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Around the League - Fantasy Baseball Update 4/11

Kevin Nielsen provides a weekly fantasy update for injuries, lineup news, closer news, rotation news and various other related topics, covering all 30 MLB teams.

Chad Billingsley made his first start of the season last night agains the Padres.
Chad Billingsley made his first start of the season last night agains the Padres.
Jeff Gross

New York Yankees

Due to yesterday's rainout, Ivan Nova is likely to be skipped this turn in the rotation unless Phil Hughes' stomach virus keeps him out of action tonight. Check for updates before game-time. Brennan Boesch is practicing his first base play. When Curtis Granderson and Derek Jeter return the Yankees will likely rid themselves of Lyle Overbay with Boesch the backup to Kevin Youkilis at 1B while Eduardo Nunez slides to 3B. Jeter should return very early in May while Granderson is likely to be back 1-2 weeks after that.

Baltimore Orioles

Dylan Bundy is likely to begin throwing soon after dealing with some arm issues. At this point I think Kevin Gausman will be called up before Bundy if they need an arm in the next 1-2 months. Thereafter, Bundy would likely be the superior option unless he has a setback. Chris Dickerson has been called up to serve as the 5th outfielder while Nolan Reimold has returned to the lineup. Dickerson, a lefty, could end up playing more than you would think. If the Orioles are facing a righty they could go with an outfield of Chris Dickerson, Nate McLouth, and Adam Jones with Nick Markakis as the DH. That combination could obviously be switched up where any one of those outfielders is the DH. Brian Roberts will be out a month with a right knee injury while Alexi Casilla and Ryan Flaherty replace him in the lineup.

Tampa Bay Rays

Jeff Niemann had shoulder surgery and will miss the rest of the season. This means that Chris Archer is the first option should the Rays need to call up a starter. With Yunel Escobar struggling, it might not be long before we see Wil Myers in the outfield while Zobrist starts at shortstop. Leslie Anderson is hitting .368 with a couple of HR early on for the Rays AAA affiliate. If Loney continues to struggle he could be replaced. This is just speculation and it's unlikely to happen this soon into the season.

Boston Red Sox

Joel Hanrahan blew his save opportunity last night. Andrew Bailey has been strong early on and, although it won't happen right now, he could eventually take over as closer with more outings like this from Hanrahan who gave up 5 earned runs on the night. Alfredo Aceves will move to the rotation while John Lackey misses a few weeks with a minor arm injury. Alex Wilson will take his spot in the bullpen. David Ortiz is targeting next Friday for his return. Stephen Drew has returned while Jose Iglesias will play at AAA. Iglesias seemingly hit pretty well in the small sample size, batting .450 but that was largely inflated by a .529 BABIP.

Toronto Blue Jays

The Jays claimed Casper Wells off of waivers from Seattle and he could theoretically platoon with Colby Rasmus in CF. Wells crushes lefties. Brett Lawrie should return within a couple of weeks unless he experiences a setback. Toronto has a couple of minor injuries in their bullpen with Darren Oliver day to day after being hit by a line drive yesterday and Santos dealing with some soreness.

Detroit Tigers

Joaquin Benoit has pretty much been named the team's closer. Benoit will close on most days and it wouldn't be surprising to see him find a lot of success in the role, although if there are a few lefties up I could still see Phil Coke getting his chances.

Chicago White Sox

Gordon Beckham may land on the disabled list after suffering a wrist injury a few days ago. There hasn't been an MRI yet so this still may be a serious injury. John Danks velocity is getting a little higher and I would speculate on him starting a rehab assignment in the minors soon followed by a return the White Sox shortly thereafter.

Kansas City Royals

Kelvin Herrera got the save for the Royals last night and if Greg Holland blows any more saves I expect Herrera to be officially named the new closer. Daniel Kelley wrote an interesting piece on Kelvin Herrera yesterday, you can find it here.

Cleveland Indians

Corey Kluber will replace Carlos Carrasco in the Indians rotation. Carlos Santana has yet to play since injuring his thumb on Monday night. He's not expected to require a DL stint.

Minnesota Twins

The Twins are rumored to be looking into Julio Borbon. With Aaron Hicks really struggling they are likely to make a change to someone else very soon. Darin Mastroianni is another option if Hicks gets sent down.

