Projected Starters – A look at Tuesday’s matchups (all times Eastern)
Diamondbacks (Armando Galarraga - R) v Cubs (Andrew Cashner - R), 2:20 pm
Giants (Madison Bumgarner - L) v Padres (Aaron Harang - R), 6:35 pm
Angels (Jered Weaver - R) v Rays (Jeff Niemann - R), 6:40 pm
Red Sox (Josh Beckett - R) v Indians (Josh Tomlin - R), 7:05 pm
Twins (Brian Duensing - L) v Yankees (CC Sabathia – L), 7:05 pm
Mets (Chris Young - R) v Phillies (Cole Hamels - L), 7:05
A’s (Dallas Braden - L) v Blue Jays (Jo-Jo Reyes - L), 7:07
Nationals (Jason Marquis - R) v Marlins (Anibal Sanchez - R), 7:10
Astros (J.A. Happ - L) v Reds (Mike Leake - R), 7:10
Mariners (Michael Pineda – R) v Rangers (Alexi Ogando – R), 8:05
Braves (Derek Lowe - R) v Brewers (Yovani Gallardo - R), 8:10
White Sox (Gavin Floyd – R) v Royals (Luke Hochevar - R), 8:10
Pirates (James McDonald - R) v Cardinals (Kyle McClellan - R), 8:15
Dodgers (Clayton Kershaw - L) v Rockies (Jhoulys Chacin - R), 8:40
OFF: Tigers, Orioles
Day Game After a Night Game: None
Injuries - A brief look at players that have been missing time with minor ailments and their expected returns.
Day-to-Day (includes players expected to make their return from the DL)
Jeremy Guthrie, P, BAL – (Illness) Has pneumonia and will miss his Wednesday start
Luke Scott, DH, BAL – (Groin) Missed Monday’s game, his second straight miss
Magglio Ordonez, OF, DET – (Ankle) Returned to action Monday after sitting Sunday
Johnny Damon, OF, TB – (Calf) Sat Sunday
Rajai Davis, OF, TOR – (Ankle) Hopes to play Tuesday
Erick Aybar, SS, ANA – (Abdomen) Did not play Sunday
Marco Scutaro, SS, BOS – (Finger) Has a torn fingernail and sat Sunday
Carlos Pena, 1B, CHI-N – (Thumb) Jammed his thumb Monday and was pulled for a pinch-hitter
Jorge De La Rosa, P, COL – (Finger) Blister on the mend and the Rox might actually move his start up
Donnie Murphy, SS, FLA – (Hand) Pinch-hit Sunday
Stephen Drew, SS, AZ – (Abdomen) Pinch-hit Monday, unclear if he’s ready to return.
Players on the DL
Joseph Smith, P, CLE – (Abdomen) Will play with Triple-A Columbus on Tuesday and he could return in the middle of this month
Octavio Dotel, P, TOR – (Hamstring) Played in a minor league game Sunday and hopes to return to the Jays this weekend.
Corey Patterson, OF, TOR – (Head) Has begun to take part in drills but has yet to play in a rehab game
Frank Francisco, P, TOR – (Chest) Will start a minor league rehab assignment Thursday
Jason Donald, SS, CLE – (Finger) Could start a rehab assignment Friday. Jack Hannahan’s days are numbered at third base.
Grady Sizemore, OF, CLE – (Knee) Scheduled for exhibition games Monday and Wednesday and will head out on a rehab assignment thereafter. He could return in under two weeks.
Jason Bay, OF, NY-N – (Ribs) Still unable to swing a bat, probably won’t come off the DL this weekend
Corey Hart, OF, MIL – (Oblique) Still a few days away from a rehab assignment
Casey Blake, 3B, LA – (Back) Sounds like he will come off the DL on Wednesday
Jon Garland, P, LA – (Oblique) Could start for the Dodgers on April 10
Transactions - Players that have been demoted, called up, traded, released, you name it. We’ll cover it here.
