Thursday, April 30, 2009

White Sox To Call Up Podsednik

The White Sox will call up outfielder Scott Podsednik today, FOXSports.com is reporting. The Chicago Tribune reported Thursday night that outfielder Jerry Owens was seen shaking hands with teammates before leaving with his athletic bag. Owens is out of options, so he would have to go on waivers before being sent to the minors. Podsednik, 33, is hitting .262 with 0 HR and 1 SB in 10 games at Triple-A Charlotte.

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

A-Rod Took Steroids As Teen?

The Associated Press is reporting that Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez may have taken steroids in the high school. Sports Illustrated writer Selena Roberts is scheduled to have a book come up May 12th about Rodriguez and his alleged steroid use. A high school teammate reportedly told Roberts that Rodriguez was on steroids and the coach new about it.

The book also says that an unnamed major leaguer saw Rodriguez and Kevin Brown in 2004 with HGH. Rodriguez has adamately denied using steroids with the Yankees, saying he gave them up in 2003 with the Rangers. There are more allegations in the book and it will be interesting to see what happens to Rodriguez if it is, in fact, true. Major League Baseball may have something to say about this if Rodriguez did use steroids after 2004.

Between 2004-2005, Rodriguez hit .303 with 84 HR in 317 games. Rodriguez was the face of baseball in 2005, playing at the largest venue with success. Could baseball have looked the other way for financial reasons? I doubt they will open a Senate investigation into this now, they certainly have a lot on their plate right now.

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Cubs Ramirez To DL?

Aramis Ramirez took batting practice today, but was unable to accelerate and is likely heading to the disabled list. "He couldn't accelerate at all," Piniella said. "I think the plan is we're going to wait until Thursday and have him run again in Chicago. If it's not any better by then, we're going to have to weigh all our options. We don't have any infielders." Ramirez, who is hitting .358 with 3 HR in 53 at-bats this season, will likely be replaced by Bobby Scales from Triple-A.

The Cubs would be smart to call up Jake Fox instead. Nothing against Scales, but Fox offers the Cubs a power bat that they are missing. While he doesn't play third base, he can play left, right, and first base. He can also serve as an emergency catcher if needed. He is hitting .446 with 12 HR in 74 at-bats, with 31 RBI and 9 extra-base hits.

Another option would be to call up a pitcher, because the Cubs bullpen has been struggling lately. Both Carlos Marmol and Kevin Gregg had no command of their pitches in today's game against the Diamondbacks, and they might want to call up a fresh arm for the weekend series versus Florida. A couple options for them include Jose Ascanio (0.54 ERA, 14 K), Greg Reinhard (1-0, 0.00 ERA, 6 games), or Jeff Stevens (0.00 ERA, 8 K, 7 games). Expect a roster move to be made Thursday afternoon or Friday morning.

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Brewers Prospect Out 6-8 Weeks

Keith Law of ESPN.com is reporting that Brewers prospect Lorenzo Cain will be out for 4-6 weeks with a torn posterior cruciate ligament. The injury happened when Cain made a diving play for a ball last Thursday, but the injury won't require surgery.

Cain was 0-14 prior to going down for the Double-A Huntsville Stars.

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Quick Hits: McClain, Williamson, Takahashi, Gaudin

Quick Hits:

  • Minor league veteran Scott McClain agreed to a one year deal with the Hiroshima Carp. McClain, 37, is a career .262 hitter with 404 career minor league homeruns in over 2200 games. He never could figure it out in the major leagues, but has appeared in the major leagues three times with three different teams (Devil Rays, Cubs, and Giants).
  • The Tigers have released pitcher Scott Williamson to make room for Eddie Bonine on the Triple-A Toledo Mud Hens roster. Williamson hasn't appeared in the majors since 2007, and has attempted a comeback with the Braves, Mariners, and Tigers.
  • By designating Casey Fossum for assignment, the Mets made room for Ken Takahashi in their bullpen. The Mets are scrambling for pitching, and if the 40-year old can't contribute, the Mets may be forced to look elsewhere.
  • The Padres jumped at the opportunity to sign a veteran right hander with starting pitching experience. Chad Gaudin is taking the mound tonight for the Padres and they are all hoping that he can come in and give them six strong innings of baseball. The Padres are 10-9 this season, 2.5 games behind the first place Dodgers.
This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Mets Release Freddy Garcia

The Mets have cut ties with pitcher Freddy Garcia, who had a 8.18 ERA in two starts for the Mets Triple-A affiliate. Garcia, 33, had poor command of his pitches and was barely topping 85 mph. I don't see teams calling to give Garcia another shot. He is a solid pitcher, who is 118-77 with a 4.07 career ERA. His best year came in 2001 when he went 18-5 with a 3.05 ERA with the Seattle Mariners.

Garcia is going to continue pitching, but did hint to retirement being an option: I'm working really hard to try to get right but my shoulder doesn't respond.  I'm going to try my best. If not, I guess I'll go home. I don't know. That's it, man."

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Holliday Has Yankees On Mind

Athletics outfielder Matt Holliday is not even through his first month with the Athletics and reporters are already asking him questions about his interest in playing in New York. "I think a little bit, as a human being, you can't help but to think that if the Yankees are interested I would definitely consider it," Holliday said, as reported on an NYPost.com blog. "I wouldn't be looking around if I were under contract for four years, but I think I'd be lying if I said I wouldn't be interested, especially with the Yankees being such a storied franchise." Hideki Matsui and Johnny Damon are both free agents following this season, along with Andy Pettitte and Xavier Nady, among others. 


