Carlos Zambrano- CHN- Caution- Watch Zambrano's Thursday start closely. Not only will he be going on short rest, but he will not be paired with Koyie Hill, who had become his personal catcher. Zambrano and Hill had become an effective team with Zambano's ERA dropping from 5.62 to 3.69 in the 13 starts with Hill as his primary catcher. Given his flareup with Michael Barrett earlier this season, the catcher is very important to Zambrano. He allowed 6 runs in 7 innings with Jason Kendall handling him in his last start. We'll have to see if he adjusts.
David Ross- CIN- Drop Value- Even if Ross is able to return when eligible on August 28th (which is questionable at this point) he will not be getting the same amount of playing time he had before his concussion. Interim manager Pete Mackanin said that Javier Valentin's performance warranted more playing time and that he would ease Ross back in when he was activated.
Ubaldo Jimenez- COL- Hot- Jimenez turned in his second consecutive strong start, going 7 innings and allowing just 1 run on 5 hits, walking none and striking out 4. If Jimenez can keep harnessing his 99 mph heat and keep a lid on his walks, he can have some success, even in Colorado. It's hard to count on that yet, though, since he didn't exhibit it earlier this year at AAA. It would be wise to still expect a learning curve to kick in here.
Jason Jennings- HOU- Cold- The bottom has fallen out of Jennings' season. Yesterday's performance was not as bad as his July 29th outing, when he gave up 11 runs, but it was the worst since then, and that's saying something. Jennings allowed 6 runs on 7 hits and 2 walks in 4 IP, although he did register 6 Ks. He had a 4.07 ERA heading into the All Star Break and is at a whopping 10.07 since then. Such a sudden implosion would seem to indicate possible injury issues, but Jennings denies there is a physical problem. "If he continues to say he's healthy we'll have to leave him in there probably," manager Phil Garner said. "He's been saying he's healthy." With Roy Oswalt's status uncertain, Jennings will probably keep his spot in the rotation, but don't be surprised if some injury news comes up if he continues to struggle.
Russ Ortiz- SF- Ortiz had to leave yesterday's start with elbow problems. The immediate diagnosis was a right elbow strain, but he will undergo an MRI today. Manager Bruce Bochy said that eh probably would not make his next scheduled start. Ortiz suffered a noted drop in velocity between the 4th and 5th inning, so it looks like something sudden, which is not a really good sign.
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