Week 9 Fantasy Pitching Planner

This past week continued the trend of steady pitcher injuries, as Jorge De La Rosa and Phil Coke both succumbed to the bug. For De La Rosa, the situation is far more dire, as he is facing season-ending Tommy John surgery, while Coke may only miss a couple of weeks with an ankle injury. R.A. Dickey and Homer Bailey were also pulled early from their Thursday outings, and Bailey has already been placed on the disabled list. The casualties piled up over the weekend, with Tom Gorzelanny and Wandy Rodriguez going on the disabled list and Francisco Liriano possibly facing some DL time as well.

The good news is that several pitchers are due to return from the disabled list within the next week or two. Randy Wells and Zach Duke returned this weekend, and Brian Matusz and Matt Garza are just two of the pitchers who could possibly come back in Fantasy Week 9 (May 30-June 5). For more details on these pitchers, scroll down to the DL Watch section at the bottom of the Pitching Planner.

Of course, there are still few a healthy pitchers left, and those set to make starts are included in the interactive Starting Pitcher Tool just below. Those currently on the DL who may start next week, as well as those who may go on the DL, are in the tool as well.

Advisable Two-Start Pitchers (Standard Mixed Leagues)

Jake Arrieta , Baltimore: Home runs are enough of a concern for Arrieta that he is not necessarily an advisable one-start pitcher. However, he will go twice next week, and with one of his starts coming at Seattle, he should be safe to use, even if he falters against the Blue Jays.

Erik Bedard , Seattle: Just over this weekend, Bedard has been added to rosters in 10 percent of Fantasy leagues. It's no longer a secret that he has been nearly untouchable over his last five starts, allowing only four earned runs in a 33-inning span. It's getting to the point where Bedard can be trusted in most one-start weeks, but with two starts this coming week, he could still be added to a few more leagues.

Chad Billingsley , L.A. Dodgers: Billingsley hasn't been stellar in his last couple of starts, allowing seven earned runs over 12 innings against the Giants and Astros. There's no cause of concern here, as his season stats fall into the pattern of consistency that Billingsley has established over his career.

Madison Bumgarner , San Francisco: Even since his poor start to the season, Bumgarner has rolled off six quality starts in a row. Even with matchups against the Cardinals and Rockies in Week 9, Bumgarner can continue the streak, as he has been exhibiting his trademark control and ground ball tendencies.

Trevor Cahill , Oakland: Last season, Cahill struck out six batters or more a total of five times. With more than four months left on the schedule, Cahill has already matched that mark. The advances in his strikeout rate are very much for real, making him a must-start option in just his third season.

Roberto Hernandez , Cleveland: With a 4.73 ERA, Carmona probably doesn't strike many owners as an advisable two-start option, but according to xFIP, his ERA could just as easily be in the mid-3.00s. Carmona's 1.18 WHIP is another sign that he hasn't been as bad as you might think. A 61 percent strand rate is what has allowed a surprisingly large number of runs to score against Carmona. Even though his results have been uneven this season, the Indians' ace has a very good chance of extending Jo-Jo Reyes winless streak on Monday in Toronto.

Chris Carpenter , St. Louis: Carpenter had his best start in over a month on Wednesday, as he held the Padres to two earned runs in eight innings. Plenty of pitchers look good against San Diego, so we'd be better served looking at the bigger picture here. Carpenter's woes this year have resulted in part from a 23 percent line drive rate, which is about six points higher than the rate he established over the last two years. That's a substantial change, but one that could still be reversed. With a start against the ground ball-hitting Giants next week, it's safe to take a chance that Carpenter will continue his rebound.

Bartolo Colon , N.Y. Yankees: Only the hard-hitting Rangers and Blue Jays have given Colon a problem in his starts this year. Otherwise, he's had few difficulties, and the A's and Angels shouldn't pose much of a challenge for the 38-year-old.

Wade Davis , Tampa Bay: Striking out less than a batter every other inning, Davis hasn't been fooling many hitters this year. Still, there are reasons to give him a chance in Week 9. Davis has fared well at home this season with a 3.41 ERA, and as a flyball pitcher, one would expect that he could succeed in a pitcher's park. With one start at the Trop against the Rangers and then a trip to Seattle, Davis could produce just enough in these welcoming settings to be useful in standard mixed leagues.

