Fantasy Baseball News

Latest Player Updates

O's SS J.J. Hardy says his back is feeling much better. He will be taking workouts slow to start, but believes he can start playing in exhibition games on March 10. (Source: Roch Kubatko on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Hardy is coming off a season with an average of .269 over 115 games. When healthy, he will slot into the back end of the lineup. The back spasms appear to be minor. Barring any setbacks, expect Hardy to be in the lineup on Opening Day.

Category: Injury Updates


The Nationals are close to signing Matt Wieters, according to Jon Heyman of Fanrag Sports. (Source: Jon Heyman on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: It's about time. Since rejecting the qualifying offer from the Orioles, Wieters has been a perfect fit for the Nationals lineup, one lacking in a starting catcher as well as catching depth. His fantasy value should be similar to that in 2015-2016, if not better.

Category: Transactions


Marcus Stroman told reporters Monday that his knee is "100% healthy" after his first normal postseason following surgery to repair a torn ACL.

Fantasy Impact: Stroman showed no signs of the injury bothering him last season where he saw many of his stats, including ERA and wins, drop to significantly lower rate. He is poised for a breakout season in 2017.

Category: Injury Updates


Blue Jays 3B Josh Donaldson has been dealing with a mild calf strain this week at spring training. Donaldson won't be playing in games for another two weeks, but the Blue Jays are confident he'll be ready for Opening Day. (Source: Jayson Stark of ESPN)

Fantasy Impact: Owners can breathe a sigh of relief, but this is still a condition to monitor. Donaldson has been a rock over the past four seasons, missing just 19 games combined.

Category: Injury Updates


Steven Wright indicated that his shoulder felt fine after throwing his first bullpen session since last October on Monday, Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe reports. Boston is continuing to ease Wright back into things, as there is no need to rush the 32-year-old with the depth in their rotation. (Source: Peter Abraham on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Steven Wright had a breakout year for the Red Sox in 2016 finishing with 13 wins, 3.33 ERA, and 1.24 WHIP. His season was cut short due to shoulder issues. If he is healthy going into the season expect him to win a spot in the starting rotation for Boston.

Category: Injury Updates


Drew Pomeranz (elbow) threw his first bullpen session of spring training Monday, Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe reports. Reports surfaced earlier in February that the left-hander hadn't thrown off a mound yet following an offseason stem-cell injection, but it seems that Pomeranz is back on track with his throwing program. (Source: Peter Abraham on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: If healthy Pomeranz should win the fourth spot in the Red Sox starting rotation. He had his best season last year but faded after the trade to Boston. He threw a career high in innings and also had an elbow issue which may have caused the poor performance with the Red Sox. If he is healthy expect similar numbers to last season when he had a 3.32 ERA and 1.18 WHIP.

Category: Injury Updates


Jim Salisbury reports Phillies 2B Cesar Hernandez added 15 pounds of muscle over the winter. After a strong second half of 2016, Hernandez is looking to improve his game at the plate hitting more line drives hard into the gaps and putting himself in scoring position. He believes the added weight will not affect his speed, as his goal is to steal 30 bases this season. (Source: CSNPhilly.com)

Fantasy Impact: Hernandez is the projected lead off man for the Phillies. Last season, he had an average of .294 and an OBP of .371. His 11 triples led the majors. The Phillies will keep him in the lead off position as long as he shows consistency, but with top prospect SS J.P. Crawford expected to make his debut in the majors this season we could see Hernandez and Freddy Galvis battle it out for time at second base. Hernandez could also emerge as a trade candidate this summer due to the depth of the infield.


Xander Bogaerts' slump during the second half of 2016 was partially due to him making a decision where he wanted to hit the ball before the pitch reached him, Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal reports. Bogaerts hit just .253 after the All-Star break, though within that stretch there were pockets of a better approach, something that assistant hitting coach Victor Rodriguez pointed out to the shortstop. "You just have to start up the middle," Bogaerts said. "If you start up the middle, you can hit in and away. Sometimes I think too much away, and when they throw me in, all I can do is a little jam shot. If you think middle and keep your body straight, you see it and recognize -- and boom." (Source: Providence Journal)

Fantasy Impact: Even with the second-half slump, Boegarts had a great season at the plate. He finished with a .294 average with 21 HRs, 89 RBI, 115 runs and 13 SBs. Going into fantasy drafts, Boegart is considered a top five SS and fantasy owners should think about grabbing him in the third or fourth round. If he can improve his mechanics he could have a big year and bring back first round value.


Indians ace Corey Kluber is in jeopardy of not pitching opening day due to the conservative approach Terry Francona is taking with his star pitcher. (Source: morning journal.com)

Fantasy Impact: The Indians are worried about the three-years, 700 or so innings Kluber has put on his arm. Kluber has reached 215 or more innings the past three seasons and if he can't reach that amount again it could limit his fantasy value, but not by much. Leave Kluber exactly where he is on your draft board.

Category: Rumors


The New York Yankees and free-agent LHP Jon Niese have agreed to a minor-league deal with an invite to major-league camp. (Source: Joel Sherman on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Niese finished 2016 with an 8-7 record with a 5.50 ERA and a 1.59 WHIP in 121 innings pitched. I love the idea of Niese on the Yankees but even in a holds league its hard to see him having value with Betances and Chapman holding down the bullpen.

