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2/26:Atlanta Braves shortstop prospect Ozzie Albies (elbow) could make his Grapefruit League debut early next week. However, with Brandon Phillips now penciled in at the keystone in 2017, the Braves aren't rushed to get Albies to the big league level, and he's likely at least a few months away. Albies said he's doing all baseball activities, but he's throwing at more like 80 to 85 percent intensity. MLB.com ranks him as the No. 10 overall prospect this year. The 20-year-old hit .292 with six home runs, 53 RBI and 30 steals in 138read more...
2/26:For the most part, Joaquin Benoit’s afternoon was positive today against the Blue Jays. After all, he struck out two in his lone inning of work. Unfortunately for the 39-year-old, a Kendrys Morales home run was the only blemish on his outing. This, ultimately, makes Benoit’s outing a mixed result and does nothing to hurt his chances in Philadelphia’s closer battle. Should his strikeouts remain front and center the rest of the way, he will remain in contention for the role throughout.--Ricky Delgado - RotoBallerSource: MLB.com
2/26:Jeremy Hellickson, widely expected to be on the mound for the Phillies on opening day, was not at his best this afternoon against the Toronto Blue Jays. The 29-year-old walked one, gave up four hits, and was tagged for two runs in two innings of work. He failed to strike out a single batter during the outing. Clearly too early for any worries, Hellickson’s outing shouldn’t worry any prospective owners.--Ricky Delgado - RotoBallerSource: Phillies.com
2/26:Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim first baseman Albert Pujols (foot) has started taking groundballs hit right at him as well as running with increased weight on a treadmill, according to manager Mike Scioscia. He's also taking batting practice while rehabbing from December foot surgery. There's still not a guarantee that Pujols will be ready by opening day, but he's progressing nicely. Despite dealing with injuries as he ages, he's managed to play in over 150 games each of the last three years, and he's shown he still has valuable pop with 31 home runs and 119read more...
2/26:Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim relief pitcher Cam Bedrosian (groin) is expected to resume throwing off a mound early next week, according to manager Mike Scioscia. Bedrosian is expected to have plenty of time to get ready for the start of the regular season. With the Halos' closer job up in the air entering 2017, Bedrosian is the best bet to handle the majority of the chances after posting a 1.12 ERA, 1.09 ERA and an impressive 11.38 K/9 in 40 1/3 innings. His main competition, Huston Street, is an aging reliever thatread more...
2/26:Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Julio Urias will make the spring start Tuesday, according to manager Dave Roberts. The Dodgers are leaning toward having Urias start the year in the starting rotation instead of sending him to extended spring training. LA will continue to look to limit the 20-year-old's workload in his second season in the big leagues. He averaged less than five innings per start last year in 15 starts but posted a respectable 3.39 ERA and 9.82 K/9 to illustrate the massive upside he has. A shaky 3.62 BB/9 needs to improve, but withread more...
2/26:New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler (elbow) completed a successful bullpen session Sunday, and manager Terry Collins said live batting practice is next. The Mets are targeting March 9 for Wheeler's first spring start. Wheeler is battling for a rotation spot this spring and must prove he's healthy after missing the last two full seasons with elbow troubles following Tommy John surgery. So far, so good, but he still has a ways to go. Wheeler showed nice strikeout upside (9.1 K/9 in 2014), but his command must improve for him to take the next stepread more...
2/26:Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Logan Forsythe received a Synvisc injection in his left knee earlier in the week, but he said the treatment is "just precautionary." Forsythe had surgery on the same knee in high school. A career-high HR/FB rate (14.7 percent) led to a career-high 20 home runs in 2016. Forsythe also showed improvement in his hard-contact rate and overall power indicators, which is a good sign that he's still improving on the right side of 30. A move to LA and a possible leadoff spot would hurt his RBI chances but certainly boostread more...
2/26:St. Louis Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong, who has been bothered by a tender right shoulder, will make his spring debut Monday. Manager Mike Matheny indicated that he thinks Wong's shoulder injury has been exaggerated in camp. Matheny said Wong is fine. The 26-year-old's forgettable 2016 season (.239-5-23) will make him more of a fantasy afterthought this year. It looks as though the Cardinals want him to serve in more of a super-utility role moving forward, as he played every outfield position upon returning from the minors last year. His mediocre skills across the board andread more...
2/26:San Diego Padres outfielder Alex Dickerson remains day-to-day with lower back tightness. Manager Andy Green said Dickerson is unlikely to play in spring games until March. It's not good for Dickerson's chances of finding increased playing time in the outfield, but he still has plenty of time to get right before opening day. The lefty slugger proved his raw power with a combined 20 dingers between Triple-A and the majors, and his improved plate discipline is a good sign in the long term. However, he's unlikely to find enough playing time in a corner outfield spotread more...
2/26:Oakland Athletics pitchers Jesse Hahn and Andrew Triggs are neck-and-neck in their competition for the final rotation spot this spring, although Hahn was a little shaky in his Cactus League debut Saturday, allowing four hits, a walk and three runs. Raul Alcantara and Ross Detwiler are also in the competition. Injuries and a demotion wrecked Hahn's chance for a solid season in 2016. Although the sink on his fastball appears to be back, the control-based ground-ball pitcher doesn't strike out many, leaving his ceiling low for fantasyread more...
2/26:Chicago Cubs utilityman Javier Baez won't be guaranteed regular playing time to begin the season, according to manager Joe Maddon. With everyone in Chicago healthy, Baez will likely be a late-inning defensive replacement instead. Likely to be overvalued because of his postseason heroics, Baez did improve on his strikeout rate last year while hitting 14 home runs, driving in 59, stealing 12 bases and scoring 50 runs in 450 plate appearances. He's much better against lefties, so perhaps he'll start some against them. He has the potential to become an elite fantasy weapon due to hisread more...
2/26:Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Daniel Nava has a good chance to crack the team's opening day roster, according to general manager Matt Klentak. Nava can play the corner outfield spots and first base and is a switch-hitter. Nava didn't do anything to change fantasy owner's minds in 2016 with the Angels and Royals, hitting .223 with one home run and 13 RBI in 54 games. Drops in walk rate (career-low 6.8 percent) and ISO (.069) combined with his age (34), make it unlikely that Nava can carve out a big enough role in 2017 with the Philsread more...
2/26:San Francisco Giants shortstop/third baseman Eduardo Nunez is being limited to designated hitter duties right now because of a sore right shoulder. However, Nunez isn't at all concerned, and he should be ready for the regular season. The Giants expect him back on the field sometime next week. On another injury note, Nunez said it took five weeks after last season for his hamstring to get back to 100 percent. It was a breakout season for Nunez in 2016 with the Twins, as everyday playing time led him to set career highs in home runs (16),read more...
2/26:Arizona Diamondbacks relief pitcher Jake Barrett is suffering from shoulder stiffness in camp and is behind the other pitchers. No timeline for his return has been determined. Barrett's final numbers from 2016 don't look great (3.48 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, five blown saves in nine chances), but he finished the season strong and is in consideration for the primary setup duties to closer Fernando Rodney. His shoulder problems don't help his cause, but with Rodney potentially imploding at any moment late in his career, Barrett is a potential sleeper for saves as you scroungeread more...
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