Holliday turned down a five year deal worth 85 million dollars from the Rockies last season, and his price has definitely fallen as the economic problems are still up in the air. Holliday is 29, and could probably sign a 5-6 year deal if he puts up another good season. So far in Oakland, he is hitting just .242 with 0 HR in 66 at-bats. 


It is possible the Athletics will trade Holliday if they fall out of contention early. A small market team in need of an impact player could pursue Holliday. He would bring a powerful bat to the lineup, not to mention two drafts picks if he is Type-A free agent in 2010 MLB Draft. The Marlins could be that team. They nearly acquired Manny Ramirez last season at the trade deadline, and still have the pieces to pull of a blockbuster without significantly impacting them long term. 

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Mets, Others Consider Martinez

With teams pitching rotations starting to take hits, the Pedro Martinez race is slowly heating up. At this point, teams are not going to pay Martinez 5 million dollars to pitch. Martinez was 5-6 with a 5.61 ERA in 20 games last season for the Mets, but averaged a little over five innings per start. The Rangers and Nationals are both in desperate need of a starting pitching, but are in no position to add that kind of money. One agent, who asked for anonymity on the matter, thinks the Nationals could target Paul Byrd for the time being and hope they can sign Stephen Strasburg soon after the draft. 

Martinez does not have the stamina and not the same zip on his fastball that he once had, not to mention he hasn't made 30 starts in three seasons. He will probably have to settle for a one year deal worth 2-3 million dollars, plus incentives that could bring it to five million dollars. The Angels and Dodgers are out of the mix, and small market teams are not looking to add payroll right now, so he might be out of luck.

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Bullpen is Hurting Marlins

The Marlins are off to a great start with an 11-7 record, and some are starting to think that the Marlins have what it takes to win that division. Not so fast.

The Marlins bullpen has already blown three saves, and have an ERA of 5.19 (second worst in NL) in 17 games. Matt Lindstrom has a 1o.80 ERA in seven games, with just three saves in five attempts. Leo Nunez, who was acquired from the Royals in the Mike Jacobs trade, has a blown save but has a 4.32 ERA in eight games. Lindstrom has an explosive fastball, but he is not mixing it well with his other pitches. He has left his fastball over the plate too much, and it is starting to get hit. Marlins fans can't complain about trading Kevin Gregg either, the prospect they got for him, Jose Ceda, is a big powerful right handed reliever who could be join the Marlins this season if necessary. It is still early, and the Marlins expect Lindstrom to heat up. He had a 3.14 ERA last season, but had a WHIP of 1.45.

The Marlins have four quality starters who have combined to go 6-3 so far this season. The Marlins are on a six game losing streak, but beat the Mets, Braves, and Nationals in series play. It is way too early to say the Marlins should go out and get a closer, but Lindstrom has been a set up man the past two seasons and may not be suited in the closer role. "Stuff-wise, he's got it. The big arm, 96 miles per hour. His breaking pitch is being developed to be an above-average pitch. His two-seamer is working. Now he needs to develop the other stuff that comes with winning games.''

One possible option could be Red Sox prospect Daniel Bard. He is closing in Triple-A and has really impressed the Red Sox, going 1-0 with a 1.69 ERA and K-BB ratio of 18-3. The Red Sox could look to acquire Mike Stanton, Gaby Sanchez, or Sean West if they were to make Bard available.

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Hurdle On The Hot Seat?

In Ken Rosenthal's latest installment of the Full Count, he mentions the struggling Rockies manager Clint Hurdle's likeliness of being fired. The Rockies are 6-11 this season - second worst in the National League - and could fire Hurdle, who is in the last year of his contract.

It is still early, so I doubt anything happens just yet. Not only that, but Hurdle is thought of well among the players, and he has a good relationship with GM Dan O'Dowd.  But if the Rockies don't start hitting by the end of next month, Hurdle's job could be up in the air.

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Twins' Sanchez Suspended

Twins first baseman Henry Sanchez, the 39th overall pick in the 2005 draft, has been suspended for 50 games for violating the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. Since 2005, Sanchez has not shown the Twins much of anything. He has hit just .210 with 8 HR in 343 career at-bats. 

When he was drafted, scouts had mixed reviews of Sanchez. Some thought he had the best power in the draft and could hit 30-40 homeruns in the big leagues. However, some thought he could be quality major league just as easily as a bust in Single-A. Sanchez hasn't taken the best care of himself, reaching 300 pounds in recent years, but he has decent range. I wouldn't be surprised to see the Twins release him at the end of the season, if not sooner.

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Byrd Interested In Angels?

Free agent pitcher Paul Byrd is reportedly interested in joining the Angels, the LA Times is reporting. The report goes on to say that the Angels do not have much interest in signing Byrd, mostly because they are not looking to add money to their payroll. "My agent talked to them pretty recently . . . but they're not spending money, and they say they're going to stay in-house," Byrd said by phone. "They have [John] Lackey and [Ervin]Santana coming back, [Kelvim]  Escobar. They want to see what their young guys can do. I take no offense."

The Angels opted to go with Anthony Ortega for the time being, and may look to trade for a pitcher before going out to the market. You can probably rule out the Angels for Pedro Martinez, who sources say, is expected to sign within the next two weeks.

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Strasburg Update

San Diego State's pitcher Stephen Strasburg was nearly spectacular last night against Texas Christian University, improving his record to 9-0 in 10 starts, and has allowed 13 walks while striking out 135 in 70.1 innings. 

I wonder if the Nationals could follow in the Detroit Lions footsteps and lock up Starsburg before the draft, like the Lions did with Matthew Strafford. That way he could be in the minor leagues in early June and assuming all goes well, join the Nationals before the All-Star Break. 

