Fantasy baseball players in the news

by KFFL Staff on February 20, 2013 @ 09:11:27 PDT


First Baseman

1B | Lance Berkman | Texas Rangers | Injury, Fantasy
Texas Rangers 1B Lance Berkman (calf) has a mild right calf strain.

1B | Joey Votto | Cincinnati Reds | Injury, Fantasy
It appears Cincinnati Reds 1B Joey Votto (knee) will be added to Team Canada's roster for the World Baseball Classic when the final roster is announced Wednesday, Feb. 20.

1B | Prince Fielder | Detroit Tigers | Depth Chart Tidbit, Fantasy
Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland announced Tuesday, Feb. 19, that his regular infielders will start the Grapefruit League spring game Friday, Feb. 22, against the Atlanta Braves. That means 1B Prince Fielder, 2B Omar Infante, 3B Miguel Cabrera and SS Jhonny Peralta will comprise the infield, with C Brayan Pena behind the plate.

1B | Logan Morrison | Miami Marlins | Injury, Fantasy
Miami Marlins 1B Logan Morrison (knee) said he was cleared to run on a treadmill Tuesday, Feb. 19, that includes running in an anti-gravity bubble.

Second Baseman

2B | Freddy Sanchez | free agent | Free Agents
Free-agent 2B Freddy Sanchez (Giants) would love to re-sign with the San Francisco Giants. He's looking for a major league contract, but he is willing to play a utility role.

2B | Daniel Murphy | New York Mets | Injury, Fantasy
New York Mets 2B Daniel Murphy (intercostal) received a cortisone injection in his right side after meeting with doctors Tuesday, Feb. 19, according to a major league source. He is hoping he'll only be out a week to 10 days.

2B | Howard Kendrick | Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim | Fantasy
Los Angeles Angels 2B Howard Kendrick is notorious for hitting better and producing better numbers when he hits sixth or seventh in the order compared to second or even fifth. He has a career slash line of .257/.294/.401 in 784 plate appearances in the No. 2 spot compared to .314/.352/.455 in 784 plate appearances hitting seventh. "You do have to be able to take pitches for other guys and move runners," Kendrick said. "It's not that I can't do that, but I like to be a little more aggressive and take what's given. Sometimes being in the two-spot, it might not be as beneficial. But that's part of the reason why I moved from there to like the six-hole or the five-hole. Which is fine, too. I'm never one to complain about where I hit. As long as I'm in the lineup and helping the team win, that's all I care about." Kendrick, 3B Alberto Callaspo and SS Erick Aybar will all see looks in the No. 2 spot this spring.


SS | Jimmy Rollins | Philadelphia Phillies | Fantasy
Philadelphia Phillies SS Jimmy Rollins will lead off for the team in 2013.

SS | Mike Aviles | Cleveland Indians | Fantasy
Cleveland Indians INF Mike Aviles and P Giovanni Soto will participate for Team Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic next month.

SS | Everth Cabrera | San Diego Padres | Fantasy,
San Diego Padres SS Everth Cabrera, Oakland Athletics P Jordan Norberto, Houston Astros OF Fernando Martinez, San Diego Padres RP Fautino De Los Santos and New York Mets OF Cesar Puello were the latest names to be connected to Biogenesis, a Miami clinic that allegedly sold performance-enhancing drugs to baseball players. These players were on the list as having received PEDs, although the documents aren't proof that the players actually bought or used the drugs.

SS | Troy Tulowitzki | Colorado Rockies | Fantasy
Colorado Rockies SS Troy Tulowitzki has a strong chance to start in the team's spring training opener Saturday, Feb. 23, according to manager Walt Weiss.

SS | Xander Bogaerts | Boston Red Sox | Fantasy
Boston Red Sox SS Xander Bogaerts will start at third base in the team's exhibition against Boston College Thursday, Feb. 21, as the team looks to give him repetitions at the position he'll likely be playing for the Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic.

SS | Yunel Escobar | Tampa Bay Rays | Fantasy
Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon said he sees SS Yunel Escobar as a potential Gold Glove and All-Star shortstop. Maddon said Escobar is fitting in well on the team.

SS | Rafael Furcal | St. Louis Cardinals | Injury, Fantasy
St. Louis Cardinals SS Rafael Furcal (elbow) will not be game-ready by the weekend, and will likely be eased back into game action. "We've still got a few days to figure that out," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "He still hasn't let it go yet. It's going to be hard to put him out there in a situation where a backhand deep in the hole -- he's not ready for that. It probably will take a little time but we'll wait and see what we have these last few days." Matheny said Furcal is absolutely expected to be ready for opening day.

