Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Baseball Notebook

Roger Clemens has allowed 2 or less runs in his last 10 starts yet only has a 3-3 record for the season due to the pathetic Astros offense. Still can't understand why they paid Clemens $18 million this season after paying $5 million last year. Maybe they had to offer him so much he couldn't refuse the offer and was only way of getting him to play another season. Way it turned out Clemens got the money Carlos Beltran didn't get so Clemens knows he is part of reason they didn't have money left or either didn't want to spend additional money after signing Clemens. After a winter of inactivity in acquiring some offensive help you could see the writing on the wall knowing if anything happened to Jeff Bagwell this team would self destruct since they no longer had Beltran or Jeff Kent....Huston Street picks up win in the A's 5-4 win in 11 innings against the Devil Rays. Street is only 21 and has struck out more than 10 batters per 9 innings and has held opponents to a .181 batting average and has only given up 17 hits in 27 innings with no homers allowed....Red Sox failed to build on their their series win over the Yankees by losing to Orioles 8-1 missing a chance to gain a game on the AL East leader. John Olerud is hitting .455 since joining the Red Sox last week. The biggest surprise for the Rangers this season has been the 5-1 record posted by Chan Ho Park. The talk of spring training was that the Rangers would probaby eat Park's huge contract to open a roster spot. It remains to be seen if he can pitch this well over the full season but for now he is a big reason they are in first place in AL West.

Monday, May 30, 2005

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Trade Jeff Kent While you Can

Dodgers 2B Jeff Kent, after getting off to a hot April, is on a slide. It appears his age and moving from a hitters' park in Houston to a pitcher park in Chavez Ravine in LA is taking a toll on his fantasy numbers. His average has dropped nearly 50 points in April and the homers have not come for the past few weeks.

Pick up Bil Mueller

Bill Mueller of the Boston Red Sox is our latest recommended pickup. Mueller is now eligible at 2nd base which is a position lacking many good players. If your original 2B pick is injured or not doing well, we would highly recommend picking up Mueller. Mueller's average has jumped almost 50 point in the last two weeks as well.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Fantasy Consequences of Prior Injury Podcast

Fantasy Consequences of Prior Injury Podcast

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K-Rod and Jeff Francis Podcast

K-Rod and Jeff Francis Podcast

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Vlad the Impaled Podcast

Vlad the Impaled Podcast

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Glavine and some hitter to keep an eye on Podcast

Glavine and some hitter to keep an eye on Podcast

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Weird year for closer and player updates Podcast

Weird year for closer and player updates Podcast

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Doh, Prior back to the DL

The bad luck this season for the Cubs continues. Seemingly juat back from a stint of the DL, Mark Prior suffered an unluckly fracture after getting a shot into his elbow.

Prior will be 4-1 with a 2.93 ERA for a while.
Prior is 4-1 with a 2.93 ERA while healthy this year.

Mark Prior took a line drive to his right elbow. X-Rays came back negative but the MRI showed a slight fracture. If you saw the highlights of the injury on Sportsceneter, you saw how nasty it was. Right now, it's hard to tell how long Prior will be out, but I would guess it will be at least 6 weeks until we hear more. The slight fracture could heal quicker than 6 weeks but it could take longer and Prior would have some minor leagues starts before he gets back with the club. Moreover, the Cardinals are running away with the NL Central and there is little hope for the Cubs unless something dramatic happens while Prior is out, so the Cubs will likely take a very cautious approach with Prior in order to ensure his long term value to the team. I wouldn't be surprised to see Prior done for the season, though I doubt it would likely happen.

If you own Prior on your fantasy team, don't expect to get any value from him until mid AUgust at the earliest and possibly nothing else for the rest of the year. With Wood and Prior now out, look for the Cubs to rely on Glendon Rusch more. If your league is deep, you should pick up Rusch to make up for Prior. If Rusch is taken, watch Sergiio Mitre for a good start in his next outing and pick him up if he pitches well because he is going to be the Cubs 4th starter for a while. Another ripple from the Prior injury is that Ryan Dempster may be moved out of the closer role and into a starting pitcher role to fill out the 5th SP spot, and that would mean Joe Borowski would become closer again.

Friday, May 27, 2005

K-Rod Knocked Out

This has to be the most bizarre year for fantasy closers that I can ever remember.

