The return of Pedro Martinez highlights a busy Tuesday around the National League. The 36-year-old Martinez, who hasn't started since April 1 due to a hamstring injury, is being eased back into action by the Mets versus a light-hitting Giants squad that sends 1-8 Barry Zito to the hill. All American League eyes are on Yankees uber-prospect Joba Chamberlain as he makes his first major league start Tuesday against the Blue Jays. The 22-year-old phenom boasts a 2.28 ERA and 1.14 WHIP in 23 relief innings.
Matchups for Tuesday, June 3
All times are ET.
Clint Barmes, SS, Rockies (knee)
Eric Byrnes, OF, Diamondbacks (hamstring)
Matt Diaz, OF, Braves (knee)
Eric Gagne, RP, Brewers (shoulder)
Travis Hafner, DH, Indians (shoulder)
Brad Hawpe, OF, Rockies (hamstring)
Matt Holliday, OF, Rockies (hamstring)
Conor Jackson, 1B, Diamondbacks (quad)
Mark Kotsay, OF, Braves (back)
Daisuke Matsuzaka, SP, Red Sox (shoulder)
Troy Percival, RP, Rays (hamstring)
Gary Sheffield, DH, Tigers (oblique)
Frank Thomas, DH, A's (quad)
Start 'em, sit 'em
Hitters: Hideki Matsui is having a big 2008, but the Yankees slugger needs a day off against Jays ace Roy Halladay, against whom he's just 7-for-37. ... Indians shortstop Jhonny Peralta is finally starting to heat up. He's 8-for-24 with two home runs during the past week. ... Don't consider benching Angels center fielder Torii Hunter just because an ace like Erik Bedard is on the mound for the opposing Mariners. Hunter is a nifty 8-for-18 with two home runs versus Bedard. ... Ken Griffey Jr. is swinging a hot bat for the Reds, posting a .978 OPS during the past week. He's had some success against Phillies starter Adam Eaton, too. ... Yes, the game's in Petco, but shortstop Ryan Theriot should be in the lineup along with all the other hot-hitting Cubbies. He's boasting a .542 on-base percentage this week, a great omen for a basestealer. ... Dodgers second sacker Jeff Kent is 7-for-19 this week and 9-for-21 lifetime versus Rockies starter Jeff Francis. ... Left-handed first baseman James Loney may be on the Dodgers' bench Tuesday. He's only 1-for-12 versus Rockies southpaw Jeff Francis.
Pitchers: Indians sinkerballer Jake Westbrook had an encouraging return from the disabled list, but give him another start to get back in form. Westbrook has an ugly 6.14 ERA in four career starts at Rangers Ballpark. ... Rangers starter Vicente Padilla has posted respectable surface stats this year and even struck out 10 Rays hitters in his previous outing. However, Padilla has been the beneficiary of a high strand rate, and his ERA will balloon when his luck runs out. The Indians are a personal nemesis for Padilla, as the 7.09 ERA he's compiled in five starts versus the Tribe is his second-worst mark against any opponent. ... Poor command has Gavin Floyd understandably unowned in nearly half of ESPN leagues despite excellent surface stats. He should still get the call Tuesday against the Royals' punchless offense. ... Astros starter Wandy Rodriguez had a rough outing last week in his return from a month-long hiatus on the disabled list. Although the Pirates may seem a weak foe, his owners might do well to wait another week to activate Rodriguez. He has compiled a career 5.85 ERA in eight starts versus the Bucs, including two bombings in PNC Park. Jason Bay, Ronny Paulino, Adam LaRoche and Freddy Sanchez are a combined 27-for-53 versus the Houston left-hander. ... Odalis Perez's history with Cardinals superstar Albert Pujols is reason enough to keep the Nationals left-hander on the bench Tuesday. Pujols is an amazing 14-for-21 with five home runs, nine walks and 15 RBIs versus Perez. ... Keep struggling Dodgers starter Brad Penny on the bench until he turns it around. He only managed an 8.82 ERA in May. ... Don't hesitate to use Pedro Martinez against the light-hitting Giants in his return to the Mets rotation. He looked very sharp during his rehab assignment.
Hitters: Mariners first baseman Richie Sexson remains a lefty-killer, even as his overall numbers decline with age. He's 4-for-9 with three home runs versus Angels left-hander Joe Saunders. ... Orioles outfielder Luke Scott is finding his power stroke with a .706 slugging percentage this week. He's a solid play versus Twins right-hander Kevin Slowey. ... Jason Giambi is still largely ignored because of age, bad press and a .164 April batting average. In May, however, the Yankees first baseman hit .315 BA/.419 OBP/.644 SLG with six home runs. He's a career .304 hitter in 56 at-bats versus Roy Halladay. ... Owners seeking speed should nab Oakland center fielder Rajai Davis, who swiped 22 bags last year in just 190 at-bats. The speedy Davis will be in the lineup Tuesday with left-hander Dontrelle Willis on the mound for the visiting Tigers. ... With Matt Holliday and Brad Hawpe on the disabled list, Rockies outfielder Ryan Spilborghs is temporarily an everyday player. The 28-year old is making the most of his opportunity, hitting .391/.481/.870 with three home runs this week. ... Mets second baseman Luis Castillo is batting a sizzling .348/.464/.652 during the past seven days, yet is owned in less than 15 percent of ESPN leagues.
Pitchers: Minnesota's Kevin Slowey looked sharp in a complete game victory in his previous outing. He's allowed only one run in his past two starts combined, striking out nine without a walk. Try him against the slumping Orioles at home on Tuesday. ... Atlanta rookie Jorge Campillo's hot start is not smoke and mirrors. Campillo has surrendered only one run in three starts since joining the rotation, striking out sixteen and walking none! The 29-year-old has been troubled by blisters but is expected to take the mound on Tuesday against the Marlins. Campillo now sports a 33-to-5 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 36 total innings. He should be used in all formats while he's throwing this well.
Games in Minnesota, Milwaukee and Seattle are always weatherproof. Nearly every other game, however, is under threat of rain Tuesday as strong storms and rain sweep across the Midwest into the South and the East. The Indians at Rangers and the four California games are the only contests free from the likelihood of wet weather.
Will Harris is a fantasy baseball and college football analyst for ESPN.com.