Elvis Andrus connected for a two-run homer in the Rangers’ 4-3 win over the Padres on Friday.
It was his first homer of the spring and ended up being the difference in the ballgame. While it didn’t get a lot of attention, Andrus had the best season of his career with the bat last year while batting .302/.362/.439 with eight homers, 69 RBI, and 24 steals over 147 games. The infusion of youth at the shortstop position has pushed him down the board, but he’s still useful to have around in fantasy leagues.
Martin Perez blanked the Padres over five innings on Friday in Cactus League action.
In his first start back after a stint with Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic, Perez limited the Padres to just three hits while fanning six and walking none. The 25-year-old southpaw is poised to open the season behind Yu Darvish and Cole Hamels in the Rangers’ rotation, though his fantasy upside is minimal. He struck out just 103 batters in 198 2/3 innings last season. No qualifiied starter had a lower strikeout percentage.
Jhoulys Chacin allowed two runs (one earned) over 4 1/3 innings Friday against the Rangers.
Both runs scored in his final inning of work. Chacin gave up four hits and walked four while striking out six batters, so he was at 91 pitches when he got pulled. After finishing strong with the Angels last season, Chacin increasingly looks like the frontrunner to start Opening Day for the Padres. It’s going to be a long year in San Diego.
Wil Myers went 2-for-3 with a triple and a run scored Friday against the Rangers in Cactus League action.
Myers was the big bright spot for the Padres during their last-place finish in 2016 and he’s poised to play a similar role this year. The 26-year-old is hitting .370 (17-for-46) with a 1.112 OPS over 18 games this spring.
Tanner Scheppers was forced to leave Friday's Cactus League game with an undisclosed injury.
It's unclear what the injury is, but the right-hander was forced to depart with the athletic trainer in the ninth inning. Rangers manager Jeff Bannister termed it an injury to his "lower half" and said he'll be re-evaluated on Saturday. Scheppers was expected to secure one of the final spot's in the Opening Day bullpen, but that is now in jeopardy.
Kyle Seager slugged a two-run homer off Danny Duffy in the Mariners’ 4-3 win over the Royals in Cactus League action on Friday.
It was his first homer of the spring. While his brother received most of the attention last season, Kyle established new career-bests across the board last season, including 30 homers and 99 RBI. His .859 OPS was 71 points higehr than his previous career-high. He’s a rock-solid option at third base in mixed leagues.
Hisashi Iwakuma yielded one run over 5 2/3 innings against the Royals on Friday.
Iwakuma blanked the Royals until Paulo Orlando led off the fifth with a homer. He struck out four and walked none. His last two Cactus League outings were very shaky, so this should restore some confidence going into the season. Still, he’s not the fantasy option he once was. He turns 36 in April and his strikeout and walk percentages are headed in the wrong direction.
Danny Duffy gave up three runs in six innings Friday against the Mariners.
This was his first start back in the Cactus League since pitching for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic. All three runs scored in the third inning, including a two-run homer off the bat of Kyle Seager. Duffy faded down the stretch last season and lost some velocity along the way, but the Royals are hoping he can be their ace for this 2017 and beyond after giving him a five-year, $65 million extension in January.