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Twins | Kendrys Morales has hitting streak snapped

Wed, 23 Jul 2014 21:44:24 -0700

Minnesota Twins 1B Kendrys Morales was hitless in four at-bats with two strikeouts Wednesday, July 23, against the Cleveland Indians, as his 12-game hitting streak came to an end.

Twins | Kohl Stewart scratched

Wed, 23 Jul 2014 21:42:22 -0700

Minnesota Twins SP Kohl Stewart (shoulder) was scratched from his start with Class A Cedar Rapids Wednesday, July 23, as he is dealing with "a little shoulder soreness," according to Twins director of minor league operations Brad Steil.

FANTASY TIP: Stewart is one of the team's top prospects, and he joins OF Byron Buxton (wrist) and 3B Miguel Sano (elbow) on the shelf. Stewart is a long way from the majors, but those in dynasty leagues certainly need to know his name.

Tigers | Joe Nathan remains closer

Wed, 23 Jul 2014 21:40:09 -0700

Detroit Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski confirmed Wednesday, July 23, that RP Joe Nathan will remain the team's closer, meaning newly-acquired RP Joakim Soria will work in a setup role.

FANTASY TIP: Nathan's hold on the job is precariously, and he can ill-afford any further blown saves with a proven closer in Soria on the roster and waiting in the wings.

Royals | Wade Davis limiting the damage

Wed, 23 Jul 2014 21:39:38 -0700

Kansas City Royals RP Wade Davis worked a perfect eight-pitch eighth inning to pick up the relief win Wednesday, July 23, against the Chicago White Sox. He improved to 6-2 while lowering his ERA to 1.05. He has not allowed an extra-base hit in 42 2/3 innings this season.

Reds | Zack Cozart available as pinch hitter

Wed, 23 Jul 2014 21:37:46 -0700

Updating a previous report, while Cincinnati Reds SS Zack Cozart (finger) did not play Wednesday, July 23, against the Milwaukee Brewers, manager Bryan Price said he was available as a pinch hitter.

FANTASY TIP: It appears Cozart will avoid a stint on the 15-day disabled list since his skipper said he was available off the bench. That's good news for his fantasy owners.

Indians | Trevor Bauer has been innings eater

Wed, 23 Jul 2014 21:37:09 -0700

Cleveland Indians SP Trevor Bauer allowed three earned runs, six hits and two walks over six innings in a loss against the Minnesota Twins Wednesday, July 23. He also struck out seven batters in the 99-pitch quality start. Bauer has lasted six or more innings in 11 of his 14 outings this season.

Dodgers | Hanley Ramirez yet to swing

Wed, 23 Jul 2014 21:36:44 -0700

Updating a previous report, Los Angeles Dodgers SS Hanley Ramirez (hand) has yet to swing a bat. Manager Don Mattingly said Wednesday, July 23, that Ramirez picked up a bat, "moved it around," but was still "feeling it" in his hand.

Dodgers | Dan Haren will be skipped in rotation

Wed, 23 Jul 2014 21:35:32 -0700

Los Angeles Dodgers SP Dan Haren was told after his start Wednesday, July 23, that his next turn in the rotation will be skipped. He is not expected to pitch again until Aug. 2, at the earliest. The team would like to add an upgrade for the starting rotation, and his spot might be in jeopardy. He is 5-8 with a 5.32 ERA since the end of April.

FANTASY TIP: Fantasy owners obviously need to reserve him. By the time he steps onto the mound again, he could be wearing a different uniform with the non-waiver trade deadline July 31.

Brewers | Aramis Ramirez hits milestone

Wed, 23 Jul 2014 20:19:40 -0700

Milwaukee Brewers 3B Aramis Ramirez played his 2,000th career game Wednesday, July 23, against the Cincinnati Reds. He finished with a single in four at-bats in the milestone game, and he also committed a throwing error.

Vikings | Two battling at safety position

Wed, 23 Jul 2014 20:18:28 -0700

Minnesota Vikings safeties Jamarca Sanford and Andrew Sendejo will be battling during training camp and the preseason for the starting job opposite FS Harrison Smith. "That will be interesting, just to see where they are at and where they compare to others guys," head coach Mike Zimmer said.

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Vikings | Christian Ponder has done well

Wed, 23 Jul 2014 20:17:34 -0700

Minnesota Vikings QBs Teddy Bridgewater and Matt Cassel saw a majority of the snaps during spring workouts, but QB Christian Ponder has a chance to start, and head coach Mike Zimmer claims it will be a fair competition. "Actually, I think Christian has done a very good job in the time that we've had him and how much he has improved in that amount of time," Zimmer said. "We're going to give everyone a fair shot, and preseason games will help determine it. We want someone who is going to take care of the football, lead the team in the right direction and when called upon be able to win football games."

