Here are a few National League notes as we head into the weekend:
- Padres utilityman Alexi Amarista has switched his representation to Martin Arburua, tweets Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. Per MLBTR's Agency Database, Amarista was formerly represented by Proformance. The 24-year-old, who has slashed .280/.309/.452 in 98 plate appearances thus far in 2013, is set to be arbitration eligible beginning in 2015.
- The Nationals are approaching opt-out deadlines for two left-handed relievers that are currently stashed in the minors, explains James Wagner of the Washington Post. Both J.C. Romero and Bill Bray are eligible to elect free agency in June if they are not added to the big league roster. While Washington still has uncertainty in its lefty bullpen options, with Zach Duke scuffling and Fernando Abad only recently added to the squad, its decisions on Romero and Bray will be complicated by injuries to the two southpaws. Romero last saw action on May 8; Bray's last appearance was May 14. Of course, the Nats could always seek to extend those opt-out dates, which could be beneficial to both the team and the players.
- The major decision facing the Nationals this past offseason was whether to bring back free agent Adam LaRoche and, if so, what to do with slugging outfielder/first baseman Michael Morse. With over a quarter of the season in the bag, the Washington Post's Adam Kilogre looks back at the team's ultimate decision to re-sign LaRoche and send Morse to the Mariners. Given the way the season has developed, Kilgore posits, Morse would likely have already been able to achieve over 100 at-bats even with LaRoche in the fold. It is easy to second-guess the decision with Morse's solid start (.244/.310/.462 but with ten long balls) and the struggles of young power-hitter Tyler Moore (.121/.157/.227 and just one home run in 70 plate appearances). Nevertheless, Kilgore explains, the club was not only concerned with carrying Morse's salary and relegating a still-in-his-prime veteran to a secondary role, but needed to recoup some future value after dealing high-end prospect Alex Meyer for center fielder Denard Span.
- As Kilgore notes, the Nats not only landed high-upside pitching prospects A.J. Cole and Blake Treinen in the Morse trade, but also were entitled to a player-to-be-named later. The PTBNL turned into another arm, left-handed reliever Ian Krol, who has flashed promise in his time with the organization. Kilgore points out that Krol has given up only two runs over 22 2/3 innings while working out of the pen for the Nats' Double-A affiliate. The 22-year-old Krol adds another internal option to supplement the team's less-than-inspiring southpaw relief corps.
Nationals manager Davey Johnson announced after tonight's ballgame that the team designated pitcher Yunesky Maya for assignment, Amanda Comak of the Washington Times and others reported (via Twitter). In a corresponding move, the team will call up 24-year-old infielder Jeff Kobernus for his first big league tour.
Maya, a 31-year-old righty who hails from Cuba, has disappointed since the Nats gave him $8MM to sign as an international free agent. In just 59 career big league innings, Maya has struggled to a 5.80 ERA and posted a substandard 4.1 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9. In his only appearance this season, he surrendered a walk-off home run to Pablo Sandoval.
Kobernus, a 2009 second-round pick, was a Rule 5 draftee of the Tigers this past offseason. After challenging for a roster spot with Detroit in the spring, he was returned to the Nationals. Primarily a second baseman for much of his career, Kobernus has seen significant time in the outfield of late, both with the Tigers over the spring and with the Nationals' Triple-A affiliate. He earned the promotion by posting a .333/.378/.420 line over his 193 plate appearances this season.
The Mariners have designated infielder Robert Andino for assignment and elevated shortstop Carlos Triunfel to the big league club. This seemingly simple transaction took some unusual twists and turns throughout the day.
Now that the dust has settled, Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times recapped the series of events. As MLBTR explained earlier today, Dave Cameron of Fangraphs and U.S.S. Mariner tweeted that Andino had been placed on outright waivers to open a 40-man roster spot. A 40-man spot was needed to permit catcher Jesus Sucre to come up and replace the demoted Jesus Montero. However, that waiver move would not have cleared space on the team’s 40-man for 48 hours, the time required for Andino to clear waivers (unless he was claimed). Instead, Baker reported, the Mariners had intended to designate a minor leaguer for assignment to make way for Sucre, leaving Andino on the roster (at least for the time being). As Baker explains, the report of the Andino waiver move meant that the team would be dressing a player who would be (or, at least, believed he would be) out of a job shortly.
