Posted on: June 17, 2010 3:49 pm
Edited on: June 17, 2010 4:01 pm

Phillis DL Bastardo, call up Mathieson

The Phillies have placed left-handed reliever Antonio Bastardo on the disabled list, the team announced.

Bastardo, who has a 5.11 ERA over 12 1/3 innings on the season, is sidelined with left elbow ulnar neuritis. Basically, Bastardo's ulnar nerve (which runs behind the funny bone in the elbow) is irritated. That results in hand weakness and numbness -- clearly an important part of throwing a ball. Treatment is generally rest and anti-inflammatory medicine, but it is unknown how serious the injury is for Bastardo.

The 24-year-old was replaced by Scott Mathieson, who posted 12 saves and a 2.43 ERA for Triple-A Lehigh Valley. The 26-year-old was named the pitcher of the month for May in the Phillies farm system. He pitched 37 1/3 innings for the Phillies back in 2006 as a 22-year-old. In September of that year, Mathieson underwent Tommy John surgery. He experienced a setback in 2007 and missed the entire season due to -- what a coincidence -- inflammation of the ulnar nerve. He then missed the 2008 season with yet another Tommy John surgery, so his comeback is impressive.

-- Evan Brunell

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

Posted on: June 17, 2010 1:07 pm
Edited on: June 17, 2010 2:29 pm

Suitors lining up for Mariners' Lee

Cliff Lee Trading season is heating up, and the Mariners' Cliff Lee is expected to be at the forefront of trade speculation.

Lee, on his third team in two seasons, is an impending free agent and would be more useful to the 25-41 Mariners at this point as a trade chip. That doesn't mean they will --  the M's could choose to hang onto Lee, offer him arbitration in the offseason and snag two draft picks as compensation.

That won't stop teams in contention from trying to snag Lee.

Lee is one of the best pitchers in the game, winning the 2008 AL Cy Young award and is his usual dominant self on the year. His 0.93 WHIP leads the majors with a sensational 60/4 K/BB ratio that is near unheard of in 68 2/3 innings of a 2.88 ERA.

The Yankees are most closely tied to Lee, with multiple reports saying that New York is in love with the left-hander, and that it is a virtual certainty he dons pinstripes no later than 2011. While the Yankees could wait for the offseason to bring the lefty in as a free agent, they may also be open to bringing him in midseason as the team seeks back-to-back World Series titles.

If not the Yankees, the 31-year-old's former team may have interest. Jack Curry of YES reported Tuesday that the Phillies "would love to get Cliff Lee back." The Phils dealt Lee to the Mariners in the offseason after acquiring Roy Halladay. At the time, GM Ruben Amaro defended trading Lee, saying the team needed to restock its farm system after gutting it in the trade for Halladay and 2009 midseason deal for Lee from the Indians.

Now, the Phillies are looking for starting pitching solutions. While they may settle on Pedro Martinez, Lee would be just as good a fit, if not better. In addition, Lee's price will be lower than when Philadelphia sent him to Seattle. Lee would certainly help the Phillies down the stretch, and the Phillies should be commended for being willing to buck perception that they may have made a mistake trading Lee in the first place in the name of a playoff run.

You can also add the Twins to the list of teams hot to trot for Lee. Tom Pelissero of 1500 ESPN Radio reveals the Twins may make a run at the left-hander.

Yes, it's odd to think the Twins could be interested in Lee, but these aren't your older brother's Twins. Minnesota is in a brand new park and has a payroll in the $95 million vincinity. Adding Lee for the stretch run could do wonders for a squad leading the AL Central but with no true ace on the staff -- unless you include Francisco Lirano, who has ace stuff but not the track record.

The Twins have some ready-made solutions for the Mariners in terms of trade chips, such as Ben Revere. Revere was the organization's first-round pick in 2007 and is producing at Double-A. He's expendable because the Twins are deep in the outfield with Michael Cuddyer, Jason Kubel, Denard Span and Delmon Young.

Also working in the Twins' favor is the availability of top prospect Wilson Ramos, who catches. Of course, catcher's not a problem for Minnesota and won't be for years, as Joe Mauer is locked up to a long-term extension. That frees up Ramos for trade discussions, and the Mariners would certainly be intrigued by Ramos. Seattle has no clear catcher of the present or the future, a problem Ramos would solve.

This much is certain: Lee will be a hot commodity the closer the trade deadline approaches, and Seattle won't lack for suitors.

-- Evan Brunell

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

Category: MLB
Posted on: June 16, 2010 11:36 pm
Edited on: June 16, 2010 11:52 pm

Ageless Moyer not slowing down

Jamie Moyer You watch Jamie Moyer and you wonder how, in nearly a quarter of a century, major-league hitters have not figured out how to hit this stuff.

But he just keeps doing it, making batters look silly with a fastball that tops out at 82 mph and a changeup slower than Bugs Bunny's. But being able to put the ball where you want it goes a long way. Check out the location chart from Wednesday's start against the Yankees.

At age 47, Moyer just keeps on going. In fact, he's not even slowing down. His WHIP (walks and hits per inning pitched) is on pace to be the fifth-best of his 24-year major league career.

