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PLAYER UPDATES Provided By SportsBuff.com
 Player: Adam Wainwright SP, St. Louis Cardinals 02/28/11, Time: 3:18 pm
 News: The Cardinals announced that Wainwright underwent successful Tommy John surgery Monday morning.
 Analysis:

Now comes the interesting part: the rehab. He's obviously out for this season, so we'll check back come next winter. (RapidDraft.com)

 Player: Vicente Padilla P, L.A. Dodgers Dodgers 02/26/11, Time: 10:12 pm
 News: Padilla is expected to begin throwing again in three-to-four weeks following elbow surgery.
 Analysis:

The pitcher estimated it would take double that timetable to get back to game shape. For a guy who is a bit of a loose cannon even when healthy, this seems plenty to make fantasy owners forget about him. (RapidDraft.com)

 Player: Ian Kinsler 2B, Texas Rangers 02/26/11, Time: 10:10 pm
 News: The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that the Rangers plan to hit Kinsler leadoff this year, which was Elvis Andrus' perch in 2010.
 Analysis:

Kinsler posted a career-best .382 on-base percentage last season, which was 40 points better than Andrus. The move might send him for more steals after a dip to 15 last season, but it's bound to hurt his RBI total. (RapidDraft.com)

 Player: Chase Utley 2B, Philadelphia Phillies 02/26/11, Time: 10:04 pm
 News: Utley is expected to miss a third straight day of action Sunday because of what the team is calling "general body soreness."
 Analysis:

Sounds like what one of us average dudes might complain about after shoveling the driveway. As long as the Phils keep the clubhouse stocked with Utley's brand of hair grease, there should be no real issue. (RapidDraft.com)

 Player: Corey C. Hart OF, Milwaukee Brewers 02/26/11, Time: 10:02 pm
 News: The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports that Hart is only expected to miss a few days after slightly straining his right side.
 Analysis:

No big deal. There's plenty of spring training left. (RapidDraft.com)

 Player: Brandon Lyon RP, Houston Astros 02/26/11, Time: 10:01 pm
 News: The Astros' official website reported that Lyon followed a lighter off-season throwing schedule and reported to spring training late in hopes of avoiding the shoulder cyst issue that bothered him last spring.
 Analysis:

Lyon said he's ahead of where he was at the same time last year. He's a veteran, so all that really matters is that Houston's closer is ready to go for opening day. Between his history and his team, he's not a high-level fantasy option anyway. (RapidDraft.com)

 Player: Freddie Freeman 1B, Atlanta Braves 02/26/11, Time: 9:57 pm
 News: Freeman doubled three times in three at-bats Saturday in his spring opener.
 Analysis:

It's tough to ask for much more from the rookie looking to lock down the starting first base job. Freeman is a deep fantasy sleeper with a chance to deliver solid pop from a very late draft position. (RapidDraft.com)

 Player: Craig Kimbrel RP, Atlanta Braves 02/26/11, Time: 9:54 pm
 News: Kimbrel endured a tough first spring outing Saturday that included two walks, a double and a homer to go with just one recorded out.
 Analysis:

One poor outing certainly doesn't spell doom for the rookie closer candidate, but he'll have to make this look like an outlier to win the job outright. (RapidDraft.com)

 Player: Adrian Beltre 3B, Texas Rangers 02/26/11, Time: 8:53 pm
 News: SI.com's Jon Heyman reports that Beltre could miss up to a month with a calf strain.
 Analysis:

That timetable would push right up against the start of the regular season. It has also been reported that Beltre could return within two weeks. We'll have to see if it impacts him early in the year, whether he's active or out. (RapidDraft.com)

 Player: Andrew McCutchen OF, Pittsburgh Pirates 02/26/11, Time: 6:31 pm
 News: McCutchen hit third for the Pirates on Saturday. He finished 2010 hitting leadoff.
 Analysis:

