Fantasy baseball players in the news

by KFFL Staff on February 21, 2013 @ 09:00:28 PDT

 



First Baseman

1B | Joey Votto | Cincinnati Reds | Injury, Fantasy
Updating a previous report, Cincinnati Reds 1B Joey Votto (knee) has not yet been cleared for the Team Canada roster in the World Baseball Classic, a source said Wednesday, Feb. 20.

1B | Brett Nicholas | Texas Rangers | Fantasy
Texas Rangers 1B Brett Nicholas was the hitting star in the team's intrasquad game Wednesday, Feb. 20. He had a double and three-run home run.

1B | Todd Helton | Colorado Rockies | Fantasy
Colorado Rockies 1B Todd Helton is unlikely to return in 2014 for another season, according to The Denver Post's Troy E. Renck.

1B | Freddie Freeman | Atlanta Braves | Injury, Fantasy
Atlanta Braves 1B Freddie Freeman (finger) said the finger that affected his swing last season is now pain-free, and he's feeling strong and healthy heading into the season. Freeman also reported to camp weighing 237 pounds, which is 11 pounds below what he weighed last season. He lost weight in the offseason working out with 2B Dan Uggla and following a lean-met and fruit-and-vegetable-heavy diet. Freeman also thinks he has his eye situation under control with new contacts and lubricant for his eyes. He will wear custom-made clear sunglasses during games.

1B | Albert Pujols | Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim | Injury, Fantasy
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are targeting mid-March for 1B Albert Pujols' (knee) spring debut, and they fully expect him to be ready for opening day.

1B | Corey Hart | Milwaukee Brewers | Injury, Fantasy
Milwaukee Brewers 1B Corey Hart (knee) said he believes he can return to the lineup by April 20. It was believed that Hart would be out until at least mid-May after undergoing knee surgery.


Second Baseman

2B | Josh Rutledge | Colorado Rockies | Depth Chart Tidbit, Fantasy
Colorado Rockies INF DJ LeMahieu is in camp competing, trying to make sure he isn't forgotten after ascending to the starting second base job last season. The team expects to use 2B Josh Rutledge as their starter, since he has more power. "I'm coming in here and competing. You could look at it both ways, but I think I'd be cutting myself short to be just trying to make the team," LeMahieu said Wednesday, Feb. 20.

2B | Dustin Pedroia | Boston Red Sox | Fantasy
Boston Red Sox SS Stephen Drew, OF Jacoby Ellsbury, OF Jonny Gomes, 3B Will Middlebrooks, 2B Dustin Pedroia, OF David Ross, C Jarrod Saltalamacchia and OF Shane Victorino, all regulars, will play Thursday, Feb. 21, in the day spring game against Northeastern University.

2B | Robinson Cano | New York Yankees | Fantasy
New York Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner said the team has told Scott Boras, agent for 2B Robinson Cano, that they are willing to consider offering Cano a significant long-term contract. Boras said their willingness to consider a long-term deal will not be ignored.

2B | Chase Utley | Philadelphia Phillies | Injury, Fantasy
Philadelphia Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said 2B Chase Utley (knees) likely will play in the team's intrasquad game Friday, Feb. 22, as well as their first spring training camp Saturday, Feb. 23. Manuel said Utley probably would sit out the team's game Sunday, Feb. 24. Utley has not played in a spring training game since 2010 because his knee injuries.

2B | Dan Uggla | Atlanta Braves | Fantasy
Atlanta Braves 2B Dan Uggla said he has been working on his swing and watching video to see if he can be a more consistent hitter this season. "I made an adjustment at the end of the year and just concentrated on building off of that. I watched a lot of film from 2006, when I was more of a complete hitter and was using the ball foul line to foul line. Watched a lot of that and worked my butt off in the weight room," Uggla said. He said he hopes his weight loss will lead him to be quicker, faster and stronger as well as have more energy.


Shortstop

SS | Eduardo Nunez | New York Yankees | Depth Chart Tidbit, Fantasy
With the acquisition of players like 3B Kevin Youkilis and DH Travis Hafner, there is a chance New York Yankees INF Eduardo Nunez may not make the roster this spring. "He has to earn it,'' manager Joe Girardi said. "We have toyed with some different options, but we liked what he did at the end of last year. We know he provides a lot of excitement. Our plans are to keep him at short for the most part, but he has to go out and earn it.''

