Happy anniversary, Apollo 11. I was in Wisconsin on a family vacation at a summer home my Aunt Pat and Uncle John owned when Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon. It’s one of my two earliest memories. I also remember some goofy song about it – I had a 45 RPM (remember those) that would play this 1920s sounding swing tune “There’s an American Flag on the moon tonight, flying red and blue and white… There’s an American flag, waving on the moon, waving on the moon tonight.”
Enough of that.
Cris Carter said on Mike and Mike this morning that if you signed with the New York Mets, you’d be injured in a week. Well, for Fernando Nieve, it was more like six weeks, but it holds true. Nieve left the game in the second when he strained a quad (it looked more like an ankle or achilles injury when I watched it happen) running out a grounder. [MLB]
With Edgar Gonzalez still hospitalized following a beaning, the San Diego Padres traded reliever Cla Meredith to Baltimore for infielder Oscar Salazar. Meredith has been, at times, a very competent middle reliever – but be wary of him leaving San Diego for a park that helps hitters like Baltimore. Oscar Salazar is a long-time minor leaguer – now with his seventh organization (not counting a trip to the Mexican League) – but has hit well in a few trips with Baltimore. He’s probably not an awful short term option. Gonzalez still has headaches and ringing in his ears, dizziness, and partial hearing loss. [SI/ESPN]
Another option would have been signing Mark Grudzielanek, but Minnesota did that instead. [MLB/Transaction List]
The Texas Rangesrs will operate without outfielder Nelson Cruz, who broke a finger diving into first base on a pickoff play and now is day to day. Cruz says he can pinch hit, based on pain tolerance for the day. [ESPN]
Milwaukee is trying to hang close in the NL Central, and wanted some infield help with Rickie Weeks gone. So, the Brew Crew traded two prospects to Arizona to pick up second baseman Felipe Lopez. Lopez has a little speed (he once stole 44 bases), and is willing to work the count a little in his favor. In Arizona, he was hitting .301 with a .365 OBP – however, his career averages are nothing like that and I wouldn’t expect that heading to Milwaukee. It’s not to say he can’t have a great two months or so, but that I would expect him to hit more like .260 with a .340 OBP; still better than Craig Counsell at this stage, but not an impact player. [SI]
What did Arizona get? Cole Gillespie is a minor league outfielder with a little power and plate discipline and a little speed – but happens to be struggling a little bit with AAA Nashville. Drafted out of Oregon State, he projects to a fourth or fifth outfielder right now. Roque Mercedes might be the nugget, though – a young Dominican who has gotten better every year and started to look like a prospect last year with West Virginia in the SAL. This year at Brevard County in the Florida State League, he’s had moments of domination – so a few years from now, he could help Arizona. Ryan Roberts, a poor man’s Felipe Lopez, will likely get the second base job.
Welcome Back! Logan Kensing was recalled by Washington, Rick VandenHurk was recalled by Florida.
Hurry Back! Scott Olsen is the reason Kensing returns to the Nationals. Olsen heads to the DL with shoulder soreness. Houston sent J.R. Towles back to AAA Round Rock, while Florida sent Andy Gonzalez to AAA New Orleans.
Is it Over? Julian Taverez was designated for assignment by Washington. After 11 teams and more than 800 games as a reliever (and once a Boston starter), this could be the last rodeo for the 36 year old.