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Michael Pineda MIN SP
Twins' Michael Pineda: No suspension reduction2h ago
If the 2020 season is less than 162 games due to the delay from the Covid-19 epidemic, the recent agreement between MLB and the MLB Players Association on a reduced season is believed to mean that Pineda will still need to serve the remaining 39 games of his drug suspension, Skor North 1500 KSTP-AM Minneapolis reports.
Pineda's fantasy value would decline as a result as before he would have only missed 39 of 162 games and returned in mid-May. But with a shortened season, he could now miss from a third or half of a season. Pineda was suspended 80 games in early September for taking a banned diuretic. The suspension was later reduced to 60 games after he argued it was not being used as a masking agent for a performance-enhancing drug, and he served the first 21 games last season.
Andrew Knizner STL C
Cardinals' Andrew Knizner: Sent to Triple-A2h ago
The Cardinals optioned Knizner to Triple-A Memphis on Thursday.
Knizner is viewed within the organization as the eventual successor to Yadier Molina, but the 25-year-old will head back to the farm to begin the campaign while the veteran enters the final year of his contract. With Knizner out of the running for an Opening Day job, Matt Wieters has made the club as the Cardinals' backup catcher.
Carlos Estevez COL RP
Rockies' Carlos Estevez: Struggles in spring training3h ago
Estevez allowed five runs on seven hits and had eight strikeouts and zero walks over five innings prior to the suspension of spring training.
The 27-year-old had somewhat of a breakout campaign for the Rockies in 2019, posting a 3.75 ERA, 1.29 WHIP and 81:23 K:BB with 11 holds in 71 appearances. According to Thomas Harding of MLB.com, Estevez and Jairo Diaz are expected to play prominent bullpen roles for Colorado in front of Scott Oberg and closer Wade Davis.
Jairo Diaz COL RP
Rockies' Jairo Diaz: Poised for high-leverage role4h ago
Diaz had four Cactus League appearances and allowed one run on four hits with one strikeout and one walk over four innings before the suspension of spring training.
The 28-year-old made his return to the majors in 2019 and recorded five saves and seven holds with a 3.69 FIP in 56 outings for Colorado. Diaz and Carlos Estevez are in line to work as two of the Rockies' top bullpen options once play resumes behind Scott Oberg and closer Wade Davis, per Thomas Harding of MLB.com.
Ryan Borucki TOR SP
Blue Jays' Ryan Borucki: Resumes mound work4h ago
Borucki (elbow) resumed throwing bullpen sessions in Florida last week, Keegan Matheson of MLB.com reports.
Borucki has remained close to the Blue Jays' spring training facility in Dunedin to conduct his rehab since the MLB suspended its season earlier this month. After being shut down with tightness and discomfort in his left elbow earlier in camp, Borucki seemed to be a virtual lock to open the season on the injured list, but the MLB's suspension through at least mid-May has improved his chances of being ready to go when Opening Day arrives. Borucki will still need to advance to facing hitters in live batting practice sessions before the Blue Jays sign off on him pitching in games when the season resumes.
Giancarlo Stanton NYY LF
Yankees' Giancarlo Stanton: Deemed fully healthy5h ago
Yankees manager Aaron Boone confirmed Wednesday that Stanton (calf) is fully healthy and will be ready to go for Opening Day, Lindsey Adler of The Athletic reports. "He's pretty much over the hump," Boone said. "He's pretty much run aggressively and done the things necessary. If and when we begin spring training games, he would likely be ready to roll for that."
The Yankees are one of the big winners of the MLB's decision to suspend its season at least eight weeks due to the coronavirus pandemic. The team now has a good chance to have three key players -- Stanton, Aaron Judge (rib) and James Paxton (back) -- available for Opening Day, when all initially looked set to begin the season on the injured list. Look for Stanton to occupy his familiar spot in the heart of the order whenever the MLB sets a firm target date for the start of the season.
Emmanuel Ogbah KC DE
Dolphins' Emmanuel Ogbah: Cleared from injury2h ago
Ogbah (pectoral) said Thursday that he's been cleared to resume workouts, Cameron Wolfe of ESPN.com reports.
Ogbah missed the final six games of the 2019 regular season with Kansas City due to a torn pectoral injury he suffered in Week 10. The 26-year-old has been a consistent threat in the pass rush since coming into the league in 2016, earning 18 sacks over 50 career games. Now healthy, he's one of a few offseason additions for the Dolphins in a defensive overhaul heading into 2020.
Carson Wentz PHI QB
Eagles' Carson Wentz: Option picked up for 20205h ago
The Eagles officially exercised Wentz's (concussion) team option for 2020 on Friday, Jeff Kerr of CBS Sports reports.
The move was merely procedural, as Wentz's 2020 salary would have risen to $31.38 million while voiding the remaining years on his extension had Philadelphia declined to exercise the option. Wentz was forced out early in the Eagles' wild-card round loss to the Seahawks on Jan. 5 with a concussion, but he cleared all five phases of the NFL's concussion protocol three days later and would have been available had Philadelphia advanced to the divisional round, per Derrick Gunn of NBC Sports Philadelphia.
