Posted on: August 1, 2008 1:44 pm

Notes for Games Played 07/31/08

Holy trade deadline action, Batman!  Manny in La La Land, literally. Bay in Boston.  Pudge with the Yankees.  Griffey in the White Sox? While the number of trades may have been lower than past years, the impact of this year's machinations will be felt throughout the league.  On to the Game Notes!

"RHP Kyle Farnsworth, acquired from the New York Yankees for All-Star C Ivan Rodriguez, is expected to join the Tigers on Friday in Tampa Bay."  This seems inocuous, but it does not bode well for the Farns' attitude.  He was traded from New York and the Tigers played in Cleveland - that's a one hour plane ride.  The trade happened on Wednesday afternoon.  Odd how Pudge made it to New York for Thursday's game and Farnsworth is waiting until Friday.

"SS Michael Young was back in the Texas lineup after missing Wednesday night's start due to a fractured right ring finger."  I'm going to give Young credit for playing with a smashed finger, but two consecutive 0-fer performances tell me he should be either on the DL or, at least, riding the pine.  Young owners should bench him until he proves he can hit again.  I would keep him reserved until Week 19 at the earliest.

"Rangers DH Milton Bradley sat out his second straight game with a strained left quadriceps muscle. Washington said Bradley might be available to pinch hit Friday night against Toronto."  No one was shocked that the nagging injuries on Bradley finally took him out of the game.  I'm amazed he hasn't spent time on the DL.  He's going to be out from time to time, but his performance this season still warrants a place on your roster.

"Josh Hamilton was the DH for the second straight night as Washington gave the slugger another break from playing the outfield." It looks like the time at DH has done him some good.  He went 2 for 4 last night.  Keep him in your lineup.

"Guillen gave slumping 1B Paul Konerko the night off, and there could be many more of those on the way with the addition of Ken Griffey." I have no idea where Guillen is going to play Junior.  Opposing scouts say that Griffey has lost the range that made him such a dominant CF.  Guillen doesn't dare take the bat out of Jim Thome's hands.  This should be a fun one to watch.  AL-only owners are likely spending all of their free agent money on Griffey.  The money is wasted as he won't make much of an impact in Chicago.

"Alfonso Soriano finished the series 7-for-16 with two homers, three RBI and three steals."  Kicking yourself for not picking up Soriano after everyone dumped him? Yeah, me too. 

"Casey Kotchman, acquired from the Angels in the deal for Teixeira, went 0-for-4 and is hitless in nine at-bats with Atlanta." Kotchman is likely pressing - seeking to impress his new teammates.  Keep him in the lineup.  The Braves don't really have a better option.

"Philadelphia OF Shane Victorino got his eighth bunt hit of the season in the fourth, one of two infield hits he had in the game."  Victorino is having a great year.  For a roto owner, his 5x5 numbers are solid across the board. 

Streaker! "Seattle's Jose Lopez extended his hitting streak to 18 games with an eighth-inning single."

DL Update: "RHP Jose Contreras will throw five innings or 75 pitches for Triple-A Charlotte on Sunday. If all goes well, Guillen said he will pitch in Boston next weekend... Chicago 3B Joe Crede will start a rehab assignment with Triple-A Charlotte on Friday."
Posted on: July 31, 2008 2:38 pm

Notes for Games Played 07/30/08

Less work.  More baseball.  That's what I need.  On to the Game Notes!

This doesn't have any fantasy value, but I thought it was a very classy move by CC Sabathia. "Sabathia bought a full-page ad, worth $12,870, in the Cleveland Plain Dealer's Wednesday edition, thanking the fans for their 10 years of support. Sabathia was traded to Milwaukee just before the All-Star break."

"Leyland said RHP Todd Jones might go on the DL. "He told the trainer he felt something," Leyland said."  I am certain this is to give the Tigers some time to figure out what to do with Jones.  He's a worse middle-reliver than he was a closer.  I don't think we will see Todd Jones in a Tigers uniform again.