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Webb Has Shoulder Setback

Diamondbacks ace Brandon Webb faced another setback in his attempts to return from the disabled list with shoulder problems. Webb was playing catch when he felt the discomfort, and the Diamondbacks were forced to cancel his bullpen session and shut him down indefinitely. The Diamondbacks were hoping Webb would be ready to go on a rehab assignment sometime next week, but are now forced to wait until the pain subsides. 

The Diamondbacks do not have much in their minor league system, and do not have much money to spend, so they could fall out of contention if Webb is out for an extended amount of time. Pedro Martinez is available. Mark Mulder is available. Paul Byrd, Shawn Chacon, and Tony Armas Jr. are available. The Diamondbacks need to decided if one of those pitchers is worth the investment during these unstable times financially. 

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Cubs' Ramirez DL Bound?

Cubs third baseman Aramis Ramirez could be headed to the disabled list after leaving yesterday's game with a strained calf muscle. Ramirez has always been a pretty fragile player, leaving games early or taking a day off. It wasn't really a problem in the eyes of Cubs fans last year, mostly because Mark DeRosa was there to fill in. However, the Cubs traded DeRosa and now have Aaron Miles ready to take over. 

If Ramirez goes on the DL, the Cubs could turn to Jake Fox or Bobby Scales in Triple-A Iowa, or they could stick with Miles and instead call up a pitcher to help the struggling bullpen. Guys like Jose Ascanio, Randy Wells or Greg Reinhard, all of whom are off to good starts at Triple-A, could be options.

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Mets Sign Lamb

The Mets and Mike Lamb have agreed to a minor league deal. Lamb gives the Mets depth in their minor league system, and could be called up if someone goes down. He is a career .277 hitter in 936 career games. 

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Interview with Tyler Colvin

Today I had the privilege to interview Cubs prospect Tyler Colvin, who is currently playing for the Single-A Daytona Cubs. Colvin was taken by the Cubs in the first round of the 2006 MLB draft, played for Team USA, and is now on the comeback from Tommy John Surgery. The Cubs still have high hopes for the left handed outfielder, who is currently hitting .311 with 1 HR in 45 at-bats.

ELI: You had Tommy John surgery last year. What types of rehab have you been doing to get back into playing shape?


TYLER: I've had to do a lot of forearm exercises, throwing programs, basically just trying to get my arm strength back.

ELI: What was it like throwing for the first time after surgery? Were you nervous?

TYLER: No, I was more excited. My first throw went into the ground, but we sort of expected that. Some pitchers come back and are afraid to throw the ball. You just can't be afraid.

ELI: You are off to a good start this season, what did you work on over the offseason that you attribute to your strong start.

TYLER: My approach at the plate. I never had much of an approach, but I worked at it over the offseason. Now I go to the plate waiting for my pitch usually with a goal in mind.

ELI: What was it like playing for Team USA?


TYLER: It was an awesome experience. I got to go to Taiwan and play with guys, most of whom are in the big leagues. We played great baseball, good offense and defense, and we won a gold medal.

ELI: You were drafted in 2006, what was going through your mind as the draft neared?


TYLER: I actually wasn't thinking about it that much. I was more focused on getting to the College World Series with Clemson.

ELI: Players drafted out of high school often sign with a club rather than go to college. What about your time in Clemson made you a better player?

TYLER: Yeah, it taught me not to be selfish. We win as a team and we lose as team.

ELI: You jumped from college to Low-A Boise. What was the biggest change you noticed?


TYLER: Probably the wooden bats. I had one summer of wooden bats my freshman year, but it wasn't too bad of an adjustment.

ELI: Do you have any goals that you have set for yourself this season?


TYLER: Hopefully I can have consistent at-bats. I play hard, I like to think I can hit for power, track down a ball in the outfield. I just want to put together a strong season and go from there.

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Indians Shopping Lee?

The Indians may look to shop struggling starter Cliff Lee if he cannot return to 2008 form. Lee, who went 22-3 with a 2.54 ERA last season, is 1-3 with a 5.25 ERA in three games. The Indians have an eight million dollar club option for next season, and may look to trade him to spend that money elsewhere. I think an eight million dollar option on a former Cy Young winner is the type of player you hold on to, especially because their starting rotation is not very strong.

However, if a team comes in and can offer a solid prospect or two and is willing to take on some of the money, it might be hard to pass up. The Diamondbacks, Phillies, and Dodgers could all pursue Lee if he were to become available.

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Marcus Thames Out With Major Injury

Steve Kornacki of mlive.com is reporting that Tigers outfielder Marcus Thames is going to be out with a major injury for possibly two months. "It's a grade three, the worst, with bleeding involved. The intercostal, bone and cartilage were all tugged on. That's tough when all that happens." Thames strained his intercostal muscle and the cartilage between his rib bones. Thames is allowed no activity until the injury starts to improve. Thames was expected to be the full time DH with Gary Sheffield gone, and now they are forced to look elsewhere.

Maybe we'll see the Tigers take a chance on a free agent veteran like Jim Edmonds.

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Quick Hits: Angels, Roberts, Free Agents, O'Day

Quick Hits:
  • Contrary to reports, the Angels have not made offers to free agents Paul Byrd or Pedro Martinez. The Angels are interested however, and will continue to discuss their possibilities internally.
  • Free agent Dave Roberts is set to interview for a job at the MLB Network. A veteran player with playoff and World Series experience - should be a solid pick up for them. 
  • ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick has a free agent update out on his blog.
  • The Rangers have claimed Darren O'Day off waivers from the Mets. He was their Rule 5 pick from the Angels, so he must be kept on the 25-man roster or he will be offered back to the Angels.
This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Doumit To Have Surgery, Out 8-10 Weeks

Pirates catcher Ryan Doumit will have right wrist surgery and will be out for 8-10 weeks. The injury came while batting Sunday versus the Braves. He stayed in the game, but felt some discomfort after the game and had an MRI and CT scan the next day. The results revealed a fracture and the surgery is set for Thursday. Doumit, who is hitting .244 with 2 HR in 12 games this season, signed a three year deal worth 11.5 million dollars this offseason.