Ronald Darby PHI CB
Redskins' Ronald Darby: Staying in NFC East6h ago
Darby (hip) inked a one-year, $4 million deal with the Redskins on Sunday, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com reports.
Darby battled injuries for the Eagles last season, suiting up in 11 games as a starter, racking up 37 tackles (34 solo), two interceptions and 11 pass breakups. The 26-year-old missed the final two games of 2019 with a hip strain, and his timetable to return remains unclear. New head coach Ron Rivera has long been a fan of Darby, so he will likely battle for the starting cornerback spot that was vacated when the team traded Quinton Dunbar (hamstring) to Seattle.
Geronimo Allison GB WR
Lions' Geronimo Allison: Signs with rival7h ago
Allison agreed to terms on a one-year contract with the Lions on Sunday.
Allison arrives from Green Bay, where he was used primarily in two- and three-wide sets, sporting a receiving line of 34-287-2 for the 2019 season. The Lions already have proven options such as Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones (ankle) and Danny Amendola on the roster, so it appears that Allison will be battling Marvin Hall (foot) for the No. 4 receiver spot in Detroit heading into the 2020 season.
Rolan Milligan IND DB
Colts' Rolan Milligan: Back with Colts8h ago
Milligan (foot) signed a one-year contract with Indianapolis on Saturday.
Milligan suited up in 11 games with the Colts in 2019 before he was placed on injured reserve following Week 15 with a foot injury. The 25-year-old played a depth role last season, logging 15 tackles (11 solo) on defense and special teams. He'll likely assume that same role for the team heading into the 2020 season.
Jameis Winston TB QB
Jameis Winston: Gets support from former coach8h ago
Winston's (thumb/knee) former coach in Tampa Bay, Bruce Arians, said Wednesday in an interview on Fox Sports Radio's "The Rich Eisen Show" that he's reached out to two teams on the quarterback's behalf, Eduardo A. Encina of the Tampa Bay Times reports. "I talked to two teams," Arians said. "I think it was just to [tell them], 'Get him on your roster' and it would be a great fit. One team was not interested and the other one was."
Winston's hopes of returning to Tampa Bay for a sixth season ended nearly two weeks ago, when it became apparent that Tom Brady was leaving New England to sign with the Buccaneers. Though he's just 26 years old and has 70 career starts on his resume, Winston's high turnover rate has likely contributed heavily to the cool reception he's faced thus far in free agency. With few -- if any -- starting jobs left open at this stage of the offseason and another experienced, more accomplished option in Cam Newton also looking for work, Winston could be forced to settle for a backup job at his next stop.
Marcus Smart BOS PG
Celtics' Marcus Smart: Recovering well from coronavirus5h ago
Celtics coach Brad Stevens relayed Friday that Smart (illness) is doing well following his positive test for the coronavirus a week earlier, Tim Bontemps of ESPN.com reports. "Great. He's great. Great spirits. Joking as always," Stevens said.
Smart is one of five known NBA players to have tested positive for COVID-19, with the first three of those players whose identities were revealed (Rudy Gobert, Donovan Mitchell and Christian Wood) all having since received full clearance from doctors. Based on Stevens' comments, Smart could receive clearance of his own within the next few days, seemingly putting him on track to be ready to play whenever the NBA resumes its season.
Donovan Mitchell UTA SG
Jazz's Donovan Mitchell: Cleared of coronavirus2d ago
Mitchell has been cleared of coronavirus, as have the rest of the Jazz's players and personnel, Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated reports.
The announcement comes 15 days after Mitchell initially tested positive March 12, one day after the postponement of Utah's game against the Thunder. This is a good step for Mitchell, the team and the league, but there are still plenty more hurdles to clear before the NBA resumes play.
Rudy Gobert UTA C
Jazz's Rudy Gobert: Clear of coronavirus2d ago
Gobert, teammate Donovan Mitchell, and all Jazz players and personnel were fully cleared of coronavirus by the Utah Department of Health on Friday, Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated reports.
Gobert was the first NBA player to test positive for the respiratory virus March 11, with the news prompting the league to immediately suspend operations indefinitely. The status of the league itself has yet to change, but the 27-year-old is now fully recovered and poses no risk of infection to other individuals.
Christian Wood DET PF
Pistons' Christian Wood: Fully clear of coronavirus3d ago
Wood is fully recovered from coronavirus, as he tested negative late Wednesday night, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports.
Wood is the first known NBA player to fully recover from coronavirus, for which he tested positive nearly two weeks ago. This is a good step forward for Wood and the league, but there are still many more hurdles to clear before the season starts back up in some capacity.
Christian Wood DET PF
Pistons' Christian Wood: Nearing full clearance4d ago
Wood's (illness) agent, Adam Pensack, said Wednesday that his client is "feeling great and fully recovered" from the coronavirus, Dana Gauruder of the Detroit Free Press reports.
