This Great Game Comebacker

The Week That Was in Baseball: June 2-8, 2014
What the Jon Singleton Contract Means Farewell to Don Zimmer
TGG Goes to Petco Park Jason Lane’s Unlikely Revival Johnny Baseball?


Best and Worst of the Week

BEST HITTER, AMERICAN LEAGUE
Alex Gordon, Kansas City Royals

AB
R
H
2B
3B
HR
RBI
BB
IB
HB
SB
19 7 8 3 0 2 5 7 1 1 1

The steady veteran who couldn’t fulfill instant stardom as a heralded rookie in 2007 has slowly and quietly made it to near-Big Cheese status in K.C., and he powered up this past week with a pair of home runs to headline an overall offensive crunch he laid on opponents. Gordon also has been showing increased discipline with more walks and far less strikeouts than average. The Royals may be floundering amid high expectations this season, but Gordon is not to blame.


BEST HITTER, NATIONAL LEAGUE
Jonathan Lucroy, Milwaukee Brewers

AB
R
H
2B
3B
HR
RBI
BB
IB
HB
SB
25 8 12 2 0 2 5 1 0 0 1

A few weeks ago, we praised the underrated Lucroy and opined that if he had more weeks like that, he’ll start to get more notice. So guess what? He just had another week like that. Lucroy is hitting .370 over the last four weeks and .335 for the season, good enough to tie Yasiel Puig for second in the NL. If the attention doesn’t start to build up over this guy soon, he may have to go to extremes—like, run naked down the street on that new MTV2 baseball show—to get it.


WORST HITTER, AMERICAN LEAGUE
Dayan Viciedo, Chicago White Sox

AB
R
H
2B
3B
HR
RBI
BB
IB
HB
SB
21 0 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

The White Sox have shown strong signs of life here and there; Viciedo, this past week, represented one area where the pulse is faint. The 25-year-old Cuban native stumbled about, going hitless while hitting into two double plays before connecting on a couple of too-little, too-late hits in Sunday’s 4-2 loss to the Angels. His average has dipped down to a near-season low of .260—which is actually par for the course as far as his career to date is concerned.


WORST HITTER, NATIONAL LEAGUE
Carlos Quentin, San Diego Padres

AB
R
H
2B
3B
HR
RBI
BB
IB
HB
SB
15 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 0

The oft-injured slugger has been trying to get back to speed since his belated season debut in mid-May, but he hit some speed bumps this week. Quentin was hitless for the week—a near-epitome of the Padres’ recent struggles at the plate—and struck out seven times as he extended a stretch of games without a hit to eight. Perhaps at some point Quentin and his problematic knee will kick into high gear and give the Padres such punch; they can sure use it.


BEST PITCHER, AMERICAN LEAGUE
Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners

W-L
IP
H
R
ER
BB
IB
HB
WP
BK
SO
1-0 14 12 2 2 1 0 0 2 0 23

King Felix continued his reign over the Yankees at New York to start the week—lowering his career ERA at Yankee Stadium (old and new) to 2.07—but then he really turned it on at St. Petersburg on Sunday, striking out a career-high 15 batters among seven shutout innings; it’s a shame that the Mariners had to turn him off when it looked like he had some gas left in the tank. Hernandez is now 8-1 on the year with a 2.39 ERA and a major league-leading 106 strikeouts.


BEST PITCHER, NATIONAL LEAGUE
Jordan Zimmermann, Washington Nationals

W-L
IP
H
R
ER
BB
IB
HB
WP
BK
SO
2-0 17 7 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 16

Stephen Strasburg may get all the national attention in the Washington pitching corps, so it’s easy to forget about the 28-year-old Zimmermann until weeks like this come along. The right-hander picked up a pair of dominant wins, blanking the Phillies through eight innings on Tuesday and following that up with his third career shutout and a personal-best 12 strikeouts on Sunday at San Diego, taking a perfect game into the sixth inning before settling for a two-hitter.


