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Thursday's Lineup Card: Dodgers' Closer Madness

Derek VanRiper

Derek is the Director of Media for, where he's been a two-time finalist for the FSWA's Baseball Writer of the Year award, and winner of the Best Football Article on the Web (2009) and Best Baseball Article on the Web (2010) awards. Derek also co-hosts RotoWire's shows on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (XM 87, Sirius 210).

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Projected Starters - A look at Thursday's matchups (all times Eastern):

Giants (Ryan Vogelsong - R) at Pirates (Jeffrey Karstens - R), 12:35
Mariners (Michael Pineda - R) at Tigers (Brad Penny - R), 1:05
Rays (Jeff Niemann - R) at Twins (Nick Blackburn - R), 1:10 (Game 1)
Blue Jays (Brandon Morrow - R) at Rangers (Alexi Ogando - R), 2:05
Mets (Chris Capuano - L) at Nationals (Livan Hernandez - R), 7:05
Red Sox (Jon Lester - L) at Orioles (Brad Bergesen - R), 7:05
White Sox (Edwin Jackson - R) at Yankees (CC Sabathia - L), 7:05
Royals (Kyle Davies - R) at Indians (Fausto Carmona - R), 7:05
Cardinals (Kyle McClellan - R) at Astros (Nelson Figueroa - R), 8:05
Rays (Jeremy Hellickson - R) at Twins (Scott Baker - R), 8:10 (Game 2)
Cubs (Ryan Dempster - R) at D-Backs (Barry Enright - R), 9:40

Day game after night game: SF/PIT, SEA/DET, TAM/MIN, TOR/TEX



Albert Pujols, 1B, STL - (Hamstring) Returned to the starting lineup Wednesday night.
Roy Oswalt, SP, PHI - Left team Wednesday for "personal reasons."
Casey Blake, 3B, LAD - (Elbow) Could miss four weeks with infection; headed to DL.
Mike Pelfrey, SP, NYM - (Illness) On track for Friday's start after throwing bullpen session Wednesday.
Delmon Young, OF, MIN - (Ribs) Late scratch Wednesday after he failed to get loose in BP.
Chris Coghlan, OF, FLA - Was removed from Wednesday's game with an irritated right shoulder.
Carl Pavano, SP, MIN - (Illness) Will make next start Saturday instead of Sunday.
Carlos Ruiz, C, ARI - Left Wednesday's game with back tightness.
Jonathan Broxton, RP, LAD - Didn't pitch Wednesday because of an elbow problem.
Juan Uribe, 2B, LAD - Missed fifth straight game Wednesday.
Jim Thome, DH, MIN - (Oblique) Hoping to play Thursday; held out of Wednesday's lineup.
Coco Crisp, OF, OAK - (Quadriceps) Unlikely to play Wednesday night.
Josh Willingham, OF, OAK - (Back) Out of the starting lineup again Wednesday.
Ty Wigginton, 3B, COL - (Upper Body) Rested Wednesday after hurting side during slide Tuesday.
Ryan Theriot, SS, STL - (Ribs) Held out of the starting lineup Wednesday.
Chris Denorfia, OF, SD - (Groin) Wasn't in the Padres' starting lineup Wednesday.