Later this afternoon, the Mariners announced that Andino had been designated for assignment, with Triunfel promoted to take his spot. (Baker reported the news first on Twitter.) By designating Andino, the club immediately cleared a 40-man spot for Sucre (who is also now on the active roster) and a 25-man spot for Triunfel (who already occupied a 40-man spot). Triunfel, however, had already flown out this morning with Triple-A Tacoma for the team’s game in Reno, NV. The youngster was then re-routed back to Seattle this afternoon.
This odd sequence leads Baker to infer that the M’s changed course after the Andino waiver news broke. As Baker notes, Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik said that he was already looking to bring up Triunfel. While Zduriencik would not confirm that Andino had been placed on waivers, he did say that no transaction had been made prior to today. Whether the reasons, as Baker explains, “what happened today is hardly routine.”
The net of Seattle’s dealings today is that Andino finds himself in DFA limbo, with the team having ten days to trade, outright, or release him. The 29-year-old Andino batted just .184/.253/.237 for the M's this season, appearing primarily at shortstop. He also has extensive big league experience at second base and has seen some time at third base. Andino was acquired by the Mariners from the Orioles in exchange for Trayvon Robinson back in November.
In parts of nine Major League seasons between the Marlins, Orioles and Mariners, Andino is a .232/.294/.318 hitter. He grades out as a plus defender -- particularly at second base -- according to both UZR and The Fielding Bible.
Jeff Todd contributed to this post.
Here are a few notes from around baseball's Central divisions:
- With the Reds welcoming the division-rival Cubs for a three-game set on the same day that Cincinnati reliever Sean Marshall made another DL trip, Hal McCoy of the Dayton Times looked back on the December 2011 deal between these clubs that put Marshall in the Reds' pen. Travis Wood, the primary piece going to Chicago in that trade, is off to a sparkling start to the year with a 2.24 ERA over 60 1/3 innings. While he has posted a pedestrian 5.8 K/9 to go with 2.8 BB/9, Wood has managed a stellar .928 WHIP this season, good for seventh best among starters, tied with Shelby Miller. (Of course, that mark owes to the lefty's exceedingly low .193 BABIP-against. He sports a career mark of .262; league average currently sits at .292.) Marshall, meanwhile, continues to be effective when he is healthy: he sports an ERA of just over 2.50 over his two seasons in Cincinnati. It is worth noting, as well, that the Reds' rotation is in fine shape thus far without Wood: Cinci starters own the second-best collective ERA in baseball, after the Cardinals.
- Even if the Cubs have played better than their record, the team is looking up in the standings at a host of strong ballclubs. Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times writes that the club is already feeling the mid-summer trade deadline, though it remains a ways away. Manager Dale Sveum acknowledged that, while the team is still "trying to put things together where you pull off some streaks ... to give yourself a chance to give yourself hope," the team "all know[s] that if we don't, there can be changes." Wittenmyer says that a number of players could be on the trading block, including starters Scott Feldman and Matt Garza, relivers Kevin Gregg and James Russell, and outfielder David DeJesus.
- The Cubs' major offseason acquisition, pitcher Edwin Jackson, has been a disappointment among an otherwise solid rotation. Nevertheless, the Chicago Tribune's Paul Sullivan reports, Jackson is in no danger of losing his starting role. Sveum said that the team is "going to stick with him," in part due to Jackson's four-year, $52MM deal. Said Sveum: "You've got a commitment there and you've got to stick with the commitment."
- Twins first bagger Justin Morneau, a soon-to-be free agent, has not engaged in any extension talks with his team, a source tells Darren Wolfson of 1500ESPN.com. As Morneau finishes off his six-year, $80MM deal with Minnesota, he has failed to restore the power that landed him that contract. Morneau slashed .345/.437/.628 over an injury-shortened 2010 season, but registered a .267/.333/.440 line last year and currently sits at .312/.353/.416 over 190 plate appearances this season.
