Fantasy baseball players in the news

by KFFL Staff on February 15, 2013 @ 10:39:22 PDT


First Baseman

1B | Eric Hosmer | Kansas City Royals | Fantasy
Kansas City Royals 1B Eric Hosmer worked hard in the offseason on his hitting after a disappointing year in 2012. Hosmer is projected to hit third in this year's lineup, which will allow OF Alex Gordon to once again hit atop the lineup. Hosmer thinks he found what was wrong with his swing last season. "I just think," he said, "I started leaking out in front with my back side a lot." His back foot was moving instead of staying put, which made him unable to catch up to pitches. In the offseason, Hosmer slowed things down and went to work on fixing his mechanics. Working with new hitting coach Jack Maloof, Hosmer worked to shorten his hands and approach at the plate and also to keep his front side quiet while getting his front foot down.

1B | Albert Pujols | Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim | Fantasy
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim manager Mike Scioscia said with OF Mark Trumbo as the team's primary designated hitter, he'll find it much easier to use 1B Albert Pujols and OF Josh Hamilton in the DH role in order to rest them throughout the long season.

1B | Ryan Howard | Philadelphia Phillies | Injury, Fantasy
Philadelphia Phillies 1B Ryan Howard is coming into this spring camp completely healthy, and he said he played in fear last season that he would reinjure his Achilles'. "It's one of those things where you're just not 100 percent confident in it," Howard said. "You can't do the things you normally could do. Sometimes you might try to make a cut and you might feel something. ... Now it's not even a second thought in my mind."

Second Baseman

2B | Robinson Cano | New York Yankees | Fantasy
The New York Yankees have made very little progress in extension talks with 2B Robinson Cano. Speculation is, the team considers him a top 10-15 player, while Cano thinks he slots a little higher than that.

2B | Dustin Pedroia | Boston Red Sox | Fantasy
Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell said he's leaning toward hitting OF Shane Victorino second in the lineup, 2B Dustin Pedroia third and DH David Ortiz fourth against left-handers. Pedroia is likely to hit second and Ortiz third against righties.


SS | Miguel Tejada | Kansas City Royals | Injury
Kansas City Royals 3B Miguel Tejada (illness) was set to fly to camp Thursday, Feb. 14, but he became ill and stayed back another day.

SS | Rafael Furcal | St. Louis Cardinals | Injury, Fantasy
St. Louis Cardinals SS Rafael Furcal (elbow) has been cleared to do pretty much everything without limitations. He's in camp early and on a normal program.

SS | Jurickson Profar | Texas Rangers | Depth Chart Tidbit, Fantasy
The Texas Rangers are looking for a utility infielder who can play shortstop as spring camp gets underway. The team is prepared to let SS Jurickson Profar handle duties on Opening Day, but the team may either go with INF Leury Garcia and move Profar somewhere else in the infield or go with an outside candidate.

SS | Troy Tulowitzki | Colorado Rockies | Fantasy
Colorado Rockies C Wilin Rosario could hit fifth in the lineup this year with OF Carlos Gonzalez hitting third and SS Troy Tulowitzki in the cleanup spot. OF Dexter Fowler is the leading candidate to hit leadoff, and 2B Josh Rutledge and 3B Jordan Pacheco both are candidates to hit No. 2. "There will be some moving parts in the lineup. When we start up, we may fall into patterns, but it comes down to communicating with guys. If there's something a little different, I'll mention it to them," manager Walt Weiss said.

SS | Reid Brignac | Colorado Rockies | Fantasy
Colorado Rockies SS Reid Brignac will compete for a utility job this spring.

SS | Elvis Andrus | Texas Rangers | Fantasy
The Texas Rangers have discussed a long-term deal with Scott Boras, the agent for SS Elvis Andrus, this offseason. Andrus has two years left on his current contract. "We're going to continue to talk," Andrus said. "We have to be on the same page. I've still got two more years. I'm not worried about it."

Third Baseman

3B | Pablo Sandoval | San Francisco Giants | Fantasy
San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy mentioned 3B Pablo Sandoval as a candidate to move over to first should 1B Brandon Belt suffer a serious injury this year. In that case, INF Joaquin Arias would fill in at third base. However, Bochy said he won't be rushed to make a move to replace Belt if he struggles out of the gates.

