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Spring Training Notebook, N.L. Edition: Strasburg and deGrom in Midseason Form; Tatis Struggles

Spring training games are still being played despite the NBA canceling the regular season indefinitely due to the coronavirus disease. While there is a great chance that MLB is affected one way or another, let’s focus on the action for now, shall we?

Stephen Strasburg and Jacob deGrom are already in midseason form, results and stuff-wise. Meanwhile, Fernando Tatis, one of 2019’s brightest young stars, seems to be struggling at the plate.

By clicking here, you can see last week’s National League spring training notebook.

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Spring Training Notes: National League

NL East

Atlanta Braves

  • Max Fried pitched 4 2/3 scoreless frames but walked five on Wednesday. Let’s hope he doesn’t regress to 2018 levels when it comes to free passes, as he took a huge step forward last season.
  • Out for a few days with a family matter, Freddie Freeman is scheduled to rejoin the Braves and play in Friday’s game.
  • Outfield prospect Christian Pache hit a three-run bomb on Tuesday but was assigned to minor league camp a day later.
  • Right-handed pitching prospect Ian Anderson hurled three scoreless frames on Tuesday, striking out a pair. He could be an impact fantasy starter once he is up, probably over the summer.

Washington Nationals

  • When you look at the meaning of the “midseason form” phrase, the answer is Stephen Strasburg. The postseason hero pitched five innings of one-run ball on Wednesday, with four strikeouts. He is the Nats’ best option to start on opening day with Max Scherzer experiencing a minor health issue.
  • Speaking of the Nats’ ace, Scherzer was limited to long-toss on Tuesday due to a right side “ailment.” He was supposed to throw a bullpen session. He may not be ready for the start of the season, but he will pitch very soon. Don’t worry about him until further notice.
  • Carter Kieboom struck out all three times on Wednesday and is 6-for-27 with one extra-base hit this spring training. He may not be able to win the third-base starting gig out of the gate now.
  • Trea Turner, Adam Eaton, Starlin Castro, and Juan Soto would be the top four in the Nats’ lineup, per Jesse Dougherty.

Philadelphia Phillies

  • Jim Salisbury reported that Seranthony Dominguez had a setback in his recovery from a UCL tear during his appearance over the weekend. Surgery could be an option.
  • After a couple of mediocre performances, Zack Wheeler performed like a $100 million man and held the Twins to one run in four innings on Tuesday, with six whiffs.
  • Didi Gregorius broke a 0-for-22 spring training rut with a two-hit day on Tuesday.
  • Aaron Nola, who came down with the flu recently, will throw a bullpen session on Thursday.

New York Mets

  • Michael Conforto suffered a mild lat oblique strain and his status for opening day is in doubt.
  • J.D. Davis, who missed time recently with a jammed left shoulder, is showing no ill effects: he went 2-for-4 with a homer and three RBI on Wednesday.
  • Edwin Diaz had a clean inning on Wednesday. He didn’t record a strikeout, though.
  • Jacob deGrom pitched four innings of one-run ball Wednesday. He hit 98 mph on the gun. Yes, he’s good.

Miami Marlins

  • Sandy Alcantara threw five innings on Wednesday against the Yankees. He allowed just one run.
  • Brandon Kintzler, the favorite to open the season as the Marlins’ closer, pitched a perfect inning of relief Wednesday.
  • Garrett Cooper doubled, singled, stole a base and scored twice on Wednesday’s game. He should have playing time in right field and first base.


NL Central

St. Louis Cardinals

Chicago Cubs

  • Yu Darvish conceded one run over three innings with four strikeouts on Wednesday. He walked three. Remember in the early part of the 2019 season when he couldn’t find home plate? Ugh. Let’s hope this is just a blip.
  • Speaking of Darvish, manager David Ross said either he or Kyle Hendricks will be the opening day starter.
  • Have a day, Javier Baez! The talented infielder went 3-for-4 with a double, homer and three RBI on Tuesday. He is now at .462 (12-for-26) with three bombs, six RBI and a 3/4 K/BB ratio in spring training.
  • Ian Happ, currently hitting .481 (13-for-27) with two homers and 11 RBI, now seems like a lock to play center field regularly this season.

