Adam Duvall Headshot

Duvall is slated to hit cleanup according to manager Bryan Price, John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports.

Added 02/17/17 11:47 am (EST)
Duvall did little to help with batting average and OBP but was a breakout bopper with 33 home runs, 103 RBI and 85 runs scored in 2016. There'll be a slight drop-off in each of those, and an extended slump may jeopardize his playing time, but fantasy players can find value in his lumber during the middle rounds of mixed drafts.
Alec Mills Headshot

Mills was optioned to Triple-A Iowa on Thursday, Patrick Mooney of CSN Chicago reports.

Added 4:09 pm (EST)
Mills briefly appeared in the majors last season, allowing five runs in his only three appearances. He was then designated for assignment and dealt to the Cubs, where he accumulated a 6.00 ERA in six innings this spring. With the depth of the Cubs' pitching, Mills should serve as organizational depth in 2017.
Jhan Marinez Headshot

Marinez was informed Thursday that he will open the regular season in the Brewers' bullpen, MLB.com's Adam McCalvy reports.

Added 3:53 pm (EST)
It would have taken a rough spring for Marinez not to break camp with the big club -- he is out of options and was effective over 43 appearances after being claimed by the Brewers last season -- but he has had anything but, giving up just one earned run and allowing only seven baserunners over eight spring innings. Like last year, Marinez will work in middle relief for the Brewers.
Kyle Hendricks Headshot

Hendricks will pitch in the team's fifth game of the season April 8 in Milwaukee, Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports.

Added 3:41 pm (EST)
Manager Joe Maddon didn't want lefties Brett Anderson and Jon Lester to pitch in consecutive days, so he put Anderson fourth and Hendricks fifth. That means Lester will follow Hendricks in the rotation. But make no mistake, Hendricks is not a typical No. 5 starter-he led the majors with a 2.13 ERA last season.
Matt Carpenter Headshot

Carpenter went 2-for-3 with four RBI from a sacrifice fly, RBI single and two-run triple in Wednesday's 6-1 Grapefruit League win over the Nationals.

Added 3:41 pm (EST)
Carpenter looks fully recovered from the back woes that plagued him last week, and is enjoying his spot in the middle of the order after hitting leadoff in the past. The Cardinals starting first baseman is now hitting .333 (5-for-15) with a triple, home run, seven RBI, two walks and a run over nine spring games.
Corey Seager Headshot

Seager (oblique) will hit and play four or five innings at shortstop in Friday's minor league game, Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register reports.

Added 3:38 pm (EST)
After appearing in Tuesday's minor league game as DH, Seager is now scheduled to return to shortstop for the first time since injuring his oblique. This is encouraging, as the 22-year-old has been sidelined for most of March with the issue. It will be close, but barring any setbacks in the field on Friday, he still has time to be ready for Opening Day.
Mike Montgomery Headshot

Montgomery will begin the year in the bullpen with the announcement of Brett Anderson as the team's No. 5 starter, Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports.

Added 3:34 pm (EST)
This isn't much of a surprise, as Anderson has never pitched in relief before, while Montgomery excelled in a relief role last season, including getting the save in Game 7 of the World Series. Montgomery will begin the year in the bullpen, but Anderson's injury history would suggest that Montgomery will get some starts down the road.
Jairo Diaz Headshot

Diaz (elbow) pitched two-thirds of an inning in his first Cactus League appearance, giving up five runs on five hits and a walk.

Added 3:33 pm (EST)
The appearance is definitely a step in the right direction for the fireballer, and although the results are somewhat cringe-worthy, some positives can be taken away from the outing. Diaz's fastball touched 98.8 miles per hour, showing the high-octane delivery that has Rockies fans drooling. He also got the first two outs of the inning relatively quickly, one of them even being a strikeout. His rust became apparent afterward, however, as his inability to command his changeup and slider led to a home run and a premature exit from the contest. Diaz appears to be pretty healthy as of now, although he'll likely need some more work in game situations prior to being fully cleared for major league innings. His return to full-time work appears to still lie in early May.
Matt Adams Headshot

Adams played in left field for the final four innings of Wednesday's 6-1 Cactus League victory over the Nationals, Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

Added 3:30 pm (EST)
Adams didn't see any chances while in the field, but the Cardinals are likely to put him out there again in coming games. Manager Mike Matheny has commented that Adams has looked good running down flyballs in batting practice, and the goal remains to have him serve as a viable enough option in the outfield so as to have him see at-bats on a more regular basis.
Brett Anderson Headshot

Anderson will start the year in the rotation and pitch the fourth game of the year April 7 in Milwaukee, Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports.

Added 3:28 pm (EST)
Anderson was competing for the fifth spot this spring, but he will pitch fourth so he and fellow lefty Jon Lester, the team's No. 1 starter, don't go back-to-back. The decision means Mike Montgomery will start the year in the bullpen.
Miguel Socolovich Headshot

Socolovich, who owns a 4.00 ERA over nine spring innings, sees command of his fastball as a pivotal part of winning a roster spot, Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports. "If I throw more fastballs for strikes, it's going to make my changeup and my slider better," Socolovich said. "They're not going to be able to be ready for just one pitch. They're going to have to be ready for three. I want to prove that I can throw my fastball for a strike and locate it, too."

Added 3:20 pm (EST)
Socolovich owns a 1.89 ERA, .175 BAA, 0.94 WHIP and 8.1 K/9 since debuting with the Cardinals in 2015, with the first two figures tops among any relievers on the team with a minimum of 18 innings pitched over that span. That said, he's still fighting for the final bullpen spot, with the fact that he's out of minor league options potentially giving him a slight leg up. The team has encouraged Socolovich to throw his fastball with greater regularity and he's followed suit, firing it with 12 percent greater frequency in 2016 as compared to the season prior. The pitch was key in helping get off to a strong start this spring, and despite some struggles over his last three innings, he retains the confidence of manager Mike Matheny. "He's been terrific," Matheny said. "He's got a good enough fastball to come at anybody, and that will make his secondary pitches better. He was a hard thrower even before we got him. [We're] just making sure he knows he can trust the fact that that should be a good pitch."
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