Brian Duensing , Minnesota: Duensing hit a brief snag after a rain-shortened start on May 7, but he showed improvement in his start on Wednesday against Seattle. While the Mariners may not present the toughest matchup, it did mark the second start in a row in which Duensing demonstrated strong command. Owners should look for him to recapture the consistency that made him a reliable Fantasy option late last season and earlier this year.

Doug Fister , Seattle: Overall, Fister has been putting up a respectable ERA and WHIP by keeping walks and homers to a minimum. He's too inconsistent to trust on a weekly basis, as three outings with four or more earned runs this year have shown. A start at home against the Orioles should be enough to help make Fister a viable option in standard mixed leagues this week, and he gets a second start against the Rays.

Jeremy Guthrie , Baltimore: Guthrie settled down after a difficult second inning to have a decent start against the Royals on Thursday. This game was a microcosm of Guthrie's season, as he has been both brilliant and maddening at times. The fly-ball-prone hurler should have one of his better outings in Week 9, going up against a low-octane Seattle offense in cavernous Safeco Field. That is reason enough for owners to use Guthrie, even with a second start against a tough Blue Jays lineup.

Roy Halladay , Philadelphia: Halladay is on his way to another potential Cy Young season. Though he currently ranks below the major leagues' top 10 in ERA, he does have the lowest xFIP of any qualifying starting pitcher.

Jason Hammel , Colorado: Hammel's strikeouts are down this season, but he has finally managed to reduce a chronically-high line drive rate. According to Fangraphs.com, he is pitching in the strike zone less frequently, but if less hard contact and, in turn, more stranded baserunners are the results, Fantasy owners can live with that. Hammel's ERA and WHIP are down from their usual levels, making him a much more reliable option in his two-start weeks.

Aaron Harang , San Diego: Some of Harang's improvement has been skill-related (e.g., better control, more ground balls), but he has also been aided by his new home park. Harang gets one start at PETCO Park against the Astros, and second one at Turner Field, another pitching-friendly environment. There are enough plusses here to trust Harang in standard mixed leagues.

Derek Holland , Texas: Cursed with a .352 BABIP through 10 starts, Holland has been one of the majors' unluckiest pitchers. Eventually, his fortunes have to turn for the better, and with Week 9 starts in pitchers' parks in Tampa Bay and Cleveland, Holland is worth giving a try in both standard and deeper formats.

Tim Hudson , Atlanta: Hudson's last start was skipped due to a stiff back, but he is expected to take both of his scheduled turns in the coming week. The sinkerballer is a must-start whenever he gets a pair of starts, but especially with matchups against the Padres and Mets, owners need to get him active.

Ian Kennedy , Arizona: Don't look now, but Kennedy is on pace for a breakout season. He is walking nearly one less batter per nine innings and getting more ground ball and infield fly outs. Kennedy is not quite a must-start just yet, but with two turns in the rotation in Week 9, he should be active in all standard mixed leagues at least for the next scoring period.

Most Added Pitchers
* as of May 29
Player % increase
1. Erik Bedard , SP, Mariners 32
2. Ryan Vogelsong , SP, Giants 28
3. Nick Blackburn , SP, Twins 20
4. Charlie Morton , SP, Pirates 13
5. Fernando Salas , RP, Cardinals 12
6. Kyle McClellan , SP, Cardinals 11
7. Juan Nicasio , SP, Rockies 11
8. Aaron Harang , SP, Padres 10
9. Vance Worley , SP, Phillies 10
10. Dillon Gee , SP, Mets 10

Mat Latos , San Diego: Latos had been pretty effective since his fourth start this season, but on Wednesday, he went deep into a game for the first time all year. The fact that he gave the Padres eight full innings against the Cardinals -- one of the majors' best offenses -- is encouraging, to say the least. Fantasy owners can start him with confidence next week, as Latos matches up against the Braves and Astros.

