The Vertical's NBA Free Agency Show:

Closing Time: Tomorrow's winners today

Scott Pianowski
Roto Arcade

Before we collect some notes from the Monday sandlot, here's the requested look-ahead to Wednesday's action. No, you won't be able to pick up the top names on this list, but given the wide variety of league specs out there, I can't be sure where the universal names stop and the available options begin. Thus, we forge ahead and rank everybody, and you're free to use it how you like. Assume a 5x5 format as always.

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Wednesday's Pitching Form

  1. Brett Myers (vs. ATL): Give him a mulligan for last one.
  2. Josh Johnson (at WAS): Quietly dominant since the return.
  3. A.J. Burnett (vs. NYY): His next contract is going to be monstrous.
  4. Adam Wainwright (vs. ARI): I'll go plus-one on him next year.
  5. Felix Hernandez (vs. LAA): It's criminal that he only has nine wins.
  6. Clayton Kershaw (vs. SD): Picking on NL's worst offense.
  7. Randy Wolf (vs. CIN): Comfortable working at home.
  8. Max Scherzer (at STL): Strikeout potential makes him a must-start.
  9. Carlos Zambrano (at NYM): Impossible to predict right now.
  10. Mark Buehrle (at MIN): Twins have hit him pretty good.
  11. Paul Maholm (at MIL): NL's most underrated lefty.
  12. Oliver Perez (vs. CHN): Just one meltdown over last six weeks.
  13. Paul Byrd (vs. CLE): Win upside, at Fenway and against Carmona.
  14. Jonathan Sanchez (vs. COL): Roomy park, good draw.
  15. Ramon Ramirez (at HOU): At this point, some trust is built up.
  16. Nick Blackburn (vs. CHA): Hammered in last two turns.
  17. Edwin Jackson (at BAL): Win upside makes him a consideration.
  18. Phil Hughes (at TOR): Still in the tease file for now.
  19. Jon Garland (at SEA): Good draw, but no strikeout upside.
  20. Jeff Suppan (vs. PIT): At the mercy of the BABIP gods.
  21. Dana Eveland (at TEX): Like the pitcher, not the assignment.
  22. Tim Redding (vs. FLA): Too much downside, not enough upside.
  23. Nate Robertson (vs. KAN): Not known for strong finishes.
  24. Shawn Estes (at LAD): At least it's a favorable park.
  25. Matt Harrison (vs. OAK): Tough park, but A's have little power.
  26. Livan Hernandez (at SFO): My stance is well documented.
  27. Fausto Carmona (at BOS): Command of sinker hasn't come back.
  28. Jo-Jo Reyes (at PHI): No way I trust him in a hitter's park.
  29. Brian Bannister (at DET): Solid guy, I hope he figures it out in 2009.
  30. Radhames Liz (vs. TAM): The numbers speak for themselves.

That's our look ahead, now let's have a look back at Monday night:

Troy Percival's back is still dogging him and he won't be back until Wednesday at the earliest, according to the St. Petersburg Times. Dan Wheeler got the ball in the ninth inning Monday and converted for the final two outs and the save; Grant Balfour, who got five outs in the sixth and seventh inning, picked up the win.

Brad Ziegler was back in the closing chair Monday but had a rare misstep, allowing a ninth-inning homer to Hank Blalock. The A's won the game in extra innings. As much fun as we've had with the Ziegler story, he's best suited for a set-up role in 2009, I'm thinking.

David Price worked in and out of jams for most of his first MLB start; he left the game with a solid-if-unspectacular line (5.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 3 K). If you missed the game, here's a quick peek.

Howie Kendrick (hamstring) got back in the mix and went 0-for-2 in a limited appearance (all planned). Keep expectations grounded for the rest of the week.

Gary Sheffield picked up a four-game suspension for his role in Friday's dustup with the Indians. He said he'll begin serving the suspension immediately. Fausto Carmona got six games for the Indians while Victor Martinez and Asdrubal Cabrera got three; it's not clear when they'll hit the sidelines.

The Cubs decided to push Rich Harden's start back to Thursday. Sean Marshall steps into Tuesday's spot, starting against Johan Santana.

Injury Lap: Miguel Cabrera (back) was taken out of Monday's game and is day-to-day . . . Chipper Jones (shoulder) was limited to pinch-hitting duties against Monday. Hitting against left-handers is most painful for him, so Jones might not start again until the Braves face a righty Wednesday . . . Justin Duchscherer (hip) was finally declared out for the year, as expected all along . . . Mike Lowell (hip) hopes to return to the lineup Thursday. Teammate Coco Crisp is dealing with a sore foot . . . John Maine (shoulder) might be able to pitch for the Mets this week, but I don't see how you can gamble on him from a fantasy perspective.

Handshakes: Francisco Cordero (33), Jensen Lewis (12), Kerry Wood (33), Chad Qualls (7), Santiago Casilla (2), and that K-Rod guy (61*). That's all I got, catch you after the Tuesday slate.

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