Houston first basemen Lance Berkman left last night’s game in the eighth inning with a calf strain. He’s listed as day-to-day, but Berkman admitted the calf had been bothering him for a while. [MLB]
Lacking “organizational depth” (Piniella’s term) in left-handed relievers, the Chicago Cubs signed former Toronto closer B.J. Ryan to a minor league deal. Ryan will report to the Cubs’ Arizona training complex and if all goes well, head to AAA Iowa for seasoning. [ESPN]
The Braves look forward to the return of Javier Vasquez, and think Mike Gonzalez is still a couple of days away from returning to the mound. Gonzalez is struggling with elbow inflammation. [MLB]
Texas and St. Louis are contenders in the Roy Halliday sweepstakes. Personally, I’m not sure that Toronto should deal their ace away – it’s hard to find guys like Halliday, no matter how many prospects or players you might get. Only one team has ever really turned this to their favor – Cleveland’s trading Bartolo Colon netted them Cliff Lee, Grady Sizemore, and Brandon Phillips (since traded). [MLB]
Boston is willing to eat shortstop Julio Lugo’s salary, and is looking for takers in a trade according to Ken Rosenthal. The oft-injured shortstop has a year and a half left on a $9 million per season contract. [FoxSports]
No news is bad news – the Mets remain unsure about the return of too many players. The longer Reyes, Maine, Delgado, and Beltran remain on the DL, the worse my prediction that the Mets would win the NL East looks… [MLB]
By the way, if you like tragedies, read Cliff Corcoran’s opinion on why the Cubs are miserable failures so far in 2009. [SI.com]
Five more minor leaguers out of the Dominican Republic were suspended for steroid use. Anybody surprised? [ESPN]
Hurry Back! Padre ace Jake Peavy lost his boot and is throwing a little. Rehab begins now that Peavy got a clean bill of health from team doctors… Milwaukee starter Dave Bush continues to struggle in his rehab, having suffered a torn triceps. LA’s Cory Wade heads to the DL with a right shoulder strain. Atlanta’s Jo-Jo Reyes gets a rehab stint in Gwinnett.
Welcome Back! The Royals activated Alex Gordon and newly acquired shorstop Yuniesky Betancourt from the DL. (I missed this trade while vacationing… The Royals sent cash and a couple of players to Seattle to fill a gap at short. Danny Cortes is a fireballer with control issues joining his third organization. Just 22, he might benefit by becoming a reliever. The other guy, Derrick Saito, is a Hawaiian reliever who was drafted out of Cal Poly. He has skills and could make the Mariners happy in 2011. Seattle filled the organization gap by signing Alex Cintron to a minor league deal.). The Royals need a shot in the arm, and this could help immensely. Colorado welcomes back reliever Manny Corpas.
Others coming back to the majors? Blake DeWitt (Dodgers), Josh Whitesell (D-backs), Angel Berroa (Mets), Alexi Casilla (Twins), Garrett Mock (Nationals), Wesley Wright (Astros).
Others heading in the wrong direction? Mett Belisle (Giants) and Tony Pena (Royals) were designated for assignment. The Mets dispatched Argenis Reyes back to the minors.