The Baseball Revue
Recalled RHP Brendan Donnelly from Triple-A Salt Lake; placed OF Julio Ramirez on the 15-day DL. (06.19)
Donnelly, 30, had his best season ever split between Arkansas and Salt Lake last year, and was added to the 40-man roster in October. He probably won't be around for long, just until the Angels need his roster spot for something better, but it's always nice when a journeyman gets a break.
Lombard is a lefty that the Braves deemed expendable to get a marginally useful right-handed reliever. Now, Lombard isn't much of a prospect. He's too old (26) and doesn't really do much of anything besides hit enough to be a fourth outfielder, but the Braves have depth issues that are causing them to play Darren Bragg right now. Was there no better solution? It probably won't hurt them in the long or short run, but was it that hard to find a Kris Keller-level reliever?
If Ojeda could play the outfield, he'd be Angel Echevarria. A good move.
Placed RHP David Riske on the 15-day DL; purchased the contract of LHP Heath Murray from Triple-A Buffalo; transferred RHP Jaret Wright from the 15- to 60-day DL. (06.19)
I really, really like David Riske for some reason, and I really, really don't like Heath Murray because he's already had the nice break that I was talking about earlier and he didn't make anything of it. But the Indians are a poorly-run franchise again. They never got that World Series ring out of the John Hart era, and they aren't likely to see another one as long as they're crying about small market disadvantages and employing Mark Shapiro as their general manager. Also, I wish they'd just give up on Jaret Wright. It's sad to see his name connected to "DL" all the time. He's not coming off of it.
Fuentes will be good someday, and is okay this day, but he has options and the team is paying White more money than they're paying him.
Traded RHP Kris Keller to the Atlanta Braves for OF George Lombard; designated 1B/OF Ryan Jackson for assignment. (06.19)
The trade is good for Detroit. Their season is a lost cause and one Kris Keller can be replaced by another one. Lombard isn't as good as Craig Monroe, who keeps getting sent back to Toledo, and is probably equal to Jacob Cruz in all facets of the game, including fragility. The best part? It helps them unload the terrible Ryan Jackson.
Saarloos' first start did not go well, but what can you do? Someday soon, probably next year, he'll be in the rotation for good. The Astros need to take the patient route and wait probably three or four years before their rotation of Miller, Oswalt, Redding, Hernandez and Saarloos is ready to dominate. Jimy Williams is the wrong manager for that task, and it wouldn't be shocking to see them rashly trade Redding or Hernandez or Saarloos if things don't come along as quickly as their hype wants it to.
KANSAS CITY ROYALS
Affeldt is probably Kansas City's best pitching prospect since Jose Rosado, and he's pitched fairly okay this season. Nothing that would make you jump up and take notice, but the kind of numbers that make you think he's learning quickly. Sedlacek had a useful first start in his spot, and is a good minor leaguer. He's probably not going to do much in the majors though.
Well no shit. Jenkins' injury was the ugliest since Jason Kendall's, and it would be a miracle if he were able to come back from it before spring training. If I were him, I wouldn't rush it anyway. He's got his flaws, to be sure, but still has the upside to be a productive power hitter. Something like this derailing his career if he rushes back would just be too bad.
Placed 2B Ricky Gutierrez on the 15-day DL; recalled UT Jolbert Cabrera from Triple-A Buffalo. (07.16)
It's a good thing there's something wrong with Gutierrez, because he's been hitting like there has been all season. Now at least the Indians have an excuse to give the fans quickly turning on Mark Shapiro and his ridiculous decision to trade a loyal and great player like Roberto Alomar. I think Mark Shapiro is a dingbat, though, so maybe I just wanted a reason to call his ability into question.
There's almost no way Butler will play poorly enough to make the Rockies miss what Jose Ortiz has become. I don't know what's to blame for the crumbling of Colorado's once-promising middle infield duo of Ortiz and Juan Uribe, but if it's the humidor, then INTEGRITY OF THE GAME BLARGH BLARGH. Though Juan Pierre is still hitting .280ish, so it hasn't bothered him that much. Maybe Ortiz and Uribe just suck.
Signed P Mark McLemore and assigned him to Single-A Tri-City. (07.17)
The second move I only mentioned because it's almost as ridiculous that there are two pro baseball players named Mark McLemore as it was having two major league pitchers named Jeff D'Amico. Almost.
As far as the other move goes, I think we can safely assume that either Jimy Williams or the Astros, or both, do not like Adam Everett and do not see him as the much-ballyhooed "shortstop of the future" that he was pegged as before this season. It's also one of the rare times I easily think I agree with something like discarding a prospect, because I don't see Adam Everett as much of a prospect other than with his glove, which, too, is overhyped. He's not BAD at anything, he's just not particularly good, either. He's a major leaguer, but not as an everyday player. He'll be best served when someone jumps over him in the shortstop of the future race. Then the Astros can have him for insurance and unload Julio Lugo. And you have to hope by then that they'll have rid themselves of Jose Vizcaino. And Orlando Merced too.
KANSAS CITY ROYALS
Gomez is an athlete first, ballplayer second, similar to Alex Sanchez or any other number of speedy center fielders with all that potential hoopla that scouts and dumb teams and scouts of dumb teams love. He's only 21 and hasn't been unbelievably bad at any level up to now, but as a major leaguer, he'll probably give them no more than what Chuck Knoblauch was giving them before an injury saved the Royals from having to play him anymore.
If there was anywhere perfect for Fielder to land, it's with the Brewers. I don't quite expect that he'll live up to his billing or outhit his dad when he was in his prime, but I'd expect him to have some decent big-swingin' years from 2007-2012 or so.
ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
Do you think when the Cardinals played the Mariners that So Taguchi took pictures of himself with Ichiro to send to his family and prove that they really are in the very same league?
