Projected Starters A look at Friday's matchups:
Marlins (Alex Sanabia R) at Nationals (John Lannan L), 7:05
Twins (Carl Pavano R) at Indians (Fausto Carmona R), 7:05
Orioles (Kevin Millwood R) at Tigers (Armando Galarraga R), 7:05
Rays (James Shields R) at Blue Jays (Brett Cecil L), 7:07
Pirates (Paul Maholm R) at Reds (Homer Bailey R), 7:10
Phillies (Roy Halladay R) at Mets (Jenrry Mejia R), 7:10
Cardinals (Chris Carpenter R) at Braves (Mike Minor L), 7:35
Dodgers (Hiroki Kuroda R) at Astros (J.A. Happ L), 8:05
Yankees (Javier Vazquez R) at Rangers (C.J. Wilson L), 8:05
Cubs (Carlos Zambrano R) at Brewers (David Bush R), 8:10
Royals (Bruce Chen L) at White Sox (Mark Buehrle L), 8:10
Diamondbacks (Joe Saunders L) at Rockies (Jorge De La Rosa L), 9:10
Giants (Jonathan Sanchez L) at Padres (Clayton Richard L), 10:05
Red Sox (Clay Buchholz R) at Athletics (Trevor Cahill R), 10:05
Mariners (David Pauley R) at Angels (Jered Weaver R), 10:05
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)
Mark Reynolds, 3B, ARI (Hand) Returned to lineup on Wednesday and went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.
Brad Lidge, RP, PHI (Elbow) Expected to be available out of the bullpen on Friday.
Jay Bruce, OF, CIN (Abdomen) Hasnt gone full speed yet but continues to take batting practice. No timetable has been set for his return.
Jimmy Rollins, SS, PHI (Hamstring) The tightness in his hamstring on Wednesday is believed to have been the result of dehydration. He is expected to be okay.
Dominic Brown, OF, PHI (Quadriceps) Took batting practice Wednesday. No return date has been set.
Josh Johnson, SP, FLA (Back) Will be shut down if there is any chance he could be further injured. He was diagnosed with a back strain and shoulder inflammation.
Orlando Cabrera, SS, CIN (Oblique) Sitting out a second straight day Thursday. Plans to return Friday and play the whole weekend.
Ryan Rohlinger, 3B, SF (Concussion) Recalled by the Giants on Thursday, but it remains to be seen if he is even ready to play.
Gordon Beckham, 2B, CHW (Hand) X-rays on his injured hand were negative. He hopes to return Friday.
John McDonald, SS, TOR (Arm) Scratched Wednesdays lineup, and is not in Thursdays starting lineup.
Kevin Kouzmanoff, 3B, OAK (Back) Hopes to return Friday.
Josh Hamilton, OF, TEX (Ribs) Played catch Wednesday but expected to miss at least a few more days.
Jim Thome, DH, MIN (Abdomen) Diagnosed with a mild abdominal strain that will keep him day-to-day.
Jorge Posada, C, NYY (Concussion) Doctors have cleared him to play. Could return Friday.
Franklin Gutierrez, OF, SEA (Undisclosed) Held out of Wednesdays lineup. Could return Friday.
Billy Butler, 1B, KC (Hand) Expects to return to the lineup on Friday.
Miguel Cabrera, 1B, DET (Shoulder) Scratched from Thursdays lineup. Hopes to return Friday.
Gerald Laird, C, DET (Back) Has been out since Sept. 2 and continues to have back spasms.
Armando Galarraga, SP, DET (Elbow) Remains questionable for his Friday start, but hes listed as the probable pitcher.
Scot Shields, RP, LAA (Elbow) Is dealing with elbow tightness that may keep him unavailable for a couple of days.
Bobby Jenks, RP, CHW (Forearm) Will likely be unavailable Thursday but ready to pitch Friday.
Freddy Garcia, SP, CHW (Back) Received an epidural in his back Thursday and may start against the Royals on Sunday.
Jose Valverde, RP, DET (Elbow) May miss a couple of days with a tender elbow.
Players on the DL
Jim Edmonds, OF, CIN (Oblique) Has yet to resume baseball activities and is at risk of missing the playoffs.
Brandon Webb, SP, ARI (Shoulder) Was encouraged by his most recent bullpen.
