You can dig through the stories coming out in the wake of the New York Times reporting that Sammy Sosa failed a test for performance enhancing drugs six years ago. Congress wants to investigate – ooooohhh… Can’ t we resolve the Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens stories first? Jose Canseco wants to sue MLB for being ostracized for his contributions to the term “better living through chemistry” – he’s just looking for publicity. I think he’s taught enough people a few too many things, don’t you?
Let’s focus on today.
Toronto placed 20% of its pitching staff on the DL – Roy Halliday (groin strain), closer Scott Downs (toe strain), and starter Casey Janssen (shoulder pain) all get 15 days. Brad Mills has already joined the team, and Toronto will announce other roster moves on Thursday. Mills is a top prospect, a left-hander with a big strikeout pitch and a great minor league record (15 – 5, sub 2.00 ERA) since being selected in the fourth round of the 2007 draft. One look at his minor league numbers and you think that this guy is ready.
Toronto was as good as Tampa Bay last year (seriously!) – they just didn’t get the breaks that the Rays got and with that slow start couldn’t run down three teams in the AL East. This year, I had them finishing slightly above .500, but if they keep losing pitchers at this rate, I don’t know how they’ll get to 81. Halliday could be back soon, and you don’t want Downs to mess with his delivery over a toe injury – still Janssen’s injury (coming off of surgery) is a concern. This is a tough stretch and a bad ten days will finish the Blue Jays as contenders.
Toronto isn’t alone. Seattle placed Erik Bedard on the 15-day DL with shoulder inflammation. Bedard hasn’t pitched in more than a week and likely needs ten more days of rest and rehab. Like Toronto, Seattle was a front-runner in April but is fading from the race, and the loss of Bedard for longer than a month would end their chances of winning the division.
Pedro Martinez is looking for a team – and so far the Cubs and Rays have shown the most interest. I don’t get either team’s interest – wouldn’t Texas or the Marlins be a better fit? The Cubs have decent pitching and can’t get any offense going. The Rays could use another arm, but I’m not sure they need another old arm. Their luck with veterans this year has been problematic (both Percival and Isringhausen are considering retirements on the DL).
One other pitcher heads to the DL, but stop me if you heard this before… Astro Mike Hampton heads to the DL with a strained groin – I hope it’s his own groin. It’s the 12th DL stint of his career.
One trade to note… The Padres acquired former Nationals prospect Mike O’Connor for a player to be named later.. O’Connor has had success in the minors but it hasn’t translated to success in the big leagues yet. Maybe a change of scenery will help out. If nothing else, that roster spot could go to a new draft selection (would Stephen Strasburg sign THAT quickly?).
Joey Votto gets a rehab assignment for Cincinnati. Votto lost the last three weeks to dizziness caused by an inner ear infection and other stress related issues. Hurry back!!!