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The Lineup Card: This Closer Isn't Meek

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:

Cardinals (Jeff Suppan – R) at Pirates (Brian Burres – L), 12:35 ET
Mariners (Felix Hernandez – R) at Blue Jays (Shawn Hill – R), 12:37 ET
Astros (Nelson Figueroa – R) at Nationals (Ross Detwiler – L), 4:35 ET
Royals (Sean O’Sullivan – R) at Indians (Mitch Talbot – R), 7:05 ET
Giants (Madison Bumgarner – L) at Cubs (Ryan Dempster – R), 7:05 ET
Rays (David Price – L) at Yankees (CC Sabathia – L), 7:05 ET
Marlins (Anibal Sanchez – R) at Brewers (Yovani Gallardo – R), 8:10 ET
Rockies (Jeff Francis – L) at Diamondbacks (Ian Kennedy – R), 9:40 ET
Rangers (Cliff Lee – L) at Athletics (Dallas Braden – L), 10:05 ET
Padres (Kevin Correia – R) at Dodgers (Hiroki Kuroda – R), 10:10 ET

Day Game After Night Game: STL, PIT, SEA, TOR, HOU, WAS

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)

Carlos Gonzalez, OF, COL (thumb) – Attributed lack of September power to thumb/wrist tendinitis, but still raking anyway
Josh Hamilton, OF, TEX (ribs) – Ribs are fractured, but wants to return for the final five games of the regular season
Hanley Ramirez, SS, FLA (elbow) – Sitting out Wednesday
Joey Votto, 1B, CIN (illness) – Out of the lineup Wednesday
Joe Mauer, C, MIN (knee) – Sitting out Wednesday and will likely be well rested down the stretch
Juston Upton, OF, ARI (shoulder) – Still could miss the rest of the year
Hunter Pence, OF, HOU (hip) – Out Wednesday after leaving Tuesday’s game
Jimmy Rollins, SS, PHI (hamstring) – Still not running; may not play for the rest of the regular season
Michael Bourn, OF, HOU (oblique) – Out Wednesday, but expected back Friday
Russell Branyan, 1B, SEA (back) – Hit off a tee Tuesday and could return Wednesday
Jim Thome, DH, MIN (soreness) – Sitting Wednesday and could be used sparingly rest of regular season
Yadier Molina, C, STL (knee) – Headed back to St. Louis for an MRI
Gordon Beckham, 3B, CHW (hand) – Out again Wednesday; hasn’t started since the 15th
Asdrubal Cabrera, SS, CLE (wrist) – Out Wednesday
J.J. Hardy, SS, MIN (head) – Sitting out Wednesday
Orlando Hudson, 2B, MIN (shoulder) – Sitting out Wednesday
Eric Young Jr., 2B, COL (shin) – X-ray news was positive, but likely limited until the weekend
Freddy Garcia, SP, CHW (back) – Will start Friday against the Angels
Daric Barton, 1B, OAK (thigh) – Could return to lineup Thursday
Edgar Renteria, SS, SFO (elbow) – Hasn’t played since Sept. 17
Jim Edmonds, OF, CIN (Achilles) – Could be done for the season, and perhaps the career, with latest injury
Tom Gorzelanny, SP, CHC (finger) – Will start Friday vs. St. Louis
Chris Dickerson, OF, MIL (hamstring) – Left Tuesday’s game with strain
Emilio Bonifacio, 3B, FLA (hamstring) – Could be out of action until next week
Will Ohman, RP, FLA (elbow) – May be done for the year
Jerry Blevins, RP, OAK (shoulder) – Unavailable Wednesday
Felix Doubront, RP, BOS (chest) – Scheduled to start throwing program soon; out for the season
Hector Ambriz, RP, CLE (elbow) – Shut down for the year

Players on the DL

Jacoby Ellsbury, OF, BOS (ribs) – Terry Francona said he expects him to be ready for Dec. 1 offseason workouts
Kendry Morales, 1B, LAA (leg) – Ahead of schedule on his rehab; should be totally ready for spring training next year
Tyler Colvin, OF, CHC (chest) – Hit the DL, as he’s still hospitalized with a moderate case of broken bat through the chest
Frank Francisco, RP, TEX (back) – Hopes to throw off a mound next week; optimistic for postseason

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

Called Up
Mike Carp, 1B, SEA
Greg Halman, OF, SEA
Anthony Varvaro, RP, SEA
Matt Mangini, 3B, SEA

Placed on the Disabled List
Tyler Colvin, OF, CHC

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

Cincinnati – Francisco Cordero picked up his 38th save Tuesday despite having a bit of an adventure, giving up a couple hits and a couple runs, as well as committing an error. Cordero’s now allowed eight runs (seven earned) over 7.1 September innings. The prospect of Cordero closing playoff games with the way he’s pitched is frightening, and it’s surprising that Nick Masset hasn’t had a shot yet.

Kansas City – No controversy here, just giving props to Joakim Soria for reaching the 40-save mark Tuesday for the second time in the last three seasons despite pitching for the Royals.

Pittsburgh – Apparently, it’s Evan Meek’s turn, as he earned his second straight save on Tuesday. This situation is a nightmare unless you’re in a league that counts both saves and holds – that would make Meek and Joel Hanrahan relatively valuable.

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


Chris Snyder v. Jeff Suppan – 8-for-14 (.571), 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1:2 BB:K, .625 OBP
Ryan Doumit v. Jeff Suppan – 4-for-13 (.308), 2 HR, 3 RBI, 0:2 BB:K, .400 OBP
Brandon Moss v. Jeff Suppan – 4-for-12 (.333), 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1:1 BB:K, .429 OBP
Aaron Hill v. Felix Hernandez – 5-for-13 (.385), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 3:3 BB:K, .500 OBP
Edgar Renteria* v. Ryan Dempster – 8-for-24 (.333), 2 HR, 7 RBI, 4:3 BB:K, .429 OBP
Freddy Sanchez v. Ryan Dempster – 6-for-17 (.353), 1 HR, 5 RBI, 2:2 BB:K, .421 OBP
Kelly Shoppach v. CC Sabathia – 5-for-15 (.333), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 2:3 BB:K, .444 OBP
Ben Zobrist v. CC Sabathia – 7-for-22 (.318), 1 HR, 5 RBI, 3:4 BB:K, .400 OBP
Chris Young v. Jeff Francis – 8-for-20 (.400), 2 HR, 3 RBI, 1:3 BB:K, .455 OBP
Stephen Drew v. Jeff Francis – 7-for-20 (.350), 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1:1 BB:K, .381 OBP
Mark Reynolds v. Jeff Francis – 9-for-18 (.500), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 1:1 BB:K, .526 OBP
Justin Upton* v. Jeff Francis – 5-for-12 (.417), 2 HR, 3 RBI, 0:1 BB:K, .417 OBP
Kurt Suzuki v. Cliff Lee – 6-for-15 (.400), 0 HR, 3 RBI, 1:2 BB:K, .438 OBP
Ian Kinsler v. Dallas Braden – 6-for-13 (.462), 1 HR, 2 RBI, 0:1 BB:K, .429 OBP
Josh Hamilton* v. Dallas Braden – 6-for-14 (.429), 1 HR, 2 RBI, 0:2 BB:K, .429 OBP
Chase Headley v. Hiroki Kuroda – 6-for-15 (.400), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 2:4 BB:K, .471 OBP
Andre Ethier v. Kevin Correia – 9-for-19 (.529), 0 HR, 3 RBI, 4:0 BB:K, .619 OBP
Jamey Carroll v. Kevin Correia – 5-for-12 (.417), 0 HR, 3 RBI, 1:1 BB:K, .429 OBP

David Price v. Yankees – This is a cautious recommendation, as Yankee Stadium is a bandbox and Price gave up seven runs there in July, but he’s held these Yankee hitters to a miserable combined line of .174/.265/.297 and has a good enough year to garner some Cy Young votes. Price has as good as shot as anyone to stick it to the Yankees at home.