The Pirates have two in-house options to replace him, but they combine for 14-major league at-bats. Jason Jaramillo and Robinson Diaz are expected to man the position for now, but the Pirates could go out and find a replacement. They could approach Paul Lo Duca about the position for the time being.

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Nationals Lose Beimel, Promote Rivera

Foxsports.com is reporting that the Nationals have place reliever Joe Beimel on the disabled list with a hip injury. Beimel injured his hip after making a defensive play against Atlanta yesterday. He has a 1.23 ERA in eight appearances so far this season and the Nationals hope he will spend the minimum fifteen days on the DL before rejoining the Nationals.

Rivera is 0-3 in six outings this season with the Nationals, including a blown save. Rivera has a sub-4.00 ERA in 221 career games. 

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Verducci's Latest

Tom Verducci of SI.com has a good piece out that touches on topics of interest early on this season:
  • Verducci did some digging and found that both the Red Sox and Scott Boras were concerned with Matsuzaka's track record prior to joining the Red Sox. He did some nice analysis on four other Japanese pitchers who came over and were at first successful, but then fell of the map in their third or fourth year in the majors. Matsuzaka is currently on the DL with mild right shoulder strain.
  • Verducci wonders if the Nationals jumped at the wrong player to make their franchise player. Ryan Zimmerman just received a five year deal worth 45 million dollars, but his numbers lineup with a guy making under 10 million dollars. Click here to see who that player is!

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Yankees To Conduct Wind Study

After seeing twenty homeruns fly out of the ballpark in the first four games at the new Yankee Stadium, the team will conduct another wind study to see if there is in fact a wind difference between the fields. Mark Fiensand of the New York Daily News spoke with a meteorologist  at accuweather.com, who believes the stadiums shell, which is wider than the previous stadium, allows wind to blow across the field with less restriction. "As the air comes into the stadium with a westerly wind, it would sink and then rise up again as it goes out," said John Feerick of Accuweather.com. "A fly ball to right field would definitely be helped by that."

There really isn't much for the Yankees to do except sit and wait to see how it plays out. The good thing is A.J. Burnett and C.C. Sabathia can keep the ball down, and Teixiera, Posada, Jeter, and Cano all can drive the ball to right field with regularity. We could see career highs from Robinson Cano and Mark Teixeira, and maybe even Derek Jeter.

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Padres Acquire Chris Burke

After learning that shortstop Everth Cabrera has a broken hand, the Padres reacquired Chris Burke from the Seattle Mariners for a player to be named later. The Padres traded Chris Burke to the Mariners just three weeks ago, and is hitting just .237 in 38 at-bats with the Mariners Triple-A team. The Padres acquired Cabrera through the Rule 5 draft from the Rockies, and traded Burke after deciding that Cabrera had earned a spot on the 25-man roster.

Burke probably won't have much impact on the Padres.

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Cardinals Acquire Boyer

Two days after being designated for assignment, Braves pitcher Blaine Boyer was traded to the Cardinals for minor league outfielder Brian Barton. In 82 games last season, Barton hit .268 with 2 HR and a .354 OBP. Barton has a .309 career minor league average, but never hit for much power. He stole around 20 bases in the minor leagues, but hasn't been given the at-bats to get on base and run.

Boyer has given up six earned runs in 1.1 innings, and has a 5.46 ERA in 129 major league games. Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan has a history of turning around struggling pitchers. If he and Boyer can connect, Boyer could put up a decent year in middle relief.

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Nationals After Mulder?

The Nationals are among a couple teams eying lefty free agent Mark Mulder. Mulder, who is two or three weeks away from pitching, is also being courted by the Dodgers and Athletics. Mulder told reporters that he had a breakthrough during his last rehab stint and believes he is in the best shape ever. The Nationals are 1-10 and are giving the ball to rookie Jordan Zimmerman tonight against Derek Lowe and the Braves. While Zimmerman may have what it takes to pitch in the big leagues, he has had only 35 starts in the minor leagues, pitching just once in Triple-A.

Adding a veteran like Mulder to anchor that rotation would not only take pressure off of guys like John Lannan, but also Scott Olsen, who is off to an 0-2 start after being acquired from the Marlins this past offseason. 

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Brad Wilkerson Retires

Red Sox outfielder Brad Wilkerson has retired. Wilkerson, currently with the Triple-A Red Sox, told his manager after the second game of the season. He was a .247 career hitter with 122 homeruns. He played for the Expos, Nationals, Rangers, Mariners, and Blue Jays in eight major league seasons. 

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Thoughts On The New Yankee Stadium


FANTASY: Buster Olney suggests that Mark Teixeira could hit 50 HR in this park. Look to guys like Nick Swisher or Robinson Cano, who could both hit 30 HR this season.

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Astros Extend Cooper

The Astros have exercised manager Cecil Cooper's option for the 2010 season, Ken Rosenthal is reporting. Despite a 3-7 start, the Astros feel that Cooper has turned this team around after posting one of the best records in the second half last season. Cooper has a 104-98 record since taking over as the Astros manager, and put up 86 wins last season.

"I appreciate their confidence in me," Cooper said "I do believe we are better and we will continue to get better. We've got some terrific young players coming up and I'm excited to be a part of that next year."

