Wyatt Langford Homers Twice, Continues Torrid Spring: Texas Rangers' top outfield prospect Wyatt Langford went 3-for-4 with two home runs and five RBI in Saturday's spring game against the Chicago White Sox. Langford took Prelander Berroa deep in the third inning for his first long ball of the game. He later crushed a three-run shot off Bryan Shaw in the sixth inning for his second home run on Saturday. The 22-year-old has now homered three times over the last two games. He is slashing .353/.450/.882 with three home runs, seven RBI, and five runs over six spring training games. The No. 4 overall pick in the 2023 MLB Draft is competing for an Opening Day roster spot. He slashed .393/.525/.689 with four home runs, 11 RBI, and four steals in 17 games between Double-A and Triple-A. Langford is the Rangers' top prospect and could see his NFBC ADP of 154 skyrocket with his red-hot spring. Langford is the Rangers' top prospect and could see his NFBC ADP of 154 skyrocket with his red-hot spring. - as of Sat, 02 Mar 2024 23:38:01
Matt McLain Set To Have Live At-Bats: Cincinnati Reds infielder Matt McLain (oblique) took 70 swings on Friday and is set to have live-at bats on Wednesday for the upcoming week. McLain has been shut down since he tweaked his right oblique early in spring training. The 24-year-old has progressed well from his oblique injury and no longer feels soreness. In his rookie season, McLain was excellent for the Reds, slashing .290/.357/.507 with 16 home runs, 50 RBI, and 14 stolen bases across 403 plate appearances. It's unclear if McLain will be ready for Opening Day, but he still has time to ramp up his activity and could return to action soon. - as of Sat, 02 Mar 2024 23:13:02
Max Scherzer Could Return In June: Texas Rangers manager Bruce Bochy said the team is looking at "June" for right-hander Max Scherzer (back) to return in 2024. He underwent surgery to repair a herniated disc in his back in mid-December. Scherzer initially had a timeline to return around the All-Star break, but the veteran will continue rehab and could potentially come back in June. "With Max, we are now looking at June. That's a little bit earlier than we thought," said Bochy. The 39-year-old owned a 3.77 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, and a 174:45 K: BB across 152 2/3 innings in 2023. With the latest news, Scherzer could see a bump in his NFBC ADP of 319 and is worth stashing in all fantasy leagues. - as of Sat, 02 Mar 2024 22:52:01
Aledmys Diaz Dealing With A Groin Strain, Out 2-3 Weeks: Oakland A's infielder Aledmys Diaz (groin) is set to miss the next 2-3 weeks due to a strained left groin. He was scratched from Wednesday's lineup and underwent an MRI, which revealed a left groin strain. There is a chance Diaz could return before the end of spring training, but that's the case scenario according to A's manager, Mark Kotsay. "That's probably optimistic. That's the best outlook. But it's hard to put a timeframe on that type of injury right now," said Kotsay. Diaz is currently battling to be the A's starting third baseman. The 33-year-old slashed .229/.280/.337 with four homers, 24 RBI, 25 runs, and a stolen base over a stolen base over 344 plate appearances in 2023. Diaz doesn't offer much fantasy value and is mainly an option in deep or AL-Only leagues. Darell Hernaiz, Jordan Diaz, and Brett Harris should all see an uptick in playing time while Diaz is sidelined, but all three are not on the fantasy radar. - as of Sat, 02 Mar 2024 22:25:02
William Contreras Off To Solid Start This Spring: Milwaukee Brewers catcher William Contreras is slashing .286/.286/.571 with a home run and three RBI over five games during spring training. Contreras became one of the top catchers in fantasy baseball after slashing .289/.367/.457 with 17 home runs, 78 RBI, 86 runs, and six stolen bases over 611 plate appearances in 141 games last season. Milwaukee values Contreras' bat in the lineup as the 26-year-old logged 29 starts as the team's designated hitter. His 48.7% hard-hit percentage was a career-high, and Contreras saw his K% decrease seven points from 27.7% in 2022 to 20.6% in 2023. He has an NFBC ADP of 75 and is the third catcher off the board after Adley Rutschman and J.T. Realmuto. Contreras should be in the lineup daily as he looks to build on last season's success in 2024. The former Atlanta Brave is easily a top-five fantasy catcher and a solid pick in upcoming drafts at his current ADP. - as of Sat, 02 Mar 2024 22:09:01
