Projected Starters – A look at Thursday's matchups:
Rockies (Jason Hammel – R) at Mets (Johan Santana – L), 12:10
Red Sox (John Lackey – R) at Blue Jays (Brad Mills – L), 12:37
Diamondbacks (Rodrigo Lopez – R) at Brewers (Randy Wolf – L), 2:10
Cubs (Randy Wells – R) at Giants (Matt Cain – R), 3:45
Pirates (Zach Duke – L) at Padres (Jon Garland – R), 6:35
Dodgers (Clayton Kershaw – L) at Phillies (Joe Blanton – R), 7:05
Marlins (Ricky Nolasco – R) at Nationals (Livan Hernandez – R), 7:05
Orioles (Kevin Millwood – R) at Indians (Jeanmar Gomez – R), 7:05
Yankees (CC Sabathia – L) at Royals (Bruce Chen – L), 8:10
Twins (Francisco Liriano – L) at White Sox (Gavin Floyd – R), 8:10
Day Game After Night Game: COL, NYM, ARI, MIL, CHC, SF, BOS, TOR, PIT, SD
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)
Derrek Lee, 1B, CHC – (Personal) Tending to his ailing grandfather and should miss a few games.
Skip Schumaker, 2B, STL – (Leg) Returned to the lineup on Wednesday after coming out of Tuesday’s game with leg cramps.
Edgar Renteria, SS, SF – (Biceps) Left Tuesday’s game with a left biceps strain.
Jason LaRue, C, STL – (Concussion) Suffered a concussion during a bench-clearing brawl on Tuesday.
Jason Heyward, OF, ATL – (Knee) Kept out of the lineup on Wednesday to rest his sore knee.
Chipper Jones, 3B, ATL – (Knee) Scheduled to undergo an MRI on Thursday and is expected to miss significant time.
Vernon Wells, OF, TOR – (Toe) Returned to the lineup on Wednesday.
Brett Cecil, SP, TOR – (Knee) His next start has been pushed back to Saturday after he suffered a minor knee injury.
Alexi Casilla, 2B, MIN – (Ankle) Was available off the bench on Tuesday but did not play.
Mark Teixeira, 1B, NYY – (Personal) Will return to the Yankees on Thursday.
Andruw Jones, DH, CHW – (Back) Scratched from the lineup with a sore back on Wednesday.
Players on the DL
Jason Bay, OF, NYM – (Concussion) Has yet to resume baseball activities and may not return until late August or early September.
Chris Young, SP, SD – (Shoulder) Threw a 40-pitch bullpen session Tuesday and could return at some point in September.
Aaron Harang, SP, CIN – (Back) Threw a 58-pitch simulated game on Tuesday and may make a rehab start on Sunday.
Russell Martin, C, LAD – (Hip) Will be on crutches for three weeks while his doctors decide whether he should undergo surgery.
Shane Victorino, OF, PHI – (Oblique) Expected to rejoin the Phillies on Friday.
Ryan Howard, 1B, PHI – (Ankle) Has yet to resume baseball activities, making a return from the DL on Aug. 17 questionable.
Brian Moehler, SP, HOU – (Groin) Has decided not to undergo surgery in hopes that he can tolerate the pain and pitch again this season.
Jeff Suppan, SP, STL – (Groin) Placed on the 15-Day DL.
Kyle Lohse, SP, STL – (Forearm) Expected to return to the Cardinals’ rotation this weekend.
Aaron Cook, SP, COL – (Toe) No definitive timetable has been set for his return.
Rafael Furcal, SS, LAD – (Back) Placed on the 15-Day DL.
Nyjer Morgan, OF, WAS – (Hip) Should only miss the minimum 15 days with his hip injury.
Martin Prado, 2B, ATL – (Finger) Will take batting practice Friday and could return from the DL as early as Sunday.
Eric O’Flaherty, RP, ATL – (Illness) Likely to begin a rehab assignment on Friday and could return in about a week.
Chase Utley, 2B, PHI – (Thumb) Was cleared to resume hitting on Wednesday and hopes to return by the end of the month.
John Buck, C, TOR – (Hand) Caught a bullpen session on Tuesday and should return when eligible on Aug. 20.
Aaron Laffey, SP, CLE – (Shoulder) Threw his first bullpen session on Tuesday since being placed on the DL in late July.
