John Gant
Cardinals' John Gant: To see action in Grapefruit League opener
John Gant, RP, STL
2/22/2017
News: Gant, acquired from the Braves on Dec. 1, will follow starter Luke Weaver in Saturday's Grapefuit League opener against the Marlins, Glenn Sattell of MLB.com reports.

The 24-year-old right-hander has been solid in workouts so far, and brings impressive size (6-foot-5), a three-pitch arsenal, and unique delivery. Gant is likely to receive at least two frames to showcase his skills Saturday and will likely be followed by non-roster invitee Austin Gomber.

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Tony Cingrani
Reds' Tony Cingrani: Working on adding breaking pitch
Tony Cingrani, RP, CIN
2/22/2017
News: Cingrani is working on another pitch to add to his repertoire in 2017, Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports.

The southpaw has relied on his mid 90s four-seam fastball heavily throughout his career, throwing it more than 87 percent of the time in 2016. He is working on a breaking pitch in order to mix things up and keep batters guessing. He led the Reds with 17 saves while posting a 4.14 ERA in 65 appearances last season, although he'll likely see fewer save opportunities in 2017 as the Reds are contemplating a four-man closer committee.

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Jordan Lyles
Rockies' Jordan Lyles: Lack of options benefits chances of making team
Jordan Lyles, RP, COL
2/22/2017
News: Lyles has a good chance of making the Opening Day roster due to the fact that he's out of minor league options, Thomas Harding of MLB.com reports.

Lyles broke camp last season with a rotation spot in hand, but he was simply atrocious in five starts (8.55 ERA, 2.05 WHIP). However, the right-hander picked things up after he rejoined the major league squad as a long reliever in June, posting an improved 4.42 ERA and 1.45 WHIP. He doesn't strike out enough batters to warrant much excitement if he does make the team as a reliever, but a roster spot is better than being designated for assignment and could also lead to a few spot starts over the course of the year.

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Brent Suter
Brewers' Brent Suter: Road to roster spot is as reliever
Brent Suter, RP, MIL
2/22/2017
News: Manager Craig Counsell said that Suter's best chance to make the Opening Day roster is as a reliever, but he could still develop as a starter in the minors, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

The left-hander appeared 12 times as a reliever and twice as a starter for the Brewers last year, so he could easily fill either role in Milwaukee's organization. Suter does have a leg up on a roster spot given he's one of the few lefties in camp, although his low strikeout potential leaves much to be desired if he becomes a full-time reliever.

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German Marquez
Rockies' German Marquez: Candidate for final rotation spot
German Marquez, RP, COL
2/22/2017
News: Marquez is one of the leading competitors for the Rockies fifth rotation spot, Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post reports.

Saunders adds that Jeff Hoffman as well as Kyle Freeland and Antonio Senzatela to some extent are also in the mix as well. Manager Bud Black already said that he isn't against using the losers of the competition in the bullpen at first as well, so Marquez's value isn't completely null if he doesn't crack the rotation out of spring training, although he doesn't have the high-strikeout stuff that would create a lot of value as a reliever. His control is impeccable, though, which could help him land the final starter spot over Hoffman if the latter continues to struggle in that category.

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Will Smith
Giants' Will Smith: Shut down with elbow inflammation
Will Smith, RP, SF
2/22/2017
News: Smith will be temporarily shut down with elbow inflammation, Alex Pavlovic of CSN Bay Area Sports reports.

The positive news is that the MRI came back clean and manager Bruce Bochy is confident his reliever will be ready for opening day. The Giants plan to have Smith make six appearances before the season opener, but will likely exercise caution with the lefty. The 27-year-old made 26 appearances with San Francisco after being acquired at the trade deadline, posting a 2.95 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP.

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Sandy Alcantara
Cardinals' Sandy Alcantara: Opening eyes in early workouts
Sandy Alcantara, RP, STL
2/22/2017
News: Alcantara, a non-roster invitee to spring training and promising prospect, has made impressive physical strides over the last year, Jose de Jesus Oritz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. "He's a specimen," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "This guy is impressive in how he's developed over the last year. A year ago you just saw a very thin (player who) just still looked kind of like a kid. He looks like a man who has taken the next step. Watching his athleticism, watching the way he moves, watching how he handles just his disposition and his mound disposition as well, there's a lot of things that he's improved on over the last year."

Alcantara firmly remains a developmental project after compiling a 5-11 record over 23 starts between Low-A Peoria and High-A Palm Beach in 2016, but has undeniably eye-opening stuff. The 21-year-old boasts a 100 mph-fastball, a changeup that tops out at about 90 mph, a sharp-breaking curve and an effective sinker. That arsenal helped produce 153 whiffs over 122.2 innings last season, although Alcantara offset those impressive numbers with 59 walks, an area in which he clearly has room for improvement. Given his skill set and potential, Alcantara will be one of the more intriguing non-roster invitees to monitor in Cardinals' camp, and could well start the 2017 campaign at the Double-A level with a strong spring training effort.

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Mark Melancon
Giants' Mark Melancon: Feels great heading into spring training
Mark Melancon, RP, SF
2/21/2017
News: Melancon said that he feels where he wants to be physically heading into spring training, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Melancon threw a bullpen session Tuesday and reportedly felt great physically afterwards. He mentioned that he normally feels a "slowness" when beginning spring training but that was not the case this year. This is good news for both the Giants -- who recently signed their new closer to four-year deal this offseason -- and fantasy owners hoping for another solid season from one of the game's top closing options.

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Michael Lorenzen
Reds' Michael Lorenzen: Part of Reds' closer mix
Michael Lorenzen, RP, CIN
2/21/2017
News: The Reds hope to use a four-man closer committee in 2017, one Lorenzen will be a component.

Raisel Iglesias and Drew Storen appear to be the primary alternatives, followed by Lorenzen and Tony Cingrani. "I would really like to see this particular game plan we have in place work out," manager Bryan Price said on Sunday. "We want to look at the end of the year and we see Storen and Iglesias and Lorenzen, in particular, with some saves. That may mean Cingrani as well, if he's the best guy we have for that situation in the ninth inning.

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Raisel Iglesias
Reds' Raisel Iglesias: Reds committed to closer committee
Raisel Iglesias, RP, CIN
2/21/2017
News: The Reds still want to go with a four-man closer committee, rather than committing to Iglesias as the closer.

Ultimately the Reds hope that their plan won't be decided in spring training. "I would really like to see this particular game plan we have in place work out," manager Bryan Price said on Sunday. "We want to look at the end of the year and we see Storen and Iglesias and Lorenzen, in particular, with some saves. That may mean Cingrani as well, if he's the best guy we have for that situation in the ninth inning.

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