The Baseball Revue
Well, if this isn't a problem a lot of managers would love to have on their hands, I don't know what is. Griffey's return is mired in journalistic hemming and hawing about how the Reds should trade him, and yippy doo da, they're in first place without him. All of this ignores the fact that the Cardinals haven't had an entire starting rotation all season until the last week, and that Juan Encarnacion is playing up to potential that was there five years ago, and the chance of him keeping that up is pretty slim.
The outfield should obviously be Griffey, Adam Dunn and Austin Kearns, who is taking the first seat of the stretch until Bob Boone figures out what to do. Of course, being Bob Boone, you almost expect he'll do something daring (read: stupid), but thankfully Jim Bowden has a competent head on his shoulders and will at least not trade Kearns or Dunn out of this. If anyone wants Encarnacion, trade him. Get whatever pitching you can in return.
I think an even worse idea is the one where Adam Dunn plays first base for Sean Casey, because what sense does that make? Casey is a good fielder with a steady bat that can hit second, third, sixth, seventh, whatever. He'll give you in the .300 range every year, even if it's a Mark Grace low-power .290. Although, it should be said that if the Braves were willing to give up Jung Bong and something else in return for Casey, maybe they should take that deal, but I still think the Braves should move Chipper to first and find a real left fielder, but now I've gotten away from the point. Do something about Encarnacion while he's still hitting, because there will always be someone willing to take on the potential of a failed prospect that looks like he's coming around. The end.
Since I don't really care about this but don't like to leave blank spaces, let me tell you about my new TV. It's a 24" flat-screen Toshiba with BBE sound that pumps the bass up, right. The first baseball game I saw on this TV was Braves-Expos a few days back, and during that game I messed with the BBE, and Skip Caray sounded like Barry White. It was really something else, and actually made those two drones listenable until I got used to it.
Praise the lord, Jamey Wright is back. I don't mean to say he's outright bad, because he's not, but trying to get something out of a terrible team activating a mediocre starter is pretty hard. I'm sorry.
Blake is probably more useful to have around than Bobby Kielty or Dustan Mohr or Brian Buchanan (one of the three, not all of them), but how do you demote guys that have won their jobs with the big club? The Twins are in a sticky situation as far as loyalty and kindness goes, and it's tough. Matt LeCroy is in Edmonton right now when he should be the everyday DH, but this goes back to loyalty and kindness about injury to David Ortiz. It's kind of a mess, but not in an entirely bad way. It could bite them in the ass for a crucial two-week period sometime, though.
NEW YORK METS
I don't know why, but it's nice to see the other Bobby Jones back in the majors.
Barry Larkin has started hitting just enough to justify keeping him in the everyday lineup, so Dawkins will get to move back to Chattanooga and play daily instead of caddying for the old-timer. He'll never be the hitter Larkin was in his prime, and will probably end up a carbon copy of Pokey Reese anyway, which is not an entirely bad thing, even though I like to make fun of Pokey if I get the chance.
Salazar can handle both middle infield positions. Sort of. He made 37 errors in Double-A last year in Oakland's system, but his upside is being a crappy fielder that can hit a little, if that sort of thing were necessary for anyone. He's not worth the hassle of replacing Shane Halter, but they're pretty similar players. Ramon Santiago looks like he's going to stick at shortstop.
NEW YORK YANKEES
Thurman's a sinkerballer in the vein of Scott Erickson, but his stuff doesn't quite match up overall with Erickson before the Tommy John surgery. The best thing is that he should be a perfectly serviceable middle-reliever in Duque's absence, with Sterling Hitchcock likely to move into the rotation, or he could start and give the Yankees a couple of five-inning outings or whatever. The Yankees could certainly do a lot worse, which is annoying.
TORONTO BLUE JAYS
File has talent, but is a one pitch-pitcher (hard sinker) and has been in a funk since after the All-Star break last season, then he got injured. Building endurance is something they'll have to do with him for at least the rest of this season, which the Jays are bad enough to afford.
NEW YORK YANKEES
This happened, but I don't really care to discuss it...
