Sunday was a busy news day in baseball, headlined by Kevin Youkilis' trade to the White Sox in exchange for utilityman Brent Lillibridge and SP Zach Stewart. Youkilis has been affected by injuries over the past three seasons, but his numbers last year were still OK (.833 OPS, 17 HR in 120 games). He's been in and out of the Red Sox lineup this year, which could be a reason for his inconsistency at the plate.
I know we can't quantify the "chip on his shoulder" effect, but if I was scuffling along with a mediocre third baseman in a standard mixed league, I'd take a shot at Youkilis if he's available (he's owned in 65.3 percent of FOXSports.com leagues). He's injury-prone, but not far removed from being a very good hitter. His new home ballpark won't hurt, either.
Lillibridge's status doesn't really change from solid, speedy AL-only OF/1B, and the mediocre Stewart will start at Triple A. The biggest effect of this deal will be on Will Middlebrooks (33.5 percent owned), who is now the everyday third baseman in Boston, and should be owned in all formats even if he's not going to keep hitting .326 all season long (he's had some help from the BABIP fairy). Finally, you won't be seeing much more of Orlando Hudson or Brent Morel (currently on the DL) in Chicago this season.
Clayton Richard had a decent start for us on Friday, Wei-Yin Chen was acceptable on Saturday, and Edinson Volquez shut out the Mariners over 6 2/3 innings on Sunday. With the streaming starter record up to 49-33 for the season, today's pick is the resurgent Francisco Liriano (22.8 percent owned) against the White Sox, while Tuesday's selection is underrated Met Dillon Gee (10.5 percent owned) versus the awful Cubs.
On to the rest of the news:
- Since you've been asking - and asking, and asking, and asking - Diamondbacks SP Trevor Bauer appears ready to make his big-league debut on Thursday, with Joe Saunders on the DL due to shoulder inflammation. The 21-year-old Bauer has big-time talent, but his shaky walk rate (20 BB in 42 IP at Triple A) is cause for concern in the short term. Taking a chance on Bauer in a standard mixed league isn't a bad idea, but don't cut anyone good to get him, and don't expect dominance right away.
- Red Sox SP Clay Buchholz is on the DL with a gastrointestinal issue. He should be back in a couple of weeks.
- With Matt Capps apparently headed for the DL with a shoulder issue, Glen Perkins (1 percent owned) is the Twins' likely interim closer, even if Jared Burton got Sunday's save. Perkins and many other interesting players are mentioned in this week's edition of Free Agent Frenzy.
- Chase Utley might make his 2012 debut for the Phillies as soon as Wednesday. Utley is already owned in 72.6 percent of FOXSports.com leagues, and his effectiveness upon returning is not guaranteed.
- Flamethrowing Bobby Parnell will be the Mets' closer while Frank Francisco (oblique) is on the DL. Come on, Parnell - take the job. Francisco is excruciating to watch.
- Tigers closer Jose Valverde (wrist) should be ready to pitch again tonight or tomorrow.
- The Blue Jays have recalled 1B Adam Lind from Triple A, but he'll probably sit against lefties. Lind was mashing (eight HR, 1.120 OPS in 31 games) at Las Vegas, but doesn't everyone do that?
- Look for Anthony Rizzo to become a permanent fixture in the Cubs' lineup tonight or tomorrow. There's a lot to like about Rizzo, but someone asked me in a chat last week if Rizzo is a "must-add," and I said no. He's 22, for crying out loud. Unless you're Bryce Harper or Mike Trout, there are often bumps in the road.
- Brandon McCarthy's troublesome right shoulder has landed him back on the DL.
- Ryan Zimmerman had a cortisone shot in his shoulder over the weekend, and plans to keep getting them all season in an effort to stay in the lineup and off the DL. This seems like a lost season for Zimmerman, doesn't it?
- Rangers SP Matt Harrison left his Sunday start due to back tightness, but isn't expected to miss any time. Teammate Derek Holland probably won't come off the DL before the All-Star break.
- Astros 2B/short guy hero Jose Altuve is day-to-day with a hamstring injury. It doesn't sound serious.
- Look for DH Luke Scott to come off the DL for the Rays later this week.
- The Padres have sent SP Anthony Bass (shoulder) to the DL, and will be without 1B Yonder Alonso (knee) for at least tonight's series opener against the Astros.
- Jeff Karstens returns to the Pirates' rotation tonight after a two-month DL stint. Karstens isn't that great, but he's somehow available in your NL-only league, snatch him up.
- Gee, Michael Fiers is pitching well for the Brewers.
- The Reds expect to activate OF Drew Stubbs from the DL today.
- Mike Minor might be running out of chances to stay in the Braves' rotation. That'll happen when you have a 6.14 ERA.
See you back here tomorrow morning.