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Enrique Hernandez LAD LF
Dodgers' Enrique Hernandez: Returns from wrist injury39m ago
Enrique Hernandez (wrist) is starting at shortstop in Thursday's matchup against the Angels, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports.
After being hit by a pitch on Tuesday, Hernandez is set to return. Although he doesn't offer much in terms of production at the plate, the utility man figures to see plenty of playing time this season due to his versatility in the field.
Khris Davis OAK LF
Athletics' Khris Davis: Set to return in coming days1h ago
Khris Davis (quad) is expected to return to action before the spring season comes to an end, John Hickey of the Bay Area News Group reports.
Although he isn't starting in Thursday's game, the hard-hitting outfielder should be back in the near future. The club hasn't indicated that Davis is in jeopardy of missing time at the start of the season, but owners will want to monitor his status as Opening Day approaches.
Tommy Milone MIL SP
Brewers' Tommy Milone: Will pitch out of bullpen1h ago
Tommy Milone has earned a spot in the Milwaukee Brewers ' bullpen to begin the season, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.
Milone struggled this spring, posting a 9.69 ERA and 2.00 WHIP in 13.0 innings. He will be the only southpaw in the Brewers' bullpen this season, which is likely the reason he was taken by manager Craig Counsell. The 30-year-old could step in and eat innings if Milwaukee finds itself in need of another starter, but he'll likely stick to a low-leverage role in the bullpen in 2017.
Neil Ramirez SF SP
Giants' Neil Ramirez: Will opt-out if not put on roster1h ago
Neil Ramirez intends to opt-out of his contract if the San Francisco Giants don't add him to their roster, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports.
At his best, Ramirez has proven to be an exceptional reliever, as was the case in 2014 when he posted a 1.44 ERA and 1.05 WHIP over 50 games (43.2 innings). However, as of late he's been anything but dominant. In 2016 he was taken for a 6.00 ERA and 1.67 WHIP across a mere 24 innings. Having allowed four runs and struck out 16 batters over 9.2 innings this spring, he's certainly shown improvement, but whether or not he's deemed worthy of a roster spot remains to be seen.
Sean Gilmartin NYM RP
Mets' Sean Gilmartin: Optioned to minors1h ago
Sean Gilmartin was optioned Thursday to Triple-A Las Vegas, the New York Post's Mike Puma reports.
Gilmartin had battled a shoulder injury for most of spring training, and faced live batters for the first time since March 8 this week. The 26-year-old is slated to spend much of the season in the minors, given the New York Mets ' rotation and bullpen depth, but if injuries arise like they did last year, Gilmartin will likely be one of the first called up.
Marcus Semien OAK SS
Athletics' Marcus Semien: Homers from leadoff spot Wednesday1h ago
Marcus Semien , who was 0-for-3 against the Royals on Monday in his return from an illness, went 1-for-2 with a two-run home run in Wednesday's 15-12 Cactus League loss to the Cubs.
Semien, who blasted a career-best 27 homers in 2016, launched only his second round-tripper of spring off Cubs starter John Lackey in the third inning. The 26-year-old brings plenty of pop but will look to improve his 22.4 percent strikeout rate from 2016 in the coming season.
Richard Jefferson CLE SF
Cavaliers' Richard Jefferson: Out Thursday vs. Bulls1h ago
Richard Jefferson (knee) will miss Thursday's tilt against the Bulls, Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com reports.
Jefferson missed Wednesday's practice with knee tendonitis, but was expected to play during Thursday's game. However, things have seemed to take a turn for the worse and Jefferson will not suit up against the Bulls. In his absence, look for normal rotational guys to see extra run -- though James Jones and Derrick Williams could make extended appearances as well.
Cristiano Felicio CHI PF
Bulls' Cristiano Felicio: Will be available Thursday1h ago
Cristiano Felicio (back) will suit up for Thursday's matchup against the Cavaliers, Cody Westerlund of CBS Chicago reports.
The Chicago Bulls ' reserve big man has missed the past three outings due to a bruised lower back, but should see the floor Thursday after logging a full practice Wednesday. He'll likely hover around the 15-minute range behind starter Robin Lopez.
Alexis Ajinca NO C
Pelicans' Alexis Ajinca: Questionable Friday vs. Kings2h ago
Alexis Ajinca is dealing with a hip injury and is listed as questionable for Friday's game against the Kings.
It's unclear exactly when Ajinca picked up the injury, but it's giving him enough discomfort that he's now been added to the team's injury report. Ajinca has averaged just 12.0 minutes per game in March, so if he's ultimately held out, his absence shouldn't cause any drastic changes to the team's regular rotation. Look for his status to be updated after Friday's morning shootaround.
