Posted on: August 4, 2010 9:19 pm

Brantley to log significant time for Indians

Michael Brantley The Indians are continuing the youth movement and will call up outfielder Michael Brantley on Friday.

The move will be Brantley's third tour with the team -- but unlike the previous two call-ups, Brantley will receive extensive playing time.

"We feel Michael has done just about everything he can do in minor league baseball," manager Manny Acta told the Cleveland Plain Dealer .  "The last time he went down, it was just a matter of us having too many outfielders up here."

Brantley cannot be recalled until Friday until he has spent at least 10 full days in the minors.

Brantley will assume leadoff duties and man center field while trying to improve on his .157/.230/.206 line in 114 plate appearances. In 121 plate appearances in 2009 near the end of the season, however, he hit at a .313/.358/.348 clip. Originally acquired in the CC Sabathia trade, the lefty is hitting .319/.399/.426 in 306 plate appearances.

Will Brantley be starting full time? Acta wasn't sure, but is committed to getting Brantley in the lineup on a regular basis. Shelley Duncan and Trevor Crowe will platoon in left, with Duncan also platooning at DH with Jordan Brown until Travis Hafner returns. Third base is also in flux.

"When he gets back, he's going to have his opportunity here," Acta said. "We love the guy. We really think he's going to be a good player for us. He's going to have his chance."

- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.
Category: MLB
Posted on: August 3, 2010 9:51 pm
Edited on: August 4, 2010 12:20 am

Benches clear in Sox/Indians game

Adrian Beltre In a season devoid of major bench-clearing incidents, the Red Sox and Indians made things intriguing in the bottom of the eighth inning on Tuesday.

While no punches were exchanged, benches and bullpens cleared after Indians reliever Jensen Lewis popped Adrian Beltre in the back, much to the third baseman's chagrin. Beltre had words for Lewis while the catcher and umpire blocked Beltre's path to first base. As Beltre continued yapping, the benches cleared.

Tempers were hot because Justin Germano had thrown behind David Ortiz in the seventh inning, Ortiz avoiding the plunking by doing a two-step. The Indians were out for blood after Boston had hit two Indians earlier in the game.

In the first, Josh Beckett's inside fastball sailed a little too inside to Shelley Duncan, coming off a four-hit game the night prior. Duncan took first base without incident, but Beckett came back with a heater that drilled Shin-Soo Choo right in the knee in the third inning. Choo was down for a few minutes before taking first.

Things were then quiet until the attempt to bop Ortiz.

Once benches cleared, Beckett -- who was technically still in the game, after having pitched the eighth frame, but whose night was done -- clearly sparked the fire by yelling at various Indians. Duncan then decided to give Beckett some unkind words back, at which point the big John Lackey inserted himself in front of Beckett and Duncan, scowling and looking like an imposing bouncer at the bar.

Players were beginning to separate as umpires attempted to push Boston pitching coach John Farrell back to the dugout. Terry Francona was in the midst of exchanging words with third-base coach Steve Smith. Something really must have stoked Francona's fire, as he suddenly flipped the switch and became furious, causing the umpires to have to intervene and the players to come scurrying back to mill around some more. Francona rarely gets mad at a member of the opposition, and it was a startling sight to see him get so hot under the collar.

"I just got a little aggravated," Francona said after the game. "[I'll] cut back on the Red Bull tomorrow."

The umpires tossed Jensen Lewis from the game, who ended up throwing the single pitch for his night. Smith also joined Lewis in the clubhouse while Beckett was also tossed, which was unimportant as he was already leaving the game. Beckett tossed eight frames, allowing just three hits, zero walks and eight whiffs.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: August 3, 2010 5:39 pm
Edited on: August 3, 2010 7:01 pm

Busy day for DL

Kevin Youkilis With most injuries, you never quite know how bad they are until the next day.

As for last night? It wasn't a real good night for some of baseball's better players.

As was mentioned already, Red Sox first baseman Kevin Youkilis went to the disabled list today, and the news on that injury is a little up in the air.

Youkilis had an MRI this morning that found a torn muscle in his thumb that could require surgery. According to the Boston Globe 's Peter Abraham , doctors are uncertain about the extent of the injury and Youkilis will get a second opinion soon.

"They're searching for some answers because this is, I think, quite rare," Red Sox manager Terry Francona told Abraham and other reporters. "How it happened is a little hard to explain. … In the meantime, there's no way we're going to let him play and take a swing and hurt his career."

