Sunday, May 31, 2009

Grady Sizemore placed on the DL

The Cleveland Indians have placed Grady Sizemore on the 15-day disabled list.

The culprit is inflammation in his left elbow.

Sizemore, the team's center fielder, has been used as the Indians DH in nine of the 12 previous games in which he has played.

Chris Gimenez of Triple-A affiliate Columbus has been called up to take Sizemore's roster spot.

Gimenez can play a variety of positions including the outfield and catcher. In the minors, he has played 24 games as catcher, 11 as left fielder and three as first baseman this season.

Indians catcher Victor Martinez was out of the lineup today against the Yankees and he left yesterday's game in the first inning after fouling a pitch off his knee.

On the season, Sizemore was hitting .223 with nine home runs and 31 RBI in 49 games.

The Hot Corner, 5/31 edition

Ichiro has a 23-game hitting streak, which two shy of his franchise record 25-game streak.

The Tampa Bay Rays have called up Matt Joyce. In turn, they sent pitcher Dale Thayer down to Triple-A Durham.

Brewers reliever David Riske, who will see specialist Lewis Yocum on Monday, may need "Tommy John" surgery.

Marlins pitcher Josh Johnson is now 6-0 all-time against the Mets.

Blue Jays outfielder Alex Rios had four hits against the Red Sox.

Tigers pitchers Justin Verlander and Rick Porcello each finished May 5-0 and have become the first pair of Tigers pitchers since 2000 to each win five games in the same calendar month.

Red Sox outfielder Rocco Baldelli left Saturday's game against the Blue Jays in the fifth inning after slamming into the wall and injuring his knee.

The Diamondbacks placed Chad Tracy on the 15-day disabled list.

The Reds placed Joey Votto on the 15-day disabled list.

Yesterday, Mets outfielder Fernando Martinez got the first two hits of his career.

Mets pitcher Oliver Perez had an MRI yesterday that revealed tendinitis in his knee. His start for Triple-A Buffalo has been canceled for today. "He's not going to get out pitching rehab games until we feel everything is OK with the knee," [Mets GM Omar] Minaya said.

Despite back problems in his last start, Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte says he'll make his next start.

Randy Galloway of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram says Tom Hicks departure as majority owner of the Rangers could also mean the departure of Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan.

Rockies new manager Jim Tracy said of Tony Gwynn Jr.: “The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. I've seen that swing before somewhere.”

Mike Serby of the New York Post would put Gary Sheffield and Johan Santana on his All-Gangster team.

The Nationals have demoted Justin Maxwell, sending him back to Triple-A Syracuse, and recalled infielder Alberto Gonzalez.

Blue Jays pitcher Brian Tallet threw 59 pitches in the first two innings yesterday, but "then all of a sudden he got his control back and started to make some pitches," manager Cito Gaston said, according to the Toronto Star.

Despite leaving the Giants game trailing, Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter got the win yesterday. He now has eight wins on the season.

The Giants are considering keeping Pablo Sandoval at first even after his elbow is better.

Marlins moved Chris Coghlan to leadoff and he saw 32 pitches from Mets' pitchers.

Phillies have called up Antonio Bastardo and he will start Tuesday against the Padres.

Travis Buck was shocked to be placed on the DL by the A's: "I came to the ballpark fully expecting to play, and I was kind of shocked they put me on the DL."

Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Hot Corner, 5/30 edition

Florida Marlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez returned to the lineup today and had two hits in the win against the New York Mets.

Mets starter Tim Redding may not be in the Mets' rotation for much longer after another poor performance. His ERA now is 9.20.

David Lennon of Newsday was confused by Mets manager Jerry Manuel's decisions not pull Fernando Martinez for not running out a pop-out and to sit David Murphy following a five-RBI game.

Dwight "Doc" Gooden is opening a baseball academy in New Jersey.

The Mets traded Ramon Castro to the White Sox for right-handed pitcher Lance Broadway, who will report to Triple-A Buffalo.

Are the Yankees and Red Sox targeting the same prospect - David Renfro, who also is considering accepting a scholarship to Mississippi?

Due to his social anxiety disorder, Khalil Greene was placed on the disabled list by the St. Louis Cardinals, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

After electing to have hip surgery, Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Brett Myers will likely miss the remainder of the 2009 season.

Kansas City Royals closer Joakim Soria may be activated from the DL without a stint at Triple-A Omaha.

Reds manager Dusty Baker said of his team: "We have guys who get along, no jealousies, and they like playing together. They are highly competitive against the other team and highly competitive with each other and with no jealousy."

Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Ryan Doumit is still three weeks away from returning.

The plantar fasciitis in his left foot has landed White Sox outfielder Carlos Quentin on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 26th.

Bobby Crosby says of playing all four infield positions for the A's: "It is interesting coming to the park and not knowing where I'm going to play. At the same time, it would be more fun knowing you have one spot and working on that one spot. It is a challenge, which is always good."

Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano is dealing with a sore left knee, but he "can still play."

Astros closer Jose Valverde rejoined the team on Friday. “Next week I’m going to throw bullpens and then live batting practice. Then the week after that I’ll go to Round Rock or Double-A. That’s what I’m expecting.”

The Minnesota Twins have placed shortstop Nick Punto on the 15-day DL with a right groin strain.

Reigning A.L. MVP Dustin Pedroia hasn't homered since Opening Day.

Until Aramis Ramirez returns, the Cubs will play Mike Fontenot at third.

According to Marc Carig of the Newark Star-Ledger, Yankees starter Andy Pettitte will do a limited program to get ready for his next start after having back issues last night.

A tight hamstring kept Dodgers third baseman Casey Blake out of the lineup on Saturday.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Matt Wieters called up

The (long) wait is over.

The Baltimore Orioles have called up Matt Wieters, who is batting seventh in tonight's lineup and playing catcher.

"I've dreamed about making my debut ever since I was little," Wieters said. "It's going to be fun, especially once I get to actually play in a game."

To make room for the rookie, the O's designated Chad Moeller for assignment.

Wieters, who has been described as "Joe Mauer with power," says the hype and attention hasn't worn him out already. Teammate Adam Jones joked to "put him in the Hall of Fame."

"No, I am actually pretty excited to get playing tonight," said Wieters. "Having the past two days off to sit back and think about it, it's exciting to get in this clubhouse and get to see some of the guys that I haven't seen since spring training, or even some of the guys you just saw a couple days ago. It's a new team, but it's a bunch of familiar faces."

In his first three at bats, Wieters is 0-for-3 after flying out once and grounding out twice. In other words, as Jones said, "don't make him a Hall of Famer before he is one. Let him play his first game before all that."

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Carlos Zambrano ejected from today's game

Chicago Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano was ejected from today's game against the Pittsburgh Pirates after he argued a call at the plate and bumped umpire Mark Carlson.

After getting ejected, Zambrano "ejected" Carlson, threw the ball in the stands and then took his frustrations out against the Gatorade machine with a baseball bat.

I'm no marketing genius (heck, I'm no any kind of genius), but perhaps PowerAde should contact Big Z about a marketing deal?

Maybe it'll help offset the lost wages from the fine and suspension that is soon to follow...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Hot Corner, 5/26 edition

Marlins shortstop left tonight's game in the third inning with a "tight right groin."

The Mets have placed Jose Reyes and Ryan Church on the 15-day disabled list. In addition, they have called up top prospect Fernando Martinez.

The Orioles will call up catcher Matt Wieters on Friday.

White Sox outfielder Carlos Quentin is heading back to Chicago and could be out until Monday.

Red Sox manager Terry Francona, who dropped Big Papi from third to sixth in the order, says: "The goal is not, like tomorrow, to get him back to number 3. I actually think, when he's swinging the bat, and he's hitting third, that we're a better team. All things being equal, I think we're a better team. They're not equal right now."

The Rays have placed SS Jason Bartlett on the 15-day disabled list.

The Rays didn't activate Pat Burrell today and will wait, at least, until the weekend to do so.

"I just think he wasn't totally forthright," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said about Brian Bruney coming back too soon. [Bruney was placed back on the DL yesterday.]

The Rockies didn't start outfielder Brad Hawpe tonight with strained groin.

Orioles outfielder Nick Markakis has launched The Right Side Foundation,
a non-profit charity for distressed and disadvantaged youth throughout Maryland.

The Blue Jays benched Alex Rios, but manager Cito Gaston said "it's just a day off."

Brandon Phillips, who said "I don’t what the pills are, but they’re helping," says his thumb is getting better.

Canseco gets an MMA beat-down in Tokyo

Former Bash Brother Jose Canseco started his MMA career by bashing the hands of Choi Hong-man with his face. That is, when he wasn't running circles around Hong-man.

"I'm not gonna lie to you: I'm scared," Canseco said. "This guy is huge. I'm a 44-year-old rookie and have had a lot of challenges in my baseball career. Hopefully, I can do well."

Well? Not really. But he did it quickly.

The 7-foot-2 Hong-man beat him down in only 77 seconds.

Aren't you ticked that you don't got next?

Monday, May 25, 2009

The Hot Corner, 5/25 (PM) edition

The Houston Astros have now lost five straight after allowing eight unearned runs in today's 8-5 loss.

Astros catcher Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez, who left today's game in the first inning, expects to be ready for tomorrow's game.

Yankees catcher Jorge Posada may play an extended spring training game on "Wednesday or Thursday."

Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira hit a broken-bat home run off Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels on Sunday. "Most of time, when you hear a broken bat, you're thinking 'OK, that's a pop-up,' " Hamels said. "Unfortunately he's a strong guy. It just took off."

Jose Canseco is pumped up for his MMA debut in Tokyo tomorrow against Korean Hong Man Choi.

White Sox Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf has "moved on" from trade talks surrounding Padres pitcher Jake Peavy saying "we just can't keep everybody in limbo."

The Padres have now won 10 straight games with a home run from Chase Headley in the 10th inning against the D'Backs. It also ended an 11-game road losing streak.

It took 100 at-bats, however, Giants' Travis Ishikawa hit his first home run of the season.

Reds pitcher Edison Volquez, who's eligible to come off the DL next Monday, threw a bullpen session today and he "
did not feel anything in my back, no pain. I feel like I'm ready."

Mariners catcher Kenji Johjima has a broken toe.

According to the Miami Herald, the Florida Marlins placed left-hander Renyel Pinto on the 15-day disabled list.

Angels outfielder Vladimir Guerrero, who was out since April 16th, returned to lineup today. To make room for Guerrero, the Angels optioned Reggie Willits to Triple-A affiliate Salt Lake.

White Sox outfielder Carlos Quentin left Monday's game in the first inning after hurting his foot.

Verlander lowers ERA to 0.85 since April 27th

Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander pitched another gem as the Tigers beat the Kansas City Royals 13-1.

In his last six starts, Verlander has been Zack Greinke-like. Greinke has an ERA of 0.82 on the season.

Verlander has improved to 5-0 with an ERA of 0.85 since April 27th after pitching seven scoreless innings today.

Striking out eight batters today, Verlander now leads the A.L. with 85.

Yankees call up David Robertson

Earlier in the day, the New York Yankees placed reliever Brian Bruney back on the disabled list.

With the stellar performance of 22-year-old Phil Hughes, hopefully the Yankees will need their bullpen less and less.

But one of the guys they may call on from the bullpen is David Robertson. The Yankees called up Robertson today, according to Marc Craig of the Newark Star-Ledger.

In five appearances this season, Robertson has an ERA of 3.86.

Hughes refused to shake Girardi's hand

Today the Yankees beat the Rangers 11-1 as Phil Hughes pitched eight scoreless innings on 101 pitches.

When we made our earlier post about the game, one note we didn't mention was that Hughes refused to shake manager Joe Girardi's hand when he was taken out.

"He didn't want to shake my hand," Girardi said. "He wanted to go back out. I said, 'You know what? You're going to have plenty of time to get complete games in your career. It's a hot day, you've thrown a hundred pitches, and we don't want to send you back out there for the ninth.'"

It's not a huge deal, but I like his competitiveness.

Akinori Iwamura done for season

Per Marc Lancaster of The Tampa Tribune, the Rays have lost second baseman Akinori Iwamura for the season.

An MRI revealed that Iwamura has a torn ACL, damage to his MCL and torn ankle ligaments after Chris Coghlan's slide in Sunday's game against the Marlins.

Iwamura will have surgery and the Rays hope to have him back for spring training, according to Lancaster.

"It's a tough loss, obviously," [Rays executive vice president Andrew] Friedman said. "Aki brings a lot to our team offensively, defensively and off the field. But this group has demonstrated how resilient they are last year and the beginning part of this year and I expect that we'll do more of the same here."

In addition to losing Aki for the season, the Rays placed relief pitcher Brian Shouse on the 15-day disabled list.

Yankees dominate Rangers 11-1

The Yankees have now won 13 of their past 17 games with their 11-1 victory over the Rangers.

Former Rangers Alex Rodriguez went 5-for-5 with four RBI and Mark Teixeira went 2-for-4 with two RBI. Teixeira continues to feed off having A-Rod in the lineup to protect him.

Phil Hughes picked up his third win of the season by pitching eight scoreless innings. Hughes only threw 101 pitches.

He allowed three hits and only one walk while striking out six batters.

Bruney heading back to DL

In a New York-minute (or, rather a New York-inning), Yankees set-up man Brian Bruney is heading back to the disabled list, according to Marc Craig of the Newark Star-Ledger.

After spending one month on the DL, Bruney returned to the Bronx and pitched one scoreless inning.

However, Bruney is still feeling elbow pain although tests reveal no structural damage.

Carlos Guillen has MRI on shoulder

According to Steve Kornakci of the, Detroit Tigers left fielder Carlos Guillen had an MRI on his shoulder.

And the results should be known on Tuesday.

"Carlos is not throwing or hitting right now," [Tigers head athletic trainer Kevin] Rand said this morning. "He's just conditioning and running."

Although he was initially placed on the DL due to tendinitis in his Achilles, it's Guillen's shoulder (not Achilles) that is troubling him now.

In 24 games, Guillen is hitting only .200 this season with no home runs.

Rays gave Maddon three-year extension

The Tampa Bay Rays have given a three-year extension to Joe Maddon, who won the A.L. Manager of the Year award in 2008.

The Rays' skipper is now under contract until 2012.

"This is where I belong,'' Maddon said. "This is where I want to be. I really have to use the word love when I talk about this organization. ... For me, it's a no-brainer. I really want to stay here and I'm really grateful that I get the opportunity.' "

In the Rays' first-ever winning season (97-65), the Rays made it to the World Series. This year, the Rays are 23-23 and four games out of first.

Giants interested in Dan Uggla?