"Clint Barmes made his first career start in right field for Colorado. Barmes, a middle infielder, played five games in center in 2007. Barmes was replaced before the bottom of the seventh by Cory Sullivan and moved to second base."  This is good news for Barmes.  Anything he can do to get more playing time will benefit him and the Rockies.  Barmes carries some value as a reserve in NL-only leagues.

"Pittsburgh 2B Freddy Sanchez missed his third straight game with back spasms."  Sanchez was doing well before the back problems benched him.  If the spasms continue into the weekend, a DL trip could be in the offing. His weak hitting only warrants ownership in NL-only leagues.

"Chris Carpenter spent 270 games on the DL."  But Carpenter pitched four solid innings in his return to action. Like half of modern picthers, Carpenter is coming back from Tommy John surgery.  Carpenter could be something in the second half.  Keeper, NL-only, or dynasty teams might want to give him a look.

"The Astros acquired RHP LaTroy Hawkins and cash from the New York Yankees for minor league IF Matt Cusick."  Really?  The Yankees DFA'd Hawkins and the Astros traded for him.  If I were an Astros fan like my son, I would be pissed.  Obviously, Hawkins' 5.71 ERA does not make him a fantasy option.

"Guillen kept Paul Konerko sixth in the lineup despite a previous indication the 1B needed a mental break. After averaging .283 with 37 home runs and 105 RBI over the past four seasons, Konerko is in a bad slump. He went 1-for-4 and is 14-for-66 since coming off the DL earlier this month, dropping his average to .214. He has nine home runs and 35 RBI."  I think the Game Note author said it all.

"Dan Haren pitched at least seven innings for the eighth consecutive start." Haren continues to impress as a solid starter.  7 INN, 3 ER, 6 K, and 0 BB.  The outing slightly raised his ERA to 2.62.  I'd take it on my team...

"Johnathan Sanchez has 126 strikeouts to rank third among big league left-handers, trailing only Milwaukee's CC Sabathia (157) and Philadelphia's Cole Hamels (135)."    Sanchez has been a great find for roto owners.  His ERA is inflated at 4.61, but those K can help win a category.  Sanchez is owned in 82% of leagues.

"Slumping CF Andruw Jones, making his first start for the Dodgers since Saturday, went hitless in three at-bats with a walk." Is Andruw Jones still playing baseball?  Guess not.

DL Update: "After the game the A's optioned INF Wes Bankston and IF/OF Eric Patterson to Triple-A Sacramento. The moves were made in part to clear room for DH Frank Thomas, who is expected to be activated from the DL on Friday in time for the team's trip to Boston. Thomas, out since May 29 with right quadriceps tendinitis, faced reliever Keith Foulke in a simulated game Wednesday and afterward declared himself ready...Reds RHP Aaron Harang, out since July 8 with a strained right forearm, threw 50 pitches before Wednesday's game. Baker said Harang would throw a bullpen session on Friday and likely start a rehab assignment on Monday.

Streaker! "Torii Hunter extended his hitting streak to 12 games."
Posted on: July 29, 2008 6:09 pm

Notes for Games Played 07/28/08

My, where does the time go?  Forgive me, Father, for I have vacationed.  It has been two weeks since my last posting.  The baseball gods have answered my prayers.  Todd Jones has been removed as the Tigers closer. Thank you, flying spaghetti monster in the sky.  On to the Game Notes!

"Leyland said RHP Joel Zumaya, who left Sunday's game with tightness in his triceps, played catch and should be available Tuesday."  Zoom Zoom is the set up man for the Tigers closer Fernando Rodney.  The effectiveness of Zumaya on opposing hitters will have a direct impact on how well Rodney holds his new position.  Zumaya for his part does not have much fantasy value.

"Ryan Braun's homer was his fifth in six days and team-leading 29th this season."  In the 10 games since the All Star break, Braun has been All World.  .452 BA and a 1.000 slugging percentage with 5 HR.

"Boston 2B Dustin Pedroia failed to reach base for the first time in 30 games, going 0-for-5."  Don't feel sorry for the diminutive Red Sock.  All he's done is continue his outstanding play after the break - raising his BA to .315.  Considering how much this guy gets on base, I am surprised he does not have more steals.

