Saturday, February 25th, 2017
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Content provided by Rotoworld Player News - Saturday, February 25th, 2017

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Braves claim Christian Walker off of waivers 02-25-2017
Christian Walker 1B BAL
Braves claimed 1B/OF Christian Walker off of waivers from the Orioles. The 25-year-old hit .264/.321/.437 with 18 homers and 64 RBI in 131 games at Triple-A Norfolk for the O's in 2016. Given his versatility, he could carve out a bench spot on the Braves' Opening Day roster with a strong showing in the spring.
Brett Lawrie (leg) not in lineup on Saturday 02-25-2017
Brett Lawrie 2B CWS
Brett Lawrie was held out of the White Sox starting lineup on Saturday due to recurring leg issues.

Colleen Kane on Twitter
Lawrie missed time during the 2016 season due to issues with his left leg. He had been a full participant in all team activities prior to Saturday but wasn't feeling right prior to the start of the game. It's definitely a situation that is worth monitoring in the coming days.
Montgomery and Anderson could share spot 02-25-2017
Mike Montgomery P CHC
Cubs manager Joe Maddon said Saturday that Mike Montgomery and Brett Anderson could share the fifth starter's role, rather than either winning it outright this spring.

Carrie Muskat on Twitter
Neither hurler is stretched out to 200 innings, so they could alternate in the role throughout the season with the other serving as as long man in the bullpen. While the idea makes sense from the Cubs' perspective, it detracts from the potential fantasy value of both left-handers.
Bourn will miss four weeks with broken finger 02-25-2017
Michael Bourn CF BAL
Michael Bourn is expected to miss the next four weeks due to a broken ring finger on his right hand.

Peter Schmuck on Twitter
Bourn just re-signed with the O's this week and was expected to compete for a reserve outfielder role. He should still have enough time to get ready for the regular season, but this could impact his chances to crack the Opening Day roster.
Welington Castillo scratched with back spasms 02-25-2017
Welington Castillo C BAL
Welington Castillo was scratched from the Orioles' starting lineup on Saturday due to back spasms.

Eduardo Encina on Twitter
The injury is believed to be minor and shouldn't be a lingering issue. He's considered day-to-day and should return to game action early in the week.
Eduardo Rodriguez throws live BP Saturday 02-25-2017
Eduardo Rodriguez P BOS
Eduardo Rodriguez (knee) made it through a live batting practice session without any issues on Saturday.

Providence Journal
It's the first live session that he's had this spring and a big step in the right direction for the southpaw. The next step is for him to complete a side session early in the week and if all goes well he'll make his Grapefruit League debut on Thursday against the Rays. Rodriguez is locked in a battle with Steven Wright and Drew Pomeranz for the final two spots in the club's Opening Day rotation.
Taylor Motter sidelined with back soreness 02-25-2017
Taylor Motter RF SEA
Taylor Motter will be sidelined for the next couple of days due to soreness in his back.

Greg Johns on Twitter
The 27-year-old is already facing an uphill battle in trying to land a spot on the club's Opening Day bench, and any missed time isn't going to help his cause. Motter hit just .188/.290/.300 with two bombs and nine RBI in 93 plate appearances with the Rays in 2016.
Tommy La Stella dealing with tight hamstring 02-25-2017
Tommy La Stella 3B CHC
Tommy La Stella is currently dealing with tightness in his left hamstring.

Mark Gonzales on Twitter
He's considered day-to-day. The 28-year-old appeared in 74 games for the Cubs in 2016, slashing .270/.357/.405 with a pair of homers and 11 RBI in 148 at-bats. He's expected to once again function in a utility role for the Cubs in 2017.
Ryu will throw one more bullpen before game 02-25-2017
Hyun-Jin Ryu P LAD
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Saturday that Hyun-Jin Ryu will complete one more bullpen session before he'll pitch in Cactus League play.

