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Hunter Pence SF RF
Giants' Hunter Pence: To begin rehab assignment next week1h ago
Hunter Pence (hamstring) is within four or five days of beginning a rehab assignment, Amy Gutierrez of NBC Sports Bay Area reports Friday
Pence likely won't need more than two or three games in the minors. The San Francisco Giants have an off-day Thursday, and that timetable puts Pence on pace to return at some point during next weekend's series against Philadelphia.
Adonis Garcia ATL 3B
Braves' Adonis Garcia: Slated for week of rehab games1h ago
Adonis Garcia (Achilles) will begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Gwinett on Friday night with an eye on returning for next weekend's series against Cincinnati, Kevin McAlpin of 680 The Fan reports.
Garcia was expected to return early next week, but the Atlanta Braves want him to play four or five rehab games before coming back to the majors. He has only been out since May 16, but considering how sensitive Achilles injuries can be, Atlanta probably wants to ensure it is completely healed before putting Garcia back onto the roster.
A.J. Griffin TEX SP
Rangers' A.J. Griffin: Diagnosed with left intercostal strain2h ago
A.J. Griffin left Friday's game with a left intercostal strain, Evan Grant of The Dallas Morning News reports.
There was some initial concern that Griffin had suffered an oblique injury, but an intercostal strain could still be enough to force him to the disabled list. The Texas Rangers already have five pitchers on the disabled list and will need reinforcements for their bullpen considering Griffin exited in the second inning. If Griffin does indeed need to go on the disabled list, expect the Rangers to make the decision swiftly.
Corey Kluber CLE SP
Indians' Corey Kluber: Dominant in rehab appearance2h ago
Corey Kluber (back) allowed just one hit over five shutout innings in a rehab start Friday for Double-A Akron, Brad Bournival of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer reports.
Kluber retired the final 13 batters he faced and needed just 47 pitches to complete five frames. He was so efficient that he needed to head to the bullpen to throw more pitches to ensure he is stretched out by the time he reports to the major-league club. Kluber could return as soon as May 31 against Oakland.
A.J. Griffin TEX SP
Rangers' A.J. Griffin: Leaves in second inning with injury2h ago
A.J. Griffin was forced to leave Friday's game against the Blue Jays in the second inning with an undisclosed injury, Stefan Stevenson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports.
The only thing apparent to reporters was that Griffin was favoring his left side before leaving. Austin Bibens-Dirkx replaced Griffin on the mound. Expect an update from the club sometime between now and Saturday afternoon's 1:07 PM start time, as the Texas Rangers have a decimated bullpen and may need to make a move to replace Griffin on the roster.
Justin Turner LAD 3B
Dodgers' Justin Turner: May only need minimum 10 days on DL2h ago
Justin Turner (hamstring) could potentially return from the disabled list in the minimum 10 days, Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reports.
Turner is dealing with a Grade 1 hamstring strain, the most mild form of the injury. He was expected to need two weeks initially, but he has been able to take grounders on the field and appears to be progressing better than expected. Turner is eligible to return May 29. Even if he needs an extra couple days, a return sometime early next week seems likely at this point.
Vinny Curry PHI DE
Eagles' Vinny Curry: Starting at end in OTAs1h ago
Vinny Vinny Curry got first-team reps at right defensive end this week in practice, Jeff McLane of philly.com reports.
The six-year veteran is also lining up on the inside on passing downs. Given that he has experienced greater success against interior linemen in his career so far, and also recently revealed that he battled a knee injury last season according to Andrew Kulp of CSN Philly, it seems fair to expect a rebound from the 28-year-old in 2017. While he mostly disappointed with only 2.5 sacks last year after signing a $47 million dollar deal the previous offseason, he did set a career high with 26 tackles. He will have to produce better numbers in order to fend off no. 14 overall pick Derek Barnett and free-agent addition Chris Long, however.
Matt Asiata MIN RB
Lions' Matt Asiata: Signs with Lions2h ago
Matt Asiata agreed to a one-year deal with the Detroit Lions on Friday, Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.
