Posted on: June 12, 2010 9:49 pm

Did Martinez call two historic shots?

Red Sox catcher Victor Martinez was present for both instances in which a player hit a grand slam on the first pitch he ever saw in the major leagues. This much we know. Boston's Daniel Nava did it today, and Cleveland's Kevin Kouzmanoff did it in 2006, both as teammates of Martinez.

Martinez wasn't just there, he says he predicted both before they happened, according to the WEEI blog .

"(Martinez) was standing right next to me when he said, 'First pitch, bomb!'" Red Sox DH David Ortiz said Saturday. "I came up (to the clubhouse, where Martinez was watching the game on TV) to get some batting gloves because of the rain and Vic was here. He said, 'Watch this, first pitch grand salami' There you go."

Martinez said he advised Kouzmanoff to swing at the first pitch he saw, since Rangers pitcher Kevin Millwood wouldn't have a decent scouting report on him.

"When he walked to the plate I called a grand slam," Martinez said.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: June 11, 2010 12:08 pm
Edited on: June 11, 2010 2:24 pm

Indians call up top prospect Santana

The Indians have called up catcher Carlos Santana (this item will refrain from tortured music metaphors), and he will join the team today.

Santana is a Cleveland's top prospect, still a little rough behind the plate but with huge offensive potential. He was batting .316 with 13 homers, 51 RBI and a 1.045 OPS for Triple-A Columbus.

"You're talking about a guy who is one of the top prospects in all of minor league baseball, not just in our system," Indians GM Mark Shapiro told the Plain Dealer . "He's a switch-hitting, run producing catcher with a chance to impact the game on all sides.

'He has a unique offensive profile. He's extremely aggressive with the bat, but he doesn't swing and miss too often. That's a rare combination. He's still a prospect, so there are likely to be some growng pains, but he's certainly going to be fun to watch."

Santana could play Sunday when the Indians face Nationals phenom Stephen Strasburg. It would be a fitting capper to what has turned into Prospect Week, which already has featured the debuts of Strasburg, Brad Lincoln of the Pirates, Michael Stanton of the Marlins and Jake Arietta of the Orioles.

To make room for Santana, the Indians optioned catcher Lou Marson to Columbus.

-- David Andriesen

UPDATE: Santana is catching and batting third tonight.

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Category: MLB
Posted on: June 11, 2010 1:12 am
Edited on: April 18, 2011 12:33 pm

Are interleague 'rivalries' still relevant?

Interleague play opens up again Friday and yet again I'm underwhelmed by the Reds-Royals, Mets-Orioles and Pirates-Tigers.

But it's not just those mashups of also-rans that have begun to bore -- anyone excited for Cubs-White Sox? A's-Giants? Dodgers-Angels? Aren't those the reasons we're still stuck with a bastardized schedule? OK, it's Mets-Yankees and nothing else.

Every time this argument comes up, we're pointed toward interleague attendance numbers, without noting that most of those dates are summer nights on the weekend -- nights when teams would draw regardless of the visiting Royals or Pirates.

So what's on tap this weekend for our interleague overlords?

White Sox at Cubs: Nurse that hangover from the Blackhawks parade at Wrigley. What does it say that the NHL in June will overshadow one of the prime interleague matchups? Everything, really.

Astros at Yankees: Loser has to claim Roger Clemens?

• Mets at Orioles: When the Wilpons and Peter Angelos get together, there are no winners. Really.

• Pirates at Tigers: Well, there will be two nice looking uniforms on display.

Nationals at Indians: Yes, they're going to play twice before Steven Strasburg pitches. But one relevant game out of three ain't bad.

• Royals at Reds: The first-place Reds 24th in home attendance. There's only one way to solve that -- a visit by the Royals.

Phillies at Red Sox: OK, I'll admit, this should be a good series. Boston plays in front of sold-out crowds every night, so it's not like this is going to help the gate.

Braves at Twins: Two of the best debuts of 2010 (non-Strasnurg division), Target Field and Jason Heyward meet.

Rangers at Brewers: Does any argument about interleague play hold up when it involves the Brewers?

Blue Jays at Rockies: I got nothing... Blue Jays. Rockies. That's enough.

Mariners at Padres:
Two great ballparks, two awesome cities, one good team.

Angels at Dodgers: If you live in Southern California and want to see the Angels, you've got 81 chances.

• A's at Giants: See above, substitute "Southern" for "Northern."

Oh, the excitement.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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

Posted on: June 10, 2010 3:22 pm

Grudzielanek, Wright released

Infielder Mark Grudzielanek and right-hander Jamey Wright, veterans designated for assignment in the past week by the Indians, have been released after clearing waivers and become free agents. The Plain Dealer reports that Grudzielanek, who has an injured hamstring, was given the option of instead going on the 60-day DL but declined because he wants to see whether he can catch on elsewhere.

