Talk about bonus baseball. On this date in 1973, the Mets topped the Dodgers 7-3 in a 19-inning marathon. L.A. outfielder Willie Davis racked six hits at Dodger Stadium and the two clubs established a National League mark by hitting into a combined nine double plays. Here’s this week’s look around the baseball blogosphere.. Rumbunter chatted with Pirates’ second baseman Neil Walker. Pinstripe Pundits looks into the inconsistency of Phil Hughes. The Giants Cove says that Ryan Vogelsong’s injury can bring about changes in 2014. Kings Of Kauffman examines Eric Hosmer’s swing. Sodo Mojo tries to gauge what Michael Bourn’s value would be for the Mariners
Each year there are dozens of seemingly minor moves made over the course of Spring Training that generate little fanfare. A lot of Spring Training pickups generate more of a negative reaction than a positive one, but here’s a look at some of the best minor (and one major) pickups that took place during Spring Training 2013… Vernon Wells — Acquired by the Yankees at the end of Spring Training, Wells was regarded as a desperation move by GM Brian Cashman. While that may have been the case, the results have been astounding. He’s batting .287/.341/.506 with 10 homers through May 23
It was on this day in 2004 that Tom Glavine threw a complete game one-hitter in a 4-0 Mets win over the Rockies, with Glavine losing his no-hit bid with two outs in the eighth inning. Glavine’s gem was one of several near-misses for the Mets in the franchise’s record 8,019 games without a no-hitter before Johan Santana finally got it done on June 1 of last year. Here’s the latest from Flushing Meadows… There are several reasons why the Mets haven’t demoted Ike Davis just yet, writes Andy Martino of the New York Daily News. The first baseman talked the club out of sending him to Triple-A this time last year and wound up turning things around, plus the Mets aren’t certain that a trip to the minors will necessarily help Davis get on track. There’s also the matter of Sandy Alderson being out of town until Friday and the GM may want to be there in person to inform Davis of the decision. Zack Wheeler is expected to make two or three more starts in the minors and then make his Mets debut between June 6-11, a team official tells Mike Puma of the New York Post. Had Wheeler not recently missed a start due to a sore AC joint, the official says the right-hander might have already been called up. Wheeler is one of the consensus top prospects in baseball, acquired by the Mets in exchange for Carlos Beltran in a July 2011 trade with the Giants. Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com wonders why the Mets haven’t signed more “Moneyball” type free agents who can deliver production at $2-4MM per season. Scott Hairston, Chris Capuano, Chris Young, and Scott Rice are examples of inexpensive players that have outperformed their salaries, but there have been far more misses under Alderson’s watch. MLBTR’s Zach Links contributed to this post
Backed by Carlos Gonzalez’s homer and RBI triple, Rockies left-hander Jorge De La Rosa battled for 5 1/3 innings and was rewarded with a key victory, as the Rox topped the D-backs, 4-1, on Wednesday.
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)
Pablo Sandoval delivered a two-run homer with one out in the 10th inning Tuesday to lift the Giants to a 4-2 victory over the Washington Nationals.
Wilin Rosario’s 10th-inning single gave the Rockies a 5-4 victory over the D-backs at Coors Field on Tuesday night in front of 27,096 fans.
The list of starting pitchers eligible for free agency after this season appears unimpressive, in large part due to injuries to key players. The latest: The Cubs’ Matt Garza makes his season debut tonight in Pittsburgh. He last appeared on a Major League mound on July 21st of last year. Previously a durable pitcher, Garza wasn’t even expected to land on the DL after being forced out of that July start with triceps cramps. The injury was later determined to be a stress reaction in his elbow. There was talk of Garza being ready for Opening Day, but the supposedly mild lat strain suffered in February will limit him to fewer than 25 starts this year, even if he makes all of them moving forward. The Blue Jays’ Josh Johnson suffered a triceps injury in late April, but made a solid minor league rehab start yesterday. Barring a setback he should be ready in early June, and he may be auditioning for a July trade if Toronto’s fortunes don’t turn around. Garza and Johnson would both benefit greatly from midseason trades, as they’d become ineligible for qualifying offers after the season. Rehabbing from July flexor tendon surgery, the Rangers’ Colby Lewis was working at 84-86 miles per hour in a rehab start yesterday.
How often are top prospects traded midseason? Using trade periods of June through August, and Baseball America’s preseason top 100 prospect lists, let’s take a look at the last four years: 2012: 7 (Jacob Turner, Arodys Vizcaino, Jean Segura, Zack Cox, Allen Webster, Nate Eovaldi, Christian Villanueva) 2011: 5 (Jonathan Singleton, Alex White, Zack Wheeler, Drew Pomeranz, Jarred Cosart) 2010: 3 (Justin Smoak, Brett Wallace, Wilson Ramos) 2009: 7 (Brett Wallace, Tim Alderson, Carlos Carrasco, Gorkys Hernandez, Aaron Poreda, Lou Marson, Chris Perez) If recent history is any indication, we should expect between three and seven top 100 prospects to be traded this summer. Out of the 22 prospects traded in the last four years, only three were top 30 guys: Smoak, Turner, and Wallace in 2010. Wallace’s 2010 trade was something of a prospect challenge trade, however, and is an exception. It’s fair to expect most traded prospects to be in the 40-100 range on the rankings
Right-hander Scott Proctor has decided to retire, according to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News (on Twitter). The 36-year-old had signed a minor league contract with the Giants this offseason but was traded to the Orioles in March and released at the end of April. Proctor, a fifth-round pick of the Dodgers in 1998, appeared in 307 games between the Dodgers, Yankees and Braves. In 343 career innings, he pitched to a 4.78 ERA, 7.6 K/9, 4.4 BB/9 and a 31.9 percent ground-ball rate. Proctor’s best year came in 2006 with the Yankees when he totaled 102 1/3 innings with a 3.52 ERA. The Florida State University product banked nearly $3MM over the course of his career, according to Baseball-Reference.com.