Per Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the San Francisco Giants have reached out to the Florida Marlins to inquire about second baseman Dan Uggla.

The Marlins will move Uggla and his $5.35 million salary before the trade deadline, according to Rodriguez. When they do, Emilio Bonifacio or Chris Coghlan will move to second.

In return, the Marlins would seek one of the Giants' young arms - either lefty Jonathan Sanchez or righty Matt Cain. The Giants would obviously be less willing to part ways with Cain.

However, the Giants currently have pitching prospects Madison Bumgarner and Tim Alderson at Double-A.

On the season, Uggla is only hitting .205, but he has eight home runs (tied for first on team) and 30 runs batted in (second on team).

The Hot Corner, 5/25 edition

Braves catcher Brian McCann hit two home runs as the Braves went on to sweep the Blue Jays.

The Diamondbacks saw their four-game winning streak, which was a season high, come to an end with a loss to the A's Sunday.

Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips is hoping to avoid the DL despite having a hairline fracture in his right thumb. "I just need to give it a couple of days," Phillips said. "It is really swollen right now. I'll think about the next step when it gets here, after the swelling goes down."

The Rockies have placed catcher Jeff Iannetta on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right hamstring.

Astros third baseman Geoff Blum will miss at least two games with a strained left hamstring he suffered in Sunday's game against the Rangers.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the Angels are considering placing Scott Shields on the DL to allow the tendinitis in his left knee to ease.

Red Sox hitting coach Dave Magadan said of dropping David Ortiz in the batting order: "I think that's something we're going to discuss. We'll probably talk about it on the flight [to Minnesota]. We want to do what's best not only for David, but what's best for the team."

Astros closer Jose Valverde is still on track in his rehab, but he is still "weeks away from him being able to pitch in a game at the big league level,” according to GM Ed Wade.

Astros pitcher Mike Hampton has struggled with a 1-5 record and 7.04 ERA in his past six starts. “Right now, I’m kind of at a loss,” [manager Cecil] Cooper said. “I don’t know exactly what to do.”

"Backup catcher, it's hard sometimes," [manager Terry] Francona said [of back-up catcher George Kottaras, who went 3-for-5 Sunday]. "Their numbers aren't going to always indicate how they're swinging. It's hard to get on a roll. You swing the bat real well today and you might sit for a few days. But he should feel a lot better about himself."

With seven more games to play in May, Twins catcher Joe Mauer has 10 home runs this month. His previous monthly best was five.

The last time the Cubs suffered a three-game sweep at the hands of the Padres was 25 years ago in the playoffs.

Pittsburgh's Adam LaRoche helped end Jack Wilson 1-for-17 slump. "Since he had the day off, LaRoche was nice enough to throw BP today," Wilson said. "He said he was going to get me right. Sure enough, he did."

''Watching him lay there, you feel awful because you never want to hurt anybody,'' said [Marlins Chris] Coghlan, who barreled into [Rays Aki] Iwamura in the eighth inning while trying to break up a double play. "But, at the same time, I've got to try to break up the double play.''

Rays manager Joe Maddon says of pitching phenom David Price: "When you bring a guy like this, you really want him to stay. You don't want to move guys like him up and down."

Jose Reyes won't play Monday

According to Adam Rubin of the NY Daily News, Mets shortstop Jose Reyes says there is "no chance" that he'll play on Monday.

Ramon Martinez left Sunday's game against the Red Sox in the eighth inning with back discomfort.

In the past 10 days, Reyes has played in only three games in which he is one-for-seven at the plate.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Should Posada DH more often?

Joel Sherman of the New York Post argues that the New York Yankees should use Jorge Posada less at catcher and more at designated hitter.

He also argues that the Yankees should (as the Rays did last year) emphasize defense and play Brett Gardner in center, Melky Cabrera in left and either Jose Molina or Francisco Cervelli catching with Posada as DH.

His rationale:
  • Yankees will have enough offense even with a defensive-minded offense. However, if need be, they can be aggressive late by pinch-hitting with guys like Hideki Matsui, Nick Swisher and Xavier Nady (when he comes back).
  • Only use Posada to catch for those with a high comfort level with Posada, such as Andy Pettitte and Chien-Ming Wang. Posada's catching ERA is considerably higher than that of Cervelli, Molina and Kevin Cash.
  • Since Posada is 38 and on the DL again after last year, why not protect your investment that runs through 2011? Especially since guys like Johnny Damon, Matsui, and Nady will be free agents next year.
The Yankees would be better off defensively without Posada catching. And their offense has never been the problem.

On the season, the Yankees have scored 240 runs, which ranks third in baseball. However, they've posted a team ERA of 5.17, which is the fifth worst in baseball.

K-Rod doing "a lot better"

Last night, Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez was taken to the hospital to be treated for back spasms after the Mets 3-2 win.

Per Adam Rubin of the NY Daily News, K-Rod says he is doing better after being hospitalized
"As soon as the medicine started kicking in, I started feeling a lot better. And by this morning I was doing a lot of things that I wasn't capable of last night," Rodriguez said. "The pain went away and I'm feeling pretty good. Man, that was really painful. I've never experienced anything like this before. I was a little struggling to walk yesterday, but I got some medicine in me and I feel pretty good now."
Through 20 games, K-Rod is 1-0 with a 0.87 ERA and is 12 of 12 in save opportunities.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Giambi hits 400th career home run

Oakland A's DH Jason Giambi has done something that only 43 players have done before him.

Giambi hit his 400th career home run off Diamondbacks pitcher Dan Haren in today's game.

It was the fourth home run of the year for Giambi.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Kazmir, Percival to DL; Price to be called up

The Tampa Bay Rays have placed both starter Scott Kazmir and closer Troy Percival on the 15-day disabled list, according to Marc Lancaster of The Tampa Tribune.

Percival has shoulder tendinitis and Kazmir has a quadriceps strain.

Manager Joe Maddon wonders if Percival, who's 39 and gone home to clear his mind, will be back.

"I wouldn't be surprised if he chooses not to come back," Maddon said. "There's only so much you can do when you get to that age, and he's tried everything possible to put himself back together to be, not just functional, but a very big contributor to us. He's just not feeling that he can be that right now."

Kazmir is leading (in a bad way) the majors in pitches per inning (19.2) and he has an ERA of 11.35 in his previous five starts.

Pitching phenom David Price will likely start on Monday in Kazmir's place.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Twins pound White Sox 20-1

Calling the Twins' 20-1 win over the White Sox today is a gross understatement.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire decided to "mix things up a little bit" by batting catcher Joe Mauer second in the lineup. And he certainly responded with six runs batted in and a grand slam.

White Sox pitcher Bartolo Colon allowed seven hits and eight runs in two innings. However, only one of the eight runs was earned.

Today's loss matches the biggest loss in White Sox history. The White Sox lost to the Angels 19-0 on May 10th, 2002.

It's been a rough day for the White Sox as Jake Peavy also vetoed a trade today that would have sent him to Chicago.

Peavy says no to White Sox deal

Per the Chicago Sun-Times, the deal agreed upon by the San Diego Padres and Chicago White Sox to send Jake Peavy to Chicago has been vetoed. The Sun-Times reports that sources indicate Peavy has told the Padres that he won't accept the trade.

Although both teams agreed to the deal, Peavy has a no-trade clause in his contract.

