It is another Friday in the world of fantasy baseball, and the biggest news on the landscape is the return of my least favorite player in the game. Even though I have to deal with that realization, there is also a potpourri of other injury and suspension news, good and bad. Guys were leaving games left and right, the disabled list got a few players heavier on Friday, and there is very little good news to report. The hottest hitter in baseball continues to rake, and the pitcher with the longest losing streak looks to be turning it around. Finally there is news of a young player making his mark, and the worst ninth inning situation might be improving. Don't forget about the pitching streamer of the day and the rest in Rounding The Bases.
Joe Mauer returned to the Minnesota Twins lineup tonight after not playing since April 12th with a mysterious leg injury. So, a guy who was supposed to miss just two weeks ends up missing just over two months with who knows what we aren't even sure. Mauer did get right back into it and drove in a run in the game, bringing his season total to five. I don't think I need to continue to say how little I think of Mauer, and how I would take this opportunity to try to trade him while he is healthy and perhaps someone will bite.
Jonathan Papelbon was able to get his suspension reduced from three games to two for the ridiculous tirade he threw last week at an umpire. Paps began serving his sentence tonight and will also miss Saturday's game, meaning he will be good to go for the next fantasy scoring week and he should absolutely be in your lineups. Daily people, get him out tomorrow if you have another pitcher to put in his place, but be sure to get him back on Sunday.
After reporting yesterday that Tommy Hanson will miss his upcoming start with shoulder inflammation, the Braves have gone ahead and place their young ace on the 15 day Disabled List with that inflammation. There was an MRI on Hanson's shoulder which showed no structural damage, so all of us Hanson owners can exhale. Unless the news somehow changes in the next couple of days, view this as a minor injury that shouldn't keep Hanson out of the lineup more than the required two weeks.
Carl Crawford left the Red Sox game in the first inning today with a hamstring injury that he suffered rushing down the line to beat out an infield hit. Crawford walked gingerly back to first base before hunching over and showing he was injured and he left the game from there. There hasn't been any indication of if Crawford will miss any time, but we will report it to you as soon as it becomes public.
Travis Hafner was activated from the Disabled List for the first time in a month and was immediately placed in the cleanup spot in the Indians lineup as they try to inject a little life into their struggling offense. Hafner did go 1-3 with an RBI double before being lifted for a pinch runner later in the game. Hafner was among the AL leaders in batting average when he got hurt, so he should help your fantasy team as well. See if Pronk was dropped and you can afford to put him into your utility spot.
So, another guy I reported injured yesterday went on the DL today, as the Red Sox disabled Jed Lowrie. His MRI didn't show anything significant, but it was determined that he needed rest and rehab to try to get the shoulder back to where it should be. Lowrie has been a shell of the guy that took the fantasy baseball world by storm a couple of months ago. Hopefully this rest will allow him to get back to that, and doesn't allow Marco Scutaro to get most of his job back.
Shaun Marcum got touched up something awful by the Boston Red Sox and he left the mound touching something else awful as he appeared to have a groin injury. There hasn't been word yet whether he is indeed hurt,or if it was the 44 pitches and two runs that he gave up. It seems unlikely that the team would pull their most consistent starter after one bad inning, so I am waiting to hear the status of Marcum's next start.
Good Lord Adam Lind is incredibly hot. He homered for the fourth straight game and now has 15 on the season and I am URGING you to try to sell high on the guy. I know that he has had a couple of good seasons in the past, but Lind's average and his fantasy value will never be higher and while I do kind of like him Lind isn't this good and you need to try to capitalize on his amazing play and trade him away for someone better than he is.
After a historic losing streak, Blue Jays' starter Jo-Jo Reyes is all of a sudden starting to look like a viable fantasy pitcher. Is that even humanly possible? Reyes allowed just two runs over 6.1 innings, didn't walk a batter and struck out five. Funny thing what happens when you stop walking every batter that comes to the plate huh? Normally I would say that you shouldn't give Reyes a second thought, however, he was a former Braves' pitching prospect and that alone makes him at least worth a spot on your radar. In AL-only leagues I would even venture to say he is worth a pickup, and in mixed leagues I would keep an eye on his next couple of starts.
Many of you have probably not noticed that the Rockies have been starting Chris Nelson at second base for most of this month, and if you haven't you are missing perhaps a solid pickup in the middle infield. Nelson hit his first home run of the season on Friday, but has three multi-hit games in the last seven and although he hasn't been driving in a ton of runs, Nelson flashed a solid bat in the minors, including 12 homers and seven steals in 85 games at AAA Colorado Springs last season. In NL-only leagues I think Nelson is a must add, and in mixed leagues you can grab him if you missed some of the higher ranking prospects who have come up recently.
In an attempt to find an actual closer, the Los Angeles Dodgers hope to get both Hong-Chih Kuo and Kenley Jansen back from injury this weekend. Kuo had a simple mental breakdown where he was unable to find the strike zone and had to leave the team. He had a couple of really solid outings in the minor leagues and looks to be ready for Sunday. Jansen had inflammation in his shoulder but he should be ready to return on Saturday. I still like Jansen to eventually put his grips on the closer's job if I had to make a pick today, but this hodge podge mess that the Dodgers have been using at the end of games certainly isn't working. This is probably the most volatile closer situation in the majors, but hopefully one of these two men give it some stability.
Carlos Villaneuva vs. Bronson Arroyo (CIN). Villanueva had a couple of decent seasons for the Brewers a few years back, and all of a sudden he has resurfaced in Toronto as a starter and hasn't been too bad. He hasn't gone deep into games, but three of his five starts have actually been pretty good and with Adam Lind and Jose Bautista hitting the way they have I think the Jays can score some runs. On top of that add in the fact that I hate Bronson Arroyo and he is prone to getting tattooed on a regular basis, and I think Villanueva can score you a decent start.
Want to read more? Check out our Fantasy Alarm in-season fantasy baseball coverage complete with nightly fantasy baseball recaps, two start pitchers, best waiver pickups, injury reports and in-depth minor league baseball coverage.
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