Okay. Okay. This is it. The A's are not contenders this year and effectively have ended their chances of making the playoffs, or at least that's the way it should be. Giambi is not only a fan favorite in Oakland, more this season because he's there while big brother Jason headed off to The Big City to go out doing high-falootin' things with Derek Jeter and the like, but he is a very good hitter, if nothing else. Billy Beane said he was worried that Giambi is "too one-dimensional." How insulting is that? You instill a program in his mind for years, about patience paying off and the importance of getting on base, and he executes it well:
Giambi's numbers last year: .283-.391-.450, 63 walks in 434 PAs.
Now, if they mean the man can't run or play the field particularly well, welcome to Duh City, capital of the state of No Shit. But they knew this very well, and they knew about their defensive deficiencies in left field when they went out and traded for David Justice's bat. If all these guys stay together, Justice in and of himself is not a bad move, because he's probably still got a year's worth of good numbers left in his body. But when you trade the better and younger of two somewhat similar players, especially for someone as utterly replaceable for any team in the league as John Mabry, you're going to get questioned.
Giambi's role in Philadelphia is up in the air, but the best I can bet is that he'll play first base and the team will do away with Travis Lee once and for all, or else he'll play left field and Pat Burrell will move to first. Neither one of them are really quite as bad defensively as they get slagged for, but both are first basemen, too, so you're still putting a shaky glove in left field every day.
What this does for the Phillies, however, is gives them a chance to hit Giambi second behind Jimmy Rollins and ahead of Bobby Abreu and Scott Rolen, a move that could really pay off for them in terms of run production at the top of the lineup, because Giambi is a good enough hitter to bat .300 and a smart enough hitter to not try to bat .300, if that makes any sense.
I don't want to go on and on about this, but I sure as hell could. The A's have made the worst trade in some time. It would be one thing if they were moving Giambi for Marlon Byrd, but they aren't. They're moving him for a spare part if ever there was one, one they don't need and already employ in mirror-like fashion in Olmedo Saenz. Beane says it's not a drastic thing, but then I wonder what in the hell it could be otherwise. None of this makes any sense to me at all, but I hope Giambi tears the cover off the ball for the Phillies and tells Oakland and Billy Beane to kiss his ass.
Acevedo is in a really unique position, because talent-wise, he should be a lock in Cincinnati's rotation, but strange things keep happening, such as Joey Hamilton pitching okay when he's not on the DL and Jose Rijo's elbow being blessed by the Lord.
Well, how would you explain it?
You know it's a shaky pitching staff when getting Figueroa back is really good news. The only other thing I have to say about this is that I came up with the theory that the Brewers only have Nomura around to keep Mitsubishi (the company that owns the roof on Miller Park) happy, because he's given no one any reason other than that thus far. Of course, it could just be en vogue to have a Japanese player somewhere in your system right now, seeing as how So Taguchi continues to exist in the St. Louis organization even though it's more than apparent he's not a major league player.
Pena started off promisingly enough, showing a knack for clutch dongs and a great glove at first base, but neither he nor Menechino have hit worth a crap this season overall, and Tam has been suitably awful in a suitably awful bullpen that continues to suck beyond explanation, other than the one about putting together a bunch of par-for-the-course relievers can go one of two ways, and they're getting the bad result right now.
Piatt might be able to get some at-bats until David Justice gets back, and I'd assume German will get some looks at second and try to learn a thing or two from Randy Velarde, because, really, if Velarde isn't around to teach things to younger guys, what's the point of him? Jeremy Giambi will probably take over at first base, since that's his best defensive position. The only problem is that it's already easy enough to mistake him for a younger Matt Stairs, and having him waddling around at first base will only confuse things more.
SAN DIEGO PADRES
If there is a team in the league that needs Ron Gant any less than the Padres, I sure can't name it.
SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS
You don't think...nah. Please.
In some circles, it's fine to say that Rocker is a talented pitcher still, but in my circle, which I have just constructed, I say it's high time everyone realizes John Rocker has lost his marbles for good and the only thing he can do well anymore is throw hard and yell after someone knocks the 97-MPH heater to right field at about 150 MPH. Rocker sucks right now, but this isn't to say he can't come back out of it. It's just that there are too many things that would have to be righted with him, mainly his head, and it's probably not going to happen. In 2010, someone will invite a 35-year old Rocker to spring training, and he'll make the team, and all things will be forgotten as he starts off miraculously before tailing off into mediocrity before the year is out. So, if you want my advice, it would be to just ignore everything Rocker does until 2010.