WORST PITCHER, AMERICAN LEAGUE
David Phelps, New York Yankees

W-L
IP
H
R
ER
BB
IB
HB
WP
BK
SO
0-2 11.2 16 13 13 5 0 1 0 0 8

The man who’s replaced the injury-riddled, pine-soaked Michael Pineda came into the week with a two-game losing streak, although he pitched well enough to win both; the same could not be said for his two outings since, as he got knocked around first by the Mariners at home on Monday and then worse by the Royals on Saturday. Phelps has always been something of a spot starter for the Yankees in his three years at New York, but if the losing skid grows it may lead to a permanent spot back in the bullpen.


WORST PITCHER, NATIONAL LEAGUE
Rex Brothers, Colorado Rockies

W-L
IP
H
R
ER
BB
IB
HB
WP
BK
SO
0-1 1.2 7 6 6 1 0 0 0 0 1

Oh, Brothers. When we gave our opinions on the upcoming season back in March, we criticized the Rockies for picking fortysomething reliever LaTroy Hawkins over the Tennessee southpaw to be the team closer, given how strong Brothers was in the second half of 2013. We now stand corrected. Brothers’ rough year to date got ever rougher, looking shaky in all three appearances this past week, including a horrid Wednesday outing in which he faced five Arizona batters who all reached—and all scored—leading to his fourth loss of the year.


BEST TEAM, AMERICAN LEAGUE
Seattle Mariners (5-1)

Could the Mariners be starting to get a good feel for themselves? They headed east this past week and took two quick games from the Braves before netting two of three from the reeling Rays; they even had time to jump into Yankee Stadium for a make-up with the Yankees and come away with a 10-2 rout. Seattle ends the week at 33-29—the latest they’ve been four games or more above the .500 mark since 2009.


BEST TEAM, NATIONAL LEAGUE
Washington Nationals (5-1)

In the NL East’s merry-go-round race, it was the Nationals’ turn to get hot and end the week with a share of first place. Pitching clearly won the week for Washington; Jordan Zimmermann threw 17 scoreless innings (see above), Stephen Strasburg struck out 11 batters on Wednesday against the Phillies and Tanner Roark mowed down another 11 while tossing eight shutout innings at San Diego on Friday. The Nats’ only blemish came on Saturday when they blew a ninth-inning lead and lost in 11 to the Padres.


WORST TEAM, AMERICAN LEAGUE
Tampa Bay Rays (1-6)

From World Series favorites three months ago…to the majors’ worst record, 64 games in. Make do and welcome your Tampa Bay Rays of 2014. The week started horribly when cross-state rival Miami swept four games in a home-and-home interleague series, but then things only got marginally better with a win in three tries at home against Seattle. Let us know when you begin to smell the smoke, because the fire sale won’t be far behind if things don’t improve fast...


WORST TEAM, NATIONAL LEAGUE
Philadelphia Phillies (1-6)

Is it time to put a Phork in the Phillies? Are they Phinished? Baseball fans in the City of Brotherly Loathe probably have another F-word in mind to substitute the “Ph” for, but we can’t use that here. The Phillies got trounced at home by the Mets to start the week, took the 95 to Washington where they got swept by the Nationals, then salvaged one win out of three in a weekend series at Cincinnati. They’re officially the NL’s worst team (25-36) and rumors are flying over which of their storied veteran stars will soon be traded.


Best and Worst of the Week

Monday, June 2
Jose Abreu smacks a two-run homer in his return from the disabled list, but it’s the only real blemish on Clayton Kershaw’s night as the Los Angeles ace pitches eight strong innings—and the Dodgers net five runs, all unearned, in the sixth to defeat the visiting Chicago White Sox, 5-2.

Boston’s latest streak is history, as one-time Red Sock Justin Masterson throws seven shutout innings and strikes out ten to help give the Cleveland Indians a 3-2 victory. The Red Sox had won seven straight after losing ten in a row.

The Seattle Mariners take advantage of a make-up visit to Yankee Stadium by punishing the Yankees, 10-2, behind Kyle Seager’s home run, double and two triples—one of them courtesy of a mental lapse from New York shortstop Derek Jeter. Felix Hernandez improves to 8-1 on the year; his lifetime 2.07 ERA at the Stadium (old and new) is the lowest among active pitchers with a minimum of five starts.

