Description: Cubs starter Edwin Jackson left in the sixth inning of Thursday's game with a cramp in his right hand.
Insight: Jackson wasn't pitching that well anyway, having given up seven hits and five earned runs when the trainer made a visit. He has no fantasy value the way he's throwing this season (5-10, 5.61 ERA, 1.56 WHIP entering today's game).
Description: Twins starter Phil Hughes left Thursday night's game after being hit with a ball off the bat of Adam Dunn.
Insight: Hughes will get an X-ray and then we will know the extent of the injury. The right-hander had given up five earned runs in each of his last two outings heading into tonight and five or more earned runs in five of his last six so likely wasn't in any lineups.
Description: For the second consecutive outing and third in the last four, Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels has yielded just one earned run.
Insight: Having thrown 116 pitches and leading 2-1 heading into the ninth inning the Phillies replaced Hamels with Jonathan Papelbon who finished the game 1-2-3. Hamels evened his record at 5-5. Other teams have asked about Hamels availability but he's not likely to be moved.
Description: CC Sabathia had knee surgery Wednesday and will miss the rest of the season.
Insight: Sabathia had experienced renewed swelling in his knee when he tried to return earlier this month. The left-hander's first four years with New York were excellent, as he went 74-29 with a 3.22 ERA, a 1.18 WHIP and one World Series title. However, he's recorded a 17-17 record, a 4.87 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP in the last two seasons.
Description: Braves starter Ervin Santana struck out 10 batters and allowed one run on six hits over 7 1/3 innings in a win over the Marlins Wednesday night.
Insight: Santana (9-6, 3.87 ERA) has a career-high chase rate and a career-low contact rate, which have resulted in his best K/9 since 2008 (7.81). He's allowed just 0.66 HR/9 after giving up at least 0.93 HR/9 in every season in his career.
Description: Mariners right-hander Taijuan Walker allowed just two hits in five innings Wednesday against the Mets, but he walked six batters and hit Ruben Tejada in the head with a pitch.
Insight: Walker allowed two runs and struck out five in the loss. The prospect was demoted back to Triple-A after the game. With James Paxton expected back in early August and Erasmo Ramirez coming off a great start, it may be a while until Walker gets another chance with the Mariners. This will likely go down as a lost season for the 21-year-old, who missed the first two and a half months with shoulder inflammation.
Description: Rockies starter Jorge De La Rosa struck out a season-high 11 batters over 7 1/3 innings Wednesday against the Nationals.
Insight: De La Rosa (11-6, 4.19 ERA, 1.28 WHIP) allowed two runs (one earned) on eight hits over 7 1/3 innings. He's won five straight decisions and has recorded a 1.78 ERA in July after putting up a 7.11 ERA in June.
Description: Kansas City starter James Shields has recorded a 2.02 ERA, a 1.01 WHIP and a 28/3 K/BB in 26 2/3 innings over his last four starts.
Insight: Shields lasted seven innings and allowed one run on six hits while striking out seven in a no decision Wednesday at Chicago. He's back on track after getting roughed up in eight starts from May 24 to July 1 (5.66 ERA, 1.62 WHIP).
Description: Brewers starter Kyle Lohse held the Reds to one run on four hits in 6 2/3 innings Wednesday to win his 11th game of the season.
Insight: Lohse has turned into a very good starter on the back end of his career after recording a 4.79 ERA in his first 10 seasons. In his last four years, the 35-year-old has gone 52-25 with a 3.17 ERA, including 11-4 with a 3.07 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP this year.
Description: Cardinals right-hander Shelby Miller will start Saturday against the Cubs, according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Insight: The Cardinals have decided to move Carlos Martinez back to the bullpen and will replace him with Miller, who was moved to the bullpen for rest on July 18. Miller has gone 0-3 with a 7.30 ERA in his last five starts and sits at 7-8 with a 4.29 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP this season.
Description: Mariners right-hander Erasmo Ramirez made a strong bid to keep the fifth spot in the rotation with 10 Ks over seven innings (5 H, 2 ER, 2 BB) Tuesday against the Mets.
Insight: Ramirez has posted a 1.33 ERA in 27 innings over his last five starts, but he's walked 18 batters during that span. Taijuan Walker, who will start Wednesday, is also an option for the No. 5 spot. However, James Paxton is expected to return in early August so both Walker and Ramirez could be out of luck.
Description: Braves starter Mike Minor was roughed up again Tuesday against the Marlins. He gave up 10 hits and six runs in three innings.
Insight: Over his last eight starts, Minor has allowed 68 hits (8 HR), 14 walks and 36 earned runs in 42 1/3 innings (7.65 ERA, 1.94 WHIP). The 26-year-old was excellent last season, going 13-9 with a 3.21 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP, but nothing's gone right in 2014. He began the season on the disabled list with a shoulder injury and has gone 3-6 with a 5.32 ERA and a 1.58 WHIP.
Description: The Mariners plan to recall Taijuan Walker for Wednesday's start. SOURCE: Bob Dutton, Tacoma News Tribune
Insight: Seattle pushed back Hisashi Iwakuma and Felix Hernandez one day each, so they need a spot starter Wednesday and Walker was on schedule to start Wednesday for Triple-A. If he pitches well, the prospect could remain in the rotation ahead of Erasmo Ramirez, who will start Tuesday in the fifth rotation spot. However, James Paxton (lat) is nearing his return and could take that spot.
Description: Cleveland starter Danny Salazar has been called up to start Tuesday against the Twins.
Insight: Salazar entered this season with a lot of buzz but posted a 5.53 ERA and a 1.62 WHIP while allowing eight homers in 40 2/3 innings. He's recorded a 4.02 ERA and a 67/28 K/BB in 53 2/3 innings since his demotion to Triple-A, and he's been very good since he returned from a triceps strain on June 15 (3.07 ERA, 52/20 K/BB in 41 IP).
Description: Dodgers left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu improved to 11-5 with a victory over the Pirates Monday.
Insight: Ryu allowed two runs on five hits, walked one and struck out five over seven innings. He's given up seven hits and two runs over 13 innings in two starts since he was bombed for seven runs on 10 hits in 2 1/3 on July 8 at Detroit.
Description: Los Angeles left-hander C.J. Wilson (ankle) threw a bullpen session Monday, according to Alden Gonzalez of mlb.com.
Insight: Wilson has been out with a right ankle sprain since July 10. He had a 6.81 ERA in his last eight starts before going on the DL. Wilson says he'll probably need a rehab assignment, so he likely won't be back before early August.
Description: Miami right-hander Henderson Alvarez (shin) has been cleared to start Thursday against the Astros, according to the Miami Herald.
Insight: Alvarez took a comebacker off the left shin Saturday and had to exit his start. He's gone 6-5 with a 2.64 ERA, a 1.26 WHIP and 75 Ks in 122 2/3 innings this season. Fantasy owners might want to sell high; because his K/9 is just 5.5 and he doesn't get a lot of run support from the Marlins, his value relies heavily on his ERA.
Description: Athletics left-hander Tommy Milone has asked the team to trade him, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
Insight: Milone went 6-0 with a 2.62 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP over his last 11 starts but was sent down when Oakland traded for Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel. The A's are not eager to move him because he may be needed as a replacement later this season. Milone has an ERA of 2.96 at O.co Coliseum and 4.52 on the road in his career, so a trade could hurt his fantasy value depending on where he lands.
Description: Cardinals starter Michael Wacha (shoulder) could begin a throwing program in two weeks, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Insight: Wacha had an MRI and CT scan Monday and GM John Mozeliak said the results were positive. He's been out since June 17 due to a stress reaction in his right shoulder and the best-case scenario for a return is early September.
Description: Phillies starter Cliff Lee (elbow strain) is expected to be activated from the 60-day disabled list for Monday's scheduled start against San Francisco.
Insight: Lee has been out since May 18 due to an elbow strain. He was 4-4 with a 3.18 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP prior to his injury. He's likely to get two starts before the trade deadline and could be pitching for a contender by August 1.
Description: Mets starter Jon Niese (shoulder) was activated from the 15-day disabled list for Monday's scheduled start against Seattle.
Insight: Niese (5-4, 2.96 ERA, 1.21 WHIP) left his last start on July 4 after getting drilled in the back with a line drive, and he was placed on the DL two days later due to left shoulder inflammation. Seattle has lost three of their last four while the Mets have won eight of 11 so Niese may be a viable option Monday.
Description: Diamondbacks pitching prospect Archie Bradley struck out 10, walked one and allowed two runs on three hits over seven innings for Double-A Mobile Saturday night.
Insight: It was Bradley's most dominant effort of the year. The right-hander dealt with an elbow injury earlier this season, but he's allowed five runs on 17 hits in 25 1/3 innings since he returned to the Double-A rotation. He could be ready to jump back to Triple-A, where he had a 5.18 ERA in 24 1/3 innings before the injury.
Description: Cleveland starter Justin Masterson (knee) allowed two runs on five hits, struck out six and walked two over five innings in his rehab start for Triple-A Columbus on Sunday.
