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The Lineup Card: Perez Not Quite Elite

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 starters (all times ET)

Mariners (Blake Beavan - R) vs. Twins (Anthony Swarzak - R) 1:10
Mets (Chris Capuano - L) vs. Cardinals (Jake Westbrook -R) 1:45
Rangers (Colby Lewis - R) vs. A's (Trevor Cahill - R) 3:35
Orioles (Zach Britton - L) vs. Tigers (Jacob Turner - R) 7:05
White Sox (Philip Humber - R) vs. Indians (Jeanmar Gomez - R) 7:05
Rays (Jeff Niemann - R) vs. Yankees (Bartolo Colon - R) 7:05
Nationals (Brad Peacock - R) vs. Phillies (Roy Oswalt - R) 7:05
Angels (Ervin Santana - R) vs. Blue Jays (Henderson Alvarez - R) 7:07
Rockies (Alex White - R) vs. Astros (Henry Sosa - R) 8:05
Giants (Madison Bumgarner - L) vs. Dodgers (Hiroki Kuroda - R) 10:10

Day After Night: SEA/MIN, NY-N/STL, TEX/OAK

Injuries

Day-to-Day

Dan Wheeler, P, BOS (forearm) - is throwing again and will be available soon
Kevin Youkilis, 1B, BOS (hip) - sore after working out; dealing with sports hernia
Asdrubal Cabrera, SS, CLE, (back) - held out of lineup on Wednesday
Carlos Guillen, 2B, DET (calf) - post-season availability remains in question
Joakim Soria, P, KC (hamstring) - unsure if he will pitch again this season
Billy Butler, 1B, KC (illness) - may miss a couple of days with the flu
Jason Repko, OF, MIN (concussion) - suffered concussion when hit by pitch Sunday
Phil Hughes, P, NY-A (back) - experiencing back spasms
Ryan Sweeney, OF, OAK (quadriceps) - limited to pinch-hit duties, at best, for the rest of this season 
David Price, P, TB (chest) - expected to make his scheduled start on Friday
Kyle Farnsworth, P, TB (elbow) - threw off mound on Wednesday; should return this weekend
Alex Gonzalez, SS, ATL (calf) - not in Wednesday lineup; may need to rest a couple of days
Jair Jurrjens, P, ATL (knee) - won't return until playoffs
Aramis Ramirez, 3B, CHI-N (quadriceps) - getting a couple of days off to rest injury
Ryan Hanigan, C, CIN (back) - MRI on Tuesday revealed two inflamed discs
Johnny Cueto, P, CIN (back) - has been shut down for the rest of this season
Todd Helton, 1B, COL (back) - soreness will sideline him for a few days
Carlos Gonzalez, OF, COL (wrist) - unclear if he will return before end of season
Bud Norris, P, HOU (shoulder) - will have injury evaluated this week; likely shut done for season
Takashi Saito, P, MIL (calf) - sore muscle; may save him until post-season  
Jason Bay, OF, NY-N (illness) - will see doctor this week
Hunter Pence, OF, PHI (knee) - resting for a few days; may wait to return in post-season
Will Venable, OF, SD (back) - may not play the rest of 2011; to be re-evaluated on Friday
Jesus Guzman, 3B, SD (neck) - stiffness caused him to be scratched on Wednesday
Kyle Blanks, OF, SD (quadriceps) - left Tuesday's game with right quad strain
Cody Ross, OF, SF (hamstring) - received a cortisone shot in his hamstring this week
Pablo Sandoval, 3B, SF (shoulder) - could require surgery after the season
Matt Holliday, OF, STL (hand) - may not be available for the rest of this week
Jayson Werth, OF, WAS (elbow) - suffered the injury on Tuesday night
Laynce Nix, OF, WAS (groin) - has been limited to pinch-hitting this month 

Players on the DL

Clay Buchholz, P, BOS (back) - may throw another simulated game later this week
J.D. Drew, OF, BOS (finger) - received a cortisone shot in the middle finger of his right hand
Michael Brantley, OF, CLE (wrist) - progressing well; targeting full strength by spring training
Denard Span, OF, MIN (concussion) - may only start a few more games the rest of this season
Alexi Casilla, SS, MIN (hamstring) - had a setback with injured hamstring when running on Monday
Francisco Cervelli, C, NY-A (concussion) - still feeling symptoms; may sit rest of season
Tommy Hanson, P, ATL (shoulder) - threw two simulated innings at Orlando on Monday
Scott Rolen, 3B, CIN (shoulder) - shut down for remainder of this season
Juan Nicasio, P, COL (neck) - doctors removed neck brace on Tuesday

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

Called Up

Kelvin Herrara, P, KC
Manny Pina, C, KC
Jarrod Dyson, OF, KC
Lorenzo Cain, OF, KC
Vincent Mazzaro, P, KC
Sean O'Sulivan, P, KC

