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Thursday Lineup Card: Johnny Damon: Hot In Cleveland

Adam Wolf

Adam began writing for RotoWire in the spring of 2012 as an undergraduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He previously headed the site's NHL and NBA coverage and works primarily as an NFL and MLB editor these days.

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Thursday's Starters

Phillies (Joe Blanton - R) at Braves (Randall Delgado - R), 12:10
Cubs (Ryan Dempster - R) at Reds (Homer Bailey - R), 12:35
Mariners (Kevin Millwood - R) at Rays (Jeff Niemann - R), 1:10
Pirates (Erik Bedard - L) at Cardinals (Jake Westbrook - R), 1:45
Marlins (Anibal Sanchez - R) at Giants (Ryan Vogelsong - R), 3:45
Diamondbacks (Ian Kennedy - R) at Nationals (Ross Detwiler - L), 7:05
Indians (Justin Masterson - R) at White Sox (John Danks - L), 8:10
Yankees (David Phelps - R) at Royals (Danny Duffy - L), 8:10
Blue Jays (Brandon Morrow - R) at Angels (Dan Haren - R), 10:05

Day Game After Night Game: PHI/ATL, CHC/CIN, SEA/TB, PIT/STL, MIA/SF


Josh Beckett, SP, Red Sox - (Arm) Will miss Saturday's start following soreness from previous outing.
Adrian Beltre, 3B, Rangers - (Leg) Scheduled to return to the lineup on Friday.
Shin Soo Choo, OF, Indians - (Hamstring) Returned to the Indians' lineup Wednesday.
Coco Crisp, OF, Athletics - (Illness) Returned to lineup Wednesday.
Lucas Duda, OF, Mets - (Illness) Late scratch due to flu symptoms Wednesday.
Mat Gamel, 1B, Brewers - (Knee) Diagnosed with a torn ACL and likely to miss the rest of the season.
Josh Hamilton, OF, Rangers - (Back) On track to return to the Rangers' lineup Friday.
Jason Heyward, OF, Braves - (Oblique) Sat out of Wednesday's game.
Tommy Hunter, SP, Orioles - (Toe) Next start has been pushed back to Sunday to give him an extra recovery day.
Ted Lilly, SP, Dodgers - (Oblique) Left Tuesday's game due to oblique strain.
Mike Napoli, C, Rangers - (Eye) Returned to the lineup Wednesday.
Nolan Reimold, OF, Orioles - (Neck) Bulging disk is reportedly in neck rather than back, as previously reported.
Jordan Schafer, OF, Astros - (Back) Removed following an at-bat Wednesday due to tightness.
Nick Swisher, OF, Yankees - (Hamstring) Will likely be back in lineup by Tuesday at the latest.
Juan Uribe, 3B, Dodgers - (Wrist) Sat out Wednesday following flareup of wrist injury.
Jemile Weeks, 2B, Athletics - Experiencing "general tightness" but likely to be in lineup Friday.

Disabled List
Brett Anderson, SP, Athletics - (Elbow) Will throw live batting practice session Thursday.
Dallas Braden, SP, Athletics - (Shoulder) Nearing the point in his rehab where he can begin to play catch.
Zach Britton, SP, Orioles - (Shoulder) Will throw simulated game Saturday.
Jesse Crain, RP, White Sox - (Oblique) Plans to throw bullpen session Thursday.
Mark DeRosa, 3B, Nationals - (Oblique) MRI revealed strain in his oblique.
Stephen Drew, SS, Diamondbacks - (Ankle) Scheduled to play four or five innings in extended spring training game Thursday.
Brett Gardner, OF, Yankees - (Elbow) Expected to play in a few rehab games before returning to lineup.
Franklin Gutierrez, OF, Mariners - (Chest) Reportedly felt good after taking part in running drills Wednesday.
David Herndon, RP, Phillies - (Elbow) Diagnosed with a flexor pronator strain and will not throw for the next three weeks.
Greg Holland, RP, Royals - (Ribs) Threw 26 pitches in a side session Wednesday and scheduled to throw batting practice over the weekend.
Cliff Lee, SP, Phillies - (Oblique) Threw a bullpen session Wednesday and said he could be ready to come off disabled list early next week.
Luis Marte, RP, Tigers - (Hamstring) Shut down after experiencing soreness following a bullpen session last week.
Tsuyoshi Wada, SP, Orioles - (Elbow) Will have Tommy John surgery.
Kyle Weiland, SP, Astros - (Shoulder) MRI revealed no structural damage.
Chris Young, OF, Diamondbacks - (Shoulder) Took 35 swings from a tee during workout Monday.
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B, Nationals - (Shoulder) Hopes to return to lineup next Tuesday.


