You know what's gotten off to a hot start? Our daily streaming pitcher selections. Chris Capuano's nifty - yes, I said "nifty" - outing last night raised the 2012 record to 7-1. To refresh your memories, here's the criteria we came up with a few years ago for "Fantasy Quality Starts:"
- FOXSports.com fantasy ownership below 40 percent (with occasional exceptions)
- Minimum 5 IP
- Must reach at least two of the following benchmarks: 4.00 ERA/1.30 WHIP/4 K/Win
Seasonal records since these daily picks have started are as follows:
2009: 103-95 (.520)
2010: 103-71 (.592)
2011: 108-65 (.624)
Tonight's pick is Miami's Ricky Nolasco (12.8 percent owned) against the terrible Astros. Saturday's choice is Seattle's Hector Noesi (0.2 percent owned) at home versus the A's, while Sunday's selection is impressive White Sox southpaw Chris Sale (16.5 percent owned) against the Tigers.
On to the news:
- Nationals OF Michael Morse has reaggravated his lat strain, and will go into "total shutdown mode" for the next six weeks, according to the Washington Post. Six weeks from yesterday is May 24, and you have to think it will take Morse close to another month after that to get back in baseball shape. The Nats say that Morse's extended absence won't hasten the promotion of phenom Bryce Harper, but that could change. For now, NL-only owners should gauge the availability of Rick Ankiel, who might come off the DL as soon as tomorrow.
- Reminder: Cardinals 1B Lance Berkman is expected to miss the weekend series against the Cubs due to a strained calf muscle. Bench Berkman if you have him.
- Six afternoon games are on tap today, with Angels-Yankees getting things started at 1:05 p.m. ET. Set your lineups early.
- The status of Mets 3B David Wright (fractured pinkie) is still uncertain, with the team reiterating on Thursday that he can resume baseball activities "as tolerated," whatever that means. Wright might play tonight, and he might end up on the DL. Don't put him in your lineup until you're sure the Mets are ready to put him in theirs.
- While the Indians' signing of OF Johnny Damon isn't quite official, it's expected to be confirmed shortly, according to FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal. Damon said yesterday that he should be ready to play in a week or so. This is a bigger deal in real life than it is for fantasy owners, as Damon could wind up in a platoon with Shelley Duncan. Damon had 16 homers and 19 stolen bases last season for the Rays, but due to playing time concerns, he's not a great option in standard mixed leagues. Damon could be useful to those in deeper mixed formats or AL-only leagues, though.
- Ted Lilly (neck) is ready to come off the DL, and is listed as the Dodgers' probable starter for Saturday. Lilly is owned in just 3.9 percent of FOXSports.com leagues, and is worth a mixed-league pickup if you need to fill a hole.
- SS Jed Lowrie will come off the DL and make his Astros' debut tonight. Lowrie also qualifies at third base in most fantasy formats, and should provide solid production. I own Lowrie in a 14-team mixed league, and plan to start him sometimes.
- Mike Adams saved yesterday's win for the Rangers because the team was resting Joe Nathan after two consecutive appearances. Manager Ron Washington insists that Nathan is still his closer.
- The weekend status of Rays' catcher Jose Lobaton is TBD due to a shoulder injury.
- Padres OF Carlos Quentin (knee) will take batting practice this weekend, and could come off the DL before the end of the month.
- Brandon Belt was held out of the Giants' lineup on Thursday. He's played in four of the team's first six games. Remember when I wrote earlier this week that I don't trust Bruce Bochy to play Belt often enough?
- A's SP Brett Anderson, who had Tommy John surgery last season, is on track to return in mid-July.
- Attention, Mariano Rivera owners: If at any time during the season you start to worry about The Greatest Closer Ever, just read this excellent Deadspin piece. People have been writing him off for a loooong time.
- Jerome Williams is officially the Angels' fifth starter, and will start Sunday against the Yankees. Um ... yoo-hoo?
- Orioles OF Adam Jones might be ready to steal more bases this season.
See you back here Monday morning.