Third Baseman

3B | Miguel Cabrera | Detroit Tigers | Fantasy
Detroit Tigers RP Octavio Dotel said 3B Miguel Cabrera refused to agree to a team meeting after some tough playoff losses last season. Dotel said he suggested Cabrera hold a players' only meeting after a heart-wrenching loss in Game 4 of the ALDS and after losing the first two games of the World Series. "You have to step up and say something," Dotel said. "Miggy's more about his game. I don't see him as a leader."

3B | Mike Olt | Texas Rangers | Fantasy
Texas Rangers 3B Mike Olt, who is working out at first base and the outfield this spring in order to try and win a roster spot, isn't a slouch defensively at third base, either. "Olt is a big man who moves with fluidity and agility, so he's got range and first-step quickness and can make those tough plays on the move and throw with a plus arm and accuracy from different angles," scouting director Josh Boyd says. "He has Gold Glove potential."

3B | Jedd Gyorko | San Diego Padres | Fantasy
San Diego Padres 3B Jedd Gyorko will be given every chance this spring to win the second base job despite having only played 48 games at the position in the minors. "I played a full season at second base in college (at West Virginia University) and I pretty much grew up a second baseman, even when I was younger," Gyorko said. "(I) had a whole winter to get used to it as well, and I have great coaches to teach me the ropes there."

3B | Trevor Plouffe | Minnesota Twins | Injury, Fantasy
Minnesota Twins 3B Trevor Plouffe (calf) is still limited by a sore right calf but was able to take batting practice and hit a home run Tuesday, Feb. 19.

3B | Taylor Green | Milwaukee Brewers | Fantasy
The Milwaukee Brewers are not in the mix to trade for Seattle Mariners OF Mike Carp, who was designated for assignment last week, according to a major league source. The Brewers will first examine their internal options to play first base with 1B Mat Gamel (knee) out for the year and 1B Corey Hart (knee) to miss the start of the season. Milwaukee's internal options are INFs Taylor Green, Hunter Morris and Alex Gonzalez. If the team isn't satisfied with those options, they could look at a free agent on a minor league deal.

3B | Manny Machado | Baltimore Orioles | Injury, Fantasy
Baltimore Orioles 3B Manny Machado (stomach) was cleared for action after the team doctors looked into an acid reflux issue during his physical examination. "(I'm a) full go. I'm ready to get back out there. I was bored yesterday. I'm ready to come back out here and participate with the team," Machado said.


C | Humberto Quintero | Philadelphia Phillies | Depth Chart Tidbit, Fantasy
The chances Philadelphia Phillies C Humberto Quintero makes the roster are quite good. The team needs a second catcher for 25 games while C Carlos Ruiz serves a suspension for a banned substance. C Erik Kratz will serve as the starter.

C | Sebastian Valle | Philadelphia Phillies | Injury, Fantasy
Philadelphia Phillies C Sebastian Valle (finger), who is participating in workouts despite a small fracture in his right (throwing) ring finger, is a candidate to make Team Mexico's final roster for the World Baseball Classic. General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Tuesday, Feb. 19, that Valle could participate if selected.

C | Yan Gomes | Cleveland Indians | Depth Chart Tidbit, Fantasy
Cleveland Indians Cs Yan Gomes, who declined to play for Team Brazil in the World Baseball Classic, and Lou Marson will get a longer look during Cactus League games while C Carlos Santana plays for Team Dominican Republic in the WBC.

C | Jesus Montero | Seattle Mariners | Transaction, Fantasy
The Seattle Mariners must have all of the players on their 40-man roster signed or renewed by March 11. The only unsigned players remaining are Ps Stephen Pryor, Erasmo Ramirez and Tom Wilhelmsen, and C Jesus Montero.

C | Yasmani Grandal | San Diego Padres | Injury, Fantasy
San Diego Padres C Yasmani Grandal (finger) had no pain in his left middle finger after taking batting practice Monday, Feb. 18, and he was able to hit from both sides of the plate. Grandal didn't swing a bat all winter in order to let the two inflamed tendons in his finger heal completely.

C | Mike Napoli | Boston Red Sox | Injury, Fantasy
The Boston Red Sox haven't set a date for the spring debuts of C/1B Mike Napoli (hips) and DH David Ortiz (Achilles'), but Napoli is expected to get there before Ortiz. The team has not cleared Ortiz to run the bases yet, and he's still going through agility drills.

