Projected Starters – A look at Sunday's matchups:
Nationals (Stephen Strasburg - R) at Indians (David Huff - L), 1:05
Pirates (Jeffrey Karstens - R) at Tigers (Armando Galarraga - R), 1:05
Astros (Brian Moehler - R) at Yankees (Philip Hughes - R), 1:05
Royals (Zach Greinke - R) at Reds (Sam LeCure – R), 1:10
Mets (Mike Pelfrey - R) at Orioles (Kevin Millwood - R), 1:35
Phillies (Cole Hamels - L) at Red Sox (Tim Wakefield - R), 1:35
Marlins (Chris Volstad - R) at Rays (Jeff Niemann - R), 1:40
Braves (Kris Medlen - R) at Twins (Kevin Slowey - R), 2:10
Rangers (Colby Lewis - R) at Brewers (Yovani Gallardo - R), 2:10
Blue Jays (Jesse Litsch - R) at Rockies (Jeff Francis - L), 3:10
Mariners (Felix Hernandez - R) at Padres (Clayton Richard - L), 4:05
Athletics (Vin Mazzaro - R) at Giants (Matt Cain - R), 4:05
Cardinals (Chris Carpenter - R) at Diamondbacks (Edwin Jackson - R), 4:10
Angels (Jered Weaver - R) at Dodgers (Carlos Monasterios - R), 4:10
White Sox (Gavin Floyd - R) at Cubs (Ted Lilly - L), 8:05
Day game after night game: STL, ARI, WAS, CLE, NYM, BAL, PIT, DET, ATL, MIN, KC, CIN, FLA, TB, TEX, MIL, TOR, COL, SEA, SD, OAK, SF, LAA, LAD
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)
Chipper Jones, 3B, ATL – (Undisclosed) Another mysterious ailment kept Jones out of Saturday’s lineup.
Omar Infante, 2B, ATL – (Foot) Expected to miss three-to-five days after suffering a bruised foot from a foul ball.
Matt Lindstrom, RP, HOU – (Back) Was unavailable on Thursday due to back spasms.
Magglio Ordonez, OF, DET – (Oblique) May not return to the lineup until Tuesday, though he reported improvement on Saturday, with Monday off, it makes little sense to activate him for Sunday’s game.
Brett Gardner, OF, NYY – (Thumb) Replaced Marcus Thames in left field on Saturday after Thames suffered a hamstring injury.
Marcus Thames, OF, NYY – (Hamstring) Expected to miss Sunday’s game after leaving Saturday’s game in the fifth inning with a strained hamstring. An MRI has been scheduled.
Alex Rodriguez, 3B, NYY – (Groin) Expected to be out until at least Tuesday.
Dallas Braden, SP, OAK – (Forearm) His next start will be pushed back from Tuesday to Thursday if his treatment goes well, there are no plans to skip his next start at this time.
Dustin Pedroia, 2B, BOS – (Knee) Expected to play through any soreness, but may be removed from games in later innings to give him rest.
Players on the DL
Homer Bailey, SP, CIN – (Shoulder) Will indefinitely refrain from throwing until he builds up enough strength to throw without a risk of further injury.
Brandon Webb, SP, ARI – (Shoulder) Threw 20 pitches from a mound Saturday for the first time since March 4. Barring a setback, he remains about six weeks away from rejoining the rotation.
Huston Street, RP, COL – (Shoulder) Underwent an examination on Saturday to determine if he is ready to return to the Rockies’ bullpen, could be activated on Saturday or Sunday.
Tony Abreu, 2B, ARI – (Wrist) Currently on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Reno, could be activated on Tuesday.
Renyel Pinto, RP, FLA – (Hip) Expected to rejoin the Marlins’ bullpen on Sunday or Tuesday.
Kyle Blanks, OF, SD – (Elbow) Continues to rehab with Low-A Lake Elsinore, return date uncertain at this time.
Matt Stairs, OF, SD – (Knee) Expects to return from the DL as soon as his 15-Day minimum absence is complete.
Ryan Hanigan, C, CIN – (Thumb) Took swings in a batting cage and underwent an X-ray on Friday that should help provide an estimated return date.
Chris Dickerson, OF, CIN – (Wrist) Took dry swings on Friday, will need to go on a minor league rehab assignment, and even then his role on the team isn’t certain at this point.
Jimmy Rollins, SS, PHI – (Calf) Minor league rehab assignment has been pushed back, he’ll begin on Tuesday instead of Monday.
Jair Jurrjens, SP, ATL – (Hamstring) Will make a rehab start for Triple-A Gwinnett on Monday, but remains about two weeks away from a return to the Braves.
