Franklin Morales Rumors
The Rockies are "expected to continue measuring trade interest" in hard-throwing pitchers Felipe Paulino and Franklin Morales, reports Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post. At least one NL Central team has expressed interest in Morales, he adds. Both pitchers are out of options, so the Rockies can't demote them without exposing them to waivers.
Paulino, 27, was acquired from the Astros in November for Clint Barmes. He throws hard and gets strikeouts, but allows tons of hits and plenty of walks and home runs. He's relieving now, but has 34 career starts to his name. Paulino missed a good chunk of 2010 with a shoulder injury.
Morales, 25, was considered the eighth best prospect in all of baseball prior to the 2008 season, according to Baseball America. He has a higher profile than Paulino, having made a couple of playoff starts in '07 and served as the Rockies' closer at times. There might be five or six lefties in the Majors who throw harder than Morales. However, he's prone to flyballs and walks and has also battled shoulder injuries. Paulino and Morales are projects, so they make the most sense for non-contenders.
Aroldis Chapman went on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation today, after Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported on the Reds’ options for proceeding with the struggling Cuban left-hander. Here’s the latest on Chapman plus notes from around the league:
- A veteran scout insists that the Reds need to demote Chapman and make him a starter, but pitching coach Bryan Price isn’t so sure that a demotion is the way to go. He points out that Sandy Koufax and Randy Johnson took time to develop. “Both struggled with command until they got enough work to figure out how their body works, how to put their hand in the right position to throw quality strikes,” Price said.
- The Braves would ideally add a leadoff hitter and put Martin Prado second in the order, according to Rosenthal. He suggests the Braves could target leadoff options Jose Reyes, Grady Sizemore, Denard Span or David DeJesus via trade or free agency after the season.
- The Rockies appear to be concerned about losing out of options relievers Felipe Paulino and Franklin Morales to waivers.
- Astros GM Ed Wade says Bud Norris has become a much more mature pitcher. The 26-year-old right-hander has 60 strikeouts in 50 innings this year.
It was on this day in 1905 that Shirley Povich, one of the great sportswriters of all time, was born in Bar Harbor, Maine. Povich, who passed away in 1998, would've been 105 today and no doubt still would've been keeping an eye on Stephen Strasburg for the Washington Post.
Some news items....
- The Palm Beach Post's Joe Capozzi wonders if Edwin Rodriguez's planned lineup changes in Florida are a hint towards a possible trade of Cody Ross or Jorge Cantu.
- Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun adds the Padres and Rangers to the list of "potential fits" for Ty Wigginton.
- Troy Renck of the Denver Post tweeted a few follow-up points to his story about Colorado's interest in Dan Uggla. Renck mentions right-hander Esmil Rogers and outfielder Matt Miller as possibilities for a trade package with Florida, but "there's no way" that Jhoulys Chacin would be dealt. Renck also thinks the Rockies "will listen" to offers for Franklin Morales, though those offers might not be related to any Uggla deal.
- MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince shares some Cleveland hot stove talk in a reader mailbag. Castrovince says that Kerry Wood has drawn "minimal, at best" trade interest, but he notes that Wood could be dealt in late August to a team that didn't want to pay an extra month of Wood's contract.
- In another MLB.com mailbag, Bill Ladson "would be shocked" by a Matt Capps trade. The Nationals still have Capps under control for 2011, and with Drew Storen still a rookie and Tyler Clippard not pitching well lately, Ladson doesn't think Washington will want to risk dealing their closer.
- It's "all quiet on [the] Ben Sheets trade front," tweets FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal, though Sheets' recent success "should change" that.
- Aroldis Chapman's inconsistent control means that Chapman probably won't be promoted to the majors until September, writes John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer.
- We already know that the Giants have shown some interest in acquiring David DeJesus, and now Hank Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle tweets that a "top Royals talent evaluator" was on hand for the Mets/Giants game at AT & T Park tonight.
- Steve Kornacki of Mlive.com looks at what the Tigers need to do in the second half and weighs in on some trade options. Kornacki says that trading for Jack Wilson wouldn't cost much for Detroit, whereas acquiring Dan Haren isn't worth the cost since he doesn't think "the Tigers are good enough to get past the first round of the playoffs. And that’s the only reason to gamble that much for somebody like Haren."
- Rice's Anthony Rendon, thought to be a potential first overall pick in the 2011 Amateur Draft, is undergoing ankle surgery on Friday, reports MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo.
- Fangraphs' Dave Cameron has the latest installment of his ranking of the players with the most trade value. As he goes from #20 to #16, Cameron cites a defending Cy Young Award winner and two potential Cy winners for this season.
8:42 PM: The Denver Post's Troy Renck has an update on the contract details.
6:25 PM: The Rockies re-signed relievers Matt Belisle and Randy Flores to one-year contracts on Thursday. Terms of the deals weren't announced, though both pitchers were eligible for salary arbitration. Belisle, a right-hander, posted a 5.52 ERA but a strong 4.4:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 24 appearances last year with Colorado after spending his first five big-league seasons in Cincinnati. Southpaw Flores appeared in 27 games for the Rockies last season, recording a strong 10.5 K/9.
