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.
Jorge Soler slugged a two-run homer in Friday’s loss to the Mariners.
It’s nice to see some signs of life here. Even after Friday’s homer, Soler is batting just .149 with a .561 OPS this spring. It’s not what fantasy owners want to see, but he should begin the year with a chance at regular playing time and still possesses major power upside. He’s a name to consider late in drafts.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that the Indians and Jose Ramirez are finalizing a four-year, $30 million contract extension.
The deal would also include two club options, giving the Tribe team control over Ramirez through the 2023 season and pushing the total guaranteed value close to $50 million. Expect the deal to get finalized and an official announcement from the Indians before Opening Day.
Erik Gonzalez was removed from Friday's Cactus League game after getting hit on the hand.
The 25-year-old, who is competing for a bench spot on the Opening Day roster, is hitting .298 (14-for-47) with a pair of homers and 10 RBI in Cactus League play. Expect the club to provide an update on his status on Saturday.
Giovanny Urshela went 2-for-3 with a solo homer in a 4-2 win over the Cubs on Friday in Cactus League play.
Urshela made the start at shortstop, but he could begin the year with at least a share of third base duties assuming the Indians move Jose Ramirez to fill in for Jason Kipnis (shoulder) at second base. Yandy Diaz is an intriguing alternative, but the thought is that he still has work to do. It helps that Urshela is already on the 40-man roster and offers a strong glove. It’s just that he’s not much help in fantasy leagues.
Carlos Carrasco allowed one hit and walked a pair over three scoreless innings against the Cubs on Friday.
It was his first Cactus League appearance since he was shelled for eight runs over 1 2/3 innings against the White Sox back on March 13. He had some swelling in his elbow after that, but everything appears on track now. It’s unclear when he’ll make his first start during the regular season, but the Indians could delay his debut until they need a fifth starter on April 15. We should have a better idea about the schedule soon.