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Wednesday Lineup Card: Cain is Able

Zach Sundelius

Zach Sundelius writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire.

Projected Starters - A look at Wednesday’s matchups (all times Eastern)

Brewers (Chris Narveson - L) at Phillies (Cliff Lee - L)
Padres (Aaron Harang - R) at Cubs (Matt Garza - R)
Giants (Matt Cain - R) at Rockies (Jorge De La Rosa - L)
Red Sox (Clay Buchholz - R) at Athletics (Gio Gonzalez - L)
Tigers (Rick Porcello - R) at Mariners (Erik Bedard - L)
White Sox (Philip Humber - R) at Rays (Wade Davis - R)
Twins (Nick Blackburn - R) at Orioles (Zach Britton - L)
Padres (Dustin Moseley - R) at Cubs (James Russell - L)
Yankees (Bartolo Colon - R) at Blue Jays (Brett Cecil - L)
Diamondbacks (Ian Kennedy - R) at Reds (Bronson Arroyo - R)
Astros (Bud Norris - R) at Mets (R.A. Dickey - R)
Pirates (Charlie Morton - R) at Marlins (Ricky Nolasco - R)
Angels (Jered Weaver - R) at Rangers (Matt Harrison - L)
Indians (Justin Masterson - R) at Royals (Luke Hochevar - R)
Nationals (Jordan Zimmermann - R) at Cardinals (Jaime Garcia - L)
Braves (Derek Lowe - R) at Dodgers (Jon Garland - R)

Day game after a night game: MIL, PHI, SF, COL, BOS, OAK, DET, SEA

Injuries - A brief look at players who have been missing time with minor ailments and their expected returns.

Day-to-Day (includes players expected to make their return from the DL)
Donnie Murphy, SS, FLA – (Knee) Wasn't in Tuesday's lineup
Logan Morrison, OF, FLA – (Foot) Left Tuesday's game early
Nyjer Morgan, OF, MIL – (Thigh) Wasn't in Tuesday's lineup
Shaun Marcum, P, MIL – (Bereavement) On the bereavement list, but scheduled to start Saturday
Sergio Mitre, P, MIL – (Triceps) Will miss a few days after getting hit with line drive
Seth Smith, OF, COL – (Groin) Wasn't in Tuesday's lineup
Cody Ross, OF, SF – (Calf) Will be activated from the DL on Wednesday
Roy Oswalt, P, PHI – (Back) Should be fine for Thursday's start
Scott Downs, P, LAA – (Illness) Hasn't pitched since last Wednesday
Alex Rodriguez, 3B, NYY – (Oblique) Wasn't in Tuesday's lineup
Justin Morneau, 1B, MIN – (Illness) Out of Tuesday's lineup
Delmon Young, OF, MIN – (Illness) Out of Tuesday's lineup
Johnny Damon, OF, TB – (Finger) Not in Tuesday's lineup
Magglio Ordonez, OF, DET – (Ankle) Not in Tuesday's lineup
Justin Smoak, 1B, SEA – (Bereavement) Out until at least Friday
Aaron Hill, 2B, TOR – (Undisclosed) Left Tuesday's game with injury

