Projected Starters – A look at Friday's matchups:
Braves (Jair Jurrjens – R) at Cubs (Ryan Dempster – R), 2:20
Nationals (Jason Marquis – R) at Phillies (Roy Halladay – R), 7:05
Mets (Mike Pelfrey – R) at Pirates (Jeff Karstens – R), 7:05
Rangers (C.J. Wilson – L) at Orioles (Jake Arrieta – R), 7:05
Mariners (Felix Hernandez – R) at Yankees (A.J. Burnett – R), 7:05
Indians (Justin Masterson – R) at Tigers (Armando Galarraga – R), 7:05
Astros (J.A. Happ – L) at Marlins (Anibal Sanchez – R), 7:10
Blue Jays (Brett Cecil – L) at Red Sox (Jon Lester – L), 7:10
Padres (Wade LeBlanc – L) at Brewers (Yovani Gallardo – R), 8:10
Angels (Dan Haren – R) at Twins (Brian Duensing – L), 8:10
White Sox (Edwin Jackson – R) at Royals (Sean O’Sullivan – R), 8:10
Giants (Madison Bumgarner – L) at Cardinals (Jake Westbrook – R), 8:15
Rockies (Esmil Rogers – R) at Diamondbacks (Ian Kennedy - R), 9:40
Rays (Jeremy Hellickson – R) at Athletics (Vin Mazzaro – R), 10:05
Reds (Homer Bailey – R) at Dodgers (Vincente Padilla – R), 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)
Brad Hawpe, OF, COL – (Ribs) Left Friday’s game with bruised ribs after running into the wall, he’s day-to-day.
David Bush, SP, MIL – (Finger) Left Tuesday’s game with a blister on his pitching hand. Expected to be okay for next start.
Alcides Escobar, SS, MIL – (Leg) Removed from Wednesday’s game with cramps in both legs. Should return to action on Friday.
Joey Votto, 1B, CIN – (Back) Scratched from Wednesday’s lineup with a stiff back. Hopes to return on Thursday.
Jeff Keppinger, 3B, HOU – (Toe) Will miss a few days with a sprained big toe. Should avoid the DL.
Wil Nieves, C, WAS – (Personal) Will return to the Nationals on Saturday.
Derrek Lee, 1B, ATL – (Back) Will be activated on Friday.
Carlos Gonzalez, OF, COL – (Knee) Left Wednesday’s game with a left knee contusion. The extent of the injury is not yet known, but he should avoid the DL.
Ronny Cedeno, SS, PIT – (Shoulder) Was not in Thursday’s starting lineup.
Dustin Pedroia, 2B, BOS – (Foot) Scratched from Thursday’s lineup with soreness in the same foot that he has a broken bone in earlier this year. This is not considered a setback, merely a precaution.
Alex Rodriguez, 3B, NYY – (Calf) Did not play Thursday.
Gerald Laird, C, DET – (Arm) Did not play Thursday.
Craig Tatum, C, BAL – (Knee) MRI revealed no damage. He was available to play Wednesday.
Players on the DL
Chris Ray, RP, SF – (Oblique) Placed on the 15-Day DL.
Josh Willingham, OF, WAS – (Knee) Placed on the 15-Day DL.
Chris Young, SP, SD – (Shoulder) Scheduled to play catch Thursday. Expected to return sometime in September.
Troy Glaus, 1B, ATL – (Knee) Placed on the 15-Day DL.
Geovany Soto, C, CHC – (Shoulder) Remains on track to return from the DL on Sunday.
Jamie Moyer, SP, PHI – (Elbow) Plans on beginning rehab within two weeks. Expects to be ready for spring training.
Matt Lindstrom, RP, HOU – (Back) Placed on the 15-Day DL.
Leo Rosales, RP, ARI – (Foot) Getting closer to a return.
Tony Gwynn Jr., OF, SD – (Hand) Placed on the 15-Day DL.
Eric O’Flaherty, RP, ATL – (Illness) Will be activated on Friday.
Sean West, RP, FLA – (Knee) Placed on the 15-Day DL.
Jason LaRue, C, STL – (Concussion) Placed on the 15-Day DL.
Ryan Howard, 1B, PHI – (Ankle) Will begin a rehab assignment on Friday. Expected to return to the Phillies on Monday.
Carlos Silva, SP, CHC – (Illness) May not rejoin the Cubs until early September.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C, BOS – (Lower Leg) Placed on the 15-Day DL.
Lance Berkman, DH, NYY – (Ankle) Placed on the 15-Day DL.
Magglio Ordonez, OF, DET – (Ankle) Will have his broken ankle reevaluated on Friday.
Grady Sizemore, OF, CLE – (Knee) His rehab is going well. He is off crutches and moving his rehab work to the team’s facilities in Arizona.
Jason Varitek, C, BOS – (Foot) The team is awaiting on a second opinion on his status. He remains at least a week away from returning.
