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3/19:New York Mets starting pitcher Jason Vargas (hand) has mixed signs regarding the start to the 2018 season. According to Tim Britton of The Athletic, Vargas said the expectation is that his right hand feels normal about six weeks after surgery, meaning that Vargas would miss the beginning of the season. According to Britton and Mike Puma of the New York Post, though, Vargas could pitch before that point with some modifications to his glove. Puma said that the team has not ruled out Vargas for his first start of the season, but said that Zack Wheeler would start if Vargas could not go. Vargas will have surgery on Tuesday to fix a fractured bone in his right (non-throwing) hand. He will likely be more of the pitcher he was in the second half last year with the Royals than in the first half, which is not good.--Chris Zolli - RotoBallerSource: Mike Puma on Twitter
3/19:The Minnesota Twins optioned shortstop Nick Gordon to minor league camp on Sunday. Gordon had a nice showing this spring, going 9-for-22 for a cool .409 batting average. Gordon has never played above Double-A and wasn't expected to make the big league club coming out of Spring Training. The 22-year-old shortstop is regarded as one of Minnesota's better positional prospects, ranking as the No. 10 shortstop prospect by MLB Pipeline, but will need some more seasoning in the minors. The Twins reassigned Gordon even after they learned of the 80-game suspension handed out to starting shortstop Jorge Polanco, although the suspension does move Gordon up in the pecking order of potential replacements at the big league level.--Matt Terelle - RotoballerSource:
3/19:Detroit Tigers third baseman turned outfielder Nicholas Castellanos has been slugging the ball all over this spring season. The power-hitting Castellanos has five homers already to go along with a double and a triple in Grapefruit League action. Castellanos is coming off a career year and gains outfield eligibility heading into 2018 with Jeimer Candelario manning the hot corner for the Tigers. Target Castellanos as early as Round 9, depending on the depth of your league.--Tyler Germain - RotoBallerSource: MLB
3/19:Detroit Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez is a bounce-back candidate in 2018 after a miserable 2017 campaign that saw him miss time with a heart condition. Martinez has said that this will likely be his final season in the big leagues, and he appears to be healthy this spring. It appears Martinez is looking to go out with a bang, as the veteran slugger has amassed 14 hits this spring, more than any other player on the Tigers roster. Of those 14 hits, four have been homers and three more have been doubles, good enough for a 1.079 OPS on the spring. Obviously spring stats go out the window once the regular season starts, but it's a promising sign for V-Mart on his last go around.--Tyler Germain - RotoBallerSource: MLB
3/19:Oakland Athletics pitching prospect A.J. Puk was one of the roster cuts made on Sunday, as reported by Jane Lee of Puk was having a productive spring with a 3.38 ERA over 10 innings with seven strikeouts but six walks. The intent is for Puk to get more refinement and consistent playing time in the minors, as he only has 64 innings at Double-A. There is no doubt that Puk is a part of the Athletics rotation of the future. For now, those in redraft leagues can leave Puk on the waiver wire but keep him on the watch list.--Ellis Canady - RotoBallerSource: Jane Lee
3/19:Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Matt Andriese is in the running to fill one of the multi-inning roles that will play a key part of the strategies the Rays hope to employ during the games where they will go with a bullpen approach rather than a traditional starting pitcher. Speculation suggests they will have at least four pitchers on their roster who can go multiple innings other than the four traditional starting pitchers. Andriese has been a starter for the majority of his career as he has started 44 games in his three seasons in the majors. He has had mediocre results so far as he is below .500 and has had an ERA above 4.00 in each of the three seasons. His strikeout totals or even K/9 rate are unremarkable. As part of this experiment, he is unlikely to have value outside of very deep formats.--Jamie Mellor - RotoBallerSource: Tampa Bay Times
3/19:The Milwaukee Brewers sent second baseman Keston Hiura to minor league camp on Sunday. According to, Hiura is the team's top-ranked prospect entering the 2018 season. He left quite the impression on the team in camp and could be up with the team in the second half. The ninth overall pick of last year's draft, Hiura led the nation in batting average (.442) and on-base percentage (.567) in his final year in college. He's surely a name to know in keeper/dynasty formats.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: - Adam McCalvy