Jahlil Okafor PHI C
76ers' Jahlil Okafor: Ruled out for next two games4h ago
Jahlil Okafor (knee) will not travel with the Sixers for their upcoming two-game road trip against the Cavaliers and Raptors, Jessica Camerato of CSN Philadelphia reports.
The Sixers continue to insist they're not entertaining the idea of shutting Okafor down for the season, but the fact that there will only be five more outings left on the schedule following the team's upcoming two-game road trip could change the minds of the coaching brass. Either way, his next opportunity to see the court will be Tuesday against the Nets, although he'll likely need to show significant improvement over the weekend and log a full practice before being cleared. Richaun Holmes should be in a line for another start and big minutes over the next two contests, with Shawn Long potentially sticking in the rotation as his backup.
Robert Covington PHI SF
76ers' Robert Covington: Out next two games4h ago
Robert Covington (knee) won't play in Friday's game against the Cavaliers or Sunday's game against the Raptors, Marc Narducci of The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
Covington sat out Wednesday's game against the Hawks after undergoing an MRI on his right knee, and he won't be traveling with the team on the weekend road trip. It remains unclear what the specifics of Covington's injury are. Look for Justin Anderson to get the start at small forward once again in Covington's absence. Covington's next chance to play will be on Tuesday against the Nets.
Dion Waiters MIA SG
Heat's Dion Waiters: Out Friday vs. Knicks4h ago
Dion Waiters (ankle) has been ruled out for Friday's game against the Knicks, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports.
A recent MRI on Waiters' left ankle came back negative, but the Miami Heat aren't ready to clear him, so he'll remain out for a seventh straight game on Friday vs. the Knicks. The fact that he's been ruled out a day in advance may suggest he's in line to miss a few more contests, although his next opportunity to see the court will be Sunday against the Nuggets. Look for Josh Richardson to continue to start in his place, likely affording him a 30-plus minute role yet again.
Andreas Athanasiou DET C
Red Wings' Andreas Athanasiou: Will play Thursday33m ago
Andreas Athanasiou will be in the lineup for Thursday's game against the Lightning,
Athanasiou will slot into a bottom-six role against Tampa Bay, skating with Dylan Larkin and Justin Abdelkader on the Detroit Red Wings ' third line. The 22-year-old speedster has been hot recently, tallying seven points (three goals, four assists) in his last eight games, so he's worth consideration as a potential value play in daily contests Thursday.
Nikita Kucherov TB RW
Lightning's Nikita Kucherov: Out sick Thursday43m ago
Nikita Kucherov is sick and will not play Thursday night's game against the Red Wings.
With just 11 healthy forwards on the roster following Kucherov's sudden illness, the Tampa Bay Lightning will be put in the precarious position of playing with double-shifters -- Ondrej Palat and Brayden Point took line rushes on their own as Tampa Bay's top line. Assuming Kucherov's illness is nothing serious, he'll set his sights for Saturday's game against the Canadiens.
Blake Pietila NJ LW
Devils' Blake Pietila: Demoted to minor league affiliate1h ago
Blake Pietila was reassigned to AHL Albany on Thursday.
With Micahel Cammalleri returning from a shoulder injury Friday, space needs to be made on the New Jersey roster and Pietila is the odd man out. The 24-year-old managed an assist, nine shots on goal, and a minus-4 rating while up with the big club.
Jimmy Vesey NYR LW
Rangers' Jimmy Vesey: Will watch from press box Friday2h ago
Jimmy Vesey will be relegated to the bench for Friday's game against the Penguins, Steve Zipay of Newsday reports. The rookie "had (an) off night in San Jose, and that's being polite," coach Alain Vigneault said.
The 2016 Hobey Baker winner from Harvard skated to a minus-2 rating in that game against Team Teal -- a 5-4 overtime loss -- and evidently the bench boss is none too pleased with Vesey's play. However, since the report adds that the 23-year-old will be on the playoff roster, this seems to be nothing more than a young phenom enduring growing pains in an attempt to fulfill lofty expectations. It's unclear whether he'll sit beyond Friday's game.
Vinnie Hinostroza CHI C
Blackhawks' Vince Hinostroza: Brought up to big club2h ago
The Chicago Blackhawks recalled Vinnie Hinostroza from AHL Rockford on Thursday.
Chicago is on the verge of securing the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, so they'll likely be resting some of their star players down the stretch, which means Hinostroza will probably draw into several of the team's final five games. The 22-year-old forward has notched 14 points in 48 games with the big club this season, and will likely stick with the Blackhawks throughout the club's playoff run.
