Ray’s Ramblings: The Homer Surge Cover Image
Ray’s Ramblings: The Homer Surge
Ray Flowers

Latest from Ray Flowers' MLB Draft Guide

Viktor Stalberg Headshot

Stalberg (upper body) will return to the lineup for Thursday's game against the Wild, TSN Ottawa's Brent Wallace reports.

Stalberg's return to action will bolster the Senators' bottom-six forward group, but it won't mean much to fantasy owners, as his meager offensive production -- 15 points in 69 games this season -- keeps him off the fantasy radar in all but the deepest of formats. The 31-year-old winger is expected to skate with Chris Kelly and Tommy Wingels on Ottawa's fourth line against Minnesota.
2:36 pm (EST)
Brandon Maurer Headshot

With Carter Capps (elbow) beginning the year on the disabled list, Maurer will officially begin the season as the club's closer, The San Diego Union-Tribune's Dennis Lin reports.

The 26-year-old was considered the favorite to win the job to open the season, so no surprises here. While this news makes him a cheap source of saves early on, Capps isn't expected to be sidelined for long, and he could take over the job at some point after his return, but that would have to coincide with some sort of ineffectiveness from Maurer. The veteran posted a 3.09 ERA with 13 saves after taking over as closer last season, so if righty can handle the role early on, then there is a possibility that he runs with the job all season.
2:36 pm (EST)
Chris Rusin Headshot

Rusin (oblique) will pitch in a minor-league game Friday, Nick Groke and Patrick Saunders of The Denver Post report.

The left-hander is expected to log two innings (or roughly 30 pitches) in order to restart his progression toward being the Rockies' primary long-relief option. It seems like Rusin is nearing his return to the major-league bullpen, but in the meantime, whichever hurler of Kyle Freeland, Antonio Senzatela and German Marquez who doesn't make the rotation is expected to pair with Jordan Lyles to fill the void left by Rusin's absence.
2:29 pm (EST)
Ron Hainsey Headshot

Hainsey (upper body) will be a game-time decision against the Rangers on Friday.

Coach Mike Sullivan seemed to take an optimistic approach regarding Hainsey's potential return, calling it "very promising". The Pens went so far as to reassign David Warsofsky to the minors which would leave them without any added depth if Hainsey in unable to suit up. Assuming the veteran is given the all clear, Cameron Gaunce would be the most likely candidate to get bounced from the game-day lineup.
2:29 pm (EST)
Keith Kinkaid Headshot

Kinkaid will guard the goal in Friday's road game against the Islanders, Andrew Gross of The Record reports.

Kinkaid was sharp in his last outing Sunday against Dallas, turning aside 30 of the 32 shots he faced, but he ultimately didn't get enough goal support from his teammates to pick up his eighth win of the season, as the Devils fell to the Stars 2-1 in overtime. The American goaltender will hope to get more help from his teammates in a road matchup with an Islanders club that's averaging 3.13 goals per game at home this season, eighth in the NHL.
2:26 pm (EST)
Cam Ward Headshot

Ward will draw the start at home against the Blue Jackets on Thursday, the Raleigh News & Observer reports.

The tenured Hurricane will be looking for his 26th win after downing a Detroit team that finished off a grueling three-game stretch Tuesday. Ward is 25-20-11 on the season to go along with underwhelming peripherals of a 2.69 GAA and .905 save percentage, so it may be asking too much for him to make it three straight wins, particularly with Columbus and its ninth-ranked power play on tap.
2:23 pm (EST)
Jordan Patterson Headshot

Patterson was reassigned to minor-league camp Thursday, Nick Groke and Patrick Saunders of The Denver Post report.

The injury to Ian Desmond (hand) seemed to open the door further for Patterson to crack the Opening Day roster, but the Rockies opted to give him a bit more time to develop against Triple-A pitching. The 25-year-old did have plenty of success this spring, though, so a fast start back at Albuquerque could propel him back up to the majors. Patterson's demotion means that the candidates for the last spot on the major-league bench are Stephen Cardullo, Christhian Adames and Pat Valaika.
2:23 pm (EST)
Chris Hatcher Headshot

Hatcher was named one of the Dodgers' relievers to open the season, The Orange County Register's Bill Plunkett reports.

The 32-year-old struggled this spring, posting a 5.91 ERA over 10.2 innings. His lack of minor league options was presumably the reason behind his selection for the 25-man roster. Hatcher will serve as a middle reliever for the club to begin the season.
2:18 pm (EST)
Martin Jones Headshot

Jones is slated to start Thursday's game against the Oilers, Kevin Kurz of CSN Bay Area reports.

Jones, who has gone 1-1 over his last two starts, while allowing 11 goals in that span, will look to tighten things up Thursday against a surging Edmonton squad that has won three straight games and seven of eight tilts overall. Through 76 contests to date, the two teams are currently tied for second place in the Pacific Division, with 93 points each.
2:12 pm (EST)
Henrik Lundqvist Headshot

Lundqvist will start the Rangers' next three games, according to coach Alain Vigneault. First, he'll take on the Penguins at home Friday evening.

The bench boss said the King will be in his court for every game left in the regular season, save for at least one side of the back-to-back set scheduled at the tail end of the campaign. What a treat this is to Lundqvist owners now expecting a heavy workload for the veteran, despite his team already clinching a berth in the playoffs.
2:03 pm (EST)
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