News for All Players - 2014 4x4 AL League - $260 Cap

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Sun Mar 316:23Alex Cobb Shouldn't Miss Much TimeAlex CobbSPRaysFree Agent
San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Alex Cobb (hip) isn't expected to miss much time and should return relatively soon, according to Giants general manager Farhan Zaidi. The veteran right-hander is working his way back from offseason hip surgery. He'll open the season on the injury list but isn't expected to miss much time. The 36-year-old exceeded expectations with the Giants last season. When healthy, Cobb should be worth rostering in mixed leagues.
Source: Alex PavlovicRotoBaller.com
Sun Mar 313:18Justin Verlander Throws Bullpen SessionJustin VerlanderSPTigersFree Agent
Houston Astros right-hander Justin Verlander (shoulder) threw around 60 pitches during his bullpen session on Sunday morning. Verlander worked out of both the stretch and from the windup and appeared to throw some breaking pitches. The Astros are expected to determine if he's ready to face hitters next in camp. The 41-year-old's shoulder didn't respond the way he would have hoped this offseason, so he entered spring training behind the team's other pitchers. Even if Verlander moves to live batting practice sessions next, there's no guarantee he won't open the 2024 regular season on the injured list as a precaution. The future Hall of Famer was still productive for fantasy managers last year, but injuries aren't going to go away, making him more of a No. 3 starter than a fantasy ace now days.
Source: Houston Chronicle - Matt KawaharaRotoBaller.com
Sat Mar 222:52Max Scherzer Could Return In JuneMax ScherzerSPTigersFree Agent
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.
Source: MLB NetworkRotoBaller.com
Sat Mar 217:36Taijuan Walker Ready To ThrowTaijuan WalkerSPMarinersFree Agent
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.
Source: Alex CoffeyRotoBaller.com
Sat Mar 212:38Rangers Hope Max Scherzer Can Return In JuneMax ScherzerSPTigersFree Agent
The Texas Rangers are hoping to get right-hander Max Scherzer (back) back from his injury in June. "With Max, we are now looking at June. That's a little bit earlier than we thought," manager Bruce Bochy said. Scherzer is around three weeks away from resuming workouts six weeks after having surgery to fix a herniated disc in his back. The 39-year-old future Hall of Famer is hoping to make his 2024 season debut in June or July, barring any setbacks with his rehab. Not only was Scherzer injured last year, but he had trouble keeping the ball in the yard and is starting to look less dominant as he approaches 40 years old. The three-time Cy Young winner is only going to pitch around half a season in 2024, too, so fantasy managers shouldn't be expecting much out of him in his first full season in Texas.
Source: MLB NetworkRotoBaller.com
Fri Mar 117:12Nick Castellanos Goes Hitless FridayNick Castellanos3BTigersFree Agent
Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Nick Castellanos went hitless in a pair of at-bats in Friday's Grapefruit League contest versus the Miami Marlins. The veteran flew out to center field in his first trip to the plate in the second inning before lining out to third base in the fourth. The hitless effort lowered his spring-training average to just .125 (1-for-8) with a pair of strikeouts against zero walks across eight trips to the plate. The 31-year-old was involved in minor trade speculation this offseason on the heels of a season that saw him hit .272 with 29 home runs, 11 stolen bases, and a career-high 106 RBI and 11 stolen bases. Aside from an odd 2022 season, Castellanos is a fairly safe power bet with ATC projecting 24 home runs, eight stolen bases, 87 RBI, and a .263 average for the outfielder in the 2024 season.
Source: MLB.comRotoBaller.com
Fri Mar 112:16Justin Verlander To Throw Another Bullpen SundayJustin VerlanderSPTigersFree Agent
Houston Astros right-hander Justin Verlander (shoulder) will throw another bullpen session in camp on Sunday, and the Astros will determine Verlander's next step after that. The next step in his progression will be to get cleared to face live hitters, but the Astros aren't going to rush the 41-year-old, especially given all of his injuries in recent seasons. The future Hall of Famer had a late start to the 2023 campaign due to an injury but ended up finishing 13-8 with a 3.22 ERA (3.85 FIP) and 1.13 WHIP with 45 walks and 144 strikeouts in 162 1/3 innings over 27 starts. Houston isn't ruling out Verlander for Opening Day, but it's more likely than not that he'll open the year on the injured list as a precaution. Verlander can still be useful as a No. 3 or 4 starter for fantasy managers, but he's become a pretty big injury risk at the tail end of his career.
