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Brandon McCarthy LAD SP
Dodgers' Brandon McCarthy: Named as starter for Saturday3h ago
Manager Dave Roberts confirmed Brandon McCarthy is scheduled to start Saturday against the Cubs, David Vassegh of AM 570 LA Sports reports.
With the Los Angeles Dodgers looking to possibly shift Hyun-Jin Ryu to the bullpen, McCarthy is now set to take his next turn in the rotation sooner than expected. The 33-year-old, who owns a 3.08 ERA and 1.18 WHIP through 40.2 innings (seven starts) this season, will face off against John Lackey and the Cubs.
Alex Wood LAD SP
Dodgers' Alex Wood: Confirmed as Friday's starter4h ago
Manager Dave Roberts said Alex Wood will start Friday's game against the Cubs, David Vassegh of AM 570 LA Sports reports.
Wood has been stellar over his last three starts (3-0) -- allowing just 13 hits while notching a 25:4 K:BB across 18.1 scoreless innings -- earning himself another turn in the rotation sooner than expected. The 26-year-old, who owns a 1.88 ERA and 52:13 K:BB through seven starts (43 innings) this season, will look to stay undefeated as he faces Jake Arrieta and the Cubs.
Adonis Garcia ATL 3B
Braves' Adonis Garcia: Set for weekend rehab assignment4h ago
Adonis Garcia (achilles) is scheduled to play in rehab games with Triple-A Gwinnett over the weekend, Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports.
While it was originally reported that Garcia may be ready to return to the Atlanta Braves when first eligible Friday, that no longer appears to be the case. He'll instead head out on a minor league rehab assignment with -- barring any setbacks -- the hope of rejoining the big club Monday or Tuesday in Los Angeles for the team's series with the Angels.
Pablo Sandoval BOS 3B
Red Sox's Pablo Sandoval: Slated for back-to-back rehab starts4h ago
Pablo Sandoval (knee) is scheduled to play rehab games both Wednesday and Thursday, Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal reports.
Despite still battling an illness, Sandoval is scheduled to play seven innings Wednesday and then nine innings Thursday in an effort to rejoin the big club before the end of the weekend. A clearer return date will likely become available following Thursday's Triple-A contest.
Brad Hand SD RP
Padres' Brad Hand: Not closer despite earning first save Wednesday4h ago
Manager Andy Green said Brad Hand , who earned his first save of the season Wednesday night, is not the San Diego Padres ' new closer, AJ Cassavell of MLB.com reports.
While Green decided to give regular closer Brandon Maurer the eighth and Hand the ninth, he confirmed that won't necessarily be the norm going forward. However, the skipper did say he'll look to give both Hand and Maurer opportunities on a situation by situation basis. Hand currently owns a 1.80 ERA and 0.92 ERA with 33 strikeouts through 25 innings (21 games) this season, so if Maurer doesn't bring down his 6.88 ERA and 1.41 WHIP, Hand could take over the ninth inning.
Alex Avila DET C
Tigers' Alex Avila: Hand wrapped in ice after Wednesday's game5h ago
Alex Avila had his left hand wrapped in ice following Wednesday's win over the Astros, Evan Woodbery of MLive.com reports.
Avila sustained the injury when he was called for catcher's interference, though he was able to finish the contest behind the dish. "I figured if something broke, I wouldn't have been able to catch," Avila said. "I'm just a little sore." According to Jason Beck of MLB.com, Avila said he'd be available for Thursday's series finale against Houston, though it's likely he'll take a seat in favor of James McCann regardless.
Jeremy McNichols TB RB
Buccaneers' Jeremy McNichols: Signs contract Tuesday6h ago
Jeremy McNichols (shoulder) signed his rookie contract on Tuesday, Scott Smith of the team's official site reports.
McNichols unexpectedly slipped to the fifth round after having surgery on his labrum following the Combine, but he was initially rated as worthy of a first-or-second-day pick. The prolific Boise State alum boasts a well-rounded skill set and reminds many observers of new teammate Doug Martin, who he'll compete for playing time with this season. In addition to compiling 3,205 rushing yards and 44 touchdowns in three college seasons, McNichols also hauled in 103 catches and another 11 touchdowns through the air while serving as an above-average blocker.
Kendell Beckwith TB ILB
Buccaneers' Kendell Beckwith: Signs contract Tuesday6h ago
Kendell Beckwith (knee) signed his rookie contract on Tuesday, Scott Smith of the team's official site reports.
The last player selected in the third round, Beckwith brings the skill level of a higher-ranked player but fell in the draft due to a November 2016 ACL tear suffered while playing for LSU. He brings an impressive college resume (263 tackles, including 24.5 for loss, 7.5 sacks, one interception, eight passes defensed, three forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries) and is expected to eventually compete with Devante Bond for starting strongside linebacker duties.
Devante Bond TB OLB
Buccaneers' Devante Bond: Works with first-team defense in Tuesday OTA6h ago
Devante Bond worked with the first-team defense during Tuesday's OTA session, Joe Kania of the team's official site reports.
