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Spring Training Recap 2022: April 4

Everything you need to know about Monday's Spring Training games.

Welcome to the Spring Training recap for April 4! Every day throughout Spring Training, we’ll be providing a rundown of the top news and performances from the previous day’s games and highlighting players to watch in today’s matchups. 28-man rosters are getting finalized and we’re getting a fuller picture of who’s going to be in each team’s dugout on Opening Day!

 

News

 

  • Austin Meadows was traded from the Rays to the Tigers for infielder Isaac Paredes and a pick in the 2022 MLB Draft. Meadows joins an outfield with Spencer Torkelson and Akil Baddoo. Meadows leaving opened up a spot for top prospect Josh Lowe on the Rays’ roster.
  • Rich Hill was announced as the Red Sox’s fifth starter, with manager Alex Cora also adding that Garrett Whitlock would be working in long relief, piggybacking off Hill. The Red Sox also placed Chris Sale on the 60-day injured list with a right rib stress fracture. The lefty will now officially be out for the first two months of the regular season.

 

  • José Godoy was DFA’d by the Twins, after being claimed off waivers from the Giants a month ago. Godoy had an outside shot to make the Opening Day roster as a third catcher, especially with the expanded rosters, but was eventually removed from the 40-man roster for Danny Coulombe. Coulombe appeared for the Twins 29 times in 2021, posting a 3.67 ERA and 1.22 WHIP in 34.1 innings.
  • The Pirates officially confirmed that red-hot prospect Diego Castillo will be joining the team on Opening Day. Castillo has gone 13 for 32 during spring training with six homers, slashing .406/.429/.969. While his primary position is within the infield, the Pirates have also tried in him the outfield this spring; more versatility for Castillo can only be a good thing.

 

  • Jack Flaherty was placed on the 10-day injured list after receiving a PRP injection. The Cardinals are hoping he can start throwing soon and, optimistically, he’ll be ready to return in a few weeks.
  • The Cardinals also announced that Albert Pujols will be starting Opening Day as the team’s designated hitter.

 

  • Alex Kirilloff, who left Saturday’s game with left knee soreness, is planning to play in Tuesday’s game, hoping to alleviate concerns about the outfielder’s availability on Opening Day.
  • Alcides Escobar was scratched from Monday’s game with neck stiffness. The Nationals are already dealing with injuries in their infield, with Ehire Adrianza unable to play due to a quad strain, and called Lucius Fox back to major league camp in response.

 

  • The Twins announced that pitching prospect Jhoan Duran has made the Opening Day roster. The righty has been lighting up the radar gun this spring, pitching six scoreless innings with 8 Ks and one walk. Duran has been seen within the organization as a potential closer and will likely get his opportunities early on in the season to perform in high-leverage situations.
  • Julio Rodríguez is coming to the Show! Rodríguez, a consensus top-10 prospect, has dominated spring training, slashing .424/.486/.818 with 3 HR and 8 RBIs. The center fielder will make his major league debut most likely in Minneapolis, pending inclement weather.

 

  • Richard Rodríguez, Danny Santana, and José Rondón were all suspended 80 games by MLB for violating the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.
  • Johnny Cueto was signed by the White Sox to a minor league contract, on the heels of the news of Lance Lynn being out for the next few months. Cueto had a 4.08 ERA and 98/30 K/BB ratio in 114.2 innings for the Giants last season.

 

Top Hitting Performances

 

Diego Castillo (3B, Pittsburgh Pirates): 4-for-4, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R

Castillo celebrated making the Opening Day roster for the Pirates by hitting his sixth homer of spring training and getting a hit in each of his at-bats against the Orioles. Castillo is probably worth a pick-up in deep leagues and NL-only leagues, and with the Pirates willing to play him at multiple positions, Castillo could be a versatile player on fantasy rosters early this season.

