Posted on: June 2, 2011 10:40 am
Edited on: June 2, 2011 10:51 am
By Matt Snyder
BASEBALL TODAY: What will Tommy John surgery for Daisuke Matsuzaka mean for the Red Sox? What is the latest with Dan Haren? I joined Lauren Shehadi to discuss a few of the injuries around baseball. Click on the above video to check it out.
HUGHES PROGRESSING: Ailing Yankees starting pitcher Phil Hughes could begin a minor-league rehab stint soon. Hughes threw a bullpen session Wednesday night and was pain-free. If he feels no setbacks following another session Saturday -- likely a simulated game or batting practice -- the next step could very well be a rehab assignment. Hughes has been on the shelf since April 14 with an inflamed shoulder and is hoping to return before the end of the month. (NYPost.com)
ZIMM BACK IN ACTION: It's been quite a while since the Nationals had third baseman Ryan Zimmerman in the lineup, but he took a step forward Wednesday, as he played three innings in an extended spring training game. Remember, this isn't a rehab assignment -- which is limited to 30 days -- but it does mean he's ready to start getting closer to such a step. (MLB.com)
BOCHY'S PLEA: Giants manager Bruce Bochy -- who, you may have heard, recently lost his catcher for the season -- reportedly made a "passionate plea" to Joe Torre in the MLB offices about better protecting catchers from injury. Bochy doesn't want to make any sort of slide rule, but would like the league to suspend players who hit catchers not blocking the plate. Check out the full quotes on Extra Baggs. I'm against any rule changes and the general sanctimony directed at the play just because a great player got hurt, but Bochy's actually got a point. If the catcher is 100 percent blocking the plate, the runner should bowl him over. That's baseball. But if he's off to the side of the plate and the runner goes out of his way to level the catcher, that shouldn't be tolerated.
WELLS READY FOR FRESH START: Vernon Wells got off to an awful start for the Angels and then hit the DL. As he prepares to return, he's ready to forget what has already happened and look for a new beginning. Wells: "You can't go back and change that (poor start). But I guess it is a chance for a new start. You're going to see numbers 'before DL' and 'post-DL' now. You'll have that stat breakdown, before and after. I guarantee you my post-DL numbers will be better than my pre-DL numbers." (OC Register) Just in case anyone's wondering, the "before DL" numbers: .183 average, four home runs, 13 RBI, 18 runs, .527 OPS in 35 games.
MAYBE KEEP IT DOWN NEXT TIME? Rickie Weeks led off the game with a home run Wednesday night at Cincinnati. It was the third time this season he's done so in that very ballpark. He's spreading the wealth, too, because his three blasts have come off three different pitchers (Edinson Volquez, Bronson Arroyo and Mike Leake).
POWER OUTAGE: Justin Turner's eighth-inning home run for the Mets broke a 10-game homerless streak, their longest in 21 years. It also ended a 10-game streak of the sort at Citi Field, their longest home streak since 1979. Don't expect questions about moving in the fences to go away anytime soon. (NY Times Bats blog)
COLLINS ERUPTS: Of course, Mets manager Terry Collins doesn't much care about home runs, specifically, but he's getting a little tired of losing. Via ESPN New York, here we go: "I'm running out of ideas here. Do we play hard? Absolutely. That’s not the issue. The issue is not effort. That’s not it. It’s about execution. We have to add on some points when we get the lead. And I’m not looking for home runs. I’m looking for quality at-bats. We can’t make careless mistakes. We do. We give up at-bats. We can’t do that. We don’t have that kind of team." He went on for a good bit, and concluded with this: " ... maybe I’ve got to make some adjustments. And, by god, they’ll be made. I don’t know if it comes with finding different players. But they’ll be made. Something is going to be changing."