Activated from DL
Joel Carreno, RP, TOR

Placed on DL
Kyle Blanks, OF, SD (Transferred to 60-Day DL)
Rhiner Cruz, RP, HOU
Cory Luebke, SP, SD
Jim Thome, 1B, PHI
Kevin Youkilis, 3B, BOS

Optioned to Triple-A
Lars Anderson, 1B, BOS
Evan Crawford, RP, TOR

Called Up
Enerio Del Rosario, RP, HOU
Erik Kratz, C, PHI
Will Middlebrooks, 3B, BOS
Clayton Mortensen, RP, BOS
Jeff Suppan, SP, SD

Assigned to Triple-A
Joel Pineiro, SP, BAL

Closer Watch

Los Angeles (NL) - After ceding two save opportunities over the weekend to Kenley Jansen, Javy Guerra returned to the closer's role Tuesday, notching his eighth save of the season, allowing only one hit. Manager Don Mattingly said Sunday that Guerra would remain the closer, and that appears to remain the case unless he combusts as he did earlier last week.

Miami - The embattled Heath Bell recorded his third save of the season in one-two-three fashion in a narrow win over the Giants. As has been the case with Bell often this year, he failed to strike out a batter and has a 5:8 strikeout to walk ratio this year. Bell will likely never regain the dominance he showed in San Diego but shouldn't be threatened by any of the Marlins' other bullpen options at the moment.

San Diego - Huston Street easily finished off Tuesday's shutout of Milwaukee, allowing no baserunners en route to his fourth save of the season. Given the anemic San Diego offense, Street's opportunities for saves will likely be few and far between, but he should be steady in his role with the Padres. If the team is out of contention as the trade deadline nears, however, Street may be a candidate to be dealt.

Kansas City - Following a shaky start to the season, Jonathan Broxton has rebounded nicely, converting his third straight save opportunity in Wednesday's narrow win over Detroit. Broxton's claim to the ninth inning has been further bolstered by the assorted woes of his chief competition, Aaron Crow and Greg Holland. Crow gave up a two-run blast to Brennan Boesch in the eighth inning Wednesday to give Broxton little breathing room to work with, while Holland has remained sidelined with a rib injury.


