August 2008 - Baseball Wiretap
Willis Rejoining Tigers On Monday
Pitcher Dontrelle Willis will return to the Tigers on Monday as part of their September roster expansion, according to MLB.com. Prior to Detroit's afternoon game against New York on Monday, Willis will be recalled from Triple-A Toledo, where he posted a 3-1 record with a 4.45 ERA in six starts. Freddy Garcia will join the club on Tuesday but won't be added to the active roster. "We have a plan in place for [Garcia], which we're really not ready to announce yet," Tigers' Manager Jim Leyland said. "He will not be immediately active. I'm assuming, at some point, there's a good opportunity he would be. But at this time, we have a plan with him. He's only pitched five innings, so we're gonna work around that some, possibly simulate him Tuesday."
D'Backs Could Land Eckstein
Toronto general manager J.P. Ricciardi has confirmed rumors that the team is talking to Arizona about a deal involving shortstop David Eckstein, according to MLB.com. Talks with the Angels appear to have broken down, but Eckstein could still be out of Toronto by Tuesday. "We're talking to them," Ricciardi said of non-specific trade discussions with the Diamondbacks. "David is one of my favorite guys on this team," manager Cito Gaston said. "You're talking about a guy that's just absolutely been great here with me and I haven't been able to play him as much as I'd like to. David has always, whatever you've asked him to do, he will go and do it for you. He's a class act." If Arizona wants to have Eckstein on their postseason roster, they'll have to land him by midnight on Sunday (EST).
Blue Jays Take Series In New York
The Blue Jays took two out of three from the Yankees this weekend, their final trip to Yankee Stadium, which could have helped end New York's playoff chances, according to MLB.com. The Yankees are twelve games behind the Rays for first place in the AL East and almost eight back of the Red Sox for the Wild Card with less than a month left in the season. Toronto defeated New York 6-2 on Sunday after coming back to beat the Yankees, 7-6, late in the game on Saturday afternoon.
Thome Homers, Ties Mantle On All-Time List
White Sox slugger Jim Thome hit the 536th home run of his career on Sunday against the Red Sox, tying Mickey Mantle for 14th place on the career list, according to MLB.com. Alex Rodriguez (546) and Mike Schmidt (548) are next on the list ahead of Thome, and he should past Schmidt at some point early next season.
Mets Call Up Niese To Start Tuesday
The Mets will call up top prospect Jonathan Niese soon, and he is expected to start for the team on Tuesday against Milwaukee, according to Associated Press. He will be recalled from Triple-A New Orleans to make his Major League debut this coming week. "We think very highly of Jonathan Niese," Vice President for Development Tony Bernazard said. "He's a 21-year-old that we expect to be an important member of this organization." "You have to perform at some point, and it happens to be Tuesday against a very good team. Let's see what he has. We'll find out a lot about where we're at with him in the next month."
Zambrano Says He Has A 'Dead Arm'
Cubs starter Carlos Zambrano believes that he has a 'dead arm', which might explain his struggles in the month of August, according to Sporting News. Zambrano has a 7.43 ERA in 26 2/3 innings this month. He recently told the Cubs' official website that he's going through a "dead arm" phase. "I've been doing all my things and my work and have been working out," Zambrano said. "I'm trying to throw as hard as I can, and you see the gun -- 91, 88 [mph]. Everybody goes through these, and I just have to wait for my arm strength and my arm power to come back, so I can do a good job for my team."
Chamberlain Could Pitch Monday
Joba Chamberlain could return to the mound for the Yankees as soon as Monday, and the team plans to start him out as a reliever, according to New York Post. He threw 35 pitches during a mound session on Saturday, with batters standing in the box and afterward pronounced himself ready to return. "We'll wait and see how he feels [Sunday]' and then we'll make a decision," Manager Joe Girardi said. "If he comes out feeling good [Sunday], I don't really have too many concerns." Joba is scheduled to throw another bullpen session on Sunday, and he'll likely he activated afterward if all goes well.
Phillies Release Kris Benson
The Phillies released pitcher Kris Benson on Saturday, ending his bid to return to the Major Leagues with the team, according to Sports Network. He was released from Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Benson sat out all of last season after undergoing right rotator cuff surgery in March 2007, and signed a minor league contract with Philadelphia in spring training. He encountered a series of setbacks, notably biceps tendinitis and groin injuries that prevented him from ever pitching for the Phillies.
