Did I really see Clint Eastwood talking to an empty chair before I went to sleep last night?
Thanks to Carlos Villanueva, whose six shutout innings made this blog look smart for picking him yesterday. With the streaming starter record up to 85-53, the weekend selections are Mike Minor (owned in 12.8 percent of FOXSports.com leagues) against the Phillies tonight, Oakland's Brett Anderson (24.4 percent owned) against the Red Sox on Saturday, and Bronson Arroyo (17.4 percent owned) versus the Quad-A Astros on Sunday.
On to the news:
- The return date of Joey Votto is a bit of a mystery. The Reds' website reports that the plan is to activate Votto from the DL on Saturday, but Cincinnati Enquirer beat writer John Fay tweeted last night that he wouldn't be surprised if the team waited until Monday to make the move. With 40-man rosters starting tomorrow, there's nothing to stop the Reds from making the move anytime, but Votto's playing time is in question. With an 8.5-game lead in the NL Central and a versatile Todd Frazier on the roster, they're likely to ease Votto back in. For starters, don't start Votto until you see his name in the lineup.
- Sergio Romo got a one-out save with a four-run lead for the Giants last night. Aren't committees fun?
- Cardinals SS Rafael Furcal will have an MRI today on his injured elbow, and there's some worry that his season could be over. Look for gloveman Daniel Descalso to step in during Furcal's absence.
- Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez will begin a minor-league rehab assignment today, and hopes to return to the lineup next week.
- The Dodgers don't yet have a prognosis on closer Kenley Jansen (irregular heartbeat), but according to the Los Angeles Times, Brandon League and Ronald Belisario will be the closer candidates during Jansen's absence. League pitched the ninth inning last night with the team losing, and Belisario got Wednesday's save, so you'd have to give Belisario a slight edge if you're hunting for saves.
- Nationals manager Davey Johnson said Thursday that ace Stephen Strasburg has "two or three" starts remaining. If it's three, Strasburg's season would likely end on September 12. Start getting your backup plan ready to launch if you own Strasburg.
- Twins OF Denard Span is back on the DL with a shoulder injury, and his season is probably over. Ben Revere took Span's place in center field on Thursday, with the unimpressive Chris Parmelee playing right. Matt Carson (.282 BA, 14 HR, 9 SB at Triple A this season) will be recalled and projects to get a decent amount of playing time, but at age 31 he could quickly fall behind a younger guy on the depth chart.
- The Giants and Cubs play a 2:20 p.m. ET matinee today at Wrigley Field. Set your lineups accordingly.
- Astros SS Marwin Gonzalez is day-to-day with a sprained ankle. I'd like to extend my heartfelt sympathies to Gonzalez's three or four fantasy owners.
- Man, does Royals manager Ned Yost love Jarrod Dyson.
- First base for the Rays is now a timeshare between Carlos Pena, Luke Scott and Jeff Keppinger. Pena earned this demotion by batting .188 and striking out every time up.
- You'll see plenty of players called up after rosters expand tomorrow - including Rangers' super prospect Jurickson Profar - but that doesn't mean they'll all play very much. We'll note any important callups in this space as they happen.
See you back here Monday morning.