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The Lineup Card: Pointing to Saturday

Zach Sundelius

Zach Sundelius

Zach Sundelius writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire.

Projected Starters - A look at Saturday's matchups:

Astros (Wandy Rodriguez - L) at Yankees (Javier Vazquez - R), 1:05
Phillies (Joe Blanton - R) at Red Sox (Daisuke Matsuzaka - R), 4:10
White Sox (Mark Buehrle - L) at Cubs (Carlos Silva - R), 4:10
Mets (Hisanori Takahashi - L) at Orioles (Brian Matusz - L), 7:05
Nationals (J.D. Martin - R) at Indians (Fausto Carmona - R), 7:05
Pirates (Paul Maholm - L) at Tigers (Jeremy Bonderman - R), 7:05
Rangers (Scott Feldman - R) at Brewers (Manny Parra - L), 7:10
Braves (Derek Lowe - R) at Twins (Nick Blackburn - R), 7:10
Royals (Brian Bannister - R) at Reds (Johnny Cueto - R), 7:10
Marlins (Ricky Nolasco - R) at Rays (Matt Garza - R), 7:10
Blue Jays (Brandon Morrow - R) at Rockies (Jason Hammel - R), 8:10
Cardinals (Adam Ottavino - R) at Diamondbacks (Dan Haren - R), 8:10
Mariners (Cliff Lee - L) at Padres (Wade LeBlanc - L), 8:35
Athletics (Ben Sheets - R) at Giants (Barry Zito - L), 9:05
Angels (Scott Kazmir - L) at Dodgers (John Ely - R), 10:10

Day Game After Night Game: HOU, NYY, PHI, BOS

Injuries - A brief look at players that have been missing time with minor ailments and their expected returns

Day-to-Day (includes players expected to make their return from the DL)

Colby Rasmus, OF, STL – (Calf) Hasn’t started since Sunday; expected to return this weekend
Kris Medlen, P, ATL – (Shoulder) Mild strain won’t keep him from pitching Sunday
Nate McLouth, OF, ATL – (Head) Remains day-to-day; head injuries can be tricky
Cristian Guzman, SS, WAS – (Hand) Expected to return Saturday after sitting out Friday
Todd Wellemeyer, P, SF – (Quad) Expected to land on disabled list
Kurt Suzuki, C, OAK – (Personal) On the bereavement list; not eligible to play Saturday
John McDonald, SS, TOR – (Personal) On the bereavement list; not eligible for Saturday
Kevin Youkilis, 1B, BOS – (Back) Out of Friday’s lineup; questionable for Saturday
Dioner Navarro, C, TB – (Neck) Wasn’t in Friday’s lineup
Alex Rodriguez, 3B, NYY – (Hip) Available to pinch-hit, but may not start for a couple of days
Brett Gardner, OF, NYY – (Thumb) Has Grade I sprain; available to pinch-run
Magglio Ordonez, OF, CHW – (Oblique) Still sore; remains day-to-day

Players on the DL

Tim Stauffer, P, SD – (Abdomen) Being stretched out as a starter at Triple-A
Chris Sampson, P, HOU – (Shoulder) Threw a side session and experience no discomfort
Kris Benson, P, ARI – (Shoulder) May not be a starter when he returns
Carlos Beltran, OF, NYM – (Knee) Made first appearance in the outfield in an extended spring training game on Friday
Edinson Volquez, P, CIN – (Elbow) Will make a rehab start at High-A on Saturday
Homer Bailey, P, CIN – (Shoulder) Experienced small setback, won’t pitch rehab game Sunday as scheduled
Erik Bedard, P, SEA – (Shoulder) Throwing bullpen sessions, but still not expected to return until late July at the earliest
Nelson Cruz, OF, TEX – (Hamstring) Felt discomfort while running; return pushed back until late next week
Brian Roberts, 2B, BAL – (Back) Still avoiding surgery, but nowhere near a return

Transactions - Players that have been demoted, called up, traded, released, you name it. We'll cover it here (draft picks not included).

Placed on DL
J.J. Hardy, SS, MIN

Called Up
Carlos Santana, C, CLE
Trevor Plouffe, SS, MIN

Sent Down
Lou Marson, C, CLE
Saul Rivera, P, ARI
Jamie Burke, P, WAS

Closer Watch - A closer look at intriguing ninth-inning situations (check out Dave Regan's Closer Grid with the link to the left).

Chicago White Sox – Bobby Jenks tossed a scoreless inning to save Thursday’s game against Detroit. He’s been outpitched by Matt Thornton for most of the season, but Thornton is navigating through some choppy waters right now, allowing seven runs in his last three games. With Chicago already 8.5 games out of first, Jenks remains a potential trade candidate.

Baltimore – David Hernandez converted a save chance Thursday and furthered the belief that the Orioles might be grooming him for the closer’s role, but Alfredo Simon will add another twist when he returns from the DL, possibly as early as this weekend. Considering how well Simon fared in his save opportunities earlier this season, he’ll likely factor into the mix.

