put up Lyle Overbay type numbers a whole lot later than Overbay will go in your league's draft. Read on and you'll see why you should take Ortmeier ahead of Casey Kotchman as well.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Look out Casey Kotchman lovers, the Angels plan on giving Juan Rivera an extended look over at first base. It looks like the Angels might be hoping to platoon Rivera and Kotchman over at first base. Kotchman hit a limited number of homeruns last season for a 1B (11HR), and hit none against lefties. This could be the Angels way of lighting a fire under Kotchman, or it could mean there is a platoon in the works. In Rivera's last full season (2006) he hit 23 HR with 85 RBI, more important in this case, he had a .970 OPS against left handed pitching.

This is the exact opposite of what the Giants are doing for Ortmeier. Move Kotchman off of your potential sleepers for first base. The season hasn't even started yet, and the Angels are showing they do not have faith in the young hitter. This could also be a signal that there still might be something to those Paul Konerko rumors we heard earlier this winter.

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