Today is the day! The long-awaited Opening Day has finally arrived. Summer camp has wrapped up and its time for Major League Baseball. An epic pitching matchup marks the first game of the season with Gerrit Cole pitching against Max Scherzer as the Yankees pay a visit to the Nationals. The Giants and Dodgers are the second and final game of the day with Johnny Cueto squaring off against Clayton Kershaw. A full slate of games on Friday gets baseball in full swing.
Summer camp has come and gone and there is still plenty of news and notes to go around. In a final pre-season tune-up, here are all the National League news and notes that you need to know! This report is current as of Wednesday evening.
Be sure to keep up with the “American League News” from Corbin Young.
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Summer Camp News – NL East
- Nick Markakis, OF
- Felix Hernandez, SP
- Freddie Freeman, 1B – Rejoined Team
- Will Smith, RP
- Pete Kozma, SS
- Touki Toussaint, SP/RP – Rejoined Team
- Cole Hamels, SP – Tricep Tendinitis. His status remains unknown, but he will not be ready to go to start the season.
- Johan Camargo, 3B – Hamstring. Camargo left an intrasquad game last Saturday after suffering a mild hamstring injury. He has been able to do light workouts. It remains unclear if he is ready for Opening Day.
- Cristian Pache, OF – Ankle/Foot. Pache injured his right ankle attempting to steal second base and slid awkwardly. It initially looked worse than it turned out to be. He was diagnosed with a grade-2 right ankle sprain. He will be ready for live-action sometime in August.
- Austin Riley will be the Braves starting third basemen on Opening Day. Johan Camargo could also split time with Riley as the season progresses. Riley did hit two home runs in Wednesday’s summer camp exhibition, giving him positive momentum heading into Friday’s opener.
- The Braves signed Matt Adams. Manager Brian Snitker said that Adams “kind of fills” the DH role. He rewarded the Braves by hitting a walk-off home run and drawing two walks in Tuesday’s exhibition game against the Marlins.
- Freddie Freeman also returned to action on Tuesday. He went 1-for-4 with an RBI single and a walk. He should be ready for Opening Day.
- The Braves signed Jhoulys Chacin to a one-year deal. He is a possibility to grab some starts at the back end of the rotation.
- The Braves lineup looks to have a top-four of Ronald Acuña, Ozzie Albies, Freddie Freeman, and Marcell Ozuna.
- Jordan Yamamoto was optioned to the Marlins alternate training site. This means Elieser Hernandez should get the fifth starter job.
- Sandy Alcantara will be the Marlins Opening Day starter. He will be followed by Caleb Smith, Pablo Lopez, and Jose Ureña.
- Reports are that Monte Harrison will not make the Marlin’s Opening Day roster, despite being impressive in summer camp.
New York Mets
- Marcus Stroman, SP – Calf. Stroman was placed on the 10-day injured list with a left calf tear. It will not require surgery, but this could cause Stroman to miss extended time.
- Jacob deGrom, SP- Back. deGrom had a scare with his back last week but has felt better over the last several days. He made a simulated start on Sunday and threw a side session on Tuesday. Signs point to him being ready to go for his Opening Day start against the Braves.
- Robert Gsellman, RP – Tricep. Gsellman was placed on the 10-day injured list with right tricep tightness. He should be ready to go when eligible to come off the IL next week.
- Jake Marisnick, OF – Tight Left Hamstring. He was able to take a couple of at-bats in Tuesday’s intrasquad game.
- Wilson Ramos has been away from the team from Friday through Tuesday to tend to a “personal matter.” He will be evaluated on Wednesday to see if he is in shape for Opening Day.
- Jed Lowrie, 2B, Knee. Lowrie was placed on the Injured List with left knee discomfort.
- Yoenis Cespedes expects to be the Mets designated hitter on Opening Day.
- Scott Kingery, IF/OF – Rejoined Team
- Tommy Hunter, RP
- Mikie Mahtook, OF
- Jean Segura, 3B- Hand. Segura was hit on the hand by a pitch in a summer camp exhibition game against the Yankees on Monday. He was able to take batting practice Tuesday afternoon and should be ready for Opening Day.
- Zack Wheeler’s wife had their new baby boy on Monday. It came early, meaning Wheeler will make his debut on Saturday versus the Marlins.
