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Spring Training Weekly Notebook, N.L. Edition: Yelich To Get Paid, Senzel to Return

Spring training is bringing us all kinds of news, especially on the injury front! However, we also have contract extensions, lots of home runs, steals, strikeouts, and other interesting tidbits.

Here is last week’s National League spring training notebook, and yesterday’s American League edition. And now on to this week’s NL news.

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Spring Training Notes: National League

NL East

Washington Nationals

  • After allowing two runs in 3 1/3 innings on Tuesday, Max Scherzer’s ERA was at 4.26 for the spring. No need to worry, though, as his marks in the last two spring trainings are 4.15 and 4.39.
  • Adam Eaton was taken out of Tuesday’s game against the Orioles with a tight left hamstring. Manager Davey Martinez told reporters that it was a precautionary measure, though.
  • Joe Ross is looking good: he had three scoreless frames on Monday and hasn’t allowed a run in five innings this spring. He could become a mixed league option at some point.

Atlanta Braves

  • Mike Soroka coughed up three runs in 2 2/3 innings on Wednesday. He may have run out of stamina, as he cruised through the first two before things fell apart in the third. Something to keep in mind.
  • Deep league alert! Felix Hernandez pitched four innings and allowed just a single run on Tuesday. He conceded all singles and no walks with two punchouts. He continues to defy odds but keep your expectations low.
  • Johan Camargo and Austin Riley are battling for the third base job. The latter homered on Tuesday and is quite interesting for fantasy, but he needs to win the job first and then erase the memory of his ugly fade last year.
  • Sean Newcomb and Touki Toussaint are vying with other hurlers for a spot in the rotation. The former seems to have harnessed his control issues (no walks and seven strikeouts in five innings during spring training) but the sample size is too small to make conclusions. Toussaint has conceded a single run in 4 2/3 frames but needs to do better to avoid the minors.

New York Mets

  • Jed Lowrie was non-commital when asked when will he return to the field. “I’ll refer you to the organization,” he said. He has been taking batting practice and doing drills with a large knee brace. The former 5.0 fWAR man has been, so far, a zero for the Mets.
  • Marcus Stroman struck out four batters in three scoreless innings Wednesday. Yes, he is rounding into form, and the move to the National League will be good for his numbers once you look at the full-season stats.
  • J.D. Davis, who jammed his shoulder last week and has been out ever since is already taking batting practice and should be close to returning.
  • Jeff McNeil went 2-for-3 with a home run on Tuesday.

Philadelphia Phillies

  • Bryce Harper hit two homers on Wednesday. He is absolute gold in OBP leagues.
  • J.T. Realmuto batted from the leadoff spot and went 3-for-3 with a homer on Wednesday.
  • Nick Pivetta didn’t have it on Wednesday against the Yankees, allowing three runs over 3 1/3 innings. He is trying to win a spot in the rotation.

Miami Marlins

  • Monte Harrison is a very interesting dynasty league target. He should open the season in the minors, though. He is up to four steals in this year’s spring training.
  • Isan Diaz had a 0-for-3 day on Wednesday and is 3-for-20 for the spring. The plan is for him to be the starting second baseman but he needs to hit to avoid losing playing time.
  • Tightness in his left oblique has kept Jorge Alfaro sidelined, but he got cleared for baseball-related activities on Wednesday.


NL Central

Chicago Cubs

  • Tyler Chatwood struck out five in three innings on Wednesday, with no walks. He allowed only one run. Could this be the year in which he overcomes his ugly control issues?
  • Ian Happ homered on Monday AND Tuesday. He is now 7-for-15 in Spring Training as the Cubs’ primary center fielder.
  • Kyle Hendricks was perfect for three innings on Monday. He had three strikeouts.