Vikings | Chad Greenway could start at MLB

Wed, 23 Jul 2014 20:17:07 -0700

Minnesota Vikings LB Chad Greenway could be used as the starting middle linebacker, according to head coach Mike Zimmer. "It's a possibility. We keep working him in there. We're just trying to figure out the best 11 players we can and then figure out where the rest of the guys are going to fit," Zimmer said. "It's not out of the question, but time will tell a little bit more on that."

Vikings | Will try not to overload Anthony Barr

Wed, 23 Jul 2014 20:16:36 -0700

Minnesota Vikings LB Anthony Barr was with the team for just a few days during offseason workouts due to NFL rules. Head coach Mike Zimmer is eager to see what he can do, but the team does not want to throw too much at him. "Yeah, obviously a lot because we only had him for four or five days. So that part, how much can (he) progress within the system, how much he can handle without us overloading him mentally?," Zimmer said.

Vikings | Sharrif Floyd needs to relax

Wed, 23 Jul 2014 20:15:58 -0700

Minnesota Vikings DT Sharrif Floyd had a good offseason, but head coach Mike Zimmer thinks the defensive tackle is trying to be too fine. "Sharrif has a lot of ability. Right now, he's trying so hard to be perfect on every single snap," Zimmer said. "He just needs to relax and let it free-flow a little bit more."

Vikings | Cordarrelle Patterson to remain on kickoffs

Wed, 23 Jul 2014 20:14:58 -0700

Minnesota Vikings WR Cordarrelle Patterson will remain on kickoff returns despite an expanded role in the offense this season. "We want our best players to get their hands on the ball as much as possible. We're not going to keep him from returning kicks because he is such a dangerous weapon there," head coach Mike Zimmer said Wednesday, July 23. "He's been a very hard worker, he has improved his route running since we've been here and things are going to change for these guys in training camp when we are able to start playing bump-and-run."

FANTASY TIP: Fantasy owners are never thrilled to see their receiver used on kickoff returns, especially if they're in a format which does not reward individual return yardage. There is a risk of injury with no reward. However, don't shy away from Patterson despite the risk, as he is a player with a ton of offensive upside. Use a pick in the neighborhood of Rounds 4 though 6 on Patterson and you will not be sorry.

Lions | Montell Owens facing roster battle

Wed, 23 Jul 2014 20:14:30 -0700

Detroit Lions FB Montell Owens has company, as the team will employ a more traditional fullback in the offense. They signed FB Jed Collins for the role. Owens is more of a hybrid player who excels on special teams. He likely needs to set himself apart in that role or risk not making the final roster, as he doesn't fit the traditional blocking fullback role like Collins.

Tigers | Joakim Soria acquired

Wed, 23 Jul 2014 20:02:55 -0700

The Texas Rangers traded RP Joakim Soria to the Detroit Tigers Wednesday, July 23, according to a source. The Rangers will get RP Corey Knebel, and minor-league P Jake Thompson. The deal is pending physicals.

FANTASY TIP: The bullpen in Detroit has been a dumpster fire this season, and the team would likely be well ahead in the Central Division race if not for its shortcomings. It's uncertain yet whether Soria will step into closer duties in Motown, but fantasy owners of Joe Nathan have to dislike this deal tremendously. Nathan has struggled with plenty of blown saves, and it wouldn't be shocking to see Soria step right into ninth-inning duties.

Lions | Jed Collins to be traditional FB

Wed, 23 Jul 2014 19:20:24 -0700

The Detroit Lions are re-incorporating the traditional fullback into their new offensive scheme this season, and that's why they went out and signed FB Jed Collins.

Lions | Mikel Leshourse expected to compete

Wed, 23 Jul 2014 19:18:56 -0700

Detroit Lions RB Mikel Leshoure is currently believed to be the fourth tailback on the club behind RBs Reggie Bush, Joique Bell and Theo Riddick heading into training camp and the preseason, but general manager Martin Mayhew expects Leshoure to compete for snaps. The team will use an offense similar to the New Orleans Saints, and they occasionally used a fourth tailback.

FANTASY TIP: Leshoure has tumbled down the depth chart due to a rash of his own injuries, and the production of others while he was off the field. He appears to be in the plans still, but ever so slightly. From a fantasy perspective, he should be avoided on draft day unless injuries to others dramatically alter things during training camp and the preseason.

Lions | Theo Riddick might break into rotation

Wed, 23 Jul 2014 19:18:06 -0700

Detroit Lions RB Theo Riddick has the chance to break into the rotation at tailback, and he has drawn considerable praise from his teammates and coaches for his development this offseason. If he proves himself in training camp and the preseason, he could potentially fill a Darren Sproles-like role in the offense.

FANTASY TIP: Riddick is a deep sleeper heading into the season. Remember, he had just 13 offensive touches last season, so he is raw. But he could very well win the No. 3 tailback job in Motown, and might have an even bigger role if Reggie Bush or Joique Bell go down ahead of him.