Getting Edmonds back is a big deal. I happen to be of the belief that Jim Edmonds is one of the most underrated and underappreciated players in the entire league. He's a really fantastic hitter that you could argue for being one of the ten best in baseball. He's not quite in the Bonds/A-Rod/Sammy/Giambi/Helton realm, but he's in that notch below with Manny Ramirez and Gary Sheffield and Shawn Green for sure. That's not exactly anything to shake a stick at, and no matter how much hype he's given, J.D. Drew just can't seem to outplay the older, more broken-up Edmonds. In reality, they've produced the way you'd expect the other one to to date, injuries included.
SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS
If anyone out there picks up Tom Goodwin to be part of their major league team, they're insane. In that regard, look for interest from the Indians, Rangers, Devil Rays and Expos.
Placed 2B Junior Spivey on the 15-day DL, retroactive to June 10; recalled RHP Duaner Sanchez from Double-A El Paso. (06.14)
Spivey's had a brilliant season, by far the best for any second baseman in the league not named Alfonso Soriano, and even with Soriano you can make plenty of valid arguments in Spivey's favor (glovework, OBP, the usual knocks on Soriano). With him out, Alex Cintron will hang on to the second base job unless Jay Bell gets back to make the team older and more hopeless-looking, when in fact the team they're fielding now, without Bell, Matt Williams or Reggie Sanders, is in my estimation significantly better than the team that won the World Series with them. All it took was some Junior Spivey and a pinch of Erubiel Durazo, and presto change-o, a younger, faster, outright better Diamondbacks team than a year ago.
Oh I do enjoy the chances I get to talk about my favorite team whenever someone gets injured or they bring up this week's retread starter. With Conine and Segui both on the DL, the Orioles have lost their invaluable righty/switchy, 1B/DH platoon of tired old coots that are under contract to the wrong team for the wrong amount of money, doing the wrong things at the wrong times. I know Jeff Conine had a cute 2001 and was the MVP of the team and is the heir apparent leader in the wake of the spiritual death of the franchise that was Cal Ripken's retirement, but there was no sense in signing him to an extension when a team like the Braves could actually use him for something or other. There was never any sense in signing Segui in the first place, because in his brief prime, at his best, he was John Olerud Lite, heavy on the Lite.
I don't know who will play first base now, but my guess would be either Jay Gibbons or Leon himself, because frankly, who cares who plays first base? It might as well be Rochester's third baseman, right? Chris Richard is scheduled to be back around the All-Star break, and he may not be ready to play the outfield right off, so maybe he can take Segui's spot as Conine's partner, switching between the cold corner and DH duties with ease and boredom. Goddamn! I love the fucking Orioles!
I think Bruce Chen sucks and I think Jim Brower is about the same, but if anyone is going to be able to get whatever someone saw a few years ago out of Chen's arm to come back, it's Don Gullett. Overall, a good trade for the Reds, because if Chen disappoints (is that possible anymore?), they aren't exactly going to be pining for Brower.
Ozuuuuuuna. That's about the best fun you can get out of this.
Remember when Mike Buddie got cut loose from Milwaukee, and I said he'd probably end up somewhere better than there? Well, even landing with the Expos is an upgrade.
As much as you can't say the Expos are a "well-run team", since nobody runs them, it's hard to question Frank Robinson's influence on the players and Omar Minaya's quest to prove himself to other teams like the Rangers or Orioles that are going to need a new GM sooner rather than later. Brower is almost 30 years old and isn't ever going to do anything of note, but Chen wasn't either. They swapped someone off to a real team that, if he performs, can use him for something possibly important. However wrong and sad it is to take that perspective, I have to try and be positive about what the Expos are, which is a dumping point for wayward veterans (Brower, Buddie, Matt Herges) so that maybe they can show something and get signed in the off-season to a team like the Cubs or Rockies that gets a little too wild over veteran relief help. Any of them are better than Pat Mahomes.
NEW YORK YANKEES
The Yankee rotation is now at Clemens, Mussina, Pettitte, Wells and Hitchcock. I don't know what the hell they're doing with Ted Lilly, an obviously superior pitcher to the ass end of that group. If it were any other team, you'd say they're justifying his contract, but since when do the Yankees care about doing that? If I say only few positive things about the Yankees, the biggest praise I'm forced to give them is in regards to the manner in which they run their operation. They win because they're smart, not just because they're rich. They sign the right free agents (Mussina, Giambi), keep the right prospects (Soriano, Nick Johnson, Lilly, and then back to Pettitte and Mendoza and Jeter), and they move on when fan favorites like Tino and Scott Brosius have done all they can do. They aren't blindly loyal to anyone.
I think I'll go take a shower now.
I just liked typing "Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre."
SAN DIEGO PADRES
Kingsale runs fast, Sweeney is only useful to the team in any way because of the absence of Phil Nevin and Bubba Trammell's bat, and Tollberg has alternated between brutal and medicore this season after a useful 2001. The Padres are predictably not as good as everyone wanted them to be, a reason why I couldn't understand so many of Baseball Prospectus's writers picking them to win the NL West. It's like saying you really thought Generation K would turn out as planned.
The Mariners get Edgar back, but until they return to AL play, he'sl just an expensive pinch-hitter. Ruben Sierra will probably still see significant time in left, defense be damned. Mark McLemore should really just be the everyday third baseman by now, because Jeff Cirillo is going to have to really get hot to come out of the funk he's been in, and as much as I like high-average, doubles-hittin', strikeout-avoidin' number six hitters (my infatuation with Mark Grace will never end), Cirillo's obviously on the wrong, wrong, wrong side of 30. His numbers never increased in Colorado as compared to Milwaukee like they should have, so if you think about it, you could say his decline has been in process for a few years now.