Fantasy 30: Position battles, lineup news and injury updates

Tyler Glasnow is one of four Pirates pitchers hoping to land the final spot in the rotation. Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire

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 another busy weekend of spring training games and the exciting second-round action of the World Baseball Classic:

Arizona Diamondbacks: Manager Torey Lovullo has not yet decided whether Braden Shipley will be used in his rotation or out of the bullpen, but Friday's games saw the pitcher's shortest outing of the spring. Despite allowing him to work only 1⅓ innings, Lovullo says there's still time for Shipley to get stretched out: "We're still examining all the starters. I know the door is closing quickly. We're going to have to start to make some decisions, but there's still more time for these guys to throw, and we're still evaluating." Actions speak louder than words, however.

Atlanta Braves: Dansby Swanson finally returned to the Braves' lineup over the weekend, playing four innings as the team's leadoff man Sunday, striking out twice. Swanson has been dealing with a strained right side since March 4. Manager Brian Snitker hinted that Swanson could have been back sooner had this been the regular season. However, since it's not, expect Atlanta to give the shortstop a few more days off as a precaution over the next week.

Baltimore Orioles: Chris Tillman was originally scheduled to resume throwing in the next few days, but his timetable has shifted a bit. Now, Tillman won't pick up a ball again until Sunday, as the team wants him to wait a full 10 days after receiving a cortisone shot to alleviate shoulder discomfort. The pitcher won't likely be ready for game action until after April, but the Orioles are optimistic that once he does get back into action, he will be able to complete the season without a relapse.

Boston Red Sox: The Red Sox added Mitch Moreland to their roster because of his defense, as the first baseman won the Gold Glove last season while playing for Texas. However, with a team-leading 12 RBIs and a .375 batting average this spring, Boston is optimistic his bat may help the cause as well. Young 1B Sam Travis has impressed with his bat as well (.333, 3 HR, 10 RBIs), but Moreland's presence gives the organization more time to season the 23-year-old at Triple-A. Still, if Moreland's bat sours, watch for a potential recall.

Chicago Cubs: Manager Joe Maddon is planning on using Kyle Schwarber in the leadoff spot this season. "If he's hitting fourth or fifth, I don't believe he'll be pitched the same as he will hitting in front of [Kris] Bryant and [Anthony] Rizzo," Maddon said. "When my lineup card goes to the other team and they look at that, and if Schwarber is left without a blanket, they'll exploit not pitching to him." Additionally, Maddon expects to hit the pitcher eighth on a routine basis.

Chicago White Sox: Cody Asche is making it really hard for the White Sox not to keep him around. The Phillies castoff is batting .346 with three home runs this spring, and manager Rick Renteria laid out what they needed from him at the beginning, and Renteria says the 26-year-old has been "doing things he's capable of, not trying to do too much. He has shown well. He's a pro and a person that kind of grows on you." Ultimately, Asche's defensive versatility may be the deciding factor in earning a roster spot.

Cincinnati Reds: In five spring starts, Sal Romano has held opposing batters to a .204 batting average, with a K-BB rate of 6.3. Although he has never pitched above the Double-A level, Romano finds himself firmly in the mix for one of the three open rotation spots. Manager Bryan Price says the decision will be tough: "Is this guy ready to come up, and are we doing him and our team a service or disservice by having him make the club? From a maturity standpoint, a competitive standpoint, I don't think there's anything that's standing in his way." Either way, it seems pretty clear Romano will be pitching in Cincinnati at some point in 2017, even if it ends up not being in April.

Cleveland Indians: While Tyler Naquin's knee soreness will have him sidelined for a few more days, the Indians will finally get a look at Michael Brantley in their outfield Monday. Brantley has played in a few minor league games as he works his way back from last August's right biceps surgery. As for whether he'll be able to start the season, manager Terry Francona sounded very hopeful, saying, "We're shooting for Opening Day. Right now we're just completely going on what the medical people say. When they give him the go-ahead, we'll gladly write his name in the lineup."

Colorado Rockies: Gerardo Parra seems ready to have a comeback season. After missing 46 games last season due to a high ankle sprain, he's feeling healthy again, and the spring stats show it. So far, Parra is batting .371 and, more important, is 3-for-3 in steals. He stole six bases all of last season, in 10 tries. Manager Bud Black likes what he sees: "He's hitting the ball to all fields, and the ball is coming off hot. He's in a good spot."

Detroit Tigers: J.D. Martinez is getting a second opinion from a foot specialist in order to determine the extent of damage done to his right foot, which he sprained Saturday. While the team is remaining mum on MRI results, it certainly sounds like this may be more than just a day-to-day injury. Should Martinez need to miss a lengthy amount of time, Steven Moya would likely get the right field nod, if only because he is out of minor league options.

