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Philly fear: Lee could be out for season

Cliff Lee's elbow has betrayed him - and his fantasy owners - again.

Lee has made just 13 starts this season.

Matthew Emmons / USA TODAY Sports

Before getting started with the usual news, make sure to check out our Fantasy Trade Deadline Tracker for analysis of all the late July trades.

Thursday's big non-trade news was Cliff Lee's elbow injury. Lee threw a cutter to Denard Span in the third inning, yelled everyone's favorite expletive, walked off the mound, pointed to his elbow and said "I'm done" to the Phillies' trainer. Lee was placed on the DL following the game, and both the team's website and are suggesting that his season is over.

If you own Lee, you can always use streaming options from this blog to replace him. Or, you can scan the free-agent pool for underrated starters like Jake Odorizzi (owned in 38.2 percent of leagues), Mike Leake (25.5 percent owned), Drew Smyly (19.2 percent owned) or Kyle Hendricks (1.3 percent owned), depending on how deep your league is.

Thursday's studs & duds

Stud: Nolan Reimold still plays baseball? Apparently so - he hit two home runs for the Blue Jays on Thursday.

Stud: Clayton Kershaw, again.

Stud: Johnny Cueto allowed one run over seven innings while striking out nine in his win over the Marlins. Cueto's ERA is 2.05, and he's whiffing batters at a career-best rate.

Dud: The Phillies-Nats game wasn't good for lefty starters, as Gio Gonzalez gave up five runs in three-and-two-thirds innings.

News & notes

Royals 1B Eric Hosmer is expected to miss 3-6 weeks due to a broken bone in his right hand. Look for Billy Butler to get at least some of Hosmer's playing time, possibly sharing duties with Raul Ibanez. In other Royals' news, Jason Vargas (appendectomy) is scheduled to return to the mound on Saturday.

A's OF Coco Crisp (neck) is expected to miss tonight's game, but might play Saturday. Braves OF Jason Heyward (back) is hoping to return by Saturday as well.

Angels SP Tyler Skaggs left Thursday's game with forearm tightness, but the team doesn't seem concerned.

Cardinals OF Oscar Taveras responded to his new everyday role by hitting a home run in his first at bat on Thursday. Taveras is owned in just 4.1 percent of leagues - get him while you can, even if he figures to be a better real player than fantasy player.

Those Reimold homers mentioned above were the result of Colby Rasmus getting benched for being late to the ballpark. beat writer Gregor Chisholm noted on Twitter that "it wasn't the first time" and Rasmus' "tardiness has been noticeable for awhile." Prediction: Rasmus will be surprised when he doesn't get any good free-agent offers this offseason. Tony La Russa won't be.

The Twins have signed C Kurt Suzuki to a two-year contract extension. That doesn't make me happy about owning Josmil Pinto in keeper leagues.

Trade probables: Jarred Cosart will start tonight for the Marlins. Jon Lester will start on Saturday for the A's, as will Justin Masterson for the Cardinals. Everyone else is still technically TBD, but look for David Price to make his first start as a Tiger on Tuesday at Yankee Stadium.

Red Sox SP Anthony Ranaudo makes his big-league debut tonight in the Bronx. Ranaudo has a 2.41 ERA at Triple A this season, but he's almost 25 and his K/BB numbers aren't impressive. He's only worth a look in AL-only leagues, and even there he's not a must-add.

Streaming starters

Drew Smyly wasn't so good in his final start as a Tiger, so we're down to 63-45 for the season. The weekend selections are Jon Niese (13.6 percent owned) against the Giants tonight; Pittsburgh's Vance Worley (5.8 percent owned) at Arizona on Saturday; and Bartolo Colon (27 percent owned) versus the Giants on Sunday.

See you back here Monday morning.

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