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Thursday Lineup Card: Late Night Mound Delight

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)

Blue Jays (Brett Cecil - L) vs Rays (Wade Davis - R) 12:10
Rangers (Alexi Ogando - R) vs Tigers (Brad Penny - R) 1:05
Cubs (Rodrigo Lopez - R) vs Pirates (James McDonald - R) 7:05
Indians (Justin Masterson - R) vs Red Sox (Erik Bedard - L) 7:10
Cardinals (Kyle Lohse - R) vs Marlins (Anibal Sanchez - R) 7:10
Orioles (Zach Britton - L) vs Royals (Jeff Francis - L) 8:10
Yankees (Ivan Nova - R) vs White Sox (Philip Humber - R) 8:10
Nationals (Ross Detwiler - L) vs Rockies (Esmil Rogers - R) 8:40
Twins (Francisco Liriano - L) vs Angels (Dan Haren - R) 10:05
Phillies (Cliff Lee - L) vs Giants (Madison Bumgarner - L) 10:15

Day game after a night game: TOR/TB, TEX/DET

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)
Jake Arrieta, P, BAL (elbow) - will miss next start and visit with Dr. Lewis Yocum next week
Cliff Pennington, SS, OAK (illness) - likely to return to A's lineup on Friday
Justin Smoak, 1B, SEA (thumb) - left Tuesday's game with a bruised left thumb
Chipper Jones, 3B, ATL ( quadriceps) - resting sore quad until Friday's game
Aaron Cook, P, COL (neck) - allowed four earned runs in four innings, left Tuesday's game with muscle spasms
Hanley Ramirez, SS, FLA (shoulder) - MRI confirmed shoulder sprain; could play during weekend series

Players on the DL
Cesar Izturis, SS, BAL (elbow) - scheduled to be activated on Friday, barring any setbacks
Clay Buchholz, P, BOS (back) - back injury is a stress fracture of L2 vertebrae; may return in late September
Jed Lowrie, SS, BOS (shoulder) - will continue rehab after Wednesday visit with doctors
Alex Rodriguez, 3B, NYY (knee) - to begin baseball activities in Yankees' Tampa complex on Thursday
Michael Wuertz, P, OAK (thumb) - will not throw for a week so his thumb can heal
Shawn Kelley, P, SEA (elbow) - threw third straight scoreless inning for Triple-A Tacoma on Tuesday
John Jaso, C, TB (oblique) - is still a few weeks away from returning to the team
Adrian Beltre, 3B, TEX (hamstring) - took batting practice prior to Tuesday's game; may return next week
Dustin McGowan, P, TOR (shoulder) - will make one more start at High-A Dunedin before move to Double-A
Andrew Cashner, P, CHC-N (shoulder) - throwing bullpen sessions with a possible September return in mind
Scott Rolen, 3B, CIN (shoulder) - will not be activated when first eligible on Friday
Alex White, P, COL (finger) - will make four rehab starts at Double-A Tulsa
Charlie Blackmon, OF, COL (foot) - will likely miss the rest of the season
Jason Giambi, 1B, COL (quadriceps) - has begun hitting and running in a pool
Jose Morales, C, COL (thumb) - has regained full range of motion; yet to resume baseball activities
Carlos Gonzalez, OF, COL (wrist) - could be activated as soon as Saturday
Josh Johnson, P, FLA (shoulder) - threw Wednesday; no surgery planned
Rubby De La Rosa, P, LA (elbow) - will require Tommy John surgery
Johan Santana, P, NY-N (shoulder) - will visit the Hospital for Special Surgery for consultation
Roy Oswalt, P, PHI(back) - may come off DL on the weekend
Alex Presley, OF, PIT (hand) - participated in live batting practice for first time since injury
Jose Tabata, OF, PIT (quadriceps) - not close to returning; no plan to resume rehab stint
Dustin Moseley, P, SD (shoulder) - expected to undergo season-ending surgery this week
Freddy Sanchez, 2B, SF (shoulder) - had successful season-ending surgery on Tuesday
Stephen Strasburg, P, WAS (elbow) - first rehab start scheduled for Sunday, with Low-A Hagerstown


