Tag:Mike Minor
Posted on: July 30, 2011 1:36 am
 

Friday night trade rumor roundup

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Now that Hunter Pence is off the table, it seems Heath Bell is the latest big name certain to move. But that doesn't mean he's the only one. There are plenty more rumors out there.

One of the most interesting is the Cardinals having interest in Dodgers shortstop Rafael Furcal, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports

This comes after the Post-Dispatch's Joe Strauss tweeted shortstop had become the team's "priority" at the non-waiver trade deadline. 

Furcal, 33, is struggling this season, hitting .195/.267/.241 coming into Friday's game but could still help the Cardinals -- which tells you all you need to know about the team's struggles at the position.

• A new hot rumor is that the Tigers are making a push for Ubaldo Jimenez and have offered top prospect Jacob Turner, according to FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal. Turner, the team's 2009 first-round pick, is 3-5 with a 3.48 ERA at Double-A Erie this season. He has 90 strikeouts and 32 walks in 113 2/3 innings. The Tigers would prefer not to deal anyone from their big-league roster.

The Tigers are also dangling lefty Andy Oliver in return for a pitcher that can help them now, such as Jimenez, Hiroki Kuroda or even the Nationals' Jason Marquis, Jeff Passan of Yahoo! tweets. Oliver was rated as the team's No. 3 overall prospect by Baseball America heading into the season. He's 6-7 with a 4.64 ERA at Triple-A Toledo with 102 strikeouts and 52 walks in 106 2/3 innings. He was the team's second-round pick in 2009. He made five starts for Detroit last season and two this season. Overall he's 0-5 with a 7.11 ERA in the big leagues with 23 strikeouts and 21 walks in 31 2/3 innings.

• The Astros dealt Pence on Friday, but MLB.com's Brian McTaggart tweets the Astros have told inquiring teams that shortstop Clint Barmes is unavailable.

• The Pirates are still looking for an outfield bat, Jon Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com tweets, and that bat may be the Twins' Jason Kubel, MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch writes.

• Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers tells Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic that the odds of his team making a deal are "50/50."

Towers also said there are six or seven prospects he doesn't want to deal.

• Brewers general manager Bob Melvin told Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel he is still looking at deals, but wasn't hopeful of completing another. On Thursday the Brewers acquired Felipe Lopez from the Rays and brought him from Triple-A Durham where he was playing for Tampa Bay before bringing him to Milwaukee to replace the injured Rickie Weeks.

Melvin said the team would love to find another infielder, but isn't seeing many on the market. The Brewers have rumored to have talked to the Dodgers about both Jamey Carroll and Furcal.

However, the Los Angeles Times' Dylan Hernandez tweets the Dodgers' conversations about Carroll "have died."

• Orioles reliever Koji Uehara is a hot name, Sports Illustrated's Jon Heyman tweets. He says Uehara will go somewhere. He'll make any bullpen better. However, Rosenthal tweets that it's only a 50-50 chance the Orioles move Uehara. He is 13 appearances shy of a $4 million vesting option for 2012. The Baltimore Sun links Uehara with the Pirates, Diamondbacks, Rangers, Phillies and Tigers and notes all five of those teams have had scouts around the Orioles in recent series.

• The Rangers are certainly interested in bullpen help, but San Diego may not be their only trading parter. Brady Tinker of Fox Sports Southwest, tweets Andrew Bailey of the Athletics is the "most likely top bullpen addition" by Texas.

• The Braves may be reluctant to make much of a deal at the deadline so they don't repeat the Mark Teixeira mistake when the team sent, among others, Neftali Feliz and Elvis Andrus to Texas, David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes. The Braves are refusing to give up any of their top four pitching prospects -- Julio Teheran, Arodys Vizcaino, Randall Delgado or Mike Minor. They could look at dealing from that grow in the offseason when the team could be searching to fill more holes. Atlanta has placed center fielders Nate McLouth and Jordan Schafer on the disabled list in the last two days with Jose Constanza starting on Friday, making his big-league debut. Yahoo!'s Passan tweets the team is targeting center fielders. Rosenthal writes Atlanta is looking not only at center fielders such as B.J. Upton and Michael Bourn, but also corner outfielders such as Ryan Ludwick, Carlos Quentin and Josh Willingham.

