Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Phillies dealing with injuries

The Phillies have a big hole and maybe holes to fill in the next 15-days or longer, placing second baseman and team leader Chase Utley on the 15-day disabled list, as well, placing third baseman Placido Polanco on the 15-day disabled list.

Utley hurt his wrist Monday night on a head first slide; an MRI is scheduled for later and for now, no surgery will be needed.

Polanco has been dealing with a sore elbow all season, and the Phillies felt that rest was needed.  Off-season surgery is a possibility.

The club recalled infielder Brian Bocock and Greg Dobbs from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to fill the positions, but most GM's know the phones will be ringing:

Here is a list of potential replacements for the time being and if Utley does require surgery:

Blue Jays 3B Edwin Encarnacion (in minors, but can help at third)
Blue Jays SS John McDonald (a fan favourite, but can play all infield positions)
Orioles 3B Garrett Atkins (just released and looking for a job)
Indians 3B Jhonny Peralta (falling out of favout in Cleveland)
Orioles 3B Miguel Tejada (still steady on defense, power a problem)
Astros 2B Jeff Keppinger (solid on defense and can hit too)
Royals 2B Alberto Callaspo (Royals ready to deal a few players, was a keeper, but for the right price?)
D'Backs 2B Kelly Johnson (his 13 HR's would fit nice in this lineup)

Friday, June 25, 2010

If you were wondering

The Score.com caught up with Blue Jays pitcher Dirk Hayhurst and talked about a variety of topics:

Check it out:

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Pirates calling up all the prospects

In a season that has seen the Pirates go 23-41, the time is now for the franchise to see if the top prospects are ready for "the show"

They gave top pitching prospect, Brad Lincoln the call-up, only to see him go 0-1 so far with a 7.50 ERA, now they will recall Pedro Alvarez from Triple-A and give him the starting role at third base.  Alvarez should give the Pirates a much needed power bat as he had 13 home runs for Indianapolis this season with 15 doubles, 53 RBI and a .277 AVG.  The Pirates only have 45 home runs as a team this year, good for 26th in the league, so hopefully Alvarez can help.

Here is a look at the projected lineup for the Pirates for the next while

LF: Jose Tabata (.250 AVG since his call-up)
2B: Neil Walker (.293 AVG, 1 HR)
CF: Andrew McCutchen (.314 AVG, 7 HR, 19 SB, basically their only superstar)
1B Garrett Jones (10 HR leads the team)
C Ryan Doumit (.273 AVG, 6 HR)
3B: Pedro Alvarez (will make major league debut Wednesday)
RF: Ryan Church (2 HR)
SS: Ronny Cedeno (.235 AVG, 4 HR)

The Bench includes:

C Jason Jaramillo
INF Bobby Crosby
INF Aki Iwamura
INF Andy LaRoche (the odd man out now that Alvarez has arrived; will see time at second base and right field at times)
OF Delwyn Young (known for the first home run hit off Nationals Stephen Strasburg!)
OF Lastings Milledge (still 0 HR on the season)

Notes from around the league:

Braves 3B Chipper Jones was rumoured to have talked to management about a possible retirement, but he was in the lineup Tuesday vs the Rays and collected 2 hit, including a home run, his 4th.

Blue Jays, and major league leader in home runs, Jose Bautista, is 2 for his last 36 and is now hitting .227 for the season.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Monday's 4 game preview

After a weekend full of story lines again, the MLB has schedule only 4 games tonight as interleague play will continue for the next 2 weeks.  Another no-hitter was almost thrown, as the Cubs Ted Lilly went into the 9th vs. the White Sox with a no-no until the White Sox Juan Pierre broke it up with a single and the Stephen Strasburg mania continued in front of over 32,000 Indians fans, as he went to 2-0 on the season with a Nationals win in Cleveland.

Tonight's games:

Mariners (24-39) at Cardinals (34-29)

The Cardinals look to get back on a winning track after a 1-5 road trip.  Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday combined to go (6-44) .136 AVG on the trip with only 3 RBI.  The Cardinals will have Adam Wainwright on the mound who is 5-0 with a 1.62 ERA at home this season.  The Mariners counter with Luke French, winless on the season.

