Thursday, April 30, 2009

More A-Roids than he admitted?

When New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez admitted that he took steroids, many feel into two groups.

One credited him for admitting more than they'd expected him to admit. The other (larger) group continued to bash A-Rod (or A-Fraud or A-Roid or whatever they called him) and believed he wasn't telling the full truth.

So, not surprisingly for many, new allegations have surfaced.

Per SI's Selena Roberts' new book (due out May 12), via the New York Daily News, Rodriguez continued to use steroids when he was in New York and also used them as early as his teenage years.

Per the report, a major leaguer said A-Rod and Kevin Brown were together with HGH in 2004.

Two anonymous Yankees believed he was taking performance-enhancing drugs based on the side effects they had seen. In fact, teammates called him "Bitch Tits" because of his rounded pecs.

Also, a clubhouse employee said that Yankees' management wondered about his usage as well.
"No one ever asked Alex directly that I know of, but there was a lot of suspicion in house," the employee is quoted as saying.
Not only is A-Rod accused of using steroids at times to which he did not admit, Roberts' book accuses him of "pitch tipping."

In other words, when the game was out of reach, he would signal to friends what pitch was coming and they would return the favor.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Yovani Gallardo beats Pirates by himself

Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Yovani Gallardo single-handedly beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 1-0.

Not only did Gallardo set a career-best with 11 strikeouts and not allow any runs in eight innings, but he hit a homerun in the seventh inning for the game's only run.
"This ought to be pretty fast," [Brewers manager Ken] Macha said after settling into a seat in front of reporters. "Hitting: Gallardo. Pitching: Gallardo. Any questions?"

"It's not surprising anymore," [Carlos] Villanueva (who pitched a scoreless ninth inning) said. "He won it. He pitched eight innings and he hit the home run. All around, it was Yovani Gallardo Day."
In Brewers' history, they have had 16 games in which a homerun led to the only runs scored in a victory. But this was the first time that it was hit by a Brewers' pitcher.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Brad Lidge sidelined for a few days?

Philadelphia Phillies closer has some inflammation in his right knee, on which he had surgery before the start of last season.

He will rest it for a few days and hope to avoid a stint on the disabled list.
"We're trying to get rid of it as fast as possible," Lidge said Monday night. "It's frustrating, but I missed a few games last year at the start of the season, and when I came back I felt great. If I have to do the same thing this year, miss a couple of games, that's OK."
While he says an MRI shows there is no structural damage, he has felt discomfort since the Colorado series (April 10-12).

Lidge has four saves, one blown save and an ERA of 7.27 in his nine appearances this season.

Hanley Ramirez hit on wrist, won't play Tuesday

Florida Marlins SS Hanley Ramirez left last night's game against the New York Mets in the first inning when John Maine hit him in the wrist with a pitch.

MRI results show that Ramirez doesn't have any broken bones.

However, he won't play Tuesday night and there's a good chance that he won't play Wednesday night either.

Ramirez says he's seeing more inside pitches "know what's going to happen if I throw my hands out front."

On the season, Ramirez is hitting .292 with 2 HRs and 12 RBIs and took an eight-game hitting streak into last night's game.

Tulowitzki benched (again)

It's deja vu all over again for Colorado Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki.

Last April, Tulowitzki only hit .152 with 17 strikeouts in 105 at bats.

Not much difference a year makes. This April, Tulo is hitting .167 with 17 strikeouts in 54 at bats.

Last night, Tulowitzki was benched in favor of Clint Barmes.
"We're going to take it one day at a time. I've found out throughout my lifetime that's the best way to do things," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. "I really don't know what's going to happen. I know what has happened and I'm going to do everything I can to be the best coach and manager with him ... to get this thing straightened out."

"I listened to what the coaches had to say and hopefully I can make some adjustments to make me better," Tulowitzki said. "I think I'm seeing the ball good. It's not the best I could possibly see the ball, but I feel decent up there. I think I will see results soon."
In his rookie season, Tulowitzki hit .291, 24 homeruns and drove in 99 runs.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Oliver Perez struggles again

In the off-season, the New York Mets gave pitcher Oliver Perez $36 million.

Perez, who had a breakout season in 2004 with Pittsburgh (2.98 ERA and 239 K's in 196 IP), has pitched horribly in three of his four starts.

And it's drawing frustration from manager Jerry Manuel, who is "really, really concerned."

Per Joel Sherman of the New York Post, Manuel is hoping to send a message to Perez by threatening his job.
"No stuff and no command is a recipe for disaster. ... I have to figure out how long [to be patient] and what is patience," Manuel said.
On the season, Perez is now 1-2 with an ERA of 9.31 and he's lasted more than four innings in only one of his four starts.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Stephen Drew lands on 15-day DL

The Arizona Diamondbacks have placed shortstop Stephen Drew on the 15-day disabled list.