• The Marlins appear to be holding pat at the deadline, MLB.com's Joe Frisaro reports. That means they'll keep closer Leo Nunez and left-handed reliever Randy Choate.

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Posted on: June 6, 2011 10:12 am
Edited on: June 6, 2011 10:35 am
 

Pepper: No baseball in November



Can Zack Greinke continue to lead the Brewers? What is going on with Cliff Lee? How important is Josh Hamilton to the Rangers? Scott Miller joins Lauren Shehadi with the answers.

By Evan Brunell


NO BASEBALL IN NOVEMBER
: As baseball tries to expand the postseason to one additional Wild Card series, the question has always been how that can be pulled off without pushing the postseason into November, which both fans and players dislike. Angels manager Mike Scioscia feels the postseason can be limited to just October and accommodate an expansion without eating into the 162-game season.

Scioscia, who is part of a special committee for on-field matters and has input into the expansion of the playoffs, feels that by tightening up travel time and playing the occasional doubleheader, an extra series can be fitted in easily. In regards to travel, Scioscia points to his own team's upcoming trip from L.A. to Seattle, New York, Florida and back to Los Angeles as inefficient because of two off days during the trip.

"I don't know what kindergartner figured that one out, but I think maybe we can move to first grade and get that a little better organized," Scioscia said. "The bottom line is we need to be more efficient with travel."

Scioscia believes teams should play in the division for the bulk of April, July and September, which will cut down on travel, as well as schedule the occasional double-header. If baseball can trim the postseason by a few days as well, the World Series would be complete by the time Halloween rolls around.

"We can't have baseball played in November," Scioscia said. "I don't think the Pilgrims set it up that way." (Los Angeles Times)

SLEEPLESS IN CHICAGO
: Cubs manager Mike Quade admitted after Albert Pujols' 12th inning walk-off home run on Saturday that he needs to do a better job communicating with his pitcher and catcher on what to do in these type of situations. Clearly, he's got some more work to do as Pujols repeated his walk-off home run heroics in the 10th inning Sunday. (MLB.com)

DEAD BALL
: The Phillies won Sunday's game 7-3, but that doesn't mask what was a missed opportunity to score an extra run for Philadelphia. Through no fault of the team, Domonic Brown's single hit the umpire at second base and was immediately ruled a dead ball. There were runners on first and third, but Ryan Howard, on third, was not allowed to advance. The bases were loaded for Wilson Valdez, who grounded into an inning-ending double play. Just overall a weird play and a weird result -- you'd think Howard would be able to score on that play. (MLB.com)

EJECTED
: Jason Marquis was ejected from the game Sunday after plunking Justin Upton for the fourth time in the four-game series. Both Marquis and manager Jim Riggleman were adamant that the HBP was not intentional after two Nationals got hit in the inning previous. You can believe that, as the game was currently 1-0 and Upton represented the go-ahead run on base. (MLB.com)

HARPER DOWN
: Touted Nationals prospect Bryce Harper was hit by a pitch on the left knee in the first inning, and had to leave the game after needing to hobble to the dugout. Good news, though: It appears to be just a bone bruise, so he should be back in the lineup before long. (Washington Post)

ZIMMERMAN REHABBING: In that same game in which Harper was struck by a pitch, third baseman Ryan Zimmerman began his comeback trail by going 2-for-2 with a walk. Zim had an ab tear way back on April 9 and is only just getting back into the fold. It's unclear when Zimmerman will return to Washington, but mid-June looks like a good bet. (MLB.com)