C | David Ross | Boston Red Sox | Fantasy
Boston Red Sox David Ross might play mostly against left-handed pitchers this year since 24 of C Jarrod Saltalamacchia's 25 homers last year came against right-handers. However, manager John Farrell cautioned against assuming the team will use a platoon at catcher this season.


OF | Conor Jackson | Baltimore Orioles | Injury
Baltimore Orioles OF Conor Jackson (back) said his lower back feels better, but he will receive treatment Wednesday, Feb. 20.

OF | Nick Markakis | Baltimore Orioles | Fantasy
Baltimore Orioles OF Nick Markakis will miss the next few days of camp to attend a funeral.

OF | Ryan Kalish | Boston Red Sox | Injury, Transaction
Boston Red Sox OF Ryan Kalish (shoulder) was transferred to the 60-day disabled list.

OF | Mike Carp | Boston Red Sox | Transaction, Fantasy
The Boston Red Sox acquired OF/1B Mike Carp from the Seattle Mariners for a player to be named or cash.

OF | Ben Revere | Philadelphia Phillies | Transaction
The Philadelphia Phillies agreed to one-year contracts with RP Phillippe Aumont, RP Justin De Fratus, P Jonathan Pettibone, SP Joe Savery, SS Freddy Galvis, 2B Cesar Hernandez, OF Domonic Brown, OF Ben Revere and OF John Mayberry Jr.

OF | Jose Tabata | Pittsburgh Pirates | Fantasy
Pittsburgh Pirates OF Jose Tabata is out of minor league options and likely to have a bench spot sewed up.

OF | Fernando Martinez | Houston Astros | Fantasy
Houston Astros OF Fernando Martinez said "no comment" through a spokesman on the report he was linked to Biogenesis.

OF | Kyle Blanks | San Diego Padres | Injury, Fantasy
San Diego Padres OF Kyle Blanks (shoulder) and 3B James Darnell (shoulder) are making their way back from shoulder injuries, and welcome the 38-game Cactus League schedule to work their way back into shape. "Spring training work is still quality over quantity, but if I got 20 extra at-bats because of the extra games, I'd take them," Darnell said Tuesday, Feb. 19. "I'm playing any time they want me to play where ever they want me to play."

OF | Darin Ruf | Philadelphia Phillies | Depth Chart Tidbit, Fantasy
Philadelphia Phillies OF Darin Ruf will see time at both outfield and first base during the spring, according to manager Charlie Manuel.

OF | Brett Gardner | New York Yankees | Depth Chart Tidbit, Fantasy
New York Yankees OF Brett Gardner said Tuesday, Feb. 19, that he benefited from being 100 percent healthy over the offseason. He ran, lifted weights and took swings in batting cages near his home in South Carolina, trying to build confidence. Manager Joe Girardi is still mulling whether to shift Gardner from left field to center, swapping spots defensively with OF Curtis Granderson.

OF | Adam Jones | Baltimore Orioles | Fantasy
Baltimore Orioles OF Adam Jones said Monday, Feb. 18, that he fully understands why some players are dropping out of the World Baseball Classic, but he remains fully committed. "I know some other guys who aren't playing would love to be in it, but I understand why they're not," Jones said. "Some of them are coming back from injuries, and some pitchers had longer seasons."

OF | Brennan Boesch | Detroit Tigers | Injury, Fantasy
Detroit Tigers OF Brennan Boesch (oblique) missed a third straight day of workouts Tuesday, Feb. 19. He tweaked his right oblique during batting practice Saturday, Feb. 16. "I don't want to sound cold about it, but right now, he's not available," manager Jim Leyland said. "I'm not going to get all crazy about playing time and get into it. I can't do anything about it."

OF | Austin Jackson | Detroit Tigers | Depth Chart Tidbit, Fantasy
Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland said Tuesday, Feb. 19, that his regular starting outfield each start the Grapefruit League spring game Saturday, Feb. 23, against the Toronto Blue Jays. That means OFs Andy Dirks will be in left field, Austin Jackson in center field and Torii Hunter in right field.

OF | Quintin Berry | Detroit Tigers | Depth Chart Tidbit, Fantasy
Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland announced Tuesday, Feb. 19, that OFs Quintin Berry (center), Nick Castellanos (left) and Avisail Garcia (right) will comprise the starting outfield in the team's first Grapefruit League spring game Friday, Feb. 22, against the Atlanta Braves. "We'll play everybody. I'm going to play all the kids, get our guys ready," Leyland said. "I like to do that. I like playing the kids."

