Projected Starters – A look at Friday's matchups:
Blue Jays (Brett Cecil – L) at Yankees (A.J. Burnett – R), 1:05
Reds (Bronson Arroyo – R) at Cubs (Ryan Dempster – R), 2:20
Phillies (Jamie Moyer – L) at Pirates (Ross Ohlendorf – R), 7:05
Athletics (Gio Gonzalez – L) at Indians (Mitch Talbot – R), 7:05
Mets (Jonathon Niese – L) at Nationals (Luis Atilano – R), 7:05
Mariners (Doug Fister – R) at Tigers (Max Scherzer – R), 7:05
Orioles (Brad Bergesen – R) at Red Sox (Tim Wakefield), 7:10
Marlins (Josh Johnson – R) at Braves (Kris Medlen – R), 7:35
White Sox (Freddy Garcia – R) at Rangers (Colby Lewis – R), 8:05
Giants (Tim Lincecum – R) at Rockies (Jhoulys Chacin – R), 8:10
Rays (David Price – L) at Twins (Scott Baker – R), 8:10
Brewers (Chris Narveson – L) at Cardinals (Jaime Garcia – L), 8:15
Dodgers (Hiroki Kuroda – R) at Diamondbacks (Edwin Jackson – R), 9:40
Royals (Kyle Davies – R) at Angels (Joe Saunders – L), 10:05
Astros (Roy Oswalt – R) at Padres (Mat Latos – R), 10:05
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)
Ryan Church, OF, PIT – (Knee) Was not in the lineup for Thursday’s game.
Jose Reyes, SS, NYM – (Back) Sat out a second straight game on Thursday with a stiff back caused from playing on artificial turf. The injury isn’t believed to be serious, but the team is being cautious with their star.
Brett Gardner, OF, NYY – (Wrist) Returned to the starting lineup on Thursday.
Bobby Jenks, RP, CHW – (Personal) Expected to rejoin the team on Friday.
Franklin Gutierrez, OF, SEA – (Stomach) Missed a second straight game on Thursday with a stomach bug.
Dallas Braden, SP, OAK – (Elbow) Threw a pain-free bullpen and is expected to start Saturday’s game against the Indians.
B.J. Upton, OF, TB – (Quadriceps) Will not start, but is available to pinch hit on Thursday. His quad is feeling a lot better.
Conor Jackson, OF, OAK – (Hamstring) Sat out Thursday with a tight hamstring.
Players on the DL
Nate McLouth, OF, ATL – (Concussion) Continues to have inconsistent results from his workouts, leaving the team to be cautious with his rehab. Unlikely to return before the All-Star break.
Chris Resop, RP, ATL – (Oblique) Threw a successful long-toss session on Tuesday and could return before the All-Star break.
Felipe Paulino, SP, HOU – (Shoulder) The Astros are being cautious with his rehab and it appears unlikely that he’ll be ready to return before the All-Star break.
Placido Polanco, 3B, PHI – (Elbow) Expected to miss 3-to-4 weeks.
Chase Utley, 2B, PHI – (Thumb) Expected to miss eight weeks after undergoing thumb surgery.
Brandon Webb, SP, AZ – (Shoulder) Could face hitters in about a the week. The timetable for his return will remain loose until he begins facing batters. He isn’t expected to return before August at this time.
Brett Anderson, SP, OAK – (Elbow) Could throw a simulated game on Saturday, expected to return shortly after the All-Star break.
Ryan Perry, RP, DET – (Biceps) The Tigers want him to continue shaking off rust in Triple-A. He could return to the majors next week.
Brian Stokes, RP, LAA – (Shoulder) Expected to resume his throwing program after an examination on Thursday, could return in a few weeks.
Asdrubal Cabrera, SS, CLE – (Arm) Has begun swinging a bat, could return in late July.
Luke Scott, DH, BAL – (Hamstring) Placed on the 15-Day DL Thursday.
Manny Delcarmen, RP, BOS – (Forearm) Will be placed on the DL with a forearm strain.
Felix Pie, OF, BAL – (Shoulder) Expected to return to the Orioles’ lineup on Monday.
