The Giants have designated first baseman and outfielder Travis Ishikawa for assignment, Alex Pavlovic of CSN Bay Area tweets. Ishikawa, 31, has not appeared in the big leagues this season — he opened the year on the DL with a back injury and recently finished a rehab assignment at Triple-A Sacramento.
Ishikawa played his first four seasons in the big leagues with the Giants, then returned to them last season, when he played a memorable role in the Giants’ World Series run by hitting a walk-off homer against the Cardinals to end the NLCS. The Giants avoided arbitration with Ishikawa this offseason by signing him to a $1.1MM deal, but as assistant GM Bobby Evans explains (via a tweet from the San Francisco Chronicle’s Hank Schulman), the Giants did not have a spot for Ishikawa on their current 25-man roster. For his career, Ishikawa has a .259/.322/.397 line in parts of seven seasons.
The Reds are suffering through an eight-game losing streak and, as you’ll read here, dealing with a number of key injuries as well. Here’s the latest from Cincinnati…
- Johnny Cueto will have his right elbow examined today, Joe Kay of the Associated Press tweets. Cueto missed his scheduled start on Sunday due to what manager Bryan Price described to reporters yesterday (including MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon) as “more than his usual elbow stiffness,” which prompted the Reds to be cautious with their ace, though Price felt Cueto probably could have pitched if absolutely necessary. “I don’t think it’s anything anybody is concerned with….If he needs a little extra time, he’s certainly earned it,” Price said. It should be noted that an elbow exam is a pretty routine step whenever a pitcher is experiencing any discomfort, so the fact that Cueto is undergoing an examination is not necessarily a bad sign. Still, Price said today that Cueto “hasn’t had total relief. I’d have thought by now, he would.” Any type of health issue for Cueto is worth monitoring given his status as both one of the top free agents of the 2015-16 offseason and potentially a big deadline trade chip for the struggling Reds.
- In a welcome turn of events for Reds reliever Sean Marshall, the left-hander could be back pitching this season, C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. Last week, Marshall went in for anterior capsule surgery on his left shoulder, which was expected to end his season and potentially threaten his career. Instead, doctors discovered that full surgery wasn’t needed and instead just removed some scar tissue, so Marshall could be back on the mound this year if all goes well in his recovery. The southpaw has thrown just 25 1/3 innings over the last two seasons due to a variety of injury problems, including rotator cuff surgery last June.
- Devin Mesoraco has been placed on the 15-day DL (retroactive to last Thursday) with a left hip injury, the team announced via Twitter. Mesoraco has been limited to 51 plate appearances this season due to his hip impingement, and he’s appeared as a catcher in only six of his 23 games; the Reds have been trying to keep him healthy by using him as a pinch-hitter and interleague DH. Both the player and team were looking to exhaust all possibilities before turning to surgery, though a season-ending hip operation may now be the only option.
- The Reds are looking more and more like trade deadline sellers, and though Jay Bruce is only hitting .211/.311/.408 in 164 PA, he could be a trade chip, John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer writes. “I’d take a flyer on him and see if our on-the-field people could fix him,” an AL scout told Fay. “He looks healthy. His home runs and walks still grade out at 60 to 65 (on the 80-point scale). It’s just that his hit-ability is at 25 right now.”
Though the Rays are just 24-21 for the season and 5-5 over their last 10 games, they’ve vaulted into first place in the AL East as the division’s only winning team. The Yankees have lost 10 of their last 11 games to drop to an even 22-22 while the Red Sox (21-23), Orioles (19-22) and Blue Jays (20-26) are just struggling to get back to the .500 mark. Here’s the latest from the struggling division…
- Orioles reliever Brian Matusz was ejected from Saturday’s game with the Marlins for having a foreign substance on his arm, and now the southpaw has been suspended for eight games, Major League Baseball announced today. Matusz is appealing the suspension. As Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun notes, the suspension comes at an inopportune time for the O’s, as their pitching depth will already be tested due to a stretch of 14 games in 13 days (thanks to a double-header). Left-handed batters have only hit .185/.214/.296 this season against Matusz, who has a 3.18 ERA in 17 innings. The eight games matches the length of the suspension handed out to Brewers lefty Will Smith for a similar offense last week.
