Yordano Ventura
Royals' Yordano Ventura: Dies in car acccident
Yordano Ventura, SP, KC
11:50 AM
News: Ventura died in a car accident in his native Dominican Republic, the Kansas City Star reports.

A sad day for the Royals and all of baseball. One of the stars of the 2015 World Championship team, Ventura was just 25 and had been with the Royals since 2013.

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Anibal Sanchez
Tigers' Anibal Sanchez: Will prepare for starting role
Anibal Sanchez, SP, DET
1/21/2017
News: Sanchez will compete for a starting role in spring training, Jason Beck of MLB.com reports.

The right-hander struggled throughout 2016, failing to bring his ERA below 4.08 in any month of the season. Those struggles resulted in some yo-yoing between the rotation and the bullpen -- he'd be demoted to relief only to return to a starting role out of necessity. Sanchez's walk and HR/9 rates have gotten progressively worse in recent years, and it's difficult to imagine he will suddenly reverse those trends in his age-33 season. Daniel Norris, Matt Boyd and Mike Pelfrey will be in the mix for rotation spots as well.

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Mike Pelfrey
Tigers' Mike Pelfrey: Will stretch out, compete for rotation spot in spring training
Mike Pelfrey, SP, DET
1/21/2017
News: Pelfrey will stretch out during spring training and is set to compete for a rotation spot, Jason beck of MLB.com reports.

Pelfrey made 22 starts for the Tigers last season but struggled mightily before being moved to the bullpen in late September. He went 4-10 as a starter with a 5.19 ERA and he allowed 14 home runs in 112.2 innings. While it appears he'll be given a shot to rejoin the rotation, he'd have to beat out the likes of lefty Matt Boyd or Buck Farmer over the course of spring training.

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Drew Pomeranz
Red Sox's Drew Pomeranz: Receives offseason stem cell injection
Drew Pomeranz, SP, BOS
1/21/2017
News: Pomeranz received a stem cell injection in his pitching elbow in October, Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal reports.

The left-hander pitched through elbow soreness in the latter portion of the 2016 season, and while his condition didn't require surgery, he did require an injection to alleviate the issue. Red Sox President Dave Dombrowski recently said that Pomeranz will likely slot in towards the back end of the rotation this season, which suggests that Pomeranz's elbow won't be an issue once pitchers and catchers report.

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Tyson Ross
Rangers' Tyson Ross: Not expected to be ready Opening Day
Tyson Ross, SP, TEX
1/19/2017
News: Ross (shoulder) isn't expected to be ready for Opening Day of the 2017 season, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports.

There's been little talk as to a potential return for Ross, who underwent thoracic outlet syndrome surgery in October. However, the Rangers have now said that they don't expect him to be healthy for Opening Day, as they're being cautious with the 29-year-old righty. A more specific timeframe for his return should become available after he has the chance to workout at spring training.

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Matt Shoemaker
Angels' Matt Shoemaker: Cleared for normal pitching activity
Matt Shoemaker, SP, LAA
1/19/2017
News: Shoemaker (head) has been cleared for normal pitching activity after doing full workouts this offseason, Jason Beck of MLB.com reports.

Shoemaker missed the end of the 2016 season after he was hit by a line drive in early September, which resulted in a small skull fracture. He was on a roll at the time, posting a 2.83 ERA in the 130.1 innings leading up to the injury. He'll look to build on that success in spring training, where it appears he'll be a full go.

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Steven Wright
Red Sox's Steven Wright: Still rehabbing right shoulder
Steven Wright, SP, BOS
1/19/2017
News: Wright (shoulder) is still rehabbing his right shoulder but feels he'll be ready to go for spring training, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports.

Bursitis and rotator cuff irritation have plagued the 32-year-old knuckleballer since he was injured while pinch running Aug. 7 against the Dodgers. Before the injury, he was 13-6 with a 3.33 ERA. He appears destined for a spot at the back end of Boston's rotation in 2017.

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Mike Fiers
Astros' Mike Fiers: Avoids arbitration with one-year deal
Mike Fiers, SP, HOU
1/19/2017
News: Fiers signed a one-year, $3.45 million contract with the Astros on Thursday, avoiding arbitration, Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle reports.

The two sides managed to come to an agreement directly in the middle of their respective offers. With the contract negotiations out of the way, Fiers will look to improve upon his numbers from last year, as he was only able to muster a 4.48 ERA and a 7.2 K/9 across 30 starts and a relief appearance.

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Jordan Zimmermann
Tigers' Jordan Zimmermann: Throws bullpen session
Jordan Zimmermann, SP, DET
1/19/2017
News: Zimmermann (neck) threw pain-free off a mound last week, Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports.

The right-hander was treated with injections and underwent physical therapy earlier in the offseason to address the neck and back pain he dealt with throughout a significant portion of 2016. It sounds like he's doing well and is on track for spring training. Zimmermann saw his strikeout rate plummet in his first season with Detroit (from 7.3 K/9 to 5.6), coinciding with another downtick in average fastball velocity.

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Eduardo Rodriguez
Red Sox's Eduardo Rodriguez: Expects to be good to go by spring training
Eduardo Rodriguez, SP, BOS
1/19/2017
News: Rodriguez (knee) is expected to be 100 percent by the time spring training comes around, Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald reports.

The left-hander injured his knee during a winter league game, although manager John Farrell doesn't seem too concerned about the ailment in the long run. There is a chance that Rodriguez begins the season in the minor leagues due to neither Drew Pomeranz or Steven Wright having minor league options remaining. However, the Red Sox still see the 23-year-old as a big part of their future, meaning he'll likely spend a considerable amount of time in the big leagues in 2017 regardless of where he starts the campaign.

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