Projected Starters – A look at Friday's matchups:
Reds (Bronson Arroyo – R) at Cubs (Tom Gorzelanny – L), 2:20
Rockies (Jason Hammel – R) at Pirates (Zach Duke – L), 7:05
White Sox (John Danks – L) at Orioles (Brad Bergesen – R), 7:05
Twins (Francisco Liriano – L) at Indians (Jeanmar Gomez – R), 7:05
Angels (Jered Weaver – R) at Tigers (Justin Verlander – R), 7:05
Red Sox (Clay Buchholz – R) at Yankees (Javier Vazquez – R), 7:05
Rays (Matt Garza – R) at Blue Jays (Brett Cecil – L), 7:07
Cardinals (Adam Wainwright – R) at Marlins (Ricky Nolasco – R), 7:10
Giants (Barry Zito – L) at Braves (Tommy Hanson – R), 7:35
Mets (Jonathan Niese – L) at Phillies (Joe Blanton – R), 7:35
Astros (Wandy Rodriguez – L) at Brewers (Dave Bush – R), 8:10
Padres (Jon Garland –R) at Diamondbacks (Daniel Hudson – R), 9:40
Rangers (Cliff Lee – L) at Athletics (Dallas Braden – L), 10:05
Nationals (John Lannan – L) at Dodgers (Clayton Kershaw – L), 10:10
Royals (Zack Greinke – R) at Mariners (Luke French – 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)
Rafael Furcal, SS, LAD – (Back) Had an MRI taken on Tuesday that came back negative, he’s expected to sit out until next Tuesday to rest his back.
Aramis Ramirez, 3B, CHC – (Thumb) Used as a pinch hitter on Wednesday and smacked a three-run homer. He remains day-to-day.
Tony Gwynn Jr., OF, SD – (Neck) Sat out with a sore neck on Wednesday that was caused by the pillows at the team hotel. He could return as early as Thursday.
Mark Reynolds, 3B, AZ – (Concussion) Was removed from Wednesday’s game after experiencing concussion-like symptoms. He was struck in the head with a 95 mph pitch on Tuesday.
Melvin Mora, 2B, COL – (Knee) Left Wednesday’s game after taking a fastball to the knee. The move was precautionary, and he’s day-to-day.
Randy Wolf, SP, MIL – (Wrist) Threw a bullpen session on Wednesday and declared himself ready to throw his scheduled start on Saturday.
Nyjer Morgan, OF, WAS – (Hip) Sat out Wednesday’s game and received a precautionary MRI. Could return to the lineup as early as Thursday.
Carlos Pena, 1B, TB – (Foot) The Rays plan to use him as a pinch-hitter on Friday with the hopes that he can return to the starting lineup on Saturday.
Jon Lester, SP, BOS – (Hamstring) His left hamstring was cramping up in his start on Tuesday but it was believed to be a weather-related malady.
Jon Rauch, RP, MIN – (Hand) Had an allergic reaction on his hand that resulted in a blistering rash which could keep him out for a while.
Josh Bell, 3B, BAL – (Hamstring) Sat out Thursday’s game.
Players on the DL
Felipe Paulino, SP, HOU – (Shoulder) Scheduled to visit Dr. James Andrews next week, more will be known about Paulino’s future following the meeting.
David Eckstein, 2B, SD – (Calf) Jogged in the outfield Wednesday and is making strides toward returning in the near future.
Russell Martin, C, LAD – (Hip) Expected to miss a considerable amount of time with a hip injury.
Carlos Silva, SP, CHC – (Illness) Continues to undergo testing on the reason for his accelerated heartbeat, no timetable has been set for his return.
Shane Victorino, OF, PHI – (Oblique) Took swings in the batting cage for a second straight day on Wednesday. The Phillies expect him to return around Aug. 19.
Brian Moehler, SP, HOU – (Groin) Felt a popping sensation in his right groin while throwing a simulated game on Wednesday. He may have to miss the remainder of the season.
Kyle Lohse, SP, STL – (Forearm) Scheduled to throw his third rehab start on Thursday and could return to the Cardinals within the next week.
Aaron Cook, SP, COL – (Toe) Placed on the 15-Day DL.
Kris Medlen, SP, ATL – (Elbow) Placed on the 15-Day DL with a partial tear of the UCL in his right elbow and may need to undergo Tommy John surgery.
Stephen Strasburg, SP, WAS – (Shoulder) Threw a simulated game on Thursday and is expected to return to start the Nationals’ Aug. 10 game against the Marlins.
Eric O’Flaherty, RP, ATL – (Illness) Threw a bullpen session on Thursday and is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment after one more bullpen session.
