Projected Starters – A look at Friday's matchups:
Cardinals (Adam Wainwright – R) at Cubs (Tom Gorzelanny – L), 2:20
Astros (Brett Myers – R) at Pirates (James McDonald – R), 7:05
Mets (R.A. Dickey – R) at Phillies (Joe Blanton – R), 7:05
Braves (Tim Hudson – R) at Nationals (Jordan Zimmerman – R), 7:05
Royals (Luke Hochevar – R) at Indians (Josh Tomlin - R), 7:05
Twins (Francisco Liriano – L) at Tigers (Justin Verlander – R), 7:05
Red Sox (Josh Beckett – R) at Yankees (Andy Pettitte – L), 7:05
Orioles (Jeremy Guthrie – R) at Blue Jays (Brett Cecil – L), 7:07
Mariners (Jason Vargas – L) at Rays (Jeff Niemann – R), 7:10
Marlins (Andrew Miller – L) at Brewers (Mark Rogers – R), 8:10
Giants (Tim Lincecum – R) at Rockies (Jhoulys Chacin – R), 8:10
Dodgers (Clayton Kershaw – L) at Diamondbacks (Barry Enright – R), 9:40
Reds (Bronson Arroyo – R) at Padres (Chris Young – R), 10:05
Rangers (Tommy Hunter – R) at Athletics (Brett Cramer – L), 10:05
White Sox (Freddy Garcia – R) at Angels (Joel Pineiro – R), 10:05
Day game after night game: CHC
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)
Joey Votto, 1B, CIN – (Illness) Expected to return to the lineup Friday.
Domonic Brown, OF, PHI – (Quadriceps) Scheduled to participate in a simulated game Thursday.
Chris Dickerson, OF, MIL – (Hamstring) Will miss a few games with a hamstring strain.
Jason Hammel, SP, COL – (Shoulder) Is in line to start Sunday.
Aaron Harang, SP, CIN – (Ankle) Will miss a few days after taking a ball off his ankle and suffering contusion.
Jim Edmonds, OF, CIN – (Achilles) Returned to the lineup last week and has two home runs in limited action.
Laynce Nix, OF, CIN – (Ankle) He’s making steady progress with his ankle but has been limited to pinch-hit duties.
Jimmy Rollins, SS, PHI – (Hamstring) Could return to action sometime this weekend.
Adam Dunn, 1B, WAS – (Elbow) Missed Thursday’s game after having to leave Wednesday’s game early.
Michael Bourn, OF, HOU – (Oblique) Hopes to return Friday.
Carlos Silva, SP, CHC – (Elbow) Unlikely to pitch again this season.
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B, WAS – (Undisclosed) Scratched from Thursday’s lineup.
Ryan Braun, OF, MIL – (Elbow) Was hit by a pitch on Wednesday and held out of Thursday’s game as a precaution.
Hanley Ramirez, SS, FLA – (Elbow) He returned for Tuesday’s game but was then held out of Wednesday and Thursday’s game.
Michael Wuertz, RP, OAK – (Thumb) Was unavailable for Wednesday’s game with a sore right thumb.
Julio Lugo, SS, BAL – (Head) Could return to the lineup Friday.
Jason Donald, SS, CLE – (Finger) Scheduled to visit a hand specialist on Thursday who will determine if he is fit enough to return this season.
Asdrubal Cabrera, SS, CLE – (Wrist) Could return by early next week.
David Robertson, RP, NYY – (Back) An MRI of his lower back revealed no structural damage. He could return in a few days.
Manny Ramirez, DH, CHW – (Illness) Missed Wednesday’s game with an illness but should return for Friday’s game.
Russell Branyan, 1B, SEA – (Illness) Missed Wednesday and Thursday’s game with the flu.
Joe Mauer, C, MIN – (Knee) Was given a cortisone injection in his knee Wednesday and should miss about four games.
Michael Brantley, OF, CLE – (Hamstring) Scratched from Thursday’s lineup.
Players on the DL
Ian Stewart, 3B, COL – (Oblique) Could be activated as early as this weekend.
Andres Torres, OF, SF – (Abdomen) Hopes to return this weekend.
Jeff Clement, 1B, PIT – (Knee) Underwent successful knee surgery Wednesday. His status for spring training is unknown.
Tyler Colvin, OF, CHC – (Chest) Has been released from the hospital but will still miss the remainder of the season.
Yadier Molina, C, STL – (Knee) Inflammation in his right knee makes him unlikely to return this season.
Chris Getz, 2B, KC – (Concussion) Will miss the remainder of the season.
Frank Francisco, RP, TEX – (Back) Remains hopeful of returning this season.
Josh Hamilton, OF, TEX – (Ribs) Hopes to return for the final weekend of the season.
Felix Doubront, SP, BOS – (Chest) Threw without pain for the first time since being shot down for the season.
Fred Lewis, OF, TOR – (Foot) Will undergo bunion surgery on his left foot and miss the rest of the 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)
Carlos Santana, C, Indians (transferred to the 60-Day DL)
Hector Ambriz, RP, Indians (placed on the 60-Day DL)
Vinnie Pestano, RP, Indians
Luke Carlin, C, Indians
Andrew Brackman, RP, Yankees
Closer Watch – A closer look at intriguing ninth-inning situations (check out Dave Regan's Closer Grid with the link to the left).
Arizona – Sam Demel picked up a five-out save on Tuesday, but Juan Gutierrez remains the team’s closer.
Oakland – Andrew Bailey will undergo cleanup surgery on his elbow Friday. His season is over. Brad Ziegler blew the save opportunity on Tuesday, but Craig Breslow appears to be the best opportunity for picking up saves at the moment.
Washington – Sean Burnett earned his third save of the season on Tuesday. Drew Storen, the Nationals’ struggling incumbent closer, had pitched on Monday. Storen was then used on a non-save situation on Thursday. His role as team’s closer may be in jeopardy.
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
Aramis Ramirez v. Adam Wainwright – 14-for-39 (.359), 1 HR, 4 RBI, 3:7 BB:K (.419 OBP)
Xavier Nady v. Adam Wainwright – 8-for-20 (.400), 0 HR, 3 RBI, 1:1 BB:K (.455 OBP)
Aaron Miles v. Tom Gorzelanny – 8-for-18 (.444), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 2:1 BB:K (.500 OBP)
Shin-Soo Choo v. Luke Hochevar – 8-for-14 (.571), 3 HR, 6 RBI, 2:3 BB:K (.625 OBP)
Andrew McCutchen v. Brett Myers – 6-for-10 (.6000), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 0:1 BB:K (.600 OBP)
Austin Jackson v. Francisco Liriano – 3-for-9 (.333), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 2:2 BB:K (.500 OBP)
Jim Thome v. Justin Verlander – 11-for-43 (.256), 7 HR, 11 RBI, 14:11 BB:K (.439 OBP)
Jason Kubel v. Justin Verlander – 12-for-31 (.387), 0 HR, 9 RBI, 4:6 BB:K (.444 OBP)
Jayson Werth v. R.A. Dickey – 3-for-9 (.333), 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1:4 BB:K (.400 OBP)
Luis Castillo v. Joe Blanton – 9-for-19 (.474), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 4:0 BB:K (.565 OBP)
Marcus Thames v. Josh Beckett – 3-for-9 (.333), 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1:3 BB:K (.400 OBP)
Edwin Encarnacion v. Jeremy Guthrie – 5-for-14 (.357), 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1:1 BB:K (.412 OBP)
Todd Helton v. Tim Lincecum – 10-for-25 (.400), 1 HR, 3 RBI, 6:4 BB:K (.516 OBP)
Chris Iannetta v. Tim Lincecum – 6-for-12 (.500), 1 HR, 4 RBI, 8:3 BB:K (.727 OBP)
Miguel Tejada v. Bronson Arroyo – 13-for-37 (.351), 2 HR, 6 RBI, 2:4 BB:K (.385 OBP)
Kurt Suzuki v. Tommy Hunter – 4-for-10 (.400), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0:0 BB:K (.400 OBP)
