Because of Tuesday's MLB All-Star Game, the blog will be a bit different this week. We'll do the usual notes today, look at some interesting second-half players on Tuesday and Wednesday, and use Thursday to start previewing the short week ahead before the schedule resumes on Friday.
Tommy Milone had a strong outing on Friday, Dillon Gee shut down the Cubs on Saturday, and Zach McAllister's unearned runs weren't our problem on Sunday. The strong weekend helped us close out the first half with a 56-39 streaming starter record; we'll have more picks starting on Thursday.
On to the news:
- Things are interesting in Miami, where OF Giancarlo Stanton is expected to miss 4-6 weeks following knee surgery. Look for Justin Ruggiano to get plenty of playing time in Stanton's place.
- In other Marlins' news, Heath Bell might get demoted this week, so Steve Cishek is probably your free-agent target (though Juan Carlos Oviedo - formerly Leo Nunez - will enter the picture soon). Also, OF Emilio Bonifacio should come off the DL on Friday, and we're going to gloss over Hanley Ramirez's stupid injury, because he's expected to be fine by Friday.
- The Rays said over the weekend that they don't expect 3B Evan Longoria (hamstring) to come off the DL until August.
- Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe tweeted this morning that Red Sox OF Jacoby Ellsbury will go to Tampa Bay this weekend, "presumably to play." I don't know that I'd activate Ellsbury if my lineup deadline was today, but be ready to do so if you can wait until later in the week.
- In other Red Sox news, OF Carl Crawford isn't too far away from coming off the DL, but he'll probably need Tommy John surgery on his elbow at some point. Crawford might be able to play through the issue, and I'd try to pick him up if available when he returns to action. He's a risk, though.
- Braves SS Andrelton Simmons broke his hand while sliding into second base on Sunday, and his prognosis is TBD. He'll be out for awhile.
- The Padres expect SP Andrew Cashner to miss a month due to a strained lat muscle.
- Tim Lincecum ... oof. I think he'll get better, but a return to ace-level status is a long way off. In a 10-team league, I can see cutting him. If you want to contact me with "Lincecum or __________?" questions offline, Facebook and Twitter are the best places to do so.
- If you need to set weekly lineups today, MLB.com's schedule page already has most of the probable starters for this weekend. I don't mean to be lazy, but I don't think you want to see 30 different links to articles like "Gee to open second half for Mets."
- Tigers OF Delmon Young has homered in four consecutive games, giving him 10 home runs for the season. I'll go with "sell high" instead of "pick him up" in the wake of this mini-streak.
- A's OF Yoenis Cespedes left Sunday's game due to a sprained left thumb, but he hopes to be ready to go on Friday.
- The Yankees expect CC Sabathia (groin) to come off the DL and start on July 17.
- John Axford is still the closer in Milwaukee ... for now.
- The Astros have sent 3B Matt Dominguez to the minors. Dominguez spent four games with the 'Stros after being acquired in the Carlos Lee trade, and could be back soon if Brett Wallace doesn't produce at first base. If Dominguez hits in the minors, Chris Johnson could be moved to first base, where he played all weekend.
- Even with Scott Rolen healthy (for now), a change seems to be underway at third base for the Reds. Coincidentally, this week's edition of Free Agent Frenzy recommends picking up Todd Frazier.
- The Orioles hope to get OF Nick Markakis (wrist) back in the lineup this weekend after a six-week absence.
- Diamondbacks SP Joe Saunders is penclied in to come off the DL for a Saturday start.
See you back here tomorrow morning.