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Matthew Pouliot

  1. All-Star Futures Game preview

    Jul 11, 2009, 2:57 PM EDT

    Unfortunately, the All-Star Futures Game, while a great idea, still hasn’t really caught on as an event because of MLB’s insistence on playing it while all of the major league games are going on the Sunday afternoon before the All-Star Game. On the plus side, at least they treated it like a real game for…

  2. Division rivals make challenge trade: Church for Francoeur

    Jul 10, 2009, 6:41 PM EDT

    Now this one was positive stunning. One-for-one trades involving established players at the same positions are unusual enough. To see division rivals making such a deal in the middle of the season when they’re separated in the standing by a half-game makes this one of the most unusual trades in memory. This seems like a…

  3. Royals add to collection of terrible shortstops by acquiring Betancourt

    Jul 10, 2009, 4:57 PM EDT

    Two and a half years later, the Royals finally got their man. It’s believed that they offered Billy Butler to the Mariners for Yuniesky Betancourt after a 2006 season in which Betancourt, then 25, hit .289/.310/.403 in his first full year as a big leaguer. The Mariners saw Betancourt as a future Gold Glover who…

  4. What we're watching – Joba takes on the Halos

    Jul 10, 2009, 4:27 PM EDT

    - A pair of surging seven-game winners will face off with the White Sox in Minnesota tonight. John Danks has pitched seven scoreless innings in back-to-back victories and has a 1.51 ERA over his last five starts. Nick Blackburn is coming off his third complete game of the season, a 6-2 win over the Tigers.…

  5. What we're watching: Rangers run up against King Felix

    Jul 9, 2009, 4:39 PM EDT

    - Felix Hernandez will attempt to cool off the Rangers, who have won seven of their last eight games and have gone 5-0 against the Mariners this season. He’s 4-9 with a 4.35 ERA lifetime against Texas, but he did pitch seven scoreless innings in a no-decision versus the Rangers back on May 14. The…

  6. Jays release Ryan, eat $15 million

    Jul 8, 2009, 4:45 PM EDT

    Even though there was no financial incentive for doing so, the Jays opted to release former closer B.J. Ryan on Wednesday. The move comes after Ryan gave up three runs in two-thirds of an inning against the Yankees on Sunday. It was the only appearance he had made this month. While his stuff still hadn’t…

  7. What we're watching – Ollie rejoins the Mets

    Jul 8, 2009, 4:22 PM EDT

    - Oliver Perez makes his much-anticipated return to the rotation versus the Dodgers. Of course, most of the anticipation comes from National League hitters, rather than Mets fans. Perez had a 9.97 ERA in five starts before the Mets shelved him for nine weeks with a knee injury. The left-hander had a 3.12 ERA in…

  8. White Sox pick up reliever Pena from Diamondbacks

    Jul 7, 2009, 8:42 PM EDT

    So much for that idea of Brandon Allen being sent to the Blue Jays in a Roy Halladay trade. The White Sox just used him to bolster their bullpen with the acquisition of Tony Pena from the Diamondbacks. Pena, once known as Adriano Rosario, was considered a future closer for Arizona when he debuted in…

  9. Friday's quick hits – Sheets doubtful for 2009

    Jul 3, 2009, 5:27 PM EDT

    - According to ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark, teams interested in free agent Ben Sheets have learned that he won’t be ready to pitch this year after surgery to repair a torn flexor tendon. When Sheets had the procedure in Feburary, the hope was that he’d be ready to pitch in August. However, he obviously isn’t progressing…

  10. Royals ban blogger Jazayerli

    Jul 2, 2009, 6:33 PM EDT

    Evidently, I picked the wrong target last week in suggesting that the Royals fire general manager Dayton Moore. If I wanted attention, I should have instead recommended the dismissal of trainer Nick Swartz. That’s what Baseball Prospectus writer and huge Royals fan Rany Jazayerli did recently. As a result, he’s been banned by the team:…

  11. Stick a fork in 'em – The 2009 Diamondbacks

    Jul 2, 2009, 5:35 PM EDT

    While they have a slightly better record than the Indians, the Diamondbacks are the second team we’re declaring dead for 2009. Wednesday’s loss dropped them 18 1/2 games back in the NL West. Even the lowly Nationals, the recipient of the first fork of the year, are a mere 17 1/2 games in the NL…

  12. Wednesday's Quick Hits – Get ready for two more All-Stars

    Jul 1, 2009, 5:23 PM EDT

    - MLB announced Wednesday that it has expanded All-Star rosters to add 13th pitcher. Because who could reasonably be expected to get by with 12? From now on each All-Star team will have 33 players, including 13 pitchers. Obviously, the decision is a response to what happened last year, when George Sherrill was asked to…

  13. Home runs, steals still up through three months

    Jul 1, 2009, 4:45 PM EDT

    With June in the books, I wanted to again check out the league-wide scoring trends. All stats courtesy of the wonderful Baseball Reference, of course. It seems like even the dimmest announcers are coming to grips with the fact that home runs aren’t truly down this year, but the spike we saw in April does…

