Will Middlebrooks continued his assault on Cactus League pitching on Friday, going 2-for-3 with an RBI in a 7-5 victory over the Rockies.
While manager Bud Black has yet to make a formal announcement, all signs indicate that Middlebrooks has won the starting job at third base over Yangervis Solarte. With the two-hit effort, he's hitting .341 (15-for-44) with two homers and eight RBI in spring play.
James Shields had a rough outing against the Rockies on Friday, allowing five runs (three earned) on six hits over his 4 1/3 innings.
Big Game James punched out five on the evening and walked one. It was the roughest start of the spring for the 33-year-old hurler, who still sports a respectable 3.31 ERA and outstanding 21/5 K/BB ratio across 16 1/3 innings. With his move to the National League and the pitcher-friendly confines of Petco Park, he has been a very popular commodity on fantasy draft boards this spring.
Charlie Blackmon had a nice day at the plate in Friday's loss to the Padres, going 2-for-3 with a pair of runs scored.
Blackmon also drew a walk in the contest, reaching safely in three of his four plate appearances atop the order. The 28-year-old is hitting .290 (9-for-31) with a homer and three RBI. As long as he's hitting in the second slot of the Rockies lineup, he should once again provide plenty of mixed league value in 2015.
Kyle Kendrick struggled in Friday's Cactus League outing against the Padres, allowing four runs (three earned) on eight hits over 4 1/3 innings.
The veteran right-hander walked a pair and struck out two on the afternoon. It was the worst outing of the spring to date for the Rockies' Opening Day starter. The 30-year-old owns a 3.52 ERA and 8/4 K/BB ratio across 15 1/3 innings in Cactus League play. He holds little fantasy value outside of NL-only formats.
Jonathan Lucroy smashed his third Cactus League home run as the Brewers rolled over the Reds 8-6 on Friday.
The Brewers jumped on Raisel Iglesias early in this one, with Scooter Gennett leading the game off with a solo homer, and Lucroy adding a two-run bomb just two hitters later. He has been on fire at the plate this spring, hitting .423 (11-for-26) with three homers and eight RBI.
Matt Garza struggled but still picked up a victory over the Reds on Friday despite allowing five runs on seven hits over 5 2/3 innings.
On the plus side, the veteran right-hander did rack up six strikeouts while issuing only one free pass. He has had a rough go of it this spring, posting a 6.16 ERA and 1.63 WHIP over his 19 innings. He'll have at least one more chance to right the ship before the regular season begins.
Brandon Phillips went 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles and four RBI as the Reds dropped a Cactus League decision to the Brewers on Friday.
Phillips got the Reds on the board with a two-run double off Matt Garza in the first inning then repeated the same feat again in the fifth. The 33-year-old has been off to a slow start this spring, hitting .233 (10-for-43) with no homers and six RBI.
Raisel Iglesias was hit hard in Friday's Cactus League loss to the Brewers, giving up six runs (three earned) on five hits over his four frames.
Iglesias punched out four on the evening while walking two. The Brewers jumped on him for three runs right out of the gate, with Scooter Gennett and Jonathan Lucroy each blasting homers in the first inning. Even with the rough outing, Iglesias still owns a respectable 3.68 ERA on the spring with a 14/5 K/BB ratio in 14 2/3 innings. While he carries a good deal of risk, he's an interesting high-upside gamble in the later rounds of mixed league drafts.