Good morning, Clayton Kershaw owners. Don't panic when you see last night's boxscore. Your ace left after three innings due to a stomach flu. He'll be fine.
Erik Bedard had a strong outing against Roy Halladay to start the streaming pitcher selections on a positive note. The weekend picks are:
Friday: Baltimore's Jake Arrieta (2.3 percent owned) at home against the Twins. I don't love Arrieta, but today's pickings are slim.
Saturday: Oakland's Bartolo Colon (5.2 percent owned) at home against the punchless Mariners, who he shut down last week.
Sunday: Houston's Bud Norris is owned in just 17.6 percent of FOXSports.com leagues? Come on, people! Let's take Norris and his strikeouty ways at home versus the Rockies.
On to the news:
- The Royals announced that Jonathan Broxton will start the season as their primary closer. Broxton is owned in just 26.3 percent of FOXSports.com leagues, so grab him if you can. Just remember that he won't pitch more than two days in a row early in the season, so Greg Holland will get some chances as well. Holland is surely owned in most AL-only leagues, but his strong strikeout rate and projected handful of saves can make him useful in deeper mixed leagues as well.
- Nice start, Johan Santana. Let's see another one.
- Speaking of the Mets, can you believe one of their players got hurt yesterday? Of course you can. OF Andres Torres is headed to the DL after re-injuring his calf. Scott Hairston will replace Torres in center field, while SS Ruben Tejada is expected to bat leadoff.
- Brad Lidge notched the Opening Day save for the Nationals. Lidge is expected to alternate with Henry Rodriguez on a daily basis (not a save opportunity basis) during Drew Storen's absence, which will probably last another 2-3 weeks.
- Twins SP Scott Baker threw only 11 pitches in his Thursday rehab start. That can't be good. We should know more today about his status.
- Are the Vinnie Pestano owners out there licking their chops over Chris Perez's Opening Day implosion? Perez was shakier than his save percentage indicated last season, and will lose his job if he doesn't improve.
- Speaking of reliever issues ... ha, ha, Red Sox.
- The identity of the White Sox closer is still a mystery that will presumably be solved the first time the team has a save opportunity. Matt Thornton is still the favorite, though manager Robin Ventura has been saying nice things about rookie Hector Santiago. Addison Reed still lurks, as does Jesse Crain. Honestly, I have no idea who the closer will be. Stay tuned.
- Batting cleanup for the Rays in today's opener, designated hitter ... Jeff Keppinger? OK, whatever.
- Aubrey Huff doesn't sound too confident about being an outfielder.
- Look for the Pirates to shake up their lineup today against Cliff Lee.
- Don't count on Astros SS Jed Lowrie (wrist) being in the lineup when the Astros open their season tonight. His status is very iffy.
- Cubs 1B Bryan LaHair (back) should return to the lineup by Sunday.
- Braves 3B Chipper Jones (knee) is still targeting April 13 as his return date.
See you back here Monday morning.