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Aaron Nola PHI SP
Phillies' Aaron Nola: Improved mechanics leading to increased velocity2h ago
Philadelphia Phillies pitching coach Bob McClure credits Aaron Nola 's fastball velocity increase this season to improved pitching mechanics, Matt Gelb of The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
Nola tweaked his mechanics in the offseason to use his legs more which helped take some stress off his arm and allows him to add a little more velocity. Last year, he averaged 90.7 mph with his fastball, but has bumped that up to 92 mph this season. Opponents have hit just .226 with a .384 slugging percentage against the fastball this year after teeing off on the pitch last season when Nola dealt with elbow problems. The 2014 first-round pick is 4-3 with a 2.65 ERA and a 59:16 K:BB in 54.1 innings since the beginning of June. He faces the Brewers at home on Friday.
Aroldis Chapman NYY RP
Yankees' Aroldis Chapman: Allows run in non-save spot6h ago
Aroldis Chapman allowed a run on a hit and two walks during the ninth inning of Thursday's win over Seattle.
Since establishing himself as a closer in 2012, Chapman's current 3.65 ERA is the highest mark he's posted in any season. He's been victimized by an unsustainably low 68.4 strand rate, and his 1.84 FIP suggests that smoother outings are ahead. It's also worth noting that pitching in non-save situations is often a letdown spot for closers, so overreacting to Thursday's outing is ill-advised.
Luis Severino NYY SP
Yankees' Luis Severino: Shuts out Mariners through seven6h ago
Luis Severino (6-4) scattered eight hits and a walk across seven scoreless innings while recording six strikeouts during Thursday's win over Seattle.
There are a few poor outings in the game log for Severino, but with a 3.21 ERA, 1.11 WHIP and 10.1 K/9, he's establishing himself as a high-end fantasy asset. His 3.02 FIP also reinforces the lofty status. Additionally, considering how well he's pitched, there is probably positive regression ahead in the wins column. Severino projects to make his next start at home against Cincinnati.
Felix Hernandez SEA SP
Mariners' Felix Hernandez: Fans nine Yankees in loss6h ago
Felix Hernandez (5-4) allowed a single run on three hits and two walks while striking out nine batters through seven innings during Thursday's loss to the Yankees.
This was a throwback gem from Hernandez, and he's now allowed just two earned runs through 18 innings over his past three starts. Perhaps, the veteran can parlay his recent success into a strong second half, but ignoring his 4.87 FIP will likely prove ill-advised. Still, Hernandez is a strong option in favorable matchups and is inching closer to earning matchup-proof status. He projects to face the Red Sox at Safeco Field in his next start.
Hunter Renfroe SD RF
Padres' Hunter Renfroe: Homers in return from DL6h ago
Renfroe, Hunter went 1-for-4 with a two-run home run during Thursday's win over San Francisco.
After missing seven games because of a neck injury, Renfroe showed no lingering signs of the ailment Thursday. At this stage of his career, the 25-year-old outfielder is a low-end fantasy asset in most settings, but he owns tremendous power upside, and he's already up to 17 homers this season. It's probably wise not to bank on much improvement to his .231/.287/.456 slash line moving forward, though.
Cory Spangenberg SD 3B
Padres' Cory Spangenberg: Continues hot stretch with homer6h ago
Cory Spangenberg went 2-for-4 with a two-run home run during Thursday's win over San Francisco.
Spangenberg is now 9-for-23 with three homers, eight RBI and seven runs through seven games since the All-Star break. He was a first-round pick in 2011, but the 26-year-old infielder hasn't made much fantasy noise or shown any power upside to this point in his professional career. It's also worth noting that San Diego played its first series out of the break at Coors Field. Still, in cavernous leagues, he could provide serviceable numbers in the second half.
Jermaine Eluemunor BAL G
Ravens' Jermaine Eluemunor: Placed on non-football injury list14h ago
Jermaine Eluemunor was placed on the non-football injury list Thursday due to an undisclosed injury, Jeff Zrebiec of The Baltimore Sun reports.
A fifth-round pick of the Baltimore Ravens this past spring, Eluemunor will be looking to return to the field and earn a potentially large role in his rookie season. It's unclear how severe the injury is or how much time he may miss. When Eluemunor does return, he's expected to compete for the starting right tackle spot that was vacated in the departure of last year's starter, Ricky Wagner.
Dan Orlovsky DET QB
Rams' Dan Orlovsky: Signs with Rams14h ago
Dan Orlovsky signed a contract with the Rams on Thursday.
Orlovsky's signing gives the Rams three quarterbacks entering training camp. The 12-year veteran spent the past three seasons backing up Matthew Stafford in Detroit, and he'll now compete with Sean Mannion for the backup slot behind Los Angeles starter Jared Goff.