We'll keep track of Friday's minor transactions right here...
- Dan Klein, once a highly-rated Orioles prospect, was been placed on the club's voluntary retirement list, tweets Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports. A third round pick in the 2010 draft, Klein was dominant in the short time he spent on the mound, putting up a composite 1.11 ERA over 32 1/3 innings split between High-A and Double-A in the 2011 season as a 22-year-old. Since then, however, Klein has struggled with a series major shoulder injuries. As MASN's Steve Melewski detailed last fall, Klein was hopeful of getting back on track this year, but he ultimately never advanced far enough to make a minor league appearance.
- The Norfolk Tides, the Triple-A affiliate of the Orioles, have announced the release of left-hander Zach Braddock (on Twitter). The 25-year-old Braddock has a 4.41 ERA, 10.4 K/9 and 5.3 BB/9 in 51 Major League innings -- all coming with the Brewers from 2010-11. Big strikeout numbers and high walk totals have been the norm for the New Jersey native since he was selected by the Brewers in the 18th round of the 2005 draft.
- Left-hander Royce Ring has signed with the Long Island Ducks, tweets ESPN New York's Adam Rubin. Royce, 32, was selected by the White Sox with the 18th overall pick in the 2002 draft. In parts of five Major League seasons with the Mets, Padres, Braves and Yankees, the San Diego State University product has a 5.29 ERA, 7.3 K/9 and 5.6 BB/9.
Kevin Gausman, the No. 4 overall pick in the 2012 draft, made his Major League debut for the Orioles last night. In a poll on Wednesday, roughly 39 percent of MLBTR readers agreed that Michael Wacha of the Cardinals would be the next first-round pick from last year's draft to make the leap to the big leagues. There are less than two weeks until the 2013 draft, and we'll keep track of today's draft-related news here...
- The first mock draft from Jim Callis of Baseball America had the Astros taking Mark Appel No. 1 overall, but his newest version has the Astros taking Jonathan Gray. That leaves Appel to go to the Cubs at No. 2, but it's not clear right now who the Cubs would take between the two pitchers if Houston winds up taking a hitter instead.
- Callis views Sean Manaea as a complete wild card in this year's draft (Twitter link). He likens the Indiana State lefty to Lucas Giolito, who the Nationals drafted 16th overall last year. Like Giolito, Manaea was once considered a possible No. 1 overall selection, but injuries have caused his stock to fall and it's highly difficult to predict where he'll land.
- Prep catcher Reese McGuire will have to make a tough choice between attending college and going pro, but he's eager for the draft nonetheless, writes MLB.com's Doug Miller. While McGuire has a great opportunity to play ball at the University of San Diego, he might not be able to resist the pull of the majors if goes as high as he is projected to. MLB.com currently has the catcher going No. 11 to the Mets.
- McGuire isn't the only high school catcher who is drawing interest from clubs at the top of the draft, writes Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com. Behind him are Jon Denney from Oklahoma and South Carolina's Nick Ciuffo.
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.
- The Blue Jays have selected the contract of Sean Nolin from Double-A New Hampshire and transferred J.A. Happ to the 60-day DL to clear a 40-man roster space, tweets Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet. Darren Oliver hit the 15-day DL to clear a 25-man roster spot.
- The New York Post's Mike Puma cites a "high-ranking club official" as he reports that Mets top prospect Zack Wheeler should join the club in two to three weeks, barring any injury setbacks. Puma's source told him that were it not for a minor shoulder injury that caused Wheeler to miss a start, he might already be with the big league club. Jeremy Hefner is the most likely rotation casualty, Puma adds.
- The Orioles have about three weeks to make a decision on what to do with rehabbing lefty Tsuyoshi Wada, writes Rich Dubroff of CSN Baltimore. The Japanese lefty has yet to throw a pitch for the O's since signing a two-year, $8.15MM contract thanks to Tommy John surgery.
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.
- Climbing Tal's Hill sees five Astros infielders that could be in it for the long haul.