OF | Michael Saunders | Seattle Mariners | Transaction, Fantasy
The Seattle Mariners came to contract agreements Tuesday, Feb. 19, with Ps Carter Capps and Brandon Maurer, OF Michael Saunders and 3B Alex Liddi. Terms of the deals were undisclosed.

OF | Chris Heisey | Cincinnati Reds | Fantasy
Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker said OF Chris Heisey will play frequently this year, and he'll likely get 300-plus at-bats again. "Heisey's going to play," Baker said. "He'll spell (Jay) Bruce. I've got to watch (Ryan) Ludwick with his age and the injuries he's had in the past." Heisey will start in center field with OF Shin-Soo Choo needs a break, too.

OF | Nolan Reimold | Baltimore Orioles | Injury, Fantasy
Baltimore Orioles OF Nolan Reimold (neck) has already regained strength in his left arm this spring after he underwent a procedure similar to what Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning had last offseason. In Reimold's case, there was no damage to the nerve root, giving reason to believe he could regain full strength. He plans to be ready for the spring opener Saturday, Feb. 23, but manager Buck Showalter hasn't said whether Reimold will platoon in left field with OF Nate McLouth yet.

OF | Nelson Cruz | Texas Rangers | Fantasy
Texas Rangers OF Nelson Cruz, who uses an open stance at the plate, has added a leg kick to his swing as a timing mechanism after working with hitting instructor Frank Valdes this winter. Cruz wanted to be able to reach the outside part of the plate and hit balls the other way with authority. Cruz hit an opposite-field homer during live batting practice Tuesday, Feb. 19. "We will monitor it and and see where it goes," said hitting coach Dave Magadan, who favors simplified approaches so as not to easily get out of whack. "He wants to use it in games. If he adjusts to hit and is comfortable with it and gets himself in a good place to hit in time, great. It remains to be seen. I'm not a big fan of those things for anybody, but what's important is if he is comfortable."

OF | Cameron Maybin | San Diego Padres | Injury, Fantasy
San Diego Padres OF Cameron Maybin (wrist) took part in some drills Tuesday, Feb. 19, but didn't throw or take batting practice. Maybin's wrist pain has only surfaced when he has a heavy workload or when he's positioned awkwardly.

OF | Dewayne Wise | Chicago White Sox | Injury, Fantasy
Chicago White Sox OF Dewayne Wise (neck) is dealing with a sore neck but said he'll be fine.

OF | Jason Kubel | Arizona Diamondbacks | Fantasy
Arizona Diamondbacks OF Jason Kubel arrived to camp a tad bit lighter this season at 208 pounds, which is down from 215 pounds at the end of last year, and he said he feels much better. "I was able to start working out when I wanted to," Kubel said. "In the offseason before last, I had some foot problems and wasn't able to start going until a lot later. This year I was able to go on my own terms, and I feel great." Kubel said he tried hard in the offseason to work on fixing something that led him to a drastic second-half slump where he hit just .176 in his final 216 plate appearances.

OF | Colby Rasmus | Toronto Blue Jays | Fantasy
Toronto Blue Jays OF Colby Rasmus, who is known for making frequent changes to his swing and approach during the season, is intent on keeping things consistent this season. "The talent in him is unbelievable," hitting coach Chad Mottola said. "The things he does, the way he gets to the front of the box, and we're just going to get his quick hands to work in his favor rather than going through swing changes all year." Moving up in the batter's box last season was his biggest and most effective change. This year, he will stay at the front of the box, but he has slightly dropped his hands in his stance. "You wouldn't think that, but it's happened to me. I'm trying to keep my hands lower in a good slot, and try to keep a good separation with my foot going forward and my hands going back. I think that will help with timing issues," Rasmus said. Rasmus tired down the stretch last year because of his relentless work ethic, and his motto this year is "quality over quantity" when it comes to work on the side.

Starting Pitcher

SP | Scott Diamond | Minnesota Twins | Injury, Fantasy
Minnesota Twins SP Scott Diamond (elbow) is a little behind and may not be ready for Opening Day.

SP | Nathan Eovaldi | Miami Marlins | Transaction
The Miami Marlins agreed to one-year deals with RP Arquimedes Caminero, RP Jose Ceda, RP Sam Dyson, SP Nathan Eovaldi, SP Brad Hand, RP Chris Hatcher, RP Braulio Lara, P A.J. Ramos and OF Marcell Ozuna.

SP | Shelby Miller | St. Louis Cardinals | Injury, Fantasy
St. Louis Cardinals SP Shelby Miller (shoulder) won't throw off a mound for the rest of the week due to stiffness in his right shoulder.

