Friday, June 29, 2007
The San Diego Padres and Oakland Athletics have reached preliminary agreements to send outfielder Milton Bradley to the Padres in return for a minor league pitcher. Milton is most likely gonna start in LF for the rest of the season on a team that has also acquired Michael Barrett recently.
Thursday, June 28, 2007
There is news that the Astros will have a fire sale, possibly sending away players like Woody Williams, Jason Jennings, Brad Lidge, Morgan Ensberg, Brad Ausmus, Mike Lamb, Mark Loretta, David Wheeler, and Jason Lane. I think that this is the best thing to do for the struggling Astros. They should build solid prospects around they're big 3- Carlos Lee, Lance Berkman, and Roy Oswalt. The rebuilding years may be tough, but the team is currently very old and non-producing.
Also, the Mets are interested in acquiring a pitcher and a hitting outfielder. The two top players I think they will acquire and Jose Guillen of Seattle and Jose Contreras of the White Sox. Contreras, as we said before, said he would waive his no trade clause to play with fellow country-man Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez.
I can't wait for the trade deadline. I have a feeling there will be some big moves.
-Written by Kenny Schiumo of Major League Ramblings
I did not know this, but it looks like Jose Contreras has a no-trade clause in his contract. The good news is that Jose said if the White Sox want to trade him, he would waive his no-trade clause, probably because players who waive their clause get some kind of prize from the Player Union. Javier Vasquez has also been placed on rumors as Buehrle was taken off the block. The Chicago White Sox trade block now looks like Contreras, Vasquez, Dye, and Iguchi.
Craig Biggio finally did it. On a 2-2 pitch, he singled to centerfield against the Rockies. In typical Biggio fashion, he tried to stretch the single into a double, but was thrown out. Biggio now stands in an elite class and will be known to this generation, as a grinder who made the most of his ability, and, in the words of Ryne Sandberg, as someone who played the game the right way.
Congratulations Mr. Biggio.
Since pitching a great game to beat Justin Verlander and the Tigers in the first game of the 2006 World Series, Anthony Reyes has been valued as a top prospect in the Cardinals organization. But now, we are still wondering if this is the same kid from the 2006 World Series. Anthony Reyes is now 0-10 on the season, with a sky-high 6.40 ERA and a huge 1.42 WHIP. This is the worst start for a pitcher in 14 years. The Cardinal offense doesn't seem to be providing him with enough run support, because in his first 7 starts he never allowed more than 4 runs in a game. That tells you something.
We knew this kid would be good, but I think he won't make it in the bigs for long. Maybe he will turn into a Rick Ankiel, a top prospect who has spent most of his career in the minors or maybe a Jeremy Guthrie story, being released and then pitching great for another team. Only the future will tell.
- Written by Kenny Schiumo of Major League Ramblings
Toronto Blue-Jays DH Frank Thomas hit career homerun number 500 today against Carlos Silva and the Minnesota Twins. It took Thomas 2,172 games to accomplish this goal, but it is a great story as his career looked heavily in doubt back in 2005.
In other record-routes, Craig Biggio remains 3 hits shy of reaching 3,000 hits, a milestone in which few hitters will ever accomplish.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
In the N.L. Central, things are not always what they appear. And sometime around 1:30 PM Central Standard Time on Friday afternoon, one of the most important series of the first-half gets underway. The Brewers of Milwaukee invade Wrigley in a matchup of the two hottest teams in baseball. The Cubs are currently on a six game win streak which has been defined by tons of offense, great defense, and a 9th inning blowup/rally that could turn into a season-defining victory. The Brew Crew, owners of the best home record in baseball, have swept 2 of the last 3 opponents, and look to quell any swell the Cubs want to make towards the top spot in the standings.
Friday's game is a matchup between two of the best young arms in the National League: Rich Hill and Yovani Gallardo. Hill has been one of the best arms on the Senior Circuit since his recall late last summer, and has, so far, lived up to expectations on the North Side. Hill, of the silly pull-the-string curve, looks to continue his dominance of the N.L. Central against a lineup he has had success against in the past. All Gallardo has done this year was destroy AAA and prove he was the most dominant pitching prospect in the minor leagues. He throws a dynamic four-seam fastball with a plus curve and a very good change. He's a future Cy Young-type talent.
Offensively, both teams are plowing through opponents recently. The Cubs put up 23 runs in the three game sweep of the Rockies, and the Brewers outscored their opponents 63-30 while winning 8 of the last 9. Look for Alfonso Soriano and Prince Fielder to continue their marches towards the All-Star game.
The first game of the series is broadcast nationally on cable on WGN Superstation. For any of you who Friday afternoon off, or have TiVo handy, I suggest tuning to the superstation, sitting back with a Bud Light, and enjoying watching a great matchup.
Posted by David Brunner of Major League Ramblings
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have announced the designation of Shea Hillenbrand. GM Bill Stoneman now as 10 days to trade or release Shea, who struggled mildly in his stint with the Angels. In 197 at-bats, Hillenbrand only hit .254 with 3 HR's and 22 RBI's. I thought the Angels made a good move giving him a 1 year $6.5M contract with a club option, but I was definitely proved wrong. My guess would be that the Yankees would trade for Shea, but that is all speculation as of now.
The Chicago Cubs and Kansas City Royals have had lack-luster seasons thus far, but both are making huge strides, attempting to get back into their respectful races. The Cubs came into today 7.5 games behind the Milwaukee Brewers, but took care of their early business, defeating the Colorado Rockies 9-6. Chicago is now amidst a 6-game winning streak, as their entire team has been playing much better, but most notably they are fielding much better than they were earlier in the season.
Down in Kansas City, the Royals have won 4 straight games including a sweep of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, pushing their record to 33-46. Most of their success has been because of the return of closer Octavio Dotel from the DL. Dotel now was 8 saves in 10 chances, with a 3.21 ERA. Kansas City once again made a great signing, as both their huge signings Dotel and Meche are both doing exceptionally well.
The future looks much brighter for both of these teams now that they have built confidence, and it will be fun to see where they end up.
With players like Dmitri Young and Matt Stairs reviving their careers, it seems to be a new trend around Major League Baseball. Players who have had no success with other teams have found the success they have been looking for since they were touted prospects and former great hitters. Young, the brother of touted young outfielder Delmon Young, has found his swing. He is hitting .339 with 7 homeruns and 36 RBI's for the struggling Nationals. He is a great player to acquire in your fantasy leagues if your looking for some first base help. Carlos Pena falls into this category as well, hitting .298 with 17 homeruns and 44 RBI's. The Detroit Tigers obviously gave up on Pena too early. Other players like Matt Stairs, Sammy Sosa, and Oliver Perez have found their "comfort zone" as well, putting up great numbers. The most surprising player this season to me is Jeremy Guthrie of the Baltimore Orioles. They pulled him off the scrap heap this year, looking some help pitching wise. He was a former prospect that was drafted in the first-round of the draft. He was what us in the baseball world call a "bonus baby." When Guthrie was finally called up with the Indians, things did not seem so grand anymore. He has a ballooning 6.98 era and a 2.02 WHIP. The Indians lost faith in him as well, designating him for assignment. He is now with the Orioles posting stats consisting of 4 W, 0 SV, 2.42 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, 56 K, 14 BB in 81 2/3 IP. He is having a great year with the Orioles, moving from bullpen to starting pitching. He throws smoke, high 90's with nasty sink on his pitches. Go get this guy as soon as you can for pitching help.
So as the All-Star break approaches, these "garbage players" have posted some great numbers for struggling teams. Will the success continue after the All-Star Break? No one knows, but for now old is new again.
-Written by Kenny Schiumo of Major League Ramblings
I wanted to do an article on Toronto Blue Jay's outfielder Matt Stairs. Matt is a 39-year old outfielder who has bounced around quite a bit in his career, with stints in Montreal, Boston, Oakland, Chicago, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, Kansas City, Detroit, Texas and now Toronto. In his career, Stairs is only a .266 hitter, but has really surged this season. As of this morning, Matt is hitting .294 with a whopping 12 HR's and 28 RBI's. This is all combined in a package boasting a .361 OBP. It is quite a great story that Matt has blossomed somewhere, as he hasn't a good year since 1998 when he hit .294 with 26 HR's and 106 RBI's. I'm sure pulling for him to continue his success.
The Chicago White Sox are now looking as they are going to resign Mark Buehrle to a contract extension instead of trading him. This changes many of the teams deadline approaches as they no longer have a 28-year old lefty on the market. Chicago has looked to still attempt to trade Tadahito Iguchi and Jermaine Dye.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Randy Johnson is rejoining the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday, and is expected to start shortly thereafter. It's a great story as its only been 10 days since Johnson was diagnosed with a herniated disc in his back. Hopefully he can pitch better than he did last year with a herniated disc for the New York Yankees, a season in which he broke out with a straight 5.00 ERA.
