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Tag:Derrek Lee
Posted on: August 9, 2011 5:58 pm
 

Overbay clears waivers, now a free agent

Lyle OverbayBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Anyone want a first baseman with a .649 OPS and eight homers in 103 games? Anyone?

Well, if there is anyone, they're in luck -- Lyle Overbay has cleared waivers.

Signed by the Pirates to a one-year deal for $5 million before the season, Overbay was released past week and has cleared waivers tweets Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, making him a free agent.

Overbay, 34, hit 53 doubles for Milwaukee in 2004 and then put up a .312/.372/.508 slash line in 2006 for Toronto, but found himself out of favor in Toronto last season and had little interest as a free agent last winter when Pittsburgh signed him.

The Pirates released him last week after acquiring Derrek Lee.

It's possible a team with a need for a veteran left-handed bat could pick up Overbay on the cheap, but it appears his career as an everyday first baseman are over. Overbay hit .227/.300/.349 with 37 RBI in 391 plate appearances for PIttsburgh this season.

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Posted on: August 4, 2011 9:47 am
 

Pepper: Some Cubbie love from Lee



By Matt Snyder


At this time last week, we were busy pouring through rumor after rumor as the non-waiver trade deadline approached. There were a few Cubs' veterans we knew weren't going anywhere, despite playing for one of the worst teams in baseball. Aramis Ramirez, Ryan Dempster and Kerry Wood in particular weren't going to waive their respective no-trade clauses. It might seem baffling to some people, but former teammate Derrek Lee says it's too great a place to play to want to leave.

"It's not that easy," Lee said (Chicago Tribune). "It's easy to look from the outside and say, 'Well, go play on a contender. This team is winning, so why don't you want to go there?' But you build roots in a place.

"Those guys have families. It's not that easy just to pack up and go. And how many cities are there as good as Chicago? You're going to have great crowds there every day, an atmosphere, and also those guys probably want the challenge of turning it around and winning there."

Baby steps: We've opined in this space several times about the sheer idiocy that are the MLB blackout rules and it appears there might be some ever-so-slight progress. Evidently MLB Extra Innings subscribers in northeast Ohio were all of a sudden blacked out from watching Pirates and Indians games due to a merger of several local cable providers. For once, Major League Baseball rectified an issue and lifted the blackout. So I guess that's a step in the right direction, but the rules are still absurd. (Biz of Baseball)

Remember me? Wednesday, we posted a video of an apparent Ichiro Suzuki fanatic in the Mariners crowd, who interfered with play by accident. Well, he was back at the ballpark the following day, once again dressed in full Ichiro garb. (Super Ichiro Crazy)

Bat-flavored beer: In Seattle, a brewing company has made a beer that soaked maple bats in it for three weeks. Interesting idea. Personally, I'm not sure I'd want to try it -- it just sounds weird, no? -- but who knows, maybe it's great. (ESPN.com)

Trade bait: Fangraphs.com has an excellent flow chart showing all the trades of Edwin Jackson, who has been dealt six times (and he's only 27 years old). Roughly 15 players have been traded for Jackson, though it's tough to very accurately say the proper number, as there have been a pair of three-way trades involving him.

Bad signings: Once you get past the Yankees, the Red Sox are generally maligned by casual fans for being a huge spender in free agency and just throwing money at players. The truth, however, is that the Red Sox are actually pretty good at developing their own. Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jon Lester, Jonathan Papelbon and more came directly from the system. Meanwhile, many free agent signings, like John Lackey and Carl Crawford, have thus far been a disaster (ESPN.com). Maybe Theo Epstein should stop spending so much on external players?