Francona said there's a chance that it could scar up and allow Youkilis to return after the 15 days are up.

Ryan Howard Youkilis isn't the only big-time first baseman to go to the disabled list today -- the Phillies placed Ryan Howard on the disabled list with a  sprained left ankle. The team called up John Mayberry Jr. to take his place.

Howard hurt the ankle sliding into second base in Sunday's game in Washington. He went with the team to Florida, but returned to Philadelphia on Monday to get the ankle checked out. With Howard on the DL, Jayson Werth becomes the only Phillie regular not to have visited the DL this season.

It wasn't all bad news for first basemen, as Reds manager Dusty Baker told the Cincinnati Enquirer 's John Fay that Joey Votto (wrist) will return to the lineup for Wednesday afternoon's game against the Pirates. However, the Reds did put starting shortstop Orlando Cabrera on the disabled list with a strained left oblique.

The Reds will replace him in the lineup with Paul Jansih, a superb defensive shortstop who has hit well (.270/.370/.413) in spotty playing time this season. To replace Cabrera on the roster, the Reds called up third baseman Juan Francisco.

As for Monday's most gruesome injury, test on Carlos Santana's left knee showed a high-grade strain of the LCL and hyperextension of the left knee, according to a tweet from the Cleveland Plain Dealer 's Paul Hoynes . Surgery is still a possibility for the Indians' top young player. The Indians also placed Travis Hafner on the DL and called up catcher Lou Marson and starter David Huff.

UPDATE: Hoynes has more on his blog abotu Santana's injury -- Indians trainer Lonnie Soloff says the injury isn't as bad as the Indians feared. "We do feel fortunate," Soloff said.

As for Howard, Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. told reporters, including David Hale of the News Journal , that the team isn't sure how long Howard will be out.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: August 3, 2010 11:18 am
Edited on: August 3, 2010 2:34 pm

Indians' Santana returns to Cleveland for tests

Carlos Santana If you didn't see the highlights of Carlos Santana's knee injury last night, consider yourself lucky.

Santana was carted off the field in the seventh inning of the Indians' victory over the Red Sox at Fenway Park following a collision at home plate with rookie Ryan Kalish.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer 's Paul Hoynes tweets Santana was on a 9 a.m. flight from Boston to Cleveland this morning to have an MRI and tests on his left knee.

Initial reports were good last night, Indians manager Manny Acta told reporters, including Hoynes , following the game.

"He tested well with the trainers," Acta said. "They feel he doesn't have any serious damage on his PCL or ACL. Right now we're calling it a knee contusion. Once the MRI comes out we'll have more."

The Indians will certainly have their fingers crossed, as will Kalish.

Kalish, in just his second big-league game, told Nate Taylor of the Boston Globe that he went to the visitor's clubhouse to check on Santana after the game.

"I just told him, 'Hey man, I'm thinking about you, and I'm sorry what happened,'" Kalish said. "He knew it was clean, and I'll try to keep in touch on how he's doing."

It was a clean play all the way around. Kalish was on second when pinch-hitter Daniel Nava singled to right field. Nava tested the arm of Shin-Soo Choo, whose throw just beat Kalish to the plate. Kalish slid, trying to go between Santana's legs, but his right foot went into Santana's left knee and was called out.

"Obviously, I feel bad," Kalish said. "He was blocking the plate, and I felt I had enough time to get in there with my foot. It was a hard slide. I feel awful, but it's part of the game."

According to the Indians' official Twitter account, Red Sox manager Terry Francona called Acta in the clubhouse manager's office to check on Santana.

It's the fourth time this season a member of the Indians has been carted off the field following an injury. Asdrubal Cabrera, David Huff and coaching assistant Ruben Niebla have all been carted off this season.

Santana has had an outstanding debut season, hitting .260/.401/.467 with six homers and 22 RBI in 46 games. He's also been impressive behind the plate.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: July 31, 2010 7:11 pm
Edited on: August 3, 2010 4:19 pm

Winners/losers of trading deadline

Now that the non-waiver trading deadline is past, it's time to take a look back at the winners and losers. While players aren't done switching teams and plenty more will find new zip codes on their mailing addresses in August via the waiver process, it becomes far harder to pull trades off.

Grades are relative to the team's window of contention, goals at the deadline and outcome -- not to other teams.

