Oscar Taveras hit a two-run homer Thursday in the Cardinals' 6-2 victory over the Padres.
It was Taveras's first homer since he went deep in his major league debut, and we don't believe it's a coincidence that it came on the day that Allen Craig was traded. Taveras now knows he'll be in the lineup whenever the Cardinals face a righty, and he could start against some lefties as well. He should have mixed-league value the rest of the way.
Shelby Miller pitched six strong innings, allowing two runs and three hits, Thursday in a victory over the Padres.
The runs came on homers from Jedd Gyorko and Will Venable in the second inning. Apart from that, Miller faced just one batter over the minimum, striking out five and walking none. That's two pretty encouraging outings for him since he was restored to the rotation, albeit coming against weak offenses. If he's available in your mixed league and you have an open bench spot, it wouldn't be a bad idea to give him another try.
Odrisamer Despaigne was tagged for six runs and nine hits in 5 2/3 innings Thursday in a loss to the Cardinals.
Two lousy outings in a row for Despaigne since he threatened a no-hitter on July 20. This one was a bit better than the previous start, in that he walked just one today after walking five last time out. He still looks like a reasonable play in mixed leagues for now.
Will Middlebrooks (finger) will be activated from the disabled list prior to Friday's game.
It's been a good last 24 hours for Middlebrooks, as Stephen Drew getting shipped out freed up third base for him again and Shane Victorino's (back) injury created a spot for him on the roster. Though the 25-year-old is batting just .197/.305/.324, he has the pop to help out in deeper leagues now that he has an everyday job back.
Will Venable homered in a second straight game Thursday against the Cardinals.
It's been a positively dreadful year for Venable, but he ends July with a .286 average, three homers and three steals in 63 at-bats. He should go back to being a fixture in the San Diego lineup against right-handers now that he is swinging the bat better.
Starling Marte (concussion) will begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Indianapolis on Saturday.
Marte went through a full workout Tuesday and appears ready to rejoin the big club now, but the Pirates understandably want to play it cautiously. The outfielder will play four games for Indy before being activated early next week if all goes well.
Jake Arrieta shut down the Rockies on Thursday, allowing just one run and three hits over seven innings to improve to 6-2.
Arrieta's 10th straight quality start. He's allowed a total of two homers in 98 innings this season. In 2011, he came up 21 bombs in 119 1/3 innings for the Orioles.
Pedro Hernandez took a loss in his Rockies debut after giving up three runs in 5 2/3 innings Thursday against the Cubs.
Hernandez was last seen in the majors amassing a 6.83 ERA in 12 starts and two relief appearances with the Twins last year. He's not a fantasy option.