VERLANDER THE BEST? Jim Leyland's been around, so he's got plenty of first-hand experience on which pitcher has been the best to ever pitch for Leyland. The long-time skipper says Verlander has the best stuff of any pitcher he's seen without question, although he still calls Doug Drabek the best pitcher, as Verlander is still learning how to pitch. (MLB.com)

PERFECT IN TRIPLE-A
: Mike Minor has made two spot starts for the Braves due to Brandon Beachy's injury, but was shipped back to Triple-A as the club did not need a fifth starter for a while. Minor showed Atlanta he should be considered for the next spot start after taking a perfect game into the seventh and finishing up with a one-hitter through eight. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

TIME TO WAIT: Many in the game seemed to feel as if Brett Lawrie would be called up to Toronto last Friday. That changed when he was hit by a pitch, and that bruise has landed him on the seven-day DL although it was backdated to the point where he will only miss two games. Once Lawrie's pain subsides, he's expected to make his major-league debut. (MLB.com)

HITTING HINDERED: Luke Scott's torn labrum is affecting his hitting, he finally admitted on Sunday. Scott is hitting just .224 this year with six home runs and received a cortisone shot in the hopes that clears up the pain. For now, he's still avoiding any talk about surgery. (MASN)

BELTRAN BRUISED: Carlos Beltran has had a strong season so far, crushing a league-leading 19 doubles and playing in 57 of a possible 59 games. On Sunday, he had to leave the game with a bruise after fouling a ball off his right leg, but is considered day-to-day. (New York Times)

BACKSTOP HEALING: Nick Hundley bashed a home run in his rehab start on Sunday, proving his strained oblique has healed nicely. If he comes through his rehab assignment with no setbacks, he could be back in San Diego by Wednesday. (MLB.com)

MENTAL BREAKS: Jason Bay (New York Times) and Alex Rios (MLB.com) are both receiving mental breaks as both players are scuffling. Rios has been letting his frustrating seep out, so manager Ozzie Guillen feels as if Rios could benefit from a few days off. Bay, who has struggled mightily, will be back in the lineup when the team plays again Tuesday.

BATTING AROUND: Curious how many teams have batted around in the order during the first inning without recording an out? Well, the last time that happened was in 2006 when the Indians terrorized K.C. for seven runs before registering their first out, needing 10 hitters to do so. (Baseball Reference)

NEW JOB? Ozzie Guillen's on the hot seat in Chicago, so his job mixing drinks for a charity event could prove a harbinger of his future job. OK, not really. (White Sox Twitter)

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Posted on: May 22, 2011 5:38 pm
 

Hudson to miss start

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Tim HudsonThe Braves are sending Tim Hudson back to Atlanta to have his stiff back examined, but not placing him on the disabled list, David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Hudson left Friday's game after giving up eight runs in 3 2/3 innings and will not make his next start, Wednesday at Pittsburgh. Instead, the Braves will call up Mike Minor to pitch that game and hopefully Hudson can rejoin the rotation on May 30 with Minor pitching against on May 31 in place of the injured Brandon Beachy.

"We want to make sure the stiffness calms down," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez told O'Brien. "It's stiffness; it's not spasms. He's flying back to Atlanta to have doctors look at him tomorrow, to have X-rays or an MRI … We just what to make sure."

Minor allowed five runs on seven hits and four walks in 4 1/3 innings in his only other appearance for the Braves this season, April 6 at Milwaukee.

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Posted on: May 16, 2011 10:26 am
Edited on: May 16, 2011 10:08 pm
 

Pepper: Red Sox sweep Yanks; Varitek on Posada



By Evan Brunell


WALK A MILE IN THESE SHOES: Jason Varitek has been the Red Sox's answer to Jorge Posada for over a decade and has already undergone his own transition from starting catcher to backup. While Posada remains in the lineup as DH, Varitek wonders if his transition was easier to undertake.

“Jorge’s really had to go from focusing and doing the things that you have to do behind the plate -- the constant reminders, this and that, the maintenance, what’s going on -- and now you’re almost like, ‘Well what do I do with my time?’ ” Varitek said.

