Projected Starters - A look at Friday's matchups:
Yankees (Phil Hughes - R) at Red Sox (John Lackey - R), 2:05
Royals (Kyle Davies - R) at Tigers (Max Scherzer - R), 3:05
A's (Brett Anderson - L) at Twins (Carl Pavano - R), 4:10
Nationals (Jordan Zimmermann - R) at Mets (R.A. Dickey - R), 4:10
Cardinals (Jake Westbrook - R) at Giants (Jonathan Sanchez - L), 4:35
Marlins (Ricky Nolasco - R) at Astros (Wandy Rodriguez - L), 7:05
Rockies (Jorge De La Rosa - L) at Pirates (Ross Ohlendorf - R), 7:05
Rangers (Colby Lewis - R) at Orioles (Zach Britton - L), 7:05
Phillies (Cliff Lee - L) at Braves (Tim Hudson - R), 7:35
Rays (James Shields - R) at White Sox (John Danks - L), 8:10
Cubs (Carlos Zambrano - R) at Brewers (Randy Wolf - L), 8:10
Reds (Travis Wood - L) at D-Backs (Ian Kennedy - R), 9:40
Dodgers (Ted Lilly - L) at Padres (Clayton Richard - L), 10:05
Blue Jays (Kyle Drabek - R) at Angels (Ervin Santana - R), 10:05
Indians (Carlos Carrasco - R) at Mariners (Jason Vargas - L), 10:10
Day Game After Night Game: DET, WAS
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 Drew, SS, ARI - (Abdomen) Manager Kirk Gibson less optimistic about Drew's availability for Friday.
Michael Bourn, OF, HOU - (Groin) Held out of Thursday's lineup, doesn't believe injury is serious.
Jorge De La Rosa, SP, COL - (Blister) Will make scheduled start Friday.
Michael Stanton, OF, FLA - (Hamstring) Still targeting weekend return; limited to pinch-hitting for now.
Takashi Saito, RP, MIL - (Hamstring) Should avoid the DL.
Adam Dunn, 1B, CHW - (Appendectomy) Hopes to play Friday, but pain hasn't subsided.
Jose Bautista, 3B/OF, TOR - (Personal) On track to return to the Jays' lineup on Friday.
Manny Ramirez, OF, TAM - (Personal) Expected to return to the lineup Friday.
Yunel Escobar, SS, TOR - (Concussion) Out until at least early next week, not on the 7-day DL yet.
Jeremy Guthrie, SP, BAL - (Pneumonia) Still preparing to make scheduled start Sunday.
Erick Aybar, SS, LAA - (Oblique) Unlikely to play in Angels' home opener Friday.
Kevin Slowey, RP, MIN - (Biceps) Battling soreness, did not pitch Thursday.
Mark Ellis, 2B, OAK - (Ear Infection) Entered Thursday's game as a substitute in the late innings.
Adam Moore, C, SEA - (Knee) Injury suffered Wednesday appears to be serious.
Players on the DL
Brad Lidge, RP, PHI - (Shoulder) Likely out until some time around the All-Star break.
Zack Greinke, SP, MIL - (Ribs) Threw first bullpen session Thursday since getting shut down in spring training.
Corey Hart, OF, MIL - (Oblique) Ran Thursday, trying to resume some baseball activities Friday.
Jair Jurrjens, SP, ATL - (Oblique) Felt good in simulated game and should return after April 11 simulated game.
Clint Barmes, SS, HOU - (Hand) Could begin swinging a bat as early as Saturday.
Chris Snyder, C, PIT - (Back) Starting rehab at High-A Brandenton on Thursday.
Brad Lincoln, SP, PIT - (Forearm) Will make rehab start at High-A Bradenton on Saturday.
Chien-Ming Wang, SP, WAS - (Shoulder) Scheduled to throw in a spring training game within the week.