Alexi Casilla, 2B, MIN – (Elbow) Will begin a 20-day rehab assignment with Triple-A Rochester this weekend. He’s expected to return in late July.
J.J. Hardy, SS, MIN – (Wrist) Could return from the DL this weekend.
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)
Luke Scott, DH, Orioles
Josh Bell, 3B, Orioles
Esmil Rogers, SP/RP, Rockies
Travis Wood, SP, Reds
Omar Beltre, SP, Rangers
Franklin Morales, RP, Rockies
Daniel Ray Herrera, RP, Reds
Randy Williams, RP, White Sox
Fu-Te Ni, RP, Tigers
Cla Meredith, RP, Orioles
Tug Hulett, 2B, Red Sox
Closer Watch – A closer look at intriguing ninth-inning situations (check out Dave Regan's Closer Grid with the link to the left).
Baltimore – Alfredo Simon has converted three consecutive save opportunities and should retain the closer role even when Mike Gonzalez returns.
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
Ramon Hernandez v. Ryan Dempster – 6-for-9 (.667), 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2:0 BB:K (.727 OBP)
Orlando Cabrera v. Ryan Dempster – 14-for-38 (.368), 0 HR, 8 RBI, 1:4 BB:K (.385 OBP)
Ronny Cedeno v. Jamie Moyer – 4-for-10 (.400), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 1:1 BB:K (.455 OBP)
Cesar Izturis v. Tim Wakefield – 6-for-13 (.462), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 0:2 BB:K (.462 OBP)
Todd Helton v. Tim Lincecum – 10-for-22 (.455), 1 HR, 3 RBI, 6:2 BB:K (.571 OBP)
Chris Iannetta v. Tim Lincecum – 6-for-12 (.500), 1 HR, 4 RBI, 8:3 BB:K (.727 OBP)
Seth Smith v. Tim Lincecum – 5-for-17 (.294), 2 HR, 3 RBI, 0:7 BB:K (.294 OBP)
Torii Hunter v. Kyle Davies – 7-for-17 (.412), 1 HR, 6 RBI, 2:1 BB:K (.474 OBP)
Bobby Abreu v. Kyle Davies – 4-for-11 (.364), 2 HR, 3 RBI, 6:2 BB:K (.588 OBP)
Bronson Arroyo vs. Chicago Cubs – Arroyo has limited the Cubs’ current hitters to a slash line of .227/.286/.404 through 226 batters faced. In 17 career starts against the Cubs, Arroyo has a 7-6 record, 3.06 ERA, and 1.15 WHIP. Xavier Nady is the only batter (with at least 10 career at-bats against Arroyo) in the Cubs’ lineup to hit better than .259 against Arroyo. He’s a good spot starter for Friday and may still be available in your league’s free agent pool.
Josh Johnson vs. Atlanta Braves – With how dominant Johnson has been over the last month, it seems redundant and unnecessary pointing out how well he’s done against the Braves over his career. Through 126 batters faced, he’s limited the Braves’ current hitters to a slash line of .211/.301/.266. Johnson’s ability to limit the Braves’ power has been phenomenal. He’s only allowed three extra-base hits through 126 batters faced. Johnson should be started in every league, no matter how shallow.
Hiroki Kuroda vs. Arizona Diamondbacks – Kuroda owns the Diamondbacks. He’s slaughtered the serpents of Arizona so thoroughly that he should be nicknamed the mongoose. Through 123 batters faced, Kuroda has limited the Diamondbacks’ current hitters to a .216/.246/.328 slash line. Mark Reynolds and Justin Upton are trapped beneath the Mendoza line against Kuroda, and Chris Young is hovering just above the line with a .211 average against Kuroda. He’s a great spot starter for teams looking to stream a pitcher on Friday.
