Projected Starters - A look at Sunday's matchups:
Indians (TBA, possibly Jeanmar Gomez) at Blue Jays - (Jesse Litsch - R), 1:07
D-Backs (Rodrigo Lopez - R) at Mets (Jon Niese - L), 1:10
Braves (Tommy Hanson - R) at Reds (Edinson Volquez - R), 1:10
Tigers (Justin Verlander - R) at Red Sox (Clay Buchholz - R), 1:35
Phillies (Cole Hamels - L) at Nationals (John Lannan - L), 1:35
Yankees (CC Sabathia - L) at Rays (James Shields - R), 1:40
Brewers (Randy Wolf - L) at Astros (Wesley Wright - L), 2:05
A's (Gio Gonzalez - L) at White Sox (Gavin Floyd - R), 2:05
Mariners (Luke French - L) at Twins (Francisco Liriano - L), 2:10
Orioles (Kevin Millwood - R) at Royals (Bruce Chen - L), 2:10
Pirates (Zach Duke - L) at Cards (Adam Wainwright - R), 2:15
Cubs (Carlos Silva - R) at Rockies (Jorge De La Rosa - L), 3:10
Rangers (Cliff Lee - L) at Angels (Jered Weaver - R), 3:35
Marlins (Josh Johsnon - R) at Padres (Jon Garland - R), 4:05
Dodgers (Clayton Kershaw - L) at Giants (Matt Cain - R), 8:05
Day Game After Night Game: ARI, NYM, PHI, WAS, NYY, TAM, MIL, HOU, CHW, OAK, SEA, MIN, BAL, KAN, PIT, STL, CHC, COL, TEX, LAA, FLA, SDG
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)
Martin Prado, 2B, ATL (Finger) Out at least one week and could require a brief stint on the DL.
Johnny Damon, OF, DET (Back) Held out of the lineup again on Saturday, status for Sunday in doubt.
Alex Gonzalez, SS, ATL (Illness) Returned to the starting lineup on Saturday afternoon.
Kris Medlen, SP, ATL (Forearm) Left Friday's game with a contusion after getting hit by a pitch.
Brian Wilson, RP, SFG (Back) Was unavailable for save chance on Friday night; doubtful for Saturday.
Aaron Cook, SP, COL (Foot) Sent for X-Rays after fouling a pitch off of his foot.
Travis Hafner, DH, CLE (Shoulder) Out until at least Sunday.
Juan Uribe, 3B, SFG (Leg) Held out of Saturday's lineup with soreness.
Corey Hart, OF, MIL (Wrist) Went 0-for-3 with a walk in his return to the lineup against Houston on Friday night.
Armando Galarraga, SP, DET (Ankle) Questionable for next start after getting hit by a line drive Friday.
Players on the DL
Dustin Pedroia, 2B, BOS (Foot) X-Ray showed significant healing, and will try to increase running in his rehab.
Ian Kinsler, 2B, TEX (Groin) Wants to return after 15-day minimum on DL.
Jacoby Ellsbury, OF, BOS (Ribs) Continuing his rehab Saturday at Triple-A Pawtucket.
Justin Morneau, 1B, MIN (Concussion) Experiencing symptoms after working outs, but playing catch and hitting from a tee.
Scott Kazmir, SP, LAA (Shoulder) May start a rehab assignment Monday and return in about a week.
Ryan Doumit, C, PIT (Concussion) Took batting practice Saturday and may be ready on Aug. 6. Unhappy about acquisition of Chris Snyder.
Aaron Harang, SP, CIN (Back) No issues during Saturday's bullpen session, could be back in the rotation soon.
David Freese, 3B, STL (Ankle) Hopes to begin rehab on Sunday or Monday and return in mid-August.
Jason Varitek, C, BOS (Foot) No longer wearing a walking boot, beginning to resume baseball activities.
David Eckstein, 2B, SDG (Calf) Should resume baseball activities this weekend, could return Thursday.
