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Fantasy baseball players in the news

By KFFL Staff

First Baseman

1B | Joey Votto | Cincinnati Reds | Fantasy
Cincinnati Reds 1B Joey Votto will play for Team Canada in the World Baseball Classic.

1B | Micah Owings | Washington Nationals | Injury
Washington Nationals 1B Micah Owings (shoulder) hasn't been throwing or taking live batting practice after he underwent an MRI exam, which has held him back for a few days. He's expected to be fine, though.

1B | Todd Helton | Colorado Rockies | Injury, Fantasy
Colorado Rockies 1B Todd Helton (hip) will miss the first few spring training games. He has shown good bat speed early in camp, but isn't quite where he needs to be.

1B | Logan Morrison | Miami Marlins | Injury, Fantasy
Updating previous reports, Miami Marlins OF Logan Morrison (knee) will begin a month-long running progression by running on a treadmill Thursday, Feb. 21. The hope is he'll be ready by April 15.

Second Baseman

2B | Dustin Ackley | Seattle Mariners | Injury, Fantasy
Seattle Mariners manager Eric Wedge said 2B Dustin Ackley (ankle) and SS Brendan Ryan (elbow) will be held out of the first three spring games after they are returning from minor offseason surgeries.

2B | Chris Nelson | Colorado Rockies | Fantasy
Colorado Rockies manager Walt Weiss is keeping an open mind when it comes to the competition for the starting third base job this spring. 3B Chris Nelson is the favorite for the spot because of his bat as he competes with INFs Jordan Pacheco, DJ LeMahieu and Nolan Arenado. However, Nelson's defense may set him back. Nelson is leaner this spring after doing speed training with Atlanta Braves OF Jason Heyward and Baltimore Orioles OF Xavier Avery in the offseason. "I don't want to feel heavy legs again in spring. I really worked out on it. I am sore, but it's not the heavy sore like before," Nelson said. "I am going out there every day, competing, taking nothing for granted. Sometimes things take longer than you expect because you have to learn along the way."


SS | Rafael Furcal | St. Louis Cardinals | Injury, Fantasy
St. Louis Cardinals SS Rafael Furcal (elbow) is still feeling pain in his right elbow, and he's been told to refrain from swinging left-handed or throwing with much effort. "It still hurts," Furcal said of his elbow. Asked the degree to which it hurt, Furcal answered, "A lot." Furcal hasn't had a cortisone to deal with a bone spur in his elbow and said that his elbow was "a little tight" Thursday, Feb. 21. He continues to participate in fielding drills, but he doesn't throw across the field at max effort. The team won't have him in the lineup for the spring opener or the first few games, and he'll likely be the designated hitter when he does play. St. Louis still believes he'll be ready for opening day.

Third Baseman

3B | Josh Vitters | Chicago Cubs | Injury
Updating a previous report, Chicago Cubs 3B Josh Vitters (quadriceps) is day to day.

3B | Ian Stewart | Chicago Cubs | Injury
Updating a previous report, Chicago Cubs 3B Ian Stewart (quadriceps) will have an MRI on his left quadriceps.

3B | Ryan Zimmerman | Washington Nationals | Fantasy
Washington Nationals 3B Ryan Zimmerman will take live batting practice for the first time this spring Friday, Feb. 22.

3B | Alex Rodriguez | New York Yankees | Injury, Fantasy
New York Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez (hip) said he's rehabbing his hip twice a day.

3B | Trevor Plouffe | Minnesota Twins | Injury, Fantasy
Minnesota Twins 3B Trevor Plouffe (calf) took part in running and fielding drills Thursday, Feb. 21, but isn't expected to make his spring debut in games until next week. SS Jamey Carroll will see time at third base in his absence.

3B | Brett Lawrie | Toronto Blue Jays | Fantasy
Toronto Blue Jays INF/OF Mark DeRosa is hoping to serve as a mentor to 3B Brett Lawrie this year, and the two have lockers next to each other this spring. "I hope to be a sounding board for him," DeRosa said. "I hope to put him in a position to give him certain things to think about. Obviously, the talent level is there for him to be a perennial All-Star and one of the better players in the game."