Players on the DL
Ross Ohlendorf, P, PIT – (Shoulder) Likely out at least another month
LaTroy Hawkins, P, MIL – (Shoulder) Done with rehab assignment, could get activated this week
Brian Schlitter, P, CHC – (Elbow) Returned to the Cubs after being on the Phillies' DL
Joe Thatcher, P, SD – (Shoulder) Played catch without issue Monday; still no timetable
Barry Zito, P, SF – (Foot) Out at least a month
Domonic Brown, OF, PHI – (Wrist) Could begin rehab games within a week
Hong-Chih Kuo, P, LAD – (Back) Threw for the first time Monday
Takashi Saito, P, MIL – (Hamstring) Scheduled to pitch simulated game Friday
J.C. Romero, P, PHI – (Calf) Hopes to return as soon as he's eligible in two weeks
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B, WAS – (Abdomen) Could still miss a couple more weeks
Jeff Keppinger, 2B, HOU – (Foot) Will appear in extended spring game Friday
Todd Coffey, P, WAS – (Calf) Threw bullpen session Tuesday
Clint Barmes, 2B, HOU – (Hand) Could start rehab assignment Friday
Zack Greinke, P, MIL – (Rib) Threw three scoreless innings in Tuesday's rehab start; still on track for early May return
Randy Wells, P, CHC – (Forearm) Will begin throwing program Friday
Andrew Cashner, P, CHC – (Shoulder) Will begin throwing program Friday
Pedro Feliciano, P, NYY – (Shoulder) No surgery for now; still no timetable
J.J. Hardy, SS, BAL – (Oblique) Still at least a couple of weeks away
Tsuyoshi Nishioka, 2B, MIN – (Leg) On schedule, but still likely out at least a month
Jason Donald, SS, CLE – (Finger) Strained left groin while on rehab assignment for finger
Mitch Talbot, P, CLE – (Elbow) Hopes to resume throwing Saturday, but still could be out until June
Dallas Braden, P, OAK – (Shoulder) Will be reevaluated to figure out a potential timetable
Kevin Slowey, P, MIN – (Shoulder) Threw a bullpen session Monday
Joe Mauer, C, MIN – (Illness/Legs) Visited with specialist, but details still murky
Scott Kazmir, P, LAA – (Back) Pitched extended spring game Tuesday
Joel Pineiro, P, LAA – (Shoulder) Will throw in extended spring game Wednesday
Jake Peavy, P, CHW – (Shoulder) MRI negative; set to resume throwing program in four days
Rajai Davis, OF, TOR – (Ankle) Could begin rehab assignment this week
Brandon Morrow, P, TOR – (Elbow) Will be activated to start Saturday
Tommy Hunter, P, TEX – (Groin) Threw bullpen session Tuesday
Francisco Cervelli, C, NYY – (Foot) Could begin rehab assignment Friday
Colin Curtis, OF, NYY – (Shoulder) Underwent season-ending surgery
Michael Wuertz, P, OAK – (Hamstring) Will throw at Triple-A on Wednesday

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

Called Up
Carlos Peguero, OF, SEA
Mark Hamilton, 1B, STL
Jeanmar Gomez, P, CLE
Mike Zagurski, P, PHI
Mike McClendon, P, MIL
Justin Turner, 2B, NYM
Eric Hacker, P, MIN
Omir Santos, C, DET

Sent Down
Travis Buck, OF, CLE
Alex Burnett, P, MIN
Ian Stewart, 3B, COL
Jesse Litsch, P, TOR
Brad Emaus, 2B, NYM (designated for assignment)

Placed on Bereavement Leave List
Justin Smoak, 1B, SEA
Shaun Marcum, P, MIL

Placed on Disabled List
Victor Martinez, C, DET
Skip Schumaker, 2B, STL
Allen Craig, OF, STL
J.C. Romero, P, PHI
Justin Duchscherer, P, BAL (transferred to 60-day DL)

Activated from Disabled List
Ubaldo Jimenez, P, COL
Frank Francisco, P, TOR
Nick Punto, 2B, STL

Closer Watch - A closer look at intriguing ninth-inning situations (also check out our Closer Grid)

Chicago White Sox – Matt Thornton gave up a solo home run in a non-save situation Monday against the Rays, his first appearance since his string of blown saves last week. The White Sox haven’t had a save opportunity since April 13, so everyone is trying to read Ozzie Guillen’s mind to figure out who he will turn to as his closer. Many believe Sergio Santos will get the call, though nobody will know for sure until the situation arises.

Milwaukee – John Axford blew another save Monday against the Phillies, allowing one run on two walks and a hit. He has yet to pitch an inning without allowing at least one baserunner this season, but manager Ron Roenicke is sticking with his closer.

Minnesota – New closer Matt Capps picked up a save Monday despite surrendering a two-out homer to Luke Scott. The job is his for now, but he’s given up four runs in his last four outings, and he’ll never have an incredibly long leash as long as Joe Nathan is lurking behind him.

Los Angeles Dodgers – Jonathan Broxton allowed two runs on three hits in a non-save situation Monday against the Braves. He doesn’t have any blown saves, and no change appears to be imminent, but his 6.14 ERA and 1.773 WHIP doesn’t exactly inspire confidence.