Blue Jays (34-30) at Padres (37-26)

The first place Padres will face the struggling Blue Jays with the Padres sending Jon Garland to the mound.  In his career, Garland, mostly with the White Sox has gone 11-2 in 16 career starts vs the Blue Jays, but is 0-2 with a 8.03 ERA in his 2 June starts.  Garland, a major surprise this year, is tied with Mat Latos for the team lead in wins with 6.  The Jays are in a bit of a slump at the plate since the trip started, hitting a league-low .163 in their last 7 games.  The Jays have been outscored 41-13 in that time.

Brewers (26-37) at Angels (36-30)

The Brewers have been a major disappointment this year, and the wins are still not coming.  The Brewers are in 4th place in the NL Central and are 9.5 games back of the division leading Reds.  Prince Fielder, a California native,  will play in Anaheim for the first time as a major league player (has played at Dodger Stadium)  Fielder may be heating up with his 2 home run game on Sunday.  The Angels are on fire, winning 15 of their last 19 games and are coming of a 2 week stretch on the road where they went 11-3.  Hideki Matsui is leading the team in RBI for June with 12 and is hitting .417 over that time.

Orioles (17-46) at Giants (35-27)

The Orioles have to hit the road again, a place that hasn't been to kind to them this season.  Not that home has treated them any better, but the struggling crew head to San Fran fresh off a 2-7 homestand in which they hit only 2 home runs.  The Orioles are 6-25 on the road and have lost 8 straight away from Camden Yards.  Even worse, they are 1-5 vs NL clubs this season.  The Giants will send Jonathan Sanchez (4-5, 2.82 ERA) to the mound vs rookie Chris Tillman (0-2).  The Giants are 8-2 in their 10 at home and will have the hot hitting and ex-Oriole Aubrey Huff to thank for that.  Huff is hitting .400 over the last 16 games with 6 home runs and 13 RBI.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Strasburg sells tickets and Morales injury revisited

Stephen Strasburg is back at it again, only he's doing something other then pitching, he's selling tickets.  His next scheduled start vs the Indians is in Cleveland, and the ticket office is busy and happy.  The Indians announced that great seats are still available, but 2,000 tickets were sold today alone, and over 8,000 tickets in the last seven days have been sold.

Strasburg, the Nationals first round selection of last years draft, looked awesome against the Pirates, striking out 14 hitters and reaching over 95 mph on the radar gun 58 times on the night. 

The Nationals sold out the game and were scheduled to make over $1.5 million in total profit from the night.  Jerseys sales reached an all-time high, and the hype continues now to Cleveland.

The Indians are last in the majors in attendance averaging just over 15,000 a night.  Sunday's game should help them at the box office.  If I lived close to Cleveland, and I was a baseball fan or even close to one, I would go see this guy, it's worth it.

Notes:

The Orioles 2B Brian Roberts will be shut down again after experiencing back pain for the 3rd time this season.  It's looking more and more likely that his season is in jeopardy.

The Angels have been looking for help at first base since the freak accident by Kendry Morales.  Lyle Overbay and Derrek Lee have been discussed.

Morales injury again from the score.com

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Strasburg shines on debut night


In case you missed it, the most talked about National of all-time, Stephen Strasburg, made his debut vs the Pirates, and what a debut it was.  The sold-out crowd was on fire all night as Strasburg wowed the crowd with his electric stuff and pure dominance and command of all his pitches.  Strasburg threw 58 pitches that were 95 mph or more and was overpowering during his 7 innings of work vs the Pirates.

His final line: 7 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 14 K

Notes:
- was the best performance of any pitching debut all-time with 0 walks in the game.
- the Nationals, as a team, had 17 strikeouts in the game.
- it was the most strikeouts in a debut since J.R. Richard had 15 for Houston in 1971
- the Nationals sold an additional 2,000 standing room only tickets before the game.
- Pudge Rodriguez commented saying that "I've been catching a lot of guys, but this guy is
unbelievable"

Video from MLB.com of the start.

Post game: pie in the face!

Strasburg's next scheduled starts:

Sunday June 13 AT CLEVELAND

Friday June 18 vs CHICAGO WHITE SOX

Wednesday June 23 vs ROYALS

Monday June 28 AT ATLANTA

The Marlins also had a super-rookie make his debut Tuesday, as the much talked about outfield prospect, Mike Stanton made his major league debut.  Batting 7th in the lineup, Stanton got a hit in his first at-bat and ended the night 3-5, with 2 runs scored.  look for many nights where he is the hero, with home runs the most likely stat.  In the minors, Stanton hit 21 home runs in 52 games.

Other notes from Tuesday:

The Mets defeated the Padres with a walk off HR by Ike Davis, his 7th of the season.

