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Sports Data APIs for Individuals!
The Boston Red Sox agreed on a two-year, $14 million deal with infielder/outfielder Kike Hernandez on Friday, according to sources. Hernandez was a key piece for the Los Angeles Dodgers for the last six seasons, mainly because of his defensive versatility and his production against left-handed pitching. The 29-year-old has a career slash line of .240/.313/.425 while providing solid defense as a middle infielder or outfielder. He had a 5.7 wins-above-replacement mark by FanGraphs from 2016-2020. Hernandez hit just .230/.270/.410 with five home runs and 20 RBI for Los Angeles in the shortened 2020 season. He figures to serve as the regular second baseman in Beantown this season, though, which will raise his fantasy value in the counting stats. Just don't expect much help in the average department, especially since he'll be expected to face more right-handed pitching.
New York Yankees starting pitcher Domingo German looked good on Friday in his first game action since 2019, striking out four opposing batters over two innings in which the only damage against him was one hit. German missed the entire 2020 season as he served a domestic violence suspension, and he's now battling promising prospect Deivi Garcia and Michael King for the fifth spot in the Yankees rotation, at least until starting pitcher Luis Severino (elbow) returns from Tommy John surgery. German likely leads that competition after posting a 4.03 ERA over 143 innings in 2019, but Garcia offers more upside, and fantasy managers should continue to monitor the spring training battle over the coming weeks.
New York Yankees second baseman DJ LeMahieu went 2-for-2 with a walk in a Grapefruit League contest Friday against the Tigers. The reigning AL batting champ picked up right where he left off last season when he posted a career-high .421 on-base percentage. In two seasons with New York, LeMahieu has silenced all doubters who suggested he couldn't hit outside of Colorado. He posted 96th percentile expected batting averages each of the last two seasons and led baseball last year with a .428 wOBA. Elite plate discipline metrics should again help LeMahieu post a strong batting average this season while racking up plenty of counting stats batting atop a potent Yankee lineup. He's one of the safest players in fantasy and will cost a second or third-round pick in most drafts.
Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Aaron Civale revamped his delivery and also developed a split-change this offseason, Mandy Bell of MLB.com reports. Civale worked with assistant pitching coach Ruben Niebla to develop a new windup and pitch from a different arm angle. The result has been a shorter arm path with the hopes of making the action more repeatable. He also tinkered with his changeup, shifting from a traditional offering to a split-change. Civale has experienced plenty of success through 22 major-league starts, racking up a 2.69 ERA and 1.20 WHIP while posting a 115:32 K: BB. He should be locked into the Cleveland rotation this season. While his skillset may not be as flashy as some other young stars, Civale possesses good command. He also pitches in a favorable division and for a team that has had success grooming their young starters. He's a solid mid-round selection when looking to solidify a rotation in fantasy leagues.
Miami Marlins starting pitcher Nick Neidert tossed two scoreless relief innings in Friday's Grapefruit League game against the Houston Astros. Neidert tossed the third and fourth innings after lefty Trevor Rogers started the game. Those two and a few others are competing for the fifth spot in the Marlins starting rotation. Neidert projects as a solid big league starter, but he doesn't have the strikeout upside that Rogers does. Neidert seems just behind Rogers right now in the competition.
Milwaukee Brewers starting Pitcher Eric Lauer has allowed five earned runs over three innings through two appearances this spring. Lauer and the Brewers are hoping he will bounce back from a rough 2020 season in which he allowed 16 earned runs over 11 innings, but he has not shown any signs of improvement thus far in the spring. He will have a few more opportunities to right the ship, but the Brewers can still option him, so he is going to have to show some results to avoid opening the regular season in the minors. The team has given him every chance to land a rotation spot, but his pitching has not been effective. His 8.3K/9 is playable, but these rations aren't too appealing to fantasy players.
Miami Marlins starting pitcher Trevor Rogers got the start in Friday's Grapefruit League game against the Houston Astros. He pitched two innings, allowing just one walk while striking out three. Rogers is seemingly slightly in the lead for the fifth spot in the starting rotation, but he has plenty of competition. He got seven starts in 2020, posting a disappointing 6.11 ERA, but striking out 30% of the batters he faced and putting up solid peripheral stats. He has the most upside out of the competitors for the fifth spot and would be worth a look in deeper leagues if he wins the starting job.
Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher Brandon Woodruff (back) is slated to start Monday's spring game against the Angels, Sophia Minnaert of Fox Sports Wisconsin reports. The 28-year-old pitched against live hitters Thursday with no issues and is poised to make his spring debut Monday. Woodruff was originally scheduled to start last Tuesday, so the back stiffness only ended up pushing back his first outing of the spring by less than a week. Assuming he doesn't suffer any setbacks, the right-hander shouldn't have any issues being ready for Opening Day. Woodruff should be one of the stronger SP2 targets for fantasy managers, especially when considering that he made strides with his secondary pitches in 2020 to complement his devastating upper-90s heater.
Minnesota Twins shortstop Andrelton Simmons has arrived at camp after having issues obtaining his visa. Simmons isn't the only player who had such an issue, though the Curacao native seemed to have more trouble than most in getting the appointment for his issued visa. Manager Rocco Baldelli said that Simmons was able to put in some quality work during the delay- and that the team hopes to have him on the field this weekend. He's currently clearing the team's COVID protocols but will be good to go once he does that.
Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Spencer Howard fired a clean inning with two strikeouts in his Grapefruit League debut versus the Pirates. Especially encouraging for the Phillies' top pitching prospect was his four-seam fastball which averaged 96 MPH on Friday after sitting at 94 MPH for most of last season. Howard is competing for a spot in the starting rotation, but could also pitch out of the bullpen if he doesn't win a rotation job out of Spring Training. Howard is a must-roster player in keeper or dynasty formats and would have value in redraft as well if he is in the starting rotation.
Philadelphia Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto (thumb) had the cast on his thumb removed Friday. Realmuto will now be wearing a splint on his broken thumb, which will allow for more mobility, though he'll still be unable to hit or throw. It's still some measure of progress for the 29-year-old backstop, who is still slated to be ready for Opening Day. Realmuto has posted an OPS of at least .820 in each of the last three seasons- scoring and driving in at least 70 runs in 2018 and 2019. Despite his inactivity this spring, Realmuto will still be the top catcher off the board in fantasy and could even fall past his 45 ADP in some drafts.