Rockies, Orioles not progressing in Jorge De La Rosa talks
by R.J. White |
(8:00 pm ET) The Rockies and Orioles have been engaged in trade discussions involving pitcher Jorge De La Rosa, but there's no evidence the talks have progressed in recent days, baseball insider Jon Heyman reports.

The Rockies are seeking "big-time young pitching" in exchange for De La Rosa, to whom they'll likely extend a qualifying offer after the season. The Orioles are hesitant to part with a top young pitcher in a deal for the upcoming free agent. De La Rosa owns a 4.19 ERA and 86:46 K:BB ratio in 116 innings.

Why would now be different for Shelby Miller?
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(7:14 pm ET) The reports of Shelby Miller moving back to the Cardinals rotation have Fantasy owners taking another look at the 23-year-old right-hander. Don't even try to deny it. We keep track of these things.

During his time out of the rotation, he made one relief appearance, and it was shaky. He allowed two hits and one walk in a scoreless inning of work.

Same old Miller? That's the impression I got.

If he's been working on anything in the 13 days since his last start, he hasn't shown it in a game yet. The only reason the Cardinals gave for his banishment to the bullpen was a need for extra rest, so I'm not expecting to see anything different from Miller. And considering he wasn't any good at the start of the season, when he was as rested as he could possibly be, I don't expect the results to change either.

Someone somewhere down the line is going to get through to Miller someday, but I'll opt for Jacob deGrom, Rubby De La Rosa, Danny Duffy or Wade Miley off the waiver wire instead. The signs of progress are much clearer for them.

Bartolo Colon takes perfect game into seventh inning
by R.J. White |
(6:48 pm ET) Mets pitcher Bartolo Colon took a perfect game into the seventh inning Wednesday before eventually picking up a win after giving up two earned runs on three hits and one walk in 7 1/3 innings while striking out five in his team's 3-2 victory over the Mariners.

Colon (9-8) retired the first 20 batters he faced Wednesday before giving up a two-out single in the seventh inning. The trouble came in the eighth, when he walked a batter and gave up two one-out hits before being removed. Colon owns a 4.03 ERA and 100:19 K:BB ratio in 134 innings. He's scheduled to face the Phillies Monday.

Cliff Lee not a sure thing
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(6:39 pm ET) Before I say anything else, I want to point out that I currently rank Cliff Lee 23rd among starting pitchers, which means I would trade anyone ranked 24th or higher straight-up for him, including Jeff Samardzija, Anibal Sanchez, Alex Cobb and Jered Weaver. So when I say he's not a sure thing, understand I'm not saying he's washed up and doesn't deserve a spot on your roster. I'm simply noting that those who stuck with him throughout his two-month DL stint hoping he'd be an ace when he returned have reason to be concerned now.

On Tuesday's Fantasy Baseball Today, Al Melchior picked Lee as one of the starting pitchers who worry him in the second half, and though I didn't do the same, I certainly could have. I'm just not totally confident in the condition of his elbow.

It's probably an overreaction. You might even say a bad start after an extended layoff is to be expected, and if Lee dominates over eight innings next time out, all the hand-wringing we're doing now will seem like wasted energy. But for now, the doubts linger. Because the injury was a strain and not a sprain, Tommy John surgery should be off the table, but how do we know nothing else is going on in there? Can we be sure the injury had enough time to heal completely, or, as Al suggested, might the Phillies have rushed him back to market him at the trade deadline?

It all remains to be seen, but whether you own Cliff Lee or are looking to trade for him, you shouldn't be counting on him to save your season. 

Jorge De La Rosa strikes out 11 in win vs. Nationals
by R.J. White |
(6:33 pm ET) Rockies pitcher Jorge De La Rosa earned a win Wednesday, giving up two runs (one earned) on eight hits in 7 1/3 innings while striking out 11 and walking none in his team's 6-4 victory over the Nationals.

De La Rosa (11-6) came into the game with three straight quality starts, but he had managed to strike out a total of just eight batters during that stretch. His last time recording double-digit strikeouts was in September 2010, and his last time reaching 11 strikeouts was August 2009. De La Rosa owns a 4.19 ERA and 86:46 K:BB ratio in 116 innings. He's slated to take on the Cubs Tuesday.

