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Roy Halladay had an uncharacteristic 8.65 ERA through seven starts this season prior to having his shoulder cleaned up in May, but the two-time Cy Young Award winner is hoping to redeem himself down the stretch.
Halladay is scheduled to begin a minor league rehab assignment Thursday when he pitches for the Phillies' Gulf Coast League affiliate. The veteran right-hander was cleared to return to game action following a simulated game Saturday and a bullpen session Monday. Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. said that Doc may only need two rehab outings, which could place his return in the final week of August.
Halladay is just around three months removed from having his labrum and rotator cuff repaired as well as an inflamed bursa sac removed. It will be fascinating to see how he fares after surgery, but he has extra incentive to show his health and effectiveness with free agency looming. Setbacks are always possible with this type of situation, but those in deeper fantasy formats could do worse than stash him in an available DL spot.
Check out some potential AL September call-ups in Matthew Pouliot's latest Strike Zone column, and make sure to follow @djshort if you're on Twitter.
Lambo's First Blood
Pirates' right fielders have combined to bat just .231/.296/.366 with 10 home runs this season. The hope is that Andrew Lambo will change that for the better.
The Pirates announced Monday that Lambo will be promoted to the big club for Tuesday's NL Central battle against the Cardinals. It's well deserved, as the 25-year-old was batting .284/.350/.576 through 117 games this season between Double-A Altoona and Triple-A Indianapolis. He is tied for the minor league lead with 31 home runs.
Acquired from the Dodgers back in 2010 in the Octavio Dotel deal, Lambo has also struck out in 25 percent of his plate appearances this season and has never produced huge power numbers like this before. While Pirates fans have clamored for his arrival to the big leagues, there's reason for skepticism from a fantasy perspective. Still, those in NL-only and deeper mixed leagues should be willing to take the gamble. The opportunity should be there, at least for a little while.
Hanson Hits Bottom
When the Angels acquired Tommy Hanson from the Braves over the winter, they were hoping that he would be able to rediscover some of dominance he showed in the early part of his career. However, it's safe to say that they are ready to turn the page.
With Jason Vargas slated to come back from the disabled list on Tuesday, the Angels have demoted Hanson to Triple-A Salt Lake. Oh, how the mighty have fallen. While the 26-year-old right-hander was once considered an emerging fantasy ace, he simply hasn't been the same pitcher since he began dealing with shoulder problems in 2011. Unable to maintain his velocity on a consistent basis, Hanson has an ugly 5.12 ERA over his last 49 starts in the majors. This includes a 5.59 ERA and a career-low 6.9 K/9 through 13 starts this season.
Hanson is making a $3.725 million salary this season and will be arbitration-eligible for the second time this winter, so he's looking like an early non-tender candidate. He'll have to earn his way back on the fantasy radar.
NL Quick Hits: Hanley Ramirez (shoulder) could be held out of action until Friday … Mat Latos fanned nine batters over eight scoreless innings in a win over the Cubs on Monday … Cole Hamels allowed one run and struck out nine in a complete game victory over the Braves on Monday … Brian McCann (knee) went 1-for-4 with a double and a strikeout in his return to action Tuesday … Kenley Jansen notched a four-out save in Monday's win over the Mets … Michael Cuddyer missed his second straight game Monday due to illness … Rafael Betancourt (appendicitis) threw 30 pitches in a simulated game Monday and hopes to rejoin the Rockies on Friday … Miguel Montero (back) is expected to begin a minor league rehab assignment by the end of the week … Jhoulys Chacin tossed eight innings of one-run ball Monday in a win over the Padres … Paul Maholm (wrist) threw six innings in a simulated game Monday … Adam Eaton blasted a walkoff home run in Monday's win over the Orioles … Ryan Howard (knee) hasn't resumed swinging a bat … Ryan Ludwick (shoulder) went 0-for-3 in his return from the disabled list Monday … Cody Ross will undergo season-ending surgery Tuesday to repair a fracture in his right hip … Trevor Cahill (hip, shoulder) is expected to be activated from the disabled list this weekend …
AL Quick Hits: Miguel Cabrera went deep in a fourth straight game Monday against the White Sox … Yu Darvish struck out a career-high 15 and flirted with a no-hitter while tossing eight innings of one-run ball in a win over the Astros on Monday … Chris Sale allowed two runs in a complete game victory over the Tigers on Monday … Hiroki Kuroda fired eight scoreless innings in Monday's win over the Angels and now owns a 2.33 ERA on the year … Billy Butler homered Monday and is hitting .480 (12-for-25) over his last six games … Colby Rasmus didn't play Monday against the Athletics due to a tweaked abdominal muscle … Omar Infante (ankle) was hitless in four at-bats Monday in his return from the disabled list …Mike Moustakas left Monday's game with tightness in his left calf … Alberto Callaspo went 2-for-4 with a two-run double in Monday's win over the Blue Jays … Dayan Viciedo is considered day-to-day after an MRI came back negative on his left thumb … Andrew Albers tossed a two-hit shutout against the Indians on Monday and hasn't allowed a run over his first 17 1/3 innings in the majors … The Indians released Mark Reynolds … The Rays acquired left-handed reliever Wesley Wright from the Astros for future cash considerations …