Houston Astros: Collin McHugh gets a second minor league start Wednesday, with an eye on his return to the Astros rotation in time for their second series of the season. "I think we'll know more once he gets to the four-inning mark," said Astros manager A.J. Hinch. "These next couple starts will be important. We'd like no rain. We'd like no hiccups. We don't have a lot of room for error. But we'll know more in the next five to 10 days." If McHugh does need to be pushed back a week or two, then both Joe Musgrove and Mike Fiers, currently competing for the No. 5 spot, could get a chance to "audition" with a start during the regular season.

Kansas City Royals: Keeping Peter O'Brien on the roster or sending him to Triple-A is going to be a tough decision for manager Ned Yost. O'Brien still has two minor league options left, and he'd likely benefit from playing every day. That said, he's hitting .341 with six home runs this spring, but perhaps more important, two of those homers came as a pinch hitter, showing his ability to come off the bench and succeed. "It's hard to go by spring training numbers, but he's been really, really good," Yost said. "He hasn't shown a huge propensity for swing and miss. He's handled all pitchers, all pitches pretty darn well."

Los Angeles Angels: Yunel Escobar is nursing a mild abdominal strain, resulting in his missing both games over the weekend. However, manager Mike Scioscia is expecting that his third baseman will be back on the field Tuesday. Offensively speaking, the hot corner has been ice cold for the Angels this spring, with none of Escobar, Luis Valbuena or Kaleb Cowart batting higher than .238.

Los Angeles Dodgers: Hoping this won't become a season-long issue, the Dodgers had to scratch Andre Ethier from Sunday's game with a sore back. Ethier had missed over a week with the injury before seeing action Friday, but now the outfielder is considering an MRI. "For a couple of days we felt he was out of the woods, but then this morning he was in there and was ready to go, but he just didn't loosen up," manager Dave Roberts said. The longer this situation lingers, the more fantasy risk the 34-year-old Ethier piles up.

Miami Marlins: Third baseman Martin Prado is going to start the season on the disabled list after suffering a strained hamstring in the World Baseball Classic. Prado was worried he might have to miss a few months, but the MRI came back with the "best-case scenario" of a Grade 1 strain, and not a muscle tear. Derek Dietrich is the probable Opening Day starter for Miami, and beyond, until Prado is back at 100 percent.

Milwaukee Brewers: Hernan Perez played every defensive position except catcher last season for Milwaukee, so his presence in the dugout is very important to manager Craig Counsell. Gone for a week to play with Venezuela in the WBC, Perez drove from San Diego to Arizona after his team's Saturday elimination so that he could play for the Brewers on Sunday -- and he went 2-for-4 with a home run and three RBIs, increasing his spring average to .348. Counsell expects Perez to "play a significant amount" during the last two weeks of March, and right on through into the regular season.

Minnesota Twins: Handling young arms is always a tricky task. Last season, the Twins attempted to stretch out 2015 No. 6 overall pick Tyler Jay to become a starter. This season, though, the organization wants Jay to go back into relief, with an eye toward having him potentially join the back end of the team's bullpen at some point this season. While Jay's becoming a starter at some point down the line is not off the table, Minnesota's vice president of player personnel Mike Radcliff says that "this is a collaborative decision to put Tyler in the best situation for success."

New York Mets: While Seth Lugo has been impressive for Team Puerto Rico in the WBC, he ha's been doing so outside of Mets' camp, where Robert Gsellman has been able to showcase his talents with his manager as an eyewitness. "This kid's not afraid of anything in any situation. He knows what he can do and he goes out and does it," Terry Collins said of Gsellman, who seems to have the inside track on the No. 5 job in the New York rotation. Lugo, still away at the WBC, should make the team as part of the bullpen.

New York Yankees: After another poor outing Sunday, the Yankees may be considering sending Luis Severino to Triple-A to start the season. "That's the million-dollar question and we're going to have to talk about it," Girardi said. "You talk about trying to finish off people's development but you also talk about winning." Last season, Severino pitched 11 games as a starter and 11 out of the bullpen. He went 0-8 with an 8.50 ERA as a starter and 3-0 with an 0.39 ERA as a reliever. Something's not clicking when he starts, and until it does, it makes little sense for the Yankees to keep him in their rotation.

Oakland Athletics: Sonny Gray is hoping that a trip to see Dr. Anthony Romeo in Chicago will give him some good news. Gray is currently expected to miss most of April with a lat strain, but if he gets the green light from Dr. Romeo, there's a chance Gray could return to the A's rotation after missing just the first two weeks of the season. "Hopefully, everything will go well and I can resume [my] throwing activity," Gray said.