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

Placed on DL
Luke Scott, DH, BAL (shoulder-moved to 60-day dl)
Chone Figgins, 2B, SEA (hip)

Activated from DL
Denard Span, CF, MIN
Brad Bergesen, P, BAL
Juan Cruz, P, TB
Ryan Doumit, C, PIT

Called Up
Adam Rosales, 2B, OAK
Kyle Seager, 3B, SEA
Everett Teaford, P, KC
Tom Wilhelmsen, P, SEA
Andrew Romine, 1B, LAA
Collin Balester, P, WAS

Sent Down
David Huff, P, CLE
Jerry Blevins, P, OAK (dfa'd)
David Purcey, P, DET (dfa'd)
Drew Sutton, 3B, BOS
Atahualpa Severino, P, WAS
Arthur Rhodes, P, TEX (dfa'd)
Chris Cody, P, ATL
Ozzie Chavez, SS, PHI
Christian Garcia, P, WAS
James Leverton, P, FLA
Alex Caldera, P, FLA
Eric Fryer, C, PIT

Closer Watch - A closer look at intriguing ninth-inning situations (also check out our Closer Grid)

Blue Jays - The closer role has been up for grabs in Toronto for much of the season because no one has been consistent in the role despite some impressive previous credentials. In the last couple of weeks, Jon Rauch has been the recipient of those late-game opportunities. He has converted his last three chances, despite allowing five hits and two earned runs in his last four appearances covering 3.2 innings pitched. While on the surface those numbers are not too pretty, he has preserved the wins. That is more than what Frank Francisco has done with his recent opportunities and that's why Rauch is the closer in Toronto, for the time being anyway.

Boston - Heading into this season there was plenty of speculation over the future of Jonathan Papelbon with the Sox. After recording his 24th save in 25 opportunities so far this year, he has proved his value to the club. He's also warming up to the challenge of another pennant race as he's allowed only one hit over his last seven innings .

St. Louis - The Cards added some much-needed help to the back of their bullpen with their trade for former Jays Marc Rzepczynski and Octavio Dotel. Rzepczynski recorded four strikeouts in two scoreless innings during his Cards debut while Dotel has recorded two scoreless outings and earned one save. Sure they may have given up a future star in Colby Rasmus, but they have to be pleased with their new-look bullpen

NY Mets - During the month of July, the Mets turned to veteran Jason Isringhausen as their closer. He converted five save opportunities before blowing his last two chances, including a four-run fiasco against the Marlins. Clearly the aging righty is not a long-term solution, so it will be worth watching to see if other Mets relievers (Bobby Parnell or Pedro Beato) get a shot the rest of the way.

KEY MATCHUPS: HOT

Hot Batter Matchups At-Bats AVG HR XBH RBI BB K SLG OBP OPS
Evan Longoria - 3B TB vs TOR
8/4 12:10 PM
Brett Cecil 9-17 .529 0 2 2 2 2 .647 .579 1.226
Aaron Hill - 2B TOR @ TB
8/4 12:10 PM
Wade Davis 5-10 .500 1 2 1 0 0 .900 .500 1.400
Michael Young - 3B TEX @ DET
8/4 1:05 PM
Brad Penny 8-15 .533 0 0 2 2 0 .533 .556 1.089
Ryan Ludwick - OF PIT vs CHC
8/4 7:05 PM
Rodrigo Lopez 5-15 .333 1 2 3 1 2 .600 .375 .975
Wes Helms - 3B FLA vs STL
8/4 7:10 PM
Kyle Lohse 4-11 .364 2 2 5 0 2 .909 .333 1.242
Hanley Ramirez - SS FLA vs STL
8/4 7:10 PM
Kyle Lohse 5-13 .385 1 4 4 2 4 .846 .467 1.313
Mark Reynolds - 3B BAL @ KC
8/4 8:10 PM
Jeff Francis 9-22 .409 0 2 2 2 1 .500 .458 .958
Aaron Rowand - OF SF vs PHI
8/4 10:15 PM
Cliff Lee 7-25 .280 1 5 2 3 6 .560 .379 .939
 