'Tek says the fact that he still starts games or has to stay mentally engaged in case he is needed in the middle of the game has allowed his transition to be easier and forces him not to worry about his slow bat. While Varitek's bat is waking up, he's still at a poor .164/.258/.218 in 63 plate appearances. Posada doesn't have that luxury, as his lousy line is as starting DH. But the Red Sox captian isn't ready to anoint Posada's career dead in the water.

"[Saturday] he had one of the few hits against Buchholz, and Buchholz had his top notch stuff,” he said. “You go through the Xs and Os and you don’t look at the batting average.” (New York Times)

RETURN OF THE TEHERAN:
Looks like Julio Teheran will get another spot start Wednesday. The Braves only need a fifth starter Wednesday and May 31, so can go with a four-man rotation for the time being. Obviously, Atlanta would have preferred Brandon Beachy not get hurt, but he kind of had decent timing. Beachy will take about a month to return, so Minor could still grab a few starts in June. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution via Twitter)

PRICE MOTIVATED AGAINST YANKS:
The first-place Rays have yet to do battle against the Yankees, but that changes Monday as both teams begin a two-game set in Tampa. David Price will draw the ball to start and admits he is always just a bit more motivated against the Bronx Bombers. "That just happens," Price said. "Whenever you're pitching against the pinstripes, you have a little more. That's how it is, that's just from their success forever in baseball." (St. Petersburg Times)

ACTA PART OF Indians SUCCESS:
Manny Acta, by all appearances, has been everything the Indians want in a manager. He's driven closer community-player relations, encouraging players to take part in Twitter. (Dusty Baker, take note.) But he's also made an impact on the field by setting expecations in spring training of contending and using all his tools at his disposal to make decisions. That's put him in the early bid for manager of the year. (New York Times)

LA RUSSA STILL WAYS AWAY:
Tony La Russa remains away from the Cardinals with a bout of shingles, missing six games to date. La Russa is unclear when he can return to the team and will hold a meeting with GM John Mozeliak Monday to try to answer that very question. (FoxSportsMidwest.com)

INCHING CLOSER:
Chase Utley played in his first full minor-league game on Sunday and is getting ever-closer to returning to the majors. GM Ruben Amaro indicated that Utley needs to get more at-bats, but would not rule out a return during the upcoming week-long homestand starting Wednesday. Sounds a bit optimistic, but it looks like Utley will give fantasy owners a jolt by returning before the calendar flips to June. (Philadelphia News)

WALKING ON 3-1:
A few eyes widened Sunday when Daniel Murphy of the Mets walked on what was thought to be a 3-1 count -- except umpire Angel Hernandez had called Houston's Aneury Rodriguez for a balk prior to what ended up being the fourth ball.  "I don't know. I wasn't paying attention," Murphy said. "I heard, 'Balk.' And then, '3-1.' I guess that's what Angel said -- ['ball']. It went from 2-1 to 3-1. It was a four-ball walk." (ESPN New York)

STAY WITH US:
White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen wants fans to know that the team will turn things around. “Hopefully, we go home and play better for our fans,’’ Guillen said. “They deserve that. We owe them one after that last homestand. Hopefully, we continue to play the way we’re playing now.’’ The White Sox are 6-3 in their last nine games, but are still a discouraging nine games out of first place. (Chicago Tribune)

ALVAREZ STAYING:
There are no plans to demote third baseman Pedro Alvarez to the minors, Pirates GM Neal Huntington revealed on the radio. "He's a slow starter," Huntington said. "We're seeing signs he's getting to where he needs to be. He's squaring up some balls. He's not getting himself out or getting into pitcher's counts." Alvarez is hitting .210/.277/.286 in 130 plate appearances. Even rebuilding teams give up on prospects with that stat line at this point. (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)

