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Thursday Lineup Card: It's Holland's Day

Eric Caturia

Eric Caturia

Eric is a writer/editor of MLB, NBA, and NFL content for RotoWire.

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

Giants (Matt Cain - R) at Brewers (Yovani Gallardo - R), 1:10
Rangers (Alexi Ogando - R) at Cubs (Jeff Samardzija - R), 2:20
Mets (Jon Niese - L) at Rockies (Jhoulys Chacin - R), 3:10
Tigers (Justin Verlander - R) at Mariners (Hisashi Iwakuma - R), 3:40
Diamondbacks (Patrick Corbin - L) at Yankees (Phil Hughes - R), 7:05
Braves (Julio Teheran - R) at Pirates (Jeff Locke - L), 7:05
Rays (David Price - L) at Orioles (Miguel Gonzalez - R), 7:05
Red Sox (Jon Lester - L) at Indians (Zach McAllister - R), 7:05
Cardinals (Adam Wainwright - R) at Phillies (Cole Hamels - L), 7:05
White Sox (Chris Sale - L) at Blue Jays (R.A. Dickey - R), 7:07
Marlins (Jose Fernandez - R) at Reds (Tony Cingrani - L), 7:10

Day game after a night game: SF, MIL, DET, SEA

Injuries - A brief look at players who have been missing time with minor ailments and their expected returns

Day-to-Day
Luis Avilan, P, ATL (Hamstring) - Thinks that he will avoid a stint on the DL, as he believes Tuesday's outing ended abruptly due to a cramp.
Jose Bautista, OF, TOR (Back) - Did not start Wednesday versus the White Sox, his third game in a row out of the lineup.
Domonic Brown, OF, PHI (Undisclosed) - Left Wednesday's contest in the fourth inning with an unknown ailment.
Chris Capuano, P, LAD (Calf) - Sustained a strained calf Tuesday and has an MRI scheduled for Thursday.
Lucas Duda, OF, NYM (Back) - Confident that he would return Wednesday, but the game was cancelled due to the weather.
Danny Espinosa, 2B, WAS (Hand) - 50-50 to return to the lineup Friday.
Dexter Fowler, OF, COL (Foot) - Pinch hit Tuesday but is unlikely to play in the outfield for a few more days.
Jerry Hairston Jr., 3B, LAD (Suspension) - Accepted his one-game suspension, which he served Wednesday.
Adeiny Hechavarria, SS, MIA (Elbow) - Scratched Wednesday due to right elbow soreness.
Jeremy Hellickson, P, TB (Illness) - Back with the Rays after a bout with the flu and is expected to start Saturday.
Jason Kipnis, 2B, CLE (Elbow) - Will remain out of the lineup until Friday.
Derek Norris, C, OAK (Jaw) - Left Wednesday's game after a foul tip hit his catcher's mask; luckily, X-rays on his jaw were returned negative.
Andy Pettitte, P, NYY (Back) - Ready for his start Friday, after tossing a successful bullpen session Tuesday.
Wilkin Ramirez, OF, MIN (Back) - Removed from Tuesday's contest due to a back contusion and is day-to-day with the ailment.
Wandy Rodriguez, P, PIT (Hamstring) - Expected to make his upcoming start Friday, after experiencing no issues during Wednesday's bullpen session.
Denard Span, OF, WAS (Illness) - Sat out his second game in a row due to an illness.
Giancarlo Stanton, OF, MIA (Shoulder) - Slated to return to the lineup Thursday.
Troy Tulowitzki SS, COL (Elbow) - Was hit by a pitch in the first game of Tuesday's doubleheader, and as a precaution, he was held out of the second game.