Erik Karlsson OTT D
Senators' Erik Karlsson: Unfit to play Thursday2h ago
Erik Karlsson (undisclosed) will not play on the road against the Wild on Thursday, snapping a streak of 324 straight appearances.
Not only will this news disappoint the countless fantasy owners depending on the stud defenseman, but Karlsson's absence has serious implications to a Ottawa Senators team trying to officially nail down a playoff spot. Look for Dion Phaneuf and Cody Ceci to be relied upon more heavily on the top pair, while Jyrki Jokipakka gets primed for his team debut. Karlsson's next shot at playing now comes Saturday for a road game against the Jets.
Tom Savage HOU QB
Texans' Tom Savage: Could earn starting gig in 20171h ago
Tom Savage is a candidate to be the Houston Texans ' starting quarterback in 2017, John McClain of the Houston Chronicle reports.
When Brock Osweiler was struggling mightily down the stretch last season, head coach Bill O'Brien turned to Savage for the first time since he was a rookie in 2014. During the initial appearance in Week 15, Savage entered in the second quarter and led the Texans to a divisional triumph over the Jaguars with 260 yards through the air. He tacked on 176 more yards in his first professional start, but a concussion forced Savage out of the regular season finale and sidelined him throughout the team's two-game playoff run. Outside of jettisoning Osweiler so far this offseason, the Texans have been laying in wait when it comes to the Cowboys' dealings with Tony Romo. With a stellar defense in place, Houston is a premier QB away from challenging New England for supremacy in the AFC. If the Texans are unable to land Romo and instead scoop up a signal-caller in the draft, Savage could be called upon as the starter due to his experience in O'Brien's system.
Sharrif Floyd MIN DT
Vikings' Sharrif Floyd: Struggling with nerve damage2h ago
Sharrif Floyd 's (knee) career is in flux as he continues to struggle to recover nerve damage suffered during knee surgery in September, Chris Wesseling of NFL.com reports.
Floyd was reportedly struggling in his rehab but it wasn't clear until recently the issues he was dealing with. The nerve that controls the quadriceps still isn't firing in Floyd's right leg, and doctors are unsure when or if the nerve will heal. It remains a possibility that the former first-round pick will be able to play in 2017, but he's without a return timetable until his knee begins to show signs of progress.
Desmond Trufant ATL CB
Falcons' Desmond Trufant: Won't participate in OTA practices4h ago
Desmond Trufant (pectoral) won't participate in the Atlanta Falcons ' offseason practices, D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal Sentinel reports.
Trufant tore his pectoral muscle in November and ended the season on injured reserve. It was initially thought that he may be able to return in time for offseason practices but the team has confirmed that he'll be held out. Trufant is expected to be a fully recovered in time for training camp.
Packers' Justin McCray: Signs with Packers4h ago
Justin McCray signed a contract with the Green Bay Packers on Wednesday, Rob Demovsky of ESPN reports.
McCray has spent time with the Titans as a practice squad player but has never appeared in an NFL game. The young guard will provide some extra competition as the Packers look to find a replacement for former starter T.J. Lang, who signed with the Lions in free agency.
Rafael Bush DET SS
Saints' Rafael Bush: Signing with Saints5h ago
Rafael Bush agreed to terms with the New Orleans Saints on Thursday, Josh Katzenstein of NOLA.com reports.
Bush played for the Saints from 2012-15, but spent last season with the Lions, starting four games and playing the remaining 12 as the team's No. 3 safety. He recorded 53 tackles and two interceptions, returning one of them for a touchdown. Bush is 30 years old, and while he may not start ahead of Kenny Vaccaro and Vonn Bell, he should still see a significant amount of snaps and act as a veteran presence on New Orleans defense.
Cam Newton CAR QB
Panthers' Cam Newton: Undergoes shoulder surgery Thursday6h ago
Cam Newton underwent shoulder surgery Thursday, James Palmer of NFL Network reports. "Head team physician Dr. Pat Connor performed surgery this morning at Carolinas Medical Center to repair Cam Newton's partially torn rotator cuff," head athletic trainer Ryan Vermillion said. "Dr. Connor was pleased with the results of the surgery and Cam is at home resting. He will begin his rehab program Monday.
After attempting to rehab his right shoulder injury during the first two months of the offseason, Newton hit the benchmark for further strengthening and the introduction of throwing in early March, during which he experienced elevated pain. At that point, the Carolina Panthers decided that he should go under the knife, which went down as planned Thursday. Newton is expected to require 12 weeks before he'll be cleared to throw, but he won't do so in a team scenario for 16 weeks. If he hits those benchmarks in stride, he'll have achieved full health approximately one week before the start of training camp, which is currently the desired projection, Marc Sessler of NFL.com reports.