Philadelphia Phillies: Manager Pete Mackanin has named Jeremy Hellickson as his Opening Day starter for the second consecutive season. Hellickson, for his part, thinks it's a mistake: "There's another guy on our staff that probably deserved it a little more than me, in my opinion. That's Eick [Jerad Eickhoff]. What he did last year was pretty remarkable for his first full year. I would love to have seen him get it. It would have been awesome but I see plenty of Opening Day starts for him in the future."

Pittsburgh Pirates: And then there were four. Pittsburgh has a quartet of pitchers still angling for the final spot in the team's rotation, and pitching coach Ray Searage says it may come down to which of them can "put a foot down and grab it." Tyler Glasnow, Drew Hutchison, Trevor Williams and Steve Brault are each expected to get one to two more outings before the team breaks camp, and it may well be what they do with those last few innings that tips the scales.

St. Louis Cardinals: His five-man rotation set, manager Mike Matheny wants his starting staff to know there's no plan to restrict anyone's workload this season: "Every one of them wants 200 [innings]. Realizing, that's something that wasn't a strong suit for us last year is something definitely on their mind. [It's] pretty sound statistically that winning teams need those guys. Starting pitchers are going to have to be horses. So that's my hope." Carlos Martinez seems on track to get the Opening Day start, with Adam Wainwright, Mike Leake, Lance Lynn and Michael Wacha (in some order) to follow.

San Diego Padres: With two open spots in the rotation, odds are good that the Padres may have to end up parting ways with at least one of the players currently competing for those jobs. The trio of Jarred Cosart, Christian Friedrich and Paul Clemens are all out of options, so if they don't make the team, they'll have to be exposed to waivers. As manager Andy Green puts it, "It'd be impossible to predict right now. ... We see value in every one of these guys, and you end up losing [Cosart or Friedrich] if you choose to not have them on your Opening Day roster."

San Francisco Giants: Mark Melancon is leaving the Giants to join Team USA for the final round of the WBC. The closer says that he would have liked to have played for the entire tournament but "I just didn't think it was appropriate. My allegiance was here. Given the time frame of spring training, I've gotten to know my teammates here and the staff, and I've gotten eight innings under my belt. At this point, it's a good bridge to the season." While pitching for the Giants, Melancon has yet to allow a run this spring.

Seattle Mariners: While they may be disappointed to have lost to Team USA, the trio of Mariners who played for the Dominican Republic are nevertheless ready to hit the ground running with their MLB team. Jean Segura (.364 in the WBC), Nelson Cruz (.300) and Robinson Cano (.300) will all be back in the Mariners lineup by midweek. "They're ready to start the season tomorrow if you could. I'm sure they'd prefer it that way," manager Scott Servais said. "Obviously these [Classic] games are high-intensity and very emotional, but I think it's important to get our guys back into a routine and in our clubhouse and ready to go."

Tampa Bay Rays: The face of the Rays is now Kevin Kiermaier, after the outfielder officially signed a six-year, $53.5 million deal with a club option. With back-to-back Gold Gloves under his belt and coming off a 12-home run, 21-stolen base season (in just 105 games), Kiermaier should probably be looked at a lot sooner in fantasy drafts than his current spot as the No. 60 outfielder by ADP.

Texas Rangers: Last Opening Day, Tyson Ross was on the mound for the Padres, but got hurt and never took the mound again in 2016. On Wednesday, Ross will throw his first live bullpen session, post-surgery. "I'm thrilled at where I'm at right now," Ross said. "It's a progression and it just takes time but I'm being patient and everything is working out." Ross is still expected to make several minor league rehab starts, but if all goes well, he could join the Rangers rotation in May.

Toronto Blue Jays: Devon Travis is finally ready to test his surgically repaired knee at second base this week in minor league action. That should be the last major hurdle for Travis, who is still expected to be ready to hit leadoff for the Blue Jays come Opening Day. "I've got to get out there [in the field] in a big league game," Travis said. "I've got to play the field. I'm not going to be a DH in the big leagues so I've got to prove to them I can play both sides of the ball and wake up the next day feeling good and ready to go ahead."

Washington Nationals: Manager Dusty Baker is worried about Daniel Murphy because his second baseman has gotten only six at-bats while playing for Team USA in the WBC, and there's not going to be a lot of time once he gets back to Washington camp. "He didn't have his stroke together when he left, can't get it sitting, and you can't get it really taking BP," Baker said. "You got to get some live pitching. ... The main thing is you can't force feed the time, because then you're risking injury." A slow start in 2017 could well end up being the result.