"Cardinals CF Rick Ankiel missed his second straight game with a sore abdomen. La Russa doesn't know how long Ankiel will be out of the lineup, so the team recalled Nick Stavinoha from Triple-A Memphis. The club optioned reliever Mitchell Boggs to its top farm club to make room on the roster."  If the Cards are moving players around to account for Ankiel's absence in the lineup, it does not bode well for him.  Reports say he can't run or swing the bat.  While he is listed as day to day, I would not be surprised to see him put on the DL retroactively if he misses much more action.

"Willy Taveras finished with two hits and swiped his major league leading 46th base in the second inning. He has seven steals in his past seven games."  Attention roto owners:  Pick this guy up!  I'm amazed that he is owned in only 52 % of leagues. 

"The Astros activated Roy Oswalt from the disabled list before the game and optioned RHP Runelvys Hernandez to Triple-A Round Rock. Hernandez started four games and went 0-3 with an 8.38 ERA in 19 1/3 innings."  From undroppable to fantasy liability, Oswalt has not been the player many drafted this spring.  Oswalt won the outing despite giving up a two out grand slam thanks to his teammates scoring 5 runs.  With the hot Mets coming next for Oswalt, I would keep him out of the lineup.

"Josh Hamilton was 1-for-5 and is 8-for-39 since the All-Star break."  A-Rod got a ton of heat from the New York press for sitting out the beauty pagaent that is the Home Run Derby.  Hamilton became the feel good story of the millenium with his ball mashing performance.  Unfortunately, he seems to have left his bat at home plate of Yankee Stadium.

"San Diego right-hander Chris Young is scheduled to start Tuesday night, his first big league action since getting hit in the face by Albert Pujols' line drive on May 21, which broke his nose and fractured his skull."  Nice to see Young back.  Dunno if I would pick him up until he's proven there are no lingering effects from the injury.

"The results of an MRI taken on Dodgers SS Nomar Garciaparra's left knee revealed a Grade 1 sprain of the medial collateral ligament. He was injured making a tag play against Washington's Lastings Milledge on Sunday."  I'm not saying I told you so, but I told you so.  To the 36% of you who had Nomar on your team, you deserve what you got.

Streakers!  "Ken Griffey Jr has an 11-game hitting streak...Mariners second baseman Jose Lopez extended his hitting streak to 15 games with two hits."

DL Update:  "Indians C Victor Martinez, who had right elbow surgery June 13, is beginning baseball

activities. He played catch and took a few dry swings with a bat...Braves LHP Tom Glavine, out since June 11 with elbow inflammation, plans to throw 30-40 pitches in a simulated game on Wednesday."
Posted on: July 14, 2008 4:46 pm

Notes for Games Played 07/13/08

The last full day of play before the All Star break.  The Tigers are at .500 and the Cubs are tied for the best record in baseball. I'm leading my division in my 10-man H2H, 2nd place after a week of bad pitching in my 12-man roto league, and my dynasty team is sucking as usual.  All in all, it wasn't a bad first half.  On to the Game Notes!

"Kerry Wood has a blister on his right index finger. He pitched on Friday, closing out a 3-1 win over the Giants for his 24th save in 29 opportunities. Wood hopes to return Friday."  This one has me worried.  I know its only a blister, but it will affect how Wood holds the ball.  Many big league pitchers develop blister problems from too much work or when working on new pitches. All that can be done is to monitor Woods' progress later in the week.

"RHP Mike Mussina will start against Oakland on Friday, the Yankees' first game following the All-Star break. He will be followed in the rotation by RHP Joba Chamberlain, Pettitte, RHP Sidney Ponson and RHP Darrell Rasner."  Good to know.

"A's manager Bob Geren announced the A's will open the second half with a rotation of RHP Joe Blanton, LHP Greg Smith, Duchscherer, RHP Sean Gallagher and LHP Dana Eveland."  Thanks, Bob

"First baseman Kevin Youkilis left the game with a triceps contusion in the fifth inning after being hit by a pitch from Cabrera. X-rays were negative."  Youk seems to be battered nearly every week - either by his own guys or the opposition.  This doesn't sound serious and should not affect his availability after the All Star break.