After tweaking his hammy against the Giants on the 17th, Drew returned to the lineup on the 22nd. He felt pain on Friday the 24th early in the game and now he will have the opportunity to let it heal.
"We figured if it's six or seven days before he'd be able to play again, rather than go short-(handed) for that long, go ahead and put him on the DL and get him healthy," Melvin said.
Drew is 1-for-15 since April 15th and he was hitting only .205 on the season.

The Hot Corner, 4/26 edition

If the Chicago White Sox place 2B Chris Getz (fractured tip of finger yesterday) on the DL, the White Sox won't call up first-round pick Gordon Beckham. Instead, they would likely call up Jayson Nix.

Happy Birthday to Kosuke Fukudome as the Chicago Cubs outfielder went 3-for-4 with a HR in the Cubs' 10-3 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals.

It wasn't teammate Derrek Lee's birthday nor happy today after leaving today's game with neck spasms.

The Florida Marlins were swept by the Philadelphia Phillies, who beat them 13-2 today. Before the Phillies series, the Marlins were swept by the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Houston Astros catcher Humberto Quintero was placed on the 15-day DL yesterday.

Atlanta Braves catcher Brian McCann was placed on the 15-day DL yesterday and the move was retroactive to Thursday.

Detroit Tigers back-up catcher Matt Treanor was placed on the 15-day DL and will be out 2-3 months after hip surgery.

Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Nate McLouth is still a few days away from returning from a right oblique strain.

After a rehab assignment either Tuesday or Wednesday, Baltimore Orioles manager Dave Trembley expects third baseman Melvin Mora "to be in the lineup on Friday."

Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez could play some minor league games next week.

After spraining his left middle finger, Pittsburgh Pirates SS Jack Wilson was placed on the 15-day DL.

The Milwaukee Brewers have activated closer Trevor Hoffman and optioned R.J. Swindle to Triple-A Nashville.

The Baltimore Orioles 1-2-3 hitters (Brian Roberts, Adam Jones and Nick Markakis) were a combined 9-for-12 with 6 runs scored and 6 RBI's in their 8-5 win over Texas.

Marlins' fans mad at Hanley?

Florida Marlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez is the object of ire from Marlins' fans per South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

In Friday's game, closer Matt Lindstrom blew a 3-0 lead in the ninth inning. In total, Lindstrom gave up seven earned runs in 2/3 of one inning.

However, the base-running of Ramirez in the fifth inning is the source of frustration for many Marlins' fans.

He admired a shot off the wall for his double. Hustle woulda, coulda, shoulda put him on third. Then, he failed to tag up when Ross Gload lined out to left-center. Then, he decided to attempt to steal third while Dan Uggla was batting and got thrown out.
"We would have won the game because I would have tagged?" Ramirez said. "I tell you what, it's 162 games. Everybody's going to make mistakes. That's in the past."

"We talked about a lot of stuff," [Marlins manager Fredi] Gonzalez said. "Everything's fine. Players make mistakes. Not only young players but 15-year veterans make mistakes. It happens."
The Marlins, who are in first in the N.L. East with an 11-6 record, are on the verge of back-to-back sweeps by Pennsylvania teams this week if Philadelphia wins Sunday's game.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Setback for Brandon Webb

Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Brandon Webb suffered a setback in his rehab.

Webb, who made his first bullpen workout on Tuesday, skipped his bullpen session on Friday due to tightness in his shoulder.
It’s obviously a little confusing because he felt good the last time out,” [D'Backs manager Bog] Melvin said before the Diamondbacks hosted the San Francisco Giants. “All the maintenance stuff leading up to (Friday) would suggest he felt good. Once he played catch there was just some tightness in the same spot and we didn’t want to push it any further than that.”

“He’s a guy we’re going to be careful with,” Melvin said. “We’re not going to push him and say `See if you can throw through it and see if it loosens up.’ He’s too important for us to try to push through something through that.”
Webb was placed on the 15-day DL on April 13th retroactive to April 7th.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Streak over for Zack Greinke

Kansas City Royals pitcher Zack Greinke entered tonight's game against the Detroit Tigers with a scoreless innings pitched streak of 34.

Tonight Greinke pitched another complete game and allowed no earned runs while striking out 10 batters. However, his scoreless innings pitched streak ended at 38 on a throwing error by Mike Aviles.
He’s got such good stuff,” Tigers catcher Gerald Laird said. “You could tell the last couple innings he kind of just turned it on. He sniffed that complete game, and that’s what the good ones do.”

“It’s fun to watch,” [Royals] third baseman Mark Teahen said. “Tonight, more than anything — maybe it was just the energy or whatever — but he looked unhittable.”
On the season, Greinke is 4-0 with an ERA of 0.00. He has 36 strikeouts in 29 innings pitched.

