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Fantasy 30: Spring training observations and WBC departures

Will an elbow injury sideline David Price this season? The early news is encouraging for the Boston ace. Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Even when you're a fan of one specific major league baseball team, it can be difficult to keep track of all the news that surrounds your favorite club on a daily basis.

However, when you're a fantasy baseball owner and you have to multiply that effort by 30 in order to be as up to date as possible with every club? It's a fool's errand that borders on the impossible.

Fear not! We'll be here every Monday to give you a snapshot of what's going on in the world of major league baseball, with one fantasy takeaway from each of the league's 30 teams. Think of it as your one-stop shop for the week ahead.

Here are the takeaways after a busy weekend of spring training games and the kickoff of the World Baseball Classic:

Arizona Diamondbacks: In 2016, Yuhei Nakaushiro started in rookie ball for the D-backs before rising all the way up to Triple-A before the season was over, racking up 40 strikeouts over 29 1/3 total innings. Although the pitcher was sent to minor league camp on Sunday, manager Torey Lovullo said Nakaushiro is "very close" and hinted the left-hander might be one of the team's first call-ups during the season.

Atlanta Braves: Infielder Ozzie Albies, who hit .291 with 30 stolen bases last year in the minors, appears close to being game-ready after fracturing his right elbow in September. Albies could get into games as early as next week, though the second baseman will likely start the season at Triple-A until he's fully healthy. Expect to see him in Atlanta at some point in 2017.

Baltimore Orioles: Zach Britton has been dealing with some side soreness and won't be allowed to throw off a regular mound until Wednesday. However, manager Buck Showalter says his closer should be "ready to go" after that and is confident he'll be ready on Opening Day if he's needed.

Boston Red Sox: All things considered, it could have been a lot worse when David Price felt "unusual soreness" after two innings of a simulated game Tuesday. However, after multiple consultations with doctors, including James Andrews and Neal ElAttrache, it appears Price has only a mild strain of a flexor muscle and some bone spurs. The pitcher will be re-evaluated in a week, but surgery fears appear to be allayed for now.

Chicago Cubs: With David Ross now doing duty on "Dancing with the Stars," starter Jon Lester will have to get used to a new catcher. However, the pitcher has no concerns, saying he already feels quite comfortable with Willson Contreras behind the plate. In fact, the only issue Lester has is potentially fearing for his own safety, "I forgot how good of an arm he has until that first throw down to second base. ... I've got to remember to get the hell out of the way."

Chicago White Sox: Citing a need to focus on players with a long-term future in Chicago, general manager Rick Hahn announced the White Sox have cut ties with infielder Brett Lawrie. Among those players who expect to benefit from the newly available spring at-bats are Tyler Saladino, Yolmer Sanchez, Leury Garcia and Matt Davidson. The plan for Yoan Moncada, however, remains the same: He will start the season in the minors.

Cincinnati Reds: It was looking as though Anthony DeSclafani was all set to be the Reds' Opening Day starter, but after the pitcher missed a few days of work due to some elbow tenderness, it may be Brandon Finnegan or Scott Feldman instead. DeSclafani has been cleared to throw in side sessions, and it doesn't look like he'll have to miss a full turn in the rotation -- but given the timing right now, it appears he won't be ready on April 3.

Cleveland Indians: The battle for center field in Cleveland appears to be underway. Veteran Austin Jackson, who was signed to a minor league deal in order to compete with Tyler Naquin for a spot in the outfield, has finally been cleared to play in games, starting Wednesday. Jackson has been recovering from June knee surgery. Meanwhile, left fielder Michael Brantley (right shoulder) is being eased back into action as well, with simulated games still in his future.

Colorado Rockies: A sore lower back has sidelined left fielder David Dahl, and while he is showing signs of improvement, manager Bud Black thinks it will still be a few weeks more before he returns: "We'll just continue to monitor that and let time take its course." Gerardo Parra can handle left field for now, and although Ian Desmond is ticketed for first base, he can play the outfield if needed.

Detroit Tigers: Michael Fulmer rolled his right ankle Saturday, and as a result he will miss his scheduled start today. No MRI was needed, and the injury isn't considered to be serious, but because of the setback, Fulmer may have to miss out on pitching for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic. As Tigers manager Brad Ausmus lamented, "Just from a pitch-count perspective, he won't be up enough."

