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Opening day observations in bullet point form

By Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer

I realize it invites overreaction and would prefer not to go down that path, but as an observer of opening day in all its grandeur, I noticed a few things -- things I'll now share with you in bullet point form:

  • I feel pretty comfortable saying Francisco Liriano won't be an outright disaster this season. Granted, I never thought he would be, but I recognized the possibility given his unsteady track record and bumpy finish last season. He may not hold up all season, and his three walks in six innings Monday show he's no WHIP specialist, but you can stick him in your lineup and not worry about him.
  • Emilio Bonifacio was clearly a catalyst at the top of the Cubs' lineup, and his versatility could make him a regular part of it. We'll see what the Cubs run out there against a right-hander Wednesday, but if I needed steals in a Rotisserie league, I'd already be taking a flier on him.
  • After watching him go 4 for 4 with two doubles, one of which would have cleared the fence in most ballparks, I realize I may have undersold Salvador Perez's breakout potential this spring. The guy hit .318 with nine home runs and an .872 OPS over the final two months last year. Especially now that Wilson Ramos is down, I would have loved to nab in the 15th round or so of a one-catcher league.
  • I don't want to rush to judgment on him, but Justin Verlander's strikeout total was down, and for the little bit I saw of him, he wasn't throwing his hardest fastball, kind of like last April. I'll want a look at the Pitch F/X data tomorrow.
  • Victor Martinez got his first home run out of the way after going all of last April without one. Hopefully, he can avoid a slow start this year. I'm not sure I could help but assume the worst for a 35-year-old.
  • I'd be more encouraged by Stephen Strasburg's 10 strikeouts than discouraged by his four earned runs. A nice recovery for him after a rocky start.
  • Adam LaRoche, a notoriously slow starter, hit a monster home run in the opener Monday. He's just one year removed from a career-high 33 homers and was never completely healthy last year. Just something to keep in mind if you're lacking power in a Rotisserie league.
  • Guess those concerns about Bobby Parnell's stuff coming off surgery were warranted. Meanwhile, Jose Valverde looked great in the seventh and eighth innings. You have your handcuff if your waiver wire is otherwise devoid of saves.
  • In our "bold predictions" segment on today's Fantasy Baseball Today, I wanted to include something about Anthony Rendon ranking among the top 10 second basemen by season's end, but I didn't think it was bold enough and wasn't super confident anyway given the depth at the position. He has top-five potential, though, and showed it in the 10th inning Monday.
  • I'd like some clarity on Ike Davis and Lucas Duda, please.
  • Yeah, I'm giving Tanner Scheppers a pass for that first start, as I wrote on his player page. What can I say? A good SPARP is hard to find.
  • Cliff Lee also gets a pass, but I should hope that's obvious. It happens to the best of them.
  • I must admit I'm rooting for Cody Asche to fail just so we can see Maikel Franco sooner, believing him to have far more upside. Asche clearly bought himself some leeway with his monster performance Monday, though. I'd still rather have Matt Dominguez in Fantasy, and that's not saying much.
  • I'm saying Marlon Byrd actually one-ups last year's career high in homers with 25 this year. How's that for a bold prediction?
  • Francisco Rodriguez's appearing in the ninth inning with the Brewers up by two might have been the most frustrating moment from opening day. You couldn't have dropped us a hint, Ron Roenicke? I go into further detail on Rodriguez's player page, but I'm not counting on Jim Henderson getting saves any time soon and would rather not have to stash both.
  • Every year, I expect Aramis Ramirez to fall off the cliff, and every year, he makes me regret it. His overall numbers last year weren't as impressive, but once he finally got his knees right, he hit .301 with seven homers and a .916 OPS in August and September and seems to be headed down that path again.
  • So far, not so good for Dan Uggla and B.J. Upton.
  • OK, so we all got a little misty-eyed when Grady Sizemore hit that home run, but it was a wall-scraper over the short porch in right field that would have been an out at Fenway Park. He had only three extra-base hits in spring training. I'm still not convinced of anything.
  • Here we go again with R.A. Dickey. I wasn't the one trumpeting him this spring, so I'm absolved. He'll have his moments and eat his innings, but with his health deteriorating at age 39 and his knuckleball coming and going as a result, he'll be a pain in the butt to own.
  • All Alejandro De Aza's two home runs mean is he's a safe bet to hold off Dayan Viciedo for a while longer. I still think last year's 18 homers are the best he can do power-wise, and the at-bats he figures to lose probably puts them beyond his reach.
  • You may have won this round, Matt Lindstrom, but the job ultimately belongs to Nate Jones. Robin Ventura is the same manager who tried to sell us on Hector Santiago as a closer for the first week week of 2012, let's not forget.
  • I turned 30 today only to realize I never in my life imagined being 30. As a child, I imagined being a teenager, and as a teenager, I imagined being a 20-something. And certainly at various points in life, I've imagined being in my late 50s, 60s and beyond. So here I am at a milestone I was never anxious to reach and not really sure what to make of it. If I was a ballplayer, I'd say I was getting old, but I know that's not so true in the real-world sense. Then again, as fast as my 20s went, I think it's becoming clearer how easily these opening days can run together and how thankful I should be to have a job that allows me to linger on them so.

Enjoy the rest of today's games, people. I love you all.

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