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Thursday Lineup Card: Surprise, Surprise; More Closer Woes

Derek VanRiper

Derek VanRiper

Derek is the Senior Baseball Editor for RotoWire.com, where he's been a two-time finalist for the FSWA's Baseball Writer of the Year award, and winner of the Best Football Article on the Web (2009) and Best Baseball Article on the Web (2010) awards. Derek also co-hosts RotoWire Fantasy Sports Today on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (XM 87, Sirius 210) from 11a-2p ET on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

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Projected Starters - A look at Thursday's matchups (all times Eastern):

Astros (Brett Myers - R) at Reds (Homer Bailey - R), 12:35
Yankees (A.J. Burnett - R) at Tigers (Rick Porcello - R), 1:05
Giants (Jonathan Sanchez - L) at Mets (Mike Pelfrey - R), 1:10
Blue Jays (Ricky Romero - L) at Rays (David Price - L), 1:10
Angels (Joel Pineiro - R) at Red Sox (John Lackey - R), 1:35
Marlins (Josh Johnson - R) at Cards (Jake Westbrook - R), 1:40
Orioles (Chris Tillman - R) at Orioles (Bruce Chen - L), 2:10
Indians (Jeanmar Gomez - R) at Athletics (Brett Anderson - L), 3:35
Nationals (John Lannan - L) at Phillies (Roy Halladay - R), 7:05
Brewers (Shaun Marcum - R) at Braves (Brandon Beachy - R), 7:10
Rockies (Jason Hammel - R) at D-Backs (Ian Kennedy - R), 9:40
Rangers (Colby Lewis - R) at Mariners (Jason Vargas - L), 10:10

Day After Night: TOR/TAM, FLA/STL, SF/NYM, CLE/OAK, LAA/BOS

Injuries

Day-to-Day

NL

Jonathan Broxton, OF, LA (Elbow) - Shut down with elbow pain after Tuesday night's outing.
Andre Ethier, OF, LA (Elbow) - Scratched from Wednesday's lineup with inflammation.
Carlos Lee, OF, HOU (Ribs) - Will be sidelined a few more days with soreness.
Jose Tabata, OF, PIT (Hamstring) - Out until at least Friday; may land on the DL.
Pedro Alvarez, 3B, PIT (Quad) - Held out of the lineup Wednesday; unclear when he'll return.
Roy Oswalt, SP, PHI (Personal) - Likely to return to the Phillies on Thursday.
Carlos Ruiz, C, PHI (Back) - Scheduled for batting practice Thursday.
Kyle Lohse, SP, STL (Shin) - Couldn't run Tuesday after getting hit by a line drive Monday.

AL

Jose Bautista, OF, TOR (Neck) - May return to the lineup as early as the weekend.
Nelson Cruz, OF, TEX (Quad) - Felt good after treatment and hopes to return after rest Wednesday.
Jarrod Dyson, OF, KAN (Ankle) - Could be able to play as early as Wednesday.

Players on the DL

NL

Logan Morrison, OF, FLA (Foot) - Taking swings and nearing start of a minor league rehab assignment.
Chase Utley, 2B, PHI (Knee) - Encouraged by his recent progress, but still not ready for game action.
Angel Pagan, OF, NYM (Oblique) - Should be activated from the DL on Saturday.
Johnny Cueto, SP, CIN (Shoulder) - Will start Sunday against the Cubs.
Andres Torres, OF, SF (Achilles) - Played a full game at extending spring training Tuesday.
Joe Blanton, SP, PHI (Elbow) - May be ready to return when eligible to do so Monday.
Randy Wells & Andrew Cashner, SP, CHC (Forearm) - Headed to Arizona to continue rehab.
Zach Duke, SP, ARI (Hand) - Will need three minor league rehab starts before returning from DL.
Mark DeRosa, OF, SF (Wrist) - Began taking swings off a tee Tuesday.
Willie Bloomquist, OF, ARI (Hamstring) - May return when first eligible to do so Saturday; depends on need for rehab assignment.
Bobby Parnell, RP, NYM (Finger Numbness) - Needs to be cleared by cardiologist to return to mound.
Santiago Casilla, RP, SFG (Elbow) - No timetable to face live hitters.
Joe Thatcher, RP, SD (Shoulder) - Moved to 60-day DL, late-season return remains possible.
Peter Moylan, RP, ATL (Back) - May require season-ending surgery.
Jason Michaels, OF, HOU (Shoulder) Could begin his minor league rehab assignment later in the week.

