Here's everything you need to know about Bartolo Colon's rehab start for the Single-A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes last night: after watching him up close, I added him to my roster in the Yahoo! Friends and Family League.
He looked quite good. More importantly, he looked healthy. Not in a cardiovascular way, necessarily – he's still a large man. But he threw well. Colon went four innings against the Lake Elsinore Storm, allowing only one hit – which wasn't really a hit at all, but a routine grounder that the Quakes second basemen handled like a rabid ferret – striking out five and walking one. He threw mostly fastballs, mixing in a few sliders. The overmatched Storm hitters made good contact off Colon exactly once, but Quakes right-fielder Jordan Renz made a nifty running catch on the slicing liner.
All things considered, it was really an encouraging performance. They don't display pitch velocity at the Epicenter, the Quakes home park, but there was one dude in the crowd with a radar gun. He was either an Angels employee or a California League geek. He told us that Bartolo topped out at 94 miles per hour. From our seats in row F behind home plate, it certainly sounded like 94. Not bad at all for a guy recovering from a torn rotator cuff. Colon is 90.2 percent owned in Yahoo! leagues at the moment. If you can add him, do it. If you can't, consider the 2005 American League Cy Young winner a viable trade target. It's looking like Colon may return to the Angels rotation by the end of the month.
OK, that's quite enough pseudo-reporting. That was just exhausting. Let's look at some weekend streaming options …
Anthony Reyes (14.5 percent owned) is a solid play at Houston on Saturday, and both Orlando Hernandez (31.8) at Atlanta and Joe Blanton (21.3) at Los Angeles should be fair starts on Sunday. Wade Miller at Milwaukee would be a desperate play, but his start is at least worth monitoring. For those of you in weekly transaction leagues, the best of the available two-start pitchers are likely Daniel Cabrera (vs. DET, vs. KC), Nate Robertson (at BAL, at TOR) and Jake Westbrook (vs. SEA, vs. CWS). My man Boof Bonser should get a pair of starts, too, but at least one of them will be against the Yankees. So Boof enthusiasts, beware.
One thought on transaction strategy before I call it a week: If you drop a player who's subsequently added from waivers by another owner, you've kinda screwed up. Whoever you dropped obviously had trade value. If you're thinking about jettisoning an ownable player, shop him around the league first. It only takes a day. We call this due diligence. Of course, there will be times when a pick-up is rather time-sensitive, like whenever the Marlins, Reds, or Cubs change closers. In such cases you may have to cut loose a useful player before you've fully explored the trade market. But now, in early April? Don't do that. In one of my leagues, Jered Weaver and Pedro Martinez were both dropped – just flat-out dropped. I would have dealt for either of them – And I'd have given you something better than Jose Mesa, Volvo of Despair. When you're ready to drop Tadahito Iguchi, call me.
Good luck this weekend, everyone. Felipe Lopez, anytime you feel like attempting a steal, go right ahead. I'm waiting. Impatiently.