Projected Starters – A look at Friday's matchups:
Angels (Scott Kazmir - L) at Cubs (Carlos Silva - R), 2:20
Diamondbacks (Edwin Jackson - R) at Tigers (Armando Galarraga - R), 7:05
Mets (Hisanori Takahashi - L) at Yankees (Javier Vazquez - R), 7:05
Indians (Fausto Carmona - R) at Pirates (Paul Maholm - L), 7:05
Twins (Nick Blackburn - R) at Phillies (Joe Blanton - R), 7:05
White Sox (Gavin Floyd - R) at Nationals (Stephen Strasburg - R), 7:05
Giants (Barry Zito - L) at Blue Jays (Brandon Morrow - R), 7:07
Dodgers (Carlos Monasterios - R) at Red Sox (Felix Doubront - L), 7:10
Rays (Matt Garza - R) at Marlins (Nate Robertson - L), 7:10
Royals (Brian Bannister - R) at Braves (Derek Lowe - R), 7:35
Rangers (Scott Feldman - R) at Astros (Wandy Rodriguez - L), 8:05
Athletics (Vincent Mazzaro - R) at Cardinals (Chris Carpenter - R), 8:15
Brewers (Manny Parra - L) at Rockies (Jason Hammel - R), 9:10
Orioles (Brian Matusz - L) at Padres (Wade LeBlanc - L), 10:05
Reds (Johnny Cueto - R) at Mariners (Cliff Lee - L), 10:10
Day game after night game: None.
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)
Carlos Ruiz, C, PHI – (Ankle) Still experiencing soreness in his ankle, but he returned to the starting lineup on Thursday.
Tim Lincecum, SP, SF – (Shoulder) Hit by a line drive in the back of his right shoulder, and the team has reported that he is “fine.”
Rafael Furcal, SS, LAD – (Personal) Placed on the bereavement list (which requires a three-game absence), eligible to return on Sunday.
Clay Hensley, RP, FLA – (Neck) Will sit out at least two more days with a strained neck muscle, hasn’t pitched since June 11.
Jason Bay, OF, NYM – (Quadriceps) Available to pinch-hit on Thursday, and expected to return to the starting lineup on Friday.
Tommy Hunter, SP, TEX – (Hip) Left Wednesday’s start in the third inning due to discomfort in his right hip flexor.
Jorge Posada, C, NYY – (Foot) Unable to catch on consecutive days right now, and, with Alex Rodriguez at DH on Thursday, Posada had to sit out the game.
Jake Peavy, SP, CHW – (Shoulder) Start pushed back from Thursday to Saturday due to an “achy shoulder.”
Austin Jackson, OF, DET – (Back) Sat out Thursday, but could return Friday or Saturday.
Trevor Crowe, OF, CLE – (Knee) Still feeling the effects of fouling a ball off his knee over the weekend, the Indians opted to have him sit out Thursday’s game.
Players on the DL
Aramis Ramirez, 3B, CHC – (Thumb) Trying a new grip that has made him feel a lot better, expected to return from the DL on June 23.
Jimmy Rollins, SS, PHI – (Calf) Playing rehab games with High-A Clearwater, could return from the DL as early as Saturday.
Matt Daley, RP, COL – (Shoulder) Placed on the 15-Day DL.
Chris Resop, RP, ATL – (Oblique) Placed on the 15-Day DL.
Everth Cabrera, SS, SD – (Hamstring) Will begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Portland on Monday, not likely to return until early July.
Kyle Blanks, OF, SD – (Elbow) His 20-day rehab assignment will end on Sunday, and the Padres will have to decide if he returns to the majors or stays in Triple-A.
Tim Stauffer, SP/RP, SD – (Abdomen) Continues to progress as a starter in Triple-A, expected to return to the Padres sometime in the next 10 days.
Brandon Webb, SP, ARI – (Shoulder) Had a good 75-pitch bullpen session on Wednesday, but he still isn’t expected to return until late July or early August.
Antonio Bastardo, RP, PHI – (Elbow) Placed on the 15-Day DL with left elbow ulnar neuritis.
Luis Castillo, 2B, NYM – (Foot) Could be activated this weekend.
Jorge De La Rosa, SP, COL – (Finger) Threw a 40-pitch living batting practice on Wednesday, will throw one more batting practice before embarking on a rehab assignment.
Clay Condrey, RP, MIN – (Elbow) Will throw to live hitters the next four or five days, and could begin a rehab assignment shortly thereafter.
Travis Buck, OF, OAK – (Oblique) Sidelined with leg soreness since playing in a simulated game last week, set to undergo further testing to determine the source of the injury.
Daisuke Matsuzaka, SP, BOS – (Forearm) Threw a 40-pitch bullpen session Thursday, and is scheduled to throw a three-inning simulated game on Saturday.
Erik Bedard, SP, SEA – (Shoulder) Looked great throwing a simulated game on Wednesday, believed to be nearing a rehab assignment that could start next week.
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)
John McDonald, SS, TOR (placed on bereavement list)
Rafael Furcal, SS, LAD (placed on bereavement list)
Maicer Izturis, 2B, LAA (retroactive to June 16)
Antonio Bastardo, RP, PHI (retroactive to June 16)
Activated from the DL
Jeff Mathis, C, LAA
Chin-Lung Hu, SS, LAD
Scott Mathieson, RP, PHI
Tim Wood, RP, FLA
Renyel Pinto, RP, FLA (designated for assignment)
Closer Watch – A closer look at intriguing ninth-inning situations (check out Dave Regan's Closer Grid with the link to the left).