The 2016 sixth-round pick missed all of last season with a hamstring injury that he's long recovered from, and he'll apparently get the first opportunity to win the starting strongside linebacker job that since-departed veteran Daryl Smith held last season. Bond is expected to eventually face stiff competition from 2017 third-round pick Kendell Beckwith, who is still recovering from a November 2016 ACL tear suffered while playing at LSU.
Vernon Hargreaves TB CB
Buccaneers' Vernon Hargreaves: Staying busy early in OTAs6h ago
Vernon Hargreaves spent time in coverage against DeSean Jackson during OTA sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday, Joe Kania of the team's official site reports.
Hargreaves shadowed Jackson on a few fade routes on Tuesday in which he appeared to hold his own, but the Bucs' prize free-agent acquisition got the better of him during Wednesday's session by beating him on a go route down the left sideline. However, the 2016 first-round pick bounced back with an acrobatic interception on a pass intended for 2017 third-round pick Chris Godwin during the session. Head coach Dirk Koetter is on record as stating that he wants to see more aggression and turnovers from Hargreaves in his sophomore campaign.
Duke Ihenacho WAS FS
Redskins' Duke Ihenacho: Will re-sign with Redskins6h ago
Duke Ihenacho is expected to officially re-sign with the Washington Redskins on Thursday, Giants' beat writer Art Stapleton reports.
Ihenacho spent two seasons with the Broncos out of San Jose State before spending the previous three in Washington. He started 10 of the 15 games he played in last season, and recorded 66 tackles and two passes defended in the process. It remains to be seen how training camp will unfold, but he figures to compete for a role providing depth at safety.
Devin Taylor DET DE
Giants' Devin Taylor: Signs with Giants6h ago
Devin Taylor signed a one-year contract with the New York Giants on Wednesday, Jordan Raanan of ESPN reports.
After four years with the Lions, Taylor will head to New York in 2017. He started all 16 games for Detroit last season, tallying 28 tackles, 4.5 sacks, one safety, one pass defended and one forced fumble in the process.
Jae Crowder BOS SF
Celtics' Jae Crowder: Probable for Game 5 vs. Cavaliers12h ago
Jae Crowder is dealing with a groin injury, but is considered probable going into Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Cavaliers on Thursday, Chris Forsberg of ESPN.com reports.
Crowder was noticeably hobbled during Game 4, but was still able to play 40 minutes and record 18 points, eight rebounds and four assists. With the Boston Celtics on the brink of elimination, Crowder is fully expected to again play through his injury and as long as the pain isn't too much to handle, look for him to take on his full complement of minutes. Crowder's status should be updated again after Thursday's morning shootaround.
Jaylen Brown BOS SF
Celtics' Jaylen Brown: Questionable for Game 512h ago
Jaylen Brown is questionable for Thursday's Game 5 against the Cavaliers.
Brown likely suffered the injury during Game 4, but was able to play through it. Through the first four games of the Eastern Conference Finals, he's averaged a modest 9.5 points and 3.8 rebounds across 19.3 minutes per game, though his potential absence would be magnified considering the loss of Isaiah Thomas. If he's unable to give it a go, expect the likes of Terry Rozier, Gerald Green and Marcus Smart to all possibly see additional run.
Amir Johnson BOS SF
Celtics' Amir Johnson: Probable for Game 512h ago
Amir Johnson (shoulder) is considered probable for Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Thursday against the Cavaliers, Chris Forsberg of ESPN.com reports.
Johnson was reportedly available off the bench in an emergency situation for Game 4 on Tuesday, so it's not surprising he's expected to again be available for Game 5. That said, even if he does get cleared as anticipated, it's unclear if he'll take back the starting role from Kelly Olynyk. Johnson averaged just 8.7 minutes over the first three games of this series, so even at full strength, he's not a great fantasy option. Look for his status to be updated after Thursday's morning shootaround.
Jae Crowder BOS SF
Celtics' Jae Crowder: Scores 18 in Game 4 loss20h ago
Jae Crowder delivered 18 points (6-12 FG, 4-7 3Pt, 2-2 FT), eight rebounds and four assists from 40 minutes in Tuesday's 112-99 Game 4 loss in Cleveland.
It was an admirable performance from Crowder as the C's try to make up for the loss of Isaiah Thomas (hip). Crowder led Boston with eight boards, but Cleveland out-rebounded Boston 37 to 29, highlighting an on-going problem for the Boston Celtics . With Amir Johnson also out (shoulder), Crowder played some power forward in Boston's smaller lineups. Expect more big minutes from Crowder as the series returns to Boston Thursday for Game 5.
Marcus Smart BOS PG
Celtics' Marcus Smart: Hits rough patch after big Game 31d ago
Marcus Smart produced eight points (1-9 FG, 1-5 3Pt, 5-5 FT), six assists, one rebound and one steal across 40 minutes during a 112-99 loss to the Cavaliers on Tuesday.