Jon Lester , Boston: With six shutout innings at Cleveland on Wednesday, Lester broke a mini-slump in which he had allowed four or more earned runs in three straight games. Part of Lester's problem was the long ball, as he gave up a pair of home runs at the Blue Jays and again at the Yankees. Lester is proven enough that owners shouldn't worry about where he is pitching, but for those who want to be reassured, he is back in Fenway for both Week 9 starts. The biggest risk to Lester's week is that he may lose his second start (against Oakland) if John Lackey is activated prior to that game, as is expected. Still, even as a one-start pitcher, Lester should be active in all leagues.

Kyle McClellan , St. Louis: McClellan hasn't been as good as his 3.11 ERA and 1.19 WHIP make it appear, as he has benefitted from a .251 BABIP. The converted reliever hasn't been delivering strikeouts, so Rotisserie owners may want to look elsewhere, but McClellan's efficiency makes him a reasonable two-start option in most Head-to-Head leagues.

James McDonald , Pittsburgh: The rules for starting McDonald are pretty straightforward. As a flyball pitcher, he thrives in spacious environments like PNC Park, where he has a 2.55 ERA, but can be a disaster when he leaves home. Luckily for his owners, next week McDonald gets one start at home against the Phillies and another at offense-deprived Citi Field.

Charlie Morton , Pittsburgh: McDonald's teammate, Morton, is the exact opposite. He has emerged as one of the most reliable inducers of ground balls this season, so venue is not an issue. He has gone six straight starts without allowing a homer, and he punched out 27 batters in the 40 innings he pitched over that span, elevating a previously miniscule strikeout rate. Add in the fact that Morton has gone seven-plus innings in three consecutive starts, and it's hard to find a reason to sit him in a two- start week.

Chris Narveson , Milwaukee: After three straight quality starts, Narveson frustrated his owners with a rough outing against the Nationals in which he didn't have his best command. Owners may just have to live with inconsistency with Narveson, as he is one of the majors' worst pitchers in terms of throwing in the strike zone, but one of the best in terms of inducing swinging strikes. This coming week is a good week to trust Narveson, as his opponents -- the Reds and Marlins -- are among the most prone to swing and miss, according to Fangraphs data.

Anibal Sanchez , Florida: Sanchez has been finding consistency, holding opponents scoreless in three out of his last four starts, walking no more than two batters in any of those appearances, and going at least seven innings each time. Granted, his three scoreless starts consisted of two games against the Nats and one against the Giants, but forget about the matchups. Sanchez has been just plain good, ranking in the top 10 in the NL in ERA and strikeouts.

Ervin Santana , L.A. Angels: Take away Santana's two starts at Texas this season, and his ERA shrinks from 3.95 to 3.17. He's probably not very reliable in other home run parks, but with starts at Kansas City and at home against the Yankees next week, Santana should be a safe play.

C.J. Wilson , Texas: Wilson led all American League pitchers in walks last season, but he has improved his control this year. His walk rate is down by more than a batter per nine innings and he has issued more than three free passes in only two games in 2011. While he's not quite a must-start candidate, Wilson is safe to use as a two-start pitcher in any week.

Other Add/Activate Targets

Johnny Cueto , Cincinnati: Cueto had been less impressive in his two starts prior to Sunday night's matchup with the Braves than he was in his first two starts after coming off the DL. If not for a .247 BABIP, his stats would look pretty mediocre, but Cueto still has breakout potential. Next week, he gets the Dodgers as his opponent, and they have been scuffling at the plate, scoring more than three runs only four times over their last 15 games.

Ted Lilly , L.A. Dodgers: Lilly's WHIP has not been as low as usual so far this year, mostly because opponents had been getting an unusually high number of ground ball base hits against him. That trend is already starting to reverse, and Lilly has seen better results in his last couple of starts. You can trust him next week as he faces the Rockies at home.

Yunesky Maya , Washington: Maya made his season debut for the Nationals on Sunday, and after handling the Padres early on, he failed to make it out of the fifth inning. That may look like a troubling sign, but Maya was sharp for the most part. He is just filling in short-term for the injured Tom Gorzelanny , but the Cuban-born righty is a solid pickup in deeper leagues for Week 9 with a matchup against Arizona.