SS | Xander Bogaerts | Boston Red Sox | Fantasy
Boston Red Sox prospects SS Xander Bogaerts, OF Jackie Bradley and SS Deven Marrero will also be in the lineup for the spring game Thursday, Feb. 21, against Boston College.

SS | Elvis Andrus | Texas Rangers | Fantasy
Texas Rangers SS Elvis Andrus committed a throwing error in the first inning of an intrasquad game Wednesday, Feb. 20, which is his second defensive mishap in two days. "I don't have too much fun in these games," Andrus said. "We were all wondering if we were going to play. The weather was the worst kind to play in. I just wanted to be home in bed.


Third Baseman

3B | Evan Longoria | Tampa Bay Rays | Fantasy
Tampa Bay Rays 3B Evan Longoria missed workouts Wednesday, Feb. 20, to be with his girlfriend Jamie Edmondson, who is having her labor induced. Edmondson's due date was April 1. The couple is having a girl.

3B | Chipper Jones | Retired Players | Fantasy
The Atlanta Braves will retire Chipper Jones' number and induct him into the team's hall of fame on June 28. The Braves announced they will hold a banquet and ceremony honoring Jones before their game against the Arizona Diamondbacks that day. His number 10 is the 10th number retired by the team, joining Hank Aaron's 44, Eddie Mathews' 41, Dale Murphy's 3, Phil Niekro's 35, Warren Spahn's 21, Greg Maddux's 31, Tom Glavine's 47, Bobby Cox's 6, and John Smoltz's 29. All major league teams retired No. 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson.

3B | Adrian Beltre | Texas Rangers | Injury, Fantasy
Texas Rangers DH Lance Berkman (calf, knee) isn't expected to suit up and play in the team's Cactus League opener Friday, Feb. 22, due to a strained right calf muscle. 3B Adrian Beltre (calf) remains day-to-day with the same injury and isn't expected to play in the opener, either. Berkman is also recovering from surgery on his right knee and didn't take part in an intrasquad game Wednesday, Feb. 20.

3B | Ryan Zimmerman | Washington Nationals | Fantasy
Washington Nationals 3B Ryan Zimmerman, 1B Adam LaRoche and OF Jayson Werth are likely to sit out the first week of Grapefruit League play, according to manager Davey Johnson. The team is just planning to bring them along slowly.

3B | Trevor Plouffe | Minnesota Twins | Injury, Fantasy
Minnesota Twins 3B Trevor Plouffe (calf) did infield drills, took batting practice and did some light running drills Wednesday, Feb. 20.


Catcher

C | Carlos Santana | Cleveland Indians | Fantasy
Cleveland Indians C Carlos Santana is working with bench coach, and former major league All-Star catcher Sandy Alomar Jr., during the early day of spring training. Alomar is also the team's catching instructor, and pays special attention to the needs of Santana. "Communication is what we're trying to emphasize now," Alomar said. "We don't want him saying yes to something and not actually getting it. Carlos is getting much better with English. He tries, but at times he doesn't understand, but he acts like he does."

C | Wilson Ramos | Washington Nationals | Injury, Fantasy
Washington Nationals C Wilson Ramos (knee) was encouraged that he was able to block balls in the dirt during live batting practice sessions Wednesday, Feb. 20. "I was very excited to be behind the plate again and (try to) get my job back," Ramos said. "I feel better. I was blocking the ball. A couple of days ago, I was scared. But now, I have more confidence. My mind is a little clearer. I think I'm ready to go."

C | Christian Bethancourt | Atlanta Braves | Fantasy
Atlanta Braves C Christian Bethancourt is receiving praised from the coaching staff this spring for his improved hitting approach. Bethancourt could receive consideration to open the season as C Brian McCann's (shoulder) backup with the likes of C Gerald Laird, Evan Gattis, Tom Pagnozzi and Jose Yepez. Bethancourt his .224 (13-for-58) with three doubles, no home runs and a .246 on-base percentage in the Dominican Winter League. "That swing has gotten better," manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "That's always been the thing. When you listen to the reports and listen to the guys talk about it, they always talk about the swing, how the swing is not ready yet. But just watching BP and watching the four at-bats I saw of him in winter ball, I think there's improvement there."