Luke Hochevar, SP, KC – (Elbow) Scheduled to begin a rehab assignment soon. Expected to return in mid-September.
Gil Meche, SP, KC – (Shoulder) Scheduled to begin a rehab assignment this weekend. Expected to return in September.
David Hernandez, RP, BAL – (Ankle) Expected to return in September.
Andrew Bailey, RP, OAK – (Oblique) Scheduled to make a rehab appearance Friday. Expected to return sometime next week.
Jim Johnson, RP, BAL – (Elbow) Remains on track to return before the end of the season.
Mike Cameron, OF, BOS – (Abdomen) Will undergo season-ending surgery to repair a lower abdominal tear.
Carlos Guillen, 2B, DET – (Knee) Expected to miss two-to-three weeks.
Justin Morneau, 1B, MIN – (Concussion) Has taken batting practice for each of the last three days, but he continues to suffer from concussion symptoms after participating in physical activities. His return remains up in the air.
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)
Josh Willingham, OF, Nationals (retroactive to Aug. 16)
Lance Berkman, 1B, Yankees (retroactive to Aug. 16)
Tony Gwynn Jr., OF, Padres
Jason LaRue, C, Cardinals (transferred to 60-day DL)
Sean West, RP, Marlins (retroactive to Aug. 15)
Matt Lindstrom, RP, Astros (retroactive to Aug. 17)
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C, Red Sox (retroactive to Aug. 16)
Activated from the DL
Nyjer Morgan, OF, Nationals
Rod Barajas, C, Mets
Matt Reynolds, RP, Rockies
Eduardo Nunez, SS, Yankees
Sam Fuld, OF, Cubs
Andrew Miller, SP, Marlins
Ryan Webb, RP, Padres
Fernando Abad, RP, Astros
Alex Sanabia, SP/RP, Marlins
Dusty Brown, C, Red Sox
Travis Wood, SP, Reds
J.P. Arencibia, C, Blue Jays
Taylor Tankersley, RP, Marlins
Brad Hawpe, OF, Rockies
Pedro Feliz, 3B, Cardinals (from Astros)
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 gave up four runs and blew his sixth save opportunity of the season on Wednesday. Manager Kirk Gibson never officially named Heilman the closer, and Juan Gutierrez returned from the disabled list on Wednesday. Gutierrez’ return to the bullpen could put him in position to earn saves down the stretch. This situation could remain fluid throughout the rest of the season.
Baltimore – The Orioles haven’t had a save opportunity in over a week, and their closer situation remains in flux at the moment. Manager Buck Showalter has been holding his cards tight to his vest and hasn’t given any indication as to who he’ll use in the team’s next save situation.
Florida – The Marlins’ lack of save opportunities this month gave manager Edwin Rodriguez time to cool off on his declaration to look elsewhere when a save situation arose. Leo Nunez was given the ball on Wednesday and recorded his 27th save of the season. Nunez appears to be keeping his role, despite having blown his two prior save opportunities in the first week of August.
Milwaukee – Trevor Hoffman was brought in to the ninth with two outs on Wednesday and earned his seventh save of the season. The Brewers are picking spots to use Hoffman so he can reach the career 600 save mark this season. John Axford has had to defer to Hoffman in this instance, hurting his value down the stretch. With that said, Axford’s ability to successfully work multi-inning saves this season has helped him maintain most of his value for fantasy teams.
New York Mets – Hisanori Takahashi was brought in with the game tied in the ninth on Wednesday, but the game continued on through the 14th inning. Manny Acosta ended up earning the save in what became a war of attrition. Takahashi remains the mostly likely candidate for saves out of the Mets’ bullpen over the remainder of the season.
Oakland – Michael Wuertz earned a hold on Wednesday while giving up three earned runs and digging a hole that lead to a blown save. The Athletics were able to squeeze out the win, but Wuertz’ grip on the closer role may have been loosened a bit by his shaky outing.
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
Jayson Werth v. Jason Marquis – 6-for-12 (.500), 2 HR, 3 RBI, 3:0 BB:K (.625 OBP)
Ivan Rodriguez v. Roy Halladay – 13-for-32 (.406), 2 HR, 5 RBI, 0:5 BB:K (.406 OBP)
Aubrey Huff v. Jake Westbrook – 7-for-19 (.368), 0 HR, 5 RBI, 3:0 BB:K (.417 OBP)
Ichiro Suzuki v. A.J. Burnett – 6-for-15 (.400), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1:4 BB:K (.438 OBP)
Chone Figgins v. A.J. Burnett – 5-for-12 (.417), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 0:2 BB:K (.417 OBP)
Jim Thome v. Dan Haren – 5-for-10 (.500), 2 HR, 5 RBI, 3:1 BB:K (.615 OBP)
Billy Butler v. Edwin Jackson – 4-for-13 (.308), 2 HR, 3 RBI, 1:0 BB:K (.357 OBP)
David DeJesus v. Edwin Jackson – 4-for-11 (.364), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 1:1 BB:K (.417 OBP)
Ryan Dempster v. Atlanta Braves – Dempster hasn’t allowed more than two earned runs in his last three starts. On Friday, he’s set to face a Braves lineup that he has limited to a slash line of .218/.329/.336 through 140 batters faced. In his only other start against the Braves this season, Dempster threw six innings of one-run ball while striking out nine batters.