Veteran pitcher Randy Wolf picks up his first win since 2012 as the Miami Marlins top the visiting Tampa Bay Rays, 3-1. It’s not only the seventh straight loss for the Rays, but the team’s 23-35 record is now the American League’s worst.


Tuesday, June 3
Nelson Cruz shows what the Texas Rangers have been missing by smashing a three-run homer—his major league-leading 21st of the season—to cap a six-run rally in the eighth as the Baltimore Orioles win at Arlington, 8-3.

After being the talk of baseball a day earlier for signing an unprecedented contract, Houston’s Jon Singleton makes his major league debut, walks in one run in the third and clouts his first homer in the eighth as the Astros roll over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Minute Maid Park, 7-2. The Angels’ Josh Hamilton, in his first game back after a two month-long thumb injury, also goes deep.

Henderson Alvarez throws his third shutout of the year, scattering eight hits as the Marlins tip Tampa Bay at Miami, 1-0, extending the Rays’ misery to eight straight losses.

A scoreless draw between two first-place teams turns into a ninth-inning slugfest as the Toronto Blue Jays bust out for five runs, then hold off a three-run rally by the Tigers in the bottom of the frame to win at Detroit, 5-3. Only once in major league history have eight or more runs been scored in the ninth inning after none had been scored in the first eight.


Wednesday, June 4
San Diego edges Pittsburgh at Petco Park, 3-2, despite just one hit—a first-inning bunt single by Everth Cabrera. The Padres don’t even hit a ball out of the infield until Rene Rivera’s fly out to end the eighth. Pittsburgh contributes with nine walks and an error.

After a two-and-a-half-hour rain delay in Cleveland, the Indians and Red Sox battle for 12 innings before Asdrubal Cabrera’s three-run shot off Edward Mujica wins the game for the Tribe, 7-4. It’s Cleveland’s sixth win, while Boston’s latest streak is now a three-game skid.

After bragging before the game that he’d knock in six runs, Arizona’s Miguel Montero does just that in a 16-8 win over the Rockies at Colorado. The top five Diamondbacks in the order—including Montero, batting fifth—each collect three hits.

Matt Carpenter goes 5-for-5 and doubles in the go-ahead run in the 11th inning, igniting a three-run rally that will end the St. Louis Cardinals’ three-game losing streak while extending their stretch of victories at Kauffman Stadium to eight with a 5-2 win over the Royals.


Thursday, June 5
Ten is a popular number for the Blue Jays as they sweep a road series at Detroit, 7-3. Juan Francisco, Brett Lawrie and Melky Cabrera each hit their tenth home run (increasing the number of Blue Jays players in double figures to five) while Casey Janssen picks up his tenth save by throwing just one pitch to wrap up the game.

The Diamondbacks continue to pound away at Coors Field and trounce the Rockies, 12-7, for their first three-game sweep of the season. A day after the top five hitters in the order collect three hits each, Arizona’s 1-through-5 collects at least two hits each—with three of them getting three.


Friday, June 6
The Blue Jays get two more home runs (from Jose Bautista and Brett Lawrie) and overcome a triple play to top the visiting Cardinals, 3-1. Toronto has now won 18 of its last 21 games.

Craig Kimbrel, having just turned 26, has something else to celebrate: He’s the new all-time saves leader in Braves history. The fireballing closer earns a four-our save at Arizona to secure the 155th of his career, surpassing John Smoltz. Atlanta wins, 5-2.

After ten straight losses—their longest slide since September 2009—the Rays finally grab a win as they silence the visiting Mariners behind Erik Bedard’s six scoreless innings. The streak was tied for the longest in the majors this season.

After failing to earn a win in either of his first four major league starts—three of which were ultimately won by the Yankees—Chase Whitley finally gets credit for a W as New York takes out the Royals in Kansas City, 4-2. Whitley allows two runs on five hits (and no walks) through seven innings.

The Tigers end a five-game losing skid—and help contribute to Boston’s latest streak, at four consecutive losses—as they topple the Red Sox at Comerica Park, 6-2. Despite their recent struggles, Detroit still holds a 3.5-game lead in the weak AL Central.


