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Sports Data APIs for Individuals!
Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Freddie Freeman (hamstring) made his return to the team's Cactus League lineup as the designated hitter on Saturday against the Chicago White Sox and went 2-for-2 with a run scored and a walk in the team's 6-4 victory. The plan is for Freeman to play first base on Sunday after he was pulled from Team Canada's game in the World Baseball Classic earlier in the week due to a tight hamstring. The 33-year-old's injury was considered minor, and he's fully expected to be ready for Opening Day at the end of March. Heading into his second season with the Dodgers in 2023, Freeman should be considered an elite fantasy first baseman.
Despite an impressive performance in spring training, New York Mets top prospect Brett Baty was optioned to Triple-A Syracuse. Baty is the No. 2 prospect in the Mets organization and ranks 21st in all of baseball. His bat was on full display this spring after hitting his way to a .885 OPS. Baty slashed .325/.460/.425 and drove in six RBI along with one homer. Despite proving that he's capable of thriving in a major-league setting, the Mets opted to continue his development in the minors. Baty played just six games at Triple-A Syracuse last season and the Mets want him to gain some experience at a higher level before turning full pro. If he turns some heads down in Syracuse, it could stir an early call-up to the big leagues.
Colorado Rockies second baseman Brendan Rodgers (shoulder) was transferred to the 60-day injured list. Rodgers dislocated his left shoulder while diving for a ground ball on March 6th against the Texas Rangers, and could miss the season. He went for a second opinion a few weeks ago after he was informed that it would require season-ending surgery, and the Rockies aren't too optimistic that he'll play in 2023. Rodgers was a first-time Gold Glove winner last season and even sprinkled in some production at the plate. He slashed .266/.325/.408 with 13 HRs and a 96 OPS+. With Rodgers likely missing the 2023 season, Ryan McMahon and Alan Trejo are potential candidates to become the Rockies' everyday second baseman.
Baltimore Orioles catcher James McCann (side) has been experiencing soreness in his side and has been out of the lineup since March 20th. Manager Brandon Hyde noted that it is simply a precaution and McCann should return in the next couple of days. The 32-year-old was acquired from the New York Mets over the offseason in exchange for cash and minor-leaguer Luis De La Cruz. McCann missed considerable time last season after breaking his hamate bone, followed by an oblique injury that sidelined him for a month. When on the field, McCann slashed a dreadful .195/.257/.282 but only made 191 plate appearances. If he can stay healthy this coming season, McCann is a plus-defender and can possibly tap into some complimentary power.
St. Louis Cardinals top prospect Jordan Walker was selected for the team's Opening Day roster. Walker is the Cardinals' No. 1 prospect and is ranked fifth in all of baseball. The 20-year-old showed a glimpse of his potential throughout spring training and hit his way to a .831 OPS. He made 62 plate appearances and slashed .295/.307/.525 with three homers and nine RBI. Walker displayed impressive bat-to-ball skills and showboated some of his long-ball pop. He possesses monumental arm strength and executed a handful of highlight-worthy plays throughout spring training. Walker doesn't turn 22 until May and is already hinting towards a potential Rookie of the Year campaign.
First baseman Luke Voit opted out of his minor-league deal with the Milwaukee Brewers. He can still be part of the Brewers Opening Day roster but will explore his options before reassessing the situation. Voit, a 32-year-old slugger, spent his 2022 campaign with the San Diego Padres and Washington Nationals. He slugged a career-tying 22 home runs and slashed a middling .226/.308/.402 with a .710 OPS. Voit's ability to create contact has teetered off quite a bit since his magical .948 OPS season with the New York Yankees back in 2019. He struck out a whopping 179 times (31.4% rate) this past season and doesn't provide much value to a lineup aside from his over-the-fence power. Although, if Voit resorts back to Milwaukee, there's a chance that he could make the 26-man roster.
Seattle Mariners shortstop J.P. Crawford (foot) is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Saturday. This comes after Crawford was scratched ahead of Friday's game due to foot soreness. It sounds like a minor issue, but the team wants to do additional testing to make sure it's not anything serious. The expectation is that Crawford should be fine heading into Opening Day. Although, fantasy managers will have to check back after the MRI for more information.
Los Angeles Angels infielder David Fletcher (abdominal) was scratched ahead of Saturday's Cactus League matchup. This was a precautionary move as the Angels aren't taking any chances in their final game of the spring. It sounds like the 28-year-old is dealing with abdominal tightness. That being said, Fletcher should be fine in a few days, but the team will likely give another update on him soon. It doesn't appear that Fletcher is in danger of missing Opening Day.
Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Brandon Belt (illness) has been scratched ahead of Saturday's Grapefruit League contest. It sounds like the veteran slugger is dealing with a stomach bug. That being said, Belt could very well sit the next day or two in order to rest. However, it sounds like Belt should be fine in time for Opening Day. Regardless, Belt won't be anything more than a late-round flier at this point in his career.
Houston Astros outfielder Kyle Tucker (ankle) is expected to make his return to the lineup on Sunday. The left-handed slugger is recovering from a minor ankle injury that he suffered during the World Baseball Classic. The expectation was that Tucker would return this weekend, barring any setbacks. Tucker should be fine for Opening Day, which means fantasy managers can feel fine about drafting Tucker this weekend in drafts.
Houston Astros starting pitcher Hunter Brown (back) is scheduled for a bullpen session on Sunday. The right-hander resumed throwing on Friday after being scratched from his start on Wednesday due to a back issue. It sounds like the 24-year-old should be ready in time for Opening Day. The expectation is that Brown is going to open the season as the fifth starter in Houston. He has looked good this spring and should be on the radar in most fantasy formats.
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