- Masahiro Tanaka told reporters (including Dan Martin of the New York Post) that he is “not gonna make a change” to his pitching style in the wake of forearm and wrist injuries, but admits that he is “going to have to oversee my body a little bit better.” Tanaka’s health has been of great concern since it was revealed that he had a partially-torn UCL last summer, and despite a couple of DL stints since, the Yankees still hope their ace can avoid a longer-term stay on the injured reserve. Tanaka will make his second minor league rehab start on Wednesday.
- J.P. Arencibia is trying to stay optimistic as the catcher continues his pro career for the Rays‘ Triple-A team, he tells Sportsnet’s Greg Mercer. Arencibia goes into detail about how he felt he didn’t deal with the pressure of being an everyday player with the Blue Jays, and also about his surprise at being released by the Orioles’ Triple-A affiliate earlier this season.
Two of the NL’s top clubs begin a three-game series today at Wrigley Field when the Cubs host the Nationals. Beyond just sharing impressive records, ESPN.com’s Ken Woolums notes that the Cubs have gone about their rebuilding process in a manner similar to how the Nats have reconstructed their roster prior to their current run of two NL East titles in the last three seasons. Here’s more on the Cubs…
- Javier Baez has a .944 OPS in 99 Triple-A plate appearances this season, yet ESPN Chicago’s Jesse Rogers wonders if the former top prospect can find playing time with the Cubs no matter how well he’s hitting. Baez has been splitting time between second base and shortstop in the minors, though the Cubs are obviously set at both positions with Addison Russell and Starlin Castro. Of course, questions remain about Baez both defensively (he already has 11 errors, nine at short) and offensively (he has 24 strikeouts in his 99 PA, and nine walks) and thus the Cubs could decide he’s expendable; Rogers notes that shifting Baez between two positions could be an audition for other teams just as much as it has to do with his development. That said, Rogers also observes that the Cubs are under no pressure to swing a deal now and have plenty of time to figure out how to best deploy their numerous young talents.
- Rogers hears from league sources that the Cubs have repeatedly turned down offers for Russell and have no interest in trading him. If Chicago does decide to move a notable middle infielder, then, it would have to be Baez or Castro.
- Kyle Schwarber is another prospect who has often been rumored to eventually change positions, though Cubs director of player development Jaron Madison tells Tommy Birch of the Des Moines Register that Schwarber will remain a catcher. “With all the work he’s done in the offseason and spring training and big league camp, and going into this year and what he’s done so far this year, we’re more certain than ever that he’s going to stay behind the plate long-term. We’re committed to that right now,” Madison said.
- Madison discusses several Cubs minor leaguers within that same piece, including Baez. The team doesn’t have any plans to use Baez at any positions besides second and shortstop for now, Madison said. There has been some speculation that the Cubs could make room for Baez by moving him to third and shifting Kris Bryant to left field, though Baez has never played the hot corner in his pro career and Bryant has only three innings under his belt in left.
Here are the latest minor transactions, with the newest moves at the top of the post…
- The Cubs re-signed right-hander Blake Parker to a new minor league contract, team director of player development Jaron Madison tells Tommy Birch of the Des Moines Register (Twitter link). Parker was released by the Cubs earlier this month. The righty posted a 3.68 ERA, 10.4 K/9 and 3.54 K/BB rate over 73 1/3 innings out of Chicago’s bullpen from 2012-14, but he’s been limited to only 3 1/3 Triple-A innings this season due to an elbow injury.
- The Red Sox have officially signed second baseman Yoilan Cerse, according to Baseball America’s Matt Eddy. MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez reported earlier this month that the Cuban second baseman was close to a minor league deal with Boston.
- Also from Eddy, the Padres released third baseman Josh Bell. The 28-year-old signed a minor league deal with San Diego in February but has yet to see any action in 2015. Bell appeared in 100 games with the Orioles and D’Backs from 2010-12 and has since played in the minors with the White Sox and Yankees, as well as spending 2014 in the Korean Baseball Organization.
- The Yankees moved shortstop Brendan Ryan from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day DL and also optioned righty Branden Pinder to Triple-A. Both moves created 25-man roster space to accommodate newly-promoted southpaw Jacob Lindgren. Ryan suffered a calf injury during Spring Training and isn’t expected back in action until early June.
