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Dellin Betances Headshot

Betances looked effective in throwing a simulated game Thursday, and he's looking to strengthen his arm early, considering his throwing schedule has moved up because of the World Baseball Classic, Bryan Hoch of MLB.com reports.

Betances admitted he suffered from fatigue near the end of that session, but in general he looks close to ready for spring and WBC action. Despite losing save chances again to Aroldis Chapman, the tall setup man will remain relevant in many fantasy leagues because of his copious strikeout totals.
1:28 pm (EST)
Joe Morrow Headshot

Morrow was sent to AHL Providence for a conditioning assignment Thursday.

The 2011 first-round pick was a healthy scratch for the Bruins' last 10 games, with each of the last five coming under interim head coach Bruce Cassidy. Morrow's skillset would seemingly fit with how Cassidy wants his defenseman to play, jumping into the rush in transition and trying to provide more offense. It will be curious to see whether or not Morrow will be utilized after his assignment, as with this new style of play, there's a chance he could begin living up to his billing as an offensive defenseman.
1:28 pm (EST)
Garrett Temple Headshot

Temple (hamstring) has officially been ruled out for Thursday's game against the Nuggets, Sean Cunningham of ABC10 (KXTV) Sacramento reports.

It was announced earlier in the week that Temple remained without any sort of timetable for a return and he was fully expected to sit out Thursday, so this latest report doesn't come as much of a surprise. There's a very good chance Temple sits out a few more games as well while continuing to nurse a partial hamstring tear, so it will be a situation to monitor over the next few weeks. Buddy Hield is expected to take over starting shooting guard duties, while guys like Ben McLemore and Tyreke Evans should factor into the rotation as well.
1:24 pm (EST)
J.J. Hardy Headshot

Hardy received a cortisone injection in his back, and manager Buck Showalter said it was scheduled, Rich Dubroff of PressBoxOnline.com reports.

Hardy likely will sit a bit longer before resuming his spring preparation. Previous tests revealed no structural damage, so assuming he avoids setbacks, he should be set to roll on Opening Day.
1:21 pm (EST)
Ryan Murphy Headshot

Murphy, who's chronically been benched this season, will tag back into the lineup Friday for a home game against the Senators, Chip Alexander of the Raleigh News & Observer reports.

The term "healthy scratch" is a nasty one when applied to fantasy hockey, and Murphy has done very little to inspire confidence in owners shopping for a defenseman. He's drawn into 11 of 56 games in 2016-17, with a pair of assists representing his meager point total on the season. With the Hurricanes highly unlikely to make the playoffs, there's not much risk in giving Murphy another chance -- after all, he was a first-round pick (12th overall) in the 2011 draft.
1:19 pm (EST)
Austin Czarnik Headshot

Czarnik (lower body) was activated from injured reserve and sent to the Providence Bruins of the AHL on Thursday.

The former Miami Redhawk has been out of the lineup with injury since Feb. 9, missing the team's last five games. Since being placed on IR, the Bruins made a head coaching change, and new bench boss Bruce Cassidy seems to like his current forward group, which doesn't include Czarnik. That said, many forwards have had inconsistent campaigns for Boston in 2016-17, so it's not out of the realm of possibility for Czarnik to find himself back in the NHL in the near future.
1:17 pm (EST)
Corey Kluber Headshot

Kluber said he's planning to take the mound on Opening Day, though manager Terry Francona said if Kluber isn't ready, the Indians might delay his debut, Chris Assenheimer of the Chronicle-Telegram reports.

Kluber isn't injured, but Cleveland wants to limit him this spring considering the right-hander has logged more than 700 innings in the last three years, including the postseason. Perhaps he'll miss a handful of starts during the season even if healthy, though despite concerns over his recent workloads, he's still one of fantasy's best starting pitchers.
1:17 pm (EST)
Nick Castellanos Headshot

Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said Castellanos wants to hit second, Chris McCosky of the Detroit News reports.

The Tigers have discussed J.D. Martinez and Castellanos for the spot, and Castellanos certainly seems open to the idea. Ausmus said he wouldn't want his young third baseman to change his approach, but batting second would limit the RBI opportunities. However, Castellanos would see plenty of pitches to hit batting in front of Miguel Cabrera, and he could make a push for 30 home runs if he stays healthy.
1:08 pm (EST)
Kris Letang Headshot

Letang has an upper-body injury and his status is day-to-day.

No further information on the nature of the injury was offered by head coach Mike Sullivan. It's unclear when Letang suffered the injury, as he logged 28:49 of ice time in Tuesday's win over Carolina. Pittsburgh returns to the ice Saturday for their NHL Stadium Series matchup with Philadelphia, so a further update on Letang's status should be given in the run up to the tilt.
1:03 pm (EST)
Mike Smith Headshot

Louis Domingue will serve as the Coyotes' backup goaltender Thursday, which means Smith will guard the cage on the road against the Blackhawks, Sarah McLellan of the Arizona Republic reports.

Smith was sharp in his last start, stopping 27 of the 28 shots he faced en route to a 3-2 win over the Ducks on Monday. The 34-year-old netminder was forced to leave the game when he was flagged by the NHL's concussion spotters, but reportedly received medical clearance after the contest. He'll look to stay hot and pick up his 17th win of the season in a highly unfavorable road matchup with a red-hot Blackhawks team that has won seven of its last eight games.
1:02 pm (EST)
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