Jerry Hairston Jr., SS, SD (Elbow) Will throw on Thursday to test his elbow.
Tony Gwynn Jr., OF, SD (Hand) Hopes to return for the final two weeks of the season.
Aaron Cook, SP, COL (Lower Leg) Will likely miss the remainder of the season with a displaced right fibula fracture.
Danys Baez, RP, PHI (Back) Expected to be activated Friday.
Ian Stewart, 3B, COL (Oblique) His return has been delayed. Could return by the middle of next week.
Trever Miller, RP, STL (Forearm) Expected to miss up to three weeks, essentially, the rest of the season.
David Freese, 3B, STL (Ankle) Had arthroscopic surgery on his left ankle and should be ready for the start of next season.
Justin Morneau, 1B, MIN (Concussion) Remains optimistic that hell be able to return this season.
Adam Rosales, 3B, OAK (Ankle) Will not play again this season.
Brian Fuentes, RP, MIN (Back) An MRI on his back showed no significant damage. No timetable has been set for his return.
Maicer Izturis, SS, LAA (Shoulder) Has yet to resume baseball activities.
Joel Pineiro, SP, LAA (Oblique) Could be activated this weekend.
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)
Mike Cameron, OF, Red Sox (transferred to the 60-Day DL)
Activated from the DL
J.J. Putz, RP, White Sox
Closer Watch A closer look at intriguing ninth-inning situations (check out Dave Regan's Closer Grid with the link to the left).
Baltimore Koji Uehara gave up a two-run walk-off homerun to Nick Swisher that gave him his first blown save of the season. Hes now 7-1 in eight save opportunities this season. Mike Gonzalez remains waiting in the wings, but he gave up two runs in his last appearance. Ueharas job remains secure for the time being.
Los Angeles Angels Fernando Rodney allowed three hits and a run to blow his fourth save of the season Wednesday. Despite the blown save, manager Mike Scioscia defended Rodney after the game. Rodney would need to have a prolific implosion over the remaining weeks of the season for the Angels to consider supplanting him as the closer.
San Diego Luke Gregerson picked up his second save of the season Wednesday, a five-out endeavor. A traditional save opportunity did not present itself, so Heath Bell was not used. Bell remains the Padres unchallenged closer.
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
Dan Uggla v. John Lannan 4-for-11 (.364), 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1:1 BB:K (.462 OBP)
Andrew McCutchen v. Homer Bailey 4-for-12 (.333), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 5:3 BB:K (.529 OBP)
Brandon Phillips v. Paul Maholm 16-for-44 (.364), 4 HR, 9 RBI, 1:4 BB:K (.378 OBP)
Paul Janish v. Paul Maholm 5-for-12 (.417), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 1:1 BB:K (.462 OBP)
Jonny Gomes v. Paul Maholm 4-for-9 (.444), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 3:1 BB:K (.583 OBP)
Carlos Lee v. Hiroki Kuroda 4-for-11 (.364), 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1:1 BB:K (.417 OBP)
Chris Dickerson v. Carlos Zambrano 4-for-11 (.364), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 3:4 BB:K (.500 OBP)
Corey Hart v. Carlos Zambrano 8-for-26 (.308), 0 HR, 5 RBI, 5:7 BB:K (.419 OBP)
Kosuke Fukudome v. David Bush 11-for-25 (.440), 2 HR, 5 RBI, 5:4 BB:K (.533 OBP)
Geovany Soto v. David Bush 3-for-12 (.250), 2 HR, 3 RBI, 3:4 BB:K (.375 OBP)
Melvin Mora v. Joe Saunders 9-for-21 (.429), 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2:1 BB:K (.500 OBP)
Jay Payton v. Joe Saunders 6-for-14 (.429), 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1:1 BB:K (.438 OBP)
Mark Reynolds v. Jorge De La Rosa 3-for-12 (.250), 1 HR, 1 RBI, 7:5 BB:K (.526 OBP)
Aubrey Huff v. Clayton Richard 6-for-15 (.400), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 1:0 BB:K (.438 OBP)
Juan Uribe v. Clayton Richard 6-for-11 (.545), 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2:2 BB:K (.615 OBP)
Jason Kubel v. Fausto Carmona 12-for-31 (.387), 3 HR, 9 RBI, 1:4 BB:K (.424 OBP)
Nick Markakis v. Armando Galarraga 3-for-10 (.300), 1 HR, 3 RBI, 0:1 BB:K (.300 OBP)
Aaron Hill v. James Shields 9-for-31 (.290), 4 HR, 5 RBI, 1:5 BB:K (.313 OBP)
Adam Lind v. James Shields 10-for-30 (.333), 4 HR, 6 RBI, 1:7 BB:K (.355 OBP)
John Buck v. James Shields 4-for-12 (.333), 2 HR, 2 RBI, 0:1 BB:K (.333 OBP)
Willy Aybar v. Brett Cecil 4-for-12 (.333), 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1:1 BB:K (.385 OBP)
Carlos Pena v. Brett Cecil 4-for-13 (.308), 4 HR, 9 RBI, 1:4 BB:K (.333 OBP)
Jorge Cantu v. Javier Vazquez 5-for-11 (.455), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 1:0 BB:K (.500 OBP)
Esteban German v. Javier Vazquez 4-for-9 (.444), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 2:2 BB:K (.545 OBP)
Nick Swisher v. C.J. Wilson 6-for-18 (.333), 1 HR, 6 RBI, 4:5 BB:K (.455 OBP)
Mark Kotsay v. Bruce Chen 7-for-16 (.438), 1 HR, 2 RBI, 3:2 BB:K (.526 OBP)
A.J. Pierzynski v. Bruce Chen 7-for-12 (.583), 2 HR, 4 RBI, 1:2 BB:K (.615 OBP)
Manny Ramirez v. Bruce Chen 5-for-12 (.417), 1 HR, 1 RBI, 4:3 BB:K (.563 OBP)
Willie Bloomquist v. Mark Buehrle 16-for-36 (.444), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1:2 BB:K (.459 OBP)
Mitch Maier v. Mark Buehrle 8-for-22 (.364), 0 HR, 6 RBI, 1:2 BB:K (.391 OBP)
Yuniesky Betancourt v. Mark Buehrle 6-for-21 (.286), 3 HR, 4 RBI, 1:0 BB:K (.318 OBP)
Jonathan Sanchez v. San Diego Padres Sanchez is simply due a win against the Padres this season. In four starts against the Friars, he is 0-3 with a 3.08 ERA and 0.84 WHIP over 26.1 innings. Sanchez has brought his best stuff to the mound against the Padres but came up short, because he was facing the indomitable Mat Latos in three of his starts. Hell face off against Clayton Richard and a Padres roster that he has limited to a slash line of .166/.256/.242 through 180 batters faced on Friday.
Brett Cecil v. Tampa Bay Rays Cecil has dominated the AL East this season, and the Rays have been no exception. Hes limited the Rays current roster to a slash line of .206/.279/.397 through 141 batters faced, and he has a 3-1 record with a 2.63 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, and 24:7 K:BB ratio. On top of that, Cecil is going up against James Shield, whom has struggled mightily against the Blue Jays lineup.
