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Player News
Xander Bogaerts back as expected
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(3:21 pm ET) Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts was right back in the lineup Tuesday against the Rays after leaving Sunday's game with a stiff neck. The rookie will look to continue his strong finish. He's batting .312 (24 for 77) with four home runs and an .840 OPS in September.

Evan Gattis remains out of lineup
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(3:18 pm ET) Though he was able to pinch hit both Saturday and Monday, Braves catcher Evan Gattis was out of the lineup for a 14th straight game Tuesday against the Pirates. He has been sidelined by strep throat and a kidney stone.

Rookie Christian Bethancourt once again started in his absence.


Jason Heyward makes his return
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(3:15 pm ET) Braves outfielder Jason Heyward was back in the lineup for Tuesday's game against the Pirates after missing four straight with a bruised thumb. He was unable to grip a bat as recently as Sunday.

With Heyward's return, Emilio Bonifacio moved from right field to center, bumping B.J. Upton to the bench.


Burch Smith will pitch in Arizona Fall League
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(3:08 pm ET) Padres starting pitcher Burch Smith, who hasn't pitched since April because of a forearm strain, will be able to pitch in the Arizona Fall League, according to MLB.com.

Smith pitched all of 5 1/3 innings for Triple-A El Paso before the injury. He is in the running for a roster spot this spring after recording 11.4 strikeouts per nine innings in 10 appearances, including seven starts, for the big club last season. Of course, he also had a 6.44 ERA and 1.65 WHIP.


Mets opt to shut down Jacob deGrom
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(2:18 pm ET) Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom has pitched for the last time in 2014, according to ESPN.com. The Mets will replace him for his final turn Saturday against the Astros. The rookie was thought to have an innings limit of 180-185 and has thrown 178 2/3 between the majors and minors this season.

Those innings were mostly spectacular. Though deGrom wasn't considered an elite prospect coming into the year, he's a leading candidate for NL Rookie of the Year with a 9-6 record, 2.63 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and 9.2 strikeouts per nine innings. Over his final 15 starts, he went 9-2 with a 1.90 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and 10.0 strikeouts per nine innings.


Jeurys Familia could be in 2015 closer mix
by Al Melchior | Data Analyst
(1:36 pm ET) Mets manager Terry Collins told the Newark Star-Ledger that he wants Jeurys Familia to enter spring training next season with the goal of being the team's closer. Collins indicated that Familia would have an opportunity to close in 2015, particularly if Bobby Parnell has not completed his recovery from Tommy John surgery.

Familia has saved five games this season, but has served primarily in a setup role. In addition to getting 21 holds, he has posted a 2-5 record and a 2.30 ERA in 73 appearances.


Derek Norris dealing with shoulder issue
by Al Melchior | Data Analyst
(12:23 pm ET) CSNBayArea.com reports that Athletics catcher Derek Norris received a cortisone shot in his shoulder on Sunday. He had been experiencing discomfort stemming from contact at a play at the plate during Saturday's game against the Phillies.

Norris recovered well enough to serve as the A's designated hitter on Monday against the Angels, though he was removed for a pinch hitter in the fourth inning.


Orioles' ALDS rotation taking shape
by Al Melchior | Data Analyst
(12:11 pm ET) Orioles manager Buck Showalter told the Baltimore Sun he will use four starting pitchers for the American League Divisional Series. Chris Tillman is on course to be the team's starter for Game 1 on Oct. 2, and Miguel Gonzalez and Wei-Yin Chen are the likely starters for Games 2 and 3, though their order has yet to be determined.

Should the series advance to a Game 4, Bud Norris would be the leading candidate to make that start.


Blue Jays planning for bullpen day on Thursday
by Al Melchior | Data Analyst
(11:33 am ET) With Marcus Stroman serving a five-game suspension and unable to take his usual turn in the Blue Jays' rotation, manager John Gibbons told the Toronto Sun he plans to use a committee of relievers to replace the 23-year-old rookie.

Gibbons has not yet determined who will start Thursday's game against the Mariners, but Todd Redmond, Daniel Norris and Sean Nolin are all candidates to appear in some role. 


Michael Wacha not working with his best changeup
by Al Melchior | Data Analyst
(11:25 am ET) Michael Wacha recovered well enough from Saturday's start against the Reds to get another turn in the rotation, as the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that he will face the Diamondbacks this weekend.

However, in the three starts Wacha has made since returning from time missed due to a stress fracture in his right shoulder, he has not had his usual success in employing his changeup. Cardinals manager Mike Matheny acknowledged that Wacha is having to rely on his other offerings, telling the Post-Dispatch, "For him to be able to try to pitch without what is normally his No. 1 weapon and hold a team down like he did takes some adjustment. He’s getting better."

According to BrooksBaseball.net, Wacha got swings-and-misses on 16.9 percent of his changeups in 15 starts prior to his disabled list stint. In the three starts since, he has induced only one whiff out of 21 changeups (4.8 percent).


 
 
 
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