C | J.P. Arencibia | Toronto Blue Jays | Fantasy,
Toronto Blue Jays C J.P. Arencibia is unlikely to catch SP R.A. Dickey on opening day, with Cs Henry Blanco or Josh Thole in the running to catch Dickey in the season opener. Both Blanco and Thole caught Dickey for the New York Mets, and they'll both catch Dickey in spring games. "If you've got any pitcher on your staff that clearly works better with (a particular) catcher, it would be stupid not to do it that way," manager John Gibbons said.

C | Luis Martinez | Baltimore Orioles | Injury
Baltimore Orioles C Luis Martinez (oblique) left the team's workout Tuesday, Feb. 19, because of a strained left oblique and is receiving treatment for the injury.


Outfielder

OF | Brandon Guyer | Tampa Bay Rays | Injury, Fantasy
Tampa Bay Rays OF Brandon Guyer (shoulder) has yet to swing during live BP, but he said it has nothing to do with his left shoulder, which required season-ending surgery May 31 to repair a torn labrum, and everything to do with him still working on his timing at the plate. "I'd say it's just about 100 percent," Guyer said. "It definitely feels strong. I'm ready to get out there and test and put it to use."

OF | Nick Swisher | Cleveland Indians | Fantasy
Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona has already spoken with OF Nick Swisher about pressing due to the large contract he signed. "I've talked to him about that and will continue to talk with him multiple times," Francona said Wednesday, Feb. 20. "He does not have to carry this team on his shoulders."

OF | Domonic Brown | Philadelphia Phillies | Fantasy
The Philadelphia Phillies aren't eager to trade OF Domonic Brown, whose name came up in trade talks with the Houston Astros this winter.

OF | James Roche | New York Mets | Transaction,
The New York Mets signed P Andy Wells and OF James Roche to minor league deals Wednesday, Feb. 20.

OF | Kirk Nieuwenhuis | New York Mets | Fantasy
New York Mets OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis will hit leadoff in the team's spring opener Saturday, Feb. 23, and there is a good chance that manager Terry Collins will pick him as the leadoff hitter for the season opener in April. "I think it sends a huge message to him," Collins said. "It's the first game. And when we were playing really, really well (last year), that guy was in center field. He deserves the right to get the first shot." Nieuwenhuis figures to be involved in a platoon with OF Collin Cowgill in center field, and the team isn't sold with SS Ruben Tejada in the leadoff spot. OF Mike Baxter and 2B Daniel Murphy could also wind up hitting leadoff. Hitting leadoff for Collins, though, doesn't mean the player will have the green light to run whenever they want.

OF | Craig Gentry | Texas Rangers | Transaction, Fantasy,
The Texas Rangers agreed to one-year deals with OF Craig Gentry ($501,000), RP Josh Lindblom ($500,100), OF Julio Borbon ($496,000) and OF Engel Beltre ($490,000) Wednesday, Feb. 20.

OF | Bryce Harper | Washington Nationals | Fantasy
Washington Nationals OF Bryce Harper is weighing in at 230 pounds this spring with 10 percent body fat. However, he said he expects to lose pounds as the season progresses.

OF | Jon Jay | St. Louis Cardinals | Transaction, Fantasy
The St. Louis Cardinals signed OF Jon Jay to an undisclosed one-year deal Wednesday, Feb. 20, but he fell just five days short of being arbitration-eligible.

OF | Desmond Jennings | Tampa Bay Rays | Fantasy
Tampa Bay Rays OF Desmond Jennings said he expects to have a smooth transition moving to center field because it is his natural position. "I feel like center field is my natural position," Jennings said. "It's what I played throughout the Minor Leagues. It will be a little bit different from last year, but that's what I like. I feel like I get better reads out in center."

OF | Aaron Hicks | Minnesota Twins | Fantasy,
Minnesota Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he's not afraid to have SP Kyle Gibson and OF Aaron Hicks on the team's opening day roster.

