Mets rookie SP Matt Harvey was nasty in his big-league debut last night, striking out 11 batters in five-and-a-third scoreless innings. Before you get too fired up about Harvey’s high-octane gas, remember that he had a 3.68 ERA in 20 Triple-A starts, and walks nearly four batters per nine innings at that level. There will be bumps in the road on Harvey’s way to success.
Chris Tillman’s solid effort on Thursday raised our streaming starter record to 61-41 for the season. The weekend selections are Milwaukee’s Mike Fiers (owned in 27.1 percent of FOXSports.com leagues) today against the Nats, new Marlin Nathan Eovaldi (0.6 percent owned) on Saturday versus the popgun Padres, and Oakland’s Travis Blackley (2.7 percent owned) on Sunday in Baltimore. Blackley has been doing a nice Greg Maddux impression lately, with a 1.93 ERA and just three walks over his last 37 1/3 innings.
On to the news:
- The Yankees say that 3B Alex Rodriguez will miss eight weeks at the most. River Avenue Blues suspects that six weeks is the probable amount, and that seems reasonable. Such a timeframe would get A-Rod back on the field by about September 4. If you don’t have a DL slot available, you have my approval to waive him. It’s too late in the season to wait that long for someone.
- Did you happen to catch Starling Marte's debut for the Pirates? Hitting a homer on the first major-league pitch you ever see must be nice.
- The Brewers plan to use a closer-by-committee approach for awhile, with John Axford, Francisco Rodriguez and - are you sitting down? - Livan Hernandez in the mix. Axford is the smart choice for fantasy owners.
- Upon activating C Jonathan Lucroy, the Brewers designated George Kottaras for assignment. Kottaras bats lefty, has some pop, walks a lot, and would give the Yankees a great excuse to bench Russell Martin half the time. Maybe that's just wishful thinking on my part.
- The Phillies placed 3B Placido Polanco on the DL with a back injury. Ty Wigginton is expected to start in Polanco's place for as long as the Phils can stand his glove.
- The Padres are hoping that OF Cameron Maybin (wrist) will return to the lineup tonight, but make sure the lineup card includes his name before you start him.
- Orioles SS J.J. Hardy got hit in the ribs by a pitch on Thursday, and has a painful bruise. His status for tonight is TBD.
- Stephen Fife (4.31 ERA at Triple A this season) is Friday's probable starter for the Dodgers.
- It sounds like Twins 3B Trevor Plouffe (thumb) will return to the lineup tonight after a weeklong absence.
- As expected, the Pirates have moved Kevin Correia to the bullpen to make room in their rotation for Wandy Rodriguez.
- The Cardinals hope to get 1B Lance Berkman (knee) back in the lineup today.
- Rays 3B Evan Longoria went oh-for-three with a walk in his first - er, latest - Triple-A rehab game on Thursday. Longoria could be back with the Rays next week as a DH.
- The first thing I did after college was to take a yearlong internship with the United States Olympic Committee. I lived at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, ate at the dining hall with Olympians every day, met a lot of great people, learned more about more sports (especially weightlifting) than I ever imagined, and ended up working there for almost five years. I hope you enjoy the next 17 days as much as I do.
See you back here Monday morning.