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  • Jose Urena fans five in four shutout innings
    Jose Urena was outstanding in Friday's Grapefruit League victory over the Nationals, scattering three hits over four shutout innings.

    Advice: The right-hander punched out five and didn't issue a walk in the contest. While he came into camp likely to make the Opening Day bullpen as a middle reliever, it appears as though Urena could open the season in the starting rotation. He could be worth a late-round flier in NL-only formats. Yesterday, 9:13 pm
  • Tanner Scheppers set to undergo MRI
    Tanner Scheppers is set to undergo an MRI after leaving Friday's Cactus League appearance due to pain in his "lower core".

    Advice: While the severity of the injury is not yet known, there's a strong likelihood that the right-hander will begin the 2017 season on the disabled list. Expect the Rangers to provide an update on his status on Saturday after learning the results of the MRI. Yesterday, 5:23 pm
  • Perez pitches five scoreless frames vs. SD
    Martin Perez blanked the Padres over five innings on Friday in Cactus League action.

    Advice: In his first start back after a stint with Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic, Perez limited the Padres to just three hits while fanning six and walking none. The 25-year-old southpaw is poised to open the season behind Yu Darvish and Cole Hamels in the Rangers’ rotation, though his fantasy upside is minimal. He struck out just 103 batters in 198 2/3 innings last season. No qualifiied starter had a lower strikeout percentage. Yesterday, 4:18 pm
  • Scheppers leaves game with unknown injury
    Tanner Scheppers was forced to leave Friday's Cactus League game with an undisclosed injury.

    Advice: It's unclear what the injury is, but the right-hander was forced to depart with the athletic trainer in the ninth inning. Rangers manager Jeff Bannister termed it an injury to his "lower half" and said he'll be re-evaluated on Saturday. Scheppers was expected to secure one of the final spot's in the Opening Day bullpen, but that is now in jeopardy. Yesterday, 4:16 pm
  • Luis Severino sharp for three innings
    Luis Severino was perfect for three innings in relief Friday, striking out five Phillies.

    Advice: This is probably good news for his rotation chances, even though it was in relief and it was only three innings and not four or five (presumably, he went on to reach his pitch count in the bullpen after the game ended). There's four pitchers for two spots presently, and Severino has the biggest arm of the group. The Yankees definitely want him in the rotation if he can justify the assignment. Yesterday, 2:50 pm
  • Jon Gray departs outing with foot soreness
    Jon Gray exited his start against the Giants on Friday with left foot soreness.

    Advice: The Rockies' Root Sports broadcast referred to the injury as "very, very mild," so it looks like the club dodged a bullet here. They were certainly due a break when it comes to injuries. Gray should probably be OK to make his next spring start. Yesterday, 2:39 pm
  • Chase Whitley goes 1 1/3 scoreless
    Chase Whitley pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings, striking out two, Friday against the Pirates.

    Advice: Whitley pitched four scoreless innings last time out, but the short outing today makes it seem as though he was officially ruled out of the rotation mix. He could still make the Rays as a reliever. He has a 4.91 ERA this spring, but he's coming on strong now. Yesterday, 2:09 pm
  • Jon Gray exits start with undisclosed injury
    Jon Gray left Friday's start against the Giants with an undisclosed injury.

    Advice: Gray gave up seven consecutive hits and five runs to the Giants in the third inning before being pulled. For what it's worth, it didn't look to be anything arm-related based on how Gray was conversing with the trainer and Rockies manager Bud Black in the dugout. The club should have an update on their ace soon. Yesterday, 2:01 pm
  • Noah Syndergaard strong in loss to Astros
    Noah Syndergaard limited the Astros to one run and four hits over six innings on Friday.

    Advice: Syndergaard struck out five and walked none in his best showing so far this spring. Even though he's just now overcoming bronchitis, he has a 2.63 ERA in his four starts. Yesterday, 1:43 pm
  • Masahiro Tanaka will start opener for Yankees
    Masahiro Tanaka has been named the Yankees' Opening Day starter.

    Advice: It's no surprise, of course. He'll be followed by CC Sabathia and Michael Pineda, with the other two spots in the rotation to be determined. Tanaka put up a 3.07 ERA across 31 starts for the Yankees last season. Yesterday, 12:58 pm
  • Archie Bradley to be used as long reliever
    Archie Bradley will begin the season as a long reliever.

    Advice: Bradley has pitched well of late this spring but wasn't going to make the rotation. However, he'll at least get to be part of the big league club even if it's basically in a mop-up role. Zack Greinke, Patrick Corbin, Taijuan Walker, Robbie Ray and Shelby Miller will form the Diamondbacks' rotation. Yesterday, 12:47 pm
  • Marlins name Volquez Opening Day starter
    The Marlins have named Edinson Volquez their Opening Day starter.

