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Thursday Lineup Card: Be Like Mike

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)

Brewers (Donovan Hand - R) at Nationals (Taylor Jordan - R), 11:05
Diamondbacks (Ian Kennedy - R) at Mets (Dillon Gee - R), 1:10
Giants (Matt Cain - R) at Reds (Mike Leake - R), 1:10
Padres (Eric Stults - L) at Red Sox (Allen Webster - R), 1:35
Phillies (Cole Hamels - L) at Pirates (Gerrit Cole - R), 1:35
Orioles (Zach Britton - L) at White Sox (Jose Quintana - L), 2:10
Indians (Ubaldo Jimenez - R) at Royals (James Shields - R), 2:10
Rays (Chris Archer - R) at Astros (Jordan Lyles - R), 2:10
Yankees (David Phelps - R) at Twins (Kyle Gibson - R), 2:10
Cubs (Travis Wood - L) at Athletics (Jarrod Parker - R), 4:05
Tigers (Justin Verlander - R) at Blue Jays (Esmil Rogers - R), 7:07
Marlins (Henderson Alvarez - R) at Braves (Julio Teheran - R), 7:10
Mariners (Hisashi Iwakuma - R) at Rangers (Martin Perez - L), 8:05
Dodgers (Chris Capuano - L) at Rockies (Jhoulys Chacin - R), 8:10
Cardinals (Adam Wainwright - R) at Angels (Joe Blanton - R), 9:05

Day Game After Night Game: MIL, WAS, ARI, NYM, SF, CIN, SD, BOS, PHI, PIT, BAL, CWS, CLE, KC, TB, HOU, NYY, MIN, CHC, OAK

Injuries

Day-to-Day
Joaquin Arias, SS, SF (Hamstring) - Was available off the bench Wednesday.
Kyle Blanks, OF, SD (Heel) - Enduring a sore heel, which kept him in the DH slot Wednesday.
Ryan Braun, OF, MIL (Thumb) - Swung a bat Wednesday for the second day in a row.
Miguel Cabrera, 3B, DET (Back) - Made it through batting practice unscathed and remained in Wednesday's lineup.
Jorge De La Rosa, P, COL (Thumb) - Felt soreness in his thumb following Tuesday's side session.
Edwin Encarnacion, 1B, TOR (Hamstring) - Out of the lineup Wednesday for a third consecutive outing.
Matt Holliday, OF, STL (Back) - Missed his second game in a row Wednesday due to a pinched nerve in his back that is not allowing him to rotate his head in order to face the pitcher.
Omar Infante, 2B, DET (Leg) - Diagnosed with a shin contusion after X-rays were returned negative; the injury resulted from a hard slide during an attempted double play Wednesday.
John Jaso, C, OAK (Hand) - Returned to the lineup Wednesday, making his first start since June 20.
Kyle Kendrick, P, PHI (Concussion) - Will not miss his slated start Saturday, after passing his concussion tests.
Hiroki Kuroda, P, NYY (Hip) - Had an MRI performed on his hip flexor, which revealed nothing sinister, but will be evaluated by team doctors Friday.
Adam Lind, 1B, TOR (Back) - Returned to the lineup Wednesday, after his removal from Sunday's game due to mid-back tightness.
Shaun Marcum, P, NYM (Neck) - Has dealt with tingling in his hand of late, forcing an MRI, but will make his next start Saturday.
Jarrod Parker, P, OAK (Hamstring) - Scratched from Thursday's start but is slated to take the hill Saturday.
Gerardo Parra, OF, ARI (Undisclosed) - Remained out of the lineup Wednesday, his second absence in as many days, after face planting on an attempted catch Monday.
Wily Peralta, P, MIL (Hamstring) - His status for his next start is iffy, according to manager Ron Roenicke.
Michael Saunders, OF, SEA (Finger) - Not in the lineup Wednesday, marking a week riding the pine.
Jordan Schafer, OF, ATL (Ankle) - Seemed hobbled running to first base during a pinch-hit appearance Tuesday.
Marco Scutaro, 2B, SF (Back) - Held out of the lineup Wednesday due to tightness in his back.
Will Venable, OF, SD (Hamstring) - Hopeful that he'll return to the lineup Thursday.

