This weekend is one of the biggest for fantasy baseball drafts this year, as we are less than a week away from 2022 MLB Opening Day. I just finished another update to the 2022 fantasy baseball player rankings and the Ultimate Fantasy Baseball Cheat Sheet is in the process of another PDF update. Staying on top of all the latest MLB news and MLB injuries is going to be paramount to your success. But not only that, you have to stay on the lookout for MLB trades as well. We’ve discussed the fact that there are still a few teams, like the Toronto Blue Jays and San Diego Padres who are still making moves as they look to solidify their 2022 MLB rosters before the season begins.

We’ve given you all the tools you need to succeed, so if you’re late to the party, you’ve got a lot of catching up to do. Grabbing a copy of our Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide will certainly help with regard to identifying potential fantasy baseball sleepers and breakouts players, but while you’re looking over the fantasy baseball draft strategy articles, I also recommend you go back and ready through past editions of the Fantasy Baseball Daily Round Up. There is never such a thing as too much information.

Let’s get to today’s top stories.



MLB Injuries


New York Mets Send Jacob deGrom for an MRI on Friday



No one likes bad news, especially those who may have already drafted and invested a high pick in the Mets ace. We knew there was a risk bumping deGrom up in the player rankings, but early spring signs were positive and he looked incredibly sharp in his spring debut. But now after experiencing some tightness in his right shoulder after just playing catch, the Mets are scratching him from his Friday outing and are now sending him for an MRI. Without knowing the results, it’s difficult to determine where exactly we should rank him. We expect result today to give us some clarity, but for now I’ve dropped him to the back end of my Top20. If he’s fine, I still expect the Mets to handle him with kid gloves and not to push him too hard, so find a starter or two with stronger reliability and less risk. If he’s not, we’ll scratch him off the list in a hurry.

UPDATE 4/1 @ 4:25pm ET

The news on deGrom is not good. Jeff Passan broke it to us on Twitter:

Passan goes on to give the Mets plan of action which doesn't instill much confidence in fantasy owners right now.

I will be moving him down in our rankings and on the cheat sheet immediately, but just know that the fluidity of this recovery time, meaning we have no idea how long he will be out, has me off deGrom in all drafts. I'll place him in a sensible spot for those who want to take that chance, but me personally, I'm out.

Chicago White Sox Reliever Garrett Crochet Exits with Arm Injury



There have been no recent updates as to the nature or extent of the injury, but you can expect the White Sox to send their star lefty for immediate tests. He only threw one-third of an inning before the exit, so that definitely brings about some concern. They weren’t exactly sure of his role this year and were wavering between starter and reliever, so perhaps it’s just some general soreness from being stretched out. Crochet is more of a late-round flier type of guy, but if you’re playing in a league that counts holds, he has solid value, not to mention, the possibility of starts down the road. We’ll stand by and wait for the tests.

Dylan Floro Will Throw Bullpen Session for Miami Marlins on Friday



The supposed closer for the Miami Marlins is still working his way back from arm soreness and is considered “a little behind” the rest of the pitchers in camp. We’ll have to see after this outing as to whether or not the team will have him open the season on the IL, but he is still considered to be the favorite on this team for saves, once he’s back and healthy. Anthony Bender and Anthony Bass will fill in for the time being, so if you’re drafting, push Floro down your boards a bit and if you grab him, be sure to take Bender as well. He’s got the higher strikeout potential and we’ve seen Bass both struggle and soar in the closer’s role. Continue to watch how manager Don Mattingly handles his bullpen over the next several days.

Cincinnati Reds Potential Closer Lucas Sims Throws Successful Side Session



We already know that Sims, who is dealing with elbow issues, is going to open the season on the 10-day IL. A combination of Art Warren, Hunter Strickland and even Luis Cessa is expected to be the committee the Reds use, however, if things pan out for Sims and he is healthy, he is still likely going to be the first choice for saves. We won’t see him until May, but this is why you have a watch list. If he goes undrafted, you can follow his progress and maybe steal him off waivers before the hype train leaves the station again.



2022 MLB Spring Training Updates:


Arizona Diamondbacks Giving Daulton Varsho a Look at Leadoff



This is certainly something to watch as we head into the final draft weekend. I haven’t been overly excited about Varsho as a pick, because, while he has eligibility both at catcher and the outfield, his true value is only retained if you use him behind the plate. Putting him in your outfield defeats the purpose, so while yes, multi-position eligibility is a good thing, it’s not like you want to play him anywhere else. But now, we get a value boost for sure, especially if he bats leadoff. You can expect him to bat in the top four of the lineup anyway, but the extra at-bats a leadoff hitter gets, not to mention the boost in runs scored and, maybe, some stolen bases, becomes more of a factor in drafting him. I’m not going to move him up my board just yet, but maybe give him some extra consideration if you miss out on the top fantasy backstops.

Justin Upton Continues to Rake for the Los Angeles Angels



If this isn’t the fantasy baseball gods throwing temptation at us right now, I don’t know what is. The 34-year-old veteran outfielder smacked two home runs and drove in six during Thursday’s game and he is now slashing .333/.474/.933 with three home runs and 11 RBI over just 15 at-bats. I mean, how do you ignore something like this? Oh yeah…because he’s hurt all the time. This here might just be the best lesson for new fantasy baseball players as some spring numbers, you just have to take with a grain of salt. Upton could get out to a white-hot start this season if he stays healthy and carries this momentum into the year. But is he sustaining it? Probably not. He’s still closer to being sidelined with an oblique injury or something than he is to a retro-breakout campaign. I’ve always loved the player, but don’t be fooled here. If you want to take him with a super-late pick, then fine, but just make sure you have a back-up for your back-up.

Keston Hiura Moves Closer to a Roster Spot with the Milwaukee Brewers



Now here’s a guy who, like Upton, is having a fierce spring, but for me, I’m actually more interested as a late-round add. Hiura revamped his swing in the offseason and is looking to make a comeback with the Brewers now that the universal DH is in-play and we don’t have to worry about his crappy defense. Through 22 spring at-bats, Hiura is slashing .409/.500/.1.045 with two doubles, four home runs and 10 RBI. He’s struck out eight times, so the K-rate is still a little high, but if he keeps hitting, they’re going to have to find a place for his bat, especially since we’re all concerned about the health of guys like Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain. Keep Hiura on your radar when rounding out your bench depth.

Los Angeles Dodgers Closer Situation Will Be a Committee

It’s not just because Blake Treinen gave up a pair of home runs and got hit hard…again…this spring. Manager Dave Roberts has been very clear that he will not name a closer now that his trusted reliever Kenley Jansen defected to the Atlanta Baves, and while Treinen has the most experience in the role, he hasn’t exactly earned Roberts’ trust just yet. Daniel Hudson will remain in the mix, as will lefty Alex Vesia. All three should see some saves work and you may even see hard-throwing righty Brusdar Graterol get involved as well. Obviously, drafting any one of these guys comes with limited upside and risk, but perhaps this situation sorts itself out with a little bit of time still.  



MLB Trades:


Pittsburgh Pirates Acquired INF/OF Josh VanMeter from Arizona Diamondbacks for RHP Lishter Sosa



Just a minor tweak deal as the Pirates are looking for some depth. Could this be a precursor move in anticipation of a Bryan Reynolds trade that was rumored the other day? Yes, but for now, this deal isn’t going to impact your fantasy baseball world at all. VanMeter does have a little bit of speed, but there is a reason the Diamondbacks designated him for assignment. Pittsburgh is a reasonable landing spot, but only if they have other moves to make.

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