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Saturday Lineup Card: Closers in Focus

Kevin O'Brien

Kevin O'Brien writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire.

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

Phillies (Roy Halladay- R) at Blue Jays (Carlos Villanueva - R), 1:07
Pirates (James McDonald - R) at Nationals (Livan Hernandez - R), 3:35
White Sox (Philip Humber - R) at Cubs (Matt Garza - R), 4:10
Indians (Fausto Carmona - R) at Reds (Homer Bailey - R), 4:10
Yankees (Bartolo Colon - R) at Mets (Dillon Gee - R), 4:10
Pirates (Brad Lincoln - R) at Nationals (John Lannan - L), 7:05 (DH)
Red Sox (Andrew Miller - L) at Astros (J.A. Happ - L), 7:05
Giants (Barry Zito - L) at Tigers (Max Scherzer - R), 7:05
Orioles (Jake Arrieta - R) at Braves (Tim Hudson - R), 7:10
Brewers (Chris Narveson - L) at Twins (Carl Pavano - R), 7:10
Cardinals (Kyle McClellan - R) at Rays (Jeff Niemann - R), 7:10
Marlins (Brad Hand - L) at Rangers (Derek Holland - L), 8:05
Royals (Kyle Davies - R) at Rockies (Greg Reynolds - R), 8:10
Diamondbacks (Joe Saunders - L) at A's (Josh Outman - L), 9:05
Dodgers (Clayton Kershaw - L) at Angels (Jered Weaver - R), 9:05
Padres (Cory Luebke - L) at Mariners (Doug Fister - R), 10:10

Day game after a night game: PIT, WAS, CLE, CIN, NYY, NYM

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)
Cole Hamels, SP, PHI - (Hand) Not guaranteed to make next scheduled start Tuesday; remains day-to-day for now
Kevin Youkilis, 3B, BOS - (Ankle) Returned to the lineup Friday
Neil Walker, 2B, PIT - (Back) Did not start Friday
Laynce Nix, OF, WAS - (Achilles) Returned to the lineup Friday
Ronny Paulino, C, NYM - (Back) Was in the starting lineup for Friday's game
Manny Acosta, RP, NYM - (Wrist) Visited doctor Friday
Nick Hundley, C, SD - (Elbow) Returned to the lineup Friday
J.R. Towles, C, HOU - (Face) Returned to the lineup Thursday
Jacoby Ellsbury, OF, BOS - Scratched from Friday's lineup due to an illness
Jhoulys Chacin, SP, COL - Next start pushed to Tuesday due to tightness in forearm
Chris Perez, RP, CLE - will miss the next couple games while attending funeral for his grandmother
Yunel Escobar, SS, TOR - Left Friday's game after being hit by a pitch on the left hand

Players on the DL
Derek Jeter, SS, NYY - (Hamstring) Will play two games with Double-A Trenton this weekend; on track to be activated Monday
Bartolo Colon, SP, NYY - (Hamstring) Threw successful bullpen session Thursday; will be activated to start Saturday
Carl Crawford, OF, BOS - (Hamstring) Only at about "40, 50 percent health"
Joe Blanton, SP, PHI - (Elbow) Still experiencing tightness; remains shut down for the time being
Ryan Madson, RP, PHI - (Hand) Eligible to be activated Monday, but will likely require at least a week-long rehab assignment before returning
Martin Prado, OF, ATL - (Calf) Plans to take batting practice Friday; could head out on rehab assignment early next week
David Wright, 3B, NYM - (Back) Hit off a tee Friday; has yet to be cleared for rehab assignment
Johan Santana, SP, NYM - (Shoulder) Threw bullpen session Wednesday without issue
Ike Davis, 1B, NYM - (Ankle) Will try to run next week; decision on surgery to be made next week
Brandon Belt, 1B, SF - (Wrist) Will begin rehab assignment Saturday
Carlos Guillen, 2B, DET - (Knee) Rehab moved to Triple-A Toledo; getting closer to a return
John Danks, SP, CWS - (Oblique) Threw before Friday's game
Jason Kubel, OF, MIN - (Foot) Suffered setback Thursday; will remain at High-A through the weekend
Tyson Ross, SP, OAK - (Oblique) Struggled in first rehab assignment Thursday
Brandon McCarthy, P, OAK - (Shoulder) Will be activated to start Monday's game
Josh Willingham, OF, OAK - (Achilles) Served as DH in rehab game Thursday; expected to be activated Sunday
Scott Feldman, P, TEX - (Knee) Made what may have been final rehab start Thursday
Kevin Slowey, P, MIN - (Abdomen) Will make next rehab start with Triple-A Rochester
Willie Harris, OF, NYM - (Paternity leave) Will return to the team Sunday
Taylor Buchholz, P, NYM - (Shoulder) Will be on the DL for the "foreseeable future"
Jason Castro, C, HOU - (Knee) Hopes to be ready to return by early September