MAN OF THE HOUR: We posted about Adam Jones' brilliant catch Wednesday, and after the game the compliments from his teammates flowed. Orioles closer Kevin Gregg raved that Jones "looked like Griffey," while starting pitcher Brian Matusz said, "It was awesome. It was a good momentum thing because it put a smile on my face and it helped me relax a little bit and have fun." O's manager Buck Showalter said that Jones has been "spoiling" his teammates with his defensive play all season. (MLB.com)
PAGING CARP: Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times makes the case that the Mariners should call on prospect Mike Carp immediately and plug him in left field. The fact is the Mariners have gotten basically nothing out of left field, and Carp could give the still-weak offense a boost. He's on a 17-game hitting streak with a .325 average and 14 homers in Triple-A. Meanwhile, Carlos Peguero is reeling in left for the big-league club, which is currently only 1 1/2 games out of first place in the up-for-grabs AL West. As I find myself doing more often than not, I agree with Baker. The Mariners are right in the mix and need more offense.
NO JOYCE FOR D-BACKS: One of the feel-good stories from last season was how umpire Jim Joyce and pitcher Armando Galarraga came together following Joyce's blown call that cost Galarraga a perfect game. It even ended up with the two collaborating on a book -- "Nobody's Perfect: Two Men, One Call, and a Game for Baseball History" -- which is being released Thursday. Due to the business relationship, Joyce has been forbidden by Major League Baseball to work any Arizona Diamondbacks games. Galarraga is not even with the D-Backs at present, as he's in Triple-A, but Joyce is still not allowed to do any Arizona games. (ESPN.com)
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Tags: Adam Jones, AL East, AL West, Angels, Armando Galarraga, Brewers, Bruce Bochy, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Dan Haren, Diamondbacks, Giants, Jim Joyce, Justin Turner, Mariners, Mets, Mike Carp, Nationals, NL Central, NL East, NL West, NL West, Orioles, Phil Hughes, Red Sox, Rickie Weeks, Ryan Zimmerman, Terry Collins, Vernon Wells, Yankees
Posted on: June 27, 2010 12:32 pm
Edited on: June 27, 2010 8:47 pm
Maybe Russell Branyan can bring back the magic of the Mariners' 2009 season, the team traded two minor leaguers to Cleveland for the slugger.
Branyan hit 31 home runs for Seattle in 2009, when the Mariners, despite not making the playoffs, were a feel-good story and posted a winning record. This season, not so much. The Mariners are 30-43, Ken Griffey Jr. has retired and much of the off-season optimism has been drowned by Seattle rain.
The Indians aren't any better, boasting a 26-46 record. Cleveland received minor-league outfielder Ezequiel Carrera and minor-league shortstop Juan Diaz in exchange for Branyan and a player to be named or cash.
Carrera, 22, was named the Mariners' 15th-best prospect by Baseball America and was hitting .268 in 64 games for Triple-A Tacoma before being put on the disabled list with a left hip pointer. Diaz, 21, is playing at High-A High Desert.
More importantly for the Indians, the team called up Matt LaPorta, who will now become the team's everyday first baseman with Branyan's departure. LaPorta was the key figure in the trade of CC Sabathia to the Brewers.
LaPorta struggled in his first stint with the Indians this year, hitting .218/.290/.277 with a home run and seven RBI in 35 games. Despite struggles at the big league level, it's obvious Triple-A holds no challenge for the University of Florida product -- LaPorta is hitting .362/.457/.638 with five home runs and 16 RBI for Columbus
Branyan was signed in February to a one-year, $2 million contract and was hitting .263/.328/.491 with 10 home runs and 24 RBI. This will be his second stint with the Mariners and end his second stint with the Indians. In all, he's played for eight different teams and been with the Indians, Mariners and Brewers twice.
UPDATE: The Seattle Times ' Geoff Baker reports Branyan is expected to arrive in Milwaukee for the Mariners' game against the Brewers just after noon, Milwaukee time. If he can get to the park by the 1:10 p.m. local start time, he'll be on the roster, available to pinch hit. In that case, Mike Carp will be option to Triple-A. If Branyan's cab doesn't beat the clock, Carp gets to stay with the team one more day.
But that won't mean there won't be a move made today for the Mariners -- the team has already called up pitcher David Pauley to serve as the team's long-man out of the bullpen on Sunday and put Mike Sweeney on the disabled list with back spasms. Sweeney has a history of back problems, but this one is nowhere near as serious, the team said.
-- C. Trent Rosecrans
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