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Thursday Lineup Card: Sit Harang?

Paul Bruno

Paul Bruno

Paul is a 22-year veteran of the STATS INC reporter network, scoring play by play for the Blue Jays and Maple Leafs. He is also the creator of the statistical platform which evolved into the NHL's Real Time Scoring System, which was unveiled in 1992. You can also hear him on XM Sirius and nextsportsstar.com, talking hockey and baseball.In addition to all of Toronto's teams, he is also a big fan of the Dallas Cowboys.

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

Pirates (James McDonald - R) v. Reds (Johnny Cueto - R) 12:35
Nationals (Livan Hernandez - R) v. Mets (Dillon Gee - R) 1:10
Astros (J.A. Happ - L) v. Cardinals (Kyle McClellan - R) 1:45
Twins (Nick Blackburn - R) v. Athletics (Tyson Ross - R) 3:35
Angels (Dan Haren - R) v. Mariners (Doug Fister - R) 3:40
Rockies (Jhoulys Chacin - R) v. Phillies (Joe Blanton - R) 7:05
Yankees (CC Sabathia - L) v. Orioles (Jeremy Guthrie - R) 7:05
Rays (Wade Davis - R) v. Blue Jays (Ricky Romero - L) 7:07
Cubs (Casey Coleman - R) v. Marlins (Chris Volstad - R) 7:10
Tigers (Justin Verlander - R) v. Red Sox (Josh Beckett - R) 7:10
Indians (Fausto Carmona - R) v. White Sox (Gavin Floyd - R) 8:10
Rangers (Derek Holland - L) v. Royals (Luke Hochevar - R) 8:10
Braves (Jair Jurrjens - R) v. D-Backs (Josh Collmenter) 9:40
Brewers (Chris Narveson - L) v. Padres (Aaron Harang - R) 10:05
Giants (Madison Bumgarner - L) v. Dodgers (Chad Billingsley) 10:10

Day After Night: PIT/CIN, WAS/NYM, HOU/STL, MIN/OAK, LAA/SEA

Injuries

Day-to-Day

Dan Wheeler, RP, BOS - (calf) Expected to return Friday
John Buck, C, FLA - (forearm) Listed as probable for Thursday
Josh Johnson, SP, FLA - (forearm) Questionable for Sunday vs. TAM
Vicente Padilla, SP, LAD - (forearm) Questionable for Wednesday at SF
Nick Swisher, OF, NYY - (illness) Questionable for Thursday at BAL
Shane Victorino, OF, PHI - (hamstring) Doubtful for Thursday vs COL
Cameron Maybin, OF, SD - (knee) Questionable for Thursday vs MIL
Will Venable, OF, SD - (hand) Questionable for Thursday vs MIL
Freddy Sanchez, 2B, SF - (knee) Questionable for Thursday at LAD
Colby Rasmus, OF, STL - (abdominal) Questionable for Thursday vs. HOU
Mitch Moreland, 1B, TEX - (hamstring) Questionable for Thursday at KC
Brian Roberts, 2B, BAL - (illness) Questionable for Thursday vs BOS
Joe Blanton, SP, PHI - (elbow soreness) Questionable for Wednesday start vs COL
Michael Stutes, RP, PHI - (oblique) Questionable for Thursday vs COL

Players on the DL

Randy Wells, SP, CHI. CUBS - (forearm) - Expected to make Triple-A rehab start Sunday
Mitch Talbot, SP, CLE - (elbow) - Expected to make Triple-A rehab start Thursday
Casey Blake, 3B, LAD - (elbow) - Expected to begin Triple-A rehab Friday
Joe Mauer, C, MIN - (leg) - May begin Class A rehab assignment Thursday
Jose Contreras, RP, PHI - (elbow) - Expected to begin Class A rehab assignment Thursday
Orlando Hudson, 2B, SD - (hamstring)- Expected to return from Triple-A rehab Thursday vs. Milwaukee
Santiago Casilla, RP, SF - (elbow) - On Class A rehab assignment
Nelson Cruz, OF, TEX - (quadriceps) On Double-A rehab assignment and could return Friday at PHI
Scott Feldman, SP, TEX - (knee) - Expected to make Triple-A rehab start Thursday
Josh Hamilton, OF, TEX - (shoulder) - Expected to begin Double-A rehab assignment Wednesday
Andrew Bailey RP, OAK - (forearm) - Expected to begin rehab assignment Wednesday or Thursday
Chase Utley, 2B, PHI - (knee) - On Class A rehab assignment
Stephen Strasburg , SP, WAS - (elbow) - Expected to throw from the mound soon
Aaron Cook, SP, COL - Continuing Rehab assignment in Double-A ball

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

Called Up
Fernando Rodriguez, RP, HOU
Nick Evans, 3B, NYM
Julio Teheran, RP, ATL
Sean Burroughs, 3B, ARI

