MLB on FOX returns this Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET with a trio of games: Angels-Rangers, Yanks-Tigers and Cardinals-Giants. Make sure to tune in!
First pitch: FRIDAY - The Yanks and Tigers get AL action underway at 1:08 p.m. ET, while the Royals and Phillies have a 4:05 interleague tilt; SATURDAY and SUNDAY - Red Sox-Blue Jays at 1:07, Marlins-Mets a few minutes later.
Interleague DH issues: With the Royals in Philly, manager Ned Yost said that Billy Butler will be in the lineup for all three games. That means Eric Hosmer will play the outfield if he plays at all. The bet here is that the lefthanded-hitting Hosmer will play Friday and Saturday in place of RF Jeff Francoeur, and sit Sunday against tough southpaw Cole Hamels. If you own Hosmer in daily lineup league, follow Kansas City Star beat writer Bob Dutton (@Royals_Report) on Twitter to get the Royals' lineup when it's released.
Streaming starters: Dillon Gee's strong Thursday start raised our record to 3-1 for the season. The weekend picks are Oakland's Dan Straily (owned in 2.4 percent of FOXSports.com leagues) at Houston on Friday; his teammate, Bartolo Colon (1.1 percent owned), on Saturday; and Baltimore's Jason Hammel (24.8 percent owned) against the Twins on an ace-filled Sunday.
On to the news:
- One bad outing by Phil Coke (which really wasn't that bad) caused the Tigers to resign former closer Jose Valverde to a minor-league contract. Before you write off the other guys in the Tigers' bullpen, remember that Valverde stunk last season, and might not be much better now. If you have a deep bench that Valverde can be stashed on, grabbing him with a minor investment isn't a terrible idea. However, my bet on Al Alburquerque - while slightly lower than it was yesterday - still stands, though things may change if Valverde pitches well in the minors. We'll know one way or the other by May 5, which is when Valverde can opt for his release if the Tigers don't call him up.
- Orioles snake-bitten 2B Brian Roberts left Thursday's game with an injured hamstring, and will get an MRI today. The O's website reports that the moderately speedy Alexi Casilla - who stole a base after Roberts exited - will get the "bulk of the playing time" during Roberts' absence.
- Cubs SP Matt Garza threw 25 pitches off a mound on Thursday, and is still targeting a May return.
- Yankees SP Hiroki Kuroda (finger) hopes to make his next scheduled start on Monday, but watch the news over the weekend before committing to him.
- Yankees 1B Mark Teixeira, who is eyeing a May 1 return from his wrist injury, is working hard to stay off the DL in the future. Teixeira hasn't swung a bat since the injury, so that timetable may be optimistic.
- Blue Jays OF Jose Bautista expects to play today after twisting his ankle on Thursday.
- Mets SP Shaun Marcum has been temporarily shut down due to nerve inflammation in his neck. If you own Marcum, make alternate plans for next week, at least.
- With Scott Kazmir hurt, top prospect Trevor Bauer will make his first start for the Indians on Saturday. As talented as Bauer is, remember what he showed last season: Lots of talent, lots of walks.
- Dodgers SP Chad Billingsley is expected to come off the DL to start Wednesday against the Padres.
- Marlins 1B Casey Kotchman is headed to the DL with a hamstring injury. Look for Greg Dobbs to get a lot of playing time in Kotchman's absence, and make sure to stream starters against the Marlins when you can.
- Cubs closer Carlos Marmol walked another tightrope on Tuesday, giving up two runs on three hits and a walk while hanging on for the save. It's only a matter of time before Kyuji Fujikawa takes over.
See you back here Monday morning.