The White Sox have placed infielder Angel Sanchez on waivers, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. As a Rule 5 pick, he will be offered back to the Angels if he goes unclaimed. Sanchez is currently on a rehab assignment after suffering a lower back strain in April. Sanchez, 29, posted a .240/.305/.285 line in 328 plate appearances for the Astros last year, playing shortstop, second base, and third base. The Puerto Rican was drafted in the 11th round by the Royals in 2001, one pick after the Pirates chose Stephen Drew, who of course did not sign and became a first-rounder in ’04
MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo was asked on Twitter where high school outfielder Clint Frazier, whom many expect to go in the Top 10 of the MLB Draft, ranks in comparison to high school talents from previous drafts. Mayo notes that it’s hard to ignore hindsight and view players in the same light as he did when they were amateurs, but he ranked Frazier as the eighth-best talent among 36 high school hitters selected in the first round dating back to 2009. Here’s more on the draft… The Astros have six players on their draft board but Frazier looks to be edging out Austin Meadows, leaving them with Frazier, Mark Appel, Jonathan Gray, Kris Bryant and Colin Moran, according to Brian T. Smith of the Houston Chronicle. Bryant and Frazier are seen as dark horses if the team decides Appel and Gray aren’t worth the money they’re asking. Should Scott Boras and Appel highball the Astros, money will become an issue. Smith notes that it’s very close between Appel and Gray, adding that Gray has ties to the Astros and is open to negotiating (All links to Smith’s Twitter account)
Jose Altuve’s fling with the Boras Corporation has ended. The Astros’ second baseman recently left Boras and signed with Scott Pucino and Wil Polidor of Octagon, where he had been before, reported MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart last night. Though Altuve was with Boras for about a year, the switch went under the radar. “It’s not our business,” commented Astros GM Jeff Luhnow regarding his players’ choice of agency.
The Astros, Cubs, and Rockies have the first three picks in the 2013 amateur draft, which takes place Thursday, June 6th. Draft gurus expect college righties Mark Appel and Jonathan Gray and college third baseman Kris Bryant to go within those first three picks, though the order seems tough to pin down at this point. The latest on the draft: Baseball America’s Jim Callis asked four “top-level scouting executives” whether they preferred Appel or Gray. Three of them chose Appel, though it was interesting to hear that two of them questioned his makeup.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly will soon be fired, FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal argues. “My guess is that Mattingly gets this series, and if things don’t go better, that’s it,” Rosenthal says. “The Dodgers are off Thursday, then begin a five-game homestand against the Cardinals and Angels. You can look it up — managerial changes often occur on off-days before a homestand.” The Dodgers are currently 17-25 after being swept by the Braves. Rosenthal notes that GM Ned Colletti might find himself on the hot seat as well, but that the typical pattern is for the manager to be the first out the door. When asked recently whether Mattingly would remain with the Dodgers through the end of the season, team president Stan Kasten replied, “I assume so,” but noted that he expected the team to play better.
The Rangers have placed Ian Kinsler on the disabled list with an intercostal strain and recalled middle infielder and top prospect Jurickson Profar, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News writes. Profar already had a cup of coffee last September, collecting 17 big-league at-bats. But the promotion of the No. 1 player on recent top prospect listings from Baseball America, Keith Law, and MLB.com is cause for excitement.
Doug Fister and Derek Holland have delivered consistent results for the Tigers and Rangers so far this season and both will be trying to give their bullpens a breather during Sunday night’s series finale on ESPN.
The Astros will hold one of four regional draft workouts on Sunday, MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reports. Sunday’s workout will be near Los Angeles. Others will be held in Florida, Georgia and Houston. About 20 prospects have been invited to Sunday’s workout. It’s unclear who they are, but some potential No. 1 overall picks are expected to participate in the workouts. Houston-area high schoolers Cavan Biggio, Josh Pettitte and Kacy Clemens — all sons of former Astros stars — are likely to be invited to the Houston workout. Here are more notes on the upcoming draft. Baseball America’s list of the top 250 2013 Amateur Draft prospects is headed by Oklahoma pitcher Jonathan Gray. BA’s scouting report (subscription-only) compares Gray to former top overall picks Stephen Strasburg and Gerrit Cole
The impending return of Franklin Gutierrez from the disabled list could lead the Mariners to designate Endy Chavez for assignment, Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times writes. The M’s have no plans to carry six outfielders, and Baker thinks they won’t drop Jason Bay or Raul Ibanez, since they’ve been hitting well. That leaves Chavez without a chair. Chavez has hit .282/.288/.310 so far this season. Here are more notes from the two West divisions. Astros GM Jeff Luhnow and owner Jim Crane are in Chapel Hill today to watch a draft prospect, Mark Berman of FOX 26 reports (on Twitter). That would likely be UNC third baseman Colin Moran, who the Astros could be considering selecting with the top overall pick.
All the stars aligned in the proper order, and in the end there was Russell Martin clanging a second error off the Houston right fielder’s glove for a 5-4 Pirates victory on Friday at PNC Park.