Peter O'Brien was named the Arizona Diamondbacks ' Player of the Month for April on Monday.
The 25-year-old slugger hit .370 with five doubles, seven home runs and 21 RBI in 20 games for Triple-A Reno. O'Brien is still working on the defensive transition from catcher to outfielder, but his bat appears MLB-ready. He had a brief stint with the Diamondbacks last season and will likely earn himself big league playing time again this year.
Brandon Guyer is expected to have a chance to extend his streak of productive starts this season over the next two games, Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune reports.
With a pair of lefties in the Tampa Bay Rays ' immediate future, Guyer will have a chance to build on his .297/.422/.405 line. He's been particularly productive as of late, hitting .370 over his last nine games, with seven of those being starts. The 30-year-old has tallied an impressive .372 wOBA against southpaws this season over 29 plate appearances, but hasn't exactly been shabby in limited opportunities against righties either (.388 wOBA over 16 plate appearances). The all-around success has manager Kevin Cash increasingly willing to give Guyer playing time against either handedness of pitcher. "We need to see Guyer get out there more," Cash said. "Right now he's swinging the bat well. He's getting on base. That's what we need. We need some guys who can get on base and see if we can get things rolling."
Daniel Robertson , the Tampa Bay Rays No. 7 prospect, went 4-for-5 with a double, triple, four RBI and two runs scored in Triple-A Durham's 9-2 victory over the Indianapolis Indians on Monday.
The 22-year-old shortstop had been struggling to date, having come into Monday's action with a .214 average. His four-hit effort, which was just a homer short of the cycle, boosted that figure to .253. It was Robertson's third multi-hit game of the season, and he's now slashing .253/.360/.360 over 75 at-bats. Major league shortstops Brad Miller and Tim Beckham are both notably hitting under the Mendoza line to date this season, something to monitor if their numbers and Robertson's continue to head in opposite direction.
Daniel Murphy went 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI in Monday's 2-0 win over the Royals.
He's now working on a four-game RBI streak to go along with his outstanding .382/.439/.596 slash line on the season. Murphy's counting stats (two home runs, 13 RBI, 12 runs scored) are a little more modest, but he's still providing incredible fantasy value for a second baseman.
Ryan Zimmerman went 2-for-4 Monday with two doubles and an RBI in a 2-0 win over the Royals.
It's just his second multi-hit performance in his last 16 games, and Zimmerman's slash line has sagged to .234/.310/.338 on the season. Manager Dusty Baker continues to hit him in the cleanup spot behind Bryce Harper, but that could soon change if Zimmerman isn't able to pick up the pace.
Junior Guerra was recalled from Triple-A Colorado Springs on Tuesday.
The 31-year-old Guerra will make his first career start in the majors Tuesday against the Angels. He owns a 4.63 ERA and 1.11 WHIP through four starts (23.1 innings) for Triple-A Colorado Springs, with a 23:9 K:BB. Guerra could stick in the rotation beyond Tuesday if he pitches well, but he doesn't figure to be a long-term solution.
Tim Duncan finished with just two points (1-8 FG) nine rebounds and two assists in 28 minutes during Monday's Game 2 loss to the Thunder.
Although he did lead the team with nine rebounds, Duncan was never able to make his presence felt offensively. The five-time champion connected on just one of his eight shots and failed to get to the free throw line for the first time this postseason. It's good to see him being active on the glass, but San Antonio will need him to be more aggressive on the offensive end if they hope to make another deep playoff run.
Kevin Durant dropped 28 points (11-19 FG, 1-2 3Pt, 5-5 FT), seven rebounds, four assists, and one block in 42 minutes during Monday's Game 2 win against the Spurs.
Durant dominated the second half, helping Oklahoma City city fend off multiple comebacks with a series of clutch buckets in the fourth quarter. The former MVP is playing well in his first playoff action since May 2014, averaging 24.9 points and 6.7 rebounds in seven games. He'll continue to be the go-to score for the Oklahoma City Thunder during their postseason run.
Russell Westbrook recorded 29 points (11-25 FG, 1-6 3Pt, 6-8 FT), 10 assists, seven rebounds, two steals, and one block over 37 minutes in Monday's Game 2 win against the Spurs.