Players on the DL
Jeff Baker, OF, TEX (Thumb) - Received a cortisone injection after missing batting practice this past weekend.
Clay Buchholz, P, BOS (Neck) - Threw from a distance of 100 feet Wednesday, after which he felt that he had "turned a corner."
A.J. Burnett, P, PIT (Calf) - Thinks that he'll avoid a rehab assignment before joining the rotation.
Sean Burnett, P, LAA (Elbow) - Hopes to start throwing next week.
Everth Cabrera, SS, SD (Hamstring) - His return to the team may be pushed back to Friday.
Santiago Casilla, P, SF (Knee) - Will make one last rehab outing Thursday at High-A San Jose.
Kyle Drabek, P, TOR (Elbow) - Has pitched 4.1 innings across two rehab outings at High-A Dunedin and is expected to make one more appearance, before he is optioned to the minors.
Adam Eaton, OF, ARI (Elbow) - Batting 12-for-35 with one homer and eight stolen bases during his last 10 rehab games as a DH at High-A Visalia.
Alfredo Figaro, P, MIL (Oblique) - His recovery is going well, but he still has a number of benchmarks to hit in his rehabilitation.
J.A. Happ, P, TOR (Head) - Dealing with knee tightness and is unlikely to return to the team before August.
Dan Haren, P, WAS (Shoulder) - Completed a simulated game Wednesday.
Matt Harrison, P, TEX (Back) - Still throws before games but remains two weeks away from throwing off a mound.
Jared Hughes, P, PIT (Shoulder) - Threw a 35-pitch bullpen session Tuesday.
Drew Hutchison, P, TOR (Elbow) - Expected to start a rehab assignment in the near future.
Phil Irwin, P, PIT (Arm) - Had ulnar nerve transposition surgery performed Wednesday, which will sideline him for two months.
Erik Kratz, C, PHI (Knee) - May embark upon a rehab assignment this coming weekend.
Brett Lawrie, 3B, TOR (Ankle) - Transferred his rehab assignment Wednesday from High-A Dunedin to Low-A Lansing.
Colby Lewis, P, TEX (Forearm) - Experienced no issues following his most recent bullpen session.
Ryan Madson, P, LAA (Elbow) - Threw three bullpen sessions last week at the team's minor league facility in Tempe, AZ.
Ryan Mattheus, P, WAS (Hand) - Scheduled to throw off a mound Friday for the first time since breaking his hand.
James McDonald, P, PIT (Shoulder) - Has no structural damage in his shoulder but will be shut down for two weeks before commencing rehab work.
Mike Morse, OF, SEA (Quadriceps) - Will likely head out on a rehab assignment at Triple-A Tacoma before returning to the majors.
Eduardo Nunez, SS, NYY (Oblique) - Hopes to make it back to the majors by the All-Star break.
Alexi Ogando, P, TEX (Shoulder) - Slated to make a rehab start Saturday at Triple-A Round Rock.
Jake Peavy, P, CWS (Ribs) - Reported no issues following Tuesday's "light-to-medium" bullpen session.
Luis Perez, P, TOR (Elbow) - Has resumed throwing, after suffering a setback at High-A Dunedin on June 10.
Michael Pineda, P, NYY (Shoulder) - Could take on a relief role, when healthy, if a spot in the rotation is not available.
Wilson Ramos, C, WAS (Hamstring) - Was in the squat for all nine innings during Tuesday's rehab outing at High-A Potomac, while his hamstring looked fully healthy when he ran from first to third base on a single.
Alex Rodriguez, 3B, NYY (Hip) - Went hitless in two at-bats during his first rehab game Tuesday at Low-A Charleston, while he hopes to return to the majors by July 22.
Sergio Santos, P, TOR (Elbow) - Tossed a scoreless inning during his first rehab game at the team's rookie-level squad.
Alfredo Silverio, OF, MIA (Elbow) - Underwent Tommy John surgery last week, marking his second elbow reconstruction in 14 months.
Mark Teixeira, 1B, NYY (Wrist) - Had successful wrist surgery Monday.
Matt Tuiasosopo, OF, DET (Ribs) - Started a rehab assignment Wednesday and may return to the 25-man roster this weekend in Cleveland.
Josh Willingham, OF, MIN (Knee) - Will have knee surgery in order to repair a medial meniscus tear and will miss 4-to-6 weeks.

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)
Willie Bloomquist, 2B, ARI
Jesse Crain, P, CWS
Paul Konerko, 1B, CWS
Jayson Nix, SS, NYY

Activated from the DL (15-day DL unless otherwise noted)
Michael Bourn, CF, CLE (Paternity list)
Jose Tabata, RF, PIT

Called Up (from Triple-A, unless otherwise noted)
Tony Campana, CF, ARI
Brent Morel, 3B, CWS
David Purcey, P, CWS
Todd Redmond, P, TOR

Sent Down (to Triple-A, unless otherwise noted)
Brandon Cumpton, P, PIT
Nick Hagadone, P, CLE
Cole Kimball, P, WAS
Clayton Mortensen, P, BOS
Chris Rusin, P, CHC
Danny Valencia, 3B, BAL