Angels: L.A. imported Alberto Callaspo from the Royals to plug the dike that was the third-base gaping hole, then absolutely pilfered Dan Haren away from the Diamondbacks. They promptly lost Joel Pineiro to injury, but do have a greater chance at competing this season, even as the Rangers improved themselves. For 2011 and 2012, they kept themselves right in contention to be division champions. With money coming off the books the next season and two, they should be players in free agency and now can trumpet Haren as a front-line pitcher for free agents to play with. Grade: B+

J.A. Happ Astros: The Astros did well in the idea of trading away Lance Berkman and Roy Oswalt to begin the trading process. The return for Oswalt from Philadelphia met with a few raised eyebrows. The team is high on J.A. Happ (pictured, left) even though no one else is. The deal was salvaged by flipping Anthony Gose from Brett Wallace. The Lance Berkman trade was tough to swallow. They traded a face of the franchise to the Yankees, picking up salary along the way for retread prospects. This was a deal strictly about money, not about helping the team -- although it did free up a spot for Wallace. Grade: C+

Athletics: The Billy Beane-led A's did nothing at the deadline, which wasn't the wrong choice. Texas and Los Angeles made too many steps to outpace a team that was going to have a hard time keeping pace anyways. What didn't make sense was their adamant position that they wanted to keep Ben Sheets and not trade him. But whoops -- a torn flexor tendon that knocks Sheets out for about a year and causes $10 million to go down the drain in Oakland happened. Grade: D

Blue Jays: Toronto had to give up intriguing prospects Tim Collins and Tyler Pastornicky to ship out Alex Gonzalez to the Braves, but got back young shortstop Yunel Escobar and pitching depth in Jo-Jo Reyes. Gonzalez was a great flier for the rebuilding Jays rather than the short-term Gonzalez -- There's tons of upside with Yunel. Demerits are assessed by a reportedly high price to trade Jason Frasor, Kevin Gregg or Scott Downs. None of them will help Toronto contend anytime soon, and the fact that Jesus Montero and Casey Kelly were prices for Downs is outrageous. They should have done everything they could to move Frasor, and probably could have gotten nice value for Gregg. The only defensible non-trade is Downs, who probably will be a Type-A free agent. Grade: C+

Braves: The Braves made moves for this year, but severely damaged their long-term chances in the process. Selling Yunel Escobar off for Gonzalez, Collins and Pastornicky was questionable enough, but then turned Collins, fungible reliever Jesse Chavez and outfielder Gregor Blanco. Huh? Grade: C- ... and it's not a D because they did at least improve their chances this year.

Brewers: The Brewers did nothing except try to improve their pitching and determine whether it was time to trade Prince Fielder or not. Fielder is likely a goner in the offseason or next season's trade deadline, but there's nothing wrong with hanging onto him. There wasn't much Milwaukee was in a position to do. Jim Edmonds reportedly didn't want to ship out, and past that they didn't have much in the way of valuable trade chips. Grade: N/A

Cardinals: The Cardinals brought in Jake Westbrook. That was good. They traded Ryan Ludwick. Not so good. There are hints that the Ludwick dealing was financially motivated to keep Albert Pujols in town. That's well and good, but Ludwick-to-Westbrook is largely a lateral move, even factoring in more playing time for Colby Rasmus. Grade: C

Cubs: It's tough to begin a rebuilding process once again, but Ted Lilly was a free agent so there was no overwhelming reason to keep him. Ryan Theriot has become punchless at the plate, and they upgrade with Blake DeWitt from the Dodgers anyways. Kyle Smit and Brett Wallach -- two young, minor-league pitchers -- are decent arms. They tried to deal Derrek Lee, but Lee nixed it with his no-trade clause. Can't penalize GM Jim Hendry for that. Grade: B-

Diamondbacks: The Dan Haren trade was odd, no two ways about it. Yes, Joe Saunders won quite a few games in Los Angeles, but so what? He's a No. 4 starter who has a shot at being a No. 3 by virtue of being in the NL, but that's about it. The prospects acquired were underwhelming, although the expected acquisition of Tyler Skaggs will soothe jilted D-Backs fans somewhat. Snyder was a pure cash dump -- but not indefensible. If the team's not contending, why pay a backup catcher millions? Even without receiving anyone of true value, except perhaps D.J. Carrasco, it was high time for Arizona to move on from Snyder. They won out on Edwin Jackson big time, shedding salary for an underperforming starter and getting a young, cost-controllable starter (Daniel Hudson) along with prospect David Holmberg.