Rookie Alert! "Cardinals rookie LHP Jaime Garcia, who made his major league debut as a reliever Friday, is scheduled to start Sunday vs. San Diego."  The waiver wire run for Garcia has already begun in some leagues.  Unless you have a place to stash him for the 2009 season, I would counsel against taking him.  He pitched nicely in his two innings (2 K and 1 BB), but he could not figure out his curve.  Garcia no doubt has a future ahead of him, 2008 is not it.

"Aaron Miles' five RBI were the most by a Cardinals player this season. His career high is six RBI, in 2004 against Arizona"  Miles is the Cardinals' utility guy (eligible at 2B, SS, 3B) who "done good."  He's found some steady play at 2B for the Cards and he has rewarded them with a .317 BA.  Unfortunately, he doesn't offer the fantasy owner much beyond the BA and multiple positions. 

"Chicago C A.J. Pierzynski was out of the lineup, as scheduled before he got hit on the lower left leg by a pitch and left Saturday night's game. The team said he had a bruise."  Media reports don't contradict the bruise diagnosis.  AJ should be back after the break and continue his fine season.

"Justin Duchscherer walked two batters or fewer for the 15th time in 16 starts this season." Kicking yourself for not picking him up in Week 6? Yeah, me too.

"Mike Pelfrey hasn't allowed a run in a career-best 16 innings."  The departure of the old Mets regime has done wonders for Pelfrey.  He's added his curve which his previous coach had  forbidden.  Pelfrey is still unowned in a quarter of leagues.  Expect good things from him in the second half.

Streakers! "Mike Aviles has a seven-game hitting streak... Kevin Kouzmanoff has now hit safely in 17 of his last 21 games for the Padres and is hitting .341 over that 21-game stretch with nine doubles, one triple, four homers and 12 RBI. It was his 16th three-hit or more game... Cody Ross singled in the seventh to extend his hitting streak to 17 games."

Fully clothed! "Rays OF Carl Crawford, in the worst hitless streak of his career (0-for-25), didn't play... Rays DH Willy Aybar went 0-for-3 and is in a 1-for-16 skid... Phillies C Chris Coste snapped an 0-for-24 drought with a single in the seventh."

DL Update: "Magglio Ordonez (strained oblique) will play a rehab game with Class-A West Michigan during the All-Star break, and could be back with the Tigers when they resume play Thursday in Baltimore... Alfonso Soriano is aiming to come back July 24th against the Marlins...Girardi said OF Hideki Matsui (left knee) could rejoin the team during the Oakland series that follows the All-Star break... White Sox closer Bobby Jenks begins a rehabilitation assignment Monday for Class-A Winston-Salem. He is expected to pitch for Double-A Birmingham on Wednesday and rejoin Chicago from the disabled list (bursitis near non-pitching shoulder) the first game after the All-Star break."
Posted on: July 13, 2008 2:10 pm

Notes for Games Played 07/12/08

Can't talk.  Game Notes.

"Jhonny Peralta is batting .354 (35-for-99) with 20 RBI in his last 24 games."
  In the last three weeks Peralta has ranked among the best at his position in power.  His BA hasn't been too shabby either.  Peralta has not shown consistent power and average in his big league career so this is likely only a hot streak.  Owners could do worse by picking up Peralta to temporarily replace a cold SS.

"Ben Francisco went 2-for-2 with three walks and has hit .556 (10-for-18) with five RBI in his last five games." Francisco is an infuriatingly streaky player says the voice of experience.  He appears to be starting another hot one so get him started.  Chances are, he is available in your league as well.

"Rick Ankiel is 11-for-28 (.393) with eight RBI in seven games but was lifted after turning his left ankle while batting in the seventh. The injury isn't believed to be serious, and he was removed mostly for precautionary reasons."  LaRussa will probably give Ankiel the day off and rest him through the All Star break.  Keep him reserved for the shortened All Star week.  He should be back for Week 16.

