Around the NL East - Jose Reyes and Shane Victorino DL'd, Bryce Harper up to AA, Marlins celebrating too much

No real relevance, I just wanted to put up a picture of the Braves winning against the Phillies.

You know what I love about the series before the All-Star Break? Every now and then, you'll see a starting pitcher walking to the bullpen, and everyone knows what's going to happen. Since they won't really have a game to pitch in the next four to six following days, instead of throwing just a boring old routine bullpen session, sometimes they'll just outright make a relief appearance in an actual game.

This game comes to mind, where the Braves got a big lead on the Padres, and then the next thing you know, Tim Hudson's warming up in the bullpen. The Padres are down seven runs in late innings, and now Tim Hudson is coming into the game. Imagine how much it had to suck being the Padres on that day.

With Huddy not making the All-Star team, and having a nice layoff next week, I'm just saying, I sure wouldn't mind seeing Tim Hudson emerge from the Citizens Bank Park bullpen for a little bit of relief pitching if necessary...

I'll be up in Rome tonight, checking out Carlos Perez, Edward Salcedo, and the rest of the kids up there.  If you see a guy occupying three seats in the front row behind the R-Braves' dugout, come by and say hello.

Welcome back to the basement.


A very clever scouting report - Zoo With Roy
Consider the source.

Shane Victorino put on DL with sprained thumb - High Cheese
Retroactive to this past Monday, which means he'll miss the All-Star break, as well as this weekend series against the Braves. Good?

So it's kind of pointless that he won the ballot stuffing of the Last Vote All-Star -
He probably should have made it on his own accord, but Phillies Phairweathers do a good enough job to ensure he makes it anyway.

Rich Dubee doesn't care about WS home-field advantage - Phillies Zone
Meaning, he has objections to Roy Halladay starting the All-Star Game, where he could set the tone early by dominating the first three or six AL hitters, and the NL could ride Brian McCann again to another win. I guess the Dubee doesn't want to see Game 1 of the World Series in Turner Field?

Slightly under the radar, Cole Hamels is still tearing (crap) up - Beerleaguer
His ERA is now better than Halladay, and he's right atop all the same leaderboards that Halladay and Lee are already top-3 in.

And is going to be due a lot of money, sooner or later -
Hamels is in the final year of his contract that has him making a paltry $9.5M for his talents this year. He's not a free agent, but is still an Arb-4 in 2012, and whether he receives his just-pay, or is extended, it's going to cost the Phillies, or whomever wants to pay it, a lot of money.

Brad Lidge still tearing up Sally Leaguers- Phillies Nation
On the slow, slow road back from you guessed it, shoulder injury, Lidge carves up a bunch of kids.

Cliff Lee NL Pitcher of the Month, Placido Polanco hurting - MLB
Would Lee have won this award had he played the Braves at all in June? Placido Polanco has a bad back, and seemingly like always, playing through various aches and pains. 'respeck

Apparently the Phillies have a Venters too, in some capacity - Beerleaguer
He doesn't have the ridiculous power-sinker that Jonny does, but Antonio Bastardo has made some big strides this year, and has become the latest of closers for the squad. Back in April, he struck out six Braves in a Phillies loss, which is a little scary to remember.



Jose Reyes put on DL for strained left hamstring - NY Post
Strained while running to first base in an Interleague game against the Yankees, Reyes' quest to pad stats and look good going into free agency are derailed for 14 days. He'll also miss the All-Star Game as a result.

Regardless, is he NL MVP worthy? - Amazin' Avenue
Not total homerism over at AA, but a pretty adequate glance at Reyes compared to other MVP-worthy contention, and why it's not completely out of the realm that if he remains healthy and playing out of his head, that an MVP could be in his future.

Sandy Alderson considering making "substantial offer" to Jose Reyes - NY Post
Interesting to see Alderson thinking about various factors other than ownership-provided payroll, and the possibilities of financial fluctuation based on the fans, and whether or not they're happy or upset with the retention/releasing of Jose Reyes.

This probably means he's going to be traded - Wall Street Journal
Francisco Rodriguez is currently on pace to finish out 61 games. 55 games is all he needs to trigger the expensive $17.5M option for 2012. The Mets' generous use of K-Rod doesn't seem so much fear of MLBPA hounding as much as they realize that if and when they trade him, the 55 games finished statistic isn't their concern anymore.

haahahahahahahah seriously? - NY Daily News
Since he's pretty much going to get traded, K-Rod's trying to make people feel good about Bobby Parnell, who would likely assume closing duties since Jason Isringhausen is also being shopped around too. Bobby. Parnell. A guy whom has allowed almost 10% of his fly balls to leave the yard this year, and although is having a career best in K/9, is also having a career worst BB/9.

Johan Santana is up to three bullpen sessions now - MetsBlog
Now if only that dang Florida rain can let up, maybe he can make a little more progress.