Dodgers: The Dodgers gave up quite a bit for Octavio Dotel, even if Dotel is cost-controllable through 2011 on a team option. That trade may come back to bite them hard, even if they needed Dotel to challenge for the division. The Ted Lilly acquisition was nice, and if you concede that Blake DeWitt was the price for Lilly, then Ryan Theriot wasn't a bad grab either. They definitely put the pieces together to contend, but is it too little, too late? Grade: C+

Giants: San Francisco tried to bring in a bat. They really did. They tried for Adam Dunn, David DeJesus (and if he hadn't gotten hurt for K.C., might be in San Fran right now), Scott Podsednik... but nothing came together. They instead settled for two middle relievers: Ramon Ramirez and Javier Lopez. Giving up John Bowker and Joe Martinez for Lopez is a curious move, even if they have strong outfield depth. Jonathan Sanchez was a popular name in talks for a bat, but S.F. was understandably leery of dealing the lefty. The Ramirez trade cost them an average middle relief prospect. They'll continue mixing-and-matching on offense, and the bullpen is definitely better off for the adds. Grade: B

Jake Westbrook Indians: The Indians wanted to get rid of people they didn't want and had no need for. The millions they saved in shipping Kerry Wood and Austin Kearns off -- even without getting any players of consequence in return -- were worth it. Westbrook (pictured, right) finally was shipped out as well, and while prospect Corey Kluber isn't an exciting name, he's enough of an intriguing player that the Indians clearly came out ahead in this season's trade deadline, which was all about shedding irrelevant pieces. Would have been nice for a rebuilding team to get a good prospect, though. Grade: B

Mariners: The Mariners dealt Cliff Lee to get Justin Smoak and a bevy of prospects. That was a solid deal, even if Smoak has just been demoted to Triple-A. That was it, however. While Seattle is in a different place than most rebuilding clubs because they are contenders just struggling through an awful season (advice to GM Jack Zduriencik: bring in some bats next year for a change). Still, it's surprising they weren't more active. The reason Russ Branyan was acquired and then not flipped is... heck, I don't know. Grade: C

Marlins: The Marlins shipped off Jorge Cantu, who was playing third base. That temporary lack of depth at third hurts, although Chris Coghlan will man the hot corner once he returns from injury. It was nice to see the Marlins bring in Will Ohman to contribute out of the bullpen, however. Florida was in a tough place: a team good enough to contend, but not quite good enough to be true buyers. They essentially held serve here while saving a bit of money and importing Evan Reed from the Cantu trade, who has a chance to develop into a nice arm. Grade: B-

Mets: The Mets did nothing here, even though they would have loved to get rid of Luis Castillo, Oliver Perez and Jeff Francouer. No one was having any of it, though, and New York was adamant in not trading its top prospects. You can argue they should have loosened the purse strings a bit to bring in someone, but there was no one overwhelming that made sense for a team slipping out of the division race. A middle-of-the-rotation starter would have been a lateral move, while only a major hitter could have been considered an upgrade -- and then you're back to having to deal top prospects. One problem: their window of contention is now. Grade: C-

Nationals: The Nationals failed to trade Adam Dunn. There is zero reason why they shouldn't have. Grade: F

Orioles: The Orioles are once again a team with no plan, trading away reliever Will Ohman for a fringe major-league reliever. For a squad headed to one of the worst finishes in team history, why exactly they weren't more aggressive sellers is baffling. Ty Wigginton is still on this team... why? The one saving grace is shipping Miguel Tejada off for Wynn Pelzer, who might turn into quite a relief arm. Grade: D+

Ryan Ludwick Padres: I think this Jed Hoyer guy is going to end up a nice GM. The Miguel Tejada trade was OK -- nothing special, but didn't exactly cost much either and the Padres had a real need for someone with decent pop who can play the infield. The Ryan Ludwick (pictured, right) trade was incredible -- he immediately becomes the team's second-best hitter, trading away no one of consequence. Grade: B+

Phillies: The Phillies gave up J.A. Happ and two far-away prospects for Roy Oswalt, emphatically closing the book on the idiotic idea to trade Cliff Lee in the offseason. It would have been nice if they could have imported a utility player like Ty Wigginton or Willie Bloomquist for the stretch run, as Chase Utley isn't exactly on the verge of returning and the depth on the bench is thin. However, after the initial trade for Lee and later the Oswalt deal, the Phillies are near tapped out on money and prospects. Bottom line: they did what they could. Grade: B+