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)
Milton Bradley, OF, SEA
Grant Balfour, RP, TAM
Ben Sheets, SP, OAK (60-day DL)
Felipe Paulino, SP, HOU (60-day DL)
Brett Wallace, 1B, HOU
Boof Bonser, SP, OAK
Daniel McCutchen, SP, PIT
Jordan Brown, OF/1B, CLE
Sean White, RP, SEA
Matt Tuiasasosopo, 3B, SEA
Ryan Kalish, OF, BOS
Jeff Clement, 1B, PIT
Dustin Richardson, C, BOS
Argenis Diaz, 2B, PIT
Justin Smoak, 1B, SEA
Jeremy Hermida, OF, BOS (DFA)
Brent Clevlen, OF, ATL (DFA)
Lucas Harrell, SP, CHW
Cedric Bowers, RP, OAK
Juan Miranda, 1B, NYY
Colin Curtis, OF, NYY
Traded (Bold = Changed Leagues)
Lance Berkman, 1B, NYY
Mark Melancon, RP, HOU
Jimmy Paredes, INF, HOU
Bobby Crosby, 3B, ARI
Ryan Church, OF, ARI
D.J. Carrasco, RP, ARI
Chris Snyder, C, ARI
Pedro Ciriaco, SS, ARI
Jake Westbrook, SP, STL
Ryan Ludwick, OF, SDG
Corey Kluber, SP, CLE
Nick Greenwood, SP, STL
Chad Qualls, RP, TAM
Wilkin Ramirez, OF, ATL
Austin Kearns, OF, NYY
Ted Lilly, SP, LAD
Ryan Theriot, 2B, LAD
Blake DeWitt, 2B, CHC
Kyle Smit, P, CHC
Brett Wallach, SP, CHC
Will Ohman, RP, FLA
Rick VandenHurk, SP, BAL
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C, BOS
John Bowker, OF, PIT
Javier Lopez, RP, SFG
Joe Martinez, SP, PIT
Octavio Dotel, RP, LAD
James McDonald, SP, PIT
Andrew Lambo, OF, PIT
Rick Ankiel, OF, ATL
Kyle Farnsworth, RP, ATL
Gregor Blanco, OF, KAN
Jesse Chavez, RP, KAN
Tim Collins, RP, KAN
Kerry Wood, RP, NYY
Closer Watch - A closer look at intriguing ninth-inning situations (check out Dave Regan's Closer Grid with the link to the left).
Arizona Aaron Heilman earned his fourth save of the season on Friday night, perhaps solidifying interim manager Kirk Gibson's previous claim that his closer role will be handled by committee for the time being. It's worth noting, however, that Chad Qualls was traded to Tampa Bay on Saturday, making Juan Gutierrez an interesting pickup in leagues where he's still available on the waiver wire.
Minnesota Put it this way, the Twins weren't kidding when they said Matt Capps was taking over for Jon Rauch as their closer. Capps picked up his first American League save against the Mariners on Friday night.
San Francisco Chris Ray earned his first save of the season while Brian Wilson was unavailable to work the ninth inning on Friday. Keep in mind that it was of the one-out variety, but Wilson appears to be the No. 2 man in line for saves with the Giants should Wilson require a DL stint during the final two-plus months of the regular season.
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
Nate McLouth v. Edinson Volquez 4-for-9 (.444), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 2:1 BB:K (.545 OBP)
Victor Martinez v. Justin Verlander 13-for-43 (.302), 4 HR, 9 RBI, 1:7 BB:K (.318 OBP)
David Ortiz v. Justin Verlander 3-for-10 (.300), 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2:4 BB:K (.417 OBP)
Kevin Youkilis v. Justin Verlander 4-for-10 (.400), 2 HR, 3 RBI, 0:0 BB:K (.400 OBP)
Josh Willingham v. Cole Hamels 8-for-25 (.320), 2 HR, 5 RBI, 2:10 BB:K (.370 OBP)
B.J. Upton v. CC Sabathia 7-for-20 (.350), 2 HR, 6 RBI, 3:4 BB:K (.435 OBP)
Ben Zobrist v. CC Sabathia 7-for-20 (.350), 1 HR, 5 RBI, 2:4 BB:K (.409 OBP)
Evan Longoria v. CC Sabathia 4-for-11 (.364), 2 HR, 5 RBI, 5:1 BB:K (.563 OBP)
Robinson Cano v. James Shields 14-for-32 (.438), 3 HR, 7 RBI, 1:6 BB:K (.455 OBP)
Pedro Feliz v. Randy Wolf 6-for-19 (.316), 3 HR, 4 RBI, 2:4 BB:K (.364 OBP)
Jose Guillen v. Kevin Millwood 16-for-36 (.444), 1 HR, 8 RBI, 2:2 BB:K (.475 OBP)
Matt Holliday v. Zach Duke 9-for-17 (.529), 1 HR, 4 RBI, 2:1 BB:K (.550 OBP)
Albert Pujols v. Zach Duke 16-for-38 (.421), 3 HR, 4 RBI, 3:2 BB:K (.463 OBP)
Jason Giambi v. Carlos Silva 4-for-11 (.364), 1 HR, 5 RBI, 2:1 BB:K (.429 OBP)
Mike Napoli v. Cliff Lee 3-for-9 (.333), 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2:2 BB:K (.500 OBP)
Juan Rivera v. Cliff Lee 5-for-17 (.294), 3 HR, 4 RBI, 1:1 BB:K (.333 OBP)
Josh Hamilton v. Jered Weaver 8-for-24 (.333), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 1:4 BB:K (.385 OBP)
Andre Ethier v. Matt Cain 18-for-35 (.514), 0 HR, 3 RBI, 4:5 BB:K (.537 OBP)
James Loney v. Matt Cain 10-for-29 (.345), 0 HR, 10 RBI, 3:2 BB:K (.406 OBP)
Casey Blake v. Matt Cain 6-for-20 (.300), 2 HR, 4 RBI, 4:5 BB:K (.417 OBP)
Kevin Millwood v. Royals It's fair to say that I didn't think it would be possible for me to recommend Millwood as a spot starter in most leagues at any point during the final two months of the season. A rare opportunity seems to be presenting itself on Sunday, as he's held Kansas City hitters to a .262/.304/.326 line in a combined 300 career plate appearances against them. Underneath those numbers is a healthy 38:13 K:BB ratio and just three homers allowed in 279 at-bats.
