Say this for Dempster, he's showing remorse for the mistake and he's been up front about it all the way. "I'd like to have some nice gratifying story, like I broke up a double play or something and saved the game, but I don't," he told MLB.com. "I wasn't going to make up a story because somebody would find a video. ... That's what I get for making fun of guys who go on the DL for burning their faces in a suntan booth."
The fantasy loss isn't as big of a hit to us in 2009 as it would have been last summer – Dempster's taken the expected step back this year and was a borderline play in mixed leagues – but the Cubs will miss the inning-filler work, if nothing else.
Swingman Kevin Hart(notes) has been recalled from Triple-A and will take Dempster's spot in the rotation. Hart's had a solid campaign with Triple-A Iowa (3.10 ERA, 1.13 WHIP), alternating between the rotation and the bullpen, but he's struggled with his control every time the Cubs gave him a look in the majors. He'll have to show a strong start or two before I consider him.
• Erik Bedard(notes) (shoulder) hit the ground running in his return to action Tuesday, striking out eight Orioles over four solid innings (2 H, 2 R, 1 BB). The Mariners decided to get him out of there after 72 pitches, and they'll be ready to talk trade for the free-agent to be all summer. Unfortunately for the M's, the Orioles took batting practice on the rest of the Seattle bullpen, piling up 12 runs before the night was through. Notorious streak hitter Luke Scott(notes) clubbed his third homer of the month and drove in seven runs.
• Whatever you paid for Juan Rivera(notes), it's been worth the check. He collected three more hits Tuesday (including a pair over the fence) and is up to 16 homers and 52 RBIs for the year. Lefties simply can't get this guy out (1.231 OPS), and he's been decent enough against righties. The Angels need his middle-of-the-order production more than ever with Vladimir Guerrero(notes) struggling so much; Guerrero left Tuesday's game with a knee injury.
• Carlos Quentin(notes) is off to a strong hitting start in his rehab assignment (4-for-8), but plantar fasciitis isn't something that goes away easily. Ozzie Guillen says the outfielder is still having trouble when he tries to cut, and while the team is targeting a return after the All-Star break for Quentin, that's far from a guarantee at this point. Chicago's been playing snappy ball of late without the Big Q, so there's no reason to put a crazy rush on his rehab work.
• Adam Wainwright(notes) struck out 12 Giants in his start last week but had to settle for a tough-luck no-decision, but there was no beating him at Milwaukee on Tuesday night. Wainwright took a shutout into the ninth and piled up nine whiffs before giving way to Ryan Franklin(notes), who put away the last two outs. Wainwright's had outstanding feel for his curve and slider over the last couple of weeks, and he's also getting ahead in the count more often with his fastball. Perhaps 2009 is finally the year where he takes the leap forward from good starter to legitimate co-ace along with Chris Carpenter(notes).• It's not easy to spell Marc Rzepczynski(notes) and it's not easy to hit him, either; the Rays found out all about that Tuesday at The Trop (impressive video here). The rookie left-hander for Toronto took advantage of his spot start, working a strong six innings against the top offense in the majors (2 H, 1 R, 4 BB, 7 K). He reminds you a little bit of Oliver Perez(notes) (the good version), a power lefty who's a little wild but damn hard to make contact against. The Jays would prefer to let the 23-year-old go back to the minors for additional seasoning (he had some command issues at Double-A before two electric starts at Triple-A), but this debut probably will earn him at least one more turn for now.
• Clayton Kershaw(notes) threw six scoreless innings against the scuffling Mets and has been untouchable over his last five turns (3-0, 0.61 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 33 strikeouts). He's thrown a modest 93.2 innings on the year, so there's no major reason to panic about a premature shutdown here. Kershaw has worked more than six innings on only four occasions this year, in part because he tends to roll up his pitch counts so quickly. But it's not hard to see how bright his future is; this is a potential No. 1 and Cy Young candidate we're looking at into the next decade.
• Toss your hat in the air for Paul Konerko(notes), whose three homers pushed Mark Buehrle(notes) and the White Sox past Cleveland. Konerko's been one of the corner bargains of the year and it really wasn't that hard to sniff out; while he did have a terrible first half in 2008, he closed with a .910 OPS over his final 54 game.
• Dan Wheeler(notes) worked two scoreless innings en route to the victory in Tampa's extra-inning win Tuesday, and very quietly he's been lights-out of late, stringing together 13 appearances without allowing a run (12.2 IP, 6 H, 0 BB, 6 K). It's unlikely that he'll take the closing ball away from J.P. Howell(notes) anytime soon – Howell has been money as well – but effective relievers on winning teams will find a way to be useful fantasy products, one way or another. Clip and save.
Injury Blog: No new tale to tell with Hanley Ramirez(notes) (hip), who sat for the third straight day Tuesday. "A little better, but not enough to get back in the lineup," Fredi Gonzalez explained. … Jose Reyes took a cortisone shot Tuesday and there's still no sort of timetable for him (or Carlos Beltran(notes), for that matter). New York's offense is a total mess, of course, with Reyes, Beltran and Carlos Delgado(notes) on the disabled list. … The Cardinals took their time with a diagnosis on Mark DeRosa(notes) (wrist), but there's no getting around it now, he's headed to the 15-day disabled list. … Nicks come with the territory when we're talking about Chipper Jones(notes). He missed Tuesday's game with a sore groin. … Kyle Lohse(notes) (forearm) was sharp in his second and final rehab turn, allowing just a pair of hits over six innings at Triple-A. He's expected to start one half of Sunday's doubleheader at Wrigley Field.
Speed Round: Josh Hamilton(notes) looks just fine, thanks, rapping out three hits and stealing a base as the Rangers dumped the Angels. … CT favorite Scott Hairston(notes) batted third for the A's in his first start since the trade, homering at Boston. … The Blue Jays say they're willing to listen to Doc Halladay trade offers, for whatever it's worth, and although Halladay has a no-trade clause, he's open to the idea as well. Perhaps the timing is right for the two parties to move on. … Alfredo Aceves(notes) is stepping into the Yankees rotation this week as a sub for Chien-Ming Wang(notes). The Yanks must be content to keep Phil Hughes(notes) near the back of the bullpen, where he's been outstanding of late. … Grady Sizemore(notes) might not be 100 percent these days but there's nothing wrong with his bat. He whacked a couple of homers against the White Sox Tuesday, and since his return from the DL two weeks ago he's posted a .289 average and 16 RBIs. … Losing teams can support a closer just fine if they keep going to him when the chances come up, and that's been the case in Pittsburgh with Matt Capps(notes). He converted for the 13th straight time at Houston Tuesday; despite a bloated BB/9 this year (3.58), he's been effective in his role. … Marcus Thames(notes) is at it again, with three homers in his last four games. We know he absolutely maims left-handed pitching, but can he hit righties well enough to justify a spot in the lineup? … The White Sox bolstered their bullpen with a minor trade, getting Tony Pena(notes) from the Diamondbacks in exchange for minor-league first baseman Brandon Allen. … Garrett Jones(notes) had two hits and two steals in Pittsburgh's win at Houston. He hit .296 in his first week with the Bucs, along with a couple of homers. Power/speed combos don't grow on trees; maybe this is a story with legs.