Posted on: June 8, 2010 4:32 pm

Strasburg mania

Bits and pieces from the Stras-os-phere ... er, Strasburbia ... er, nevermind. Bits and pieces about the Nationals' Stephen Strasburg:

  • A Strasburg baseball card sold on eBay last weekend for $16,403. Yes, really. Bowman has a series called “chrome superfractor,” and produces just one card for each player. Superfractor cards only pop up at a rate of one per 11,000 packs.
  • The Washington Post is running a Strasburg haiku contest .

  • His old college coach will be among the 25 friends and family in Strasburg's section. Which is notable, because his old college coach is Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn .
  • Jim Lackritz, associate dean of the college of business at San Diego State, where Strasburg played in college, estimates in this CNBC item that tonight's debut will net the Nationals $1.56 million. That's more than 10 percent of his record signing bonus, recovered in one night.
-- David Andriesen,
Category: MLB
Posted on: June 8, 2010 4:22 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 11:24 am

Harper among Golden Spikes finalists

Last night's No. 1 pick, Bryce Harper, is up for another honor, although one much less lucritive: the Golden Spikes Award, givien to the nation's top collegiate player.

Harper is one of five finalists, and the only junior college player honored.

The other four players named as finalists by USA Baseball are Central Florida infielder/outfielder Chris Duffy, Miami catcher Yasmani Grandal, left-hander Drew Pomeranz of Ole Miss and Florida Gulf Coast lefty Chris Sale. Duffy is the only one not to be drafted in the first 13 picks.

Pomeranz went fifth overall to the Indians, Grandal 12th to Cincinnati and Sale 13th to White Sox.

Keeping with the siliness of the era, USA Baseball is opening up voting to fans at .

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

Posted on: June 8, 2010 4:05 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 11:24 am

Indians DFA Grudzielanek

The Indians have designated veteran infielder Mark Grudzielanek and purchased the contract of Anderson Hernandez, according to's Anthony Castrovince.
Grudzielanek, 39, suffered a strained hamstring in Sunday's game against the White Sox. He was hitting .273/.328/.273. All 30 of his hits were singles.

Hernandez, 27, is a slugger relative to Grudzielanek, hitting .234 with four double and a home run in 17 games for Triple-A Columbus.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

Posted on: June 8, 2010 3:21 pm

Youngsters at top of draft

Of the first three players taken in the draft, two were high school players and one, top pick Bryce Harper, is a 17-year-old who finished high school early to pitch a season of junior college ball.

As noted by , it had been 20 years since the last time three high school-age players were taken at the top of the draft. In 1990, Chipper Jones, Tony Clark and Mike Lieberthal were the first three selections. The only other time in the past 35 years that it has happened was 1987, when the first three were Ken Griffey Jr., Mark Merchant and Willie Banks.

-- David Andriesen,

Category: MLB
Tags: MLB draft
Posted on: June 8, 2010 2:15 pm

Giants not giving up on slumping Molina

Giants manager Bruce Bochy said starting Buster Posey behind the plate Monday night against the Reds was not a signal that the team is moving toward replacing struggling Bengie Molina, according to the San Francisco Chronicle . Molina has just four hits in his past 50 at-bats.

Bochy revealed Monday that Molina had a cortisone injection in his left elbow during the Reds' previous homestand because of lingering pain from an old foul tip injury. The manager said Molina would be in the lineup today.

Category: MLB
Posted on: June 8, 2010 2:03 pm
Edited on: June 8, 2010 2:18 pm

Rose legacy takes another hit

A detailed investigation by Barry Petchesky of indicates that Pete Rose used corked bats during his 1985 chase for baseball's all-time hits record.

A photo accompanying the story shows an X-ray of a game-used bat with a clear area of foreign material about six inches long in the barrel. The bat is purportedly part of a batch of about 30 Mizuno bats Rose had specially made for him in 1985, when he was player-manager of the Reds and chasing down Ty Cobb's record of 4,191 hits.

Bat-corking is intended to make a bat lighter without a sacrifice in power. The practice is called "corking" even though various materials have been used to fill hollowed-out spaces over the years. The benefit corking has been widely debated and tested, and the results indicate that the edge is dubious at best. In fact, a 2007 experiment by the TV show Mythbusters showed that corking actually causes a notable decrease in how far a ball will travel off a bat (video here ). Any benefit is probably mental.

Nevertheless, it's explicitly against the rules. It has never been clear how widespread corking is, and only six players have been disciplined for the practice: Graig Nettles, Billy Hatcher, Albert Belle, Chris Sabo, Wilton Guerrero and Sammy Sosa. Rose has repeatedly denied corking his bat and challenged anyone to produce a bat he used that was corked (he didn't respond to Deadspin's requests for comment). Of course, Rose repeatedly denied betting on baseball, too, until he figured out he could benefit from admitting it.

The point isn't whether altered bats helped Rose get the hits record. The point is that, if this report is true, Rose knowingly cheated. The Hall of Fame looks further away than ever.

-- David Andriesen,

Category: MLB
Tags: Pete Rose, Reds
Posted on: June 8, 2010 1:30 pm

Ramirez jumps to All-Star vote lead

An update was released on National League All-Star voting today, and the Marlins' Hanley Ramirez was the only new position leader, moving ahead of the Phillies' Jimmy Rollins. Philadelphia second baseman Chase Utley was the leading overall vote-getter, just ahead of Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols.

Perhaps the most notable development was the surge by Brewers rookie Jason Heyward, who jumped to second among outfielders and will be a starter if he stays in the top three. Heyward is batting .266 with 10 homers and 39 RBI.

Starting rosters will be announced on July 4.

Posted on: June 8, 2010 12:39 pm
Edited on: June 8, 2010 12:42 pm

Solis, Allie lead Round 2

The Nationals have selected left-hander Sammy Solis of the University of San Diego with the first pick in the second round of the draft.

With the second pick, the Pirates took one of the most intriguing prospects, strong-armed right-hander Stetson Allie out of Ohio's St. Edward High School.

University of Texas right-hander Brandon Workman, who might have dropped due to reports he was looking for a big signing bonus, was finally taken at No. 57 by the Red Sox.

-- David Andriesen,

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