Houston Astros: Josh Reddick started in left field for the Astros on Saturday, marking the first time he's played there since 2011. Although the current plan is for Reddick to be the every-day right fielder, the team wants to have a contingency plan if they opt to use Jake Marisnick in center field, a move which would necessitate sliding George Springer to right. That alignment could occur often enough if Nori Aoki, who is playing in the WBC, doesn't work out in the long term in left field.

Kansas City Royals: In 19 at-bats so far this spring, Peter O'Brien has a team-leading three home runs. That has led to some speculation that O'Brien might stick with the Royals as part of a DH platoon with Brandon Moss. Unfortunately for O'Brien, he still has minor league options, while Cheslor Cuthbert and Christian Colon do not. If O'Brien continues to showcase power, the decision might be a difficult one, but at least for now, it seems that the minors will beckon for O'Brien.

Los Angeles Angels: Huston Street was making a bid to be the closer for the Angels, but it looks as if he's now out of the discussion because of a strained lat, which will sideline the reliever for at least three weeks. While Opening Day is not yet out of the question for Street, it is unlikely. His injury probably locks in Andrew Bailey for ninth-inning duties, although Cam Bedrosian may yet be thrown into the mix.

Los Angeles Dodgers: Corey Seager has missed two games due to mild back discomfort, but should be back in the Dodgers' spring lineup on Tuesday. The shortstop hurt himself making a throw on Friday, but the good news is that it was unrelated to the bruised shin that caused him to miss the previous three contests. The lost time shouldn't worry anyone, as Seager missed two weeks last spring with a knee injury and still managed to win unanimous Rookie of the Year honors.

Miami Marlins: Dynasty leaguers, take note of left-hander Dillon Peters. The 2014 10th-rounder has impressed manager Don Mattingly so far this spring with a fastball that has been clocked as high as 94 mph: "He's on the attack out there. He doesn't look like a guy that is afraid at all." Although he's likely to start the season at Double-A, it would not be that surprising to see him get a June or July spot start, perhaps with a chance to stick.

Milwaukee Brewers: The Brewers are still auditioning the majority of their starting rotation. Manager Craig Counsell said last week that only Junior Guerra and Zach Davies are locked in. That leaves a five-man race for three spots, with righties Matt Garza, Jimmy Nelson, Wily Peralta and Chase Anderson plus sole left-hander Tommy Milone, whose handedness would seemingly give him an edge.

Minnesota Twins: The Twins' No. 1 draft pick last year, OF Alex Kirilloff, will undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery on his left elbow this week. The 19-year-old hit .306 in 55 games of rookie ball last season and was ranked No. 97 on Keith Law's top 100 prospects for 2017. Prior to the injury, Law wrote that Kirilloff "has more realistic offensive upside than anyone else in their system, which means he has a chance to be the Twins' best prospect in a year, depending on how well he adjusts his approach at the plate." Now we'll have to wait until September, at the earliest, for even the most basic baby steps of progress to begin.

New York Mets: Zach Wheeler struck out 187 batters in 2014 and seemed ticketed for stardom. However, he has not pitched in a major league game since, as Tommy John surgery in 2015 and subsequent setbacks have kept him sidelined. Wheeler will finally take the mound again on Friday against the Braves. While things look good for the moment, at best the Mets will place a cap on Wheeler's workload this season of around 110 innings. That probably means extended spring training is where Wheeler will wind up.

New York Yankees: Last season, most Yankees lineups had some combination of Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner batting 1-2 at the top of the order. Spring is a time for experimentation, though, and manager Joe Girardi is toying with the idea of hitting Gary Sanchez second, in order to break up the pair of left-handed hitters. "I'm going to look at it," Girardi said. "In the first inning, I think I'd prefer to have two guys in front of my best hitter sometimes. Then you start going through the other three times in the lineup and you get a few more at-bats during the course of the season. I can see both ways." More at-bats for Sanchez would certainly boost his fantasy value potential, so keep an eye on this situation.

Oakland Athletics: Jake Smolinski went hitless in his first spring action on Sunday as the team's DH. The outfielder still can't throw the ball due to a shoulder injury, and there's no timetable for him to get back on the field. That may spell doom for Smolinski's chances to make the A's roster, especially with Alejandro De Aza batting .417 thus far in the spring. Sometimes, spring stats do matter, and this is certainly a case where they might.

