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Daniel, David Murphy drop-kick opponents

6/28/2012

Wednesday was quite the day in baseball to be a Murphy; New York Mets infielder Daniel Murphy swatted his first two home runs of the season, knocking in four in a 17-1 win, while Texas Rangers outfielder David Murphy homered twice and batted in five. The Mets' Murphy has been platooning and hadn't homered in nearly a year. Generally a batting average helper, he's hitting only .274 and not a must-own in 10-team leagues, though the second-base eligibility is attractive. The Rangers' Murphy is barely owned, but is on pace for 19 home runs and 13 stolen bases. Each player is underrated in deeper formats.

New York Yankees left-hander Andy Pettitte broke his left ankle when a Casey Kotchman line drive struck it Wednesday. Pettitte, who pitched well and sports a 3.22 season ERA, will miss at least the next six weeks. He's already among the most-dropped players in ESPN leagues and should be. There's plenty of starting pitching depth, and Pettitte should miss more than half of the rest of the season.

Toronto Blue Jays left-hander Ricky Romero was lit up Wednesday by the Boston Red Sox for nine runs (eight earned) in only three innings, spiking his ERA to 4.94 and WHIP to 1.43. Romero, a ninth-round pick in ESPN average live drafts, is having his worst season, with an inflated walk rate and command problems. Don't drop him in standard leagues yet, but don't trade for him, either.

Houston Astros right-hander Lucas Harrell tossed a six-hit shutout against the San Diego Padres Wednesday, walking four and striking out seven. Harrell's past two starts have been terrific, but he's not a big strikeout option and his season numbers are ordinary, with a 4.33 ERA and 1.33 WHIP. He'd make for a decent spot-starter add for his next outing in Pittsburgh, but don't rely on him otherwise.

Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier left Wednesday's game with a left oblique injury, and a pending disabled list trip wouldn't be shocking. For Ethier, who last played 140 games in a season in 2009, this interrupts a likely All-Star game trip. Fantasy owners should wait for Ethier's return and not cut him, but be aware of his actual, somewhat overrated value: He hasn't notched any RBIs in two weeks and is only 26th among outfielders on the ESPN Player Rater.