AYBAR RAKING: Erick Aybar is less patient at the plate, which is allowing him to go after good pitches more and has a .351 batting average to show for it. Sure, he's playing a bit over his head, but he seems to turned a corner offensively at age 27 and is looking like 2009 is the norm, not exception. Aybar struggled to a .255 batting average last season, which he says was in part due to being too patient at the plate. (Los Angeles Times)

GREAT ESCAPE: Those who play SplinterCell for X-Box will notice a move taken right out of the game. An Astros fan ran on the field and evaded security guards by leaping over the center field wall and scaling a berm in a way that would make Sam Fisher proud, then vaulting yet another wall and escaping... until Houston's forces caught up with him outside the park. (Youtube)

PEACOCK ON FIRE: No, not the animal. Nationals' right-handed prospect Brad Peacock has taken his game to another level and currently has a 2.13 ERA in six starts for Double-A. Credited for his success is his curveball, which is being thrown near fastball velocity which is causing hitters to miss the adjustment needed to hit a breaking ball. (MLB.com)

ATTENDANCE ISSUES: Yeah, the weather hasn't been great and it's hard to get excited about a perennial loser no matter the state of the rich farm, but the Royals have noticed their poor attendance this year. The play on the field is surprisingly strong so far, plus the constant influx of young players over the next couple of years should fix the issue. For now, though, K.C. has to worry a little bit about lack of fan turnout. (Kansas City Star)

HEYWARD RETURNING: Jason Heyward is hoping his return to the lineup will happen Tuesday. Sidelined with a sore shoulder, Heyward has reported progress and will be available to pinch-hit in Monday's game. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

SCOUT PASSES: Dick Wiencek, one of baseball's most successful scouts, passed away due to complications from a heart attack. Wiencek signed a record 72 players, including Bert Blyleven, Alan Trammell, Mark McGwire, Jim Kaat and Graig Nettles. Thoughts and condolences to friends and family. (MLB.com)

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Posted on: May 14, 2011 1:06 am
 

Beachy strains oblique; could open door for Minor

By Evan Brunell

BeachyBrandon Beachy is the next player to go down with an oblique strain, exiting the game after two innings, giving up six hits and three runs in the process.

The odds are that Beachy hits the DL, as manager Fredi Gonzalez termed the injury a "classic" one, which means Beachy will probably be out for several weeks. "Not good," Gonzalez added according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution via Twitter.

Prior to the game, Beachy had a pristine 2.97 ERA in 27 starts, pretty good for someone who went undrafted and beat out first-round pick Mike Minor for a rotation spot in spring training.

Speaking of Minor, he's Beachy's likely replacement after taking a buzzsaw to Triple-A in 39 2/3 innings, whiffing 43 and allowing just 13 free passes for a 1.82 ERA in six starts. The Braves did illogically call up top prospect Julio Teheran for one start earlier in the season, starting his service time and burning an option in the process. Yes. Teheran was a logical choice given how good he is and that it was his day to start, but giving up that option is rough.

But that's in the past. Despite already showing no fear in dipping down for Teheran, Minor's dominance and extended major-league stint last season makes him a logical long-term fill in for Beachy. Teheran was solid, not great, in his debut, and is likely not quite ready to submit a successful extended stint like Minor appears to be.

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Posted on: April 7, 2011 1:04 am
 

3 up, 3 down for 4/7: Quentin bashes again

Quentin

By Evan Brunell

3 UP

Nick Hundley, Padres -- Tim Lincecum had a Freak-type day, and Hundley was the only Padres starter to avoid a strikeout and also poked the beast by whacking a solo home run against Lincecum in the third inning, the only run Lincecum would give up on a day where he walked none and sent 13 by way of the K. Hundley's off to a scorching start, a nice start in his first year where he's been handed the full-time starting job.

Carlos Quentin, White Sox -- It's just another day at work for Carlos Quentin, who had four hits by bashing a solo home run in the eighth to portend the uprising, then seal the four-run outburst the next inning with a double. Q is now batting .500/.522/1.000 in the early going and hauled in the 10th RBI of the season which is tied with Mark Teixeira for tops in baseball and also leads in batting average.