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

White Sox Interested In Rowand?

The White Sox reportedly have some interest in Giants outfielder Aaron Rowand. Rowand, who his hitting .290 with 2 HR in 31 at-bats this season, is a career .283 hitter. The White Sox are looking to add a center fielder after learning that DeWayne Wise separated his shoulder in the outfield. The Giants would have to take on a serious portion of his 44 million dollar contract to make this trade happen, and at this point the Giants may not be looking to trade their vetera outfielder.

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Gordon Out 10-12 Weeks

Royals third baseman Alex Gordon underwent a successful surgery on a torn right labrum. "We want him to be safe, something we can take care of at the young age of 25," Hillman said. "Hopefully, he'll never have this recur again." Gordon is entering his third major league season with a .250 average and 32 homeruns in 292 career games. The Royals have a huge hole in their lineup without Alex Gordon, and it will be interesting to see if they make an addition to keep their playoff hopes alive. 

There are several veterans available that they could make a move on to help jump start their offense. Barry Bonds is one highly unlikely possibility, but guys like David Ortiz or Adrian Beltre could be available.

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Nats, Zimmerman Close To Extension?

The Nationals are reportedly closing in on a big extension with third baseman Ryan Zimmerman. Talks are progressing, and the sides are confident that they will hammer out the remaining issues in short time. Zimmerman, who averaged 22 HR in his first two seasons, is believed to be asking for a six year deal worth 66 million dollars, similar to the one Nick Markakis received from the Orioles.

In 8 games this season, Zimmerman is hittin .243 with 2 HR in 37 at-bats.

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Carpenter Out Till July?

Cardinals ace Chris Carpenter could be out at least two months with strain on the left side of his torso. Carpenter felt the discomfort in the fourth inning of his second start of the season, and Tony La Russa says that his time on the disabled list hinges on the severity of the muscle strain.

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Source: Yankees Won't Trade For Replacement

The Yankees do not intend on trading for a corner outfielder to replace the injured Xavier Nady, sources with knowledge of the situation have said. Nady injured his elbow on throw during the seventh inning against the Rays, and may require Tommy John surgery to repair it. The NY Post suggests that the Yankees could go after Austin Kearns or Jason Repko, but they already have Melky Cabrera and Nick Swisher to fill in for the time being. 

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Braves' Glavine May Retire

Braves pitcher Tom Glavine told reporters that he may retire if his left shoulder doesn't improve in the next two weeks. "I'm willing to put in a little more time but I'm not willing to put in another six weeks or eight weeks because by then, you know what, I'm going to have to start all over again and I'm not interested in doing that," he said. Glavine went 2-4 with a 5.54 ERA last season, but 13 games the year before and has 305 career wins. 

I do not think losing Glavine will have a major impact on the Braves in 2009, but it will be sad to see him go. If the inflammation doesn't get better in two weeks, the Braves might be forced to consider calling up Tommy Hanson.

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Red Sox Place Matsuzaka On DL

The Red Sox have placed starting pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka on the disabled list, Foxsports.com is reporting. Matsuzaka didn't make it past the second inning, throwing 43 pitches and giving up five earned runs. "Our biggest concern is to keep him healthy and productive," Francona said. "At the moment, it doesn't seem like we're there with him. It wasn't coming out very crisp. It looks like he needs to be built back up. We want him to be able to be Dice-K." This certainly hurts the Red Sox early on, but they do have a lot of options in their minor league system. Clay Buchholz and Michael Bowden are two promising young pitchers with limited major league experience.

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

White Sox Sign Podsednik

The White Sox have agreed to terms with free agent outfielder Scott Podsednik, FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal is reporting. The spot opened up when DeWayne Wise separated his shoulder in Monday's game. The Sox called up Jerry Owens for the time being but plan to give Podsednik a shot. Podsednik has 236 career stolen bases, and played a key role in the White Sox 2005 World Series run. He'll bring a solid glove to the White Sox, but probably won't hit for much of an average. 

He'll report to Triple-A Charlotte. 

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Milledge Sent To Minors

The Washington Nationals have sent OF Lastings Milledge down to the minors. The Nationals are off to an 0-7 start and think that sending Milledge down will give him more time to develop in the lead off role, not to mention clear up the clog in the Nationals outfield. "He is still a work-in-progress as a leadoff man," assistant general manager Mike Rizzo said during a conference call. Milledge was expected to play a big role in the Nationals chances this year, but a slow start has cost him his job. The Nationals believe that this is a smart move for the long term, and Rizzo said that Milledge took the demotion like a professional. 

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Rangers May Trade Millwood

If Rangers pitcher Kevin Millwood continues to pitch like he has in his first two games, the Rangers might be able to unload him for a pair of decent prospects. Clearing payroll would also be a reason to make the trade considering Millwood has 2 years and 23 million dollars left on his contract. Millwood has been the veteran the Rangers hoped he'd be when they signed him, working with their young pitchers and taking pressure off Vicente Padilla and Brandon McCarthy. 

A team like the Brewers, who are already considering adding another pitcher, could look to Millwood as a potential fallback to someone like Jake Peavy.

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Manny Wants to Play In Cleveland Again

Manny Ramirez told USA Today that he would like to play for the Indians before his career is over."I would like to play for Cleveland one more time, to go back where I started," said Ramirez. While this is sort of bad timing on Ramirez's part, you have to understand where he is coming from. Ken Griffey Jr. and Jason Giambi received very nice receptions at their respective homes openers, both saying they made the right decision. "I think to go back where you started is everyone's dream," Ramirez said.