Sent Down

Placed on DL

Yunel Escobar, SS, Tor (left elbow - retroactive to Sep 11)
Shin-Soo Choo, OF, CLE (left oblique strain - retroactive to Sep 16)
Kila Ka'aihue, 1B, KC (dfa'd)

Activated from DL

Scott Baker, P, MIN
Ryan Mattheus, P, WAS
Corey Kluber, P, CLE 

Closer Watch

Indians - Chris Perez has quietly put together what may look like an efficient year at the back of the Indians' bullpen in converting 35 of 39 save opportunities this season. He has not been among the best at his position, though, when you consider that he has a 3-7 won/loss record, an ordinary 38 strikeouts (against 29 walks) in 57.2 innings of work and a fairly high 1.25 WHIP and 3.43 ERA. He has to go back to the drawing board to rediscover his "lights-out" form from the 2010 season.

White Sox - Chris Sale is making a late-season bid to grab the closer role with the White Sox., which has been held by Sergio Santos for much of the season. Sale has been a highly touted prospect who, in his first full season, has lived up to some of that anticipation, albeit with limited save opportunities coming his way. However he has displayed all of the characteristics of a shutdown reliever. He has posted a 1.07 WHIP and limited opponents to a paltry .198 BA. In addition, he has struck out 75 batters in 68.1 innings and only allowed 49 hits and 29 walks. These numbers certainly make him a serious candidate to grab a share of the closer role (he has converted seven of eight save opportunities this season) in the near future.

Reds - Francisco Cordero has now converted 34 of 40 save opportunities (right at the expected 85% success rate that managers expect from top-tier closers, but he has done so without fitting the profile of a flame-throwing reliever. He has only struck out 40 batters in 66.2 innings pitched, which is well below his career rate of almost one strikeout per inning pitched. He has shown better control in allowing only 17 walks, though (also well below his career rate). This looks like a makeover that has worked out for the best because his WHIP (0.96) and ERA (2.43) are both the best single-season marks he's posted in his career.

Padres - Heath Bell may have been the subject of much trade speculation earlier this season, largely due to the poor season that the Padres have put together, but he has still put together a sparkling campaign for the Padres, to remain in the discussion of the game's top closers. Consider that he has saved 40 of the club's 67 wins and you realize how central he is to the club's plans going forward. He has been the model of closer consistency, in reaching the 40 save plateau for the third straight year (a rare feat among his peers) and is well-positioned in San Diego's pitcher friendly home park. His club's current non-contender status has not hampered his recent performance either as he has seven saves in his last 10 outings, pitching to a 2.61 ERA in 10.1 innings pitched and he's actually above his season-long strikeout rate with 10 K's in that period.

KEY MATCHUPS: HOT

Hot Batter Matchups At-Bats AVG HR XBH RBI BB K SLG OBP OPS
Lance Berkman - 1B STL vs NYM
9/22 1:45 PM
Chris Capuano 7-19 .368 0 3 2 3 3 .526 .455 .981
Rafael Furcal - SS STL vs NYM
9/22 1:45 PM
Chris Capuano 7-16 .438 1 3 3 1 2 .750 .421 1.171
Albert Pujols - 1B STL vs NYM
9/22 1:45 PM
Chris Capuano 17-30 .567 4 8 11 5 3 1.100 .639 1.739
Hideki Matsui - DH OAK vs TEX
9/22 3:35 PM
Colby Lewis 6-13 .462 2 3 5 2 0 1.000 .533 1.533
David Murphy - OF TEX @ OAK
9/22 3:35 PM
Trevor Cahill 8-25 .320 1 2 3 2 2 .480 .370 .850
Michael Young - 3B TEX @ OAK
9/22 3:35 PM
Trevor Cahill 6-21 .286 1 3 3 2 4 .524 .348 .872
Johnny Damon - OF TB @ NYY
9/22 7:05 PM
Bartolo Colon 12-29 .414 1 3 3 4 2 .586 .485 1.071
Laynce Nix - OF WAS @ PHI
9/22 7:05 PM
Roy Oswalt 9-17 .529 2 6 4 1 2 1.176 .556 1.732
Ryan Zimmerman - 3B WAS @ PHI
9/22 7:05 PM
Roy Oswalt 6-17 .353 2 3 6 2 3 .765 .381 1.146
Jose Bautista - 3B TOR vs LAA
9/22 7:07 PM
Ervin Santana 3-12 .250 1 2 1 4 5 .583 .438 1.021
Adam Lind - 1B TOR vs LAA
9/22 7:07 PM
Ervin Santana 5-17 .294 2 3 6 0 0 .706 .294 1.000
Pablo Sandoval - 3B SF @ LAD
9/22 10:10 PM
Hiroki Kuroda 4-11 .364 1 2 2 0 1 .727 .333 1.060
Hot Pitcher Matchups At-Bats Opp
AVG
HR
Allow
XBH
Allow
RBI
Allow
BB K Opp
SLG
Opp
OBP
Opp
OPS
Hiroki Kuroda LAD vs SF
9/22 10:10 PM
Giants Batters 17-91 .187 4 9 11 6 17 .365 .239 .605