    Advice: He'll be followed by Dan Straily, Tom Koehler and Wei-Yin Chen. Adam Conley will surely be the fifth starter, but the Marlins surprisingly didn't list him among the starting five yet. It will be the fifth Opening Day start of Volquez's career. Yesterday, 12:27 pm
  • Christian Friedrich (lat) bound for DL
    Christian Friedrich will open the season on the disabled list after being diagnosed with a strained left lat.

    Advice: Friedrich hadn't pitched in a week due to the ailment. He'll be shut down for 1-2 weeks and it's unclear at this point how long he'll be sidelined. His absence should give a guy like Trevor Cahill a better shot at a rotation spot. Yesterday, 9:58 am
  • Carlos Rodon to undergo MRI on tight biceps
    Carlos Rodon was scratched from Friday's start and will undergo an MRI due to tightness in his left biceps.

    Advice: Uh oh. The White Sox don't seem to think Rodon has any structural damage, but he's probably going to miss the first couple starts of the season, anyway. The left-hander was already being eased into things this spring as he was prepped for an increased workload in 2017, so he's not totally built up yet. Obviously, more will be known once the exam results are revealed. Yesterday, 9:44 am
  • A.J. Cole (triceps) resumes throwing
    A.J. Cole (triceps) threw a bullpen session Friday.

    Advice: Cole was shut down for a few days with triceps soreness. He should have time to get ready by Opening Day if he can avoid a setback, but Cole is set to begin the year in the minors. Yesterday, 9:29 am
  • Smith's (elbow) bullpen 'surprisingly good'
    Red Sox manager John Farrell said Friday that Carson Smith's (elbow) first full bullpen session earlier this week was "surprisingly good."

    Advice: Smith has been throwing off a mound for a few weeks but earlier this week he threw his full arsenal of pitches at 100 percent effort. The Red Sox are hoping to add him to their bullpen in June after he completes his rehab from Tommy John surgery. Yesterday, 8:49 am
  • Berrios not expected to make Twins' rotation
    LaVelle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that the Twins will meet with Jose Berrios on Friday and there's a "good chance" they'll tell him he won't make the Opening Day roster.

    Advice: It sounds like Berrios playing for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic hurt his chances of cracking the rotation, as he didn't pitch much and still needs to build his endurance up. It's a discouraging development for a guy who has disappointed in his big league chances so far but who still holds plenty of upside. Berrios should get his opportunity in the rotation before long, though. Tyler Duffey, Justin Haley, Adalberto Mejia and Nick Tepesch look to be the last men standing in the competition for the final spot in the Twins' rotation. Mejia (1.88 ERA, 14/4 K/BB ratio over 14 1/3 innings) has had easily the best camp of the group. Yesterday, 7:40 am
  • A.J. Cole (triceps) still not throwing
    A.J. Cole (triceps) remains shut down from throwing but is "feeling better," according to Nationals manager Dusty Baker.

    Advice: It's unclear when he might be ready to resume a throwing program, but it seems unlikely at this point that he'll be an option for Opening Day. Cole is set to begin the season at Triple-A Syracuse. Yesterday, 6:53 am
  • D'Backs could use Archie Bradley as reliever
    Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic writes that the Diamondbacks "appear to be at least considering" using Archie Bradley as a reliever.

    Advice: There's simply not room for him in the rotation. Bradley got off to a poor start this spring but has been terrific the last three times out, which includes five shutout innings with just one hit allowed in a minor league game Wednesday. "With the way I’m throwing the baseball right now, the way I feel, the way the ball is coming out, I’m comfortable in any role, in any capacity," Bradley said. "Just put me on this team." Yesterday, 6:02 am
  • Edinson Volquez not great in relief Thursday
    Edinson Volquez allowed two runs -- one earned -- over three innings versus the Cardinals on Thursday.

    Advice: It was Volquez's first outing since returning from the World Baseball Classic and a piggyback start for Volquez and Dan Straily, who got the "official" start. The veteran right-hander has generally pitched pretty well this spring, although he's managed just a 5/5 K/BB ratio across 9 1/3 innings. Thursday, 2:19 pm
  • Masahiro Tanaka goes 5 1/3 scoreless
    Masahiro Tanaka kept his scoreless streak intact through 5 1/3 innings against the Phillies on Wednesday.

    Advice: It was almost ended by opposing starter Vincent Velasquez, whose bid for a three-run homer curved just foul. Tanaka, though, escaped that one, as he has every inning he's pitched this spring. He's up to 18 2/3 innings without surrendering a run. Wednesday, 1:53 pm
  • Baker: A.J. Cole dealing with 'tenderness'
    Nationals manager Dusty Baker said Tuesday morning that A.J. Cole is dealing with "tenderness somewhere."

    Advice: That's deep. Baker wasn't sure about the exact nature of the issue, but he noted that this is why the Nationals skipped his most recent turn. There should be more clarity on his status soon. Tuesday, 8:11 am
  • Jon Gray whiffs seven over five sharp innings
    Jon Gray fired five innings of one-run ball Sunday in a sharp Cactus League start against the Athletics.