UPDATE: Ken Rosenthal reports that the money changing hands has closed this deal. That's two trades that were cancelled at the last second, as earlier in the week, Kansas City acquired Milton Bradley, only to find out he had a quadriceps injury.
The Florida Marlins have acquired outfielder Jacque Jones from the Chicago Cubs for 23-year old Graham Taylor and $1,000,000. Florida has been looking for a center-fielder and Jacque will most likely be their starting center-fielder for the rest of the season. Taylor is having a wonderful season in A-ball. He's 8-2 with a 2.66 ERA. He looks to have exceptional control, only walking 5 batters in 101.2 IP, but that is only single-A.
With Craig Biggio approaching 3000 hits and Frank Thomas 500 home runs, this should be an interesting week around the MLB. Biggio is 4 hits away from 3000 and Thomas is one homerun away from joining the 500 homerun club. ALso, Ken Griffey Jr. is moving up the homerun charts and is two away from tying Frank Robinson for 6th all-time. Barry Bonds is also 6 homeruns away from tying Hank Aaron for 1st all-time.
This should be an exciting couple of weeks for MLB fans around the globe.
Rod Beck was a menacing sight on the mound, with a bushy mustache and a searing stare that intimidated batters throughout his 13-year career as one of baseball’s best closers.Yet his friends in the game knew Beck as a hardworking teammate and a jovial character whose early death saddened players all around the major leagues.
Beck, an All-Star relief pitcher who earned 286 career saves, was found dead in his home Saturday. He was 38.
Rod Beck was always one of my favorite players as I grew up. He will be dearly missed. R.I.P.
Monday, June 25, 2007
Milwaukee Brewers AAA pitcher Manny Parra threw a perfect game tonight against the Round Rock Express. He also had 11 K's in this game as his Nashville Sounds won 3-0. Para now as a 1.20 ERA in the minor leagues, and will hopefully taste the major leagues soon.
Before leaving Seattle, the city where Ken Griffey Jr. put up studly numbers as simply "the kid", Junior stated that he would like to retire as a Mariner. Wouldn't that be something if Ken would go back to Seattle and attempt to move even higher on the HR list. He's currently only 2 HR's away from the number 6 slot, so he will most likely make that in a few more days.
After all the Buehrle to Mets rumors, the Newark Star-Ledge reports that they will most likely attempt to acquire Jose Contreras instead of Mark Buehrle. Jose has been struggling this season with a mid-5 E.R.A., but still has an excellent 55/35 K/BB. If Contreras did go to the Metropolitans, it would be intriguing to see how he will pitch in the great-hitters park known as Shea Stadium.
Friday, June 22, 2007
ESPN reports that the Kansas City Royals have traded relief-pitcher Leo Nunez to the Oakland Athletics in return for Milton Bradley. Nunez is a 23-year old pitcher for Jamoa Norte, Dominican Republic. He has a career 6.99 ERA, but is at a 4.73 mark this season in 13.1 IP. The Royals must also pay all of Milton's remaining $2.7M contract.
UPDATE: The Kansas City Royals have found out Milton has an oblique injury, and has cancelled the trade. Hopefully the two can figure out what to do now, or just wait until the strain is fully healed.
The Philadelphia Phillies have signed left-handed relief pitcher J.C. Romero to a minor league contract. "Romero, 31, was 1-0 with one save and a 3.15 ERA in 23 games for the Red Sox this season before being designated for assignment by the club on June 8 when righthander Mike Timlin was reinstated from the disabled list. Romero was released on June 18."
Ken Rosenthal reports that the Detroit Tigers have sent left-hander Mike Maroth to the St. Louis Cardinals. He does not know who the Tigers have acquired in return though. My guess would be another relief pitcher, as Detroit is desperate for some pen help.
I haven't heard this, but apparently last Wednesday the Detroit Tigers also sent Wilfredo Ledezma to the Atlanta Braves in return for McCay McBride, a very even trade on both sides
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Newly acquired catcher Rob Bowen will catch Ted Lilly tonight for the Chicago Cubs. Bowen is only hitting .268 at the plate, but he looks like he has an amazing eye, as his OBP is at .371. Would be interesting to see what Bowen can do in his Cubs debut, as he was a Cubs fan when he was younger.
