As we prepare for a weekend of watching AL pitchers take ineffective swings, here are a few news items…
- Dave Cameron of Fangraphs thinks the Orioles should take advantage of their terrible start by being the first team to put its assets on the trade market.
- Texas relief prospect Tanner Scheppers could be in the majors by the All-Star Break or even sooner, predicts John Sickels of MinorLeagueBall.com.
- ESPN.com's Jason A. Churchill looks at what the Pirates might do with the second overall pick in next month's amateur draft.
- The Blue Jays want "a top prospect" for either Scott Downs or Jason Frasor, tweets ESPN's Buster Olney, and other teams consider that to be too high a price for either reliever.
- Olney also notes (via Twitter) that Seattle is still looking for batting help.
- Matt Eddy of Baseball America discusses several prospects in a chat with fans. In regards to Indians prospect Lonnie Chisenhall, Eddy predicts that Cleveland will buy out Jhonny Peralta (for $250K) rather than pick up his $7MM club option in 2011, and then have Chisenhall take over as the everyday third baseman. Chisenhall has just a .641 OPS at Double-A Akron this season, so it might be too much to expect him to move up to the majors that quickly.
- Larry Stone of the Seattle Times compares the situations of fading future Hall-of-Famers Ken Griffey Jr. and Trevor Hoffman.
- ESPN's Rob Neyer thinks Colorado can do better than Luis Castillo or Kazuo Matsui if the club is serious about improving itself at second base.
- Trevor Plouffe, Minnesota's first-round pick (20th overall) in the 2004 amateur draft, will make his major league debut tonight for the Twins, reports Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune.