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Thursday Lineup Card: Muscle For Hire

Andrew Fiorentino

Managing hockey editor, talent wrangler, football columnist, FSWA's 2015 fantasy hockey writer of the year. Twitter: @akfiorentino

Projected Starters - A look at Thursday's matchups:

Pirates (Ross Ohlendorf – R) at Astros (Roy Oswalt – R), 2:05 ET
Angels (Ervin Santana – R) at White Sox (John Danks), 2:05 ET
Giants (Barry Zito – L) at Brewers (Manny Parra – L), 2:10 ET
Cardinals (Chris Carpenter – R) at Rockies (Ubaldo Jimenez – R), 3:10 ET
Reds (Johnny Cueto – R) at Phillies (Kyle Kendrick – R), 7:05 ET
Padres (Mat Latos – R) at Nationals (Luis Atilano – R), 7:05 ET
Twins (Scott Baker – R) at Blue Jays (Brett Cecil – L), 7:07 ET
Indians (Jake Westbrook – R) at Rays (Wade Davis – R), 7:10 ET
Orioles (Jeremy Guthrie – R) at Rangers (Tommy Hunter – R), 8:05 ET
Marlins (Anibal Sanchez – R) at Diamondbacks (Rodrigo Lopez – R), 9:40 ET
Yankees (Andy Pettitte – L) at Mariners (Jason Vargas – L), 10:10 ET
Cubs (Randy Wells – L) at Dodgers (Clayton Kershaw – L), 10:10 ET

Day Game After Night Game: PIT, HOU, LAA, CHW, SFO, MIL, STL, COL

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)

Robinson Cano, 2B, NYY (back) – Scratched Wednesday, possibly due to minor back issue cited for non-participation in Home Run Derby; more likely for rest
Kevin Youkilis, 1B, BOS (ankle) – In Wednesday’s lineup
Mariano Rivera, RP, NYY (knee) – Won’t pitch in the All-Star game, but seemingly won’t miss any save opportunities
Vernon Wells, OF, TOR (illness) – Back in the lineup Wednesday for the first time since Saturday
Jake Peavy, SP, CHW (back) – Could need surgery, and may miss rest of season
Todd Helton, 1B, COL (back) – Hit the DL
Carlos Quentin, OF, CHW (knee) – Scratched Wednesday; might not play until Friday
Jason Heyward, OF, ATL (thumb) – Hopes to take BP Friday
Buster Posey, C/1B, SFO (knee) – Starting at first base Wednesday
Milton Bradley, OF, SEA (knee) – Missed Tuesday’s game; check back for Wednesday
Jose Guillen, OF, KAN (leg) – Left Tuesday’s game; unsure for Wednesday
Mike Cameron, OF, BOS (abdomen) – In Wednesday’s lineup
Matt LaPorta, 1B/OF, CLE (head) – Out of the lineup again Wednesday, but should return soon
Nate McLouth, OF, ATL (concussion) – Will start rehab Friday
Homer Bailey, SP, CIN (shoulder) – Threw from flat ground Tuesday
Steven Pearce, 1B, PIT (knee) – Will receive platelet therapy and hopes to return in August
Adam Ottavino, SP, STL (shoulder) – Placed on the DL
Omar Vizquel, SS, CHW (knee) – Out Wednesday, should be back in a day or two
Ramon Hernandez, C, CIN (knee) – Out Wednesday, but close to return
Tommy Manzella, SS, HOU (finger) – Healing well, could return by end of July
Ryan Madson, RP, PHI (toe) – Scoreless inning of rehab Tuesday; could be back late this week
Chad Durbin, RP, PHI (hamstring) – Will start rehab assignment Saturday
Geoff Blum, 3B, HOU (elbow) – Had surgery Wednesday; 2-4 week recovery
Brian Schneider, C, PHI (thumb) – Not in Wednesday’s lineup
Ronald Belisario, RP, LAD (personal) – Placed on restricted list

Players on the DL

Jacoby Ellsbury, OF, BOS (ribs) – May rejoin team in Toronto this weekend, but probably not back in action so soon
Brett Anderson, SP, OAK (elbow) – Will make rehab start Friday
Dallas Braden, SP, OAK (elbow) – Threw successfully Tuesday; on track for July 19 return
Travis Snider, OF, TOR (wrist) – Had a four-hit day at Double-A; should be back immediately post-break
Placido Polanco, 3B, PHI (triceps) – On track to return around July 19
Josh Beckett, SP, BOS (back) – Planned for two rehab starts before returning
Rich Harden, SP, TEX (lower body) – Threw simulated game Tuesday, but still at least a couple weeks from a return
Luke Hochevar, SP, KAN (elbow) – Won’t start throwing program until after the break
Oliver Perez, SP, NYM (knee) – Moving to Triple-A to continue rehab
Gil Meche, SP, KAN (shoulder) – No problems after 60-pitch bullpen
Jeremy Hermida, OF, BOS (ribs) – Took full batting practice Tuesday; will likely go on rehab after All-Star break
Shawn Kelley, RP, SEA (elbow) – Beginning throwing program Wednesday
Maicer Izturis, SS, LAA (forearm) – Starting to take swings Wednesday
Sergio Mitre, RP, NYY (oblique) – Threw two perfect rehab innings Tuesday
Brian Schlitter, RP, CHC (shoulder) – Placed on the DL

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

Placed on the DL
Jake Peavy, SP, CHW
Adam Ottavino, SP, STL
Todd Helton, 1B, COL

Activated from the DL
Carlos Monasterios, RP, LAD

Sent Down 
Chris Volstad, SP, FLA
Armando Galarraga, SP, DET
Niuman Romero, 2B, BOS (designated for assignment)
Tyson Ross, RP, OAK

Called Up
Jeff Marquez, RP, CHW
Evan MacLane, RP, STL
Ryan Shealy, 1B, BOS
Ross Wolf, RP, OAK
Brad Eldred, RP, COL

Garrett Atkins, 3B, BAL

Sean Gallagher, RP, PIT

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

St. Louis – You may have heard about Ryan Franklin & Co. surrendering nine runs in the ninth to Colorado on Tuesday. It’s a testament to how good Franklin has been this year that he still has a reasonable 3.74 ERA despite allowing six earned runs in a third of an inning. He’s still got the job unless he repeats this performance.

Chicago White Sox – Bobby Jenks looked strong Tuesday, allowing a hit, but collecting a strikeout to pick up his first save since going on the bereavement list.

Baltimore – Alfredo Simon blew a win for Jake Arrieta, allowing a two-run homer to Miguel Cabrera in the ninth to tie the game. He’s certainly not the first guy to give up a homer to Miggy, and David Hernandez gave up two runs in the 11th for the loss, so Simon is likely to hold the role until Mike Gonzalez moseys on back to the majors.

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


Lance Berkman v. Ross Ohlendorf – 6-for-13 (.462), 1 HR, 5 RBI, 1:2 BB:K, .500 OBP
Mark Kotsay v. Ervin Santana – 10-for-24 (.417), 0 HR, 3 RBI, 5:0 BB:K, .517 OBP
Bobby Abreu v. John Danks – 4-for-10 (.400), 2 HR, 2 RBI, 8:2 BB:K, .667 OBP
Ryan Braun v. Barry Zito – 4-for-10 (.400), 2 HR, 4 RBI, 3:3 BB:K, .538 OBP – and 1.300 SLG
Corey Hart v. Barry Zito – 4-for-10 (.400), 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1:0 BB:K, .500 OBP
Aaron Hill v. Scott Baker – 5-for-10 (.500), 1 HR, 2 RBI, 0:2 BB:K, .500 OBP
Michael Young v. Jeremy Guthrie – 6-for-15 (.400), 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1:0 BB:K, .438 OBP
Jorge Cantu v. Rodrigo Lopez – 7-for-14 (.500), 1 HR, 4 RBI, 2:1 BB:K, .529 OBP
Franklin Gutierrez v. Andy Pettitte – 5-for-12 (.417), 1 HR, 1 RBI, 3:5 BB:K, .533 OBP
Jeff Baker v. Clayton Kershaw – 4-for-10 (.400), 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1:1 BB:K, .455 OBP


Ryan Church v. Roy Oswalt – 2-for-11 (.182), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0:1 BB:K, .182 OBP
Paul Konerko v. Ervin Santana – 4-for-22 (.182), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 1:7 BB:K, .240 OBP
A.J. Pierzynski v. Ervin Santana – 4-for-21 (.190), 1 HR, 1 RBI, 0:3 BB:K, .190 OBP
Erick Aybar v. John Danks – 3-for-16 (.188), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 0:2 BB:K, .176 OBP
Melvin Mora v. Chris Carpenter – 2-for-14 (.143), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 2:5 BB:K, .429 OBP
Clint Barmes v. Chris Carpenter – 2-for-12 (.167), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 0:0 BB:K, .167 OBP
Skip Schumaker v. Ubaldo Jimenez – 1-for-11 (.091), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 3:0 BB:K, .286 OBP
John Buck v. Scott Baker – 3-for-16 (.188), 0 HR, 3 RBI, 2:8 BB:K, .278 OBP
Lyle Overbay v. Scott Baker – 1-for-10 (.100), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1:2 BB:K, .182 OBP
Vladimir Guerrero v. Jeremy Guthrie – 1-for-17 (.059), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 0:2 BB:K, .059 OBP
Jack Wilson v. Andy Pettitte – 5-for-23 (.217), 1 HR, 3 RBI, 0:2 BB:K, .217 OBP

Recommended Pickup

Russell Branyan, 1B, Mariners – Those in need of first base or corner infield help should look Branyan’s way. He may be 35 years old, but he’s still a masher, as evidenced by his 13 homers in 60 games this year – that’s a 35-homer pace if he were to play in 162 games. He’ll never hit for great average, but he’s whacked three homers and driven in nine runs in his first eight games back in Seattle, where he hit 31 bombs last year.