Saturday, June 7
White Sox ace Chris Sale has seven shutout innings in the books at Anaheim—but then he faces Mike Trout in the eighth. The All-Star center fielder crashes a game-tying grand slam, and Erick Aybar’s RBI single after Sale’s departure caps a six-run eighth to give the Angels a 6-5 win.

In Minnesota’s 8-0 whitewashing of the visiting Astros, lead-off rookie DH Danny Santana knocks in five runs to match his career total over 62 previous at-bats. Kyle Gibson throws seven shutout innings to equal his record at 5-5.

The Mets have a 4-3 lead at San Francisco and closer Jenrry Mejia strikes out the Giants’ Angel Pagan to start the ninth—but the ball gets away from catcher Travis D’Arnaud and Pagan beats out the throw at first, before tying the game on a Hunter Pence double; Michael Morse then brings Pence home on a deep fly to give the Giants a 5-4 win.


Sunday, June 8
Felix Hernandez has 100 pitches and 15 strikeouts through seven shutout innings—but the Mariners remove him from a 0-0 game at Tampa Bay, earning him a no-decision as Seattle erupts for five runs in the ninth off Rays closer Grant Balfour for a 5-0 win.

For only the second time in their 53 years of existence, the Astros belt two grand slams in one game as Chris Carter and Jon Singleton each go deep with the bases loaded during a 14-5 rout of the Twins in Minnesota.

Washington’s Jordan Zimmermann retires the first 16 Padres he faces and settles for a two-hit shutout at San Diego, striking out a career-high 12 batters. Only six other pitchers have shut out an opponent on the road with two or fewer hits, no walks and 12 or more strikeouts.


The Singleton Effect
Quite a bit was made of this past week of the Houston Astros signing Jon Singleton to a five-year deal that guarantees $10 million and could, with incentives and multiple club options, be boosted to $35 million. It’s unique in that Singleton was rewarded on the eve of his promotion to the Astros, having never performed at the big league level.

But Singleton is hardly the first player to receive big money before stepping on a major league field. Stephen Strasburg inked for $15 million in wages and bonuses before he ever threw a professional pitch. And Cuban exile Jose Abreu dwarfed Singleton’s deal when he came to America this past winter and signed a five-year, $68 million pact with the Chicago White Sox.

Until the rules are changed regarding Cuban players and MLB institutes an international draft, deals like those for Abreu and Yasiel Puig (seven years, $42 million) will continue. And baseball will continue to reward top draft picks with millions, though the amounts have been tempered in the post-Strasburg, salary-capped draft era.

The Singleton deal drew reactions on several fronts. One came from other players who are starting to voice their concerns about players like Singleton (and Evan Longoria before him) who play it safe and forfeit potentially big future earnings by signing for more minimal (yet still profitable) wages in the name of early financial security. But our immediate reaction to the Singleton signing was this: Why generously reward a player who was ranked 82nd among all prospects entering the season and hasn’t overwhelmed at the minor league level, hitting .267 with decent power so far this season after hitting a paltry .230 last year? And could this greatly raise the bar for players and reduce future leverage for teams who’ll be pelted by requests from agents to get their minor league clients a quick payday?

We’ll Miss You, Zim
Baseball lost one of its more beloved treasures this past week when Don Zimmer passed away at the age of 83.

In his 65 years associated with the game, Zimmer did it all. He logged time for eight minor league teams, five major league teams and one in Japan; he managed five minor league teams and five more in the majors; and he served as a coach on eight teams, most recently with the Tampa Bay Rays, for whom he was working as an advisor until his death. He lived on the field, was literally married on it (in 1951)—and nearly once died on it when, in 1953, a beanball fractured his skull and slipped him into a coma before doctors saved him.

The small and feisty infielder, seemingly separated at birth from Popeye with his oversized arms and massive jowls, accrued 773 hits, 150 errors, 906 managerial wins and 37 ejections. Wherever baseball was, Zimmer seemed to be there. He played alongside Jackie Robinson and was on the roster for the Dodgers’ last game in Brooklyn and their first in Los Angeles; was a member of the woeful 1962 New York Mets, hitting .077; coached the Red Sox during the famous Game Six of the 1975 World Series, and the Yankees in 2003 when he infamously had his head slammed to the ground by Boston ace Pedro Martinez in the midst of a playoff brawl; managed Boston when Bucky Dent went surprisingly deep to end the Red Sox’ pennant dreams in 1978, the Chicago Cubs when they were flattened in the 1989 NLCS by San Francisco, and filled in for an ill Joe Torre during the first 36 games of the 1999 Yankees’ championship season.