Justin Verlander, Tigers -- Verlander baffled the surging Orioles by going eight long and coughing up just four hits, whiffing nine and giving out two free passes. That kept Orioles hitters plenty busy, but Derrek Lee was able to notch a two-run blast off the righty, who could easily walk away with the Cy Young Award this season.

3 DOWN

Mike Minor, Braves -- Minor lost the No. 5 starting job to Brandon Beachy, was demoted to Triple-A and later saw Beachy spin a fine start. Then, Minor got a break in Jair Jurrjen's injury setting him back and drew a spot start Wednesday. Good time to impress, right? Try 4 1/3 innings, seven hits, five earned runs and four walks, with a paltry two whiffs. Minor still has a bright future ahead of him, but it does appear he needs some more Triple-A seasoning.

Vernon Wells, Angels -- Not a great start to the season for Wells, who made headlines for all the wrong reasons in the winter due to having what could be the most overpaid contract in the game and still somehow being dumped on the Angels for a forgivable cost. He whiffed three times in five trips to the plate, going hitless but scoring a run thanks to reaching first on an error.

Joakim Soria, Royals -- The Royals were all set to move to a surprising 5-1 to start the season, but Soria had other plans. Coughing up four runs, Soria allowed the White Sox to take the edge by a run in the top ninth. A well-timed double by Kila Ka'aihue pushed the game to extra innings, but the White Sox pasted three on in the top 13th to win. Soria lost the game in convincing fashion, giving up four hits and walking one while striking out zero.

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Posted on: April 3, 2011 12:56 pm
 

Jurrjens to miss two starts with DL stint

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Jair JurrjensAs expected, Atlanta starter Jair Jurrjens was put on the 15-day disabled list on Sunday with a strained right oblique. The move is retroactive to March 25, but the team doesn't expect him to start until April 16 against the Mets.

Mike Minor will make a spot start on Wednesday against the Brewers.

According to David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Jurrjens threw a 10-minute bullpen on Sunday and is scheduled to throw a simulated game at Triple-A Gwinnett on Wednesday. His next step would be pitching five or six innings for Gwinnett on April 11, before coming back on April 16.

Jurrjens was scheduled to start Monday against the Brewers, but Brandon Beachy will start against Chris Narveson instead.

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Posted on: April 2, 2011 2:12 pm
 

Jair Jurrjens likely to hit disabled list

By Evan Brunell

Jurrjens“This is a list I really didn’t want to see this year,” Braves starting pitcher Jair Jurrjens said Saturday, referring to the disabled list.

Unfortunately for Jurrjens, who landed on the disabled list for 61 days last year thanks to a left hamstring strain, the right-hander is headed back to the DL with a cramp in his right side.

Jurrjens was slated to start Wednesday against the Brewers, but instead will line up to start as early as next Saturday against the Phillies. While there is an off-day on April 11 that would allow the Braves to push him back until April 16 at the latest, Jurrjens isn't interested in that.

“It would be really exciting to face [Philadelphia], especially having all the hype they have, especially at home too,” Jurrjens told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “That’s a game I don’t want to miss. I don’t care about Milwaukee; the Phillies I really don’t want to miss them.”

Jurrjens will first need to pitch in a minor-league game on Tuesday before he is cleared for major-league duty. He'll throw a second bullpen on Sunday before the team decides what to do. There is still a shot Jurrjens doesn't hit the disabled list, but that probability is low. Mike Minor is expected to be called up for the Wednesday start, although the lefty will head back to the minors after to make way for Jurrjens.

“Things happen, I understand that part," Jurrjens said after expressing frustration at going on the DL. "I understand they’re trying to be careful too. We don’t want to have this linger for the whole season and maybe let me lose more than a couple of days…I’m just ready to start showing people what you work for and you’re healthy again.”

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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