Jon Garland v. Marlins In yet another matchup that I wouldn't have been crazy about at first glance, Garland has done well in his limited looks at the Florida lineup. Current Marlins have a combined .211/.263/.312 line in 119 plate appearances against the veteran right-hander, while he's even managed to put Hanley Ramirez and Dan Uggla in the Cold section below. The downside for the Padres is that they'll be facing Josh Johnson, but you may want to consider the possibility of a very low-scoring affair since Sunday's matchup will take place at Petco Park as well.
Adrian Beltre v. Justin Verlander 6-for-25 (.240), 1 HR, 2 RBI, 0:6 BB:K (.240 OBP)
Marco Scutaro v. Justin Verlander 4-for-19 (.211). 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1:7 BB:K (.250 OBP)
Adam Dunn v. Cole Hamels 1-for-15 (.067), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 4:8 BB:K (.300 OBP) .133 SLG
Carl Crawford v. CC Sabathia 12-for-44 (.273), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 1:10 BB:K (.289 OBP)
Carlos Pena v. CC Sabathia 4-for-32 (.125), 2 HR, 2 RBI, 4:17 BB:K (.222 OBP)
Gabe Kapler v. CC Sabathia 5-for-25 (.200), 1 HR, 2 RBI, 5:4 BB:K (.333 OBP)
Mark Teixeira v. James Shields 4-for-25 (.160), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1:11 BB:K (.222 OBP)
Curtis Granderson v. James Shields 2-for-23 (.087), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 1:4 BB:K (.125 OBP)
Jeff Keppinger v. Randy Wolf 3-for-16 (.188), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 0:0 BB:K (.188 OBP)
Hunter Pence v. Randy Wolf 2-for-11 (.188), 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1:4 BB:K (.250 OBP)
Jose Lopez v. Francisco Liriano 3-for-21 (.143), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 1:4 BB:K (.174 OBP)
Chone Figgins v. Francisco Liriano 2-for-10 (.200), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0:3 BB:K (.200 OBP)
Billy Butler v. Kevin Millwood 5-for-20 (.250), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 1:3 BB:K (.286 OBP)
Yuniesky Betancourt v. Kevin Millwood 8-for-46 (.174), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 2:6 BB:K (.220 OBP)
Alex Gordon v. Kevin Millwood 3-for-15 (.200), 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1:5 BB:K (.250 OBP)
Colby Rasmus v. Zach Duke 1-for-11 (.091), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1:1 BB:K (.231 OBP)
Felipe Lopez v. Zach Duke 3-for-16 (.188), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 0:2 BB:K (.188 OBP)
Brendan Ryan v. Zach Duke 2-for-16 (.125), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 1:2 BB:K (.167 OBP)
Skip Schumaker v. Zach Duke 1-for-11 (.091), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 0:4 BB:K (.091 OBP)
Lastings Milledge v. Adam Wainwright 3-for-12 (.25), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 0:1 BB:K (.231 OBP)
Howie Kendrick v. Cliff Lee 3-for-16 (.188), 0 HR, 3 RBI, 1:3 BB:K (.235 OBP)
Bobby Abreu v. Cliff Lee 2-for-11 (.182), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0:3 BB:K (.182 OBP)
Hanley Ramirez v. Jon Garland 2-for-13 (.154), 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2:1 BB:K (.267 OBP)
Dan Uggla v. Jon Garland 3-for-13 (.231), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 1:2 BB:K (.286 OBP)
Matt Cain v. Dodgers He's at home, but the Dodgers' lineup has fared well against Cain with a .316/.396/.463 line in 266 career plate appearances. The good news although it's only moderate is that Blake DeWitt (4-for-12, 1 HR, 2 RBI) was traded to the Cubs on Saturday, but you may want to exercise caution with Cain if you're playing in a shallow (8-10 team mixed league), or a format with an innings cap that you're currently on pace to meet or exceed.
Recommended Pickup **Keep a very close eye on the Barometer, AL & NL FAAB Articles on Sunday as there will be several players in line for more playing time after the roster shuffle over the weekend**
Brett Wallace, 1B, HOU It's funny to think about a player already on his fourth big league organization after being drafted by the Cardinals in 2008 (STL, OAK, TOR, HOU) still being a highly-regarded one, but Wallace may be a long-term solution at first base in Houston now that Lance Berkman is a Yankee. Wallace has been very steady at Triple-A over the last two seasons, hitting 20 homers there in 532 at-bats as a 22-year-old last season before hitting another 18 in 385 at-bats with Las Vegas this season. At the very least, Wallace should provide numbers similar to that of Ike Davis at the big league level, but his ceiling appears to be a little bit higher, at least as far as raw power potential goes. If you're in a deeper league and need help at the corner-infield slot, you'd be wise to consider him as a high-upside play.
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