Danny Worth, SS, DET – (Heel) Placed on the 15-Day DL with a bruised left heel.
John Buck, C, TOR – (Hand) Placed on the 15-Day DL with a lacerated right thumb that required three stitches to close his wound.
Ben Sheets, SP, OAK – (Elbow) Will undergo flexor-tendon surgery on Monday. Sheets is uncertain if he’ll ever be healthy enough to pitch in the majors again.
Scott Kazmir, SP, LAA – (Shoulder) Hopes to return to the rotation on Saturday after throwing a successful simulated game on Monday.
Dustin Pedroia, 2B, BOS – (Foot) Took batting practice Wednesday, but the Red Sox are having him curtail his running until Friday.
Jason Varitek, C, BOS – (Foot) Did some light jogging on Wednesday and continues to amp up his baseball activities.
Dustin Nippert, RP, TEX – (Head) Will resume throwing on Friday and is still expected to return to the Rangers’ bullpen sometime this season.
Matt Treanor, C, TEX – (Knee) Caught a bullpen session Wednesday and could return within the next week.
Conor Jackson, OF, OAK – (Hamstring) Will begin a rehab assignment on Saturday and could return sometime next week.
Andrew Bailey, RP, OAK – (Back) Plans to increase his throwing distance in the next couple days, but he isn’t likely to return until late next week.
Joey Devine, RP, OAK – (Elbow) Will report to the A’s minor league complex next week and plans on returning in September.
Magglio Ordonez, OF, DET – (Ankle) Is unlikely to make an early return from his broken ankle injury. Expect Ordonez to return sometime in September at the earliest.
Jason Bulger, RO, LAA – (Shoulder) Will make a few more rehab appearances before returning to the majors.
Carlos Guillen, 2B, DET – (Calf) Expected to return to the Tigers early next week after a brief rehab assignment.
David Hernandez, RP, BAL – (Ankle) Placed on the 15-Day DL.
Kevin Youkilis, 1B, BOS – (Thumb) Will undergo season-ending surgery on Friday to repair his injured right thumb.
Carlos Santana, C, CLE – (Knee) Will undergo season-ending surgery on Friday to repair his injured left knee. His rehab is expected to take 4-to-6 months.
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)
Kris Medlen, SP, Braves
Aaron Cook, SP, Rockies
David Hernandez, RP, Orioles
John Buck, C, Blue Jays
Activated from the DL
Brett Hayes, C, Marlins
Chris Nelson, SS, Rockies
Philip Humber, SP, Royals
Cristhian Martinez, RP, Braves
Armando Gabino, RP, Orioles
Denny Bautista, RP, Giants
Cody Ransom, 3B, Phillies
Jose Guillen, OF, Royals
Closer Watch – A closer look at intriguing ninth-inning situations (check out Dave Regan's Closer Grid with the link to the left).
Detroit – Jose Valverde’s July struggles seem to have followed him into August. He was brought in to a tie game on Thursday and gave up a game winning two-run triple to Mark Kotsay. Valverde’s job remains safe, but he’s causing more damage than help to fantasy teams right now. In 12 July appearances, he was knocked around to the tune of an 8.25 ERA, 2.08 WHIP, and .275 BAA.
Minnesota – Matt Capps blew his fourth save of the season on Wednesday. It was his first blown save since joining the Twins at the trade deadline. The Twins were able to fight on and pull out the win in extra innings, taking the sting away a little. With Jon Rauch day-to-day with blisters on his hands, Capps’ job couldn’t be more secure at this time.
