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Thursday Lineup Card: The Bell Tolls - For Now

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 now works primarily as an NFL and MLB contributor.

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Thursday's Starters

Tigers (Justin Verlander - R) at Indians (Justin Masterson - R), 12:05
Braves (Randall Delgado - R) at Reds (Homer Bailey - R), 7:10
Padres (Eric Stults - L) at Mets (Jeremy Hefner - R), 7:10
Giants (Ryan Vogelsong - R) at Marlins (Anibal Sanchez - R), 7:10
Twins (Cole De Vries - R) at White Sox (Philip Humber - R), 8:10
Phillies (Joe Blanton - R) at Cardinals (Jake Westbrook - R), 8:15
Angels (Dan Haren - R) at Mariners (Jason Vargas - L), 10:10

Day Game After Night Game: DET/CLE


Jimmy Rollins, SS, PHI - (Personal) Out of the lineup Wednesday; scheduled to rejoin team on Thursday.
Jack Hannahan, 3B, CLE - (Back) Reportedly looked good during batting practice session Wednesday.
Chipper Jones, 3B, ATL - (Calf) Sat out of Wednesday's game.
Omar Infante, 2B, MIA - (Personal) Returned to the Miami lineup on Wednesday.
Erick Aybar, SS, LAA - (Knee) Not in the starting lineup Wednesday.
Graham Godfrey, SP, OAK - (Finger) Given the OK to make his next scheduled start.
Jordan Schafer, OF, HOU - (Toe) Flare-up of toe injury could sideline him for a few days.
Paul Konerko, 1B, CHW - (Eye) Went 2-for-4 with a double and RBI in return to lineup Tuesday.
Austin Jackson, OF, DET - (Abdomen) Could be headed to the 15-day DL after missing the last two games.
Jason Hammel, SP, BAL - (Knee) Expects to make scheduled start Friday after having knee drained on Monday.
Miguel Montero, C, ARI - (Groin) Will likely miss a few days but probably will avoid DL.

Disabled List
Vernon Wells, OF, LAA - (Thumb) Underwent successful surgery to repair ligament; will require 8-to-10 weeks of recovery.
Darnell McDonald, OF, BOS - (Oblique) Took some swings in the batting cage before Wednesday's game.
Brian Roberts, 2B, BAL - (Concussion) Started in his first rehab game for Double-A Bowie Wednesday.
Yuniesky Betancourt, SS, KC - (Ankle) Expected to begin rehab assignment at Double-A Northern Arkansas on Thursday.
Sam Fuld, OF, TB - (Wrist) Exam went well on Tuesday and hopes to return by August.
Ryan Raburn, 2B, DET - (Personal) Expected to return Friday after being placed on bereavement list.
Zach Britton, SP, BAL - (Shoulder) Will make first rehab start on Saturday and could require a few starts in the minors.
Yoenis Cespedes, OF, OAK - (Hand) Hopes to begin swinging a bat on Wednesday.
Aaron Cook, SP, BOS - (Knee) Remains troubled with cut above his knee and will not begin rehab assignment this week.


Activated from the DL
Jason Grilli, RP, PIT (bereavement list)

Called Up
Quinton Berry, OF, DET

Sent Down
Jeff Locke, RP, PIT

Designated For Assignment
Collin Balester, RP, DET

Closer Watch

Arizona - J.J. Putz may be finding himself on shaky ground after blowing his third save of the season in a loss to the Dodgers. Although his K/BB and strikeout rates remain as strong as ever, Putz has been troubled by allowing an abnormally high .317 batting average and a slightly higher flyball ratio. While the numbers seem to suggest a bit of bad luck for Putz, his 7.20 ERA and 1.53 WHIP could make setup man David Hernandez more enticing.

Boston - Alfredo Aceves has continued to roll, as he recorded his ninth straight save by allowing no baserunners in 1.1 innings in Wednesday's win. Aceves has steadied the ship since being blown up early in the season, lowering his ERA to a not-quite-as-unsightly 4.15. He should retain closing duties unless Boston decides to give Aceves a run as a starting pitcher in light of the struggles of Clay Buchholz and Daniel Bard.