The Royals are in first place with a record 9-7 ahead of the Tigers and White Sox, who are both 8-8.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Miguel Cabrera won't be traded in 2009

Despite rumors that the Detroit Tigers could trade Miguel Cabrera in the middle of the season, Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski flat out denied the possibility.
"There's nothing that can happen this year that can make us think about trading Miguel Cabrera," Dombrowski said. "...The guy's only 26 and might be battling for the MVP Award."

"It's not going to happen," Dombrowski said. "We have an owner (Mike Ilitch) that would never let that happen. It upsets me."
Cabrera signed an eight-year contract that pays him $153.3 million including $15 million in 2009.

He's off to a hot start this year batting .451 with four homers and 12 RBI's through Tuesday's game against the Angels.

In the 68 games in which he played after the All-Star break, Cabrera hit 21 homeruns and drove in 70 runs.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Little League to pay Elijah Dukes $500 fine

Washington Nationals outfielder Elijah Dukes was late for Saturday's Marlins' game. Since he was late, the Nationals benched him and fined him $500.

Dukes was late after making an appearance at a Little League event.

By baseball-player standards, Duke is getting paid a paltry salary of $415,500. But he can certainly afford a $500 fine.
"The point is, this guy gave back to our community, and now he's in a hard spot. We need to help him," said Jim Mraz, the Great Falls LL president, according to The Washington Post. "It's not a question of whether this guy can afford the 500 bucks. We're just trying to send a message to our kids: He was here for us. Now we've got to be there for him."

Said Mraz: "You're a little stunned. Like, 'Whoa, wait a minute.' Here's the game of baseball -- it's got steroids hanging over it, all these issues. ... Needless to say the Nats kind of need help with what they're doing. I could see if he was out trying to do something small or private, but he just came into my community and gave us a shot in the arm."
What a surprise! The Great Falls Little League is run better than the Washington Nationals. No wonder the President invited the Chicago White Sox for a visit -- not the local team.

The Hot Corner, 4/21 edition

Atlanta Braves catcher Brian McCann is back in the lineup after seeing a specialist about his blurry vision. He was fitted with a contact, but still says: “Lasik surgery is the best thing I ever did.”

Yankees outfielder Xavier Nady won't need season-ending surgery and his rehab is being measured in "weeks" not "months."

Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Ryan Doumit will have wrist surgery on Thursday and miss 8-10 weeks.

Oakland A's reliever Joey Devine is out for the season (probably more) after having Tommy John surgery.

After their 5-7 start, Texas Rangers' GM Jon Daniels says Ron Washington's job is safe. "Ron's our manager. I read about some of the stuff, but there have been zero discussions internally to the contrary. We believe in this team. We believe in this staff."

Through Monday's game, Houston's Lance Berkman is hitting just above the Mendoza line. So, he's taking in more BP.
“Anytime you’re not hitting the ball like you’d like it’s always a good idea to try to figure out what’s going on to try to get some extra swings,” Berkman said.

Doc Gooden's signature on the Ebbets Club wall will be removed kept removed from where it is and placed in a more "public" part of the stadium. The men's room, after all?

''The first three games of the season in Miami was a lot like spring training for him,'' [Marlins manager Fredi] Gonzalez said [of closer Matt Lindstrom]. "He [is getting stronger] and by the end of the month he should be good to go.''

Tom Browning, dead-beat Dad and pitching coach for the Gulf Coast League Reds, is out of jail (for missing child support).

Home-plate umpire Kerwin Danley, who was hit in the head with a broken bat, left the Texas-Toronto game on a stretcher.

Doug Waechter was placed on 15-day DL and Brian Bannister was recalled by the Royals.

The rain delays were worth the wait. Nationals pitcher Jordan Zimmerman got his first career win.

Last but not least, Bob Feller will be throwing some high heat at the Inaugural Baseball Hall of Fame Classic game in Cooperstown, N.Y. in June. "About 10 miles an hour," he said in a statement. "I'll be throwing just as hard as ever, but the ball probably won't be going quite as fast."

Matt Kemp reminds Torre of A-Rod

Per Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp reminds his manager, Joe Torre, of Alex Rodriguez.

For Kemp's sake, hopefully nicknames like K-Fraud won't follow.
"The ball doesn't come down when he hits it," Torre said. "He's one of those guys that doesn't have to hit it on the screws."
Hitting coach Don Mattingly says that Kemp reminds him of Bo Jackson, because of the "stupid stuff they are able to do."

Kemp definitely has the tools that give him "super-superstar potential" as teammate Doug Mientkiewicz says.

When asked about the type of numbers Kemp might someday put up, Torre didn't want to put undue pressure on the kid.
"That's not fair for me to put that on him," Torre says.
Although Torre and the Dodgers don't want to put pressure on him, I have no qualms about doing so as Kemp not only plays for the Los Angeles Dodgers but for "Rays Nation" as well. [Not as funny of a fantasy team name now that the Rays are actually good.]

