Archive for the ‘News And Notes’ Category

Well, uh, this won’t end well.

Multiple ESPN sources report, both on twitter and the Outside the Lines site, that MLB is moving to suspend Ryan Braun, Alex Rodriguez, and as many as 20 (!) other players related to the Biogenesis clinic in Miami. Terry Quinn tweets the head quack Tony Bosch will roll over on multiple former clients and send the baseball world back to the stone ages.

Yikes. The report linked above provides details of the case but only serves up names “under scrutiny”. Quinn’s twitter timeline features an assumed chronology for how this whole thing will unfold.

Obviously more as this story develops, provided it does. Things are going to get suppppppper weird in the baseball world this week. Get your one sentence paragraphs ready, they’re coming a-condescending.

Remember one week ago when we sort of poo-poo’d the idea of Lyle Overbay playing outfield for the Yankees? With platoon split-crazed Indians starter Justin Masterson taking the hill for the Tribe tonight, it looks like Lyle Overbay gets the call in the outfield.

Overbay, as stated above, played some outfield in college and possesses an uncommon cannon for a throwing arm. Range? It’s right field at Yankee Stadium. Where any ball hit in the air to right is going, you don’t need range in that bandbox. Add in lefty Andy Pettitte on the hill for the Bombers and Lyle Overbay should do a lot of standing, a lot of flop sweating, and not too much else.

Unless, of course, he doesn’t. Maybe the ball will find him as it seems to find so many other out-of-positions statutes thrust into unfamilar roles due to injury or desperation. Either way, I’m sure the Yankees will be fine. Please see the precedent-setting legal case of Vernon Wells v. Second Base.

Slightly encouraging news from Yahoo! Sports reporter Jeff Passan who suggests the MLB plan to take the draft into Latin America might be shelved for another year. The largely unpopular choice to further exploit the international labor pool was recently opposed by many current players. Miguel Cabrera, Felix Hernandez and Robinson Cano were among 150 current players from the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, and Cuba to sign a petition circulated during Spring Training voicing the current generation’s opposition to the international draft. Even players from Puerto Rico — Carlos Beltran and Yadier Molina among them — signed the petition, after their own experiences as Latin Americans with experience in the draft.

According to Passan, the league and union have agreed to put off the decision until next year, meaning business as usual in Latin America.

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Well, not just ended. But the latest finish in Busch Stadium history is the delightful by-prouduct of the weird and wonderful interleague schedule, a game won the Kansas City Royals 4-2 after more than five hours of rain delays. Turns out the weather in St. Louis was less than cooperative last night. The game began with an hour-plus delay. Then Michael Wacha bamboozled the Royals for a while, then the Cardinals bullpen aired the Cards dirty laundry for all to see (their bullpen is kind of bad) and then the rains came again.

And, because this is the final matchup between these two teams this season, they waited. And waited. And then they finally were able to play but they had to wait for the field to be rendered playable. So they waited some more.

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Philadelphia Phillies v Los Angeles Dodgers

To say that the Los Angeles Dodgers are under-performing would be an understatement. They’re awful. They’ve been hit with a number of injuries to key players, and they continue to masquerade the likes of Juan Uribe, Luis Cruz, and Mark Ellis as viable infield options on a daily basis. The Dodgers are 18-26 today, which is far below whatever expectations a nearly $217 million payroll may have levied upon them.

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Pittsburgh Pirates v Chicago Cubs

The Philadelphia Phillies have signed free agent right-hander Carlos Zambrano to a minor league deal, Ken Rosenthal reports. As it was reported yesterday, Zambrano walked away from an agreement with the Long Island Ducks of the Independent Atlantic League in an effort to concentrate on landing a deal with a Major League team. A sound decision from Big Z’s camp, if he can crack the roster.

Zambrano bounced between the starting rotation and bullpen with the Miami Marlins last season, to mostly mediocre results. While Zambrano’s velocity has remained roughly the same over the last few seasons, his fastball usage has declined every year since 2007. The big righty has gradually increased the number of split-finger fastballs he’s thrown, relying on it 21.1% of the time in 2012. The longball has never really been a big problem for Zambrano, but he did raise his groundball rate to 49% last season, the highest total he’s registered since 2005.

The Phillies could use some help in their rotation with Roy Halladay on the shelf for the foreseeable future. Whether or not Zambrano will help fill that void depends on how effective he can prove himself to be in the minors.

Miami Marlins v Los Angeles Dodgers

Multiple reports from last week indicated that Carlos Zambrano had signed a contract with the Long Island Ducks of the Independent Atlantic League. According to a Danny Knobler piece at CBS Sports, Zambrano has decided not to sign with the club, and will continue to pursue a deal with a Major League team.

Zambrano pitched for the Miami Marlins last season after he was acquired from the Chicago Cubs. The Marlins agreed to pay $2.5 million of the $18 million owed to the right-hander in the final year of a five-year, $88.5 million contract. The 31-year old threw 132.1 innings, finishing with a 7-10 record, 4.49 ERA, 4.47 FIP, 4.84 xFIP, and 95 strikeouts between 20 starts and 15 relief appearances.

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