Kickoff Notes

  • Clay Buchholz will make a rehab start with Triple-A Pawtucket on Friday. Buchholz has been sidelined with a hamstring injury and this will be the first step in the process of getting him back on the mound. The hope is for a short stay in the minors and that he will be available to pitch for the Red Sox next week.
  • The Blue Jays sent Alex Gonzalez over to Atlanta for Yunel Escobar. While Escobar is struggling offensively, the .250-hitting Gonzalez only seems to provide more power and not much else. Gonzalez is hitting home runs like they are going out of style, but he has hit just .246 over his last 75 games. Not exactly lighting the world on fire.
  • Rumors are flying that Alex Rodriguez did not play in the All-Star game due to a thumb injury. Brian Cashman dismissed them and stated that the injury was nothing to talk about and not the reason Rodriguez did not play in Tuesday’s game. While he does have a minor injury, expect him to be in the lineup for the Yankees as the second half begins and this just fades away.
  • Jake Peavy underwent successful surgery to repair the detached muscle in his throwing shoulder. Peavy is certainly not expected to do anything the rest of the way, but feels that he is certainly in line for a spring return. Do yourself the favor of dropping him, because there is no way he helps going forward. He was still nearly 50 percent owned in ESPN leagues earlier this week.
  • Looking for a few second half predictions? There are five of them located on this post here and a bonus sixth can be found here . Check it out and get your lineups ready to go for the second half!


Thursday Notes

  • Tim Wakefield gets the ball at home for Boston, and the confines have not been kind to him this season. Wakefield is just 1-4 at home with a 5.89 ERA. Batters have hit seven home runs against him in 55 innings pitched. Vladimir Guerrero needs to be in your lineup. He is 10-for-23 against Wakefield with five home runs. Newly-acquired Bengie Molina is 7-for-20. Michael Young has struggled to a .234 mark in 47 at-bats and Ian Kinsler is just 2-for-13.
  • John Danks has allowed only two earned runs in 15 innings since the start of July and has held teams to three earned runs or less in five of his last six starts. In only one of those five did he fail to complete the seventh inning. That said, start Michael Cuddyer. He is 18-for-36 with five home runs against Danks. In fact, all Twins except Nick Punto (2-for-21) are hitting better than .290 against Danks.
  • Look to avoid Paul Konerko against Kevin Slowey. Konerko is only 3-for-17 against the Minnesota starter. Alex Rios is 5-for-13 and Alexei Ramirez is 5-for-12. A.J. Pierzynski is not a bad start either at 4-for-11. Carlos Quentin slows the pace down at just 2-for-10. Slowey pitched well in his relief appearance before the break, but has struggled of late with his ankle injury.
  • Chone Figgins has struggled when facing Joel Pineiro. Figgins is only 4-for-21 against the pitcher lifetime. If you are desperate enough to start Jack Wilson, he is 7-for-12 against Pineiro. Only Milton Bradley has enough at-bats to make a dent otherwise and he is 5-for-19 against Pineiro. Pineiro is 6-2 at home this season and batters are hitting just .230 against him in his own park.
  • Doug Fister has given up 10 earned runs in his last three starts since returning from the DL. Fister gave up just one run in his last outing, but needed 97 pitches to get through six innings. The damage there could have been much worse than the one run, as he gave up six hits and two walks in that start against the Royals.
  • All-Star hero Brian McCann may be able to hit some of the better pitchers in baseball, but he is only 1-for-11 against Dave Bush. Troy Glaus is 3-for-12 and is the only other starter with enough at-bats to take note. Check out Bush’s last five starts. He has pitched at least six innings and given up two or fewer runs in all of them, good for a 2.30 ERA in his last 31.2 innings.
  • Aramis Ramirez is only 1-for-14 against Jamie Moyer, while Alfonso Soriano is at just .232 in 56 at-bats. In his 13 hits, Soriano does have four home runs, but that is all he has going for him. Derrek Lee is 5-for-13 and Ryan Theriot is 5-for-15. Moyer has struggled on the road at just 4-5, but he had a run of solid outing before being beaten his last time out.
  • Not outstanding numbers for the Dodgers against Chris Carpenter. Jamey Carroll is 6-for-16 and Russell Martin is 3-for-10, but those are the only player above .300. Still, the only ones to really avoid would be Casey Blake at 1-for-10 and James Loney at 2-for-11.
  • Lefties are really struggling against Ryan Dempster this year, hitting just .209. The biggest one in the Phillies lineup is Ryan Howard, who is only 2-for-9 against Dempster to begin with. Where Dempster has pitched well at home, holding all batters to a .201 mark, benching Howard may not be the worst idea.
  • Spot Starts: Tommy Hunter, Slowey, Bush

Friday Notes

  • The Yankees have some tough numbers against James Shields. Mark Teixeira is 4-for-23 while Alex Rodriguez and Curtis Granderson check in at 4-for-20 and 2-for-20 respectively. Jorge Posada is at .211 in 19 at-bats and Nick Swisher is only 2-for-14. Robinson Cano and Derek Jeter are the only regulars worth the start.
  • Numbers go the other way largely for the Rays against C.C. Sabathia. Only Carlos Pena looks to be a hold out given his .138 average in 29 at-bats. B.J. Upton and Ben Zobrist give the best averages on the Rays in this matchup, but Jason Bartlett is no slouch at .289.
  • Gavin Floyd puts his impressive run on the line against the Twins. Floyd has allowed only seven earned runs in his last seven starts covering 50.1 innings of work. He is 3-1 in that stretch. Jason Kubel is a .360 hitter with three home runs in 25 at-bats while Denard Span is 8-for-14. Might want to look elsewhere other than these two, though. Even Justin Morneau is a .231 hitter in 26 at-bats while Delmon Young is 3-for-14 and Michael Cuddyer is 4-for-20.
  • Ichiro is hitting only .255 in 47 at-bats against Jered Weaver. Only Jose Lopez at .295 gets within a sniff of .300 and would be the only solid starting option for the Mariners. Weaver has struggled with his ERA against the Mariners, posting a 4.21 ERA in his last 13 starts, but he is 7-2 in that time. He is 1-0 against them this year and has not allowed an earned run in 14.1 innings.
  • Zach Duke will get the ball against Houston for his first start since June 16th. Duke has been sidelined with a strained elbow. He pitched well in two rehab starts and is 2-4 with a 3.25 ERA against Houston lifetime. Pedro Feliz is 1-for-11 against Duke while Lance Berkman is 6-for-24 and Carlos Lee is 7-for-26.
  • Spot Starts: Gonzalez, Hammel, Duke

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