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Monday, August 11, 2003
Updated: August 12, 11:07 AM ET
Daily Shrink: Monday

By Eric Karabell

(Note: This article is daily,
completed each weekday morning.
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When do you want to see The Shrink incorporate football talk into this column? Or do you want it to stay as baseball only? Chime in with thoughts...

Tomorrow's Starters: Owned in less than 50 percent of ML leagues
Well, the pitchers I like for Tuesday's starts aren't in the most favorable matchups, but that doesn't mean they can't at least pitch a good game. Take Tim Redding, for example. Seven of his last eight starts have been very good, and he's won four of 'em. Problem is, the Cubs' Carlos Zambrano has been just as good. Also, Darrell May of the Royals has been terrific, but he gets Mike Mussina. Try either of the guys in the Rockies-Expos tilt. Youngster Chin-hui Tsao has made three starts, and is coming off his best one. And Tomo Ohka has his moments, and this game is at home, where Ohka's ERA is 3.81. On the road it's 5.79.

Diamond Daily: Get in for September! There's 12 grand on the line...
For Tuesday, you have to think this is a good spot for a Blue Jay, what with homerprone Freddy Garcia pitching. Carlos Delgado is out there, and if you feel lucky and don't wanna waste a big name, try spunky Frank Catalanotto. Also, the Pirates and Cards meet, and there should be some runs scored there, since Josh Fogg and Brett Tomko are the starters. I know neither allowed a run his last time out, but they are just teasing you.

Injury Updates: Who's coming back soon? Who's not?
If you're holding on to Jeremy Giambi, cut him. Even if he was healthy, he's doing nothing. And he's not healthy; his shoulder might need surgery. ... Melvin Mora is eligible to come off the DL this coming weekend, but don't bet on him doing much when he returns. Will he even resume hitting third in the order? ... Good news for Edgardo Alfonzo owners, those of you still believing in him. The third baseman is again eligible at second in many leagues. He'll play some second with Ray Durham on the DL.

ESPN Stat Services: Player Rater and Most Added/Dropped
Chhh, chhh, chhh, chhh, changes....YES! While the amazing Albert Pujols still leads the Player Rater, we have some shuffling to discuss. Gary Sheffield had a nice weekend, and moves all the way up to No. 2. Todd Helton is incredible, and he's third. Jason Schmidt did nothing wrong, but he hasn't pitched in a week and he got passed by Esteban Loaiza for fourth. Hard to believe Loaiza is going to win 20 games and maybe the Cy Young award. Out of nowhere we see Nomar Garciaparra now up to sixth overall. And for the last week, Mark Prior beats out Nomar for the top spot. ... On Add/Drop, Boston's David Ortiz is most added, but only up to 61.9 percent. Brad Penny is a close second, and here's a strange one for third: Philly's Mike Williams. OK, so Jose Mesa loses the job, but Williams is pitching just as bad! And Williams hasn't gotten a save as a Phillie yet! Meanwhile, Mesa is not on the drop side, so a lot of teams are hedging their bets one of these bad closers will get saves. Chris Mears leads the drop side, after one real bad outing and the failure to get any saves recently. But the Tigers never win!

Fix it time: We answer your questions
Steve in Grand Junction, Colo., writes, "Is there a good strategy or rule of thumb for those rare times when you have two pitchers you own starting against each other...or do I just hope for a 1-0 game with a lot of Ks? I can only get one win and I use up valuable innings if I leave both in my starting lineup. How 'bout it?"
Shrink: Well, many disagree with me on this, but if I have two good pitchers and they're facing each other, I always use both. Yeah, only one can win, but I want good starts, not just wins. I see people who bench Dontrelle Willis because he faces Randy Johnson and think they're nuts. Play your best guys; you don't know which one will win. Now, if it's Josh Fogg against Brett Tomko ... actually, sometimes I sit both.

Just Talkin': Ya know, that Oliver Perez guy might be something special real soon. You can't strike out double digit guys this often and not have the goods. Problem is, right now he's on a bad team and he walks way too many batters. But once upon a time, Randy Johnson was like that. ... No, I no longer think Cliff Politte will be a good closer this season. Have I waffled on this? Yep. But things have changed. I was a big fan of Politte in May, but now he stinks. We're all entitled to change opinions when players suddenly are pigs. ... Don't hate Rafael Palmeiro because he won't become a Cub. Would you just pick ip and leave your job and move somewhere else? For no extra money and the chance to platoon with Eric Karros? C'mon. ... Rafael Soriano is worth a roster spot in just about every league at this point. No, he won't get saves. But the Ks and impact on ERA and ratio are tremendous. And someday, this is Mariano Rivera. Remember how he began.

Want your questions answered? Click here to send an e-mail question to Eric. Also, check out ESPNEWS between 4 and 5 ET each weekday for your fantasy focus on air.
Thursday's Shrink