Westbrook dictated the intensity from the outset, scoring seven of the team's first nine points en route to a 14-point first quarter. The dynamic guard was everywhere, darting through the lane to either finish at the rim or create opportunities for his teammates. Both he and Kevin Durant had stellar individual performances, something they'll need to continue to do if the Oklahoma City Thunder hope to win this series.
Danny Green scored nine points (3-11 FG, 3-8 3Pt) and collected two rebounds, one assist, and four steals over 36 minutes in Monday's Game 2 loss to the Thunder,
It was a poor shooting night for Green, but he was hardly the only Spur to struggle with his shot on Monday. His only made baskets were his three successful attempts from downtown, although he was the lone player to connect on multiple threes for San Antonio. The springy guard also made his presence felt on the defensive end, racking up a game-high four steals. Despite his low scoring output, Green is now shooting 51.9 percent from behind the arc this postseason and will continue to see looks in the team's well-oiled offense.
LaMarcus Aldridge exploded for 41 points (15-21 FG, 1-1 3Pt, 10-10 FT), eight rebounds, three assists, and two blocks over 43 minutes in Monday's Game 2 loss to the Thunder.
Aldridge has been an absolute juggernaut in this semifinal round, becoming the first San Antonio Spurs player since George Gervin to score 38-plus points in consecutive playoff games. San Antonio made just one of their first 13 shots and struggled offensively throughout, relying on the 10-year veteran to provide basket after basket. Aldridge is now averaging a ridiculous 39.5 points on 75.0 percent shooting over the first two games of the series.
Dennis Schroder exploded for 27 points (10-20 FG, 2-2 FT, 5-10 3Pt) to go along with 6 assists and three rebounds in just 29 minutes during Monday's Game 1 loss versus Cleveland.
The 22-year-old was in attack mode Monday, and his success, combined with Jeff Teague's struggles, saw him receive a seven-minute playing-time advantage over the latter. Schroder should continue operating as a sixth man for Atlanta, but it appears coach Mike Budenholzer will not be shy about thrusting him into a larger role if necessary.
Kris Letang will meet with the NHL Department of Player Safety on Tuesday, following his interference penalty against Washington's Marcus Johansson in Monday's Game 3.
Letang's hit was clearly dirty, and Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik drew a three-game suspension for a similar play earlier in the series. It thus seems likely Letang will be suspended for at least one game, though it's worth noting that Orpik has a longer track record of questionable hits.
Patrick Eaves (lower body) did not travel to St. Louis for Tuesday's Game 3 against the Blues, the Dallas Morning News reports.
Though merely considered day-to-day, Eaves is expected to miss a second straight contest after taking a puck off the skate in Friday's Game 1. Tyler Seguin (lower body) also stayed behind in Dallas.
Tyler Seguin (lower body) did not travel to St. Louis for Tuesday's Game 3 against the Blues, the Dallas Morning News reports.
Seguin could technically still take a flight to St. Louis, but there's been no indication that he has any shot to play in Tuesday's game. He just resumed skating Monday, and Dallas Stars GM Jim Nill said last week that Seguin would need at least four or five days of skating before he could play in games. The star center thus seems unlikely to return for Thursday's Game 4.
Kris Letang recorded an assist -- his sixth of the postseason -- in Monday's 3-2 win over Washington in Game 3.
While the apple and the 27:57 of ice time were great and standard for a stud blueliner like Letang, he also picked up a minor penalty for a nasty hit on Marcus Johansson. Letang crushed Johansson with a late, blind-side hit and appeared to contact his head with his shoulder, leaving Pens fans holding their breath and Caps backers clamoring for a suspension after Brooks Orpik was handed a three-game ban for a similar incident in Game 2. Look for further information regarding a potential phone or in-person hearing Tuesday, and a decision on any supplemental discipline before Game 4 on Wednesday.
Bryan Rust exited Monday's Game 3 against Washington with a lower-body injury, Sam Kasan of Pens Inside Scoop reports.
