Nathan Grimm

Spring Training Daily

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ST Daily: A Kingery's Ransom

Monday, March 26, 2018


Scott Kingery received a couple of guarantees on Sunday.

 

One was a spot on the Phillies' Opening Day roster. The other was even more noteworthy.

 

The team and one of its top prospects agreed to a six-year, $24 million deal Sunday, the largest deal in history for a drafted player without a single day of MLB service time. The deal runs through 2023 and includes club options for 2024 through 2026 which could increase the value of the deal to $65 million.

 

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"He's the kind of guy you make an investment in," Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said. "He's the kind of character you make an investment in. He's the kind of all-around athlete that you make an investment in. Now, we have leaders in our clubhouse. Guys who we will be working with for years and years to come. They are the right kind of leaders. They post every day. They play their hearts out. They care for their teammates. Guys like Scott, but not just Scott. Rhys Hoskins and Jake Arrieta and Aaron Nola. Our core guys lead by example. And how cool is that? I don't think there are a lot of clubs who can say that."

 

Kingery didn't earn the historic contract with a strong spring, but he certainly earned the Opening Day roster spot because of it. The 23-year-old is batting .392 with a 1.141 OPS, four homers and four steals in Grapefruit League play through Sunday.

 

It's that combination of speed and power that makes Kingery such an exciting player, in both real life and in fantasy. Last season between Double-A and Triple-A, Kingery hit 26 homers and stole 29 bases with a combined .304/.359/.530 line.

 

More important for fantasy owners is what Kingery's role looks like in 2018, and what it means for the rest of the Phillies. Kingery is a second baseman by trade -- presumably affecting Cesar Hernandez's playing time -- but will play all over the diamond, and Kapler said he thinks it won't be a negative for any of the players involved.

 

"We've been discussing it since the offseason with all of our guys who can play multiple positions," Kapler said. "It's an awesome issue to address. And I think it starts with getting guys blows to keep them healthy and strong. We'll do that with guys all over the diamond. Then Scott gets his reps at positions all over the place. At the end of the day, these guys are all going to look up and be like, 'Holy smokes. I played every day, somehow, some way.'"

 

J.P. Crawford is anticipated to be the starting shortstop and Maikel Franco is penciled in as the starting third baseman, presently.

 

Without a defined role and a single major league at-bat, fantasy owners would be wise to exercise caution with Kingery in the near term. The ceiling, possible path to playing time and lineup/park, though, make him rosterable in most mixed leagues, even if it's just to wait and see.

 

Lamet Lament: Exciting Righty Headed To DL

 

Dinelson Lamet was guaranteed the second start of the regular season for the Padres. He just had to get through his last Cactus League outing Sunday unscathed.

 

So much for that.

 

Lamet, making his final tune-up before the regular season, left his appearance Sunday with pain in his right elbow. A source told the San Diego Union-Tribune that the club expects Lamet to miss only "minimal time" but that even a best-case scenario involves likely missing the first month of the season.

 

“Usually, you walk off the mound, your elbow hurts, it’s not a good thing,” Padres manager Andy Green said after the game. “… We’re hopeful it’s not too bad.”

 

Lamet pitched into the second inning against the Mariners but felt the twinge on his “last or second-to-last pitch,” Green said.

 

The loss couldn't come at a worse time for fantasy owners, many of whom have already drafted and many of those who used a mid-round pick on the 25-year-old. Expectations were high for Lamet this year after he struck out 28.7 percent of the batters he faced in his rookie year in 2017.

 

Without him, the team is left with a few less intriguing options to fill the void. Names to be discussed include veteran Chris Young, Robbie Erlin and prospect Joey Lucchesi. Lucchesi holds some appeal long-term, but none of the three move the fantasy needle in Lamet's absence. Lamet owners looking to throw a waiver wire dart to fill his roster spot may consider Sean Newcomb, Joe Musgrove or Chad Kuhl, all of whom have less than 20 percent ownership in Yahoo leagues.

 

Tomas Optioned To Triple-A

 

The Diamondbacks paid a high price for Yasmany Tomas.

 

Now, Tomas is paying a high price for his defense.

