In The Field
OF Manuel Margot was placed on the 10-day DL with bruised ribs. The guy most likely to see an increase in playing time is OF Franchy Cordero. He has an interesting power/speed potential but he really needs to tighten up his plate skills (43% K, 5% BB in 107 PA at the major league level). 1B Mark Reynolds was signed to a minor league contract with the Nationals. He doesn't have any fantasy value due to the Nationals already having Ryan Zimmerman and Matt Adams at first base. OF Wil Myers has begun hitting off a tee and could need a rehab assignment prior to being activated sometime next week. It all depends on how his arm responds to throwing from the outfield today. We should know more tomorrow. OF Charlie Blackmon (quad) returned to the lineup on Saturday and homered off of Max Scherzer. He should be good to go for this upcoming week with matchups against a RHP heavy Pirates rotation and a series in Coors against the Cubs. 1B Anthony Rizzo was placed on the 10-day DL with back tightness after sleeping on an uncomfortable bed. He did hit on the cage on Thursday and could return as early as Monday if everything goes well. OF Lorenzo Cain (quad) sat out a couple of games this past week but returned to the lineup on Friday and Saturday. 3B Jedd Gyorko (hamstring) has resumed baseball activities and will begin a rehab assignment. 3B Jake Lamb (AC Joint) was able to hit and field ground balls on Friday. He is expected to be activated sometime next week. OF David Peralta (hand soreness) missed action Tuesday and Wednesday before playing Friday. 1B/OF Garrett Cooper was able to avoid fractures in his right wrist after being struck by a pitch but has been in a cast this week as a precaution. He was transferred to the 60-day DL today. C Travis d'Arnaud has a partially torn UCL in his throwing arm and has been placed on the 10-day DL. He and Mets medical staff are currently weighing if he needs Tommy John Surgery or not. Obviously, TJ would mean the end of his season but it would be wise to start lining up replacements. The natural choice would have been to pick up C Kevin Plawecki but he fractured his hand and will be out 2-3 weeks. C Kurt Suzuki (ATL), C Francisco Cervelli (PIT), and C Tucker Barnhart (CIN) would be suitable replacement options if they are available in deeper formats. C Jose Lobaton and C Tomas Nido are expected to fill in for the Mets but neither are great options for fantasy unless you play in a super deep format. OF Adam Eaton was placed on the 10-day DL with a twisted ankle and is eligible to return April 19. The concern is that it could take longer for the ankle to completely heal and he could miss additional time. 2B Daniel Murphy is getting closer to playing in extended Spring Training, which is the next step in his rehab. A return in late April looks promising if he can progress forward without any setbacks. OF Scott Schebler was placed on the 10-day DL on April 9 after being hit by a pitch on his elbow. He has resumed baseball activities and is likely to return when first eligible. This will once again force the Reds into a four man OF rotation with Adam Duvall, Billy Hamilton, and Jesse Winker. Winker figures to be the biggest loser of Schebler coming back because he has been leading off while getting everyday at-bats. OF David Dahl was placed on the 7-day minor league DL with an illness. He is currently in Triple-A getting at-bats after sitting out most of 2017. Currently, the Rockies have a crowded roster and a path to playing time is not there for the talented outfielder. 1B Ryan McMahon made the Rockies roster out of Spring Training, which was a surprise. He has just 23 PA in the Rockies 16 games. This makes it very hard to roster him in mixed formats and playing time is going to be hard to come by unless a major injury occurs. 3B Nolan Arenado was issued a five game suspension for his role in the brawl with the Padres. He began serving his suspension on Saturday which means that he will not return until Friday when the Rockies return home against the Cubs. OF Jesse Winker (shoulder) missed Friday's game in addition to Saturday and it is not clear if a trip to the DL will be necessary. He had been seeing regular playing time with Scott Schebler on the DL. OF Christian Yelich will not be activated from the disabled list on Sunday but is getting closer to returning.
On The Mound
Alex Wood (illness) was able to make his start on Wednesday but was shelled to the tune of 7 ER over 3.2 IP. His fastball velocity was sitting at 89.8 mph after averaging 93 mph this time last year. It is officially time to get worried about the left-hander. Brandon Finnegan made his first start of the year on Saturday against the Cardinals. The results were not good. He gave up 5 ER over 4.2 IP and walked four. Joe Musgrove is not close to throwing off a mound according to Pirates director of sports medicine Todd Tomczyk. At this point, unless you have unlimited DL spots it makes sense to move on from Musgrove to someone that can help your team currently. Luiz Gohara (ankle) threw a side session on Tuesday and is healthy. At this point it is a matter of building up his arm strength so an early May return seems likely. Brandon McCarthy separated his non-throwing shoulder on a play at first base on Wednesday. He is expected to make his start on Tuesday against the Phillies. Jeff Samardzija is expected to start his rehab assignment as he comes back from a right pectoral strain. He is someone that needs to be owned in all formats and should return by early May if everything goes well. Dan Straily (forearm) is expected to make at least two rehab starts prior to being activated. This means that if everything goes as planned, Straily will likely be back at the end of April. The right-hander does not have elite upside but he has solid skills (22% K, 8% BB) and pitches half of his games in a great pitchers park. Wei-Yin Chen (elbow strain) has continued to throw in extended Spring training. An official rehab stint looks likely and he could be back sometime in May if everything continues to ge well for the left-hander. Tyson Ross has now made three starts and has looked good in the early going. He has a 3.50 ERA over 18 IP with a 14:4 K/BB ratio. Dinelson Lamet was transferred to the 60-day DL after it was decided that he will undergo Tommy John surgery. This means that he will miss all of 2018 and a good chunk of 2019 as he recovers. Matt Strahm is currently rehabbing in Double-A. He will make an interesting option if/when he makes it into the Padres starting rotation. He has plus velocity for a left-hander with off-speed pitches (slider, curve) to get swing and misses. It won't hurt that he will pitch in Petco Park a pitcher friendly stadium. Johnny Cueto (ankle) was still experiencing pain when throwing a flat ground on Thursday. This puts his start on Tuesday in jeopardy and means we should hold him out until we get confirmation that he is healthy.
In The Bullpen
Mark Melancon underwent a stem cell injection on Thursday and is still two weeks away from beginning a throwing program. For the foreseeable future Hunter Strickland will continue to serve as the Giants closer. The closer situation in Milwaukee is a situation to monitor. Jacob Barnes was given the first chance to seize the job but blew his first save chances. In the interim Matt Albers picked up the save on Wednesday further clouding the situation. Barnes has the skill set to be a closer (26% K, 15% SwStr, 53% GB) but his lack of control has been an issue in the early going. Albers is the veteran who pitched well in 2017 but the skills look like an outlier compared to his career numbers. At the current moment he looks like the favorite to close games but Barnes and even Jeremy Jeffress could get a chance. The Cardinals closer situation is currently in flux as well. Greg Holland was signed presumably to be the closer but he promptly blew his first chance and has pitched 2.1 IP with 5 BB to 1 K. Bud Norris has saved two games this year and has been the better pitcher (1.35 ERA, 12:1 K/BB over 6.2 IP). This looks like a committee for the time being.
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