  14. What we're watching – Cain goes for 10th victory

    Jul 1, 2009, 4:20 PM EDT

    - The Yankees will go for a seventh straight win against a pitcher they tried to acquire in the second half of last year, Jarrod Washburn. They beat the Mariners 8-5 on Tuesday to improve to 22-14 at new Yankee Stadium. Washburn, who had an impressive 2.82 ERA in six starts against the Bombers at…

  15. Tuesday's quick hits

    Jun 30, 2009, 6:07 PM EDT

    - The Red Sox have decided to place Mike Lowell on the disabled list to give him additional time to recover after having his hip drained and receiving an injection Monday. Lowell’s play had fallen off over the last month, and it might be for the best that he rests through the All-Star break. The…

  16. Projecting the AL All-Star roster – Take 2

    Jun 30, 2009, 5:25 PM EDT

    With All-Star balloting set to wrap up this week, I’m going to try projecting the AL All-Star roster one more time. Here’s what I went with four weeks ago (starters in bold): C – Joe Mauer, Victor Martinez1B – Kevin Youkilis, Justin Morneau, Mark Teixeira2B – Ian Kinsler, Aaron Hill, Dustin Pedroia3B – Evan Longoria,…

  17. What we're watching – June 30

    Jun 30, 2009, 4:39 PM EDT

    - Tim Lincecum dominated Albert Pujols and the rest of the Cardinals with a two-hit shutout on Monday. Now St. Louis will try to even up the series with Chris Carpenter on the mound. Carpenter has lost two of his last three starts with the Cardinals’ offense struggling, but he still hasn’t allowed more than…

  18. What we're watching – June 30

    Jun 30, 2009, 4:39 PM EDT

    - Tim Lincecum dominated Albert Pujols and the rest of the Cardinals with a two-hit shutout on Monday. Now St. Louis will try to even up the series with Chris Carpenter on the mound. Carpenter has lost two of his last three starts with the Cardinals’ offense struggling, but he still hasn’t allowed more than…

  19. Projecting the AL All-Star roster – Take 2

    Jun 30, 2009, 3:25 PM EDT

    With All-Star balloting set to wrap up this week, I’m going to try projecting the AL All-Star roster one more time. Here’s what I went with four weeks ago (starters in bold): C – Joe Mauer, Victor Martinez1B – Kevin Youkilis, Justin Morneau, Mark Teixeira2B – Ian Kinsler, Aaron Hill, Dustin Pedroia3B – Evan Longoria,…

  20. Projecting the NL All-Star roster, Take 2

    Jun 29, 2009, 5:44 PM EDT

    Four weeks ago, I projected the following roster for the NL All-Star team (starters in bold): C – Yadier Molina, Brian McCann, Bengie Molina1B – Albert Pujols, Adrian Gonzalez2B – Chase Utley, Orlando Hudson, Freddy Sanchez3B – David Wright, Ryan Zimmerman, Chipper JonesSS – Jimmy Rollins, Hanley RamirezOF – Ryan Braun, Raul Ibanez, Alfonso Soriano,…

  21. What we're watching – June 29

    Jun 29, 2009, 4:27 PM EDT

    - Roy Halladay returns from the disabled list to face the Rays for the first time this season. He’s won seven in a row since his only loss of the year on April 21, but the Rays have often challenged him. He went just 2-3 with a 4.11 ERA against Tampa Bay last year, leaving…

  22. Joe Morgan, Jerry Manuel and no-brainers

    Jun 29, 2009, 4:14 AM EDT

    No, I’m not just being redundant. Certainly according to Joe Morgan and Steve Phillips, it was the easiest decision of all-time: walk Derek Jeter to get to Mariano Rivera. Men on first and second, two outs, one of the game’s most clutchtastic players at the plate or bases loaded and Rivera batting for the third…

  23. Royals' Moore lacks vision, should lack job

    Jun 26, 2009, 5:20 PM EDT

    Disastrous. It’s the word I used to describe the Royals’ offseason at the time that they made their one positive move. It is likely that getting Zack Greinke signed to a four-year deal likely will benefit the Royals’ long-term future more than the rest of the moves combined will take away from it. Still, it…

  24. What we're watching – June 26

    Jun 26, 2009, 4:33 PM EDT

    - Boston’s Josh Beckett will make his second straight start against the Braves after hurling his first shutout as a member of the Red Sox on Sunday. He’s gone four of his last six starts without allowing an earned run, lowering his ERA from 5.85 to 3.74 in the process. The Braves will turn to…

  25. Thursdays quick hits – Big Hurt update

    Jun 25, 2009, 5:07 PM EDT

    - Frank Thomas told ESPN radio Thursday that he’s still open to playing again, but that he getting closer to announcing his retirement. Thomas isn’t expecting anyone to come knocking on his door now that we’re three months into the season. “That percent right now is probably about five percent, since we’re so deep into…

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