Eric Stephen on Twitter
Ryu felt fine after his simulated game on Friday, but he and Scott Kazmir both need to be slotted into the spring rotation which will take a few days. It will be interesting to watch how things play out regarding the Dodgers rotation if everyone is healthy, as there are seven viable arms competing for five spots.
Orioles outright T.J. McFarland to Triple-A 02-25-2017
T.J. McFarland P BAL
Orioles sent LHP T.J. McFarland outright to Triple-A Norfolk. McFarland cleared outright waivers, but must now either accept his outright assignment or can opt for free agency. The club hopes to keep him in camp to compete for a spot in their Opening Day bullpen.
Cueto not expected to arrive this weekend 02-25-2017
Johnny Cueto P SF
Johnny Cueto is not expected to arrive to Giants' spring camp this weekend.

Alex Pavlovic on Twitter
Cueto is still working on getting a visa for his father, who is battling illness in his native Dominican Republic. The right-hander has been throwing at a facility in the Dominican Republic and shouldn't be far behind the team's other starters once he finally arrives.
Ichiro Suzuki (knee, back) progressing nicely 02-25-2017
Ichiro Suzuki RF MIA
Ichiro Suzuki is progressing nicely in his recovery from a bruised right knee and stiff back.

MLB.com
The veteran outfielder has been playing catch and doing light hitting drills the past couple of days and should return to full baseball activities soon. He sustained the injuries during a collision with teammate Brandon Barnes during an outfield drill on Tuesday.
Jeff Locke MRI reveals no structural damage 02-25-2017
Jeff Locke P MIA
Jeff Locke's recent MRI revealed no structural damage.

MLB.com
While that's encouraging news, the left-hander will be shut down from throwing for the next seven days. The more time that he misses this spring, the harder his chances will be of securing a spot in the club's Opening Day rotation.
Todd Frazier to ramp up activity on Monday 02-25-2017
Todd Frazier 3B CWS
Todd Frazier (oblique) is expected to ramp up his baseball activities on Monday.

Scott Merkin on Twitter
Frazier has been slowed by a minor oblique strain, but is progressing nicely and is nearing a return to game action. He's on track to debut in Cactus League play near the end of next week. While oblique injuries can be tricky, this doesn't appear serious and shouldn't impact Frazier's draft stock.
Andre Ethier (leg) looks healthy this spring 02-25-2017
Andre Ethier LF LAD
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Saturday that Andre Ethier looks healthy and is showing no signs of last year's broken leg.

Ken Gurnick on Twitter
Ethier missed almost the entire 2016 season due to a fractured right fibula, but has had ample recovery time. He's expected to function as the strong side of a platoon in right field and could be a candidate to hit leadoff for the Dodgers.
Logan Forsythe hitting leadoff on Saturday 02-25-2017
Logan Forsythe 2B LAD
Logan Forsythe is batting leadoff for the Dodgers in Cactus League play on Saturday.

Ken Gurnick on Twitter
Forsythe is just one of the candidates competing to bat atop the Dodgers order this spring. Manager Dave Roberts has also indicated Andrew Toles, Joc Pederson and Andre Ethier are under consideration for that spot.
Louis Coleman battling biceps tendinitis 02-25-2017
Louis Coleman P LAD
Louis Coleman has been shut down for a few days due to biceps tendinitis in his pitching arm.

Mark Sheldon on Twitter
The injury isn't believed to be serious at this time, though it's something worth monitoring. The non-roster invitee is in camp competing for a spot in the Opening Day bullpen, and any extended missed time could really hurt his chances.
Chris Sale set for Red Sox debut on March 6 02-25-2017
Chris Sale P BOS
Chris Sale is scheduled to make his first Grapefruit League start with the Red Sox on March 6 against the Astros.

ESPN
Sale logged 226 2/3 innings for the White Sox in 2016, so the Red Sox are doing the wise thing and easing him into action this spring. He joins David Price and Rick Porcello to form as formidable a threesome as exists in the American League heading into 2017.
Eric Thames batting fifth in Brewers debut 02-25-2017
Eric Thames 1B MLW
Eric Thames is batting fifth in his Cactus League debut with the Brewers on Saturday against the Angels.