The latest closer to get knocked out is Angels' all-star Franciso Rodriguez who hit the 15 day DL this past monday with a strained right forearm. This adds to the rush of closer injuries in the last few weeks - 11 closers have found their way to the DL in the past 7 weeks.

Rodriguez has 10 saves, a 0.69 WHIP, and 23 Ks in 16 innings.
Rodriguez may be back this weeknd but probably not until late next week

K-Rod has been day to day and could be back sometime this holiday weekend, but I don't think he will be back until late next week. While K-Rod it out, much like looking at Juan Rivera to take fellow Angel Vlad Guerroro's place, look at picking up Scott Shields for K-Rod until K-Rod can return. Shields has been a great closer while he has filled in and should give you some saves in the short term (which seem extremely hard to come by for closers this year). Long-term, keep an eye on K-Rod's arm, he has a history of arm injuries and fantasy owners in keeper leagues who have him or are looking to get him could find themselves in a world of hurt if this young pitcher continues to have arm issues.

Francis has got it backwards

Somebody better let Rockies' pitcher Jeff Francis into the secret that pitchers should be horrible at Coors and pitch better in the thin air below the mile high city. Obviously no one has told him yet because he has got the situation backwards. In his four starts at Coors Field, he is is 3-0 with a 2.92 ERA, with opponents hitting .247. 5280 feet below that, he's 1-1 with a 5.82 ERA and a .298 average against. Francis has the potential to be a fantasy stud in keeper leagues - though only after he decides to leave Coors and the hapless Rockies. In the meantime, keep Francis in your lineup when he has two starts in a week at home but out when he makes two starts on the road. If he's got a game home and away in a week, roll the dice if you don't have better options.

Vlad the Impaled

Vladimir Guerrero has arguably been the second most valuable fantasy player behind Barry Bonds the last few years while he has been healthy. He has consistently been one of the first 10 players chosen in all fantasy drafts, even when he was in Montreal. Those with Vlad on their fantasy team will have to make do without him for at least another two weeks while he heals his partially dislocated left shoulder.

Vlad will be stuck at .303 with seven homers and 24 RBI for a while.
Vlad will be out 2 to 3 more weeks

Guerrero was injured last Friday in the game against the Dodgers while sliding into home.Vlad has always been aggressive on the bases so we hope this injury doesn't make him second guess himself and have him start doubting whether to be aggressive on the bases. However, he may want to figure out how to slide more gracefully if he plans on doing so in the future. Watching the replay, you would think it was the first headfirst slide of his life.

Fantasy owners who have Vlad should plan on him being out another 2 to 3 weeks. Be patient and don't make stupid, hasty decisions because there will be no way to replace his offense. The best you can hope for is picking up a player that will give you more than the other options you have. Speaking of players to pick up to fill in for Vlad on your roster, you might want to look at Vlad's replacement on the Angels, Juan Rivera (I know, it's a homer pick for me since Rivera is an ex-Yankee). With the players around him, Juan Rivera will probably be put better numbers than most of the players available off waivers.

Hitters - Watch List

We've recommended plenty of pitchers who can tow the fantasy line, but what about the hitters? Not quite as easy to find good stuff off free agency. Here are last month's numbers for a few guys to keep your eye on and maybe try on for size.

Shannon Stewart - 4 HR 2 SB .300 AVG

Stewart's a streaky guy, but he's a fire starter for the twins and has put up some excellent fantasy numbers in the past with a few 100+ Run seasons

Richard Hidalgo - 7 HR 1 SB .268 AVG

Speaking of streaky, this guy's the king, but a free agency pick-up only costs you the worst player on your team. So pick him up, ride the hot streak and, hey, maybe you keep him, maybe not.

Darryl Ward - 6 HR .272 AVG

He doesn't have the greatest bats around him, but he doesn't need them. We definitely expect the average to go up, even if he doesn't keep up the torrid home run pace.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Glavine knows, you can never go home

Glavine can't buy a win in his old stomping ground Atlanta. Not that his numbers tonight warranted it. The veteran lefty allowed 7 hits, 1 walk, and 4 ERs in 6.2 innings.

In his first 6 innings Glavine did look great, allowing only 1 run, but it fell apart in the 7th where he allowed 3 earned runs.