AL

Aaron Hill, 2B, TOR (Hamstring) - Could be back in the lineup as early as Sunday.
Phil Hughes, SP, NYY (Arm) - Scheduled to rest for two weeks before starting a throwing program.
Brandon Webb, SP, TEX (Shoulder) - Scratched from scheduled start Thursday.
Joel Zumaya, RP, DET (Elbow) - Will have exploratory surgery; season likely over.
Rich Harden, RP, OAK (Shoulder) - Playing long toss, but no timetable fo return to the mound.
Mitch Talbot, SP, CLE (Elbow) - Likely needs another throwing session before returning to games.
Jayson Nix, 2B, TOR (Leg) - Still about a week away from a rehab assignment.
Scott Feldman, SP, TEX (Knee) - Worked in an extended spring training game Tuesday.
Robinson Tejeda, RP, KAN (Shoulder) - Threw batting practice prior to Tueday's game.

Transactions - Players who have been demoted, called up, traded, released, you name it. We'll cover it here.

Signed
Leonys Martin, OF, TEX

Called Up
Ben Revere, OF, MIN
Trevor Plouffe, SS, MIN
Logan Forsythe, 2B, SD
Mark Lowe, RP, TEX
Michael O'Connor, P, NYM

Sent Down
Marco Estrada, SP, MIL
Jeremy Hermida, OF, CIN
David Herndon, RP, PHI
Omir Santos, C, DET
Pedro Strop, RP, TEX
John Bowker, OF, PIT

Placed on DL
Orlando Hudson, 2B, SD
Jim Thome, DH, MIN (retro 5/1)
Jason Repko, OF, MIN (retro 5/2)
Pedro Beato, RP, NYM (retro 5/2)

Activated from DL
Zack Greinke, SP, MIL
Victor Martinez, C, DET
Fred Lewis, OF, CIN
J.C. Romero, RP, PHI

Closer Watch

Houston - Brandon Lyon failed to record an out in the ninth inning on the heels of a combined one-hit performance by his teammates. He's already racked up four blown saves this season and now totes ugly ratios - 7.15 ERA, 2.12 WHIP - and the struggles to this point don't appear to be an abberation. Lyon has allowed 21 hits in 11.1 innings while giving up nine earned runs and striking out just five. Keep an eye on the Astros' save chances in the upcoming days as there's a good chance Lyon will be replaced.

St. Louis - Fernando Salas entered the game in the sixth inning Tuesday night and pitched two innings before Jason Motte pitched a scoreless eighth and Eduardo Sanchez earned his second save of the season with a scoreless ninth. For now, the Cards' ever-changing late-inning situation seems to favor Sanchez, but things are written in pencil at this point as manager Tony La Russa. Five different relievers have recorded a save for St. Louis this season - Mitchell Boggs (3), Sanchez (2), Salas (2), Ryan Franklin (1) and Trever Miller (1).

Los Angeles Dodgers - Jonathan Broxton walked a pair and gave up two runs in one-third of an inning Tuesday before getting removed with elbow pain. Health concerns aside, Broxton seems to be teetering on the brink of losing his job anyway, so regardless of what the results of tests on his elbow reveal, Hong-Chih Kuo and Vicente Padilla appear to be in a position to take away the save chances in the near future.

Key Matchups

Hot

Edgar Renteria v. Brett Myers -- 20-for-43 (.465), 2 HR, 9 RBI, 2:4 BB:K (1.210 OPS)
David Wright v. Jonathan Sanchez -- 5-for-12 (.417), 1 HR, 2 RBI, 3:2 BB:K (1.200 OPS)
Cody Ross v. Mike Pelfrey -- 7-for-20 (.350), 0 HR, 5 RBI, 0:2 BB:K (1.035 OPS)
Ben Zobrist v. Ricky Romero -- 7-for-15 (.467), 1 HR, 6 RBI, 2:2 BB:K (1.329 OPS)
Johnny Damon v. Ricky Romero -- 6-for-10 (.600), 1 HR, 1 RBI, 6:0 BB:K (1.850 OPS)
Juan Rivera v. David Price -- 4-for-12 (.333), 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2:3 BB:K (1.012 OPS)
David Ortiz v. Joel Pineiro -- 11-for-25 (.440), 3 HR, 12 RBI, 6:3 BB:K (1.451 OPS)
Vladimir Guerrero v. Bruce Chen -- 9-for-14 (.643), 2 HR, 3 RBI, 2:1 BB:K (1.830 OPS)
Derrek Lee v. Bruce Chen -- 6-for-20 (.300), 2 HR, 3 RBI, 1:6 BB:K (.983 OPS)
Raul Ibanez v. John Lannan -- 10-for-18 (.556), 2 HR, 2 RBI, 1:4 BB:K (1.656 OPS)
Placido Polanco v. John Lannan -- 5-for-10 (.500), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 1:0 BB:K (1.000 OPS)
Ivan Rodriguez v. Roy Halladay -- 14-for-39 (.359), 2 HR, 5 RBI, 0:8 BB:K (.949 OPS)
Carlos Gonzalez v. Ian Kennedy -- 3-for-10 (.300), 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1:2 BB:K (1.164 OPS)
Ichiro Suzuki v. Colby Lewis -- 14-for-37 (.378), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 2:6 BB:K (.870 OPS)
Chone Figgins v. Colby Lewis -- 5-for-16 (.313), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 5:2 BB:K (.830 OPS)
Nelson Cruz* v. Jason Vargas -- 4-for-13 (.308), 2 HR, 3 RBI, 1:2 BB:K (1.169 OPS)
Ian Kinsler v. Jason Vargas -- 4-for-10 (.400), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0:1 BB:K (1.000 OPS)