St. Louis Cardinals

  • Dakota Hudson led the National League in walks last season, but in this year’s spring training, he only has one in 8 1/3 frames. He only allowed a run in four innings on Tuesday vs. the Astros.
  • Giovanny Gallegos walked two and got in trouble on Tuesday, needing 29 pitches to get two outs. He is the favorite for closing duties in St. Louis, though.
  • Kwang-Hyun Kim, who was scratched from his start on Monday with a sore groin, will take the hill today.

Milwaukee Brewers

  • Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported on Tuesday that the Brewers are close to signing a long-term contract extension with Christian Yelich that will be worth more than $200 million. The man will get paid handsomely, and deservedly so.
  • Brandon Woodruff conceded one run, which wasn’t earned, in three innings on Wednesday. He only struck out one but is locked and loaded as one of the top SP options on draft day.
  • Corbin Burnes hurled three shutout frames on Wednesday, allowing three hits and striking out four. He would need to beat Freddy Peralta and Eric Lauer for a shot at a starting gig, but he is more interesting than that pair.

Cincinnati Reds

  • Josh VanMeter went 4-for-4 with a homer, two RBI and four runs on Wednesday. He is hitting 7-for-13 in spring training and appears to have a super-utility job locked up.
  • Nick Castellanos will return to the Reds’ lineup on Thursday. He was battling flu-like symptoms.
  • Finally, Nick Senzel will debut on Thursday following a long layoff due to a shoulder injury.

Pittsburgh Pirates

  • Bryan Reynolds hit a home run and walked twice on Wednesday. He is an undervalued outfielder that can provide between 15-20 dingers and a solid batting average.
  • Chris Archer is nursing neck tightness, but he threw a live batting practice session without issue on Wednesday. He is inching closer to a return.
  • Although he will probably earn a rotation spot, Mitch Keller hasn’t pitched well this spring training. He has allowed five runs in six innings.

NL West

Los Angeles Dodgers

  • Justin Turner got hit by a pitch in his hand on Wednesday, but he took X-rays and will be fine going forward.
  • Clayton Kershaw pitched three scoreless innings with four strikeouts on Wednesday. He now has eight punchouts in 4 2/3 frames this spring training.
  • Cody Bellinger had a “knot” in his back, but will return to the lineup today according to Dave Roberts.

Arizona Diamondbacks

  • Madison Bumgarner gave up five runs, four of them earned, over 2 2/3 innings on Wednesday. Francisco Lindor got him for a three-run bomb.
  • Luke Weaver conceded two earned runs over 1 1/3 innings on Tuesday. It’s still an improvement over his last start, in which he allowed four runs in 2/3 of a frame. Be patient with him.
  • Kole Calhoun hit his first homer of the spring on Tuesday. He is on the radar in some deep mixers and in NL-only leagues.

San Diego Padres

  • The expectation is that Fernando Tatis plays on Thursday after missing action due to flu-like symptoms.
  • Adrian Morejon allowed a whopping six runs while registering only one out on Wednesday. It was against the Royals. Ouch.
  • Wil Myers’ torrid spring training continues: he went 3-for-3 with two doubles on Wednesday. He is now 8-for-19 with three homers.

San Francisco Giants

  • Johnny Cueto let in four runs over 2 2/3 innings on Wednesday. It came against the Dodgers. He had a good first outing but just didn’t have it yesterday.
  • Tyler Beede had an MRI that showed a flexor strain and UCL sprain in his right elbow. He is not expected to have surgery at the time but will be sidelined for a while, opening a spot for Logan Webb to make the rotation.
  • Streamer Jeff Samardzija pitched three innings of one-run ball on Monday against Arizona.

Colorado Rockies

  • Raimel Tapia went 2-for-4 with a home run and two runs on Wednesday. It’s unclear whether he has the goods to carve out a regular role in the Rockies’ crowded outfield, though.
  • Nolan Arenado homered on Tuesday against the Cubs, his second of spring training.
  • Ryan McMahon went yard on Monday. His multi-positional eligibility is excellent for fantasy purposes.

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