The Washington Times - March 20, 2009, 12:03AM

We have 25-man rosters and draft only 23 players, so we have two spots to fill on waivers. Sitting sixth on the waiver order, I put a claim in for 20-year-old Tigers pitching phenom Rick Porcello - who is reportedly still in the running for the No. 5 starter job even though he spent last season in advanced Class A - but someone else in my league beat me to it. The following night I got Blue Jays pitching prospect Brett Cecil, who was recently sent to the minors but had a good spring and has been dynamite in the minors (9-5, 2.41 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 185-to-52 K-to-walk ratio in 168 1/3 innings). I’m betting he’ll be in the bigs by mid-May at the latest. I also needed a placeholder catcher because the Orioles will probably have Wieters start the year in triple-A. I settled on the Marlins’ John Baker, who hit .299 with five homers in 197 big league at bats last year after hitting .321 with six homers in triple-A. I’m hoping he can get the job done while I await Wieters’ arrival and then serve as an adequate backup from there on out.

 

PROJECTED LINEUP

No. 1 Starter: Jon Lester
No. 2 Starter: James Shields
No. 3 Starter: Joba Chamberlain
No. 4 Starter: Derek Lowe
No. 5 Starter: Gavin Floyd
Closer: Troy Percival
Catcher: Matt Wieters
First Baseman: Adrian Gonzalez
Second Baseman: Mark DeRosa
Third Baseman: Chipper Jones
Shortstop: J.J. Hardy
Outfield: Nick Markakis
Outfield: Raul Ibanez
Outfield: Johnny Damon
Utility: Pablo Sandoval

BENCH

John Baker (C)
Clint Barmes (2B/SS)
Cristian Guzman (SS)
Travis Snider (OF)

EXTRA PITCHERS

Jordan Zimmermann (SP)
Kelvim Escobar (SP)
Koji Uehara (SP/RP)
Justin Masterson (SP/RP)
Manny Corpas (RP)
Brett Cecil (SP - Minors)

 

So how do you think I made out? Constructive criticism is encouraged, and if you think I nailed it, feel free to tell me that too. Good luck with your drafts.

 

Jay LeBlanc is an assistant news editor at The Washington Times. He can be reached at jleblanc@washingtontimes.com.