Nate McLouth, OF, ATL – (Head) Placed on the 15-Day DL, retroactive to June 10, with concussion-like symptoms.
Steven Pearce, 1B, PIT – (Ankle) Scheduled to begin a rehab assignment on Tuesday, but his role with the Pirates has become tenuous with the promotions of Jose Tabata and Neil Walker.
Todd Wellemeyer, SP, SF – (Quadriceps) Placed on the 15-Day DL.
Everth Cabrera, SS, SD – (Hamstring) Could being his rehab assignment on Monday, targeting an early July return.
Carlos Beltran, OF, NYM – (Knee) Could be activated to DH against the Yankees in interleague play next weekend.
Vicente Padilla, SP, LAD – (Forearm) Scheduled to make one more Triple-A rehab start with the aim of being activated on June 19.
Edgar Renteria, SS, SF – (Hamstring) Could return to the lineup early next week, the speed of his return hinges on how well he did running the bases on Friday.
Jason Bartlett, SS, TB – (Hamstring) Rehabbing with Triple-A Durham Monday and Tuesday with the intention of returning to the Rays on Wednesday.
Daisuke Matsuzaka, SP, BOS – (Forearm) Placed on the 15-Day DL on Saturday after being scratched from his Saturday start.
Rich Harden, SP, TEX – (Lower Body) Place on the 15-Day DL on Saturday with a strained left glut.
Gabe Kapler, OF, TB – (Hip) Placed on the 15-Day DL Saturday with a right hip flexor strain.
Josh Beckett, SP, BOS – (Back) Played catch at 30 feet on Saturday, still doesn’t have a clear course of rehab or timeline defined yet.
Alexi Casilla, 2B, MIN – (Elbow) Rehab has progressed better than expected, could return in three weeks.
Derek Holland, SP, TEX – (Shoulder) A late June return is optimistic but possible at this point.
Nelson Cruz, OF, TEX – (Hamstring) His rehab assignment has been put on hold until next weekend, pushing back his return in confluence.
Jeremy Hermida, OF, BOS – (Ribs) An MRI revealed he has five fractured ribs, he still hopes to return from the DL when eligible on June 25, though that is likely an empty hope.
Jacoby Ellsbury, OF, BOS – (Ribs) Will rest for two weeks before resuming baseball activities, isn’t likely to return until after the All-Star break.
Jeff Mathis, C, LAA – (Wrist) Experienced a small setback when an errant pitch struck his thumb on Thursday, but he should return to the majors early next week.
Doug Fister, SP, SEA – (Shoulder) Felt “great” after playing catch on Friday, and is expected to return to the rotation on June 22.
Scott Richmond, SP/RP, TOR – (Shoulder) Currently making rehab starts at Triple-A, but remains about a month away from returning to the Blue Jays.
Mark Lowe, RP, SEA – (Back) Will undergo surgery and miss the remainder of the season.
Transactions – Players that have been demoted, called up, traded, released, you name it. We'll cover it here.
Placed on the DL (15-Day unless otherwise noted)
Daisuke Matsuzaka, SP, Red Sox
Rich Harden, SP, Rangers
Gabe Kapler, OF, Rays
Nate McLouth, OF, Braves (retroactive to June 10)
Activated from the DL
Miguel Montero, C, Diamondbacks
Daniel Nava, OF, Red Sox
Justin Ruggiano, OF, Rays
Dustin Richardson, RP, Red Sox
Mitch Atkins, RP, Cubs
Brandon Hicks, SS, Braves
Alexi Ogando, SP/RP, Rangers
Josh Reddick, OF, Red Sox
John Hester, C, Diamondbacks
James Russell, RP, Cubs
Closer Watch – A closer look at intriguing ninth-inning situations (we also recommend Dave Regan's Closer Grid on the site).
Cleveland – Chris Perez earned his sixth save of the season on Friday. He was used instead of Kerry Wood, the Indians’ regular closer, because Wood had pitched on Thursday. The Indians haven’t used Wood in back-to-back days yet this season in an effort to keep him healthy. Wood remains the closer, but Perez could eventually reclaim the role if the team tires of Wood’s inconsistencies or decides to trade him.
Seattle – David Aardsma gave up two runs on Friday to record his fourth blown save of the season. He’s been far from perfect this season, but the Mariners don’t have any clear options behind him to take over the closer role. Aardsma’s position remains curiously secure despite his mediocrity.
