It’s Springer time in Houston

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Well, that was fast. The Astros have reportedly called up OF prospect George Springer, whose power/speed skillset has had fantasy owners salivating for a couple of years. Springer hit 37 home runs with 45 stolen bases between Double A and Triple A last season, and has started 2014 with three homers and four steals in 13 Triple-A games. 

Springer’s main flaw is that he strikes out a LOT – he whiffed 161 times in 135 games in 2013. That issue is likely to keep his batting average in the .250 or lower range, but he’s still a player that should be rostered in all fantasy formats, as a 20-20 season could be coming. Springer is owned in 8.2 percent of leagues.

On to the rest of the news:

Dodgers 2B Dee Gordon now has 10 steals in 14 games, and he’s still available in 34 percent of leagues. Come on, people.


Red Sox 2B Dustin Pedroia (wrist) was used as a pinch runner on Tuesday, and hopes to be back in the lineup tonight. Teammate Koji Uehara (shoulder) could be ready to pitch as soon as Thursday.

More Red Sox: 1B Mike Napoli is day-to-day with a dislocated left ring finger.

There were four rainouts on Tuesday, and one – Cubs-Yankees – will be made up as part of a doubleheader today. We’ve got five afternoon games on today’s schedule, including two at 12:35 p.m. ET, so set your lineups early.

Streaming starters: Robbie Erlin wasn’t terrible on Tuesday, but he wasn’t good enough, so we’re down to 8-7 for the season. Today’s pick is Anaheim’s Tyler Skaggs (owned in 19.1 percent of leagues) versus the A’s. while Thursday’s selection is Edinson Volquez (3.7 percent owned) against the Brewers. Volquez has been throwing strikes – which is unusual – and I wonder if he got sprinkled with the same Pirate pitcher fairy dust that Francisco Liriano and A.J. Burnett did.

There’s a Felix HernandezYu Darvish matchup tonight in Arlington. Get your popcorn ready.

Taijuan Walker was scratched from his (supposedly final) rehab start last night due to shoulder stiffness. We’ll need to wait for word from the Mariners on his expected return date.

Pretty, pretty good, Yordano Ventura

The Mets placed OF Juan Lagares (hamstring) on the DL, and called up Kirk Niewenhuis to replace him. Of course, Niewenhuis had three hits – including a homer – and three RBI. Niewenhuis can be considered in NL-only leagues.

The news doesn’t sound good on Padres SP Josh Johnson (forearm).

My pal Joel Beall snickered at me when I mentioned Kevin Kouzmanoff as a potential AL-only free-agent 3B pickup on Tuesday’s Fantasy 15 podcast. Tuesday night, Kouzmanoff went 3-fo-4 with a homer, two runs scored and three RBI. Take that, Beall!

Blue Jays 2B Maicer Izturis might miss the rest of the season with a knee injury suffered while tripping on the dugout steps Sunday. Teammate Adam Lind is in danger of missing extended time with a lower back issue.

Nationals OF Denard Span (concussion) hopes to return to the lineup by Saturday.

Check out this vote of confidence from White Sox manager Robin Ventura for his closer, Matt Lindstrom: "He’s in there right now … It’s always been that way, where you can make a change at any time. . . . It’s tough, the job is tough. As of right now, he’d probably be going out there today." Hang in there, fellow Nate Jones owners! Our time is coming!

See you back here tomorrow morning.