OF | Giancarlo Stanton | Miami Marlins | Injury, Fantasy
Updating a previous report, Miami Marlins OF Giancarlo Stanton (head) said he expects to be fine after being hit in the head Wednesday, Feb. 20, but will know more Thursday, Feb. 21. He said he was hit on the bottom of his head and top of the neck but did not suffer any dizziness.

OF | Nick Markakis | Baltimore Orioles | Injury, Fantasy
Updating a previous report, Baltimore Orioles OF Nick Markakis (stomach) did not play in the team's intrasquad game Wednesday, Feb. 20, because he underwent an acid reflux test. Markakis is flying to Baltimore to attend a funeral but is expected to return Friday, Feb. 22.

OF | Nolan Reimold | Baltimore Orioles | Injury, Fantasy
Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter indicated OF Nolan Reimold (neck) will not play in the team's intrasquad game Thursday, Feb. 21, because the team wants to take things slow with him.


Starting Pitcher

SP | Kevin Correia | Minnesota Twins | Fantasy,
Minnesota Twins SP Kevin Correia has been tapped to start the team's Grapefruit League opener Saturday, Feb. 23, against the Baltimore Orioles.

SP | Josh Outman | Colorado Rockies | Depth Chart Tidbit, Fantasy,
Colorado Rockies SP Josh Outman is listed for one to two innings of relief work in the Cactus League spring game Wednesday, Feb. 27, against the San Diego Padres. He is considered a competitor for the rotation.

SP | Jorge De La Rosa | Colorado Rockies | Depth Chart Tidbit, Fantasy,
Colorado Rockies SPs Jhoulys Chacin and Jorge De La Rosa will appear in the Cactus League spring game Tuesday, Feb. 26, against the Chicago Cubs.

SP | Danny Rosenbaum | Colorado Rockies | Fantasy,
Colorado Rockies P Danny Rosenbaum will pitch in the Cactus League spring game Monday, Feb. 25, against the Texas Rangers. He is competing for a spot in the rotation, as well as the bullpen. He must either remain on the major league roster for the entire season or be offered back to the Washington Nationals for $50,000.

SP | Chris Volstad | Colorado Rockies | Fantasy,
Colorado Rockies SP Chris Volstad will make his team debut in the Cactus League spring game Monday, Feb. 25, against the Texas Rangers.

SP | Jeff Francis | Colorado Rockies | Depth Chart Tidbit, Fantasy,
Colorado Rockies SP Jeff Francis will start the Cactus League game Sunday, Feb. 24, against the Arizona Diamondbacks, with SP Juan Nicasio following him. The two are among four candidates vying for the fifth starter spot in the rotation.

SP | Tyler Chatwood | Colorado Rockies | Fantasy,
Colorado Rockies SP Tyler Chatwood, competing for the fifth spot in the rotation, will be the second pitcher to appear in the team's Cactus League opener Saturday, Feb. 23, against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Chatwood will make his first start of the spring Wednesday, Feb. 27, against the San Diego Padres.

SP | Drew Pomeranz | Colorado Rockies | Fantasy,
Colorado Rockies SP Drew Pomeranz will start the Cactus League opener Saturday, Feb. 23, against the Arizona Diamondbacks. He is competing for the fifth spot in the rotation. His second appearance will come in relief Wednesday, Feb. 27.

SP | Johnny Cueto | Cincinnati Reds | Fantasy,
The agent for Cincinnati Reds SP Johnny Cueto posted on his Twitter account that his client will not participate in the World Baseball Classic. "The Reds exercised right to disallow Cueto's participation in WBC as he finished on DL. Despite his desire to play, he respects their decision," the agent tweeted Wednesday, Feb. 20.

SP | Hector Noesi | Seattle Mariners | Fantasy,
Seattle Mariners SP Hector Noesi will start a charity spring game against the San Diego Padres Friday, Feb. 22, with SP Blake Beavan working in the Cactus League game Saturday, Feb. 23, and SP Erasmo Ramirez pitching Sunday, Feb. 24.

