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3/23:Los Angeles Angels first baseman/designated hitter Albert Pujols hit his first home run of the spring on Friday. The 37-year-old slugger is now 11-for-42 this spring, and seems to be finding his power stroke just in time for the season to begin. Pujols had the worst season of his career last year, but still managed to hit 23 home runs and drive in 101. He still holds value in standard fantasy formats as a late-round draft pick. He is DH-only for now, but may get 1B eligibility later in the season if his foot holds up. Don't draft Pujols expecting his previous production, but he is still worth a late-round flyer.--Andy P - RotoBallerSource: Jeff Fletcher
3/23:San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Johnny Cueto will have his start pushed back to Sunday. In place of Cueto on Saturday will be pitching prospect Shaun Anderson. Cueto is coming off of a rough 2017 campaign, but is a good candidate to bounce back in 2018.--Daniel Burdeen - RotoBallerSource: Henry Schulman
3/23:The San Francisco Giants announced on Friday that they have released veteran infielder Andres Blanco. Blanco, 34, figures to latch onto another club as organizational depth, but won’t offer fantasy owners any help in 2018.--Daniel Burdeen - RotoBallerSource: Andrew Baggarly
3/23:This is far from the most shocking news in the world, but stud Toronto Blue Jays prospects Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (third baseman) and Bo Bichette (shortstop/second baseman) are set to start the season in Double-A, according to Blue Jays President/CEO Mark Shapiro. This had been the expectation all along. While both are among the top prospects in all of baseball, neither has any experience past Single-A ball. Neither are redraft options for 2018, but there’s always the (unlikely) possibility of a September call-up. The projection right now is for both future fantasy superstars to make it to the big leagues in early 2019. Both are undoubtedly owned in any dynasty league you may be in, but in leagues where only a few players are kept either one could be worth the hold.--Andrew Bua - RotoBallerSource: Scott Mitchell
3/23:San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner exited today's game after being hit by a comebacker, according to Andrew Baggarly of The Athletic. The tough-guy Bumgarner did not wave off the trainer when hit, seemingly meaning that there is a real problem that required him to leave the game. Chris Haft of said that Bumgarner was struck in his pitching hand or wrist by a Whit Merrifield line drive, requiring him to leave the game, and goes on to say that the injury is "very ominous". Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle did have one positive observation: the trainer was not holding Bumgarner's hand level to keep it steady, as happens when a fracture is feared. After missing a good amount of the 2017 season, another injury is the last thing that Bumgarner owners need to open 2018. He came back in the second half and overall had a 3.32 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and 101 strikeouts in 111 innings, but this injury could torpedo his value this season.--Chris Zolli - RotoBallerSource: Andrew Baggarly on Twitter
3/23:Since as far back as we can remember, May 1st has consistently been the target date thrown out by the New York Mets for the return of injured outfielder Michael Conforto. This spring, however, Conforto’s recovery progress has made it clearly he has other plans. Conforto was expected to be extremely limited all spring without any appearances in Grapefruit League games; he has shattered expectations and made his debut on Thursday. This, after homering twice on Wednesday and hitting for the cycle on Thursday in minor league spring action. In his first Grapefruit League game on Friday, he finished 1-for-4 with a single as the designated hitter. On Saturday, Conforto will be back in the lineup - but will actually be playing the field as well. With all the positives continuing to accrue, According to manager Mickey Callaway, there’s a “good shot” of Conforto returning prior to the targeted May 1st date. While we don’t know what that date is, we should at least start to adjust our expectations for Conforto’s return.--Andrew Bua - RotoBallerSource: Anthony DiComo
3/23:Minnesota Twins infielder Miguel Sano will not be suspended, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Sano, investigated by MLB after being accused of sexual assault, will avoid punishment and is good to go. From an MLB statement: “The Office of the Commissioner found that there was insufficient evidence to support a disciplinary determination against Sanó, due to conflicting and inconsistent witness accounts and the absence of contemporaneous substantiation.” He is having a nice spring, batting .304 in 23 at-bats with two homers. Twins manager Paul Molitor told reporters last week that he was happy with how Sano has recovered from the offseason shin surgery. He had 28 home runs last season.--Chris Zolli - RotoBallerSource: Ken Rosenthal on Twitter
