2017 MLB Spring Training Position Battles Cover Image
2017 MLB Spring Training Position Battles
Howard Bender

Latest from Ray Flowers' MLB Draft Guide

Phil Hughes Headshot

Hughes gave up four runs on six hits and two home runs with one strikeout in Monday's spring training loss to Pittsburgh. His spring ERA increased to 6.55.

Hughes gave up home runs to two of the first three batters he faced and then settled down. He's had a rocky spring training, but he's healthy after after an injury-plagued 2016 season, which is likely more important than his spring stats. (season-ending surgery in July to relieve thoracic outlet syndrome where part of his rib was removed to relieve nerve pressure on his shoulder.) He'll likely start Minnesota's fourth game of the regular season against the White Sox.
12:04 am (EST)
Peter Bourjos Headshot

The Rays are in trade talks to acquire Bourjos, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

The White Sox have a promising young outfielder in Jacob May, and a groin injury to Colby Rasmus leaves the Rays in need of another body early in the season. Bourjos is one of the fastest players in the league and is a plus defender at all three outfield positions, so the Rays can find a use for him despite his brutal .232/.292/.362 batting line over the past three seasons. If the deal comes to pass, an announcement is expected sometime Tuesday.
12:04 am (EST)
Kevin Love Headshot

Love scored nine points (4-12 FG, 1-6 3Pt) with seven rebounds, four assists and two steals across 27 minutes in Monday's 103-74 loss to the Spurs.

Love has struggled to regain his form since returning from a knee injury that kept him out for a month in the second half of February and first half of March. He's averaging just 13.5 points on 42.4 percent from the field and 31.3 percent from three in his six games back from injury while averaging under 30 minutes per game. It was a positive sign that Love was able to play in both halves of week Friday and Saturday's back-to-back and his limited minutes Monday undoubtedly had a lot to do with the game being out of reach, but he will remain a somewhat risky play as the regular season comes to a close unless he strings together a couple of great games very soon.
Yesterday 11:54 pm (EST)
Micheal Ferland Headshot

Ferland scored a goal and added a helper Monday in a 4-2 win over the visiting Avalanche.

Ferland is now up to 15 goals and 23 points in 70 games this year, which doesn't do much to move the fantasy needle. His 142 hits help boost his value in leagues that count that category, but are actually markedly down from last year's total of 207.
Yesterday 11:54 pm (EST)
Johnny Gaudreau Headshot

Gaudreau scored a goal and added an assist in a 4-2 win over the Avalanche on Monday.

Gaudreau's tally was of the empty-net variety, but owners won't mind. He's rattled off nine points over a five-game point streak and makes for arguably one of the most dangerous one-two punches right now with Sean Monahan, who went off for four points of his own Monday.
Yesterday 11:50 pm (EST)
Todd Frazier Headshot

Frazier went 2-for-4 with a home run, a double and two runs scored in Monday's game against the Dodgers, Dan Hayes of CSN Chicago reports.

Frazier got off to a slow start with an oblique injury that robbed him of about a week of practice time and then another week of at-bats. He feels he's getting close to where he needs to be, but is batting just .200 (7-for-35) this spring. The 31-year-old feels his spring numbers are the result of the working to get back to using all fields following 2016 when he got pull happy and hit fewer line drives. His 40 homers last year were nice, but he dragged an anchor of a career-low .225 batting average.
Yesterday 11:48 pm (EST)
Sean Monahan Headshot

Monahan scored a goal and added a trio of assists in a 4-2 win over Colorado on Monday.

There's nothing quite like a visit from the league's worst team to help pad one's stats, which is exactly what Monahan did in this one, factoring into all four of Calgary's goals -- three of which came on the power play. He's been a man possessed since a three-game pointless streak in mid-March, ringing up 10 points in his last five contests.
Yesterday 11:47 pm (EST)
Taj Gibson Headshot

Gibson managed 13 points (6-10 FG, 1-1 FT), six rebounds, one assist and one block across 24 minutes in Monday's 92-91 victory over the Mavericks.

Gibson was hot early, collecting more than half of his points Monday night in the first quarter. Gibson hovers right around 20 minutes per contest, which makes it harder to trust him on a nightly basis, but he's been aggressive on the offensive end, hoisting up at least seven shots in each of the past four games. The Thunder are desperately looking for someone to take the offensive pressure off of Russell Westbrook, as Victor Oladipo and Steven Adams haven't proven to be reliable enough on that side of the floor. If Gibson continues to take shots, fantasy owners may want to give him a look as the rebounds will be there to make him more than a one-trick pony.
Yesterday 11:45 pm (EST)
Calvin Pickard Headshot

Pickard allowed three goals on 26 shots in a 4-2 loss to Calgary on Monday.

The New Brunswick native has been dismal since allowing one goal in a win over Detroit on March 15, dropping four straight starts while allowing 15 goals during that span. With just 13 victories in 44 appearances this year, there's little to suggest Pickard will be an attractive fantasy commodity anytime soon.
Yesterday 11:44 pm (EST)
LeBron James Headshot

James took an elbow to the neck during Monday's loss in San Antonio, but he fully expects to play Thursday in Chicago, Melissa Rohlin of the San Antonio Express-News reports.

The Cavaliers suffered an ugly 103-74 loss Monday, but had the game been closer, it's certainly possible James would have played more than the 30 minutes he ended up with. Even with the slightly limited workload Monday, James still managed to compile 17 points, eight rebounds, and eight assists. Barring something unforeseen, the veteran will likely be on track to play closer to his season average of 37.6 minutes per game against the Bulls on Thursday.
Yesterday 11:43 pm (EST)
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