SP | Felix Hernandez | Seattle Mariners | Injury, Fantasy,
Seattle Mariners SP Felix Hernandez (elbow) threw his first bullpen session of the spring Wednesday, Feb. 20. Cool, wet weather forced the session indoors, but he threw 33 pitches to bullpen C Jason Phillips for approximately 10 minutes with mostly fastballs and some changeups mixed in. "I was waiting for it for a long time," Hernandez said. "Now that I feel good, I'm going to just keep going out there like normal and go with my routine and prepare for games."

SP | Kyle Lohse | free agent | Free Agents, Fantasy,
The Texas Rangers have not changed their position or lack of interest in free-agent SP Kyle Lohse (Cardinals).

SP | Jeff Karstens | Pittsburgh Pirates | Injury, Fantasy,
Updating a previous report, Pittsburgh Pirates SP Jeff Karstens (shoulder) had a heat pack taped around his pitching shoulder, and again played some light catch Wednesday, Feb. 20. Manager Clint Hurdle said Karstens will be re-evaluated Thursday, Feb. 21. "He went through all his strength and conditioning, the whole routine," Hurdle said. "He had a good day in that sense."

SP | Scott Kazmir | Cleveland Indians | Fantasy,
Cleveland Indians SP Scott Kazmir declined to start Friday, Feb. 22, in the Cactus League spring opener, opting for another bullpen session first. However, manager Terry Francona has been impressed with what he has seen. "He felt like he needed one more," Francona said Wednesday, Feb. 20. "But the way he's throwing scares me. I wish we could bottle it and start the season."

SP | Edinson Volquez | San Diego Padres | Free Agents, Fantasy,
San Diego Padres SP Edinson Volquez is set to become a free agent after this season, but he hopes he can reach an extension with the team to return. "I hope I don't get to the free-agent market," the right-handed pitcher said recently. "I'd like to stay a Padre. I think they know that. I love it here. I see a future with the Padres and I like everything about San Diego, the food, the weather, the community." The Padres want to see more consistent command out of Volquez before they'll even think about an extension.

SP | Michael Pineda | New York Yankees | Fantasy,
New York Yankees SP Michael Pineda pleaded no contest to driving under the influence Wednesday, Feb. 20. He was arrested and charged with DUI last August. Pineda has been ordered to serve 50 hours of community service, up to one year of probation, attend DUI school and pay a $500 fine.

SP | Ross Detwiler | Washington Nationals | Fantasy,
Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson has encouraged SP Ross Detwiler to throw more curveballs, and Detwiler's curve fooled several hitters during live batting practice Wednesday, Feb. 20. "He's got. It's there. You have to confident when you're throwing it. I think towards the end of (last) year, he's got more success with it, which allows him to be more confident. Now, it's good. It's a good pitch for him to have, especially when everybody knows he's going to throw a lot of sinkers. If he mixes some offspeed pitches in, I think it'll put him over the top," C Kurt Suzuki said.

SP | Stephen Strasburg | Washington Nationals | Fantasy,
Washington Nationals SP Stephen Strasburg is already seeing results as he attempts to tinker with his breaking pitches. "It looked like a lefty's slider," 1B Tyler Moore said. "It was nasty. It was hard and late. His changeup looked really good today, too. He kept it down. It was just impressive to see. I'm glad he's on my team."

SP | Shelby Miller | St. Louis Cardinals | Injury, Fantasy,
St. Louis Cardinals SP Shelby Miller (shoulder) said he's not concerned with his shoulder stiffness in camp. "That's what I did last year," Miller said when asked about being cautious while being compelled to compete. "If I felt something like this I probably would have just kept going. It's nothing serious. I don't want it to turn into something serious, so we're going to try and knock it out now so we don't have to worry about it in the future."

SP | Scott Diamond | Minnesota Twins | Injury, Fantasy,
Minnesota Twins SP Scott Diamond (elbow) is the front-runner to be the team's opening day starter depending on how he progresses from offseason elbow surgery. Diamond threw off the mound for the second straight day Wednesday, Feb. 20, and will throw a full bullpen Friday, Feb. 22, before facing hitters next week. "The ball is coming out good but it's just about finding the mechanics and that release point," Diamond said. "Everything is lining up, which is positive. I'm just trying to get out the kinks but structurally it feels awesome. I'm not having any discomfort or tightness the next day. So basically, the recovery is going really well."