3B | Brent Morel | Chicago White Sox | Injury, Fantasy
Chicago White Sox 3B Brent Morel (back) said he's healthy this spring after dealing with back problems last season. "A slight injury, it just makes guys look different the way they move around, and for him, he's swinging the bat free and easy," said manager Robin Ventura. "It's different when you get some spikes on and when you're running around and doing stuff. His (issue) is more kind of longevity of being able to stay and play nice and loose like that." With 3B Jeff Keppinger expected to start at third base, Morel will compete with OF Jordan Danks and 1B Lars Anderson for a spot on the bench, with INF Angel Sanchez a favorite for the utility infielder position. Ventura said Morel will see some action at a position other than third this spring.

3B | Chase Headley | San Diego Padres | Fantasy
San Diego Padres 3B Chase Headley said he's willing to play for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic if they ask him to do so. "They just reached out - and I think they do this with a number of guys - and said if an injury happens or if someone isn't available, if I would be interested in playing," Headley said. " ... I told them that I absolutely would. It would be a huge honor."

3B | James Darnell | San Diego Padres | Injury, Fantasy
San Diego Padres 3B James Darnell (shoulder) is healthy entering spring camp this year after undergoing shoulder surgery last August. "They did a great job. They tightened it to the point where it can't move around, in the front and back," Darnell said. "Both of (the injuries) were the result of playing hard, and that just happens. ... But you just keep going. It's behind me now. It feels really strong. All the muscles are strong." He's unlikely to make the opening day roster, however.


C | Mike Napoli | Boston Red Sox | Injury, Fantasy
Boston Red Sox 1B Mike Napoli (hip) is sitting out of running drills until the team receives the results of MRIs of his hips.

C | Jason Castro | Houston Astros | Fantasy
Houston Astros C Jason Castro will work closely with catchers coach Jeff Murphy this spring in order to become the complete package behind the dish and shore up his defensive skills. "I know that I didn't play the way I wanted to definitely," Castro said. "I learned a lot and saw some progression as the year went on, and I thought I tried to make some adjustments where I could. Having Murph in camp here has been fantastic. We went to work Day One, and I can tell I'll definitely be ready and healthy and prepared as I've ever been to the start the season." Murphy mentored St. Louis Cardinals C Yadier Molina and current manager Mike Matheny.

C | Yasmani Grandal | San Diego Padres | Fantasy
San Diego Padres C Yasmani Grandal, who is suspended for the first 50 games of the season, will be allowed to play in spring training games.

C | Wilson Ramos | Washington Nationals | Injury, Fantasy
Washington Nationals C Wilson Ramos (knee) caught his first bullpen session Thursday, Feb. 14, since undergoing major knee surgery last season. He didn't exert himself to block errant throws, but it was a step in the right direction. "You have to block the balls," he said. "You have to be running behind first base for every groundball to short, second. You have to keep moving. It's more hard in the game. I'm working hard to be behind the plate in the games. When I start playing again, hopefully it will be good." He'll only catch one bullpen session per day as the team brings him along slowly.

C | Buster Posey | San Francisco Giants | Injury, Fantasy
San Francisco Giants C Buster Posey (ankle) said he only feels ankle stiffness in the morning when he gets out of bed but it loosens up quickly after that. Manager Bruce Bochy said Posey hasn't mentioned his ankle injury once this spring.


OF | Rymer Liriano | San Diego Padres | Injury
San Diego Padres OF Rymer Liriano (elbow) will have Tommy John surgery and miss the 2013 season.

OF | Nick Swisher | Cleveland Indians | Fantasy
Cleveland Indians OF Nick Swisher is absent from camp Friday, Feb. 15, due to a death in the family.

OF | Delmon Young | Philadelphia Phillies | Injury, Fantasy
Philadelphia Phillies OF Delmon Young (ankle) is likely to begin the season on the disabled list as he recovers from microfracture surgery on his ankle.

OF | Michael Taylor | Oakland Athletics | Fantasy
Oakland Athletics OF Michael Taylor is receiving instruction from former 1B Scott Hatteberg on how to play first base this spring. "I think it would be foolish for me in this point of my career to not be able to go over there if something were to happen," Taylor said. "It doesn't necessarily mean that I'm going to be full time there, but being able to move around can only help me, because if an opportunity opens up here or anywhere else, I at least can say I have some experience there and I can help there." 1B Brandon Moss is set to be the starter at first base this year after going through the same thing that Taylor is going through. 1B Daric Barton is also around, but Taylor's right-handed stick may prove valuable.

OF | Cole Gillespie | San Francisco Giants | Injury, Fantasy
San Francisco Giants OF Cole Gillespie (hip), who had surgery to remove bone spurs and repair a labrum in his hip last year, is feeling strong and is a candidate to make the roster as a backup outfielder. He is able to play all three outfield spots.