In any event, as owner of "Rays Nation," take a quick look at the "stupid" pace Kemp is on.

So far this season, Kemp has hit safely in all 13 Dodgers games for an average of .383 and an OPS of 1.157. His 3 HRs, 14 RBIs and 4 SBs puts him on a pace of 37 HRs, 174 RBIs and 50 SBs.

No pressure Matty.

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Hot Corner - new (almost) daily feature

Starting today (and every day going forward whenever we feel like it) we are going to compile a list of news, notes, quotes and rumors around Major League Baseball. And we're going to call it ... [drum roll, please] ... The Hot Corner.

So, here we go (try to keep up):

Rays OF B.J. Upton left yesterday's game in the second inning, but he is day-to-day and expected to play Tuesday against the Mariners.

Twins set-up man Jesse Crain landed on 15-day DL and Jose Mijares will be recalled from Triple-A. Mijares, Luis Ayala and Matt Guerrier will compete for the set-up job.

Boston Red Sox shortstop Jed Lowrie could have surgery on his wrist in the next few days and miss a few months.

Barry Zito is one of the latest pro athletes on Twitter. However, it may not have been a wise move if this is how he's going to use it.

The Royals Zack Greinke and the Rangers Ian Kinsler have been named A.L. Players of the Week.

A-Rod hit 10 homers in 75 swings during batting practice today.

Braves catcher Brian McCann may need Lasik surgery (last resort) again. He first had it in 2007, but he is suffering from blurry vision and dryness in one eye. He has one hit in his last 20 at bats.

Is Dwight Gooden adding some history and nostalgia to Citi Field, the Mets' new home? Or is he turning it into a bathroom stall? Gooden, at the request of a fan, signed the wall inside Ebbets Club Doc Gooden 84 R.O.Y., 85 Cy Young, 86 W.S. Champs.”

The Dodgers have outscored their opponents 50-17 during their current homestand including 19-0 in lucky inning number seven.

So far this season, I have as many hits as Rangers outfielder David Murphy has. Except I've done it 18 fewer at bats. Murphy is 0-for-18 and the minors could be his next stop.

Average baseball attendance is nearly 7 percent lower than it was to end last year. (Of course, that's better than the performance turned in by many financial stocks today including that of my employer.)

Twins catcher Joe Mauer, scheduled to play a simulated game today, could return (knock on wood) May 1st.

The Angels are considering reclaiming pitcher Darren O'Day, who was designated for assignment by the Mets, for the princely sum of $25,000. O'Day pitched 30 games for the Angels in 2008.

Marlins sweep Nats for an 11-year first

The Florida Marlins are owners of baseball's best record after playing a dozen games (11-1).

And for the first time in 11 years, the Marlins swept a series in which they were trailing in all three games heading into their last at bat.

The last team to win three consecutive games after trailing heading into their last at bat were the 1998 Detroit Tigers.
''We stole a game yesterday, we stole another one today, we stole one the first day,'' [Marlins catcher John] Baker said Sunday. He delivered one of the clutch hits in the latest comeback. "It's kind of like Crime and Punishment, isn't it? We're worried sneaking off the field that we're going to get arrested for stealing these games.''
The Marlins won the World Series in 1997. The Marlins won the World Series in 2003. If they continue their six-year trend, they are due to win another World Series in ... 2009.

With only 150 games to go, there's still a chance that the Mets, Braves and Phillies will pass the red-hot Marlins. But, then again, could they be this year's Rays?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Big Unit now four away from 300

San Francisco Giants pitcher Randy Johnson took a no-hitter into the seventh inning to earn his 296th victory of his career.

The no-hitter was broken up by Augie Ojeda's double to lead off the seventh, but Johnson won the game 2-0 over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

In his 22-year career, the only team he had never faced was the Diamondbacks. Of course, Johnson won four (of his five) Cy Young awards and a World Series with the D'Backs.

Johnson pitched for the D'Backs for two stints (1999-2004 and 2007-2008).

Once the Big Unit wins his 300th game, he might be the last for a long, long time. The next three among active pitchers are Jamie Moyer (247), Andy Pettitte (216) and John Smoltz (210). Pettitte is the only of the three under 40, but he's clearly seen his best days.

Josh Beckett won't appeal reduced suspension of five games

Boston Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett, who appealed his six-game suspension by MLB, had his suspension reduced to five games and he won't appeal.
"I don't support this at all. If it was up to me, we would have gone through this whole process. It could have eventually been a lot worse if we had gone through with the whole thing. Everybody has got to answer to somebody. When your boss tells you to do something, you do what's best for the team."
Although Beckett won't appeal, he doesn't agree with the suspension and says "I don't think I deserve even one game."

Beckett will make his next start on Saturday against the Yankees.

Zack Greinke - 34 down, 25 to go

Orel Hershiser holds the record for the longest streak of scoreless innings pitched (59).