Fantasy Outlook: I did recommend him last week, but I may have forgotten a disclaimer about starting him against Atlanta. The Jones boys, Julio Franco, and pretty much all of his former team have a field day against him, but his outing shows a lot of resilience considering his lifetime record is 1-7 with a 9.36 ERA. Look for Glavine to be solid for the rest of the season.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Closer Shuffle

Keeping up with closer situations is probably one of the hardest things for a fantasy baseball blogger to accomplish. We're doing our best:

Danny Graves has been designated for assignment. This comes after another bad outing which concluded with Graves giving booing fans an obscene gesture. The Reds have ten days to trade Graves or put him on waivers. Despite 10 saves, Graves has posted a 7.36 ERA.

Fantasy Outlook: He may find work elsewhere, but for now we're concerned with who's taking over in Cinci. Veteran David Weathers got the save tonight, but reports of a closer-by-committee prevail. "...we'll look at the matchups and different things like that,'' manager Dave Miley said. ``Hopefully somebody will run with it.''

Joe Borowski has been back pitching for Chicago Cubs since Friday, but hasn't seen a save situation. Ryan Dempster is still in the closer role and got the save tonight.

Outlook: With Glendon Rusch pitching as well as he has, Dempster can stay out of the four-man rotation for a little while longer. We do expect Borowski to be eased back into his old role. When Wood comes off the DL in a few weeks, however, we're curious to see where the chips fall.

A similar situation is in Florida. Guillermo Mota's scheduled back to the Bigs on Wednesday, but a closer role may not be waiting for him immediately. Mota's got 2 saves as compared with Todd Jones's 7.

Outlook: Mota owners have been patient all year, looks like they may have to be patient a little bit longer.

Dan Kolb got his 11th save tonight in exciting fashion, as most of his saves have been. Bobby Cox is a manager who would rather avoid a committee of closers, and seems to genuinely be committed to Kolb, but he's not crazy either. His body language during the ninth did not exude confidence.

Outlook: Kolb's closer job is tenuous at best. Cox is probably looking for Kolb to get his confidence and stuff back before he is ready to committ to him again.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Athletics: Jason Kendall

Jason Kendall has only hit .149 in May thus far. At this point, it appears that Kendall's career is drawing to and end. You should drop him or trade him if you get the chance.

Yankees: Robinson Cano

I'll admit I was wrong about Robinson Cano. Cano is getting better at the plate and in the field. His plate discipline needs to improve, but he has a chance of hitting .280 this year and will have a ton of RBI opportunities in that lineup.

Astros: Jason Lane falling fast

Jason Lane
Lane burst out of the gates with a .371 batting average and 1.111 OPS in his first 15 games, but has gone cold since batting just .115 (9-for-78) with a .316 OPS in his last 23 contests. He got potential but it seems the Astros have given up on him. You should drop him if you have him.

Yankees: Jeter gets beaned

Derek Jeter was hit on the elbow by Mets pitcher Kris Benson on Saturday and removed from the game. Jeter will be day-to-day until soreness in his elbow becomes a non-issue.

Mets: Beltran strained quadriceps

Carlos Beltran left the Saturday against the Yankees because of a strained right quadricep. Beltran won't play on Sunday and keep an eye out as to whether he will miss games at the beginning of this week.

Lackey not lacking in dominance

John Lackey of the Angels struck out 10 and allowed one run in 6.1 innings of work against the other LA team - the Dodgers.

Lackey's held a 2.37 ERA in his last six starts and has 3 wins in that period of time.

The Angels have provided great run support for their starters, but with Vlad hitting the DL one should legitamately wonder if that'll keep up. Lackey'll get all the other numbers though- whip, ERA, K's, and wins will come later, when Vlad comes back, if not sooner.

Despite Lackey's deceptive numbers, he's a strong pickup.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

BrownBullfrog Podcast Sat May 21, 2005

BrownBullfrog Podcast Sat May 21, 2005

this is an audio post - click to play

Giants: Schmidt ready to start Tuesday

Giants' pitcher Jason Schmidt should return from the DL to start Tuesday against the Nationals. Get him back into your lineups.

Mariners: Guardado returns

Mariners closer Eddie Guardado was back Friday after missing the last two games to be with his newborn. Make sure you move Eddie back into your lineup.

