Updated: April 13, 2009, 1:53 PM ET

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Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Brandon Webb struggled in his Opening Day start, allowing six runs and six hits in four innings.

Webb lands on disabled list

One of fantasy baseball's most productive starting pitchers will apparently be sidelined for at least another week. Taking every precaution with their ace right-hander, the Diamondbacks placed Brandon Webb on the 15-day disabled list on Sunday with tightness in his pitching shoulder. The move was made retroactive to this past Tuesday, meaning Webb can return to action as early as April 22.

Judging by Webb's comments, chances are he might be back in that minimum amount of time: "There's no concern," he told the Associated Press. "The MRIs are all good. I mean, if there's no structural damage, there's nothing to worry about."

Judging by Webb's performance, though, that sentiment might be met with more skepticism. Between spring training and his Opening Day start, he surrendered nine walks and 26 hits in 21 innings, very un-Webb-like. Plus, he also dealt with some forearm tightness during spring training. We'll have more on Webb's health as the week progresses, but for now, expect him to sit out until at least the middle of next week, perhaps a few days longer.

Yusmeiro Petit will continue to stand in for Webb, though Thursday's off day allows for that spot in the rotation to be skipped. Petit didn't dominate in his first fill-in effort for Webb this past Saturday, giving up three runs on three hits in five innings, and he's about as extreme a fly-ball pitcher as Webb is a ground-baller, generating fly balls on 49.8 percent of his career balls in play and managing a 0.52:1 career ground ball-to-fly ball ratio. That puts him at risk of a blow-up inning at any given time, but his 2.68 walks per nine and 6.72 strikeouts per nine ratios at the big league level (and 2.13 and 9.42 in the minors) do indicate he has matchups potential against weaker lineups or in spacious ballparks.

Another thing working in Petit's favor: If Webb's shoulder indeed turns out to be a concern, between his and Max Scherzer's health risk, there might be a decent handful of fill-in starts to go around for the team's "No. 6" starter.

Previous editions: 4/12: Ryan struggles | 4/10: Carpenter impressive in debut

News, Notes and Box Score Bits

• Only a night after Cubs manager Lou Piniella reiterated his stance that Kevin Gregg remains his closer despite set-up man Carlos Marmol notching his first save of the season on Saturday, Marmol returned to eighth-inning action with Gregg pitching the ninth on Sunday night. For the second straight game, Marmol completed a shutout inning with two strikeouts. Gregg, meanwhile, was shaky for a fourth consecutive outing, serving up a long home run to Rickie Weeks and giving up a hard-hit double to Craig Counsell (though to be fair, Kosuke Fukudome's misplay might have been a converted out by most other center fielders). Piniella's firm stance, and Gregg's maintaining the lead on Sunday, probably keeps Gregg in the closer's role for now, but one must wonder how many more dominant Marmol outings followed by adventurous ones by Gregg the manager can bear. You can't find a more apt must-handcuff closer job in baseball. (Watch highlights from the Cubs-Brewers game. Video)

• Piniella also shared his injury insights during the Sunday broadcast; he said Milton Bradley was lifted from Sunday's game for precautionary reasons with tightness in his groin, while Geovany Soto, out since this past Tuesday with a sore right shoulder, will return to action on Wednesday. Piniella noted that Soto could be available in an emergency, and then used him as a pinch hitter in the ninth inning, but the sophomore catcher is scheduled to be held out of Monday's home opener in Chicago to be safe. In Bradley's case he's day-to-day, but accounting for his checkered past in the health department, a few missed games needs to be expected.

Dexter Fowler, a starter in back-to-back games against left-handers on Wednesday and Friday, earned a start against a right-hander on Sunday, going 2-for-5 with a home run. He now has one home run apiece versus lefties (Doug Davis) and righties (Chan Ho Park). Considering his top-prospect status, minimal platoon split in the minors and presence of Seth Smith ahead of him on the depth chart, Fowler might pick up additional at-bats in the near future. NL-only owners must add Fowler; mixed-league owners need at least monitor him. (Watch highlights from the Phillies-Rockies game. Video)