Ramirez's words are often misconstrued because of the circus that follows him, but these are obviously genuine feelings. A friend of mine sent me a link to another website with this headline-"Manny Ramirez to Cleveland?"-which was linked to the USA Today article.

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Phillies Broadcaster Kalas Dies

Phillies broadcaster Harry Kalas has died today, he was 73. Kalas was found passed out in the broadcast booth around 12:30 p.m.today. We lost our voice today," team president David Montgomery said, his voice cracking. "He has loved our game and made just a tremendous contribution to our sport and certainly to our organization." He trademarked the "Outta Here" homerun call, and has been the voice of the Phillies for over 35 years.

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Weekly Roundup

What started as a nice start to another baseball season, we were blindsided with the news that Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart was killed in an automobile accident. Off to a promising start with a six inning shutout performance, the top pitching prospect looked to be blossoming into a true major leaguer. The news of his death was a tragedy, not to mention the three other lives that were taken as well. The Angels, already with their three top pitchers on the DL, are now forced to find a replacement. The Angels held a very nice ceremony for the victims before Saturday's game, and were able to beat the Red Sox in his honor. On a lighter note, there were several young players who had nice weeks, and teams are looking to these guys to build off their strong starts.

Jordan Schafer, Braves: .348 AVG, 2 HR, .423 OBP.
- Schafer has put up great numbers at the plate and has shown off his speed in the outfield. 

Emilio Bonifacio, Marlins: .500 AVG, 1 HR, .517 OBP, 4 SB.
- Bonifacio is off to a great start at third for the Marlins. The talent has always been there, it's poor consistency that has been the problem.

Adam Lind, Blue Jays: .400 AVG, 3 HR, 12 RBI, .419 OBP.
- Entering his third major league season, Lind has taken big strides at the plate. He could play a big role in the Blue Jays playoff hopes this season.

Jeremy Guthrie, Orioles: 2-0 W-L, 2.25 ERA, 5 K, 12 H.
- Guthrie has been an Orioles project for the past three seasons, and he might be putting his stuff together. He did put up 10 wins last season, and is off to a good start this year.

Josh Johnson, Marlins: 2-0 W-L, 0.57 ERA, 1 ER, 15 SO.
- Johnson is a big, hard throwing right hander who combines his fastball with a hard slider. He was able to beat Johan Santana today, and is hoping to lead that young rotation.

Here are some other young players whose first week is something they would like to forget:

John Lannan, Nationals: 0-2 W-L, 10.00 ERA, 10 ER, 3 BB, 9 IP. 
- The Nationals hope Lannan can breakout for the Nationals after putting up 10 wins last season, but he hasn't been able to command his fastball early on.

Scott Olsen, Nationals: 0-2 W-L, 14.63 ERA, 8 IP, 13 ER, 2 HR, 6 BB.
- The Nationals hoped that when they traded for Olsen, he would emerge into a solid top of the rotation starter to lead the Nationals. So far, that hasn't been the case.

Chris Davis, Rangers: .045 AVG, 1 H (22 AB), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 10 SO.
- There is a lot of pressure on Davis to put up big numbers after having a breakout 2008 campaign. So far he has struggled mightily and the Rangers could be scrambling if Davis doesn't pick it up.

Injuries

Brandon Webb, Diamondbacks: 15-day DL, shoulder tightness.

Doug Brocail, Astros: 15-day DL, strained rotator cuff.

Rumors

After Cole Hamels struggled through his first outing, several believe that he is showing the effects of an overworked pitching from last season. Hamels told the Philadelphia Inquirer that he is "fine now."

The Angels may be forced to add another pitcher with Escobar, Lackey, and Santana on the DL. Pedro Martinez is available. The LA Times mentions Anthony Ortega and Darren Oliver asi in-house possibilities.

Dodgers outfielder Delwyn Young is out of options, and several scouts have been watching him during his rehab assignment. The Indians, Pirates, and Phillies are interested.

Minor League Update

Juan Miranda, Yankees (AAA): .474 AVG, 2 HR, 11 RBI.
- The Yankees won't hesitate to recall Miranda if Teixeira goes down for an extended amount of time.

Matt LaPorta, Indians (AAA): .625 AVG, 1 HR, 1 SO, .667 OBP.
- LaPorta could be playing for the Indians very soon if he continue to swing a big bat.

Tyler Flowers, White Sox (AA): .417 AVG, 1 HR,  2 RBI, .500 OBP
- Flowers is the young power hitter the White Sox hope can fill the shoes of Jim Thome or Jermaine Dye when there time with the team runs out. So far he is looking really good.

David Price, Rays (AAA): 0-0 W-L, 4.91 ERA, 4 SO, 3.2 IP.
- Price will be pitching for the Rays at the major league level really soon. Once he gets comfortable and into more of a routine will the Rays give him the opportunity. 

What to look for next week...

Interviews will start to be scheduled next week.

Rich Harden, who is coming off a solid 10 strikeout performance, will be making his second start of the season. Some think that Harden is already DL bound, so it will be interesting to see if he can string together back to back strong outings.

The Pirates, Cubs, Nationals, Rays, Dodgers, and Mets all have their home openers. 

Tigers pitcher Rick Porcello will make his second start of the season.
 
This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Webb Hits DL

Diamondbacks pitcher Brandon Webb has been placed on the 15-day DL with a tight shoulder, Foxsports.com is reporting. "There's no concern," he said. "The MRIs are all good. I mean, if there's no structural damage, there's nothing to worry about." Webb felt the tightness at the end of spring training, and missed his scheduled start Saturday. Webb has pitched in 200+ innings in the past five seasons, so the Diamondbacks really want to be careful with him.

Hopefully Haren, Davis, and Garland can pitch well over the next two weeks to prevent the Diamondbacks from falling too far behind.

