DFS NHL PLAYBOOK: MARCH 23 Cover Image
DFS NHL PLAYBOOK: MARCH 23
Brett Talley

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Evgeni Malkin Headshot

Malkin (upper body) was absent from Thursday's game-day practice, effectively ruling him out against the Senators, Sam Werner of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.

Considering Malkin is not practicing with the team, and the Pens will have a short turnaround with back-to-back games, it seems likely the center will also be sidelined against the Isles on Friday. The injury-prone Russian has already missed three games with this latest ailment, but remains a top fantasy option when in the lineup given he is averaging 1.16 points per game this year.
2:13 pm (EST)
Victor Bartley Headshot

Bartley (torn triceps) was on the ice for morning skate Thursday, Michael Russo of the Star Tribune reports.

The 29-year-old defenseman, who was expected back earlier this month, is recovering slowly but surely. He's not likely to return in time to make an impact during the regular season, but the Wild are a shoe-in for the playoffs and that's where his focus should be now.
2:08 pm (EST)
Darrell Ceciliani Headshot

Ceciliani has heated up this spring and put himself back in the conversation for an Opening Day outfield role, Mark Zwolinski of the Toronto Star reports.

After a slow start to the Grapefruit League season, Ceciliani has earned a seat at the table with a recent stretch of solid production. He's driven in a team-high eight runs this spring while managing the second-most hits on the team (14). In fairness, Ceciliani's 51 at-bats significantly exceeds most of the team and there's no hiding the 29 percent strikeout rate. Realistically, a platoon in left field is the best it will get for the 26-year-old, and even for that, Ceciliani will need to beat out trusted veteran Ezequiel Carrera. On the positive side, the former fourth-round pick of the Mets is at least garnering some attention that could earn him some MLB playing time later in 2017.
2:08 pm (EST)
Miguel Cabrera Headshot

Cabrera (back) said he won't play until Friday at the earliest, Chris McCosky of The Detroit News reports.

Cabrera apparently felt a pop in his back during the first WBC game and has been receiving daily treatment ever since, though he also noted that it's feeling better. Friday may seem slightly optimistic for his return, as the Tigers don't have any plans to rush its star back. Detroit isn't worried about his status at this point, but that may change if he doesn't return to action relatively soon.
2:05 pm (EST)
Shane Doan Headshot

Doan (lower body) won't play Thursday against the Panthers, but he could return to action Saturday against Washington.

The Coyotes have no incentive to rush Doan back, so they'll let their captain return to full health before slotting him back into the lineup, which evidently could happen as soon as this weekend. The 40-year-old winger has only produced 25 points in 70 games this season, so his owners shouldn't have too much trouble finding a replacement for his production on the waiver wire.
2:04 pm (EST)
Jed Lowrie Headshot

Lowrie, who faces an imminent challenge from promising prospect Franklin Barreto despite the latter's recent return to the minors, feels confident in his ability to hang on to his second-base job for the duration of the season, John Hickey of the East Bay Times reports.

The 32-year-old has had a solid spring, hitting .290 with a pair of doubles, three RBI, three walks and five runs over 31 at-bats. However, Barreto was blasting the cover off the ball before being sent down to Triple-A Nashville, as he'd hit .481 (13-for-27) with a triple, home run and five RBI. Although Barreto's natural position is shortstop, there's not exactly an opening at the major league level considering that's the spot Marcus Semien, he of the career-high 27 homers in 2016, mans. That leaves Lowrie's position as the most logical alternative, and accordingly, Barreto will get plenty of time there at Nashville to start the season, with an eye on a leap back up to the big leagues at some point in 2017. Lowrie is up for the challenge, however, remarking that he's feeling as healthy as he has in years after offseason surgeries on his foot and a deviated septum, the latter procedure correcting an issue that had prevented him from getting restful sleep. "I'm as fit as I've been in a long time," he said. "It's a combination of the surgery and the work that I put in in the offseason. I'm feeling great."
2:02 pm (EST)
Erick Aybar Headshot

Aybar went 1-for-4 with an RBI in Wednesday's loss to the Royals.

The veteran shortstop was brought into camp to compete for a roster spot. The 33-year-old has shown that he can still get the job done, batting .293 (12-for-41) with two RBI and a stolen base. Aybar is clearly outperforming other shortstop candidates, Luis Sardinas and Allen Cordoba, but his age and status as a non-roster invitee are working against him. The rebuilding Padres may be more inclined to give their younger options first crack at the job, which would leave the veteran without a job. Manager Andy Green hasn't laid out his plan for the shortstop position, so we have to continue to assume Aybar is still in the mix for the starting job.
1:55 pm (EST)
Ronnie Price Headshot

Price (leg) is listed as questionable for Thursday's tilt with the Nets.

Price has missed the last two games with a lower left leg contusion and is in danger of missing a third straight on Thursday. He'll continue to receive treatment throughout the day with the hope of being cleared against the Nets, but if he can't give it a go, Leandro Barbosa could pick up some extra minutes behind starting point guard Tyler Ulis.
1:52 pm (EST)
Erik Gonzalez Headshot

Gonzalez, who's competing for the team's utility role, is hitting .295 (13-for44) with nine RBI and five runs through 19 spring games.

With Jason Kipnis (shoulder) unlikely to be ready for Opening Day, the Tribe could use the services of Gonzalez to begin the year. Manager Terry Francona has raved about Gonzalez's glove, even suggesting the 25-year-old had award-winning ability in the field. As of now, there remain a lot of moving parts when it comes to building the team's infield, but Gonzalez is at least on the radar. However, even if he can win the big-league job, he brings little to the table in terms of fantasy-league value.
1:49 pm (EST)
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