Players on the DL

Johan Santana, SP, NYM - (Shoulder) Could be out until August or September.
Josh Hamilton, OF, TEX - (Shoulder) Expects to return at shorter end of initial 6-to-8 week timetable.
Logan Morrison, OF, FLA - (Foot) Headed to the Marlins' spring training complex for rehab work.
Victor Martinez, C, DET - (Groin) Says he'll be ready to come off the DL May 4.
Chase Utley, 2B, PHI - (Knee) Ran for the second straight day Tuesday; first time on consecutive days.
Phil Hughes, SP, NYY - (Arm) Still no updates from the tests performed earlier this week.
Clint Barmes, 2B, HOU - (Hand) May be back in the Astros' lineup as early as Friday.
David Aardsma, RP, SEA - (Hip) Still not ready to pitch on back-to-back days.
Andrew Bailey, RP, OAK - (Forearm) Still limited to fastballs in bullpen sessions.
Brad Lidge, RP, PHI - (Shoulder) Could begin a throwing program soon; likely out until All-Star break.
Neftali Feliz, RP, TEX - (Shoulder) Threw Wednesday for first time since going on DL.
J.J. Hardy, SS, BAL - (Oblique) Swung a bat without discomfort Tuesday.
Joel Pineiro, SP, LAA - (Shoulder) Likely to start Saturday against the Rays.
Andrew Cashner, SP, CHC - (Shoulder) Progressing well in rehab so far.
Randy Wells, SP, CHC - (Forearm) Targeting a mid-May return.
Justin Duchscherer, SP, BAL - (Hip) Has reportedly been throwing from a mound for several weeks.
Scott Downs, RP, LAA - (Illness) Could be activated for weekend series with Rays.
J.C. Romero, RP, PHI - (Calf) Should be activated from the DL on May 4.
Francisco Cervelli, C, NYY - (Foot) Needs to catch on consecutive days before being activated.
Joe Thatcher, RP, SD - (Shoulder) Will have exploratory surgery Monday.
Mitch Talbot, SP, CLE - (Elbow) Threw long toss Wednesday, but several weeks from returning.
Hong-Chih Kuo, RP, LA - (Back) Could have return from DL pushed back from Friday.
Ronny Paulino, C, NYM - (Illness) Scheduled to join Mets on Friday.

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

Called Up
Josh Donaldson, C, OAK
Ryan Tucker, RP, TEX

Sent Down

Placed on DL
Mark DeRosa, OF, SF
Chad Gaudin, RP, WAS
Darren O'Day, RP, TEX (60-day DL)
Kurt Suzuki, C, OAK (paternity leave - 3-to-7 days)

Activated from DL
Corey Hart, OF, MIL (activated Tuesday, started Wednesday)
Henry Rodriguez, RP, WAS

Closer Watch

Dodgers: (See "Recommended Pickup" below)

Cardinals: Mitchell Boggs had his first blown save Tuesday night, giving up two runs (one earned) on four hits, his own fielding error and a wild pitch.

Brewers: John Axford pitched a clean ninth Tuesday for his fifth save and followed that up with another perfect inning Wednesday in a tie game. His last four outings have all been perfect following last Monday's meltdown against the Phillies. The buy-low window is closing fast, if it's not closed entirely.

Key Matchups


Adam Kennedy v. Brad Penny - 7-for-19 (.368), 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1:1 BB:K
Denard Span v. Jeff Niemann - 7-for-15 (.467), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 0:3 BB:K
Delmon Young v. Jeff Niemann - 4-for-10 (.400), 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1:0 BB:K
Kelly Shoppach v. Nick Blackburn - 8-for-15 (.533), 3 HR, 4 RBI, 0:1 BB:K
B.J. Upton v. Nick Blackburn - 4-for-10 (.400), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 0:1 BB:K
Michael Young v. Brandon Morrow - 4-for-10 (.400), 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1:1 BB:K
Carlos Beltran v. Livan Hernandez - 10-for-31 (.323), 2 HR, 5 RBI, 3:5 BB:K
J.D. Drew v. Brad Bergesen - 7-for-19 (.368), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 1:2 BB:K
Alex Rodriguez v. Edwin Jackson - 9-for-22 (.409), 3 HR, 9 RBI, 1:6 BB:K
Nick Swisher v. Edwin Jackson - 4-for-13 (.308), 2 HR, 3 RBI, 4:3 BB:K
Alex Rios v. CC Sabathia - 8-for-30 (.267), 3 HR, 5 RBI, 4:6 BB:K (1.020 OPS)
Alex Gordon v. Fausto Carmona - 12-for-23 (.522), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 3:3 BB:K
Melky Cabrera v. Fausto Carmona - 5-for-14 (.357), 2 HR, 3 RBI, 2:1 BB:K
Xavier Nady v. Ryan Dempster - 5-for-13 (.385), 2 HR, 2 RBI, 0:3 BB:K