Felipe Paulino , Kansas City: Last week, the Royals obtained Paulino from the Rockies, and then it took manager Ned Yost all of three days to move him from the bullpen to the rotation, swapping places with Nate Adcock . Paulino's 5.68 ERA and 1.63 WHIP aren't pretty, but both look like artifacts of a small innings sample. He's a consistent bat-misser and has shown the ability to get ground-ball outs. Having been something of a hard-luck pitcher for much of his big-league career, Paulino is a better pitcher than what his stats show, and he is a worthy start in deeper mixed and AL-only leagues.

Jake Peavy , Chicago White Sox: The Sox are reportedly bringing their six-man rotation experiment to an end. In all likelihood, either John Danks or Philip Humber will be sent to the bullpen within the next week. The way the rotation shakes out, if it's Danks who changes roles, then that will open up a second start for Peavy in Week 9. Peavy will take the mound on Monday at Boston, and he may return on Sunday to face the Tigers. As good as Peavy has looked so far, he is worth starting in Fantasy no matter what, but a second start provides owners with even more incentive to get him active.

Max Scherzer , Detroit: When he's not missing bats, Scherzer is getting easy fly-ball outs (10 percent infield fly rate, .058 batting average on fly balls in play), so he can be used in almost any week in almost any format. This coming week could be an especially good one for starting Scherzer. For certain, he will get a start against the majors' lowest-scoring team, the Twins. However, the Tigers have a day off on Thursday, so they could skip fifth starter Andy Oliver . That would mean a second start at the White Sox for Scherzer in Week 9.

Tim Stauffer , San Diego: Stauffer's strikeout and walk rates are nearly identical to those of Wandy Rodriguez (89 percent ownership rate, even after going on the DL), and his ground ball and home run rates are substantially lower than Wandy's. However, Stauffer is being ignored because his ERA and WHIP have been elevated by a .340 BABIP. Well, that and a dearth of wins. There may not be much that Stauffer can do to win more often, but his BABIP, ERA and WHIP are all due for a downward correction. He needs to be owned in more than half of our leagues and be active more often than not.

Jordan Zimmermann , Washington: Since Zimmerman's biggest weakness is his proclivity for fly balls, his Week 9 start at hitter-friendly Arizona might look like a risky one. Zimmermann owners shouldn't be too worried, though. The Snakes rank fourth in the majors in team strikeout rate, and their starting pitcher will be Zach Duke , who isn't normally much of an obstacle to getting a "W."

Inadvisable Two-Start Pitchers (Standard Mixed Leagues)

Nick Blackburn , Minnesota: He pitches to contact and gives up homers at a high clip, so what is Blackburn doing with a 3.20 ERA? According to xFIP, he's been overperforming at the rate of more than three-fourths of a run every nine innings. There are too many superior two-start options for standard mixed league owners to be taking a chance with Blackburn.

Alex Cobb , Tampa Bay: Cobb was scratched from his Sunday start at Triple-A Durham in anticipation of his expected call-up by the Rays. He will probably replace Andy Sonnanstine in the rotation, which would give the rookie starts against the Rangers and Mariners in Week 9. Cobb has been magnificent in the minors this year, but until he proves that he can make the transition to the majors, he is mainly an option for deeper leagues.

R.A. Dickey , N.Y. Mets: Dickey left Thursday's start at the Cubs with a torn plantar fascia, and he could miss one or both of his Week 9 starts. He threw a bullpen session on Sunday, and though he reported feeling well, a decision regarding his status will not be made until Monday. Dickey is a borderline two-start option in standard mixed leagues anyway, so owners in these formats should look for other alternatives. All of Dickey's owners need to monitor his situation on Monday morning, as he may need to be replaced even in deeper formats.

Jeff Francis , Kansas City: Thursday's start at Baltimore marked the fourth time this season that Francis had allowed five earned runs in a start. Even with good matchups against the Angels and Twins next week, Francis is too unreliable to be trusted outside of deeper leagues.

