2017 MLB Fantasy Baseball Draft Book Cover Image
2017 MLB Fantasy Baseball Draft Book
Ray Flowers

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Ray Flowers
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Junichi Tazawa Headshot

Tazawa will work on lowering his arm angle this spring, The Sun-Sentinel reports. "He's navigating through," pitching coach Juan Nieves said. "I think there's a little bit of work to be done, but I think with the youth here, he's a great complement for us. He could be used in a shorter role, less stressful innings."

Nieves was Tazawa's pitching coach in Boston in 2013-14, the reliever's best seasons in the majors, and he feels that Tazawa's arm angle has gotten too high over the last couple of years. More concerning for his fantasy value is the suggestion that he is only fourth of fifth in the bullpen pecking order for the Marlins, and won't see many high-leverage situations behind A.J. Ramos, Brad Ziegler and Kyle Barraclough. Tazawa has recorded at least 16 holds in each of the last four seasons, but could have a tough time keeping that streak alive in a lesser role for Miami.
12:16 pm (EST)
Mike Smith Headshot

Smith was torched for six goals on 29 shots in a 6-3 loss to Chicago on Thursday.

It was a night to forget for the veteran netminder, as he was beaten thrice by superstar Patrick Kane. The Coyotes actually provided three goals of support in the first period to match the Hawks' three tallies in the same frame, but Smith allowed three goals on just 16 shots the rest of the way. Nonetheless, the 34-year-old is now back below the .500 threshold (16-17-6) to go with an ugly 2.92 GAA and decent .915 save percentage this season.
12:09 pm (EST)
Michael Brantley Headshot

Brantley (shoulder) is taking normal batting practice pitching at an indoor cage Friday after previously being restricted to a soft-toss program, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports.

The outfielder's timetable remains up in the air, and a need to rehab into the season looks highly possible. Still, the fact he's taking cuts off live pitches offers a step in the right direction. In the waning rounds of a mixed fantasy draft, owners still can take a logical chance on at least a partial season from the 2014 AL MVP candidate.
12:08 pm (EST)
Drew Stafford Headshot

Stafford (illness) is drawing trade interest ahead of next Wednesday's deadline, Craig Custance of ESPN reports.

The 31-year-old would be a rental player for any team wishing to secure his services, since he'll be an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season. However, he's cashing in what's left on a two-year $8.7 million deal, and that seems to be quite excessive for a winger who only has 12 points in 39 games with his value largely sapped by rookie phenom Patrik Laine. Meanwhile, Stafford is dealing with an illness that has kept him out for the past three games.
12:06 pm (EST)
Alex Burmistrov Headshot

Burmistrov bagged a pair of assists in Thursday's 6-3 loss to the Blackhawks.

The apples snapped a five-game pointless skid for the former Jet, who has managed nine points in 17 contests since joining the Desert Dogs. While he's been much better with the Coyotes than he was in Winnipeg (two assists in 23 games) before they waived him, the fact that Burmistrov has only managed two points on the power play in Arizona is disappointing considering his 2:20 average.
12:02 pm (EST)
Bartolo Colon Headshot

Colon will get the start Saturday in the Braves' Grapefruit League opener against the Blue Jays, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

He'll be followed in the spring rotation by Julio Teheran, R.A. Dickey, Mike Foltynewicz and Jaime Garcia, but at this point there's been no indication from manager Brian Snitker that the regular season rotation will line up the same way. The 43-year-old Colon heads into 2017 having pitched at least 190 innings in four straight seasons and won at least 10 games in five straight, and he's got a chance this year to pass Dennis Martinez as the all-time winningest pitcher from Latin America in MLB history.
11:59 am (EST)
Jurickson Profar Headshot

Netherlands manager Hensley Meulens said Profar will work as an outfielder in the World Baseball Classic, Peter Gammons of Gammons Daily reports.

Gammons also confirms previous reports that Profar will start in the Rangers outfield against right-handed pitching. Working in left field during the WBC should help him hone a position he fleetingly has played before. With his new clear-cut opportunity, Profar, named the No. 1 prospect in baseball for the 2013 season, is worth a dice roll in deep fantasy leagues as a post-hype sleeper entering his age-24 season.
11:59 am (EST)
Bo Schultz Headshot

Schultz is one of many candidates vying for the few remaining spots in the Jays' Opening Day bullpen, MLB.com's Gregor Chisholm reports.

Schultz is out of minor-league options, which may actually help his chances of making the team. The 31-year-old has made 51 relief appearance in the majors, all of which came over the past three years, and owns a career 4.54 ERA over 67.1 innings. Even if Schultz leaves camp with a job on the 25-man-roster, he's unlikely to make a fantasy impact as he'll primarily be used in low-leverage situations.
11:54 am (EST)
P.J. Tucker Headshot

Tucker isn't likely to play Friday against the Celtics, Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe reports.

Tucker was acquired by the Raptors on Thursday but the forward doesn't seem likely to be ready in time for Friday's showdown with the Celtics. Look for more updates to come during team warmups right before tip. His next chance to take the court would come Sunday against the Trail Blazers, should his debut be delayed. Once he joins the rotation, he is expected to be the primary backup to starting small forward DeMarre Carroll.
11:50 am (EST)
Brandon McCarthy Headshot

McCarthy will participate in a bullpen session Friday, Eric Stephen of True Blue LA reports.

Limited to only 13 starts in the last two seasons, the injury-prone right-hander has been throwing for much of the offseason at his normal velocity. He's included in the large group of arms competing for a rotation spot, and if the 33-year-old can win a starting job, he's worth a late-round flier in deep fantasy formats.
11:47 am (EST)
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