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Thursday Lineup Card: Taking It on the Chen

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:

Rockies (Jorge De La Rosa – L) at Marlins (Josh Johnson – R), 12:10 ET
Nationals (Livan Hernandez – R) at Reds (Edinson Volquez – R), 12:35 ET
Blue Jays (Ricky Romero – L) at Tigers (Justin Verlander – R), 1:05 ET
Padres (Clayton Richard – L) at Braves (Tim Hudson – R), 1:05 ET
Phillies (Cole Hamels – L) at Cardinals (Adam Wainwright – R), 2:15 ET
Twins (Carl Pavano – R) at Orioles (Kevin Millwood – R), 7:05 ET
Royals (Bruce Chen – L) at Yankees (CC Sabathia – L), 7:05 ET
Brewers (Yovani Gallardo – R) at Pirates (Ross Ohlendorf – R), 7:05 ET
Angels (Jered Weaver – R) at Rangers (Cliff Lee – L), 8:05 ET
Giants (Matt Cain – R) at Diamondbacks (Rodrigo Lopez – R), 9:40 ET
Red Sox (John Lackey – R) at Mariners (Ryan Rowland-Smith – L), 10:10 ET
Mets (Hisanori Takahashi – L) at Dodgers (Hiroki Kuroda – R), 10:10 ET

Day Game After Night Game: COL, FLA, WAS, CIN, DET, SDG, ATL, PHI, STL

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)

Carl Crawford, OF, TAM (groin) – Sitting Wednesday thanks to Tuesday’s nut shot; may be back Friday
Andrew McCutchen, OF, PIT (shoulder) – Sitting out third straight game Wednesday
Scott Rolen, 3B, CIN (hamstring) – Out of Wednesday’s lineup; still seems likely to avoid DL
Yunel Escobar, SS, TOR (hand) – Out of the lineup for the second straight game
Alexi Casilla, 2B, MIN (elbow) – Returning from DL Thursday in utility role
Aaron Laffey, SP, CLE (arm) – Will have MRI Thursday; not expected to start Sunday
Skip Schumaker, 2B, STL (wrist) – Out Tuesday, possibly also Wednesday
Rick Ankiel, OF, KAN (quad) – Possible return from DL Thursday
Austin Kearns, OF, CLE (knee) – Out Wednesday for second straight; likely back Friday
Michael Brantley, OF, CLE (shoulder) – Not in Wednesday's lineup, but appeared in Tuesday's game as a defensive replacement

Players on the DL

Justin Morneau, 1B, MIN (concussion) – Making progress, but no timetable
Victor Martinez, C, BOS (thumb) – Took swings from both sides and did some catching Tuesday; may return without rehab
Dustin Pedroia, 2B, BOS (foot) – Hit before Tuesday's game, but still with the boot on
Brett Anderson, SP, OAK (elbow) – Allowed four runs in five innings Tuesday in what may have been his final rehab outing
Josh Beckett, SP, BOS (back) – Threw a 78-pitch bullpen session; on track for Friday return
David Freese, 3B, STL (ankle, toe) – New toe injury will keep him out until mid-August
Jamie Moyer, SP, PHI (elbow) – Placed on the DL
Erik Bedard, SP, SEA (shoulder) – Likely out for the year
Conor Jackson, OF, OAK (hamstring) – Still at least a week away from rehab
Clay Condrey, RP, MIN (elbow) – Received platelet-rich plasma injection in hopes of playing again this year
Brett Hayes, C, FLA (wrist) – Placed on the DL
David Eckstein, SS, SDG (calf) – Placed on the DL
Geoff Blum, 3B, HOU (elbow) – Staples removed; could be back by end of the month

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

Placed on the DL
Manny Ramirez, OF, LAD
Jamie Moyer, SP, PHI
Brett Hayes, C, FLA
David Eckstein, SS, SDG

Activated from the DL
Clay Buchholz, SP, BOS
Alexi Casilla, 2B, MIN
Will Venable, OF, SDG
Jed Lowrie, SS, BOS
Michael Gonzalez, RP, BAL
Oliver Perez, SP, NYM
Brad Ausmus, C, LAD

Sent Down 
Jeff Manship, RP, MIN
Micah Owings, SP, CIN
Drew Carpenter, RP, PHI
Dustin Richardson, RP, BOS
Ryan Shealy, 1B, BOS (designated for assignment)
Nate Robertson, SP, FLA (designated for assignment)
Jensen Lewis, RP, CLE
Casey Fien, RP, DET
Josh Bell, 3B, BAL
Justin Turner, 2B, NYM

