Jordan Zimmermann
Tigers' Jordan Zimmermann: Receives injection for neck pain
Jordan Zimmermann, SP, DET
12/5/2016
News: Zimmermann (neck) has received injections to help treat his neck pain, George Sipple of the Detroit Free Press reports.

Zimmermann is apparently feeling no pain during his physical therapy this offseason, but he has been receiving scheduled neck injections to help combat the pain that plagued him at times during the 2016 season. The 30-year-old is coming off a disappointing campaign in which he posted a 4.87 ERA over 105.1 innings, but figures to be a key piece in the Tigers' rotation this year.

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Michael Brantley
Indians' Michael Brantley: To resume hitting after Christmas
Michael Brantley, LF, CLE
12/5/2016
News: Brantley (shoulder) is expected to resume hitting after Christmas and remains on track to be ready for spring training, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports.

The 2016 season proved to be quite a disappointment for Brantley, who appeared in only 11 games for the Indians after experiencing several setbacks in his return from shoulder surgery. The talented outfielder will make for an intriguing draft day gamble as he possesses the upside to be a potential league-winning player but comes with a fair amount of risk due to his recent injury history.

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Steve Cishek
Mariners' Steve Cishek: Expected to begin pitching by April
Steve Cishek, RP, SEA
12/5/2016
News: Cishek (hip) is expected to begin pitching by April, Greg Johns of MLB.com reports.

Cishek underwent surgery on Oct. 12 to repair a torn labrum in his left hip. It is possible that he will begin the season with a minor league rehab assignment or in extended spring training. With Edwin Diaz securing the Mariners' closer role, it is possible that Cishek will operate in a set-up capacity once healthy.

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Tony Zych
Mariners' Tony Zych: Expected to be ready for spring training
Tony Zych, RP, SEA
12/5/2016
News: Zych (shoulder) is expected to be fully ready for spring training, Greg Johns of MLB.com reports.

Zych was operating as a late-inning reliever for the Mariners in 2016 prior to being placed on the 60-day disabled list. He posted an impressive 13.83 K/9 as well as a concerning 6.59 BB/9 over 13.2 innings pitched. With Edwin Diaz locked in as the team's closer, Zych will likely fall into a middle relief or occasional set-up role in 2017.

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Lorenzo Cain
Royals' Lorenzo Cain: Progressing as planned in rehab from wrist injury
Lorenzo Cain, CF, KC
12/5/2016
News: Royals manager Ned Yost said that Cain (wrist) will be "100 percent ready to go" when the season starts and that he's on schedule with his rehab this offseason, Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com reports.

The expectation is that Cain won't be able to swing a bat for another couple of weeks, but his rehab progress to this point is a very encouraging sign as the Royals look to get him ready for Opening Day. In addition to missing time last season, Cain's slash line took a hit across the board in 2016 as he failed to hit .300 for the first time since 2013 while seeing his slugging percentage fall from .477 to .408.

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Mike Moustakas
Royals' Mike Moustakas: ACL rehab on track
Mike Moustakas, 3B, KC
12/5/2016
News: Royals manager Ned Yost said that Moustakas will be "100 percent ready to go" when the season starts as he continues to rehab a torn ACL, Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com reports.

The knee injury was preceded by a thumb ailment, and Moustakas was on the field for just 27 games in 2016. One particularly encouraging sign last season was that he sustained the power increase he showed in 2015 (.470 SLG, 22 homers) with seven long balls and a .500 slugging percentage in his 113 plate appearances. A detailed timetable for Moustakas' return hasn't been revealed, but he's on track for Opening Day, which suggests that he'll likely be able to accumulate spring training at-bats in Arizona in March.

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Joey Rickard
Orioles' Joey Rickard: May land in platoon for left field spot
Joey Rickard, RF, BAL
12/5/2016
News: Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette said the team plans to platoon Rickard (thumb) with Hyun Soo Kim in left field for 2017, the Baltimore Sun reports.

Based on his performance as a rookie last season, Rickard makes sense on the small side of a platoon after he hit .313/.367/.494 against southpaws in 2016 (by comparison, he hit just .247/.296/.322 against righties). Much like Kim, Rickard offered very little in terms of homers (5) or steals (4) a year ago, but the duo might generate a steady number of runs scored if manager Buck Showalter uses them in a table-setting role.

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Eddie Rosario
Twins' Eddie Rosario: Thumb injury healing
Eddie Rosario, LF, MIN
12/5/2016
News: Rosario's fractured left thumb is healing well enough that he's considering playing for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.

Rosario isn't expected to be cleared to play in time for the Puerto Rican Winter League, but it looks like he'll be ready to play when the WBC begins in early March. Rosario fractured his left thumb while sliding in a game on Sept. 17. He'll enter spring training as the favorite to start the year as the Twins' starting left fielder.

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Steve Pearce
Blue Jays' Steve Pearce: Signs two-year deal with Blue Jays
Steve Pearce, 1B, TOR
12/5/2016
News: Pearce (elbow) signed a two-year, $12.5 million deal Monday with the Blue Jays, Buster Olney of ESPN reports.

Pearce underwent surgery in September and was given an estimated recovery time of 4-to-6 months, but he is versatile defender after having played first base, second base, third base and the outfield over his time with the Rays and Orioles last season and managed to record .288/.374/.492 with 13 home runs and 35 RBIs despite the injury. Whether he will be able to return in time for next year's spring training or not is still in question, but look for Pearce to primarily contribute as a first basemen while providing depth in the outfield in Toronto.

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Albert Pujols
Angels' Albert Pujols: Undergoes surgery Friday
Albert Pujols, DH, LAA
12/2/2016
News: Pujols underwent surgery Friday to release his right plantar fascia.

In a press release, the Angels said the estimated time to return to play following this procedure is typically four months. That puts Pujols' status for the start of the year in some question, but Pujols is a 10-time All-Star and doesn't need a full spring training to prepare for the regular season. In his age-36 season, Pujols hit .268/.323/.457 with 31 homers, marking his 14th season with 30-plus home runs.

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