After pitching a 2-0 shutout yesterday against the Texas Rangers, Kansas City Royals pitcher Zack Greinke is nine innings closer to reaching that streak.

The former sixth-overall pick in 2002, who is only 25 years old, has thrown 20 scoreless innings so far in 2009. He finished 2008 with back-to-back outings of seven scoreless innings.
"That kind of blew me away," Greinke said when someone told him about Orel Hershiser's record 59-inning scoreless streak after the game. "It's just about impossible to get to 34 nowadays. Fifty-nine, that's impossible. I would have been happy with 20."
Last year, Greinke finished strong posting an ERA of 2.48 in August and 2.18 in September and he's virtually unhittable in 2009.

A day to forget for the Yankees

The Cleveland Browns are jealous of the Cleveland Indians. Their major-league counterparts did what the Browns couldn't do in the last six weeks of the NFL season.

Put up 22 on an opponent.

For the Yankees, who opened up the new Yankee Stadium this weekend, they experienced a first that they hope to never repeat.

In the course of the Indians scoring 22 runs against the Yankees yesterday, the Tribe scored 14 runs in the second inning.

Yankees' pitcher Chien-Ming Wang, who's been (un)remarkably consistent this season, gave up eight runs in 1 1/3 innings pitched.

On the season, he's 0-3 with an ERA of 34.50. He's allowed 23 runs in only six innings.
“We have six losses on the year right now, and he’s got three of them,” Johnny Damon said. “In all three of those games, we’ve been blown out and we’ve had to go to our bullpen, so maybe our bullpen’s not sharp the following days. I don’t know what more to say, but hopefully he can figure it out, because it’d be tough to keep on going like this.”
With performances like this, maybe the Yankees will lower ticket prices to $1,999.

Nats, Zimmerman close to 5-year extension

Per the Washington Post, the Washington Nationals and third baseman Ryan Zimmerman are close to a five-year extension worth $45 million, which could be announced within the next few days.

In February, Zimmerman signed a one-year deal worth $3.325 million. The extension would replace this year's contract with four additional years that would run through the 2013 season.
Zimmerman said of the Nationals: "I love playing in D.C. I love this city. I think this organization is going in the right direction and hopefully we'll do something to where I can be here for a long time. But like I said before, I'm not involved in any of that stuff now, and as far as I'm concerned with it's over with until next offseason."
Through April 18th, Zimmerman is hitting .277 with nine RBI in ten games.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Gary Sheffield joins the 500 Homerun club

New York Mets outfielder Gary Sheffield hit his 500th career homerun last night in a way none of the 24 players who reached that milestone before him have done. He did it as a pinch-hitter.

With 251 career stolen bases, Sheffield is one of only four players in MLB history to hit 500 HRs and steal 250 bases. The other three are Alex Rodriguez, Barry Bonds and Willie Mays.

Tim Kurkjian of ESPN says that Sheffield's numbers are Hall-of-Fame worthy and he will be a Hall of Famer despite some of the other issues surrounding Sheffield.

He has admitted to intentionally making throwing errors to get out of Milwaukee, has said he used the "cream" and the "clear" although he never tested positive for (or knew they were) steroids, has publicly whined about his former teams, etc.

Sheffield is the only player in the MLB history to hit 25 homeruns for at least six different teams.

Vladimir Guerrero out at least a month

Los Angeles Angels rightfielder Vladimir Guerrero will miss the next month (and possibly more) after his strained pectoral muscle was diagnosed as a tear.
"Obviously, short of Vlad needing surgery, this is a big blow," Manager Mike Scioscia said. "We'll see how he progresses. He'll be re-evaluated in a month, and we'll see where he is."
When Vlad returns, he'll likely DH and not play rightfield. He was initially hurt making a throw in an exhibition game on April 2nd.

This is Guerrero's first stint on the disabled list since 2005. The Angels will likely call up Brandon Wood or Sean Rodriguez.

Guerrero's streak of 11 straight years of hitting .300 and 25 homeruns is likely to end. The only other player to do that in MLB history is Lou Gehrig.

Alex Gordon out 10-12 weeks

Kansas City Royals third baseman Alex Gordon had hip surgery performed by (who else?) Dr. Marc Philippon Friday morning.

He is expected to miss 10-12 weeks and the Royals will move Mark Teahan to third.

"Gordon is a big part of the team," Teahen said. "But we're off to a good start and we have a deeper team this year.

"It's not a huge adjustment for me. I've been able to go back and forth from the right field to third before."

Gordon, who was the second overall pick in 2005, was struggling early in the season (2-for-21 in seven games).

Jason Kubel hits for the cycle

Minnesota Twins outfielder Jason Kubel became the third player this week to hit for the cycle when he hit a grand slam in the eight inning against the Angels.

Dodgers 2B Orlando Hudson hit for the cycle Monday and then Rangers 2B Ian Kinsler hit for the cycle while recording six total hits on Wednesday.

