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Have you checked the Cubs' box scores the last couple days? They've been starting Jonathan Herrera at third base, for Pete's sake.

Tommy La Stella just hit the DL with a rib cage injury, Mike Olt's wrist is all banged up and Arismendy Alcantara is already needed at second base. And so, on April 15, that's the best this playoff hopeful can do at the hot corner.

Jonathan Herrera!

But you don't see Theo Epstein working the phones, do you? What about Joe Maddon running his hands through his silky white hair? No, by all outward appearances, they're as cool as cucumbers ... ones stored in a refrigerator ... for preservation's sake.

How can that be? Oh, I think we all know.

April 17. It's a magical date -- the birth date of America's sweetheart Jennifer Garner, star of the incomparable 13 Going on 30. But we the people will soon come to identify it with someone else.

His name is Kris Bryant.

By then, the Cubs' season will be 12 days old, the number needed to buy an extra year of team control for the heartthrob prospect, and it's not like they can make the case they don't need him.

In fact, if his spring performance is any indication, he may already their best player -- and that's including Anthony Rizzo, who was a borderline first-rounder on Draft Day. I mean, he hit .425 with nine home runs in 40 at-bats. But you already knew that.

Thing is he has done the same thing at every stop since the Cubs drafted him second overall in 2013. He's a power-hitting prodigy.

If I own him in Fantasy, I'm counting on starting him in Fantasy Week 3 (April 20-26), and if I don't, I'm spending the rest of today inundating his owner with offers in case the "uncertainty" of it all (you gotta love Theo's poker face) has weakened his resolve. Maybe a little Salvador Perez straight up? Sonny Gray? J.D. Martinez? Hey, if I just lost David Wright to the DL, I'm working double time.

And then I'm popping in my VHS copy of 13 Going on 30 because, man, the way Jen-Gar gets all those stuffy grownups dancing to "Thriller" just kills me every time.

Rusney Castillo, OF, Red Sox

Castillo's stint at Triple-A Pawtucket began as well as you would expect. He went 5 for 12 with a double and a stolen base in three games but then hurt his shoulder diving for a ball Saturday and landed on the minor-league DL.

Fortunately, the injury looks like just inflammation, so the Red Sox are hoping for a short DL stint. But even so, it moves back his timetable. He'll need to prove his swing is sound before he gets called up, and in the meantime, Shane Victorino and Allen Craig get even more time to show they have something left.

It doesn't change my opinion of Castillo -- aside from Bryant, he's the minor-leaguer most worth stashing -- but be prepared to hunker down with him.

Danny Salazar, SP, Indians

Did you see the way T.J. House started the season? What about Zach McAllister? Those were the two who beat out Salazar for a rotation spot this spring, and needless to say, neither has backed it up so far during the regular season.

Now, I realize each has made just one start, but it's not like neither comes with much of a pedigree. The Indians were going against the grain by awarding them jobs in the first place.

House in particular worries me. His strong finish last year may have set the bar too high given how hittable his stuff can be. Spring training included, he has now allowed 18 earned runs over his last 15 1/3 innings. If he has another start like his first and Salazar has another like he had Friday for Triple-A Columbus, allowing no runs on four hits with seven strikeouts and, best of all, no walks in six innings, Cleveland may pull the old switcheroo.

Corey Seager, 3B, Dodgers

Unlike the other players on this list, Seager probably isn't getting the call this season, but his chances for a late-season look only increase if he takes quickly to the upper levels of the minors.

He seems to be doing just that, batting .583 (14 for 25) in six games at Double-A Tulsa. On the one hand, it's not too surprising -- he hit .352 with 18 home runs and 1.044 OPS at high Class A Rancho Cucamonga last year and has mashed at every level since the Dodgers selected him 18th overall in the 2012 draft. But you have to be skeptical of any numbers put up in the heavy-hitting California League. This hot start gives them more credibility.

Seager is expected to move off shortstop in the long run, but even so, he and Byron Buxton figure to be the most hyped prospects once Bryant gets the call.

Andrew Heaney, SP, Angels

Rather than award the job to Heaney, who was just as miserable in spring training -- serving up four home runs in 24 1/3 innings -- as he was during his look with the Marlins last season, the Angels opted to go without a fifth starter to begin the season. This is all well and good with Garrett Richards due back from knee surgery in late April.

But it's not like their starting rotation is impenetrable otherwise. Namely, Hector Santiago is a disaster waiting to happen in that No. 4 spot. You know how many times he pitched into the seventh inning last year? Exactly once in 24 starts. And it's not like the results were good along the way. Granted, he's already done it once this year, but let's not lose perspective. He was a dud with the White Sox, too.

Heaney, meanwhile, couldn't have gotten off to a better start at Triple-A Salt Lake, allowing no runs on two hits with eight strikeouts and no walks over seven innings April 10. Granted, we already knew he could get minor-leaguers out, but if he goes all Jimmy Nelson on the homer-happy Pacific Coast League, he'll be up in short order.

Mike Foltynewicz, RP, Braves

The Braves gave Foltynewicz every opportunity to claim a rotation spot this spring, hoping to reap immediate benefits from the Evan Gattis trade, but he made their decision to send him down pretty easy with a 5.84 ERA and 2.35 WHIP. And really, it shouldn't have been a surprise considering he hasn't even mastered Triple-A yet, compiling a 5.08 ERA and 1.46 WHIP there last year.

So far this season, the results are mixed. He showed his upside in his first start, striking out seven in four innings, but then he walked four in 4 2/3 innings last time out. He wasn't hit hard either time.

His 100 mph fastball could make him an impact pitcher if he gets it under control, and with Mike Minor suffering a setback in his return from a shoulder injury, the ball is in his court. Between Eric Stults and Trevor Cahill, the Braves could find a spot for him as soon as he proves ready, so keep an eye on his progress.