After a red hot Game 3, Smart somewhat predictably cooled off in a big way in the Game 4 loss, as he made just one field goal attempt. He is clearly going to get a ton of minutes with Isaiah Thomas (hip) out, so he could rebound for another big performance in Game 5. But with him, it's hard to predict.
Avery Bradley BOS SG
Celtics' Avery Bradley: Posts team-high 19 points in Game 4 loss1d ago
Avery Bradley contributed 19 points (7-19 FG, 1-7 3Pt, 4-4 FT), five rebounds, three assists and two steals across 39 minutes during a 112-99 loss to the Cavaliers on Tuesday.
Bradley's 19 points marked a team high but he needed 19 field goal attempts to get there. It was his third straight game of the series in which he has shot below 40 percent from the field. Despite the poor field goal percentage, Bradley is getting his points, as he scored at least 19 points for the fifth time in the last seven outings.
Mika Zibanejad NYR C
Rangers' Mika Zibanejad: Mixed results in first season on Broadway9h ago
Mika Zibanejad finished the 2016-17 campaign with 14 goals and 37 points in 56 games, then added nine points in 12 games during the New York Rangers ' playoff run.
He was off to a big start -- 15 points in 19 games -- but a broken leg cost him nearly two months, and Zibanejad wasn't nearly so productive upon returning. Still, his return gave the Rangers much-needed help at the faceoff dot as well as strong two-way play from their second-line center. A fully healthy 2017-18 should see Zibanejad exceed his career-high 51 points from two seasons ago.
Henrik Lundqvist NYR G
Rangers' Henrik Lundqvist: Comes away with gold at Worlds10h ago
Henrik Lundqvist and Team Sweden won the gold medal at the just-concluded 2017 IIHF World Championship.
There was a scary moment during the celebration when young Leafs star William Nylander leapt into Lundqvist's arms and almost knocked him into a goalpost, but all's well that ends well. After a disappointing end to the New York Rangers ' postseason run, King Henrik probably needed the morale boost of this tournament victory. The long-time goaltending star is coming off his worst season in the NHL (2.74 GAA, .910 save percentage), but he didn't look washed up in the playoffs or international play. This was his second gold medal, as he also won one at the 2006 Winter Olympics. It's not inconceivable that he'll bounce back with a better performance next season, but we can no longer expect him to be the elite Lundqvist of old.
Josh Ho-Sang NYI RW
Islanders' Josh Ho-Sang: Virtual lock to start 2017-18 campaign with Isles11h ago
Josh Ho-Sang will claim a roster spot with the New York Islanders at the start of next season, "barring some sort of training camp calamity," opines Arthur Staple of Newsday.
The Isles' 28th overall pick from the 2014 draft looked comfortable in the NHL, producing four goals and six assists through his first 21 games at hockey's highest level. He was also a consistent presence on the man advantage, averaging 2:24 per game. Stephen Gionta is New York's only pending unrestricted free agent at the forward position, but Ho-Sang should still be a part of the club's long-term plans, as many of the Isles' forwards are coming up on free agency in the next season or two.
Mikhail Grabovski NYI C
Islanders' Mikhail Grabovski: Looking to put concussion issues behind him11h ago
Mikhail Grabovski (concussion) missed the entire 2016-17 campaign, but he remains hopeful that he will get past his injury, Arthur Staple of Newsday reports.
The German-born pivot reportedly resumed isolated skates during the second half of this season, so there still may be light at the end of the tunnel. When you consider that the 33-year-old posted 40-plus points in three of five campaigns with the Maple Leafs between 2009-13, it might be worth taking a flier on Grabovski in deeper fantasy drafts this fall. Even if he's a shell of his former self upon returning, the cost to get him is likely to be extremely low.
Mike Fisher NSH C
Predators' Mike Fisher: May return for Game 112h ago
According to general manager David Poile, Mike Fisher (undisclosed) has a "real good chance" of being available for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals.
Fisher missed the final two games of the Nashville Predators ' series against the Ducks, but would help fill the gap left by the loss of Ryan Johansen (thigh) if he is able to return. The 36-year-old has yet to register a point during the postseason despite averaging nearly 17 minutes of ice time per contest. Fellow veteran Vernon Fiddler figures to be the leading candidate to get bumped from the game-day lineup if Fisher is cleared.
Mike Green DET D
Red Wings' Mike Green: Could be claimed by Vegas in expansion draft12h ago
Mike Green is a candidate to be exposed in the NHL expansion draft, Ansar Khan of Mlive.com reports.
While the Detroit Red Wings can ill afford to lose one of their lone offensive contributors on the back line and reasonably expect to be contenders in a tough Atlantic Division, the result would be a whopping $6 million in cap savings next season. Even if he doesn't leave the Motor City to the benefit of the Golden Knights, who's to say that he wouldn't walk as an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2018? One thing is for sure -- Green's in a tricky spot as he enters the final year of his contract. This past campaign, the blueliner finished with 36 points along with a minus-20 rating for a Detroit team that was perpetually banged up and lacking for complementary weapons.