Scott Baker v. Rays - .175/.234/.281 in 124 PA
Jeremy Hellickson v. Twins - .184/.245/.388 in 53 PA
Kyle McClellan v. Astros - .250/.270/.333 in 37 PA (tiny sample size)


Lyle Overbay v. Ryan Vogelsong (seriously) - 1-for-8, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 2:4 BB:K
Jason Kubel v. Jeff Niemann - 2-for-12 (.167), 1 HR, 1 RBI, 0:1 BB:K
Nelson Cruz v. Brandon Morrow - 1-for-10 (.100), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1:4 BB:K
Jason Bay v. Livan Hernandez - 3-for-14 (.214), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1:4 BB:K
Nick Markakis v. Jon Lester - 10-for-46 (.217), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 2:11 BB:K
Vladimir Gurrero v. Jon Lester - 5-for-25 (.200), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 2:2 BB:K
Kevin Youkilis v. Brad Bergesen - 2-for-11 (.182), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1:3 BB:K
Robinson Cano v. Edwin Jackson - 6-for-27 (.222), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 3:2 BB:K
Adam Dunn v. CC Sabathia - 5-for-25 (.200), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 1:8 BB:K
A.J. Pierzynski v. CC Sabathia - 4-for-24 (.167), 1 HR, 2 RBI, 0:6 BB:K
Carlos Quentin v. CC Sabathia - 2-for-15 (.133), 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1:5 BB:K
Orlando Cabrera v. Kyle Davies - 5-for-20 (.250), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 1:6 BB:K
Albert Pujols** v. Nelson Figueroa - 2-for-13 (.154), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 2:0 BB:K
Ben Zobrist v. Scott Baker - 2-for-14 (.143), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0:4 BB:K
Kelly Shoppach v. Scott Baker - 1-for-10 (.100), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 2:3 BB:K
B.J. Upton v. Scott Baker - 1-for-12 (.083), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0:4 BB:K
Kelly Johnson v. Ryan Dempster - 1-for-11 (.091), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 5:5 BB:K
Justin Upton v. Ryan Dempster - 2-for-15 (.133), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 1:4 BB:K

Edwin Jackson v. Yankees - .296/.377/.535 in 162 PA

Recommended Pickup

Vicente Padilla, RP, LAD - Padilla picked up the save in extra innings Wednesday against the Marlins, pitching a clean inning after giving up a run in the eighth inning the previous day. Jonathan Broxton was unavailable to pitch except in the case of emergency with an elbow injury - at least, that's the party line from manager Don Mattingly. It sure would have been nice if he would have disclosed the injury before the game. This came after Tuesday's story that Broxton was going to share the closing duties, only to be refuted shortly thereafter. After Padilla's save, Mattingly said that Broxton still was his closer. Matt Guerrier pitched the ninth inning in a tie game Wednesday. Meanwhile, Hong-Chih Kuo has had some difficulty in his rehab assignment, so it's no guarantee that he comes off the DL Friday, as was initially expected.

Other recent recommendations: Sergio Santos, Gerardo Parra, Brett Wallace, Arthur Rhodes, Mitchell Boggs

Draft Street Lineup

C Kelly Shoppach, TB ($2,397)
1B Xavier Nady, ARI ($5,125)
2B Adam Kennedy, SEA ($6,114)
3B Alex Rodriguez, NYY ($9,500)
SS Stephen Drew, ARI ($7,866)
OF Denard Span ($6,426)
OF Carlos Beltran, NYM ($7,212)
OF Alex Gordon, KC ($6,952)
UTIL B.J. Upton ($4,719)
UTIL Alex Rios, CHI ($5,018)
SP Jon Lester, BOS ($15,187)
SP Jeremy Hellickson, TB ($10,520)
RP Brian Wilson, SF ($2,747)
P Kyle McClellan, STL ($9,624)
Total: $99,417

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