Every time the Nationals win, the potential for the Stephen Strasburg shutdown story gets just a little bigger. The Nats own baseball's best record, and we're about three weeks away from this getting to the Kristen Stewart-Robert Pattinson level, which is HUGE.
Mike Leake wasn't bad last night, but he didn't quite reach our Fantasy Quality Start criteria, so we're down to 71-45 for the season. The weekend picks are Minnesota's Cole De Vries (owned in 0.5 percent of FOXSports.com leagues) against the Rays today, Milwaukee's Marco Estrada (1.8 percent owned) at Houston on Saturday, and Pittsburgh's Erik Bedard (4.2 percent owned) against the Padres on Sunday.
On to the news:
- Are there any Blue Jays who haven't been hurt this season? 3B Brett Lawrie is on the DL with a strained oblique muscle. The move is retroactive to August 4, meaning that Lawrie could return as soon as the 19th. SS Adeiny Hechavarria will start at the hot corner in Lawrie's absence; you shouldn't expect much from him aside from maybe a few stolen bases.
- The Astros have acquired infielder Tyler Greene from the Cardinals. The always-interesting Greene is batting .218 with four homers and nine stolen bases this season, and will reportedly share time at shortstop with Marwin Gonzalez. Greene's NL-only value gets a bit of a boost here, as he hasn't been getting much playing time lately in St. Louis.
- Look for Giants 3B Pablo Sandoval to come off the DL on Sunday or Monday.
- SP Mike Fiers has been such a nice surprise for the Brewers that they might consider shutting him down to protect his arm. We could be looking at only five more starts from Fiers, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
- Has anyone besides me been getting killed by Joaquin Benoit's recent struggles?
- Through Thursday's solid start, Rays SP Matt Moore is 8-2 with a 2.93 ERA, a 1.28 WHIP and 66 strikeouts in 73 2/3 innings since the beginning of June. Young players not named Mike Trout usually require some patience.
- Brandon McCarthy returns to the mound tonight for the A's, who will face some interesting rotation decisions in the near future.
- The Cardinals are undecided on whether to give lefty Jaime Garcia one more rehab start. He's close to a return, though.
- The Padres have recalled catcher Nick Hundley. Hopefully, he'll be able to hit this time around. NL-only owners can take a shot at Hundley.
- Twins 3B Trevor Plouffe will take batting practice today, and then probably go on a rehab assignment before coming off the DL.
- Indians DH Travis Hafner is on the DL again? Good grief.
- The Astros have sent struggling OF J.D. Martinez to the minors.
- Don't be surprised if Marlins' slugger Giancarlo Stanton gets some occasional rest over the remainder of the season.
- Joey Votto's return date is still uncertain, and his hoped-for Tuesday comeback now seems unlikely. Plan to bench Votto next week unless we hear some good news over the weekend.
- Diamondbacks SS Willie Bloomquist was a late scratch on Thursday due to a recurrence of his stiff back. Try not to let this news ruin your day.
- Ten strikeouts against the Red Sox? You're such a tease, Ubaldo Jimenez.
See you back here Monday morning.