My apologies for not getting to the roundup this morning as I usually write them the night before and we had company last night, and by the time I had some free time, my eyes said they were done for the day, so I called it a night.
The Padres batted first base prospect Anthony Rizzo in the 5th spot in the order last night and he responded with a 2-4 night and his first major league HR. I think this is the first step before Rizzo is batting cleanup for the Padres. This former Rizzo owner in the UBA league is having a liiiiiiitttle bit of seller's remorse right about now. Well, to be honest, I did get Yovani Gallardo from an owner who is bailing this season in return for Rizzo. Or is he?
Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman went 2-4 for AAA Syracuse last night and appears ready to be called up on Tuesday. The Nationals appear to be changing up their lineup a bit in preparation for Zimm's return, as they batted Jayson Werth in the leadoff spot last night, and moved second baseman Danny Espinosa into the 3rd spot in the order. Teams usually bat their best hitter in the 3rd spot and Espinosa certainly isn't their best hitter, but he has been productive despite his low .200 BA.
More Roster Noise after the jump:
Braves captain and third baseman Chipper Jones called out outfielder Jason Heyward earlier this week, saying he should play with the pain as the team needs his bat in the lineup. As a Heyward owner in two keeper leagues, I have some concerns about his long term health, as he has had several nagging type injuries that last few seasons. He may start a rehab assignment in the next few days.
Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki was benched on Friday night as he is having a tough season at the plate, hitting just .256-.309-.305 with no homers, 20 RBIs, 31 runs and 14 SBs. Suzuki is two years removed from hitting .352, and hit .315 with 42 SBs last season. I wasn't as high on him in my pre-season rankings as some others, but Ichiro is too good of a hitter to hit .256 all season. Here is an excerpt from Buster Olney's Sunday blog, a quote from a talent evaluator on Ichiro:
"I noticed a drop in his quickness. He is still running down the line well but his times are not as fast as in previous seasons. More balls were getting on him and his bat wasn't getting through the zone as quick as I've seen before.
Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers indicated to Nick Piecoro from the Arizona Republic that he is considering calling up AA first base prospect Paul Goldschmidt and AAA outfielder Colin Cowgill in the next month or so. Here is the quote from Towers:
So when might the Diamondbacks look to promote Goldschmidt - or, for that matter, Triple-A Reno outfielder Collin Cowgill, who is hitting .372 with 11 home runs?
"I wouldn't say we're at that point right now, but probably leading up to the All-Star Game, that's when we'd probably have to decide to make moves," Towers said. "I think we're always looking for ways to improve the club, and the first place we're going to look is internal.
Goldschmidt is leading the minors in HRs with 21 and Cowgill is hitting .372-.437-.615 with 11 HRs, 41 RBIs, 54 runs and 19 SBs in AAA this season. I imagine Gerardo Parra's spot in the outfield will be in danger should Cowgill be called up. Goldschmidt, who is hitting .350-.471-.700 with 21 HRs and 59 RBIs has cut his K rate from 30% tp 19% this year, and improved his BB rate from 9.5% to 18.2%, would take over at first base for Juan Miranda.
Twins first baseman Justin Morneau is dealing with a sore wrist and is going to see a hand specialist and will sit on Sunday's game. The Twins are hoping he can return to the lineup on Tuesday, after sitting out Saturday, Sunday and Monday is an off day for the team.
The general tone I got from Mattingly was that if Loney continued to struggle for an entire first half like he did after the All-Star break last year, that's when any type of move would be made. Well, we are getting closer and closer to that point.
We probably won't see a move for at least a few weeks, perhaps even the All-Star break (or however long it takes Jerry Sands to find his stroke again). Whether it's moving Blake to first base to get Jamey Carroll's bat into the lineup more often, or calling Sands back up, James Loney's days as a full-time player are numbered.
I think calling Sands back up makes the most sense as they need to see if he can play everyday at the big league level before the offseason.
I think we’ve reached the point where Jesus Montero could be called up literally any day now. If it happened today, I would not be surprised.
I say why not? Let's see if he can catch at the major league level. If he talk that he is bored in AAA are true, maybe the callup will spark his bat. If not, his bat might help the lineup as well in the DH spot.
I'll be back with the Roundup tomorrow morning.