- Aaron Nola will be the Phillies Opening Day starter. There was some doubt after he was a late arrival at camp. But he will be ready to go.
- Spener Howard was reassigned to the Phillies alternate training site. Some expected Howard to be the fifth starter, but that will not be the case now. It is still likely that Howard debuts in 2020.
- Joe Ross, SP
- Ryan Zimmerman, 1B
- Wellington Castillo, C
- Since our last update, Juan Soto, Victor Robles, and Howie Kendrick have all reported to camp. They should all be ready to go for Opening Day.
- Starlin Castro has bumped from the third spot in the lineup to sixth in recent exhibition games. This is worth monitoring as Castro is a nice value pick for Fantasy purposes.
- Victor Robles has been hitting out of the nine spot. This is discouraging for his Fantasy value, but he could still be a good source of steals in the “double leadoff” spot.
Summer Camp News – NL Central
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B – Stiff Back. Rizzo dealing with a back issue is concerning but played in Wednesday’s exhibition game. He hit a home run in his first at-bat. This is a positive sign that Rizzo will be ready for Opening Day.
- Kris Bryant, 3B/OF – Back. Bryant was scratched from Wednesday’s exhibition game due to a stiff back. Manager David Ross did not sound concerned and stated it was precautionary. It is not ideal with Opening Day only two days away.
- Jose Quintana, SP- Thumb. Quintana has not felt pain in his thumb in recent days. He cut it while cleaning wine glasses and had to have stitches. It will likely be mid-August before he returns.
- Jon Lester is scheduled to be the Cub’s fourth starter.
- Alec Mills has been named the Cub’s fifth starter.
- Nick Senzel, 2B/OF- Hyperextended Elbow. Senzel has been in the lineup for the last two exhibition games, which is encouraging to see. I am hopeful he can remain healthy and hit his full potential.
- Nick Castellanos hit cleanup in Wednesday’s exhibition. If it sticks, it would be great for his Fantasy value.
- Manager David Bell said that Reds shortstop prospect Jose Garcia has a chance to contribute in the Majors this season. Garcia hit .280 with eight home runs and 15 stolen bases in High-A last season.
- Mike Moustakas estimated he lost 12-15 pounds during the quarantine. Manager David Bell has also been very pleased with Moustakas’ defensive performance at second base.
- Angel Perdomo, RP
- Eric Lauer, SP – Rejoined Team
- Luis Urias, 2B/SS
- Keston Hiura, 2B – Arm Fatigue. Hiura, who has been dealing with arm fatigue, is back on the field. This is great news for Fantasy owners as he should be starting on Opening Day.
- Luis Urias, 2B/SS – COVID-19. Urias will not begin the year with the Major League club. He will be assigned to the Brewer’s alternative training site. Orlando Arcia will get the bulk of the time at shortstop.
- Eric Lauer, SP – COVID-19. Lauer is unlikely to be ready for Opening Day after being a late arrival to camp.
- Ryan Braun, OF/DH – Back, Oblique, Neck. Braun has been dealing with back, oblique, and neck pain. He will be the designated hitter in the Brewer’s exhibition game on Wednesday.
- The Brewers rotation will be; Brandon Woodruff, Corbin Burnes, Freddy Peralta, Adrian Houser, and Josh Lindblom.
- Hector Noesí, SP/RP
- Blake Cederlind, RP
- Socrates Brito, OF – Rejoined Team
- Gregory Polanco, OF
- Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B
- Keone Kela, RP
- In Keone Kela’s absence, Kyle Crick and Nick Burdi are the speculative adds for saves in Fantasy leagues.
- The Pirates rotation will be Joe Musgrove, Trevor Williams, Mitch Keller, Derek Holland, and Steven Brault.
- Kevin Newman appears to have sealed his role as the leadoff hitter.
- Cole Tucker has seen time in the outfield.
St. Louis Cardinals
- Jordan Hicks, RP
- Ricardo Sanchez, SP
- Génesis Cabrera, SP/RP
- Elehuris Montero, 3B
- Alex Reyes, RP
- Kolten Wong, 2B – Neck. Wong is sitting out of Wednesday’s exhibition due to a stiff neck. Manager Mike Shildt said he was not concerned about Wong’s status for Opening Day.