3/19:New York Mets starting pitcher Jason Vargas (hand) will have surgery on Tuesday to fix a fractured bone in his right (non-throwing) hand. However, he'll resume throwing five days after the procedure, but he'll likely miss the start of the regular season. The veteran left-handed probably won't miss many starts in the first month of the season, but he's a bad mixed league option. Vargas doesn't strike out many and relies on contact to get outs. He'll likely be more of the pitcher he was in the second half last year with the Royals than in the first half, which is not good.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: - Anthony DiComo
3/19:Colorado Rockies prospect Yency Almonte looks to be the next big starting pitcher on their farm. Almonte was showered with praise by manager Bud Black for how he's performed this spring, and though he's going to start the season at Triple-A Albuquerque, it looks like he's a prime candidate for a mid-season call-up. Almonte will still wear the heavy shackles of Coors Field, but once starters start falling to injuries, plenty of fantasy owners will be happy to accept such warts when they come with mid-90s fastballs.--Billy Stonick - RotoBallerSource: Patrick Saunders
3/19:Colorado Rockies outfield prospect Raimel Tapia has always been known for his hit tool, but management is looking to develop his skills on the basepaths to help him contribute. This spring, Tapia's been picked off three times, but apparently that's by design. Manager Bud Black told reporters that Tapia's been challenged to take bigger leads than ever before to try and get him more comfortable with testing pitchers. Tapia's always been a better real-life prospect than fantasy one due to his limited contribution in anything besides batting average, but if the new push to get him to stretch more in the running game can bolster his stolen base total, this project could be a boost to his value.--Billy Stonick - RotoBallerSource: Patrick Saunders
3/19:Colorado Rockies setup man Bryan Shaw had a rough outing against the Giants, surrendering home runs to Madison Bumgarner and Nick Hundley. Shaw is notorious for his rough spring trainings with the Indians, so there isn't a ton of concern about the poor performance at this point. For those in holds leagues, Shaw should still serve as an excellent commodity, as Colorado's offense will regularly provide them with late leads.--Billy Stonick - RotoBallerSource: Patrick Saunders
3/18:There was some concern amongst the Kansas City Royals staff that third baseman Mike Moustakas may not get his timing back with his shortened spring session, but homering in his second game helped allay some of those fears. Obviously, spring is spring and the results aren't a guarantee to carry over, but everyone would always rather see good results than bad ones. Moustakas is returning for a one-year deal after a rough offseason that found him without an acceptable long-term deal anywhere. Expect him to get plenty of opportunities this season as the beefy part of KC's lineup behind the likes of Jon Jay and Whit Merrifield.--Billy Stonick - RotoBallerSource: Alan Eskew
3/18:Kansas City Royals first base prospect Ryan O'Hearn has gone on a tear in the Cactus League. O'Hearn has belted four homers in his last three games, and though the 24-year-old will be starting the season at Triple-A Omaha, he could see big-league at-bats soon enough. O'Hearn has shown that he packs a real punch at the plate, but his limited defensive abilities have kept him down in the minors to this point, as well as the previous presence of Eric Hosmer. With Hosmer gone and the hot-and-cold Lucas Duda manning first base, expect O'Hearn to get more serious consideration for a promotion. If not this year, then next.--Billy Stonick - RotoBallerSource: Anthony Castrovince
3/18:One of the bigger signings this winter for the Kansas City Royals was outfielder Jon Jay. Jay is no superstar, but he can hit for average and get on base at a pretty good clip. That's a rarity in an offense as bad as KC's, and so he's currently slotted to be the leadoff man in 2018. While his on-base skills will probably earn him a decent run total with Whit Merrifield, Mike Moustakas and Lucas Duda bringing him around, that's about all he'll bring to the table. Jay has never even shown average pop or speed, so his home run and stolen base numbers will continue to be depressed. The presence of Alcides Escobar and Alex Gordon, two of the worst hitters in baseball in 2017, will put to bed any thoughts of RBI opportunities for Jay as well.--Billy Stonick - RotoBallerSource: Rustin Dodd
3/18:Kansas City Royals outfielder Alex Gordon was atrocious offensively last season. A hot fall pulled him up to a final batting average of .208, but he wasn't as good as his average suggests. Over the offseason, multiple reports came out that Gordon was completely overhauling his approach at the plate so he could be better this year. So far, he's 4-for-39 this spring. Sure, spring stats don't really count, but it doesn't appear that overhaul has quite worked. He should be avoided in all but the deepest of leagues.--Billy Stonick - RotoBallerSource: Rustin Dodd
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