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The Lineup Card: Tabata Time

Paul Bruno

Paul Bruno is co-host of the RotoWire fantasy hockey podcast, The Great Ones. He has been an accredited member of the Toronto sports media for more than 20 years. Paul also helps with RW's DFS podcast and is a contributing writer for RW NFL, MLB and CFL content. Follow him on twitter: @statsman22.

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

A's (Rich Harden - R) vs. Yankees (Phil Hughes - R) 1:05
Orioles (Jo-Jo Reyes - L) vs. Twins (Francisco Liriano - L) 1:10
Tigers (Doug Fister - R) vs. Rays (Jeremy Hellickson - R) 1:10
Braves (Brandon Beachy - R) vs. Cubs (Matt Garza - R) 2:20
Diamondbacks (Wade Miley - L) vs. Nationals (John Lannan - L) 7:05
Royals (Jeff Francis - L) vs. Blue Jays (Brett Cecil - L) 7:07
Red Sox (Andrew Miller - L) vs. Rangers (Alexi Ogando - R) 8:05
Pirates (Charlie Morton - R) vs. Cardinals (Edwin Jackson - R) 8:15
Astros (Henry Sosa - R) vs. Giants (Ryan Vogelsong - R) 10:15




Adam Jones, OF, BAL (illness) - hospitalized with mild chest pains and shortness of breath after Tuesday game
Carlos Quentin, OF, CHI-A (shoulder) - may return to lineup on Friday
Shin-Soo Choo, OF, CLE (left trunk soreness) - may need a day or two to rest injury
Michael Brantley, OF, CLE (wrist) - out until at least Friday; may go on DL
Carlos Santana, C, CLE (head) - took a foul ball off mask on Wednesday; should be ok for Friday game
Miguel Cabrera, 1B, DET (personal) - will miss Thursday game due to birth of his child
Tsuyoshi Nishioka, 2B, MIN (oblique) - took ground balls before Tuesday game; may need a couple more days
Alex Rodriguez, 3B, NY-A, (thumb) - x-rays returned negative results; sprain will need a couple of days to heal
B.J. Upton, OF, TB (shoulder) - hopes to return on Friday
Colby Rasmus, OF, TOR (wrist) - jammed right wrist on Tuesday; may need a few days to recover
Justin Upton, OF, ARI (elbow) - contusion will keep him out for a couple of days
Matt Lindstrom, P, COL (arm) - could rejoin the Rockies on Friday
Raul Ibanez, OF, PHI (groin) - needs additional time to get back from injury
Nate Schierholtz, OF, SF (foot) - MRI and CAT scan revealed a fracture in his foot; not yet placed on DL
Ryan Theriot, SS, STL (hamstring) - may rest for a couple of days
Jayson Werth, OF, WAS (groin) - needs a couple of days to recover

Players on the DL

Bobby Jenks, P, BOS (back) - scheduled to throw simulated game this week, aiming for September return
Clay Buchholz, P, BOS (back) - may begin throwing this weekend; likely to be used in relief in September
J.D. Drew, OF, BOS (shoulder) - begins rehab assignment and should return when rosters expand on Sep. 1
Philip Humber, P, CHI-A, (facial contusion) - throwing bullpen sessions with targeted Sep. 5 return date
A.J. Pierzynski, C, CHI-A (wrist) - caught bullpen session this week and will go on rehab over the weekend
Carlos Carrasco, P, CLE (elbow) - will not be activated until some time in September
Travis Hafner, DH, CLE (foot) - may need season ending surgery on his right foot
Grady Sizemore, OF, CLE (knee) - took batting practice on Wednesday; no timetable for his return
Scott Baker, P, MIN (elbow) - started throwing program on Tuesday; may return if incident-free, in September
Alexi Casilla, SS, MIN (hamstring) - taking part in drills; likely headed to minor-league rehab assignment
Nick Blackburn, P, MIN (forearm) - MRI showed nerve damage; may be shut down for the season
Freddy Garcia, P, NY-A (finger) - manager Joe Girardi confirms that he will start on Saturday
Andres Blanco, SS, TEX (back) - taking batting practice this week; not expected back before rosters expand on Sept. 1
Adrian Beltre, 3B, TEX (hamstring) - jogged for second straight day; will run bases by the weekend
Tommy Hanson, P, ATL (shoulder) - had soreness after light bullpen on Monday; won't start on Saturday
Andrew Cashner, P, CHI-N (shoulder) - threw 23 pitches in rehab with Double-A appearance on Tuesday
Huston Street, P, COL (triceps) - could rejoin Rockies on Friday
Rickie Weeks, 2B, MIL (ankle) - ran the bases and on a treadmill this week; may go on rehab assignment
Carlos Gomez, OF, MIL (shoulder) - took batting practice this week; likely to join roster on Sept. 1
Manny Parra, P, MIL (elbow) - will undergo surgery to remove screw that was inserted into his elbow
Jose Reyes, SS, NY-N (hamstring) - begins rehab with Binghamton on Thursday
Jose Contreras, P, PHI (elbow) - scheduled for season-ending surgery
Jimmy Rollins, SS, PHI (groin) - on pace for September 6 return
Derrek Lee, 1B, PIT (wrist) - has not resumed baseball activities
Pat Burrell, OF, SF (foot) - began rehab assignment on Wednesday with High-A San Jose
Adam Wainwright, P, STL (elbow) - started throwing program this week
Stephen Strasburg, P, WAS (elbow) - will make a rehab start for Triple-A Syracuse on Saturday