Players on the DL
Tony Abreu, 2B, SF (Knee) - Logged six innings in an extended spring training outing Tuesday.
Jeremy Affeldt, P, SF (Hamstring) - Placed on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday due to a strained oblique.
Henderson Alvarez, P, MIA (Shoulder) - Tossed 35 pitches off a mound Wednesday and will do so again Saturday.
Willie Bloomquist, SS, ARI (Oblique) - Has no timetable for a return from his Grade 2 oblique strain.
Michael Bourn, OF, CLE (Finger) - Landed on the 15-day DL on Wednesday due to stitches on his right index finger.
Craig Breslow, P, BOS (Shoulder) - Experienced no issues Wednesday following an inning pitched at extended spring training.
Cesar Cabral, P, NYY (Elbow) - Pitched a scoreless inning in extended spring training Tuesday.
Frank Francisco, P, NYM (Elbow) - Started a rehab assignment Wednesday.
Freddie Freeman, 1B, ATL (Oblique) - Scheduled to work out at Triple-A Gwinnett on Thursday, which could allow him to begin a rehab assignment Friday.
Matt Garza, P, CHC (Arm) - Will make his initial rehab start Friday.
Taylor Green, 1B, MIL (Hip) - Slated to have his lingering hip concern evaluated Thursday, while the potential for surgery remains.
Joel Hanrahan, P, BOS (Hamstring) - May not be used as the Red Sox's closer once he's past his strained hamstring.
Kevin Jepsen, P, LAA (Shoulder) - Found to be dealing with a strained lat following a second MRI on Tuesday.
Steve Johnson, P, BAL (Back) - Will make another appearance in extended spring training Thursday, before embarking on a rehab assignment.
Jeff Karstens, P, PIT (Shoulder) - Intends to throw a bullpen session Thursday.
John Lackey, P, BOS (Biceps) - Scheduled to throw off a mound Thursday, after which he'll fit in a bullpen session over the weekend.
Ted Lilly, P, LAD (Shoulder) - Rocked in a rehab start Monday, in which he gave up four runs (three earned) on seven hits over five innings.
Ryan Ludwick, OF, CIN (Shoulder) - His arm will be in a sling for at least the next two weeks before any activity can commence in his rehab.
Sean Marshall, P, CIN (Shoulder) - On course to return to the Reds' bullpen next Tuesday.
Darin Mastroianni, OF, MIN (Ankle) - Will miss the next three weeks due to a stress reaction in his left ankle.
Cameron Maybin, OF, SD (Wrist) - Was diagnosed with an impingement in his right wrist Wednesday, and as a result, may miss more than 15 days.
Brian McCann, C, ATL (Shoulder) - Delayed his rehab assignment by a day or two due to soreness in his right hand.
Franklin Morales, P, BOS (Back) - Tossed about 50 pitches in a rehab start Wednesday.
Charlie Morton, P, PIT (Elbow) - Will throw either three innings or 50 pitches in a rehab outing Friday.
Michael Pineda, P, NYY (Shoulder) - Completed a 35-pitch bullpen session Tuesday.
Hanley Ramirez, SS, LAD (Thumb) - Expected to be back in the lineup before his scheduled return in mid-May.
Adam Rosales, 2B, OAK (Ribs) - Started a rehab assignment Wednesday and will be examined in a week.
Michael Saunders, OF, SEA (Shoulder) - Has started swinging and could return to the lineup as soon as he's eligible on April 26.
Luke Scott, DH, TB (Calf) - May make a rehab start this weekend, if he displays the ability to run the bases at full strength.
Mark Teixeira, 1B, NYY (Wrist) - Swung the bat normally Wednesday, after taking swings underwater Tuesday.
Tsuyoshi Wada, P, BAL (Elbow) - Scheduled to pitch three innings of extended spring training action Thursday.

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

Placed on the DL (15-day DL unless otherwise noted)
Darin Mastroianni, OF, MIN
Jeremy Affeldt, P, SF
Michael Bourn, OF, CLE
Chris Capuano, P, LAD

Activated from the DL
Joe Mahoney, 1B, MIA
Chase Headley, 3B, SD

Called Up
Oswaldo Arcia, OF, MIN
Jean Machi, P, SF
Jordan Danks, OF, CHW
Corey Kluber, P, CLE
Jeurys Familia, P, NYM
Tim Federowicz, C, LAD

Sent Down
Deunte Heath, P, CHW
Kyle Skipworth, C, MIA
Greg Burke, P, NYM
Scott Cousins, OF, LAA

Released
Charles Leesman, P, CHW

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

Kansas City - Seemingly an open competition just one week ago, the events of Wednesday may have solidified the roles of those in the Royals' bullpen. Following Greg Holland's struggles during the first week of the season -- an 18.00 ERA, 4.00 WHIP, and 3:4 K:BB ratio in three appearances (two innings) -- his closing gig seemed to be there for the taking. At that point, both Kelvin Herrera and Aaron Crow threw their hat in the ring, as the three relievers notched saves in back-to-back-to-back games. On Tuesday, Herrera got the call in a tie game against Atlanta, only to serve up three consecutive solo shots and gather his first defeat in 2013. He found some redemption Wednesday, tossing a scoreless eighth inning in a 1-0 game, but Holland then entered for the final frame and mowed down the Braves, striking out three in the process. Thus, Holland appears to have a stranglehold on the job over Herrera, at least until the former falters again.

