Thursday Lineup Card: Late Night Mound Delight

Thursday Lineup Card: Late Night Mound Delight

This article is part of our The Lineup Card series.

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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.


Evan Longoria - 3BTB vs TOR
8/4 12:10 PM
Brett Cecil9-17.52902222.647.5791.226
Aaron Hill - 2BTOR @ TB
8/4 12:10 PM
Wade Davis5-10.50012100.900.5001.400
Michael Young - 3BTEX @ DET
8/4 1:05 PM
Brad Penny8-15.53300220.533.5561.089
Ryan Ludwick - OFPIT vs CHC
8/4 7:05 PM
Rodrigo Lopez5-15.33312312.600.375.975
Wes Helms - 3BFLA vs STL
8/4 7:10 PM
Kyle Lohse4-11.36422502.909.3331.242
Hanley Ramirez - SSFLA vs STL
8/4 7:10 PM
Kyle Lohse5-13.38514424.846.4671.313
Mark Reynolds - 3BBAL @ KC
8/4 8:10 PM
Jeff Francis9-22.40902221.500.458.958
Aaron Rowand - OFSF vs PHI
8/4 10:15 PM
Cliff Lee7-25.28015236.560.379.939
Hot Pitcher MatchupsAt-BatsOpp



B.J. Upton - OFTB vs TOR
8/4 12:10 PM
Brett Cecil3-17.17600036.176.300.476
Endy Chavez - OFTEX @ DET
8/4 1:05 PM
Brad Penny2-16.12501026.188.222.410
Marco Scutaro - SSBOS vs CLE
8/4 7:10 PM
Justin Masterson1-12.08300011.083.154.237
John Buck - CFLA vs STL
8/4 7:10 PM
Kyle Lohse1-17.05900037.059.200.259
Omar Infante - 2BFLA vs STL
8/4 7:10 PM
Kyle Lohse4-25.16012205.320.160.480
J.J. Hardy - SSBAL @ KC
8/4 8:10 PM
Jeff Francis2-10.20002214.400.273.673
Cold Pitcher MatchupsAt-BatsOpp
Brad PennyDET vs Tex
8/4 1:05 PM
Rangers Batters34-117.291614161322.517.357.873

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

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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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Paul Bruno
Paul Bruno is co-host of the RotoWire fantasy hockey podcast, PUCKCAST with Statsman and AJ. He has been an accredited member of the Toronto sports media for more than 20 years. Paul also helps with RW's DFS podcast and is a contributing writer for RW NFL, MLB and CFL content. Follow him on twitter: @statsman22.
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