Bits: Pedro Alvarez showing signs of life


New York Mets outfielder Jason Bay made his season debut Thursday, hitting a double and scoring twice in four at-bats. Bay was on the disabled list because of a strained rib cage and was inserted into the No. 5 lineup slot upon his return. His 2010 struggles are well-documented, but he should be owned even in shallow leagues.

St. Louis Cardinals right-hander Kyle Lohse spun a two-hit shutout against the Washington Nationals on Thursday, fanning six and lowering his ERA to 2.01. With a career ERA of 4.76, this isn't likely to continue, but those owners who put Lohse on the most added list (in ESPN.com leagues) should enjoy it until the bottom inevitably falls out.

Cleveland Indians right-hander Josh Tomlin stood to win Thursday for the fourth time in as many decisions, allowing one run in 7 1/3 innings, until closer Chris Perez faltered in the ninth. Tomlin lowered his ERA to 2.33 and his WHIP to 0.89. Tomlin is not as good as these numbers indicate, but with a career ERA of 4.18, he's not Lohse, either. Invest in deep leagues.

Then there's Arizona Diamondbacks right-hander Daniel Hudson, now 0-4 after allowing seven earned runs in 5 1/3 innings in Cincinnati on Thursday. Hudson, who posted a remarkable 1.69 ERA in 11 Arizona starts last season, entered Thursday with a respectable 1.21 WHIP and among the strikeout leaders, and he remains a wise buy-low option.

Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez hit his first home run of the season and knocked in two runs Thursday, upping his batting average to .212. Alvarez, a slow starter last season as well, has been dropped in more than 12 percent of leagues in the past week, but he has 25-homer potential, so be patient.

Minnesota Twins designated hitter Jim Thome smacked his second home run of the season and 591st of his career in Thursday's win. Thome is off to a slow start, hitting .191, but remember, he hit 25 home runs in 2010. Invest and be patient in deep leagues.