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Harvey Injury Minor, White New Astros First Baseman, Kim Blowing Chance With Orioles


Fantasy Baseball Spring Training News and Notes for 3/30/16

The Matt Harvey Injury Freight Train Slows to a Leisure Putter

After Monday's announcement that Mets' starting pitcher Matt Harvey, our experts' 13th-ranked starting pitcher, was going on the shelf with an undisclosed injury for an undetermined amount of time, there were a lot of audible gasps from fantasy owners and Mets fans around the world. The less information a team gives during an injury announcement, the worse the situation is, generally. That couldn't be any further from the truth with regards to Harvey, as we found out on Tuesday that he was suffering from blood clots in his bladder, and is estimated to miss no regular season time. Looks like one April Fool's Day joke came a little early for fantasy owners this year.

 

Astros' New First Baseman Tyler White Goes 1-for-5 Day After Making Roster

The day following Astros manager A.J. Hinch's announcement that rookie Tyler White had won the first base job, he went 1-for-5 with a single and a strikeout. Battling against experience in Jon Singleton and hype in fellow rookie A.J. Reed, White beat them both with a tantalizing show of power and average by hitting .348 with two home runs and eight RBI in 46 at-bats. What has been most impressive from White this spring though has been his patience, drawing eight walks against nine strikeouts. As those numbers fall right in line with White's minor league career numbers of a .311 average, 35 home runs and 10 more walks than strikeouts (174 versus 164), fantasy owners should buy in on a player that is now officially one of the top sleepers for 2016.

 

Hyun Soo Kim Will Not Make Orioles' Roster, Loses Left Field to Rule 5 Pick Joey Rickard

With fellow countrymen Byung Ho Park and Dae Hoo Lee making headlines and rosters this spring, outfielder Hyun Soo Kim's failures have been overshadowed. But that is no longer the case as whispers from around the Orioles camp are saying that despite his two year, $7 million Major League contract, the team is going to open with Rule 5 Pick Joey Rickard in left field. Kim has taken the decision out of the team's hands by hitting .182 with zero extra-base hits in 44 at-bats.

Our experts' 79th-ranked outfielder, Kim is now facing, if rumors are to believed, either a demotion to the minors or a possible return to Korea, neither of which offer fantasy owners much to work with come Opening Day. If he does allow the Orioles to demote him (his contract says he has to consent), fantasy owners should stash him immediately as the potential is there. Kim is, after all, only 28 and coming off of a season where he hit .326 with 28 home runs, 121 RBI and 11 stolen bases in the KBO.

As for Rickard, he is a big wild card, strong spring stats withstanding. His spring stats of a .386 average and five stolen bases are putting his best fantasy traits--an over .300 batting average and above average speed--on full display. Those fall right in line with his career minor league numbers of a .283 average, 13 home runs and 73 stolen bases in 1,237 at-bats. But his complete lack of experience above Double-A emphasizes the "wild" in wild card immensely. A deep sleeper in even the deepest leagues, Rickard should, at the very least, get a fair shake in left to start 2016, and that's enough to give his fantasy relevance a faint heartbeat.

 

Brewers Closer Will Smith Chooses Rest Over Surgery For Injured Knee

Looking to possibly follow in the shoes of Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka and his elbow, Brewers closer Will Smith is going to rest for three weeks before deciding whether to go through with season-ending surgery on his knee. Smith was diagnosed last week with a LCL tear in his right knee that occurred while removing his shoe after an outing, but his doctor is recommending rest and rehab before attempting season-ending surgery. This is good news for any fantasy owners of our experts' 28th-ranked relief pitcher--I have him in one league, thank you auto-draft--as any value is better than zero. His numbers both prior to this season (7-2 record, 2.70 ERA and 91 strikeouts in 2015) and in Spring Training (0.00 ERA, 0.48 WHIP and five strikeouts) show big closer potential, but with Smith yet to collect a save in the Majors since one in 2014, let alone any for Milwaukee, he's DL stash material for current owners only.

 

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