Andy LaRoche v. Jeff Suppan – 2-for-14 (.143), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 2:1 BB:K, .250 OBP
Lyle Overbay v. Felix Hernandez – 2-for-14 (.143), 1 HR, 1 RBI, 3:3 BB:K, .294 OBP
Jose Molina v. Felix Hernandez – 2-for-10 (.200), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1:3 BB:K, .273 OBP
John Buck v. Felix Hernandez – 0-for-9 (.000), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1:4 BB:K, .100 OBP
Aubrey Huff v. Ryan Dempster – 3-for-19 (.158), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1:1 BB:K, .200 OBP
Aaron Rowand v. Ryan Dempster – 1-for-13 (.077), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 2:5 BB:K, .200 OBP
Carlos Pena v. CC Sabathia – 4-for-35 (.114), 2 HR, 2 RBI, 4:19 BB:K, .205 OBP
Rocco Baldelli v. CC Sabathia – 6-for-26 (.231), 0 HR, 3 RBI, 2:7 BB:K, .276 OBP
Willy Aybar v. CC Sabathia – 3-for-15 (.200), 1 HR, 4 RBI, 2:2 BB:K, .278 OBP
Dioner Navarro v. CC Sabathia – 2-for-14 (.143), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 1:1 BB:K, .176 OBP
Jorge Posada v. David Price – 1-for-15 (.067), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 3:7 BB:K, .222 OBP
Mark Teixeira v. David Price – 2-for-15 (.133), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 2:0 BB:K, .278 OBP
Curtis Granderson v. David Price – 2-for-13 (.154), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0:6 BB:K, .154 OBP
Marcus Thames v. David Price – 1-for-12 (.083), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1:0 BB:K, .154 OBP
Prince Fielder v. Anibal Sanchez – 1-for-11 (.091), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 0:1 BB:K, .091 OBP
Mark Ellis v. Cliff Lee – 3-for-21 (.143), 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2:4 BB:K, .217 OBP
Daric Barton v. Cliff Lee – 3-for-15 (.200), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0:3 BB:K, .200 OBP
Jack Cust v. Cliff Lee – 2-for-12 (.167), 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1:6 BB:K, .231 OBP
Kevin Kouzmanoff v. Cliff Lee – 2-for-11 (.182), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0:2 BB:K, .182 OBP
Elvis Andrus v. Dallas Braden – 2-for-11 (.182), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 0:3 BB:K, .182 OBP
Nelson Cruz v. Dallas Braden – 3-for-15 (.200), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 2:6 BB:K, .294 OBP
Miguel Tejada v. Hiroki Kuroda – 1-for-11 (.091), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 0:1 BB:K, .167 OBP
Matt Kemp v. Kevin Correia – 4-for-23 (.174), 0 HR, 3 RBI, 0:5 BB:K, .174 OBP
Casey Blake v Kevin Correia – 3-for-17 (.176), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1:7 BB:K, .222 OBP

Jeff Suppan v. Pirates – The Pirates don’t hit much, but they make an exception for the ex-Bucco Suppan, who has allowed these Pirates hitters to compile a ridiculous .360/.430/.623 line off him over 114 at-bats. He did shut them out over 5.1 innings on July 31; I’d love to see what his numbers against them looked like before that.

Recommended Pickup

Evan Meek, RP, PIT – Why not? If you need some championship-week saves, Meek is as good as you’re going to find on the waiver wire. As noted above, he’s picked up the last two saves for the Pirates, and his ERA and WHIP numbers for the year are top-notch.

Other recent recommendations: Danny Valencia, Andy Pettitte, Nate McLouth, Russell Branyan, Jhoulys Chacin