Anthony Reyes, SP, CLE – (Elbow) Resumed his rehab program on Wednesday and is planning on returning in late August or early September.
Ian Kinsler, 2B, TEX – (Groin) Expected to return at the end of August.
Dustin Nippert, RP, TEX – (Head) Will start throwing from a mound on Friday and could return from the DL in about 10 days.
Matt Treanor, C, TEX – (Knee) Ran the bases on Tuesday and was scheduled to hit in the batting cages on Wednesday.
Jason Varitek, C, BOS – (Abdomen) Is stepping up his workouts but remains a few weeks away from returning.
Mike Cameron, OF, BOS – (Hamstring) Took batting practice on the field Tuesday.
Hideki Okajima, RP, BOS – (Hamstring) Has started a throwing program.
Justin Morneau, 1B, MIN – (Concussion) He’ll be reevaluated on Friday.
Kevin Cash, C, BOS – (Hamstring) Placed on the 15-Day DL.
Danny Worth, SS, DET – (Heel) Will begin a rehab assignment Thursday and could return when eligible on Aug. 20.
Andrew Bailey, RP, OAK – (Oblique) Continues to progress in his throwing program and could begin throwing from a mound next week.
Conor Jackson, OF, OAK – (Hamstring) Could return to the Athletics this weekend.
Mitch Talbot, SP, CLE – (Back) Scheduled to start Saturday’s game against the Mariners.
Ben Sheets, SP, OAK – (Elbow) Will undergo flexor-tendon surgery on Monday and he is expected to be out throughout the 2011 season.
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)
Rafael Furcal, SS, Dodgers (retroactive to Aug. 3)
Kevin Cash, C, Red Sox (retroactive to Aug. 9)
Jeff Suppan, SP, Cardinals (retroactive to Aug. 1)
Activated from the DL
Tori Hunter, OF, Angels (activated from suspension)
Juan Castro, SS, Dodgers
Steven Hill, C, Cardinals
Glen Perkins, SP, Twins
Jess Todd, RP, Indians
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C, Red Sox
David Huff, SP, Indians
Trevor Plouffe, SS, Twins
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 is no longer assured to get the ball when a save opportunity arises. New manager Buck Showalter wanted to see if Simon could keep the job, but Simon has allowed seven runs and blown two saves over his last 5.1 innings. Mike Gonzalez has not been named the closer, but it’s pretty safe to assume that he will get the first shot at closer if Showalter is truly done giving Simon a shake.
Houston – Matt Lindstrom’s poor showing lately was put into a finer light on Wednesday when Brandon Lyon gave up five runs in the 10th inning of a tied game against the Braves.
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
Adam LaRoche v. Randy Wolf – 6-for-19 (.316), 1 HR, 3 RBI, 3:6 BB:K (.409 OBP)
Blake DeWitt v. Matt Cain – 4-for-12 (.333), 1 HR, 2 RBI, 3:1 BB:K (.467 OBP)
David Eckstein v. Zach Duke – 7-for-19 (.368), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1:0 BB:K (.429 OBP)
Miguel Tejada v. Zach Duke – 3-for-9 (.333), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 2:0 BB:K (.455 OBP)
Bobby Crosby v. Jon Garland – 11-for-29 (.379), 1 HR, 7 RBI, 1:5 BB:K (.400 OBP)
Reed Johnson v. Joe Blanton – 5-for-12 (.417), 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1:2 BB:K (.500 OBP)
Josh Willingham v. Ricky Nolasco – 4-for-10 (.400), 0 HR, 4 RBI, 0:4 BB:K (.400 OBP)
Wes Helms v. Livan Hernandez – 6-for-19 (.316), 1 HR, 5 RBI, 1:2 BB:K (.381 OBP)
Adam Lind v. John Lackey – 6-for-12 (.500), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 0:0 BB:K (.500 OBP)
Fred Lewis v. John Lackey – 5-for-8 (.625), 0 HR, 3 RBI, 2:2 BB:K (.700 OBP)
Billy Butler v. CC Sabathia – 9-for-25 (.360), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 2:4 BB:K (.407 OBP)
Jason Kendall v. CC Sabathia – 8-for-21 (.381), 0 HR, 6 RBI, 1:2 BB:K (.409 OBP)
Derek Jeter v. Bruce Chen – 13-for-32 (.406), 3 HR, 3 RBI, 2:5 BB:K (.441 OBP)
Mark Teixeira v. Bruce Chen – 9-for-14 (.643), 6 HR, 12 RBI, 1:4 BB:K (.667 OBP)
Alexei Ramirez v. Francisco Liriano – 6-for-11 (.545), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 1:0 BB:K (.583 OBP)
Denard Span v. Gavin Floyd – 9-for-17 (.529), 0 HR, 3 RBI, 0:2 BB:K (.529 OBP)
Jason Kubel v. Gavin Floyd – 10-for-28 (.357), 3 HR, 6 RBI, 1:5 BB:K (.367 OBP)
Randy Wolf vs. Arizona Diamondbacks – Wolf hasn’t allowed more than two runs in each of his last three starts. He’s taking his warm arm up against the Diamondbacks offense that he has limited to a slash line of .235/.303/.409 through 167 batters faced. Wolf walked away with the win in his only other start against the Diamondbacks this season.