C | J.P. Arencibia | Toronto Blue Jays | Fantasy,
Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons confirmed that SP R.A. Dickey will have a personal catcher this season. Gibbons seems to be leaning toward using Cs Josh Thole or Henry Blanco over C J.P. Arencibia, though, since both Thole and Blanco have experiencing catching Dickey with the New York Mets. However, Arencibia has been working with Dickey in recent bullpen sessions and will play with him for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic.

C | Kurt Suzuki | Washington Nationals | Fantasy
Washington Nationals C Kurt Suzuki said he wants to stay with the team past this season, but he has yet to talk with the team about a contract extension. "I love it here. I love the guys in the clubhouse. It's a fun clubhouse. I got to know quite a few of these guys really well," Suzuki said. "They are just great guys to be around. The other part that doesn't hurt, it's a really good team. It's going to be a really good team for a long time."

C | John Buck | New York Mets | Fantasy
New York Mets C John Buck is one of the most well prepared catchers in the big leagues because of his attention to detail when it comes to learning his pitchers' tendencies and habits on the mound. "He prepares as well as any catcher I've ever played with," said SP Shaun Marcum, who first played with Buck in 2010. "He's always ready." New York likes Buck because he's an excellent game-calling catcher for their pitchers. However, C Travis d'Arnaud will likely be up to play every day in the first couple months of the season, making Buck a trade candidate at some point.

C | Wilson Ramos | Washington Nationals | Injury, Fantasy
Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson said C Wilson Ramos (knee) will serve as the designated hitter in the spring game Sunday, Feb. 24, and he'll likely serve as the DH every other game for a short while.

C | Mike Napoli | Boston Red Sox | Injury, Fantasy
Boston Red Sox 1B Mike Napoli (hips) hopes to begin running the bases early next week and get into a game later in the week.


OF | Jordan Danks | Chicago White Sox | Injury
Chicago White Sox OF Jordan Danks (elbow) will be out a few days with a right flexor strain.

OF | Lucas Duda | New York Mets | Fantasy
New York Mets OF Lucas Duda has minimized the movement in his swing. "It's just quieting some things down," Duda said. "I just eliminated the toe tap, and my hands in the past have been kind of crazy (with movement.) It's quieter."

OF | Justin Ruggiano | Miami Marlins | Injury, Fantasy
Miami Marlins OF Justin Ruggiano (back) had an MRI on his stiff lower back and is awaiting the results.

OF | Alejandro De Aza | Chicago White Sox | Fantasy
Chicago White Sox OF Alejandro De Aza will play for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic. De Aza will leave for the Classic March 3 to train with the team. He will be replacing Milwaukee Brewers OF Carlos Gomez, who has decided not to play in the tournament.

OF | Cameron Maybin | San Diego Padres | Injury, Fantasy
San Diego Padres 2B Logan Forsythe (knee) and OF Cameron Maybin (wrist) are very close to full activity.

OF | Rick Ankiel | Houston Astros | Fantasy
Houston Astros OF Rick Ankiel has a good shot to make the opening day roster, and he could even wind up starting in right field. He'll earn $750,000 with incremental bonuses based on plate appearances if he makes the team. Ankiel's strong outfield arm may set him apart from the team's other options. Those he'll be competing with include OFs Justin Maxwell, Fernando Martinez, J.D. Martinez and Brandon Barnes.

OF | Curtis Granderson | New York Yankees | Fantasy
New York Yankees OFs Curtis Granderson and Brett Gardner plan will likely be flip-flopped between center and left field during spring training. "We're gonna toy with it and see if we like it," manager Joe Girardi said after the first workout in which Granderson took fly balls in left and Gardner in center. "If we do, we'll stay with it. If we don't, we won't."

OF | Conor Jackson | Baltimore Orioles | Injury, Fantasy
Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter said OF Conor Jackson's (back) back has improved, but he's still listed as day-to-day. Jackson is likely to return before C Luis Martinez (oblique).

OF | Oscar Taveras | St. Louis Cardinals | Fantasy
St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny indicated that he'd like to give OF Oscar Taveras plenty of playing time in center field this spring as well as the corner outfield spots. "The big focus has been the past season or so getting exposure at center (field), knowing that will help him play the corner positions better," Matheny said Taveras and the likelihood he'll see playing time at all three outfield positions this spring. "He's not foreign to center field as well. With Carlos (Beltran) going to the (World Baseball Classic) there are definitely some innings available all the way around."

