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Player Notes

  • Howie Kendrick hits second in home opener
    Howie Kendrick is batting second on Saturday as the Phillies deploy a probable Opening Day preview in their Grapefruit League home opener against the Yankees.

    Advice: Kendrick is set to open the season as the Phillies' everyday left fielder and should be able to generate plenty of fantasy value if he remains in a premium lineup spot. Michael Saunders is hitting fifth on Saturday with Tommy Joseph slotted behind him in the sixth spot. 21 minutes ago
    New Player Note
    Howie Kendrick Phi - 1B,2B,3B,OF
  • Mitch Moreland batting fifth in Red Sox debut
    Mitch Moreland is batting fifth in the lineup for his Red Sox debut on Saturday against the Twins.

    Advice: Andrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Sandy Leon are the only projected regulars who aren't in the lineup, all of whom played in Friday's game against the Mets. It'll be interesting to see if Moreland remains near the middle of the lineup once their full complement of players are in there, as it would lead to ample RBI chances. 31 minutes ago
  • Gerrit Cole to throw simulated game on Sunday
    Gerrit Cole is scheduled to throw two innings in a simulated game on Sunday.

    Advice: If all goes well, he could then be cleared for his Grapefruit League debut later in the week. The club is easing him into action this spring in an effort to keep him healthy after three stints on the disabled list derailed his 2016 campaign. 37 minutes ago
  • Brandon Phillips bats sixth in Braves debut
    Brandon Phillips is batting sixth in the lineup for his Grapefruit League debut with the Braves on Saturday against the Blue Jays.

    Advice: This looks an awful lot like it could be the club's Opening Day lineup, minus the fact that there's a designated hitter in play. Phillips spent most of his time with the Reds alternating between the 3-5 spots in the lineup, so expect his counting stats to take a small hit overall with the bump down. 43 minutes ago
  • Zack Greinke throws first live BP session
    Zack Greinke threw 20 pitches in his first live batting practice session of the spring on Friday.

    Advice: With a longer spring training than usual due to the World Baseball Classic, the veteran right-hander is slowly easing into things this year. The 33-year-old dealt with oblique and shoulder problems during a very disappointing debut season with the D'Backs in 2016. Yesterday, 7:39 pm
  • Scott Kazmir throws second bullpen session
    Scott Kazmir threw his second bullpen session of the spring on Friday and looked "tremendously better" according to pitching coach Rick Honeycutt.

    Advice: Kazmir, who has been battling his mechanics early in the spring, showed notable improvement on Friday. He finished the 2016 season on the disabled list due to an intercostal injury, but has a secure spot in the club's starting rotation as long as he's healthy for the start of the regular season. Yesterday, 7:25 pm
  • Tim Beckham paces Rays in Grapefruit victory
    Tim Beckham went 2-for-2 with a double, triple and a run scored as the Rays bested the Twins 3-1 in Grapefruit League play on Friday.

    Advice: Beckham doubled to lead off the game but was stranded. He then tripled and scored in the third inning as the game's first run. He is slated to function in a utility role with the Rays this season, though that could change if he continues to light the world on fire throughout the spring. Yesterday, 7:08 pm
  • Bumgarner shaky in Cactus League opener
    Madison Bumgarner looked shaky in his Cactus League opener against the Reds on Friday, surrendering a pair of runs on two hits and a walk in his lone inning of work.

    Advice: Arismendy Alcantara started the rally with a one-out double and Adam Duvall drew a walk, setting the stage for Patrick Kievlehan's two-run single. All that maters at this stage of spring training is that pitcher's are getting their work in though, so his struggles on Friday really don't mean much. He's firmly entrenched as a top-five starting pitcher in fantasy drafts. Yesterday, 3:37 pm
  • Tyler Wilson perfect for two innings
    Tyler Wilson retired all six Tigers he faced in his start Friday.

    Advice: Wilson and Mike Wright are the Orioles' primary rotation alternatives should Chris Tillman or anyone else land on the disabled list to start the year. Wilson also has a legitimate chance of making the team as a reliever, though the late Vidal Nuno pickup probably hurt his chances there. Yesterday, 1:54 pm
  • Michael Conforto homers in Mets' win
    Michael Conforto went 2-for-3 with a homer Friday in helping to lead the Mets past the Red Sox 3-2.

    Advice: It's unclear if Conforto can do anything to change the Mets' minds about playing Jay Bruce over him this spring. Realistically, his chances hinge on someone stepping up and making a trade offer for Bruce. Conforto could always disappoint again, but he projects as the superior player of the two. Yesterday, 1:12 pm
  • Bryan Mitchell goes two scoreless in win
    Bryan Mitchell was perfect for two innings Friday in the Yankees' 9-4 victory over the Phillies.