The struggling Reds are hosting this year’s All-Star Game, but the possibility of bad P.R. shouldn’t prevent them from dismissing manager Bryan Price, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports writes. Rosenthal notes that owner Bob Castellini likes Price and Jocketty and is wary of an upheaval before the break. But the Reds have played poorly lately, and Price’s occasional bursts of odd behavior (including an infamous profane tirade against the media a few weeks ago) raise questions about whether he’s well suited for the job. The organization has third base coach Jim Riggleman, Triple-A manager Delino DeShields and perhaps roving instructor Barry Larkin as potential replacements. Here’s more from the National League.
- The Mets have lots of talented young pitching and the Cubs have terrific young position players, and MLB.com’s Jim Duquette proposes several trades the two clubs might make. By far the wildest one (and one Duquette fully acknowledges is vanishingly unlikely) is Matt Harvey for Kris Bryant. The Mets and Cubs’ respective fan bases have pinned their hopes heavily on those two players, so such a trade would be nearly impossible, but it’s fun to think about. The sense here is that the Mets would easily be getting the better of such a deal — Bryant’s bat is rare, to put it mildly, and Harvey is three years closer to free agency and probably also more of an injury risk.
- Carlos Frias‘ poor performance Sunday shows why the Dodgers are likely to pursue outside starting pitching help, Anthony Witrado of ESPN Los Angeles writes. Frias gave up ten runs, including two homers, over four innings against the Padres, more than doubling his ERA. Frias did pitch reasonably well in four starts before that, but there’s no doubt the Dodgers’ rotation situation is somewhat uncomfortable, due to injuries to Hyun-jin Ryu and Brandon McCarthy.
- The Padres haven’t performed as well as they’ve hoped, but Justin Upton has been terrific, and the team needs to do everything it can to keep him, Matt Calkins of the San Diego Union-Tribune writes. The Padres’ new ownership did well to open its wallet last winter, but it must continue to show it’s serious about winning. Of course, keeping Upton won’t be easy to do — Upton currently tops MLBTR’s 2015-2016 Free Agent Power Rankings.
- Cardinals lefty Marco Gonzales will miss a start with Triple-A Memphis on Monday with pectoral muscle tightness, Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com writes. Gonzales dealt with the same injury earlier this season. Gonzales hasn’t yet pitched in the big-leagues this season, but as Langosch points out, he’s a key part of the Cardinals’ rotation depth, especially given Adam Wainwright‘s absence.
The Yankees promoted reliever Jacob Lindgren to the big leagues this weekend after less than a year in the minors, as Ryan Hatch of NJ.com notes. Lindgren was a second-round draft pick just last June. “Them picking a reliever kind of high, I guess there’s always that chance [of being called up],” Lindgren says. “But I kind of had to pitch my game and show them what I could do.” Lindgren is, of course, right to note that college pitchers chosen early in the draft and used as relievers can make the Majors quite quickly. Another reliever, Brandon Finnegan of the Royals, was the first 2014 draftee to reach the big leagues, and other recent early-round relievers, like Drew Storen and Paco Rodriguez, have taken quick routes to the Majors as well. Lindgren’s dominance in the minors is still worth noting, however — he’s posted a 1.74 ERA, 14.8 K/9 and 4.4 BB/9 in 46 2/3 innings since turning pro. Here’s more from the AL East.
- Despite an uneven start to their season, the Red Sox have an opportunity to win a flawed AL East division, and they need to take advantage by making a big move, Steve Buckley of the Boston Herald writes. The division will most likely go to the team that does the most to improve itself, says Buckley.
- On a related note, Michael Silverman of the Herald writes that the AL East generally simply doesn’t have as much talent as it once did, with most of the game’s elite players (Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, Clayton Kershaw, and so on) playing elsewhere. The division’s shortstop talent is a microcosm of the lack of star-caliber players in the AL East — the division once boasted players like Derek Jeter and Nomar Garciaparra at shortstop, but now it has the likes of Asdrubal Cabrera, Didi Gregorius and Ryan Goins.
- GM Alex Anthopoulos and manager John Gibbons could be fired if the Blue Jays don’t start winning, Jim Bowden of ESPN writes (Insider-only). Bowden notes that the executives the Jays reportedly sought last offseason to replace business-oriented team president Paul Beeston, like Dan Duquette of the Orioles and Ken Williams of the White Sox, have baseball backgrounds. That might say something about the organization’s level of satisfaction with its on-field product. The Jays have gone heavily after veteran talent in the past several seasons, but they have little to show for it, and they’re currently in last place in what’s been a mediocre division.