- Rays Colored Glasses tackles the bullpen.
- MLB Injury News is hopeful that Joe Mauer can stay healthy.
- Steel City Buzz likes North Carolina third baseman Colin Moran for the Pirates.
- MLB Reports breaks down Will Middlebrooks' sophomore slump.
- Baseball Hot Corner talks mental toughness.
- Splice Today says the Cubs still have a ways to go.
- Southpaw Yakker spoke with Scott Proctor about baseball and his faith.
If you have a suggestion for this feature, Zach can be reached at ZachBBWI@gmail.com.
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. Most (myself included) assumed Wells was done after he hit .222/.258/.409 from 2011-12, but Wells has proved to be arguably the best Spring Training pickup of 2013.
- Kyle Lohse -- Lohse would be the "major" pickup I referenced earlier, and he's been good for the Brewers through the first two months of his three-year deal. Lohse has a 3.76 ERA, 6.1 K/9, 1.6 BB/9 and 38.7 percent ground-ball rate through 55 innings. His ERA doesn't look as nice as it did in St. Louis, but in terms of FIP and xFIP he's pretty much right on par with his 2012 numbers.
- Mike Carp -- The Red Sox landed Carp for a player to be named later, and he's hit very well in his limited at-bats for Boston. Carp has just 51 plate appearances, but he's triple-slashing .277/.333/.596. Nine of his 13 hits have been for extra bases (five doubles, two triples, two homers).
- Conor Gillaspie -- The White Sox picked up Gillaspie in exchange for Jeff Soptic, who has a 6.48 ERA in 25 innings at High-A San Jose for the Giants. Gillaspie, on the other hand, has received regular at-bats against right-handed pitching and posted a .276/.341/.422 batting line against them. He's also been terrific defensively according to UZR/150 (+4.4) and The Fielding Bible (+3).
- Jon Garland -- Garland's 5.19 ERA doesn't look like much, but he's posted a 49.2 percent ground-ball rate and been done in by a fluky homer-to-flyball ratio. Pitching at Coors Field doesn't help much, but xFIP pegs him for an ERA around 4.32, which would certainly be serviceable. He's thrown 52 innings thus far, which puts him at nearly six innings per start.
- Lyle Overbay -- Overbay turned a four-day tryout with the Yankees into a roster spot and another scrap heap success story for Cashman. He's hitting .250/.286/.467, and the numbers would be a lo prettier if he was just sheltered completely from left-handed pitching. Seven homers and a .217 ISO isn't bad for a minor league signing.
- LaTroy Hawkins -- Hawkins made the Mets' 25-man roster out of Spring Training after signing a minor league deal and has a 3.15 ERA, 8.6 K/9 and 1.8 BB/9 in 20 innings of relief. He's 40 years old, but Hawk is showing he's still a valuable bullpen piece.
- Yuniesky Betancourt -- I debated whether or not to include Betancourt because of his .232 average and .267 OBP, but he's slugged eight homers and if Overbay is on the list with his low OBP, Betancourt probably should be as well. He's playing poor defense, but Betancourt can be a decent source of pop off the bench once the team is healthy enough to stop giving him regular at-bats. He's certainly been better than detractors thought, though a Major League deal still seems like overkill.
Epifanio "Epi" Guerrero, one of the key figures in the history of Dominican baseball, passed today at age 71. Guerrero signed a number of notable international talents (including Cesar Cedeno, Carlos Delgado and Tony Fernandez) while working in the Astros, Yankees, Blue Jays and Brewers organizations as a scout and coach during a career that began in 1965. Guerrero was one of the first scouts to be involved in the development of the academy system that gave countless young Dominican prospects chances at a professional career. We here at MLBTR extend our condolences to Guerrero's friends and family on his passing.
Here are some news items from around the baseball world...
