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Thursday Lineup Card: El Caballo on the Loose

Andrew Fiorentino

Andrew Fiorentino

A degenerate fantasy player since the age of 13.

Projected Starters - A look at Thursday's matchups:

Padres (Wade LeBlanc – L) at Rays (Matt Garza – R), 12:10 ET
Indians (Fausto Carmona – R) at Phillies (Joe Blanton – R), 1:05 ET
Giants (Matt Cain – R) at Astros (Wandy Rodriguez – L), 2:05 ET
Braves (Derek Lowe – R) at White Sox (Gavin Floyd – R), 2:05 ET
Twins (Nick Blackburn – R) at Brewers (Yovani Gallardo – R), 2:10 ET
Cubs (Ted Lilly – L) at Mariners (Felix Hernandez – R), 3:40 ET
Marlins (Nate Robertson – L) at Orioles (Kevin Millwood – R), 7:05 ET
Cardinals (Adam Wainwright – R) at Blue Jays (Brandon Morrow – R), 7:07 ET
Tigers (Armando Galarraga – R) at Mets (Hisanori Takahashi – L), 7:10 ET
Pirates (Jeff Karstens – R) at Rangers (Scott Feldman – R), 8:05 ET
Red Sox (Daisuke Matsuzaka – R) at Rockies (Jason Hammel – R), 8:40 ET
Dodgers (Charlie Haeger – R) at Angels (Scott Kazmir – L), 10:05 ET

Day Game After Night Game: SDG, TAM, CLE, PHI, SFO, HOU, ATL, CHW, MIN, MIL, CHC, SEA

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)

Ubaldo Jimenez, SP, COL (illness) – Pronounced himself good to go Wednesday
Erick Aybar, SS, LAA (knee) – Received cortisone injection Tuesday and will be reevaluated later in the week; short DL stint still possible
Chone Figgins, 3B, LAA (illness) – Didn’t start Tuesday, but likely back Wednesday
J.D. Drew, OF, BOS (hamstring) – Possible for Thursday return; check back closer to gametime
Rafael Furcal, SS, LAD (personal) – Could return as soon as Wednesday night
Carlos Silva, SP, CHC (hamstring) – Thursday start pushed back to Saturday
Orlando Cabrera, SS, CIN (ankle) – In the lineup for the second straight game Wednesday, but still should receive regular rest as long as the injury is bothering him
Charlie Haeger, SP, LAD (toe) – Will come off the DL and start Thursday
Tommy Manzella, SS, HOU (finger) – Will miss six weeks with fracture

Players on the DL

Chad Billingsley, SP, LAD (groin) – Likely to return from DL and start Monday at the Giants
Jacoby Ellsbury, OF, BOS (ribs) – Will be re-evaluated by the end of this week
Brett Anderson, SP, OAK (elbow) – Expected back shortly after the All-Star break if all goes well
Michael Gonzalez, RP, BAL (shoulder) – Threw an inning in a rehab game with fastball at 90-91, a good sign
Aramis Ramirez, 3B, CHC (thumb) – Activation from DL pushed back a few days to let him get more comfortable with his swing
Ryan Hanigan, C, CIN (thumb) – Will start rehab assignment Thursday
Edinson Volquez, SP, CIN (elbow) – Threw five innings in a rehab assignment, touching 98 on the gun; still on track for July 7 return
J.A. Happ, SP, PHI (forearm) – GM Ruben Amaro expressed concern with his velocity; still no certain timetable for return to rotation
Bud Norris, SP, HOU (biceps) – Threw six shutout in Triple-A; should make his next start in the big leagues
Chien-Ming Wang, SP, WAS (shoulder) – Threw batting practice Tuesday; August return looks more likely than previously speculated mid-July
Jordan Zimmermann, SP, WAS (elbow) – Could return by August, but it seems every other injured Nats pitcher is on track to return before him
Josh Outman, SP, OAK (elbow) – Rehab program shut down Wednesday; check back to see if it’s due to another setback
Joey Devine, RP, OAK (elbow) – Like Outman, shut down Wednesday; no word yet on if there was a setback
Mark Teahen, 3B, CHW (finger) – Progressing well, but still out at least three more weeks
Dustin McGowan, SP, TOR (shoulder) – Patched up by Dr. Andrews; may be ready for spring training next year
J.J. Hardy, SS, MIN (wrist) – Swinging a bat, but no timetable; likely out till All-Star break
Alexi Casilla, 2B, MIN (elbow) – Could take BP next week; after rehab, on track for early July return
Jeremy Hermida, OF, BOS (ribs) – Did drills Tuesday, but still not swinging a bat
Zach Duke, SP, PIT (elbow) – Will be placed on DL after being unable to throw Wednesday side session
Chris Dickerson, OF, CIN (wrist) – Felt soreness in batting practice, delaying start of rehab assignment
Scott Olsen, SP, WAS (shoulder) – Has begun a throwing program; July return looks likely
Jed Lowrie, SS, BOS (illness) – May start rehab assignment soon, but doesn’t sound like he’s close to fully recovered from mono
Todd Wellemeyer, SP, SFO (quad) – Threw a bullpen Tuesday, but still weeks away from returning
Maicer Izturis, SS, LAA (forearm) – One to two weeks from resuming baseball activities
Ryan Madson, RP, PHI (toe) – Hopes to begin rehab assignment this weekend
Ryan Perry, RP, DET (biceps) – Threw a side session Tuesday; should head out on rehab Thursday
Clay Condrey, RP, PHI (elbow) – Threw a simulated game, but still a while away
Leo Rosales, RP, ARI (foot) – Cleared to walk without a boot; hoping for July return
Jose Ascanio, RP, PIT (shoulder) – Throwing side sessions and could go on rehab in July

Transactions - Players that have been demoted, called up, traded, released, you name it. We'll cover it here.