Jay Bruce * v. Paul Maholm 2-for-15 (.133), 2 HR, 4 RBI, 0:0 BB:K (.133 OBP)
Delwyn Young v. Homer Bailey 2-for-9 (.222), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 0:3 BB:K (.222 OBP)
Luis Castillo v. Roy Halladay 1-for-9 (.111), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0:5 BB:K (.111 OBP)
Alex Gonzalez v. Chris Carpenter 3-for-23 (.130), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 1:4 BB:K (.200 OBP)
Nate McLouth v. Chris Carpenter 4-for-18 (.222), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 0:4 BB:K (.263 OBP)
Michael Bourn v. Hiroki Kuroda 3-for-12 (.250), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0:0 BB:K (.250 OBP)
Jason Giambi v. Joe Saunders 2-for-10 (.200), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 0:3 BB:K (.333 OBP)
Stephen Drew v. Jorge De La Rosa 2-for-13 (.154), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0:7 BB:K (.154 OBP)
David Eckstein v. Jonathan Sanchez 3-for-17 (.176), 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1:5 BB:K (.222 OBP)
Scott Hairston v. Jonathan Sanchez 1-for-12 (.083), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 4:3 BB:K (.278 OBP)
Miguel Tejada v. Jonathan Sanchez 1-for-14 (.071), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0:3 BB:K (.071 OBP)
Everth Cabrera v. Jonathan Sanchez 1-for-11 (.091), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 2:2 BB:K (.231 OBP)
Nick Hundley v. Jonathan Sanchez 1-for-8 (.125), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 2:3 BB:K (.300 OBP)
Aaron Rowand v. Clayton Richard 2-for-11 (.182), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0:1 BB:K (.182 OBP)
Michael Brantley v. Carl Pavano 2-for-10 (.200), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 0:1 BB:K (.200 OBP)
Asdrubal Cabrera v. Carl Pavano 0-for-9 (.000), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1:3 BB:K (.100 OBP)
Denard Span v. Fausto Carmona 2-for-17 (.118), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 3:1 BB:K (.250 OBP)
Travis Snider v. James Shields 1-for-10 (.100), 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2:4 BB:K (.250 OBP)
Ben Zobrist v. Brett Cecil 3-for-15 (.200), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 2:5 BB:K (.294 OBP)
Jason Bartlett v. Brett Cecil 2-for-14 (.143), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0:4 BB:K (.143 OBP)
Kelly Shoppach v. Brett Cecil 0-for-8 (.000), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0:5 BB:K (.200 OBP)
B.J. Upton v. Brett Cecil 2-for-15 (.133), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 3:6 BB:K (.278 OBP)
Ian Kinsler v. Javier Vazquez 1-for-10 (.100), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 2:3 BB:K (.250 OBP)
Alex Rios v. Bruce Chen 3-for-17 (.176), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 0:7 BB:K (.211 OBP)
Gabe Gross v. Clay Buchholz 1-for-8 (.125), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1:1 BB:K (.222 OBP)
Ichiro Suzuki v. Jered Weaver 12-for-50 (.240), 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1:7 BB:K (.255 OBP)
James Shields v. Toronto Blue Jays Shields gave up six home runs in his only other start against the Blue Jays this season, and hes allowed their current roster to hit a slash line of .303/.338/.644 in 200 at-bats against him in his career. Hell, no doubt, be looking to redeem himself on Friday, but itll be a hard road going up against the AL East Assassin, Brett Cecil.
Javier Vazquez v. Texas Rangers Vazquez was recent removed and then returned to the starting rotation. In his first start back in the rotation, manager Jo Girardi pulled him after 4.2 innings. Vazquez has been up and down this season. He could very well pitch a gem on Friday, but his history against the Rangers points toward Vazquez getting the hook early. Vazquez has allowed the Rangers current roster to hit a slash line of .316/.371/.465 through 124 batters faced over his career, and in his only other start against the Rangers this season, Vazquez gave up six runs over 4.1 innings. Keep him benched Friday.
Bruce Chen v. Chicago White Sox After a surprising first half of the season in which he went 5-3 with a 3.81 ERA and 1.31 WHIP, Chen has regressed during the second half. In 10 starts following the All-Star break, Chen has a 5.93 ERA, 1.77 WHIP, and .328 BAA. His mediocre performance of late, coupled with his history facing the White Sox, makes Chen a strong candidate to be benched in all leagues Friday. The White Sox current roster has hit a slash line of .333/.407/.556 through 114 at-bats against Chen. Make sure you have all of your White Sox players active against Chen on Friday.
Mark Buehrle v. Kansas City Royals - .341/.375/.549 185
Chris Narveson, SP, MIL Narveson went into the All-Star break with a 6.02 ERA and 1.57 WHIP. The ten-run pounding he took going into the break must have opened his eyes, because Narveson has shown a great deal more consistency on the mound in the second half. In 10 second-half starts, Narveson has a 4-1 record with a 3.95 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, and 44:14 K:BB ratio over 57 innings. Narveson can be dominant at times, has the ability to strikeout batters at an impressive clip, and has done a fair job of limiting damage on nights that his best stuff doesnt follow him to the mound. Hes in line to start next Monday, if the Brewers dont do anything wonky with their rotation, and should be in line for two starts next week. Pick him up if youre streaming starters, need some decent starting pitching, or are looking to grab two-start pitchers in head-to-head playoff matchups.
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