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

2009 National League Predictions

National League East

1. New York Mets: 86-76  

2. Florida Marlins: 84-78

3. Atlanta Braves: 84-78

4. Philadelphia Phillies: 83-79

5. Washington Nationals: 64-98

The Mets finally have a strong bullpen that will keep them in games late like it has failed to do the past two seasons. 

National League Central

1. Chicago Cubs: 90-72

2. St. Louis Cardinals: 89-73

3. Milwaukee Brewers: 85-77

4. Cincinnati Reds: 80-82

5. Houston Astros: 76-86

6. Pittsburgh Pirates: 69-93

The Cubs will have a tough season, and could fall apart in September facing the Cardinals, Brewers, Giants, and Diamondbacks in the final two weeks. 

National League West

1. Los Angeles Dodgers: 86-76

2. Arizona Diamondbacks: 82-80

3. San Francisco Giants: 76-86

4. Colorado Rockies: 74-88

5. San Diego Padres: 65-97

The Dodgers are the top team in the division and should be able to hold out, especially if they make another run at Jake Peavy.

National League MVP: Albert Pujols, Cardinals

National League Cy Young: Johan Santana, Mets

National League Rookie of the Year: Jordan Schafer, Braves

National League Manager of the Year: Tony La Russa, Cardinals

NLDS: Cubs defeat Dodgers; Mets defeat Cardinals

NLCS: Mets defeat Cubs

National League Champion: Mets

------------------------------

World Series: Red Sox vs. Mets

Red Sox defeat Mets

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Kovacevic: Wieters Should Be A Pirate

Pirates beat writer Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has a nice piece out on what the Pirates would look like right now if they had drafted Matt Wieters in June 2007 instead of Daniel Moskos. Moskos struggled last season in 29 games, posting a 5.95 ERA. Moskos still has the makings of a very good pitcher, but Matt Wieters and Pedro Alvarez, along with Andrew McCutchen and Jose Tabata would look a lot more promising considering Wieters is expected to join the Orioles next month while Moskos is still in Single-A.

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Angels To Pursue Martinez?

The Angels could be in serious trouble if they do not add a pitcher. The sudden death of Nick Adenhart on Thursday shocked the Angels, not to mention putting a hole at the bottom of their rotation. With Lackey, Escobar, and Santana on the DL, the Angels have Jered Weaver and Joe Saunders leading their rotation. Dustin Mosely and Shane Loux follow, making for a pretty mediocre rotation. 

The Angels expect Lackey, Escobar, and Santana to be out till late May, so adding a veteran like Pedro Martinez to come in and loosen up the clubhouse could help the team morale. Martinez refuses to back off his contract demands, so the Angels may look elsewhere. But, Martinez has a 5-1 record with a 2.83 ERA in 9 career games at Angels Stadium.

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Brewers Targeting Peavy?

The Chicago Tribune is reporting that the Brewers could target Jake Peavy to make a serious run at the division. It seems far-fetched considering the Brewers traded four prospects, including top prospect Matt LaPorta. However, the Brewers have a young core of talent and could make a trade without hurting themselves too much. 

If the Brewers were to trade J.J. Hardy (opening up a spot for Alcides Escobar), along with someone like Cole Gillespie and two pitching prospects, they could probably land Peavy. If they let Mike Cameron walk, they will probably receive a compensation pick in the 2010 draft. Not only that, but Prince Fielder and Corey Hart could both be traded for prospects if needed. Mat Gamel has great potential and could take over at first while Lorenzo Cain could take over in right at some point in the near future.

More importantly, this move would give the Brewers a push that would put them in serious contention in the NL Central. While they lose several players, the minor league talent the Cubs and Cardinals possess really doesn't present a serious long term threat. Adding Peavy to that strong offensive team presents a legitimate threat to the heavily favored Cubs, who also plan to target Peavy when their ownership situation is resolved. 

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

2009 American League Predictions

American League East

1. Tampa Bay Rays: 93-69

2. Boston Red Sox: 89-73

3. New York Yankees: 86-76

4. Toronto Blue Jays: 82-80

5. Baltimore Orioles: 73-89

The AL East is going to be a really close race, but the depth the Rays have will keep them on top the whole season. While the Yankees have strong pitching, they are more vulnerable to injuries because of their age.

American League Central

1. Chicago White Sox: 90-73

2. Minnesota Twins: 86-76

3. Cleveland Indians: 83-79

4. Detroit Tigers: 79-83

5. Kansas City Royals: 77-85

The AL Central is up in the air so it is hard to predict, but I expect strides from all teams in the Central. If the Tigers don't hold a fire sale midseason, they could pose a threat for the division. 

American League West

1. Los Angeles Angels: 86-76

2. Texas Rangers: 83-79

3. Oakland Athletics: 78-84

4. Seattle Mariners: 75-87

The Athletics and Rangers both made improvements over the offseason, but the A's young pitching and the Rangers spotty rotation still has them behind the Angels. As for the Mariners, they need to trade their veterans to bring in more young prospects. 

American League MVP: Evan Longoria, Rays

American League Cy Young: Roy Halladay, Blue Jays

American League Rookie of the Year: Matt LaPorta, Indians

American League Manager of the Year: Ozzie Guillen, White Sox

ALDS: Red Sox defeat Rays; White Sox defeat Rays

ALCS: Red Sox defeat White Sox

American League Champion: Red Sox

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Pedro Still Eying Return

The New York Post is reporting that free agent pitcher Pedro Martinez still plans on pitching in 2009. Martinez is still standing by his demands of a one year deal worth 5 million dollars, despite not receiving much interest this spring. His agent, however, says that he has been in contact with several teams and expects more calls as spots open in up in rotations. 

