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Thursday Lineup Card: Master Craftsman

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:

Astros (Wandy Rodriguez – L) at Phillies (Kyle Kendrick – R), 1:05 ET
Dodgers (Carlos Monasterios – R) at Brewers (Yovani Gallardo – R), 2:10 ET
Diamondbacks (Ian Kennedy – R) at Padres (Kevin Correia – R), 6:35 ET
Cardinals (Chris Carpenter – R) at Nationals (Jordan Zimmermann – R), 7:05 ET
Athletics (Vin Mazzaro – R) at Indians (Justin Masterson – R), 7:05 ET
Tigers (Max Scherzer – R) at Blue Jays (Ricky Romero – L), 7:07 ET
Marlins (Anibal Sanchez – R) at Mets (Jon Niese – L), 7:10 ET
Twins (Francisco Liriano – L) at Rangers (Cliff Lee – L), 8:05 ET
Orioles (Jake Arrieta – R) at White Sox (Edwin Jackson – R), 8:10 ET

Day Game After Night Game: LAD, MIL, HOU, PHI, ARI, SD

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)

Adam Jones, OF, BAL (shoulder) – Left Tuesday’s game with bruised shoulder; doesn’t seem serious
Chad Billingsley, SP, LAD (calf) – Pushed back from Wednesday to Saturday
Ian Desmond, SS, WAS (thumb) – Missed Tuesday, but expected back Wednesday
Ricky Nolasco, SP, FLA (knee) – Throwing bullpen Wednesday, then decision will be made on rest of season
Nick Swisher, OF, NYY (knee) – Questionable for Wednesday; may get the day off because Thursday is an off day as well
Marlon Byrd, OF, CHC (hand) – Kept out for precautionary reasons Tuesday; expected back in Wednesday’s lineup
Jorge De La Rosa, SP, COL (finger) – Hurt a finger on his pitching hand while batting Tuesday, but stayed in to finish seven solid innings; worth monitoring, but probably not major
Frank Francisco, RP, TEX (arm) – Received cortisone shot; will be out a few days
Rafael Betancourt, RP, COL (abdomen) – Unavailable again Wednesday
Geoff Blum, 3B, HOU (neck) – Improving and will avoid DL

Players on the DL

Ian Kinsler, 2B, TEX (groin) – Won’t be activated September 1, as hoped; will go on rehab next week
Nelson Cruz, OF, TEX (hamstring) – Will go on brief rehab assignment and return Monday
Magglio Ordonez, OF, DET (ankle) – Will have season-ending surgery and be back for spring training
Troy Glaus, 1B, ATL (knee) – Homered in his first rehab game, but made two errors playing third base
Jim Edmonds, OF, CIN (oblique) – Sent to the DL; may close the book on his career
Matt Lindstrom, RP, HOU (back) – Throwing off mound Wednesday; likely to be activated soon after eligible return date of August 31
Hideki Okajima, RP, BOS (hamstring) – Will stay in Triple-A to work on command before returning to Boston this weekend
J.J. Putz, RP, CHW (knee) – Placed on the DL
Matt Thornton, RP, CHW (forearm) – Placed on the DL, presumably retroactive to August 18, the day after he last pitched
Dennys Reyes, RP, STL (elbow) – Placed on the DL retroactive to August 16
Ross Ohlendorf, SP, PIT (shoulder) – Hit the DL and may be out for the year
Brian Moehler, SP, HOU (groin) – Will have season-ending surgery
Jim Johnson, RP, BAL (elbow) – Could be activated Friday
David Hernandez, RP, BAL (ankle) – Throwing on flat ground; September return likely
Alfredo Aceves, RP, NYY (back) – Had a rough rehab appearance Tuesday; still not ready to be activated
Ron Mahay, RP, MIN (shoulder) – Having season-ending surgery; moved to 60-day DL

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

Placed on the DL
J.J. Putz, RP, CHW
Matt Thornton, RP, CHW
Ross Ohlendorf, SP, PIT
Dennys Reyes, RP, STL

Activated from the DL
Jeff Niemann, SP, TAM
Erick Threets, RP, CHW

Sent Down 
Dale Thayer, RP, TAM
Joaquin Arias, 2B, TEX (designated for assignment)

Called Up
Lucas Harrell, RP, CHW
Fernando Salas, RP, STL
Alex Cora, 2B, TEX

Claimed From Waivers
Matt Downs, 2B, HOU (sent to minors)
Randy Flores, RP, MIN

Brad Hawpe, OF, FA

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

Chicago Cubs – The suddenly shaky Carlos Marmol gave up three runs Tuesday against Washington, but picked up his 23rd save anyway because he entered the game with the bases loaded in the eighth inning. Marmol has allowed three runs in two of his last three outings, thanks to walking the world recently (6 BB in 3.1 innings over his past three games). His job isn’t in danger, but the situation bears watching.

