If you happen to be in a league that allows you to change your lineup up to the last second prior to the start of each game, the best you can do is watch closely. If you lock at the first pitch of the first game of the day, I always advocate playing it safe and ensuring you get the atbats you need.
What else happened last night? Let's get to the notes.
- Aramis Ramirez will be pushed back at least one more day. He was originally slated to be in the lineup tonight, but is likely now going to be held out until Wednesday against Arizona. His strained calf is still giving him problems and severely limiting the Cubs options in the infield. Keep him down tonight.
- Hanley Ramirez had the biggest moment of the night. Ramirez took a half-swing and was hit on the right hand by a John Maine fastball. X-rays were taken and were negative last night. There is some swelling, but Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said that they will approach it as day-to-day. If you have another option tonight, look to use it and watch this situation over the next few days.
- Two members of the Rockies continue to struggle, and one was benched last night. Troy Tulowitzki is mired in the middle of an 0-for-19 slump. Manager Clint Hurdle told ESPN that it will be a day-to-day approach here as well. If you're looking to replace the struggling Tulowitzki, give Asdrubal Cabrera a look. The Indians infielder has been on a tear over the last seven games.
- Mike Jacobs is hasn't had a hit in his last 14 at-bats, and was given the night off in Kansas City. Jacobs has had a lot of problems with lefties over his career, so this benching against David Purcey shouldn't come as a surprise. Watch out, as we could see a platoon form between Jacobs, Billy Butler, and John Buck.
- Daisuke Matsuzaka doesn't seem to be any closer to returning. An interview yesterday with Terry Francona indicated that Matsuzaka is still on a long-toss program working up to throwing 120 feet. He has to reach that distance before he can go on a rehab assignment, something it looks like Boston will require that he do.
- Cliff Lee turned in a stellar outing against Boston, a team he was just 1-4 against prior to last night. Lee worked the zone well, and his breaking pitches seemed to have more snap to them than earlier this season. He's working out the kinks, and you can't pin this loss on the way he pitched. Get back to using him as normal.
- Dexter Fowler is on a mini-tear in the last week. The Rockies outfielder is 7-for-19, has scored seven runs and stolen six bases in that time. If you're looking for a quick boost of speed, Fowler can help in that regard. Ride the streaks.
- Pablo Sandoval's value largely hinges on leagues where he is catcher eligible. He's off to a very slow start, holding on to single-digits in RBI like it's his job. If you require two catchers, don't give up on him yet. Yahoo! owners should look at him as having an outside shot at 15 home runs and 65 RBI. Know who had numbers like that last year? Chris Ianetta and Kelly Shoppach. As a second catcher, you could do much worse.
- Derrek Lee is really struggling right now, and now his back and neck spasms are likely going to hold him out of the rest of the Cubs series. First base is so deep, that holding on to a guy playing like this doesn't make a whole lot of sense. He's hitting just .209 with one home run so far this season and has been pushed down in the Cubs order. Keep an eye on waivers and see who is available.
- Two closers are being held out the next few days. Jose Valverde is having calf problems and Brad Lidge is struggling with a knee issue. Both are looking to avoid the disabled list, but neither should be expected on the mound before Thursday either.
- Yesterday: Wins-Jair Jurrjens, Braden Looper; Losses-Anibal Sanchez, Justin Verlander, Johnny Cueto (Season: 53-37-1)
Notes for Tuesday
- I've liked Edwin Jackson a few times this season, but this won't be one of them. Jackson has allowed the Yankees to hit .305 against him over his career. Johnny Damon has struggled to 3-for-19, but he's also hurt and you'd want to keep him down regardless. Robinson Cano's numbers aren't great, but his hitting too well to hold him back for this one.
- I'm slightly nervous on Kyle Lohse today, but only because of injury. Lohse had an MRI on his knee last week. While it revealed no structural damage, there was thought he should skip a start. Chipper Jones has gone 5-for-9 against him, but he's the only Braves player to be concerned with. His numbers are solid, it's the injury that has me questioning him here.
- The Mets are hitting .351 against Ricky Nolasco. Given his recent struggles, I'd hold him back based on these numbers and his season so far. Sure, he could pitch well, but the .429 and .448 of David Wright and Jose Reyes, respectively, lead me to thinking otherwise.
- After his 3-for-5 performance last night, Jimmy Rollins will get to see another pitcher that he has performed well against. Rollins is 5-for-12 against John Lannan, and is someone to get into the lineup. Shane Victorino has hit .364 against Lannan as well.
- If you need a couple hits, look to Geoff Blum tonight. Blum is 9-for-15 against Aaron Harang, and is very likely to be starting at third for Houston tonight. While Lance Berkman has only 11 hits in 45 at-bats, six have gone for home runs. Still, Harang is 6-2 in his last nine starts against the Astros, and has held the team to a .240 average in that time.
- Might want to keep the bats of Mike Cameron (11-for-18, 3 home runs) and Bill Hall (14-for-25, 2 home runs) in the lineup againt Paul Maholm. While Maholm has controlled Prince Fielder, Rickie Weeks, and even Ryan Braun (none above .214), he's struggled with these two. Add to that, he's just 1-3 since 2006 in four starts at Miller Park. The Brewers have owned him there.
- Still only 50 percent owned, Joe Saunders draws a struggling Baltimore team. He's held Nick Markakis in check, and face no hitters with much of a positive track record against him. With Adam Eaton as his opponent, it's likely that even pitching a mediocre game gets Saunders a win.
- This could be a good night for Jim Thome. The problem is, it's tough to judge the lineup for a double-header. Thome, though, if he's involved in the nightcap, is 5-for-8 with three home runs against Felix Hernandez. It's not a bad spot to use him if you've kept Thome around on your roster.
- Spot Starts: Saunders, Wandy Rodriguez, Dave Bush
- Keep on the Bench: Ricky Nolasco
Notes for Wednesday
- Jeremy Hermida is a surprising 4-for-10 against Johan Santana. Unfortunately, he's the only Marlin I'd want in my lineup. Dan Uggla is struggling, and his 1-for-17 numbers against Santana won't help. Ramirez (2-for-15), Jorge Cantu (5-for-23), Emilio Bonifacio (0-for-8), and Cody Ross (3-for-13) all struggle.
- On the flip side, Josh Johnson has held much of the Mets lineup in check as well. The Mets as a team are hitting .158 against Johnson. Jose Reyes' .231 average is among the best he'll see.
- Aaron Cook shouldn't look for any cure for his struggles against the Padres. San Diego has pounded Cook, and all Padres should be active in your lineup for this one.
- Ryan Zimmerman is 11-for-30 against Brett Myers, and the rest of the Nationals have all put up good numbers against the Phillies starter. Unless you were looking to use Willie Harris or Jesus Flores, most Nationals are good plays. Nick Johnson would be the only question among regulars, as he's 4-for-21.
- Tim Lincecum is coming off a start where he threw 123 pitches. He actually hasn't thrown much against the Dodgers, but this one would be a word of caution based on the counts from his last start. Just be wary.
- Spot Starts: Nick Blackburn, Kevin Correia, Koji Uehara.
Collin Hager writes The Elmhurst Pub fantasy blog. You can get your waiver wire and lineup questions answered by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. He's also on Twitter @TheRoundtable.
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