• Though it was mainly the product of Mike Gonzalez and Peter Moylan each having pitched both of the previous two nights, Rafael Soriano's first save of 2009 offers encouragement to his fantasy owners (or prospective ones). He now has allowed just one hit over four shutout innings to start the season, after coming along slowly during spring training recovering from elbow surgery. Soriano doesn't seem primed to steal Gonzalez's job yet, but he has handcuff value in deeper formats and certainly bears watching. (Watch highlights from the Nationals-Braves game. Video)

• Sticking with the saves theme, David Aardsma notched his second in three days with Brandon Morrow presumably unavailable after having thrown 27 pitches in an inning's work on Saturday. Remember that the Mariners were impressed by Aardsma's efforts during the spring, and Morrow might be brought along slowly following his March forearm issues, so Aardsma would make a smart handcuff right now. (Watch highlights from the Mariners-A's game. Video)

• Two days after departing early with a groin injury, Elijah Dukes returned to action on Sunday, swiping Lastings Milledge's center-field role and rolling with it, going 2-for-5 with a double and three RBIs. With the Nationals slumping -- they're baseball's only 0-6 team -- they'll likely continue to ride hot hands in situations like this, meaning Milledge owners have something to worry about in the short term.

• After seven days without a single one, there were three complete games on Sunday, including two shutouts. Aaron Harang managed the first, a three-hit shutout against the Pirates, as he looks to put a miserable 17-loss 2008 campaign behind him. So far, so good. Kyle Lohse quickly followed with a three-hit shutout of his own, retiring 24 consecutive Astros in the process. Something for matchups seekers to keep in mind: Lohse is now 11-3 with a 3.04 ERA and 1.09 WHIP in 23 career starts at Busch Stadium. (Watch highlights from the Reds-Pirates and Cardinals-Astros games. Video)

Tim Lincecum put forth another stinker -- comparatively speaking -- serving up four runs on 10 hits in 5 1/3 innings despite the opponent being the Padres and the venue being Petco Park. He has a 7.56 ERA and six walks in 8 1/3 innings in his first two turns, though at this stage he remains more of a buy-low candidate in the making than a pitcher in which you should have concern. Still, he bears watching his next few turns. (Watch highlights of the Giants-Padres game Video)


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Player Spotlight
HITTER OF THE NIGHT
Nick Hundley, Padres
Padres catchers are hitting? Whaaaaaa? Between Hundley and backup Henry Blanco, the Padres have gotten a .381 batting average (8-for-21) and two home runs out of their backstops through seven games. Enjoy it now, though, because it's unlikely two players with sub-.250 career batting averages and sub-.700 OPS will keep that up.
PITCHER OF THE NIGHT
Josh Johnson, Marlins
The third of the complete-game crew, Johnson gets the nod because he beat the most formidable lineup: The Mets. Oh, and Johan Santana, no less. Johnson has a 0.57 ERA and 0.83 WHIP in his first two starts, and if there's anything negative to say, it's that a guy with his injury history shouldn't be asked to throw a whopping 30 2/3 spring innings. (Watch highlights of the Mets-Marlins game Video)
STAT OF THE NIGHT
0-4, 13.28 ERA: Those were the numbers compiled by Indians starters before Anthony Reyes (their new "stopper"?) picked up a victory to snap the team's season-opening five-game losing streak with six innings of three-hit, four-run baseball. Not that Reyes will finish 2009 as the Indians' most valuable fantasy starter -- or at least he shouldn't -- but he has sleeper potential, especially in AL-only formats. (Watch highlights from the Blue Jays-Indians game. Video)
Notable Transactions
B.J. Upton owners, prepare to activate your top-20 outfielder, as the Rays activated him from the disabled list late Sunday night, optioning Matt Joyce to Triple-A Durham to clear room on the roster. Upton is expected to claim the leadoff spot for the Rays, where he'll be a potential 20-homer, 40-steal, 100-run man, accounting for his past exploits. As for Joyce, the Rays felt he'd be better suited to play regularly at Durham than sparingly in Tampa Bay, though he'd warrant an AL-only pickup if further injuries open a job for him later in the season.

• The Marlins got their utilityman back on Sunday, activating Alfredo Amezaga from the disabled list while optioning infielder Andy Gonzalez to Triple-A New Orleans. Amezaga had been an NL-only "cheap steals" type in seasons past (20 in 2006), but with Emilio Bonifacio holding down third base exceptionally through a week's action, Amezaga might find starts few and far between. Look elsewhere for your steals.