Magic Number Now Just Nine For Angels
After defeating the Rangers 4-3 on Saturday, the Angels magic number to clinch the AL West title is just nine with a month left in the season, according to Associated Press. They have won the AL West title in three of the past four years. Torii Hunter stole a home run away from the Rangers for the second-straight game, and the Angels put together a couple of rallies to win the game. "I think I may have been done it back-to-back a couple of times, but that's exciting, man," Hunter said. "How does that happen? The ball goes 5-10 inches over the wall two days in a row. That's pretty impressive. I'm just happy to be able to use that glove. That's what (owner) Arte (Moreno) got me over here for." Closer Francisco Rodriguez recorded his 53rd save of the season.
Manny Hits A Pair To End Dodgers' Skid
Manny Ramirez hit a pair of home runs on Saturday to help end the Dodgers' losing streak and inch closer to the first-place Diamondbacks, according to Los Angeles Daily News. Ramirez hit two home runs, doubled, and scored three runs. The game, a 6-2 victory for Los Angeles, also marked the first time in his career that he had back-to-back four-hit games. "He can do so much with his presence in our lineup," Dodgers' pitcher Chad Billingsley said. "He is an absolutely great teammate, and he always has so much energy. To be able to bring that to the clubhouse and onto the field, and with what he can do on a field, he can make a team so much better." The Dodgers are now 3 1/2 games back in the NL West.
Joba Throws In Sim Game, Says He's Ready
Joba Chamberlain easily threw 35 pitches while facing batters in a simulated game on Saturday and claims that he's ready to help the Yankees during the stretch run.
Rays Clinch First Winning Season With Victory
The Rays clinched their first winning season on Friday night with a 14-3 victory over the Orioles at home in Tampa Bay.
Carpenter, Cards Ponder Return As Reliever
Chris Carpenter and the Cardinals are pondering the idea of moving the pitcher into the bullpen upon his return.
Carl Pavano Moves To 2-0 This Season
Yankees' starter Carl Pavano moved to 2-0 on the season with a victory over the Blue Jays on Friday night.
Dodgers Lose Eighth Straight, 4.5 Games Back
The Los Angeles Dodgers lost their eight-straight game on Friday night against the Diamondbacks, and have fallen 4.5 games back of Arizona in the NL West.
Astros Sign Moehler, Erstad To Extensions
The Astros have signed pitcher Brian Moehler and infielder/outfielder Darin Erstad to contract extensions for the 2009 season.
Beckett's Elbow OK: Will Return Sept. 5
Josh Beckett's elbow has been diagnosed as "fine" and the pitcher is expected to start next week for the Red Sox once he's eligible to come off the disabled list.
Red Sox Put Beckett On Disabled List
The Red Sox have placed pitcher Josh Beckett on the disabled list with a right elbow strain.
Tigers To Call Garcia Up Soon?
The Tigers could call up pitcher Freddy Garcia very soon after his second-straight appearance at Triple-A Toledo.
Steinbrenner: Girardi Isn't To Blame
Hank Steinbrenner doesn't blame Manager Joe Girardi for the Yankees struggles this season.
Steinbrenner Keeping Eye On Sabathia, Burnett
Hank Steinbrenner admitted on Thursday that the Yankees are keeping on eye on pitchers CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett as the off-season approaches.
Phils Trade For Stairs
The Phillies have reportedly pulled a trade for Blue Jays' veteran hitter Matt Stairs.
Beckett Pushed Back Again, Set To Visit Dr. Andrews
The Red Sox have pushed back pitcher Josh Beckett once again and he is set to visit Dr. James Andrews.
Joba Hoping To Return Next Week
Joba Chamberlain is hoping to return from the disabled list next week although he's the only one to mention the timetable.
Epstein: Sox Are Done Making Moves
Red Sox General Manager Theo Epstein likes where the team is right now and believes that they are likely done dealing this summer.
Angels Hunting For A Shortstop
The Angels continue to pursue a veteran shortstop as insurance in case Erick Aybar is injured as the deadline is just five days away.
Angels Looking To Bring Back Eckstein
The Angels are looking for depth at shortstop for the stretch run and could be looking to bring David Eckstein back to the team.
Could Reds Send Mets A Reliever?
The Reds have a trio of good relievers who could pass through waivers and end up with the injury-riddled Mets.
Royals GM Speaks With Guillen After Incident
Kansas City General Manager Dayton Moore met with outfielder Jose Guillen after he confronted a heckling fan on Tuesday night.