De'Veon Smith MIA RB
Dolphins' De'Veon Smith: Placed on PUP15h ago
De'Veon Smith (undisclosed) was placed on the PUP by Miami on Thursday, Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald reports.
Smith was signed by Miami after being passed over during the 2017 NFL Draft. He is a long shot at best to make the team and his odds will get longer if he misses significant time during training camp.
Michael Oher CAR T
Michael Oher: Released by Panthers16h ago
Michael Oher (concussion) was released with a failed physical designation by the Panthers on Thursday, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports.
Oher missed the Panthers' last 13 games of the 2016 season under the league's concussion protocol, and the issues have lingered into the offseason. The Panthers signed former Viking Matt Kalil to start at left tackle in 2017, while Oher will look to get back to full health before potentially catching on with another team.
Chris Johnson ARI RB
Cardinals' Chris Johnson: Returns to Arizona16h ago
The Cardinals and Chris Johnson (hernia) agreed to a one-year contract Thursday, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports.
After missing just one game through his first seven NFL campaigns, Johnson has managed just 15 appearances the past two years, including four in 2016 due to season-ending surgery to repair a sports hernia. The developments on the health front paved the way for the emergence of David Johnson, who the elder RB will back up in his return to the Cardinals. Due to David Johnson's workhorse nature, expect Chris Johnson to do little more than spell his teammate.
Trai Turner CAR G
Panthers' Trai Turner: Inks four-year extension17h ago
Trai Turner signed a four-year, $45 million contract extension with the Carolina Panthers on Thursday, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports.
Turner, a 2014 third-round selection out of LSU, has played over 3,000 snaps with the Panthers' offensive line unit throughout his young career. His performance dipped in 2016 as he was forced to occasionally switch to right tackle due to injuries, but Turner has shown flashes of excellence and will look to return to that level throughout the next four years in Carolina.
Dakari Johnson OKC C
Thunder's Dakari Johnson: Signs two-year guaranteed deal with Thunder12h ago
Dakari Johnson , a 2015 second-round pick, has signed a two-year guaranteed deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder , Shams Charania of The Vertical reports.
Johnson spent last season with the Thunder's G-League affiliate, the Oklahoma City Blue, averaging an impressive 18.5 points, 7.9 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.3 blocks across 29.0 minutes per game while hitting 55.6 percent of his looks from the field. In signing him to a two-year guaranteed deal, it seems like the Thunder believe Johnson can be a legitimate contributor at the NBA level. He'll look to compete for reserve center minutes along with Enes Kanter and Nick Collison behind starter Steven Adams.
Nicolas Brussino DAL G
Nicolas Brussino: Let go by Mavericks17h ago
Nicolas Brussino will be released by the Mavericks, Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News reports.
Despite showing some late-season promise at the end of the 2016-17 campaign, the Mavericks aren't entirely sold on his future development, so they've decided not to guarantee his contract by its due date. That sends Brussino back to the open free agent market and while there could be some interest from teams in need of depth on the wing, there's a chance Brussino ultimately ends up back overseas in an attempt to restore his value. He played in 54 games for Dallas, averaging 2.8 points and 1.7 rebounds across 9.6 minutes per contest.
Udonis Haslem MIA F
Heat's Udonis Haslem: Signs one-year deal with Heat18h ago
Udonis Haslem signed a one-year, minimum deal with the Miami Heat , Shams Charania of The Vertical reports.
Haslem has called Miami home for his entire NBA career, and he'll be a part of the franchise for at least one more year after signing a deal Thursday. It has been a few years since the veteran has played a crucial role on the court for the Heat, but he'll continue to serve as a key veteran presence and mentor for the team.
Bobby Brown HOU G
Rockets' Bobby Brown: Signs one-year contract with Rockets18h ago
Bobby Brown signed a one-year extension with the Houston Rockets on Thursday, Mark Berman of Fox 26 Houston reports.
Brown was a minor contributor for the Rockets during the 2016-17 campaign, helping serve as a backup to Patrick Beverley at point guard with an average of 2.5 points over 4.9 minutes in 25 games. He should play a similar role after signing a one-year extension and while Beverley is no longer with the Rockets, Chris Paul was added in his place, which should leave little to no minutes for Brown.
Troy Williams HOU F
Rockets' Troy Williams: Signs three-year extension with Rockets19h ago
Troy Williams signed a three-year contract extension with the Houston Rockets on Thursday, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports.
