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The Lineup Card: Aces Wild

Kevin O'Brien

Kevin O'Brien writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire.

Projected Starters - A look at Saturday’s matchups:

Mets (R.A. Dickey - R) at Marlins (Ricky Nolasco - R), 7:05
Blue Jays (Ricky Romero - R) at Indians (Jake Westbrook - R), 7:05
Nationals (Stephen Strasburg - R) at Braves (Tim Hudson - R), 7:10
Phillies (Kyle Kendrick - R) at Reds (Johnny Cueto - R), 7:10
Pirates (Paul Maholm - L) at Cubs (Randy Wells - R), 8:05
Astros (Bud Norris - R) at Brewers (Manny Parra - L), 8:10
Tigers (Jeremy Bonderman - R) at Twins (Francisco Liriano - L), 8:10
White Sox (Mark Buehrle - L) at Royals (Anthony Lerew - R), 8:10
Diamondbacks (Dan Haren - R) at Cardinals (Chris Carpenter - R), 8:15
Rockies (Ubaldo Jimenez - R) at Padres (Kevin Correia - R), 10:05
Dodgers (Chad Billingsley - R) at Giants (Barry Zito - L), 10:15

Day game following night game: None

Injuries - A brief look at players who have been missing time due to injury and their expected returns.

Day-to-Day (includes players expected to make their return from the DL)

Jason Heyward, OF, ATL – (Thumb) Did not play on Sunday, will not start on Monday either
Brad Hawpe, OF, COL – (Ribs) Did not play on Sunday, remains day-to-day
Neil Walker, 2B, PIT – (Head) Did not play on Sunday, likely out at least until Wednesday
Angel Pagan, OF, NYM – (Upper Body) Did not play on Sunday, could return on Monday
Ryan Ludwick, OF, STL – (Calf) Did not play on Sunday, remains day-to-day
Stephen Drew, SS, AZ - (Knee) Returned to the lineup on Sunday
Carl Crawford, OF, TB – (Shoulder) Pinch ran on Sunday, status for Tuesday's game has yet to be determined
Ty Wigginton, 3B, BAL – (Back) Returned to the lineup on Sunday
J.D. Drew, OF, BOS – (Hamstring) Returned to the lineup on Sunday
Clay Buchholz, SP, BOS – (Knee) Expected to make next scheduled start
Placido Polanco, 3B, PHI - (Elbow) Did not play on Sunday, unlikely to play Monday either
Jason Donald, SS, CLE - (Wrist) Did not play on Sunday, considered day-to-day
Nate McLouth, OF, ATL - (Concussion) Took batting practice on Sunday, still no timetable for return
Mike Cameron, OF, BOS - (Abdomen) Soreness kept him out of Sunday's lineup, likely will return on Tuesday
Derrek Lee, 1B, CHN - Dealing with minor back soreness but started on Sunday as the DH
Victor Martinez, C, BOS - Left Sunday's game with an apparent foot injury and also dealing with fractured thumb, status uncertain for this week.
Miguel Montero, C, AZ - Dealing with back soreness but started on Sunday

Players on the DL

Carlos Beltran, OF, NYN - (Knee) Played seven innings in center field on Saturday, but still no definite timetable for return (aiming for July 15)
Eric Young Jr., 2B, COL - (Leg) Making progress but still at least several weeks from returning
Sergio Mitre, P, NYA - (Oblique) Will throw off a mound on Monday
Travis Buck, OF, OAK - (Leg) Cleared to resume baseball activities
J.J. Hardy, SS, MIN - (Wrist) Will take batting practice this week and could begin rehab assignment if all goes well
Matt Diaz, OF, ATL - (Thumb) Played first rehab game on Saturday, still likely out another week
Carlos Ruiz, C, PHI - (Head) Took batting practice Saturday, expected to be activated on July 4
Bud Norris, SP, HOU - (Biceps) Will be activated and start on Monday
Brad Ausmus, C, LAD - (Back) Recovery is ahead of schedule but still a few weeks away

Transactions - Players that 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)
Bobby Jenks, RP, CHA (Bereavement List)
Mike Sweeney, DH, SEA
Mark DeRosa, 3B, SF - transferred to 60-day DL

Activated from DL
Koji Uehara, RP, BAL

Called Up
Matt LaPorta, 1B/OF, CLE
David Pauley, RP, SEA
Erick Threets, RP, CHA
Bill Bray, RP, CIN

Sent Down
Sam LeCure, SP, CIN
Mike Carp, OF, SEA

Designated For Assignment
Garrett Atkins, 1B, BAL
Josh Banks, P, HOU

Russell Branyan, 1B - from CLE to SEA
Eric Patterson, OF, from OAK to BOS

Closer Watch - A closer look at intriguing ninth-inning situations (check out Dave Regan’s Closer Grid with the link to the left).

Arizona - Aaron Heilman picked up save number two on Sunday. Heilman had been scored upon in each of his previous three outings, but he was able to maintain the Diamondbacks' tenuous one-run lead in Tampa Bay with a scoreless frame. Sunday's performance likely ensured that Heilman will remain the closer for the time being, but this situation, long-term, remains extremely volatile.

Baltimore - Alfredo Simon pitched a scoreless ninth inning on Sunday to pick up his ninth save of the season. Simon was a little shaky after coming off the disabled list, but he has righted the ship nicely. Over the last three games, Simon has allowed 0 ER while picking up two saves and a win. With Mike Gonzalez expected to return shortly, the Orioles will have to decide which of the two will serve as the closer. Considering the way the Orioles' bullpen has pitched this season, that's probably a nice decision to have.

San Diego - With Heath Bell getting the day off, Gregerson got the ball in the ninth inning on Sunday and closed the door to pick up his first save of the season. Gregerson has been dominant this season, but this by no means signals a change at the back end of the Padres' bullpen. Bell will get the ball next time the Padres are in a save situation.

Key Matchups - Spotlight on hitters and pitchers with favorable matchups against their opponent on a particular day (generally, individual matchups with fewer than 10 at-bats are not included). *Check status


David Wright v. Ricky Nolasco - 17-for-44 (.386), 3 HR, 10 RBI, 3:14 BB:K (.426 OBP)
Jose Reyes v. Ricky Nolasco - 14-for-37 (.378), 3 HR, 5 RBI, 2:6 BB:K (.410 OBP)
Jeff Francouer v. Ricky Nolasco - 9-for-29 (.310), 2 HR, 7 RBI, 1:3 BB:K (.323 OBP)
Ivan Rodriguez v. Tim Hudson - 12-for-27 (.444), 2 HR, 8 RBI, 1:2 BB:K (.464 OBP)
Adam Dunn v. Tim Hudson - 8-for-19 (.421), 2 HR, 4 RBI, 1:2 BB:K (.450 OBP)
Ryan Theriot v. Paul Maholm - 9-for-25 (.360), 0 HR, 5 RBI, 4:2 BB:K (.448 OBP) **5 doubles
Alfonso Soriano v. Paul Maholm - 7-for-24 (.292), 4 HR, 6 RBI, 3:3 BB:K (.357 OBP)
Geovany Soto v. Paul Maholm - 5-for-12 (.417), 1 HR, 4 RBI, 2:1 BB:K (.500 OBP
Carlos Lee v. Manny Parra - 8-for-15 (.533), 1 HR, 3 RBI, 3:1 BB:K (.611 OBP) **1.478 OPS
Joe Mauer v. Jeremy Bonderman - 8-for-23 (.348), 1 HR, 2 RBI, 7:3 BB:K (.484 OBP)
Jim Thome v. Jeremy Bonderman - 6-for-21 (.286), 3 HR, 6 RBI, 3:7 BB:K (.375 OBP)
Magglio Ordonez v. Francisco Liriano - 8-for-24 (.333), 2 HR, 8 RBI, 1:6 BB:K (.360 OBP)
Billy Butler v. Mark Buehrle - 12-for-36 (.333), 2 HR, 7 RBI, 2:3 BB:K (.359 OBP)
Jason Kendall v. Mark Buehrle - 7-for-20 (.350), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 3:1 BB:K (.435 OBP)
Mitch Maier v. Mark Buehrle - 8-for-19 (.421), 0 HR, 6 RBI, 1:1 BB:K (.450 OBP)
Matt Holliday v. Dan Haren - 6-for-17 (.353), 2 HR, 3 RBI, 2:4 BB:K (.421 OBP)
Kelly Johnson v. Chris Carpenter - 6-for-12 (.500), 1 HR, 1 RBI, 4:5 BB:K (.625 OBP)
Chris Young v. Chris Carpenter - 6-for-10 (.600), 1 HR, 1 RBI, 0:2 BB:K (.636 OBP)
Aaron Rowand v. Chad Billingsley - 7-for-20 (.350), 1 HR, 4 RBI, 4:5 BB:K (.423 OBP)
Garrett Anderson v. Barry Zito - 21-for-64 (.328), 2 HR, 9 RBI, 7:12 BB:K (.384 OBP)
Matt Kemp v. Barry Zito - 16-for-35 (.457), 0 HR, 3 RBI, 5:8 BB:K (.525 OBP)
Rafael Furcal v. Barry Zito - 9-for-25 (.360), 1 HR, 2 RBI, 3:5 BB:K (.429 OBP)

Tim Hudson v. Nationals - In 10 career starts against Washington, Hudson is 8-1 with a 1.62 ERA and 0.98 WHIP. Nationals batters have hit a combined .235 against him and have just 14 extra-base hits in 235 total at-bats. The one black mark on his record came earlier this season; but with Stephen Strasburg on the hill for the Nationals, this has the makings of a pitcher's duel.

