Most weekday evenings, Big League Stew looks at five approaching games worth monitoring. As they occur, feel free to discuss the night's happenings with other Stewies in the comment section below.
Blue Jays at Rays, 7:08 ET If Wayne Gretzky can be traded out of Canada, so can Roy Halladay(notes), M.D. The Good Doctor is on the market and the Blue Jays — who are slipping out of the AL East race after an encouraging start — have their ears open, general manager J.P. Ricciardi says.
"We're not going to give the guy away," Ricciardi said during a phone interview. "We'd be willing to listen. That doesn't mean we'd be willing to trade."
They're not going to give away the best pitcher in the majors. Well, that must be a relief for Jays fans. Given Ricciardi's history of being hoodwinked on the telephone, hopefully he's not so gullible this time, as during the Adam Dunn(notes) fiasco.
Halladay, who is 10-2 with a 2.79 ERA and usually contends for the Cy Young Award (or the Duane (A)Ward, as it's known in Canada), is signed through 2010, when he would earn $15.75 million.
I know at least one guy who's interested.
As for this ballgame, the Jays trot out Marc — somebody help me out here — Marc Rzepczynski(notes) for his first major league start. Rep-chinski? Rizzip-zinski? Are-chip-inski? Maybe the whole last name is silent. Whatever, hopefully a teammate will buy the 23-year-old left-hander a postgame beer and well-placed vowel.
Reds at Phillies, 7:05 ET All Aaron Harang(notes) has to do is get three outs and allow fewer than nine runs in the first inning and he improves on what Johnny Cueto(notes) did last night in Philly's 22-1 dismantling of Mr. Redlegs.
Royals at Tigers, 7:05 ET Well, Bruce Chen(notes), you son of a beekeeper, when did you sneak back into the majors? Chen, enjoying a regular turn in the rotation for the first time since 2006, actually pitched well for the Royals against the White Sox in his previous start. Chen has played for 10 teams (plus in the minors for Toronto), is 32 years old and still looking for a home.
Cardinals at Brewers, 8:05 ET We have a nice little matchup of near-All-Stars here, with Adam Wainwright(notes) opposing Yovani Gallardo(notes). Whatever you guys do, don't handle it like Johnny Cueto, like you're out to prove to the world you belong at Busch Stadium next week. That didn't work out so well for him.
Rangers at Angels, 10:05 ET Round two in Anaheim, with a share of first place in the AL West possibly on the line. The Rangers are throwing Dustin Nippert(notes) at the Angels, so Josh Hamilton(notes) and Co. probably are going to have to whack around John Lackey(notes) to have a chance.