Grudzielanek, 39, batted .273 with no extra-base hits. Wright, a 36-year-old journeyman who has played for seven teams, went 1-2 with a 5.48 ERA in 18 appearances.

Another roster note: Reliever Alberto Castillo was the odd man out today when the Orioles needed a roster spot for right-hander Jake Arrieta, who makes his major league debut starting against the Yankees. Castillo was designated for assignment.

-- David Andriesen

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

Posted on: June 10, 2010 11:32 am
Edited on: June 10, 2010 4:21 pm

TBS switches up to show Strasburg

You wouldn't ordinarily expect a national network to bend over backward to replace a scheduled telecast of the Red Sox against the Phillies with a Nationals-Indians tilt. But the buzz around Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg is just that powerful.

TBS has gotten special permission to switch its Sunday game so it can show Strasburg's second career start. Normally TBS is required to schedule its Sunday game 20 days in advance until the final weeks of the season. The game in Cleveland begins at 1 p.m. EDT.

-- David Andriesen

UPDATE: The MLB Network announced this afternoon that it's picking up the June 18 game between the Nationals and White Sox. Care to take a guess who's projected to start that game for the Nats?

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

Category: MLB
Posted on: June 9, 2010 8:25 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 12:12 pm

Familiar surnames in draft

Through 50 rounds of the MLB Draft, several familiar names -- or at least last names -- are picked . Among those kin to current or former big-leaguers drafted:

• Delino Deshields Jr. (1st round, Astros), son of Delino Deshields.
• Cam Bedrosian (1st round, Angels), son of Steve Bedrosian.
• Kellen Sweeney (2nd round, Blue Jays), brother of Mark Sweeney.
• Mel Rojas Jr. (3rd round, Pirates), son of Mel Rojas.
• Cory Vaughn (4th round, Mets), son of Greg Vaughn.
• James Baldwin III (4th round, Dodgers), son of James Baldwin.
• Dickie Thon Jr. (5th round, Blue Jays), son of Dickie Thon.
• Connor Narron (5th round, Orioles), son of Jerry Narron.
• Drew Cisco (6th round, Reds), grandson of Galen Cisco.
• Patrick Leyland (8th round, Tigers), son of Jim Leyland.
• Benjamin Gamel (9th round, Yankees), brother of Mat Gamel.
• JaDamion Williams (10th round, Twins), son of Reggie Williams.
• Reggie Williams Jr. (10th round, Cardinals), son of Reggie Williams.
• Hunter Jones (11th round, Indians), son of Tracy Jones.
• Josh Magee (18th round, Astros), son of Wendell Magee.
• Dillon Moyer (22nd round, Twins), son of Jamie Moyer.
• Ozney Guillen (22nd round, White Sox), son of Ozzie Guillen.
• Mark Tracy (22nd round, Rockies), son of Jim Tracy.
• Bryan Harper (28th round, Cubs), brother of Bryce Harper.
• Brett Bochy (30th round, Giants), son of Bruce Bochy.
• Benito Santiago Jr. (31st round, Cubs), son of Benito Santiago.
• Andy Fermin (32nd round, Blue Jays), son of Felix Fermin.
• Devon Ethier (32nd round, Dodgers), brother of Andre Ethier.
• Logan Thompson (33rd round, Indians), son of Robby Thompson.
• Andrew Benes (35th round, Cardinals), son of Andy Benes, nephew of Alan Benes.
• Bobby Geren (36th round, A's), son of Bob Geren.
• Jake May (39th round, Reds), grandson of Lee May.
• Bo McClendon (39th round, Tigers), son of Lloyd McClendon.
• John Franco (42nd round, Mets), son of John Franco.
• Chad Wallach (43rd round, Dodgers), son of Tim Wallach.
• Benjamin Verlander (46th round, Tigers), brother of Justin Verlander.
• Joesph Jackson (50th round, Royals), great-great-grandnephew of "Shoeless" Joe Jackson.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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

Posted on: June 9, 2010 1:52 pm

Cleveland to get Strasburg bump

The Nationals confirmed this morning that Stephen Strasburg will indeed make his second career start on Sunday in Cleveland.

The Indians report that tickets are moving fast for the game -- they sold 1,000 between midnight and noon Wednesday, and about 19,000 total have been sold for the game. Nobody could use the boost more than the Indians, who are dead last in major league attendance at 15,527 per game.

-- David Andriesen

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

Category: MLB
Posted on: June 8, 2010 4:22 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 11:24 am

Harper among Golden Spikes finalists

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

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

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

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

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

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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