Key Matchups


Marlon Byrd v. Aaron Harang: 5-for-12 (.417), 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1:1 BB:K (.462 OBP)
Kosuke Fukudome v. Aaron Harang: 8-for-21 (.381), 1 HR, 2 RBI, 4:3 BB:K (.480 OBP)
Aramis Ramirez v. Aaron Harang: 16-for-55 (.291), 4 HR, 9 RBI, 2:7 BB:K (.310 OBP)
Ryan Spilborghs v. Matt Cain: 7-for-21 (.333), 2 HR, 4 RBI, 3:5 BB:K (.417 OBP)
Troy Tulowitzki v. Matt Cain: 14-for-46 (.304), 3 HR, 5 RBI, 3:10 BB:K (.347 OBP)
Miguel Tejada v. Jorge De La Rosa: 6-for-12 (.500), 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1:0 BB:K (.538 OBP)
Freddy Sanchez v. Jorge De La Rosa: 9-for-20 (.450), 2 HR, 6 RBI, 0:4 BB:K (.450 OBP)
Hideki Matsui v. Clay Buchholz: 6-for-14 (.429), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 3:1 BB:K (.529 OBP)
Jack Cust v. Rick Porcello: 4-for-11 (.364), 2 HR, 4 RBI, 0:3 BB:K (.364 OBP)
Jhonny Peralta v. Erik Bedard: 6-for-17 (.353), 1 HR, 4 RBI, 2:4 BB:K (.421 OBP)
Derek Jeter v. Brett Cecil: 6-for-19 (.316), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 4:3 BB:K (.435 OBP)
Miguel Montero v. Bronson Arroyo: 6-for-12 (.500), 2 HR, 3 RBI, 0:2 BB:K (.500 OBP)
Russell Branyan v. Bronson Arroyo: 5-for-12 (.417), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0:6 BB:K (.417 OBP)
Chris Young v. Bronson Arroyo: 4-for-13 (.308), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 4:3 BB:K (.471 OBP)
Kelly Johnson v. Bronson Arroyo: 6-for-19 (.316), 1 HR, 2 RBI, 3:3 BB:K (.409 OBP)
Xavier Nady v. Bronson Arroyo: 7-for-24 (.292), 2 HR, 5 RBI, 0:2 BB:K (.292 OBP)
Carlos Lee v. R.A. Dickey: 7-for-14 (.500), 1 HR, 5 RBI, 0:2 BB:K (.500 OBP)
Matt Diaz v. Ricky Nolasco: 9-for-20 (.450), 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2:7 BB:K (.500 OBP)
Shin-Soo Choo v. Luke Hochevar: 11-for-17 (.647), 3 HR, 8 RBI, 2:3 BB:K (.684 OBP)
Rod Barajas v. Derek Lowe: 5-for-11 (.455), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 0:2 BB:K (.455 OBP)
Jamey Carroll v. Derek Lowe: 5-for-11 (.455), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0:1 BB:K (.500 OBP)
Juan Uribe v. Derek Lowe: 3-for-10 (.300), 0 HR, 3 RBI, 3:2 BB:K (.462 OBP)
Eric Hinske v. Jon Garland: 14-for-40 (.350), 3 HR, 8 RBI, 1:7 BB:K (.357 OBP)

Matt Cain v. Colorado: Coors Field, a nightmare for many pitchers, does nothing to scare Cain, who sports a 4-2 record with a 3.38 ERA and an 8.5 K/9IP at the venue. He's already off to a terrific start in three appearances this season, and the success should continue against a Rockies roster that has collectively hit just .189/.276/.357 off him in 259 plate appearances.

Jered Weaver v. Texas: Much like Cain, Weaver has been lights out in 2011, and the numbers suggest he won't slow down Wednesday, even against a potent (albeit Josh Hamilton-less) Rangers lineup. Texas hitters sport a .227/.268/.330 line against him in 292 plate appearances.

Wade Davis v. Chicago: If you're looking for more of a dark horse who might throw a gem, Davis is a good candidate. He has a 2.45 career ERA against the White Sox, and the current roster has struggled to a .213/.300/.361 line against him. The sample size is a bit small, however – just 71 plate appearances.