- While it has been assumed that the Cardinals will part ways with Carlos Beltran after this season, Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch thinks both Beltran and the Cardinals could benefit from Beltran re-signing a short-term contract, provided the veteran was willing to take a hometown discount. While Miklasz has a point that Beltran is a surer thing to produce for a contender than youngsters like Oscar Taveras or Matt Adams, I would be surprised if Beltran returned to St. Louis in 2014. If the Cards were confident enough in their young talent to let Albert Pujols and Kyle Lohse go, they'll do with the same with Beltran.
- The Diamondbacks may not need to make any major moves before the trade deadline, FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal writes. The Snakes have depth at several positions and further reinforcements are coming as some injured players return from the disabled list. The only possible area of need could be at closer given J.J. Putz's elbow problems but GM Kevin Towers is "100% confident" that Putz will recover.
- The Mariners talked with Jesus Montero about a long-term contract before he was linked to the Biogenesis scandal, but nothing came of those conversations, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports tweets. Earlier today, the M's demoted the 23-year-old to Triple-A.
- If MLB announces that an international draft will take place in 2014, Baseball America's Ben Badler notes that teams like the Rangers, Yankees, Cardinals or Reds (who are likely to pick near the end of that draft's first round) could be wise to exceed the spending cap on international prospects this year. Such teams would lose their 2014 or '15 international draft first-rounder for going over the cap, but it could be worth it to get a jump on the non-American/Canadian talent market.
- MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo profiles some of the top corner infielders in the upcoming amateur draft, a list led by University of San Diego third baseman Kris Bryant.
- ESPN's Keith Law discusses draft prospects, minor leaguers and other moves from around the game in a live chat with fans.
- Andrew Cashner is making great strides as a starting pitcher for the Padres, MLB.com's Corey Brock writes. Cashner has a 2.80 ERA in six starts for the Friars in 2013 after being limited to mostly bullpen work over his first three seasons due to injuries and concerns about his arm strength. If Cashner develops into a solid starter, it will obviously give the Padres a much greater return on the Anthony Rizzo trade from January 2012.
- The Rays' pitching depth is the envy of baseball, MLB.com's Bill Chastain writes, and that depth at the Major League level gives all their minor league arms time to properly develop into the club's next generation of rotation stalwarts.
MLBTR's Zach Links contributed to this post
Terry Francona returned to Boston in the opposing dugout tonight for the first time since being fired as the Red Sox manager following the 2011 season. Francona received a very warm welcome from the Fenway faithful when he was shown on the stadium's video screen, and the skipper received the best gift of all when his Indians beat up on the Sox in a 12-3 rout.
Here are some items from around the AL Central...
- The Indians are off to a great start under Francona but ESPN's Jim Bowden (Insider subscription required) thinks the team should still look to move some veterans in order to build for the future, rather than focusing on this season.
- Royals GM Dayton Moore isn't panicking about his team's recent slump, Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star reports. Moore said the Royals weren't likely to send any of their struggling young hitters to Triple-A, and the GM didn't give any indication if Jeff Francoeur was nearing the end of his time with the team. “You’re always looking to improve your roster but it's still very early,” Moore said. “It’s the same team that we left spring training with....We’ve got (118) games left, we’ve got a lot of baseball left, and we’re going to remain patient with the guys we have. I like the potential of this group."
- White Sox trainer Herm Schneider might be the greatest asset in baseball that virtually nobody recognizes, writes Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports. Teams pay over $500MM to players on the disabled list every year, but Schneider has managed to keep his players exceptionally healthy over his 34 seasons in Chicago.
- In division news from earlier today, the White Sox placed Angel Sanchez on waivers, the Indians designated David Huff for assignment and MLBTR's Marc Hulet examined the Twins' top minor leaguers in the latest edition of the Prospect Rumor Roundup.
MLBTR's Zach Links also contributed to this post
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.
- Amaro also commented on manager Charlie Manuel, reiterating that the team wouldn't look at Manuel's status until after the season. This is the 69-year-old Manuel's last year under contract as the Phillies skipper.
- Philadelphia's numerous injury problems give the Phillies the look of a seller at the deadline, FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal opines in his latest Hot Corner video. Rosenthal notes that the team would at least listen on offers for "virtually any Phillie" on the roster in order to clear money off the payroll and obtain young talent.