Hot Batter Matchups At-Bats AVG HR XBH RBI BB K SLG OBP OPS
Chipper Jones - 3B ATL vs PHI
5/3 12:10 PM
Joe Blanton 6-17 .353 1 1 3 2 3 .529 .421 .950
Brian McCann - C ATL vs PHI
5/3 12:10 PM
Joe Blanton 8-20 .400 2 2 6 3 0 .700 .500 1.200
Martin Prado - OF ATL vs PHI
5/3 12:10 PM
Joe Blanton 6-16 .375 2 2 3 0 1 .750 .375 1.125
Ryan Ludwick - OF CIN vs CHC
5/3 12:35 PM
Ryan Dempster 12-30 .400 1 4 4 0 7 .600 .400 1.000
Chone Figgins - 3B SEA @ TB
5/3 1:10 PM
Jeff Niemann 6-12 .500 0 1 3 0 2 .667 .500 1.167
Shin-Soo Choo - OF CLE @ CWS
5/3 8:10 PM
John Danks 7-21 .333 1 3 3 1 5 .571 .364 .935
Casey Kotchman - 1B CLE @ CWS
5/3 8:10 PM
John Danks 6-16 .375 0 2 0 1 1 .563 .412 .975
Gordon Beckham - 2B CWS vs CLE
5/3 8:10 PM
Justin Masterson 5-12 .417 0 0 0 0 2 .417 .462 .879
A.J. Pierzynski - C CWS vs CLE
5/3 8:10 PM
Justin Masterson 7-17 .412 0 2 1 0 2 .529 .412 .941
Edwin Encarnacion - 3B TOR @ LAA
5/3 10:05 PM
Dan Haren 5-11 .455 2 2 2 0 2 1.000 .455 1.455
Hot Pitcher Matchups At-Bats Opp
BB K Opp
Kevin Millwood SEA @ TB
5/3 1:10 PM
Rays Batters 14-84 .167 1 3 6 12 29 .224 .268 .492



Cold Batter Matchups At-Bats AVG HR XBH RBI BB K SLG OBP OPS
Dan Uggla - 2B ATL vs PHI
5/3 12:10 PM
Joe Blanton 3-19 .158 0 1 2 3 6 .211 .273 .484
Brandon Phillips - 2B CIN vs CHC
5/3 12:35 PM
Ryan Dempster 3-24 .125 1 1 2 2 6 .250 .192 .442
Scott Rolen - 3B CIN vs CHC
5/3 12:35 PM
Ryan Dempster 3-18 .167 0 1 2 1 4 .222 .211 .433
Joey Votto - 1B CIN vs CHC
5/3 12:35 PM
Ryan Dempster 3-18 .167 2 2 6 2 4 .500 .250 .750
Luke Scott - DH TB vs SEA
5/3 1:10 PM
Kevin Millwood 1-10 .100 0 0 1 2 5 .100 .250 .350
B.J. Upton - OF TB vs SEA
5/3 1:10 PM
Kevin Millwood 4-18 .222 0 0 1 1 7 .222 .263 .485
Asdrubal Cabrera - SS CLE @ CWS
5/3 8:10 PM
John Danks 3-15 .200 0 0 0 0 2 .200 .200 .400
Alexei Ramirez - SS CWS vs CLE
5/3 8:10 PM
Justin Masterson 3-17 .176 1 1 1 2 2 .353 .263 .616
Alex Rios - OF CWS vs CLE
5/3 8:10 PM
Justin Masterson 3-21 .143 1 2 2 2 4 .333 .250 .583
Omar Vizquel - 3B TOR @ LAA
5/3 10:05 PM
Dan Haren 4-28 .143 0 0 0 0 3 .143 .143 .286
Cold Pitcher Matchups At-Bats Opp
BB K Opp

Recommended Pickup

Johnny Damon, OF/DH, CLE - Damon made his debut with the Indians in leftfield Wednesday, batting leadoff. Damon proved to be a useful fantasy asset last season as the everyday designated hitter for the Rays, batting .261 with 16 homers and 19 stolen bases. Though Damon's stolen base totals may have been slightly inflated due to the Rays' base running philosophy, if given regular playing time, he could still conceivably steal between 10 and 15 bases while posting similar power numbers. Additionally, if the Indians elect to keep Damon in the leadoff spot as they did Wednesday, he could see a nice spike in his run totals. Perhaps the greatest impact on Damon's fantasy value is the presence of Travis Hafner on the Indians roster. Damon, a poor defensive player, is still more useful in the field than Hafner, and will see time as a corner outfielder whenever he and Hafner are in the lineup together. With this in mind, Damon is a must-add in AL-only leagues and certainly worthy of consideration in mixed leagues.

Other Recent Recommendations: Patrick Corbin, James McDonald, Allen Craig, Mike Trout, Kenley Jansen

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