DFS NHL Optimal Lineups:  February 21 Cover Image
DFS NHL Optimal Lineups: February 21

Latest from Ray Flowers' MLB Draft Guide

Ray Flowers
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Howard Bender
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Jharel Cotton Headshot

Cotton, who is currently the A's' projected fourth starter, will make his Cactus League debut Tuesday versus the Indians, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

The promising right-hander, who turned in an impressive rookie season consisting of a 5-5 record, 2.15 ERA and 0.82 WHIP, will get a chance to start solidfying his rotation spot in Oakland's fourth exhibition tilt. Cotton will be followed Tuesday by Andrew Triggs, who is competing for the fifth starter job with Jesse Hahn.
4:09 pm (EST)
Dennis Wideman Headshot

Wideman has just 16 points on the season and one in his last 10 games.

He's not actually faring that much worse than last season, as his 16 points in 52 games only slightly trail the 19 in 51 he recorded in 2015-16. The biggest factor working against Wideman is his massive decrease in power-play time (1:08 on average vs. 2:57 last year), which will continue to limit his opportunities to hit the scoresheet down the stretch.
4:08 pm (EST)
Francisco Cervelli Headshot

Cervelli (foot) was on the field for the start of Tuesday's practice but did not put on his catcher's equipment, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports. "I felt much better," Cervelli said. "I threw, I hit BP in the cage. We're moving forward."

He said the pain in his foot was caused by him practicing without the insole he typically wears. Cervelli still believes he'll be able to play for Italy in the WBC. The Pirates are expected to update his status Wednesday.
4:04 pm (EST)
Pascal Siakam Headshot

Siakam will be assigned to the D-League's Raptors 905 later this week, Chris Haynes of ESPN.com reports.

When he was selected No. 27 overall by the Raptors in the draft last June, it was expected that Siakam's rookie season would be a developmental one, but that changed when projected starting power forward Jared Sullinger fractured his left foot in October and was sidelined until mid-January. Siakam has since spent most of the season sharing time at power forward with Patrick Patterson (knee), but the 23-year-old looks like he'll be pushed out of the rotation following the team's recent acquisition of Serge Ibaka. With Ibaka set to play nearly 30 minutes per game and Patterson, Lucas Nogueira and Sullinger around to pick up the scraps at power forward, there isn't a need for the Raptors to keep Siakam with the big club. As a result, he should be able to benefit from some extensive run with the 905 following the All-Star break.
4:03 pm (EST)
Sean Manaea Headshot

Manaea will make his Cactus League debut Monday against the Giants, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Manaea is projected to follow Sonny Gray, who is expected to open the game. The A's projected No. 2 starter, Manaea is looking to follow up an encouraging 24-start rookie campaign with a breakout 2017 as a pivotal part of the rotation. One of the more interesting aspects of Monday's appearance should be Manaea's use of his slider, which he is focusing on developing this spring as a third pitch alongside his fastball and changeup.
4:00 pm (EST)
Gerrit Cole Headshot

Cole threw two innings of live batting practice Tuesday, a sign that he's finally healthy at the start of a spring training, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports. "I've learned how to deal with some adversity, so hopefully I'm better for it," Cole said.

He's faced spring training setbacks in both of the last two camps. Cole is coming off his worst professional season -- he compiled a 3.88 ERA and 1.44 WHIP in 116 innings -- and landed on the DL three separate occasions.
3:58 pm (EST)
Johnny Cueto Headshot

Cueto, who has been working out in the Dominican Republic while taking care of his ill father, is expected to report to spring training over the weekend after obtaining a visa for his father, Alex Pavlovic of CSN Bay Area reports.

Cueto, who has been working out in the Dominican Republic while taking care of his ill father, is expected to report to spring training over the weekend after obtaining a visa for his father. His status for the World Baseball Classic is still up in the air, with his father's health serving as another possible reason he wouldn't participate. Whether or not he'll play for his home country should become more clear once he reports to the Scottsdale.
3:57 pm (EST)
Rene Bourque Headshot

Bourque is making progress from his head injury and coach Jared Bednar is hopeful that he will return to action soon, but that rules him out for Tuesday night's game against the Kings.

Bourque has now missed 13 of the last 15 games, but finally appears to nearing a clean bill of health. Even so, the veteran winger is averaging just 14:22 of ice time this season, which doesn't allow him to have enough fantasy value even if he wasn't on one of the most anaemic offenses in the league.
3:52 pm (EST)
Sonny Gray Headshot

Gray, projected to be the A's No. 1 starter this season, will see his first Cactus League action Monday against the Giants, Susan Slusser of San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Gray got in his first live action against hitters Monday and put in a strong session by all accounts, firing his full repertoire of pitches and coming away feeling particularly good about his curveball. He'll look to get off to a similarly solid start versus opposing batters for the first time this spring against San Francisco as he continues to ramp up for what he and the A's hope will be a bounce-back campaign.
3:52 pm (EST)
Kendall Graveman Headshot

Graveman, penciled in as the A's No. 3 starter, will start Sunday's Cactus League tilt versus the Angels, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Already impressing in early workouts, Graveman won't have to wait long before jumping into live game action. He'll look to continue displaying the improved control he's flashed thus far while also further honing his changeup, two of his stated goals this spring.
3:45 pm (EST)
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