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

Called Up

Aaron Thompson, P, PIT
Logan Morrison, OF, FLA
Cord Phelps, 2B, CLE
Kevin Kouzmanoff, 3B, COL
Darin Mastroianni, OF, TOR
Juan Abreau, P, HOU
Darren O'Day, P, TEX
Mike Nickeas, C, NY-N

Sent Down

Dewayne Wise, OF, FLA (dfa'd)
Pedro Ciriaco, 3B, PIT
Zach McAllister, P, CLE
Mike Loree, P, PIT
Cody Ransom, 3B, ARI (dfa'd)
Ryan Rohlinger, 3B, COL (dfa'd)
Taylor Teagarden, C, TEX
Chris Nelson, 2B, COL
Aaron Laffey, P, NY-A

Placed on DL

Sergio Escalona. P, HOU (retroactive to Aug 22 - left elbow tendinitis)
Dan Cortes, P, SEA (bruised left ankle)
Jason Marquis, P, ARI (transferred to 60 day dl)
Steven Pearce, 1B, PIT (broken right index finger)
Trystan Magnuson, P, OAK (transferred to 60 day dl)
Juan Nicasio, P, COL (transferred to 60 day dl)
Jonathan Sanchez, L, SF (left ankle sprain, retroactive to Aug 17)
Cole Hamels, P, PHI (left shoulder information, retroactive to Aug 13)
Scott Hairston, OF, NY-N (ribs)
Jonathan Niese, P, NY-N (ribs)
Ryan Ludwick, OF, PIT (back)

Activated from DL

Alex White, P, COL
Shelley Duncan, OF, CLE
Carlos Beltran, OF, SF

Closer Watch

Royals - Joakim Soria is still the man at the back of the Royals' bullpen despite a subpar effort thus far in the 2011 season. He has converted only 23 of 30 save opportunities and has a 5-5 record (too many decisions for a closer) to go along with an unsightly 4.22 ERA (almost double his career mark). Opponents are hitting a robust .271 against a guy who had been one of baseball's most dominant relievers. Now that the Royals are featuring a host of young offensive talent, after years of futility, they will look for Soria to hold up his end of the bargain going forward. He needs to rebound from this poor season to hold onto the closer role. If he falters, Greg Holland may get a look, based on his outstanding 2011 campaign (0.90 WHIP and .172 opponent batting average in 46.2 innings of work).

A's - Andrew Bailey has reclaimed his role as the closer in Oakland and has recorded 17 saves in 19 opportunities since returning from the disabled list earlier this season. That's the good news. However, he has been touched for earned runs in four of his last six outings and while his 2.87 ERA is decent enough, it is over a full run higher than what he posted in his first two seasons in Oakland. Similarly, his opponent batting average (.221) and strikeout-to-walk rate (30:10) is higher than usual. He may be pushing himself more after the down time earlier this year. The A's hope he will make it through the rest of the year without incident and that he will be more dominant right out of a proper spring training next season.