There has been a question about where new manager Clint Hurdle would bat McCutchen. Nothing says that this will be his final spot, but hitting third should help McCutchen's RBI total without hurting his at-bats too much. (RapidDraft.com)

 Player: Bartolo Colon SP, N.Y. Yankees Yankees 02/26/11, Time: 6:06 pm
 News: Colon started for the Yankees Saturday and yielded one run in two innings of work.
 Analysis:

Colon's velocity didn't go beyond the high 80s, which makes him look like just about as average a rotation candidate as expected. (RapidDraft.com)

 Player: Kendry Morales 1B, L.A. Angels Angels 02/25/11, Time: 5:32 pm
 News: The Los Angeles Times reports that the leg Morales broke last summer is nowhere near 100 percent.
 Analysis:

The long recovery from this injury is certainly worrisome and threatens to keep Morales from being ready for opening day. The team maintains that it expects him to be there, though Morales might DH for a while. How he responds to that would be interesting, as would the Angels' answer to first base. (RapidDraft.com)

 Player: Brian Roberts 2B, Baltimore Orioles 02/25/11, Time: 10:37 am
 News: X-rays on Roberts' neck came out negative this week, and the second baseman is hoping to get back on the field Friday.
 Analysis:

Roberts awoke with soreness earlier this week and has been resting it, but the issue doesn't seem too significant. It'll be surprising if it lingers into the season. (RapidDraft.com)

 Player: Franklin Gutierrez OF, Seattle Mariners 02/25/11, Time: 10:34 am
 News: The Seattle Times reports that Gutierrez has left camp to head back to Seattle to check with a doctor about his severe stomach pain.
 Analysis:

The centerfielder has been bothered by the issue since last summer, so we'd have to guess he'd play through it again. At the same time, it would obviously help him to get it cleared up. We'll see what happens. (RapidDraft.com)

 Player: Rich Harden SP, Oakland Athletics 02/25/11, Time: 10:31 am
 News: Harden told the AP on Thursday that he is "100 percent pain-free" in the sore lat that shut him down early this spring.
 Analysis:

The oft-injured righty said he feels ready to return as soon as the trainers allow. Of course, it's always just a matter of time before the next ailment. Harden can pitch, so he's a quality pitch-or-ditch candidate for fantasy owners willing to employ that method with their rotation. Trusting him for any significant role is unwise, though. (RapidDraft.com)

 Player: Jake Peavy SP, Chi. White Sox White Sox 02/25/11, Time: 10:28 am
 News: Peavy has had no setbacks since arriving at spring training, telling MLB.com, "I?m far ahead of where I thought I would be at this point.?
 Analysis:

The veteran starter did add, ?But I can?t push it and I?ve got to be cautious.? Still, Peavy is slated to start for the Sox on March 4, the team's fifth scheduled spring game. As long as things continue to go well, he should be in play during the early double-digit rounds of fantasy drafts. (RapidDraft.com)

 Player: Brandon Webb SP, Texas Rangers 02/24/11, Time: 3:57 pm
 News: ESPNDallas.com reports that Webb threw 60 pitches from flat ground Thursday without issue and could be back on the mound by the end of the weekend.
 Analysis:

As worrisome as Webb's early-camp shoulder woes are, it's important to remember that we're still more than a month from the start of the season. There's a point late in fantasy drafts at which Webb still makes some sense. (RapidDraft.com)

 Player: James Shields SP, Tampa Bay Rays 02/24/11, Time: 3:02 pm
 News: Correcting a previous item on Shields' two lowest ERA and WHIP seasons came in 2007 and 2008, rather than 2008 and 2009.
 Analysis:

Regardless, Shields has success and decent strikeout totals -- two seasons of more than 180 within the past four -- behind him and is worth a late shot in fantasy drafts. (RapidDraft.com)

