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2 weeks agoMilwaukee Brewers reliever Justin Wilson (elbow) is making healthy strides in his recovery from Tommy John surgery. He recently began a flat-ground throwing program and aims to return after the All-Star break. Wilson signed with the Brewers over the offseason on a one-year, $10 million deal. It was a puzzling move, considering that Wilson will only be available for the second half. The 35-year-old was diagnosed with elbow soreness last April but was then transferred to the 60-day IL since the injury appeared to be more of a concern. He pitched just five games for the Cincinnati Reds and posted a 2.45 ERA along with seven strikeouts. The Brewers are hoping that Wilson continues to progress well in hopes of reinstating him by midseason.--Rephael Negnewitzky - RotoBallerSource: Adam McCalvy
2 weeks agoMilwaukee Brewers left-hander Aaron Ashby (shoulder) is taking it slow after suffering a left shoulder injury that required a platelet-rich plasma injection, and he is hoping to make his season debut in mid-May. "It's a shoulder impingement, labral tear. That sounds really bad but everyone has these; it's just kind of how it affects you," Ashby said. The 24-year-old southpaw was able to play catch on flat ground on Wednesday in camp at a distance of around 75 feet. He went 2-10 last year with a 4.44 ERA, but he struck out 126 hitters in 107 1/3 innings and has plenty of long-term strikeout upside for fantasy managers. Ashby is stash-worthy in NL-only leagues, but you can probably leave him to the waiver wire in mixed leagues to begin the 2023 season.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: MLB.com - Adam McCalvy
2 weeks agoPhiladelphia Phillies reliever Nick Nelson (hamstring) was diagnosed with a moderate left hamstring strain, which forced the Phils to shut him down. There is no timetable for Nelson's return, but he will likely miss the start of the season. Cristopher Sanchez was also shut down after coming across bicep soreness. The Phillies lost four relievers over the offseason and are already short on bullpen staff with these two setbacks. They added Gregory SotoMatt Strahm, and Craig Kimbrel to counter the bullpen losses. Nelson molded a 4.85 ERA last season across 47 appearances. The 27-year-old struck out 69 batters, along with a 22.5% strikeout rate. He needs to slim down his walk rate, which accumulated to 11.8%. Nelson is off the fantasy radar in most league formats in 2023. --Rephael Negnewitzky - RotoBallerSource: Matt Gelb
2 weeks agoMilwaukee Brewers outfielder Garrett Mitchell (hamstring) reported tightness in his right hamstring during the March 9 Cactus League game against the San Francisco Giants, and the Brewers thought he might return to spring action during the weekend of March 18-19. However, now they are aiming for Mitchell to return around March 21. Manager Craig Counsell still thinks there will be enough time for Mitchell to get the at-bats he needs to feel ready for Opening Day. The 24-year-old will be given every chance to secure the team's regular center field job in 2023 after he hit .311 with two homers and eight stolen bases in 28 games in his major-league debut last year.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: MLB.com
2 weeks agoEven before this spring, Detroit Tigers right-hander Matt Manning's velocity had been wildly inconsistent. He was throwing in the upper-90s in the spring of 2020, but his fastball averaged 93.2 mph last year. Manning's slider can be really good when it's on, but his slider and changeup are almost never in sync on the same day. The former first-rounder was promoted in 2021 despite having an 8.07 ERA at Triple-A, so he could benefit from more time on the farm to open the 2023 season. Meanwhile, Joey Wentz was terrific for the Tigers down the stretch, dominated in the Arizona Fall League and has looked like a more complete pitcher than Manning in camp.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: The Athletic - Cody Stavenhagen
2 weeks agoFree-agent infielder/outfielder Hernan Perez reached an agreement with the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday, according to sources. The deal is a minor-league pact. Perez will join the Twins in spring training once he's done playing for Team Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic. The 31-year-old utility man last saw action in the major leagues with the Washington Nationals in 2021, going 1-for-19 with two walks and 10 strikeouts in only 10 games. He played in only three games for the Chicago Cubs in the shortened 2020 campaign. Perez's last meaningful season in the bigs was in 2019 with the Milwaukee Brewers. He'll serve as organizational depth for the Twins if he sticks around in 2023.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: ElExtraBase - Daniel Alvarez-Montes
2 weeks agoLos Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Tony Gonsolin (ankle) is throwing out to 120 feet in spring training and is able to put some weight on his sprained left ankle, according to manager Dave Roberts. However, there is still no update on Gonsolin's timetable for a return to games. The 28-year-old isn't expected to be ready to take his first turn in the regular season rotation, but barring a setback with his ankle, he shouldn't miss too many starts early on for the Dodgers or fantasy managers. Gonsolin had a career year in 2022 but dealt with an injury down the stretch and wasn't as effective to close things out. He will once again be a key member of LA's rotation, but fantasy managers would be wise to expect some regression.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: The Athletic - Fabian Ardaya
2 weeks agoLos Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said he has "no concern at all" that first baseman Freddie Freeman (hamstring), who suffered a right hamstring injury while playing for Team Canada in the World Baseball Classic on Tuesday, won't be ready for Opening Day. "We expect him to be in a game sooner rather than later," Roberts said. It's great news, but Freeman is done with the 2023 WBC for Canada and will now focus on getting back into a Cactus League game for LA. The 33-year-old's hamstring injury is considered mild, but the Dodgers will take a cautious approach with Opening Day still several weeks away. Freeman is RotoBaller's second-ranked fantasy first baseman heading into his second year with the Blue.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: Los Angeles Times - Mike DiGiovanna