Dillon Gee , N.Y. Mets: Gee has won his first four decisions this year, but between ample run support and a low BABIP, Gee has been a little lucky through his first six starts. He needs to rediscover the good control that he exhibited in the minors before owners can trust him in standard mixed leagues.

Livan Hernandez , Washington: Hernandez still has very good control, but there's a reason why he is owned in only 14 percent of our leagues. Between his own lack of strikeout moxie and the Nats' tepid offense, it's no coincidence that Hernandez has already lost six games.

Luke Hochevar , Kansas City: Coming into 2011, Hochevar had consistent problems stranding baserunners, which limited his Fantasy appeal. Now that he isn't striking out many batters and still not stranding runners, Hochevar is riskier than ever.

Jordan Lyles , Houston: The 20-year-old Lyles will make his major league debut on Tuesday at the Cubs. He will take the rotation spot of Wandy Rodriguez , who is on the disabled list with fluid in his left elbow joint. Though Lyles is widely considered to be Houston's best prospect, he has not been blowing away minor-league competition. He is very young for Triple-A, so that's not a long-term concern, but Lyles could be overmatched in his first exposure to the big leagues. Even with two starts, just NL-only owners should take a flier on him at this point.

Jason Marquis , Washington: Through his first eight starts, Marquis had a tidy 3.54 ERA, but his last two starts have provided reminders of why it's important not to trust small samples. He has regressed back to a 4.26 ERA that is more in line with his track record. This is not a new-and-improved Marquis, but the same deep-league pitcher that we have known all along.

Brad Penny , Detroit: Penny's command has been abysmal, but he has managed to achieve mediocrity with a 4-4 record, 4.45 ERA and 1.28 WHIP. He has been much worse than mediocre, but a .257 BABIP has been the duct tape that is holding his Fantasy value together. Eventually, things are bound to fall apart for Penny, so he is not worth trusting outside of AL-only leagues, even with two starts.

Jo-Jo Reyes , Toronto: Reyes has gained notoriety by tying the major league record for consecutive winless starts with 28. You can't be good to challenge that kind of record, but Reyes hasn't been all that miserable either, at least not this season. He has actually had decent control this year, which makes him viable in AL-only leagues. However, that is the extent of his Fantasy appeal.

Aneury Rodriguez , Houston: The Astros' other pitching Rodriguez has not been bad in his last two starts, but with one of the big leagues' highest flyball rates, he cannot be trusted in mixed leagues. Even having a start at PETCO Park isn't enough to help Rodriguez in Week 9.

Joe Saunders , Arizona: Saunders has been Brad Penny , but without the strong ground-ball tendencies. At this point, he is barely viable in NL-only leagues, regardless of how many starts he gets.

Mitch Talbot , Cleveland: The Red Sox roughed Talbot up in his first start off the DL on Wednesday. While his pitching line -- eight runs on 12 hits and two walks over three innings -- was freakishly bad, the truth is that Talbot's "normal" is not all that good either.

Ryan Vogelsong , San Francisco: Vogelsong has been legitimately good in his unexpected stint as the Giants' fifth starter, and he's been especially hot of late. Going into Thursday's start against the Marlins, Vogelsong had blanked the Rockies, Cubs and Athletics in succession, holding them scoreless over a combined 18 1/3 innings. On Thursday, he allowed the Marlins just two extra-base hits, but one of them -- a Chris Coghlan double -- ultimately resulted in the game's only run. While Vogelsong has been awfully good, we are still looking at a small sample, and there are many other viable two- start pitchers to pick from. Owners should give Vogelsong a little more of a tryout before trusting him in standard mixed leagues, but it may not be long before we can consider him viable in those formats.

Chris Volstad , Florida: So far, Volstad is posting the highest strikeout rate of his career, and to judge by his 3.68 xFIP, he just may be one of the majors' biggest underperformers. We should be careful not to expect too much improvement from the tall righty, though. His ERA is inflated mostly because of a low strand rate, and that has been a hallmark of his career. Leave Volstad to your NL-only rosters until we see some real improvement.