Philadelphia Phillies: Andrew Knapp is battling Jorge Alfaro to become the Phillies' No. 2 catcher behind Cameron Rupp, and Knapp may benefit from a case of "out of sight, out of mind." Alfaro is heading to the WBC to play for Colombia, which will give Phillies manager Pete Mackanin plenty of opportunity to see how Knapp handles things behind the plate. Knapp has also been working out at first base, and that added versatility may tip the scales in his favor in terms of making the club.

Pittsburgh Pirates: Josh Bell had surgery at the start of February to remove a loose body from his left knee. At the time, there was a fear he would not make it back in time for Opening Day, but in Monday's lineup the first baseman is batting third for the Pirates. That gives Bell plenty of time to get his timing at the plate back, so expect him to make the Pittsburgh roster and, at a minimum, platoon at first base with John Jaso.

St. Louis Cardinals: Over the last three years, Trevor Rosenthal has posted 107 saves, but the plan this season was to stretch the pitcher out so he could join the St. Louis rotation. Yeah, about that ... Rosenthal was scratched from Monday's scheduled start due to soreness in the lat muscle on his right side. He will take a few days off and then await word on what happens next, though no plans have yet been made for getting him back on the scheduled starter's list. "It's better to be cautious," Rosenthal said. "It's frustrating. I know it was going to be an opportunity."

San Diego Padres: The last time Jhoulys Chacin won double-digit games in a season was when he went 14-10 in 2013. That was the same season he started the year pitching for Team Venezuela in the WBC. Chacin is hoping history repeats itself as he once again throws for Venezuela in the tournament while also competing for a spot in the Padres rotation. "He's been great," Padres manager Andy Green said Sunday. "He's very, very professional. I know him as a competitor, I had him when I was in Arizona the last month of '15, and I loved the way he was wired and competed."

San Francisco Giants: Johnny Cueto is finally in camp with the Giants after missing three weeks to tend to his ailing father in the Dominican Republic. Due to his absence, Cueto will not join his country in the WBC -- at least not for the first round of play. However, the pitcher worked out when he wasn't in camp, and he doesn't expect his availability for the start of the 2017 season to be impacted.

Seattle Mariners: With a dozen players leaving Mariners' camp for the WBC, manager Scott Servais has a rare opportunity to get a better look at candidates who could round out his 25-man roster. Servais in particular cited Shawn O'Malley, Taylor Motter and Mike Freeman as players he wants to audition all over the field, in order to figure out who is the most versatile of the bunch: "They are going to play a lot. ... They all bring a little something different to the mix; their skill sets are a little different. I think they are all very capable."

Tampa Bay Rays: The Rays are one of four teams (along with the Royals, Mets and Blue Jays) who are interested in infielder Brett Lawrie, with an eye on adding a right-handed bat. With first baseman Logan Morrison (wrist) still unable to play, adding Lawrie could allow Tampa Bay to shift Brad Miller back to first if they want -- or they may simply use Lawrie off the bench and try a combination of Rickie Weeks and Mike McKenry at first until LoMo can get back on the field.

Texas Rangers: Andrew Cashner has never thrown more than 185 innings in a single season, but the Rangers signed him to a one-year, $10 million deal in the hopes that he can solidify their starting rotation behind Yu Darvish, Cole Hamels and Martin Perez. The team got a scare when soreness in Cashner's right biceps shut him down for a few days, but it appears the inflammation has passed, and the pitcher has "had no pain for three days in a row," fueling a new sense of optimism.

Toronto Blue Jays: Manager John Gibbons has big plans for Steve Pearce, hoping to ultimately use him either regularly in left field or at first base when Justin Smoak needs to sit. "He's going to be a big part of this," Gibbons said. "The kid can really hit. We wanted him a few years ago [but] didn't get him. Now we've got him. He'll play a big part." Pearce will DH for the next two weeks as he recovers from right elbow surgery in September, but his progress has been proceeding as scheduled.

Washington Nationals: The team still has a half-dozen catchers in camp, and catcher Matt Wieters has not yet played in a game. Wieters is busy doing extra bullpen work with the projected rotation so he can learn the staff's quirks and tendencies on the mound. He's expected to suit up next week, at which time Derek Norris is likely to either be traded or released.