Projected Starters - A look at Thursday's matchups:
Dodgers (John Ely – R) at Reds (Bronson Arroyo – R), 12:35
Nationals (Luis Atilano – R) at Tigers (Jeremy Bonderman – R), 1:05
Rockies (Ubaldo Jimenez – R) at Twins (Francisco Liriano – L), 1:10
Athletics (Dallas Braden – L) at Cubs (Randy Wells – R), 2:20
D-Backs (Dan Haren – R) at Red Sox (John Lackey – R), 6:10
White Sox (Mark Buehrle – L) at Pirates (Ross Ohlendorf – R), 7:05
Phillies (Kyle Kendrick – R) at Yankees (Andy Pettitte – L) , 7:05
Mets (R.A. Dickey – R) at Indians (Jake Westbrook – R), 7:05
Rays (James Shields – R) at Braves (Tim Hudson – R), 7:10
Rangers (Matt Harrison – L) at Marlins (Ricky Nolasco – R), 7:10
Astros (Brett Myers – R) at Royals (Luke Hochevar – R), 8:10
Day Game After Night Game: LAD, CIN, WAS, DET, COL, MIN, OAK, CHC
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)
Tim Lincecum, SP, SFG (Shoulder) – Left Wednesday's start after getting hit in the back of the right shoulder by a liner.
Andrew McCutchen, OF, PIT (Calf) – Was back in the starting lineup on Wednesday night.
Austin Jackson, OF, DET (Back) – Not in the lineup against Washington on Wednesday. MRI came back clean.
Erick Aybar, SS, ANA (Knee) – Suffered damage to his meniscus after being slid into at second base on Monday.
Marco Scutaro, SS, BOS (Neck) – Returned to the Red Sox's lineup on Wednesday night.
Trevor Crowe, OF, CLE (Knee) – Held out of the lineup on Wednesday night; could return as early as Thursday.
Scott Moore, 3B, BAL (Ankle) – Scratched from the lineup after stepping on a ball during batting practice.
Players on the DL
Jimmy Rollins, SS, PHI (Calf) – Hopes to return by the end of the weekend, may take a few days longer than that.
Carlos Beltran, OF, NYM (Knee) – Still running with a limp and at least one week away from minor league rehab assignment.
Nelson Cruz, OF, TEX (Hamstring) – Will start three-game rehab assignment Friday at Triple-A. Eyeing Tuesday return.
Aramis Ramirez, 3B, CHC (Thumb) – Took swings in batting practice Tuesday; may not need minor league rehab stint before returning.
Travis Snider, OF, TOR (Wrist) – Unable to swing a bat, but has resumed throwing at rehab complex.
Orlando Hudson, 2B, MIN (Wrist) – Could be activated from the DL on Friday night.
Mark DeRosa, OF, SFG (Wrist) – Hoping to decide on surgery in very near future.
J.A. Happ, SP, PHI (Forearm) – Hitting 86-89 mph with his fastball; still needs more rehab appearances to build up arm strength.
Derek Holland, SP, TEX (Shoulder) – Threw 20 pitches (all fastballs) in bullpen session on Tuesday.
Rich Harden, SP, TEX (Glut) – Will need at least two rehab starts before he returns to the Rangers' rotation.
Coco Crisp, OF, OAK (Chest) – At least 10 days away from returning; needs minor league rehab games.
Gil Meche, SP, KAN (Shoulder) – Hasn't started his rehab program. Still a few weeks away from returning.
Adam Moore, C, SEA (Heel) – Suffered a minor hamstring strain while running the bases this week.
Ryan Hanigan, C, CIN (Thumb) – Still feeling pain when he receives throws; batting practice has been OK.
Alfredo Aceves, RP, NYY (Back) – Threw 30 pitches from flat ground Tuesday; no timetable for return.
Ryan Perry, RP, DET (Biceps) – Scheduled to resume throwing on Thursday.
Koji Uehara, RP, BAL (Elbow) – Will throw 25 pitches from a mound on Thursday.
Chris Sampson, RP, HOU (Shoulder) – Tossed an inning at Double-A Corpus Christi on Tuesday, nearing a return.
Transactions - Players that have been demoted, called up, traded, released, you name it. We'll cover it here.
