Let's give Diamondbacks SP Trevor Bauer a pass for his major league debut last night, since a groin cramp helped to cut his outing short at four innings and 74 pitches. I feel like I need to see Bauer again to form more of an opinion.
Thanks for nothing, Wei-Yin Chen. With the streaming starter record at 50-35, the weekend selections are Jake Arrieta (owned in 6.6 percent of FOXSports.com leagues) tonight against the Indians, the improving Luke Hochevar (3.6 percent owned) at Minnesota on Saturday, and the surging Francisco Liriano (25.8 percent owned) against the Royals on Sunday. Liriano has a 2.41 ERA over his last six starts, with 40 strikeouts against 14 walks in 37 1/3 innings. Liriano has burned me many times in the past, but this run is hard to ignore. If Liriano isn't available in your league, Cubs SP Travis Wood (0.3 percent owned) against the Astros is an interesting alternative.
On to the news:
- On this relatively slow day for fantasy news, let's get started with Red Sox OF Jacoby Ellsbury, who is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment tonight. Assuming that there are no setbacks, we're less than three weeks away from Ellsbury's return to the Sox' lineup, and to yours.
- In other Red Sox news, the team will use a six-man rotation through the All-Star break, with Josh Beckett scheduled to come off the DL to start on Saturday.
- Dodgers OF Andre Ethier (oblique) will apparently avoid the DL, but he's day-to-day and should be avoided until you know he's playing.
- You might not see Astros 2B Jose Altuve (hamstring) until Sunday or Monday. The "Short Guy" position on my roster might have to stay inactive for the weekend.
- Scheduling note: The Cubs and Astros play a matinee (2:20 p.m. ET) today, so set your lineups accordingly. If you've never been to a Friday afternoon game at Wrigley Field, add it to your baseball bucket list.
- Not bad, Andrew Cashner. Not bad at all.
- Ryan Howard had two hits and three RBI in his first rehab game last night, but more importantly, he came through it healthy. Also, his game jersey was auctioned off for $4,900. I hope there was a great charity involved, because otherwise, who would buy Howard's Lakewood BlueClaws jersey for that much money?
- Orioles OF Nick Markakis (hand) probably won't return before the All-Star break. Have I told you the story about trading Markakis ($24 salary) to my buddy Matt over the winter in my AL keeper league, only to have Matt tell me a week later that he thought he had dealt for Mike Moustakas ($5)?
- How awesome is Braves' closer Craig Kimbrel? The homer he allowed last night to Chris Young was the first he's given up this season, and only the fourth over 126 2/3 innings in his career.
- Reds 2B Brandon Phillips (dizziness) was scratched last night, and his status for tonight is TBD.
- In case you haven't heard, the Rockies are planning to use a four-man rotation for awhile, with each starter having a 75-pitch limit. If you simply pretend that Rockies' pitchers don't exist for fantasy purposes, this won't affect you.
- Indians DH Travis Hafner (knee) might be ready to come off the DL on Monday.
- Yankees RP David Robertson thinks he should have started the ninth inning last night. So, apparently, does his wife. Sometimes, people need to "just say no" to Twitter.
- Pirates OF Jose Tabata is in danger of being sent to Triple A.
- Martin Perez might get his first major league start on Saturday for the Rangers. The 21-year-old southpaw has plenty of ability, but has struggled in Triple A over the last two seasons. Unless you're desperate in an AL-only league or play in a keeper format, don't bother with Perez.
See you back here Monday morning.