 

Matt Olson (1B, Atlanta): 3-for-4, 2 R

Olson has been relatively quiet this spring training, with 2 HR, 4 RBI, and slashing.310/.412/.552, as he attempts to fill the shoes of Freddie Freeman. He went 3 for 4 today, batting second in the Atlanta lineup. Hopefully, he’ll get more luck in the regular season to get more RBIs from his position in the batting order, but at least this will likely result in more runs and plate appearances.

 

Aaron Judge (OF, New York Yankees): 3-for-4, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 R

Judge was a Statcast darling today, with three hits with an exit velocity over 104 MPH, including a homer off Seranthony Domínguez. Amid rumors of a potential contract extension, Judge has hit four homers this spring, going 12 for 29 with 6 Ks and three walks, and looks ready for Opening Day.

 

 

Andy Ibáñez (3B, Texas Rangers): 2-for-3, 2 HR, 2, RBI, 2 R

Ibáñez hit two solo shots, including a no-doubter in the 5th. Ibáñez played all over the Rangers’ infield in 2021, playing the most games at second with 28 starts. However, with the signing of Marcus Semien, Ibáñez is currently slotted in as the starting third baseman, and with top prospect Josh Jung likely out for the season, the job is Ibáñez’s to lose.

 

 

Ian Happ (OF, Chicago Cubs): 3-for-4, 5 RBI, 2 R

Happ hit a towering homer, helping the Cubs rout their crosstown rivals 15-9. The Cubs’ outfielder was likely relieved to see the ball go out of the park as he’s been struggling this spring training, slashing .190/.292/.381. The former first-round pick is slotted to bat cleanup for the Cubs and the team is certainly hoping that the power that Happ showed last year with 25 homers was not an aberration, but rather a sign of things to come.

 

Pitching Round-Up

 

Anthony DeSclafani (SP, San Francisco Giants): 4.2 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K

Tony Disco had a solid outing today for the Giants, going nearly five shutout innings with eight strikeouts and no walks. The 31-year-old veteran started three games this spring, only giving up one run with 11 strikeouts over 12.1 innings. With all the offseason moves for the Giants’ rotations, DeSclafani looks to have a hold on the No. 3 spot in the rotation for the time being.

 

Tarik Skubal (SP, Detroit Tigers): 5 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 8 K

Skubal continued his hot spring, throwing five innings of shutout ball and fanning eight. Skubal always seems to get nominated for Nastiest Pitches of the Day, and he brought George Springer to his knees on a particularly filthy changeup. Skubal struggled with giving up the long ball last season (2.11 HR/9) but managed to give up zero homers this spring. While it’s unrealistic to think he’s completely fixed his home run woes, Detroit is certainly hoping this bodes well for the regular season.

 


Tanner Houck (SP, Boston Red Sox):
6 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 K

In a crucial Lee County Chairman’s Cup game, Houck was unfortunately tagged with the loss, as he gave up two solo shots to the Twins, one to Miguel Sanó and the other to Max Kepler. Houck still managed to get seven strikeouts over six innings and limited the damage of the long ball. The slider wasn’t there for him today though, with a swinging strike rate of 11.5%, although he did get one whiff from Carlos Correa today.

 

 

Aroldis Chapman (RP, New York Yankees): 1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K

Chapman earned his first-ever spring training save, pitching a scoreless ninth for the Yankees with one strikeout. It was a short ten pitch outing and Chapman touched 98 mph with his fastball and averaged 95.8 mph. However, what everyone was talking about was a single whiff on the only splitter that Chapman threw.

 

 

Miles Mikolas (SP, St. Louis Cardinals): 6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K

Mikolas had a fairly non-descript day, going six innings with one earned run, one walk, and one strikeout. If anything, Mikolas was a bit lucky, as he had an HC% of 50%. Mikolas won’t be a fixture on your fantasy team, but with his first start coming against the Pirates, he may be worth rostering for at least one week.

 

What to Watch for Today

 

Graphic by Michael Packard (@artbyMikeP on Twitter and Instagram)

John Ke

John is a longsuffering Twins fan and still gets triggered by the mention of "rally monkeys". You can also catch him on the "This Week in Fantasy Baseball" podcast.

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