    Advice: Gray struck out seven, issued only one walk, and held the A's to two hits. The one run he allowed came on an RBI single by Adam Rosales in the top of the second inning. Gray boasts a 1.42 ERA and 16 strikeouts in 12 2/3 innings (four starts) this spring. The young right-hander carries major fantasy upside into his age-25 campaign. Sunday, 3:31 pm
  • Rodon works four scoreless in Cactus debut
    Carlos Rodon tossed four scoreless innings Sunday in his Cactus League debut against the Angels.

    Advice: Rodon yielded just one hit and one walk while striking out five. He was eased into Cactus League action this spring after battling arm fatigue in 2016, but the White Sox have been stretching him out properly in simulated games. After this sharp outing Sunday against real competition, we can probably lock Rodon in to start Chicago's fifth or sixth regular-season game. Sunday, 3:11 pm
  • Jose Urena goes 4 1/3 scoreless
    Despite four walks and four hits allowed, Jose Urena was able to blank the Mets for 4 1/3 innings in his start Sunday.

    Advice: That's a big improvement over last two out, when he gave up six runs in 2 2/3 innings against the Tigers. Urena, who is out of options, is expected to make the Marlins as a middle reliever. Sunday, 2:24 pm
  • Luis Severino gives up three runs to Astros
    Luis Severino struggled through 3 1/3 innings of relief Sunday, yielding three runs and six hits versus the Astros.

    Advice: He walked two and struck out two. Severino's results have gotten worse, rather than better, as the spring has gone along, and it can't be good for his rotation candidacy. Right now, he has a 5.06 ERA and an 11/5 K/BB ratio in 10 2/3 innings. The Yankees are probably going to want to have a decision on the back of their rotation by next weekend, giving Severino one more chance to impress. He better take advantage. Sunday, 1:59 pm
  • Christian Friedrich (arm) has 'pen scratched
    Christian Friedrich was scratched from a scheduled bullpen session Sunday due to general soreness in his pitching arm.

    Advice: It doesn't get more vague than that. Without more details, it's impossible to project how long this might sideline the left-hander. Perhaps the Padres will offer up more on Friedrich later Sunday. Sunday, 10:01 am
  • Martin Perez struggles as Venezuela exits WBC
    Martin Perez let up four hits, two runs (one earned) and one walk over 2 2/3 innings Saturday in Venezuela’s loss to Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic.

    Advice: He also racked up three strikeouts. This game didn’t mean much for either team as Puerto Rico had already secured a spot in the semifinals while Venezuela was eliminated Thursday night. Perez predictably faltered against the hottest team in the tournament, loading the bases before finally recording the game’s first out. Three of the four hits he allowed went for extra bases. Perez didn’t have a strong tournament, turning in a sluggish 7.50 ERA over two starts. He’s headed back to spring training and should get another start or two in the Cactus League before Opening Day. Saturday, 5:34 pm
  • Whitley fires four shutout innings at Jays
    Chase Whitley shut out the Jays for four innings while allowing just two hits and a walk on Saturday.

    Advice: He punched out four batters and lowered his ERA to 5.59 in 9 2/3 spring innings. He is a longshot to make the Rays' rotation to start the season. He missed most of last year while recuperating from elbow surgery. Me made it into five games at the end of the season, compiling a nice 2.51 ERA with 15 strikeouts in 14 1/3 innings. Saturday, 1:00 pm
  • Bradley tosses five innings of one-run ball
    Archie Bradley spun five innings of one-run ball against the Athletics on Friday.

    Advice: The only damage was a solo homer off the bat of Ryon Healy in the bottom of the fourth inning. Bradley gave up five hits in all while walking none and striking out a pair. The outing was a nice step forward for the 24-year-old, but he still appears to be on the outside looking in for a rotation spot. Friday, 4:16 pm
  • Tanaka fans six in Yankees' no-hitter
    Masahiro Tanaka struck out six in 4 1/3 innings and combined with two relievers on a no-hitter Friday against the Tigers.

    Advice: Chasen Shreve got the final two outs in the fifth, and Jordan Montgomery worked the final four innings without incident. Tanaka hasn't allowed a hit in either of his last two stats, and he still hasn't given up a run in 13 1/3 innings this spring. Let's hope he saves some of this for the regular season. Friday, 1:11 pm
  • Carlos Rodon to start Sunday
    Carlos Rodon is slated to make his spring debut Sunday against the Angels.

    Advice: The White Sox had indicated that he'd throw another simulated game first, but that plan changed. Rodon threw 64 pitches in a simulated game Tuesday and came out of it without any problems. The White Sox are going slowly with him after last year's arm fatigue. Friday, 11:26 am
  • A.J. Cole gives up seven runs to Astros
    A.J. Cole was lit up for seven runs in 3 2/3 innings by the Astros on Wednesday.

    Advice: That won't do. Cole allowed six hits, walked three and failed to strike out any of the 20 batters he faced today. With a 10.22 ERA this spring, he's probably cost himself his position as the top fallback for the Nationals' rotation. Wednesday, 1:27 pm
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