ST Daily: Bird Is The Word

ST Daily: Bird Is The Word
Nate Grimm discusses Greg Bird's new title, Carlos Martinez's Opening Day honor and a US win in the WBC in Thursday's Spring Training Daily.
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Kendall Graveman has been named the Opening Day start for the Athletics.

A's manager Bob Melvin made that announcement Thursday in camp, adding that Sean Manaea and Jharel Cotton will follow Graveman in the club's season-opening series against the Angels. The fourth and fifth spots are to be determined. Graveman, 26, posted a relatively underwhelming 4.11 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, and 108/47 K/BB ratio in 186 innings (31 starts) last season for Oakland. He'll make for a decent streamer at times in standard fantasy leagues.
Mar 23 - 1:15 PM

Joe Wendle (shoulder) is scheduled to play catch Thursday for the first time in more than a week.

Wendle has been held out of Cactus League action since March 7 because of a shoulder injury. A recent MRI showed no structural issues, but the 26-year-old probably won't make Oakland's roster anyway.
Mar 23 - 1:11 PM

Jhan Marinez has made the Brewers' bullpen.

Marinez is out of minor league options, so he would've had to really tank this spring to miss the Opening Day roster. The right-hander instead posted a sharp 1.13 ERA across eight Cactus League innings. He'll operate in a middle relief role for the Brewers.
Mar 23 - 1:07 PM

Andrew Susac has flown to Milwaukee to undergo additional tests on his neck and back.

There is expected to be an update from the Brewers on Friday morning. Susac has been bothered for weeks by discomfort around his trapezius muscle, and it's simply not getting any better. Manny Pina and Jett Bandy figure to open the 2017 season as the Brewers' two active catchers.
Mar 23 - 1:05 PM

Rick Porcello pitched in a minor league game Thursday.

The reigning American League Cy Young Award winner gave up five runs over four innings in his last Grapefruit League start, pushing his spring ERA to 8.10. Ian Browne of MLB.com says Porcello looked "free and easy" with "sharp downward movement" on his two-seamer Thursday. Porcello will start on Opening Day for Boston.
Mar 23 - 12:58 PM

Manny Pina was told Thursday that he has made the Brewers' Opening Day roster.

It'll be the first Opening Day at the MLB level for the 29-year-old catcher. Pina is putting up big numbers in the Cactus League and could get a decent share of starts behind the plate in Milwaukee, but we still can't recommend drafting him in a standard fantasy league. Jett Bandy and Andrew Susac (trapezius) are also in the mix for playing time at catcher with the Brewers.
Mar 23 - 12:38 PM

Jaff Decker (oblique) is aiming to play in a minor league game Saturday.

Decker came down with some oblique soreness late last week, but he took 60 swings in a batting cage Thursday without issue and he hopes to participate in live batting practice on Friday. The 27-year-old outfielder is trying to win a spot on the Athletics' bench.
Mar 23 - 12:27 PM

Raisel Iglesias revealed Thursday that he injured his right elbow and hips when he fell in the shower three weeks ago.

That explains why Iglesias hasn't appeared in a Cactus League game since March 14, and why he underwent an MRI on the elbow of his throwing arm earlier this week. The results of that MRI came back negative, but Iglesias is questionable-to-doubtful for the beginning of the 2017 regular season. Michael Lorenzen, Tony Cingrani, and Drew Storen could all be in line for save opportunities out of the gate in Cincinnati. Reds manager Bryan Price spoke this winter about wanting to use a matchups-based approach at closer in 2017, and this Iglesias injury -- even if it's minor -- gives Price all the more reason to follow through with that plan.
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