Houston Astros – Matt Lindstrom recorded his first save since June 8 in Wednesday’s win over the Royals. It was his 15th save of the season. Brandon Lyon was used in the setup role on Wednesday, and it appears as though Lindstrom will remain in the closer role as long as he is healthy and converting his opportunities.
Los Angeles Dodgers – Hong-Chih Kuo picked up a 1.2-inning save on Wednesday. Don’t worry; Jonathan Broxton is still the closer. A traditional save situation never presented itself, so Broxton was not used.
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
Bobby Abreu v. Carlos Silva – 11-for-20 (.550), 1 HR, 7 RBI, 1:2 BB:K (.571 OBP)
Howie Kendrick v. Carlos Silva – 5-for-10 (.500), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 0:1 BB:K (.583 OBP)
Alex Cora v. Javier Vazquez – 8-for-21 (.381), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 2:2 BB:K (.458 OBP)
Jim Thome v. Joe Blanton – 2-for-7 (.286), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 5:3 BB:K (.583 OBP)
Kelly Shoppach v. Nate Robertson – 6-for-10 (.600), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 2:2 BB:K (.667 OBP)
Ian Kinsler v. Wandy Rodriguez – 9-for-12 (.750), 2 HR, 4 RBI, 1:0 BB:K (.769 OBP)
Scott Rolen v. Cliff Lee – 7-for-13 (.538), 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1:2 BB:K (.571 OBP)
Brandon Phillips v. Cliff Lee – 4-for-11 (.364), 1 HR, 4 RBI, 0:0 BB:K (.333 OBP)
Miguel Cairo v. Cliff Lee – 5-for-9 (.556), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 0:0 BB:K (.600 OBP)
Nate Robertson vs. Tampa Bay Rays – Robertson has limited the Rays’ current hitters to a slash line of .205/.264/.259 through 121 batters faced. On the surface, it’s hard to recommend throwing an otherwise average pitcher up against one of baseball’s best lineups, but Robertson has enjoyed success against their current lineup. It’s a coin-toss play, but the numbers suggest that rolling the dice on Robertson could pay off Friday.
Johnny Damon v. Edwin Jackson – 3-for-22 (.136), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 3:3 BB:K (.240 OBP)
Rod Barajas v. Javier Vazquez – 2-for-17 (.118), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 0:6 BB:K (.167 OBP)
Jose Reyes v. Javier Vazquez – 3-for-16 (.188), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1:1 BB:K (.235 OBP)
Jason Bay v. Javier Vazquez – 2-for-14 (.143), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1:6 BB:K (.200 OBP)
Placido Polanco v. Nick Blackburn – 3-for-18 (.167), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1:1 BB:K (.211 OBP)
Nick Punto v. Joe Blanton – 3-for-17 (.176), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1:2 BB:K (.222 OBP)
Michael Cuddyer v. Joe Blanton – 3-for-15 (.200), 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1:1 BB:K (.235 OBP)
Jason Bartlett v. Nate Robertson – 0-for-24 (.000), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 6:4 BB:K (.200 OBP)
Jose Guillen v. Derek Lowe – 3-for-16 (.188), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0:6 BB:K (.235 OBP)
Jonny Gomes v. Cliff Lee – 2-for-21 (.095), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 2:5 BB:K (.174 OBP)
Carlos Silva vs. Los Angeles Angels – Silva owns a heavy slash line of .363/.404/.549 against the Angels’ current hitters through 100 batters faced. On the other hand, in 12 career starts against the Angels, Silva has a 7-2 record with a respectable 3.77 ERA and 1.28 WHIP. Conflicting matchup and team stats skew the story slightly and further propagate the enigmatic season Silva has been enjoying. According to his matchup stats, history speaks in opposition of using Silva against the Angels on Friday; however, the 31-year-old pitcher has defied logic all year, and it’s hard to bet against him right now.
Cliff Lee vs. Cincinnati Reds – Lee has been rocked by several of the Reds’ hitters throughout his career and has amassed a .320/.356/.474 slash line through 104 batters faced from the Reds’ current roster. Based on Lee’s production on the mound this season, it’s difficult to say that he should be left on the bench Friday, but the stats suggest that he could have a rough time against the Reds. In seven career starts against the Reds, Lee owns a 3-2 record with a 5.73 ERA and 1.59 WHIP. His worst start this year came three weeks ago against the Padres in Interleague play. With the Reds being another Interleague matchup, and his track record of struggling against their hitters, the case could be made to sit Lee.
Delmon Young OF, MIN – Young has finally started to fulfill some of the immense promise that comes with being a first-overall pick. Through 192 at-bats this season, he has a .292 average with eight home runs, 28 runs, and 41 RBI. His 41 RBI place him as the 17th best run producer in the major leagues this season. The Twins are hitting Young out of the seven hole most days, which hurts his chances to cross the plate, but having Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, Michael Cuddyer, and Jason Kubel hitting in front of him will give him a consistent source of RBI opportunities. He had an 11-game hit before going 0-for-2 on Wednesday. Young has been a steady RBI producer since the beginning of May, but a June hot streak (.347, three home runs, 14 RBI, and eight runs scored in 49 at-bats) elevated his numbers to the point that he needs to be considered in standard mixed leagues and higher. He’s currently owned in only 25 percent of Yahoo! leagues and 50 percent of ESPN leagues (a number that doubled in the last week). If you need RBI and pop in your outfield ranks, go see if you can snag Young off the free-agent list.
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