Peavy spoke with his former Padres teammate Scott Linebrink about the team and playing for manager Ozzie Guillen.
"At this point, it's 50-50," Linebrink said, adding he spoke to Peavy with Sox general manager Ken Williams blessings. "It's his decision and his family's, but given the trade rumors that haven't come to fruition, especially with the Cubs, I think he might want to get this behind him. I'm sure it was tough for him to go back [to San Diego, after the near-trade. He's probably ready to put on whatever uniform he's going to have."
Peavy, who prefers to pitch in the National League, has $63 million left on his contract and is due $11 million this season.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Wife of Scott Schoeneweis found dead

According to the Associated Press, the wife of Diamondbacks reliever Scott Schoeneweis was found dead in their home by their 14-year-old daughter.

The cause of death for Gabrielle Dawn Schoeneweis, who was 39 years old, hasn't yet been determined.

May she rest in peace.

Manuel "could have strangled" Ryan Church

New York Mets manager Jerry Manuel said he "could have strangled" outfielder Ryan Church, according to Brian Costa of the Newark Star-Ledger.

In another effort to beat themselves, Church failed to step on third base in the 11th inning of their 3-2 loss on Monday.

As Costa points out, it's perceived that Manuel is harder on Church than any other Met even though he claims he does "not have a doghouse."
"I don't know why people think I got a deal with Ryan Church, I really don't," Manuel said. "I don't have a problem with Ryan. Not at all. I like to egg him on and mess with him a little bit like I do with everybody, but I love to see Ryan every day. He comes to the park every day early. I love to see Ryan Church. I don't have a problem with Ryan Church."
Whether or not he really has a "problem" with Church, more times than not perception is reality.

In 37 games, Church is batting .275 and has one home run and eight RBIs.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Hot Corner, 5/19 edition

According to David Lennon of Newsday, Mets first baseman Carlos Delgado will have hip surgery on Tuesday.

The Mets have also placed Alex Cora on the 15-day DL due to a torn ligament in his thumb.

Brewers second baseman Rickie Weeks will miss the remainder of the season with a tear in his left wrist.

Yankees pitcher Chien-Ming Wang will throw a bullpen session in front of Yankee coaches to determine his next step: another rehab start or returning to the rotation.

Tigers outfielder Magglio Ordonez will miss at least two games as his wife undergoes surgery.

"I want to enjoy this moment, but I've got to get there first," [Giants pitcher Randy] Johnson said. "And I've got to pitch well in order to get there." At 298 career wins, Johnson has an ERA of 6.86.

For Mariners pitcher Jarrod Washburn, the fifth inning is like the first inning for Joba Chamberlain. And last night was no different allowing five runs and five hits including a home run in the fifth inning.

Although Angels pitcher John Lackey gave up five runs (four earned) in five innings in his first game of 3 pitches or more, the Angels beat the Mariners 10-6.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Cardinals manager Tony La Russa will use Khalil Greene, who is hitting .204 and has a team-high six errors, in a utility role over the near term.

The Royals are bucking the league's attendance trend (-5% on average) and are seeing an increase of 16% from last year for their first 21 home games.

In his first rehab appearance, Kevin Youkilis was 0-for-2.

Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins, who was 7-for-18 against the Nationals this weekend, hopes his struggles are behind him. "It can't be this hard," Rollins said. "You have something that you do during your whole life and for some reason it's like, 'Why can't I do it anymore? What happened that is making this so difficult?' "

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Hot Corner, 5/18 (AM) edition

The Rays have placed outfielder Pat Burrell on the 15-day disabled list (retroactive to May 11th)

Bud Shaw of the Cleveland Plain Dealer says Indians manager Eric Wedge has taken on the personality of his team and is "all over the map."

Both starter Chien-Ming Wang and set-up man Brian Bruney could return to the Yankees within the next few days.

Ethan Skolnick of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel says the Marlins are more like their 7-and-19 version (over their past 26 games) than their 11-and-1 version (over their first 12 games).

Will practice make perfect for Big Papi? “We’ll see. It was a little out of normal (not playing in three straight games), but I feel good. I feel good. I feel these days off, I did some things where I had to think about them and then an hour later, go ahead and try to do them, you know? Practice it. I feel good.”

In 5 2/3 innings, Cardinals pitcher Todd Wellemeyer walked seven and hit two batters.

Giants pitcher Matt Cain ended the Giants eight-game losing streak to the Mets by pitching six shutout innings and driving in one of the team's runs in their 2-0 victory.

Mets pitcher Mike Pelphrey, who balked three times, says "I think maybe when I get on national TV, I like making a fool of myself. It seemed like I almost had the yips. It was like I was fighting myself to come set because my mind kept telling me to pick the guy off. I went back and watched replays and I balked."

Marlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez, who went hitless yesterday, saw his 13-game hitting streak come to an end.

Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu wants his players to take "a more intellectual and less emotional approach to the game," according to Steve Kelley of The Seattle Times.

The Phillies will start Cole Hamels on Tuesday and Jamie Moyer on Wednesday against the Reds.

Twins 3B Joe Crede took batting practice Sunday and manager Ron Gardenhire expects him back in the lineup Monday.

Astros closer LaTroy Hawkins was surprised that his right side hurt since he fell on his left side Saturday. “I’m sore everywhere,” said Hawkins, who was limping. “I feel like I was in a car accident. Just slipped backing up home plate. I got jarred.”

Astros RHP Brandon Backe will make two more rehab starts before being activated.

Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano, who made a rehab start Sunday, says "'I feel 100 percent. I just had a little problem with my release point. But this week, before my next outing, we'll correct it.'' Manager Lou Piniella hasn't made a final decision on whether Zambrano will start Friday against the Padres.

Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter will pitch Wednesday against the Cubs.

Although it's only May, Fox and MLB agreed to air playoff games earlier this year (7:57 p.m. first pitches for weekday games).

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Hot Corner, 5/17 edition

Diamondbacks rookie Gerardo Parra has 13 career at-bats and five hits including two triples and a home run. "He can hit," second baseman Felipe Lopez said. "He can flat-out hit. That's a beautiful swing. He adds a lot to the lineup."

Astros catcher Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez hit his 300th career home run.

Yankees outfielder Johnny Damon, who hit a walk-off homer in the 10th inning, was the recipient of a whipped-cream pie to the face. It's the third consecutive game that the Yankees have won in their final at-bat.

David Wells calls Clemens "He-lie" as he says Clemens used to call him.

Wells went on to say that the players like A-Rod, Manny, etc. should be banned from the Hall of Fame. “(Even if they) got Hall of Fame numbers, just ban them right out (from) the get-go, I think that would be great. No 50-game suspension. Ban them right away, that would stop it in a heartbeat especially the money they are giving out today it would be incredible if they did that, you wouldn’t have to worry about steroids or HGH.

Roy Halladay picked up another win as the Blue Jays beat the White Sox.

Mets shortstop Jose Reyes missed his fourth straight game.

The Angels 3-0 loss to the Rangers was their first shutout of the season.

Despite today's rainout, Diamondbacks starter Dan Haren will still start Monday's game against the Florida Marlins.

Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw threw seven no-hit innings until Marlins outfielder Cody Ross doubled off of him in the eighth inning.

A sore forearm has affected Royals shortstop Mike Aviles, who's batting .194 this season. "Mike's never one to make excuses, but he's got a little bit of a stiff forearm that's been bothering him," Hillman said. "Personally, I think it's affected his swing with pitches that typically he could get to."

Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton left today's game with a mild groin strain.

Andy Sonnanstine, designated hitter?

Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon meant for Evan Longoria to DH while Ben Zobrist plays third base.

However, on the official sheet provided to the umpire before the game, Maddon listed both Zobrist and Longoria at third base.

That meant that Longoria wouldn't be allowed to DH and Rays pitcher Andy Sonnanstine would hit instead. Not only would Sonnanstine hit, but he had to bat third (where Longoria was intended to hit).

Although Sonnanstine recorded his first career extra-base hit during his second at-bat, I'm sure Maddon will be more careful next time.

Lackey ejected Saturday, likely to start Monday?

Los Angeles Angels pitcher John Lackey, who has thrown a total of two pitches in 2009, will likely start Monday against the Seattle Mariners.
"I'm probably going to start [Monday]," Lackey said as he left the field prior to Sunday's series finale against the Rangers. "It will be good to get back out there."
Lackey was ejected from yesterday's game for throwing at Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler. His first pitch was behind the head of Kinsler. His second pitch hit Kinsler in the ribs.
"I was definitely shocked," said Lackey, who missed the first month and a half of the season because of a forearm strain. "I haven't pitched in six weeks, and I was amped up. I was trying to come in on him, but there was no intention at all to hit him or throw behind him."
The question is will Ichiro be ready to duck for Lackey's third pitch of the season.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Mets place Delgado on DL

The New York Mets have placed first baseman Carlos Delgado on the disabled list, according to Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post.

In turn, the Mets have called up outfielder Angel Pagan from Triple-A Buffalo to take Delgado's roster spot.

While a decision hasn't been made about hip surgery yet, manager Jerry Manuel doesn't expect Delgado to be back any time soon.
"He tried a number of things to get ready and get some comfort, but he could never find it. So I don't anticipate this being [just] a 15-day thing, in my opinion. I could be wrong, though, and hopefully I am wrong."
The move is retroactive to May 11th.

The Mets will use a three-man rotation to fill Delgado's spot at first with Fernando Tatis, Jeremy Reed and Daniel Murphy.
"We'll continue to play everybody," Manuel said of the three backups. "I think that's important that everybody play. It gives us a lot of flexibility. Whoever's hot and whoever's playing well, that's who we'll go with."
In the past seven games, Delgado was batting .423 (11-for-26).

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Is Carlos Delgado done for the year?

Per Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post, New York Mets first baseman Carlos Delgado has several issues with his hip, which puts the rest of this season in jeopardy.

The Mets will make a decision Sunday on Delgado, but he has a small bone spur, impingement and partial tear in his right hip. The impingement can lead to labrum damage and/or degenerative arthritis.

The arthritis is something that could end Delgado's career, according to Hubbuch.

For now, the Mets will likely use Fernando Tatis at first. But manager Jerry Manuel told WFAN that Daniel Murphy may move to first.

In addition to Delgado's health woes, set-up man J.J. Putz has a bone spur in his elbow. If Putz's elbow responds well to a cortizone shot, he'll be ready to return this weekend.

On the season, Delgado was hitting .298 with four home runs and 23 runs batted in. He was hitting .423 in May (eight games).

The Hot Corner, 5/14

All-time hit leader Pete Rose, who's not in the Hall of Fame due to betting, says he'd vote for A-Rod right now. "Would I vote for A-Rod right now based on his record?" Rose said. "Right now, I would. Manny Ramirez? He's not quite there, but he'll get there."

Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman saw his hitting streak end at 30 games yesterday. He was 0-for-3 with two walks.

Cardinals outfielder Ryan Ludwick was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained hamstring and have recalled outfielder Nick Stavinoha from Triple-A Memphis.

Cardinals ace Chris Carpenter, who had a bullpen session Tuesday, will have another bullpen session on Friday. If all goes well, he will be starting a week after that.

Has 2008 Cy Young winner Cliff Lee regained his Cy Young form? He has an ERA of 1.43 through yesterday's shutout win in his last 44 innings pitched.

White Sox outfielder Jermaine Dye and manager Ozzie Guillen were ejected from yesterday's game against Cleveland.

Derek Jeter was out of the lineup Tuesday night, last night and perhaps tonight with a sore right oblique. And he didn't do it "hula-hooping."

Yankees pitcher Chien-Ming Wang threw six scoreless innings for Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre with an effective sinker.

NY Mets streaker Craig Coakley, who faces up to a year in jail and a fine of $5,000, has planned it for the past eight years, according to his sister, per the NY Daily News.

"I'm still trying to get used to pitching in this eighth inning and trying to find some adrenaline because it's not like pitching in the ninth, I'll tell you that," Putz said on WFAN before Wednesday's 8-7 loss in 12 innings to Atlanta. "You just really don't have that heart-pounding sensation. I was talking with a couple of the guys. I think that's where those two or three miles an hour are, that adrenaline."

Per the Chicago Sun-Times, Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano is on pace to return from the DL. ''It's encouraging,'' manager Lou Piniella said. ''The news was good. He's ready to pitch.''

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Hot Corner, 5/12 edition

Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman has extended his hit streak to 29 games with a single in the first inning against the Giants on Monday.

Diamondbacks outfielder Justin Upton has hit safely in 18 consecutive games after homering in the third inning against the Reds on Monday.

The Mets Carlos Delgado was out Monday with soreness in his hip and is likely to miss "multiple games," according to Brian Costa of the Newark Star-Ledger. Delgado might land on the DL, per the NY Daily News.

Mentor-mentee relationship mutual between Roy Halladay and A.J. Burnett?

When asked about Aubrey Huff's fist pump after homering off him, Yankees pitcher Joba Chamberlain says "it's a long season." Mike Lupica, of the NY Daily News, reminds Joba that it is a long season for Yankee hitters, too (referencing the Jason Bay incident).

While Yankees manager Joe Girardi hopes that a start in Triple-AAA tonight is Chien-Ming Wang's last step before returning to the Yankees, GM Brian Cashman says: "I wouldn't think that he would be ready after one outing," said Cashman, who will make the trip to Scranton tonight. "We'll see what we see. I wouldn't be surprised if he needed more."

The Mets seven-game winning streak ended despite ace Johan Santana lowering his ERA to 0.78 due to a Jose Reyes' error in the seventh inning.

Speaking of Santana, it was the second time this season that he lost a game while not giving up any runs. "It's crazy that it has happened twice this year," Santana said. "I've never experienced that before. It's part of the game. It's reality. It happened and it's part of the game."

Cubs Derrek Lee may return tonight against San Diego's Jake Peavy.

While rest help Royals Mike Aviles break out of his slump? “I thought it was a good opportunity going into (Monday’s) off day,” Hillman said, “to give Mike a little more rest and, hopefully, clear his mind and allow him to relax a little bit.”

Is Indians manager Eric Wedge considering moving Grady Sizemore out of the leadoff spot.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Jenks admits to throwing at (behind) Kinsler

Chicago White Sox closer Bobby Jenks didn't beat around the bush. Jenks says that he meant to throw behind Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler to "send a message."

After Rangers pitchers hit six White Sox batters, Jenks said that he was "sick" of it.
"No, I meant to. To send a message. Basically I was saying, 'I'm sick of seeing our guys get hit and hurt and almost get taken out of the game.' I threw it with intention."

"I'm not going to put a guy on in that situation," he said. "I was not going to hit him. I made my point with that pitch and it came across the way I wanted it to.