Asiata, who spent the previous five seasons with the Vikings, will remain in the NFC North as a member of the Lions. The 29-year-old's best season in Minnesota came in 2014, when he tallied 882 total yards to go along with nine touchdowns. With Adrian Peterson sidelined much of 2016, Asiata managed a respectable 402 yards on 121 carries and six touchdowns. He will enter a crowded backfield in Detroit, so it remains to be seen if he will make the final roster. The team is likely looking for a bigger back to pair with the elusiveness of Ameer Abdullah and Theo Riddick to help control the time of possession.
Nelson Agholor PHI WR
Eagles' Nelson Agholor: Embracing new competition6h ago
Nelson Agholor has shown improvement this spring thanks to the added competition at his position, ESPN's Tim McManus reports
Agholor's struggles through his first two NFL seasons have been well documented, as the 2015 first-rounder has managed just 59 receptions for 648 yards and three scores since entering the league. However, with wideouts Alshon Jeffery, Torrey Smith, Mack Hollins and others joining the Philadelphia Eagles as a part of an offseason overhaul at the position, Agholor has seemingly entered fight-or-flight mode to maintain a key role within the team's offense. While the USC product has received praise from coach Doug Pederson for sharpening his focus, Agholor will have to carry his improvement over to training camp to fend off the increased competition he suddenly faces.
Ryan Tannehill MIA QB
Dolphins' Ryan Tannehill: Back to 100 percent10h ago
Ryan Tannehill finished the Miami Dolphins ' first week of organized team activities by stating he's fully healthy again, Dave Hyde of the Sun-Sentinel reports. "I'm back in 100 percent," Tannehill said. "I feel totally normal. There are no more checkpoints I have to hit at this point. Everything looks good. Just go play."
Tannehill missed Miami's last four games after suffering ACL and MCL sprains late last season. Given that he avoided more serious damage, the quarterback was fortunately able to avoid surgery. In doing so, his recovery timetable was shortened significantly, as coach Adam Gase revealed in March that Tannehill was already free of restrictions. Although he's expected to sport a knee brace as a precautionary measure, that seems to be the only evidence that remains from Tannehill's injury scare.
Myles Jack JAC OLB
Jaguars' Myles Jack: Switching roles with Posluszny10h ago
Myles Jack and veteran Paul Posluszny are switching positions, with the 2016 second-round selection taking over as a three-down middle linebacker and serving as defensive play caller, John Reid of The Florida Times-Union reports.
The Jacksonville Jaguars have a bit of a logjam, with Jack and Posluszny joined by standout weakside 'backer Telvin Smith, who has been a consistent three-down force since entering the league in 2014. As expected, the team will shift Posluszny to the strong side and take him off the field on most passing downs, even though he had 265 tackles in 30 games (8.8 per game) over the past two seasons. The Jags hope Jack will provide a major upgrade in pass coverage, but even if he doesn't quite meet expectations, last year's No. 36 overall draft pick finds himself in a role that's highly conducive to IDP production. It is possible Jack could lose the job if he struggles for a prolonged period, as the 32-year-old Posluszny has served as Jacksonville's every-down middle linebacker and defensive play caller since 2011, with his veteran leadership helping to compensate for declining range.
Rob Gronkowski NE TE
Patriots' Rob Gronkowski: Participating in full at OTAs11h ago
Rob Gronkowski (back) was an on-field participant at voluntary OTAs this week, ESPN.com's Mike Reiss reports.
Less than six months removed from the third back surgery of his career, Gronkowski doesn't seem to have any practice limitations, though the story may be different once the New England Patriots are in full pads for contact work. While he may still be held out of some drills as a precaution this summer, it seems the tight end has made a full recovery from the injury that ended his 2016 campaign. His ability to actually stay healthy is as big of a concern as ever, which explains why the Patriots gave him an incentive-laden contract restructure earlier in the week.
David Lee SA C
Spurs' David Lee: Won't undergo surgery4h ago
David Lee (knee) will not have surgery on his sprained patellar tendon and is expected to be fully healthy in six weeks, Ramona Shelburne of ESPN reports.
With a six-week timetable, Lee should be able to resume basketball activities by early-to-mid July. That gives him plenty of time to get in shape prior to training camp.
