Spring Training Weekly Notebook: NL Edition
Spring training is firing on all cylinders! National League teams are already playing tune-up games in preparation for what is shaping up to be an exciting season.
Of course, fantasy owners are taking notes of all the transactions, contract extensions, trades, injuries, underlying trends, swing changes, pitch mix alterations, and other developments that may affect the fate of their fantasy squads.
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Spring Training Notes: National League
- Sean Newcomb struck out four and walked none in two innings of work. He allowed two runs but his stuff looked just fine. He could become a mixed league option if things break right.
- Mike Soroka, who tweaked his groin while throwing batting practice a few days ago, will make his first spring training start on Friday.
- Freddie Freeman, who experienced elbow inflammation earlier this week, will return to spring training games next week.
- Kyle Wright threw two scoreless innings in relief on Tuesday. He has a chance to secure a rotation spot given Cole Hamels’ injury, but needs to perform.
- The Nationals have an interesting battle for the fifth spot in the rotation. Joe Ross, Erick Fedde and Austin Voth are fighting for the gig. Ross has a leg up and was perfect for two innings on Wednesday.
- Victor Robles went 0-for-3 as the leadoff man on Wednesday. If he secures the first spot on the Nats’ lineup, his value gets a nice boost.
- As it turns out, Juan Soto is still doing Juan Soto things. He went 2-for-3 with a home run and three RBI on Tuesday.
- Zach Eflin pitched two scoreless and hitless innings Wednesday against the Minnesota Twins. He should start the year in the Phillies’ rotation
- Seranthony Dominguez hasn’t appeared in spring training games yet. If healthy, he should see high-leverage action this year.
- Multi-positional eligibility alert: the Phillies are playing Jean Segura at third.
- Lewis Brinson went 2-for-2 with a two-run homer on Tuesday. He should start the season in Triple-A but that could change in a hurry. Still, he has a lot to prove, as he hit five homers last spring and none in the regular season.
- Jose Urena twirled two scoreless innings against the Astros on Tuesday. He could be an NL-only option depending on performance.
- Former closer and current Marlins reclamation project Brad Boxberger pitched a scoreless inning and continues to look good.
- Brian Anderson was hit by a pitch in his left hand but is in no danger of missing the start of the regular season.
New York Mets
- Michael Wacha topped out at 96 mph in his first spring training start. Last season, he averaged 93.4 mph.
- J.D. Davis’ MRI on his shoulder came back negative, and he is dealing with just a little bit of inflammation. He jammed the shoulder while making a defensive play on Tuesday but will likely return next week.
- Reliever Edwin Diaz surrendered two runs and three hits in an inning on Wednesday. He could lose the closer gig if his struggles go deep in the spring.
- Brandon Nimmo underwent precautionary cardiac screening. He is fine.
- Kyle Hendricks pitched two scoreless innings against the Royals. He is a nice sleeper to target after the elite options.
- Javier Baez, a surefire top 10 shortstop option, homered in Wednesday’s spring training game against the Royals.
- Jon Lester allowed five runs — three earned — in one-plus inning Tuesday versus the Rockies. At this point, both his floor and his ceiling aren’t that high.
- Albert Almora and Ian Happ are battling it out for the Cubs’ center field spot. The latter had a bases-clearing double on Tuesday while the former, who re-worked his swing in the offseason, went 3-for-3 with a home run, four RBI, and two runs scored on Monday.
- Josh Lindblom, acquired by the Brewers after two highly successful seasons in Korea, pitched two scoreless on Wednesday. He struck out three.
- Jon Heyman and Ken Rosenthal reported that young righty Freddy Peralta agreed to a five-year deal with a $15.5 million guarantee and two club options that could bring the total value up to $30 million.
- Shortstop Orlando Arcia went 2-for-4 with a home run and four RBI on Monday’s spring training game.
St. Louis Cardinals
- Third base prospect Nolan Gorman went 3-for-5 with a double and three RBI on Wednesday. He could find himself in Double-A later in the year and could be an option for the Cards in 2021.
- Kwang-Hyun Kim dominated the Marlins for two innings and struck out three batters.
- Giovanny Gallegos pitched two-thirds of an inning and gave up three runs on Wednesday. He should open the season as the closer IF he pitches well.
- Back tightness is already bugging Matt Carpenter, but he should return on Saturday.
- Mitch Keller, Steven Brault, Chad Kuhl and Derek Holland are battling for two spots in the rotation. Keller allowed two runs in 1 2/3 innings Wednesday against the Red Sox.
- Gregory Polanco made his long-awaited spring training return on Wednesday. He played the outfield.
- Joe Musgrove, one of our favorite starting pitching sleepers, pitched two hitless innings on Tuesday.
- The fantasy industry is waiting for Nick Senzel to get healthy so he can have a shot at providing value. He was able to throw on Wednesday in his recovery from a torn labrum. He remains without a timetable.
- Another Red who injured his shoulder and remains without a timetable is Eugenio Suarez. He could start the season on the injured list.
- Sonny Gray was in vintage form on Wednesday, registering three strikeouts over two scoreless innings against the Mariners.
- Outfielder Jesse Winker should return to Cactus League action in a couple of days after being hit in the wrist by a pitch.
Los Angeles Dodgers
- Dustin May seems Triple A-bound not only because of the number’s game, but also because he hasn’t been able to throw without discomfort in his side. It’s unclear when, or if, he will pitch in spring training.
- Kenley Jansen struck out the side in his inning of work on Wednesday. Consider, however, that the side was Michael Hermosillo, Luis Rengifo and Jose Rojas.
- Joc Pederson has a side strain and isn’t hitting yet. Good news for AJ Pollock, who homered on Tuesday.
- Both Ross Stripling and Alex Wood hurled scoreless innings this week.
- Luke Weaver left a really good impression when healthy in 2019. His 2020 spring training started off on the wrong foot though: 0.2IP, four runs against the Athletics on Wednesday.
- Jon Duplantier struck out three in two scoreless innings on Tuesday against the Dodgers. He is vying for a rotation spot.
- Zac Gallen, a great young pitcher with a high floor and ceiling, also hurled two scoreless innings on Monday.
- Remember Ubaldo Jimenez? He is trying a comeback and pitched two innings and allowed one run on Wednesday versus the Rangers.
- Daniel Murphy, an undervalued hitter in drafts, went 2-for-2 with a double, two RBI, and a run scored on Monday.
- Jairo Diaz pitched a scoreless inning on Wednesday. He could close if Scott Oberg and Wade Davis can’t go or struggle.
San Diego Padres
- One of the potential breakout pitchers of 2020, Dinelson Lamet, will make his spring training debut on Saturday.
- Chris Paddack handled the Indians on Wednesday with three strikeouts in two scoreless frames.
- Wil Myers went 2-for-3 with a solo homer on Wednesday. He needs to hit, and hit a lot, to regain the Padres’ and fantasy owners’ faith.
San Francisco Giants
- We didn’t quite buy his second-half performance, but Jeff Samardzija started off well in spring training this time around: he had two scoreless frames on Wednesday against the Brewers.
- Mike Yastrzemski did it all on Tuesday: he singled twice, stole a base and scored a run versus the White Sox.
- Pablo Sandoval, recovering from Tommy John surgery, will DH on Friday in his spring debut.
- Kevin Gausman pitched two scoreless innings on Tuesday.
For all the rankings, strategy, and analysis you could ever want, 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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