Insight: Masterson could be ready to rejoin the Indians rotation on Friday at Kansas City. The right-hander went 14-10 with a 3.45 ERA and 195 Ks in 193 innings a year ago, but he's 4-6 with a 5.51 ERA and a 1.65 WHIP in 98 innings this year. His 4.06 FIP suggests he'll improve, but he hasn't shown any signs of that yet.
Description: Padres right-hander Odrisamer Despaigne took a no-hitter into the eighth inning and ended up allowing one run on two hits in 7 2/3 Sunday against the Mets.
Insight: San Diego is still the only franchise in Major League Baseball without a no-hitter in its history. Despaigne, meanwhile, has defied logic by posting a 1.31 ERA and a 0.90 WHIP in his first 34 1/3 innings after recording a 7.61 ERA in 23 2/3 innings for Triple-A El Paso this year. The league should catch up to the 27-year-old Cuban soon.
Description: Yankees starter Hiroki Kuroda gave up one run (zero earned) on three hits and struck out six in 6 2/3 innings Sunday against the Reds, but he took a no decision after Dellin Betances gave up a home run to Todd Frazier.
Insight: Kuroda is the king of tough-luck losses. He's 74-76 in his career even though he has a 3.44 ERA. This season, he's gone 6-6 with a 3.88 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP.
Description: Tigers left-hander Drew Smyly returned to form Sunday against the Indians after giving up 13 runs on 23 hits in his last 14 1/3 innings.
Insight: Smyly held Cleveland to one run on four hits and fanned six batters in seven innings to win his sixth game of the season. With a 3.80 ERA, a 1.33 WHIP and 76 Ks in 94 2/3 innings, he's been a low-end fantasy option this year.
Description: San Francisco starter Tim Lincecum continued his resurgence Sunday at Miami.
Insight: Lincecum allowed three runs on five hits and struck out seven in seven innings. The right-hander has recorded a 0.96 ERA and a 0.70 WHIP in his last five starts to lower his ERA from 4.90 to 3.68.
Description: Kansas City starter Yordano Ventura had a rough afternoon Sunday at Boston.
Insight: Ventura walked four, didn't strike out a batter and gave up six runs on nine hits in 4 1/3 innings. The right-hander has struck out just 29 batters in 50 1/3 innings (5.19 K/9) since his elbow scare on May 26. He had a 9.26 K/9 in his first 57 1/3 innings this season.
Description: Red Sox left-hander Jon Lester dominated the Royals Sunday for his 10th win of the year.
Insight: Lester struck out eight and gave up four hits over eight scoreless frames. The left-hander has a career-low 2.50 ERA and his 9.33 K/9 is his best since 2010. He's allowed one earned run on 21 hits while recording a 33/4 K/BB in his last 31 innings.
Description: Cleveland right-hander Corey Kluber posted another 10 strikeouts Saturday against the Detroit Tigers
Insight: Kluber has arguably been the surprise of the year, delighting fantasy owners with a 2.95 ERA, 152 strikeouts and 33 walks. His 9.7 Ks per nine innings pitched is the best since he became a starter in 2012. He needs one more win to tie last year's career high of 11.
Description: Rangers starter Yu Darvish struck out 12 batters over 6 2/3 innings Friday at Toronto.
Insight: Darvish gave up one run on five hits to get his ninth win. The right-hander has a 2.88 ERA, a 1.21 WHIP and 154 Ks in 122 innings this season, so he's been exactly what fantasy owners expected.
Description: Mariners left-hander James Paxton (shoulder) is expected to throw a bullpen session Saturday, according to Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune.
Insight: Paxton will make a rehab start Tuesday if he gets through the bullpen without an issue. The young left-hander went on the DL with a strained lat on April 9th and began experiencing shoulder inflammation near the end of May.
Description: Cincinnati right-hander Homer Bailey (knee) is expected to start Tuesday against the Brewers, according to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Insight: Bailey left his last start on July 10 due to soreness in his right patellar tendon. The right-hander has gone 5-2 with a 3.26 ERA, a 1.13 WHIP and a 0.54 HR/9 over his last 66 1/3 innings after going 3-3 with a 5.44 ERA, a 1.58 WHIP and a 1.58 HR/9 in his first 51 1/3.
Description: Mets starter Jon Niese (shoulder) threw a bullpen session Friday and said he's ready to start Monday against the Mariners.
Insight: Niese (5-4, 2.96 ERA, 1.21 WHIP) left his last start on July 4 after getting drilled in the back with a line drive, and he was placed on the DL two days later due to left shoulder inflammation.