Milwaukee Brewers

  • Keston Hiura had two hits on Wednesday and is hitting a healthy .360 with three homers in his 25 plate appearances in 2020’s spring training.
  • Freddy Peralta and Corbin Burnes may be battling for a rotation spot. The former struck out eight hitters in 4 1/3 innings, allowing three runs in the process on Wednesday.
  • Luis Urias, nursing a wrist ailment, will make his spring training debut on Thursday.
  • Brandon Woodruff pitched four innings of one-run ball, with five strikeouts and a pair of free passes.

Cincinnati Reds

  • Aristides Aquino is struggling mightily, hitting .077 (2-for-26) with no homers, two RBI and an 11/2 K/BB ratio. After a sensational showing in the majors last year, he may start the season in Triple-A.
  • Shortstop Jose Garcia, expected to start the season in Double-A, hit his fourth home run of spring training on Tuesday.
  • Free agent signing Mike Moustakas connected a two-run homer on Tuesday. He should be eligible at second and third base in fantasy leagues.

Pittsburgh Pirates

  • Derek Holland seems like the Pirates’ best option to be the fifth starter. He is very stretched out to this point, as he allowed three runs in 5 1/3 innings Tuesday. He struck out six hitters with no walks.
  • According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Pirates have approached third base prospect Ke’Bryan Hayes and major leaguers Joe Musgrove, Bryan Reynolds and Kevin Newman regarding contract extensions. They are the team’s best young players.
  • Trevor Williams hurled three scoreless innings on Monday.


NL West

Los Angeles Dodgers

  • Kenley Jansen seems to be enjoying spring training. He pitched a scoreless frame again on Wednesday and his Cactus League ERA stands at 1.50, with 11 punchouts in six innings.
  • Corey Seager went 2-for-2 and homered on Wednesday. He is slashing .385/.448/.577 in spring training.
  • Joc Pederson, nursing oblique and hip injuries, is slated to return to Cactus League action next week.

Arizona Diamondbacks

  • Mike Leake threw five innings in a simulated game on Tuesday. He is working his way back from a fractured left wrist.
  • Madison Bumgarner hurled 3 2/3 shutout innings on Monday. However, the Royals’ lineup had virtually no regulars.
  • Outfielder Trayce Thompson is up to .346 with four homers and six RBI in 14 spring training games.
  • Kevin Cron hit his third home run of the preseason on Tuesday. He could perform in the majors right now but is blocked at first base by Christian Walker.

San Diego Padres

  • Fernando Tatis Jr. had an 0-for-3 day on Wednesday with two strikeouts. The Padres’ shortstop of the future is at .125 with a .188 slugging percentage.
  • Dinelson Lamet threw four scoreless frames with three strikeouts on Wednesday. He has an immaculate ERA in 10 innings this spring.
  • Garrett Richards allowed an unearned run in 3 1/3 innings on Monday. He won’t pile up the wins or even the quality starts, but he should be a per-start and ratios asset.

San Francisco Giants

  • Darin Ruf, who spent the last three seasons in Korea, is hitting .429 (12-for-28) with eight extra-base hits in 14 spring training games. If he secures a platoon gig he could find himself contributing to NL-only teams in 2020.
  • Veteran Johnny Cueto will start on opening day for the Giants.
  • Former top prospect Jose Siri was waived by the Seattle Mariners. The San Francisco Giants scooped him up.
  • Joey Bart, who had a 1.401 OPS this spring and is the organization’s catcher of the future, was optioned to minor league camp.

Colorado Rockies

  • Ryan McMahon went 2-for-2 with a run scored on Tuesday. He is hitting .296 (8-for-27) with three homers and seven RBI in spring training and should play most of the time in second base.
  • Peter Lambert left Tuesday’s game with forearm tightness.
  • Bud Black, the Rockies’ manager, said to the media that he is considering the idea of using David Dahl in the leadoff spot. That could make him an asset in runs scored.

For more great rankings, strategy, and analysis check out the 2020 FantraxHQ Fantasy Baseball Draft Kit. We’ll be adding more content from now right up until Opening Day!

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