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Fantasy 30: Position battles, lineup news and injury updates

Kendrys Morales will begin 2017 with fantasy eligibility only at DH. But he may earn eligibility at first base before too long. Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP

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 as we roll down the home stretch toward the start of games that actually count in the standings:

Arizona Diamondbacks: The team is treating A.J. Pollock very gingerly this spring, hoping to have him as healthy as possible once the season starts. The outfielder hurt his groin on March 12 and sat out the next 12 games as a precaution. He finally got into the lineup on Friday and played again on Saturday before getting a day off yesterday. Manager Torey Lovullo said this will be his philosophy for the regular season as well. "If it takes an extra day-to-day to get through next week, we'll take the extra day-to-day. ... I'm not going to force anybody in there until it's time."

Atlanta Braves: The Braves signed reliever David Hernandez over the weekend to potentially land the final spot in the team's bullpen. Hernandez asked to be released by the Giants when he was told he wasn't making their roster. He'll have only a few days to make an impression, as Chaz Roe would appear to have an inside track to that final job, but the Braves could end up stashing Hernandez at Triple-A as a "Plan B" if his impromptu audition fails to tip the scales in his favor.

Baltimore Orioles: Chris Tillman will travel with the Orioles when they break camp, because manager Buck Showalter wants the 16-game winner to experience the atmosphere of Opening Day. However, Tillman has still not pitched this spring and only just kicked off throwing catch from 90 feet on Sunday. A timetable for Tillman's return will soon be set, but the right-hander's sore shoulder probably won't be ready for action before the end of April.

Boston Red Sox: It appears that Hanley Ramirez may be limited to DH duties for the Red Sox at the start of the season. Though he can swing a bat, his injured right shoulder is making it very difficult for him to play defensively at first base. Manager John Farrell said he had planned to use Ramirez at first, instead of Mitch Moreland, when left-handers were on the mound. "His play and availability at first is one of the keys to how our roster can function at its best. But until he's ready to go out there, I can't put him on the field," he said.

Chicago Cubs: Ben Zobrist, who missed all of last week's action with a sore neck, says that he is ready to play a few games this week with an eye toward being in the Cubs' lineup come Opening Day. That said, the team will continue to give Javier Baez some playing time at second base this week, just in case Zobrist is not able to play every day out of the gate. Baez might also be needed to play a bit at shortstop, as Addison Russell's back has been bothering him. Manager Joe Maddon, though, was optimistic that Russell was "very close" to a return to action.

Chicago White Sox: Last season, Todd Frazier hit a career-high 40 home runs. Unfortunately, that power came with a career-low .225 batting average. Frazier has yet to hit a home run this spring because the third baseman is working on taking more pitches and only swinging at strikes with a goal of getting his average up around 30 points in 2017. "Let's be realistic, I'm not going to hit .315 or .320. I'd like to, but that means I'm going to hit 15 home runs. I could do it, but you have to be realistic and be who you are," Frazier said. Still, if he does trade some power for a little more average, fantasy owners aren't likely to be too disappointed.

Cincinnati Reds: While Devin Mesoraco has made a ton of progress following surgeries on both his hip and shoulder, he's still not looking good to be behind the plate come Opening Day. He's expected to be behind the plate for the final two games of spring training -- the first time he's caught on back-to-back days -- but is not scheduled to play a full nine innings in either affair. Tucker Barnhart should start the majority of games until Mesoraco is given the green light, with Rule 5 pick Stuart Turner potentially sticking with the team for now as a backup.

Cleveland Indians: Austin Jackson knew he'd be getting the news on Sunday, as the veteran outfielder had an exit clause in his contract. The outfielder did not have to exercise it, though, as the team told Jackson he had made the Opening Day roster. Jackson had signed a minor league deal due to questions over the stability of his knee, but after going 9-for-24 this spring, manager Terry Francona had seen enough positives to make the call: "I think he's going to be a very good complementary player," he said. "He knows how to play. He's a good veteran and I think he's going to bring something to our ballclub."

Colorado Rockies: Mark Reynolds has officially been added to the team's roster and should be the everyday first baseman until Ian Desmond is ready to return from his broken hand. In addition to Desmond, outfielder David Dahl will also be missing from the Rockies' lineup to start the season. Dahl has only just begun soft-tossing as he tries to recover from a back issue. The team hopes to have a more definite timetable for his return by Friday, but he has already been ruled out through at least April 7.

Detroit Tigers: The news was not as good as the Tigers had hoped, but at least there's a definite timetable for outfielder J.D. Martinez to make his way back to the club. Martinez has been diagnosed with a sprained Lisfranc ligament in his right foot. He will be in a cast for 7-10 days and will be shut down for 3-4 weeks as a result of the injury. So, provided he does a decent enough job, expect to see Steven Moya in right field at least until mid-May.