A look back at the original reporting and analysis found on MLBTR the last seven days:
- Host Jeff Todd welcomed the newly retired Bruce Chen to the latest installment of the MLB Trade Rumors Podcast. The left-hander reflected upon his decision to end a career which spanned 17 MLB seasons. CSNChicago.com’s Patrick Mooney also joined Jeff to discuss the Cubs and their needs as the Trade Deadline nears. A new episode of MLB Trade Rumors Podcast will be released every Thursday and can be accessed on iTunes, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.
- Tim Dierkes revised MLBTR’s 2016 Free Agent Power Rankings. The top four players remained the same (Justin Upton, David Price, Johnny Cueto, and Jason Heyward) while Ian Desmond fell three spots to eighth.
- During a conference call announcing his six-year, $62.5MM contract with the Dodgers, Hector Olivera told Zach Links he had other suitors. “There were five teams that had interest in me [including] San Francisco, Atlanta, and Miami,” Olivera said through a translator. “But, in the end, I decided to sign with the Dodgers because I know that this is a great organization.”
- With Olivera now in the fold, Zach asked Dodgers President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman whether the signing creates trade possibilities. “I think having as many good players as possible helps you not only in constructing your own roster, but it allows you the opportunity to talk with more teams, If we’re ever complaining about having too much depth then that’s a good problem to have, but we’re certainly not there yet. Adding someone that has a chance to impact the game is obviously always a good thing.“
- With the amateur draft fast approaching, big bonuses dance in the dreams of high draft picks. But, for those taken much later in the draft like Josh Smith (chosen in the 21st round by the Reds in 2010), making ends meet can be just as important as developing your game. Smith recalls for Zach the second jobs he has had to take on, including lugging cement for a pool construction business and coaching the Diamondbacks’ 2014 top selection (16th overall) Touki Toussaint.
- Jeff asked MLBTR readers whether the Marlins made the right decision in hiring GM Dan Jennings as their new manager. Nearly 65% of you believe the move is destined to fail.
- Last February, Jeff asked MLBTR readers who will sign Rafael Soriano and more than a quarter of you predicted the Blue Jays. Charlie Wilmoth conducted a follow up with the readership and found the Cubs are now seen as the favorites to sign the reliever.
- Steve Adams hosted this week’s live chat.
- Zach assembled the best of the baseball blogosphere for you in Baseball Blogs Weigh In.
Here are the highlights from Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe‘s latest column:
- The Athletics, Phillies, Brewers, Rockies and Reds could have the best big-league talent on offer at the trade deadline, two executives tell Cafardo. Scott Kazmir is perhaps the top player the Athletics could have available, but there could be others, like Josh Reddick and Billy Butler. The Red Sox, Pirates and Blue Jays also could become sellers unless they play well over the next couple months, Cafardo suggests.
- Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux would have interest in a managerial job, says Cafardo. In the past, Maddux frequently removed himself from consideration for such jobs because his children were younger and he did not want his family to have to move.
- Executives believe the Rockies do have interest in trading Troy Tulowitzki, and feel they should have little trouble doing so if they’re willing to pay some of the $113MM remaining on his contract. “I think they’ll be able to move him,” says one GM. “Too good of a player to be out there without someone taking him.” Tulowitzki is hitting just .275/.291/.423 in 148 plate appearances and, for whatever it’s worth, his defensive numbers in a small sample so far this season aren’t nearly as strong as they typically are.
Here are today’s minor moves from around the game.
- The Nationals have released first baseman Kila Ka’aihue, according to the International League transactions page. The former Royal and Athletic was hitting .194/.314/.328 with Triple-A Syracuse after playing in Japan in 2014 and part of 2013. Ka’aihue has hit .221/.305/.382 in parts of four big-league seasons, the last of which came last year.
- The Orioles have announced that they’ve selected the contract of righty Chaz Roe and optioned lefty T.J. McFarland to Triple-A Norfolk. To clear space for Roe on their 40-man roster, they moved lefty Wesley Wright to the 60-day DL. The Orioles played 13 innings against the Marlins yesterday, so Roe gave them a fresh arm. He pitched two scoreless innings today. The 28-year-old had a 2.19 ERA, 8.0 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 in 24 2/3 innings for Norfolk.