Source: The Athletic - Chandler RomeRotoBaller.com
Fri Mar 111:47Red Sox Add C.J. Cron On Minor-League DealC.J. CronCAngelsFree Agent
The Boston Red Sox have signed veteran first baseman C.J. Cron to a minor-league contract, and he's expected to compete for a roster spot. Cron is a former All-Star (2022) known more for his power, hitting 28 and 29 home runs in his last two full seasons in Colorado. Last season, Cron missed time due to a back injury and was traded mid-season to the Los Angeles Angels. In all, he played 71 games and finished with a .248-12-37-38-0 line in 258 at-bats in 2023. He'll presumably back up Triston Casas if he were to win the job, which likely makes Bobby Dalbec the odd man out, with Dalbec starting the season back in Triple-A where he mashed 33 home runs last season and stole 18 bases.
Source: Chris Cotillo - MassLive.comRotoBaller.com
Thu Feb 2919:08Christian Walker Has Right-Hand ContusionChristian WalkerDHOriolesFree Agent
Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Christian Walker (hand) has been diagnosed with a right-hand contusion after being hit by a pitch on his hand and leaving Thursday's Cactus League game early against the San Francisco Giants. Apparently X-rays came back negative on Walker's hand after he was hit by a pitch, so he should be considered day-to-day. Arizona will likely rest their starting first baseman for a few days, but he could be back in the lineup later this weekend. The 32-year-old right-handed hitter isn't getting any younger and could only stick around one more year in the desert, but he's been one of the most consistent power bats at first base over the last two years and should be viewed as a high-floor, top-10 fantasy first baseman this spring.
Source: The Arizona Republic - Theo MackieRotoBaller.com
Thu Feb 2916:45Miles Mikolas Working On His SliderMiles MikolasRPRangersFree Agent
St. Louis Cardinals right-hander Miles Mikolas was an All-Star in 2018 and 2022, but he struggled to a 9-13 record, 4.78 ERA (4.27 FIP) and 1.32 WHIP with a league-high 226 hits allowed, a league-high 107 earned runs given up, 39 walks and 137 strikeouts in 201 1/3 innings over 35 starts. The 35-year-old topped the 200-inning mark for the third time in his career, but his 16.7% whiff rate was in the bottom one percent of the league, per Baseball Savant. Mikolas also had career-worsts in hard-hit rate (43%) and average exit velocity (90.4 mph). To bounce back in 2024, he's working hard on his slider and the sequencing of his pitches. He may try to throw less strikes on purpose as well -- because he rarely walks hitters, they have become much more aggressive against him. His poor 2023 campaign and his age has dropped Mikolas out of RotoBaller's top-100 starting pitcher rankings.
Source: MLB.com - John DentonRotoBaller.com
Thu Feb 2916:36Christian Walker Leaves Early After Being Hit By PitchChristian WalkerDHOriolesFree Agent
Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Christian Walker (hand) left the team's Cactus League game early on Thursday against the San Francisco Giants after being hit on the hand by a pitch. He'll presumably be taken for X-rays, and we'll have the results of those X-rays when they become available. Hopefully, the 32-year-old avoids any breaks in his hand is just dealing with a contusion. When healthy, Walker is a top-10 fantasy first baseman for the reigning National League champions. In the last two regular seasons in the desert, he's hit .250/.330/.487 with an .817 OPS, 69 home runs and 197 RBI in 317 games played. Walker also managed to steal a career-high 11 bases in 2023 as a cherry on top. Check back for an injury update on Walker later on Thursday.
Source: The Arizona Republic - Theo MackieRotoBaller.com
Thu Feb 2915:09Eugenio Suarez Scratched With Side TightnessEugenio SuárezSSTigersFree Agent
Arizona Diamondbacks third baseman Eugenio Suarez (side) was scratched from Thursday's Cactus League contest against the San Francisco Giants with left-side tightness, according to manager Torey Lovullo. Suarez is considered day-to-day. Suarez's injury doesn't seem too serious, so hopefully he'll be back in spring training action by the weekend. In his place, Blaze Alexander got the start at third base for Arizona on Thursday. The 32-year-old Suarez is a solid source of power, especially with the move to the desert, but he strikes out way too much to help even remotely in batting average. He's also coming off a season in which he hit just 22 home runs and had his lowest slugging percentage (.391) since his rookie year in 2014. Suarez should bounce back in the power department if he can stay healthy in Arizona.
Source: PHNX Sports - Jesse FriedmanRotoBaller.com
Thu Feb 2912:28Keaton Winn, Alex Cobb Set For BullpensAlex CobbSPRaysFree Agent
Keaton WinnFree Agent
San Francisco Giants right-hander Keaton Winn (elbow) will throw a bullpen session this weekend, while right-hander Alex Cobb (hip) will throw a bullpen on Thursday. People around camp have been impressed with how far along Cobb seems to be, but he'll still miss a big chunk of time at the start of the year. Meanwhile, Tristan Beck (arm), who was the favorite for the No. 5 rotation spot to begin the year, was diagnosed with an aneurysm in his arm and could need surgery. Winn cut his last bullpen short over a week ago due to right-elbow soreness. It's unclear when the 26-year-old will be cleared to pitch in spring training games, but the Giants are holding out hope he'll be ready to be in the team's Opening Day rotation. With Beck hurt, Sean Hjelle is the favorite now for the final rotation spot in San Francisco.
Source: NBC Sports Bay Area - Alex PavlovicRotoBaller.com
Wed Feb 2812:13Justin Verlander Not Ready To Face Hitters YetJustin VerlanderSPTigersFree Agent
Houston Astros right-hander Justin Verlander (shoulder) felt good after his bullpen session on Tuesday, but manager Joe Espada said that the future Hall of Famer is not ready to face hitters yet. However, Espada still isn't ruling Verlander out for Opening Day, but he acknowledged "obviously we're kind of running out of days here." The 41-year-old veteran had a setback with his shoulder this offseason and came to spring training behind the other pitchers. Given Verlander's age and recent injury history, it makes sense for the Astros to slow-play him and give him extra time before throwing him out there, so fantasy managers shouldn't expect him to be in the team's Opening Day rotation. Verlander still has the potential to be useful in fantasy despite his age, but he's a big injury risk and is no longer a fantasy ace.
Source: The Athletic - Chandler RomeRotoBaller.com
Wed Feb 2811:02Kevin Gausman To Make Spring Debut Next WeekKevin GausmanRPOriolesFree Agent
Toronto Blue Jays manager John Schneider said on Monday that starting pitcher Kevin Gausman would make his Grapefruit League debut next week. The veteran starter would like to throw a few more live batting practice sessions before officially taking the mound. The Jays' ace is coming off a season in which he finished third in AL Cy Young voting after going 12-9 with a 3.16 ERA (3.34 SIERA), 1.18 WHIP, and 23.9% K-BB%. Going as the fifth pitcher off the board in drafts, he's been a steady source of wins and strikeouts combined with a low ERA and WHIP the last few seasons, so he'll be a strong anchor for fantasy pitching staffs. The 2x All-Star's K% was 93rd percentile last season, plus he had an 87th percentile Chase%. For potential suitors looking for a reason to pass on the vet, the only cause for concern was that his numbers faded a bit in the second half of last season. His K-BB% went from 26.4% to 19.8%, HR/FB% went from 8.5% to 14.1%, and WOBA from .281 to .310.