Boston – Jonathan Papelbon was activated from the bereavement list Friday, pushing Dan Bard back into a setup role.

Hot

Jason Michaels v. Javier Vazquez – 6-for-18 (.333), 1 HR, 5 RBI, 4:4 BB:K (.455 OBP)
J.D. Drew v. Joe Blanton – 5-for-15 (.333), 1 HR, 2 RBI, 0:1 BB:K (.313 OBP)
Kevin Youkilis* v. Joe Blanton – 7-for-21 (.333), 1 HR, 2 RBI, 3:7 BB:K (.400 OBP)
David Ortiz v. Joe Blanton – 7-for-23 (.304), 2 HR, 3 RBI, 3:3 BB:K (.370 OBP)
Mike Cameron v. Joe Blanton – 4-for-9 (.444), 3 HR, 5 RBI, 1:3 BB:K (.583 OBP)
Derrek Lee v. Mark Buehrle – 6-for-13 (.462), 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1:5 BB:K (.467 OBP)
Johnny Damon v. Derek Lowe – 7-for-13 (.538), 0 HR, 3 RBI, 1:1 BB:K (.571 OBP)
Jason Kendall v. Johnny Cueto – 6-for-12 (.500), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 1:0 BB:K (.538 OBP)
Matt Holliday v. Dan Haren – 5-for-14 (.357), 2 HR, 3 RBI, 2:2 BB:K (.438 OBP)
David Eckstein v. Cliff Lee – 5-for-14 (.357), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0:0 BB:K (.357 OBP)
Pat Burrell v. Ben Sheets – 8-for-21 (.381), 3 HR, 6 RBI, 3:3 BB:K (.458 OBP)

Carlos Silva v. White Sox – Silva’s magical ride should continue against the White Sox, who are hitting just .244 as a team (the third-worst mark in the AL). Losing the designated hitter at Wrigley Field won’t help Chicago’s offense, nor will a matchup with Silva and his 2.93 ERA and 47:12 K:BB ratio. White Sox hitters have hit just .243/.282/.336 against Silva, including just seven extra-base hits in 150 plate appearances.

Cold

Mark Teixeira v. Wandy Rodriguez – 1-for-10 (.100), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 2:5 BB:K (.250 OBP)
Lance Berkman v. Javier Vazquez – 5-for-24 (.208), 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1:6 BB:K (.240 OBP)
Pedro Feliz v. Javier Vazquez – 6-for-25 (.240), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 3:5 BB:K (.321 OBP)
Dustin Pedroia v. Joe Blanton – 3-for-16 (.188), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 3:0 BB:K (.316 OBP)
Victor Martinez v. Joe Blanton – 5-for-21 (.238), 0 HR, 3 RBI, 0:2 BB:K (.238 OBP)
Mike Lowell v. Joe Blanton – 4-for-20 (.200), 0 HR, 4 RBI, 1:4 BB:K (.238 OBP)
Jason Varitek v. Joe Blanton – 5-for-24 (.208), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 2:6 BB:K (.269 OBP)
Marlon Byrd v. Mark Buehrle – 2-for-12 (.167), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 0:0 BB:K (.167 OBP)
Alexis Rios v. Carlos Silva – 3-for-19 (.158), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 0:4 BB:K (.158 OBP)
Mark Kotsay v. Carlos Silva – 4-for-24 (.167), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 0:1 BB:K (.167 OBP)
Brandon Inge v. Derek Lowe – 2-for-13 (.154), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0:2 BB:K (.154 OBP)
Miguel Cabrera v. Derek Lowe – 4-for-23 (.174), 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2:3 BB:K (.240 OBP)
Randy Winn v. Dan Haren – 9-for-44 (.205), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 2:11 BB:K (.239 OBP)
Freddy Sanchez v. Ben Sheets – 4-for-21 (.190), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0:4 BB:K (.190 OBP)
Manny Ramirez v. Scott Kazmir – 7-for-44 (.159), 1 HR, 5 RBI, 4:14 BB:K (.260 OBP)

Joe Blanton v. Red Sox – Over his last three starts, Blanton has a 7.71 ERA and a 7:5 K:BB ratio. He’s been especially vulnerable to the long ball, which could prove problematic against the homer-happy Red Sox (second-most homers in the bigs). Blanton should be especially wary of Mike Cameron, who has three homers in just nine at-bats against Blanton.

Recommended Pickup

Carlos Santana, C, CLE – Santana may already be owned in most AL-only leagues, but mixed leaguers need to start taking note now that he’s been called up by the Indians. He shredded Triple-A pitching this season with a .316 average, 13 homers, 51 RBI and a 1.044 OPS. While dominance against minor league pitchers isn’t necessarily a harbinger of immediate major league success, few doubt Santana’s ability to eventually be an offensive force with the Indians. His defense needs work, though the last-place Indians seem willing to endure some growing pains from the 24-year-old switch hitter as he gains experience and comfort behind the plate. He’ll likely get extensive playing time and is worth a look in most standard mixed leagues.

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