Roy Halladay v. Nats hitters -- .236/.276/.335 (.611 OPS), 38:9 K:BB in 194 PA.
John Lackey v. Angels hitters -- .218/.265/.356 (.621 OPS) 35:7 K:BB in 187 PA.

Cold

Brandon Phillips v. Brett Myers -- 3-for-22 (.136), 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2:7 BB:K (.527 OPS)
Scott Hairston v. Jonathan Sanchez -- 1-for-14 (.071), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 4:4 BB:K (.321 OPS)
Aaron Rowand v. Mike Pelfrey -- 3-for-13 (.231), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 0:0 BB:K (.538 OPS)
B.J. Upton v. Ricky Romero -- 1-for-14 (.071), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 3:4 BB:K (.307 OPS)
Adam Lind v. David Price -- 5-for-24 (.208), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 1:7 BB:K (.561 OPS)
Kevin Youkilis v. Joel Pineiro -- 3-for-15 (.200), 1 HR, 2 RBI, 0:6 BB:K (.667 OPS)
J.D. Drew v. Joel Pineiro -- 2-for-11 (.182), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1:0 BB:K (.432 OPS)
Vernon Wells v. John Lackey -- 6-for-34 (.176), 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2:6 BB:K (.508 OPS)
Howie Kendrick v. John Lackey -- 2-for-12 (.167), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 0:2 BB:K (.333 OPS)
John Buck v. Jake Westbrook -- 1-for-11 (.091), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 2:4 BB:K (.322 OPS)
Jerry Hairston v. Roy Halladay -- 2-for-25 (.080), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 2:7 BB:K (.228 OPS)
Alex Cora v. Roy Halladay -- 3-for-26 (.115), 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1:3 BB:K (.379 OPS)
Ian Desmond v. Roy Halladay -- 2-for-12 (.167), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 2:4 BB:K (.452 OPS)
Jack Cust v. Colby Lewis -- 1-for-12 (.083), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0:4 BB:K (.167 OPS)
Elvis Andrus v. Jason Vargas -- 1-for-12 (.083), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 1:0 BB:K (.226 OPS)

Jason Vargas v. Rangers hitters -- .278/.336/.515 (.852 OPS), 20:9 K:BB in 111 PA.

Recommended Pickup

Mark Melancon, RP, HOU - The Astros have to be on the brink of replacing the ineffective Brandon Lyon after his fourth blown save of the season Wednesday. It's purely speculative, but Melancon (12:6 K:BB, 1.76 ERA in 15.1 innings) could work his way into the picture as he's been one of the Astros' more effective setup options to this point. Wilton Lopez, who returned from the DL on Monday following an early-season elbow injury, appears to be a viable candidate as well after an impressive 50:5 K:BB in 67 innings last season. Melancon had the title "future Yankees closer" erased by the continued effectiveness of Mariano Rivera and ultimately last summer, with his inclusion in the Lance Berkman deal with Houston.

Other recent recommendations: Tom Gorzelanny, Justin Smoak, Michael Brantley, Alex White and Jack Hannahan.

As a new feature to The Daily Lineup Card, we'll be providing a recommended lineup for your DraftStreet salary cap team. If you're not familiar with DraftStreet it's time to take notice as they're quickly becoming the future of fantasy sports. DraftStreet offers countless fantasy leagues of all types and sizes with payouts every night. Since the leagues are run daily and weekly, instead of season long, it's never too late to get in the game and start making some money. Register for a free account at DraftStreet.com and keep coming back to the Daily Lineup Card for all the tips, hints, and matchup analysis you need to dominate your leagues.

Draft Street Lineup

C - Mike Napoli, TEX, $6,850
1B - Derrek Lee, BAL, $3,751
2B - Ian Kinsler, TEX, $8,523
3B - David Wright, NYM, $8,996
SS - Edgar Renteria, CIN, $4,817
OF - Carlos Gonzalez, COL, $8,053
OF - Juan Rivera, TOR, $5,730
OF - Justin Upton, ARI, $8,411
U - Vladimir Guerrero, BAL, $5,206
U - Carl Crawford, BOS, $4,677
SP - Roy Halladay, PHI, $18,526
SP - John Lackey, BOS, $9,420
RP - Ryan Madson, PHI, $1,929
P - Mike Pelfrey, NYM, $4,538

Total: $99,427

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