 

The $68.5 million man, who still has the chance to make $42 million over the next three years of his contract, was sent to Triple-A Reno by the club Sunday, being sent out in favor of role players like Jarrod Dyson, Daniel Descalso and recently acquired Deven Marrero.

 

Improving his outfield defense was the theme of the message the club sent to Tomas Sunday.

 

"Those are the things that we talked about -- that he needs to go and work on his defense," Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. "It's adequate, but we want it to improve on a level where he's going to be an above average defender. That was spelled out to him. He had a great camp offensively, and defensively, we are still trying to piece together his game."

 

At this point, a trade would be the best scenario for both the organization and Tomas, likely one to an American League club where the 27-year-old could be a full-time designated hitter.

 

With Tomas gone, the Diamondbacks will likely rely on an outfield of David Peralta, A.J. Pollock and, when he comes back from the disabled list, Steven Souza, with Dyson, Descalso and Chris Owings capable of playing where needed.

 

Quick Hits: Chris Archer (forearm) played catch Sunday with no restrictions. Archer took a comebacker off his right forearm during a minor league game on Friday, but he fully expects to make his Opening Day start Thursday against the Red Sox. "100 percent normal," he said of his status after Sunday's throwing session ... Adam Wainwright will start the year on the 10-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring. Wainwright was scratched from his final Grapefruit League start on Sunday after the diagnosis and won't have enough time to get properly stretched out before his first turn in the regular-season rotation. Jack Flaherty will take his spot for at least a week. Wainwright's injury is considered minor, so he should be ready by mid-April ... Alex Cobb threw 60 pitches in a three-inning simulated game on Sunday. Cobb reportedly threw the ball well, with Orioles manager Buck Showalter noting that the right-hander's velocity was "good." The next step will be having Cobb throw five-to-six simulated innings, and then he'll likely make a minor league start. He should be in the Orioles' rotation at some point in early-to-mid April ... Michael Brantley (ankle) will begin the year on the 10-day disabled list. Brantley was able to return to Cactus League games, but manager Terry Francona told reporters that they don't feel he's ready for the work load. Tyler Naquin will instead make the initial 25-man roster. Expect to see Brantley in the everyday lineup for the Indians by the middle of April, assuming there are no setbacks in his rehabilitation ... Danny Duffy (shoulder) was able to throw long toss on Sunday and declared himself ready for his scheduled Opening Day start on Thursday. Duffy was forced to leave Saturday's Cactus League start due to tightness in his shoulder, but it appears to be just a minor issue. He'll take his place on the mound when the Royals open the season against James Shields and the White Sox on Thursday ... Michael Fulmer fired seven scoreless innings against the Braves in his final Grapefruit League start on Sunday. Fulmer gave up just two hits and one walk while striking out three. The 25-year-old right-hander finishes the spring with a 2.12 ERA and 15 strikeouts in 17 innings. After possibly being overrated following a Rookie of the Year campaign in 2016, a down 2017 has his price deflated to where he's an intriguing middle-round fantasy starter for the 2018 campaign ... Lewis Brinson has been told he'll make the Marlins' Opening Day roster. Brinson will likely serve as the Marlins' everyday center fielder, and could hit at or near the top of the lineup as well. The contact issues are a bit concerning, but the ball jumps off the 23-year-old's bat and he stole a lot of bases in the minors ... Braves signed OF Peter Bourjos to a one-year, $1 million contract. The outfielder was just released by the Cubs, but wasn't out of work for long. He'll function as a reserve outfielder for the Braves, at least until Ronald Acuna arrives ... Matt Joyce was removed from Sunday's Cactus League contest after fouling a ball off of his leg. Joyce continued his at-bat, and nearly homered, then played another inning in the field, so his exit is likely precautionary. Consider him day-to-day ... Felix Hernandez has officially been named the Mariners' Opening Day starter. It will make 10 straight Opening Day starts for Hernandez, the longest active streak in baseball.



Nathan Grimm is a baseball writer for Rotoworld. He can also be found on Twitter (@Nate_Grimm).
Email :Nathan Grimm



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