Lance Lynn Set To Make Spring Debut On Friday: St. Louis Cardinals right-hander Lance Lynn is lined up to make his Grapefruit League debut Friday versus the Washington Nationals. Lynn began his career in St. Louis and will be sporting the Cardinals uniform for the first time since 2017 after signing a one-year, $10 million deal with the team during the offseason. The 36-year-old owned a 5.73 ERA, 1.39 WHIP, and a 191:67 K: BB over 183 2/3 innings in 2023. He allowed a league-high 44 home runs and saw his BB% rise from 3.7% in 2022 to 8.4% in 2023. Lynn currently has an NFBC ADP of 297 and should improve on his lackluster 2023, throwing half his games at pitcher-friendly Busch Stadium this season, making him a solid pick in the later rounds of fantasy drafts. - as of Sat, 02 Mar 2024 21:35:02
Stone Garrett Making Progress From Leg Injury: Washington Nationals outfielder Stone Garrett is doing well in his recovery from a gruesome leg and ankle injury he suffered in August of last season. The 28-year-old broke his left fibula and injured his ankle while making a leaping catch against the New York Yankees in the Bronx on Aug. 23. He has been participating in most morning drills early in spring training but has yet to make his Grapefruit League debut. Nationals skipper Davey Martinez has said Stone has a realistic chance of cracking the Nationals' Opening Day roster despite his injury. Garrett was productive at the plate in 2023, hitting .269 with nine home runs, three stolen bases, and an .800 OPS across 271 plate appearances, production that graded out 15% superior to the league average, as per his 115 wRC+. Considering his early-career production, Garrett is a sound late-round pick on draft day. - as of Sat, 02 Mar 2024 17:46:01
Taijuan Walker Ready To Throw: Philadelphia Phillies right-hander Taijuan Walker (knee) said he is feeling good and played catch on Saturday. He plans to play catch again on Sunday from a longer distance. Phillies skipper Rob Thomson said that Walker threw batting practice and came in with "normal spring training soreness" in his right knee. The veteran's goal is to throw off a mound in the next few days. The 31-year-old enjoyed a solid season in 2023, his first with the Phillies, as he worked to a 4.38 ERA while taking the ball for a career-high 31 starts and 172 2/3 innings of work. He did, however, go 15-6 in that time behind a strong Phillies offense. On the downside, he struck out just 18.8% of his opponents and is a fading fantasy asset at this time. - as of Sat, 02 Mar 2024 17:36:02
Will Brennan Makes Swing Changes: Cleveland Guardians outfielder Will Brennan has made changes to his swing that include lowering his hands and working on a new loading pattern to aid his left-handed swing. The 26-year-old is in a battle for outfield playing time with the likes of Myles Straw, Estevan Florial, George Valera, and Deyvison De Los Santos, among others. Steven Kwan is a lock for everyday reps in left field and Ramon Laureano should handle the bulk of reps in right but the remainder of the club's outfield mix remains to be seen. Brennan hit .266 with five home runs, 13 stolen bases, and a .655 OPS across a solid 138 games played in the 2023 season. He remains well off the fantasy radar regardless of his status come Opening Day. - as of Sat, 02 Mar 2024 17:29:02
Eury Perez Suffers Broken Nail Saturday: Miami Marlins right-hander Eury Perez (finger) left his Grapefruit League game against the New York Mets early with a broken fingernail on his right middle finger. The Marlins training staff came out to check on the youngster with one out in the third inning before he left the contest. Thankfully, Perez said he is in no pain and has no concerns in regards to his injury. He went 2 1/3 innings while allowing zero earned runs with one walk against two strikeouts across 36 pitches, 22 of which were strikes. The 20-year-old made his big-league debut in the 2023 season, working to a 3.15 ERA and a healthy 20.6% K-BB% across 19 starts. The club was cautious with his usage a season ago but is projected for 25 starts of 3.88 ERA ball by ATC in the 2024 campaign. - as of Sat, 02 Mar 2024 17:20:01