One AL executive believes Martinez will be signed before the end of month, but at a price around 3-4 million dollars.

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Padres Sign Gaudin

The Padres and Chad Gaudin have agreed to a minor league deal, the Padres team website is reporting. The Padres will pay him 400,000 of his 2 million dollar deal this season, so it is a pretty good deal for them. He'll compete for a spot in the bullpen.

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

2009 St. Louis Cardinals Projection

C Yadier Molina
.277 AVG, 8 HR, 57 RBI
1B Albert Pujols
.332 AVG, 39 HR, 123 RBI
2B Skip Schumaker
.292 AVG, 7 HR, 41 RBI
3B Troy Glaus
.262 AVG, 21 HR, 68 RBI
SS Khalil Greene
.256 AVG, 17 HR, 63 RBI
LF Chris Duncan
.263 AVG, 16 HR, 54 RBI
CF Rick Ankiel
.266 AVG, 24 HR, 68 RBI
RF Ryan Ludwick
.284 AVG, 27 HR, 84 RBI

CF Colby Rasmus
.264 AVG, 14 HR, 56 RBI

SP Adam Wainwright
12-6 W-L, 3.72 ERA, 112 K
SP Kyle Lohse
14-7 W-L, 4.24 ERA, 116 K
SP Todd Wellemeyer
11-9 W-L, 4.38 ERA, 148 K
SP Chris Carpenter
12-4 W-L, 3.26 ERA, 74 K
SP Joel Piniero
7-8 W-L, 4.76 ERA, 75 K

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Report: Glaus Used Steriods in '03, '04

The New York Times is reporting that Cardinals third baseman Troy Glaus told investigators that he injected himself with steroids once every four days starting in November 2003 and ending in February 2004. Glaus resumed using steroids in May 2004 and stopped in August of that season. Also mentioned in the report were Todd Greene, Ismael Valdez, and Scott Schoeneweis.

Injuries played a big factor in the steroid use, but people will still probably come down hard on him. He is currently on the 15-day DL, so hopefully he can talk with reporters now and get everything straightened out before he returns. 

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Nats Sign Villone, Eye Gaudin

The Nationals have signed Ron Villone to a minor league deal and assigned him to Triple-A. Villone is 56-59 with a 4.75 ERA in 654 career games. The lefty specialist will need to prove himself in Triple-A before he gets the call up, but injuries could create an opening for Villone at some point in the season.

MLB.com's Bill Ladson says the Nationals have interest in Chad Gaudin, but only on a minor league deal.

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Phoenix Will Host 2011 All-Star Game

The East Valley Tribune is reporting that Phoenix will host the 2011 All-Star Game. The Diamondbacks have a nice stadium and Phoenix is a nice city, so this is a good place to have it. The event should bring in an estimated 60 million dollars. July is usually a slow month for hotels and restaurants in Arizona, so the All-Star Week will give Phoenix a good opportunity to showcase itself.  

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

2009 Texas Rangers Prediction

DH Hank Blalock
.282 AVG, 23 HR, 81 RBI
C Jarrod Saltalamacchia
.262 AVG, 16 HR, 54 RBI
1B Chris Davis
.278 AVG, 25 HR, 68 RBI
2B Ian Kinsler
.292 AVG, 17 HR, 74 RBI
3B Michael Young
.295 AVG, 14 HR, 83 RBI
SS Elvis Andrus
.286 AVG, 9 HR, 52 RBI
LF David Murphy
.277 AVG, 15 HR, 68 RBI
CF Josh Hamilton
.299 AVG, 36 HR, 116 RBI
RF Nelson Cruz
.289 AVG, 24 HR, 83 RBI

OF Marlon Byrd
.284 AVG, 11 HR, 51 RBI
OF Andruw Jones
.232 AVG, 12 HR, 46 RBI

SP Kevin Millwood
11-10 W-L, 4.23 ERA, 125 K
SP Vicente Padilla
8-10 W-L, 4.79 ERA, 107 K
SP Kris Benson
5-9 W-L, 4.76 ERA, 61 K
SP Brandon McCarthy
9-7 W-L, 4.36 ERA, 92 K
SP Matt Harrison
7-8 W-L, 5.12 ERA, 67 K

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Carpenter Sharp In Debut

Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter was sharp in his season debut taking a no-hit bid into the seventh inning. Carpenter has spent the past two seasons battling injuries, but looked like his old self today fully recovered. Many are saying the Cubs have the NL Central in the bag, but Carpenter and Adam Wainwright, if healthy, could put the Cardinals right back on top of the Central.

FANTASY: Chris Carpenter is owned in 81 % of Yahoo Fantasy Leagues. When healthy, Carpenter is one of the top fantasy pitchers. His ability to win, rack up strikeouts, and keep his WHIP down made him a target for the early rounds. The question is whether or not he can stay healthy. If he is available, add him. He's is worth the risk because of the upside he brings your team.

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Angels' Adenhart Dies In Car Wreck

Angels starting pitcher Nick Adenhart was killed last night by a suspected drunk driver. Adenhart, 22, has been one of the teams top pitching prospect for the past several seasons. "It is a tragedy that will never be forgotten," he said at an Angel Stadium news conference. Adenhart's dad was even in town to see his son make his fourth career start. Adenhart pitched six scoreless innings, and was very happy with his performance after the game. "After the game, "he was so elated...he felt like a major league," agent Scott Boras said, weeping.

Adenhart was 37-28 with 3.88 ERA in 91 minor league games, and has one major league win. My heart goes out to his family, the Angels organization, and anyone else affected by this tragedy. 

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.