Houston Astros: Joe Musgrove has made the Astros' rotation and will start the fourth game of the season for the team. He'll join Dallas Keuchel, Lance McCullers, Charlie Morton and Mike Fiers as the starting five for manager A.J. Hinch. However, once Collin McHugh -- expected to start the season on the disabled list, but miss only one or two starts -- is ready to be activated, either Musgrove or Fiers might be the odd man out.

Kansas City Royals: After helping to lead Team USA to the WBC title, it wasn't much of a surprise that the Royals named Danny Duffy to be their Opening Day starter on April 3. "With what Danny did last year and this spring, we feel he has earned this," manager Ned Yost said. Rounding out the Royals' rotation behind Duffy will be Ian Kennedy, Jason Hammel, Jason Vargas and Nate Karns.

Los Angeles Angels: Most of the Angels' rotation appears to be set, with the quartet of Garrett Richards, Matt Shoemaker, Jesse Chavez and Ricky Nolasco ready to roll. Tyler Skaggs will presumably join them at some point, but due to some shoulder fatigue, he may end up starting the season at Triple-A until he can catch up to the others in terms of pitch count. That could open the door for J.C. Ramirez, who is out of minor league options, although his Sunday start (5 ER in 4 2/3 IP) didn't exactly win over any naysayers.

Los Angeles Dodgers: Scott Kazmir was hoping to earn a spot in the Dodgers' rotation with a strong spring. After a poor effort on Sunday, when he retired just eight of the 18 hitters he faced, it doesn't sound like he's going to make the roster at all. Manager Dave Roberts said of Kazmir, "Obviously where he's at right now it just doesn't make sense, just competitively where he is at right now, for him to be out there on a major league field." He'll start the season on the DL, and then be given a shot in the minors to work his way back to Los Angeles.

Miami Marlins: In the Miami version of Thunderdome, it's three men enter and one man leaves. Manager Don Mattingly is trying to decide between Adam Conley, Jose Urena and Justin Nicolino for the final spot in the team's rotation. All three pitchers threw this weekend, and not one of them allowed a run. Urena is the only one without any remaining options, which, fairly or not, may end up being the ultimate deciding factor.

Milwaukee Brewers: Whether or not the Brewers' pitching staff will be all right in 2017 remains to be seen, but its Opening Day makeup could well be all right. With the optioning of Brent Suter to Triple-A over the weekend, Tommy Milone is the lone left-handed pitcher still remaining in camp. Milone, who has been battling for a spot in the rotation, has not exactly wowed anyone this spring (7.50 ERA, .408 BAA), so his making the 25-man roster is still up in the air.

Minnesota Twins: Manager Paul Molitor is still undecided as to the final makeup of his rotation. With Trevor May out for the season and Jose Berrios sent to Triple-A, the lone remaining contenders are Tyler Duffey, Nick Tepesch and Adalberto Mejia. Duffey seems to be the favorite to get the job, with Molitor praising his spring work: "His fastball has a little giddy-up. He got up in the zone and got some swings and misses." That said, with Molitor in no rush to make that final call, we might not have an answer until the last possible minute.

New York Mets: Steven Matz is dealing with some irritation in his throwing elbow, which will cause him to miss today's scheduled start. This setback may result in Matz missing out on the start of the season, but perhaps only because there are already plenty of other starters ready to go, and the team can afford to play it safe. Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey and Robert Gsellman have already been named to the rotation, with Zack Wheeler and Seth Lugo ready to step in at a moment's notice.

New York Yankees: The trio of Bryan Mitchell, Jordan Montgomery and Luis Severino are in the mix for the final two spots in the Yankees' rotation. However, with the team not needing a No. 5 starter until April 16, and minor league options still remaining for Montgomery and Severino, it would appear that Mitchell -- despite a 4.57 spring ERA -- might be best-positioned to claim that No. 4 position.

Oakland Athletics: Inconsistency doomed Jesse Hahn to the minor leagues, as the pitcher will not be in the team's rotation to start the season. Manager Bob Melvin has instead tabbed Andrew Triggs and Raul Alcantara as the final pieces of his starting quintet. Also not making the A's Opening Day roster is Alejandro De Aza, who will be released as a result. That puts Jaff Decker in good stead to be the final position player to make the cut.