- The Red Sox have placed Shane Victorino on the 15-day DL with a calf strain and selected the contract of utilityman Jeff Bianchi. Bianchi played parts of three seasons with the Brewers from 2012 through 2014, playing second, third, shortstop and both outfield corners. He had been hitting .302/.373/.340 in 61 plate appearances for Triple-A Pawtucket.
Here are the highlights of Pirates GM Neal Huntington’s Sunday chat with the media, via Stephen J. Nesbitt of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
- The Pirates acquired versatile infielders Jung-Ho Kang and Sean Rodriguez to give Clint Hurdle more tactical options and to allow the team to be more “proactive” about resting starters, Huntington says. Both players have, perhaps, been more useful than the Pirates anticipated — Kang is hitting .304/.369/.435 and has lately worked his way into regular duty, and Rodriguez has seen plenty of time at first base as well as the outfield corners.
- Third baseman Josh Harrison struggled early in the season after signing an extension in Spring Training, but he’s hit well recently, batting .488/.511/.714 in his last two weeks before today’s game against the Mets. “It looks like a guy that’s having fun playing the game again,” says Huntington. “Just showing up with energy every day and trying to do everything in his power to help a club win versus trying to justify.”
- Prospect Nick Kingham has yet to get a second opinion for his elbow injury, two weeks after it was reported he was going to seek one. “Nick chose a very busy doctor. Our hope is to get him in this week, and we’ll have an update after that,” Huntington says. Kingham has not pitched since May 6, but the severity of his injury is still unclear. He was set to provide the Pirates with rotation depth this season. MLB.com ranks him the sixth-best prospect in a strong Bucs system.
The Brewers will have the 15th overall selection in next month’s amateur draft and, while there is no consenus top pick, Milwaukee is confident it can land an impact player, writes Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “I think a little bit more is being made out of (the volatility),” said Vice President of Amateur Scouting Ray Montgomery. “I think the draft has good depth, if it lacks what people might consider a more obvious first pick, or first couple, compared to drafts in the past. But the depth of the draft and the pool of talent, I think, is good.” Montgomery will be overseeing the draft for the Brewers for the first time and does not feel any extra pressure with GM Doug Melvin contemplating a rebuild. “I don’t think Doug’s worried about it, so it’s certainly nothing for me to worry about,” Montgomery told Haudricout. “In terms of adding talent, it’s our job to acquire the best available players, and they’ll work their way through the system the way they should, based on each individual time line.”
Here’s more on the Brewers from Haudricourt’s colleague Todd Rosiak, who hosted a recent online chat:
- Rosiak thinks the Brewers would like to trade Ryan Braun, but it is highly unlikely they will agree to absorb any of the money he’s owed. As a result, their trading partners would certainly be limited to big-market teams, and there would likely be questions regarding Braun’s thumb and his past PED issues.
- The Brewers have many trade candidates (as explored by MLBTR’s Charlie Wilmoth), but Rosiak feels Jean Segura may not be one of them. The shortstop provides the team with both cost certainty and growth potential. With the pending retirement of third baseman Aramis Ramirez and the dearth of free agent options, Milwaukee could slide Segura over to the hot corner next year.
- Rosiak does not see Carlos Gomez re-signing with the Brewers when his contract expires after the 2016 season, so trading him now will maximize their return and the longer they wait the less his value becomes.
- The Brewers could also receive a massive haul for catcher Jonathon Lucroy, but will most likely rebuff any offers because the franchise does not have a ready replacement.
- It is telling neither owner Mark Attanasio nor Doug Melvin have been commenting publicly on the GM’s future in the organization. Rosiak envisions a scenario where Melvin is promoted to president and a new general manager is hired.
- The Brewers lost their edge under Ron Roenicke despite his reputation as a player’s manager. Rosiak notes, in most situations, a looser leash winds up choking the skipper resulting in his dismissal.
MAY 24: The Rangers have announced Fujikawa has cleared unconditional waivers and is now a free agent.
MAY 22: The Rangers have placed Fujikawa on unconditional release waivers, tweets John Blake, the club’s executive vice president of communications. Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram tweets that Fujikawa wasn’t interested in pitching at Triple-A and was therefore granted his release.