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

Placed on the DL (15-day DL unless otherwise noted)
Carlos Zambrano, SP, CHC
J.J. Putz, RP, AZ
Al Alburquerque, RP, DET
Jerry Hairston Jr., SS, WAS

Activated from DL
Kerry Wood, RP, CHC
Rick Ankiel, OF, WAS
Rich Harden, SP, OAK
Tommy Hunter, P, TEX
Sam Demel, RP, AZ

Called Up
Josh Judy, RP, CLE
Lester Oliveros, RP, DET
Fautino De Los Santos, P, OAK
Sean Burroughs, 3B, AZ
Pedro Viola, RP, BAL
Edgmer Escalona, RP, COL

Sent Down
Brian Matusz, SP, BAL
Chris Nelson, 2B, COL
Eric Young Jr., 2B, COL
Clay Rapada, RP, BAL
Trystan Magnuson, RP, OAK
Edward Paredes, P, SEA

Designated For Assignment
Dave Bush, P, TEX
Bobby Cramer, P, OAK

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

Arizona - J.J. Putz was placed on the DL Friday with a dead arm, so the Diamondbacks will have a different closer for the next couple weeks. The team has yet to announce an official replacement, but David Hernandez is likely the top option in Putz's absence. See the 'Recommended Pickup' below for more details.

Boston - Jonathan Papelbon recorded the final two outs Thursday to lock up the Red Sox's victory over the Phillies. Papelbon struggled in late May/early June, but he has thrown 4.2 scoreless innings since June 10 and has allowed just three runners to reach base over that span.

Chicago (AL) - Sergio Santos struggled a bit in mid-June, but he has been lights out since. In 7.1 innings over his last seven appearances, Santos has given up just one run on two hits while recording five saves and posting a 14:0 K:BB ratio. Santos' recent performance has solidified his grasp on the closer's role on the South Side.

Florida - Despite giving up a two-run home Thursday run that cut the Marlins' lead from three to one, Leo Nunez was able to pick up the necessary three outs to seal a victory over the A's. Nunez's 22 saves put him amongst league leaders, but he picked up just three in June mainly due to the Marlins' struggles to get leads and win games.

San Francisco - Brian Wilson gave up a game-tying solo home run in the ninth inning of Thursday's extra-inning loss to the Cubs to blow his first save since May 18. Consider it just a blip on the radar, because Wilson's job is more than safe - he has given up just three earned runs since April 25.


Hot Batter Matchups At-Bats AVG HR XBH RBI BB K SLG OBP OPS
Ronny Cedeno - SS PIT @ WAS
7/2 3:35 PM
Livan Hernandez 3-10 .300 0 2 1 2 1 .500 .417 .917
Derrek Lee - 1B BAL @ ATL
7/2 7:10 PM
Tim Hudson 4-13 .308 1 1 3 2 4 .538 .400 .938
Casey Blake - 3B LAD @ LAA
7/2 9:05 PM
Jered Weaver 4-13 .308 0 2 1 2 5 .462 .400 .862
James Loney - 1B LAD @ LAA
7/2 9:05 PM
Jered Weaver 7-17 .412 0 1 2 0 4 .471 .412 .883
Coco Crisp - OF OAK vs ARI
7/2 9:05 PM
Joe Saunders 6-21 .286 1 5 4 0 3 .619 .286 .905
Hot Pitcher Matchups At-Bats Opp
BB K Opp
Roy Halladay PHI @ TOR
7/2 1:07 PM
Blue Jays Batters 10-66 .151 0 4 1 1 12 .211 .164 .375
Joe Saunders ARI @ OAK
7/2 9:05 PM
Athletics Batters 20-109 .183 4 9 9 5 12 .347 .219 .566



