There were plenty of headlines made in both the AL East and NL East last night, with Kevin Gausman making his Major League debut and Chase Utley hitting the 15-day disabled list. More news and rumors from baseball’s Eastern divisions… The addition of a second wild card team in each league hurts teams such as the Braves that have early-season needs, writes ESPN’s Buster Olney. Few teams are ready to pack it in and declare themselves sellers at this stage, but Atlanta could use some left-handed relief help with Eric O’Flaherty and Jonny Venters out for the season. Olney’s Insider-only piece runs down some potentially available lefties.
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
The Phillies received some more bad injury luck today when the team announced that Chase Utley was going to the 15-day DL with a Grade 1 oblique strain. While the injury isn’t considered particularly serious, Phillies GM Ruben Amaro told media (including CSNPhilly.com) that the team was going to be cautious in order to keep Utley’s oblique from bothering him throughout the season. Utley has battled a number of injuries over the last few seasons and going on the DL yet again is likely to hurt his free agent stock this winter — at the very least, it will drop him a few spots in the next edition of Tim Dierkes’ 2014 Free Agent Power Rankings. Here are some items from around the NL East… On Wednesday, before Utley’s DL stint, Amaro said he saw his team as buyers leading up to the trade deadline since he felt his team was still in the race, MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reports. Amaro did warn that the decision to buy or sell at the deadline was coming soon. “The real question is: How long can you wait? Right now, we’re willing to wait, because no one is crazy and running away with it. We’re willing to wait, and how long we’ll wait is a decision I’ll have to make,” Amaro said.
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.
Ramiro Pena and B.J. Upton hit solo homers and Evan Gattis hit a grand slam as the Braves powered past the Twins, 8-3, on Wednesday afternoon for their sixth win in a row.
Here’s your rundown of today’s minor moves… Sugar Land Skeeters outfielder Dustin Martin has signed a minor league contract with the Diamondbacks according to a press release from the Skeeters (via MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez on Twitter). Martin, 29, has spent time in the Mets and Twins organizations. He was part of the return the Twins received when they traded Luis Castillo to the Mets in 2007. The lefty swinger is a career .259/.328/.397 hitter in 420 games at the Triple-A level. The Orioles have acquired minor league infielder Josh Horton from the Athletics in exchange for cash or a player to be named later, assistant GM David Forst told Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle (Twitter link). The 27-year-old Horton is hitting .224/.246/.373 this season at Triple-A. He has experience at second base, shortstop and third base. Horton was a second-round pick by the A’s in 2007 and ranked as their No
Jose Canseco will be joining the Fort Worth Cats of the independent United League, the team announced. Canseco will serve as a player-coach during the team’s opening home stand against the Edinburg Roadrunners, managed by Jose’s twin brother Ozzie. This isn’t Canseco’s first go-around in an independent league, as the 48-year-old has appeared for clubs in several circuits since completing a 17-year big league career. Here is tonight’s look around the rest of the baseball world.. Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune discussed the state of the White Sox with GM Rick Hahn. “We’re not going to change that path and will focus on this season until it’s readily apparent that we have to change our focus,” said Hahn, regarding the decision to buy or sell as the season progresses. The White Sox are currently 20-23, good for fourth in the AL Central. While the Reds have looked to add some balance to their lefty-heavy lineup, the market is not to their liking, reports Mark Sheldon of MLB.com. ”There is really nobody out there that would make much of a difference. We’re just biding our time to see what happens,” said General Manager Walt Jocketty
Mike Leake never looked back after the Reds scored three first-inning runs, tossing seven scoreless frames in a 4-0 win over the Mets on Tuesday night at Citi Field