Ray’s Ramblings: Spring Updates, Pitchers Cover Image
Ray’s Ramblings: Spring Updates, Pitchers
Ray Flowers

Latest from Ray Flowers' MLB Draft Guide

Jesse Chavez Headshot

Chavez was the winning pitcher of record Monday, tossing six shutout innings while walking none and striking out three in a win over the Diamondbacks.

The 33-year-old wrapped up his final outing in Arizona on a strong note, lowering his Cactus League ERA to 2.51 with 12 strikeouts in 14.1 innings. The righty appears to be at the top of his game right now, hitting 96 mph on the radar gun for the first time this spring. Chavez has already locked up the Angels' fifth starter role out of camp, giving him some deep-league value as a pitcher who can generate strikeouts at a decent clip (8.0 career K/9). On the flip side, he can be too aggressive in the strike zone at times (4.54 career ERA and 1.3 HR/9), keeping him off of standard league radars until he shows a string of consistency.
1:53 pm (EST)
A.J. Pierzynski Headshot

FOX Sports officially announced Tuesday that Pierzynski would serve on its broadcast team on a full-time basis during the 2017 MLB season.

This likely spells the end of Pierzynski's playing career, which seemed to be a foregone conclusion after he failed to latch on with a team prior to spring training. The 40-year-old, a two-time All-Star, will end his 19-year career with 2,043 hits and 188 homers across stints with the Twins, Giants, White Sox, Rangers, Cardinals, Red Sox and Braves.
1:52 pm (EST)
Martin Jones Headshot

Jones will defend the cage for Tuesday's contest with the Rangers, Kevin Kurz of CSN Bay Area reports.

Head coach Peter DeBoer has used a quite unorthodox system in choosing his starting goaltender of late, with No. 1 goaltender Jones starting three consecutive games just once since Feb. 9. This method seemed to be working for a while, with Jones going 5-3-2 with a 2.00 GAA and .922 save percentage in a span of 10 contests from Feb. 12 to March 18. That said, Jones has started two of the team's four games since then, losing both games while allowing 10 goals on 61 shots. With the postseason approaching, Jones will need to find his rhythm in goal if the Sharks are going to have a chance at making another deep run, and Tuesday's start will offer him a chance to do just that.
1:50 pm (EST)
Julio Urias Headshot

Urias will not be on the Dodgers' season-opening roster, Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reports.

It was all but expected that Urias would open the season at extended spring training, but manager Dave Roberts confirmed this Tuesday, Gurnick reports. The Dodgers want the 20-year-old to be able to pitch into the postseason, so they're looking to hold him back early on to limit his innings. It's unclear when or how they'll bring him along, but either way, he retains one of the more valuable per-inning upsides of most young pitchers, so he should be stashed in almost all formats.
1:49 pm (EST)
Braden Holtby Headshot

Holtby will be in goal against the Wild on Tuesday.

Holtby is undefeated in regulation over his last six starts, as he has posted a 5-0-1 record with a phenomenal 1.81 GAA. The netminder needs just one more victory to record his third consecutive 40-win season. While he may not win the Vezina Trophy due to the outstanding play of Columbus' Sergei Bobrovsky, Holtby remains one of the top fantasy options in goal, regardless of format. Minnesota is a disappointing 2-7-1 in their last 10 outings, which gives the 27-year-old a decent chance of getting No. 40 on Tuesday.
1:49 pm (EST)
Marc-Edouard Vlasic Headshot

Vlasic (undisclosed) declared himself fit to play in Tuesday's contest against the Rangers, Kevin Kurz of CSN Bay Area reports.

It looks safe to activate Pickles in fantasy leagues abound, but we're not sure there will be many takers for a guy who has just two points through 11 contests this month. However, if there's been a relative constant to his game of late, it's been in the form of blocked shots; he's redirected 17 of those in March, doing so in all but one game.
1:47 pm (EST)
Ryan Cordell Headshot

Cordell is getting a start at third base in Tuesday's Triple-A lineup.

The Brewers have a glut of outfielders at Triple-A, so Cordell will get a chance to show off his versatility in the infield. He has the look of a potential utility player in the majors, as he is capable of playing the outfield and several infield positions.
1:47 pm (EST)
Tony Renda Headshot

Renda was reassigned to minor league camp Tuesday, Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports.

A .295/.404/.523 showing in the Cactus League wasn't enough for Renda to force his way back onto the 40-man roster after being outrighted in December. The 26-year-old Renda appeared to hurt himself on a diving play last weekend but there has been no indication that it will keep off the field to begin the minor league season. He figures to spend most of the year at Triple-A Louisville.
1:46 pm (EST)
Shae Simmons Headshot

Simmons (forearm) was diagnosed with a flexor strain Tuesday and has been shut down for now, ESPN 710's Shannon Drayer reports.

He was reexamined on Monday, and fortunately no structural damage was revealed. Simmons is feeling fatigue as he throws, which will force him to back off his throwing program indefinitely. Look for him to open the year on the disabled list.
1:43 pm (EST)
Yusmeiro Petit Headshot

Petit has made the Angels' 25-man roster, Maria Guardado of MLB.com reports.

Petit, a non-roster invitee, forced his way onto the Opening Day roster with a dominant spring training, accumulating just a 0.75 ERA and 0.75 WHIP across 12.0 innings while striking out 12 batters. The 32-year-old will begin the year in a long relief role, but he could see occasional starts as the Angels aren't deep in their rotation.
1:43 pm (EST)
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