Philadelphia Phillies: It's now a two-man race for backup catcher duties that is still in effect for the Phillies. Cameron Rupp will be the No. 1 man, and Jorge Alfaro is not quite ready for prime time. As of Sunday, that left veterans Ryan Hanigan and Bryan Holaday, along with Andrew Knapp, a 2013 second-round draft selection, in the mix. Although one might suspect that manager Pete Mackanin would prefer to go with experience, Holaday was released on Monday. Knapp has hit .385 over the past week, throwing out two would-be base stealers in the process. "I know he can hit," Mackanin said. "Knapp is holding his own right now."

Pittsburgh Pirates: Gregory Polanco has not been able to play for the Pirates since Thursday as he deals with a sore left shoulder. Although the length of his layoff is said to be precautionary, there still seems to be some question as to the outfielder's Opening Day availability. As general manager Neal Huntington said, "Let's see where we are as we get closer to the middle part of the week as we have to start making some decisions."

St. Louis Cardinals: Yadier Molina has caught at least 110 games for the Cardinals in every season since 2005, but there's a question as to whether or not he'll still be in St. Louis come 2018. While both the club and player have a mutual option for next season, Molina has been vocal that he didn't want negotiations to be a distraction once this season starts. That leaves this week for negotiations to potentially bear fruit. "I would love to stay, but at the same time, I'm not afraid of free agency. I've still got many years in the tank. Believe me," Molina said.

San Diego Padres: Manager Andy Green hasn't made anything official just yet, but seems to be looking at a new defensive alignment in his infield this season. Erick Aybar appears to have won the shortstop job, and will be paired with second baseman Yangervis Solarte. At third base, Cory Spangenberg and Ryan Schimpf could serve in some form of a timeshare. Green doesn't seem totally locked in, though, but would say he'll "leave it this way for a few days, and if we like it, we'll probably stay with it."

San Francisco Giants: Jae-Gyun Hwang, a 29-year-old Korean import and fantasy deep sleeper, has made a big first impression with the Giants, winning the team's award for "top player in his first big league camp." Although he's a natural third baseman, Hwang will start the season at Triple-A to work on adding first base and left field to his repertoire. However, the way manager Bruce Bochy sings his praises, it seems like it won't be long before Hwang rejoins San Francisco: "The players love him, the way he comes out every day and the effort he puts in. ... He comes in early, he works at first base and left field. It's been inspiring."

Seattle Mariners: Chris Heston was optioned to Triple-A Tacoma over the weekend, a move that seemed to be a foregone conclusion, given the quality of the five-man rotation Seattle has in place. Felix Hernandez, Hisashi Iwakuma, James Paxton, Drew Smyly and Yovani Gallardo have all managed to avoid spring injuries, and as such, will try and handle as many of the team's 162 starts as possible. The quintet averages over seven seasons of major league experience.

Tampa Bay Rays: Any new injury news at this late stage of the game, especially involving pitchers, raises the eyebrows a bit for fantasy owners. That said, even though Alex Cobb was scratched from Sunday's scheduled start due to lower-back tightness, the Rays don't seem at all concerned. Manager Kevin Cash said that Cobb simply "slept wrong" and probably could have pitched. As of now, Cobb is still expected to be Tampa Bay's No. 3 starter behind Chris Archer and Jake Odorizzi, so long as his regular-season mattress works for him, one would presume.

Texas Rangers: Due to the scheduling issues of the WBC, along with injuries, the expected Opening Day lineup for the Rangers may well not actually take the field at the same time before the season starts. While shortstop Elvis Andrus (sports hernia) is back in action, Carlos Gomez (shoulder) has been out since Tuesday with a jammed shoulder, and now Adrian Beltre is dealing with calf tightness. Nevertheless, manager Jeff Banister remains optimistic: "It's not a perfect world, but no, I don't think that's a concern."

Toronto Blue Jays: If manager John Gibbons gets his way, Kendrys Morales should regain first-base eligibility at some point this season and may well keep it into 2018 drafts. In addition to wanting to play Morales at first base during interleague road trips without the DH, Gibbons said, "Jose Bautista's going to need a little time to DH and Josh Donaldson is the same way. Kendrys can be fine over there. I think it's good for those guys when they get on the field a little bit, it kind of changes up the routine a little bit." Yes, please!

Washington Nationals: Joe Nathan was released on Monday, but the 42-year-old reliever has no plans on retiring just yet and hopes to latch on with another team. Just yesterday, Dusty Baker was singing the veteran reliever's praises, but it apparently wasn't enough to sway management to give Nathan a shot. "Ninety-one, 92 [mph] is plenty, then the slider. Then he's shown he had a changeup, but he never threw it before. Now, he's throwing some pretty good changeups, too. I mean Joe has enough to pitch in the big leagues, depending on where you use him," Baker said. We'll see if anyone heard him and gives Nathan a shot.