3/23:Chicago White Sox outfielder Adam Engel (neck) continues to receive treatment for stiff neck, according to Daryl Van Schowen of the Chicago Sun-Times. As of now, Engel is still in today's lineup: "I don't anticipate it's a long-term issue", manager Rick Renteria said . Engel has been battling with outfielders Leury Garcia and Ryan Cordell for everyday at-bats in center field. He is having a monster spring, as he has hit .346 with four home runs. Engel is worth a dart throw in AL-only leagues if he sees enough playing time.--Chris Zolli - RotoBallerSource: Daryl Van Schowen on Twitter
3/23:Chicago White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu (hamstring) might play on Sunday, according to Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Time. This would be the last game in Arizona and, while manager Rick Renteria, says Abreu is well enough to play today, but the team is taking no chances with star first baseman. Abreu remains one of the most consistent hitters in the game and should return good value as a third-round pick in 10-team leagues.--Chris Zolli - RotoBallerSource: Daryl Van Schouwen on Twitter
3/23:Updating a previous report, New York Yankees third baseman Brandon Drury had a negative X-ray on his elbow, according to Marc Carig of The Athletic. Looks like the Yankees have dodged a bullet here. Drury left today's game in the bottom of the fifth inning with an injury, after he was hit by a pitch. He ran the bases, but was removed during a pitching change by the Red Sox. Per Hoch, during the pitching change, manager Aaron Boone and head trainer Gene Monahan came to third base for a look at Drury and obviously did not like what they saw. Drury is likely to open the 2018 season at the hot corner in the Bronx and is a nice sleeper with 20+ home run potential.--Chris Zolli - RotoBallerSource: Marc Carig on Twitter
3/23:Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Daniel Norris is unsure about how his 2018 season will begin, according to Evan Woodbery of MLive. Norris said he has not been told, officially or unofficially, what is next after Spring Training, but he could start the season in the minors. Tigers will not need a 5th starter for 11 or 12 days, so, even if he makes team, per Woodbery, Norris may stay an extra day or so in Florida to pitch in a minor-league game. That is still to be determined, but the Tigers do have a High-A team in Lakeland as well. Norris was bothered by a groin injury for a good chunk of 2017, but it has not been an issue this spring. He is likely to be the fifth starter for the Tigers in 2018, looking to bounce back from a 5.31 ERA in 2017.--Chris Zolli - RotoBallerSource: Evan Woodbery on Twitter
3/23:Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Dylan Bundy, who was recently given the Opening Day nod, had a good outing against Tampa Bay on Friday. He went five innings, striking out six while walking one and giving up a run. After a rough Spring, he needed something to build on. Hopefully, this will be the springboard to a good season for the right-hander. From a fantasy standpoint, it's anybody's guess as to what kind of a pitcher he'll be in 2018.--Michael Griffin - RotoBallerSource:
3/23:Updating an earlier story, Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer does not have a serious injury after being hit by a ground ball today, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. Archer was hit on outside (lateral) of forearm below the elbow by a one-hop come backer, per Topkin, but his removal was precautionary He had it covered with a pad and compression sleeve when talking to media, but said bruise had some blue coloring and stitches of ball were visible. Archer remains the clear ace of this four-man rotation, although fantasy owners may be a bit hesitant to invest after he posted a 7.48 ERA and five home runs to close out last year in September. He is still a low-end fantasy ace after striking out 249 in 201 innings last season.--Chris Zolli - RotoBallerSource: Marc Topkin on Twitter
3/23:Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun is likely to start at first base on Opening Day against the San Diego Padres. The Brewers have quite a talented outfield core this season with Christian Yelich, Lorenzo Cain, and Domingo Santana, so Braun will look to get a lot more starts at first base. This move to first could result in less playing time for Eric Thames, as well as a 1B eligibility for Braun in fantasy formats in the near future if it sticks. Braun should be owned in all fantasy formats this season, as he will hit in the middle of the order in a very nice lineup this year.--Caden Inaba - RotoBallerSource: Tom Haudricourt on Twitter
3/23:Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher Wade Miley (groin) was deemed to be out for two-to-four weeks and he officially has a rehab plan set in stone. Since a groin injury does not affect Miley's ability to pitch, the goal will be to get him healthy and then he can pitch in one or two minor league games. Despite a solid rotation this year in Milwaukee with Chase Anderson, Jimmy Nelson (when healthy), Zach Davies, and Jhoulys Chacin, Miley is projected to be the fifth starter if the Brewers decide to give him a contract. Miley should not be owned in any formats right now, but is an appealing strikeout option for deep leagues, as he recorded 142 strikeouts in 157.1 IP last year.--Caden Inaba - RotoBallerSource: Tom Haudricourt on Twitter
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