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  1. Cardinals release former closer Ryan Franklin

    Jun 29, 2011, 4:51 PM EDT

    franklin_ryan

    Tony La Russa and the Cardinals did whatever they could to keep Ryan Franklin around despite the former closer’s struggles this season, using him in the lowest of low-leverage situations and often avoiding bringing him into home games so the St. Louis crowd couldn’t shower him with boos. Last night’s ugly outing was apparently the…

  2. M’s emergency catcher is Adam Kennedy, who has never caught

    Jun 29, 2011, 4:50 PM EDT

    adam-kennedy-mariners-spring

    To follow up on Craig’s earlier post on the Seattle Mariners’ catching situation – always a big water cooler topic – it turns out they do have an emergency catcher after all. His name is Adam Kennedy. And it’s possible there has never been a more reluctant emergency catcher on the history of baseball. Kennedy…

  3. Luis Vizcaino suspended for 50 games for PEDs

    Jun 29, 2011, 4:31 PM EDT

    Luis Vizcaino

    This is something of a theoretical suspension seeing as though Luis Vizcaino hasn’t pitched in affiliated baseball since the middle of 2009. But they test free agents, and Vizcaino is still registered as a technically active pitcher with someone somewhere, so he got tested too.  The drug: Stanozolol.  No, I don’t know either, but it’s a…

  4. Phil Hughes shows improved velocity in impressive Double-A rehab start

    Jun 29, 2011, 4:16 PM EDT

    hughes wide reuters

    Phil Hughes had a very encouraging rehab start today at Double-A, throwing 6.1 innings of one-run ball before leaving to what Mike Mazzeo of ESPN New York described as “a standing ovation.” Mazzeo reports that Hughes’ fastball was clocked as high as 94 miles per hour and topped 91 miles per hour 48 times, which…

  5. Erik Bedard goes on the DL

    Jun 29, 2011, 3:47 PM EDT

    bedard-thumb-250x175-700

    Often-injured pitcher Erik Bedard is injured, although in this case it appears to be minor and shouldn’t affect his pitching too much: sprained left knee. For a few years we’ve heard “if Bedard can be healthy, he should contribute a lot.”  That has held up so far this year, with him sporting a 4-6 record,…

  6. Nationals sign Phillies castoff J.C. Romero to minors deal

    Jun 29, 2011, 3:15 PM EDT

    Florida Marlins v Philadelphia Phillies

    J.C. Romero, who passed through waivers unclaimed and was released by the Phillies last week, has signed a minor-league contract with the Nationals and will report to Triple-A, according to Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com. Philadelphia is on the hook for Romero’s entire $1.35 million salary, so the signing is basically a no-risk move for Washington…

  7. Confirmed: Adrian Gonzalez to play right field tonight

    Jun 29, 2011, 3:01 PM EDT

    Adrian Gonzalez, David Ortiz

    Matthew noted that this was a strong possibility yesterday, but the lineups have been announced and it’s gonna happen tonight: Adrian Gonzalez will start in right field, David Ortiz at first base. I think the most apt comment on all of this came from Dustin Pedroia after last night’s game when asked about the possibility: “It…

  8. Rangers may give struggling Alexi Ogando some time off

    Jun 29, 2011, 2:40 PM EDT

    Alexi Ogando

    Alexi Ogando‘s move from the bullpen to the rotation couldn’t have gone any better early on, as he went 7-0 with a 2.10 ERA and .188 opponents’ batting average through 12 starts for the Rangers. However, he’s lost each of his last three starts while giving up 15 runs in 10 innings, and manager Ron…

  9. Bob Davidson, Joe West, Angel Hernandez snubbed from All-Star Game duties!

    Jun 29, 2011, 2:10 PM EDT

    Jerry Layne

    I’ll admit it: when I got the MLB press release announcing the umpires for the All-Star Game, I secretly hoped that some bad ones would be named so I could write some outraged prose. It’s really good for the soul. Quite cathartic. Sadly, it appears that baseball has only chosen decent umpires. Or at least…

  10. Chris Davis is hitting .374 with 19 homers and 52 RBIs in 33 games at Triple-A

    Jun 29, 2011, 1:18 PM EDT

    Chris Davis high five

    Chris Davis hit well in limited action with Texas earlier this season, but the Rangers don’t seem particularly interested in giving him another extended opportunity. So instead he’s destroying Triple-A pitching. Davis has hit .374 with 19 homers and 52 RBIs in 33 games at Triple-A. Admittedly the Pacific Coast League is very hitter-friendly and…