SP | Felix Doubront | Boston Red Sox | Injury
Boston Red Sox SP Felix Doubront (shoulder) will throw a side session Wednesday, Feb. 20.

SP | Ubaldo Jimenez | Cleveland Indians | Fantasy
The Cleveland Indians have worked on SP Ubaldo Jimenez's delivery. "We are trying to get more rhythm and aggressiveness in his delivery. We want to get his arm action a little smoother. He's never going to be the poster child for delivery," manager Terry Francona said. "But If he can get to the point where he's pounding the ball down in the zone, he will be fine."

SP | Clay Buchholz | Boston Red Sox | Injury, Fantasy
Boston Red Sox SP Clay Buchholz (hamstring) will throw live batting practice Wednesday, Feb. 20, and is scheduled for a simulated game Saturday, Feb. 23.

SP | Phil Hughes | New York Yankees | Injury, Fantasy
Updating previous reports, New York Yankees SP Phil Hughes (back) is expected to be out a week or two after an MRI revealed a bulging disc in his back.

SP | Jeff Karstens | Pittsburgh Pirates | Injury
Updating a previous report, Pittsburgh Pirates SP Jeff Karstens (biceps) has some biceps tendonitis.

SP | Kyle Davies | Minnesota Twins | Transaction, Free Agents
The Minnesota Twins signed free-agent SP Kyle Davies (Blue Jays) to a minor league deal without an invitation to big league camp.

SP | David Price | Tampa Bay Rays | Fantasy
Tampa Bay Rays SP David Price said he wouldn't sign a long-term deal with the New York Yankees because of their policy on shaving. "I wouldn't sign a long-term deal there. Those rules, that's old-school baseball," Price said. "I was born in '85. That's not for me. That's not something I want to be a part of."

SP | Tyson Ross | San Diego Padres | Depth Chart Tidbit, Fantasy,
San Diego Padres Ps Sean O'Sullivan and Tyson Ross have been named to start the first two Cactus League spring games Friday, Feb. 22, and Saturday, Feb. 23, against the Seattle Mariners.

SP | Freddy Garcia | San Diego Padres | Fantasy,
San Diego Padres SP Freddy Garcia will start the Cactus League spring game Sunday, Feb. 24, against the Seattle Mariners.

SP | Andrew Cashner | San Diego Padres | Injury, Fantasy,
San Diego Padres SP Andrew Cashner (thumb) is ahead of schedule in his return from thumb surgery in a hunting accident. However, he is still likely to open the season on the 15-day disabled list while on a minor-league rehab assignment. "If you project him to be a starter, which we do, he won't be ready for opening day," manager Bud Black said Tuesday, Feb. 19.

SP | John Lannan | Philadelphia Phillies | Depth Chart Tidbit, Fantasy,
Philadelphia Phillies SP John Lannan is considered the favorite for the fifth starter spot, and pitching coach Rich Dubee talks like Lannan already has the job.

SP | Kyle Kendrick | Philadelphia Phillies | Transaction, Depth Chart Tidbit, Fantasy,
Philadelphia Phillies SP Kyle Kendrick used to be plucked from the bullpen and plugged into the starting rotation if injuries struck, but now he is cemented as the team's fourth starter. Pitching coach Rich Dubee will use spring training to formulate his depth chart and find the next potential replacement if trouble strikes. The team signed veteran Ps Aaron Cook and Rodrigo Lopez to minor-league deals, and they represent the sort of Triple-A depth a team requires. Ps Tyler Cloyd, Ethan Martin, Adam Morgan and Jonathan Pettibone might also get a chance to move up the depth chart.

SP | Scott Kazmir | Cleveland Indians | Fantasy,
Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona had previously announced SP Scott Kazmir would start the Cactus League spring opener Friday, Feb. 22, but shortly afterward the team announced Kazmir preferred to pitch one more batting practice session before appearing in a game.

SP | Justin Masterson | Cleveland Indians | Injury, Fantasy,
Cleveland Indians SP Justin Masterson (heel) and RP Vinnie Pestano (leg) were each hit by comebackers in batting practice Tuesday, Feb. 19, but neither were hurt. SS Asdrubal Cabrera clipped Masterson on the heel, and 2B Jason Kipnis hit Pestano on the left leg.

SP | Carlos Carrasco | Cleveland Indians | Fantasy,
Cleveland Indians SP Carlos Carrasco still has a six-game suspension hanging over his head for throwing at Kansas City Royals 1B Billy Butler July 29, 2011. The Indians are seeking information from the commissioner's office on when he will have to serve the suspension after he missed the 2012 season.