OF | Giancarlo Stanton | Miami Marlins | Injury, Fantasy
Miami Marlins OF Giancarlo Stanton (head) was back at camp Thursday, Feb. 21, after being hit in the head by a pitch Wednesday, Feb. 20, and he was feeling better. "It all checked out fine," Stanton said the morning after receiving a scare. "I was pretty loopy, I must say, yesterday. But for the most part, I feel fine. ... But we're going to see how much activity (I can do) in the weight room and how that goes." X-rays on his head came back negative. Stanton said he expects to be ready to play in the spring opener Saturday, Feb. 23, and still plans on playing for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic.

OF | Lorenzo Cain | Kansas City Royals | Injury, Fantasy
Kansas City Royals OF Lorenzo Cain (hand) said his strained right hand is better. He will start hitting Saturday, Feb. 23, and hopes to play Monday, Feb. 25.

OF | Jacoby Ellsbury | Boston Red Sox | Fantasy
Boston Red Sox OF Jacoby Ellsbury is manager John Farrell's preferred leadoff hitter.

OF | Alex Hassan | Boston Red Sox | Injury
Boston Red Sox OF Alex Hassan (foot) is out of a walking boot and has begun throwing. He isn't hitting yet, but will have a follow-up MRI next week.

Starting Pitcher

SP | Johan Santana | New York Mets | Fantasy
New York Mets SP Johan Santana had his first appearance pushed back to March 10-15. The team said there is nothing wrong with him, he is just stretching out and strengthening his arm. He is still in long-tossing mode.

SP | Jake Arrieta | Baltimore Orioles | Fantasy
A rival executive expects the Baltimore Orioles to shop SPs Zach Britton and Jake Arrieta later this spring. The team has a surplus of starters.

SP | Carlos Carrasco | Cleveland Indians | Fantasy
Cleveland Indians SP Carlos Carrasco has a six-game suspension pending from throwing at a batter July 29, 2011.

SP | Shelby Miller | St. Louis Cardinals | Injury, Fantasy
Updating previous reports, St. Louis Cardinals SP Shelby Miller (shoulder) will throw a bullpen session Friday, Feb. 22.

SP | Phil Hughes | New York Yankees | Injury, Fantasy
Updating a previous item, New York Yankees SP Phil Hughes (back) could be out longer than one week because of a bulging disk in his back. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said it could be two weeks before Hughes could resume throwing off a mound.

SP | Martin Perez | Texas Rangers | Depth Chart Tidbit, Fantasy,
The Texas Rangers are considering SP's Randy Wells, Kyle McClellan, Justin Grimm, Martin Perez and Robbie Ross as placeholders for the fifth spot in the rotation until SP Colby Lewis can return to active duty.

SP | Barry Zito | San Francisco Giants | Fantasy,
San Francisco Giants SP Barry Zito looked extremely focused during his live batting practice session Thursday, Feb. 21, and his breaking balls had a familiar bite to them. Zito's fastballs had a downward plane to them and he was throwing everything from the same release point, straight over top.

SP | Chris Sale | Chicago White Sox | Fantasy,
The Chicago White Sox will give SP Chris Sale two days off between throwing, and he won't pitch again until Saturday, Feb. 23, after throwing live batting practice Wednesday, Feb. 20. Sale threw a career-high 192 innings last year, up 71 frames from the year before. His first spring start will come March 1, and he appears on track to start on opening day April 1. Sale is targeting between five and eight spring starts this year.

SP | Brandon Morrow | Toronto Blue Jays | Fantasy,
Toronto Blue Jays SP Brandon Morrow will only throw one inning in the team's spring opener Saturday, Feb. 23, and he's the only starter not scheduled for two innings his first time out. It has to do with his past success with that plan more than anything else, though. "It's what he did last year," pitching coach Pete Walker said. "We're going to stick to what worked for him. He had a great spring last year, came along nicely. (We) gave him the necessary days off that he needed to keep him fresh, and things worked very well, so he's going to stick to the plan."