Placed on the DL (15-day DL unless otherwise noted)
Luke Hochevar, SP, KAN (retroactive to June 12)
Chris Resop, RP, ATL
Matt Daley, RP, COL (retroactive to June 11)
Activated from DL
Edgar Renteria, SS, SFG
Jason Bartlett, SS, TAM
Pedro Alvarez, 3B, PIT
Sam Demel,RP, ARI
Anthony Lerew, SP, KAN
Juan Rincon, RP, COL
Sean O'Sullivan, RP, LAA
Travis Schlichting, SP, LAD
Jesse Chavez, RP, ATL
Akinori Iwamura, 2B, PIT (DFA'd)
John Parrish, RP, KAN (released)
Robb Quinlan, 1B, LAA
Matt Downs, 2B, SFG
Justin Ruggiano, OF, TAM
Cesar Valdez, RP, ARI
Closer Watch - A closer look at intriguing ninth-inning situations (check out Dave Regan's Closer Grid with the link to the left).
Baltimore – David Hernandez picked up his second save of the season on Tuesday night, even with Alfredo Simon back from the DL and available to pitch. As long as Mike Gonzalez (shoulder) is on the DL, the closer's role could be a revolving door for the Orioles. Hernandez has the stuff to be successful out of the bullpen, and opponents are just 4-for-29 (.138) against him as a reliever this season. Even in a deep Baltimore farm system, Hernandez was once a highly-regarded prospect, and the shift to the late innings has also led to an increase in his velocity.
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
Andre Ethier v. Bronson Arroyo – 7-for-19 (.368), 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2:3 BB:K (.429 OBP)
Matt Kemp v. Bronson Arroyo – 5-for-11 (.455), 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1:1 BB:K (.500 OBP)
James Loney v. Bronson Arroyo – 8-for-17 (.471), 1 HR, 5 RBI, 1:2 BB:K (.500 OBP)
Adam Kennedy v. Jeremy Bonderman – 4-for-11 (.364), 2 HR, 3 RBI, 0:2 BB:K (.417 OBP)
Miguel Olivo v. Francisco Liriano – 4-for-13 (.308), 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2:3 BB:K (.400 OBP)
Marlon Byrd v. Dallas Braden – 6-for-16 (.375), 0 HR, 3 RBI, 0:2 BB:K (.375 OBP)
Adrian Beltre v. Dan Haren – 16-for-39 (.410), 2 HR, 6 RBI, 5:8 BB:K (.477 OBP)
Victor Martinez v. Dan Haren – 7-for-13 (.538), 1 HR, 3 RBI, 3:3 BB:K (.625 OBP)
David Ortiz v. Dan Haren – 4-for-13 (.308), 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1:0 BB:K (.357 OBP)
Mike Lowell v. Dan Haren – 5-for-11 (.455), 0 HR, 3 RBI, 0:1 BB:K (.417 OBP) *Will he play?
Rafael Furcal v. Bronson Arroyo – 7-for-28 (.250), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1:2 BB:K (.276 OBP)
Russell Martin v. Bronson Arroyo – 4-for-20 (.200), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 1:7 BB:K (.238 OBP)
Kevin Youkilis v. Dan Haren – 1-for-10 (.100), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0:3 BB:K (.100 OBP)
Mark Teixeira v. Kyle Kendrick – 1-for-12 (.083), 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2:1 BB:K (.214 OBP)
Jayson Werth v. Andy Pettitte – 1-for-13 (.077), 1 HR, 2 RBI, 0:5 BB:K (.077 OBP)
Carlos Pena v. Tim Hudson – 5-for-25 (.200), 1 HR, 3 RBI, 0:6 BB:K (.200 OBP)
Hank Blalock v. Tim Hudson – 4-for-23 (.174), 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1:10 BB:K (.208 OBP)
Pedro Alvarez, 3B, PIT – I'll spare some of the details here, but as you probably know, Alvarez is regarded as the Pirates' top hitting prospect. He was called up to make his MLB debut on Wednesday night and is worth considering – even in shallow mixed leagues – given his chance to carve out a spot in or near the hear of the Pirates' order. Unfortunately, for those in keeper leagues and even those with deeper benches, he's probably long gone. If that's the case...
Gerardo Parra, OF, ARI – With Conor Jackson's trade to Oakland, Parra should get the majority of the starts in left field – against right-handed starters – for the D-Backs going forward. His struggles against lefties will likely open the door for Cole Gillespie to see time there as well, but Parra was once considered the organization's top prospect and he's only 23, so there could be more power to come as he continues to develop and adjust to big league pitching. He's been much younger than his competition at each of his minor league stops, so the lack of power in his track record is justifiable. Further, he's shown good speed on the basepaths during three seasons with 20-plus steals in the minors, so he may be able to contribute in that department as well. Long term, he's a better fit in the big leagues as a center fielder thanks to his defensive ability there and modest (12-15 homer) power potential.