Back off, Tony: Cardinals manager Tony La Russa took exception with some comments from Brewers fans earlier this week, and I got his back. On this, however, I will not be doing so. He heard a Brewers announcer say the Cardinals throwing at Ryan Braun was "bush league" and called said announcer to discuss. I mean, really? The two did "clear the air," so I guess all's well that ends well. (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)

Chipper return: Chipper Jones hasn't been in the starting lineup for over a week. He returned from the disabled list only to come down with a new injury and has been relegated to pinch-hit duty since. He's planning on returning to the lineup Friday, not surprisingly, against the Mets. He's hit more homers against the Mets than any other team in his career. (AJC.com)

Moose rests: Royals rookie Mike Moustakas has struggled, for the most part, since his promotion to the bigs. Manager Ned Yost gave Moustakas Wednesday night off to work on his swing mechanics. (Kansas City Star)

Alonso at third: Reds rookie Yonder Alonso projects as a very good major league hitter, according to most scouts, but he's a first baseman by trade. Not sure if you've heard, but the Reds have a decent 1B. Alonso has been played in left field, but most scouts see him as a bit of a butcher out there. Maybe third base could be a fit, with Scott Rolen being out for the next four to six weeks? He's been working out at third recently. (MLB.com)

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Posted on: August 2, 2011 1:17 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Two-homer edition



By Matt Snyder

Asdrubal Cabrera, Indians. What a night and what a season for the now-star shortstop. He went yard twice, including a tie-breaking two-run shot in the eighth inning. On the night, Cabrera was 3-5 with three runs, four RBI and the two homers. The Indians won 9-6 and crawled within two games of the idle Tigers in the AL Central.

Derrek Lee, Pirates. Quite a debut for Lee as a Pirate. He homered off former teammates Carlos Zambrano and Kerry Wood en route to driving in all three Pirates runs. Alas, it was all for naught, as the Pirates dropped their fourth straight, this time 5-3. They're now 5 1/2 games out and just one game over .500.

Dan Uggla, Braves and Rick Ankiel, Nationals. We'll combo these two in order to fit everyone who hit two homers in a game Monday night. These two played in the same game, so it works, right? Uggla is absolutely scorching hot, as he hit his 21st and 22nd homers of the season while also extending his hitting streak to 23. But his team came up short, while Ankiel helped his club prevail. Ankiel took All-Star pitcher Jair Jurrjens deep twice as the Nats won 5-3.



Adam Dunn, White Sox. The White Sox lost 3-2 to CC Sabathia and the Yankees Monday night and fell 4 1/2 games back in the AL Central. Maybe if Ozzie Guillen didn't insist on a hole in the middle of the lineup against lefties, they'd have found a way to score at least one more run. Dunn hit cleanup and went 0-4 with three strikeouts. Put his full season totals aside -- as ugly as they are -- and consider Dunn against lefties. He's now 3-77 (.038) with 35 strikeouts against lefties. If you figure around 650 at-bats is a full season, he'd be on pace to be punched out nearly 300 times in a full season of left-handed pitching at this pace. If Guillen absolutely insists on playing Dunn against left-handers, he should probably at least bump him down toward the bottom of the order.

Trevor Cahill, Athletics. The Mariners had failed to score at least five runs 80 times this season heading into Monday night. Cahill coughed up five to the Mariners in the second inning alone Monday. We're talking about an offense with Mike Carp and Adam Kennedy hitting fourth and fifth. We're talking about a team that ranked dead last in the majors in runs, average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage heading into the game. And Cahill -- an All-Star and fringe Cy Young contender last season -- allowed six earned runs, two walks and a career-high 12 hits in just four innings. The A's lost 8-4 and are only 2 1/2 games ahead of the Mariners, who just had a historic losing streak.

Craig Counsell, Brewers. It may be time for the 40-year-old veteran of nearly 1,600 career games to hang it up. He hasn't had a hit since June 10, as he's zero for his last 45. The Brewers can't continue to give him opportunities much longer, especially as the pennant race heats up even more. On the other hand, the Brew Crew did pull through again Monday evening, 6-2, have won seven straight and own a 3 1/2 game lead in the NL Central.

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Posted on: August 1, 2011 4:19 pm
Edited on: August 1, 2011 4:23 pm
 

On Deck: Fresh meat takes the field

OD

By Matt Snyder

We only have 11 games Monday night, with eight teams having the day off. The big storyline of the day is obviously all the familiar names in new places, so let's take a look. And remember to follow all games on CBSSports.com's live scoreboard.