SP | Erasmo Ramirez | Seattle Mariners | Fantasy,
Behind Seattle Mariners SPs Felix Hernandez, Hisashi Iwakuma and Joe Saunders, SPs Blake Beavan and Erasmo Ramirez are the front-runners to fill out the rotation, but they'll have to withstand pushes from Ps Taijuan Walker, Danny Hultzen, James Paxton and Brandon Maurer. Also, SPs Jon Garland and Jeremy Bonderman are making good impressions early in spring. "They've both been very impressive," manager Eric Wedge said of Garland and Bonderman. "It's early in camp, and we have to see how they stand the test of wear and tear and going out there and pitching on a regular basis. But they're both going to get good opportunities to make this ballclub." Bonderman is weighing 220 pounds this spring, which is around 25 pounds less than he weighed when he played for the Detroit Tigers.

SP | Carlos Martinez | St. Louis Cardinals | Fantasy,
St. Louis Cardinals SP Carlos Martinez is now two weeks late to camp due to visa issues.

SP | Adam Wainwright | St. Louis Cardinals | Fantasy,
St. Louis Cardinals SP Adam Wainwright will make his Grapefruit League debut Monday, Feb. 25, putting him on schedule to start the team's opening day game against the Arizona Diamondbacks April 1. The Cardinals haven't named their opening day starter, but Wainwright is the obvious candidate.

SP | Chris Young | Washington Nationals | Transaction, Fantasy,
The Washington Nationals signed free-agent SP Chris Young (Mets) to a minor league deal Thursday, Feb. 21.

SP | Roberto Hernandez | Tampa Bay Rays | Fantasy,
The Tampa Bay Rays are excited in what they have in SP Roberto Hernandez. He has the chance to serve as the No. 4 or 5 starter, and the team likes the movement he has on his fastball.

SP | Dan Haren | Washington Nationals | Fantasy,
Washington Nationals SP Dan Haren said his main focus this spring is on developing his fastball and cutter on the right side of the plate. "A lot of my game is on the left side of the plate with cutters and fastballs," Haren said. "But toward the end of last season in September, I started doing some different things on the right side of the plate with my cutter and fastball and working them in together out there, and started having a lot of success. But it's still a work-in-progress." SP Jordan Zimmermann is focusing on his changeup and throwing it with confidence, and he said he didn't entirely trust the pitch last year.

SP | Wily Peralta | Milwaukee Brewers | Injury, Fantasy,
Milwaukee Brewers SP Wily Peralta (shoulder) is slightly behind the other pitchers in camp due to some slight shoulder stiffness, but the team was impressed with his bullpen session Thursday, Feb. 21, and Peralta should be able to catch up in camp. "He'll be ready right away," said pitching coach Rick Kranitz. "He threw great today. He'll throw again day after tomorrow. Then we're into (live) BP." Peralta is a leading candidate for a rotation spot.

SP | Christian Garcia | Washington Nationals | Injury, Fantasy,
Washington Nationals SP Christian Garcia (wrist, stomach) underwent an MRI exam on his right wrist and forearm Thursday, Feb. 21, and he will stay off a mound for at least a few days. Garcia remains confident that the injury isn't a big deal, and the pain only affects him when he throws a fastball. Doctors have ruled out that Garcia's stomach issue is appendicitis.

SP | Kyle Kendrick | Philadelphia Phillies | Fantasy,
Philadelphia Phillies SP Kyle Kendrick will be the team's fourth starter this year after throwing 63 impressive innings over the last 48 days of the season in 2012. The Phils are entrusting more responsibility upon Kendrick because they think he has grown as a pitcher. Kendrick raised his strikeouts late last year and his changeup became an out pitch. "I got confidence from my manager and my pitching coach," Kendrick said. "Not that I didn't have it before, but maybe I didn't know it. I had confidence from them. I had confidence from my teammates. I was confident in myself." Pitching coach Rich Dubee said Kendrick struggled initially upon his entrance to the majors because he didn't have the time to develop a full arsenal of pitches.

SP | Brett Anderson | Oakland Athletics | Fantasy,
Oakland Athletics SPs Brett Anderson, Jarrod Parker, Tommy Milone, A.J. Griffin and Dan Straily are expected to round out the rotation to start the season with SP Bartolo Colon suspended. Colon will likely take Straily's spot when he returns. SPs Jesse Chavez will start the Cactus League opener Saturday, Feb. 23, followed by Ps Travis Blackley and Andrew Werner.

SP | Kyle Lohse | free agent | Free Agents, Fantasy,
New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said the team isn't going to pursue free-agent SP Kyle Lohse (Cardinals), no matter how long SP Phil Hughes (back) is out.

