Bits: Stephen Strasburg struggles off DL


Washington Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg came off the disabled list Tuesday and struggled in his worst outing in the big leagues. The Florida Marlins hit five doubles and a home run off him in 4 1/3 innings, scoring six runs. Strasburg had permitted six runs in his past four outings combined. Still, assuming he's healthy, he must be trusted later in the week versus the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Tampa Bay Rays right-hander Jeremy Hellickson allowed three hits in seven shutout innings; the last pitcher to throw seven or more innings and allow three or fewer hits in his first two career starts was future Cy Young winner Brandon Webb in 2003. Hellickson is getting his chance because of injuries to others, but he's not leaving this rotation. He is a must-add for all fantasy formats.

New York Mets right-hander Mike Pelfrey seemed a poor choice for use in a fantasy league Tuesday, since he hadn't won or delivered a quality start since June. Alas, he outdueled 17-game winner Ubaldo Jimenez, allowing four hits in seven shutout innings. It appears Pelfrey is again worth using, at least in home games.

Minnesota Twins veteran Michael Cuddyer homered Tuesday, his 11th of a relatively disappointing power season. Cuddyer hit 32 home runs last season; despite playing nearly every day this year, he's on pace for only 16. Still, he's owned in 100 percent of leagues, as the eligibility at first base, third base and outfield helps.

Cleveland Indians outfielder Michael Brantley homered, knocked in three runs and scored three runs in Tuesday's loss, raising his batting average to .178. That might not seem like much, but note the positives. Brantley has scored 10 runs in seven games, walked five times against one strikeout in that span and will surely contribute stolen bases at some point.

Philadelphia Phillies right fielder Domonic Brown hit his first major league home run Tuesday and knocked in four runs, but the Phillies are expected to send him to Triple-A Lehigh Valley when Shane Victorino comes off the DL this weekend. Brown's future is bright, but his opportunity just might not be there this season.