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Monday, March 13, 2017

2017 FANTASY BASEBALL SPRING TRAINING WRAPUP: SUNDAY

-Reigning AL Rookie of the Year Michael Fulmer of the Detroit Tigers returned to the mound on Sunday as he gave up 2 runs in 2.1 IP but with 4 K's against the New York Mets.  Fulmer had been limited the last two weeks with an ankle injury but all signs are positive now regarding his health.  While I don't buy the ERA from last season, Fulmer could still net SP 3 value as he was a highly valued prospect in the Mets organization.

-Eduardo Rodriguez looked good Sunday as he gave up just one run in four innings for the Boston Red Sox.  Overall Rodriguez walked one and struck out 3 as he continues to show no ill effects from his previous ankle injury.  Rodriguez can be hit or miss with his strikeouts in any given start and the AL East is brutal for young pitchers but SP 4 value is likely if he can avoid injury.

-It was a mixed bag outing for the Philadelphia Phillies' Aaron Nola on Sunday as he gave up 3 runs in 3.1 innings.  On the positive side, Nola struck out six as he showed the big strikeout ability that allowed him to punch out more batter then innings pitched in 2016 despite dealing with an elbow scare.  The ceiling can go very high here and again I strongly recommend a play on Nola.

-C.C. Sabahia got hit around Sunday as he surrendered six runs (4 earned) in his .2 IP against the Atlanta Braves.  Sabathia was not fooling anyone and it brought forth disturbing memories from 2014 and 2015 before the lefty rebounded with a solid campaign last season.  At this late stage of his career, Sabathia should only be used as an SP 5 in all formats as his fastball has really diminished.

-Finally something positive out of Minnesota Twins outfielder Byron Buxton on Sunday as he doubled and hit a home run out of the leadoff spot.  It looks like the Twins will go with Buxton out of the leadoff spot for better or for worse and his value hinges on how much he can hit given the the propensity for striking out.

-If Matt Harvey was watching Phil Hughes pitch on Sunday, he had to start sweating as he saw his fellow thoracic outlet syndrome victim give up 3 home runs and 4 earned runs overall.  Hughes has no life on his stuff now and that is the fear with Harvey.  It is a pivitol spring for Harvey on that front and the hope is he doesn't end up as useless as Hughes now.

-It was another disappointing day for Dylan Bundy as the former top Baltimore Orioles pitching prospect yielded 5 ER in 2 IP against the Minnesota Twins.  Bundy is not engendering a lot of confidence in his stuff as fantasy baseball moves closer and really he is living off his past as a former top prospect.  Don't chase him anymore.

-Joe Ross was very good Sunday as he tossed four shutout innings for the Washington Nationals.  Overall Ross struck out four and now has punched out 8 in 8.2 IP this spring.  There is some very good value here as no one is talking about Ross who endured injuries in 2016 but the talent is obvious.

-Dallas Keuchel threw 3 shutout innings in his spring debut for the Houston Astros against the Nationals which was a nice sign out of the gate.  Keuchel is behind this spring as he dealt with shoulder inflammation last year that had the Astros acting deliberate in his work thus far in camp.  He was truly awful in 2016 but Keuchel could be a rebound candidate with good health.

-After getting shellacked in his last start, Corey Kluber was better Sunday as he gave up two runs in four innings while striking out four.  Kluber has been hit hard this spring but this is par for the course here as he is a historically slow starter like Cole Hamels and Jon Lester.

-Jake Arrieta gave up one run in three innings on Sunday but there are still some major question marks here as he saw a drop in velocity last season and struggled with control.  The K/9 rate also sank for Arrieta and so this is why I was very leery of him this season.


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