Nationals: Vidro recovery longer than expected

Jose Vidro ankle sprain turned out to be a partially torn tendon and he will be out much longer than expected. It appears he will be out another 4 weeks at a minimum.

Nationals: Patterson will miss start

Nationals' pitcher John Patterson will miss Sunday's start due to a sore back. His sore back has lingered, so not sure he will make any starts this coming week.

Angels: Anderson misses second straight start

Angels outfielder Garret Anderson missed his second straight start because of tightness in his right hamstring. He should be back on Sunday or Monday.

Angels: Rodriguez back on Sunday

Angels closer Francisco Rodriguez, who has not pitched in seven days because of a strained right forearm, should be available to pitch Sunday. If you moved him to your bench, you should get him back into your lineup.

White Sox: Hernandez to miss Sunday

White Sox pitcher Orlando Hernandez will miss his next start on Sunday due to shoulder soreness. If your league has daily transactions, bench him.

Cubs: Wood receives MRI

Cubs' pitcher Kerry Wood had an MRI on his right shoulder Friday, but the Cubs did not announce the findings. If things go wel, he should return in early-to-mid June. In the meantime, keep him on the DL.

White Sox: Big Hurt targets June 13

Frank Thomas is expected to be activated by the White Sox on June 13. You should keep him on your bench until the second week in June.

Royals: Affeldt about to return

Royals' reliever Jeremy Affeldt threw off a mound on Tuesday for the first time since being placed on the DL. Next, Affeldt starts a minor league rehab assignment. After that, he will be back up with the Royals and probably will regain the closer spot immediately.

Orioles: Sosa close to returning

Orioles' outfielder Sammy Sosa was cleared on Thursday to begin hitting in the batting cage. Sosa wants to be back by Tuesday, but I think that is a bit aggressive. Even if he does come back, he probably will be rusty the first few games. If you have him, don't put him in your lineup this week.

Athletics: Crosby begins rehab assignment

Athletics shortstop Bobby Crosby will begin his minor league rehabilitation assignment on Saturday. Crosby has at least another week out, so leave him out of your lineup this week and keep tabs on where he is next weekend.

Red Sox: Schilling closer to return

Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling was able to get rid of the protective boot on his right foot. There is still no timetable for Schilling's return. Will keep you posted on any developments.

Angels: Guerrero leaves with jammed thumb

Angels outfielder Vladimir Guerrero left Friday's game early after injuring his shoulder while sliding. If your leagues uses daily transactions, you should move him to the bench.

Friday, May 20, 2005

BrownBullfrog Podcast Friday May 20, 2005

BrownBullfrog Podcast Friday May 20, 2005

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Cubs: Borowski activated from DL

Cubs reliever Joe Borowski was activated from the 15-day disabled list. Borowski saved 33 games for the Cubs in 2003, but missed most of last season after tearing his right rotator cuff. Given the Cubs issues closing games, expect Borowski to get save opps very quickly. If he is still available in your league and you need saves, pick him up.

Cardinals: Walker finger injury

Cardinals outfielder Larry Walker was not in the lineup on Thursday due to pain in his left ring finger. La Russa described the condition as arthritis. The Cards played Roger Cedeno in Walker's place on Thursday - Cedeno doesn'ti figure to have much fantasy value.

Indians: Juan Gonzalez is on his way back

Juan Gonzalez is scheduled to begin a minor league rehab assignment in the next three-to-five days at Triple-A Buffalo. Gonzalez's return to the Indians outfield will lower the value of all the Indian outfielders over the rest of the season as there are too few positions for all the capable outfielders they have.

Rockies: Atkins starting to get hot

Rockies third baseman prospect Garrett Atkins has a .409 average, three home runs, six runs, and six RBI over the last week. Many people have forgotten about this young player, but you should look around to see if you can get him for little or nothing.

Giants: Tomko tweaks knee

Giants pitcher Brett Tomko hyperextended his knee during the game against the Rockies on Thursday. Without Bonds in the Giants lineup, Tomko hasn't received enough run support for him to be on your fantasy team this season.

Cardinals: Eckstein best shortstop value

Eckstein has been hitting the cover off the ball this season, and he continues to be the biggest bargain fantasy shortstop this season.

Nationals: Guillen to return

Nationals outfielder Jose Guillen expects to play on Friday against the Blue Jays - Fantasy owners should plug him back into their lineups.