Henry Alberto Rodriguez, RP, WAS - (Neck) Set to begin rehab assignment at Double-A Harrisburg.
Tsuyoshi Nishioka, 2B, MIN - (Leg) Fractured fibula in Thursday's loss; likely out several weeks.
Grady Sizemore, OF, CLE - (Knee) Is likely 10-14 days away from returning.
Jake Peavy, SP, CHW - (Shoulder) Scheduled for five innings or 75 pitches in Friday rehab start. Out until at least April 28.
Luke Scott, DH, BAL - (Groin) Late addition to the starting lineup for Thursday night's game.
Brian Matusz, SP, BAL - (Back) Headed to extended spring training, but no timetable for return.
Andrew Bailey, RP, OAK - (Forearm) Will throw from a mound within the next week.
Rich Harden, RP, OAK - (Shoulder) Close to beginning rehab assignment, role unclear.
Jason Kendall, C, KAN - (Shoulder) Out until at least May 15.
Pedro Feliciano, RP, NYY - (Shoulder) Throwing session for Thursday postponed until next week.
Jason Donald, SS, CLE - (Finger) Taking batting practice Thursday; nearing rehab assignment.
Transactions - Players that have been demoted, called up, traded, released, you name it. We'll cover it here.
Activated from the DL
Octavio Dotel, RP, TOR
Placed on the DL
Tsuyoshi Nishioka, 2B, MIN
Ryan Perry, RP, DET
Robbie Weinhardt, RP, DET
Jeff Gray, RP, CHW
Lastings Milledge, OF, CHW (DFA)
Casey Janssen, RP, TOR
Manny Acosta, RP, NYM (cleared waivers)
Dan Merklinger, RP, MIL
Closer Watch - A closer look at intriguing ninth-inning situations (check out our Closer Grid with the link to the left).
Milwaukee - John Axford gave up a hit, but secured the save for the second straight day after sealing up Wednesday night's victory against the Braves. He's now 2-for-3 in save opportunities and his conversions over the last two days have undoubtedly helped his owners step back from the early-season ledge of paranoia.
Oakland - Brian Fuentes earned his first save of the season with a strikeout and one hit allowed during a scoreless ninth against the Blue Jays on Thursday afternoon. He appears to be the primary option for saves while Andrew Bailey (shoulder) is on the DL. There's currently no set timetable for Bailey's return to the Oakland bullpen.
Houston - Brandon Lyon gave up a pair of hits against the Reds, but converted his first save chance since a blown save against the Phillies last week. The job remains his to lose, while Wilton Lopez and Mark Melancon continue to hold the primary setup roles for the Astros.
Chicago (AL) - Matt Thornton blew a save chance in his first opportunity of the season Wednesday night. Chris Sale tossed a pair of scoreless innings and went on to earn the win in extra innings. Still, we'd be surprised if one poor outing cost Thornton the job after he clearly outpitched Sale this spring.
San Francisco - Brian Wilson couldn't finish the ninth inning Wednesday and a series of events actually created a save chance for Ramon Ramirez. The bottom line here is that Wilson was under a pitch count, and he made it through the outing healthy so he'll be the Giants' closer again now that he's back from the DL.