"Howie Kendrick is batting .429 (21-49) with runners in scoring position."  He's doing a whole lot more than that of late.  Kendrick is hitting .395 in July with 2 HR and 8 RBI.  The HR are an abberation since he has almost no power.  Kendrick does provide roto owners with a solid BA up the middle.  He's still availabe in about a quarter of leagues.

Streakers!  (Normally, I don't post picther data here, but this is worth talking about.) "A's RHP Brad Ziegler pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings to extend his career-opening scoreless streak to 20 1/3 innings, the longest in the majors since Toronto's Victor Cruz in 1978."

Fully clothed: "Twins OF Carlos Gomez ended an 0-for-21 streak with a fifth-inning single...Andruw Jones struck out his last four times up. "

DL Update: "Leyland said he expects OF Magglio Ordonez (oblique) and SS Edgar Renteria (hamstring) to be ready to play when the Tigers resume the season Thursday at Baltimore... DH-LF Hideki Matsui (left knee) took 55 swings at the Yankees' minor league complex in Tampa, Fla. Also working out in Tampa were RHP Phil Hughes (broken rib), who threw 25 pitches, and free-agent RHP Victor Zambrano. OF Johnny Damon (left shoulder) is scheduled to hit off a tee on Monday...Washington 3B Ryan Zimmerman, on the 15-day disabled list with a turn muscle in his left shoulder, will begin a rehabilitation assignment with Single-A Potomac in Salem, Va., on Monday. If all goes well, Zimmerman will move on to Triple-A Columbus and play Thursday through Sunday."
Posted on: July 12, 2008 9:57 pm

Notes for Games Played 07/11/08

This is my equivalent of phoning it in...  On to the Game Notes!

"Giants OF Randy Winn left the game in the third with a right knee contusion. He fouled a ball off his knee in the first. Velez replaced him. Bochy said he's day-to-day." A .286 hitter with limited power, Winn only warrants ownership in NL only leagues.

"Red Sox RF J.D. Drew was out of the lineup for a second consecutive game with a "tweaked" back. Francona said he thinks Drew will be back Saturday. CF Coco Crisp sat out with a forearm injury of unknown nature and cause."  A shocking turn of events for Drew...or not. He's had a heck of a year so far, but you had to know that given his history he would wind up hurt. 

"Zach Duke has given up 10 earned runs and 17 hits in 8 1/3 innings over his last two starts."  Duke's ERA over 4 and recent struggles should make any fantasy owner wary. He only merits ownership in the deepest of NL only leagues.

Streakers! "Cody Ross' fourth-inning single extended his career-best hitting streak to 15 games, the longest of the season by a Marlins player."

Fully clothed! "Giants OF Fred Lewis broke an 0-for-15 slump with a single in the sixth... DH Jack Cust struck out for the 18th straight game, tying Reggie Jackson's Oakland record for non-pitchers."

DL Update:  "Boston DH David Ortiz, who has been on the DL since injuring a tendon sheath in his left wrist on May 30, took some practice swings in the batting cage before the game... Indians RHP Fausto Carmona, out since May 24 with a strained left hip, is scheduled to start
a rehab assignment Monday at Class A Lake County... Rays manager Joe Maddon said RHP Troy Percival will test his strained left hamstring by throwing off the mound Saturday... Rays RHP Al Reyes (shoulder tendinitis) pitched one scoreless rehab inning for Class A Vero Beach on Thursday... Rays SS Jason Bartlett (sprained right knee) swung a bat and fielded grounders Friday, but his lateral movement still isn't 100 percent, Maddon said...Girardi said the swelling in OF Johnny Damon's injured left shoulder has gone down and that his range of motion is returning. Damon is eligible to come off the 15-day DL on July 20...OF Hideki Matsui (left knee) hit off a tee and took part in a soft toss session for the third straight day Friday and could take batting practice Saturday. Matsui is working out at the Yankees' minor league complex in Tampa, Fla... Oakland SS Bobby Crosby took batting practice before the game but remains on the DL with a strained left hamstring...A's DH Frank Thomas took 50 swings off soft tosses and is scheduled to take live batting practice when Oakland begins the second half of the season in New York on July 18... Padres right-hander Chris Young threw his second simulated game as he continues to work his way back from getting his nose broken when he was hit in the face by an Albert Pujols line drive on May 21. He'll begin a rehab assignment Wednesday night at Class-A Lake Elsinore and is still hoping to be back by late July or early August. "Physically I felt good, stuff was all right," Young said. "Overall, I was happy with the way things went. Hopefully it will keep going that way."
Posted on: July 11, 2008 11:49 am