Vidal Brujan Likely To Make The Roster: Miami Marlins manager Skip Schumaker said that infielder/outfielder Vidal Brujan has "a high likelihood" of winning a spot on the Opening Day roster out of camp. "He's got a really good chance to make the team," Schumaker said. "He's versatile. He's done enough in Triple-A. He can run. He switch hits. He can do a lot of things for us. I haven't told him that he's made the team or anything like that, but I would anticipate him being part of our club." The 26-year-old was acquired in the offseason from the Rays and doesn't have minor-league options remaining, so it makes sense. Unless injuries strike Miami's starters, though, Brujan projects to be a super-utility man in Miami. In his three big-league seasons in Tampa, Brujan hit just .157/.218/.221 with three homers, 24 RBI and nine steals in 99 games played. - as of Sat, 02 Mar 2024 13:56:01
Braxton Garrett Could Move To Live BP Soon: Miami Marlins left-hander Braxton Garrett (shoulder) could throw his first live batting practice of the spring soon. Garrett arrived to camp behind the other pitchers due to soreness in his left shoulder, so the Marlins have been slow-playing him early on. The 26-year-old southpaw may be forced to open the 2024 regular season on the injured list as a result, which will obviously be a hit to his fantasy value as rotation depth in deep mixed leagues. Garrett is coming off a strong season in 2023, though, as he went 9-7 with a 3.66 ERA (3.68 FIP) and 1.15 WHIP with 29 walks and a career-high 156 strikeouts in 159 2/3 innings over 31 outings (30 starts) in his fourth big-league season. Not only does Garrett keep the ball on the ground, but his slider generates a lot of swing and miss. If healthy, he can be a solid streamer in fantasy leagues in 2024. - as of Sat, 02 Mar 2024 13:48:01
Trevor Rogers Could Make Spring Debut Tuesday: Miami Marlins left-hander Trevor Rogers could make his Grapefruit League debut on Tuesday after looking strong in a live batting practice session in camp on Thursday. Rogers was limited to only four starts for the Fish last year due to multiple injuries, but he appears to be healthy now and is in line to be part of the team's Opening Day rotation. "The velo was good. The secondary was great," manager Skip Schumaker said. "We really didn't know what that was going to look like because it has been a while. He was throwing 93-94 mph in a setting with not much adrenaline. To see that and to see the changeup thrown for strikes and the slider was good. A lot of positives." Fantasy managers should leave Rogers undrafted and take a wait-and-see approach with him early in the year as a potential waiver-wire pickup. - as of Sat, 02 Mar 2024 13:42:02
Wade Miley Has Shoulder Soreness: Milwaukee Brewers manager Pat Murphy said that left-hander Wade Miley (shoulder) is dealing with left-shoulder soreness in camp, which is the reason why the skipper said on Friday that Miley is "50-50" to be ready for Opening Day. "Played catch, played through it. Hasn't had any problem since," Murphy said. "We just want to go slow because of his history. Everything hurts on him. Happens when you're 50." Miley isn't 50, but he's 37 and should be of no interest to fantasy managers in mixed leagues in 2024, especially since he might not even be ready for the start of the season. The good news is Miley was able to play catch on Saturday. Miley has dealt with various arm injuries the last few years and relies on weak contact to get outs. At best, he'll be a matchup-based streamer in deep-mixed leagues when he's healthy. - as of Sat, 02 Mar 2024 13:37:01
Patrick Wisdom Expected To Return On Tuesday: Chicago Cubs corner infielder Patrick Wisdom (quadriceps) is expected to return to Cactus League action on Tuesday versus the Kansas City Royals. Wisdom was scratched from the team's spring training game on Thursday against the Colorado Rockies with right-quadriceps tightness, but it's not a major issue and he should be ready to go after taking the weekend off to rest up. The 32-year-old right-handed slugger should be ready in plenty of time for Opening Day at the end of March. The former first-round pick by the Cardinals in 2012 out of Saint Mary's has hit 20-plus homers in each of the last three years, but he doesn't provide much else for fantasy managers and may play sparingly in 2024. Wisdom is a career .214/.298/.468 hitter in six big-league seasons. - as of Sat, 02 Mar 2024 13:32:01