Rockies: Fuentes new closer

Rockies new closer Brian Fuentes picked up his first save of the season on Thursday. Fuentes is valuable in all fantasy leagues at this point given the Rockies are likely to stick with him and not go with other options they had thought would fill their closer role.

Giants: Niekro to be sent down

Giants first baseman Lance Niekro will be sent to the minors soon as J.T. Snow has battled back from a stomach virus and is back in the lineup.

Rockies: Francis wins third straight

Rockies pitcher Jeff Francis has shown great potential in winning three striaght, but he is a long-term pickup for keeper leagues only

Royals: MacDougal closer for now

Royals' reliever Mike MacDougalwill get the next few save opportunities until Jeremy Affeldt returns from the disabled list. If you have an injured closer, you should only think about picking up MacDougal for a few saves until Affeldt returns.

Player Watch

The hot-hitting Rios has moved to the top of the Jays' order.
Alexsis Rios
Players to Add

Alexis Rios, Blue Jays: The Jays recently moved Rios to the top of the lineup, which should result in a big jump in his numbers.

Players to Drop

Dan Kolb, Braves: The All-Star closer has been sent to middle relief by Manager Bobby Cox. Kolb could regain his job later this season, but right now you should drop him.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Mesa spoils day for Pirates, Wells

For the second stright day Mesa blew the save.
He's been excellent so far this year, having saved 23 straight until recently. But now he starting to look like the guy we knew in Philly. He's still a quality closer- by this year's standard's anyway.

Kip Wells missed out on the win, pitching 8 innings of one-run ball, while striking out six.

Wells is definitely a guy we like. He gets a reasonable K's and we believe his 4.06 ERA is deceptive considering he hasn't let up more than 3 runs in any of his last six outings (3-0). The Pittsburgh offense isn't much to look at, but Wells's closer, Mesa is still strong behind him.

Monday, May 16, 2005

BrownBullfrog Podcast May 16, 2005

BrownBullfrog Podcast May 16, 2005

this is an audio post - click to play

Astros: Backe impressive

Astros pitcher Brandon Backe gave up only four hits and two walks while striking out six in a complete game shutout against the Giants on Sunday. Backe's consistency is still not there, but he has the potential to be a fantasy stud.

Red Sox: No Timetable for Wells

No timetable has been set David Well's return. The earliest he will return is the end of May and expect him to be rusty for his few first starts back.

Athletics: Dan Meyer done?

When the A's traded traded Tim Hudson to the Braves, prospect Dan Meyer was supposed to replace Hudson for the Athletics. After a drop in Meyer's velocity in Triple-A, he was shut down indefinitely. It's very likely Meyer's career is over.

Athletics: Crosby takes batting practice

Athletics shortstop Bobby Crosby took batting practice. No timeline was set for Crosby to return to the team.

Cubs: Zambrano diagnosed with tennis elbow

Carlos Zambrano underwent an MRI on Monday that confirmed he is suffering from tennis elbow. Zambrano might start on Friday, but those in weekly leagues should leave them off their roster this week.

Angels: K-Rod unable to play

The Angels will be without closer Francisco Rodriguez on Monday due to a mild strain in his right forearm. The injury is not serious but leave K-Rod out of your lineup until he starts pitching again.

Mets: Castro on DL

Mets catcher Ramon Castro was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right quadriceps. Castro only plays once every few days so he shouldn't be on your fantasy roster.

Athletics: Yabu to start

The Athletics lost Rich Harden over the weekend, and will be replaced by Keiichi Yabu. Unless Harden's injury lingers, there are better starting options than Yabu.

Royals: Wood saves second game

Royals' pitcher Mike Wood saved his second game Sunday. Wood is probably the Royals until Jeremy Affeldt returns Burgos has turned out to be a wreck. It might be a good idea to give Wood a look in AL-only leagues.

Phillies: Padilla finally wins

Phillies pitcher Vincente Padilla got his first win on the season against the Reds on Sunday. It was his first outing of the season where he made it past the fifth inning. For the time being, don't pick him up until he puts a couple of good outings together.

Rangers: Chris Young

Rangers' pitcher Chris Young , over his last two starts, has posted a 1.38 ERA and 1.23 WHIP, but got two no-decisions. He is probably available in your league, so if you are looking for some pitching help due to injuries pick him up.