Tracy Ringolsby believes that with Belisle and Flores back in the fold, Joe Beimel is the odd man out in the Rockies' bullpen. Beimel had a 4.02 ERA in 26 games with Colorado after being acquired from Washington at the trade deadline, but Ringolsby thinks that Colorado will stick with Flores and Franklin Morales as their main left-handed relief options.
In other Rockies news from Thursday, the club outrighted reliever Joel Peralta and infielder Omar Quintanilla, Peralta (who is now a free agent) is still being pursued for a minor-league contract while Quintanilla is on the Triple-A Colorado Springs roster.
Franklin Morales will rejoin the Rockies on Monday and is scheduled to start on Tuesday, according to Tracy Ringolsby.
Morales was Colorado's most consistent starter in spring training and carried over that success into his first April start where he threw six innings of one-run ball against the Diamondbacks, striking out six. He followed that start with five scoreless ones for Triple-A Colorado Springs.
The lefty was a prized prospect whose control, command and velocity problems set him back in 2008. Morales has been working on his consistency and still has front of the rotation upside. Ringolsby says "the Rockies feel they need to recall him to keep Morales moving forward."
Steve Foster of InsidetheRockies.com reports that the Rockies have signed 21 players to one-year contracts. Some of the more recognizable names include Chris Iannetta, Greg Smith, Ryan Spilborghs, Matt Murton and Franklin Morales.
Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post published a mailbag today with some good rumors.
- The Pirates wanted Franklin Morales, Esmil Rogers, and Chris Nelson for Ian Snell. Can't blame 'em for asking.
- Last winter, the A's asked for Ubaldo Jimenez in a deal for Dan Haren. As good as Haren's been, the Rockies still have to be happy they passed.
- Renck doesn't see the Rox picking up Shawn Chacon - reportedly he has not been working out over the past month.
- Renck reveals that Todd Helton asked the Rockies upon signing his megadeal that money not be deferred. Nonetheless it'd be an intriguing way to free up cash to use on Matt Holliday. Renck feels the Rockies might offer Holliday five years, while he'll seek seven.
The Rockies and Pirates were in discussions about starter Ian Snell before the non-waiver trade deadline, but Pittsburgh's asking price of Franklin Morales was to high for the Rox to match, effectively killing the deal.
After another bad outing from one of their starters this week, however, and knowing they will look for a fifth starter via the waiver wire, the Rockies may have to revisit the Snell talks, as Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post thinks he would've been a "tantalizing option;" Renck also mentions Josh Fogg as an alternative for the Rox.
Alejandro A. Leal writes for UmpBump.com. Post-deadline rumors? Comments? alexo05 [at] umpbump [daught] com.
25 year-old first baseman Joe Koshansky played for the same University of Virginia team as Ryan Zimmerman and Mark Reynolds. Like Reynolds he was drafted in 2004, falling (to the surprise of some) to the sixth round (pick 190).
He's moved steadily through the Rockies system and in 2005 was named Baseball America's Rockies Minor League Player of the Year after hitting .291/.373/.603 with 36 home runs in 453 A ball at bats. He's maintained similar averages at Double-A Tulsa and Triple-A Colorado Springs, although his power has steadily declined. On top of that, Koshansky plays at the highest elevation of any pro park in the country.
He's also a bit of a stikeout artist -- once every four plate appearances through his minor league career. In this sense he's the antithesis of Todd Helton, the guy currently occupying first for the Rockies. Unless Helton (signed through 2011 for a mountain of money) goes into severe mid-30s decline or is injured Koshansky is officially blocked at first.
Koshansky has said he's open to moving to a corner outfield position, but with Brad Hawpe having signed an extension, and ongoing talks to sign Matt Holliday long term, a switch to the outfield is even less likely than getting past Helton. For the time being he's stuck in Colorado Springs where he's currently leading the team in both HRs and total bases to go along with a .441 OBP.
Time to cast this line out and see who's biting. With Franklin Morales off to a terrible start and Mark Redman being Mark Redman, one would think the Rockies might be on the lookout for a starter come July. Flipping Koshansky could be the ticket. The Rox were able to snag a couple of live arms back in '06 when they traded Ryan Shealy to KC.
Aaron Shinsano writes for East Windup Chronicle.
The Rocky Mountain News is reporting Marcus Giles was informed he won't make the club despite his solid spring. Giles wasn't on the list of players being sent to the minors (a list which included Victor Zambrano), but the speculation is that he will be released and given a chance to hook on with another team. The Dodgers would seem like an obvious fit, but it's likely several teams will be in the running.
Giles hit .321/.457/.536 over 13 games, with four doubles and nine runs scored. He was also 3 for 3 in steal attempts. However, the likely starter at second Jayson Nix was equal to the task, hitting .286/.459/.643 with three HRs.
The team also announced it plans to use Kip Wells out of the bullpen to start 2008. That seemingly leaves Franklin Morales (6.48 ERA in 16.2 innings), Mark Redman (7.23 ERA in 18.2 innings) and Josh Towers (7.20 ERA in 15 innings) in competition for the fourth and fifth spots in the rotation.