Kubel is the ninth player in Twins' history to hit for the cycle.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Xavier Nady likely done for year

New York Yankees outfielder Xavier Nady has landed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to yesterday (Wednesday).

Nady felt a sharp pain in his elbow while making a throw during the Rays game on Tuesday.

The Yankees acquired Nady, who had Tommy John surgery in 2001, from the Pittsburgh Pirates last summer. Nady had an MRI on his elbow yesterday.
"The original diagnosis wasn't great, but I'd rather let the team talk [today]," Nady said when asked of the MRI results. "It's frustrating. It's tough."
To replace Nady on the active roster, the Yankees called up reliever David Robertson from AAA.

If Nady requires Tommy John surgery again, he'll be done for the year.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Kinsler hits for the cycle

It apparently is the thing for second basemen to do.

Only two days after Dodgers second baseman Orlando Hudson hit for the cycle, Texas Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler did the same.

For Hudson, he became the first Dodger to hit for the cycle since 1970.

Gary Mathews Jr. was the last Ranger to hit for the cycle on September 13th (2006).

In the process, Kinsler recorded six hits and became only the second Rangers' player to do so.

Who's next?

Chase Utley? Dustin Pedroia? Brandon Phillips?

Evan Longoria to miss next two games

Per ESPN, Tampa Bay Rays slugger Evan Longoria will miss the Rays' next two games to head to California for a death in the family.

The most important thing is that he's there for his family.

But the second-year player isn't suffering a sophomore jinx. In fact, he has hit safely in all eight of his games while leading baseball in HRs (5) and batting (.441 average).

Willie Aybar will start in his place until Longoria returns Friday for the White Sox game.

Deja vu all over again for Chris Carpenter

St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter was scratched from his last start of the spring due to a sore calf. But considering the ace's injury history, there was a feeling of deja vu all over again with Carpenter. Otherwise, he pitched extremely well this spring.

In the 10 innings Carpenter has pitched this season, he hasn't given up an earned run and has nine strikeouts.

But it's going to be a while before he pitches again.

Carpenter was placed on the 15-day disabled list today. He suffered a strained rib cage in his start yesterday at Arizona.

After feeling a pinch in the torso area after his last at bat in the game, it progressively got worse as he warmed up the next inning.
I felt it just a little bit on that swing,” Carpenter said, “and then every warmup pitch it got worse and worse. There’s nothing I can do about it but come out.”
As Carpenter puts it, if you're a glass-half-guy kinda guy, it's a “fortunate thing” that the injury doesn't involve his elbow and/or shoulder.

Beckett appeals six-game suspension

Major League Baseball suspended Boston Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett for six games after determining that Beckett, who is "shocked," intentionally threw at the head of Bobby Abreu last week.

Beckett has appealed the decision, which means he will likely make his next scheduled start on Saturday against the Orioles.
"We were pretty shocked," Beckett said before the Red Sox's game against the Athletics in Oakland, Calif. "I think the appeal speaks for everything that we feel. I respect the job they have to do, but I don't agree."
Whether the league upholds or reduces the suspension or not, it's always scary when someone who throws as hard as Beckett does comes close to someone's head.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Manny would like to finish career in Cleveland

You could say that Manny Ramirez lived in LaLa Land before joining the Los Angeles Dodgers.

And Dodgers outfielder (and head-case) Manny Ramirez says that he loves L.A.

So, that makes him think about ending his career in Los Angeles Cleveland.
"I love L.A. I really do. But the way the city responded to me, it reminded me a lot of how it was in Cleveland."

"I would like to play for Cleveland one more time, to go back where I started," said Ramirez. "I have so many good memories there, why not? I think to go back where you started is everyone's dream."

Considering the lack of interest in Manny (at least, at his and agent Scott Boras' price demands), it may be unlikely that the feelings are mutual.

Mark Teixeira hopes to play tonight

New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira, who has missed the past three games with a sore left wrist, hopes to return to the lineup against the Tampa Bay Rays tonight.
"I would be very disappointed if I'm not playing (tonight)," Teixeira said. "It's been disappointing not playing the last few days, but I hope to be in there tomorrow."

"I wasn't thinking it was anything crazy because I played through it for a couple days," Teixeira said. "The tests came back and showed it wasn't too bad. It feels a lot better today. We did a ton of treatment, I got on some stronger anti-inflammatories, so it should get it out of there."
Teixeira had an MRI yesterday and the results showed no structural damage.

he switchhitter's wrist bothers him more when batting right-handed so the Yankees rested him last night as the Yankees faced left-hander Scott Kazmir.

Tonight, the Yankees face right-hander Matt Garza.

Orlando Hudson hits for cycle

Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Orlando Hudson did something yesterday that hasn't happened in my 38 29 years of life.