Signed to a Minor League Deal
Jeff Suppan, P, KC
Closer Watch - A closer look at intriguing ninth-inning situations (also check out our Closer Grid)
Milwaukee – Takashi Saito, who could factor into the closer situation if John Axford struggles, had struggles of his own against the Braves on Monday. He came on to hold a one-run lead in the eighth and surrendered solo home runs to Martin Prado and Dan Uggla.
Chicago (N) – Carlos Marmol converted a four-batter save against the Diamondbacks on Monday after failing against the Pirates on Sunday. No need to worry about his job security.
Minnesota – Joe Nathan converted against the Jays on Sunday despite allowing a run on two hits and two walks. Matt Capps threw a perfect seventh inning.
LA Angels – Fernando Rodney only tallied one out in his blown save against the Royals on Sunday. He walked three and only managed seven strikes in 20 pitches in the Angels’ extra-inning loss. Jordan Walden struck out two en route to his second hold of the year.
LA Dodgers – Jonathan Broxton surrendered a solo home run to Aaron Rowand on Sunday but still closed out his third game of the year. Note he only has one strikeout (no walks) in those three innings.
Andrew Cashner (vs AZ) and Michael Pineda (vs TEX) will be making their MLB debuts Saturday, and Alexi Ogando (vs SEA) will be making his first career MLB start after appearing in 44 games as a reliever last season. Chris Young (vs PHI) makes his Mets debut after only pitching 20 innings for the Padres last year. Jo Jo Reyes (vs OAK) will be making his AL debut. Kyle McClellan (vs PIT) will make his first career start after three seasons in the St. Louis ‘pen.
Aaron Harang v San Francisco –Harang may be in for something of a bounce-back year in 2011 now that he will play his home games at Petco Park, and he gets his first shot to prove his believers right in his first home game Tuesday. The defending World Champs, fresh off a series loss to the Dodgers, may prove to be willing participants in the Harang/Petco experiment. Their current roster has only hit a collective .241/.308/.420 off Harang, and players with sub-.200 batting averages against him include Freddy Sanchez (.184 in 49 at-bats), Miguel Tejada (.167 in 18), Aaron Rowand (.182 in 11) and Aubrey Huff (.125 in 8). Utilityman Mike Fontenot should make the lineup Tuesday, as he has gone 7-for-20 with a 1.267 OPS in his career against Harang.
Jered Weaver v Tampa Bay – Only Johnny Damon (31 at-bats), Manny Ramirez (16), B.J. Upton (11) and backup catcher Kelly Shoppach (10) have logged a respectable number of at-bats against Weaver, and Ramirez is the lone man from that list to have found any success against him with a .993 OPS. Otherwise, Weaver has posted a 34:8 K:BB in 106 plate appearances against the Rays’ current batters. Evan Longoria has also had success against Weaver, but he was placed on the DL on Sunday.
Jeff Niemann v Anaheim – Angels batters have only slugged .370 in 99 plate appearances against Niemann, and that number is buoyed by Howie Kendrick’s .750. Only two current Angels have hit a home run against him, and both of those came in the same Sept. 19, 2010, contest. The one downside here is a 17:15 K:BB in 81 at-bats.
Josh Beckett v Cleveland – The bulk of the current Indians’ experience against Beckett has come in the form of Orlando Cabrera (.213/.220/.319 in 47 at-bats) and Travis Hafner (.273/.360/.682 in 22 at-bats), although it’s worth noting the latter only has two hits off Beckett since 2006. Shin-Soo Choo has gone 4-for-10 with a home run and no strikeouts in four games.
Brian Duensing v New York – The Yankees have hit Duensing to the tune of .340/.419/.547, but they only have 53 collective at-bats against him, including the playoffs.
CC Sabathia v Minnesota – Sabathia spent eight seasons in the AL Central, so he has a decent-length track record (and decent success) against veteran Twins like Michael Cuddyer (.704 OPS in 58 at-bats), Justin Morneau (.543 in 39), Jim Thome (.844 in 28), Joe Mauer (.534 OPS in 29) and Delmon Young (.333 in 21). Overall, the Twins’ lineup has gone a collective 45-for-209 (.215) against the Yankees’ ace. A surprise play could be Alexi Casilla, who has gone .692/.692/.846 in 13 plate appearances.
