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Player Notes

  • Alex Cobb will begin season in minors
    Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports that Alex Cobb will begin the season in the minor leagues to get stretched out.

    Advice: Cobb has a minor league option remaining and has given his approval on it. He'll need a couple of weeks before he's ready to join the Orioles' rotation. Yesterday, 7:20 pm
  • Giolito shuts out Rangers over 6 1/3 innings
    Lucas Giolito was excellent in his Cactus League start on Tuesday against the Rangers, working 6 1/3 innings of scoreless ball.

    Advice: Giolito allowed just two hits and he didn't walk a single hitter while striking out four. He now owns a sparkling 2.04 ERA in the Cactus League and has reminded onlookers why he was considered one of the best starting pitching prospects in all of baseball just a couple years ago. He was excellent towards the end of the 2017 season with the White Sox as well. If you're looking for a fantasy sleeper on the pitching side, you can do a lot worse than the 23-year-old Giolito. Yesterday, 2:59 pm
  • Blackburn shelled by Dodgers
    Paul Blackburn was shelled by the Dodgers on Tuesday, giving up seven runs in 3 1/3 innings.

    Advice: Blackburn gave up seven hits -- two of them homers -- and he also walked three Dodgers. Not good for the ole WHIP. Blackburn posted a shiny 3.22 ERA in his 10 starts for the A's last year, but he struck out just 22 hitters in 58 2/3 innings, so there was fool's gold in those outings. You shouldn't trust him enough to add to your fantasy roster in drafts. Yesterday, 2:27 pm
  • Ray can't throw strikes against Angels
    Robbie Ray couldn't throw strikes against the Angels on Tuesday, walking five in 2 1/3 innings in his Cactus League start.

    Advice: Ray gave up just two hits and struck out four, but he was all over the map in his outing. He's now walked 10 hitters in under 13 innings in the Cactus League, and he's walked 71 batters in each of his last two seasons. That's not abhorrent, but improved command could make him one of the best left-handed pitchers in baseball. As is, he's still worth early consideration because of his ability to miss bats. Yesterday, 2:20 pm
  • Stephen Strasburg gives up three runs in loss
    Stephen Strasburg gave up three runs in 4 1/3 innings Tuesday against the Marlins.

    Advice: Strasburg did not impress today, giving up eight hits and walking three while striking out just two. He was better in his two previous starts, and there wouldn't seem to be much reason for concern at the moment. Yesterday, 2:18 pm
  • Matt Harvey gives up one run to Cardinals
    Matt Harvey limited the Cardinals to one run in 5 1/3 innings in the Mets' 8-7 win Tuesday.

    Advice: Harvey struck out five and walked one. Paul DeJong's homer was the only damage against him. Harvey has a 4.50 ERA and an 18/6 K/BB ratio in 20 innings. We're not expecting any significant mixed-league value early on, but there's some reason for optimism that he'll get back there eventually. Yesterday, 2:07 pm
  • Fister crushed by White Sox on Tuesday
    Doug Fister was rocked by the White Sox lineup on Tuesday, giving up seven runs in 2 1/3 innings.

    Advice: He gave up six in the first and another in the second before reaching his pitch limit in the third with one out. Fister had been excellent in his previous outings for the Rangers this spring, but this a not-so-friendly reminder that when the 34-year-old doesn't have his best command, he's capable of being roughed up. He'll pitch in the back of the Texas rotation in 2018. Yesterday, 2:04 pm
  • Bud Norris gives up four runs to Mets
    Bud Norris gave up four runs in two-thirds of an inning Tuesday against the Mets.

    Advice: Travis d'Arnaud homered off him for two of the runs. Norris has given up 11 runs and four homers in nine innings. His roster spot is probably secure, but the Cardinals might not want to pitch him in close games initially. Yesterday, 2:00 pm
  • Chris Sale to start Opening Day for Red Sox
    Red Sox manager Alex Cora has named Chris Sale as his Opening Day starter.

    Advice: No surprise there. Sale finished second in the American League Cy Young balloting last season after registering a 2.90 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, and a ridiculous 308/43 K/BB ratio across 214 1/3 innings. He will take the bump March 29 against the Rays, with David Price and Rick Porcello to follow. Brian Johnson will open as the team's No. 5 starter, and Eduardo Rodriguez (knee) will serve as the No. 4 starter whenever he's ready. Yesterday, 1:25 pm
  • Marco Estrada gives up two runs in loss
    Marco Estrada took his first loss of the spring after allowing two runs in five innings Tuesday.

    Advice: Estrada still has a 2.08 ERA and an 11/1 K/BB ratio in 13 innings this spring. He's lined up to start the third game of the season for the Jays, and he should have steady AL-only value. Yesterday, 1:06 pm
  • Eduardo Rodriguez (knee) starts minors gm.
    Eduardo Rodriguez (knee) threw 3 1/3 innings in a minor league game Tuesday in Red Sox camp.