SP | Ted Lilly | Los Angeles Dodgers | Injury, Fantasy,
Los Angeles Dodgers SP Ted Lilly (shoulder), returning from shoulder surgery, is on a slightly modified throwing program this spring, according to manager Don Mattingly. Lilly is being given two days off between bullpen sessions. Mattingly said there have been no further restrictions put on Lilly. "He feels good," Mattingly said Tuesday, Feb. 19. "My biggest question for him is, 'Do you feel like you're rehabbing or do you feel like just one of the guys?' His answer is, 'I just feel like I'm one of the guys. It's just another spring.'"

SP | Rick Porcello | Detroit Tigers | Fantasy,
Detroit Tigers SP Rick Porcello will start the Grapefruit League spring game Friday, Feb. 22, against the Atlanta Braves. Porcello is battling for the fifth spot in the team's rotation. He will be followed by Ps Luis Marte, Luke Putkonen, Jose A. Ortega and Darin Downs. Ps Jose Alvarez and Kenny Faulk, two non-roster invitees, might also get into the mix.

SP | Jon Garland | Seattle Mariners | Injury, Fantasy,
Seattle Mariners Ps Jeremy Bonderman (elbow) and Jon Garland (shoulder), two veteran pitchers coming back from arm problems, will throw their first live batting practice session Wednesday, Feb. 20.

SP | Felix Hernandez | Seattle Mariners | Injury, Fantasy,
Seattle Mariners SP Felix Hernandez (elbow) will throw off a mound for the first time Wednesday, Feb. 20, with a 10-minute bullpen session. The team and Hernandez have taken it easy so far this spring. "We just need to get him ready by April," pitching coach Carl Willis said Tuesday, Feb. 19.

SP | Taijuan Walker | Seattle Mariners | Fantasy,
Seattle Mariners SP Taijuan Walker threw his first batting practice of the spring Tuesday, Feb. 19, and he drew rave reviews. "Very easy, very fluid, very effortless," 3B Kyle Seager said. "The ball gets on you. He's got really good stuff."

SP | Gio Gonzalez | Washington Nationals | Fantasy,
Washington Nationals SP Gio Gonzalez did not receive performance-enhancing substances from Biogenesis owner Anthony Bosch or the clinic, according to two sources familiar with Bosch's operation. Next to Gonzalez's list of purchases include substances that are not under MLB's banned list of substances. One of the substances was listed as glutathione, which is an antioxidant consisting of methionine, inositol and choline, often used for weight loss.

SP | Roy Halladay | Philadelphia Phillies | Fantasy,
Philadelphia Phillies SP Roy Halladay is not expected to be the team's opening day starter this year, as hitting coach Rich Dubee hinted the decision will likely come down to SPs Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee. "I think it's how we line up best," Dubee said. "Realistically, we could pitch anybody the first day as far as Doc, Cole and Cliff. On most staffs, they are No. 1 starters, so they all could pitch opening day. But part of what we're thinking is trying to split those two lefties. Last year we started with two lefties (after Halladay) and I'd just like to split them up." If Halladay doesn't start opening day, it would be the first time he didn't have the assignment since 2002.

SP | John Lamb | Kansas City Royals | Injury, Fantasy,
Kansas City Royals SP John Lamb (elbow) is in camp this spring and is pain-free after coming back from Tommy John surgery. He's not hitting low- to mid-90s on his fastball like he did before his surgery yet, but he's not far off. Lamb has also added a new low-stress curveball to his arsenal. "I don't care how hard it is or how much it's breaking." Lamb said. "All I care is it's not hurting my elbow right now. And it's not, but… It's breaking a lot more than I've ever had a curveball break. And it's a lot harder than I've ever thrown a curveball." Lamb has also dropped 40 pounds to 197 pounds over the past 14 months. He doesn't think the drop in weight will affect his velocity at all, though. Kansas City just hopes he can pitch a full season in the minors, although there is a chance he could get called up late in the season.

SP | Josh Johnson | Toronto Blue Jays | Fantasy,
Toronto Blue Jays SP Josh Johnson has learned to have a more balanced attack when going after hitters instead of trying to overpower them like he did before, and a polished curveball is now part of that approach. Johnson scrapped his curveball shortly after arriving in the majors and he focused more on a slider. However, he changed that thinking last year after his fastball lost some velocity. Johnson experimented with his curve last spring, but he didn't really start using it until further into the season, and he used it only 15 percent of the time. "All of a sudden I started throwing it for strikes and then I wouldn't use it enough. Then I started using it more, more, more and that's when I started getting the hang of it," Johnson said. He's slated to serve as the fourth starter this season.