"I'm not going to go dirty. I was going to keep it low and behind him."
Jenks got Kinsler out and the White Sox won 3-2, but both teams were warned by umpire Lance Barksdale.

The Hot Corner, 5/11 edition

The Florida Marlins have sent Cameron Maybin down to Triple-A New Orleans and will call up pitcher John Koronka per the Miami Herald.

Cleveland Indians reliever Masa Kobayashi is "comfortable in the clubhouse and with my teammates," but not necessarily on the mound. He has an ERA of 8.38 in 10 appearances.

The Chicago Cubs scored all four of their runs in the third inning including a two-run homer from Alfonso Soriano to avoid a sweep at the hand of the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday.

Reds outfielder Jay Bruce said Sunday's extra-inning loss to St. Louis "was a blast. We came out on the losing end, but we played good baseball. We’ll win a lot of those.”

What a difference a week makes for the Mets! "I think the ballpark is giving our pitchers more confidence to throw strikes and pitch to contact," Manuel told the NY Daily News.

John Harper of the NY Daily News asks what's wrong if Joba Chamberlain has a little Bob Gibson-style nastiness in him?

Johnny Damon hit his ninth home run of the season, which leads the Yankees, in their 5-3 win over the Orioles.

Blue Jays pitcher Brett Cecil pitched eight shutout innings for the first win in his career. After two starts, he has allowed one earned run in 14 innings.

Arizona manager A.J. Hinch got his first win on a 17-hit, 10-run performance by the D'Backs.

Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton, who is on the DL with a strained muscle in his rib cage, slipped in the outfield and landed on his ribs yesterday. He said he didn't feel anything and he'll be ready Tuesday to be activated against the Mariners.

Cubs pitcher Chad Fox, who will have an MRI Monday, may be done. "I felt an area where the screws are. We'll just see. But you get to this point, and I don't want to start messing with quality of life, just to keep chasing."

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Soria to DL, Royals call up Hochevar

According to Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star, the Kansas City Royals have placed closer Joakim Soria on the 15-day disabled list.

The move is retroactive to Friday. Soria, who has been battling soreness in his shoulder, will be out until at least May 23rd.
“It’s not going away,” he said, “so I have to take some time (off) so I’ll be ready for the rest of the season. It’s still too early in the season to be pitching like that. I think the better thing is to go on the DL, work hard on my shoulder and see what happens after 15 days.”
Luke Hochevar will take Soria's roster spot. Hochevar will start on Tuesday and Sidney Ponson will move to the bullpen.
“He’s coming off one of his best outings this year,” Hillman said, “so, hopefully, that will help our team win ballgames. We just felt this would (make) our club the strongest in … both in the rotation and in the bullpen.”
Hochevar is 5-0 with an ERA of 0.90 in six starts for Omaha this season.

Jose Contreras sent to minors

White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen has decided to send pitcher Jose Contreras to the minors.

Clayton Richard will start Wednesday in place of Contreras.

Contreras is 0-5 with an ERA of 8.19 in six games.
"Good deal,'' [Richard] said when told he would start Wednesday. "Coming up last year and my whole career has been starting, I'm comfortable with that role. Any time you get an opportunity, you want to make the most of it and hopefully go out there and do what I'm capable of - but really just put the team in a position to win.''

"His work ethic is second to none, and to see him struggling is tough,'' he said. "He'll figure it out. It's just a matter of time before he gets it clicking.''
Last year, Richard, who is 25 years old, made eight starts. This year, Richard has an ERA of 4.41 in 11 relief appearances.

The Hot Corner, 5/10 (PM) edition

Mets manager Jerry Manuel, who was suspended for yesterday's game, enjoyed the view from the sky box with GM Omar Minaya and Jeff Wilpon. "It was a good game to watch," Manuel said Sunday morning. "It's a spectacular view they got up there. It was nice, very nice. The ballpark looks completely different up there."

Dodgers owner Frank McCourt is furious with Manny Ramirez, who was suspended for 50 games for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing drugs. McCourt has demanded that Ramirez speak to the team.

Rick Morrissey of the Chicago Tribune asks whether Cubs first baseman Derrek Lee deserves to be booed in early May?

From now on, the Florida Marlins will play in Landshark Stadium - not Dolphins Stadium - due to its partnership with Jimmy Buffett, who owns Land Shark Lager.

Royals closer Joakim Soria has soreness in his right shoulder.

As Mark Feinsand of the Daily News points out, it's too bad Yankees starter Joba Chamberlain couldn't start every game in the second inning. Joba had another rough first inning, after which he settled down.

Astros pitcher Roy Oswalt got his first win of the season as the 'Stros swept their series with the San Diego Padres.

The New York Metropolitans have now won seven straight games with their 8-4 win over the Pirates.

The Houston Astros have re-signed second baseman Jason Smith after designating him for assignment on May 6th.

Detroit Tigers 20-year-old pitcher Rick Porcello had his second strong outing in a row by only allowing one run in five innings against the Indians.

Joe Saunders says A-Rod's All-Star days are "over"

Los Angeles Angels pitcher Joe Saunders is no fan of Alex Rodriguez (or Manny Ramirez).

Of A-Rod's future as an All-Star, "it's over for him," Saunders said.
"I think the fans do care," Saunders said. "Pretty much everybody wants a game without cheating."
Perhaps with Evan Longoria being as good as he is and many fans (and Saunders) hating A-Rod, the days of A-Rod being penciled in during spring training as the A.L. All-Star starting third baseman may be over.

But the number of players that have "cheated" the game is too large to single out specific players. A-Rod will be an All-Star in 2010.

Zimmerman hit streak at 27 games

Entering last night's game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Washington Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman had a 26-game hitting streak.

After getting no hits in his first three at bats, Zimmerman hit a solo home run for his fourth at bat (eighth inning).

The Nationals won 2-1 and have now won four of their last five games.

Zimmerman will look to extend his hitting streak to 28 games at 4:10 p.m. ET today.

Forty-two players have hit safely in 30+ consecutive games, fifteen players have hit safely in 35+ consecutive games and only six players have hit safely in 40+ consecutive games. Of course, the record was set by Joe DiMaggio (56) in 1941.

The Hot Corner, 5/10 (AM) edition

The Yankees have called up reliever Brett Tomko and manager Joe Girardi "would not be afraid to use him in the late innings," according to the New York Post.

Per Jon Paul Morosi of the Detroit Free Press, Miguel Cabrera is becoming more of a vocal leader this year than he was last year.

Phillies closer Brad Lidge hasn't had a save opportunity since April 25th. "Being two weeks since my last save opportunity, I've almost got to tell myself, 'It's a one-run lead. Pitch like it,' " Lidge said.

"He's one of those guys, when he comes in and says, 'I can't go,' you look for a bone sticking out," [Marlins manager Fredi] Gonzalez says of Jorge Cantu. "This guy likes to play the game. He's in there. On this team if you're thinking about not playing because you have a headache, you'd better check on Cantu."

Marlins pitcher Josh Johnson beat the Rockies 3-1 despite a being "terrible" in the bullpen before the game. "I probably threw 10 strikes out of 35 [pitches]. … My slider was OK. I went with my fastball and changeup. I just tried to throw fastballs down in the zone and get first-pitch strikes. I was 21 for 30 on first-pitch strikes. That's a big goal of mine, and no walks. It was a good day."

Astros pitcher Roy Oswalt hopes to avoid a career-worst eight-game streak without a win when he faces the San Diego Padres today.