On Wednesday, baseball's oldest player took the mound at the new Yankee Stadium for the first time, the 48th park he's pitched in. Some other numbers:

* At 47 years, 155 days of age, Moyer became the oldest pitcher ever to defeat the Yankees (Phil Niekro was 47 and 122 days).

* Moyer won his 265th game and stands 37th on baseball's career list.

* Moyer gave up two home runs and now has surrendered 504, just one behind Robin Roberts for the all-time lead.

* As noted by Tyler Kepner of the New York Times , Moyer was older than both men in the Yankees broadcast booth Wednesday night (Paul O'Neill and Al Leiter), Yankees manager Joe Girardi and four members of the New York coaching staff.

* Also via the Times , Moyer caught Mark Teixeira, Jorge Posada and Curtis Granderson looking for his first three strikeouts of the night. The pitches were 80, 81 and 81 mph.

-- David Andriesen

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

Posted on: June 16, 2010 1:31 pm

Phillies talking to Pedro

Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. tells ESPN Deportes.com's Enrique Rojas that his team has talked to Pedro Martinez and his agent about returning to Philadelphia.

"We have talked to his agent, but there's nothing so far," Amaro said. "We are not negotiating, but we've been talking to him. It all depends on whether he wants to play or not."

Martinez, 38, is working out in the Dominican Republic and Miami, Rojas reports. Martinez went 5-1 with a 3.63 ERA in nine starts for the Phillies during the regular season, but was 0-2 with a 6.30 ERA in two starts against the Yankees in the World Series.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.
Posted on: June 15, 2010 5:51 pm
Edited on: June 15, 2010 6:01 pm

Rollins, Happ inching closer to return from DL

Jimmy Rollins The Phillies are in an unfamiliar place to them: At 32-29, the squad is in third place, 3 1/2 games behind first-place Atlanta.

The good news for the back-to-back NL champions is that two integral parts to their NL pennant from 2009 are on the verge of returning.

Jimmy Rollins is struggling to put a right lower leg strain behind him that has already cost him two DL stints on the year. Rollins will begin a rehab assignment with Class-A Clearwater on Tuesday reports Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer . Without any setbacks, Rollins should be back inside of two weeks.

The 2007 NL MVP has played just 12 games on the year. He hit the disabled list days into the 2010 campaign with a right lower leg strain and then came off the DL in early May, playing five games before re-injuring himself on the first day of interleague play. His presence is sorely missed on the Fightins as Rollins' .342 batting average on the season is significantly higher than replacement Juan Castro's .229 mark.

Meanwhile, starter J.A. Happ allowed four runs over two innings for Double-A Reading on Sunday. While the results were poor, Happ was pleased with his performance according to the Philadelphia Daily News . It was his second rehab start in his progress from a strained left forearm that has caused the lefty to miss most of the 2010 season. He has two starts to his name in the big leagues, giving up zero runs over 10 1/3 innings.

He will make his next rehab start on Friday, location to be determined, Martin Frank of the Delaware News Journal notes .

When Happ returns, manager Charlie Manuel will have a tough decision on his hands. Jamie Moyer replaced Happ in the rotation and has been the third-best starter on the team. While his 5.03 ERA ranks fourth among the current starting rotation, it was 3.98 before Boston's dismantling of Moyer on June 11.

Meanwhile, innings eater Joe Blanton has struggled mightily to start the season, throwing up a 7.28 ERA in eight starts. Manuel may not want to bounce Blanton from the rotation, however, because of Blanton's history of success. The other candidate for demotion is Kyle Kendrick, who currently has a 4.80 ERA over 12 starts and one relief appearance.

Speaking of Kendrick and Moyer, the two will flip spots in the rotation against the Yankees. Moyer will now follow Roy Halladay with Kendrick drawing the ball on the final day of the series. It will give the Yankees different looks from the mound in each game.

-- Evan Brunell

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

Category: MLB
Posted on: June 14, 2010 11:08 am

Phillies unlikely to add

Phillies fans are getting a bit nervous about the National League champs being in third place at this point in the season, and Paul Hagen of the Philadelphia Daily News points out that the team is not likely to be able to significantly upgrade via trade.

The Phillies have gotten help at the deadline the past three years: Kyle Lohse in 2007, Joe Blanton in 2008 and Cliff Lee in 2009. Those trades depleted the farm system of the kind of players they'd need to make a similar deal this year. The cupboard is bare except for outfielder Domonic Brown, and the Phillies aren't inclined to trade such a promising prospect.

The Phillies also are hamstrung by their high payroll, much of which is going to players who already are signed for 2011. That rules out taking on a big contract.

The return of Jimmy Rollins (on the disabled list since May 22 with a calf injury, maybe back this weekend) will be a boost to the offense, but for the most part the Phillies are going to have to figure out how to get it done with the guys currently in the clubhouse.

-- David Andriesen

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

Posted on: June 12, 2010 4:27 pm

Dice-K to DL

The Red Sox just announced that right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka, who had been slated to start today against the Phillies, has been placed on the disabled list with a right forearm strain. Scott Atchison will be making a spot start today.

Left-handed reliever Dustin Richardson has been called up to take Matsuzaka's roster spot.

-- David Andriesen

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

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.

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