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Atlanta Braves starter Max Fried allowed one run on six hits across six innings of work during Tuesday's 5-3 win over the New York Mets. He struck out four batters while walking three. The 25-year-old now owns a stellar 14-4 record in 2019 to go along with a 3.99 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, and 126/38 K/BB rate. Fried has been a reliable piece of the Braves' rotation all season long. He will have a tough test in his next projected start against the decorated Los Angeles Dodgers' lineup.
Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Chase Anderson suffered an oblique strain over the weekend and could need multiple weeks to recover. The right-hander was slated for the Jays rotation, but theres a strong chance he begins the season on the injured list. This may open the door for top prospect Nate Pearson to secure a spot in the five-man rotation since manager Charlie Montoyo stated hell have a chance to compete. Ryan Borucki and Shun Yamaguchi are the other candidates to fill in for Anderson, but Pearson is the only arm worth looking at for fantasy purposes.
Chicago Cubs manager David Ross has been impressed with second baseman Jason Kipnis. Ross raved about the second basemans baserunning and said in regards to his fielding that Kipnis is moving better than he was in Spring Training. Kipnis signed a minor league deal this offseason and will compete with infielders Nico Hoerner, David Bote and Daniel Descalso for the Opening Day start. Hoerner offers the most competition against Kipnis, but the Cubs may want him to have more seasoning before handing over the keys. Kipnis is coming off of a disappointing season with the Indians and can be avoided for now in all formats.
Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo (back) took part in line batting practice Sunday. The Cubs wanted a preferred for their slugger, who has been dealing with lower back tightness this week. Manager David Ross also said Rizzo is doing better. Rizzo has dealt with back issues over the last couple of seasons, but doesnt seem like the club is overly concerned. Rizzo remains one of the most consistent options at first base in upcoming drafts.
New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge (neck) is out of the lineup for Sunday's intrasquad game. Judge was scratched from Saturday's lineup with a stiff neck, and although manager Aaron Boone expects Judge's absence to be brief, the outfielder's neck still appears to be bothering him. Judge's stiff neck is the result of sleeping wrong according to manager Aaron Boone, but it's not clear that the neck issue is completely unrelated from the stress fracture in Judge's rib. Fantasy owners should remain cautious when drafting Judge and wait for him to return to the lineup before committing to him with an early-round draft pick.
Toronto Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo stated Saturday that he plans to open the season with a five-man rotation, with Trent Thornton penciled in as the fifth starter. The right-hander held an underwhelming 4.84 ERA in 29 starts for the club a season ago and will face a tough schedule primarily against his AL East division rivals. Thornton wont hold much fantasy value in 2020 outside of some streaming appeal in AL-only formats.
Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr. has yet to report to the team's summer camp, and manager Charlie Montoyo declined to comment on his status when asked on Saturday. It's easy to speculate that his absence is COVID-19 related, but we may not find out to what extreme since it's not mandatory to reveal that information. With less than two weeks until Opening Day, the 26-year-old is running out of time to get into game shape with the rest of his teammates. Joe Panik took over for Gurriel in left field in Saturday's intrasquad game, but Derek Fisher or Billy McKinney could also fill his spot in the outfield early in the season if necessary.
New York Yankees relief pitcher Zach Britton will be the teams primary closer if closer Aroldis Chapman isnt ready for the start of the season, according to manager Aaron Boone. Chapman was diagnosed with coronavirus on Saturday and has been showing symptoms, so fantasy owners should expect Britton to start the season as the closer for the Yankees. An elite reliever with a 1.83 ERA since 2014, Britton becomes a strong value pick at his 498 ADP. Even if Chapman only misses the first week of the season, Britton should be a top-tier fantasy closer during that time, making Britton draftable around pick 200 or earlier depending on Chapman's recovery.
Seattle Mariners relief pitcher Gerson Bautista hit 101 mph with a fastball during an intrasquad game on Saturday, but his next pitch came out at 94 mph and he threw one more pitch before something looked wrong. Athletic trainer Rob Nodine came to the mound to check with Bautista before they both walked off moments later. The 25-year-old appeared to be favoring his right arm when he left. Bautista made just eight appearances (two starts) for the M's in 2019, allowing 11 earned runs and walking nine in nine innings. He allowed six earned runs in 4 1/3 innings in five outings with the Mets in 2018 and was just hoping to make the team this year. By the looks of it, Bautista won't be ready by July 24. Stay tuned for updates.
New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (head) played catch on Saturday for the second time since suffering a concussion one week before. Tanaka is still in the concussion protocol and the Yankees are taking his recovery slowly, but the 31-year-old is reportedly acting like his normal self and has been progressing well. Manager Aaron Boone hasnt placed a timetable on Tanakas return, but it seems like hell begin pitching again within the next week, putting him in line to miss no more than one start to begin the season.
New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge (neck) has had his stiff neck attributed to sleeping wrong, and the team is optimistic that the 28-year-old will be back in the lineup on Sunday. Judge was held out of Saturdays intrasquad game with a stiff neck, but manager Aaron Boone isnt particularly worried and expects Judges absence to be brief. It makes sense that the Yankees are being extra cautious with Judge, but fantasy owners should wait for Judge to get back in the lineup before drafting him to be certain that his stiff neck isnt related to the stress fracture in his rib.
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