Chicago White Sox – Bobby Jenks earned his 24th save with a clean ninth against the Orioles on Tuesday, while the rest of the bullpen did its best to guarantee that Jenks will hold the role for the rest of the year. Now Matt Thornton and J.J. Putz are on the DL, while Sergio Santos surrendered three runs without recording an out in Tuesday’s game.

Houston – Wilton Lopez gave up a game-tying homer to Jimmy Rollins in the ninth inning Tuesday, the first run he’d allowed since July 18. If you’re hard up for saves, he’s presumably still the guy in Houston.

Pittsburgh – Evan Meek took his turn in the closer’s chair Tuesday, collecting his second save of the year despite allowing a run on four hits. Joel Hanrahan bailed out starter Paul Maholm in the seventh and pitched the eighth as well to earn the win. Hanrahan should still own the role, but it’s possible this will be matchup-based for the rest of the year.

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


Ryan Theriot v. Yovani Gallardo – 4-for-10 (.400), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 3:2 BB:K, .538 OBP
Gerardo Parra v. Kevin Correia – 7-for-19 (.368), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 1:1 BB:K, .400 OBP
Ivan Rodriguez v. Chris Carpenter – 10-for-28 (.357), 0 HR, 7 RBI, 3:5 BB:K, .419 OBP
Yunel Escobar v. Max Scherzer – 6-for-13 (.462), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 0:5 BB:K, .500 OBP
Carlos Beltran v. Anibal Sanchez – 4-for-10 (.400), 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1:2 BB:K, .455 OBP
Denard Span v. Cliff Lee – 6-for-17 (.353), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 2:6 BB:K, .421 OBP
Nick Markakis v. Edwin Jackson – 6-for-15 (.400), 0 HR, 3 RBI, 0:4 BB:K, .400 OBP

Chris Carpenter v. Nationals – If not for Ivan Rodriguez, the Nationals wouldn’t have a hitter with more than four hits against Carpenter. Even with Pudge’s .357, the Nats have a miserable combined line of .189/.241/.330 against Carpenter, with a 7:23 BB:K. Washington has already seen Carpenter this year, and he held them to two runs (one earned) over eight innings. Now, the encore.


Stephen Drew v. Kevin Correia – 8-for-41 (.195), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 1:5 BB:K, .214 OBP
Miguel Montero v. Kevin Correia – 3-for-13 (.231), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 3:2 BB:K, .375 OBP
Adam Dunn v. Chris Carpenter – 4-for-24 (.167), 1 HR, 2 RBI, 3:10 BB:K, .250 OBP
Ryan Zimmerman v. Chris Carpenter – 1-for-10 (.100), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 0:1 BB:K, .100 OBP
Jose Reyes v. Anibal Sanchez – 3-for-19 (.158), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 5:3 BB:K, .333 OBP
David Wright v. Anibal Sanchez – 3-for-16 (.188), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 4:7 BB:K, .350 OBP
Jim Thome v. Cliff Lee – 5-for-24 (.208), 1 HR, 4 RBI, 3:3 BB:K, .310 OBP
Delmon Young v. Cliff Lee – 3-for-24 (.125), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 2:9 BB:K, .192 OBP
Alexi Casilla v. Cliff Lee – 2-for-15 (.133), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 0:1 BB:K, .133 OBP
Jason Kubel v. Cliff Lee – 2-for-11 (.182), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0:5 BB:K, .250 OBP
Julio Lugo v. Edwin Jackson – 3-for-16 (.188), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 2:2 BB:K, .278 OBP
Adam Jones v. Edwin Jackson – 3-for-14 (.214), 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1:1 BB:K, .267 OBP

Recommended Pickup

Ryan Raburn, OF, DET – Raburn, a fantasy bum for almost the entire season, has seen the light go on in August. Over his past 22 games, he’s compiled a .321/.376/.628 line, with six homers, 16 RBI and even a steal. For the first time this year, he’s settled into regular playing time, and he’s produced impressively. Remember, Raburn hit .291 with 16 homers as a part-time player last year, so the skill is there. He’s eligible at second base as well, which only adds to his value.

Other recent recommendations: Bud Norris, Kosuke Fukudome, Anibal Sanchez, Homer Bailey, Jed Lowrie