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Closing Time: Troy Glaus makes his case

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Rainy-day Tuesdays don't get their own theme, let's head straight to the bullets.

Troy Glaus(notes) didn't earn a lot of fantasy cred in April, putting up a punchless .194 line with 21 strikeouts over 23 games. Fantasy owners cut him in droves, prospect hounds started talking about Freddie Freeman(notes), and the Braves as a whole continued to sink in the National League standings.

Bobby Cox didn't jump to any conclusions on Glaus, however, and things have turned around nicely in May. Glaus is off to a tasty 16-for-40 start this month, with two homers (here's a long one at Milwaukee on Tuesday), 13 RBIs and a .600 slugging percentage. Ten-game samples don't get you in the Hall of Fame, but we should at least take a look on the waiver wire and see if he's available. I'd rather have Glaus than Todd Helton(notes), Daric Barton(notes) and Nick Johnson(notes), among others.

Ozzie Guillen says he's going to play the matchups as he manages his bullpen, and we saw that plan in action Tuesday as the White Sox got a much-needed victory at Minnesota. Freddy Garcia(notes) started things off with seven strong innings (two runs), then gave way to Matt Thornton(notes) for the eighth and Bobby Jenks(notes) in the ninth. Two bagels, shake hands, head to the clubhouse.

Thornton probably worked the eighth because it was the Mauer-Morneau-Kubel inning, the time where you want your ace lefty on the mound. Jenks got the cushiest save chance possible, with a three-run lead to protect and the bottom of the order scheduled up. He allowed a double to pinch-hitter Jim Thome(notes) but otherwise it was a clean effort.

We've had a lot of fun with the Tyler Clippard(notes) story, but his heavy use might be catching up to him in Washington. Clippard blew a Washington lead for the fourth straight appearance Tuesday (4 H, 3 R, just one out), and this time the Nats didn't turn it into a vulture victory. Clippard is still one of our favorite set-up men for this numbers racket, but we'll feel better when he's not on pace for 100-plus innings.

Neftali Feliz(notes) and Andrew Bailey(notes) had a blown-save duel in Texas, not that we should get too concerned over it. It was Bailey's first blown conversion of the year, and Feliz had seven consecutive saves before Tuesday's mess. It is a little surprising to see Feliz go three appearances without a strikeout, however.

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Johnny Cueto(notes) brought his best stuff (and a heckuva smile) to Pittsburgh, commanding his fastball and throwing a one-hit gem at the Pirates (enjoy the video here). He allowed just two baserunners, struck out eight, and needed just 102 pitches to navigate the evening; the game was over before the Dusty Abuse Discussion could start. "He's always got his stuff," catcher Ramon Hernandez(notes) said of Cueto. "He's been working at trying to get ahead of the hitters and not get too excited, concentrate a little more. He has a good idea of where he wants to put the baseball."

Of course a date with the Pirates had something to do with this outing; Pittsburgh's got the second-worst offense in the NL at the moment (114 runs). It's a mixed bag for Cueto as we look at the next four opponents he'll likely face: Milwaukee (bad matchup), Cleveland (good matchup), Pittsburgh (good), St. Louis (bad). Anyone out there have the nerve to start Cueto against Milwaukee next Monday? State your case in the comments.

The Royals lost their sixth in a row but as always, we're not going to blame Mike Aviles(notes) (2-for-4, double). He's 12-for-27 with a couple of homers since rejoining the club, and Trey Hillman seems committed to using him as a regular. "If Mike keeps hitting, he'll keep playing somewhere, and we'll continue to monitor other places." Aviles has seen time at second base and shortstop over the last week; he was at second Tuesday while Chris Getz(notes) sat on the bench.

Mark DeRosa(notes) didn't pull any punches when he talked about his injured wrist Tuesday. He says his offseason surgery was a "total failure, and he's going to eventually have to have another trip under the knife. Yikes, a do-over.

The team will keep him out of the lineup for a couple of days then will decide on the appropriate course of action. DeRosa is off to a miserable .194 start through five weeks. "When's the last time I crushed a ball?" he pondered Tuesday. At least the Giants have had production from some other outfielders of late, with Aaron Rowand(notes) and Nate Schierholtz(notes) lacing the ball all over the park.

The only thing worse than owning Daisuke Matsuzaka(notes) the last few years has been watching him pitch; all that nibbling, all those slow, endless innings. Alas, he had his best stuff against the Blue Jays on Tuesday, mowing down Toronto over seven fantastic frames (3 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 9 K). There wasn't anything tricky to his success here; he spent most of the night challenging the Jays and throwing fastballs right by them. It doesn't mean you want to go anywhere near Dice-K for Monday's start at New York, but at least we need to reopen the case. Well, don't we?

Injury Blog: Looks like no Josh Beckett(notes) (back) this week; he's not expected to pitch Friday as scheduled. … Jimmy Rollins(notes) (calf) might be ready to go as soon as Monday. … Ryan Braun (elbow) will need a few more days, Friday is the current target for him. He took a Tommy Hanson(notes) pitch off the elbow Monday. … Chipper Jones(notes) (groin) was scratched again Tuesday. … Nelson Cruz(notes) (hamstring) is working on a short rehab assignment, then should be back Friday. His first practice game was a 1-for-5 effort, with four strikeouts. … Casey Kotchman(notes) (ankle) isn't ready to go yet. Ryan Langerhans(notes) started in his place at Baltimore and hit a home run.

Speed Round: Starlin Castro(notes) picked up two more hits Tuesday but his fielding has been a little messy; he's already made five errors. … Whenever Scott Kazmir(notes) starts, you know he's not going to be around long. He needed 108 pitches to get through five mediocre innings against the Rays. … Cliff Lee(notes) pitched to contact in 7.1 easy innings at Baltimore (one run). Brandon League(notes) cleaned up for a five-out rogue save. … Brad Penny(notes) deserved a better fate, losing a 2-0 lead in the seventh when the Astros sprung for four unearned runs. Brendan Ryan's(notes) glove won't let you down often. … Carlos Pena(notes) (1-for-40) got a much-needed day off Tuesday, albeit you wouldn't want to use him against Kazmir anyway. … Grady Sizemore(notes) is still striking out a ton (32 whiffs already), but he also collected two hits and two stolen bases Tuesday at KC. The Tribe also got a pair of home runs from Russell Branyan(notes).Ricky Nolasco(notes) and Randy Wells(notes) took advantage of a chilly Wrigley (and a wind current blowing in), hooking up in a low-scoring affair. Kudos to Gaby Sanchez(notes) and Cody Ross(notes); to club one out in Chicago on Tuesday night was no small feet. Despite the temperature, our own Andy Behrens was in attendance, draining a few adult beverages. … Jered Weaver(notes) is better than you probably think. Rich Lederer makes a great case for Kid Weaver here. … Barry Zito(notes) and Wade LeBlanc(notes) struggled to throw strikes at San Francisco, not that Paul Emmel was handing out a lot of borderline pitches. … Ben Folds might be a dork, but this is one fantastic tune.

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