Pedro Alvarez blasted two homers and drove in six runs as the Pirates pounded the Phillies 18-4 on Monday.
After a fine start to his spring, Alvarez had cooled off, to the point at which he asked to get some extra at-bats in minor league camp last week. He's still hitting a fine .325 overall, with four homers and five doubles in 40 at-bats.
Kevin Slowey was pounded for six runs -- five earned -- in two innings by the Pirates on Monday.
Slowey also played a role in the benches-clearing incident in the game, apparently because he quick-pitched Sean Rodriguez, who took exception. Slowey, who opened the spring with a 2.08 ERA in two starts and three relief appearances, has put his roster spot in jeopardy by allowing nine runs -- seven earned -- in three innings his last two times out.
Josh Harrison homered and tripled Monday versus the Phillies.
Entering spring training assured of a job for the first time in his life, Harrison has quietly hit .302 with two homers in 43 at-bats. He'll be the Pirates' third baseman and leadoff man.
J.J. Hardy (shoulder) will be shut down from baseball activities for 10 days.
Hardy was sent for an MRA on his ailing left shoulder on Monday, which showed a subscapularis (or muscle) strain. The Orioles will see how he responds to rest before deciding on the next step. It sounds like a return in April is possible if he can avoid setbacks, but Everth Cabrera will likely fill in for now. He's worth a look in deeper fantasy leagues if you need speed.
Padres manager Bud Black conceded Monday that Will Middlebrooks has "put himself in a good position" to be the starting third baseman.
Middlebrooks is batting .333 (15-for-45) with two homers, two doubles, and a .911 OPS across 16 games in Cactus League action, which should be good enough to beat out Yangervis Solarte for the gig. We don't expect him to hit for a high batting average, but his pop could give him some value in deeper fantasy leagues.
Freddy Galvis went 2-for-3 with a two-run homer versus the Pirates on Monday.
It was his first extra-base hit in 59 at-bats this spring. If Odubel Herrera were a right-handed hitter, he'd probably bat second for the Phillies. However, he's yet another lefty, so the Phillies aren't going to sandwich him in between Ben Revere and Chase Utley at the top. For that reason, Galvis could find himself in the spot, despite his pathetic .259 OBP in 514 major league at-bats. It'd make him more valuable in NL-only leagues for however long it lasts.
Jace Peterson went 3-for-5 with a double and two runs scored in the Braves' 4-2 defeat of the Tigers on Monday.
With his .352 average, Peterson is in line to open the season as the Braves' second baseman and No. 2 hitter. He's not going to hit for much power, but he can maintain a decent average and steal bases, giving him some value in NL-only leagues.
Eric Stults pitched five scoreless innings in relief, allowing just one hit, for a victory against the Tigers on Monday.
Stults definitely aided his bid for the fifth spot in Atlanta's rotation today, and he'd seem to be the in-house favorite for the gig. Overall, he's allowed five runs -- four earned -- in 19 innings this spring, giving him 1.89 ERA. It's still quite possible the Braves will go outside the organization for a fifth starter, which could make Stults a bullpen candidate.