OF | Julio Borbon | Texas Rangers | Fantasy
Texas Rangers OF Julio Borbon put on 12 to 15 pounds in the offseason, and he feels fresher after not having played winter ball after a full minor league season last year. "I was drained," he said. "I had never played a full year in the PCL. Last year was a little bit of a tougher year in terms of playing every day. I knew it (resting in the offseason) was the best thing at the end of the day. I just needed to get away and come in here as refreshed as possible. It's a new thing for me."

OF | Logan Schafer | Milwaukee Brewers | Fantasy
Milwaukee Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said OF Logan Schafer is a good bet to make the team's opening day roster as a backup outfielder. He'll most likely serve as the backup center fielder to OF Carlos Gomez as well as adding depth to the corner outfield spots.

OF | Bryce Harper | Washington Nationals | Fantasy
Washington Nationals OF Bryce Harper has arrived at spring camp noticeably bigger and stronger in his upper body, and he's weighing 230 pounds with the expectation that he'll drop to 220 pounds around opening day. Harper will be moving to left field this year after the team signed OF Denard Span over the winter.

OF | Leonys Martin | Texas Rangers | Fantasy
Texas Rangers OF Julio Borbon focused on building strength instead of playing winter ball this offseason. "I trained with a bunch of guys there," said Borbon, who hit .304 last year in Triple-A Round Rock and played the entire season there. "I decided to get ready physically and mentally going into this important year." Borbon is out of minor league options, meaning he'll either make the team or likely be playing somewhere else. Currently, he's behind OFs Leonys Martin and Craig Gentry on the depth chart.

OF | Jacoby Ellsbury | Boston Red Sox | Fantasy
Boston Red Sox OF Jacoby Ellsbury, who can enter free agency after this season, said he's open to discussing a contract extension, but he'll let his agent, Scott Boras, handle those discussions with the club. "I love playing here. I love the fans. And I appreciate the Red Sox obviously giving me an opportunity earlier in my career in the draft when they selected me. I love playing here," he said.

OF | Mike Trout | Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim | Fantasy
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim OF Mike Trout has gained about 10 to 15 pounds in the offseason and now weighs 240 pounds.

OF | Chris Denorfia | San Diego Padres | Fantasy
San Diego Padres OFs Chris Denorfia and Will Venable are expected to platoon in right field this year. Denorfia had a slash line of .337/.390/.500 with four homers and 22 RBIs in 178 at-bats against left-handed pitchers last year and Venable had a slash line of .270/.339/.400 with eight of his nine home runs in 353 at-bats against righties.

OF | Trayvon Robinson | Baltimore Orioles | Transaction
Baltimore Orioles OF Trayvon Robinson cleared waivers and has been outrighted to the minors.

OF | Todd McDonald | Texas Rangers | Transaction
The Texas Rangers signed 17-year-old Australian OF Todd McDonald to a $475,000 deal.

Starting Pitcher

SP | John Danks | Chicago White Sox | Injury, Fantasy
Chicago White Sox SP John Danks' (shoulder) left shoulder felt better than expected a day after throwing his first bullpen session since surgery.

SP | Matt Purke | Washington Nationals | Injury
Washington Nationals SP Matt Purke (shoulder) is pitching without pain this spring after having surgery to remove some bursa sacs from his left shoulder last summer. He said he has seen the most movement on his pitches since he was a freshman in college.

SP | Alex Cobb | Tampa Bay Rays | Fantasy,
Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon said SP Alex Cobb is basically locked in to the fourth spot in the rotation.

SP | Roberto Hernandez | Tampa Bay Rays | Fantasy,
Tampa Bay Rays SP Roberto Hernandez is in the mix for the final spot in the starting rotation. SPs Jeff Niemann, Chris Archer and Jake Odorizzi are also in contention for the final spot.

SP | Hector Noesi | Seattle Mariners | Transaction
The Seattle Mariners have signed SP Hector Noesi and RP Charlie Furbush to contracts for the 2013 season. Financial terms were not disclosed.

SP | Felix Hernandez | Seattle Mariners | Fantasy,
Seattle Mariners SP Felix Hernandez will return to spring training Friday, Feb. 15, after going to Seattle for the press conference announcing his extension.

SP | A.J. Burnett | Pittsburgh Pirates | Fantasy,
Pittsburgh Pirates SP A.J. Burnett is expected to be the team's opening day starter even though manager Clint Hurdle had not announced his decision at this point.