Al Horford BOS C
Celtics' Al Horford: Turns in eight points in series finale11h ago
Al Horford tallied eight points (4-8 FG), three rebounds and one assist over 27 minutes during Thursday's 135-102 loss to the Cavaliers in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals.
The veteran big man turned in his lowest point total of the series and scored in single digits for the first time since Game 2 of the first-round series versus the Bulls. The reduced output was essentially explained by the fact that Horford played just 27 minutes equaling his low-water mark in playing time during the postseason. The 30-year-old had an up-and-down first season in Boston and finished with averages of 14.0 points, 6.8 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 1.3 blocks over 68 games. Notably, he shot a career-low 47.3 percent, while his scoring average was his lowest since his rookie 2007-08 campaign.
Marcus Smart BOS PG
Celtics' Marcus Smart: Modest showing in Game 5 loss11h ago
Marcus Smart managed six points (2-7 FG, 2-5 3Pt), five rebounds, two assists and one steal over 25 minutes during Thursday's 135-102 loss to the Cavaliers in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals.
After a breakout Game 3 performance in which he poured in 27 points, Smart hit the skids in Games 4 and 5, shooting just 3-for-16 while averaging 7.0 points, 4.0 assists, 3.0 rebounds and 1.5 steals. His lackluster efforts helped doom a Boston Celtics squad in desperate need of offense after Isaiah Thomas' exit from the series with a hip injury. Despite the disappointing conclusion to the season, Smart's defensive prowess was a definite plus this season, and he also averaged career highs in points (10.6), assists, (4.6) and steals (1.6) while draining a career-best 81.2 percent of his free-throw attempts.
Jae Crowder BOS SF
Celtics' Jae Crowder: Contributes 11 points in Game 5 loss12h ago
Jae Crowder (groin) posted 11 points (3-8 FG, 0-1 3Pt, 5-7 FT), six rebounds, three assists and one block over 29 minutes during Thursday's 135-102 loss to the Cavaliers in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals.
Crowder's groin injury didn't seem to be overly serious, as he was able to play a starter's amount of minutes before heading to the bench once the game was clearly out of reach. The 26-year-old managed four double-digit scoring efforts during the series, shooting 46.4 percent overall. He averaged a solid 13.9 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.0 steals during the regular season and figures to once again be a key component of next season's roster.
Gerald Green BOS SF
Celtics' Gerald Green: Leads bench with 14 points in Game 512h ago
Gerald Green provided 14 points (4-8 FG, 3-6 3Pt, 3-3 FT), two rebounds, two steals and one block over 21 minutes during Thursday's 135-102 loss to the Cavaliers in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals.
With the lopsided second-half score, Green saw a series-high amount of minutes and parlayed them into his highest scoring total since Game 6 of the first-round series against the Bulls. The veteran was effective from long range throughout the postseason, draining 50 and 56.3 percent of his shots, respectively, in the conference semifinals and finals, and tallying four double-digit scoring efforts overall across just 14.8 minutes per game. The 31-year-old was reasonably effective this season in his return to Boston after a 10-year absence, but he now enters free agency with no clear indication of where he could end up next season.
Avery Bradley BOS SG
Celtics' Avery Bradley: Leads team with 23 points in Game 5 loss13h ago
Avery Bradley registered 23 points (10-20 FG, 2-5 3Pt, 1-1 FT), four rebounds and one assist over 32 minutes during Thursday's 135-102 loss to the Cavaliers in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals.
Bradley once again took up the mantle of the go-to option on offense for Boston in the absence of Isaiah Thomas (hip), scoring over 20 points for the third time in the series. His 50 percent success rate from the field equaled his series-best tally from Game 1, and he drained multiple threes for the third time during the five-game set as well. Primarily due to Thomas' absence, Bradley finished the conference finals with an average of 19 shot attempts per contest, a definitive uptick from the first two rounds of the playoffs and the regular season. He'll head into the 2017-18 campaign coming off the best statistical season of seven-year career, having averaged 16.3 points, 6.1 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.2 steals across 33.4 minutes.