He becomes the first Dodger player since May 1970 (Wes Parker) to hit for the cycle.

Hudson hit a single in the first innning, a homerun in the third inning, a double in the fourth inning and a triple in the sixth inning.

Despite the economy, Hudson accomplished the feat in front of the largest crowd (57,099) ever at Dodger stadium.

Mark "The Bird" Fidrych passes away at 54

On the same day that legendary broadcaster Harry Kalas passed away, Detroit Tigers pitcher Mark "The Bird" Fidrych died at 54 yesterday. He was found by a family friend as he was working underneath his truck.
"We were just, in general, getting started for the [road building] season this week and it seems as though his truck was going to be needed. It looked like he was doing some maintenance on it," Amorello said in a telephone interview. "I found him under the truck. There's not much more I can say. I dialed 911 and that's all I could do."
Fidrych, one of the most colorful pitchers on the mound, had his career cut short due to injuries.

Despite his colorful personality on the field, it wasn't an act. He just had a zest for life.
"He was very genuine. It was not an act," Trammell said. "He never changed. He liked to have a good time. You'd go over his house and he'd make dinner. That's the type of guy he was."
He won the A.L. Rookie of the Year award in 1976 and finished that season with a 19-9 record, 2.34 ERA and 24 complete games.

It's been a tragic week in baseball with the passing of Nick Adenhart, Harry Kalas and Mark Fidrych. May they all rest in peace.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Did Schoeneweis about steroid tests ahead of time?

Did Arizona Diamondbacks reliever Scott Schoeneweis, former player union rep who took steroids, know when drug tests would be administered?

According to a report in the New York Times, via Arizona Republic, Schoeneweis was quoted as saying "he knew when tests were going to occur."

However, Schoeneweis says he was misquoted and that he meant that he only knew tests were coming in 2003 - not when specific tests would be administered.

The one thing I know is I no longer know what to believe any more about the whole steroids era. It certainly wouldn't surprise me if he abused his powers as player rep considering he cheated the game by using steroids.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Could Peavy end up in Milwaukee?

Per Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune, he wouldn't be surprised if the Milwaukee Brewers, who traded for C.C. Sabathia last off-season, make a push for Padres ace Jake Peavy.

Peavy has a full no-trade clause in his contract until 2010. After that he'll have the ability to veto trades from certain teams.

Like last year, the Brewers will have a strong offense led by Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder. However, to compete for the N.L. Central crown, they will most likely need pitching help.

With the exception of 2006, Peavy has had a sub-3.00 ERA in each of the past five seasons.

It's unlikely that Peavy ends up in Milwaukee, but I would be surprised if he's pitching in San Diego in September. Unless he's the road pitcher.

Brandon Webb placed on DL

Arizona Diamondbacks ace Brandon Webb was hoping to make his first start of the season last night.

Instead, he landed on the 15-day disabled list. The good news is there is no structural damage.
No, there’s no concern,” he said. “The MRIs are all good. If there’s no structural damage, there’s nothing to worry about. All that stuff’s good. We’ve got some fluid in there, I think, that Dr. (Michael) Lee said might not be allowing me to have my full range of motion. That might be part of it. We’re looking to get that down and hopefully it will get better quickly.”
The move is retroactive to Tuesday, which means that Webb could make his next start on April 22nd if all goes well.

In his place, Yusmeiro Petit started last night and is expected to remain in the rotation until Webb returns. The D'Backs lost 11-2, but Petit only surrendered three hits and two walks in five innings pitched.

Manager Bob Melvin says it's better to be safe than sorry with their ace this early in the season.
"Early in the season, we can't be too careful with a guy like that," Melvin said.
This is only the second DL stint in Webb's career. The other time was in 2003.

C.C. Sabathia dominant in second outing

New York Yankees ace C.C. Sabathia, who was signed in the off-season to the mega $161 million contract, struggled in his first start on Opening Day in Baltimore.

And before you knew it, everyone forgot that Major League Baseball plays more than a one-game regular season.

Yesterday, Sabathia got his second start of the season and what a difference a start made!

Sabathia, who gave up six runs and struck out as many batters as I did from my living room on Opening Day, pitched 7 2/3 shutout innings and struck out six batters for his first win of the season against the Kansas City Royals yesterday.
“You call for the slider and changeup, but he’s a fastball pitcher,” [catcher Jorge] Posada said. “We need him to establish his fastball in and out, and he did that.”
Granted, it was against the Royals, but Sabathia won't be the bust that all of the naysayers purported he'd be after his first outing.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Geovany Soto could avoid DL

Chicago Cubs catcher Geovany Soto, who hurt his shoulder on Tuesday, is feeling better each day and is likely to avoid landing on the disabled list.
''[The team doctor] expects him to be ready in a few days,'' manager Lou Piniella said. ''If it's too long, we can't continue to carry one catcher. So we'll just have to wait and see how he responds to rehab and the medication.''
The soonest (although not likely) return for Soto would be Sunday. However, Soto wouldn't comment on when he might return.
''I don't know. I just play ball. I'm not a doctor,'' Soto said of a timeline for his return. ''I just want to get in there as fast as I can. And I trust my doctors and trainers in the organization.''
In Yahoo! fantasy baseball leagues, the Cubs' all-star catcher was (on average) the fourth catcher selected behind Russell Martin, Brian McCann and Joe Mauer with an average draft position of 55.7.