SP | Christian Garcia | Washington Nationals | Injury, Fantasy,
Washington Nationals SP Christian Garcia (stomach, forearm) skipped his throwing session Wednesday, Feb. 20, due to tightness between his wrist and forearm and a stomach issue. Neither issue appears to be serious, and he described his arm issue as "just a little tightness" that he's had for the last few days. "It's not typical," he said. "I've never had it. But where it's located ... the important stuff, up here and here (pointing to his elbow and shoulder), that feels great. It's early. Hopefully in a couple days I can be back at it. That's what I'm hoping."

SP | Zack Wheeler | New York Mets | Fantasy,
New York Mets SP Zack Wheeler impressed his teammates while throwing live batting practice Wednesday, Feb. 20. "Just the ball comes out of hands so easy," 1B Ike Davis marveled afterward. "You can just tell when someone has good stuff. Just seeing him pitch for the first time, you can tell that it's there." Wheeler used all of his pitches except for his changeup. He'll make his spring training debut Saturday, Feb. 23.

SP | Phil Hughes | New York Yankees | Injury, Fantasy,
New York Yankees SP Phil Hughes (back) said his back injury is between his T5 and T6 vertebrae in the middle of his back between the shoulder blades. He doesn't think the injury will affect his arm, although he's feeling pain in the right side of his back. "The first day was rough getting out of bed and stuff like that," he said. "Now I'm moving around a lot better. I don't feel it just standing here or anything. That part's encouraging, and I feel like in three or four days, once I go through these meds, that I'm going to feel that much better."

SP | Chris Narveson | Milwaukee Brewers | Injury, Fantasy,
Milwaukee Brewers SP Chris Narveson (shoulder) threw his first live batting practice session Wednesday, Feb. 20, and had good command of his pitches and had no signs of hesitation after coming off rotator cuff surgery. "It felt real good," said Narveson. "I was excited. In the bullpen, you can only see so much. When you get out there and see hitters, it's amazing how much more focused you and how much more intense it gets. Now you're starting to compete, which is the fun part about it. It's good to throw pitches and see reactions (from hitters)." If he continues to progress, he could easily regain a spot in the rotation. Being the only left-hander in the rotation would benefit him.

SP | Felix Doubront | Boston Red Sox | Injury, Fantasy,
Updating a previous report, Boston Red Sox SP Felix Doubront (shoulder) threw a bullpen session Wednesday, Feb. 20, and did not report any problems.

SP | Clay Buchholz | Boston Red Sox | Injury, Fantasy,
Boston Red Sox SP Clay Buchholz (hamstring) threw live batting practice to hitters Wednesday, Feb. 20, and did not report any problems with the hamstring he injured during fielding drills last week. He is scheduled to throw a simulated game Saturday, Feb. 23, and could start a spring training game next week.

SP | A.J. Burnett | Pittsburgh Pirates | Fantasy,
Pittsburgh Pirates manager Clint Hurdle has named SP A.J. Burnett as the opening day starter. Hurdle said SP Wandy Rodriguez will start the second game of the season.

SP | Jose Fernandez | Miami Marlins | Injury, Fantasy
Miami Marlins OF Giancarlo Stanton (head) left the team's simulated game Wednesday, Feb. 20, after being hit in the head with a pitch from SP Jose Fernandez.

SP | Jeff Samardzija | Chicago Cubs | Injury, Fantasy,
Chicago Cubs SP Jeff Samardzija could start on opening day because SP Matt Garza (lat) may not have enough time to recover from his lat injury to be ready for the start of the season. Manager Dale Sveum said he does not expect to name an opening day starter for a few more weeks and indicated SP Edwin Jackson could also be an option.


Relief Pitcher

RP | Rafael Betancourt | Colorado Rockies | Fantasy,
Colorado Rockies RP Rafael Betancourt said Wednesday, Feb. 20, that he is taking his time getting ready for the regular season, and he is not included on the early spring pitching schedule which includes a charity game Friday, Feb. 22, and six Cactus League contests."I'm going to try to get in 10-12 innings down here in spring training, and there's plenty of time for that. I just want to get ready for the season," Betancourt said.

