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The Lineup Card: Tiny Red Machine

Kevin O'Brien

Kevin O'Brien

Kevin O'Brien writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire.

Projected Starters – A look at Monday’s matchups:

Red Sox (Jon Lester - L) at Yankees (Philip Hughes - R), 2:05
White Sox (Edwin Jackson - R) at Orioles (Brian Matusz - L), 7:05
Rays (David Price - L) at Tigers (Armando Galarraga - R), 7:05
Cardinals (Chris Carpenter - R) at Reds (Mike Leake - R), 7:10
Braves (Mike Minor - L) at Astros (Bud Norris - R), 8:05
Diamondbacks (Ian Kennedy - R) at Brewers (Chris Narveson - L), 8:10
Royals (Sean O'Sullivan - R) at Angels (Ervin Santana - R), 10:05
A's (Vincent Mazzaro - R) at Mariners (Doug Fister - R), 10:10
Cubs (Carlos Zambrano - R) at Giants (Madison Bumgarner - L), 10:15

Day game following 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)

Stephen Strasburg, SP, WAS - (Shoulder) Reported no problems during bullpen session on Saturday. Expected to return to the rotation on Tuesday
Mark Reynolds, 3B, ARI - (Head) Returned to the lineup on Sunday
Rafael Furcal, SS, LAD - (Back) Continues making steady progress and should be able to return on Tuesday
Gaby Sanchez, 1B, FLA - (Hamstring) Was not in Sunday's lineup, but got an extra day off with the game postponed
Cody Ross, OF, FLA - (Neck) Was not in Sunday's lineup, but got an extra day off with the game postponed
Edgar Renteria, SS, SF - (Biceps) Did not play on Sunday. Remains day-to-day
Starlin Castro, SS, CHC - (Shoulder) Started on Sunday despite being hit with a pitch on Saturday
Brandon Phillips, 2B, CIN - (Foot) Did not play on Sunday. Expected to be in the lineup on Monday
Alex Rodriguez, 3B, NYY - (Leg) Returned to the lineup on Sunday
Skip Schumaker, 2B, STL - (Wrist) Was not in Sunday's lineup, but got an extra day off with the game postponed. Status for Monday is uncertain
Geovany Soto, C, CHC - (Shoulder) Did not play on Sunday. Remains day-to-day
A.J. Pierzynski, C, CWS - (Ankle) Did not play on Sunday. His status for Monday has yet to be determined
Alexi Casilla, 2B, MIN - (Ankle) MRI revealed no broken bones, but will likely miss a couple days
A.J. Burnett, SP, NYY - Scratched from Sunday's start due to back spasms. Hopes to pitch on Tuesday
Vernon Wells, OF, TOR - Removed from Sunday's game in the sixth inning with a dislocated big toe on his right foot. Considered day-to-day
Gordon Beckham, 2B, CWS - Left Sunday's game with a strained groin. Will likely miss a couple games
Derek Lowe, SP, ATL - Left Sunday's game in the sixth inning with a right hamstring cramp
Wade Davis, SP, TB - Will have his shoulder examined by team doctors after velocity was down in last start
Kevin Slowey, SP, MIN - Right elbow soreness will postpone his scheduled start until next Sunday
Jack Wilson, SS, SEA - Suffered a broken hand after a fall at his home on Saturday
Daric Barton, 1B, OAK - Removed from Sunday's game with spasms in his left shoulder
Adam Moore, C, SEA - Did not start on Sunday due to a stiff back

Players on the DL

Shane Victorino, OF, PHI - (Oblique) Unlikely to return before next weekend
Dustin Pedroia, 2B, BOS - (Foot) Hopes to run at full speed on Tuesday
Jason Varitek, C, BOS - (Foot) Took batting practice on Sunday for the first time since breaking his foot
Matt Tolbert, 2B, MIN - (Finger) Will begin a rehab assignment on Monday
Chris Coghlan, OF, FLA - (Knee) Will undergo surgery on Wednesday to repair his torn meniscus. The recovery is expected to take 4-to-8 weeks, so it's possible his season could be over
Mike Cameron, OF, BOS - (Abdomen) Feeling better but will still miss at least one more week while on the DL
Josh Outman, P, OAK - (Elbow) Has resumed long toss and is hoping to pitch in the majors in September

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

Activated from DL
Orlando Hudson, 2B, MIN
Andy Sonnanstine, SP, TAM
Jason Marquis, SP, WAS

Called Up
Jay Gibbons, OF, LAD
Esmil Rogers, P, COL

Sent Down
Chris Nelson, 2B, COL
Dale Thayer, RP, TAM
Anthony Slama, RP, MIN
Troy Patton, RP, BAL

Designated For Assignment
Garret Anderson, OF, LAD

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

Atlanta - Takashi Saito picked up his first save of the season on Sunday with Billy Wagner presumably unavailable after pitching five of the previous six days. It's not clear if Wagner will be called upon if the Braves are in a save situation on Monday, but he's in no danger of losing the closer's role to Saito despite proving lately that he's not completely invincible.

