The most interesting news today is that the Red Sox are putting Daniel Bard back in the bullpen, at least for a day or two. With Bard's scheduled Sunday night start getting rained out, he'll be skipped so that Josh Beckett and Jon Lester can stay on their regular turns.
According to the Boston Globe, Bard will be available to relieve tonight and possibly tomorrow, and then make his next start on Friday. The Boston Herald suggests that the writing is on the wall for Bard's full-time return to the beleaguered Red Sox 'pen, and it's hard to disagree with that. If Bard happens to whiff a couple of batters tonight, it'll be difficult for Bobby Valentine to stop this freight train, even if it might be in the team's best long-term interest to leave Bard in the rotation. Everyone north of New Haven will be clamoring for Bard to close, right? As a fan of Red Sox chaos, I can't wait to see if Bard pitches tonight. As a fantasy analyst, I'd recommend grabbing Bard (owned in 12 percent of FOXSports.com leagues) ASAP.
As for the weekend streaming starter selections, Edinson Volquez didn't quite meet our Fantasy Quality Start criteria on Friday, Blake Beavan was just so-so during Philip Humber's perfect game on Saturday, and Erik Bedard was good enough on Sunday. This season's record is now 13-8, and today's pick is Dodger lefty Chris Capuano (4 percent owned) at home against the Braves. Capuano's K/BB ratios always make me smile.
On to the rest of the news:
- Rangers 3B Adrian Beltre says that he doesn't expect his strained hamstring to land him on the DL, but he'll probably miss a few games. With the DL still a possibility, you might want to bench Beltre this week if you have a decent backup. He'll have an MRI today.
- The Nationals expect 3B Ryan Zimmerman (shoulder) to return to the lineup on Tuesday. Zimmerman was scratched on Saturday, and the Nats had a rainout on Sunday.
- The Red Sox have acquired OF Marlon Byrd from the Cubs. Byrd has modest power with hardly any speed, but does carry a .278 career batting average. Byrd will probably play every day while Carl Crawford and Jacoby Ellsbury are out, but when the first of that pair (probably Crawford) returns, he'll battle with Cody Ross and Ryan Sweeney for playing time. Byrd (1.7 percent owned) is an AL-only target, and can provide short-term production in deeper mixed leagues as well.
- Cubs SP Ryan Dempster is on the DL with a quad injury. He should only miss a couple of starts.
- The Giants and Mets will play a doubleheader in Queens today beginning at 4:10 p.m. ET. Get your hitters from those teams in your lineup.
- Indians SS Asdrubal Cabrera, who has missed the last six games due to a death in his family, will be back in the lineup on Tuesday.
- Rookie SP Jarrod Parker will make his first start for the A's on Wednesday. Parker (2.18 ERA in four Triple-A starts this season) is a very good prospect, but there are usually bumps in the road for any rookie starter. Parker is a decent AL-only target, and should be owned in keeper leagues if he isn't already.
- White Sox OF Alejandro De Aza has three home runs, two stolen bases, 14 runs scored and an .869 OPS in 15 games. He's owned in 30.4 percent of FOXSports.com leagues. You know what to do.
- Speaking of guys to pick up, here's a link to this week's edition of Free Agent Frenzy.
- Nationals manager Davey Johnson says that he's sticking with his co-closer arrangement, so Brad Lidge and Henry Rodriguez will continue to alternate days. Rodriguez has more dominant stuff at this point and hasn't allowed a run yet in 2012, while Lidge blew a save with a three-walk inning on Saturday. However, Rodriguez has walked six batters in seven-and-one-third innings after issuing 45 free passes in 65 2/3 innings last season. Expect lots of inconsistency here.
- Drew Smyly's 1.13 ERA is definitely part smoke and mirrors, but I'd give him a try in AL-only leagues.
- The Cardinals aren't sure how long OF Jon Jay's sprained right shoulder will keep him out of the lineup.
- Giants 2B Freddy Sanchez (shoulder) will begin a rehab assignment tonight, and if all goes well he could return to the lineup in less than two weeks. If Sanchez possessed any fantasy-friendly skills, this would be good news.
- The A's have claimed former Twin Luke Hughes off the waiver wire, and will put him in the mix for playing time at third base. Hughes hit 11 homers between Triple A and the majors last season. AL-only owners, take note.
- Mets manager Terry Collins said Sunday that Frank Francisco is still his closer. Frankie Frank has been shaky lately, and Collins yanked him in the middle of an inning on Saturday.
- It sounds like the Twins are fed up with Francisco Liriano, and might send him to the bullpen or the minors. Either move would be well-deserved, as would making Liriano wash the car of every fantasy owner whose season he's wrecked over the last few years.
- Mark Trumbo played first base for the Angels on Sunday, with Albert Pujols at DH and Kendrys Morales on the bench. Please trade someone!
- Brandon Phillips' hamstring is still hurting, but he's expected to be in the Reds' lineup on Tuesday.
- Reliever Wade Miley will start tonight for the Diamondbacks due to Daniel Hudson's absence. Don't expect too much from the lefty.
See you back here tomorrow morning.