Designated for Assignment
Shawn Camp, P, CHC
Miguel Olivo, C, MIA
Chien-Ming Wang, P, TOR

Signed
Luis Cruz, 3B, NYY
Brent Leach, P, MIL
Jermaine Mitchell, CF, MIN

Closer Watch

Detroit - After notching his sixth save of the season Tuesday, Joaquin Benoit has now toed the rubber during the Tigers' only two save chances since he was named the preferred closer by manager Jim Leyland on June 21. A slight wobble aside, Benoit's four appearances in the interim have been extremly crisp, as he boasts one win and two saves to go with a 2.08 ERA, 1.154 WHIP, and 7:1 K:BB ratio in 4.1 innings during that stretch. While the sample size is admittedly small, the averages are only slightly inflated from his line on the season, while his strikeout rate is much more fantasy-friendly. As the season has rolled along, threats to his save chances have slowly but surely fallen by the wayside, either by injury or removal from the 25-man roster, leaving Benoit as the unquestioned fireman in Detroit's pen.

KEY MATCHUPS: HOT

Hot Batter Matchups At-Bats AVG HR XBH RBI BB K SLG OBP OPS
Jay Bruce - OF CIN vs SF
7/4 1:10 PM
Matt Cain 6-13 .462 0 2 4 4 1 .615 .588 1.204
David Wright - 3B NYM vs ARI
7/4 1:10 PM
Ian Kennedy 4-11 .364 2 3 5 2 2 1.000 .462 1.462
Hunter Pence - OF SF @ CIN
7/4 1:10 PM
Mike Leake 6-18 .333 1 3 2 0 6 .611 .333 .944
Pablo Sandoval - 3B SF @ CIN
7/4 1:10 PM
Mike Leake 7-10 .700 2 4 3 1 0 1.500 .727 2.227
Russell Martin - C PIT vs PHI
7/4 1:35 PM
Cole Hamels 3-11 .273 1 1 2 1 2 .545 .333 .879
Andrew McCutchen - OF PIT vs PHI
7/4 1:35 PM
Cole Hamels 4-12 .333 1 2 2 1 2 .667 .385 1.051
Mike Aviles - SS CLE @ KC
7/4 2:10 PM
James Shields 6-18 .333 2 2 3 1 4 .667 .368 1.035
Asdrubal Cabrera - SS CLE @ KC
7/4 2:10 PM
James Shields 4-13 .308 1 2 2 2 1 .692 .400 1.092
Nick Swisher - OF CLE @ KC
7/4 2:10 PM
James Shields 8-45 .178 3 4 10 1 15 .400 .196 .596
Jose Bautista - OF TOR vs DET
7/4 7:07 PM
Justin Verlander 3-10 .300 1 3 1 1 2 .800 .364 1.164
Maicer Izturis - 3B TOR vs DET
7/4 7:07 PM
Justin Verlander 11-27 .407 0 1 2 2 4 .444 .448 .893
Adam Lind - 1B TOR vs DET
7/4 7:07 PM
Justin Verlander 4-14 .286 2 2 7 1 1 .714 .313 1.027
Michael Cuddyer - OF COL vs LAD
7/4 8:10 PM
Chris Capuano 3-13 .231 1 3 2 5 1 .615 .444 1.060
Yorvit Torrealba - C COL vs LAD
7/4 8:10 PM
Chris Capuano 4-13 .308 1 2 2 1 1 .615 .357 .973
A.J. Ellis - C LAD @ COL
7/4 8:10 PM
Jhoulys Chacin 6-12 .500 1 2 3 0 2 .833 .500 1.333
Andre Ethier - OF LAD @ COL
7/4 8:10 PM
Jhoulys Chacin 7-16 .438 1 3 3 8 2 .750 .625 1.375
Brad Hawpe - OF LAA vs STL
7/4 9:05 PM
Adam Wainwright 4-11 .364 1 4 3 2 4 .909 .462 1.371
Matt Holliday - OF STL @ LAA
7/4 9:05 PM
Joe Blanton 5-13 .385 2 4 4 2 4 1.000 .438 1.438
Yadier Molina - C STL @ LAA
7/4 9:05 PM
Joe Blanton 5-15 .333 1 1 3 2 1 .533 .412 .945
 
Hot Pitcher Matchups At-Bats Opp
AVG
HR
Allow
XBH
Allow
RBI
Allow
BB K Opp
SLG
Opp
OBP
Opp
OPS
Mike Leake CIN vs SF
7/4 1:10 PM
Giants Batters 24-69 .348 4 11 8 2 13 .644 .366 1.010
James Shields KC vs CLE
7/4 2:10 PM
Indians Batters 29-142 .204 6 10 18 11 44 .368 .260 .628