Bourn Identity: The Phillies landed Hunter Pence, so the Braves went back and took a different Houston outfielder. Michael Bourn will join the Braves, who look to both protect their 3 1/2 game lead in the NL Wild Card standings and cut into the Phillies' six-game lead in the NL East. Bourn finally gives the Braves a solid leadoff hitter and bolsters the inconsistent offense -- not to mention being an exceptional defensive center fielder. The Braves send Jair Jurrjens (12-3, 2.38) to the hill against the Nationals, who are starting Livan Hernandez (5-10, 4.19). Braves at Nationals, 7:05 p.m. ET.

Break out the eye patches: The Pirates were buyers, not sellers, for the first time in ages. It was refreshing and has to send a message to the Pittsburgh fans. Now the focus turns to the Pirates playing winning baseball. They've lost three straight and are 4 1/2 games behind the Brewers in the NL Central. Of course, those three losses were to the Phillies -- who have the best record in baseball. Monday, the Pirates begin a series against the second-worst team in the majors: The Cubs. Derrek Lee will be with the Pirates to face his former team and Ryan Ludwick joins in on the fun. Carlos Zambrano (7-6, 4.59) faces off against the new-look offense, while Paul Maholm (6-10, 3.16) takes the mound for the Pirates. Cubs at Pirates, 7:05 p.m. ET.

Furcal joins Cards: There's a pretty solid pitching matchup in Milwaukee, as we'll see Chris Carpenter (6-7, 3.68) of the Cardinals square off against Zack Greinke (8-4, 4.50) of the Brewers, but the big news is the new shortstop for the Cardinals. Rafael Furcal was shipped to the Cards Sunday and will start against the Brewers Monday night. He'll slide into the leadoff spot, which is pretty cushy, considering the likes of Albert Pujols, Matt Holliday and Lance Berkman soon follow. Jon Jay is no slouch in the two-hole either. The Cardinals trail the Brewers by 2 1/2 games in the NL Central. Cardinals at Brewers, 8:10 p.m. ET.

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Posted on: July 31, 2011 8:07 pm
Edited on: August 1, 2011 12:05 am
 

Trade deadline winners and losers

Jimenez

By Evan Brunell


Now that the trade deadline is over and the dust has settled, who are the winners and losers of the trade deadline?

There were plenty of big names dealt over the past week, including Colby Rasmus, Ubaldo Jimenez and Hunter Pence. Other players also moved that should impact teams for the next several years, and there were also plenty of minor deals to shore up holes. Over the coming months and years, the deals consummated today will be analyzed to death. We'll kick things off the same day with this uncompromising, unscathing look at your trade deadline winners and losers.

WINNERS

1. ACE IN THE HOLE

IndiansIn today's trade deadline chat, a commenter who appeared to be an Indians fan was rather upset with the deal to acquire Ubaldo Jimenez from the Rockies, pointing to Jimenez's decreased production and velocity as to why the deal was a failure from the start. While Jimenez's fastball velocity drop is concerning (96.1 mph average last year, 93.4 mph this season), his peripherals line up to what he produced last season. Jimenez may not be an Ace in the Roy Halladay mold, but at the very least, he's an excellent No. 2 who would serve as an ace on oh, 20 teams?

And unlike most top pitchers traded, Jimenez is under team control through 2013 and is just 27. He gives the fanbase a jolt of optimism as Cleveland attempts to win the division, and then most importantly, gives the Indians the premium pitcher necessary to compete the next two years, when Cleveland's core solidifies around a young, talented infield and an upcoming rotation. All they gave up were four minor-league players (three of them pitchers), none of which are guaranteed to turn into anything resembling Jimenez. This deal could still yet work out for Colorado, but it's already working out for Cleveland.

And of course, the Indians also added outfielder Kosuke Fukudome, who will help Cleveland withstand the losses of Shin-Soo Choo and Grady Sizemore, then become part of a nice stable of outfielders when these players return. They also were hoping to get outfielder Ryan Ludwick, but lost him to the Pirates. That may have been for the best anyways, as Cleveland was reportedly balking at San Diego's price for who wouldn't have significantly upgraded the outfield corps.