Notes for Games Played 07/10/08

I was amazed how many "closers" did anything but close.  My personal favorite is Todd Jones. At home and the office, his name has become the most vial of epithets.  No, he has not lost his job a la Joe Borowski or Eric Gagne.  Still, you don't get the nickname of "Rollercaster" pinned on you by an octagenarian HOF broadcasting legend for no reason.  On to the Game Notes!

"Baker said the team likely will recall RHP Homer Bailey from Triple-A Louisville to start on Sunday in place of Aaron Harang, who had an MRI on Thursday that came back normal. It showed he has a strained right forearm."  There's a reason why Bailey has been sent down to the minors repeatedly.  He's not a good major league pitcher - at least not yet.  Let another owner take a chance on him.

"The Cardinals placed LHP Mark Mulder on the disabled list, one day after he left his comeback start after facing only three batters. They purchased the contract of LHP Jamie Garcia from Triple-A Memphis." Mulder's injury comes at a time when the two other contenders in the NL Central made splashy acquisitions for the second half run at the pennant.  Mulder is not accepted to return.  Garcia, who was a long term prospect for the Cards, has been rushed to the majors.  So much for his participation in the Futures game over All Star weekend.  Only take a flyer on Garcia if you have a deeper league.

"The Mariners placed 1B Richie Sexson on waivers for the purpose of giving him his unconditional release." Bye-bye, Sexy.  Bye-bye.  He's been a miserable disappointment for the M's, but don't be surprised when another team takes a chance on Sexson.

"Mariners' LHP Erik Bedard went on the disabled list with stiffness in his left shoulder retroactive to July 5." Mariners management had talked about sitting Bedard until after the All Star break.  This non-descript ailment allows them to do so and no affect their roster.  The move is more likely for appearances than for any sort of injury to Bedard.  The thinking is that some time to rest may help Bedard become the player the M's paid the big bucks for.

"Before the game, Toronto placed OF Vernon Wells (strained hamstring) on the 15-day DL. Wells, who was injured on a steal of third Wednesday, is expected to miss 4-to-6 weeks. OF Kevin Mench has been recalled from Triple-A Syracuse and will join the team Friday." Wells got paid in the off-season.  Since then he has done little to earn his money.  First came the broken wrist.  Now there's this injury.  This sounds like he will be out until September.  Mench isn't much of a replacement for Wells.  In his earlier call up with the Blue Jays, he went a very mediocre .210 with no HR and only 5 RBI in 62 AB.

Streakers! "Matt Holliday was named a starter for the NL All-Star team, replacing injured Chicago Cubs OF Alfonso Soriano. Holliday's fourth-inning single extended his hitting streak to 14 games... Florida's Cody Ross extended his career-best hitting streak to 14 games with a single in the eighth."

DL Update: Joe Maddon said RHP Troy Percival (strained left hamstring) wants to throw off the mound before the All-Star break... Rangers C Gerald Laird has gone to the minor league camp in Arizona to begin his rehab from a left hamstring strain that has kept him out of the last 18 games. The Rangers expect Laird back on July 18... An MRI on the shoulder of Blue Jays RHP Dustin McGowan revealed no further damage to a tear in his rotator cuff. McGowan is expected to miss at least four weeks."
Posted on: July 10, 2008 3:04 pm

Notes for Games Played 07/09/08

Look out for them TigersMiguel Cabrera is smacking the ball in big at bats.  Now if they can only beat the teams they are supposed to beat. On to the Game Notes!

