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Bits: Phil Hughes coming on quietly

6/4/2012

New York Yankees right-hander Phil Hughes delivered a complete game 5-1 win in Detroit Sunday, outdueling Justin Verlander for his fifth win. Hughes remains an enigma, one owned in only 7.6 percent of ESPN leagues, but his eight strikeouts Sunday put him on pace for 174, and he's allowed more than two runs in only one of his past five outings. Those in 12-team leagues should be getting interested.

Miami Marlins right-hander Carlos Zambrano allowed one run in 7 2/3 innings in Philadelphia Sunday, winning his fourth game and lowering his ERA to 2.81. Zambrano, who also homered in the game, has delivered a quality start in nine of 11 outings. He's on pace for 168 strikeouts and a 1.11 WHIP. Sure, some regression is coming, but he should be owned in more than 58.4 percent of ESPN leagues.

Toronto Blue Jays slugger Edwin Encarnacion, among the top options on ESPN's Player Rater, left Sunday's game after a wild Daniel Bard hit him in the hand with a pitch. Encarnacion is listed as day-to-day, but is a risky play in weekly formats this week. Meanwhile, Vladimir Guerrero was promoted to Triple-A Las Vegas Saturday and could return to the big leagues, frankly, any day. Those in AL-only formats should act preemptively.

Houston Astros first baseman Brett Wallace singled twice in his season debut Sunday, and should play regularly with Carlos Lee on the DL with a hamstring injury. Wallace has disappointed the previous two seasons, and was hitting .259 with 10 home runs at Triple-A Oklahoma City. Still only 25, he's a power option for those in NL-only leagues.

Cleveland Indians first baseman Matt LaPorta singled in four at-bats of his season debut Sunday. LaPorta took the roster spot of Johnny Damon, who is on the paternity list, so his stay might be short-lived. Like Wallace, LaPorta has had numerous chances before and done little, but he was hitting .307 with 14 home runs at Triple-A Columbus. If LaPorta hits, he'll stay. Those in AL-only formats should take the chance.

San Francisco Giants lefty Barry Zito stymied the Chicago Cubs over 8 1/3 shutout innings Sunday, winning his fifth game, lowering his ERA to 2.98 and his WHIP to 1.25. Zito also beat the Diamondbacks last week. He's not a strikeout guy, but he's won four of his past five outings.