Milwaukee Brewers on Twitter
This markes Thames' unofficial return to the big leagues after spending the previous three seasons in the Korean Baseball Organization. Ryan Braun is the lone Brewers' regular who isn't in the lineup on Saturday. Travis Shaw is starting at third base and batting third while Hernan Perez draws the start in left field and is batting cleanup.
Orioles sign Paul Janish to minors contract 02-25-2017
Paul Janish SS BAL
Orioles signed INF Paul Janish to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Roch Kubatko on Twitter
Janish elected free agency from the Orioles in October rather than accepting an outright assignment to Triple-A. He hit just .194/.286/.226 in 35 plate appearances with the O's in 2016. He'll compete for a reserve role on the club's Opening Day roster.
Hendriks hopes to join Australia in Round 2 02-25-2017
Liam Hendriks P OAK
Liam Hendriks said Saturday that he hopes to join Australia for Round 2 of the World Baseball Classic should they advance.

Susan Slusser on Twitter
Hendriks withdrew from the team on Friday citing the fact that his stuff wasn't quite game-ready and he didn't want to risk injury or jeopardize his season by ramping up too quickly. While he wants to be able to pitch for his home country, he realizes that the Athletics and his own career need to take priority.
Lucas Duda battling continued back stiffness 02-25-2017
Lucas Duda 1B NYM
Lucas Duda is not in the Mets starting lineup on Saturday due to continued back stiffness.

Anthony DiComo on Twitter
Duda missed a large portion of the 2016 due to back stiffness and it's a discouraging development that he's continuing to deal with the issue after having an entire offseason to rest and rehab. The 31-year-old hit just .229/.302/.412 with seven homers and 23 RBI in 153 at-bats in 2016. The more time that he misses, the greater the opportunity for Michael Conforto to seize at-bats, either at first base or in right field with Jay Bruce manning first.
Dee Gordon (illness) not in lineup Saturday 02-25-2017
Dee Gordon 2B MIA
Dee Gordon was scratched from the Marlins starting lineup on Saturday due to illness.

Joe Frisaro on Twitter
Gordon was scheduled to start at second base and bat leadoff, but was sent home due to feeling under the weather. He should be ready to return to game action in a day or two.
Iwakuma scheduled for side session Tuesday 02-25-2017
Hisashi Iwakuma P SEA
Hisashi Iwakuma is scheduled to throw a side session on Tuesday.

Bob Dutton on Twitter
The Mariners have Iwakuma on what is termed a "go slower" plan this spring, easing the veteran right-hander into action. He isn't expected to make his Cactus League debut until March 3 at the earliest.
Dariel Alvarez not ready to give up hitting 02-25-2017
Dariel Alvarez RF BAL
Dariel Alvarez confirmed Saturday that he remains focused on being a hitter and an outfielder and isn't interested in switching to pitching at this time.

Baltimore Sun
There have been reports that the O's might try to convert him to a pitcher. Alvarez possesses a strong arm and did pitch years ago in his native Cuba. The 28-year-old hit .288/.324/.284 with four homers, 49 RBI and seven stolen bases in 130 games at Triple-A Norfolk in 2016.
Brandon Moss batting sixth in Royals debut 02-25-2017
Brandon Moss DH KC
Brandon Moss is batting sixth in his Cactus League debut with the Royals on Saturday against the Rangers.

Blaie Kerkhoff on Twitter
It looks as though Mike Moustakas is the lone projected regular that isn't in Saturday's lineup, so this could be a close approximation to the Opening Day lineup. Obviously, the closer Moss is to the middle of the lineup, the better his fantasy outlook becomes. Alex Gordon is slotted in the second spot on Saturday.
Haniger bats sixth in Opening Day preview 02-25-2017
Mitch Haniger RF SEA
Mitch Haniger is starting in right field and batting sixth for the Mariners in Saturday's Cactus League opener against the Padres.

Greg Johns on Twitter
M's manager Scott Servais had indicated that Saturday's lineup could be a preview of the Opening Day alignment, and having Haniger bat sixth would be a boost to his already soaring fantasy value. The biggest loser in this potential lineup appears to be Leonys Martin, who is stuck in the ninth spot.
Ian Desmond batting fifth in Rockies debut 02-25-2017
Ian Desmond 1B COL
Ian Desmond is batting fifth in his Cactus League debut with the Rockies on Saturday.

