Did you see the story about the snow cone vendor at Minute Maid Park? Unreal. They should have fired him, rehired him, and fired him again.
First pitch: The Cubs and Pirates begin the National League day at 12:35 p.m. ET, while O's-Jays gets AL action underway at 7:07. There are only five games today, so you might need your bench.
Interleague DH issues: None.
Streaming starters: Julio Teheran had a strong outing on Monday, Jose Fernandez was fine on Tuesday, and perennial tease Francisco Liriano was lights-out again (versus the Cubs, mind you) last night. We're up to 33-16 on the season, and I still don't trust Liriano or his 1.00 ERA.
Today's pick is the improving Rick Porcello (owned in 6 percent of FOXSports.com leagues) against the Twins. Porcello has a 3.24 ERA over his last four starts, with 24 strikeouts against five walks in 25 innings. Friday's selection is Bronson Arroyo (22.2 percent owned) versus the Cubs.
On to the news:
- It's tough to see a good fantasy power-speed guy lose his job because of real-life struggles, but that's what happened last night to Rockies 2B Josh Rutledge, who has been demoted to Triple A. Speedy DJ LeMahieu takes over at the keystone in Colorado, and can be considered in leagues deeper than standard mixed if you need steals. OF Michael Cuddyer has been activated from the DL to take Rutledge's roster spot.
- Elite prospect Kevin Gausman will join the Orioles' rotation tonight against the Blue Jays. Gausman had a 3.11 ERA, a 1.06 WHIP and 49 strikeouts against just five walks in 46 1/3 innings at Double A. He's talented, polished, highly regarded ... and 22 years old, so there will probably be bumps in the road. Gausman will also probably be shut down somewhere between 160-180 innings, so keep that in mind if you pick him up in a deep mixed or AL-only league (he should be owned in all keeper/dynasty formats). For your reading pleasure, here's a positive scouting report on Gausman from FanGraphs' JD Sussman. I'm excited to see this guy, even if his fantasy value lies mostly in the long term.
- Phillies 2B Chase Utley will have an MRI today to determine the extent of his side (or rib or oblique) injury. A DL stint is possible.
- Diamondbacks OF Adam Eaton (elbow) has had a setback in his rehab, and will have an MRI today. It might not be serious, so keep your fingers crossed and keep Eaton stashed for now.
- Speaking of setbacks, Angels RP Ryan Madson (elbow) had one as well. His stash status depends on the depth of your bench or number of DL slots, but waiting on closers is often disappointing. Ernesto Frieri's shakiness will always be the reason to consider keeping Madson. Let's give him a little more time if we can, OK?
- Giants SP Ryan Vogelsong is expected to miss 6-8 weeks after breaking his pitching hand Monday. You probably knew that already, since it happened during my two-day blog hiatus.
- Barring any setbacks, look for Angels SP Jered Weaver to come off the DL early next week.
- Yankees SP Hiroki Kuroda left Wednesday's game after getting hit in the back of the leg with a come backer, but is expected to make his next start.
- Andre Ethier might not stay benched forever, but even if he plays he's expendable enough to cut in standard mixed leagues.
- In Twins' news, 3B Trevor Plouffe is on the seven-day concussion DL, while struggling SP Vance Worley has been sent to the minors. WBC standout Samuel Deduno will join the Twins' rotation Friday, but I'm not buying.
- As feared, Cardinals SP Jaime Garcia (shoulder surgery) is done for the season.
- John Danks makes his 2013 debut on Friday against the Marlins. I thought about making him the streaming pick, but he didn't pitch all that well in his rehab starts.
- Fernando Rodney blew another save last night. Just thought you'd want to know in case Joel Peralta is still in your free-agent pool.
- A's SS Jed Lowrie (foot) hopes to return to the lineup on Friday.
- Ike Davis, still a major leaguer.
- Brewers SP Kyle Lohse (sore elbow) will skip a start. Mike Fiers takes Lohse's spot on Saturday.
- Look for Indians OF Nick Swisher (paternity leave) to be back in the lineup on Friday. Congrats to the Swishers!
- So, the Marlins are going with a closer committee, huh? Mike Dunn? Chad Qualls? I guess, if you're desperate in a deep league. They're fine as NL-only options. I'd probably bet on Steve Cishek over both guys, though.
- Red Sox OF Shane Victorino is day-to-day with a hamstring injury. It doesn't sound like he'll play tonight, but a DL stint isn't on the table yet.
- It's chat day! Be there at 2 p.m. ET.
See you back here tomorrow morning.