Category: Transactions


Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal believes that Christian Vazquez has a chance to unseat Sandy Leon as the Red Sox' starting catcher this spring. While Leon had a breakout season offensively in 2016 and is the leader coming into camp, he grades out poorly in pitch framing, costing his 4.7 runs in 2016. Vazquez meanwhile, is a highly-regarded defender and was credited with seven defensive runs saved from pitch framing last season, the 17th best mark in all of baseball. (Source: Providence Journal)

Fantasy Impact: This will be one of the more interesting battles in spring training for the Red Sox. Right now Leon should have the inside track but don't be surprised if Vazquez can get his hitting form back that he could move into the main role. There is the scenario that they both share the job. That would make both Leon and Vazquez hard to own in fantasy.


Pablo Sandoval has resumed switch-hitting. He struggled mightily from the right side in 2015 and eventually abandoned hitting right-handed altogether before giving it another go this offseason. Sandoval worked tirelessly with Miguel Cabrera to repair his swing and has looked comfortable hitting from the right side at spring training. (Source: Peter Gammon on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Sandoval who missed just about all of the 2016 season with shoulder surgery is looking to bounce back. He has come into spring training much lighter having lost 40 pounds. He seems focused to have a big season and could be a sleeper pick in upcoming fantasy drafts.

Category: Injury Updates


The Reds have come to terms on a minor league contract with the veteran outfielder. Raburn will report to the Reds major league spring training facility with a chance to earn a spot on the big league roster. (Source: Ken Rosenthal on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Raburn had a very disappointing 2016 with Colorado. He will look to revive his career with the Reds. His most likely role would be as a platoon option in left or right field, along with Scott Schebler and Desmond Jennings. There is no real fantasy upside here.

Category: Transactions


The door is open for the Reds #3 prospect - OF Jesse Winker - to earn a big league roster spot this spring, according to manager Bryan Price. (Source: Cincinnati Enquirer)

Fantasy Impact: Winker has been among the top outfield prospects in the game for the last few years. While his defense is suspect, and there are legitimate doubts about his ability to hit for power, Winker is one of the purest hitting prospects in the game. He is considered a huge part of the Reds future, so when he earns his spot, expect him to be given every opportunity to succeed.

Category: Rumors


Joey Votto to bat third

Fri, Feb 17th 11:37am EST
By Michael Bertels

CIN

Reds manager Bryan Price expects Joey Votto to be batting third regularly this season - with Billy Hamilton leading off, and Adam Duvall cleaning up. (Source: C. Trent Rosecrans on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Given Votto's elite ability to get on base, many would prefer to see him batting second in the order, but Price intends to keep him in his usual spot in the three hole.

Category: Rumors


Adrian Beltre is expected to miss one-to-two weeks with a strained left calf. (Source: sportsday.dallasnews.com)

Fantasy Impact: Because of the injury Beltre is expected to miss the first week of the World Baseball Classic. If the team moves on, he could be added to the roster for the second round. Based on Beltre's 2016 numbers it seems like the 37-year-old won't be slowing down anytime soon. FanGraphs has Beltre projected to hit .294 with 23 home runs, 92 RBI, and 80 runs. In 2016 Beltre hit .300 with 32 home runs, 104 RBI, and 89 runs. I would be hesitant to draft Beltre because of his age, but I always have. I would list Adrian as an early mid-round 3B after the top tier third basemen are gone.

Category: Injury Updates


St. Louis Cardinals prospect Alex Reyes had Tommy John surgery Thursday and it was deemed a success by Dr. Paletta. The expected recovery time is 14 months. (Source: Jon Heyman on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Reyes had major hype coming into the 2016-2017 season and his injury was a big blow to all MLB fans and fantasy baseball players. In dynasty leagues Reyes is still someone to draft, with a possible price reduction. In re-draft leagues Reyes can be left off your draft board until next season. Last season Reyes went 4-1 with a 1.57 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, and a 10.17 K/9.

Category: Injury Updates


2B Aaron Hill has signed a minor-league deal to play for the San Fransisco Giants. (Source: Ken Rosenthal on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Hill played in 125 games in 2016 hitting .262 with 10 home runs and 38 RBI between the Brewers and Red sox. Hill was a phenomenal power source during his prime but at this point in his career he can be ignored for fantasy purposes.

Category: Transactions


Zack Cozart's knee at 100%

Thu, Feb 16th 12:43pm EST
By Michael Bertels

CIN

Zack Cozart says his knee is back at 100%, and he will not be wearing the bulky knee brace he wore through most of the 2016 season. (Source: C. Trent Rosecrans on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Cozart had a strong first half in 2016, with a .799 OPS prior to the All-Star break. Pretty good for a glove-first shortstop. If he can stay healthy and attain similar first half success, the Reds should be able to return a decent package for him before the trade deadline as they continue their rebuild.

Category: Injury Updates


The Tamp Bay Rays and RHP Tommy Hunter have a deal worked out pending his physical. (Source: Robert Murray on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: The 30-year-old Hunter is looking to stay in the majors as a dependable bullpen arm. Fantasy wise, Hunter can be left on the wavier wire. If your league does account for holds, he might be a nice sleeper pick. Hunter ended 2016 with a 2-2 record, 3.18 ERA, and a 1.26 WHIP in 34 innings pitched.

Category: Transactions