Baltimore - Alfredo Simon served up a two-run home run to Ramon Castro in the ninth inning on Sunday, but fortunately the Orioles had a three-run lead and Simon was able to lock down the win and pick up his 17th save. Simon has blown just three saves this season, but he has given up at least one earned run in five of his last nine outings; and remember the Orioles did give Mike Gonzalez a sizable contract to serve as their closer this season. Simon will remain the closer for now, but Gonzalez lurks in the background if Simon's struggles continue.

Minnesota - Matt Capps pitched a perfect inning on Sunday to record his second save as a Twin. He has allowed just two earned runs in his last 17.2 innings between Minnesota and Washington.

Philadelphia - Brad Lidge picked up his 14th save of the season on Sunday with a scoreless ninth inning. Lidge looked a bit shaky towards the end of July, but he has recovered nicely in August. In five appearances this month, Lidge has allowed zero runs, posted a 4:0 K:BB ratio, and recorded four saves.

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).

Hot

Nick Markakis v. Edwin Jackson - 6-for-12 (.500), 0 HR, 3 RBI, 0:2 BB:K (.500 OBP)
Joey Votto v. Chris Carpenter - 6-for-15 (.400), 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1:4 BB:K (.471 OBP)
Billy Butler v. Ervin Santana - 4-for-18 (.222), 3 HR, 6 RBI, 3:5 BB:K (.391 OBP) - low batting average but 1.114 OPS
Daric Barton v. Doug Fister - 4-for-10 (.400), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 1:1 BB:K (.455 OBP)
Edgar Renteria v. Carlos Zambrano - 12-for-31 (.387), 1 HR, 2 RBI, 7:7 BB:K (.500 OBP) *check lineup

Carlos Zambrano v. Giants - see below

Chris Carpenter v. Reds - Carpenter's career numbers against the Reds in 16 starts: 10-3, 1.96 ERA, 0.81 WHIP, 104:15 K:BB ratio. If that's not enough, current Reds are hitting a combined .198/.246/.310 (!) against him and have a grand total of three home runs over their careers. Carpenter has already beat the Reds twice this season, including a victory at Great American Ball Park on Opening Day; and with numbers like he has against the Reds, fantasy owners should expect another win on Monday.

Cold
Jorge Posada v. Jon Lester - 3-for-18 (.167), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 2:6 BB:K (.250 OBP)
Ramon Hernandez v. Chris Carpenter - 4-for-28 (.143), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 1:6 BB:K (.172 OBP)
Brandon Phillips v. Chris Carpenter - 5-for-26 (.192), 0 HR, 5 RBI, 1:4 BB:K (.222 OBP)
Jay Bruce v. Chris Carpenter - 3-for-16 (.188), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 0:3 BB:K (.188 OBP)
Yuniesky Betancourt v. Ervin Santana - 12-for-49 (.245), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0:4 BB:K (.245 OBP)
Jason Kendall v. Ervin Santana - 5-for-29 (.172), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 0:4 BB:K (.200 OBP)
Freddy Sanchez v. Carlos Zambrano - 8-for-34 (.235), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 2:4 BB:K (.297 OBP)
Juan Uribe v. Carlos Zambrano - 4-for-24 (.167), 1 HR, 5 RBI, 1:8 BB:K (.231 OBP)
Aaron Rowand v. Carlos Zambrano - 0-for-10 (.000), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0:4 BB:K (.091 OBP)

Philip Hughes v. Red Sox - Hughes has made just four starts against the Red Sox, but he has also faced them six times out of the bullpen and the overall results are not pretty. Hughes has pitched 25 total innings against the Red Sox in his career and has given up 20 runs, 18 earned, which has resulted in a 6.48 ERA. His ERA over the last two months is well above 5.00 and his ERA this season at Yankee Stadium, the site of Monday's game, is 4.94. As always, Hughes will be in position to pick up the win on Monday due to the offense that supports him, but he may do some damage to your ratios in the process.

Recommended Pickup

Carlos Zambrano, SP, CHC - Zambrano has not started a game since June 25. He has a 5.61 ERA and 1.75 WHIP this season. So, why would I put him here, you ask? Well, first off, Zambrano makes two starts this week, both against teams he has historically fared very well against - the Giants and the Cardinals. Big Z is 5-1 with a 2.76 ERA against the Giants in his career, and San Francisco's current lineup is hitting just .216 against him lifetime. Zambrano is 10-6 against the Cardinals in his career, but he has absolutely dominated them in the new Busch. In four starts at that stadium, Zambrano is 4-0 with a 1.62 ERA and .207 BAA. Secondly, there probably aren't many pitchers on your waiver wire that have Zambrano's pedigree. Zambrano has struck out at least 150 batters in six of the last seven seasons and has posted an ERA under 4.00 in each of the last eight. Lastly, Zambrano is known as a fiery guy, so hopefully he will be able to completely channel his emotions into his pitching rather than into any further tirades. Zambrano is available in about 75% of Yahoo! leagues and 85% of ESPN leagues, so he should be available if you are looking for some pitching help, especially for this week. Zambrano has really struggled this year, but this could be the week he gets things turned around.

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