Twins: Radke wins fourth

Twins pitcher won his fourth game against the Rangers Sunday. Radke's Win-Loss is deceptive because he lost three out of his first hour starts. But he has a 1.06 WHIP through his last 63 innings, so try seeing if you can trade for him based on his season totals.

Pirates: Mesa leads league in saves

Pirates closer Jose Mesa earned his 13th save of the season. Mesa should be traded come the trading deadline to a better team with even more save opportunities.

BrownBullfrog Podcast Late Edition Sunday May 15, 2005

BrownBullfrog Podcast Late Edition Sunday May 15, 2005

this is an audio post - click to play

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Yankees: Martinez hits two more

Yankees first baseman Tino Martinez hit two more home runs against the A's on Sunday, and he is now tied with Alex Rodriguez for the major league lead with 12 homers. Martinez is a free agent in a lot of fantasy leagues, so pick him up if you can but don't expect his tear to last through the year. If you can pick him up or if you already have him on your fantasy roster, you should try to sell him while he is hot.

Red Sox: Ramirez hits 400th home run

Manny Ramirez hit his 400th home run of his career on Sunday. The scary part is that Manny is not in a hitting groove at all this year so far and he is still a league leader in home runs and RBIs.

Tigers: Pudge injures toe

Tigers' catcher Ivan Rodriguez left Sunday's game against the Angels in the third inning after bruising the big toe on his left foot. You are not going t find a decent replacement catcher on the free agency wires so keep Pudge in but just keep in mind that he might miss two or three games.

Tigers: Young injures ankle

Tigers' designated hitter Dmitri Young left Sunday's game against the Angels in the seventh inning with sprained ankle. Dmitri will probably miss a few games so look for other options this week.

BrownBullfrog Podcast Sunday May 15, 2005

BrownBullfrog Podcast Sunday May 15, 2005

this is an audio post - click to play

Dodgers: Gagne rocked in return

Eric Gagne got rocked by the Atlanta Braves in his first pitching opportunity of the year, after coming back from injury. Gagne started off slow and the Braves tagged him but he ended strong. Fantasy owners should not worry because Gagne will need a few opportunties to get the rust off before he returns to his old form. Keep him in your lineup no matter what happens those first few outings.

Rangers: Rogers scoreless streak to 30

Kenny Rogers extended his streak of consecutive innings without allowing a run to 30 on Saturday. Fantasy owners should sell while his stock is high because he went 12-3 the first of last year and made the All Start team before falling off the face of the planet in the second half.

Astros: Bagwell shoulder problems

Jeff Bagwell's trip to the disabled list has led to questions about retirement. His shoulder is giving him problems and he just isn't the same hitter he used to be. Fantasy owners should try to trade him while they can because it is likely the shoulder will cause Bagwell to miss games or play poorly the rest of the way.

Orioles: Sosa's foot improving

Sosa was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday, retroactive to May 5, after being diagnosed with a staph infection. Sosa should be out another three weeks.

Astros: Pettitte's arm not injured

Astros pitcher Andy Pettitte was given a clean bill of health by team doctors. He should be in your lineup this week.

Braves: Hampton leaves game with tight forearm

Braves' left-hander Mike Hampton removed himself from Saturday's game against the Dodgers in the third inning because of tightness in his forearm. This does not sound serious, but fantasy owners should keep Hampton on the bench this week if they have a good pitcher to fill his slot.

Cubs: Zambrano to undergo MRI on elbow

Carlos Zambrano will undergo a MRI on his right elbow on Monday. He had to leave Saturday's game against the Nationals in the fourth inning because of lateral forearm tightness. Fantasy owners should leave him out of their lineup this week.

Brewers: Sheets infection still lingers

The Brewers' ace has been on the disabled list since April 21 with an inner ear infection. Sheets' infection has lasted way too long. Don't count on him in your weekly lineup until you see him make a start.

Harden on DL

Harden has a 1.18 WHIP and opponents are hitting just .235 against him.

Rich Harden has surpassed Barry Zito and has become the new ace of the A's rotation. On Sunday, Harden was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left oblique. He could return by Memorial Day if the injury is not serious. For fantasy owners, plan on him missing two or three starts. Some of the pitchers that you might be able to replace him with are Daniel Cabrera, Josh Towers, and Victor Santos.