The Baseball Revue

Optioned SS Alfredo Amezaga to Triple-A Salt Lake City.

With David Eckstein back from his injury, there's really no need to keep Amezaga around just to fill up space when Jose Nieves has that job sewn up pretty well.

Activated C Todd HunDLey from the 15-day DL; placed UT Delino Deshields on the 15-day DL.

Delino hasn't been able to run all season with all kinds of hip problems, and if he can't run, then is there much of a point to being Delino Deshields anymore? Hundley is unlikely to solve the Cubs' catching problems, to say the very least, but I suppose Don Baylor is thrilled to have him back. Now if they'd like to do something about carrying Robert Machado and Joe Girardi, that would be swell. Or they could just release Hundley, which would be even better.

Purchased the contract of UT Bill Selby from Triple-A Buffalo; designated OF Bruce Aven for assignment.

The Indians are getting no offense out of center field, third base, catcher or second base, so sacrificing a perfectly-good fifth outfielder that can pinch-hit reasonably well with a little pop in his bat in order to have a second Jolbert Cabrera on the roster seems a bit strange to me. One Jolbert Cabrera is fine and makes for a multi-talented and multi-positional gem to have around in the right situation, but when you start having two or more, then you've got some problems, with positional misfits that aren't much with the bat all over the place. Someone will take a flyer on Aven, though, even if he has to spend more time in Triple-A somewhere.

Placed RHP Rick White on the 15-day DL; recalled LHP Brian Fuentes from Triple-A Colorado Springs.

Fuentes is a specialist in training at age 26, throwing a pretty good fastball that can really shut down lefties. Rick White has had injury problems for two seasons now after being overworked in '99 and '00 by the D-Rays and Mets (mostly the Rays), and will probably be off and on the DL all season long. It makes you wonder why they signed him in the first place, but then you have to start talking about Todd Jones being there, too, and it starts a whole big thing. So let's just not.

Activated LHP Jesse Orosco from the 15-day DL; designated RHP Dennis Springer for assignment.

But what about the pinochle? Oh well, Terry Mulholland should be back soon.

Placed 3B Sean Burroughs on the 15-day DL, retroactive to May 29; placed RHP Brian Tollberg on the 15-day DL; activated RHP Bobby J. Jones from the 15-day DL; purchased the contract oF IF Julius Matos from Triple-A Portland; outrighted C Javier Cardona to Portland.

Going on the DL is one way to avoid a demotion, I guess. Burroughs will be back and will eventually be a starter, but it might not be until 2003 until he's there full-time. Phil Nevin and Ryan Klesko are too good to jerk around for the benefit of Burroughs, and as bad as that sounds, I don't mean it to be anything that suggest Burroughs won't someday be a really good player in the Jeff Cirillo mold. Right now, though, is it worth it? He's not looking ready to steadily outperform Ray Lankford or Bubba Trammell, who would benefit the most from his demotion back to Portland, and Lankford could bring a prospect back in return if he shows he's not completely finished.


Released IF Alex Arias.

Hey, super! Time and money well spent, guys!

Activated SS Alex S. Gonzalez from the 15-day DL; placed LHP Ron Mahay on the 15-day DL; recalled RHP Courtney Duncan from Triple-A Iowa; optioned IF Augie Ojeda to Iowa. (05.25)

At least with getting Gonzalez back, the Cubs rid themselves of the extra utility infielder they really, really do not need. Bobby Hill is starting to play well and has won the second base job, leaving Mark Bellhorn, Chris Stynes and Delino Deshields available for spot duty. The only one that can really play shortstop is Bellhorn, and he doesn't play it that well, but Ojeda's a black hole with the bat and only a marginally better fielder than Bellhorn anyhow, so you have to applaud Don Baylor for finally getting Ojeda to Iowa where he belongs when the roster is filled up without injury. He's a player with purpose, but it's only an emergency one.

You could say that the bullpen woes continue for the Cubs, but Mahay sucks and Duncan showed some good stuff at times last year, and right now can help ease the continuing pain of being without Kyle Farnsworth.

Acquired OF Scott Morgan from the San Diego Padres for a player to be named later. (05.25)

The White Sox are simply gathering up minor league outfielders for their minor league teams.

Activated OF/1B Kevin Millar from the 15-day DL; optioned IF Pablo Ozuna to Triple-A Calgary. (05.28)

Millar had started to heat up right before he went on the DL, but is going to take a while to start hitting again. Oblique injuries are tough to overcome, especially for power hitters. Millar makes his living by driving the ball into the gap for a double, and if he can't do that, there's really no reason to play him over someone like Eric Owens, who is superior defensively and has hit really well. Millar could, though, force Derrek Lee out at first.

Placed RHP Scott Linebrink on the 15-day DL, retroactive to May 20; recalled RHP Jim Mann from Triple-A New Orleans. (05.25)

Linebrink has been iffy this year, anyway, and has a history of shoulder problems to go along with this elbow problem, so this is not a big surprise. Mann is two years older and more of a rabble-rouser on the mound. The Astros have lots of things to deal with in the pitching staff right now, though, so I'm sure they're not terrible concerned with Linebrink and Mann and what the difference is.