Called Up
Carlos Fisher, RP, CIN
Jorge Sosa, RP, FLA
Vance Worley, RP, PHI
Scott Sizemore, 2B, DET
Troy Patton, RP, BAL
Brad Davis, C, FLA

Claimed From Waivers
Anderson Hernandez, SS, HOU

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

Arizona – Juan Gutierrez got the call in the first save situation of the Kirk Gibson era, Tuesday against the Mets. He gave up a homer to the first batter he faced, Angel Pagan, but retired the next three batters, striking out two, for his third save of the season. Gutierrez is the guy for the moment, and without any better options, Gibson may just ride with him through the rough patches to see if he can settle into the job.

Baltimore – Mike Gonzalez has returned, but that may not bring change to the O’s pen. Alfredo Simon threw 2.2 innings and David Hernandez threw two of his own in Tuesday’s extra-innings affair, and neither was needed in Wednesday’s game, but because of their extra workload, Gonzalez could get an opportunity Thursday. For now, though, Simon is the closer until Gonzalez takes the job.

San Francisco – Jeremy Affeldt picked up a rogue save because Brian Wilson had pitched four days in a row. There’s nothing to see here; just keep Affeldt’s name filed in case Wilson goes down.

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


Hanley Ramirez v. Jorge De La Rosa – 5-for-13 (.385), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 4:4 BB:K, .529 OBP
Dan Uggla v. Jorge De La Rosa – 4-for-11 (.364), 0 HR, 3 RBI, 2:3 BB:K, .500 OBP
Cody Ross v. Jorge De La Rosa – 4-for-10 (.400), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 2:2 BB:K, .500 OBP
Orlando Cabrera v. Livan Hernandez – 13-for-33 (.394), 0 HR, 3 RBI, 3:1 BB:K, .444 OBP
Brandon Phillips v. Livan Hernandez – 4-for-10 (.400), 1 HR, 4 RBI, 0:0 BB:K, .400 OBP
Adrian Gonzalez v. Tim Hudson – 7-for-14 (.500), 2 HR, 4 RBI, 1:1 BB:K, .533 OBP
Shane Victorino v. Adam Wainwright – 5-for-14 (.357), 1 HR, 3 RBI, 0:1 BB:K, .357 OBP
Michael Cuddyer v. Kevin Millwood – 11-for-26 (.423), 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2:2 BB:K, .464 OBP
Nick Punto v. Kevin Millwood – 11-for-24 (.458), 0 HR, 3 RBI, 4:4 BB:K, .536 OBP
Jim Thome v. Kevin Millwood – 6-for-10 (.600), 3 HR, 6 RBI, 5:1 BB:K, .688 OBP
Orlando Hudson v. Kevin Millwood – 7-for-11 (.636), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 1:1 BB:K, .667 OBP
Corey Patterson v. Carl Pavano – 10-for-17 (.588), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 0:3 BB:K, .588 OBP
Derek Jeter v. Bruce Chen – 11-for-28 (.393), 2 HR, 2 RBI, 2:4 BB:K, .433 OBP
Mark Teixeira v. Bruce Chen – 7-for-11 (.636), 6 HR, 12 RBI, 1:3 BB:K, .667 OBP
Marcus Thames v. Bruce Chen – 4-for-10 (.400), 1 HR, 6 RBI, 1:3 BB:K, .417 OBP
Jason Kendall v. CC Sabathia – 7-for-18 (.389), 0 HR, 6 RBI, 0:1 BB:K, .389 OBP
Juan Rivera v. Cliff Lee – 5-for-14 (.357), 3 HR, 4 RBI, 1:1 BB:K, .400 OBP
Juan Uribe v. Rodrigo Lopez – 5-for-13 (.385), 2 HR, 6 RBI, 0:0 BB:K, .385 OBP

Cole Hamels v. Cardinals – Hamels has absolutely dominated these Cardinals to this point in his career. This group of hitters is just 19-for-98 (.194) against Hamels with a miserable .507 OPS and just four walks against 22 strikeouts. The vaunted Pujols-Holliday combo is 4-for-21 against him. The only sour note here is that Hamels has been a bit rough on the road this year, posting a 4.18 ERA and 1.51 WHIP away from the not-so-pitcher-friendly confines of Citizens Bank Park.