Matt Cain vs. Chicago Cubs – Cain is 3-1 in his last five starts. He’s only given up eight total runs over 43.2 innings during those starts. Over the last two years, Cain has only had one other start against the Cubs, and he shut them out for eight innings. In his career, Cain has limited the Cubs’ current lineup to a slash line of .217/.311/.357 through 133 batters faced.
Melvin Mora v. Johan Santana – 3-for-20 (.150), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0:9 BB:K (.150 OBP)
Miguel Olivo v. Johan Santana – 2-for-11 (.182), 1 HR, 1 RBI, 0:5 BB:K (.182 OBP)
Casey Blake v. Joe Blanton – 1-for-21 (.048), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 3:7 BB:K (.167 OBP)
Jay Gibbons v. Joe Blanton – 3-for-14 (.214), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1:1 BB:K (.267 OBP)
Ryan Theriot v. Joe Blanton – 1-for-12 (.083), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1:4 BB:K (.154 OBP)
Dan Uggla v. Livan Hernandez – 4-for-25 (.160), 1 HR, 3 RBI, 3:4 BB:K (.241 OBP)
Vernon Wells v. John Lackey – 5-for-26 (.192), 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2:5 BB:K (.250 OBP)
Aaron Hill v. John Lackey – 2-for-18 (.111), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 2:4 BB:K (.200 OBP)
Shin-Soo Choo v. Kevin Millwood – 2-for-11 (.182), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 1:4 BB:K (.250 OBP)
Alex Gordon v. CC Sabathia – 2-for-17 (.118), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 1:4 BB:K (.211 OBP)
Yuniesky Betancourt v. CC Sabathia – 0-for-11 (.000), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0:2 BB:K (.000 OBP)
Alex Rios v. Francisco Liriano – 1-for-12 (.083), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 0:5 BB:K (.083 OBP)
Andruw Jones v. Francisco Liriano – 1-for-9 (.111), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 2:1 BB:K (.273 OBP)
Delmon Young v. Gavin Floyd – 3-for-16 (.188), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 2:3 BB:K (.278 OBP)
Michael Cuddyer v. Gavin Floyd – 5-for-23 (.217), 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1:6 BB:K (.250 OBP)
Bruce Chen vs. New York Yankees – Chen has done well in his last two starts, but he runs into a Yankees lineup on Friday that has hit a slash line of .309/.378/.612 through 173 batters faced. Mark Teixeira alone has deposited six bombs over the fence off of Chen. He gave up five runs in his only other start against the Yankees this season.
Felix Pie, OF, BAL – Pie has been starting everyday and batting sixth for the blazing hot Orioles. Over the last two weeks, he’s hitting 16-for-47 (.340) with two home runs, two steals, nine RBI, and eight runs scored. He came up in the Cubs’ organization, but they fell out of love with him and traded him to the Orioles. After an underwhelming 2009 season with the Orioles and the emergence of Nolan Reimold, Pie became somewhat of an afterthought. Considering his recent production at the plate, he’s worth taking a good look at in most leagues. His cumulative minor league stats compare favorably with players like Carlos Gonzalez, Adam Jones, and Colby Rasmus. Pie is only 25-years-old, and he may be on the verge of finally establishing himself as a legit fantasy contributor.
Other Recent Recommendations: Jeremy Guthrie, Chris Carter, Carlos Zambrano, Neil Walker, Mike Minor