Oakland A's

Scott Sizemore is out for the season after reinjuring his knee. It's surprising that Andy Parrino, not Hiroyuki Nakajima or Jemile Weeks, was called up from AAA. Josh Reddick could return as soon as today after spraining his wrist a few days ago.

Los Angeles Angels

Jered Weaver will be out up to 6 weeks with a broken non-throwing elbow. Garret Richard will replace him in the rotation. Erick Aybar will miss some time with a heel injury and may end up on the DL if it doesn't improve.

Texas Rangers

Justin Grimm will replace Matt Harrison for the next couple of weeks while he recovers from a back injury. Grimm is a highly regarded prospect and I like him much more than Nick Tepesch.

Seattle Mariners

Michael Saunders has a sprained shoulder and will likely end up on the disabled list. With Brandon Maurer pitching terribly thus far the Mariners are rumored to be in the process of acquiring Aaron Harang from the Rockies to take his spot in the rotation. He'll just serve as a 5th starter until either Erasmo Ramirez or Danny Hultzen is ready.

Houston Astros

If Marwin Gonzalez continues to outhit Ronny Cedeno then he'll get more playing time from here on out. The Astros should exclusively be playing younger players anyway.

Washington Nationals

Rafael Soriano has been struggling a bit and supposedly been dealing with a leg injury but it doesn't seem to be serious. Soriano's leash as closer is still probably very long despite his struggles.

Atlanta Braves

Even Gattis has been very impressive early on and is hitting cleanup with Freddie Freeman on the DL.

New York Mets

Shaun Marcum will likely return to the rotation before the end of the month. The Mets are rumored to be looking into Giancarlo Stanton or Carlos Gonzalez but I really doubt they will acquire either of them. It looks as though Collin Cowgill and Jordany Valdespin will platoon in CF.

Philadelphia Phillies

Carlos Ruiz will begin playing in minor league games toward the end of the month before returning from his suspension on April 28th.

Miami Marlins

If you're looking for a very deep league sleeper at CI or 1B, check out Joe Mahoney. He might end up as the Marlins starter at 1B within a week or so with Casey Kotchman and Logan Morrison injured.

Cincinnati Reds

Sean Marshall will miss at least a couple of weeks with tendinitis in his throwing shoulder.

St. Louis Cardinals

Matt Adams has been impressive thus far but the Cardinals still don't have a regular starting spot for him in the lineup. Many assume that an injury to an outfielder could force an Oscar Taveras call-up but I think the Cardinals would consider starting Adams at 1B while moving Craig to the outfield full-time if this happens soon. David Freese is back while Jason Motte could require surgery if things don't improve by early next month.

Chicago Cubs

Top prospect Jorge Soler tried to attack an opposing player with a bat last night. Darin Barney should make his return in about a week. Kyuji Fujikawa is officials the Cubs closer although I wouldn't be surprised if Marmol got his job back at some point just so they can build his value to trade him.

Milwaukee Brewers

Chris Narveson will miss up to 6 weeks with a sprained finger on his throwing hand. Corey Hart is now on the 60-day DL meaning he won't be returning early from his knee injury. Jim Henderson is the new Brewers closer as John Axford continues to pitch terribly. Aramis Ramirez might miss the rest of the month with a knee injury. Yunel Escobar will get some playing time while he's out.

Pittsburgh Pirates

Wandy Rodriguez will miss a start or two due to a hamstring injury. Jonathan Sanchez has been terrible and it is only a matter of time before Gerrit Cole or another starter takes his spot in the rotation.

San Francisco Giants

Brandon Belt seems to be back at full strength. Barry Zito has been solid early on and is worth a pickup for spot starts against favorable matchups or in NL-Only leagues.

Los Angeles Dodgers

Chad Billingsley returned to the rotation successfully last night against the Padres. Ramon Hernandez will back up AJ Ellis at catcher. Ted Lilly is progressing toward a return but there's currently no spot for him in the rotation. Chris Capuano could be the next pitcher to be traded after Aaron Harang was sent to the Rockies recently.

San Diego Padres

Chase Headley will probably be back with the Padres by the end of the month. Yonder Alonso played an inning at 2B yesterday, for leagues where you just need 1 game for eligibility this increases his value quite a bit.

Colorado Rockies

Jeff Francis looked terrible yesterday and could be replaced with a AAA pitcher like Drew Pomeranz at some point if he continues to struggle.

Arizona Diamondbacks

Cody Ross should return tomorrow. Adam Eaton is still likely out until late May.



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