Miami - Heath Bell is back in the good graces of fantasy owners after successfully recording four straight save opportunities without allowing a run. Even if Bell has righted the ship to an extent, he still remains a risk going forward because of his incredibly shrinking strikeout rate. Bell has just one strikeout in those four straight saves, and his BB:K ratio sits at a horrendous 12:9 over 16.1 innings. If you're not in dire need of saves, consider shopping Bell, as another blowup could be on the horizon.

Washington - As was highlighted in Wednesday's Lineup Card, the Nationals are expected to use a closer committee with the removal of incumbent Henry Rodriguez. Even so, consider Tyler Clippard the favorite to receive the most opportunities, as his proven track record and better repertoire make him more likely to stick in the role over Sean Burnett or Craig Stammen. Clippard successfully recorded the save in his first opportunity on Tuesday.


Hot Batter Matchups At-Bats AVG HR XBH RBI BB K SLG OBP OPS
Michael Brantley - OF CLE vs DET
5/24 12:05 PM
Justin Verlander 7-13 .538 0 1 4 2 2 .692 .600 1.292
Johnny Damon - DH CLE vs DET
5/24 12:05 PM
Justin Verlander 5-16 .313 1 3 1 1 1 .625 .353 .978
Casey Kotchman - 1B CLE vs DET
5/24 12:05 PM
Justin Verlander 6-18 .333 1 3 2 0 1 .611 .333 .944
Miguel Cabrera - 1B DET @ CLE
5/24 12:05 PM
Justin Masterson 4-10 .400 1 1 4 3 3 .700 .571 1.271
Brendan Ryan - SS SEA vs LAA
5/24 10:10 PM
Dan Haren 5-13 .385 0 1 2 0 2 .538 .385 .923
Hot Pitcher Matchups At-Bats Opp
BB K Opp
Jake Westbrook STL vs PHI
5/24 8:15 PM
Phillies Batters 18-71 .254 0 2 2 1 11 .278 .264 .542
Jason Vargas SEA vs LAA
5/24 10:10 PM
Angels Batters 16-66 .242 0 6 4 1 12 .361 .254 .615


Cold Batter Matchups At-Bats AVG HR XBH RBI BB K SLG OBP OPS
Asdrubal Cabrera - SS CLE vs DET
5/24 12:05 PM
Justin Verlander 5-27 .185 0 0 2 4 10 .185 .290 .475
Brennan Boesch - OF DET @ CLE
5/24 12:05 PM
Justin Masterson 2-10 .200 0 0 0 0 1 .200 .200 .400
Delmon Young - OF DET @ CLE
5/24 12:05 PM
Justin Masterson 2-11 .182 0 1 2 0 2 .273 .167 .440
Juan Pierre - OF PHI @ STL
5/24 8:15 PM
Jake Westbrook 1-16 .063 0 1 0 0 1 .125 .063 .188
Carlos Beltran - OF STL vs PHI
5/24 8:15 PM
Joe Blanton 3-16 .188 0 0 1 1 2 .188 .278 .466
Skip Schumaker - 2B STL vs PHI
5/24 8:15 PM
Joe Blanton 4-17 .235 0 0 0 0 4 .235 .235 .470
Howie Kendrick - 2B LAA @ SEA
5/24 10:10 PM
Jason Vargas 3-19 .158 0 1 1 0 5 .263 .158 .421
Cold Pitcher Matchups At-Bats Opp
BB K Opp

Recommended Pickup Alex Cobb, SP, TB - With Jeff Niemann headed to the 60-day DL, a spot is finally opened up for Cobb, who would likely be a fixture in Tampa Bay's rotation if not for the Rays' incredible pitching depth. After compiling a 1.87 ERA and 70 strikeouts in 67.1 innings with Triple-A Durham last season, Cobb succeeded when summoned to the Big Show, recording a 3.42 in his nine-start stint before an injury sidelined him the rest of the way. Now healthy, Cobb picked up where he left off in the majors when recalled to replace Niemann last Saturday, as he went seven innings and allowed two runs while striking out six. Cobb will start again on Friday in Boston, and expect him to be a viable back end pitching option in AL-only and deeper mixed leagues.

Other recent recommendations: Tyler Clippard, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Andy Dirks, and Felipe Paulino

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