Aaron Harang has been scratched from Wednesday's Grapefruit League start against the Yankees, citing mechanical issues as per Meghan Montemurro of The News Journal.
Montemurro noted that Harang had put an ice pack on his back, but the pitcher himself said the reason for the scratch was mechanical. CSN Philly's Jim Salisbury reports Kevin Slowey will start in Harang's place. Harang more or less has a spot sealed up in the Phillies' rotation and should be handled with extreme caution in fantasy leagues given his mediocre repertoire and the peripherals he put up last season (161/71 K/BB ratio in 204 1/3 innings).
Johan Santana will begin his throwing program on Tuesday, John Lott of the National Post reports.
Santana, 35, is attempting to make it back to the major leagues for the first time since 2012. In the time since, he has undergone major shoulder surgery and suffered an Achilles injury last season. If Santana has a worry-free spring, the left-hander could join the Blue Jays' rotation at some point in April, though he is reportedly "highly unlikely" to be ready for Opening Day. He will earn a $2.5 million salary with contract incentives that could pay him more should he make the major league roster.
Nick Franklin believes he will become the Rays' starting shortstop, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times writes.
The Rays can go one of several ways with their middle infield. One would involve using Asdrubal Cabrera at second base and Franklin at short, and another could reverse the positions. The Rays could also give some of Franklin's playing time to Tim Beckham (at shortstop) and/or Logan Forsythe (at second base). Franklin joined the club at the trade deadline last season in the three-way David Price trade. He has a career .647 OPS with 13 home runs and 51 RBI in 412 plate appearances. Those in deep mixed leagues and AL-only leagues will want to monitor how this situation plays out over the course of the spring.
Giancarlo Stanton (face) is not in the Marlins' starting lineup for Tuesday's exhibition game against the Miami Hurricanes.
Stanton was hit in the hip during an intrasquad game over the weekend, but he was only grazed. The Marlins are just taking it easy with Stanton early on. Stanton was hit in the face with a fastball in September last season, requiring surgery. He will be wearing a new, more protective helmet and should still be counted on for elite fantasy numbers as he begins a record 13-year, $325 million contract signed in November.
Matt Harvey (elbow) is likely to make his regular season debut on April 9 in Washington against the Nationals, the third game of the regular season, according to Kevin Kernan of the New York Daily News.
Harvey should also be good to go for his next turn on April 14 at home against the Phillies, Kernan added. The right-hander is nearly fully recovered from his October 2013 Tommy John surgery. Expect the Mets to take their foot off the gas with Harvey often throughout the season. Innings aside, though, the sky remains the limit for the talented youngster, who finished the 2013 season with a 2.27 ERA and 191/31 K/BB ratio in 178 1/3 innings, good enough for fourth in NL Cy Young Award balloting.
Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com reports that "some in the game believe" the Rangers "may make a push" to acquire Dillon Gee.
The Rangers have been connected to Gee as far back as the Winter Meetings, though they've traded for Yovani Gallardo, Ross Detwiler and Anthony Ranaudo since then. Cotillo notes that it's "unclear if the sides are in active discussions." He also reports that "one scenario that is being thrown about in baseball circles" is a deal that would send Gee and "some additional pieces" to Texas for Jurickson Profar. It's hard to see that one having any legs, but it's certainly interesting and worth noting.
Nationals signed OF Tony Gwynn Jr. to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
Gwynn, 32, hit just .152/.264/.190 over 80 games for the Phillies last season and had to wait it out until March to find a job, but he finally has one. He'll face a major uphill battle to win an Opening Day roster spot but offers the Nats some veteran depth in the minors.
Matt Purke (elbow) is hoping to throw off a mound within the next couple weeks.
Purke is currently limited to long-tossing as he works his way back from Tommy John surgery. The injury-prone left-hander will be out until around midseason and is no longer on the Nats' 40-man roster.