SP | Kyle Lohse | free agent | Free Agents, Fantasy,
The Pittsburgh Pirates don't appear to be going after free-agent SP Kyle Lohse (Cardinals).

SP | Martin Perez | Texas Rangers | Fantasy,
Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington was impressed with SP Martin Perez Tuesday, Feb. 19, after he kept the ball down and mixed his breaking ball well with his other pitches.

SP | Alexi Ogando | Texas Rangers | Fantasy,
Texas Rangers SP Alexi Ogando's refined changeup was at 85 to 87 mph Tuesday, Feb. 19, which is a bit faster than his slider (82 mph). A scout thought Ogando did a solid job of keeping the same arm action on his changeup compared to his fastball, which makes it much tougher on the hitter.

SP | Yu Darvish | Texas Rangers | Fantasy,
Texas Rangers SP Yu Darvish looked much more comfortable in his first live batting practice session Tuesday, Feb. 19, than he did last year, and his fastball was at 93 to 95 mph. "I think psychologically and emotionally I'm more relaxed and I feel more comfortable than last year," Darvish said. "Even if I was behind in the count, I wasn't really scared of throwing breaking balls or being worried about the ball slipping away from me like I was last year."

SP | Kris Medlen | Atlanta Braves | Fantasy,
Atlanta Braves SP Tim Hudson will start the team's spring opener Friday, Feb. 22, which would put SP Kris Medlen on pace to start the team's opening day game against the Philadelphia Phillies April 1. However, manager Fredi Gonzalez said not to read too much into the spring rotation schedule.

SP | A.J. Griffin | Oakland Athletics | Fantasy,
Oakland Athletics SP A.J. Griffin is in the mix to compete for the No. 5 rotation spot with SP Dan Straily this spring. Griffin started his throwing program a bit later this offseason in order to give himself a bit more rest.

SP | Rubby De La Rosa | Boston Red Sox | Injury, Fantasy,
Boston Red Sox SP Rubby De La Rosa (elbow) will be limited to two innings per outing this spring even though the team is preparing him as a starter. De La Rosa has thrown only a total of 53 innings the last two years due to Tommy John surgery.

SP | John Lackey | Boston Red Sox | Injury, Fantasy,
Boston Red Sox SP John Lackey (elbow) will pitch only an inning in his Grapefruit League debut Sunday, Feb. 24, because he missed all of last season. He will increase his workload to 15 or 18 pitches in each successive start this spring.

SP | Jhoulys Chacin | Colorado Rockies | Fantasy,
Colorado Rockies SP Jhoulys Chacin will pitch for Venezuela in the 2013 World Baseball Classic. He'll pitch twice for the Rockies in spring training before joining Team Venezuela.

SP | Jake Odorizzi | Tampa Bay Rays | Fantasy
Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon said he liked the ease of delivery of SP Jake Odorizzi and that SP Chris Archer also caught his eye Tuesday, Feb. 19.

SP | Brett Cecil | Toronto Blue Jays | Fantasy,
Toronto Blue Jays Ps Brett Cecil and Jeremy Jeffress are both out of minor league options, but manager general manager Alex Anthopoulos said that will not affect the decision as to whether they make the roster.

SP | Roberto Hernandez | Tampa Bay Rays | Fantasy
Tampa Bay Rays RP Roberto Hernandez is likely to start one of the spring training games Saturday as the Rays have split squad games to open spring training.

SP | Brad Peacock | Houston Astros | Fantasy,
Houston Astros SP Brad Peacock has caught the attention of manager Bo Porter in spring camp. "It was down in the zone," Porter said. "Those guys (the group that pitched Tuesday) had their last live day, so they mixed in their breaking stuff and his breaking ball was good, changeup was good and his fastball was explosive with late life. It was good to see."

SP | Matt Garza | Chicago Cubs | Injury, Fantasy
Updating previous reports, Chicago Cubs SP Matt Garza (lat) has a mild strain where his lat meets his oblique. He'll rest for about a week, but it's too early to say whether he'll be ready for the season, according to general manager Jed Hoyer.

Relief Pitcher

RP | Matt Thornton | Chicago White Sox | Injury, Fantasy
Updating previous reports, Chicago White Sox RP Matt Thornton (elbow) will miss a couple more days due to elbow discomfort.

RP | Frank Francisco | New York Mets | Injury, Fantasy
New York Mets RP Frank Francisco (elbow) could begin throwing Monday, Feb. 25.