RP | Alfredo Aceves | Boston Red Sox | Fantasy,
Boston Red Sox RP Alfredo Aceves threw batting practice to live hitters Wednesday, Feb. 20, with intensity, looking sharp and engaged from first pitch. It was a departure from his outing Sunday, Feb. 17, which caused a flap with management because he did not give full effort. Aceves explained what happened. "It was just a miscommunication. That's all it was," Aceves said. "I apologized for that and now we're on track."

RP | Kelvim Escobar | Milwaukee Brewers | Injury,
Milwaukee Brewers RP Kelvim Escobar (shoulder) is expected to throw his first bullpen session Thursday, Feb. 21. He has pitched just one game in the majors since 2007 due to assorted shoulder ailments, and is attempting a comeback. "He hasn't pitched in a long time other than some games in winter ball," manager Ron Roenicke said. "Even there, you've got a break and now you've got to get it going again. We're just being cautious with him."

RP | Jason Grilli | Pittsburgh Pirates | Fantasy,
Pittsburgh Pirates RP Jason Grilli was upset with the way the media misinterpreted comments about the team's front office efforts at the last non-waiver trade deadline. "Ridiculous. Why would I criticize the team, the place I'm at?" Grilli said. "Better yet, if I felt that way, why would I come back here?" Grilli is getting his first opportunity to be a closer, but he took less money over other two-year tenders for slightly more money from both the Chicago Cubs and Toronto Blue Jays.

RP | Joe Smith | Cleveland Indians | Injury, Fantasy,
Cleveland Indians SP Joe Smith (oblique) threw a 20-minute bullpen session Wednesday, Feb. 20, and reportedly feeling fine. Manager Terry Francona said Friday, Feb. 22, Smith will throw a 30-pitch session.

RP | Kevin Jepsen | Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim | Fantasy,
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim RP Kevin Jepsen plans to keep it simple this spring after he entered camp last spring working on a new two-seam fastball. "I'm keeping it simple," he said. "Last year, from the time I came back up, everything was great. I just want to pick up where I left off. No change. I've done that. I'm over it." Jepsen said his other pitches suffered last year because he spent too much time refining his cutter. He'll likely have to compete for a setup role this year.

RP | Ryan Madson | Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim | Injury, Fantasy,
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim RP Ryan Madson (elbow) played catch Wednesday, Feb. 20, for the first time since being shut down due to elbow soreness. "He's playing catch," manager Mike Scioscia said. "He's starting a progression of about 50 feet. He felt great after his last (session). Until he can get out there and get in long toss we're not going to know exactly where he is." The Angels do not expect Madson to be ready for opening day, however.

RP | Casey Janssen | Toronto Blue Jays | Injury, Fantasy,
Toronto Blue Jays pitching coach Pete Walker said he believes RP Casey Janssen (shoulder) is on track to be ready for opening day, but that remains to be seen. "He's coming along as expected," Walker said. "It's a little slow. We're still hopeful he's ready to start the season. If he's not, then we'll go to Plan B." Plan B would likely be RP Sergio Santos, and he's looked impressive this spring. Janssen will throw two more bullpen sessions before moving to live batting practice.

RP | Jeremy Jeffress | Toronto Blue Jays | Fantasy,
Toronto Blue Jays RPs Casey Janssen, Sergio Santos, Darren Oliver and Steve Delabar are all locks for the bullpen, and RP Esmil Rogers, who is out of options, is likely to have the fifth spot locked up. RPs Jeremy Jeffress, Brett Cecil, Aaron Loup and J.J. Happ will battle for the final two spots.

RP | Sean Burnett | Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim | Injury, Fantasy,
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim RP Sean Burnett (back) said his back is feeling better Wednesday, Feb. 20, and he's listed as day-to-day. There remains no timetable for Burnett's return, but the team isn't worried about him missing opening day.

RP | Mike Adams | Philadelphia Phillies | Injury, Fantasy,
Philadelphia Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee said RP Mike Adams (shoulder) is doing fine physically but probably will not pitch in spring training games until March because the team wants to go slowly with him.

RP | Joel Hanrahan | Boston Red Sox | Fantasy,
Boston Red Sox RP Joel Hanrahan said he would be willing to consider signing a contract extension if the team approached him about a new deal.

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