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18 seconds agoOakland Athletics manager Mark Kotsay said that outfielder Esteury Ruiz has been told he will make the Opening Day roster. Oakland's No. 6 prospect, per MLB Pipeline, will now get a very good chance to be an everyday player for the rebuilding A's. He was dealt from the Milwaukee Brewers to the A's in the offseason after hitting .171 (6-for-35) with a double, triple, no homers and two RBI in just 17 games between the Brewers and San Diego Padres in his first MLB action. The 24-year-old stole a whopping 243 bases in his six seasons in the minors, so he's absolutely a prime stolen base target in fantasy drafts, especially if he starts seeing more playing time in center field over Cristian Pache.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: MLB.com - Martin Gallegos
1 hour agoSan Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler said the team doesn't think outfielder Mitch Haniger (oblique) will be ready for Opening Day next Thursday. If Haniger opens the year on the injured list, he would be eligible to return for the sixth game of the season, so he may not miss much time at all for fantasy managers. The 32-year-old was able to resume throwing and hitting earlier this week, so he's improving and should be able to make his Giants regular season debut before long after suffering a Grade 1 oblique strain in spring training. He's been pretty fragile in his career, and this injury just before the season reminds us all too well. But when healthy, Haniger will be a middle-of-the-order hitter for San Fran after they signed him to a three-year, $43.5 million deal in free agency.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: NBC Sports Bay Area - Alex Pavlovic
2 hours agoSan Diego Padres shortstop Xander Bogaerts (wrist) is wearing a splint on his left wrist after receiving a cortisone shot and is expected to be held out the next two days in the Cactus League. He will then play the final two spring games and be good for the start of the 2023 regular season next Thursday. It's being described as an issue that Bogaerts usually experiences in spring training. It sounds more than minor, but as long as the 30-year-old is able to return to Cactus League action, it should ease fantasy managers' concerns. The move to Petco Park in 2023 is certainly a downgrade for Bogaerts' fantasy profile, but he'll also be receiving an upgrade in the lineup around him. He remains one of the better shortstop targets out there in fantasy.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: The San Diego Union-Tribune - Kevin Acee
2 hours agoLos Angeles Angels starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani will start on Opening Day next Thursday against the Oakland Athletics. He'll be opposed by Kyle Muller of the A's. Ohtani recently helped Japan win the World Baseball Classic for a record third time, but he won't make another Cactus League appearance on the mound before making his 2023 regular season debut for the Angels. It's slightly concerning, but any of those concerns for fantasy managers should be eased by the fact that the 28-year-old two-way superstar will be facing one of the weakest lineups in baseball next week. Ohtani is RotoBaller's top-ranked fantasy starter and will be a must-start anytime he toes the rubber in 2023.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: MLive - Evan Woodbery
2 hours agoToronto Blue Jays left-hander Yusei Kikuchi has made the team's Opening Day starting rotation, according to manager John Schneider. The 31-year-old Japanese hurler did it by allowing only two earned runs on nine hits while walking 10 and striking out 25 over 18 innings and six Grapefruit League starts this spring. He sealed the deal by fanning nine in five scoreless innings against the Minnesota Twins on Thursday. It's great news for Kikuchi, but the walks are also concerning, and he wasn't very good last year in his first year in Toronto with a 5.19 ERA (5.62 FIP), 1.50 WHIP and 27.3 percent strikeout rate in 100 2/3 innings over 32 appearances (20 starts). The southpaw will have to pitch well to keep the rotation spot throughout the year.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: Sportsnet.ca - Ben Nicholson-Smith
2 hours agoThe Washington Nationals announced on Friday that left-hander Patrick Corbin will take the hill on Opening Day on Thursday, March 30, to face the division-rival Atlanta Braves. Corbin will get the nod despite going 6-19 with a career-worst 6.31 ERA (4.83 FIP), 1.69 WHIP and career-low 18 percent strikeout rate in 152 2/3 innings pitched and 31 starts for the Nationals in 2022. The 33-year-old has pitched better in Grapefruit League action this spring, but there shouldn't be too many fantasy managers in deeper leagues that should feel bold enough to roll the dice on Corbin in their starting lineups on Opening Day against the National League East defending-champion Braves next week.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: Nationals Twitter
2 hours agoThe Philadelphia Phillies named right-hander Aaron Nola as their Opening Day starter for next Thursday against the Texas Rangers. It will be Nola's sixth straight Opening Day nod. It speaks to how good the 29-year-old has been as the team's ace. He'll be facing off against ex-division-rival ace Jacob deGrom as well. Nola finished fourth in the National League Cy Young voting in 2022 after going 11-13 in the regular season with a 3.25 ERA (2.58 FIP), 0.96 WHIP and 29.1 percent strikeout rate in 32 starts covering 205 innings. He's a fantasy ace for those drafting this weekend, and RotoBaller has him ranked No. 7 among starting pitchers.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: Philadelphia Inquirer - Alex Coffey
2 hours agoTexas Rangers right-hander Jacob deGrom will be the team's scheduled starter for Opening Day next Thursday, March 30, against the Philadelphia Phillies. deGrom was behind early in spring training due to left side tightness, but it wasn't too serious and he'll be able to make the Opening Day start after all in his first season with the team. However, the 34-year-old two-time Cy Young winner is going to be on a pitch count early in the season, making him much tougher to trust in DFS against a tough opponent in the Phillies. He should be avoided in those formats. When healthy, deGrom should once again be a fantasy ace, but given his injury history in recent seasons, banking on some time missed due to injury might be wise in 2023.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: Rangers PR
