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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Taijuan Walker began his spring with a pair of scoreless innings on Wednesday against the Padres.

The right-hander struck out two, walked none, and allowed one hit. Walker is competing with Roenis Elias and Erasmo Ramirez for the last spot in the Mariners' starting rotation, so he has plenty of incentive to show his best stuff this spring. The 22-year-old battled shoulder issues last year and accrued only 38 innings in the big leagues en route to a 2.61 ERA.
Mar 4 - 6:35 PM

D.J. LeMahieu went 2-for-2 in Wednesday's Cactus League loss to the Diamondbacks.

LeMahieu won a Gold Glove at second base last season so his job is pretty safe, but a good spring would ease some minds after he hit .267/.315/.348 last year. The 26-year-old was a good hitter in the minors, and he holds some NL-only value if he can keep the position locked down all year.
Mar 4 - 6:33 PM

Justin Upton went 1-for-3 with a solo home run to begin Cactus League action on Wednesday.

That's one way to kick things off with a new team. Upton homered in the seventh inning against Forrest Snow, which is a little less impressive. With Upton as well as Matt Kemp and Wil Myers, the Padres revamped their entire outfield and Upton is expected to put up big numbers once again. He bashed 29 home runs with 102 RBI last season with the Braves.
Mar 4 - 6:32 PM

Jordan Lyles struck out two over two scoreless innings in his Cactus League debut against the Diamondbacks Wednesday.

Lyles didn't allow a hit while walking one in his first start of the spring. He also hit a batter in the outing. Lyles had his moments last year en route to a 4.33 ERA over 126 2/3 innings of work, and he's a surefire member of the rotation this season. Unfortunately for him, Lyles still pitches in Colorado, marginalizing any fantasy value he might have had.
Mar 4 - 6:28 PM

Eric Hosmer finished Wednesday's Cactus League opener 2-for-3 with a home run and three RBI as the Royals skated to a 13-2 win over the Rangers.

Hosmer, a former top prospect, has yet to fully live up to expectations despite helping the Royals advance to the World Series last season. He posted career-lows in home runs and RBI with nine and 58, respectively. The 25-year-old is due for a bounce-back year, if not a breakout campaign.
Mar 4 - 6:28 PM

Alex Rios homered and knocked in three runs in three at-bats to open Cactus League play against the Rangers on Wednesday.

Rios did the damage against his former team. He topped off a six-run first inning with a solo home run, then added an RBI double in the third and an RBI ground out in the fourth. Rios, 34, has seen his production tumble down in each of the last two seasons. If he's able to regain any of the power that vanished last year, he could still provide a decent amount of value as he can be counted on for 15-20 stolen bases.
Mar 4 - 6:25 PM

Tim Collins left Wednesday's Cactus League game against the Rangers with left elbow soreness.

Collins told reporters he felt tightness and soreness in the elbow but said his level of concern isn't high. Still, he'll undergo an MRI on the elbow Thursday after which more will be known. The Royals are counting on Collins to be an important part of their bullpen from the left side this season.
Mar 4 - 6:23 PM

Yovani Gallardo was hit around on Wednesday against the Royals, allowing four runs in 1 2/3 innings.

Gallardo could have seen himself out of a dire situation as he allowed back-to-back doubles to lead off the third inning before recording a pair of outs. But three consecutive singles brought in the Royals' second and third runs of the inning. Gallardo didn't make it out of his second inning of work in the fourth and was charged with one run following a lead-off double and runner-advancing ground outs. The 29-year-old veteran had a good bounce-back year for the Brewers last season and the Rangers are hoping there's more of that coming up.
Mar 4 - 6:21 PM
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