Description: Padres right-hander Andrew Cashner (shoulder) hopes to resume his throwing program on Saturday, according to Jeff Sanders of the Union-Tribune.
Insight: Cashner (2-6, 2.36 ERA, 1.19 WHIP) was placed on the disabled list with shoulder soreness in June. He's been on the disabled list twice this season due to arm injuries and the Padres are not going to rush his return.
Description: San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said Friday that Matt Cain's elbow "has been cranky." SOURCE: Alex Pavlovic, Bay Area News Group
Insight: The Giants have pushed Cain back to the fifth game of the second half to get him extra rest. Cain has posted a 1.86 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP in his last three starts. He'll be on 12 days of rest when he starts Tuesday against the Phillies.
Description: Cardinals right-hander Shelby Miller will move to the bullpen indefinitely for rest purposes, according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Insight: The Cardinals can use four starters and still keep everyone on regular rest for the remainder of July. Miller's poor fielding-independent numbers -- he had a 3.42 ERA over his first 14 starts, but his FIP was 4.68 in that span -- have caught up with him. He's gone 0-3 with a 7.30 ERA in his last five starts and sits at 7-8 with a 4.29 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP this season.
Description: Seattle right-hander Taijuan Walker's next start for Triple-A Tacoma has been pushed back from Thursday to Friday, which knocks him off schedule to reclaim the fifth starter spot Tuesday against the Mets.
Insight: "Taijuan just needs a little more time," Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik said. "He got up here this year, fairly quick (after completing his rehab from a shoulder injury). That was, more or less, out of necessity. What we'd like to do is have Taijuan get a few more games under his belt." This is a frustrating development for fantasy owners who waited patiently for Walker to make his 2014 debut on June 30 after he missed the entire season to that point with shoulder inflammation.
Description: Rockies right-hander Tyler Chatwood needs Tommy John surgery, according to the Denver Post.
Insight: Chatwood had a 3.15 ERA and allowed just five home runs in 111 1/3 innings last season despite pitching at Coors Field, but he gave up four homers and had a 4.50 ERA in 24 innings this season before going down with a strained elbow.
Description: Diamondbacks pitching prospect Archie Bradley has allowed just three runs on 14 hits in 18 1/3 innings since he returned from an elbow strain, but he's also recorded a 9/13 K/BB in that span.
Insight: Bradley was ranked as one of the top-10 prospects in baseball by several reputable publications prior to this season. Overall he's posted a 3.66 ERA and a 38/26 K/BB in 46 2/3 innings and will need to show improvement with his control before the Diamondbacks call him up. It could be another few weeks or more before we see him in the big leagues.
Description: Nationals pitching prospect Taylor Hill is 9-4 with a 2.63 ERA and 1.09 WHIP at Triple-A Syracuse (INT).
Insight: We particularly like the 69/12 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He was up for a couple of bullpen appearances in June, but he's a starter. Unfortunately, the Nationals rotation is very strong and doesn't give much hope for him and any fantasy value at this time.
Description: Houston pitching prospect Nick Tropeano has a stunning 2.38 ERA and 0.954 WHIP pitching for Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Insight: In the PCL, numbers like that don't come along very often. He's also striking out almost a batter an inning (81 in 87 IP). I'd expect him up in September and a candidate for the rotation in 2015.
Description: Padres starter Tyson Ross struck out nine and allowed one run on six hits over seven innings Sunday at Los Angeles, but he still took his 10th loss of the season.
Insight: Only Clayton Kershaw has a lower contact rate than Ross this season. He's posted a 2.85 ERA, a 1.18 WHIP and 117 Ks in 122 2/3 innings and is one of two Padres All-Stars along with Huston Street.
Description: Athletics starter Sonny Gray has gone 3-0 with a 0.83 ERA in July.
Insight: Gray allowed one unearned run on six hits over 7 2/3 innings Sunday at Seattle to win his 10th game of the season. The right-hander has bounced back nicely from recording a 5.50 ERA over six starts from May 27 to June 28.
Description: Boston right-hander Clay Buchholz threw his seventh career complete game and fifth career shutout Sunday at Houston.
Insight: Buchholz (4-5, 5.42 ERA, 1.51 WHIP) struck out 12, walked none and allowed just three hits. He appears to have figured out what was wrong with him earlier this season while he was on the disabled list. The right-hander has posted a 23/1 K/BB, a 2.73 ERA and a 0.71 WHIP in 29 2/3 innings since he returned.
Description: With seven innings of one-run ball Sunday against the Indians Chicago left-hander John Danks dropped his ERA below 4.00 for the first time since April 26.