Cole Hamels v New York – This matchup could hinge on Carlos Beltran’s availability/ability. Beltran has a career .323/.364/.677 line with three home runs and two doubles in 31 at-bats against Hamels, good for the best OPS of any Met regular. David Wright has also been good (.962 OPS in 35 at-bats, but 10 strikeouts) and sub Scott Hairston should make the starting lineup (three home runs, 1.438 OPS in 16 at-bats).
Dallas Braden v Toronto – Juan Rivera (.571 OPS in 28 at-bats), Aaron Hill (1.229 in 12) and Adam Lind (1.100 in 10) are the only Jays with 10-plus at-bats against Braden. As a whole, their current roster has only slugged .365 in 74 at-bats.
Jason Marquis v Florida – Marquis may have 11 seasons of MLB experience under his belt, but he has only seen the current Marlins in a collective 84 plate appearances. The only guy to stick out is Hanley Ramirez, who has a .471/.526/.765 line with two doubles and a home run in 17 at-bats.
Anibal Sanchez v Washington – Sanchez should have an easy time with the top of the Nats’ order assuming Jayson Werth, Ryan Zimmerman and Adam LaRoche hit second, third and fourth Tuesday (as they did in each of the Nats’ first three games). Those three have (in order) OPS’s of .263, .532 and .594 with a collective 22:3 K:BB against Sanchez. Overall, the Nationals have hit .227/.272/.266 in 128 at-bats against him.
Derek Lowe v Milwaukee – The Brewers may be 0-4 to start the season, but that does not make Lowe a good start Tuesday. Rickie Weeks, who is off to a hot start this year, has a lifetime .417/.462/.917 line in 12 at-bats against Lowe and has hit two home runs. Nyjer Morgan has a .536 batting average in 28 at-bats, and Mark Kotsay has a .500 OBP in 20 plate appearances. On a positive note, Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun have combined for zero extra-base hits in 33 plate appearances.
Yovani Gallardo v Atlanta – Current Braves have hit .224/.310/.329 in 76 at-bats against Gallardo, and only Chipper Jones has hit a home run off him.
Gavin Floyd v Kansas City – For all of Alex Gordon’s growing pains, he has historically hit Floyd well (.333/.385/.667, one double, one home run in 12 at-bats). The rest of the Royals’ roster has also not been too shabby against the White Sox’s fourth starter with a cool .890 collective OPS. Melky Cabrera, Jeff Francoeur, Matt Treanor and Kila Ka’aihue all have a home run off Floyd.
Luke Hochevar v Chicago – The White Sox’s stable of batters have only hit .214/.319/.255 in just under 100 at-bats against Hochevar. However, Alexei Ramirez (1.101 OPS) and Gordon Beckham (1.098) have hit him well. Alex Rios (.205) and A.J Pierzynski (.286), not as much. One of Hochevar’s brief flashes of excellence came against the White Sox in September 2009 when he had a complete game shutout.
Clayton Kershaw v Colorado – Kershaw has gone 3-2 with a 5.59 ERA and six home runs allowed in his seven career starts at Coors Field, but he has had success against the Rockies’ lineup in general. Their current lineup has a combined .224/.326/.327 line in 165 at-bats against him, and two of their collective three home runs have come from the unlikely Ryan Spilborghs. Dexter Fowler is the only regular with a batting average above .300 versus Kershaw (.368/.478/.526 in 19 at-bats); Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez have both hit below .200 in their experiences.
Sean Burnett, P, WAS - It’s hard to make too many roster judgments with only a handful of games in the books, but folks who punted saves at the draft table should act on Burnett NOW. He picked up a 1.1-inning save Sunday, and he appears to have the edge at closer over the short-leashed Drew Storen. Storen may eventually win back the full-time job, but Burnett should be good for a bounty of saves in the meantime. Burnett’s fastball may top out in the low-90s, but he is still able to miss bats (he struck out 8.9 per nine in 2010).
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