Alfonso Soriano v. Bronson Arroyo – 8-for-42 (.190), 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2:13 BB:K (.222 OBP)
Aramis Ramirez v. Bronson Arroyo – 8-for-36 (.222), 1 HR, 3 RBI, 4:3 BB:K (.300 OBP)
Kosuke Fukudome v. Bronson Arroyo – 0-for-12 (.000), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0:2 BB:K (.000 OBP)
Scott Rolen v. Ryan Dempster – 6-for-31 (.194), 1 HR, 6 RBI, 4:11 BB:K (.270 OBP)
Brandon Phillips v. Ryan Dempster – 2-for-18 (.111), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 2:5 BB:K (.200 OBP)
Lyle Overbay v. A.J. Burnett – 1-for-20 (.050), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1:9 BB:K (.095 OBP)
Adam Lind v. A.J. Burnett – 2-for-10 (.200), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 3:2 BB:K (.385 OBP)
Brian McCann v. Josh Johnson – 6-for-27 (.222), 1 HR, 1 RBI, 0:5 BB:K (.222 OBP)
Martin Prado v. Josh Johnson – 2-for-15 (.133), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 0:2 BB:K (.133 OBP)
Yunel Escobar v. Josh Johnson – 3-for-14 (.214), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1:1 BB:K (.267 OBP)
Nick Markakis v. Tim Wakefield – 4-for-23 (.174), 1 HR, 4 RBI, 2:5 BB:K (.240 OBP)
Ty Wigginton v. Tim Wakefield – 3-for-18 (.167), 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1:0 BB:K (.211 OBP)
Corey Patterson v. Tim Wakefield – 1-for-12 (.083), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 0:3 BB:K (.083 OBP)
Adam Jones v. Tim Wakefield – 2-for-10 (.200), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1:0 BB:K (.273 OBP)
Clint Barmes v. Tim Lincecum – 1-for-14 (.071), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 0:4 BB:K (.071 OBP)
Justin Upton v. Hiroki Kuroda – 2-for-11 (.182), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 0:4 BB:K (.182 OBP)
Chris Young v. Hiroki Kuroda – 4-for-19 (.211), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 0:9 BB:K (.211 OBP)
Mark Reynolds v. Hiroki Kuroda – 2-for-19 (.105), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 1:9 BB:K (.150 OBP)
Manny Ramirez* v. Edwin Jackson – 2-for-14 (.143), 0 HR, 4 RBI, 1:6 BB:K (.200 OBP)
Billy Butler v. Joe Saunders – 1-for-8 (.125), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 2:1 BB:K (.300 OBP)
Willie Bloomquist v. Joe Saunders – 0-for-11 (.000), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1:1 BB:K (.083 OBP)
Scott Hairston v. Roy Oswalt – 3-for-21 (.143), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1:7 BB:K (.182 OBP)
Jerry Hairston v. Roy Oswalt – 2-for-12 (.167), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0:0 BB:K (.167 OBP)
A.J. Burnett vs. Toronto Blue Jays – Burnett has limited the Blue Jays’ current hitters to a slash line of .228/.288/.505 through 111 batters faced. In five career starts against his old team, Burnett has a 2-2 record, 4.29 ERA, and 1.23 WHIP. His WHIP is good, but the elevated ERA runs the course of the stream that Burnett has floated on in his career. He has no-hit stuff, but, when he does get hit, he gets hit hard. That can be seen by Burnett limiting the Blue Jays to a .228 BAA while giving up a .505 slugging percentage. Based on his performance in June, we’re not buying Burnett’s stats to produce a positive result on Friday. He’ll either do terrible or terrific against the free swinging power bats of the Blue Jays, but, based on recent showings, we’re betting he gets pounded.
Coco Crisp, OF, OAK – Since returning from the disabled list, Crisp has taken over the Athletics’ leadoff spot and dug himself a home there. He’s only played in nine games this season, but he’s made the most of his opportunity. In 33 at-bats, Crisp is batting .394 with 10 runs scored, nine RBI, three steals, a home run and four walks. If Bob Geren gives him the Rajai Davis treatment from the second half of last season, we could see Crisp run himself into a new career-high in stolen bases. That’s a lofty hope, but no one was expecting Davis to break out on the base paths like he did last season. Teams in need of speed may want to look in Crisp’s direction and take it on the cheap out of the free agent pool.
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