2. BOURN TO WIN

BravesAtlanta made out like bandits in the deal for Michael Bourn, acquiring a leadoff hitter who plays a premium defensive position... and not surrendering any top prospects. The Braves gave up a no-hit center fielder in Jordan Schafer plus three minor-league pitchers in Brett Oberholtzer, Paul Clemens and Juan Abreu. There are some intriguing aspects to these pitchers, but none are can't miss and only Oberholtzer appeared on Baseball America's top 10 Braves prospects list prior to the season. That hardly seems like fair value for Bourn.

The Braves, meanwhile, gain a 28-year-old who is the sixth-best center fielder in 2011, according to Fangraphs' Wins Above Replacement metric. With dazzling defense, scorching legs and a capable bat. Hitting .303/.363/.403, Bourn has added 39 stolen bases into the conversation to become a dynamic leadoff hitter that will cause problems right off the bat to start the game. Atlanta controls his rights through 2012 as well, so he's not a short-term rental. Again, remember: they didn't give up any of their top prospects for someone who, at least this season, has performed as a game-changer.

3. BULLPEN JACKPOT

RangersTexas gave up a pretty penny, there can be no doubt on that. The Rangers didn't make this list because they hoodwinked another team. Baltimore has to be pleased with the Chris Davis - Tommy Hunter haul for Koji Uehara, and the two minor-league pitchers sent to San Diego for Mike Adams will be heard from again. But Texas belongs on this list simply because of how impressively they upgraded their bullpen in the blink of an eye.

No longer are the Rangers handicapped by a shaky bullpen with a volatile closer. While the closer remains, the bridge to Neftali Feliz just got a lot more stable, with Adams and Uehara able to get the game from the starter to Feliz without breaking a sweat. Even better, the presence of Adams allows the Rangers to move Feliz out of the closer's role in October if need be, as well as grease the skids for a conversion to starting pitcher next season with Adams in the fold to close.

LOSERS

1. QUANTITY OVER QUALITY

DodgersIn the morning, Los Angeles' deal sending Rafael Furcal -- who was injured most of the year and not producing when he was in the lineup -- to St. Louis was finalized. They received a 24-year-old outfielder crushing Double-A but without much promise, and $1.4 million in saved money. Whatever, right? The Dodgers aren't listed here because of that deal.

There was only one trade made the entire week in which a team was instantly ridiculed for its move. The Cardinals were headed for the loser's seat before the waning minutes of the deadline, but Los Angeles took it away with a staggering display of incompetence. To help Boston facilitate acquiring Erik Bedard, the Dodgers agreed to trade away Trayvon Robinson, one of the few bright spots in the high minors that could actually hit. Robinson, along with Jerry Sands, could have made a pretty decent first base-left field combo over the next few years. Instead, Robinson will take his .293/.375/.563 line with 26 home runs in Triple-A to Seattle while the Dodgers come away with three organizational pieces.

And really, that's all they are. You've got catcher Tim Federowicz, who has a strong defensive reputation but whose hitting will be challenged enough that he best profiles as a long-term backup catcher. Those aren't tough to find. Add in starter Stephen Fife, who has pitched to Federowicz all season for Double-A Portland, who profiles as a back of the rotation starter or solid middle reliever. Lastly, Juan Rodriguez, a reliever who throws smoke but is 22 years old and in Class A. Splendid. Oh, and all three will be Rule 5 eligible after the year, meaning they need to be added to the 40-man roster or risk being lost in the draft -- and all three would be strong candidates to be taken. The Dodgers, in one fell swoop, traded away one of their few high-ceiling prospects for three organizational players who will all require 40-man spots, which are incredibly valuable.

2. STANDING PAT

CubsYou will hear much more on Monday about the Cubs' massive failure at the trade deadline thanks to GM Jim Hendry, who really should be fired on the spot. But while we're here, we might as well recap the Cubs' situation. That situation is a 42-65 record, which is just a few losses away from a 100-loss pace. The Cubs are loaded with unseemly contracts, ranging from the obscene (Alfonso Soriano) to the bad (Carlos Zambrano) to the unnecessary (John Grabow).

And yet, not only was Hendry content not to move any pieces but he was fine encouraging Aramis Ramirez to stay in town. He was fine ruling out the trading of a backup platoon infielder in Jeff Baker. (Read that last sentence again.) The only player Hendry parted with was Fukudome, and he never had fans in the front office and was a lock to leave after the season, anyways.

