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Rotoworld

  • FA Starting Pitcher #34
    Kevin Acee of The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the Padres have shown interest in free agent right-hander Noah Syndergaard.
    The Padres desperately need starting rotation help after losing Seth Lugo and Michael Wacha this winter, and all signs point to Blake Snell moving on as well. San Diego has also expressed interest in lower-tier free agents Michael Lorenzen, Eric Lauer, and Hyun Jin Ryu. Syndergaard threw a bullpen session in late January for interested teams and reportedly sat between 93-95 mph with his fastball. The right-hander is looking to have a bounce back season after posting a 6.50 ERA, 1.39 WHIP, and a 56/19 k/BB ratio over 88 2/3 innings with the Dodgers and Guardians.
  • Pit Starting Pitcher #59
    Although he walked three, Roansy Contreras held the Tigers scoreless for 2 1/3 innings in the Pirates’ 7-3 victory Saturday.
    Contreras set the trend for Pirates pitchers today; they walked 11 batters in all, but they allowed just two hits. Contreras has shown slightly better velocity than last year in his two spring starts, but he’s not yet back to where he was two years ago. Because he’s out of options, he’ll make the Pirates as either a starter or a middle reliever. He seems like a poor bet for fantasy purposes right now.
  • Det Starting Pitcher #45
    Jack Flaherty pitched two innings and allowed one run Saturday versus the Pirates.
    The run came courtesy of a Henry Davis homer. Flaherty’s velocity was again excellent today; his 95.2 mph average on his fastball was up two mph from last year. He wound up with one strikeout and four missed swings in the quick, 21-pitch outing.
  • Det Relief Pitcher #68
    Jason Foley was charged with three runs and a loss after getting two outs versus the Pirates on Saturday.
    Foley’s velocity was up some during a strong first outing, but he was back to last year’s norm with his fastball today, and his new, slower slider didn’t produce results. Three of the four balls in play against him were hit over 100 mph, and he also walked a batter.
  • Det Second Baseman #39
    Zach McKinstry walked three times, including once with the bases loaded, and stole a base against the Pirates on Saturday.
    A homer, a double and seven walks in 12 plate appearances have produced a 1.950 OPS for McKinstry to date. One of the criticisms of McKinstry last year was that he stopped walking while continuing to hit leadoff for the Tigers. He actually had 20 bases on balls in 97 plate appearances last May and then 20 more total in 357 plate appearances over the subsequent four months. That four-month span saw him produce a hideous .208/.258/.319 line, which is why he’s not penciled in as a regular this year. Still, the opportunity could be there for him to start over Gio Urhsela at third base against righties if he hits (and walks).
  • Bos Starting Pitcher #89
    Tanner Houck blanked the Nationals for three innings and struck out five Saturday as a Red Sox split-squad won 4-2.
    Houck followed Brayan Bello in this one. He’s allowed just one hit and one walk in five innings to open the spring. We’d say he entered camp as the favorite to serve as Boston’s fifth starter, and he’s only helped his chances thus far. That said, Garrett Whitlock was quite impressive last time out, too.
  • Was Starting Pitcher #40
    Josiah Gray held the Red Sox to one run over three innings and struck out five on Saturday.
    The Red Sox are playing split-squad games today, but Gray got the good lineup, which included every healthy Red Sox regular. He now has 10 strikeouts in five innings this spring, which is pretty encouraging for a guy whose K rate fell from 24.1% in his first two seasons to 20.5% last year.
  • Bos Shortstop #10
    Trevor Story fanned all three times up Saturday against the Nationals.
    Story is 2-for-10 with six strikeouts and two walks. The Red Sox want a right-hander batting third to break up the string of lefties at the top of their lineup, and they’d probably prefer to have Story there initially. Still, Tyler O’Neill might prove to be the better option. Story isn’t hopeless as a run producer, but OBP no longer seems like a strength of his.
  • Bos First Baseman #36
    Triston Casas struck out in both of his at-bats in his spring debut Saturday against the Nationals.
    Casas is recovering from the flu, and he made it sound afterwards like he was still a little off. Casas hit cleanup today, and he looks like the favorite to occupy that spot for the Red Sox on Opening Day.
  • Phi Right Fielder #8
    Nick Castellanos hit his first spring homer off the Twins’ Bailey Ober in the Phillies’ 3-2 win Saturday.
    Castellanos finished the regular season and the postseason batting seventh last year, so it’s been a little surprising to see him back in the fourth spot this spring. It’s not necessarily unjustified; Castellanos, Alec Bohm and J.T. Realmuto all project rather similarly. Castellanos wound up with 106 RBI last year, 57 of which came in 80 starts as a cleanup man, and he’ll probably make another run at the century mark this year.
  • Min Starting Pitcher #17
    Bailey Ober averaged 93.6 mph with his fastball while striking out seven and allowing one run over three innings Saturday against the Phillies.
    Just one batter reached against Ober, though that was a solo homer from Nick Castellanos. We’d be more excited about Ober’s velocity gains today if he didn’t experience something similar last spring and then see it disappear during the regular season. Really, though, he’s plenty good while averaging 91 mph with his fastball (91.4 last year, to be exact), and if he could produce a steady 93-mph, he’d likely be a top-15 fantasy SP.