 

KEY MATCHUPS: COLD

Cold Batter Matchups At-Bats AVG HR XBH RBI BB K SLG OBP OPS
Martin Prado - 3B ARI @ NYM
7/4 1:10 PM
Dillon Gee 4-20 .200 0 1 0 0 0 .250 .238 .488
Cesar Izturis - SS CIN vs SF
7/4 1:10 PM
Matt Cain 2-13 .154 0 1 0 0 1 .231 .154 .385
Andres Torres - OF SF @ CIN
7/4 1:10 PM
Mike Leake 2-10 .200 0 0 0 1 4 .200 .273 .473
Garrett Jones - 1B PIT vs PHI
7/4 1:35 PM
Cole Hamels 2-10 .200 1 1 1 0 4 .500 .200 .700
Jason Giambi - 1B CLE @ KC
7/4 2:10 PM
James Shields 0-13 .000 0 0 0 2 4 .000 .133 .133
Mark Reynolds - 1B CLE @ KC
7/4 2:10 PM
James Shields 1-10 .100 0 0 0 2 6 .100 .250 .350
Carlos Santana - C CLE @ KC
7/4 2:10 PM
James Shields 2-12 .167 0 0 1 0 2 .167 .154 .321
Alcides Escobar - SS KC vs CLE
7/4 2:10 PM
Ubaldo Jimenez 2-13 .154 0 2 2 1 0 .308 .214 .522
Alex Gordon - OF KC vs CLE
7/4 2:10 PM
Ubaldo Jimenez 2-12 .167 0 0 0 1 5 .167 .231 .397
Mike Moustakas - 3B KC vs CLE
7/4 2:10 PM
Ubaldo Jimenez 2-10 .200 0 1 0 2 3 .300 .333 .633
Jed Lowrie - SS OAK vs CHC
7/4 4:05 PM
Travis Wood 1-10 .100 0 1 0 2 1 .200 .250 .450
Rajai Davis - OF TOR vs DET
7/4 7:07 PM
Justin Verlander 2-11 .182 0 0 0 0 3 .182 .250 .432
Edwin Encarnacion - 1B TOR vs DET
7/4 7:07 PM
Justin Verlander 2-16 .125 2 2 3 0 3 .500 .125 .625
Todd Helton - 1B COL vs LAD
7/4 8:10 PM
Chris Capuano 10-35 .286 0 3 3 1 7 .371 .306 .677
Matt Kemp - OF LAD @ COL
7/4 8:10 PM
Jhoulys Chacin 5-28 .179 1 3 6 3 9 .357 .258 .615
Juan Uribe - 3B LAD @ COL
7/4 8:10 PM
Jhoulys Chacin 0-15 .000 0 0 0 1 6 .000 .063 .063
 
Cold Pitcher Matchups At-Bats Opp
AVG
HR
Allow
XBH
Allow
RBI
Allow
BB K Opp
SLG
Opp
OBP
Opp
OPS
Cole Hamels PHI @ Pit
7/4 1:35 PM
Pirates Batters 22-78 .282 5 11 15 4 17 .547 .322 .869
Justin Verlander DET @ Tor
7/4 7:07 PM
Blue Jays Batters 29-100 .290 5 11 14 9 19 .501 .353 .854
Jhoulys Chacin COL vs LAD
7/4 8:10 PM
Dodgers Batters 25-83 .301 3 8 13 12 20 .485 .389 .874
Chris Capuano LAD @ Col
7/4 8:10 PM
Rockies Batters 32-111 .288 4 14 18 10 15 .509 .345 .854
Joe Blanton LAA vs StL
7/4 9:05 PM
Cardinals Batters 27-79 .342 5 10 15 6 16 .599 .390 .990
 
Recommended Pickup

Michael Brantley, OF, CLE - As the Indians' everyday left fielder, Brantley is as steady as they come, producing modest results across the board. A June swoon in which he posted a .222/.260/.356 line in 90 at-bats led to decreased ownership across the fantasy plain, but he finished the month on a relative high note. Since June 19, he is batting .293 (12-for-41) with nine RBI, nine runs scored, and three stolen bases over 12 appearances. Moreover, a veritable power stroke of sorts emerged during that span, as he launched three long balls, more than doubling his output in the category to five on the season. The lefty has spent the majority of 2013 in the leadoff spot, but with Michael Bourn healthy and producing, Brantley has otherwise found it cozy at either fifth or seventh in the order. Considering Cleveland is tallying 6.77 runs per outing during his aforementioned run, an extended offensive surge should be expected for Brantley and his hard-scrabble brethren, especially if he continues to approach a .300 clip at the plate.

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