Lucas Duda
Mets' Lucas Duda: Dealing with back stiffness
Lucas Duda, 1B, NYM
10:45 AM
News: Duda took Thursday off after his back stiffened up following batting practice Wednesday, The New York Daily News reports. "No problems with it really," Duda said. "I am fine."

He didn't play in Friday's Grapefruit League opener against the Red Sox and, despite Duda's assurances, any issues with his back this spring are going to raise some red flags for fantasy owners after his rough 2016 season. He's still got plenty of time before Opening Day to show that he's 100 percent, but if the back problems linger through March, be prepared to drop him in your rankings.

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Mark Canha
Athletics' Mark Canha: Impressing early in spring
Mark Canha, 1B, OAK
2/24/2017
News: Canha, who missed the majority of last season due to hip surgery, has earned strong praise from manager Bob Melvin for his performance in early workouts, Joe Stiglich of CSN Bay Area reports. "He worked hard in the offseason. His swing looks good," Melvin said. "He looks like he's in great shape and I think he's out to prove a serious point this year - that he can be a very productive guy at the big league level, as we've seen before."

The 28-year-old saw only 44 plate appearances in 2016 before his injury, which prevented him from building on a solid rookie campaign the season prior. Canha, who's slated to platoon with newcomer Matt Joyce in right field this season, will draw the start in left field and hit cleanup in Saturday's Cactus League opener versus the Cubs.

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Miguel Cabrera
Tigers' Miguel Cabrera: Not a candidate to hit second
Miguel Cabrera, 1B, DET
2/24/2017
News: Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said Cabrera is not a candidate to hit second this year, the Detroit Free Press reports.

The Tigers don't have a prototypical No. 2 hitter, and are considering sluggers Nick Castellanos and J.D. Martinez for the role. However, Ausmus said Cabrera will remain the No. 3 hitter. "Miggy has been pretty successful hitting third," Ausmus said. Cabrera should once again post elite fantasy numbers in a strong Detroit lineup.

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Cody Bellinger
Dodgers' Cody Bellinger: Will occupy outfield during spring
Cody Bellinger, 1B, LAD
2/24/2017
News: Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said he'll place Cody Bellinger in all three outfield spots during Cactus League play, in addition to his normal first base role, David Vassegh of AM 570 LA Sports reports.

One of baseball's top prospects, Bellinger's natural position of first base is blocked by veteran Adrian Gonzalez, but the Dodgers are finding ways to get his possibly lethal bat into the mix. While playing these same four defensive spots, he clubbed 23 homers with an .843 OPS at Double-A Tulsa last yea, and he's expected to start 2017 at Triple-A Oklahoma City. If the Dodgers have any reps open up at his four positions on the big league club, however, the potential dynasty gem may punch his ticket to the Los Angeles' lineup -- and fantasy teams.

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Sam Travis
Red Sox's Sam Travis: Smashes home run in spring opener
Sam Travis, 1B, BOS
2/23/2017
News: Travis (knee) went 1-for-3 with a three-run homer in Thursday's spring opener against Northeastern University.

Travis started at designated hitter for the Red Sox, and according to manager John Farrell, "you would never know he had the [torn] ACL last year the way that he's moving around." It seems that the top prospect is back to normal form now that he's able to join the team in game action, and he should continue to develop normally with the hopes of garnering a callup sometime later in the season.

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Adrian Gonzalez
Dodgers' Adrian Gonzalez: Will rest more in 2017
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B, LAD
2/23/2017
News: Gonzalez (elbow) is going to receive more scheduled days of rest in 2017, Eric Stephen of SB Nation reports.

This doesn't have anything to do with his current elbow inflammation, which isn't supposed to carry into the regular season, but it deals more-so with the Dodgers expecting to play late into October in 2017. Gonzalez has been an ironman, playing in at least 156 games during each of the past 11 seasons, and being one of only three players to surpass the 150 game mark in each of the last five seasons. With the Dodgers depth and their expectation to be playing late in the playoffs, manager Dave Roberts thinks it will benefit Gonzalez later in the season if he is afforded more scheduled rest days early. The 34-year-old slashed just .244/.293/.310 against lefties last season, so he'll likely be replaced by a right-handed bat when he is rested.

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Jefry Marte
Angels' Jefry Marte: Likely to start year in minors
Jefry Marte, 1B, LAA
2/23/2017
News: With the acquisition of Luis Valbuena, Marte has likely lost his spot on the 25-man roster, according to the Orange County Register.

This move would make sense considering Marte served as a backup infielder last season, and Valbuena can play both first and third base. He will turn 26 years old this season and showed a bit of life at the plate last season with a .252/.310/.481 slash line in 284 plate appearances. Marte's ability to play at the corners in both the infield and the outfield would make him the first man up should anyone go down to injury at those positions.

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Josh Hamilton
Rangers' Josh Hamilton: Aims to swing in cage by weekend
Josh Hamilton, 1B, TEX
2/23/2017
News: Hamilton (knee) said he'll ride a stationary bike and participate in treatment for about two days, and he hopes to swinging in the batting cage by the end of the weekend, Stefan Stevenson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports.

Hamilton recently received good news as his MRI showed no structural damage. He could be ready for a nearly full spring workload sometime next week. Fantasy owners in mixed leagues shouldn't plan on drafting him yet, outside of extremely deep games, but AL-only competitors will be watching intently to see whether he can carve out consistent at-bats via a productive exhibition performance.

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Chris Davis
Orioles' Chris Davis: Confident his left hand has fully recovered
Chris Davis, 1B, BAL
2/22/2017
News: Davis, who dealt with a lingering hand injury last season, said that he hasn't had any swelling or other issues through the first few days of batting practice, CBS Baltimore reports.

Early in the first year of a $161 million, seven-year contract, the Orioles first baseman injured his left hand while diving into a base. Davis still played 157 games -- second most in his major league career -- but hit just .221 and struck out a career-high 219 times. He says the offseason was what he needed. "I think the biggest thing was really the rest and the time off and not having the physical contact and the beating that I did every day when I was swinging and taking balls at first base," Davis said. Now at full strength, there's reason to believe the 30-year-old's numbers will rebound from last year's dip.

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Josh Bell
Pirates' Josh Bell: Cleared for most baseball activities
Josh Bell, 1B, PIT
2/22/2017
News: Bell (knee) has been cleared for everything except running at full speed, Stephen Nesbitt of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.

Bell has been making gradual improvements throughout spring training after undergoing minor left knee surgery in February. He slashed .273/.368/.406 over 45 games in his rookie season and fully expects to be ready for Opening Day, where he'll form a platoon at first base with David Freese. After facing live pitching Tuesday, the road to recovery looks bright for the young left-hander.

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