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
Marlon Byrd v. Bronson Arroyo – 4-for-10 (.400), 1 HR, 3 RBI, 0:3 BB:K (.400 OBP)
Clint Barmes v. Zach Duke – 4-for-10 (.400), 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1:1 BB:K (.417 OBP)
Luis Castillo v. Joe Blanton – 9-for-17 (.529), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 4:0 BB:K (.619 OBP)
Geoff Blum v. Dave Bush – 8-for-19 (.421), 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1:5 BB:K (.476 OBP)
Michael Bourn v. Dave Bush – 5-for-15 (.333), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 3:2 BB:K (.444 OBP)
Bobby Crosby v. Jon Garland – 11-for-29 (.379), 1 HR, 7 RBI, 1:5 BB:K (.400 OBP)
Stephen Drew v. Jon Garland – 5-for-13 (.385), 2 HR, 3 RBI, 1:0 BB:K (.429 OBP)
Asdrubal Cabrera v. Francisco Liriano – 8-for-18 (.533), 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1:4 BB:K (.529 OBP)
Jhonny Peralta v. Jered Weaver – 8-for-20 (.400), 1 HR, 5 RBI, 1:5 BB:K (.409 OBP)
Ramon Santiago v. Jered Weaver – 3-for-9 (.333), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 1:2 BB:K (.455 OBP)
Bobby Abreu v. Justin Verlander – 7-for-19 (.368), 1 HR, 2 RBI, 5:4 BB:K (.500 OBP)
Maicer Izturis v. Justin Verlander – 6-for-15 (.400), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 2:2 BB:K (.471 OBP)
Adrian Beltre v. Javier Vazquez – 15-for-34 (.441), 2 HR, 5 RBI, 0:4 BB:K (.457 OBP)
J.D. Drew v. Javier Vazquez – 10-for-28 (.357), 4 HR, 5 RBI, 4:8 BB:K (.438 OBP)
Aaron Hill v. Matt Garza – 9-for-25 (.360), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 2:6 BB:K (.407 OBP)
Michael Young v. Dallas Braden – 7-for-17 (.412), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 2:3 BB:K (.500 OBP)
Bronson Arroyo vs. Chicago Cubs – Arroyo always seems to bring his best stuff against the Cubs. Against the Cubs’ current lineup, Arroyo has limited them to a slash line of .220/.278/.377 through 261 batters faced. In 18 career starts against the Cubs, he has an 8-6 record with a 2.91 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, and .227 BAA. Arroyo shutout the Cubs for six innings in his only start against them this season, and all of the data says he should have a great outing on Friday. Get him in your lineup.
Barry Zito vs. Atlanta Braves – Zito is squaring up against the Braves for the first time this season on Friday. Through 128 batters faced, Zito has limited their current lineup to an impressive slash line of .187/.315/.318. In four career starts against the Braves, he has a 3-1 record with a 2.42 ERA, 1.23 Whip, and .191 BAA. All the numbers are in favor of Zito coming out of Friday’s game with a positive result. Make sure he’s in your lineup to give you fantasy squad a positive return.
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-39 (.205), 1 HR, 3 RBI, 4:3 BB:K (.279 OBP)
Kosuke Fukudome v. Bronson Arroyo – 0-for-13 (.000), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1:2 BB:K (.071 OBP)
Brandon Phillips v. Tom Gorzelanny – 4-for-20 (.200), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 1:2 BB:K (.238 OBP)
Jonny Gomes v. Tom Gorzelanny – 2-for-12 (.167), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 0:5 BB:K (.167 OBP)
Dan Uggla v. Adam Wainwright – 2-for-16 (.125), 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1:7 BB:K (.167 OBP)
Felipe Lopez v. Ricky Nolasco – 3-for-18 (.167), 2 HR, 4 RBI, 0:2 BB:K (.167 OBP)
Aaron Miles v. Ricky Nolasco – 2-for-10 (.200), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 0:1 BB:K (.182 OBP)
Omar Infante v. Barry Zito – 3-for-15 (.200), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0:3 BB:K (.200 OBP)
Carlos Lee v. Dave Bush – 4-for-23 (.174), 2 HR, 4 RBI, 0:2 BB:K (.208 OBP)
Chris Young v. Jon Garland – 1-for-11 (.091), 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2:5 BB:K (.231 OBP)
Justin Upton v. Jon Garland – 2-for-11 (.182), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 1:1 BB:K (.250 OBP)
Ryan Theriot v. John Lannan – 1-for-11 (.091), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 1:1 BB:K (.167 OBP)
Adam Jones v. John Danks – 1-for-12 (.083), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1:3 BB:K (.154 OBP)
Johnny Damon v. Jered Weaver – 4-for-25 (.160), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 3:9 BB:K (.250 OBP)
Lyle Overbay v. Matt Garza – 8-for-33 (.242), 0 HR, 3 RBI, 2:10 BB:K (.286 OBP)
Jose Molina v. Matt Garza – 0-for-9 (.000), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0:2 BB:K (.000 OBP)
Mark Ellis v. Cliff Lee – 3-for-18 (.167), 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2:4 BB:K (.250 OBP)
Daric Barton v. Cliff Lee – 0-for-11 (.000), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0:2 BB:K (.000 OBP)
Chris Johnson, 3B, HOU – Johnson is playing as well as any third baseman right now. Through 143 at-bats, he’s hitting .350 with five home runs, 28 RBI, 20 runs scored, 11 doubles, and two triples. With so few quality bats at the hot corner this season, Johnson has been one of the few bright spots available in the mid-season free-agent pool. The Astros continue to bat him seventh, despite his .939 OPS. He won’t give your team many runs, but, if you’re in need of a power-potential third baseman on your fantasy squad, it’d be hard to argue that there’s a better value out there than Johnson at this time.
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