Williams, a former undrafted rookie out Indiana, began the 2016-17 campaign with the Grizzlies, playing in 24 games, while notching 13 starts as an injury fill-in. However, he wasn't overly impressive with extended playing time and was eventually let go in January. Once he cleared waivers, the Rockets took that opportunity to sign him to a 10-day contract, before inking Williams to a deal for the remainder of the season. He was solid in limited minutes during that short stint, playing in six games (three starts) and averaging 9.7 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.0 assist across 23.2 minutes. After signing a three-year extension on Thursday, Williams should slot back in as an additional forward in the frontcourt, but likely won't see enough minutes to be a fantasy relevant. The first year of the deal is fully guaranteed.
Andrew Wiggins MIN G
Timberwolves' Andrew Wiggins: Discussing contract extension with Wolves21h ago
Andrew Wiggins and the Minnesota Timberwolves are working on negotiations for a five-year contract extension that could be worth up to $148 million dollars, ESPN reports.
Through three seasons in Minnesota, Wiggins has played and started in all but one of his 246 career games and has seen his scoring average rise considerably each year. He is coming off a season where he averaged a team-best 23.6 points per game to go along with 4.0 rebounds and 2.3 assists. With the arrival of Jimmy Butler, however, Wiggins may see his numbers drop a tad, but the 22-year-old has already done more than enough to prove that the Timberwolves should commit to him longterm. It will likely still take some time before all the details of the extension are ironed out, but it looks as if Minnesota is heavily invested in their young star.
Garnet Hathaway CGY RW
Flames' Garnet Hathaway: Signs one-year deal with Calgary13h ago
Garnet Hathaway inked a one-year, two-way contract with the Calgary Flames on Thursday.
Hathaway appeared in 26 games with Calgary last season, notching five points (one goal, four assists) while averaging just 9:08 of ice time over that span. The 25-year-old winger will spend the majority of the 2017-18 campaign in the minors, but he'll likely also log some time with the big club when the Flames are in need of reinforcements up front due to injury.
Marek Mazanec NSH G
Predators' Marek Mazanec: Settles on one-year deal with Predators15h ago
Marek Mazanec and the Nashville Predators settled on a one-year, two-way deal for the 2017-18 campaign Thursday, Craig Morgan of Arizona Sports reports.
Mazanec filed for salary arbitration on July 6, but he and the Predators were able to come to terms on a one-year deal for next season prior to their scheduled arbitration hearing. The 26-year-old netminder will compete for AHL Milwaukee's starting gig in 2017-18.
Tomas Tatar DET LW
Red Wings' Tomas Tatar: Arbitration hearing underway19h ago
Tomas Tatar (shoulder) entered an arbitration hearing against the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday, with the ruling to be made within 48 hours, MLive.com reports.
The restricted free agent's contract demands reportedly include $5.3 million in average annual value, but the Wings maxed out at $4.1 million on their counter offer before entering arbitration. Tatar told reporters last week that he has no limitations with his surgically repaired shoulder, which is a significant development, as injury history can be used as evidence in the hearing.
Kyle Okposo BUF RW
Sabres' Kyle Okposo: Suits up in summer league19h ago
Kyle Okposo (concussion) hit the ice as part of Da Beauty League on Wednesday.
While it may be just a semi-competitive summer league, the fact that Okposo is playing hockey again should be an encouraging sign for fantasy owners. After spending the end of the 2016-17 campaign in the ICU due to medication complications, the winger appears to be working his way back to game readiness in preparation of training camp. Once cleared, the 29-year-old is a near lock to return to the first line as well as the top power-play unit.
Colton Parayko STL D
Blues' Colton Parayko: Settles prior to hearing22h ago
Colton Parayko agreed to terms with St. Louis on a five-year, $27.5 million deal Thursday, Tom Timmermann of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
Parayko avoided a sophomore slump by registering 35 points -- two more than he did in his rookie year -- and now he and the club have avoided an arbitration hearing. The blueliner averaged 21:12 of ice time last season, including minutes on both the power play and penalty kill. Parayko has performed well with the man advantage since entering the league -- all four of his goals in 2016-17 came with the extra attacker -- and he should see his opportunities expand on that front in the 2017-18 campaign.
Colton Parayko STL D
Blues' Colton Parayko: Seeking one-year, $4.85 million deal2d ago
Colton Parayko has asked for a one-year contract worth $4.85 million, TSN reports. The St. Louis Blues have offered him two years at $3.4 million and $3.6 million.
Given the discrepancy between the two parties, it appears Parayko and the team won't get an extension done before his arbitration hearing, set for Thursday. Considering his numbers in his first two NHL seasons -- which include 68 points (17 on the power play), a plus-35 rating, 353 shots on goal, 239 blocks and an average ice time of 21:12 last year -- it seems a bit odd that the Blues would opt for a bridge deal rather than locking Parayko up long term, especially with Kevin Shattenkirk off the books. Regardless, he'll almost certainly be awarded more than the average $3.5 million annually the team has offered him. Stay tuned.