Activated C Brent Mayne from the 15-day DL; placed RHP Blake Stein on the 15-day DL; recalled RHP Brad Voyles from Triple-A Omaha; optioned C Juan Brito to Double-A Wichita. (05.28)

Mayne-for-Brito and Voyles-for-Stein aren't much to talk about, sorry. Wait, here's something: Brent Mayne is the most overpaid player in the league whose annual salary is under $1 million.

Optioned LHP Jeff Williams to Triple-A Las Vegas; recalled RHP Dennis Springer from Las Vegas. (05.25)

Placed RHP Kevin Brown on the 15-day DL; recalled RHP Bryan Corey from Las Vegas. (05.27)

Brown going back on the DL is nothing surprising anymore. Chances are he'll have one more dominant season of 30+ starts, but he's winding down his career thanks to injuries and the fact that he is 37 years old. He's a hell of a pitcher, but this is realism. He's about done for, but maybe not quite there.

Holding a 20.25 ERA over four appearances tends to get one demoted immediately, and 37-year old knuckler Springer is back with the Dodgers. There's really no reason Springer can't do for Los Angeles what Tim Wakefield does for Boston, though Wakefield is the better pitcher of the two. If not, he can always play pinochle with Jesse Orosco.

Optioned OF Endy Chavez to Triple-A Ottawa; activated 1B Andres Galarraga from the 15-day DL.

You know, maybe the Expos should consider trying someone other than this week's center fielder in the leadoff spot, if this is going to be such a problem. Peter Bergeron and Endy Chavez have both failed at it, and Jose Macias is unlikely to do a lot better, so why not go unconventional and use Brad Wilkerson in the leadoff spot? Jose Vidro leading off would be a waste, but Wilkerson is carrying a .373 OBP and can run a little bit, and leading off might suit both him and the team pretty well at this point. If not, they're going to end up with Devon White or Curtis Goodwin leading off sometime soon.

Recalled RHP Aaron Harang from Triple-A Sacramento; designated LHP Mike Holtz for assignment. (05.25)

Whoa, the A's are gettin' serious here. Holtz has done nothing but suck, like most of the Oakland bullpen, and Harang is up to see if they can round out a rotation without Cory Lidle or Mike Fyhrie. If he can live up to expectations of being a decent No. 4 starter this season, then it's a good move.

Activated 1B Phil Nevin from the 15-day DL; designated RHP Tom Davey for assignment. (05.27)

Nevin came back and moved over to third base, because Sean Burroughs has joined Hank Blalock in the "ridiculously disappointing" echelon of this year's hotshot rookie third basemen. The only one so far to really live up to expectations (and surpass them) has been Eric Hinske. Realistically, Burroughs was never worth the hype, because he's a Mark Grace-type hitter that is never going to excite people. If he gets sent back to Portland, don't be shocked.

Optioned OF Jason Tyner and C Toby Hall to Triple-A Durham; designated IF Wilmy Carceras for assignment; recalled 3B/1B Aubrey Huff and C Paul Hoover from Durham. (05.28)

Well, Huff should be with the team, but Toby Hall has been truly disappointing. I want to say he should stay up, but hitting .187 and playing bad defensively is enough to be sent down. John Flaherty will likely take over for the time being, with Hoover caddying. Hall shouldn't be in Durham anymore than a month, at the most, unless he can't hit there either. Tyner and Carceras both suck and shouldn't be in an organization this bad. Then again, people like Tyner and Carceras are the reason the Devil Rays are the Devil Rays.

Recalled RHP Rob Bell from Triple-A Oklahoma; purchased the contracts of RHPs Anthony Telford and Juan Alvarezfrom Oklahoma; optioned RHP Doug Davis to Oklahoma; designated LHP Chris Michalak and RHP Steve Woodard for assignment. (05.27)

Well, the Rangers have been through the Chris Michalaks and Steve Woodards of the world, and now we're down to the Anthony Telfords. At this rate, Rocky Coppinger and Shawn Boskie should show up any time now.

Davis going down is a confidence-shaker for him and the Rangers, but Rob Bell is a similar pitcher that could produce roughly the same results if he finds a groove right away. Davis should be back whenever the team gets sick of Dave Burba, though.

Traded LHP Dan Plesac to the Philadelphia Phillies for RHP Cliff Politte. (05.25)

Politte has long been capable of being a major league long reliever/spot starter, but has a history of injuries messing up his chances. Still, he's only 28, and makes for a sensible trade for Plesac. Now the Jays have settled in with Felix Heredia and Scott Eyre as their two lefties from the pen. Sadly, those are the two worst they had behind Plesac and Pedro Borbon, but this gives them flexibility, and the Phillies desperately needed a situational lefty, which they got.