Dan Haren v. Cardinals - The former Cardinal has taken every opportunity to show his former team what they could have had. In four career starts against St. Louis, Haren is 4-0; and he has struck out 33 batters in 29 innings. He did give up seven earned runs in a start against the Cardinals earlier this season, but he still managed to get the win. He'll be looking to provide another reminder on Monday.


Jason Bay v. Ricky Nolasco - 4-for-19 (.211), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 2:1 BB:K (.286 OBP)
Cristian Guzman v. Tim Hudson - 11-for-57 (.193), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 1:8 BB:K (.207 OBP)
Ryan Zimmerman v. Tim Hudson - 4-for-26 (.154), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0:6 BB:K (.154 OBP)
Josh Willingham v. Tim Hudson - 1-for-18 (.056), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 2:7 BB:K (.150 OBP)
Hunter Pence v. Manny Parra - 3-for-17 (.176), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 2:2 BB:K (.263 OBP)
Justin Morneau vs. Jeremy Bonderman - 5-for-27 (.185), 1 HR, 4 RBI, 4:9 BB:K (.290 OBP)
Jason Kubel v. Jeremy Bonderman - 3-for-14 (.214), 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1:3 BB:K (.267 OBP)
Orlando Hudson v. Jeremy Bonderman - 1-for-11 (.091), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1:2 BB:K (.167 OBP)
Brandon Inge v. Francisco Liriano - 4-for-23 (.174), 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1:11 BB:K (.208 OBP)
Carlos Guillen v. Francisco Liriano - 3-for-12 (.231), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0:2 BB:K (.231 OBP)
David DeJesus v. Mark Buehrle - 12-for-70 (.171), 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1:9 BB:K (.194 OBP)
Alberto Callaspo v. Mark Buehrle - 2-for-17 (.118), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0:0 B:K (.118 OBP)
Randy Winn v. Dan Haren - 9-for-44 (.205), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 2:11 BB:K (.239 OBP)
Skip Schumaker v. Dan Haren - 1-for-10 (.100), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1:3 BB:K (.182 OBP)
Adam LaRoche v. Chris Carpenter - 4-for-17 (.235), 0 HR, 4 RBI, 0:3 BB:K (.235 OBP)
Stephen Drew v. Chris Carpenter - 1-for-13 (.077), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 0:3 BB:K (.077 OBP)
Adrian Gonzalez v. Ubaldo Jimenez - 4-for-24 (.167), 2 HR, 5 RBI, 5:9 BB:K (.310 OBP)
Freddy Sanchez v. Chad Billingsley - 2-for-12 (.167), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 1:1 BB:K (.231 OBP)
Russell Martin v. Barry Zito - 6-for-31 (.194), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 3:9 BB:K (.286 OBP)
James Loney v. Barry Zito - 1-for-20 (.050), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0:6 BB:K (.050 OBP)

Ricky Nolasco v. Mets - David Wright and Jose Reyes are mashing; Nolasco is scuffling. Based on the stats above, that should continue on Monday. Nolasco is just 4-6 against the Marlins in his career, and he has had a lot of trouble getting the Mets' top two players out. Additionally, he has a career 5.58 ERA in 16 starts against the Mets. It's probably best to leave him on your bench on Monday.

The Middle Child

Manny Ramirez v. Barry Zito - 9-for-39 (.231), 3 HR, 8 RBI, 11:2 BB:K (.400 OBP) - low average but good power production and a superb K:BB ratio

Yuniesky Betancourt v. Mark Buehrle - 4-for-15 (.267), 3 HR, 4 RBI, 1:0 BB:K (.313 OBP) - nice HR % in limited at-bats from a guy who does not hit many to begin with

Paul Maholm v. Cubs - Players currently on the Cubs' roster have hit .323 off Maholm and have a whopping OPS of .939. Over his career, Maholm has a 6.29 ERA and 1.56 WHIP in 11 starts against the Cubs. So, why is he not in the 'Cold' section you ask? Well, Maholm is 6-1 against Chicago and has already beat them twice this season. I'd lean towards leaving him on the bench due to the first two sentences, but you could consider throwing him in your lineup if you're feeling lucky.

Recommended Pickup

Matt LaPorta, 1B/OF, CLE - Thanks to the signing of Russell Branyan and the hot start of Austin Kearns, LaPorta struggled to find regular playing time early this season. A .218 batting average and just one home run in 119 at-bats did not help his cause either. Rather than keep him in limbo, the Indians decided to send LaPorta to Triple-A Columbus to get regular at-bats. It did not take LaPorta long to prove he has no business being in Triple-A. In 18 games, LaPorta hit .362 with five home runs and 16 RBI - and sported a 1.094 OPS to boot. That was enough to convince the Indians they needed to open a spot for him on the major league roster. The Indians traded Branyan back to Seattle on Sunday and called up LaPorta, who will now have the first base job all to himself. LaPorta won't produce at the ridiculous level he did at Columbus, but he should post a respectable batting average the rest of the say and will provide some pop. Expect LaPorta to hit double-digit home runs from here on out while maintaining a consistent spot in the Indians' lineup.

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