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.