Cincinnati Reds left-hander Aroldis Chapman tossed a perfect eighth inning in his major league debut Tuesday, needing eight pitches (seven strikes) to retire the Milwaukee Brewers' Jonathan Lucroy, Craig Counsell and Carlos Gomez in order. Chapman reached 102 mph on the radar gun and registered one strikeout. As noted Tuesday, even in middle relief Chapman can help fantasy owners.
Washington Nationals right-hander Jordan Zimmermann held the Florida Marlins to one hit in six shutout innings, fanning nine hitters without issuing a walk in his second start of the season. He had allowed five runs in four innings in his season debut last week, his first outing since Tommy John surgery. Zimmermann should be Washington's 2011 ace.
Cleveland Indians right-hander Justin Masterson was masterful for 7 2/3 innings, allowing four hits and one run. Masterson struck out seven Chicago White Sox and lowered his ERA to 5.04. While his overall numbers don't impress, remember the name in 2011; Masterson is having a strong second half, and he's only 25.
Tampa Bay Rays right-hander Jeff Niemann had a 3.12 ERA when he hit the disabled list in early August for a right shoulder strain. Since then, including Tuesday's miserable outing against the Toronto Blue Jays, he has allowed 17 earned runs in 8 1/3 innings over two starts. Ouch. Assuming health, Niemann is next scheduled to face the Boston Red Sox, but you should sit him.
Detroit Tigers outfielder Casper Wells singled and hit a pair of doubles in three at-bats Tuesday and should continue to face left-handed pitching. The right-handed-hitting Wells hits for power, but his career minor league average is .250 and he strikes out a lot. Spot-start Wells against southpaws, like Wednesday against Francisco Liriano.
Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman Neil Walker had four hits, four RBIs and scored three runs Tuesday. Walker, who hit for moderate power in the minor leagues, has eight home runs for the Pirates, and he's flourishing as the No. 3 hitter; Walker has four multi-RBI games in the past week. He's available in 69 percent of ESPN standard mixed leagues.