Stephen Strasburg surrenders four runs in loss Wednesday
by R.J. White |
(6:32 pm ET) Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg was stuck with a loss Wednesday, giving up four earned runs on nine hits and three walks in 5 1/3 innings while striking out five in his team's 6-4 defeat against the Rockies.

Strasburg (7-8) was touched up for three runs in the first inning but held things in check until the sixth, when he was removed with one out and two runners on base, one of which would come around to score. He owns a 3.67 ERA and 163:30 K:BB ratio in 137 1/3 innings. Strasburg is scheduled to face the Marlins Tuesday.

Cubs recall Tsuyoshi Wada from Triple-A
by R.J. White |
(6:20 pm ET) The Cubs recalled pitcher Tsuyoshi Wada from Triple-A Iowa before his scheduled start Wednesday against the Padres.

Wada has made one appearance with the Cubs, pitching five scoreless innings on July 8. He is 10-6 with a 2.77 ERA in 113 2/3 innings with Iowa this season.

Kyle Lohse picks up 11th win Wednesday
by Michael Hurcomb |
(5:32 pm ET) Brewers starting pitcher Kyle Lohse picked up a second straight victory during a 5-1 win Wednesday against the Reds. The right-hander allowed one run on four hits and two walks, while striking out three in 6 2/3 innings. 

Lohse (11-4) was locked in all afternoon. He didn't allow his first hit until a two-out single to Billy Hamilton in the third inning. 

He did run into some trouble in the fifth inning, as he put two runners on base and allowed his only run of the game on a Hamilton sac fly. But he allowed just one more hit and a walk the rest of the afternoon before being lifted with two outs in the seventh inning.

Lohse has allowed just one earned run in three of his last five starts. He will be back on the mound Monday at Tampa Bay. Lohse is 7-2 with a 3.74 ERA in 12 road starts.

Noah Syndergaard only mildly interesting for 2014
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(5:28 pm ET) If Noah Syndergaard joins the Mets starting rotation in August, as the New York Daily News suggested was a possibility Wednesday, I'd be interested in adding him in an Andrew Heaney sort of way, recognizing his potential at a position where you can never have too many choices but also acknowledging he may still have more work to do.

By the look of his numbers at Triple-A, he has a lot more work to do. Over 18 starts, he has a 5.34 ERA and 1.53 WHIP. But he plays for Las Vegas of the Pacific Coast League, one of the more hitter-friendly venues in an especially hitter-friendly league, so you shouldn't read too much into the numbers. Unlike Rafael Montero, Syndergaard hasn't stopped throwing strikes (which might explain why he's getting hit so hard), so he should fare better in a more neutral environment.

Of course, who knows what other bad habits he might have developed in his attempt to distinguish himself in a league where few pitchers do? If he was dominating the PCL, stashing him would be a no-brainer, but with the numbers he has, it's a roll of the dice.

Ultimately, the point may be moot. The Mets won't have an opening for Syndergaard if they keep Bartolo Colon, and even if they don't, they may fill it with Daisuke Matsuzaka instead.

Mike Leake winless over his last five starts
by Michael Hurcomb |
(5:26 pm ET) Reds starting pitcher Mike Leake lost a second straight start and ran his winless streak to five starts during a 5-1 loss Wednesday at Milwaukee. He was charged with four runs on 11 hits and no walks, while striking out four in six innings.

Leake (7-9) was locked in a scoreless battle with Brewers starting pitcher Kyle Lohse until Cincinnati went up 1-0 in the top of the fifth. Unfortunately, Leake couldn't hold the lead, as Milwaukee took a 2-1 advantage on an RBI triple from Carlos Gomez and an RBI single from Ryan Braun in the bottom of the fifth.

The Brewers added on two more runs after Mark Reynolds connected for a two-run homer off Leake in the sixth inning. It was the 15th home run Leake has allowed in 21 starts this season.

The right-handed hurler is expected to make his next start Tuesday against the Diamondbacks. Leake is 1-0 with a 4.50 ERA in one start against Arizona this season.

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