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Monday, March 20, 2017

2017 FANTASY BASEBALL SPRING TRAINING WRAPUP: MONDAY

-Johnny Cueto got off to a late start this spring with the San Francisco Giants due to a visa issue but he looked like his old ace self Monday by throwing five innings of one-run ball.  Cueto gave up just one hit and struck out 3 against the White Sox and already sees up to speed.  Going back to the NL worked wonders for Cueto going back to his dominant ace ways in fantasy baseball and that should be his calling again in 2017.

-Reynaldo Lopez is an unrefined young power pitcher who really struggles with control and that will make him more of a fantasy baseball story in 2018 then this season.  He looked good Monday though as he gave up just two hits in throwing six scoreless innings for the White Sox against the Giants, while striking out four.  Lopez also did not walk anyone which is huge as his horrid control is what is holding him back from being a bigger sleeper this season.  We wouldn't run out to draft Lopez but a last round pick makes some sense given the pedigree.

-Francisco Liriano has been a strikeout machine with the Toronto Blue Jays this spring as he picked up 10 more K's Monday in his outing versus the Minnesota Twins.  Liriano did give up two runs in four innings but overall he has 18 K's in his three spring outings.  Tremendous stuff for Liriano who is showing he is not done yet from being a fantasy baseball help off his awful 2016 but his home park in Rogers Center make him very scary every time he goes out in a start in his new home.

-Wow it just has not been good for Blake Snell this spring as he was shelled again Monday to the tune of four earned runs in five innings versus the Pittsburgh Pirates,  Snells control has been disgusting as well with 8 walks in just 14 innings.  I was a big booster of Snell and his extreme strikeout potential but at this rate, he may not even make the team out of camp.  Snell's next start is a big one but I would now hold back on drafting him.

-While the talk of Yankee camp has been their insane collection of young players, outfielder Matt Holliday has been terrific this spring as he slammed his third home run of the spring Monday.  Holliday is ancient at 37 but he is hitting .306 and seems a good bet for 25 home runs for the cost of a very late round pick.  Again veterans are always good values if they are healthy since no one wants to draft them and a great hitter like Holliday seems to still be able to offer something.

-Koda Glover may just be winning the closer derby for the Washington Nationals as he pitched in the ninth inning on Monday.  While manager Dusty Baker has not said what his thoughts are on the subject, we do know he likes having Shawn Kelly in setup and Glover has been nearly flawless this spring.  Pick up Glover immediately if you drafted and move him up your boards if you haven't done so.

-It was a mixed-bag outing for Matt Harvey Monday as he gave up 3 runs in 4.1 innings but he struck out four and hit the mid-90's with his fastball for the first time this spring.  This is a positive as far as the velocity is concerned but Harvey is still in big uncharted territory in terms of his outlook coming back from Thoracic Outlet Syndrome.

-Matt Kemp went 0-for-3 Monday and is hitting just .231 without a single home run.  This is what you call a non-spring story though as Kemp is a veteran still in his prime who will be just fine hitting behind Freddie Freeman in the Atlanta Braves lineup.

-Another closer development is in Colorado where Greg Holland could be getting set to steal the gig away from Adam Ottavino.  Holland struck out two Monday in his scoreless outing and if you didn't know any better, you would have no idea he is making his way back from Tommy John surgery. Holland his 94 on the gun Monday and his K's are already popping.  Go get him.

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