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Coming off a productive spring, Josh Johnson matched a career high with 10 hits allowed on opening night; his offerings were frequently up in the zone, and he was nibbling a bunch. This is probably more rust shaking off after a March in which he worked his shoulder back into form.
How he rebounds will be something to watch early on for the Miami Marlins' ace because he's at his most dominant when he's down in the zone.
Kyle Lohse took a no-hitter into the seventh against Johnson's Marlins Wednesday night. Expect the St. Louis Cardinals' righty to be his typical self this year - not many K's, relying on his pitch movement and defense to succeed. You'll be able to ride this for stretches in mixed leagues, but he won't be a savior.
Though John Mayberry Jr. and Laynce Nix already line up for a left-field platoon, Charlie Manuel said he'll throw Juan Pierre in the lineup often. Lip service? Perhaps, but Manuel has developed an affinity for the veteran slapper, who started Thursday's season opener.
You know the deal with the 34-year-old: Relative to playing time, he'll offer his light hitting, shaky on-base ability and, despite a recent drop-off in efficiency, swipes. A team that'll have to play smaller ball given their injuries on offense should turn Pierre loose whenever he reaches.
This makes him an NL-only asset, especially with reliable speed options seemingly waning there, and a wait-and-see for deep mixers.
About Tim Heaney
Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in the prestigious LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.
He appears frequently, including every Sunday, on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, as well as every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.
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