Insight: Danks is over the shoulder troubles he dealt with in 2012 and 2013. He's gone 5-2 with a 2.69 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP over his last 67 innings after starting out 3-4 with a 5.64 ERA and a 1.58 WHIP in his first 52 2/3.
Description: Indians starter Trevor Bauer struck out 10 batters over 6 2/3 scoreless innings Sunday against the White Sox.
Insight: Bauer has been inconsistent this season, but he has a ton of upside and he put that on display Sunday with one of the best starts of his career. He'll take a 3.84 ERA, a 1.42 WHIP and 70 Ks in 72 2/3 innings into the second half.
Description: Colorado left-hander Brett Anderson (broken finger) will start Sunday against the Twins.
Insight: Anderson was activated from the disabled list Sunday after missing three months with a broken finger. He's extremely injury-prone and doesn't have as much upside with Colorado as he did in Oakland due to the Coors Field factor.
Description: Rays right-hander Jeremy Hellickson has been optioned to Double-A to make one start during the All-Star break.
Insight: Hellickson allowed oe run on six hits in 4 1/3 innings in his season debut on July 8 after missing the entire season due to elbow surgery. He had a 5.17 ERA last year but his career ERA is 3.69.
Description: The Athletics have activated Drew Pomeranz from the disabled list and optioned him to Triple-A.
Insight: Pomeranz' temper cost him a spot in the rotation. He broke his right hand when he punched a chair on June 16 after allowing seven earned runs in 3 2/3 innings, and Oakland acquired Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel while Pomeranz was on the DL. The A's may look to trade him or Tommy Milone for a second baseman.
Description: Toronto starter R.A. Dickey has baffled most of Tampa Bay's lineup in his career.
Insight: Dickey is a worthwhile fantasy option Sunday. Fantasy owners should avoid Evan Longoria (5-for-22 against Dickey), Ben Zobrist (5-24), Matt Joyce (5-27), James Loney (5-26) and Desmond Jennings (2-18) against the knuckleballer.
Description: Orioles starter Miguel Gonzalez has thrown eight innings in back-to-back starts.
Insight: Gonzalez took no decisions in both, but he allowed three earned runs and struck out 11 in that span to lower his ERA from 4.56 to 4.04. He allowed two runs on six hits and struck out five Friday against the Yankees.
Description: Nationals starter Jordan Zimmermann left Friday's game against the Phillies, according to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.
Insight: He threw a pitch in the fourth inning, shook the fingers on his right hand and motioned for the dugout. The right-hander's second-to-last pitch was recorded as an 88-mph fastball, 5-6 mph below average for him.
Description: Pittsburgh right-hander Gerrit Cole (right lat soreness) will not return from the disabled list when he's first eligible on July 20, according to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Insight: Cole has been on the disabled list twice since June 3, first with shoulder fatigue and now with a right lat strain. The team won't rush the recovery process with the former No. 1 overall pick.
Description: Top Milwaukee prospect Jimmy Nelson has been recalled and will start on Saturday.
Insight: He's replacing Marco Estrada who has been sent to the bullpen. Nelson has pitched very well for Triple-A Nashville (10-2, 1.459 ERA, .919 WHIP and 114 Ks in 111 IP). Minor league success doesn't always translate to the majors, but he has all the tools.
Description: Yankees right-hander Masahiro Tanaka has been diagnosed with a partially torn UCL.
Insight: He'll try six weeks of rehab and PRP injections, but the odds are not good for his return. Think Dr. James Andrews. It's a disaster for both the Yankees and fantasy owners to lose a hurler like Tanaka (12-4, 2.51 ERA, 1.005 WHIP).
Description: Los Angeles left-hander C.J. Wilson has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a right ankle sprain.
Insight: Wilson hasn't pitched well since mid-June and it's likely fantasy owners haven't been using him of late anyway. He's 8-6 with a high 4.33 ERA and 1.332 WHIP, but was 0-0 with a 10.13 ERA and 2.375 WHIP in two July starts.
Description: Cincinnati right-hander Homer Bailey left the game in the sixth inning with a right patella tendon injury.
Insight: Bailey (8-5, 4.15 ERA, 1.349 WHIP heading into the game) was coming off two very good starts, yielding just one run over 17 innings. He left Thursday's game after giving up three earned run on three hits and two walks.
Description: Red Sox left-hander Jon Lester pitched like an ace again Thursday, but didn't get the win because his bullpen let him down.
Insight: Lester went seven innings and gave up one run on seven hits while striking out 12. His ERA as down to 2.65 which should normally amount to a better record than 9-7. I blame the offense more than the bullpen as three of his losses have come when he's yielded two runs or less.