Playoff Preparation

Playoff Preparation
Ryan Knaus looks at team schedules, updated ranking and injured player outlooks to help owners prepare for the fantasy playoffs.
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Billy Hamilton went 1-for-3 with a solo home run, but the Reds lost to the Indians in a Cactus League exhibition Wednesday.

Hamilton went yard to lead off the game against Indians starter Josh Tomlin. The speedster is now 2-for-6 in two Cactus League games thus far. The Reds are expecting Hamilton to take a step up this season after posting a meager .648 OPS in 2014 while leading the league in times caught stealing with 23.
Mar 4 - 5:40 PM

Kirk Nieuwenhuis went 4-for-4 as the Mets defeated the Braves 8-2 on Wednesday.

Nieuwenhuis is probably going to be the Mets' fourth outfielder, and with his defense, he could be an asset in that role for a long time. It'll be interesting to see how Terry Collins divvies up playing time between he and John Mayberry Jr. when Michael Cuddyer inevitably gets hurt. If Nieuwenhuis gets the call against right-handers, he should have a little value in NL-only fantasy leagues over the course of the year.
Mar 4 - 5:12 PM

Tim Collins left his appearance in Wednesday's Cactus League game accompanied by a trainer.

Collins faced four batters, allowing a double and a walk. Only nine of his 17 pitches were strikes. The Royals should provide an update if there is a health concern. Collins missing time would improve the odds of left-handed prospect Brandon Finnegan cracking the Opening Day roster.
Mar 4 - 5:08 PM

Dillon Gee yielded two runs in two innings Wednesday in a no-decision versus the Braves.

Gee allowed two hits, walked two and struck out none. He needs to impress other teams this spring if he's going to land a rotation spot, because it's only happening with the Mets if someone gets hurt. Today's performance doesn't seem like a very good start.
Mar 4 - 5:08 PM

Wandy Rodriguez was lifted after giving up a run in the first Wednesday against the Mets.

Rodriguez was scheduled to pitch two innings, but a long first that included two hits and two walks resulted in an early exit. Of course, Rodriguez's chances of making the Braves would improve considerably if Mike Minor's shoulder setback proves serious. That'd be really bad news for Atlanta, though.
Mar 4 - 5:06 PM

Jose Veras was pounded for five runs in two-thirds of an inning out of the pen Wednesday by the Mets.

He walked two and gave up three hits, including a three-run homer from Johnny Monell. Veras is only on a minor league deal this spring, so the Braves shouldn't have any problem cutting him if he struggles all month. Still, he does seem like a pretty good bet to make the team as a sixth- and seventh-inning guy, assuming that today was just a blip.
Mar 4 - 5:05 PM

Jace Peterson reached all three times he was up Wednesday, doubling and walking twice.

Peterson, a product of the Justin Upton trade, has a chance to win a spot on the Braves as a part-time second baseman and utilityman. The Melvin Upton Jr. injury likely helps his case, since Eric Young Jr. is now being viewed as more of an outfielder than a part-time second baseman.
Mar 4 - 5:01 PM

Jose Iglesias told reporters that he "ran full bore" for the first time in Wednesday's game.

Iglesias played three innings in Wednesday's Grapefruit League tilt against the Orioles. He grounded out in both of his at-bats, but the throw only got him by about a half-a-step each time. "Three weeks from now, I will beat those," the shortstop said. He missed the entire 2014 season because of dual stress fractures in his shins.
Mar 4 - 5:01 PM
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