Hot Pitcher Matchups At-Bats Opp
AVG
HR
Allow
XBH
Allow
RBI
Allow
BB K Opp
SLG
Opp
OBP
Opp
OPS
None

 

KEY MATCHUPS: COLD

Cold Batter Matchups At-Bats AVG HR XBH RBI BB K SLG OBP OPS
B.J. Upton - OF TB vs TOR
8/4 12:10 PM
Brett Cecil 3-17 .176 0 0 0 3 6 .176 .300 .476
Endy Chavez - OF TEX @ DET
8/4 1:05 PM
Brad Penny 2-16 .125 0 1 0 2 6 .188 .222 .410
Marco Scutaro - SS BOS vs CLE
8/4 7:10 PM
Justin Masterson 1-12 .083 0 0 0 1 1 .083 .154 .237
John Buck - C FLA vs STL
8/4 7:10 PM
Kyle Lohse 1-17 .059 0 0 0 3 7 .059 .200 .259
Omar Infante - 2B FLA vs STL
8/4 7:10 PM
Kyle Lohse 4-25 .160 1 2 2 0 5 .320 .160 .480
J.J. Hardy - SS BAL @ KC
8/4 8:10 PM
Jeff Francis 2-10 .200 0 2 2 1 4 .400 .273 .673
 
Cold Pitcher Matchups At-Bats Opp
AVG
HR
Allow
XBH
Allow
RBI
Allow
BB K Opp
SLG
Opp
OBP
Opp
OPS
Brad Penny DET vs Tex
8/4 1:05 PM
Rangers Batters 34-117 .291 6 14 16 13 22 .517 .357 .873
 


Recommended Pickup

Jesus Guzman, 1B, SD - This late bloomer (27 years old) has batted his way onto the fantasy radar with his strong post-break performance for the Padres. He has a .404 batting average with three homers and 18 RBI since July 15 and has put together an impressive .976 OPS in his 92 at-bats with the Padres. He is also a versatile fielder who can play both corner-infield spots if needed. Guzman is certainly doing his part to force manager Bud Black's hand in keeping him in the lineup. At this late stage of the season, fantasy owners have to stand up and take notice of his recent surge.

Other recent recommendations: Marlon Byrd, Jason Bourgeois, Dee Gordon and Charlie Furbush

Draft Street Competition

If you missed out on our recent free roll with DraftStreet, don't worry - we have another chance for you to take home some serious cash.

Register for a free account at DraftStreet.com today and start practicing. Remember to use bonus code Rotowire on your first deposit to get some extra cash released into your account as you play.

As a reminder, the competition will be an MLB Salary Cap league where values for each player are set based on projected fantasy value each day and your mission is to find the bargains and make the best 14 player team possible within the $100,000 budget.

Be sure to come back to RotoWire's Daily Lineup Card every day for all the analysis you need to dominate the competition and take home cash on DraftStreet.

C - Matt Wieters $2,884
1B - Mitch Moreland $5,712
2B - Aaron Hill $5,532
3B - Evan Longoria $6,039
SS - Alexei Ramirez $5,983
OF - Ryan Ludwick $4,217
OF - Josh Hamilton $9,135
OF - Nelson Cruz $8,827
UT - Jacoby Ellsbury $10,055
UT - Kevin Youkilis $7,541
SP - Francisco Liriano $8,639
SP - Cliff Lee $16,424
RP - Joakim Soria $2,391
P - Zach Britton $6,614

Total: $99,993

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