MAY 17: The Rangers have designated Kyuji Fujikawa for assignment, according to John Blake of the Texas Rangers (on Twitter). Evan Grant of The Dallas Morning News reports the Rangers could not option Fujikawa to the minors without his consent before June 15 and the right-hander had indicated to the team he did not intend to accept such an option.
Fujikawa, 35 in July, has appeared in just two games for Texas this season and didn’t have a great amount of success. In a combined 1 2/3 innings, he allowed three earned runs. He fared a little better better in eleven combined minor-league appearances this season. In 11 outings (ten at Triple-A, one at Double-A), the veteran pitched to a 4.35 ERA with 7.0 K/9 and 7.8 BB/9.
The Rangers signed the reliever back in December to a one-year deal worth $1MM plus incentives. The contract also included a club option for $2MM that can be bought out for a modest $100K. Fujikawa threw only 25 innings between 2013 and 2014, with two stints sandwiched around a Tommy John procedure and rehab. The former Cub has never been a strong ERA buy, but he does own career averages of 10.8 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9.
The Rangers now have ten days to trade, release, or outright Fujikawa to the minor leagues. The reliever is now is joined in DFA Limbo by Kevin Gregg, Nick Masset, Stolmy Pimentel, and Bruce Chen. You can keep track of everyone’s status using MLBTR’s DFA Tracker.
The Rangers have signed right-hander Jared Burton to a minor league contract, tweets John Blake, the club’s executive vice president of communications. The 33-year-old will report to Triple-A Round Rock.
The Yankees signed the client of Pro Agents, Inc.’s Dave Pepe to a minor league deal in February, but released him a month later so as to avoid paying Burton, who was an Article XX(B) free agent, a $100K retention bonus to remain in the organization. Three days later, the Yankees re-signed Burton only to release him for good May 16.
After enjoying strong seasons in 2012-13 with the Twins (particularly in 2012), Burton regressed in 2014 as his K/9 rate dipped to 6.5, his BB/9 rate rose to 3.5, and both his ground-ball rate rate (38.5%) and fastball velocity deteriorated (92.9 mph in 2012; 91.5 in 2014). Burton, however, still possesses an effective split-finger changeup (which he’s calls a “splangeup” ). Burton, who suffered a strained lat muscle during Spring Training, made only four appearances in the Yankee organization this season allowing three earned runs in six innings while striking out seven and walking four.
There has been a great deal of trade talk surrounding A’s pitcher Scott Kazmir, but the Dodgers could have interest in another member of Oakland’s rotation, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times writes. The Dodgers could circle back to Jesse Chavez this summer, a right-hander they discussed with Oakland in the offseason. The Dodgers could use pitching reinforcements and the A’s own the worst record in baseball, so there could be a match there between now and the end of July.
Here’s more from the NL West:
- Some might wonder if Walt Weiss is on the hot seat given the Rockies‘ woes, but GM Jeff Bridich says that’s not the case. “There’s no issue there,” Bridich said, according to Nick Groke of The Denver Post. “Throwing around blame is a very dangerous thing to do. The manager and the coaches don’t step on the field and take a bat and step into the batter’s box, and they don’t take the ball to stand on the mound.” Knowing he has the confidence of his GM, Weiss says he does not feel any heat, “This is my third season, and we haven’t won. And I’m sure people ask about my security here, I’m sure that becomes a topic. But I have to tell you, honestly, I have zero fear of losing my job.” The Rockies enter play today at 16-25, the fourth-worst mark in MLB.
- One bright spot for the Rockies this season has been the play of second baseman DJ LeMahieu, who The Denver Post’s Patrick Saunders is championing to make the NL All-Star team.
- Juan Uribe could be the odd man out when Hector Olivera is ready to join the Dodgers, according to J.P. Hoornstra of the Los Angeles News Group.
- The Dodgers‘ best-pitched game of the season didn’t come from one of their high-priced top line starters or one of their multi-millionaire free agent pickups. Instead, it came from Mike Bolsinger, who was acquired from the Diamondbacks by the Dodgers’ new regime in exchange for cash considerations, Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register writes. Through four starts, Bolsinger now boasts a 0.71 ERA with 7.8 K/9 and 2.1 BB/9.
- After a 10-5 start, the Padres have gone 10-18 and former U-T San Diego writer Bill Center (in a piece for MLB.com) wonders if it’s time for San Diego to act with urgency and shake up things.