The Oakland Athletics have stated that they have designated outfielder Milton Bradley for assignment. Just as the Jay Witasick releasing, the manager or front office must of got very upset with something Bradley had said, as he was performing at least decently on the A's roster. Oakland will most likely trade Milton Bradley for relief help, but surely wouldn't get as much as they would of without the designation.
Former Florida Marlins manager, Joe Girardi, has turned down the Baltimore Orioles' managerial vacancy. Shortly after though, the Washington Post reports that Girardi and the O's are still communicating about the job, but talks have just hit a snag. I hope that Joe would turn this down and wait for a much better job on the market very soon. Yankees maybe?
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
The Tampa Bay Devil Rays quickly signed Jay Witasick after the Athletics released him. Jay had a 3.10 ERA in 16 games this season for Oakland, after being released on unreleased terms. Great move for the Devil Rays, as their pen gets a lot better just for a couple more thousand dollars.
Turns out Billy Beane is amazing. In his first relief apperance for TB, Witasick got shelled for 2 earned runs in 0.2 IP.
The Chicago Cubs have traded catcher Michael Barrett to the San Diego Padres in return for Rob Bowen, Kyler Burke, and cash considerations. Bowen is nothing more than a switch-hitting defensive catcher, but that is exactly the type that Lou Pinella wants. Burke has 40-50 HR potential, but struggled quite a bit in Rookie ball last year, hitting only .201 with 1 HR and 12 RBI. Padres got the better deal, because Barrett is a top 5 catcher on my list, and there's only a few catchers left who can really hit.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Randy Johnson has been diagnosed with a herniated disc in his back, the same injury he suffered last year with the New York Yankees. Randy had a pathetic 5.00 ERA last year with the Yankees, but was pitching quite well this year at a 3.53 ERA on the season. He says his disc is still stronger since it had been herniated multiple times, and feels that it won't hurt him too much, but you gotta double-guess the aging veteran.
Ken Rosenthal says a Mark Teixiera for Phillip Hughes deal isn't too far off. The Yankees farm system is stocked with good arms, and Teixiera would make their team o' so better. This is one of the few rumors released lately that really makes sense for both teams. We will see if it actually pans out or not.
Monday, June 18, 2007
reporting that the Cincinnatti Reds and Chicago Cubs are discussing a possible Jacque Jones and Sean Marshall for Ken Griffey Jr. deal. Marshall has improved very much this season, giving some of the success to expanding and closely working on each pitch in his repertoire. I don't see any reasoning for the Cubs to make this deal, but a rumor is a rumor.
Baltimore sources say that the Baltimore front-office has been communicating with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim about sending short-stop Miguel Tejada to the Angels for Ervin Santana and Maicier Izturis. The Angels made this same offer last year at the deadline and Baltimore declined. Now with Tejada's power numbers dipping and signs of age starting to show, the O's might want Ervin Santana to help out their rotation and bring a youthful, powerful arm into their rotation.
Brewers young pitching prospect, Yovani Gallardo, is to make his major league debut today against Noah Lowry and the San Francisco Giants. Scouts say Yovani has a "plus fastball with a strong curve and a change-up that he mixes in well". My prediction for Gallardo's major league debut is 4 ER in 6 IP. Yovani will most likely make only one or two starts until Capuano comes back, but is still expected to pitch well, youth pending.
Saturday, June 2, 2007
The Arizona Diamondbacks, who are now 10 games over .500, are on a surge where they have won 8 consecutive games and are tied for first place. Today, Livian Hernandez takes the mound as Arizona takes on the New York Mets. Hernandez, who has a mere 1.88 ERA in his last 3 starts, stated in the news yesterday that he has 'no problem with beating the Mets.
Friday, June 1, 2007
The Chicago Cubs, who spent upwards of $126,000,000 this past offseason, have lost 5 straight games and faced even more problems today. In the early game today, Carlos Zambrano showed his emotions as he shoved his catcher, Michael Barret, in the dugout between innings. Both players are going to be free-agents in the offseason, so the Cubs have big decisions to make on both. Zambrano has already stated that he will not be a Cub next season, but anything is definantly possible.
Soon after the Marlins departed Jorge Julio, they acquired a player who starred for them in the 2004 season. Armando Benitez was moved to Florida in exchanged for Randy Messenger. Messenger is having a fine season this year, but most scouts believe he will never be too much. The Giants also paid about $4.5M of Benitez's remaining contract, so this deal is an awesome one for The Fish.