A.J. Pierzynski
Braves' A.J. Pierzynski: Out of Thursday's lineup
A.J. Pierzynski, C, ATL
7/28/2016
News: Pierzynski is out of the lineup for Thursday's game against the Phillies.

With Tyler Flowers on the 15-day DL, Pierzynski has been seeing an increased role behind the plate, and although he is hitting just .215 on the season, the 39-year-old has been solid since the All-Star break, hitting .276 with one home run and three RBI.

Analysis: 

Cameron Rupp
Phillies' Cameron Rupp: Out of lineup Thursday
Cameron Rupp, C, PHI
7/28/2016
News: Rupp is not in the lineup for Thursday's tilt with Atlanta, Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reports.

It appears to be just a routine maintenance day for Rupp who has made three consecutive starts coming into Thursday. He'll be replaced by Carlos Ruiz who's making the start behind the dish and batting sixth. Rupp is 5-for-31 (.161) in 10 games since the start of the second half.

Analysis: 

Carson Kelly
Cardinals' Carson Kelly: Promoted to Triple-A
Carson Kelly, C, STL
7/28/2016
News: Kelly, 22, is hitting .303/.351/.455 in nine games since being promoted to Triple-A Memphis.

It's rare that a player who projects to stick behind the dish reaches Triple-A as a 22-year-old, and Kelly is a young 22, as his birthday is July 14. The big concern with Kelly was always whether or not he'd hit enough to be useful in fantasy, and the bat has really taken a big step forward this year. He posted a .740 OPS with six homers in the Texas League prior to his promotion. It will likely be a batting average centered fantasy profile, but that will still play, given the lack of useful options at the position. Unfortunately, in this organization, he is unlikely to take over the everyday duties anytime soon, as Yadier Molina is signed through 2017 with a team option for 2018.

Analysis: 

Francisco Cervelli
Pirates' Francisco Cervelli: Finding his way
Francisco Cervelli, C, PIT
7/28/2016
News: Cervelli is batting .300 (6-for-20) since returning from a broken hamate bone injury.

While the small sample size looks good, it's clear that he's still working his way back. Cervelli has already struck out six times and hasn't looked comfortable at the plate.

Analysis: 

J.T. Realmuto
Marlins' J.T. Realmuto: Sets table for Wednesday rout
J.T. Realmuto, C, MIA
7/28/2016
News: Realmuto went 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles, one walk, two runs scored and one RBI in Wednesday's 11-1 rout of the Phillies.

Realmuto reached base four times in what is likely his last start atop the lineup as speedster Dee Gordon returns to the team Thursday. Realmuto has done an admirable job as the leadoff man while breaking out with a robust .313/.347/.417 slash through 326 at-bats this season. It will be interesting to see just how Don Mattingly handles the playing time and lineup now that Gordon is back in the mix, but Realmuto will remain a valuable contributor regardless of where he is positioned offensively.

Analysis: 

Jonathan Lucroy
Brewers' Jonathan Lucroy: Out of Thursday's lineup
Jonathan Lucroy, C, MIL
7/28/2016
News: Lucroy is out of the lineup Thursday against the Diamondbacks.

Of course his absence from the lineup will lead to speculation that a trade is in the works, and indeed, several reports suggest talks have heated up over the past 24 hours. However, it's likely just a standard day off for Lucory, as he has started the last six games. Martin Maldonado will start behind the dish, hitting sixth Thursday.

Analysis: 

Welington Castillo
Diamondbacks' Welington Castillo: Out of Thursday's lineup
Welington Castillo, C, ARI
7/28/2016
News: Castillo is out of the lineup Thursday against the Brewers.

He has been playing just a tad more than 50 percent of the time since the All-Star break, although he appears to be heating up a bit, notching six RBI over his last four games. Tuffy Gosewisch will get the start behind the dish, hitting eighth Thursday.

Analysis: 

Nick Hundley
Rockies' Nick Hundley: Out of Thursday's lineup
Nick Hundley, C, COL
7/28/2016
News: Hundley is out of the lineup Thursday against the Mets, ROOT Sports' Jenny Cavnar reports.

This is just a standard day off after Hundley caught the last four games. Tony Wolters will get the start behind the dish, hitting eighth Thursday.

Analysis: 

Travis d'Arnaud
Mets' Travis d'Arnaud: Out of Thursday's lineup
Travis d'Arnaud, C, NYM
7/28/2016
News: D'Arnaud is out of the lineup Thursday against the Rockies, ESPN's Adam Rubin reports.

He started the last two games, but will take a seat for Thursday's day game, making way for Rene Rivera behind the dish. D'Arnaud is hitting .246/.299/.333 with two home runs in 137 plate appearances this season, but there is more upside in his bat than he has shown so far, and he should still be rostered in the majority of formats.

Analysis: 

Chris Stewart
Pirates' Chris Stewart: Ran bases Wednesday
Chris Stewart, C, PIT
7/27/2016
News: Stewart (knee) ran the bases on Wednesday and will increase his baseball activities this weekend, Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.

There is still no timetable on the return of Stewart to Pittsburgh. In his absence, Eric Fryer has been serving as the backup catcher for the Pirates. With Fryer playing well, it's unclear whether Stewart will reclaim his spot in Pittsburgh upon his return from the disabled list.

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