Travis Wood , Cincinnati: Wood is yet another flyball pitcher who cannot be trusted in a home run ballpark. Unfortunately for him and his owners, the schedule-makers insist that the Reds play half of their games in their own stadium, and Great American Ball Park is all too hospitable to sluggers. With a pair of home starts next week, Wood needs to be stashed in all mixed leagues.

Other Drop/Stash Targets

Mark Buehrle , Chicago White Sox: Buehrle has been gaining popularity, as he has strung together six straight quality starts. While the veteran southpaw is steady and reliable, he has probably been a bit lucky to have a 4 percent home run per fly-ball ratio. Don't be surprised to see Buehrle appear on the Most Dropped list in the near future. In the meantime, use him only in deeper leagues.

Kyle Drabek , Toronto: Rightfully, owners are losing faith in Drabek, as he is starting in only 21 percent of our leagues. However, he is still owned in 64 percent of leagues, so many owners seem to be holding out hope that the rookie will rebound later this year. While it's entirely possible that Drabek could turn things around, he isn't showing many signs of it yet. With pitchers like Tim Stauffer and Charlie Morton being radically underowned in standard mixed leagues, more owners in non-keeper formats should take the plunge and drop Drabek for one of these superior options.

Kyle Lohse , St. Louis: Lohse has been an improved pitcher this season, but not nearly as much as his 2.13 ERA and 0.92 WHIP would suggest. He has had not one, but two, sources of good luck buffering his Fantasy stats. Both his 78 percent strand rate and .225 BABIP (prior to Sunday) should regress towards the norm over his future starts. When that occurs, he'll be a risk to keep active in standard mixed leagues for one-start weeks.

Clayton Richard , San Diego: John Lannan is owned in seven percent of leagues. Richard is on nearly five times as many rosters. Statistically, not much separates the two. Especially with his velocity down this year, owners need to consider dropping Richard in deeper mixed leagues.

Josh Tomlin , Cleveland: Tomlin's string of nine straight quality starts came to a halt on Friday, and he may have to wait a little longer before starting his next streak. The fly-ball-happy righty heads to Toronto to face the powerful Blue Jays lineup. Despite his extended series of successes, you will likely regret not sitting Tomlin in standard mixed leagues in the coming week.

Carlos Zambrano , Chicago Cubs: After three consecutive subpar starts, Big Z limited the Mets to two runs (one earned) over six innings on Thursday. The Astros may not be any more formidable, but until he sustains a longer stretch of success, Zambrano is not a viable one-start pitcher in standard mixed leagues. One thing owners shouldn't worry about is the stiff neck that Zambrano reported after the game. He is expected to make his next start.

Might Not Start in Week 8

John Danks , Chicago White Sox: Danks was already on the hot seat with manager Ozzie Guillen looking to send one of his six starters to the bullpen, but the fifth-year veteran hurt his own case with a miserable Sunday outing in Toronto. If Danks is demoted to the 'pen, look for Jake Peavy to inherit his June 5 start against Detroit.

Matt Harrison , Texas: The lefty departed Saturday's game with the Royals early with a blood blister. Though he could miss time if the blister does not subside, Harrison is expected to make his next start on Thursday at Cleveland, where he will have a chance to extend a 16 1/3 inning scoreless streak.

Francisco Liriano , Minnesota: Liriano was scratched from his start against the Angels on Saturday with a sore shoulder. An MRI showed only some inflammation, but Liriano is still not a shoo-in to make his next start. His next test is a bullpen session on Tuesday, and if he is not ready to throw by then, a trip to the disabled list becomes a possibility. Liriano has been more effective lately, but his health situation makes him a risk in Week 9. Owners in most formats should look for an alternative for the coming week. One option, particularly in deeper leagues, is Anthony Swarzak , who was outstanding in stepping in for Liriano on Saturday.

Andy Sonnanstine , Tampa Bay: Though no formal announcement has made, in all likelihood, Sonnanstine is out of the Rays' rotation, as he appears to have been replaced by rookie Alex Cobb . Sonnanstine wasn't helping Fantasy owners much anyway, so he can be dropped in all but the deepest AL-only formats.