- The Nationals aren't living up to their status as World Series favorites, but GM Mike Rizzo said the team isn't planning any major roster shake-ups to get on track during the season, Amanda Comak of the Washington Times reports. "I think we put together a roster that we feel is going to contend....We feel we have the roster in place to win a lot of games," Rizzo said. "We felt that in Spring Training, we felt that in the winter, and I still have all the confidence in the world that this is the team that’s going to play deep into the season.”
- Eric O'Flaherty is the seventh Braves pitcher to undergo Tommy John surgery in the last five years, leading David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution to wonder if the team needs to re-examine their methods of using and developing their pitchers.
- In other NL East news from earlier today on MLBTR, the Marlins designated Jon Rauch for assignment, the Nationals could be interested in hiring Don Mattingly as Davey Johnson's successor, and we shared a collection of notes about the Mets.
Here's the latest on a few managers on the hot seat after their clubs have gotten off to disappointing starts in 2013...
- Don Mattingly isn't in "imminent danger" of being fired as Dodgers manager, ESPN's Buster Olney and Jayson Stark report. GM Ned Colletti met with Mattingly and the coaching staff after Tuesday's game and a source believes “the air was cleared and a new direction was given.” Colletti wasn't behind Mattingly's criticisms of the team, though sources say the GM did encourage Mattingly's choice to be more assertive.
- Dodgers president Stan Kasten was also not offended by Mattingly's comments, telling FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal that the skipper was trying to motivate the club. “I know what Don is trying to do, what his intention is. It’s to light a fire, kick-start the team. He’s trying everything he can think of. We’re all behind him," Kasten said.
- If this is Mattingly's last season in Los Angeles, some predict he could find a new job managing the Nationals next year, CBS Sports' Danny Knobler reports. The Nats previously considered Mattingly for a managerial opening (though he wasn't interviewed) and the team is believed to "strongly favor hiring a high-profile manager" to replace the retiring Davey Johnson rather than promote an internal option.
- Brewers manager Ron Roenicke is "not the issue" with the team's problems, owner Mark Attanasio tells CBS Sports' Jon Heyman. An anonymous scout recently criticized the Brewers for lacking in effort but Attanasio disagrees: "The guys may be a little down. But I saw them before (Wednesday's game), and there was a lot of energy and enthusiasm. That was a very spirited dugout. One thing I like about Ron Roenicke, the players play hard for him." Attanasio chalked his team's woes up to "streakiness," a lack of situational hitting and struggling starting pitching.
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
Dodgers right fielder Andre Ethier isn't going to ask for a trade in the wake of his recent benchings. "I don't think there's ever a question," Ethier told reporters, including MLB.com's Ken Gurnick. "I made a commitment to what we're doing. We all have tough times. We just have got to figure out what's going on and battle through it. Quitting is not an option."
- Unsurprisingly, Ethier was upset at seemingly being singled out as not being a tough player given manager Don Mattingly's recent criticism of his team's competitiveness. "Yeah, I take offense to that, without approaching me first," Ethier said. "Other than that, I show up every day and find ways to compete, to work hard whether I'm going good or bad. Just like everyone here, I have to get a grip and a handle on what's gone on." Ethier also said he thinks Mattingly will keep his job as the Dodgers are just a hot streak away from getting back into the pennant race.
- Mattingly told the media (including Ken Gurnick) that the Dodgers had talked internally about calling up Double-A outfielders Yasiel Puig or Joc Pederson. Both players are among MLB.com's list of baseball's top 100 prospects (Puig at #76, Pederson at #85) while Puig was also ranked as the 47th-best prospect in the game by Baseball America. Puig would probably be the first of the two prospects to be called up, given Puig's huge spring numbers and the fact that he's already signed to a $42MM contract.
- The Dodgers aren't in a good position to trade Ethier given that they have little leverage to demand a fair return for him, ESPN Los Angeles' Mark Saxon argues. The Dodgers will likely have to eat a large piece of Ethier's contract in a deal anyway, so they could get more back if they wait until closer to the trade deadline.