SP | Matt Garza | Chicago Cubs | Injury, Fantasy
Chicago Cubs SP Matt Garza (lat) is confident he'll be ready for the start of the season. He'll take a week off before beginning a throwing program. He said he's not focused on the Opening Day start, but to be ready for the start of the season.

Relief Pitcher

RP | Ryan Madson | Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim | Injury, Fantasy
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim haven't closed the door on RP Ryan Madson (elbow) returning for the start of the season, but it's unlikely.

RP | Francisco Rodriguez | free agent | Free Agents
The New York Mets are unlikely to sign free-agent RP Francisco Rodriguez (Brewers), whom they had interest in earlier this offseason.

RP | Mariano Rivera | New York Yankees | Injury, Fantasy
Updating an earlier report, New York Yankees CL Mariano Rivera (knee) faced hitters in batting practice for the first time this spring Friday, Feb. 22, and said he felt good.

RP | Kelvim Escobar | Milwaukee Brewers | Injury,
Milwaukee Brewers RP Kelvim Escobar (shoulder) threw a 35-pitch bullpen session and called it a success Thursday, Feb. 21. Escobar threw all fastballs "just to get a feeling again" and will throw at least one more bullpen session before facing hitters. He's trying to win a bullpen spot this spring.

RP | Matt Thornton | Chicago White Sox | Injury, Fantasy,
Chicago White Sox RP Matt Thornton (elbow) played catch Thursday, Feb. 21, and he's not as worried about his triceps soreness. "All we are pretty much doing is bump my live BP back a couple of days," Thornton said. "Do catch, catch, bullpen, day off and live BP. I don't know, we'll talk about that when we get there and see how it feels." He thinks the pain is attributed to tendonitis.

RP | Scott Downs | Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim | Fantasy,
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim RP Scott Downs wants to remain with the team past this season, and he's willing to renegotiate his current deal during the season in order to accomplish this. Downs can become a free agent after this year.

RP | Sean Burnett | Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim | Injury, Fantasy,
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim RP Sean Burnett (back) continues to feel better and hopes to resume a long toss program by the end of the week. He's confident he'll be ready for opening day.

RP | Daniel Bard | Boston Red Sox | Fantasy,
Boston Red Sox RP Daniel Bard had a positive step in a three-strikeout inning in an exhibition contest against Boston College Thursday, Feb. 21. "He's getting back to a really good place mentally," pitching coach Juan Nieves said. "It's going to be baby steps. This will be the first test drive. The stuff is there, the explosiveness. Just don't let his mental side choke his physical side. Let your abilities come out."

RP | Henry Rodriguez | Washington Nationals | Injury, Fantasy,
Washington Nationals RP Henry Rodriguez (shoulder) is expected to throw off a mound either Sunday, Feb. 24, or Monday, Feb. 25.

RP | Josh Edgin | New York Mets | Fantasy,
New York Mets manager Terry Collins said RP Josh Edgin worked on a sinker this offseason that should make him more effective against right-handed hitters.

RP | Aaron Crow | Kansas City Royals | Fantasy,
Kansas City Royals RP Aaron Crow is likely to stay in a relief role after the team acquired an abundance of starting pitching in the offseason. "He's a guy who I trust to come into a game in a tight situation," manager Ned Yost said, "and get us out of it. Those guys are hard to find. The thing that's so encouraging to me is I feel I've got a bullpen stocked with those guys." Crow has no problem with staying in relief, and he's been refining his pitches this spring.

RP | Frank Francisco | New York Mets | Injury, Fantasy,
New York Mets RP Frank Francisco (elbow) will begin tossing a baseball Monday, Feb. 25, for the first time since being shut down, according to manager Terry Collins.

RP | Jordan Norberto | Oakland Athletics | Injury,
Oakland Athletics RP Jordan Norberto (shoulder) is not limited at all with his workload this spring after coming off shoulder tendonitis. Norberto was among a new batch of names connected to documents tied to the Miami clinic owned by Anthony Bosch that allegedly sold performance-enhancing drugs to baseball players. "No comment," the A's left-hander said. "I'm here to play baseball."

RP | Jose Valverde | free agent | Free Agents, Fantasy,
The Detroit Tigers aren't interested in re-signing RP Jose Valverde. The team has been vocal about him trying to help spark interest in other teams to sign him.


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