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Ray’s Ramblings: Spring Flings
Ray Flowers

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Mike Fisher Headshot

Fisher (undisclosed) didn't participate in Nashville's last two practices, which leaves his status for Thursday's game against Calgary up in the air.

The nature of Fisher's ailment remains a mystery, but the veteran forward appears to be in serious danger of sitting out Thursday's matchup with the Flames after missing two consecutive practices. If Fisher is unavailable, Vernon Fiddler will likely draw into the lineup against Calgary.
6:04 pm (EST)
Gordon Beckham Headshot

Beckham was granted his release from the Giants on Thursday, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Beckham initially joined the Giants in a September trade with the Braves last season, and the 30-year-old re-signed with a minor league deal with the club in February. He slashed just .194/.268/.250 through 36 spring at-bats, and the Giants proved to be too deep in the infield to keep him around. Beckham will now look to catch on as infield depth elsewhere.
6:02 pm (EST)
Wayne Ellington Headshot

Ellington (personal) has been cleared to play in Thursday's game against the Raptors, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports.

Ellington's availability came into question earlier Thursday, as he was recently away from the team following the birth of his child on Wednesday night. However, Ellington was able to catch a flight in time to be back on the court Thursday and should continue to see an elevated role in the backcourt with Dion Waiters (ankle) remaining sidelined for the foreseeable future. Ellington logged 27 minutes in Tuesday's game against the Suns.
6:01 pm (EST)
Desmond Jennings Headshot

Jennings was scratched from the Reds' lineup on Thursday for undisclosed reasons, Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports.

Beau Amaral will get the start in Jennings' place. The reason for the late scratch hasn't been disclosed, so he'll be considered day-to-day until the Reds clarify his status.
5:50 pm (EST)
Jeremy Lin Headshot

Lin (ankle) will be available Thursday against the Suns, Brian Lewis of the New York Post reports.

A sprained right ankle kept Lin out of action Tuesday against Detroit, but he was able to go through morning shootaround and will be available for Thursday's matchup between a pair of bottom-five teams. Expect Lin to get the start at point guard, likely pushing Spencer Dinwiddie back to the bench. Lin is shooting only 42.4 percent from the field in March, but he's converted more than 40 percent of his threes, while averaging 14.5 points and 4.1 assists per game.
5:50 pm (EST)
Albert Pujols Headshot

Manager Mike Scioscia said that he has no plans to play Pujols -- who is coming off of foot surgery this past offseason -- at first base this spring, and that it will stay that way indefinitely, according to Jeff Fletcher of The Orange County Register.

Scioscia added that he felt comfortable with Pujols' defense if he needed to use him there in a pinch during the regular season. Luckily for most fantasy owners, the 37-year-old logged 28 games at first base last season, making him eligible for the position in most standard fantasy formats. For those that need him to make a start in the field to gain eligibility, it may be a while before that day comes. From a fantasy perspective, serving as the team's full-time designated hitter bodes well for the aging superstar's health, and should keep him a viable fantasy option based on his ability to smack home runs and drive in runs while hitting behind Mike Trout this season.
5:29 pm (EST)
Jefry Marte Headshot

Marte's chances of making the Opening Day roster seem to have improved in light of Luis Valbuena's injury. Valbuena is expected to miss four-to-six weeks with a Grade 1 hamstring strain, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports.

C.J. Cron figures to take on the primary share of the workload at first base in Valbuena's absence, but the door is now open for Marte to make the team as a bench option. Marte can help out at first base, third base and left field, while also providing right-handed pop in pinch-hit situations. The 25-year-old has been hot at the dish this spring, going 15-for-49 (.306 average) with three homers, nine RBI and eight walks to only four strikeouts.
5:25 pm (EST)
Ben Bishop Headshot

Bishop will defend the cage Thursday, squaring off against the Jets at home.

Bishop is winless through his first three starts with the Kings, and he'll now face a Jets team that has been lit aflame with victories over the Islanders, Wild and Flyers, respectively -- netting 11 goals over that span. There are plenty of goalies to choose from on Thursday's mega 12-game slate if Bishop doesn't do it for you in daily settings.
5:15 pm (EST)
C.J. Cron Headshot

With Luis Valbuena (hamstring) heading for an MRI on Thursday, Cron's chances of becoming the Angels' starter at first base increase, Jeff Fletcher of The Orange County Register reports.

Both veteran sluggers have been battling for playing time all spring, with neither taking a significant lead at any point. Even though Valbuena's hamstring injury wasn't considered serious at first, the timing of it could lead to Cron winning the job outright. The 27-year-old is slashing .340/.393/.640 in 54 spring training plate appearances after posting career-best numbers in 2016 (.278 with 16 homers and 69 RBI over 116 games). This news bumps his value up, as regular at-bats to start the year could lead to some cheap power numbers.
5:14 pm (EST)
Luis Valbuena Headshot

Valbuena was diagnosed with a grade one right hamstring strain and will be out for 4-6 weeks.

Valbuena was lifted from a Cactus League game earlier in the week with hamstring tightness, and a recent MRI revealed he'll be forced to start the season on the DL with a grade one right hamstring strain. With the 31-year-old out for the beginning of the season, C.J. Cron will likely be named Angels' starting first baseman.
5:01 pm (EST)
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