Reds - Despite the fact that Cincinnati has fallen out of contention, Francisco Cordero has recently served notice that he is not a weak link in the roster. The long-time closer has earned a save in each of his last eight appearances and has now converted 27 of 32 opportunities this year. He has dominated opposing batters, allowing only 36 hits in 54.2 innings pitched (.187 average) and has a 0.97 WHIP (much lower than his career 1.34 mark). The talented Reds may have underachieved this year but their closer has done his part.

Braves - Craig Kimbrel tied the major league record for saves by a rookie as he earned his 40th in 45 tries with his inning of work on Tuesday. He has an incredible 103 strikeouts in only 63.2 innings of work, while allowing 25 free passes, for a most impressive k/bb rate of over 4:1. Just as impressive as all that is the fact that he has surrendered only one home run and hit only one batter. It seems that this extraordinary young power pitcher has rally got a good handle on his control. He is also proving to be very comfortable with participating in a playoff race. All of these signs point to great future for the hard-throwing righty.

Recommended Pickup

Jose Tabata, LF, PIT - You have to wonder if the left quad injury suffered by Tabata played a role in the July swoon of the Pirates, who were in contention for the division lead before he went on the disabled list. At least Pirates' fans can look to the fact that he is back in the lineup and has returned with a bang. In his eight games played in August, he is hitting a torrid .382, along with a 1.020 OPS. The compact, young outfielder has shown good patience and discipline at the plate, a plus for such a young player and is a proven basestealing threat, with 16 bags in 22 attempts this season. Many fantasy owners may have dumped him when he got hurt, but he's worth a look down the stretch and particularly to those owners in keeper leagues.

Other recent recommendations: Trevor Plouffe, Jed Lowrie, Angel Pagan, Kyle Seager, J.D. Martinez.


Hot Batter Matchups At-Bats AVG HR XBH RBI BB K SLG OBP OPS
Derek Jeter - SS NYY vs OAK
8/25 1:05 PM
Rich Harden 6-16 .375 0 2 1 4 3 .500 .500 1.000
Alex Rodriguez - 3B NYY vs OAK
8/25 1:05 PM
Rich Harden 7-22 .318 1 2 1 4 8 .500 .423 .923
Kelly Johnson - 2B TOR vs KC
8/25 7:07 PM
Jeff Francis 6-10 .600 1 1 3 1 1 .900 .636 1.536
Skip Schumaker - 2B STL vs PIT
8/25 8:15 PM
Charlie Morton 7-14 .500 0 1 1 2 0 .571 .563 1.134
Ryan Theriot - SS STL vs PIT
8/25 8:15 PM
Charlie Morton 5-12 .417 0 0 1 1 2 .417 .462 .879
Hot Pitcher Matchups At-Bats Opp
BB K Opp



Cold Batter Matchups At-Bats AVG HR XBH RBI BB K SLG OBP OPS
Robinson Cano - 2B NYY vs OAK
8/25 1:05 PM
Rich Harden 2-11 .182 0 1 1 1 1 .273 .231 .504
Julio Lugo - SS ATL @ CHC
8/25 2:20 PM
Matt Garza 1-11 .091 0 0 1 1 1 .091 .167 .258
Chris Young - OF ARI @ WAS
8/25 7:05 PM
John Lannan 1-10 .100 0 0 0 2 2 .100 .250 .350
Edwin Encarnacion - 3B TOR vs KC
8/25 7:07 PM
Jeff Francis 2-10 .200 0 1 2 2 0 .300 .333 .633
Cold Pitcher Matchups At-Bats Opp
BB K Opp
Charlie Morton PIT @ StL
8/25 8:15 PM
Cardinals Batters 32-78 .410 3 10 17 12 10 .669 .494 1.163

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

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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 - Mike Napoli, $8,532
1B - Albert Pujols, $8,704
2B - Ben Zobrist, $7,971
3B - Edwin Encarnacion, $6,492
SS - J.J. Hardy, $5,764
OF - Justin Upton, $6,845
OF - Nelson Cruz, $6,037
OF - Andrew McCutchen, $7,680
UTIL - Mark Teixeira, $8,603
UTIL - Brandon Allen, $7,190
SP - Jeremy Hellickson, $11,142
SP - Brett Cecil, $8,833
RP - Kyle Farnsworth, $1,848
P - Craig Kimbrel, $3,705

Total: $99,346

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