White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen will decide pitcher Jose Contreras' fate after a bullpen session this morning. Guillen told Contreras: "'You're not supposed to be here right now. You were supposed to be here in July, August. Just take something positive out of the negative. You should still be in rehab.' Hopefully, his mind is clear. We'll see what happens."

Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston called the mechanics of Alex Rios "a mess."

Girardi blames Hughes' poor outing on mechanics

Yankees "can't-miss" pitching prospect Phil Hughes couldn't get anyone out last night. While that's an exaggeration (he got five hitters out), he allowed eight earned runs in the process.

Why did Hughes pitch so poorly?

Yankees manager Joe Girardi says it was due to poor mechanics (dropping his arm slot and pushing the ball).
"The talent is there," Girardi said. "We just have to make an adjustment."

"For some reason or another, it just popped up tonight," Hughes said. "You've gotta find a way to get through it," he said.

"You still have to figure he'll put it all together eventually," said one AL scout at Saturday night's game. "But he's had enough things happen that maybe you have to wonder if it's more than the normal bumps in the road."
In three starts since getting called back up, Hughes has pitched six innings, four innings and now 1 2/3 innings. After allowing no runs in his first outing, he has allowed 11 runs in his past two.

Joba's start in jeopardy due to thumb

New York Yankees pitcher Joba Chamberlain broke a blood vessel in his right thumb last night and his scheduled start against the Baltimore Orioles on Mother's Day is in jeopardy, according to the Daily News.

He hurt his thumb during batting practice yesterday while throwing a ball back underhanded towards the infield.

If Joba can't pitch, the Yankees will use Alfredo Aceves.
"We don't think it will be an issue (Sunday), but we had to protect ourselves," [manager Joe] Girardi said. "If he can't go, Ace would be the guy."
In five starts, Chamberlain is 1-1 with an ERA of 3.77.

Manny Ramirez, a role model?

Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote yesterday that all things related to suspended Dodger Manny Ramirez seemed to disappear at Dodger Stadium.

In today's column by Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, Ramirez is allowed to be around the team and that the Dodgers "hope" that Ramirez "sticks with the team, goes on road trips, and remains supportive."

They consider Ramirez a "role model" when it comes to work ethic for young hitters Matt Kemp and James Loney.

On the season, Kemp is batting .287 with four home runs, 23 runs batted in and eight stolen bases. Loney is hitting .278 and has yet to hit a home run, but he has 21 RBIs.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Philip Hughes rocked by Orioles

Last night, the New York Yankees got Alex Rodriguez back and a shutout from C.C. Sabathia to end their five-game losing streak.

Tonight, Phillip Hughes did his best to impersonate Chien-Ming Wang.

Hughes managed to only get five batters out while allowing eight runs on eight hits and two walks against the Orioles.

It will be up to Joba Chamberlain to nip the new losing streak in the bud tomorrow afternoon.

The Hot Corner, 5/9 edition

Astros pitcher Russ Ortiz is "not totally happy" about being sent to the bullpen according to manager Cecil Cooper. Felipe Paulino will take Ortiz's spot and start Tuesday against the Rockies.

Astros first baseman Lance Berkman, who sat out of today's game with a sore left wrist, says "I dont like to miss games, but it's one of those things where there's no point going in there and letting it linger."

Going into today's game with the Astros, the Padres have lost 14 of their past 18 games and haven't won consecutive games since April 16-18.

Dodgers pitcher Eric Stultz pitched a four-hit, complete-game shutout over the Giants today.

Mets catcher Ramon Castro left today's game with a tight right quadriceps.

The Mariners have activated Brandon Marrow from the disabled list and have placed Carlos Silva, who's struggling with an 8.48 ERA, on 15-day DL retroactive to Thursday.

Marlins starter Anibal Sanchez will miss two months due to a shoulder injury.

When the Cubs acquired Ryan Freel from the Orioles, he was expected to replace injured third baseman Aramis Ramirez in today's game. Instead, Freel was a scratch himself.

The Cubs placed Aramis Ramirez on the 15-day DL today.

White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen ended shortstop Alexei Ramirez's benching today against the Texas Rangers.

With Jerry Manuel serving his one-game suspension, the Mets had a season-high 17 hits and beat the Pirates 10-1.

Per the Daily News, Ian Kennedy will have surgery after doctors discovered an aneurysm in an artery near his right shoulder.

According to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle, the Dodgers have made all things Manny disappear including the "Mannywood" section, the posters, the dreadlock wigs in the gift shop, etc.

After the fifth straight game without Kevin Youkilis, will the Red Sox place him on the DL?

Rays third baseman Evan Longoria had five more RBIs in the Rays' victory over Boston today. He now has 26 RBIs in his past 13 games and a total of 44 RBIs on the season.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Aramis Ramirez has dislocated shoulder

If it weren't for bad luck lately, Chicago Cubs third baseman Aramis Ramirez wouldn't have any.

After making a nice catch on a Ryan Braun grounder, Ramirez dislocated his left shoulder.

A couple of weeks ago, he strained his calf and missed six games.

A-Rod homers on first pitch, Sabathia pitches shutout

Tonight the Yankees got just what they needed.

Third baseman Alex Rodriguez returned and played his first game of the year. On the first pitch he saw, he hit the 97-mph pitch for a three-run homerun, which was all the Yankees would need tonight.

According to ESPN, since A-Rod joined the Yankees in 2004, he has hit .435 with two home runs and nine RBIs in five games.

While the bullpen has struggled lately, the Yankees didn't have a need to go to the bullpen.

C.C. Sabathia pitched a complete-game shutout and allowing only four hits on 112 pitches.

Mariano Rivera gives up back-to-back homers

Yankees closer Mariano Rivera did something he has never done in his Major League career last night. And he surely hopes to never do it again.

Rivera gave up back-to-back homeruns to Tampa Bay Rays hitters Carl Crawford and Evan Longoria.

The Rays beat the Yankees 8-6 and the Yankees have their worst losing streak (five games) under manager Joe Girardi.

According to Girardi, Rivera, who had off-season shoulder surgery, has a "tired shoulder," which is affecting his velocity.
"I've been giving my best," Rivera said. "I haven't been 100% yet, but that's no excuse. I won't say that was the reason I lost the game. I felt great. The strength, it will be there. That's not my concern at all."

"No one's going to feel sorry for us," Girardi said. "It's our job to turn it around. ...Right now, we're in a little rut and we have to get out of it."
The Yankees are 13-15 and 5 1/2 games behind division-leading Toronto.

The Hot Corner, 5/8 edition

Michael O'Keefe of the New York Daily News points out that several Scott Boras clients have tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs, such as A-Rod, Manny, Bonds, Sheffield, etc.

Yankees reliever Brian Bruney has resumed throwing making 30 throws from 60 feet (flat ground) Thursday.

The Tigers will start pitcher Dontrelle Willis on Wednesday against the Twins.

The Red Sox activated outfielder Rocco Baldelli, who went 1-for-4 in last night's 13-3 win over the Indians. "He moved well defensively," [manager Terry] Francona said. "He had some real good at-bats."

The start of the Manny Ramirez 50-day suspension period ended the Dodgers' record-setting home winning streak by losing to the Nationals 11-9.

According to reliever Octavio Dotel, via the Chicago Sun-Times, use of a language barrior as an excuse is ''stupid, that's what I think,'' Dotel said. ''From a guy coming from my area, my country, you have to know what is going on in the major-league rules and how hard they are going with this. And they're still getting caught. So I think that's stupid by our [Latin American] players.''