 Player: James Shields SP, Tampa Bay Rays 02/24/11, Time: 1:52 pm
 News: Shields told MLB.com that he has focused on sharpening his mechanics to avoid getting the ball up in the zone, which led to many of the 34 home runs hit against him last year.
 Analysis:

Shields said he needs to stop failing off the mound during his delivery and that he was landing poorly. Shields posted ERAs under 4.00 and WHIPs under 1.20 in the previous two seasons, so there's plenty of reason to give him a shot in fantasy -- especially at the cheap price he figures to pull. (RapidDraft.com)

 Player: Adam Wainwright SP, St. Louis Cardinals 02/24/11, Time: 1:40 pm
 News: The second opinion -- from renowned Dr. Lewis Yocum -- agreed with the first. Wainwright will undergo Tommy John surgery.
 Analysis:

Guess we'll see how he's doing this time next year. (RapidDraft.com)

 Player: Jake Peavy SP, Chi. White Sox White Sox 02/24/11, Time: 10:15 am
 News: The Chicago Tribune reports Peavy (shoulder) threw two innings of batting practice on Wednesday.
 Analysis:

Peavy seems to be making progress from surgery to repair a detached lat muscle, but his status for the start of the season is still up in the air. (RapidDraft.com)

 Player: Miguel M. Cabrera 1B, Detroit Tigers 02/24/11, Time: 10:13 am
 News: The Detroit News reports Cabrera could report to Tigers camp as early as Thursday morning.
 Analysis:

Cabrera is obviously dealing with DUI and resisting arrest charges stemming from last week's incident, but it appears something has been worked out to allow him to continue to work. (RapidDraft.com)

 Player: Carl Pavano SP, Minnesota Twins 02/23/11, Time: 2:48 pm
 News: SI.com's Jon Heyman reports Pavano has been named the Twins' Opening Day starter against Toronto.
 Analysis:

Pavano earned the nod with his solid 2010 season, as he went 17-10 with a 3.75 ERA over 32 starts. (RapidDraft.com)

 Player: Nick Blackburn SP, Minnesota Twins 02/23/11, Time: 2:12 pm
 News: Kelly Thesier of MLB.com reports Blackburn was hit on the side of the face by a throw back from the catcher that deflected off the screen.
 Analysis:

Blackburn is expected to be fine, and continue competing for a spot toward the back of the Twins' starting rotation. (RapidDraft.com)

 Player: Adam Wainwright SP, St. Louis Cardinals 02/23/11, Time: 11:18 am
 News: The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Wainwright flew back from Florida to St. Louis Wednesday morning to have his right elbow examined for what GM John Mozeliak believes is a "significant injury."
 Analysis:

The phrase "Tommy John surgery" is already being thrown around, which obviously bodes quite ill for Wainwright's 2011 outlook. He should be removed from draftboards completely for the time being. (RapidDraft.com)

 Player: David Price SP, Tampa Bay Rays 02/23/11, Time: 10:56 am
 News: David Price will be the starter in the Rays' Spring Training opener Saturday afternoon at 1:05 ET against the Pirates at Charlotte Sports Park, MLB.com reports. According to Tampa Bay, Price will likely pitch just one inning.
 Analysis:

Price will likely be Tampa Bay's opening day starter in the regular season as well. He finished second the Cy Young Award balloting last season. (RapidDraft.com)

 Player: Mark Prior SP, N.Y. Yankees Yankees 02/23/11, Time: 10:53 am
 News: Yankees manager Joe Girardi was on the field to watch an early-morning mound session turned in Tuesday by right-hander Mark Prior, who is trying to revive his big league career after repeated injury setbacks, according to MLB.com.
 Analysis:

A return from injury will be a long shot for Prior, who hasn't pitched in a major league game since 2006. (RapidDraft.com)

 Player: Bartolo Colon SP, N.Y. Yankees Yankees 02/23/11, Time: 10:50 am
 News: Bartolo Colon's bid to secure a spot in the Yankees' rotation will begin on Saturday, as the right-hander has been tabbed to start the club's Grapefruit League opener against the Phillies, MLB.com reports.
 Analysis:

