AAF Stats DFS - Week Preseason Week 2
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B. Buxton - CF
Buxton went 2-for-2 with a home run and five RBI in his first spring training game in Saturday's win over Tampa Bay.
While it's just one exhibition game, it's a great sign to see Buxton healthy and off to a good start. He began last season by missing time with recurring migraines and played through a hairline fracture in his left big toe, which resulted in him being sent to the minors after hitting just .122 in 17 games. Then he missed several weeks with a wrist injury. When finally healthy, he hit .311 with three homers and a .901 OPS over 23 games at Triple-A Rochester, but Minnesota manipulated his service time and did not call him up in September. However, the Twins said after the season he'll be the starter in center field.
Added 10:25 pm (EST)
R. Lewis - SS
Lewis was not available for Saturday's spring training game due to a mild oblique strain, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. "We're going to be conservative, as you would probably guess," Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said, "Take our time with that. That's something we're going to work through and we're not overly concerned as we sit here right now. It is something to take note of as we go forward."
It sounds like Lewis will be out a week or more, which means he's unlikely to appear in any major league spring training games before minor-league camp begins March 7. He still has plenty of time before the minor-league season begins to get over this issue, but it's worth monitoring since it's an injury that could sidetrack his season.
Added 7:44 pm (EST)
S. Brault - RP
Brault started Saturday, throwing two scoreless innings against the Phillies. He gave up one hit while striking out a pair of batters.
The key to Brault's success is control. He threw 19 of 23 pitches for strikes Saturday and didn't walk anyone. In 2018, the lefty surrendered walks at a 5.6 BB/9 clip. Pittsburgh signed Jordan Lyles to compete for its fifth starter's spot, but Brault and Nick Kingham also give the team starting options. Brault still has minor-league options remaining, so he'll have to earn his spot on the staff.
Added 7:39 pm (EST)
C. Bellinger - CF
Bellinger will be held out of workouts for a few days as a precaution due to a sore back, Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reports.
Early reports don't make it sound as if the issue will be serious, and Bellinger will have more than enough time to build up for Opening Day if he does indeed wind up missing just a few days. If the injury ends up lingering, playing time could open up for Alex Verdugo, or the Dodgers could simply expand the role of utility players Enrique Hernandez and Chris Taylor.
Added 7:25 pm (EST)
C. Kershaw - SP
Pitching coach Rick Honeycutt said Saturday that Kershaw is dealing with "an arm kind of thing," which Honeycutt went on to describe as "irritation," Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Kershaw, who is said to be taking medication to treat the issue, hopes to resume throwing early next week. He was shut down after struggling in a live batting batting practice session and then reporting not feeling right. Manager Dave Roberts said Friday, "No one is alarmed or concerned about it," but with Honeycutt stating explicitly that this is indeed a physical issue, it's reasonable to be concerned. This situation should be monitored closely.
Added 7:17 pm (EST)
C. Kimbrel - RP
Kimbrel's agent, David Meter, denied reports suggesting Kimbrel had threatened to sit out all season, saying, "Craig looks forward to signing a new contract in the near future," Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports.
Threatening to sit out is one thing, though actually doing so is another. With even the threat now apparently off the table, it's safer to expect that Kimbrel will land somewhere prior to Opening Day.
Added 5:54 pm (EST)
T. Story - SS
Story left Saturday's game against the Diamondbacks with a right elbow contusion after being hit by a pitch.
Story's elbow has been through a lot recently, as elbow issues in mid-September appeared to threaten Tommy John surgery at one point. Saturday's injury is unlikely to linger and won't affect his readiness for Opening Day unless tests reveal an issue worse than a bruise.
Added 4:48 pm (EST)
A. Bregman - 3B
Bregman (elbow) could return to game action next weekend if his progress continues, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports.
Bregman underwent arthroscopic elbow surgery in January but was always expected to be ready for Opening Day. As things stand, he could even withstand a minor setback and still likely have enough time to make the Opening Day lineup.
Added 4:18 pm (EST)