Daniel Hudson
Pirates' Daniel Hudson: Second in line for saves
Daniel Hudson, SP, PIT
2/23/2017
News: Hudson will serve as Pittsburgh's closer on days Tony Watson is unable to close, CBS Pittsburgh reports.

Pirates GM Neal Huntington announced the team's pecking order for saves, listing Watson first and then Hudson and Felipe Rivero. Huntington typically doesn't permit his relievers to pitch three straight days, giving Hudson the chance to potentially close after Watson has thrown in back-to-back calendar days. It wouldn't be surprising to see the Pirates move Watson (who will become a free agent after 2017) at the trade deadline, freeing up Hudson to close in the second half of the season.

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Max Scherzer
Nationals' Max Scherzer: Set to throw off mound Saturday
Max Scherzer, SP, WAS
2/23/2017
News: Scherzer (finger) is scheduled to throw off a mound for the first time this spring on Saturday, Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post reports.

This is the next step in his return, as Scherzer was able to play catch with his normal grip for the first time on Monday, reporting only slight soreness afterwards. The Nats are in no hurry to rush their ace back, but if all goes well Saturday, they should be able to ramp up his activity level and start preparing him for Opening Day. It is definitely a situation to monitor closely, as the bullpen session Saturday will likely give a better idea as to whether or not the 32-year-old will be ready for the start of the season.

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Tyler Glasnow
Pirates' Tyler Glasnow: Cultivates new mechanics, pitches
Tyler Glasnow, SP, PIT
2/23/2017
News: Glasnow said he spent the last six months cleaning up his delivery, and that he's added a two-seam fastball and has switched his changeup grip from a four-seamer to a two-seamer, Stephen J. Nesbitt of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.

The 23-year-old pauses on the first step of his windup, rocking on his left foot, before finishing the delivery. This helps restore his balance and prevent him rushing toward the plate. He's also established a quicker leg lift and stride toward the plate to try to contain baserunners. As for the new pitches, the results of such changes often varies, but adding versatility to his arsenal can help the right-hander's ability to keep hitters guessing. He's expected to compete for a starting job but could wind up at Triple-A Indianapolis to start 2017. Still, fantasy players justifiably can take a late-rounds chance on him in mixed leagues, hoping he can correct his control (5.04 BB/9 with Indy last year and 5.01 in his small MLB sample) to complement his elite strikeout potential.

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Brett Anderson
Cubs' Brett Anderson: Will toe rubber Monday
Brett Anderson, SP, CHC
2/23/2017
News: Anderson will start Monday's spring training game against the White Sox, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

Anderson's health has often prevented him from cashing in on his once elite talent. He's set to compete with fellow left-hander Mike Montgomery, among others, for the No. 5 rotation spot and could be of fantasy service in mixed leagues if he can hold it sometime this season.

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Edinson Volquez
Marlins' Edinson Volquez: Will start Grapefruit League opener Saturday
Edinson Volquez, SP, MIA
2/23/2017
News: Volquez will get the start in the Marlins' first Grapefruit League game Saturday against the Cardinals, The Miami Herald reports.

He'll be followed on the mound by Tom Koehler. Volquez, a likely candidate to be the Marlins' Opening Day starter, is coming off a down season with the Royals that saw him post an unsightly 5.37 ERA and 1.55 WHIP, but has the most experience of any hurler in the Miami rotation and should benefit from the move to the NL East.

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Aaron Blair
Braves' Aaron Blair: Continuing to hone slider
Aaron Blair, SP, ATL
2/23/2017
News: Blair feels that the slider he added to his arsenal late last season can become a true out pitch for him, Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports. "Developing that pitch was big for me at the end of the year, and hopefully it's big for me moving on," Blair said. "Throwing it [in live batting practice on Tuesday], I had a good feel for it. It was late [break] and I kept it down in the zone. That's pretty much all you can ask for."

His 10-strikeout performance against the Tigers in his final start of 2016 certainly offered a tantalizing glimpse of his potential, but the Braves' offseason pitching acquisitions all but ensure Blair will head back to Triple-A Gwinnett to begin the season. If he continues to refine his slider, however, he could be the first starter recalled if injuries hit the rotation, and he'll be an intriguing stash in keeper formats.

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Julio Urias
Dodgers' Julio Urias: To participate in simulated work
Julio Urias, SP, LAD
2/23/2017
News: Urias will pitch two simulated innings with live batting practice today against Chase Utley, Corey Seager, Joc Pederson and Justin Turner, Eric Stephen of True Blue LA reports.

That's not a bad group of opponents to help the lefty get tuned up. Los Angeles likely wants to manage the 20-year-old's innings this season, but the timing of that remains up in the air. Urias will log some Cactus League games, so perhaps the Dodgers will have him skip some starts during the year. Despite the concerns that he may only register 150 to 160 frames, Urias deserves consideration late in mixed drafts. He oozes upside, even in a limited campaign.

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Zack Wheeler
Mets' Zack Wheeler: Spring timetable becoming clear
Zack Wheeler, SP, NYM
2/23/2017
News: Wheeler (elbow) will throw two more bullpen sessions, then two live batting practice sessions, before the Mets consider using him during Grapefruit League action, The New York Daily News reports.

The 26-year-old has already had one setback this spring, so that timetable is hardly set in stone, but if Wheeler continues to make progress he could see some game action in a couple of weeks. The Mets will be very cautious with him given his long recovery period from Tommy John surgery in 2015, however, and the most likely plan for Wheeler still involves him staying in extended spring training when the regular season begins.

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Austin Gomber
Cardinals' Austin Gomber: To see action in Grapefruit League opener
Austin Gomber, SP, STL
2/22/2017
News: Gomber is slated to see action in Saturday's Grapefuit League opener against the Marlins, Glenn Sattell of MLB.com reports.

The southpaw, who was the Cardinals' 2015 Minor League Pitcher of the Year, will get an early opportunity to start building on his impressive 2016 campaign in High-A Palm Beach and Double-A Springfield, as well as his solid Arizona Fall League stint. Gomber carries some intrigue this spring, considering the Cardinals' prospective starting rotation is exclusively composed of right-handers. The 23-year-old is slated to follow starter Luke Weaver and John Gant on Saturday and will likely work at least two frames.

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Luke Weaver
Cardinals' Luke Weaver: Named starter for Grapefruit League opener
Luke Weaver, SP, STL
2/22/2017
News: Weaver has been named the starter for Saturday's Grapefruit League opener against the Marlins, Glenn Sattell of MLB.com reports.

Weaver, competing for the fifth starter job, will thus get first crack at making an impression against live competition this spring. The 23-year-old righty, who went 1-4 with a 5.70 ERA over his first 36.1 major league innings in 2016, will likely work just two frames Saturday and will be followed by John Gant and non-roster invitee Austin Gomber.

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