RP | Michael Stutes | Philadelphia Phillies | Injury, Fantasy,
Philadelphia Phillies RP Michael Stutes (shoulder) threw live batting practice Tuesday, Feb. 19, although most of his teammates simply acted as batting dummies. "It still wasn't the real deal," Stutes said. "I felt good. My shoulder didn't get tired at all. That was promising. I feel like I can go out there and not hold back."

RP | Seth McClung | free agent | Free Agents,
Free-agent P Seth McClung (Brewers) has thrown for teams recently. He last pitched in the majors with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2009.

RP | Chris Perez | Cleveland Indians | Fantasy,
Cleveland Indians RPs Chris Perez and Vinnie Pestano, who will pitch for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic, will not have to come back and pitch for the team during the tournament next month. Team USA has two exhibition games planned before they start playing WBC games March 8 in Phoenix.

RP | Matt Capps | Cleveland Indians | Injury, Fantasy,
Cleveland Indians RP Matt Capps (shoulder) is aiming to start pitching in Cactus League games in two weeks if everything goes well between now and then. "I know when I'm healthy, I'll take my chances with anybody," Capps said. "If I'm healthy in two weeks, and I can go out and physically compete, I think everything will work out pretty well." Capps is scheduled to throw batting practice Wednesday, Feb. 20.

RP | Alfredo Aceves | Boston Red Sox | Transaction, Fantasy,
Updating a previous report, Boston Red Sox RP Alfredo Aceves is due to make $2.65 million this year, but because that salary was agreed upon in a settlement before going to arbitration, the deal is not guaranteed. That means the Red Sox could release Aceves by March 13 and owe him just one-sixth of his salary, or around $440,000. If they wait until March 27, they could release him and owe a quarter of his salary, or about $660,000.

RP | Javy Guerra | Los Angeles Dodgers | Injury, Fantasy,
Los Angeles Dodgers RP Javy Guerra (shoulder), who is making his way back from shoulder surgery, is on a slightly modified throwing program this spring. Manager Don Mattingly said Guerra is being given off two days between bullpen sessions early in camp.

RP | Sergio Romo | San Francisco Giants | Fantasy,
San Francisco Giants RP Sergio Romo said he has a different mentality now when it comes to handling the toughness of the closer role. "I used to pitch with some attitude written on my forehead, so to speak, and I think I became a better pitcher not having that," Romo said. "Down the stretch my teammates told me I didn't need that to get the job done. So in all reality, it made me a better pitcher. I grew a little bit. And last year was definitely a humbling experience for me, good and bad. It definitely was."

RP | J.J. Putz | Arizona Diamondbacks | Fantasy,
Arizona Diamondbacks RP J.J. Putz and SP Trevor Cahill both lost weight in the offseason after they changed their diets. Putz lost 17 pounds and Cahill lost around 15 pounds after switching to gluten-free, dairy-free diets. Putz said he has more energy as a result.

RP | Jordan Swagerty | St. Louis Cardinals | Injury,
St. Louis Cardinals P Jordan Swagerty (elbow) is ready to go this spring after returning from Tommy John surgery. "Right now, the medical guys are telling us that he should be good to go," said farm director John Vuch. "Obviously when he shows up, we'll take a look at him first hand. The one good thing is we do have some luxury that if he isn't 100 percent, we don't have to rush him to be ready. But we don't expect any delay." The team wants him to return to a starting role unless they feel fewer innings will benefit the prospect.

RP | Junichi Tazawa | Boston Red Sox | Injury,
The Boston Red Sox are very impressed with how RP Junichi Tazawa (elbow) bounced back after undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2010. "He came back with almost different stuff," manager John Farrell said. "The increase in velocity, I don't think anyone projected that he'd be throwing in the mid-90s."

RP | Joe Smith | Cleveland Indians | Injury,
Cleveland Indians RP Joe Smith (oblique) played catch Tuesday, Feb. 19, and will throw off a mound Wednesday, Feb. 20.

RP | Javier Lopez | San Francisco Giants | Injury, Fantasy,
San Francisco Giants RP Javier Lopez (hand) is day-to-day after X-rays on his left hand revealed no fractures. Lopez is only dealing with a contusion.

RP | Grant Balfour | Oakland Athletics | Injury, Fantasy,
Oakland Athletics RP Grant Balfour (knee) played catch and did some work on a treadmill Tuesday, Feb. 19. He walked backward on a treadmill and also forward on a steep incline.

RP | Jose Valverde | free agent | Free Agents
Free-agent RP Jose Valverde (Tigers) will play for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic.

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