Key Matchups – Spotlight on hitters and pitchers with favorable matchups against their opponent on a particular day (generally, individual matchups with fewer than 10 at-bats are not included). *Check Status
Kelly Johnson v. Chris Carpenter – 4-for-9 (.444), 1 HR, 1 RBI, 3:5 BB:K (.583 OBP)
Jorge Posada v. Brian Moehler – 5-for-12 (.417), 0 HR, 7 RBI, 1:2 BB:K (.462 OBP)
Jayson Werth v. Tim Wakefield – 5-for-11 (.455), 1 HR, 2 RBI, 0:1 BB:K (.455 OBP)
Russell Martin v. Jered Weaver – 7-for-17 (.412), 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1:1 BB:K (.444 OBP)
Paul Konerko v. Ted Lilly – 6-for-21 (.286), 3 HR, 6 RBI, 1:3 BB:K (.304 OBP)
Tim Wakefield vs. Philadelphia Phillies – Wakefield has held the Phillies’ current hitters to a slash line of .217/.265/.349 through 113 batters faced. In 57 career innings against the Phillies, Wakefield has a 2.68 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, and .214 BAA. The Phillies have arguably been the club that Wakefield has pitched his best ball against throughout his career. If we can believe history at all, Wakefield should have a strong showing on Sunday. He took the mound against the Phillies earlier this year and pitched eight shutout innings while only giving up five hits and two walks.
Cole Hamels vs. Boston Red Sox - Hamels has held the Red Sox’ current hitters to a slash line of .178/.231/.384 through 79 batters faced. In two career starts against the Red Sox, Hamels has a 1.93 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, and 13:3 K:BB ratio over 14 innings. He’ll have to continue his dominant ways if he hopes to outduel Wakefield on Sunday.
Adam LaRoche v. Chris Carpenter – 3-for-14 (.214), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 0:1 BB:K (.214 OBP)
Stephen Drew v. Chris Carpenter – 1-for-10 (.100), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 0:3 BB:K (.100 OBP)
Ryan Ludwick v. Edwin Jackson – 1-for-8 (.125), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1:4 BB:K (.300 OBP)
Skip Schumaker v. Edwin Jackson – 2-for-10 (.200), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0:2 BB:K (.200 OBP)
Fernando Tatis v. Kevin Millwood – 2-for-25 (.080), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 0:7 BB:K (.080 OBP)
Rod Barajas v. Kevin Millwood – 1-for-12 (.083), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0:1 BB:K (.083 OBP)
Bill Hall v. Cole Hamels – 3-for-19 (.158), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0:6 BB:K (.158 OBP)
Marco Scutaro v. Cole Hamels – 1-for-10 (.100), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0:2 BB:K (.100 OBP)
Placido Polanco v. Tim Wakefield – 1-for-15 (.067), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 2:1 BB:K (.176 OBP)
Melky Cabrera v. Kevin Slowey – 2-for-9 (.222), 1 HR, 4 RBI, 0:1 BB:K (.200 OBP)
Andre Ethier v. Jered Weaver – 2-for-14 (.143), 0 HR, 3 RBI, 3:4 BB:K (.294 OBP)
Manny Ramirez v. Jered Weaver – 2-for-12 (.167), 0 HR, 3 RBI, 1:6 BB:K (.214 OBP)
Edwin Jackson vs. St. Louis Cardinals – The Cardinals’ current hitters have hit Jackson to the tune of a .338/.408/.559 slash line in 77 plate appearances. Jackson has done well against the bottom of the Cardinals’ lineup, but he’s been decimated by the heart of the lineup. He’ll need to have a dominant performance on Sunday to navigate around Matt Holiday, Albert Pujols, and Colby Rasmus.
Brennan Boesch, OF, DET – This 25-year-old rookie was our recommended pickup nearly a month ago on June 15 and Yahoo! users have failed to capitalize on his impressive production. He’s currently only owned in 32 percent of Yahoo! leagues against ESPN leagues where he is owned in 62 percent of their league. The Tigers are playing Boesch daily, whether it’s in the outfield or as their primary DH; he’s getting at-bats. Coming into Saturday, Boesch was hitting .343 with eight homeruns, 30 RBI, and 17 runs scored in 143 at-bats over 39 games. A lot of people are skeptical because the hype machine didn’t push Boesch before his call up like it did several of the other prospects this season, but he’s produced on a comparable level as the revered Jason Heyward. Though Boesch certainly hasn’t followed the same career path as the 20-year-old Heyward, there’s nothing to say he can’t continue to produce in the same impressive way that Heyward has. Pick up Boesch if you need more power in your outfield.
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