KEY MATCHUPS: COLD

Cold Batter Matchups At-Bats AVG HR XBH RBI BB K SLG OBP OPS
Willie Harris - OF NYM @ STL
9/22 1:45 PM
Jake Westbrook 2-10 .200 0 0 1 1 1 .200 .273 .473
Yadier Molina - C STL vs NYM
9/22 1:45 PM
Chris Capuano 2-13 .154 0 1 1 2 1 .231 .267 .498
Cliff Pennington - SS OAK vs TEX
9/22 3:35 PM
Colby Lewis 3-18 .167 0 0 1 1 4 .167 .211 .378
Kurt Suzuki - C OAK vs TEX
9/22 3:35 PM
Colby Lewis 3-15 .200 2 2 2 0 4 .600 .200 .800
Nelson Cruz - OF TEX @ OAK
9/22 3:35 PM
Trevor Cahill 2-15 .133 0 0 1 2 2 .133 .222 .355
Ian Kinsler - 2B TEX @ OAK
9/22 3:35 PM
Trevor Cahill 2-15 .133 0 0 0 2 1 .133 .235 .368
Mike Napoli - C TEX @ OAK
9/22 3:35 PM
Trevor Cahill 0-10 .000 0 0 0 0 2 .000 .000 .000
Robinson Cano - 2B NYY vs TB
9/22 7:05 PM
Jeff Niemann 2-10 .200 0 1 0 0 2 .300 .200 .500
Curtis Granderson - OF NYY vs TB
9/22 7:05 PM
Jeff Niemann 1-10 .100 0 0 1 1 5 .100 .182 .282
Nick Swisher - OF NYY vs TB
9/22 7:05 PM
Jeff Niemann 2-12 .167 0 0 0 2 2 .167 .286 .453
Mark Teixeira - 1B NYY vs TB
9/22 7:05 PM
Jeff Niemann 2-11 .182 1 1 2 1 2 .455 .250 .705
B.J. Upton - OF TB @ NYY
9/22 7:05 PM
Bartolo Colon 2-11 .182 0 0 1 2 5 .182 .308 .490
Roger Bernadina - OF WAS @ PHI
9/22 7:05 PM
Roy Oswalt 2-10 .200 0 1 0 2 1 .300 .333 .633
Ian Desmond - SS WAS @ PHI
9/22 7:05 PM
Roy Oswalt 0-11 .000 0 0 0 0 4 .000 .000 .000
Ivan Rodriguez - C WAS @ PHI
9/22 7:05 PM
Roy Oswalt 2-11 .182 0 2 0 0 4 .364 .182 .546
Pat Burrell - OF SF @ LAD
9/22 10:10 PM
Hiroki Kuroda 1-11 .091 1 1 1 1 3 .364 .167 .531
Cold Pitcher Matchups At-Bats Opp
AVG
HR
Allow
XBH
Allow
RBI
Allow
BB K Opp
SLG
Opp
OBP
Opp
OPS
Chris Capuano NYM @ StL
9/22 1:45 PM
Cardinals Batters 36-103 .350 5 16 18 13 11 .611 .429 1.040


Recommended Pickup

Jerry Sands, OF, LAD - While he had been in a utility role early this season (his rookie year in the big leagues) he hardly rated a mention and was sent back to the minor leagues to hone his skills. Well, the powerfully-built (6'4", 220 lbs) outfielder has returned due to the expanded September rosters and has been a revelation. He has put together a torrid eight game stretch where he has collected 16 hits in 30 at bats, punctuated by two homers and eight RBI. That these numbers have been produced during a homestand in the pitcher-friendly confines of Chavez Ravine, make this performance even more notable. The Dodgers will certainly make room for his power bat in their plans for the 2012 campaign. You may want to consider the same for your fantasy team.

Other recent recommendations: Octavio Dotel, Mike Moustakas, Nolan Reimold, Andres Torres

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.

Draft Street Lineup

C - Matt Wieters, $7,637
1B - Albert Pujols, $10,307
2B - Ben Zobrist, $7,630
3B - Ryan Zimmerman, $6,610
SS - Rafael Furcal, $6,103
OF - Lance Berkman, $6,237
OF - Johnny Damon, $7,405
OF - Curtis Granderson, $11,651
UTIL - Hideki Matsui, $5,067
UTIL - Jose Bautista, $8,782
SP - Hiroki Kuroda, $11,759
SP - Jake Westbrook, $6,529
RP - Jason Motte, $1,667
P - Jim Johnson, $1,500

Total: $98,884

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