Instead of trying to set the Cubs up for future success, Hendry seemed paralyzed by which direction to go and while choosing to become buyers would have been ludicrous, it would have been a more palatable direction than just staying pat. Of course, the Cubs aren't flush with a deep farm system, especially after trading for Matt Garza. So Hendry's stuck pretending to be a contender for what, at least from this side of things, seems to be nothing more than a desperate attempt to save his job by pretending his team is close to contention and does not need a fire sale -- a fire sale that would have been entirely Hendry's fault.

3. MASTER PLAN FOILED

OriolesLet's think back to before the season started. Baltimore was coming off a 66-96 season, but optimism abounded thanks to Buck Showalter's 34-23 record to cap off the year. Brian Matusz was emerging into a top young pitcher and Zach Britton wasn't too far behind. The offense needed some help, but was young enough and projectable enough to have some optimism moving forward. In an attempt to make baseball relevant again in Baltimore and give the players some leadership, as well as something to strive for, the O's went veteran heavy in their free-agent signings.

Understandable, even if Baltimore knew it wasn't going to make any type of postseason run. It could still jack up energy in the city, then deal these players at the trade deadline for solid prospects or young players that might help the O's take the next step forward. Alas, Justin Duchscherer has been hurt all season. Vladimir Guerrero has taken his $8 million and crumbled before our very eyes, then hit the disabled list and destroyed his trade value. Only Derrek Lee's recent hot streak saved his trade value, and even he was only able to fetch a 23-year-old currently doing pretty decent ... in high-Class A. Hardly the return to make Baltimore relevant. The Orioles took a risk in the offseason, and even if you don't blame them for Lee and Guerrero's failures at the plate, they are losers because they came away from these moves with a net negative. All these millions of dollars and playing time allocations wasted, rather than giving Felix Pie and Nolan Reimold an entire year to establish themselves.

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Posted on: July 30, 2011 10:45 pm
Edited on: July 30, 2011 11:54 pm
 

Pirates trade for Lee

By Matt Snyder

Derrek Lee spent parts of seven seasons in the NL Central, and now he's headed back. Lee has been traded to the Pirates for a minor league first baseman, Aaron Baker, the Orioles announced Saturday night.

Lee, 35, is hitting .248 with 12 home runs, 41 RBI and a .715 OPS. He will absolutely benefit from a trade back to the NL Central from the AL East, though, and qualifies as an upgrade over Lyle Overbay at first base. Lee hit .306 with 35 homers and 111 RBI in 2009, his last full season with the Cubs. Lee has a career .297/.370/.470 line at PNC Park, with 20 doubles, eight homers and 52 RBI in just 67 games.

Baker, 23, is hitting .285/.353/.474 with 15 homers and 72 RBI for High-A Bradenton.

This is a cheap, solid move for the Pirates to solidify the middle of their batting order. It doesn't mean much for the future, either, as Lee's a free agent after this season.

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Posted on: July 27, 2011 2:00 am
Edited on: July 27, 2011 2:18 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Who needs Joe?



By Matt Snyder


Vance Worley, Phillies. On the day the Phillies learned they'd be losing No. 5 starter Joe Blanton for the season, rookie phenom Worley showed -- once again -- that Blanton's spot is more than covered. The 23 year old has been sensational this season and came up big once again Tuesday night. He allowed only three hits and two runs in his first career complete game and is now 7-1 with a 2.02 ERA. If Roy Oswalt comes back as strong as he's capable, the Phillies have an absurdly scary rotation.

J.J. Hardy and Derrek Lee, Orioles. The O's busted out with 12 runs -- a season high -- on 16 hits Tuesday night in a resounding victory over the Blue Jays. The entire offense hit the ball well, but Hardy and Lee were the obvious stars. Hardy clubbed two home runs and drove home four. Lee went 4-5 with a double, home run and five RBI.

Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox and Emilio Bonifacio, Marlins. Both of these guys are getting close to making us pay attention daily to their hitting streaks. Bonifacio went 2-4 with a double in a Marlins victory to extend his streak to 24 games. Pedroia went 4-5 with a double and triple in a Red Sox win and is currently sitting with a 23-game hitting streak. The magic number for when streaks deserve our full attention is debatable, but with the trade deadline this week and lots of other stuff going on, 28 -- halfway to Joe DiMaggio's record 56 -- seems about right. Still, both of these guys deserve no less than a tip of the cap.