TORONTO BLUE JAYS
Huckaby gets to return to Syracuse and be the old guy that helps out troubled youngsters when coach is too busy sorting the BP balls, and Fletcher returns to Toronto. I think you'd have some trouble finding much difference between them at this point, but Fletcher's a minor name with a minor reputation for hitting a few dingers. The chances of him being released are still very high, though, because Tom Wilson has been hitting just fine and the Jays are, of course, extremely deep in catching prospects. If he is released, someone (the Cubs?) should be able to find a spot for Old Man Fletch. He beats Todd Hundley, anyway.
Wise is probably going to be part of Anaheim's rotation in the future, unless Scott Schoeneweis shows any reason for the Angels to keep him around other than being left-handed, so this doesn't hurt Wise one bit. Wall is nothing more than a righty mop-up guy at this point, and an injury-prone righty mop-up guy at that.
Moriarty is 28 years old and will probably end up being Denny Hocking II once he gains a full-time job as a spare part and pinch-hitter. On the other side, the Orioles are still praying that Brian Roberts' glove is as good as they pretended it was, and that he can do something other than run pretty fast. He probably can't.
Almanzar is a former Padre and Yankee that throws hard and gets hit hard in return, and at 28, don't expect much more than some brief bullpen help. Mateo was obviously the most expendable of the outfielders, which I believe in no small part due to the fact that I think he sucks and is a waste of Cincinnati's time when they have an outfield set to go soon of Ken Griffey Jr., Adam Dunn and Austin Kearns.
There was a time when I thought Brady Anderson was simply the bee's knees, and then I got older and those sideburns of his really bothered me. Just the way he trimmed them off. I wondered often if Brady Anderson was a homosexual (not that there's anything wrong with that). I don't think it would have bothered me if he had said he was, but if he was, why didn't he just say so instead of making everyone wonder with those fruity sideburns of his?
Cornejo is still quite young and still has huge upside, but for now there's no reason for him to get continually knocked around. In steps Adam Bernero, a Cinderella story with little velocity but good command that will get his chance to stick in the rotation, at least for now.
Regarding Anderson, I think it's clear to see that something's wrong with his arm, and that he's headed for another trip to see Dr. James Andrews that could cut his season off immediately. Juan Acevedo has done an admirable job as the team's filler-in closer, but Anderson is the one with the talent, not Acevedo.
Boy, one little injury and you go from a potential star to being designated for assignment. Someone like the Giants or Orioles should probably take a flier on Rolison, but we'll see what happens with him. Signing Homer Bush is a perplexing move for the Marlins, because Bush is kind of a lesser version of Luis Castillo without the ability to stay healthy or get on base.
Penny going on the DL for the second time is not a good sign at all, but Alex Gonzalez going on the DL doesn't matter, other than it means that both of the Alex Gonzalezes are on the DL at the same time. Freak.y.
This doesn't matter nearly as much as the Rangers wish it did.
Placed 1B/DH David Segui on the 15-day DL. Purchased the contract of 1B Ryan McGuire from Triple-A Rochester.
Segui has been Segui, a decent hitter when healthy but not healthy enough for anyone as bad as the Orioles to bother putting up with. McGuire's not exactly bad, but he's just the average minor league retread that always pops up on teams like this.
CHICAGO WHITE SOX
In 2000, Wunsch was a key contributor for the White Sox out of the bullpen, but he was terrible last year when he wasn't injured and only pitched one game this year before having to go to a rehab assignment. The likelihood of him ever being as good as he was in 2000 again are very slim, but for a team going every which way trying to mold a pitching staff, he'll get his shots again.
Stairs, at his best, was a Professional Hitter, but he's just 4-for-36 this season with one homer. He's 34 years old and looks 50, and he's probably quite finished at this point. He's one of those quirky fan favorites, a short, fat little guy with lots of pop in his bat that looks like your neighbor that you find passed out on his lawn every Sunday morning.
Rios should be someone's useful fourth outfielder, but instead he's the starting right fielder, so this could create a problem unless they damn defense and go with Craig Wilson in right. Incidentally, Craig Wilson should be the starting first baseman, but it's still the Pirates.