    Advice: Mitchell, who is working on a splitter this spring, is a leading candidate to claim one of the two vacancies in the Yankees' rotation. We don't find him very interesting for fantasy purposes, but if the splitter comes along and gets him more strikeouts, perhaps he could surprise. Yesterday, 12:59 pm
  • Aaron Judge homers against Phillies
    Aaron Judge hit a long homer and struck out Friday against the Phillies.

    Advice: Judge's at-bats do tend to end with one of those two outcomes. The question is whether he'll do the former frequently enough to make up for all of the latter. He's battling Aaron Hicks to serve as the Yankees' starting right fielder. Yesterday, 12:57 pm
  • Miguel Andujar triples, doubles
    Miguel Andujar tripled and doubled in his two at-bats Friday against the Yankees.

    Advice: Andujar was added to the Yankees' 40-man roster in November after hitting .273/.332/.410 between high-A Tampa and Double-A Trenton last season. He has considerable offensive upside, but it's unlikely that he'll be ready to challenge Chase Headley at any point of this season. Yesterday, 12:55 pm
  • Logan Ondrusek (ankle) nears mound work
    Logan Ondrusek (ankle) is expected to resume throwing off a mound soon.

    Advice: Ondrusek just said a day ago that he wasn't sure when he'd resume throwing, so he must have experienced a lot of improvement over the last 24 hours. The reliever rolled his ankle nearly a week ago, but he'll be fine. Yesterday, 9:57 am
  • Joe Blanton won't take less than $4 million
    Club executives have told ESPN's Buster Olney that they don't believe Joe Blanton will sign for anything less than the $4 million he made last season.

    Advice: It's certainly a reasonable ask, as Blanton has put up a 2.65 ERA and 159/42 K/BB ratio across 156 innings over the last two seasons while working almost exclusively as a reliever. He did turn 36 over the winter, but the right-hander would seem like a wise investment on a modest, one-year contract. Yesterday, 9:54 am
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  • Cubs give RP Pedro Strop contract extenstion
    Cubs signed RHP Pedro Strop to a one-year, $5.85 million contract extension with a $6.25 million club option for 2019.

    Advice: The two sides avoided arbitration earlier this month with a one-year, $5.5 million contract, and they've now tacked on one and potentially two more years. Strop had been slated to hit free agency next winter. The 31-year-old has been excellent since arriving in Chicago at the 2013 trade deadline, posting a 2.68 ERA with 254 strikeouts across 211 1/3 relief innings. He'll again be a setup man for the Cubs in 2017. Yesterday, 9:47 am
  • Brantley (shoulder) hits normal BP indoors
    Michael Brantley (shoulder) took normal batting practice indoors on Friday.

    Advice: It's the next step in Brantley's hitting progression this spring. Coming off a season wrecked by shoulder issues, Brantley will continue to be brought along slowly and it's unclear when he'll be ready to play in Cactus League games. Yesterday, 9:09 am
  • Elvis Andrus (hernia) won't play Saturday
    Elvis Andrus (hernia) won't play in the Rangers' Cactus League opener on Saturday.

    Advice: Andrus underwent hernia surgery in November and is being eased along in camp. He obviously has plenty of time and there's no reason to believe he won't be ready to roll by the time Opening day comes around. Yesterday, 7:47 am
  • Dilson Herrera nursing shoulder inflammation
    Dilson Herrera is dealing with some inflammation in his right shoulder.

    Advice: It's keeping him from throwing, but he can still hit and will serve as the Reds' designated hitter on Saturday. Still, it's not a great situation for Herrera as he attempts to make the Opening Day roster. How long it might be before he's able to return to full-time duty isn't known at this point. Yesterday, 7:34 am
  • Jake Barrett lost 30 pounds over offseason
    Jake Barrett lost 30 pounds over the offseason.

    Advice: "I was at my all-time high at the end of the season, about 265 (pounds)," Barrett said. "And I talked to our strength coach and he said he wanted me down to 235-ish. I was able to get down all the way to there. It was a lot of working out, a lot of running, a healthy diet." Barrett is coming off a nice rookie season that saw him post a 3.49 ERA and 56/28 K/BB ratio over 59 1/3 innings. He also saved games and is probably the favorite for the closer job if Fernando Rodney fails, which is certainly a possibility. Yesterday, 5:30 am
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