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Lucroy's return!
Jonathan Lucroy ((USATSI))
It's a simple question: Should we start Jonathan Lucroy his first week back? Scott White says do it as he tells you the hitters to consider in Week 9. Full Story
Related Links:
• Melchior: Pitching options are thin in Week 9
• Towers: Fernando Rodney too dangerous?
•  Check out our Fantasy podcasts | FBT blogs
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1Eduardo Rodriguez, BOS, SP12378
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Player News
Phillies 1B Ryan Howard cooling off after hot stretch
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(10:46 am ET) Phillies veteran first baseman Ryan Howard, who has been the subject of intense trade rumors, has suddenly gone from hot to cold.

Howard is 0-for-12 in his last three games after a 9-for-21 stretch in which he slugged three home runs.

He remains on pace, however to hit 36 home runs this season. That would be his highest total since 2009.


Mariners 2B Robinson Cano should be fine for Saturday
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(10:34 am ET) The rather mysterious ailment that has sidelined Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano from the first two games of the weekend series against Cleveland is now believed to be an ear infection, per the Tacoma News Tribune.

He is expected to return to the lineup Saturday.

"He's better," Lloyd McClendon said after the game Friday. "His weight was steady today. No IVs. He still had some chills, but they gave him some type of medicine and they believe he should be ready to go."

Cano flied out as a pinch-hitter Thursday, but did not play Friday.


Yankees 2B Stephen Drew still starting despite struggles
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(10:18 am ET) What Yankees second baseman Stephen Drew is experiencing at the plate this season has gone beyond a slump. One must break out a thesaurus to appropriately capture the extent of his struggles.

But Joe Girardi continues to send him out there despite all the hitless games that are piling up - seven of the last nine to be exact. His latest drought is 2-for-35, leaving his batting average at .158 and on-base percentage at .226.

Girardi is searching for answers - and excuses.

"It just doesn't seem that he gets the rewards that he should when he hits the ball hard," Girardi told the Journal News. "And that's frustrating."

Several factors have entered into his continued presence in the lineup. He is playing strong defense. Possible young replacements Jose Pirela and Robert Refsnyder are not ready. And the Yankees could believe that the one-year, $5 million contract they gave Drew warrants a longer wait before pulling the plug.


Brewers RP Jonathan Broxton loses hold of setup role
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(9:55 am ET) The struggles of Brewers setup man Jonathan Broxton means he is no longer their setup man.

In fact, nobody is at the moment.

Craig Counsell has declared that he will mix-and-match in such situations going forward unless someone emerges.

Broxton has allowed 15 runs in his last 18 1/3 innings. His latest mistake landed over the fence Friday night, courtesy of Diamondbacks shorstop Nick Ahmed and breaking a 4-4 deadlock. Counsell said after the game that Broxton is finding it difficult to miss bats.

"I feel like there's a little bit of a lack of a put-away [pitch] for him," he told MLB.com. "I think we start thinking about [removing Broxton from the setup role] because it's a big spot and we need outs in those spots. We need to give ourselves a chance in those spots. Those are big leverage innings he's pitching and we have to get outs in those innings."

Asked who will take over for Broxton, he said it would not be one guy.


Struggling INF Hernan Perez frustrating Tigers
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(9:43 am ET) The Tigers are growing frustrated with utility infielder Hernan Perez. He is 2-for-33 with 11 strikeouts on the season after a hitless Friday night. But he is out of options and the team is not prepared to demote it and risk losing him on waivers.

Brad Ausmus has certainly given the 24 year old a chance to find his stroke, starting him in three of the last five games, but to no avail.

"He's scuffling," Ausmus told MLive.com. "But again, there's no magical solution in baseball. When a team struggles as a group offensively, there's no magical solution."

Perez hasn't had a hit since April 27. He is 0-for-19 in May.


Red Sox DH David Ortiz will probably start Saturday
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(9:33 am ET) John Farrell has all but assured that Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz will be ready to roll Saturday against Texas.

"Everything points to he will be in the lineup," Farrell told MLB.com.

Farrell made that declaration Friday night after Ortiz had been given two games off to get his swing together. He is on a 1-for-20 slide that has dropped his batting average to .216.


Orioles SP Bud Norris could pitch Wednesday in Houston
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(9:27 am ET) Orioles right-hander Bud Norris will either make his next start at Triple-A Norfolk or with the big-league club in Houston on Wednesday.

That's the word from Buck Showalter, per the Baltimore Sun. No decision was made earlier Friday because the Orioles wanted to see if Norris would be needed in an emergency bullpen appearance. But the eight-inning stint of Miguel Gonzalez made that unnecessary.

Norris is recovering from a severe case of bronchitis that has cost him 10 pounds. He has been out since May 10.


Rockies 1B Justin Morneau now on 15-day DL
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(9:18 am ET) The Rockies have placed first baseman Justin Morneau on the 15-day disabled list with a cervical strain and concussion symptoms. He had already been on the 7-day concussion DL.

Morneau has been sidelined since May 13. His future status remains uncertain.


Padres 1B Yonder Alonso elevated to Triple-A in rehab
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(9:09 am ET) Padres first baseman Yonder Alonso is inching closer to a return from a shoulder injury that has him on the disabled list.

After two rehab games at Class A Lake Elsinore, he played Friday night at Triple-A El Paso, where he will remain for at least three games. He was 0-for-3, but walked twice and scored twice. Alonso is 1-for-9 in his rehab stint.

"He needs to see pitches and get at-bats," Bud Black told MLB.com.

Alonso will return with a fine slash line of .333/.427/.437.


Ryan Raburn triples in only run of game for Indians
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(1:54 am ET) Ryan Raburn hit a pinch-hit triple to drive in the only run of the game in the Indians' loss on Friday. 

Raburn came to the plate in the ninth inning and got his first triple, and 14th RBI, of the year off of Seattle closer Fernando Rodney. 


 
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