Patrick Saunders on Twitter
Aside from having Gerardo Parra in for David Dahl, and utilizing a designated hitter, this looks as though it could be a preview of the Opening Day lineup for the Rockies. Desmond, coming off of a monster 2016 campaign with the Rangers, is poised for even greater heights in the tremendous hitting environment that Coors Field provides.
Manuel Margot batting leadoff for Padres 02-25-2017
Manny Margot CF SD
Manuel Margot is batting leadoff for the Padres in Saturday's Cactus League showdown against the Mariners.

San Diego Padres on Twitter
The Padres used Travis Jankowski primarily out of that spot in 2016, but Jankowski is hitting seventh in Saturday's lineup. It would certainly be a huge boost to Margot's fantasy value if he's slotted at the top of the lineup to begin the regular season. Also of note, is that Hunter Renfroe is batting cleanup, with Yangervis Solarte hitting fifth.
J.D. Martinez scratched from Saturday lineup 02-25-2017
J.D. Martinez RF DET
J.D. Martinez was scratched from the Tigers' starting lineup on Saturday due to tightness in his pectoral muscle.

Jason Beck on Twitter
It doesn't sound as though it's anything serious, but at this point in the spring there's no reason to take any chances. Mikie Mahtook will slide into the starting lineup in his place, with Juan Perez shifting over to right field.
David Wright in Mets lineup as DH Saturday 02-25-2017
David Wright 3B NYM
David Wright is in the Mets starting lineup as the designated hitter in Saturday's Grapefruit League contest against the Nationals.

Marc Carig on Twitter
Wright won't be ready to play the field until mid-March, so he's limited to DH duties until then. He has been playing catch regularly as he's working to come back from neck surgery while also battling spinal stenosis in his back. The odds of him remaining healthy throughout the 2017 season remain slim.
Matt Wieters not in Nationals lineup Saturday 02-25-2017
Matt Wieters C WAS
Matt Wieters is not in the Nationals starting lineup for Saturday's Grapefruit League tilt against the Mets.

Mark Zuckerman on Twitter
It'll be Derek Norris behind the dish on Saturday. Wieters, who is being eased into action after officially signing his deal on Friday, won't be in Sunday's lineup either as Jose Lobaton will handle the catching duties.
Howie Kendrick hits second in home opener 02-25-2017
Howie Kendrick 2B PHI
Howie Kendrick is batting second on Saturday as the Phillies deploy a probable Opening Day preview in their Grapefruit League home opener against the Yankees.

Philadelphia Phillies on Twitter
Kendrick is set to open the season as the Phillies' everyday left fielder and should be able to generate plenty of fantasy value if he remains in a premium lineup spot. Michael Saunders is hitting fifth on Saturday with Tommy Joseph slotted behind him in the sixth spot.
Mitch Moreland batting fifth in Red Sox debut 02-25-2017
Mitch Moreland 1B BOS
Mitch Moreland is batting fifth in the lineup for his Red Sox debut on Saturday against the Twins.

Ian Browne on Twitter
Andrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Sandy Leon are the only projected regulars who aren't in the lineup, all of whom played in Friday's game against the Mets. It'll be interesting to see if Moreland remains near the middle of the lineup once their full complement of players are in there, as it would lead to ample RBI chances.
Gerrit Cole to throw simulated game on Sunday 02-25-2017
Gerrit Cole P PIT
Gerrit Cole is scheduled to throw two innings in a simulated game on Sunday.

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
If all goes well, he could then be cleared for his Grapefruit League debut later in the week. The club is easing him into action this spring in an effort to keep him healthy after three stints on the disabled list derailed his 2016 campaign.
Brandon Phillips bats sixth in Braves debut 02-25-2017
Brandon Phillips 2B ATL
Brandon Phillips is batting sixth in the lineup for his Grapefruit League debut with the Braves on Saturday against the Blue Jays.

Mark Bowman on Twitter
This looks an awful lot like it could be the club's Opening Day lineup, minus the fact that there's a designated hitter in play. Phillips spent most of his time with the Reds alternating between the 3-5 spots in the lineup, so expect his counting stats to take a small hit overall with the bump down.