  11. The Mariners apparently have no emergency catcher

    Jun 29, 2011, 1:02 PM EDT

    Chris Gimenez

    I missed this because, really, I had no idea that baseball took place after 11PM Eastern time.  But in last night’s Braves-Mariners game, the M’s had a catcher fiasco.  Miguel Olivo left early due to cramps in his hamstring and the backup catcher, Chris Gimenez, strained his oblique in the fifth inning. Gimenez could apparently…

  12. John Danks hoping to return immediately after All-Star break

    Jun 29, 2011, 12:46 PM EDT

    John Danks

    Placed on the disabled list Sunday with an oblique muscle injury, John Danks is hoping to rejoin the White Sox’s rotation immediately following the All-Star break after an MRI exam revealed only a mild strain. Oblique injuries have a tendency to linger, but Doug Padilla of ESPN Chicago notes that Danks has never been on…

  13. Must-Click Link: the oral history of “Major League”

    Jun 29, 2011, 12:30 PM EDT

    Beringer Sheen

    Great stuff over at Sports Illustrated today: interviews with the director and most of the cast of “Major League.”  It’s long, but anyone who has seen and loved that movie will agree that it’s worth it. If you simply don’t have the time, however, go to Big League Stew, where Rob Iracane lists what he…

  14. Carlos Gonzalez hitting .360 since move to leadoff spot

    Jun 29, 2011, 11:51 AM EDT

    Carlos Gonzalez rockies

    Carlos Gonzalez followed up his monster 2010 season by getting off to a slow start this year, hitting just .254 with a .728 OPS through 57 games. However, since Dexter Fowler’s injury/demotion and manager Jim Tracy’s decision to move Gonzalez into the leadoff spot (and center field) he’s thrived, hitting .360 with four homers, nine…

  15. The Dbacks are willing to add payroll at the deadline

    Jun 29, 2011, 11:30 AM EDT

    Colorado Rockies v Arizona Diamondbacks

    This is not terribly surprising inasmuch as the Dbacks are doing well in a winnable division and have some holes that could be filled. But it seems so rare these days for the non-usual suspects to say that, yeah, they’re willing to raise payroll. But that’s what Diamondbacks president Derrick Hall told Fox’s Jon Paul…

  16. Struggling Adam Dunn talks to (and golfs with) a psychologist

    Jun 29, 2011, 11:19 AM EDT

    Adam Dunn

    In an effort to shake a season-long slump that includes a .173 batting average and 100 strikeouts in 67 games Adam Dunn recently spent some time with a psychologist named Jeffrey Fishbein. Here’s what Dunn told Doug Padilla of ESPN Chicago about the experience: I talked to him a little bit. It works for different…

  17. “It sucks having to rotate the tires on my Lamborghini”

    Jun 29, 2011, 11:00 AM EDT

    Phillies starting pitcher Lee delivers a pitch to the Dodgers during the second inning of their National League MLB baseball game in Philadelphia

    That was the very self-aware quote from Bill Baer of Crashburn Alley when he was called out on Twitter a few minutes ago for picking some serious nits in the otherworldly performance of Cliff lately. Not that he’s at all wrong with anything in his post.  It’s easy to go rah-rah-Cliffy right now, especially if…

  18. Former top prospect Josh Fields leaves Rockies for Japan

    Jun 29, 2011, 10:47 AM EDT

    josh-fields-royals

    Once upon a time Josh Fields was a first-round pick who twice cracked Baseball America‘s annual list of the top 100 prospects, but three teams and 796 plate appearances in the big leagues later he’s headed to Japan. Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker reports that Fields has been released from the Rockies’ affiliate at Triple-A…

  19. Ozzie Guillen: “we deserved to lose”

    Jun 29, 2011, 10:30 AM EDT

    Chicago White Sox v Cleveland Indians

    Ozzie Guillen had a pretty matter-of-fact assessment of the White Sox game last night: “I don’t think we should feel bad because we earned it to lose this game. We deserved to lose. I think the way we played from the first inning , I don’t think we should have won this game at all…

  20. Kevin Millwood chose not to opt out of minor-league contract with Red Sox

    Jun 29, 2011, 10:15 AM EDT

    Kevin Millwood

    Kevin Millwood’s minor-league contract with the Red Sox included a June 20 opt-out clause, but Sam Dykstra of WEEI.com reports that the 35-year-old right-hander decided to remain at Triple-A Pawtucket, where he has a 4.22 ERA and 30/9 K/BB ratio in 32 innings. Millwood opted out of a minor-league deal with the Yankees in order…

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