    Advice: Rodriguez gave up three runs on five hits and a walk, but the important thing is that he made it through the 62-pitch outing without any physical concerns. The 24-year-old left-hander underwent surgery on his right knee last October. He should be ready to join the Red Sox rotation sometime in April. Yesterday, 11:28 am
  • A's agree to minors deal with Brett Anderson
    Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that the A's have agreed to a minor league contract with Brett Anderson.

    Advice: It's not official just yet, but an announcement could be coming shortly. Anderson began his major league career with the Athletics back in 2009 and had some successful seasons before injuries seriously derailed things. The 30-year-old left-hander posted a rough 6.34 ERA, 1.70 WHIP, and 38/21 K/BB ratio in 55 1/3 innings (13 starts) last summer between the Cubs and Blue Jays. Yesterday, 11:08 am
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  • Hendricks scratched Tuesday due to strep
    Kyle Hendricks was scratched from a scheduled minor league start Tuesday due to strep throat.

    Advice: Hendricks will play catch instead, and perhaps even throw a bullpen session. The crafty 28-year-old right-hander should be ready for his first turn in the Cubs' regular-season rotation. He registered a 3.03 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, and 123/40 K/BB ratio across 139 2/3 innings (24 starts) last year. Yesterday, 10:18 am
  • Tim Lincecum doubtful for Opening Day
    Rangers pitching coach Doug Brocail said Tuesday that he doesn't think Tim Lincecum will be ready for Opening Day.

    Advice: Lincecum signed a one-year, $1 million free agent contract with the Rangers on March 6 and there was talk of him competing for the team's closer role this spring, but the 33-year-old right-hander has yet to appear in a Cactus League game. This is more about building him up properly than anything injury-related. He threw live batting practice Tuesday and should be ready to go by mid-April. Yesterday, 10:16 am
  • Graveman named Opening Day starter for A's
    Kendall Graveman has been named the Opening Day starter for the Athletics.

    Advice: It'll be the second straight Opening Day start for Graveman. He has struggled this spring in the Cactus League and threw only 105 1/3 innings last season because of shoulder troubles, but the 27-year-old right-hander is the most experienced pitcher in the Oakland rotation. He might have some appeal as a streamer in deeper mixed fantasy leagues but isn't worth draft-day consideration. Yesterday, 9:44 am
  • Happ named Blue Jays' Opening Day starter
    J.A. Happ has been officially named the Blue Jays' Opening Day starter.

    Advice: The situation had been trending in this direction for a couple weeks with Marcus Stroman slowed in camp by a shoulder injury. It's the first career Opening Day nod for Happ, who owns a strong 3.33 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, and 8.1 K/9 in 340 1/3 innings over the last two seasons. The 35-year-old left-hander should again be a useful mid-to-late round fantasy starter. Yesterday, 7:14 am
  • Alex Wood dominates Athletics on Monday
    Alex Wood was in dominant form against the Athletics on Monday, striking out seven over five shutout frames.

    Advice: The left-hander walked two and struck out four on the night. Wood has been tremendous this spring, registering a 2.92 ERA and 16/5 K/BB ratio over 12 1/3 innings. Currently going off the board in the ninth round of mixed league drafts, Wood looks like he could be undervalued. Monday, 10:13 pm
  • Christian Bergman struggles against Angels
    Christian Bergman struggled in a losing effort against the Angels on Monday, allowing four runs (one earned) on seven hits in 4 1/3 innings.

    Advice: The right-hander fanned three while issuing one free pass on the night. He's a longshot to crack the Opening Day roster, but should see time with the M's in a swingman role at some point during the 2018 season. Monday, 9:46 pm
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  • Robert Stephenson fans five on Monday
    Robert Stephenson racked up five strikeouts over 3 2/3 innings against the Cubs in Cactus League play on Monday.

    Advice: The right-hander surrendered two runs on five hits and a pair of walks in the ballgame. He has had a very difficult time this spring, pitching to a 7.71 ERA in 11 2/3 innings. Given his struggles, he's likely to begin the season at Triple-A. Monday, 9:31 pm
  • Jon Gray whiffs nine in win over Rangers
    Jon Gray was outstanding in Monday's Cactus League victory over the Rangers, racking up nine strikeouts over 6 1/3 scoreless innings.

    Advice: Gray allowed just four hits and a walk in the brilliant effort, running his fastball as high as 97 mph in the process. The right-hander entered play on Monday with a 10.22 ERA on the spring, but seemed to correct many of his ills with this terrific outing. Monday, 9:16 pm
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