The key for Colon this season will be to stay in shape and stay healthy. He's had these issues throughout his career. (RapidDraft.com)

 Player: Derek Jeter SS, N.Y. Yankees Yankees 02/23/11, Time: 10:48 am
 News: Yankees captain Derek Jeter slung a towel over his right shoulder and laughed, saying that he thought Hank Steinbrenner's comments about players building mansions had been "funny." Jeter shrugged off the public comments made by the Yankees' co-chairman on Monday, when Steinbrenner stated that the team seemed to lose focus and had celebrated its 2009 World Series championship too much, according to MLB.com.
 Analysis:

Hank Steinbrenner seems to be following in his father's footsteps. Anything short of a World Series Championship is unacceptable in his eyes. (RapidDraft.com)

 Player: Adrian Gonzalez 1B, Boston Red Sox 02/23/11, Time: 10:45 am
 News: In an interview on WEEI on Tuesday, Red Sox president Larry Lucchino confirmed what was essentially already known: Adrian Gonzalez will be in a Boston uniform for a long time. According to multiple reports, parameters are in place for a seven-year, $154 million contract that will become formalized perhaps at the beginning of the regular season.
 Analysis:

This would be a smart move for the Red Sox. It would make their offense a force to be reckoned with for years to come with Gonzalez and Crawford in the lineup. (RapidDraft.com)

 Player: Jon Papelbon RP, Boston Red Sox 02/23/11, Time: 10:40 am
 News: Closer Jonathan Papelbon was in camp Tuesday, but he didn't participate in drills because he is battling flu-like symptoms, MLB.com reports. He was not in camp Sunday because he was attending to his wife, who was similarly ill.
 Analysis:

This should only be a minor set back for Papelbon as he prepares for the 2011 season. Mariano Rivera's family had similar issues battling the flu before he reported to Yankees' camp. (RapidDraft.com)

 Player: Josh Beckett SP, Boston Red Sox 02/23/11, Time: 10:37 am
 News: Perhaps the most crucial arm in the Red Sox's rotation will have the first crack at game action against a Major League team this spring. Josh Beckett is Sunday's scheduled starter against the Twins across town in Fort Myers, according to MLB.com.
 Analysis:

Pitching in the Spring Training opener doesn't mean much, but Beckett will be anxious to get back on the mound after an injury-plagued 2010 season. (RapidDraft.com)

 Player: Justin Morneau 1B, Minnesota Twins 02/22/11, Time: 6:33 pm
 News: Phil Mackey of 1500 ESPN.com reports Morneau (concussion) took 40 swings in batting practice on Tuesday.
 Analysis:

Morneau remains on track to be ready for Opening Day. (RapidDraft.com)

 Player: Joe Mauer C, Minnesota Twins 02/22/11, Time: 6:31 pm
 News: Scott Miller of CBS Sports.com reports Mauer (left knee) has already received lubricant shots in his surgicially repaired left knee.
 Analysis:

Mauer should be just fine by Opening Day, and is still the top fantasy catcher. (RapidDraft.com)

 Player: Jose Valverde RF, Detroit Tigers 02/22/11, Time: 6:29 pm
 News: The Associated Press reports Valverde (illness) missed workouts again on Tuesday due to illness.
 Analysis:

Valverde has been sidelined close a to a week now, but it does not appear to be a long-term concern. (RapidDraft.com)

 Player: Justin Morneau 1B, Minnesota Twins 02/22/11, Time: 3:57 pm
 News: Phil Mackey of 1500ESPN.com reports that Morneau took outdoor batting practice off live pitching Tuesday for the first time in his recovery from last summer's concussion.
 Analysis:

This is obvious a positive development, in spite of the fact that Morneau also said this week that he's not yet 100 percent. He's expected to miss the first couple of weeks of spring games and will remain at least somewhat risky until he returns to game action. It appears that the risk level isn't too high, though. (RapidDraft.com)