• Once a potential handcuff for Jose Valverde owners, Doug Brocail landed on the 15-day disabled list on Sunday with a strained right rotator cuff. He had battled some shoulder tendinitis early during spring training and struggled with his command in his first three appearances of 2009 (4 walks in 2 1/3 innings). Brocail was replaced on the roster by Jeff Fulchino, recalled from Triple-A Round Rock as bullpen depth, but owners in deep NL-only leagues seeking a new Valverde handcuff should consider LaTroy Hawkins or Geoff Geary (though I'd argue Valverde hardly needs one).

Click here for all of the latest MLB transactions.
They Said It
Gray (Chicago): Speaking of Troy Percival, why isn't Joe Maddon going with Grant Balfour, the clear stud of that bullpen?

Jerry Crasnick: Percival looked very good in spring training, and he finds a way to get by even though he's now throwing in the 89-91 range. Plus, Balfour records a lot of valuable outs with strikeouts in the 7th and 8th. Before the year is through, I wouldn't be surprised to see three or four different guys recording saves for the Rays.
-- Full chat transcript
Monday's fantasy chat schedule:
Christopher Harris, 11 a.m. ET
Matthew Berry, 3 p.m. ET
On The Farm
David Price's first start of the season wasn't anything spectacular; he allowed two runs on four hits in 3 2/3 innings for Triple-A Durham on Saturday. Most interesting was that he was on a 75-pitch limit, which might point to the Rays trying to keep him on a strict innings cap this season. Price, who tossed 129 1/3 innings between the minors, majors and postseason in 2008, probably is a good month-plus from being recalled, judging by his usage his first turn at Durham. But make no mistake, he'll be up before long.

• Buster Posey went 2-for-4 and hit his first home run of the season for Class A San Jose on Sunday. His low-level assignment might fool some into believing he's further away from being big league ready than he is, but the Giants probably chose to begin him there to avoid the cold temperatures at Double-A Connecticut. He lingered for quite a long time in spring camp (until March 29), generally an indication that he's closer to being in the team's plans than you might think. With a hot start this season, Posey might warrant a late-season promotion, though more likely, he'll be one of 2010's hottest Rookie of the Year candidates.

• Another late spring cut -- he was reassigned on March 25 -- Gordon Beckham continued his hot hitting for Double-A Birmingham, going 1-for-3 with a double, two walks and an RBI on Sunday, bringing his season batting average to .444. He tore up the Cactus League in March, and stands a legitimate chance at some big league time later this year, particularly if Chris Getz proves incapable of holding down the regular second base role.

• Though Emilio Bonifacio's hot start has also hurt his chances at meaningful fantasy value in the near future, at Triple-A New Orleans Gaby Sanchez has been doing his best to keep his name in the Marlins' minds. He managed his second consecutive three-hit effort and hit his first home run on Sunday, and is now batting .450 (9-for-20) through his first four minor league games. Sanchez remains a candidate to get some time with the Marlins later in the year, but his long-term role is in question with Logan Morrison behind him on the organizational ladder. Fortunately for Sanchez -- at least for this year -- Morrison is currently sidelined six to eight weeks with a small fracture in his right wrist.

Clay Buchholz needed 82 pitches to complete 3 2/3 innings in his first start for Triple-A Pawtucket, during which he allowed two runs (one earned) on three hits and four walks. He had a standout spring training, though, and should improve with time in the minors, probably remaining next in line for a rotation spot should Brad Penny and/or John Smoltz, each of whom has spent considerable time on the DL in his career, run into problems.

Looking Ahead
• Though Scott Kazmir has split eight decisions against the Yankees in his career, he has pitched effectively in 12 games (11 starts) against them overall, registering a 2.51 ERA, 1.32 WHIP and a 9.53 strikeouts per nine innings ratio. If there's any problem with his matchup it's that his opponent is Chien-Ming Wang, who is 5-2 with a 3.74 ERA and 1.30 WHIP in eight career starts at Tropicana Field. But Wang looked shaky in his 2009 regular-season debut and Kazmir has a 3.10 ERA and 1.30 WHIP in 61 career home games, so the left-hander should be the stronger fantasy choice.

Jesse Litsch is 3-0 with a 2.08 ERA and 0.96 WHIP in four career starts against the Twins, and warrants at least AL-only consideration in what should be a fairly low-scoring affair.

Click here for more on Monday's games.