Players News

Cubs manager Joe Maddon said Monday that Albert Almora could get more playing time against right-hander this season.
Mar 25   6:51 PM

The team telegraphed as much when they sent Ian Happ down. Almora has re-instituted a leg kick to his swing this spring and has cranked three homers while posting a 1.000 OPS. The 24-year-old has always been good versus lefties (.816 OPS) and it sounds like he'll be given a shot to show he's improved against righties (.698 OPS).

Rockies signed C Drew Butera to a minor league contract.
Mar 25   6:51 PM

Butera was in camp with the Phillies this spring. He finished last season with the Rockies and will give them catching depth in the minors.

Mallex Smith (elbow) is slated to play five innings and get three at-bats in Monday's exhibition game versus the Padres.
Mar 25   6:35 PM

Smith will play in Tuesday's exhibition game, as well, and presumably will play deeper into the contest. The speedy outfielder didn't play for Seattle in Japan against the A's because of a right elbow issue but could be ready for their game Thursday. He has to be considered a health question mark, though.

Cardinals placed RHP Luke Gregerson on the 10-day injured list with a right shoulder impingement.
Mar 25   5:47 PM

It's the same injury that caused him to miss most of last season and all of this spring training. Gregerson has been throwing off a mound, so he wouldn't seem to be too far off from being ready for a rehab assignment.

Cardinals placed INF Jedd Gyorko on the 10-day injured list with a right calf strain.
Mar 25   5:47 PM

Gyorko was limited to just 10 plate appearances this spring because of the calf issue. He should be ready to join the Cards' bench sometime in April.

Cardinals placed OF Justin Williams on the 10-day injured list with a fractured right hand.
Mar 25   5:47 PM

Williams suffered the injury back in January when he punched a television. He resumed baseball activities a while back and should be ready to join Triple-A Memphis' roster before long.

Maikel Franco hit a two-run homer Monday in the Phillies' 3-2 win over the Rays.
Mar 25   5:31 PM

The Phillies used what was likely their Opening Day lineup today, and it featured Franco batting eighth. We'd rather see Cesar Hernandez there; he's probably a better hitter than Franco, but it seems likely that he'd be less affected by batting immediately in front of the pitcher. Franco would have been a fringy mixed-league option batting sixth, but as a No. 8 hitter, he seems like a poor bet.

Orioles purchased the contract of C Jesus Sucre from Triple-A Norfolk.
Mar 25   5:31 PM

Sucre and Pedro Severino will handle the catching duties for the O's with Chance Sisco back at Triple-A. There's no fantasy value to be had with the duo.

Cardinals placed LHP Brett Cecil on the 10-day injured list with left hand Carpal Tunnel syndrome.
Mar 25   5:31 PM

Cecil has also had issues with his mechanics this spring after he lost 42 pounds over the offseason. It's unclear how long he'll be sidelined.

Kevin Kiermaier homered to give the Rays both of their runs Monday against the Phillies.
Mar 25   5:15 PM

Kiermaier no longer looks like a leadoff option for the Rays after hitting just .217/.282/.370 in 332 at-bats last season, so no one is excited about him at all. Still, if he were to go back to producing like he did in 2017, he could accrue some value in mixed leagues. He'll have to stay healthy in order to start moving back up in the order, though; he's still put in just one full year in five seasons in the majors.

A.J. Minter (shoulder) will begin a rehab assignment on April 4 at Triple-A Gwinnett.
Mar 25   5:15 PM

He and Mike Foltynewicz will both make rehab appearances in Gwinnett's season opener. Minter, though, shouldn't need nearly as much rehab time, as he's been throwing off a mound for a while and, of course, doesn't need to build his stamina up as much. The reliever should be activated from the injury list early on in the season.

Seranthony Dominguez pitched a scoreless inning against the Rays on Monday.
Mar 25   5:15 PM

Dominguez has a 2.00 ERA and an 11/2 K/BB ratio through nine innings. He's not assured anything in the saves department going into the regular season, but he should get at least the occasional opportunity and be strong enough in the other categories to remain worth playing in mixed leagues.

Orioles place C Austin Wynns on the 10-day injured list with a left oblique strain.
Mar 25   5:15 PM

Wynns has missed most of March with the injury but has resumed swinging a bat. He shouldn't need a long IL stay but probably isn't a given to be added to the major league roster once he's healthy.

Jake Arrieta pitched six innings of two-run ball and struck out eight Monday against the Rays.
Mar 25   5:15 PM

Arrieta ends the spring with a 5.79 ERA, but that's par for the course for him; he hasn't finished a spring with a sub-5.00 ERA since 2015. He finished well today, and though we're not very high on him for this year, he can still be safely played in mixed leagues initially.

Dylan Bundy surrendered four runs and nine hits in 4 2/3 innings against the Mets on Monday.
Mar 25   4:59 PM

Bundy lowered his spring ERA from 7.94 to 7.89 today, so that's something. In any other situation, it might be worth overlooking his second-half struggles last year and poor spring to take a late flier on him. However, since he's an Oriole, he just doesn't have much fantasy upside even if he gets it turned around.

Ryne Harper has made the Twins' Opening Day roster.
Mar 25   4:59 PM

He earned a spot by allowing just two unearned runs with a 14/0 K/BB ratio across 11 innings of work this spring. Harper -- who turns 30 this week -- has been up in the majors once before but didn't make an appearance.

Edwin Diaz gave up his seventh run of the spring Monday in his inning against the Orioles.
Mar 25   4:59 PM

It was actually one of his better outings; the run scored after a HBP, a stolen base and a groundball single. Diaz struck out the other three batters he faced. He finishes the spring with an 8.59 ERA, but we still see little reason for concern.

Zack Wheeler yielded five runs and three homers in three innings against the Orioles on Monday.
Mar 25   4:59 PM

Dwight Smith Jr. homered off him twice, and Chris Davis also took him deep. Wheeler ends the spring with a 4.80 ERA and a 10/4 K/BB ratio in 15 innings. There's nothing to be inspired about there, but if you were excited about him a month ago, nothing should have changed your opinion.

Dominic Smith hit a three-run homer in the top of the ninth to lead the Mets past the Orioles 9-7 on Monday.
Mar 25   4:59 PM

It was the second homer for Smith, who finishes the spring with a .321/.367/.464 line. It still sounds like the Mets intend to keep Pete Alonso, and one imagines he'll get most of the starts over Smith and J.D. Davis at first base. Eventually, at least one of the three will be banished from the roster to make room for Jed Lowrie and Todd Frazier.

Addison Reed (thumb) will begin the season on the injured list.
Mar 25   4:59 PM

Reed has been dealing with a sore left thumb that's resulted in him being shut down for almost two weeks. He will stay back in extended spring training to begin a throwing program.

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