My friend John Osmanski will throw out the first pitch at Wrigley Field this afternoon, having won the honor in a charity auction. If you happen to be at the game, please let me know if he screws up so I can give him some grief. A dollar says he bounces a 22-mph fastball to the catcher.
Scott Diamond didn't help us last night, so the streaming starter record is down to 44-28 for the season. The weekend selections are Dillon Gee (owned in 7.9 percent of FOXSports.com leagues) against the Reds today, A.J. Burnett (28.4 percent owned) at Cleveland on Saturday, and Bartolo Colon (20.5 percent owned) on Sunday against the Padres.
On to the news:
- On Tuesday afternoon, I decided to get an early start on next week's edition of Free Agent Frenzy by selecting some tentative players, and tabbed Trevor Plouffe at shortstop. Since then, Plouffe has hit three home runs, giving him five taters in his last six games, 11 in his last 21, and 12 for the season. We can't expect Plouffe to continue this torrid pace, but he did hit 23 homers between Triple A and the majors last season, and 17 across the same levels in 2010. Plouffe is owned in just 22.4 percent of FOXSports.com leagues, and qualifies at shortstop, third base and outfield. There's no good reason for him to remain on your league's free-agent wire.
- Rockies SS Troy Tulowitzki had an MRI on his strained groin yesterday, and while results haven't been announced, the team doesn't seem to think it's serious. Still, if you own Tulo in a weekly league, don't plan to start him next week unless we hear some good news over the weekend.
- Faced with a temporary hole in their rotation, the Rangers have called up RHP Justin Grimm to start Saturday against the Astros. Grimm is 8-3 with a 1.87 ERA, a 1.03 WHIP and 67 strikeouts against 14 walks in 77 innings at Frisco, and while this is a big jump for him, the Astros are terrible, so he could be worth a flier if you've got an emergency this week in a head-to-head league. Grimm isn't considered a high-ceiling prospect.
- The White Sox, Red Sox and Royals are in NL parks again this weekend, which means they'll have DH issues. Look for Dayan Viciedo to cede left field to Adam Dunn with the White Sox, the Royals to shift Jeff Francoeur to center field (bumping Jarrod Dyson), and the Red Sox to continue some sort of rotation between Kevin Youkilis, David Ortiz and Will Middlebrooks. With lefty Paul Maholm starting for the Cubs Sunday night, I bet Ortiz gets the night off. Please note that these predictions are educated guesses, and not based on statements from managers.
- Brian Matusz will start tonight for the Orioles. Matusz couldn't make his Wednesday start after bunting a ball off his face in the cage earlier in the week, so I can't wait to see him hit tonight.
- Here's an update on the Reds' long list of injuries, with OF Chris Heisey (groin) being the latest victim, and 3B Scott Rolen targeting a Monday activation from the DL.
- I hate small sample sizes as much as the next stat geek, but Mets 1B Ike Davis is 8-for-19 with a homer and seven RBI over his last five games. His batting average is all the way up to .188! Seriously, keep an eye on Davis to see if this minor hot streak is the beginning of a long-awaited turnaround.
- Speaking of struggling, young, left-handed hitting first basemen, Brandon Belt has homered in three straight games for the Giants. It's about freaking time.
- Oh, good grief. Yankees OF Brett Gardner will miss at least another 3-4 weeks with his elbow injury.
- Fireballing Mariners RP Stephen Pryor is expected to miss a few weeks with a strained groin.
- The Cardinals are giving SS Rafael Furcal the night off.
- Rays DH Luke Scott is on the DL due to back spasms, and should return in 10 days or so. 3B Evan Longoria will begin his rehab assignment tonight.
- Tigers SP Doug Fister will come off the DL to start Saturday against the Rockies, while teammate Ryan Raburn is back with the team as a part-timer. AL-only owners can still consider Raburn, but he doesn't project to play enough for mixed-league roster status.
- If you hear any rumors that Blue Jays 1B Adam Lind might be promoted after being removed from Thursday's Triple-A game in the fifth inning, it's probably a false alarm. His manager says he came out because he fouled a ball off his shin. Lind has been smacking the ball around at Las Vegas, though, so you never know when a minor slump by rookie 1B David Cooper could get him back to Toronto.
- John Danks was scheduled to come off the DL to start Monday for the White Sox, but a sore arm has that plan in doubt. Stay tuned.
See you back here Monday morning.