The Astros, Marlins and Cubs were all shut out on Wednesday. That's your 2013 streaming starter strategy in a nutshell, folks.
Who's off today: Astros, Rangers, Brewers, Cardinals, Dodgers, Padres, Giants, Rockies
First pitch: Angels-Reds and Cubs-Pirates both start at 12:35 p.m. ET, so get those lineups in early.
Interleague DH issues: The Angels will post their lineup later this morning, and I wonder if Peter Bourjos will get a start over Mark Trumbo today. I'll tweet this news when I see it.
Streaming starters: Paul Maholm's strong outing raised our record to 2-1. Today's pick is Dillon Gee (owned in 1.5 percent of FOXSports.com leagues) versus the Padres, while Friday's selection is Oakland's Dan Straily against - you guessed it - the Astros. Straily was leading the minor leagues in strikeouts before getting called up last August, and is mostly a matchup-based choice here.
On to the news:
- Red Sox DH David Ortiz (Achilles') is tentatively scheduled to play an extended spring training game on Monday, and manager John Farrell said Ortiz would probably need 25-30 at bats before being activated. The week of April 15 appears to be the target. In other Sox' news, SS Stephen Drew (concussion) could be back in the lineup on Monday.
- Roy Halladay's poor Wednesday outing has most of his owners panicking, but his velocity was reportedly fine, and he struck out nine batters. Don't quit on him just yet.
- Yankees SP Hiroki Kuroda left Wednesday's game after being hit in the middle finger with a line drive. The early diagnosis was a bruise, and we should know more today.
- Tigers closer committee chair Phil Coke got no help from his outfield while blowing a save against the Twins on Wednesday. To repeat: Coke will get some saves while Jim Leyland mixes and matches in the ninth inning, but when Leyland picks a guy, Coke won't be that guy. In related news, I grabbed Al Alburquerque for $4 in an AL-only auction last night.
- So, Matt Harvey ... wow.
- Brewers closer John Axford blew up again last night, and has allowed three homers in his first two appearances. The Brew Crew isn't making any changes yet, but keep Jim Henderson on your radar. Also, Rotowire's Derek VanRiper tweeted last night that hard-throwing minor leaguer Michael Olmsted could be a saves candidate in the second half of the season if things don't work out with Axford. Olmsted whiffed 92 batters in 59 1/3 innings as a Red Sox farmhand last season.
- Speaking of VanRiper, he joined me on Wednesday's Fantasy 15 podcast, during which we discussed Trevor Rosenthal, Yu Darvish, Chris Carter and more. It would make me really, really happy if you subscribed to the Fantasy 15 on iTunes.
- Tim Lincecum's Wednesday line: Three hits, seven walks, four strikeouts and zero earned runs in five innings. Um ...
- In other Giants' news, 1B Brandon Belt sat out again due to an illness. Hopefully, he'll be back in action Friday.
- Here's an update on D-backs OF Adam Eaton, who's targeting an early-to-mid May return from an elbow injury.
- I know, I know - you've been on the edge of your seat waiting for news on Scott Kazmir's status for Saturday. Kazmir has been scratched with what sounds like an oblique-ish injury, but it doesn't appear serious.
- This article says that the Cubs "won't show much patience" with closer Carlos Marmol's control issues. So all he has to do is throw strikes, right? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
- Cardinals 3B David Freese will begin a rehab assignment today with his eye on a Monday return.
See you back here tomorrow morning.