 Player: Justin Verlander SP, Detroit Tigers 02/22/11, Time: 3:49 pm
 News: Manager Jim Leyland announced Tuesday that Verlander will be the opening-day starter for the fourth straight year.
 Analysis:

No surprise here, especially after the bounce back campaign Verlander enjoyed in 2010. He's among the best starters in either league and only just turned 28. (RapidDraft.com)

 Player: Adrian Gonzalez 1B, Boston Red Sox 02/21/11, Time: 8:07 pm
 News: Four months and one day after undergoing right shoulder surgery, Red Sox first baseman Adrian Gonzalez got his bat back Monday, according to MLB.com. The slugger's progression started with 20 swings off the tee. Gonzalez will do three days of tee work and then take a day off. He will consult with the training staff at that point, and perhaps be cleared for batting practice.
 Analysis:

Gonzalez appears to be a little ahead of schedule in his rehab from off-season shoulder surgery, although his status for opening day was never in question. (RapidDraft.com)

 Player: Alfredo Simon RP, Baltimore Orioles 02/21/11, Time: 3:27 pm
 News: Orioles pitcher Alfredo Simon, who remains in a Dominican Republic jail as a suspect in a fatal shooting incident on New Year's Day, is expected to be cleared and possibly released within the next week to 10 days, two sources told MLB.com on Sunday night.
 Analysis:

This would be a major boost to the Orioles' pen if he could be released from jail and able to pitch this year. (RapidDraft.com)

 Player: J.D. Drew OF, Boston Red Sox 02/21/11, Time: 3:24 pm
 News: During the first full-squad workout, Red Sox right fielder J.D. Drew was on the field with his teammates and not in the trainers' room, according to MLB.com. The only reason this qualified as news is because Drew mentioned in an interview a couple of weeks ago that his left hamstring was still causing him some problems. But that no longer seems to be the case.
 Analysis:

This is encouraging news for the Red Sox, but it wouldn't be surprising if Drew experiences more problems with his hamstring over the course of the season. He has been plagued by injury problems throughout his career. (RapidDraft.com)

 Player: Kyle Farnsworth RP, Tampa Bay Rays 02/21/11, Time: 3:20 pm
 News: Kyle Farnsworth is the early favorite to land the Rays' closing job, MLB.com reports. Joel Peralta, Jake McGee and J.P. Howell will also be in the mix.
 Analysis:

If he does become the closer, Farnsworth will have some big shoes to fill after the departure of Rafael Soriano to the Yankees. (RapidDraft.com)

 Player: Frank Francisco RP, Toronto Blue Jays 02/21/11, Time: 3:16 pm
 News: The Blue Jays are taking a cautious approach with veteran right-hander Frank Francisco during the early stages of Spring Training. He was held out of throwing to live hitters on Sunday afternoon and instead went through a bullpen session on the side. Blue Jays manager John Farrell stressed that Francisco has not suffered an injury - the club is just allowing him to progress at his own pace.
 Analysis:

This is probably a good idea. Francisco struggled badly in Texas last year, causing him to lose his closing job for the Rangers in April. (RapidDraft.com)

 Player: Jeremy Hellickson P, Tampa Bay Rays 02/21/11, Time: 3:13 pm
 News: Right-hander Jeremy Hellickson did not take part in the Rays' team workout for the third consecutive day Sunday, MLB.com reports, but neither Hellickson nor manager Joe Maddon seem overly concerned about the minor setback caused by a sore right hamstring.
 Analysis:

Hellickson felt some tightness in his right hamstring while warming up for a bullpen session Thursday. He went ahead and threw his bullpen session, but the tightness lingered, which prompted the Rays to shut him down. It's still early in Spring Training, so it remains to be seen whether or not this will be a problem as opening day approaches. (RapidDraft.com)

