- Eric Karabell, ESPN.com Senior Writer
Houston Astros right-hander Bud Norris allowed nine runs while recording five outs Thursday, the second consecutive day an Astros hurler was pounded. (At least Lucas Harrell went five innings Wednesday.) Of course, Norris is a bit different; he entered play with a 3.34 ERA, having struck out a batter per inning and being owned in more than 92 percent of ESPN standard leagues. Perhaps it's a Coors Field thing. Carlos Gonzalez and his Rockies pals are hot right now, even sans shortstop Troy Tulowitzki. Keep Norris owned, as he's on pace for 200 strikeouts and will rebound.
Los Angeles Dodgers prospect Alex Castellanos made his big league debut Thursday, and he got hit by a Kameron Loe pitch in the eighth inning. Castellanos, a 25-year-old outfielder/second baseman who was hitting .379 with power and speed at Triple-A Albuquerque, should get a chance to play with Matt Kemp out a month, but it's premature to expect much in 10- or 12-team formats, even with the Dodgers headed to -- you guessed it -- Denver's Coors Field this weekend.
Detroit Tigers outfielder Quintin Berry singled three times, stole two bases and scored two runs Thursday, continuing to impress in the leadoff role and defensively while Austin Jackson is on the disabled list with an abdominal strain. Of course, Jackson could return any day, but Berry is playing so well he might stick around to play left field. Add him in AL-only and deeper formats.
New Orleans Zephyrs first baseman Gaby Sanchez homered in four at-bats Thursday and is hitting .300 since his demotion. The former Miami Marlin has been taking his walks at Triple-A but has only three extra-base hits in 40 at-bats. Still, Logan Morrison and Chris Coghlan haven't been lighting things up at first base/left field for the Marlins. Sanchez is worth stashing in deep leagues.
Norfolk Tides right-hander Chris Tillman and Pawtucket Red Sox right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka had quite the pitcher's duel Thursday. Tillman, who has a 5.58 ERA in 36 career starts for the Baltimore Orioles, has not pitched well at Triple-A, but he flashed some of his potential Thursday with eight shutout innings, allowing one hit, striking out nine. Matsuzaka, recovering from elbow and neck woes, allowed two hits and a run in 5 1/3 innings. Matsuzaka is the one closer to having fantasy value for AL-only owners this season.
Eric Karabell discusses the most fantasy-relevant tidbits from Thursday's games, including the Rockies lighting up an Astros starter for the second straight day.