Jeff Niemann fooled the Jays all night long, giving up his first hit in with 1 out in the 6th to Mike McCoy and remained undefeated on the season (6-0)

The Red Sox have a new all-time innings pitched leader and it's not Roger Clemens anymore.  Tim Wakefield beat the Indians and pitched 7 1/3 innings to become the leader for the franchise.  Wakefield now has 2,777 all-time innings pitched for the club, just amazing when you really think about it.  Wakefield in his career is now 191-166 with 22 career saves.

Zack Greinke moved to 1-8 on the season, as the bad luck continued.  Greinke gave up 3 in the first inning on his way to a 5 IP, 9 H, 6 ER, 1 BB, 6 K line.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The "Chosen One" goes first

The Nationals selected catcher Bryce Harper as the first overall pick in the 2010 MLB draft Monday night.  The catcher turned outfielder (as the Nationals refered to Harper as an outfielder) was named by Sports Illustrated as the "chosen one" and the next LeBron James, will be a player that has the potential to hit 40 home runs a season.  In 2010, Harper hit .442 with 29 HR and 89 RBI. 

The Nationals will stay in the news Tuesday as Stephen Strasburg will make his major-league debut.  The Nationals will face the Pirates in front of a sold-out home crowd.  The Pirates Jeff Karstens (1-1, 4.50 ERA) has the unlucky draw of facing Strasburg.

Other news in the draft:

The Pirates selected P Jameson Taillon 2nd overall, Taillon is a high school player with a major upside.  He has dual citizenship (USA and Canada)

The Orioles selected SS Manny Machado 3rd overall, and are expected to make him an offer in the same range as they did with C Matt Wieters, there 1st round selection that got $6M as a bonus. he has been compared to A-Rod and Hanley Ramirez.

The Rangers selected C Kellin Deglan 22nd overall.  Deglan is from BC and has already been rumoured to have signed a deal for $1M.

The Blue Jays had 4 picks in the first round and selected:

P Deck McGuire
P Aaron Sanchez
P Noah Syndergaard
P Asher Wojciechowski

Friday, June 4, 2010

Orioles to name Juan Samuel interim manager

The Orioles have fired Dave Trembley according to reports out of Baltimore.  Third Base coach, Juan Samuel will take over for the last-place Orioles. (15-39)

The team will look to Samuel for a new direction, and hopefully stay competitive over the next few months.  The team was only 6-21 vs the tough AL East this year and only 6-25 on the road.  2B Brian Roberts should be returning soon from a year-long injury, to a lineup that is trying everything to score, and help a young pitching staff that never seems to have the lead.

Once a franchise that only knew how to win, the Orioles over the last few have done anything but that, and it shows in fan interest as well.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The perfect game that wasn't; but could it still be?

On a night where one of the superstars of the game, Ken Griffey Jr, retired from the game, a bigger story stole the headlines from one of the best players to ever play in the MLB.

The Detroit Tigers and Cleveland Indians were involved in a incident that will be talked about for ever.  Tigers P Armando Galarraga, 1-1, 4.50 ERA before the start, and a stint in the minor leagues this season, was working on what would of been the 3rd perfect game of the season, when the unthinkable happened.  Jim Joyce, who was the 2nd base umpire for the perfect game thrown by the Athletics Dallas Braden, made a terrible call on the last batter, Jason Donald of the Indians, on what would have been the 27th out.  Donald hit a ground ball to Cabrera at first and with Galarraga covering the bag, threw to him, in what looked to be in time, but Joyce saw it another way.  Even Donald was surprised to here that he was called safe, in what replays show was a clear cut out.

Galarraga recorded the final out after the play, and was awarded with the 1-hit, complete game shutout, but no perfect game.

Detroit players argued and ran to Joyce after the game to show the frustration and anger with the call.  After the game, Joyce, who admitted after looking at the replay he was wrong, met with Galarraga and apologized to him for the call.  Galarraga accepted the apology, but Joyce will live with this call forever.

MLB did not have comments regarding the call, or any talk regarding a protest of any kind.  With the umpires basically admitting they blew the call, and the replays showing the evidence, could baseball consider reversing the call?  Donald would be out, Galarraga would have the perfect game, and baseball would go down in history for making such a change.  As it stands now, he has the 1-hitter and baseball now has 10 perfect games go for not with a hit coming in the final batter (27th possible out)

Here is the 9th inning and the replay as well: