Projected Starters – A look at Tuesday’s matchups (all times Eastern)
Rangers (C.J. Wilson - L) v Tigers (Brad Penny - R), 1:05
Brewers (Shaun Marcum - R) v Pirates (Kevin Correia - R), 7:05
Phillies (Joe Blanton - R) v Nationals (Livan Hernandez - R), 7:05
Orioles (Chris Tillman - R) v Yankees (A.J. Burnett - R), 7:05
Rays (David Price - L) v Red Sox (Jon Lester - L), 7:10
Rockies (Esmil Rogers - R) v Mets (Jonathon Niese - L), 7:10
Marlins (Chris Volstad - R) v Braves (Tommy Hanson - R), 7:10
Cubs (James Russell – L) v Astros (Brett Myers - R), 8:05
A’s (Trevor Cahill - R) v White Sox (Edwin Jackson - R), 8:10
Royals (Jeff Francis - L) v. Twins (Brian Duensing - L), 8:10
Cardinals (Chris Carpenter - R) v Diamondbacks (Armando Galarraga - R), 9:40
Indians (Fausto Carmona - R) v Angels (Dan Haren - R), 10:05
Reds (Sam LeCure - R) v Padres (Clayton Richard - L), 10:05
Blue Jays (Ricky Romero - L) v Mariners (Michael Pineda - R), 10:10
Dodgers (Chad Billingsley - R) v Giants (Tim Lincecum - R), 10:15
Day Game After a Night Game: None
Injuries - A brief look at players who have been missing time with minor ailments and their expected returns.
Day-to-Day (includes players expected to make their return from the DL)
Magglio Ordonez, OF, DET – (Achilles) Left Monday’s game with a bit of tightness in his Achilles and will probably sit for a couple of days
Alexi Ogando, P, TEX – (Finger) Left Monday’s game because of a blister, but manager Ron Washington said he probably won’t miss a start
Adam Dunn, DH, CHI-A – (Abdomen) Missed his sixth game in a row Monday
J.J. Hardy, SS, BAL – (Oblique) Out for 2-3 weeks with a strained oblique
Edwin Encarnacion, 3B, TOR – (Hip) Did not play Sunday because of a strained hip flexor
Alex Rodriguez, 3B, NY-A – (Illness) Scratched Sunday, hopes to play Tuesday
Todd Helton, 1B, COL – (Back) Not in Monday’s lineup, his third straight miss
Kosuke Fukudome, OF, CHI-N – (Hamstring) Tweaked his hammy Sunday and not in Monday’s lineup
Takashi Saito, P, MIL – (Hamstring) Played catch Sunday and could be available from the bullpen Tuesday
Adam LaRoche, 1B, WAS – (Groin) Left Tuesday’s game with a slight groin strain but might play Tuesday
Players on the DL
Joel Zumaya, P, DET – (Elbow) Felt some discomfort Thursday
David Aardsma, P, SEA – (Hip) Played some long toss Monday, could be back before May?
Andrew Bailey, P, OAK – (Forearm) Threw 20 pitches off a mound Monday
Rich Harden, P, OAK – (Forearm) Shut down indefinitely
Jake Peavy, P, CHI-A – (Shoulder) Threw a 32-pitch bullpen Monday and looks ready for a Triple-A start Wednesday
Rajai Davis, OF, TOR – (Ankle) Placed on DL on Tuesday
Jose Arredondo, P, CIN – (Shoulder) Threw two scoreless innings at Double-A on Monday
Jason Bay, OF, NY-N – (Ribs) Took BP Sunday and Monday
Ubaldo Jimenez, P, COL – (Thumb) His cracked cuticle has healed, 85 pitches on tap for Wednesday’s rehab.
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B, WAS – (Abdomen) Will hit the DL soon, might be back by the end of the month
Zack Greinke, P, MIL – (Ribs) Set to throw batting practice Tuesday
Chris Snyder, C, PIT – (Back) Could be back in the lineup this week
Alberto Arias, P, HOU – (Shoulder) Threw 25 pitches during batting practice at extended spring training
Jon Garland, P, LA – (Oblique) Threw 4.2 innings at High-A, could be back Friday
Transactions - Players that have been demoted, called up, traded, released, you name it. We’ll cover it here.
Optioned to Minors
Wade LeBlanc, P, SD
Lucas Duda, OF, NY-N
Kevin Jepsen, P, ANA
Michael Kohn, P, ANA
Recalled from the Minors
Ryota Igarashi, P, NY-N
Jason Isringhausen, P, NY-N
Tyler Chatwood, P, ANA
Mike McCoy, SS, TOR
Designated for Assignment
Jeremy Reed, OF, MIL
Blaine Boyer, P, NY-N
Activated from DL
Mat Latos, P, SD
Jonathan Lucroy, C, MIL
Scott Downs, P, ANA
Placed on DL
Rajai Davis, OF, TOR
Closer Watch - A closer look at intriguing ninth-inning situations (also check out our Closer Grid)
Anaheim – Deposed closer Fernando Rodney earned the save Sunday, but Jordan Walden still appears to be option No. 1.
Chicago (A) – Manager Ozzie Guillen said Matt Thornton is still the closer, but Chris Sale, Sergio Santos and Jesse Crain could all close depending on match-ups and hold/cold-ness.
C.J. Wilson v Detroit – Only two Tigers have any sizeable experience against Wilson – Victor Martinez and Jhonny Peralta – and both have stunk in those matchups. Peralta has struck out in seven of his 13 career at-bats, and Martinez has just three hits in his 16 career at-bats.
Brad Penny v Texas –The Rangers have a collective 1.059 OPS in 95 career at-bats against Penny. Four batters have hit home runs against him, and Mike Napoli has taken him deep three times. The home run totals are important here because Penny has allowed three home runs through his first two starts. Adrian Beltre has also been strong against Penny (1.212 OPS in 17 at-bats).
Kevin Correia v Milwaukee – Correia has been on a roll to start the season, and there’s a pretty good chance he is able to continue that success Tuesday against the Brewers. The Crew have just a .347 slugging percentage in 72 at-bats against the New Pirate, and only Casey McGehee has a slugging percentage over .760 (1.069 in eight at-bats). Ryan Braun has the team’s only home run off him, but he also has a .250 OBP in 16 at-bats, and Prince Fielder has no extra-base hits in 13 plate appearances.
Joe Blanton v Washington – Blanton is catching a break in Ryan Zimmerman’s (abdominal strain) expected absence, as the Nats’ slugger has a career .333/.407/.750 line in 24 at-bats against Blanton. Outside of Zimmerman, Ian Desmond (1.186 OPS, two doubles, one home run in 14 at-bats) and Ivan Rodriguez (6-for-17, .389 OBP) are the only two Nats Blanton owners should fear.
Livan Hernandez v Philadelphia – Hernandez got off to a fast start in 2010, but his 2011 has been a little less sweet (0-1, 4:5 K:BB in 11.1 innings), and it’s unclear whether things will improve Tuesday. The Phillies have hit a collective. 287/.325/.400 in 195 at-bats against him (a figure that includes pitchers’ batting stats) with a mediocre 19:12 K:BB. Ryan Howard only has four hits in 24 at-bats against Hernandez, but two of those have left the park. Placido Polanco has 18 hits in 49 at-bats against him, but none of those have gone for home runs.
A.J. Burnett v Baltimore – Unlike Chris Tillman above, Burnett has faced the Orioles’ hitters many, many times. Some lines to pull out – Luke Scott has a 1.041 OPS, two doubles and a 6:6 K:BB in 27 at-bats, Brian Roberts has three home runs in 50 at-bats, and Matt Wieters has gone hitless in 17. As a club, they have struck out 65 times in 305 at-bats and posted a .324 OBP.
David Price v Red Sox – Price may give the Fenway faithful yet another reason to overreact to the Red Sox’s slow start. In his brief career, Sox batters have only hit .238/.282/.375 against him (in 85 plate appearances). To be fair, much of that line is driven by stinker Marco Scutaro (2-for-16 with no extra-base hits or walks) and lefty David Ortiz’s 2-for-12. Kevin Youkilis should remain a good fantasy play (4-for-10, two doubles).
Jon Lester v Tampa – The result of many of the Rays’ long-time players leaving this past offseason is Lester hasn’t faced very many of their current guys. Both B.J. Upton and Ben Zobrist have hit .200 against him (in 45 and 20 at-bats respectively), but Upton has also gone yard three times. Johnny Damon has hit two home runs, and his .888 career OPS against Lester tops the team.
Chris Volstad v Atlanta – Volstad’s history against the Braves isn’t all that lengthy, which is a bit surprising when you consider he has pitched his whole career in the NL East. Only Brian McCann and Martin Prado have more than 10 at-bats against him. McCann has historically struggled (.133/.188/.133 in 15 at-bats), and Prado hasn’t done anything special (.273/.273/.636 in 11 at-bats). Jason Heyward and Eric Hinske have taken Volstad deep, but the Braves only have one other extra-base hit against him.
Brett Myers v Chicago (N) – The Astros’ offense may struggle to score this season, but Myers’ track record against the Cubs suggests they might not have to put up many runs behind him. The Cubs’ current stable of batters have only hit .201/.234/.362 in 174 at-bats against Myers, and Starlin Castro, Alfonso Soriano, Kusoke Fukudome and Aramis Ramirez all have hit .216 or lower. Ramirez and Soriano have also posted a 24:2 K:BB in 67 combined at-bats.
Trevor Cahill v Chicago (A) – The White Sox’s current bats have only hit .226/.258/.321 against Cahill, and only A.J. Pierzynski has hit a home run against him. Alexei Ramirez and Alexis Rios somehow have identical .214/.214/.286 lines in 14 at-bats a piece. Omar Vizuel may get a start in this one, as his five hits in 12 at-bats are a team-best.
Edwin Jackson v Oakland – Trevor Cahill has historically pitched well against Jackson’s team, but Jackson has struggled against Cahill’s. The Athletics have a whopping .900 combined OPS against him, and they have walked more times than they have struck out (9:10 K:BB in 99 plate appearances). Coco Crisp has reached base in 11 of his 25 encounters with Jackson, which is bested by Kurt Suzuki’s five times in nine.
Chris Carpenter v Arizona – Something might be wrong with manager Kirk Gibson if he doesn’t have Russell Branyan in Tuesday’s lineup against Carpenter. The Diamondbacks’ sometime first baseman has gone 6-for-16 with three extra-base hits and five walks in his career against the Cards’ ace while guys like Stephen Drew (1-for-13), Justin Upton (0-for-11) and Melvin Mora (2-for-14) have languished. Kelly Johnson (1.238 OPS in 16 at-bats) and Chris Young (1.488 in 12) should also be good plays.
Fausto Carmona v Anaheim – The Angels may have earned a collective .354 OBP in their 96 plate appearances against Carmona, but they have only slugged .277. Torii Hunter, Bobby Abreu, Vernon Wells, Maicer Iaturis, Howie Kendrick, Jeff Mathis and Brandon Wood have all enter Tuesday’s party with zero extra-base hits off Carmona.
Clayton Richard v Cincinnati – The Reds have hit six home runs in 70 plate appearances against Richard, but hitting it out of the park might be more difficult Tuesday with Petco Park serving as the game’s setting.
Chad Billingsley v San Francisco –Billingsley picked up the W against the Giants on April 1, and there’s a pretty good chance he goes 2-for-2 on Tuesday. The Giants only have gone .250/.310/.353 in 232 combined at-bats, and they have struck out 52 times compared to just 16 walks. Batters with really bad lines include Pablo Sandoval (.167/.219/.200 in 30 at-bats) and Freddy Sanchez (.192/.300/.192 in 26) .Nate Schierholtz might make Tuesday’s lineup card with six hits in 14 at-bats against Billingsley, as might Aaron Rowand (.973 OPS in 20).
Tim Lincecum v Los Angles – Then again, Billingsley might not get that W, as Lincecum has been even more effective against the Dodgers (combined .204/.300/.329 in 167 at-bats). He lost the season opener despite holding the Dodgers to one unearned run on five hits, but only two Dodgers own OPS’s on the good side of .500 (Andre Ethier and the hobbled Rafael Furcal).
Cameron Maybin, OF, SD - Don’t look now, but the former top prospect is coming off a weekend in which he went 5-for-11 with a triple, a home run and three steals. Actually, do look now. Maybin still hasn’t learned how to walk, so he won’t help out those in OBP formats, but he appears to have earned the playing time in San Diego to rack up nearly 20 home runs and/or 20 steals over the course of the season.