SP | Barry Zito | San Francisco Giants | Fantasy,
San Francisco Giants SP Barry Zito isn't messing with his mechanics or making any drastic changes to his delivery this spring like he has in years past. He started throwing off a mound twice a week in early January this year and has thrown off a mound eight or nine times before Thursday, Feb. 14. "It's evident he put in a lot of work in the offseason," manager Bruce Bochy said. "What goes with that is confidence. He's coming off a fantastic year. Before that, he'd gone through ups and downs and when you have adversity you work on things. He found himself last year with his delivery and he's carried that into this spring and he's throwing the ball with a lot of confidence."

SP | Danny Duffy | Kansas City Royals | Injury, Fantasy,
Kansas City Royals SP Danny Duffy (elbow) threw 26 pitches in his second mound session Thursday, Feb. 14, with six of those pitches being changeups. "It went well, man," said Duffy, whose 18-pitch workout Tuesday marked his first time on a mound since leaving a May 13 game in Chicago because of elbow pain.

SP | Bronson Arroyo | Cincinnati Reds | Injury, Fantasy,
Cincinnati Reds SP Bronson Arroyo (flu) and RP Nick Masset (shoulder) are being held back Thursday, Feb. 14. Arroyo is dealing with the flu and Masset is still not throwing from a mound after coming back from shoulder surgery.

SP | Michael Pineda | New York Yankees | Injury, Fantasy,
The New York Yankees are pleased with SP Michael Pineda's (shoulder) new appearance this spring and are optimistic that he can return this season around sometime in June. He's currently throwing off a mound, but the team plans to be cautious with him. Pineda will not pitch in any spring contests, but he could start pitching in minor league games in May.

SP | Robbie Ross | Texas Rangers | Fantasy,
Texas Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux said RPs Robbie Ross and Kyle McClellan are favorites to earn spots in the bullpen assuming one of them isn't the fifth starter. RPs Tanner Scheppers and Michael Kirkman are also favorites for the bullpen. RPs Joe Nathan and Jason Frasor are already locks. RP Josh Lindblom will receive a long look in camp.

SP | Carlos Villanueva | Chicago Cubs | Fantasy,
Chicago Cubs P Carlos Villanueva will likely be used in relief, according to manager Dale Sveum. SP Travis Wood would currently have the edge for the final rotation spot this spring.

SP | Scott Baker | Chicago Cubs | Injury, Fantasy,
Despite the fact that the Chicago Cubs seem resigned to have SP Scott Baker (elbow) start the year on the disabled list, he said he is feeling great and is preparing as though he'll be ready to go on opening week. "I guess what I can say is I feel they genuinely care about my 100 percent recovery and they're not just throwing me out there. I'm sure there are going to be some discussions as spring training progresses. But as far as three days into spring training, it's too hard to tell (if he'll be ready). These things are never black and white, but as long as I'm progressing it's hard to be disappointed in whatever the decision is."

SP | Dustin McGowan | Toronto Blue Jays | Injury, Fantasy,
Toronto Blue Jays SP Dustin McGowan (shoulder) said he doesn't expect his setback to become a "big deal" after feeling some pain while long tossing the other day. "I'm never going to give up, no matter what," he said. "That's just not my demeanor. That's not who I am. (The latest injury) is something I'll fight through and hopefully give it a week or two and won't have to worry about it again."

SP | Mike Pelfrey | Minnesota Twins | Injury, Fantasy,
Minnesota Twins SP Mike Pelfrey (elbow) will be treated like the rest of the pitchers this spring, and he's already thrown off a mound 40 times since Tommy John surgery, including six times off a mound since mid-January. The team plans to limit him to around 180 innings this year, however. "If the season started tomorrow, I would have worked up to be ready at this point," Pelfrey said. "Realistically, after 7 1/2 months, I threw 90 pitches to hitters, so I could pitch (now). They told me the other day, 'No restrictions. You're on the schedule with everybody else.' That's what I wanted."

SP | Scott Feldman | Chicago Cubs | Injury, Fantasy,
Chicago Cubs manager Dale Sveum said SP Scott Feldman will be in the starting rotation this year and SP Scott Baker (elbow) will likely be held back at the start of the season.

SP | Ryan Vogelsong | San Francisco Giants | Fantasy,
San Francisco Giants SP Ryan Vogelsong appears to be the No. 2 starter for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic.

SP | Kyle Gibson | Minnesota Twins | Injury, Fantasy,
Minnesota Twins SP Kyle Gibson (elbow), who is coming off Tommy John surgery, said he won't be limited this spring. He threw his first bullpen Wednesday, Feb. 13, and didn't have any problems.

SP | Ricky Romero | Toronto Blue Jays | Injury, Fantasy,
Toronto Blue Jays SP Ricky Romero (elbow, knees) said he feels "100 times better" after elbow surgery. He also had platelet-rich plasma injections in both of his knees. "I think that's been the toughest part, that tendinitis doesn't go away easily," Romero said.

