Links for Thursday, as the Pirates try to recover from their worst loss in franchise history…
- Highly regarded Rangers first base prospect Justin Smoak has gotten the call to replace Chris Davis at first base, reports MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan. The timing of his promotion ensures the Rangers will control Smoak through 2016. Super two status is likely if Smoak is up for good, meaning he'll go to arbitration four times beginning after the 2012 season. As for Davis, you have to wonder if a trade is in his future.
- In a mailbag, MLB.com's Jordan Bastian speculates on when Blue Jays fans can expect to see Adeiny Hechavarria and Brett Wallace arrive in Toronto.
- In an excellent piece for Yahoo! Sports, Jeff Passan looks at the state of baseball in the Dominican Republic, a topic MLBTR's Nick Collias addressed earlier in the week.
- Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com reports that Royals minor-league lefty Adam Bostick has been suspended 50 games for a second positive drug test.
- ESPN's draft coverage team tweets that the Royals are looking at University of Miami catcher Yasmani Grandal for the fourth overall pick in June. Five days ago ESPN's Keith Law had this to say about Grandal: "He's the top college catcher in the country, can absolutely stay behind the plate, and hits well enough to be an above-average player in the majors." Click here for a reminder of the full 2010 draft order.
- Baseball Prospectus' Kevin Goldstein looks at four question marks about potential #1 pick Bryce Harper. Harper is not getting good reviews for his makeup.
- Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune points out that Carlos Zambrano and Lou Piniella don't seem in complete agreement on whether the righty's bullpen move is temporary.