Cold Batter Matchups At-Bats AVG HR XBH RBI BB K SLG OBP OPS
Jose Molina - C TOR vs PHI
7/2 1:07 PM
Roy Halladay 1-14 .071 0 1 0 1 4 .143 .133 .276
Juan Rivera - OF TOR vs PHI
7/2 1:07 PM
Roy Halladay 0-14 .000 0 0 0 0 4 .000 .000 .000
Ramon Hernandez - C CIN vs CLE
7/2 4:10 PM
Fausto Carmona 2-10 .200 0 0 0 3 1 .200 .385 .585
Alexis Rios - OF CWS @ CHC
7/2 4:10 PM
Matt Garza 4-21 .190 0 1 0 2 2 .286 .261 .547
Mark Teahen - 3B CWS @ CHC
7/2 4:10 PM
Matt Garza 2-11 .182 0 0 0 1 4 .182 .250 .432
Carlos Beltran - OF NYM vs NYY
7/2 4:10 PM
Bartolo Colon 1-10 .100 0 0 0 0 2 .100 .100 .200
Miguel Tejada - SS SF @ DET
7/2 7:05 PM
Max Scherzer 2-10 .200 0 0 0 0 3 .200 .273 .473
Andre Ethier - OF LAD @ LAA
7/2 9:05 PM
Jered Weaver 2-17 .118 0 1 3 3 4 .235 .250 .485
David DeJesus - OF OAK vs ARI
7/2 9:05 PM
Joe Saunders 4-19 .211 0 0 1 0 2 .211 .211 .422
Cliff Pennington - SS OAK vs ARI
7/2 9:05 PM
Joe Saunders 3-17 .176 0 1 0 0 1 .235 .176 .411
Kurt Suzuki - C OAK vs ARI
7/2 9:05 PM
Joe Saunders 2-28 .071 1 1 1 2 1 .179 .133 .312
Ryan Sweeney - OF OAK vs ARI
7/2 9:05 PM
Joe Saunders 1-10 .100 0 0 0 0 3 .100 .100 .200
Cold Pitcher Matchups At-Bats Opp
BB K Opp
Carl Pavano MIN vs Mil
7/2 7:10 PM
Brewers Batters 27-84 .321 3 9 10 4 8 .516 .347 .864

***For a deeper look at the matchups please consult the new Batter v. Pitcher tool in the left hand menu.***

Recommended Pickup

David Hernandez, RP, AZ - With J.J. Putz (arm) on the disabled list for the next couple weeks, Hernandez figures to assume the closer's duties for the Diamondbacks for the time being. Hernandez has allowed five earned runs over his last two appearances, but prior to Sunday's game he had allowed just 10 earned runs over his first 36.0 innings (2.50 ERA) of the season. Hernandez's recent struggles are likely the outlier rather than the norm, so those looking for saves should certainly give him strong consideration. Hernandez has the potential to help out in the strikeout category as well - he is averaging more than one per inning this season - so head to your waiver wire and see if he is still available in your league.

Other recent recommendations: Alex Presley, Ben Revere, Chris Heisey, Cameron Maybin, Lucas Duda

Draft Street Competition

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Register for a free account at today and start practicing. Remember to use bonus code Rotowire on your first deposit to get some extra cash released into your account as you play.

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Be sure to come back to RotoWire's Daily Lineup Card every day for all the analysis you need to dominate the competition and take home cash on DraftStreet.

Draft Street Lineup

C - Jonathan Lucroy, MIL ($5,592)
1B - Ryan Howard, PHI ($6,895)
2B - Dustin Ackley, SEA ($6,750)
3B - Ryan Zimmerman, WAS ($6,474)
SS - Hanley Ramirez, FLA - ($7,131)
OF - Ryan Braun, MIL ($10,442)
OF - Andrew McCutchen, PIT ($8,151)
OF - Wily Mo Pena, AZ ($5,920)
UTIL - Mike Morse, WAS ($6,091)
UTIL - Jayson Werth, WAS ($4,567)
SP - Tim Hudson, ATL ($11,509)
SP - Joe Saunders, AZ ($8,291)
RP - Drew Storen, WAS ($2,558)
P - Andrew Miller, BOS ($7,920)

Total: $98,291

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