 Player: Jo-Jo Reyes P, Toronto Blue Jays 02/21/11, Time: 3:06 pm
 News: Blue Jays' manager John Farrell was impressed by Jo-Jo Reyes' bullpen session on Sunday afternoon, according to MLB.com. Reyes was a highly touted prospect in Atlanta before being sidetacked with a knee injury, but continues to throw the ball well in early spring bullpen sessions.
 Analysis:

Reyes is a long shot to make the starting rotation but is being strongly considered for one of the final spots in the bullpen. The 26-year-old is out of options and must make the 25-man roster or risk being exposed to another team. (RapidDraft.com)

 Player: Travis Snider OF, Toronto Blue Jays 02/21/11, Time: 3:01 pm
 News: Travis Snider has yet to participate in baseball-related activities because of an injury to his upper rib-cage area, MLB.com reports. Snider suffered the injury last week while playing golf in Innisbrook, Fla. He is experiencing soreness on the left side of his body in the intercostal muscles, which are located between the ribs.
 Analysis:

It's unfortunate that he injured himself playing golf, since he should finally get the opportunity to be an everyday player for the Blue Jays this year. Snider should be ready for opening day, however. (RapidDraft.com)

 Player: Ryan Dempster SP, Chi. White Sox White Sox 02/21/11, Time: 1:16 pm
 News: Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune reports that Dempster has been named the Cubs' opening-day starter.
 Analysis:

This only confirms that new Cubs manager Mike Quade realizes what the rest of us do. Dempster is a much more trustworthy hurler than Carlos Zambrano, who started the past six openers. Matt Garza appears to have lost out primarily because he's the new guy. (RapidDraft.com)

 Player: Carlos Zambrano SP, Chi. Cubs Cubs 02/21/11, Time: 1:13 pm
 News: After starting the past six opening days for the Cubs, Zambrano will cede the spot to Ryan Dempster in 2011.
 Analysis:

"Last season, not last Opening Day, made the decision tough," new manager Mike Quade told the Chicago Tribune. "You think about Z's finish, and about Demp battling all year long and doing a good job. Great finish, but we did not have a good year. I just thought we'd change it up a little. Z's done that, and see how that plays." Not a whole lot of insight there, so let's straighten out the coachspeak. Dempster was more consistently good last year and is not the more trustworthy pitcher. (RapidDraft.com)

 Player: Grady Sizemore CF, Cleveland Indians 02/21/11, Time: 10:19 am
 News: The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports Sizemore (left knee) ran sprints and did some agility drills on Sunday.
 Analysis:

Sizemore appears to be making progress, but those looking at drafting him should still monitor his status to make sure he'll be ready for Opening Day. (RapidDraft.com)

 Player: Brandon Webb SP, Texas Rangers 02/21/11, Time: 10:18 am
 News: The Rangers have halted Webb's mound work because of soreness in his repaired throwing shoulder.
 Analysis:

That's obviously bad news for a big injury risk who has barely played over the past two seasons. There's certainly plenty of time for Webb to get through it, but fantasy owners have little reason to believe he navigate the season without issues. Webb is a very late flier at best. (RapidDraft.com)

 Player: Fausto Carmona SP, Cleveland Indians 02/21/11, Time: 10:07 am
 News: MLB.com's Jordan Bastian reports that the Indians expect Carmona to build off a bounce back 2010 and be a consistent presence at the top of their rotation.
 Analysis:

"Last year, the way Fausto threw the ball and the way he was able to stay consistent throughout the year, he's not going back," manager Manny Acta said. "He's got the stuff. All he needs to do is continue to throw the ball over the plate. His confidence is sky high. He's our horse, man." Carmona's 3.77 ERA was about 1.7 runs lower than either of his previous two seasons and his walk rate dropped by more than two per 9 innings. Of course, his up-and-down history and a weak team that will hurt his win total makes him a pretty risky fantasy option. (RapidDraft.com)

  
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