Torii Hunter v. Freddy Garcia – 18-for-43 (.419), 4 HR, 7 RBI, 2:9 BB:K (.468 OBP)
Manny Ramirez* v. Joel Pineiro – 15-for-40 (.375), 4 HR, 7 RBI, 3:7 BB:K (.675 OBP)
Alex Rios v. Joel Pineiro – 4-for-11 (.364), 1 HR, 4 RBI, 0:1 BB:K (.364 OBP)
Kosuke Fukudome v. Adam Wainwright – 4-for-26 (.154), 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1:9 BB:K (.185 OBP)
Travis Hafner v. Luke Hochevar – 2-for-11 (.182), 0 HR, 3 RBI, 1:1 BB:K (.250 OBP)
Ronny Cedeno v. Brett Myers – 0-for-10 (.000), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1:5 BB:K (.091 OBP)
Brandon Inge v. Francisco Liriano – 4-for-30 (.133), 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1:15 BB:K (.161 OBP)
Gerald Laird v. Francisco Liriano – 2-for-14 (.143), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 3:6 BB:K (.294 OBP)
Michael Cuddyer v. Justin Verlander – 8-for-43 (.186), 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1:10 BB:K (.222 OBP)
Nick Punto v. Justin Verlander – 4-for-26 (.154), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 3:10 BB:K (.241 OBP)
Alexi Casilla v. Justin Verlander – 2-for-13 (.154), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 1:3 BB:K (.200 OBP)
J.J. Hardy v. Justin Verlander – 2-for-13 (.154), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 1:3 BB:K (.200 OBP)
Carlos Beltran v. Joe Blanton – 2-for-12 (.167), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0:1 BB:K (.167 OBP)
Brett Gardner v. Josh Beckett – 5-for-20 (.250), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 1:6 BB:K (.286 OBP)
Bill Hall v. Andy Pettitte – 2-for-14 (.143), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0:4 BB:K (.143 OBP)
Ian Desmond v. Tim Hudson – 3-for-14 (.214), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1:3 BB:K (.267 OBP)
Aaron Hill v. Jeremy Guthrie – 6-for-30 (.200), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 2:4 BB:K (.242 OBP)
Franklin Gutierrez v. Jeff Niemann – 2-for-11 (.182), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0:7 BB:K (.182 OBP)
Clint Barmes v. Tim Lincecum – 2-for-17 (.118), 1 HR, 4 RBI, 0:4 BB:K (.118 OBP)
Chase Headley v. Bronson Arroyo – 2-for-12 (.167), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0:3 BB:K (.167 OBP)
Hideki Matsui v. Freddy Garcia – 2-for-9 (.222), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 1:1 BB:K (.300 OBP)
Mark Teahen v. Joel Pineiro – 3-for-16 (.188), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0:5 BB:K (.188 OBP)
Omar Vizquel v. Joel Pineiro – 3-for-16 (.188), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 0:1 BB:K (.188 OBP)
Tom Gorzelanny v. St. Louis Cardinals - .344/.426/.430 (through 109 batters faced)
Freddy Garcia v. Los Angeles Angels - .330/.372/.500 (through 95 batters faced)
Joel Pineiro v. Chicago White Sox - .313/.359/.500 (through 195 batters faced)
James McDonald, SP, PIT – McDonald was traded to the Pirates from the Dodgers this season, and the Bucs gave him a spot in their starting lineup after the All-Star break. In nine starts with the Pirates, McDonald has a 3.50 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, .247 BAA, and 50:22 K:BB ratio over 54 innings. He had two rough outings in last August but has since been stellar on the mound. Since September 1st, McDonald have given up just five total runs over his last 25 innings of work. Managers looking to stream pitchers in the playoffs will want to be sure and get McDonald in their lineup for Friday. He’s starting against the lowly Astros’ lineup.
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