Dom DiMaggio has passed away at the age of 92. His 34-game hitting streak is still a record for the Red Sox.

White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle gave up only one hit against the Detroit Tigers in a 6-0 win.

The Dodgers "Mannywood" package that included two tickets and two Manny t-shirts will allow fans to receive a Dodgers t-shirt instead of a Manny t-shirt. And the team will offer refunds to those who purchased their tickets in hopes of seeing Manny.

Mets 3B David Wright is finally in a groove and is hitting .450 (9-for-20) in his last six games with two homeruns and seven RBIs in that span.

Yankees catcher Jose Molina, who suffered a strained quad, is likely to join Yankees catcher Jorge Posada on the DL.

Bob Melvin out, A.J. Hinch in?

The what-have-you-done-for-me-lately attitude is no more prevalent than it is in professional sports.

Thursday night, the Arizona Diamondbacks fired manager Bob Melvin, who was named the N.L. Manager of the Year in 2007. In addition to Melvin, hitting coach Rick Schu was fired and pitching coach Bryan Price resigned.
"Bob has done great things for this organization," General Manager Josh Byrnes said in the statement. "Having worked with him for nearly four years, I have a great deal of respect for his character and skills."
Director of Player Development A.J. Hinch is expected to replace Melvin.

The Diamondbacks are currently 12-17 and 8 1/2 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers in the N.L. West.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Just Manny being ... Manuela

Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Manny Ramirez has been suspended by Major League Baseball for 50 games for violating its policy on performance-enhancing drugs.

His 50-game suspension will cost him $7.7 million in lost wages, which is 31 percent (50 of 162 games) of his salary ($25 million).
"Recently I saw a physician for a personal health issue," Ramirez said in a statement released by the MLB Players' Assn. "He gave me a medication, not a steroid, which he thought was okay to give me. Unfortunately, the medication was banned under our drug policy. Under the policy that mistake is now my responsibility. I have been advised not to say anything more for now. I do want to say one other thing; I've taken and passed about 15 drug tests over the past five seasons."
What was the "personal health issue" and the "medication"?

Well, if Manny's right and it wasn't intended to kick-start testosterone production after a steroids cycle, then Manny was looking to get pregnant.

ESPN is reporting the drug he used was hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin), which is a fertility drug.

From the Dodgers' perspective, Manny may cost the team some money in marketing deals and negative press and publicity. But they save $7.7 million in salary due to the suspension and are likely to still win the N.L. West without Manuela for 50 games.

Perhaps the Dodgers should give the "Mannywood" ticket-holders a 31-percent refund.

13 straight at home for Dodgers

The Los Angeles Dodgers had tied the record set by the 1911 Detroit Tigers with 12 consecutive home victories to start a season.

Now, they are in sole possession of the record for the best start at home in baseball history.
"I'm sure they're aware of it," Manager Joe Torre said. "I'm sure they'd like to be the team to own the streak by themselves, or, like the 1911 Tigers, not be around when it's broken."
The Dodgers beat the Washington Nationals 10-3 last night. Although the Nationals have the worst record in baseball (7-18), a win is a win.

(In L.A., the Lakers-Rockets game last night was physical. See details here.)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Scott Boras would "modernize" World Series

If Scott Boras had his way (and, let's face it, he gets his way all too often), he'd change the structure of the World Series.
"I'd modernize it, make it five out of nine games, with the first two in a neutral city. Announce the MVP and Cy Young awards at a gala held between the playoffs and a new World Series weekend. Move the home-run contest from the All-Star game to that week too.

"The gala and home-run derby would lead to Game 1 of the Series on Saturday, with Game 2 on Sunday. Then the Series would go on with the final seven games in the Series teams' cities. This way, different places get part of the Series. I want the World Series in Pittsburgh, Texas, Seattle. Teams in those markets would sell more season tickets. World Series weekend would be a major stage for corporate events; it could advance the game to the next level."
The economics of the game heavily favor the big spenders over the small-market teams despite the occasional exception to the rule like the Rays last year.

So, I love the idea. That being said, I still hate Boras.

The Hot Corner, 5/6 (PM) edition

Hey. Today is the 78th birthday of Willie "Say Hey" Mays.

White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen says: "No Pedro, not right now. That's Kenny's decision, but right now that's not on my mind.''

When asked about the possibility of replacing Jim Thome with Barry Bonds if Thome's heel injury was serious, White Sox GM Kenny Williams responded via e-mail: "No." As we've seen with Brett Favre, "no" doesn't always mean "no."

Diamondbacks ace Brandon Webb won't play catch for at least 10 days and his earliest return would be early June.

The Seattle Mariners have placed Shawn Kelley on the 15-day DL and recalled Garrett Olson.

Giants pitcher Randy Johnson, who is 19-7 all-time against Colorado, is seeking his 298th win tonight.

Marlins pitcher Andrew Miller feels good after first rehab start. “That’s what you want to get out of the first one, make sure you feel healthy,” Miller said. “I was able to accomplish that today. I was able to, once I got settled in, kind of pitch a little bit.”

Angels pitchers Ervin Santana and John Lackey had good back-to-back rehab starts: Santana in Class-A and Lackey in Triple-AAA. Both could be back next week.

The Twins have optioned Alexei Casilla and recalled Matt Tolbert.

Tom Ricketts' $900 million purchase of the Chicago Cubs, Wrigley Field and a 25-percent stake in Comcast SportsNet Chicago is "proceeding slowly, but proceeding."

A-Rod slides for first time

New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez will be back on Friday. Unless he won't.

Initially, it was expected that A-Rod would make a return this Friday at Baltimore. But it's not "100 percent" certain.

Manager Joe Girardi said: "I'm not going to say 100 percent he's not going to be here -- or he is going to be here."

For the first time, Rodriguez slid during an extended spring training game. And he says "the slide was good...I feel good."

Rodriguez is scheduled to play six innings tomorrow.

The Hot Corner, 5/6 (AM) edition

The Brewers own the Pirates. Not since the Orioles beat the Royals 23 straight games from 1969-1970 has a team dominated another like the Brewers have with their 17th consecutive win over the Pirates.

New York Yankees catcher Jorge Posada was placed on the 15-day disabled list. He'll be replaced by Francisco Cervelli on the active roster.

Boston Red Sox CF Jacoby Ellsbury left Tuesday's game in the fourth inning with tightness in his right hamstring.

Tigers Clete Thomas, in his first game this year, and Miguel Cabrera were each one hit shy of the cycle yesterday. Thomas needed a homer and Cabrera a triple.

The Dodgers tied the best home start ever with their 12th straight home win. The Tigers did it in 1911 as well.

Can Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay give the bullpen some rest tonight as they struggle a bit of late?

The Reds had five shutouts this season before last night's game. Now, they have six.

Phillies ace Cole Hamels, who says he's ready to pitch on Friday, puts his recent injuries in perspective. "I'd rather have these sort of injuries than, say, take one off the face, blowing your arm out, or blowing your knee out," he said. "I only missed one start, and I didn't have to go on the disabled list."

Giants reliever Merklin Valdez is now the primary set-up man (over Bobby Howry) per the San Francisco Chronicle.

Will Evan Longoria, last week's A.L. player of the week, struggle tonight against A.J. Burnett? As ESPN's Tristan H. Cockcroft points out, Longoria is 2-for-13 against Burnett with seven strikeouts.