Weekend warrior: Dodgers' Ramirez to return Sunday
Need a boost for your fantasy squad? If you own Hanley Ramirez, you're about to get one, as the Dodgers are scheduled to reactivate him on Sunday. Ramirez has been on the DL since August 8 due to an oblique injury, and has been limited to 100 games this season due to assorted maladies. Hopefully, Ramirez is back at full strength, and ready to produce like the fantasy star you drafted.
Thursday's studs & duds
Stud: Of all the excellent pitching performers for the day - Clayton Kershaw, Alex Cobb, David Price, Brandon McCarthy - Anaheim's Matt Shoemaker was the best, allowing two baserunners and striking out nine batters in seven-and-two-thirds scoreless innings versus the Red Sox. In Thursday's nine games, a total of 34 runs were scored.
Dud: No duds today - everyone was pretty good. Great job, baseball!
News & notes
The Angels acquired 2B Gordon Beckham from the White Sox. Beckham will be a backup infielder, and is pretty much worthless in any fantasy format. The White Sox are expected to call up Carlos Sanchez (.293 BA, 7 HR, 16 SB at Triple A this season) to replace Beckham on the roster, and he'll get some playing time. However, the team's website also says that Marcus Semien will return in September, and that could create a three-headed monster between Sanchez, Semien and Leury Garcia. Fantasy owners hate triumverates, right? Sanchez could be worthwhile in AL-only leagues for a couple of weeks, but after that, don't expect much.
In other Indians news, DH Zach Walters hit his fourth home run in nine games with the Tribe. The 24-year-old Walters has 24 homers between the minors and majors this season, and had 29 at Triple A last year. More importantly, he has fantasy shortstop eligibility, and is owned in 0.4 percent of FOXSports.com leagues. Get on it, people.
Red Sox OF Yoenis Cespedes left Thursday's game due to a "family medical emergency," but the team is hopeful that he'll play tonight.
It appears that Padres closer Joaquin Benoit (shoulder) will avoid the DL, and he could be ready to pitch as soon as tonight. So much for all those Kevin Quackenbush saves you were expecting. In other Padres news, Andrew Cashner is scheduled to come off the DL and pitch Saturday at Arizona.
Brandon McCarthy was stellar, shutting out the Astros on four hits and striking out eight; we're up to 78-50 for the season. The weekend selections are Marcus Stroman (30.1 percent owned) versus the Rays tonight; Cubs rookie Kyle Hendricks (32.6 percent owned) against the Orioles on Saturday; and Milwaukee's red-hot Mike Fiers (35 percent owned) against the Pirates on Sunday. Note: I've been impressed with Hendricks so far, but recommending him is more about a dearth of Saturday options than extreme confidence.
See you back here Monday morning.