But never fear, the Mets pick up Mr. Iowa to bolster the pitching - Amazin' Avenue
2011 stats before being unceremoniously released by the Cardinals: 29.1IP, 19BB, 16K, sucks



Nationals melt down, blow 8-0 lead, Davey Johnson shoulders blame - MASN
I wonder what Laynce Nix was thinking, as this was taking place. "o (crap), not this (crap) again"?

But the Nationals still won the series against the Cubs thanks to a squeeze - Nats Insider
In over 2,000+ games managed, Davey Johnson proportedly has never called for the squeeze. There's a first time for everything, and it was botched badly, when Wilson Ramos swung foul, prompting some entertaining line-dancing from Michael Morse. Fortunately, the surprisingly quick second try was a little more successful.

Stephen Strasburg could possibly see a mid-September return - Nationals Journal
His bullpen sessions have gone well enough to where the Nats are considering scheduling rehab starts soon. They are basing a lot of this timeline on the irregularly short recovery time exhibited by Jordan Zimmermann, a year prior.

Speaking of whom, is on an innings limit, that's raising questions - The Nats Blog
The other Zimmermann, with a second N, Jordan, has been lights out this year so far (2.67FIP, 1.10WHIP, 3.0WAR), and is a big reason why the Nationals are a .500 team at all this year. But the organization wants to contain him to a 160 innings limit this year. Despite being in fourth place, they're still at .500 and have slim chances at contention, so if this is the case, do you shut down your best starting pitcher?

Bryce Harper promoted to AA-Harrisburg - WaPo
Nationals fans in the DC/Virginia metro area riot, as Harper skips High-A Potomac altogether, and goes straight to the sticks of Pennsylvania, denying them completely of a chance to see the young phenom outright. The Nationals deny any claims that Potomac's literal (crap)box of a ballpark and the safety of Harper was a reason behind the skip. A shame too, because I would loved to have seen Harper's giant Tonka toy truck parked outside in the dirt gravel lot outside the Pfitz, and him playing in the metal sarcophagus of that park.

Subsequently, quite possibly, the (feminine refresher)baggiest shirt in history - Nats NQ
Seriously, I've seen TAPOUT and AFFLICTION shirts that don't irk me as much as this does.

Tyler Clippard named National League All-Star - The Nats Blog
Good to see baseball recognizing talent in all facets of the game, and not just looking at a dated list of closers and going "this, this, this, and this guy." Joining relief ace, Jonny Venters on the NL All-Star pitching staff is Clippard, who is the Nationals' sole representative of the All-Star Game.

Oblique strain could land Rodriguez on DL - Nats Insider
Stinks for the legendary veteran catcher, but hey, less games for him to gradually get closer to Cal Ripken Jr's all-time most GIDP record.

Chien-Ming Wang is really making a comeback - Nationals Journal
The shoulder injuries for pitchers in the NL East are really something - Hanson, Josh Johnson, Johan Santana, Brad Lidge, and the list goes on. For Wang, it's been over two years in the making, but it finally looks like he's possibly on his way back to the Majors.



Marlins acquire Mike Cameron from Red Sox - Palm Beach Post
DFA'd by the Red Sox, the Fish pick him up for either Cash or a PTBNL. Not a bad acquisition with Coghlan on the DL for his reconstructed knees succumbing to the season of a new position.

Gaby Sanchez selected to All-Star Game - Fish Stripes
A well-deserved selection for the steady, consistent Gaby Sanchez, who will be the only representative for the Marlins on the NL team. Noticeable snubs include Anibal Sanchez, but apparently Bochy doesn't want any more Marlins than necessary.

Josh Johnson's future unclear, would like to pitch just once more this year - Fish Bytes
I kind of feel bad for Johnson, who just can't seem to get it together with his health. When healthy, he's among the best starters in baseball, but now he's at an unclear state where he's not even sure if he'll get to even pitch again this year.

Mike Stanton ends homerless drought in epic fashion - Sun Sentinel
Despite playing through blurry vision, and over 70ABs without a homer, Stanton ends it in the most epic way ever - a walk-off blast off of Danys Baez to beat the Phillies in extra innings.

Grandpa not pleased with post-game celebrating - Fish Bytes
Did I mention that Stanton has been suffering blurry vision? I'm pretty sure repeated shaving cream pies to the face and eyes isn't going to be doing him any favors.

Speaking of celebrating, Marlins minor leaguers impersonate Kendry Morales in AAA - Sun Sentinel
If Trader Jack gets his way, he'll have Loria ban all sorts of celebration throughout the entire organization. Josh Kroeger of the AAA-New Orleans Zephyrs tried to mob former Braves farmhand Joe Thurston after a walk-off double, and blew out.. something. Whatever it was, put him on the DL.

Clay Hensley might become a starter - Palm Beach Post
With no Josh Johnson, there's a vacancy in the rotation. Clay Hensley has been pitching well, and has experience starting in the past, why not him?

Unnecessarily taking one for the team - Sun Sentinel
Brian Sanches took on the chin in a blowout loss, throwing 78 pitches in three innings. Was it necessary? Absolutely not. But Trader Jack works from a different era.

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