Longtime Milwaukee Brewers broadcaster Bob Uecker, whose sense of humor – especially when poking fun at himself – and colorful commentary and story telling has earned him legions of fans across the upper midwest, is scheduled for surgery to replace an aortic valve on Friday. Uecker has known of the problem for a few months but was hoping to finish the season before needing surgery. Instead, when the problems worsened quicker than planned, doctors told him not to wait. [SI]
I used to listen to Uecker on a transistor radio (I know, Kelli – what’s that?), and also on occasion in the Columbia Pipe warehouse in Gurnee on afternoons when Cubs games weren’t on. In my mind, I can hear him tell stories about Mark Brouhard, the heroes of Harvey’s Wallbangers, and even recall a handful of Lite Beer pitches. He was the perfect voice for the Major League movies – “He throws a K-Y ball in there for a strike.”
Do the Nationals Bring Strasburg Up?
Stephen Strasburg tossed five innings of no-hit ball last night – the only player reaching base actually struck out but got to first on a passed ball. I am ADMITTING my impatience, but it wouldn’t surprise me if the ace of the AA Harrisburg Senators either got the call to join the major league club, or at least got a move to AAA soon. [ESPN]
Rough Day Yesterday?
Justin Morneau left last night’s game against Detroit early. According to manager Ron Gardenhire, the Minnesota first baseman felt stiffness in his upper back because, facing Justin Verlander, “…he was swinging and missing a lot…” and it was messing with his back. [ESPN]
Oakland placed pitcher Brett Anderson on the DL with stiffness in his left forearm and swelling in his elbow. [SI]
Texas outfielder Nelson Cruz heads to the DL with a strained hamstring. Cruz tweaked his hammy running the bases on Monday night, and wasn’t very mobile on Tuesday. Look for David Murphy to get a few more starts… [FoxSports]
Dodgers shortstop Rafael Furcal left the first game of yesterday’s doubleheader with tightness in his hamstring – though Torre wasn’t sure which leg it was. Details. [ESPN]
News From Behind the Mask…
Tampa’s Dioner Navarro will be suspended for two games as a result of his bumping an umpire in a game Friday night. [FoxSports]
Chris Ianetta, once a starter for your Colorado Rockies, heads to AAA to find his batting eye. [SI]
I can’t remember where I saw this, but I heard that Texas is giving the starting catcher job to Matt Treanor. Both Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Taylor Teagarden were dispatched to AAA, and Max Ramirez will back up Treanor.
Oh Yeah – I forgot…
Brad Lidge also pitched in that AA game featuring Stephen Strasburg. The erstwhile Phillies closer logged two innings, striking out four, in a rehab stint for Reading. Lidge feels he’s just about ready to return to the parent club. [MLB]
So How Much is Albert Pujols Worth?
Seeing that Ryan Howard inked a five year extension worth $125 million with Philadelphia, Atlanta Braves manager Bobby Cox suggested that Albert Pujols is worth TWICE that. I dunno… Howard hits about 50 homers a year, has improved at the plate and in the field, and seems committed to the Phillies. It was an expensive contract, but there aren’t a whole lot of players who produce as many runs as Howard does. The fact that he strikes out a lot probably gives him more chances to bat with runners on base because pitchers feel like they have a shot at getting him out. NOBODY wants to face Pujols, though, and by my count he’s been 30 to 70 runs better than any other offensive player for each of the last five years. If anybody is worth $30 million, it might be Albert.
Boston dispatched infielder Kevin Frandsen (his career pretty much ended when he blew out his achilles a couple of years back), and recalled pitcher Alan Embree.
Washington recalled outfielder Roger Bernadina from AAA Syracuse. The guy can fly. Bernadina’s stint should be longer this time – last year he got maybe two games into his major league career when he broke his ankle leaping against the wall.
The Rockies placed two pitchers on the DL yesterday. Jason Hammel leaves with a strained groin (hopefully his own), while Jorge De La Rosa tore a tendon in his middle finger.
Catcher Jason LaRue returns to the Cardinals after a brief DL stint.
Oakland recalled Steve Tolleson from AAA. You might remember his dad, Wayne, was an infielder a few years back. He’s not REALLY a prospect – he actually looks like he has the same skill set as his father, only a little faster.
1902 – Red Lucas
1934 – Jackie Brandt
1935 – Pedro Ramos
1960 – John Cerrutti, Tom Browning
1964 – Barry Larkin
1981 – Shawn Hill