Sent Down
Randy Flores, RP, NYY
Armando Galarraga, SP, ARI (DFA'd)
Fernando Abad, RP, HOU
Tom Wilhelmson, RP, SEA
Cory Gearrin, RP, ATL

Placed on DL
David Wright, 3B, NYM (officially)
Daisuke Matsuzaka, SP, BOS
Kyle Davies, SP, KC
Nick Punto, SS, STL
Melvin Mora, 3B, ARI (bereavement list)

Activated from DL
Franklin Gutierrez, OF, SEA
Willie Bloomquist, OF, ARI

Closer Watch

Toronto - Frank Francisco has earned four saves and a victory in his 11 appearances to date for Toronto but has also surrendered three home runs in the 11 innings that he has worked. His 3.60 ERA is almost a full run higher than Jon Rauch who held down the fort and earned five saves and a couple of wins, before Francisco made his Toronto debut. There has been some talk that the two relievers would flip roles depending on situational matchups, but the truth of the matter is that the club looks to Francisco to be their closer as he has the ability to blow away hitters, which is what you ideally prefer in a closer, while Rauch despite his size, pitches to contact.

Seattle - Brandon League was handed the closer's role out of camp, largely due to Davis Aardsma's injury troubles and though he started off well, surrendering earned runs in only two of his first 14 appearances, he has faltered badly of late. Last week, he opened the door for some internal competition to challenge his status as he was rocked for 10 earned runs over four outings, which totaled only three innings. The Mariners have a couple of options whom they may turn to in the near future. David Pauley has posted a 1.15 ERA in his 13 appearances and (23.1 innings) and Jamey Wright has pitched to a 1.89 ERA in 19 innings. Of the two, Wright is the better bet to get save chances if League continues to struggle.

Los Angeles (NL) - With injuries sidelining two more experienced closer-types here, in Jonathan Broxton and Vicente Padilla, veteran setup man Matt Guerrier was pressed into the closer role Tuesday and responded with a 1-2-3 ninth inning that included two strikeouts. That effort should keep him at the front of the closer line while the injured players heal, but this situation remains fluid for now.

Tampa - Kyle Farnsworth has not yet been officially called the Rays' closer as manager Joe Maddon continues to dodge that question, but the fact remains that Farnsworth has been given every save opportunity to date and has converted eight of nine opportunities while pitching to a sparkling 1.26 ERA in 18 appearances. We'll say it for them, "Farnsworth is the Rays' closer."

San Diego - Mike Adams earned a rare save as he entered the fray in the eighth inning with Arizona trying to put together a late-game rally. When he escaped that trouble spot, he converted the save by getting the final three outs in the ninth. Despite Adams' impressive numbers for the year to date, 20.2 innings with a miniscule 0.87 ERA, Heath Bell is the man here. This was a rare bone thrown his way.

Key Matchups

Hot

First Last vs First Last H AB HR RBI BB K AVG SLG OBP OPS
Mark Ellis vs Nick Blackburn 6 15 2 6 2 0 0.400 0.867 0.471 1.337
Coco Crisp vs Nick Blackburn 5 11 0 0 0 0 0.455 0.727 0.455 1.182
David DeJesus vs Nick Blackburn 11 24 1 2 3 0 0.458 0.750 0.519 1.269
Adam Kennedy vs Dan Haren 6 19 2 4 0 4 0.316 0.737 0.300 1.037
Brendan Ryan vs Dan Haren 5 13 0 2 0 2 0.385 0.538 0.385 0.923
Erick Aybar vs Doug Fister 5 11 0 3 0 1 0.455 0.545 0.455 1.000
Robert Andino vs CC Sabathia 4 11 1 1 0 2 0.364 0.727 0.364 1.091
Adam Jones vs CC Sabathia 10 30 2 9 3 5 0.333 0.600 0.394 0.994
Nick Swisher vs Jeremy Guthrie 13 27 2 9 3 6 0.481 0.963 0.516 1.479
Curtis Granderson vs Jeremy Guthrie 5 15 1 2 2 3 0.333 0.667 0.412 1.078
David Ortiz vs Justin Verlander 3 12 1 2 3 6 0.250 0.583 0.400 0.983
Kevin Youkilis vs Justin Verlander 5 14 2 3 0 1 0.357 0.786 0.357 1.143
Paul Konerko vs Fausto Carmona 6 13 2 7 5 3 0.462 0.923 0.600 1.523
Ronny Cedeno vs Johnny Cueto 5 16 1 2 0 5 0.313 0.625 0.353 0.978
Andrew McCutcheon vs Johnny Cueto 6 22 3 3 2 2 0.273 0.682 0.333 1.015
Albert Pujols vs J.A. Happ 4 12 1 3 1 0 0.333 0.667 0.385 1.051
Stephen Drew vs Jair Jurrjens 5 10 0 0 0 2 0.500 0.900 0.500 1.400
Craig Counsell vs Aaron Harang 13 37 1 3 2 3 0.351 0.514 0.385 0.898
Prince Fielder vs Aaron Harang 13 40 3 9 2 8 0.325 0.550 0.349 0.899
Corey Hart vs Aaron Harang 9 24 1 5 0 7 0.375 0.625 0.375 1.000
Ryan Braun vs Aaron Harang 6 22 3 3 2 7 0.273 0.682 0.333 1.015
Miguel Tejada vs Chad Billingsley 8 22 1 4 1 1 0.364 0.545 0.417 0.962
Aaron Rowand vs Chad Billingsley 8 23 1 5 4 6 0.348 0.522 0.414 0.936
Nate Schierholtz vs Chad Billingsley 6 14 0 0 1 4 0.429 0.714 0.467 1.181
Buster Posey vs Chad Billingsley 8 19 0 4 0 1 0.421 0.474 0.421 0.895
Ben Zobrist vs Ricky Romero 7 15 1 6 2 2 0.467 0.800 0.529 1.329
Johnny Damon vs Ricky Romero 6 10 1 1 6 0 0.600 1.100 0.750 1.850


