Cubs' Addison Russell: Targets Thursday return
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
(1:48 pm ET) Russell (back) is expected to return to the lineup Thursday when the Cubs take on the Astros, Jesse Sanchez of reports.

Russell insists that he'll be ready for Opening Day, and if all goes well in Thursday's contest, it's very likely that he will be. The young shortstop's back is reportedly feeling 100 percent as of now, so fantasy owners shouldn't be concerned about his status moving forward unless he experiences a hiccup in Thursday's bout.

Padres' Manuel Margot: Doubles in loss Monday
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
(1:21 pm ET) Margot went 1-for-3 with a double in Monday's spring loss to the Dodgers.

The talented outfielder has gone 4-for-13 (.308) since returning from a minor knee injury on March 23. He did attempt a steal -- albeit unsuccessfully -- in that span, which is a good sign that his knee is fully healed. Margot appears slated to begin the year as the Padres' starting centerfielder, but the club could keep him in the minors for 24 days to gain an extra year of team control. San Diego hasn't announced any plans to do that, but it remains a possibility until they officially name the 22-year-old to their Opening Day roster.

Rockies' Rafael Ynoa: Returns to minors
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
(1:20 pm ET) Ynoa was reassigned to minor league camp Monday, Patrick Saunders of The Denver Post reports.

The 29-year-old bashed a pair of home runs in his case for a major league roster spot, but it was all for naught as he never was much of a threat to the others competing for a roster spot. Ynoa will likely serve as organizational depth moving forward, but don't be surprised if reappears in Denver later in the season like he has the past few seasons.

Rockies' Daniel Castro: Shipped back to minors
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
(1:15 pm ET) Castro was reassigned to minor league camp Monday, Patrick Saunders of The Denver Post reports.

The 24-year-old infielder didn't pose much of a threat to claim a roster spot, especially after batting just .235 and walking once in 35 spring plate appearances. Castro will likely serve as an organizational depth piece moving forward, but his positional versatility could land him a spot in Denver later in the season if he picks things up at the plate during his time in the minors.

Cardinals' Randal Grichuk: Exits spring game following HBP
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
(1:09 pm ET) Grichuk was removed from Wednesday's Grapefruit League game after being hit in the hand by a pitch.

It's unclear how severe the injury is, but given the proximity to Opening Day, the Cardinals were quick to give their young outfielder the hook. Grichuk's status should become clearer once he's examined by team doctors. Consider him day-to-day for the time being.

Rockies' Scott Oberg: Seems to be in line for demotion
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
(1:05 pm ET) Oberg will likely begin the season with Triple-A Albuquerque, Nick Groke of The Denver Post reports.

The right-hander pitched well this spring, posting a 2.16 ERA and an 8:2 K:BB in 8.1 innings pitched, but ultimately there were just too many other arms clamoring for the same spots. That being said, Oberg has consistently dominated Triple-A hitters over the past few years, so he seems like a logical option to return to the big league bullpen if someone else gets hurt or falters.

Rockies' Chad Qualls: Likely to miss start of season
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
(12:57 pm ET) Qualls (forearm) will not be ready for the regular season, Nick Groke of The Denver Post reports.

The right-hander was initially hoping to return to game action prior to the conclusion of spring training, and although that isn't completely out of the question, he still won't be at a point where he'll be able to comfortably appear in regular season games. Qualls struggled significantly last season in his first year of a two-year contract, and he'll need to prove his worth once he's healthy if he wants to be used in anything beyond a middle relief role this season.

Rockies' Jordan Lyles: Good chance to crack Opening Day roster
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
(12:48 pm ET) Lyles seems likely to break camp as a member of the Rockies bullpen, Patrick Saunders of The Denver Post reports.

The right-hander has experienced his fair share of struggles this spring (6.55 ERA, four walks in 11 innings pitched), but the myriad of injuries plaguing the Rockies seem to have opened up a spot in the bullpen for Lyles. The fact that he's out of options may have also played a role, but a roster spot is a good sign for him nonetheless. That being said, his fantasy value will be severely limited for much of the season, as his low strikeout rates won't garner much value in a middle-relief role.

Dodgers' Enrique Hernandez: Will give hitting a go Thursday
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
(12:40 pm ET) Hernandez (wrist) is expected to try hitting Thursday but is unsure if he'll be able to play the field or not, Ken Gurnick of reports.

Hernandez was hit in the wrist by a pitch in Tuesday's Cactus League matchup with the Pirates, although the ailment seems to be fairly minor. He may not be 100 percent for another few days, but a return to the lineup seems to be on the horizon nonetheless.

Dodgers' Alex Wood: Hit hard Monday, bullpen seems likely
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
(12:34 pm ET) Wood -- who is competing for the Dodgers' final rotation spot -- was shelled for six runs (five earned) on 11 hits over six innings Monday. He struck out four and walked one in a loss to the Reds.

The veteran picked a terrible time to have his worst Cactus League outing. Wood was already considered the underdog in the position battle due to his track record of pitching successfully out of the bullpen, whereas Brandon McCarthy has only ever been a starter in the majors. Even though an official decision hasn't been made, The Orange County Register's Bill Plunkett reported that the 26-year-old sounded like a player who knew his fate after the game when he said, "We've got a lot of guys who deserve to be in the rotation. It's lucky and unlucky that I had success out of the bullpen when I first came up." We will have to wait for an official announcement to be made, but early signs point to McCarthy -- and not Wood -- winning the Dodgers' final rotation spot.

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