2 hours agoThe St. Louis Cardinals agreed to a two-year, $40 million contract extension with starting pitcher Miles Mikolas on Friday, according to sources. In addition to the new extension, Mikolas has been named the team's Opening Day starter for next Thursday's game against the Toronto Blue Jays with Adam Wainwright (groin) set to open the season on the injured list. It will be Mikolas' second career Opening Day start, but it will be against one of the best offenses in baseball. The two-time All-Star had a 3.29 ERA (3.87 FIP), 1.03 WHIP and career-high 19 percent strikeout rate in 202 1/3 innings over 33 outings (32 starts) last year. The 34-year-old doesn't strike out a ton and should be viewed as a streamer more than anything in fantasy.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: ESPN Chicago - Jesse Rogers
3 hours agoTexas Rangers outfielder Leody Taveras (oblique) could avoid starting the 2023 regular season on the injured list, even if he's not ready to play by Opening Day next Thursday, March 30. Taveras is recovering from a left oblique strain and while he's been able to swing from the left side of the plate, the 24-year-old switch-hitter isn't quite ready from the right side. Manager Bruce Bochy said "there's a good chance you will see him at the back end of that first series (of the regular season against the Phillies)." The team should know more on Taveras' availability for the first series of the season early next week. If he misses any time, Bubba Thompson is likely to benefit with some starts in the outfield for Texas.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: Dallas Morning News - Evan Grant
3 hours agoBaltimore Orioles second baseman Adam Frazier is making the start in right field and is batting eighth on Friday in the team's Grapefruit League game against right-hander Yoendrys Gomez and the New York Yankees. Frazier will have to find some playing time in the outfield in 2023 with the Orioles in order to stay fresh, as Ramon Urias and Jorge Mateo are expected to be the team's starting middle infielders. The 31-year-old really struggled with the Seattle Mariners last year to the tune of a .238/.301/.311 slash line with just three home runs, 42 RBI, 61 runs scored and 11 stolen bases in 602 plate appearances and 156 games. Unless Frazier finds himself in an everyday role eventually with the O's, he'll only be worth looking at for depth in AL-only leagues.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: Baseball Press
3 hours agoKansas City Royals shortstop Bobby Witt Jr. is back in the team's Cactus League lineup on Friday against the San Francisco Giants and right-hander Tristan Beck after playing for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic. Witt is back in his normal leadoff spot while starting at shortstop. The 22-year-old saw limited action in the WBC on a stacked roster, but now he'll get regular at-bats in spring action before next Thursday's regular season opener. Before leaving to join Team USA, he was 7-for-18 (.389) with a double, triple, four RBI, six runs scored and a stolen base in seven Cactus League games. Witt had 20 home runs, 80 RBI and 30 stolen bases while slashing .254/.294/.428 in his rookie season in 2022. Heading into his sophomore season, he's already considered an elite fantasy shortstop.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: Baseball Press
4 hours agoPhiladelphia Phillies president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said that first baseman Rhys Hoskins (knee) will get a second opinion on his injured left knee, but it's clear there's a tear in his ACL. The Phillies still expect him to miss the entire 2023 season after his knee gave out on him in a Grapefruit League game on Thursday. It's terrible news for fantasy managers that already drafted Hoskins in 2023. If you have yet to draft, you'll obviously want to avoid the 30-year-old slugger this year. With Hoskins done, Darick Hall is expected to get the majority of playing time at first base for the Phillies, with Jake Cave another potential option at the cold corner for the Phillies.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: Philadelphia Inquirer - Alex Coffey
4 hours agoCincinnati Reds outfielder Nick Senzel (toe) got the start at third base in the team's 17-6 Cactus League loss to the Seattle Mariners on Thursday. Senzel went 0-for-1 in the contest after playing only three innings at the hot corner. The 27-year-old will open the 2023 regular season on the injured list, and the Reds plan to ease him back into the lineup in center field, third base and second base. He has experience playing third base in college, but once he's back to full health, he'll likely be spending most of his playing time patrolling center field. Senzel is still young, but he's running out of time to prove to the Reds and fantasy managers that he'll eventually live up to his first-round pedigree.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: MLB.com
4 hours agoMilwaukee Brewers pitching prospect Gus Varland tossed a scoreless inning with three strikeouts in Thursday's Cactus League game against the San Diego Padres, and he's now struck out nine hitters and walked none in his last three spring outings for the Brewers. Overall in his 6 1/3 innings in Cactus League action this year, he's allowed four earned runs on eight hits (three home runs allowed) while walking one and striking out 12. The team's No. 27 prospect, per MLB Pipeline, was a Rule 5 pick and hasn't played above Double-A yet, so there's a good chance he'll start the year in the minors and be returned to the Los Angeles Dodgers. The 26-year-old spent all of last year at Double-A Tulsa, where he went 4-4 with a 6.11 ERA, 1.64 WHIP, two saves and 85 strikeouts in 70 2/3 innings over 41 outings (seven starts).--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: Baseball Reference


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