J.D. Drew v. Phil Hughes - 6-for-14 (.429), 1 HR, 4 RBI, 5:3 BB:K
David Ortiz v. Phil Hughes - 5-for-12 (.417), 1 HR, 4 RBI, 2:2 BB:K
Jhonny Peralta v. Kyle Davies - 9-for-21 (.429), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 6:3 BB:K
Magglio Ordonez v. Kyle Davies - 9-for-24 (.375), 2 HR, 4 RBI, 1:2 BB:K
Victor Martinez v. Kyle Davies - 6-for-18 (.333), 2 HR, 6 RBI, 1:0 BB:K
David DeJesus v. Carl Pavano - 11-for-26 (.423), 1 HR, 4 RBI, 2:2 BB:K
Hunter Pence v. Ricky Nolasco - 3-for-10 (.300), 3 HR, 5 RBI, 1:1 BB:K
Hanley Ramirez v. Wandy Rodriguez - 7-for-14 (.500), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1:2 BB:K
Alex Gonzalez v. Cliff Lee - 4-for-12 (.333), 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2:2 BB:K
Ryan Howard v. Tim Hudson - 14-for-41 (.341), 6 HR, 12 RBI, 9:6 BB:K
Prince Fielder v. Carlos Zambrano - 14-for-41 (.341), 2 HR, 6 RBI, 14:8 BB:K
Geovany Soto v. Randy Wolf - 6-for-19 (.316), 2 HR, 6 RBI, 1:4 BB:K
Juan Uribe v. Clayton Richard - 7-for-15 (.467), 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2:3 BB:K
Jamey Carroll v. Clayton Richard - 5-for-11 (.455), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 4:1 BB:K
Wandy Rodriguez v. Marlins - 22:3 K:BB ratio, .733 OPS against in 82 plate appearances.
Ted Lilly v. Padres - 29:6 K:BB ratio, .430 OPS against in 107 plate appearances.
Ervin Santana v. Blue Jays - .696 OPS against in 93 plate appearances.
Marco Scutaro v. Phil Hughes - 4-for-20 (.200), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 2:2 BB:K
Carl Crawford v. Phil Hughes - 2-for-13 (.153), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 2:1 BB:K
Dustin Pedroia v. Phil Hughes - 1-for-13 (.077), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 2:3 BB:K
Nick Swisher v. John Lackey - 8-for-57 (.140), 2 HR, 5 RBI, 7:23 BB:K
Brett Gardner v. John Lackey - 3-for-13 (.231), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0:4 BB:K
Aaron Rowand v. Jake Westbrook - 5-for-21 (.238), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 0:3 BB:K (unlikely to start anyway)
Matt Holliday* v. Jonathan Sanchez - 4-for-18 (.222), 0 HR, 3 RBI, 4:4 BB:K (appendectomy)
Jimmy Rollins v. Tim Hudson - 12-for-53 (.226), 1 HR, 4 RBI, 4:4 BB:K
Paul Konerko v. James Shields - 4-for-18 (.222), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 2:4 BB:K
Carlos Quentin v. James Shields - 3-for-17 (.176), 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1:4 BB:K
Rickie Weeks v. Carlos Zambrano - 8-for-42 (.190), 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1:18 BB:K
Aramis Ramirez v. Randy Wolf - 5-for-25 (.200), 1 HR, 5 RBI, 1:8 BB:K
Ryan Ludwick v. Ted Lilly - 5-for-32 (.156), 0 HR, 3 RBI, 4:12 BB:K
Jorge Cantu v. Ted Lilly - 4-for-18 (.222), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 1:2 BB:K
Rafael Furcal v. Clayton Richard - 1-for-10 (.100), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 3:1 BB:K
Andre Ethier v. Clayton Richard - 1-for-12 (.083), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0:2 BB:K
Rajai Davis v. Ervin Santana - 1-for-10 (.100), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1:5 BB:K
Kyle Davies v. Tigers - .328/.392/.554 (.946 OPS) against over 200 combined plate appearances.
Logan Morrison, OF, FLA - He's long gone in keeper leagues and NL-only formats, but Morrison has the potential to put up good numbers for one-year mixed owners as well. He's 4-for-16 (.250) with a pair of homers and four RBI in six games, while his plate discipline at the big league level continues to be strong (8:4 BB:K this season, 57:59 BB:K career) for a 23-year-old now in his first full season. Although he didn't offer much pop last season, there are plenty of reasons to believe a breakout is on the horizon, especially when you consider that 29 of his 69 hits last season were for extra bases. It's only a matter of time before some of his doubles begin to clear the fence and the breakout may be taking place this season.
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