Jon Lester v. Blue Jays – Lester has thrown 14.1 innings of shutout ball over his last two starts, and he’s going up against a Blue Jays lineup on Friday that he’s limited to a slash line of .190/.284/.306 through 170 batters faced. In two starts against the Blue Jays this season, Lester has a 2-0 record with a 1.38 ERA, 0.69 WHIP, and 17:4 K:BB ratio over 13 innings.
Brian McCann v. Ryan Dempster – 0-for-7 (.000), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 3:3 BB:K (.364 OBP)
Rick Ankiel v. Ryan Dempster – 1-for-10 (.100), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0:4 BB:K (.100 OBP)
Troy Glaus v. Ryan Dempster – 2-for-12 (.167), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 1:7 BB:K (.231 OBP)
Jimmy Rollins v. Jason Marquis – 5-for-36 (.139), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 5:5 BB:K (.244 OBP)
Placido Polanco v. Jason Marquis – 3-for-15 (.200), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 2:0 BB:K (.400 OBP)
Juan Castro v. Jason Marquis – 2-for-12 (.167), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 0:1 BB:K (.167 OBP)
Raul Ibanez v. Jason Marquis – 1-for-9 (.111), 0 HR, 3 RBI, 1:0 BB:K (.200 OBP)
Miguel Tejada v. Yovani Gallardo – 2-for-13 (.154), 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1:0 BB:K (.214 OBP)
Jerry Hairston v. Yovani Gallardo – 1-for-10 (.100), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0:5 BB:K (.100 OBP)
Juan Uribe v. Jake Westbrook – 6-for-33 (.182), 2 HR, 4 RBI, 1:4 BB:K (.206 OBP)
Aaron Rowand v. Jake Westbrook – 5-for-21 (.238), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 0:3 BB:K (.273 OBP)
Casey Blake v. Homer Bailey – 2-for-12 (.167), 0 HR, 4 RBI, 0:3 BB:K (.167 OBP)
Jim Edmonds v. Vincente Padilla – 1-for-10 (.100), 1 HR, 2 RBI, 0:4 BB:K (.100 OBP)
Marcus Thames v. Felix Hernandez – 3-for-12 (.250), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1:4 BB:K (.308 OBP)
Jose Lopez v. A.J. Burnett – 3-for-13 (.231), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 0:3 BB:K (.286 OBP)
Milton Bradley v. A.J. Burnett – 3-for-12 (.250), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1:3 BB:K (.308 OBP)
Casey Kotchman v. A.J. Burnett – 3-for-11 (.273), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0:2 BB:K (.273 OBP)
Travis Hafner v. Armando Galarraga – 2-for-14 (.143), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 0:1 BB:K (.200 OBP)
Aaron Hill v. Jon Lester – 2-for-23 (.087), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 2:9 BB:K (.160 OBP)
Adam Lind v. Jon Lester – 2-for-14 (.143), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1:8 BB:K (.200 OBP)
Delmon Young v. Dan Haren – 2-for-12 (.167), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0:2 BB:K (.167 OBP)
Orlando Hudson v. Dan Haren – 4-for-18 (.222), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1:4 BB:K (.263 OBP)
Michael Cuddyer v. Dan Haren – 4-for-17 (.235), 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1:7 BB:K (.278 OBP)
Alex Gordon v. Edwin Jackson – 0-for-11 (.000), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1:2 BB:K (.083 OBP)
Yuniesky Betancourt v. Edwin Jackson – 3-for-12 (.250), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1:1 BB:K (.308 OBP)
Jason Marquis v. Philadelphia Phillies – Marquis has taken a loss in all five of his starts this season. He’s going up against a Phillies lineup that knocked him around for seven runs over 4.1 innings in his only other appearance against them this season. Bench him.
Pat Burrel, OF, Giants – Burrel found his bat when he switched leagues in a trade from the Rays to the Giants at the beginning of June. Since joining the Giants, Burrel is hitting .283 with 12 home runs, 32 RBI, and 26 runs scored in 173 at-bats. The Giants are using him as an everyday player and there’s little reason to argue against giving him a roster spot in standard sized leagues and larger formats. Burrell’s pre and post All-Star splits show he has an increased home run rate in the second half. It’d be wise for teams in need of power to invest in the slugger.
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