2019 Fantasy Baseball: Spring Training News & Notes
It was a big weekend of Fantasy Baseball news with jobs being determined and some big injury news. Here are some of the things to monitor if you still have a draft or working the waiver wire.
The big news from the weekend was a scare for Jose Ramirez owners. The Indians third baseman had to be carted off the field after fouling a ball off his left leg. The X-rays were negative, and he has a leg contusion. Ramirez isn't expected to miss much time.
Some might have been surprised that the Diamondbacks named Greg Holland the closer. It seems Diamondbacks manager Tony Lovullo doesn't want Archie Bradley to close based on last season and must like him to pitch multiple innings. While Holland has closer experience, he was awful with the Cardinals last season, but improved with the Nationals to end the year.
Lovullo said it was a tough decision, but he liked the experience of Holland at the back end of the bullpen. Holland struggled in the spring, and his velocity is down. Holland had a 1.19 ERA and 1.01 WHIP in the second half last season. Many thought Brad Boxberger wouldn't keep the job for the Diamondbacks last season and he was good for five months. If Holland is still available, get him but don't blow the budget.
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In a surprising move, the Cubs sent Ian Happ to Triple-A. Happ had a 36.1 percent strikeout rate and hit .233 with 15 home runs last season.
Scooter Gennett will miss 8-12 weeks with a groin strain. The Reds plan to play Jose Iglesias at shortstop and Jose Peraza at second base with Nick Senzel in the minors. Expect Senzel to be up soon, so don't be afraid of drafting him.
The Braves made a decision on the starting rotation and sent Touki Toussaint will begin the season at Triple-A. Kevin Gausman will open the season on the IL but could return to start April 6 as he recovers from a shoulder injury. Mike Foltynewicz has been out with an elbow issue and is expected to return later in April. He's someone I am avoiding. Kyle Wright, Max Fried, and Bryse Wilson will all begin the season in the rotation.
Jung Ho Kang hit his seventh homer of the spring over the weekend and leads baseball in home runs. He will start at third base for the Pirates and is worth a shot in the final rounds. He is striking out a lot, but he has legit power.
Chris Paddack is going to start today, and that lines him up to pitch on Saturday against the Giants. Going into the spring, he wasn't expected to make the team. He's been excellent in the spring and has seen his stock rise as much as anyone. I took him in Tout Wars on March 5 in round 23 of a 15-team mixed league. I saw him go in some high stakes leagues over the last week in round 10.
I thought Chance Sisco was going to be a sneaky second catcher in 15-team leagues, but the Orioles sent him to Triple-A despite a great spring. Pedro Severino and Jesus Sucre will split the catching duties.
Freddy Peralta had an excellent spring for the Brewers and made the starting rotation. He held opponents to a .175 average and struck out 18 in 10.2 innings. He's someone to target late in drafts.
Justin Upton has had a rough spring. The Angels outfielder missed most of the spring with right knee tendinitis and ran into the outfield wall Sunday night. He has a sprain of the big toe on his left foot. He is questionable for Opening Day.
Keep an eye on Angels pitcher Felix Pena and consider adding him in 15-team mixed leagues. He will open the season as a starter with Andrew Heaney hurt. Pena has a nasty slider and allowed one run, three hits, two walks and struck out nine in 3.1 innings on Sunday.
Sonny Gray has been one of the best value pitchers in drafts. The Reds pitcher allowed one run over five innings and struck out seven, walked none and allowed three hits Sunday. In ten spring innings, he had a 0.90 ERA.
Miguel Cabrera is crushing it this spring, and he has been cheap in drafts. There's no doubt he will crush if healthy. The concern is how many games can he play. Cabrera is batting .348 with a 1.165 OPS with five home runs and 15 RBIs in the spring.
Tyler O'Neill has made the Cardinals roster, but he's the fourth outfielder heading into the season. O'Neill has big power but has struggled to make consistent contact. Dexter Fowler is going to start the season as one of the starters in the outfield, but he could lose the job if he struggles so keep O'Neill on the radar.
Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor has made good progress from his calf strain but will open the season on the IL. He's not expected to miss much time.