2 weeks agoAfter dealing with various injuries over the past few seasons, San Diego Padres left-hander Cole Hamels (shoulder) hopes to make a comeback. Most notably, Hamels underwent shoulder surgery and recently repaired a torn meniscus and pinched nerve in his foot. He has been completely plagued by injuries but has turned some heads in spring training. Hamels threw a handful of bullpen sessions, and the Padres are already impressed by his body language and the quality of each session. He hopes to return by midseason and could be an under-the-radar bullpen option if injuries deplete San Diego's pitching depth. The 38-year-old last pitched an entire season with the Chicago Cubs, where he posted a 3.81 ERA with 143 strikeouts across 27 starts.--Rephael Negnewitzky - RotoBallerSource: Kevin Acee
2 weeks agoSan Francisco Giants infielder Thairo Estrada isn't enjoying the success this spring he had during the season in 2022. Estrada is hitting .222/.300/.611. The .611 slugging percentage is a nice yet unsustainable number, as all four of his hits this spring have gone for extra bases. He has one home run with three RBI, two doubles and a triple. The utility man has been playing second and short for the Giants this spring, hitting near the top of the lineup. He'll most likely stick to second base unless he's giving shortstop Brandon Crawford a breather, and he could hit second to begin the year. He was surprisingly helpful to fantasy squads last season, hitting 14 home runs, scoring 71 runs and driving in 62 over 140 games. Estrada may be hard-pressed to top those numbers, and his 193.3 ADP reflects that.--Justin Raffone - RotoBallerSource: MLB.com
2 weeks agoDetroit Tigers relief pitcher Alex Lange got roughed up in his Grapefruit League outing on Tuesday against the Boston Red Sox, but he has looked really sharp at other points this spring. His curveball is one of the best swing-and-miss pitches in baseball and he has everything you want in a closer's demeanor. Trey Wingenter and potentially Trevor Rosenthal could be other candidates to close out games for Detroit, but Lange is likely to open the year as the team's primary closer. Manager A.J. Hinch is unlikely to name Lange his closer anytime soon, but for fantasy purposes, Lange is the one to target in Detroit's bullpen in 2023.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: The Athletic - Cody Stavenhagen
2 weeks agoThe Tampa Bay Rays selected right-hander Trevor Kelley to their 40-man roster on Wednesday and placed right-hander Andrew Kittredge (elbow) on the 60-day injured list in a corresponding move. Kittredge is recovering from Tommy John surgery and will miss at least the first half of the season. Kelley could still begin the 2023 regular season in the minor leagues, so he'll need to impress over final few weeks of spring training in order to make the Opening Day roster. The 30-year-old made 18 relief appearances (23 2/3 innings) for the Milwaukee Brewers in 2022 and had a rough 6.08 ERA (6.41 FIP), 1.44 WHIP and 23 strikeouts out of the bullpen.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: Rays Communications
2 weeks agoWashington Nationals relief pitcher Kyle Finnegan is expected to be the team's primary closer entering the 2023 campaign with both Sean Doolittle and Tanner Rainey not expected to be ready for Opening Day. Finnegan's 11 saves were second on the team to Rainey's 12 last year. The 31-year-old finished the season with a 3.51 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 70 strikeouts and 22 walks in 66 2/3 innings over 66 relief appearances. "Back end of the bullpen, which you know is up for hot-hand-type situations," Finnegan said of his role this season. "I was told I'll get some chances back there, but we also have so many good guys that we can play matchups a little bit and bring guys in in different situations. So I think kind of building off last year, we've got a lot of guys that are feeling confident and having success. Having too many guys is always a good thing."--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: MASN Sports - Bobby Blanco
2 weeks agoLos Angeles Dodgers first baseman Freddie Freeman (hamstring) is officially out of Team Canada's lineup in the World Baseball Classic against Team Mexico on Wednesday, as expected. "He's out of this tournament for now. The Dodgers decided that. He's over in camp right now getting looked at by the doctors and training staff," Canada manager Ernie Whitt said. Freeman left the game early on Tuesday due to hamstring tightness, and the Dodgers understandably aren't going to take any chances with their All-Star first baseman. At this point, it's likely that the 33-year-old left-handed slugger will not play again in the WBC this year. Fantasy managers will just be hoping he'll be ready for Opening Day, which remains to be seen.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: Los Angeles Times - Jorge Castillo
2 weeks agoToronto Blue Jays first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (knee) said he's open to rejoining Team Dominican Republic for the World Baseball Classic now that he's past his knee injury. Guerrero said a decision will be made after a conversation with Toronto's manager and general manager. The 23-year-old returned to the Grapefruit League lineup on Wednesday after taking some time off in camp due to knee inflammation, but he's back in action now. It remains to be seen if the Blue Jays will give him the green light to play in the WBC. The most important thing is keeping Guerrero healthy for Opening Day in several weeks at the end of March. He'll be the top first baseman off the board in most fantasy drafts.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: Hazel Mae


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