Sunday, March 5, 2017


-It was another mediocre outing for Kansas City Royals pitcher Danny Duffy who gave up two earned runs in 3 innings Sunday.  Duffy struck out 3 which was nice but he has missed on location thus far in two spring starts.  Be that as it may, Duffy made huge strides last season curbing his previous control woes and now all he has to do is try and keep the ball in the park better.  Duffy gave up a slew of home runs last season but if he eats into that a bit, he could reach ace status.

-Michael Saunders went yard out of the fifth spot in the order for the Phillies on Sunday but overall his fantasy baseball value lies in barely being the OF 3 variety.  Saunders doesn't run like he did when he first reached the majors and his average is always shaky given his propensity to strike out.

-I am really liking what I am seeing out of Detroit Tigers pitcher Daniel Norris who pitched three more scoreless innings Sunday to bring his spring total to 4.2 spotless frames.  Get on board here as Norris was a big strikeout guy in the minors and last season he put up a 9.22 K/9 rate for the team. The kid is only 23 and the upside is sizable.

-Andrew Benintendi is now officially insane as he picked up two more doubles Sunday to bring his recent stretch to 8-for-his-last-11.  The hype machine is going into overdrive now and it wouldn't shock me in the least if Benintendi starting showing up in drafts as early as Round 5.

-Madison Bumgarner gave up 1 run in 3 innings Sunday as he moves right along in spring training.  We have learned never to read into anything Bumgarner does in the spring as he always fiddles with his stuff and the numbers usually don't look good.  Once the season arrives though he will go right back to his status as the best pitcher in the game not named Clayton Kershaw or maybe Max Scherzer.

-Tanner Roark heads off to the WBC with 7 total scoreless frames after tossing 4 more on Sunday with 3 K's. In two of the last three years Roark has had excellent numbers pitching out of the rotation and that should hold true again in 2017.  While he is not a big strikeout guy, Roark seems to have more bite to his stuff this spring.  If he carries that into the season, he could reach SP 2 status.

-Masahiro Tanaka is ready for the new season to kick off as he has dominated this spring.  He tossed 3 more scoreless innings Sunday to bring his total to 5 for the spring.  His stuff has added life as well as evidenced by Tanaka striking out 6 in those 5 innings.  The story remains the same here though in terms of Tanaka carrying decent risk pitching with his partially torn UCL in his elbow but so far he has held up well under it.  Will that luck run out this season?  That is the million dollar question.

-Jameson Taillon had no trouble retiring all six of the New York Yankees he faced Sunday and the outlook on the hard-throwing youngster remains quite potent.  The kid gloves won't come off until 2018 but Taillon is one of the better sleepers going for this season.

-Julio Urias tossed two scoreless innings for the Los Angeles Dodgers as he gave up no hits and whiffed two.  Everyone and their mother should be after Urias this season as the 20-year-old pitched to a 3.39 ERA in his 2016 debut while putting up a 9.82 K.9.  Will be one of the best power pitchers before too long so get on board now.

-Taijuan Walker is up to five scoreless innings this spring after he tossed 3 more Sunday.  His strikeout stuff remains obvious as he has punched out 5 batters so far and maybe a change of scenery has his focus in line.  Chase Field is a bad home run park though and home runs are the biggest issue with Walker outside of health.

-Matt Harvey started well in striking out two batters in a scoreless first inning but he couldn't get out of the second as he gave up four earned runs.  Harvey went just 1.2 with 3 K's but the 4 earned runs show he is going to be a work in progress coming off surgery.  His fastball only sat in the low-90's which means we need to see more before we make a judgment on how the TOS surgery impacted his stuff.

-It was a good and bad outing for Felix Hernandez Sunday as he struck out 5 batters in his 3 innings but also gave up two runs.  He has allowed 3 runs in 5 spring innings as he heads to the WBC and the questions about a loss of potency are still blaring.  The price has come way down which could make King Felix a value play but only as an SP 3/4.


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