Sidney Crosby PIT C
Penguins' Sidney Crosby: Collects assist in Game 7 thriller7h ago
Sidney Crosby set up an even-strength goal against the Senators in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals double-overtime win Thursday, increasing his playoff point total to 20; he's accumulated seven goals and 13 assists.
The all-world pivot was held pointless in three games of the grueling series versus Ottawa, but he'll look to expose a Nashville team that's been dampened at the center spot due to the loss of Ryan Johansen, who underwent emergency surgery on his thigh following a Game 4 loss to the Ducks. We know you'll be starting Crosby every chance you get, and the real debate at this point is whether he'll generally justify a higher fantasy draft selection than Edmonton's Connor McDavid, who'll be wrapping his mitts around the Art Ross Trophy at the awards ceremony in June.
Dion Phaneuf OTT D
Senators' Dion Phaneuf: Fizzles in postseason8h ago
Dion Phaneuf was held pointless with a minus-5 rating over the final 11 games of the playoffs.
The veteran blueliner set up two scores against the Rangers in Game 2 of the conference semifinals, only to go ice cold offensively the rest of the way. However, his physical play was on full display throughout the postseason, as he compiled 30 hits and half as many PIM. An alternate captain for the Sens, Phaneuf is under contract through the 2020-21 season, banking a whopping $7 million per season with performance bonuses included.
Conor Sheary PIT LW
Penguins' Conor Sheary: Snags helper against Senators9h ago
Conor Sheary garnered an assist in Thursday's Game 7 victory over Ottawa.
Sheary's lineup reinsertion couldn't have come at a better time for the Pittsburgh Penguins , as his feed to Chris Kunitz gave them an early 1-0 lead in Thursday's double-overtime thriller. The 24-year-old spent the previous two contests watching from the press box in favor of Josh Archibald, but he may have won the job back with the Game 7 performance -- although his status for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals could be tied to the health of Patric Hornqvist (upper body). Sheary logged his highest ice time of the season (21:44) in addition to firing off four shots on goal and dishing out a pair of hits.
Matt Murray PIT G
Penguins' Matt Murray: Stops 27 to take Game 720h ago
Matt Murray made 27 saves on 29 shots as Pittsburgh advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals with a double-overtime Game 7 victory over the Senators on Thursday.
Murray ended up serving as a spectator behind Marc-Andre Fleury for more than two full series after suffering a lower-body injury in warmups before Game 1 of the first round, but it looks like he'll be Pittsburgh's starter in the Stanley Cup Finals for the second consecutive season. He's yet to allow more than two goals in any of his five appearances en route to a 1.35 GAA and .946 save percentage during the playoffs, so the 22-year-old doesn't seem to have accumulated any rust from his time on the sidelines. Murray will have his work cut out for him against a Predators team that has dropped just four games in its own run to the finals.
Craig Anderson OTT G
Senators' Craig Anderson: Stops 39 in double-overtime elimination20h ago
Craig Anderson made 39 saves in Thursday's 3-2 double-overtime Game 7 loss to the Penguins.
Anderson was once again far busier than counterpart Matt Murray, who faced just 29 shots. While he did a terrific job of shutting down Pittsburgh's top forwards, Anderson surrendered two goals and an assist to the 37-year-old Chris Kunitz, of all people. His 2.34 GAA and .922 save percentage in 19 playoff games came tantalizingly close to earning a Stanley Cup Finals berth, but the 36-year-old veteran will end up a spectator just like everyone who doesn't play for the Penguins or Predators.
Justin Schultz PIT D
Penguins' Justin Schultz: Two points in Game 7 win20h ago
Justin Schultz recorded a power-play goal and an assist in Thursday's 3-2 double-overtime Game 7 victory over the Senators.
Schultz's goal gave the Pittsburgh Penguins a 2-1 lead with 8:16 remaining in the third, but they promptly coughed that advantage up when Ryan Dzingel lit the lamp for Ottawa just 2:57 later. The blueliner's impact in his return from a four-game injury-related absence didn't end there, as he earned an assist on Chris Kunitz's double-overtime winner. Schultz has carried over his offensive prowess from a 51-point regular season with three goals and seven assists in 15 appearances this postseason.