Clearing The Bases
Arizona Diamondbacks: Outfielder Jason Kubel was kept out of the lineup again Wednesday, the sixth time in eight games that he hasn’t started. While it’s true that he has been nursing a couple of nagging injuries since the end of spring training, this doesn’t seem to be injury related. If manager Kirk Gibson continues to bench Kubel, it may only be a matter of time until he is dealt away…..Starting pitcher Patrick Corbin has been quite a find for the DBacks, that’s seven straight quality starts if you’re counting.
Atlanta Braves: How good do you think that HR that OF Justin Upton hit against the Diamondbacks, his former team, in Arizona felt Monday night? Brandon Beachy, remember him, is just about ready to start a rehab assignment and could be ready to join the rotation in about a month. Who will lose their job when he comes back? Certainly won’t be Tim Hudson. Kris Medlen isn’t pitching as well as he did last year, and although his WHIP may be a bit high at 1.41, his ERA of 3.44 is respectable. Mike Minor has been a revelation so far this season. Julio Tehran has been great after a rough start (Arizona seems to have made a huge mistake in not taking him back in the Justin Upton trade). Could Paul Maholm be the odd man out? If you’re going solely by production I would think so.
Chicago Cubs: I know there are some that will criticize 1B Anthony Rizzo for signing the seven-year $41 million contract earlier this week, thinking he left a ton of money on the table should he continue with his progression, but you know what, he now doesn’t have to worry about money for the rest of his life. He can just concentrate on baseball. If he blows out a knee or injures a shoulder, he’s good, his family is taken care of. I don’t blame the Rays 3B Evan Longoria either. No reason to risk your financial future, and both players will get a chance to sign another big contract.
Cincinnati Reds: Certainly good news for the Reds when it was announced that SP Johnny Cueto will return to the rotation Monday versus the Mets…..Tony Cingrani, who may very well be the odd man out when Cueto returns, has had his next start pushed from Thursday to Friday, as he is dealing with a sore shoulder. This may just give manager Dusty Baker another reason to send him down to AAA to make room for Cueto…..Outfielder Chris Heisey looks to have suffered a setback in his recovery from a hamstring injury. He had to be pulled from his rehab start due to lingering soreness.
Colorado Rockies: Starting pitcher Roy Oswalt must really want to pitch again to sign with the Rockies, usually veteran pitchers try to avoid Colorado like the plague…..Outfielder Michael Cuddyer had to be placed on the DL with a bulging disc in his neck, he also had to have an epidural injection, ouch.
Los Angeles Dodgers: The Dodgers get one of their walking wounded back Wednesday as SP Zack Greinke will return from the DL, unfortunately Josh Beckett had to be placed on the DL to make room for him, or maybe not unfortunately as Beckett has really pitched kind of lousy this year anyway…..Want to know how desperate the Dodgers are for starting pitching, they signed Jonathan Sanchez on Wednesday to a minor league contract…..Kenley Jansen got the call on Tuesday in a save situation over Brandon League, has a change been made?
Miami Marlins: Outfielder Giancarlo Stanton is running in a pool as he tries to comeback from his hamstring injury, still, his return is a long way off…..Ricky Nolasco isn’t doing much for his trade value with a 4.39 ERA, and let’s face it, any veteran on the Marlins is only playing for a trade…..Outfielder Logan Morrison, remember him, has been playing in extended spring training, he should be ready for a rehab assignment shortly and then brought back up to Miami sometime during the second week of June.
Milwaukee Brewers: RP Francisco Rodriguez, KRod, was called up by the Brewers on Wednesday. He will have to assume some sort of setup role as Jim Henderson has done nothing to lose the closer’s job…..The Brewers have made a long term contract offer to SS Jean Segura. Now I don’t know what the numbers are but assuming it’s along the lines of the contract that Cubs 1B Anthony Rizzo and Rays 3B Evan Longoria signed, I would have to give it serious consideration if I was Segura…..
New York Mets: The Mets may have dodged a bullet when it was announced that Zack Wheeler’s shoulder discomfort is due to minor inflammation. Works out another way also, now the organization has an excuse not to call him up until after the super two arbitration line has passed, most likely in early June…..How desperate are the Mets for OF help when they sign Rick Ankiel who was just released by the hapless Astros. Now Ankiel has some power, but he’s also a consistent source of air conditioning with how often he swings and misses…..I’m on board with those who believe Matt Harvey should start the All-Star Game. Give the Mets fans something to cheer about.
Philadelphia Phillies: Speaking of teams that are desperate, did the Phillies really just sign pitcher Carlos Zambrano? That should be interesting…..Will the Phillies trade SP Cliff Lee at the deadline? Assuming his sixth year vests, Lee is owed about $60 million over the next three seasons. It may be time to move on if you can get a good haul for him…..Would trade 2B Chase Utley also. He’s in the final year of his contract, you can always re-sign him next year if he wants to come back and you want him back…..Who is Jonathan Pettibone? At least there is some good news for Philly, but I do wonder when he turns back into a pumpkin.
Pittsburgh Pirates: With their win Wednesday night over the Brewers, the Pirates now have the third best record in the National League, unfortunately the two teams that have better records also play in the NL Central. Question now becomes can the Pirates continue to play this well over the long season and not fold in the later stages…..The good news for the Pirates is that they do have reinforcements in Gerrit Cole and James Taillon ready to help out in the rotation, offensive pieces however are tougher to come by, and the Pirates will have decisions to make eventually on whether they want to do what it takes to acquire those pieces.
St. Louis Cardinals: Pitcher Chris Carpenter is making quick progress and should be sent out on a rehab assignment soon. He could join the staff in late June or early July, it’s supposed to be as a reliever but it really shouldn’t surprise anyone if he ends up back in the rotation eventually…..Starting pitcher Jake Westbrook was placed on the DL with elbow inflammation, he is at least 10 days away from returning to the rotation.
San Diego Padres: Seems to me the Padres should be playing OF Kyle Blanks everyday to find out whether or not he can be a full-time player, one start in five days just doesn’t make much sense to me.
San Francisco Giants: What is wrong with SP Ryan Vogelsong? Since last year’s ASB he has the second worst ERA in the majors. His time as a quality starter may be over…..Tim Lincecum however looked like the slim Tim of old in his last start. Think the Giants would take that trade off…..The Giants have been handed their lunch in the past two games by the Blue Jays, AL lineups are much deeper and stronger, it’s a tough adjustment for junk ball pitchers.
Washington Nationals: This is what drives certain people crazy. We all saw OF Bryce Harper crash into the wall face first Monday. He took 11 stitches and has missed the past two games with nausea. The Nationals however refuse to call it a concussion and won’t send him for additional tests. Where do they think the nausea is coming from? Jordan Zimmerman has been the best and most consistent starting pitcher on that staff so far this season, Ross Detwiler may be second on that list, who saw that coming…..Fantasy owners who are worried about 1B Adam Laroche need to develop some patience, first half problems are not something new for Adam.
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