"Josh Beckett's two strikeouts were the fewest for him since June 14 last year."  If you are a Josh Beckett owner, don't panic.  He shoudl be fine.  In fact, he's as consistent after the All Star break as he is before.  Might I suggest approaching the Beckett owner in your leage and offering a low ball trade? Its a right bastard thing to do, but all is fair in love and fantasy baseball.

"Rich Harden and Chad Gaudin, acquired in a trade from Oakland on Tuesday, joined the Cubs before the game. Harden will make his Cubs' debut against the Giants on Saturday at Wrigley Field." If you are a Harden owner, chances are he's already in your line-up.  If he's not, get him in there.  A Wrigley debut against a bad team should mean a win for Harden.

"Scott Hairston's home run eclipsed his career high of 13, set in 2004 with Arizona."  There won't be a run of waiver wire claims for Hairston, but he's having a nice streak.  Over the last six games, Hairston is hitting .550 with five HR and eight RBI.  NL-only leagues should take a look at him.

"San Diego RF Brian Giles' sore right hamstring kept him out of the starting lineup again."  This makes the fourth consecutive game that Giles has missed.  He's left two others as well with the bad hammy.  Its likely that Giles will see some time on the DL if the injury does not improve by the weekend.  Reserve the .300 hitter if you can.

"Toronto RHP Dustin McGowan has a tear in his rotator cuff and will miss at least four weeks. McGowan was placed on the 15-day DL Wednesday as Toronto recalled RHP Brian Wolfe from Triple-A Syracuse. LHP Brian Tallet will come out of the bullpen to start in McGowan's place against the New York Yankees on Sunday."  The injury to McGowan puts a fork in the Blue Jays' season.  The tear was diagnosed last seaso, but McGowan gutted it out until the pain became too much.  While the diagnosis might be four weeks, its more likely that he's done for the season.  Tallet is the spot start for McGowan.  He's had a decent year in middle relief with a 2.83 ERA, 1.34 WHIP and 2 to 1 K to BB.  Don't pick him up unless you are desperate.

"Scioscia said before Wednesday's game he also planned to keep Gary Matthews Jr. on the bench Thursday. "It's good for Gary to take a little bit of a blow and try to regroup a little bit," Scioscia said. "He's not swinging the bat to his capabilities." Matthews' average slipped to .236 after going 5-for-30 over his last 10 games."  Some places call Matthews a 4 or 5 OF.  He's playing more like a 6 OF.  He should only be owned in AL-only leagues.

"The Nationals moved RHP Chad Cordero (shoulder) from the 15-day to the 60-day DL." 10% of owners were holding out hope that Cordero would return this year.  This change in status effectively ends Cordero's season.  The good news is that the surgery was successful.  Doctors found a torn bicep in addition to the torn labrum they went into repair.

"Diamondbacks OF Justin Upton was scratched from the lineup after straining a rib cage muscle during batting practice. He is day-to-day."  Upton has been playing better since D-Back management threatened to send him to the minors.  Over his last six, he's hitting .304 with 2 HR.

"Joe Blanton leads the majors with nine home losses."  Despite this dubious honor and a 4.96 ERA, Blanton is owned in over half of leagues. The mind boggles.  Drop him.  Click the link to your league and drop him.  Do it.  I'll be right here when you come back.

"Before the game, the Rockies placed OF Ryan Spilborghs on the 15-day DL with a strained left oblique muscle. The team recalled OF Seth Smith from Triple-A Colorado Springs." Spilborghs was having a nice year after getting some consistent playing time for the Rockies.  He has decent power and hitting .314.  I hope the back injury does not affect his power when he returns.

Streakers! "Phillies LF Pat Burrell extended his hitting streak to 10 games; Ryan Howard has his at 12 games...Nick Markakis' fourth-inning single extended his hitting streak to a career-high 16 games. He finished 3-for-5 with his 14th homer... Matt Holliday singled in the first to extend his hitting streak to 13 games."

DL Update: "LF Johnny Damon (sprained shoulder) has moved his rehab program to the Yankees' minor league complex in Tampa, Fla. Hideki Matsui (knee) also is headed to Tampa and could be back with the Yankees this month."
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com