Activated from the DL
Huston Street, RP, COL

Sent Down
Juan Rincon, RP, COL (designated for assignment)
Chris Tillman, SP, BAL

Signed
Ramon Ortiz, RP, Mets (assigned to Triple-A)

Traded
Jake Fox, 3B, Orioles
Ross Wolf, RP, Athletics

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

Cincinnati – Francisco Cordero didn’t exactly have a stress-free Tuesday save, allowing two hits, but he was able to finish it off without allowing a run. He also worked a clean inning Wednesday for another save. Cordero’s numbers aren’t pretty, but he does have 19 saves for the surprisingly decent Reds.

Philadelphia – J.C. Romero started the ninth in a one-run game Tuesday for some reason, got the first out, gave up a hit and a walk, and then gave way to Brad Lidge, who finished it off for his fifth save. Manager Charlie Manuel said after the game that Lidge was the closer, so chalk the Romero opportunity up to a matchup that Manuel apparently liked.

Washington – Matt Capps is somehow on pace for 50 saves. On Tuesday, he picked up No. 22 against the Royals despite allowing four hits, included a two-run single with the bases loaded to Scott Podsednik, before finishing it off. To be fair, two of the hits against him were pretty weak, but he’s been pretty hittable all year nonetheless, with a .298 BAA. Drew Storen, Tyler Clippard and Doug Slaten will have to keep waiting for the time being to get their shots at closing games for the Nats.

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

Hot

Jhonny Peralta v. Joe Blanton – 9-for-23 (.391), 2 HR, 2 RBI, 1:4 BB:K, .417 OBP
Carlos Lee v. Matt Cain – 5-for-11 (.455), 1 HR, 3 RBI, 0:1 BB:K, .455 OBP
Freddy Sanchez v. Wandy Rodriguez – 10-for-23 (.435), 1 HR, 3 RBI, 3:2 BB:K, .500 OBP
Ryan Braun v. Nick Blackburn – 6-for-10 (.600), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0:0 BB:K, .600 OBP
Mike Sweeney v. Ted Lilly – 4-for-9 (.444), 2 HR, 3 RBI, 4:1 BB:K, .615 OBP
Miguel Tejada v. Nate Robertson – 8-for-19 (.421), 2 HR, 3 RBI, 1:1 BB:K, .450 OBP
Julio Lugo v. Nate Robertson – 6-for-14 (.429), 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1:2 BB:K, .467 OBP

Derek Lowe v. White Sox – Lowe’s dominance against the White Sox’s hitters is pretty ridiculous. No hitter among the South Siders who’s seen Lowe in at least 10 plate appearances is hitting any better off him than Mark Kotsay’s .286 (4-for-14). The composite line: .219/.293/.284. Ouch. Of course, some of these guys haven’t seen Lowe since his Red Sox days. But Lowe has been serviceable lately, allowing three or fewer runs in seven of his last eight starts.

Cold

Placido Polanco v. Fausto Carmona – 3-for-16 (.188), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 1:1 BB:K, .235 OBP
Travis Hafner v. Joe Blanton – 3-for-19 (.158), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 3:4 BB:K, .304 OBP
Juan Pierre v. Derek Lowe – 3-for-21 (.143), 0 HR, 5 RBI, 1:4 BB:K, .174 OBP
Andruw Jones v. Derek Lowe – 5-for-24 (.208), 1 HR, 4 RBI, 4:7 BB:K, .321 OBP
Paul Konerko v. Derek Lowe – 3-for-16 (.188), 1 HR, 3 RBI, 3:4 BB:K, .316 OBP
Alexis Rios v. Derek Lowe – 0-for-10 (.000), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0:4 BB:K, .000 OBP – Now that’s ownership
Prince Fielder v. Nick Blackburn – 1-for-10 (.100), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0:0 BB:K, .100 OBP
Chone Figgins v. Ted Lilly – 3-for-19 (.158), 0 HR, 4 RBI, 0:4 BB:K, .158 OBP
Milton Bradley v. Ted Lilly – 3-for-15 (.200), 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1:4 BB:K, .235 OBP
Marlon Byrd v. Felix Hernandez – 4-for-20 (.200), 0 HR, 3 RBI, 0:3 BB:K, .238 OBP
Nick Markakis v. Nate Robertson – 3-for-17 (.176), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 2:3 BB:K, .263 OBP
Bobby Crosby v. Scott Feldman – 2-for-16 (.125), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 1:7 BB:K, .176 OBP
Manny Ramirez v. Scott Kazmir – 7-for-44 (.159), 1 HR, 5 RBI, 4:14 BB:K, .260 OBP

Nate Robertson v. Orioles – Robertson has a reasonable 4.36 ERA in his career against Baltimore, but that’s not supported by his 1.53 WHIP, nor by the current Orioles’ combined line of .313/.396/.475 against him. He’s had some solid outings this year, but isn’t a pitcher you can rely on, even against a bad Baltimore lineup.

Recommended Pickup

Daniel Nava, OF, Red Sox – Nava burst onto the scene with a grand slam in his first major league at-bat, but even though he hasn’t been in the news since then, he’s been pretty useful for deep or AL-only leaguers, getting consistent playing time and hitting in seven of his nine big league games. The Red Sox have several outfielders coming back from injury eventually, so Nava’s playing time won’t last, but he can give you some average and pop in the short term.

Other Recent Recommendations: Hisanori Takahashi, Huston Street, Gavin Floyd, Miguel Montero, Carlos Guillen