KEY MATCHUPS: HOT

Hot Batter Matchups At-Bats AVG HR XBH RBI BB K SLG OBP OPS
Ryan Braun - OF MIL vs SF
4/18 1:10 PM
Matt Cain 6-15 .400 0 2 3 1 3 .600 .438 1.038
Angel Pagan - OF SF @ MIL
4/18 1:10 PM
Yovani Gallardo 5-13 .385 0 2 1 0 4 .615 .385 1.000
Lance Berkman - 1B TEX @ CHC
4/18 2:20 PM
Carlos Villanueva 5-21 .238 2 4 3 1 6 .619 .304 .923
Todd Helton - 1B COL vs NYM
4/18 3:10 PM
Jon Niese 7-16 .438 1 4 2 0 1 .813 .438 1.250
Troy Tulowitzki - SS COL vs NYM
4/18 3:10 PM
Jon Niese 5-13 .385 1 2 3 2 1 .692 .467 1.159
Kendrys Morales - 1B SEA vs DET
4/18 3:40 PM
Justin Verlander 5-15 .333 1 2 8 0 5 .600 .333 .933
Nick Swisher - OF CLE vs BOS
4/18 7:05 PM
Jon Lester 10-36 .278 2 6 7 6 11 .556 .386 .942
Carlos Beltran - OF STL @ PHI
4/18 7:05 PM
Cole Hamels 10-40 .250 3 5 5 2 10 .525 .286 .811
Paul Konerko - 1B CWS @ TOR
4/18 7:07 PM
R.A. Dickey 4-10 .400 2 3 3 1 0 1.100 .455 1.555
Alex Rios - OF CWS @ TOR
4/18 7:07 PM
R.A. Dickey 3-10 .300 2 2 3 2 1 .900 .417 1.317
 
Hot Pitcher Matchups At-Bats Opp
AVG
HR
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XBH
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RBI
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BB K Opp
SLG
Opp
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KEY MATCHUPS: COLD

Cold Batter Matchups At-Bats AVG HR XBH RBI BB K SLG OBP OPS
Pablo Sandoval - 3B SF @ MIL
4/18 1:10 PM
Yovani Gallardo 2-15 .133 1 1 1 1 5 .333 .188 .521
David Wright - 3B NYM @ COL
4/18 3:10 PM
Jon Garland 2-15 .133 0 1 2 1 3 .200 .188 .388
Raul Ibanez - OF SEA vs DET
4/18 3:40 PM
Justin Verlander 3-20 .150 0 1 2 3 3 .200 .250 .450
Adam Jones - OF BAL vs TB
4/18 7:05 PM
David Price 3-20 .150 0 2 2 1 5 .250 .190 .440
Nolan Reimold - OF BAL vs TB
4/18 7:05 PM
David Price 2-18 .111 0 0 2 2 5 .111 .190 .302
Asdrubal Cabrera - SS CLE vs BOS
4/18 7:05 PM
Jon Lester 2-11 .182 0 1 1 1 5 .273 .231 .503
Chase Utley - 2B PHI vs STL
4/18 7:05 PM
Adam Wainwright 2-14 .143 0 1 0 1 2 .286 .250 .536
 
Cold Pitcher Matchups At-Bats Opp
AVG
HR
Allow
XBH
Allow
RBI
Allow
BB K Opp
SLG
Opp
OBP
Opp
OPS
None
 
Recommended Pickup

A.J. Pollock, OF, ARI - Multiple injuries to Diamondback teammates, namely outfielder Jason Kubel (quadriceps) and second baseman Aaron Hill (hand), have allowed Pollock the opportunity to settle into a regular role. Hill's recent placement on the disabled list has forced the versatile Martin Prado to stick to the infield, while Kubel's extended stay on the sidelines has opened up an everyday outfield spot. Consequently, Pollock has filled the position in both left and center, letting his top-tier skills finally translate to big league success. At the moment, he is in possession of a six-game hitting streak, during which he's strafed to the tune of a .409 average (9-for-22), two home runs, six RBI, six runs scored, and one stolen base. Among the two players out, Kubel's activation date arrives first on April 28, leaving Pollock with sustained value through the end of the month.

Other Recent Recommendations: Seth Smith, Scott Kazmir, Chris Carter, Ervin Santana, and Ted Lilly

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