Wood was asymptomatic but tested positive for coronavirus shortly after the NBA suspended games March 12, as the Pistons played Rudy Gobert, Donovan Mitchell and the Jazz the previous weekend. Wood is expected to undergo additional testing Thursday, and if doctors agree with Pensack's assessment, the 24-year-old should be good to go when the NBA resumes its season.
John Wall WAS PG
Wizards' John Wall: Not expected back if NBA returns4d ago
Wall (Achilles) isn't expected to take the court for the Wizards if the NBA resumes this season, Candace Buckner of The Washington Post reports.
Multiple members of the organization had already implied that Wall won't play in 2019-20, and the NBA's ongoing suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic apparently hasn't changed that line of thinking. Buckner notes that Wall has looked good in controlled environments during his recovery, but the league's suspension has left the point guard unable to simulate the intensity of his usual rehab workouts due to social distancing requirements. Team doctors would advise against quickly throwing him into games if the season resumed.
Jeff Petry MON D
Canadiens' Jeff Petry: Hits 40-point mark again5h ago
Petry has 11 goals, 29 assists and 12 power-play points over 71 games in 2019-20.
Petry increased his offensive production over the last three seasons, hitting the 40-point mark in each one. His contributions have been useful, particularly as injuries hit No. 1 defenseman Shea Weber over the previous two seasons and the team struggled to score goals. Petry has done this while maintaining defensive responsibility, leading Montreal with 177 hits this season. Including the partial season stats from 2019-20, Petry's averaged 178 hits and 113 blocked shots over the last three seasons. He has one year remaining on his deal before becoming an unrestricted free agent following the 2020-21 season.
Artturi Lehkonen MON LW
Canadiens' Artturi Lehkonen: Has multiple long goal droughts6h ago
Lehkonen has 13 goals and 14 assists with a 9.3 shooting percentage over 70 games.
Lehkonen once again had trouble scoring consistently, but there was modest improvement relative to the previous two years. He had goal droughts of 16, 11 and eight games, but his shooting percentage was a three-year best. The Canadiens' hope that Lehkonen would eventually develop a scorer's touch hasn't materialized, so they are content with him being a third-line forward who plays the entire rink and is a staple on the penalty-kill unit. Lehkonen has one year remaining on a deal before becoming a restricted free agent.
Shea Weber MON D
Canadiens' Shea Weber: Bounce-back season6h ago
Weber has 15 goals and 21 assists over 65 games in 2019-20.
Weber's battled through injuries the previous two seasons, but was on a pace for 75 games played and another 40-point season. He appeared to avoid a significant foot injury, which was originally projected for him to miss four-to-six weeks. The 34-year-old blueliner has four years remaining and will return as a top-pair defenseman in 2020-21.
Jonathan Drouin MON LW
Canadiens' Jonathan Drouin: Injury wreaks havoc7h ago
Drouin (ankle) has seven goals, eight assists and a 13.7 shooting percentage over 27 games in 2019-20.
Drouin had an impressive start to the season, recording 15 points and a 17.9 shooting percentage over 17 games before wrist surgery put an end to what was looking like his best season since joining Montreal. He returned from the wrist injury after missing 37 games, but an ankle injury forced him to miss another seven games. He was on the verge of returning when the NHL pressed the pause button on the season due to the coronavirus pandemic. It can't be known if Drouin was taking his offense to another level because of the injury. That will most likely be answered in 2020-21, the first of three remaining years on a six-year deal he inked in 2017.
Tomas Tatar MON LW
Canadiens' Tomas Tatar: Team leader in 2019-207h ago
Tatar (upper body) has 22 goals, 39 assists and 14 power-play points over 68 games in 2019-20.
Tatar, who missed three games due to the injury, was expected to miss significant time going forward before the NHL paused the season due to the coronovirus pandemic. At the time play stopped, Tatar was the team leader in all the major scoring categories, and his 61 points surpassed his previous season high set in 2018-19 over 80 games. As Montreal was hit with injuries to its forwards, Tatar stepped up his offense. He has one year remaining on his contact and will return as an essential, top-line forward in 2020-21.
Nick Cousins LV RW
Golden Knights' Nick Cousins: Chasing career-best total11h ago
Cousins has a chance to establish a new career high in points if the 2019-20 campaign ultimately resumes; he's produced 10 goals and 15 assists between the Canadiens and Golden Knights.
Cousins' role hasn't changed since Montreal traded him to Vegas at the deadline, as he's still averaging over a minute of power-play ice time to complement his third-line duties at even strength. The Golden Knights also sit atop the Pacific Division, which further suggests that Cousins has plenty of peer support in his new digs. We wouldn't expect him to suddenly emerge as a fantasy hockey darling, but Cousins checks out as a solid, budget-friendly flier to consider if and when the season picks up where it left off. He needs just three points for a new career high in points.