Pirates: The Bucs were quiet then exploded in a frenzy, acquiring Chris Snyder in a buy-low move that saw them give up absolutely no one of consequence . Ryan Church is a backup outfielder, D.J. Carrasco is a solid middle reliever and not much else and backup infielder Bobby Crosby. If he plays full-time, Snyder has a real chance to reclaim the value that made Arizona sign him to a contract extension in the first place -- which 'Zona will help pay. Pittsburgh then shipped out a lefty reliever best used against just lefties for a swingman in Joe Martinez and a solid outfielder who can give them years of cheap production, even if he never morphs into a starting regular. The Octavio Dotel trade to L.A was sublime , getting a viable starter who could end up a strong reliever and one of the Dodgers' best prospects in Andrew Lambo. Grade: A

Rangers: Boy howdy, was Texas busy. They bit the bullet to bring in Cliff Lee, which instantly made it viable World Series contenders, then continued to supplement with Jorge Cantu and Cristian Guzman. Obviously, the Rangers are going for it this year and it's hard to fault them when they have such a strong team. It hurts to lose Smoak, but there are questions about his long-term success anyways, and first-base is not exactly impossible a void to fill. Cantu and Guzman cost them a few average prospects, ones that can easily be mortgaged for a chance like this to win a ring. Grade: A

Rays: Tampa Bay brought in a reliever with an ERA over 8, and that was it. (Okay, so Chad Qualls has a chance to be a solid reliever for the team.) The team desperately needs a thumper, although Matt Joyce is currently making everyone smile since being recalled from Triple-A. Tampa is in an interesting position: able to take on payroll for a playoff push, but which is slashing payroll to around $60 million next year. Adam Dunn would have been a great fit, but Tampa can't concede future seasons just for one "win-now" year -- that would be irresponsible. Grade: C+

Red Sox: The Red Sox were largely quiet until the very end, when they shipped off Ramon Ramirez to San Francisco for an average middle-relief prospect. This trade was more about opening space for intriguing names at Triple-A. The team then struck for Jarrod Saltalamacchia, long coveted by the team, for an average first-base prospect and intriguing, but raw, Class A arm. They were unable to make anything come together to supplement the major-league roster, but figure to be active in waiver trading. For a team falling out of the race, besieged by injuries, it was probably prudent not to do anything drastic and instead build until next year while integrating its returning players and seeing who pops up in August. Grade: C

Reds: Cincy is in the hunt for the division but may have benefited by seeing the Cardinals trade away Ryan Ludwick. They have Aroldis Chapman presumably coming up to help the bullpen shortly and no overwhelming holes. Making a trade would have smacked of making a deal for deal's sake. It would not be surprising to learn that they shot high with their targets and couldn't make anything come together. They could stand to add a middle reliever, but also have Aaron Harang and Homer Bailey on the recovery trail. Staying pat was probably smart. Grade: B

Rockies: The Rockies couldn't make anything happen despite a team falling out of the race which had a really good shot at the division. They couldn't trade Brad Hawpe with Todd Helton's struggles. When Troy Tulowitzki went on the disabled list two months ago, it was very disappointing that Colorado decided to stand pat and see how the team played without Tulowitzki to determine whether to be buyers or sellers. They were already planning to buy to help the team with Tulowitzki, so it should be no surprise Colorado found itself out of the race. They should have done more. Grade: D

Rick Ankiel Royals: It's not often there are good things to say about the Royals, but there's a time for everything. Kansas City did fantastic in shedding Rick Ankiel (pictured, left) and Kyle Farnsworth to Atlanta. Farns is a strong middle reliever, but that's all he is while Ankiel was blocking other players with a better impact at helping K.C. contend in 2012. The return for Callaspo wasn't terrible, but not great. Grade: B-

Tigers: Detroit had far too many holes to do much of anything. They lost Magglio Ordonez, Carlos Guillen and Brandon Inge all to the disabled list in a short span of time. They bought low on Jhonny Peralta who hammered two home-runs in his Tiger debut. You would have liked to see the Tigers be a bit more aggressive with the AL Central division crown available, but it's hard to blame them for holding onto their major prospects. There is no silver bullet available to make up for all the losses. Grade: C +

Twins: The Twins really love saves, as they traded one of the best prospects in Wilson Ramos for Matt Capps of Washington. Take the saves out, and Capps is an approaching-overpriced solid middle reliever. Even though Ramos had lost his luster somewhat, it's still a confusing move. They didn't get the starting pitcher they coveted either. Grade: D