Cold

First Last vs First Last H AB HR RBI BB K AVG SLG OBP OPS
Ichiro Suzuki vs Dan Haren 13 48 0 4 1 4 0.271 0.354 0.286 0.640
Jack Wilson vs Dan Haren 1 12 0 0 0 1 0.083 0.083 0.083 0.167
Torii Hunter vs Doug Fister 2 9 0 2 0 0 0.222 0.222 0.222 0.444
Vladimir Guerrero vs CC Sabathia 3 20 1 3 1 4 0.150 0.350 0.182 0.532
Brian Roberts vs CC Sabathia 10 43 0 1 6 11 0.233 0.256 0.327 0.582
Matt Wieters vs CC Sabathia 2 18 1 1 1 8 0.111 0.278 0.158 0.436
Derek Jeter vs Jeremy Guthrie 12 43 0 4 0 4 0.279 0.326 0.277 0.602
Pat Burrell vs Chad Billingsley 4 20 0 2 3 5 0.200 0.300 0.304 0.604
Aubrey Huff vs Chad Billingsley 4 20 0 1 2 6 0.200 0.250 0.273 0.523
Freddy Sanchez vs Chad Billingsley 6 29 0 2 2 5 0.207 0.241 0.303 0.544
Mark Teixeira vs Jerremy Guthrie 1 18 0 1 4 6 0.056 0.111 0.292 0.403
Jose Bautista vs Wade Davis 1 9 0 0 1 1 0.111 0.111 0.200 0.311
J.D. Drew vs Justin Verlander 2 9 0 1 1 3 0.222 0.222 0.300 0.522
A.J. Pierzynski vs Fausto Carmona 6 23 0 1 0 2 0.261 0.348 0.292 0.639
Alex Rios vs Fausto Carmona 3 20 0 0 2 6 0.150 0.150 0.227 0.377
B.J. Upton vs Ricky Romero 1 14 0 0 3 4 0.071 0.071 0.235 0.307
Ryan Ludwick vs Chris Narveson 1 8 0 0 0 2 0.125 0.125 0.125 0.250


Recommended Pickup

Coco Crisp, OF, OAK - The speedy outfielder is in his 10th major league season and seems to be settling into a very favorable setting with Oakland after playing for three different teams in the last three seasons. He has turned back the clock, in terms of his base-stealing prowess since joining the A's last season and has continued to be a terror on the bases with 13 steals in 17 attempts so far. He is surrounded by a number of other experienced outfielders here and is making a determined bid to show that he intends to stay healthy. That had to be concern when noting that 361 at-bats is his high water mark over the last three years. He has not lost any ability to close ground quickly on balls hit to the spacious confines of his home park and that defensive ability gives him an edge on this roster. He's riding a hot streak of late, with eight hits in 16 at-bats during his last four games, including a homer, three RBI and three stolen bases.

Other recent recommendations: Jon Jay, Cameron Maybin, Jason Bartlett, Laynce Nix

Draft Street Lineup

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Draft Street Lineup

C - Buster Posey, $5,187
1B - Paul Konerko, $7,482
2B - Dan Uggla, $4,338
3B - Aramis Ramirez, $5,260
SS - Stephen Drew, $6,441
OF - Jonny Damon, $5,935
OF - Andrew McCutchen, $7,424
OF - Corey Hart, $5,201
UTIL - Adam Jones, $6,994
UTIL - Carlos Pena, $5,687
SP - Dan Haren, $15,152
SP - Jair Jurrjens, $12,461
RP - Craig Kimbrel, $3,006
P - Tyson Ross, $9,418

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