Rust attempted to block a shot when he suffered the injury, spending just 19 total seconds on the ice. Beau Bennett or Oskar Sundqvist are likely candidates to take over for Rust if he's unable to play in Game 4 on Wednesday.
John Carlson garnered an assist and fired a game-high eight shots on goal in Monday's Game 3 loss to Pittsburgh.
Carlson was one of four Caps to throw six shots or more on rookie netminder Matt Murray, who went off for 47 saves and completely stole the show at the Consol Energy Center. Despite the loss, the American rearguard is producing at an elite level this postseason, having recorded points in three straight and nine in nine games to date.
Justin Simmons could step in early on sub-packages, the team's official site reports.
The Simmons pick likely has bigger implications in 2017, when Denver will likely need to replace starting free safety Darian Stewart. In the meantime, somebody needs to fill the departed David Bruton's shoes in big nickel and dime packages, allowing Stewart and T.J. Ward to move around. Simmons has the length and range to either play center field or match up with tight ends and big slot receivers. He also has ball skills, tallying five picks last year at Boston College.
The Buffalo Bills have declined to exercise EJ Manuel 's fifth-year option, Mike Rodak of ESPN.com reports.
Since he was selected 16th overall in the 2013 NFL Draft, Manuel's start count has dwindled from 10 to four to two over the course of the past three seasons. His quarterback rating hasn't deviated much during his brief career -- from 77.7 as a rookie to a career-high 80.3 in 2014 -- and his lack of improvement allowed Tyrod Taylor to stake a claim to the No. 1 QB gig in training camp last summer. With Taylor bursting forth with 3,035 yards passing, 20 touchdowns versus six interceptions, and a healthy 568 yards and four more scores on the ground, he provided the offense with a dual threat that Manuel lacked. As a result, it was clear from the outset of the offseason that the Bills wouldn't commit the $11.4 million owed under the guidelines of Manuel's fifth-year option.
Denver Broncos defensive line coach Bill Kollar pushed for Denver to draft Adam Gotsis , the team's official site reports.
Gotsis tallied 26 tackles for a loss in 32 games at Georgia Tech, but his final season was cut short by a torn ACL. The second-round pick told reporters that he has only played American football for about six or seven years, starting off with Australian-rules football. The Broncos believe that he has room to grow under Kollar's tutelage, and he will be counted on help replace the departed Malik Jackson alongside Jared Crick, Vance Walker, and Kenny Anunike.
Rookie fourth-rounder Devontae Booker (knee) could challenge Ronnie Hillman for playing time, the Denver Post reports.
The Denver Broncos took Booker early on Day 3, despite re-signing last year's tandem, C.J. Anderson and Hillman. Of the two, Hillman's short-term future is the most at risk. Anderson's front-loaded contract and strong playoff performance makes him the early favorite to start. Hillman was slated to be the lightning to Anderson's thunder, but Hillman's poor end to the season, in which he rushed for just 54 yards on 32 playoff carries, makes him vulnerable to a young challenger like Booker.
Devontae Booker (knee) could make an immediate impact in Denver's backfield, the Denver Post reports.
Booker was reportedly Denver's second-favorite back in the draft, and the Denver Broncos were able to snag him in the fourth round. He has the decisiveness, power and wiggle to thrive in head coach Gary Kubiak's one-cut scheme. Booker rushed for 2,773 yards and 21 touchdowns in just 23 games at Utah. He's not a perfect prospect, as he'll soon be 24 and is recovering from a torn meniscus, but expect him to push for playing time this year and challenge starter C.J. Anderson not too far down the line.
Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Pace views Jonathan Bullard as a 3-4 defensive end, CSN Chicago reports.
Pace also talked about Bullard's "get off," and sees advantages that the rookie can add to the defense by adding pressure off the edge. Currently, Eddie Goldman is set to start at nose tackle with Akiem Hicks starting at defensive end, so the rookie is expected to be a rotational player in sub packages, from which the team operated about 60 percent of their defensive snaps last year. As a senior, Bullard showed his big-play ability, as he posted 6.5 sacks along with 17.5 tackles for loss as a three-technique, and was a semifinalist for the Chuck Bednarik Award.