Neftali Feliz, Rangers. The 2010 AL Rookie of the Year hasn't been near as effective this season, and it showed once again Tuesday night. He closed 40 of 43 save opportunities last season, but Tuesday he blew his fifth save in 25 tries in 2011. He's already surpassed last season's walk total in a little more than half the innings. A crucial fielding error didn't help Feliz Tuesday, but he still allowed a single, two doubles and a walk. If the Rangers do acquire Heath Bell, they should seriously consider dropping Feliz to eighth-inning duties. Bell is much more a sure thing.

Reds defense.
We could call the division the NL Comedy Central when it comes to defense, but the Reds are actually a really good defensive team. Tuesday night, they tried to emulate their Central bretheren. Three errors -- including from the normally sure-handed Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips -- cost the Reds six runs in an 8-6 loss to the Mets. That's right, only two of the eight allowed runs were earned. That's pretty rough on the pitching staff. Chalk it up as a bad day, but the Reds need not make mistakes like this in the NL Central battle, as they've fallen five games back.

Offense in Pirates-Braves game. It was 3-3 after three innings. It was 3-3 after nine innings. It was 3-3 after 18 innings. Cristhian Martinez worked six scoreless innings from the bullpen for the Braves. Martin Prado went 0-9. Andrew McCutchen went 0-6. It was so bad the Pirates elected to sac-bunt against Scott Proctor -- whose ERA is over 7.00. Oh, speaking of Proctor ....

BONUS DOWN: Umpire Jerry Meals. OK, we understand that was a long night behind home plate, but you cannot end a game with such a ridiculous call. The Braves beat the Pirates 4-3 in 19 innings after receiving an absolute gift at home plate (click here for a post with video and photo evidence). Braves baserunner Julio Lugo pretty clearly exhibited the type of body language that he knew he was out at home plate on Scott Proctor's ground ball -- which became a game-winning fielder's choice. Meals just called Lugo safe. Lugo even popped up several feet shy of home plate and was tagged on both the arm and the leg before stepping on home plate and being called safe. We're bound to discuss instant replay a bit the rest of the week, as this was an embarrassing way to end a 19-inning game. I'd even guess most Braves fans agreed (the Braves broadcast team most certainly did). Oh, by the way, there had already been a few ejections due to arguing Meals' strike zone.

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Posted on: May 19, 2011 4:02 pm
Edited on: May 19, 2011 4:18 pm
 

Roberts, Lee to disabled list for Orioles

By Matt Snyder

The Orioles have placed second baseman Brian Roberts and first baseman Derrek Lee on the disabled list, effective immediately, while recalling relief pitchers Troy Patton and Chris Jakubauskas. (School of Roch via Twitter)

The O's have been without Roberts since Monday, when he apparently suffered a head injury diving back to first base on a pickoff attempt. There have been no specific reports of a concussion, but Roberts has been said to be out with headaches since then. In fact, the Orioles have placed Roberts on the new 7-day disabled list -- pending MLB approval -- which was put in place just this season for players suffering from concussion-like symptoms. Roberts, 33, is hitting .221 with seven doubles, 18 runs, 19 RBI, six steals and a meager .273 on-base percentage this season. He played only 59 games last season due to injury issues.

Lee, 35, is hitting .231 with four home runs, 14 RBI, 17 runs and a .657 OPS.

The Orioles' bullpen is very taxed, so these moves may have been made more to help the state of the roster -- otherwise both Lee and Roberts may have simply been listed as day-to-day and stayed on the active roster. Roberts could be back pretty quickly, too, as he could be retroactively placed on the 7-day DL to this past Tuesday.

Patton is a left-hander and has a 2.60 ERA in 17 1/3 Triple-A innings this season. Jakubauskas is a right hander and has a 5.54 ERA in 13 Triple-A innings. He's also thrown 7 1/3 innings for the Orioles this season, having given up six earned runs (7.36 ERA).

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com