In 2008, Soto hit .285, 23 homeruns and drove in 86 runs.

Ichiro to return soon?

Seattle Mariners rightfielder Ichiro Suzuki, who has started the season on the DL with a bleeding ulcer, went 5-for-10 yesterday in an intra-squad game.

Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu said that Ichiro might play some outfield on Saturday.
"We're going to see how he feels in the morning," Wakamatsu said prior to Seattle's game against Oakland, "and he might play some outfield tomorrow. We expect him to be on a plane on Sunday going to Seattle and he would join the team for Monday's workout."
The M's have their home opener on Tuesday, but the soonest that Ichiro would be activated is Wednesday.

Endy Chavez has led off with Ichiro on the DL and hit well (9 hits in 22 ABs).

Friday, April 10, 2009

Why D'Backs withdrew offer to Webb

Last year, the Arizona Diamondbacks had offered ace pitcher Brandon Webb a three-year deal worth $54 million. And then the D'Backs withdrew their offer to Webb.

At the time the offer was withdrawn, neither Webb nor the team indicated the reason.

However, the Arizona Republic, via, is reporting that the team withdrew the offer due to the inability to secure insurance. The insurance company "expressed concerns about the right-hander's arm."

Diamondbacks GM Josh Byrnes wouldn't discuss the report with the Arizona Republic.
"When it comes to details pertaining to negotiations, it's not something I want to talk about on or off the record."

"In the short term," Byrnes continued, "we will continue to monitor Brandon's (health) status and I believe he will be back on the mound shortly. We'll keep everyone notified of that, but talking about his contract or any negotiations is not something we want to talk about."

Webb, who will miss his Saturday start due to stiffness in his shoulder, is under contract for this year and the team has an option for 2010.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Greg Maddux to have number retired by Braves

Greg Maddux will have his number (31) retired by the Atlanta Braves on July 17th.

From 1992 to 1998, Maddux was a dominant as any pitcher (perhaps ever). His highest ERA during that seven-year span was 2.72. And that season (1996) was significantly higher than the other six seasons. His second-worst ERA during that span was 2.36.

In his career, Maddux won four consecutive Cy Young awards (1992-1995) and eighteen Gold Glove awards.

Maddux, who played with the Cubs, Braves, Dodgers and Padres, finished his career with a 355-227 record, 3,371 strikeouts and an ERA of 3.16.

Could A-Rod be back this month?

Excluding his hip injury, New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez had a horrible off-season. And the superlative "horrible" was probably an understatement.

There was the Yankee Years book by Joe Torre that referred to him as A-Fraud, the leaked report about his steroid usage and then the link to the Manhattan Madame.

After the steroid scandal, which was close to spring training, A-Rod talked about how he was looking forward to the escape and diversion of just playing baseball.

Instead, he injured his hip and underwent surgery on it on March 9th. The initial prognosis was that he would miss six to nine weeks.

A-Rod "feels 70 percent" and there is a chance that he could be back on the field by the end of this month.
"Everything is going well," Cashman said. "He's working extremely hard. Everything is going as planned."
Rodriguez is a career .306 hitter with 553 homeruns, 1606 runs batted in and stole 283 bases.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Rockies name Huston Street as closer

Today the Colorado Rockies named Huston Street as their closer over Manny Corpas.
“This is what I came to camp to accomplish and it’s a role I feel comfortable with. There is a lot of responsibility that goes along with it,” Street said. “My teammates should expect me to not only get the job done but be prepared to get the job done. That’s what I spent the whole offseason doing. I feel like this is just the beginning.”
The Rockies acquired Street in the trade that sent outfielder Matt Holliday to Oakland.

Street has pitched well in his last eight outings (only five hits allowed). However, he has an ERA of 5.23 this spring.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Chris Carpenter scratched from last start

Over the past couple of seasons, St. Louis Cardinals ace Chris Carpenter has battled serious injuries.

Scheduled to make a start this Friday, Carpenter has been scratched due to soreness in his calf. But it appears to only be a cautionary move.
He could pitch if it was the regular season,” manager Tony La Russa said. “But we don’t need to push."
Carpenter has pitched extremely well throughout spring training. Through 23 2/3 innings pitched, Carpenter has an ERA of 1.52 and a 2-1 record.

In 2008, Carpenter had an ERA of 1.76, but he made only three starts and pitched only 15 1/3 innings.