Adam Wainwright v. Phillies – Pitchers’ duel, anyone? Wainwright has held the Phillies to a mere .225/.290/.360 line in his career. His K:BB against them is an un-Wainwright-like 21:9, but six of those walks belong to Ryan Howard, and if that’s the price for keeping him in the park (and it works; see below), Cardinals fans and fantasy owners will gladly pay it.

Jered Weaver v. Rangers – Weaver – who has led the league in strikeouts for a while, which still seems to be a surprise – has done impressive work against the powerful Rangers hitters, limiting them to a .241/.285/.348 line. Only two Rangers (Elvis Andrus and Josh Hamilton) with 10 or more PA against him have averages exceeding .280, and he’s picked up 34 strikeouts against 11 walks. Note of caution: This year, the Rangers have scored seven runs off him over 11.2 innings spanning two starts.


Miguel Cairo v. Livan Hernandez – 2-for-19 (.105), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1:1 BB:K, .150 OBP
Felipe Lopez v. Cole Hamels – 3-for-20 (.150), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 2:7 BB:K, .227 OBP
Randy Winn v. Cole Hamels – 4-for-19 (.211), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 1:2 BB:K, .250 OBP
Albert Pujols v. Cole Hamels – 3-for-17 (.176), 1 HR, 2 RBI, 0:2 BB:K, .167 OBP
Ryan Howard v. Adam Wainwright – 2-for-11 (.182), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 6:5 BB:K, .471 OBP
Nelson Cruz v. Jered Weaver – 5-for-24 (.208), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 3:8 BB:K, .296 OBP
David Murphy v. Jered Weaver – 1-for-18 (.056), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 1:7 BB:K, .100 OBP
Chris Davis v. Jered Weaver – 2-for-13 (.154), 0 HR, 3 RBI, 0:1 BB:K, .154 OBP
Erick Aybar v. Cliff Lee – 0-for-10 (.000), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0:2 BB:K, .000 OBP
Justin Upton v. Matt Cain – 2-for-12 (.167), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 3:4 BB:K, .333 OBP
Chris Young v. Matt Cain – 2-for-15 (.133), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0:4 BB:K, .133 OBP
Edgar Renteria v. Rodrigo Lopez – 3-for-18 (.167), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 2:4 BB:K, .250 OBP
Milton Bradley v. John Lackey – 3-for-17 (.176), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 5:6 BB:K, .364 OBP
Franklin Gutierrez v. John Lackey – 2-for-11 (.182), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1:2 BB:K, .250 OBP

Jorge De La Rosa v. Marlins – Every Marlins hitter with at least 10 plate appearances against De La Rosa has an extra-base hit off him except for Ronny Paulino (who’s 3-for-9 with a walk). Every Marlins hitter with at least 10 PA against De La Rosa except Wes Helms is hitting over .300 against him. All in all, he’s allowed the Fish to rack up a combined line of .326/.410/.500. That’s the bad news. The good news is that De La Rosa also has a promising 29:11 K:BB against those same hitters, so there’s probably some BABIP luck going on here. Indeed, subtract those strikeouts and these Marlins hitters have gone 28-for-57 (.491) against De La Rosa when they put the ball in play.

Kevin Millwood v. Twins – These Minnesota hitters have seen a lot of Millwood (197 PA) and have absolutely wrecked him. They have a combined .385/.464/.657 line against him, and although a good bit of that comes from the injured Justin Morneau (.364, 3 HR), everyone else in the order is doing his part as well – when you’ve got a combined 1.121 OPS against a pitcher, it’s not just one guy.

Bruce Chen v. Yankees – Chen has been surprisingly serviceable for the Royals so far this year, but things look like they’re gonna get ugly when he visits Yankee Stadium. When you’ve got a guy hitting almost .400 off you hitting in front of a guy who homers off you literally every other at-bat, trouble is coming. These Yankees have hit .324/.377/.658 against Chen, and they're gonna be in the bandbox they call home. Keep Chen stashed securely on your bench.

Recommended Pickup

Tommy Hunter, SP, Rangers – No, he doesn’t strike a lot of guys out. Yes, he pitches in Texas. But Hunter is now 7-0 after dismantling the Tigers on Tuesday (7 IP, 0 R, 3 H) and he’s rocking a 2.09 ERA and 1.11 WHIP. Production like that can’t be ignored in any format. The ride could end at any time, but for now, Hunter is red-hot – and, for a guy with his stats, much too widely unowned.

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