Breaking news: Surgery may sideline Strasburg for 2011

This just in: Our projected No. 1 pick in the 2011 I-75 League Draft looks like he’ll miss the entire season. “Tommy John” surgery is likely, though a second opinion is being sought.

Follow the news in USA TODAY’s Daily Pitch.

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Intriguing shakeup for August mock draft

Jon Jay and Joaquin Benoit are two players you may have heard little or nothing about.

But Jay is the St. Louis Cardinals’ regular right fielder these days, and all the 25-year-old second-round pick has done is rack up a 1.065 on-base-plus-slugging number against lefties, and a 1.008 OPS vs. righties. The lefty swinger hit .431 in July, and now has four outfield assists against no errors in 115 at-bats. Jay’s performance induced the Cardinals to trade Ryan Ludwick in an exchange that netted them starter Jake Westbrook.

Benoit, a 33-year-old righty, has been flying under the radar as a middle reliever with Tampa, but he’s posted some mind-boggling numbers that suggest a potentially hitless card: In 37 innings pitched, just 14 hits allowed (.115 BAA and 0.54 WHIP), while striking out 53. He’s equally ridiculous against both righties and lefties.

Congratulations, Jon and Joaquin. You’ve made the Watch List for the 2011 I-75 League Mock Draft, August installment.

That’s right, not just anybody can crack our Dynamic Dozen, and although three new faces appear this month, Jay and Benoit are not among them. Keep it up though boys, there’s always next month. Without further ado:

1. Stephen Strasburg, RHP, Washington (last month’s rank: 1) — His injury isn’t serious and he’ll be back on the mound in mid-month. The guy can throw four pitches for strikes, is a tough competitor, and no one in their right mind would take a pass on the guy many experts expect to be the pitching star for the next decade.

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Who were the trade deadline winners?

Only one trade was consummated Saturday night by the midnight deadline, so it was extended a while longer to accommodate some slow-moving managers, and three more deals got done in “extended time.” Thank God we didn’t have to resort to corner kicks.

The complete trade rundown can be found elsewhere on the site; our job here is to evaluate the July deals and declare who gained the most advantages for this year and next.

2010 WINNERS
1. Tropical, locked in a tight three-way battle for the Northern Division crown, acquired a No. 1 starter in Dan Haren and league slugging leader Adam Lind from Applegate; then added a treasured high on-base top-of-the-order player in Bobby Abreu from Margaritaville.

2. Detroit bolstered its chances of beating out South Grand Prairie for the third playoff spot in the South by picking up slugging second baseman Aaron Hill and clutch utility infielder Casey McGehee from Margaritaville.

2011 WINNERS
1. Margaritaville, already looking to have a formidable offense, plugged a catching hole with Geovanny Soto from Tropical, and added a five-tool second baseman in Brandon Phillips from Detroit.

2. Superior bolstered its 2011 offense too, acquiring 1B Billy Butler from Hickory and OF Marlon Byrd from Savannah.

3. Applegate added the single biggest bat to change hands, with potential MVP OF Josh Hamilton coming over from Tropical.

Don’t forget to adjust your rosters in the Yahoo league.