Juan Nicasio , Colorado: The Rockies called upon Nicasio to make a spot start on Saturday against the Cardinals, and he responded with seven strong innings. However, the team anticipates having Aaron Cook available when that spot comes up again in the rotation on Friday. The flamethrowing Nicasio will be returned to Double-A, unless Cook is not ready to be activated.

Andy Oliver , Detroit: The Tigers will have Thursday off, so they will have the luxury of skipping Oliver's Week 9 start, tentatively scheduled for Saturday at the White Sox. If they go that route, Max Scherzer would get a second start in Week 9.

Micah Owings , Arizona: Owings' stint as a starter is likely to be a short one. With Zach Duke having joined the Arizona rotation from the DL on Saturday, Owings will lose his starting role and head to the bullpen.

Brad Bergesen , Baltimore: The latest target date for Brian Matusz DL activation is June 1. After a couple of weeks of speculation, it turns out to be Bergesen who makes way for the young lefty, as he was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk on Saturday.

Chris Tillman , Baltimore: Bergesen was ticketed for Norfolk first, but only by a day, as the Orioles sent Tillman down on Sunday. The Orioles have a day off in Week 9, so Tillman's spot will be skipped.

DL Watch

Tom Gorzelanny , Washington: The Nationals placed Gorzelanny on the DL with elbow pain, but an MRI showed that there was no elbow damage. Gorzelanny should miss only two starts, but Yunesky Maya will hold his rotation spot for Week 9.

Wandy Rodriguez , Houston: Rodriguez was scratched from his scheduled start on Saturday and placed on the disabled list on Saturday with fluid on his left elbow. The Astros are not expecting Rodriguez to have a long stay on the DL, but he will be out for Week 9, as rookie Jordan Lyles will fill in.

Josh Johnson , Florida: Though it was initially reported that Johnson could be ready to return when he was eligible for activation on Wednesday, owners will have to wait another week before using the Marlins' ace. He is now expected to rejoin the Florida rotation on June 7 against the Braves.

Homer Bailey , Cincinnati: Bailey left Thursday's start at Philadelphia with shoulder spasms and wound up on the disabled list the next day with a sprain. Fortunately, an MRI revealed that there is no structural damage to the shoulder, but he will still be out of commission for Week 9. Bailey will most likely be replaced in the rotation by Chad Reineke .

Brian Matusz , Baltimore: Matusz (intercostal strain) is set to be activated for a Wednesday start at Seattle. It will be his season debut for the Orioles.

Matt Garza , Chicago Cubs: Garza (elbow) looks likely to come off the DL to start one of the games in the upcoming weekend series at St. Louis. His owners should keep tabs on his situation, as he could contribute in Week 9, but for now, this is only a tentative target for a return.

John Lackey , Boston: Lackey (elbow) is scheduled to make a Triple-A rehab start on Tuesday, which puts him in line to start on Sunday against the A's.

Aaron Cook , Colorado: Cook (finger) had a successful Triple-A rehab start on Saturday, which means he should be ready to make his season debut for the Rockies at San Francisco on Friday.

Jorge De La Rosa , Colorado: De La Rosa tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow in Tuesday's start against Arizona, and he will have Tommy John surgery. He is out for the season and can be dropped in all single-season formats.

Phil Coke , Detroit: Coke sustained an ankle injury in Monday's game against the Rays and was placed on the DL. He has not yet been cleared to resume throwing and will miss at least a couple of weeks.

Jesse Litsch , Toronto: It was initially expected that Litsch would only miss two starts. However, persistent pain in his shoulder means that he will be out indefinitely, so Carlos Villanueva will continue to hold down Litsch's rotation spot.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us via Twitter . You can e-mail us your Fantasy Baseball questions to DMFantasyBaseball@cbs.com . Be sure to put Pitching Planner in the subject field. Please include your full name, hometown and state.

Data Analyst

Al Melchior has been playing Fantasy Baseball since 1994, getting his start in the Southern Maryland Anthropomorphic Baseball League (SMABL). He has been writing about Fantasy Baseball since 2000, getting... Full Bio

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