Ian Happ Dealing With Hamstring Strain: Chicago Cubs outfielder Ian Happ (hamstring) is dealing with a mild left-hamstring strain in camp and won't get into Cactus League games for a bit, according to manager Craig Counsell. However, the Cubs remain optimistic that Happ will be ready for Opening Day at the end of March. The switch-hitting outfielder followed up his first All-Star campaign in 2022 with a .248/.360/.431 slash line, 21 home runs, 35 doubles, four triples, a career-high 84 RBI, a career-high 14 stolen bases and a career-high 86 runs scored in 691 trips to the plate over 158 games in 2023. Not only did Happ clear 20 homers for the third time in his career, but he also took more walks. The 29-year-old is solid across the board and has a solid floor as a No. 3 outfielder for fantasy managers. - as of Sat, 02 Mar 2024 13:28:01
Bobby Dalbec Could Be Pushed Off The Roster: After the Boston Red Sox signed veteran first baseman C.J. Cron to a minor-league deal this week, first baseman Bobby Dalbec's spot on the roster suddenly is insecure. The 34-year-old Cron has 187 home runs in 10 career major-league seasons. Dalbec spent most of last year toiling at Triple-A Worcester and he still has a minor-league option remaining. Pablo Reyes can also play all over the infield, including at first base, where he is getting more work in spring training, so he has much more versatility than Dalbec. Triston Casas is Boston's starting first baseman after he broke out offensively in 2023. The 28-year-old Dalbec was once a former top prospect in Boston's system, but it looks like they're moving on. - as of Sat, 02 Mar 2024 13:22:01
Triston Casas Feeling Better Saturday: Boston Red Sox first baseman Triston Casas (illness) is back in the team's Grapefruit League lineup on Saturday against the Washington Nationals, playing first base and batting cleanup. Casas is now over his bout with the flu and will return to spring training action this weekend as he prepares for Opening Day in late March. The 24-year-old will be Boston's starting first baseman, and the 26-year-old left-handed slugger will have high expectations after breaking out to the tune of a .263/.367/.490 slash line with an .856 OPS, 24 home runs, 21 doubles, two triples, 65 RBI and 66 runs scored in 132 games in 2023 in his first full big-league season. If he stays healthy, Casas should improve as long as he keeps hitting the ball as hard as he did in 2023. RotoBaller has him ranked as the No. 10 fantasy first baseman. - as of Sat, 02 Mar 2024 13:16:02
Bowden Francis The Front-Runner For Rotation Spot?: MLB.com's Keegan Matheson suggests that right-hander Bowden Francis feels like the front-runner for the final rotation spot to open the year after posting a 1.73 ERA over 36 1/3 innings last year. "He added the splitter this year, which I think will be good against lefties to go with his heater and curveball," manager John Schneider said. "I think it's just about seeing what his stuff does. We tried to do this a bit last year as camp went on, trying to get him up to 50-60 pitches. His stuff is so good in short spurts, but can you harness that as you get your pitch count up?" Francis' main competition is Mitch White, but the team's No. 13 prospect, right-hander Chad Dallas, could be a dark-horse candidate. Of course, if Alek Manoah (shoulder) isn't ready for the start of the year, both Francis and White could be in the Opening Day rotation. - as of Sat, 02 Mar 2024 13:10:01
Alek Manoah Scratched From Sunday's Start Due To Injury: Toronto Blue Jays right-hander Alek Manoah (shoulder) experienced some right-shoulder soreness during his last bullpen session in camp and will not make his scheduled Grapefruit League start on Sunday as a result. Manoah had an MRI exam on Friday that didn't show any structural damage, though, and the team is considering him day-to-day. It doesn't sound too serious, but this should raise more eyebrows than normal after Manoah's disastrous 2023 campaign when he also dealt with arm issues and was demoted to the minors twice. The 26-year-old wasn't sharp in his spring opener on Tuesday, either, hitting three batters in 1 2/3 innings. A bounce-back could be coming if Manoah is healthy and mentally right, but he's currently outside of RotoBaller's top-100 rankings for starting pitchers. - as of Sat, 02 Mar 2024 13:03:01