White Sox: The ChiSox did everything they could and more to bring in Adam Dunn, but refused to sacrifice their future in Gordon Beckham. They acquired Edwin Jackson for Daniel Hudson and a minor leaguer, perhaps hoping to flip Jackson to the Nationals. That's a no-go, so while the White Sox did technically upgrade their rotation, it's unclear whether they would have done so if they knew they wouldn't get Dunn. Plus, Jackson makes $8.35 million next year. Grade: C

Yankees: The Bronx Bombers wielded their financial might to bring in Lance Berkman, Austin Kearns and Kerry Wood at minimal cost. Berkman has the most chance to make an impact, taking on the role the Yankees thought Nick Johnson would. Kearns and Wood are supplemental pieces to the bench and bullpen, respectively, and won't be a huge loss if they don't work out. Overall, they gave up next-to-nothing in talent and cash they could burn anyways. The team made an aggressive push for Cliff Lee, but fell apart. In a market with no other clear upgrade than Lee, the Yankees decided to play it safe and keep their minor-league chips. Grade: B

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: July 31, 2010 3:45 pm
Edited on: July 31, 2010 4:04 pm

Yankees import Wood

Kerry Wood The Yankees are throwing around their financial might, adding reliever Kerry Wood to their bullpen for a player to be named later or cash, as CBSSports.com's Scott Miller reports that the trade is being reviewed by the Commissioner's Office.

Wood is making $10.5 million on the year, and the Indians are picking up a good chunk of the $4 million remaining on that deal. However, some savings is better than none for the down-and-out Indians, who figure to receive a decent prospect and nothing more -- if they even decide to acquire a player.

This is the second trade in two days for Cleveland and the busy Yankees (who added Lance Berkman from Houston as well). On Friday, Austin Kearns was dealt to the Yankees for bench depth.

Wood has just come off the disabled list for the first time on the year after a right shoulder strain, something he battled in spring training as well. Wood has an awful 6.30 ERA on the season with an 8.1 K/9 and 5.0 BB/9, but has also been slightly unlucky on BABIP and stranding runners. His 5.04 xFIP is more indicative of his production so far, and that's to say nothing of a likelihood that Wood will improve on the whiff rate.

Essentially, he's a flier for the Yankees' beleaguered bullpen and will cost them next to nothing except a couple million. You can bemaon the Yankees' financial advantage all you want, but they have the advantage and are smartly using it.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: July 30, 2010 9:59 pm
Edited on: July 30, 2010 9:59 pm

Yankees add OF Kearns

Multiple sources, including Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports and Jon Heyman of SI.com, are reporting that the Indians have traded outfielder Austin Kearns to the Yankees for a player to be named later.

Kearns (.268/.351/.413) gives the Yankees a needed right-handed bat and will allow them to sit Curtis Granderson against tough lefties. Granderson is batting just .214 against left-handers.

Kearns is owed about $270,000 for the rest of the season (the Yankees spend more than that on trophy polish), and will be a free agent after the season.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: July 30, 2010 12:44 am

3B Marte delivers on mound for Indians

Andy Marte
It's a bad sign when you have to send your third baseman out to pitch the ninth inning. It's a really bad sign when he turns out to be your best pitcher.

Indians starter Mitch Talbot left Thursday's game against the Yankees with back pain, leaving the bullpen to battle through seven innings. Five relievers were variously bashed and battered, including a seven-run Yankees seventh. In the ninth, Indians manager Manny Acta turned to Andy Marte, who became the first position player to pitch for the Indians since Tim Laker in 2004.

"That's something I don't like doing," Acta told reporters after the game. "I did it because we had to. It looks like a mockery of the game."

Marte pitched a 1-2-3 inning, getting Robinson Cano to ground out, striking out Nick Swisher (who said "I now have a new most embarrassing moment") and inducing a liner to third base from Marcus Thames. He was the only one of seven Cleveland pitchers not to walk a batter.

The Yankees scored 11 runs on 12 hits, and once again, none of them was an Alex Rodriguez home run. Rodriguez drove in three runs with a sacrifice fly and a two-run single. He came to bat three times with the bases loaded.

Rodriguez has been stuck on 599 career homers since July 22. He's 9-for-30 (.300) with seven RBI since homer No. 599, so it's not like he's slumping, but all involved will be relieved when he hits No. 600. The Yankees travel to Tampa this weekend for a big showdown with the Rays.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

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