- Brad Miller, INF/OF – Ankle. Miller was placed on the 10-day IL with ankle bursitis.
- Jordan Hicks had a setback in his Tommy John rehab before deciding to opt-out of the 2020 season. He was considering opting out anyway due to having Type 1 Diabetes, but the arm issue made his decision easier for him. The inflammation in his elbow would have likely kept him out until late August or September.
- Carlos Martinez has made the Cardinals rotation.
- Manager Mike Shildt stated that Kwang-Hyun Kim will likely be the teams closer to begin the 2020 season. Kim struck out the side while recording the save in Wednesday’s exhibition against the Royals. This bullpen will likely be a messy situation as Kim, Gallegos, and Helsley could all be options to get saves.
- The Cardinals released Brett Cecil, who has been working on a new pitch delivery.
Summer Camp News – NL West
- Mike Leake, SP
- Junior Guerra, SP
- Silvino Bracho, RP
- Kole Calhoun, OF – Rejoined Team
- Seth Beer, 1b/OF
- Christian Walker, 1B – Right Groin Strain. He is expected to be ready for Friday’s opener against the Padres. He has taken some at-bats but has not run the bases.
- Kevin Cron, 1B – Hamstring. Cron has taken multiple at-bats in preparation for Friday’s opener.
- Archie Bradley was named the team’s closer. This was assumed, but is now confirmed. Bradley is a good option for saves, converting 18 of 19 chances after taking over the role on July 30 last season.
- Merrill Kelly will take the fifth rotation spot behind Madison Bumgarner, Robbie Ray, Zac Gallen, and Luke Weaver.
- Zac Gallen threw 75-to-80 pitches in a simulated game on Tuesday.
- Ian Desmond, OF/IF
- Charlie Blackmon, OF – Rejoined Team
- Phillip Diehl, RP
- Ryan Castellani, SP
- Scott Oberg, RP – Back. Oberg will begin the year on the injured list while working his way back from a back strain. Bud Black expects it to be a short stint on the IL.
- David Dahl and Charlie Blackmon have both played two straight days, which is a good sign they are ready to go for Opening Day.
- Matt Kemp looks to be the everyday designated hitter.
- Brendan Rodgers and Garrett Hampson don’t appear to have a regular starter role based on the Rockies exhibition lineups.
Los Angeles Dodgers
- David Price, SP
- Kenley Jansen, RP – Rejoined Team
- Max Muncy, 1B – Finger. Muncy has played in the Dodgers exhibition games and appears ready to go for Opening Day.
- Gavin Lux was optioned to the Dodgers alternate training site. This is a surprising move, despite being a late arrival to camp. The Dodgers possibly made this move for service time purposes.
- Chris Taylor is likely to see reps at second base in Lux absence. He has performed at a high level in summer camp.
- The Dodgers signed Mookie Betts to a monster 12-year, 365 million dollar extension that will keep him in Los Angeles until 2032.
- Walker Buehler will start the Dodger’s fifth regular-season game against Houston.
- Kenley Jansen looks great after arriving late to camp due to testing positive for COVID-19. There should be no concern that Jansen will be the closer of one of the best teams in baseball.
San Diego Padres
- Tommy Pham, OF – Rejoined Team
- Jorge Mateo, 2b/SS
- The Padres traded Franchy Cordero to the Royals for reliever Tim Hill. The move should help Trent Grisham see more playing time. Edward Olivares could also factor in against left-handed pitching.
- Chris Paddack is confirmed to be the Padres Opening Day starter against the Diamondbacks.
San Francisco Giants
- Buster Posey, C
- Hunter Bishop, OF
- Luis Madero, SP
- Brandon Belt, 1B – Heel. Belt will open the season on the injured list while nursing a sore heel.
- Evan Longoria, 3B – Oblique. Longoria has a moderate oblique strain and will begin the season on the injured list.
- Tony Watson, RP – Shoulder. Watson has been dealing with a sore shoulder but should be ready for Opening Day.
- Hunter Pence, OF – Foot. Pence is ready to go for Opening Day and should be the Giants designated hitter.
- The Giants are unlike to make Tony Watson their traditional closer. Watson is likely to see high-leverage roles. Tyler Rogers and Trevor Gott could see save opportunities in addition to Watson.
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