Source: Hazel Mae - SportsnetRotoBaller.com
Wed Feb 2800:15Chris Sale Sharp In Spring Debut TuesdayChris SaleSPWhite SoxFree Agent
Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Chris Sale made a great first impression with his new team in Tuesday's 13-4 Grapefruit League loss to the Pirates. The 34-year-old pitched two scoreless innings with no hits or walks and four strikeouts. His velocity was up over the outing, with his fastball touching 97.1 MPH. This is encouraging for fantasy managers, as injuries have prevented Sale from turning in a strong, complete season for some time. Sale managed 20 starts and 102 2/3 innings pitched with the Red Sox last season, posting a 4.30 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, and 29.4% strikeout rate. The signs are still there of a fantasy contributor, and a strong spring would help convince fantasy managers further.
Source: Mark Bowman - MLB.comRotoBaller.com
Tue Feb 2713:50Marcus Semien Getting On Base Through Two Spring AppearancesMarcus Semien2B/SSWhite SoxFree Agent
Texas Rangers second baseman Marcus Semien made his Cactus League debut in Friday's 5-4 win over the Royals, going 0-for-1 with a walk. He followed that up with a 1-for-2 outing that included a hit by pitch on Sunday in a 0-0 tie with the Giants, bringing his spring OBP to .600. Although he should be fine, he was pinch run for at first base after the HBP. Semien is coming off a season in which he played all 162 games, had a 25-game hit streak, earned his second All-Star nomination, and earned his second Silver Slugger award on his way to a third-place finish for AL MVP. The righty even finished off the Rangers' postseason run with a 7-game hit streak. Going off the board at around the 28th overall pick, RotoBaller sees a bit more upside with a ranking of 24th overall, and he should finish once again as one of the top second base options in 2024.
Source: ESPNRotoBaller.com
Tue Feb 2700:33Liam Hendriks Throws On Flat Ground MondayLiam HendriksSPBlue JaysFree Agent
Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Liam Hendriks (elbow) threw on flat grass from about 60 feet on Monday, per the Boston Globe's Pete Abraham. He was throwing to a catcher standing up and "threw with a pretty decent amount of zip". The 35-year-old is recovering from Tommy John surgery and hopes to make his season debut at the end of July. Hendriks has recently been a top fantasy contributor, and while he has a ways to go to return and the Red Sox currently have a strong closer in Kenley Jansen, Hendriks could find himself in the fantasy mix during the second half of the season.
Source: Pete Abraham - Twitter.comRotoBaller.com
Mon Feb 2614:26Matt Barnes Linked To NationalsMatt BarnesSPRed SoxFree Agent
Free-agent reliever Matt Barnes' market is heating up, as the Washington Nationals are one club that is linked to him. The right-hander underwent offseason surgery on his hip but threw for interested clubs in late January and appears ready to join a big-league spring training camp soon. It was a tough 2023 season for the 33-year-old who dealt with both injuries and inconsistency as he posted a 5.48 ERA across 24 outings. However, he also posted a 4.15 FIP and 4.35 SIERA, suggesting he was better than his surface ERA might suggest. Once a staple in the Red Sox bullpen, Barnes owns a career 4.13 ERA across 453 appearances while boasting an impressive 29.4% K%, although that figure has hovered around just 20% in each of the last two seasons.
Source: Chris CotilloRotoBaller.com
Mon Feb 2612:28Justin Verlander To Increase Intensity In Next BullpenJustin VerlanderSPTigersFree Agent
Houston Astros right-hander Justin Verlander (shoulder) will throw another bullpen session on Tuesday with more intensity to move him forward in his rehab, according to manager Joe Espada. Verlander came into spring training behind the team's other pitchers after his right shoulder didn't bounce back properly in the offseason, but he's been throwing low-intensity bullpen sessions in camp, consisting of only fastballs. The Astros haven't ruled the 41-year-old out for the start of the regular season, but it seems more likely than not that he'll open the year on the injured list. Even if Verlander is ready for Opening Day at the end of March, fantasy managers should expect the future Hall of Famer to miss some time at some point in 2024 due to injury. He's a poor bet to stay healthy all year at his age and is no longer the fantasy ace that he once was.
Source: MLB.com - Brian McTaggartRotoBaller.com
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