SP | Tsuyoshi Wada | Baltimore Orioles | Injury, Fantasy,
Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter said SP Tsuyoshi Wada (elbow) is set to throw off flat ground Feb. 25.

SP | Christian Garcia | Washington Nationals | Fantasy,
Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson said SP Christian Garcia's stuff is almost at the level of SP Stephen Strasburg, and the team thinks he could be a starter.

SP | Clay Buchholz | Boston Red Sox | Injury, Fantasy,
Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell said SP Clay Buchholz (hamstring) is improving from the hamstring strain he suffered two days ago.

Relief Pitcher

RP | Brandon League | Los Angeles Dodgers | Fantasy
Los Angeles Dodgers RP Brandon League has been anointed the closer for the team.

RP | Matt Thornton | Chicago White Sox | Fantasy
Chicago White Sox RP Matt Thornton declined an invitation to play for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic.

RP | Rafael Soriano | Washington Nationals | Fantasy
Washington Nationals CL Rafael Soriano secured his visa and will arrive in camp Saturday, Feb. 16.

RP | Jonny Venters | Atlanta Braves | Fantasy
Atlanta Braves RP Jonny Venters said he changed his routine after a heavy workload in 2011, which may have led to a down year in 2012. "I definitely came in a little more prepared this year than I did last year, " Venters said. " I took a lot of time off throwing last year and then I kind of got behind the eight ball. Once camp started, I had a hard time getting going and my arm started getting sore. This year, I started to crank it up a little earlier and be a little more prepared."

RP | Bruce Rondon | Detroit Tigers | Fantasy
Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland said the closer job isn't RP Bruce Rondon's to lose. "I'm not going to put that kind of pressure on the kid," Leyland said.

RP | Jason Isringhausen | Retired Players | Free Agents,
Updating a previous item, free-agent RP Jason Isringhausen's (Angels) agent said his client isn't technically retired. Isringhausen is taking a volunteer college coaching job but is still looking for a job pitching.

RP | Grant Balfour | Oakland Athletics | Injury, Fantasy,
Oakland Athletics RP Grant Balfour (knee) had successful arthroscopic surgery to perform a lateral meniscetomy of his right knee Thursday, Feb. 14, and he'll likely be out four to six weeks.

RP | Joe Nathan | Texas Rangers | Fantasy,
Texas Rangers RP Joe Nathan is being eased in this spring; while the rest of the pitchers threw live batting practice Thursday, Feb. 14, Nathan did not. The team is trying to be smart with Nathan's workload during an extended spring training.

RP | Zach Braddock | Baltimore Orioles | Injury,
Baltimore Orioles RP Zach Braddock (shoulder) is recovering from surgery to fix a torn labrum in his pitching shoulder as he attempts to win a spot on the roster this spring. He started a throwing program last month but there is no timetable for him to throw off a mound.

RP | Bobby Parnell | New York Mets | Fantasy,
New York Mets pitching coach Dan Warthen said RP Bobby Parnell was more effective last year because the separation in the velocity between his fastball and knuckle-curve was more drastic. Parnell used to throw his breaking pitches in the upper-80s but now is throwing his knuckle-curve in the lower 80s. Warthen also said Parnell rarely throws a flat knuckle-curve, which was an issue when he used a slider.

RP | Rafael Perez | Minnesota Twins | Fantasy,
Minnesota Twins RP Rafael Perez will be stretched out as a starter this spring although he's never started in the majors. "He liked the possibility of stretching out and possibly starting for us, which is what he did throughout the Minors," assistant general manager Rob Antony said. "We just told him if he's one of our best starters, we're not going to turn a blind eye to anything. And if not, he's fine in the bullpen."

RP | Mike Adams | Philadelphia Phillies | Injury, Fantasy,
Philadelphia Phillies RP Mike Adams (shoulder) has impressed the coaching staff early this spring. "Did you see him throwing over there today?" manager Charlie Manuel said. The manager raised his eyebrows. "He was throwing pretty good."

RP | Casey Janssen | Toronto Blue Jays | Injury, Fantasy,
Toronto Blue Jays RP Casey Janssen (shoulder) is happy with his progress and the way he felt after throwing Thursday, Feb. 14. "I'm happy where I'm at and as long as I don't have a setback, I think I'm in a good spot. Just stay the course," he said.

RP | Ernesto Frieri | Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim | Fantasy,
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim RP Ernesto Frieri is working on a cut fastball this spring, not a changeup. Frieri likes the pitch because he uses the same arm motion and grip as his two-seam fastball.

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