Jorge Cantu v. Matt Garza: 2-for-13 (.154), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1:5 BB:K (.214 OBP)
Carlos Gonzalez v. Matt Cain: 3-for-21 (.143), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 3:5 BB:K (.250 OBP)
Todd Helton v. Matt Cain: 9-for-46 (.196), 2 HR, 3 RBI, 7:5 BB:K (.296 OBP)
Pablo Sandoval v. Jorge De La Rosa: 4-for-20 (.200), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 1:4 BB:K (.238 OBP)
Aaron Rowand v. Jorge De La Rosa: 3-for-21 (.143), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 0:7 BB:K (.143 OBP)
Vladimir Guerrero v. Nick Blackburn: 2-for-12 (.167), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 0:4 BB:K (.167 OBP)
Curtis Granderson v. Brett Cecil: 1-for-12 (.083), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1:1 BB:K (.154 OBP)
Stephen Drew v. Bronson Arroyo: 4-for-17 (.235), 1 HR, 1 RBI, 0:1 BB:K (.235 OBP)
Henry Blanco v. Bronson Arroyo: 1-for-17 (.059), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 1:5 BB:K (.111 OBP)
Justin Upton v. Bronson Arroyo: 3-for-19 (.158), 1 HR, 2 RBI, 0:7 BB:K (.158 OBP)
Hanley Ramirez v. Charlie Morton: 0-for-10 (.000), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 2:2 BB:K (.167 OBP)
Chris Snyder v. Ricky Nolasco: 2-for-13 (.154), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1:4 BB:K (.214 OBP)
Chris Davis v. Jered Weaver: 3-for-16 (.188), 0 HR, 3 RBI, 0:2 BB:K (.188 OBP)
Julio Borbon v. Jered Weaver: 3-for-15 (.200), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 0:4 BB:K (.200 OBP)
David Murphy v. Jered Weaver: 5-for-25 (.200), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 1:7 BB:K (.222 OBP)
Nelson Cruz v. Jered Weaver: 8-for-35 (.229), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 4:10 BB:K (.308 OBP)
Adrian Beltre v. Jered Weaver: 8-for-42 (.190), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 0:9 BB:K (.222 OBP)
Billy Butler v. Justin Masterson: 2-for-14 (.143), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 1:1 BB:K (.200 OBP)
Aaron Miles v. Derek Lowe: 3-for-14 (.214), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1:2 BB:K (.267 OBP)
Dan Uggla v. Jon Garland: 3-for-15 (.200), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 2:2 BB:K (.294 OBP)

Aaron Harang v. Chicago: Six different Cubs have homered off Harang en route to a collective .291/.333/.492 mark in 207 plate appearances. He's been fantastic this year, but history suggests a potential slipup at Wrigley Field, where he has a 5.01 career ERA.

Luke Hochevar v. Cleveland: Hochevar held Seattle to just one hit in seven innings last week, but that was the Mariners. These are the Indians (yes, the Indians), a team that has surprisingly displayed one of the most potent offenses in baseball. Cleveland hitters have a career line of .320/.381/.534 off Hochevar.

Jon Garland v. Atlanta: Garland didn't last long in his season debut against the Cardinals last week, and he may run into early trouble again against a Braves team that has a .329/.376/.553 line against him in 94 plate appearances. Those numbers will drop dramatically if Eric Hinske is not in the lineup, however, as he is responsible for a large chunk of that production.

Recommended Pickup

Jerry Sands, 1B, LAD – Sands was crushing it at Triple-A before being recalled by the Dodgers on Monday, hitting .400/.422/875 with five homers and 17 RBI in just 40 at-bats. His monster start comes on the heels of a 2010 campaign that saw him rack up 35 homers and 18 steals while posting a .981 OPS between High-A and Double-A. He'll surely have his struggles at the big league level, including a fair number of strikeouts, but he's a must-add in NL-only formats and deserves strong consideration in many mixed leagues as well. He's currently pegged as the left fielder but could get some time at first base.

Other recent recommendations: Jed Lowrie, Jon Herrera, Bartolo Colon, Kyle Farnsworth, Angel Sanchez