The Ballparks: A Sneak Peak From Petco Park
Later this month, This Great Game is scheduled to roll out its new section, The Ballparks, which will talk and show at length major league ballparks past and present. One of those to be profiled will be San Diego’s Petco Park, which we visited this past week with the gracious help of Josh Ishoo in the Padres' front office. With its mix of sandstone block structures, verdant touches and naval white trusses, Petco Park is unlike any other ballpark we’ve seen—but then again, every ballpark we’ve visited is unlike all others, and that’s the beauty of MLB venues and why we’re putting The Ballparks together. Below are some visual glimpses of what to expect, so stay tuned.

Petco Park panorama Main gate at Petco Park Fans looking from hi-rises beyond Petco Park Fans atop the Western Metals Supply Building at Petco Park

From top to bottom: The view of Petco Park from the Altitude Lounge atop the Marriott across the street; the main entrance at the south end of the ballpark; a free glimpse of the game from one of many hi-rises beyond center field; fans enjoying the proceedings from atop the Western Metals Supply building.

The Best of the Next
Because they’ve been so awful for so long, the Houston Astros had the privilege for the third straight year of selecting the first overall pick in the amateur draft held this past week. And so they chose Brady Aiken, a left-handed pitcher from California’s Cathedral Catholic High School who compiled a career 18-4 prep record with a 1.09 ERA. He is expected to bypass college and sign with the Astros for the slotted minimum of $7.9 million.

The Astros, meanwhile, are already selling Aiken jerseys to the public, so get them while they’re hot and remember this: The last high school pitcher taken as the overall number one pick—Brien Taylor, selected by the Yankees in 1991—never made it to the majors.

And how are the previous two number one picks for the Astros progressing? Carlos Correa, their 2012 selection, is having an excellent season for Lancaster in the Class A California League, hitting .321 with five homers, 51 RBIs and 18 steals in 53 games. Mark Appel, Correa’s Lancaster teammate and the Astros’ 2013 pick, isn’t faring as well; he’s started five games, won none and has a grisly 11.93 ERA as reports say he’s dealing with tendinitis of the thumb.

We Like Your Stuff—But the Name’s Got to Go
In the second round, the Kansas City Royals selected Scott Blewett. If he gets to the majors, Bob Walk and Grant Balfour will no longer share the title for the worst names given to a big league pitcher.

Draft Breezes
As always, the latter stages of the draft were often used to create publicity, make symbolic gestures and promote legacies of All-Stars past. The San Diego Padres created the biggest buzz when, in the 28th round, they selected former Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Johnny Manziel, who never played baseball in college; chances are, he’ll stick with the other team that drafted him, the NFL’s Cleveland Browns.

Meanwhile, the Yankees used their 29th-round pick to select Mariano Rivera—and no, you’re not experiencing déjà vu; he’s the namesake son of the legendary closer, finishing his sophomore season at Iona College. The Washington Nationals picked Ryan Ripken, the son of Cal Ripken Jr., in the 15th round; the Baltimore Orioles took Brandon Bonilla, son of former slugger Bobby Bonilla, in the 25th round; and in the 32nd round, the Philadelphia Phillies selected Tom Flacco, younger brother of Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco.

Oops
Derek Jeter’s Hall-of-Fame career is full of great highlights. This is not one of them.

Seeing Red and Hating It
San Francisco’s Tim Lincecum has faced the Cincinnati Reds less than any other NL team, and that’s a good thing for the former two-time Cy Young Award winner. After getting roughed up by the Reds this past Tuesday, Lincecum is now 0-4 in six career starts against Cincinnati with a deplorable 9.79 ERA.

On the Other Hand…
As much as Lincecum loathes facing the Reds,
Cole Hamels loves every chance he gets. The Philadelphia pitcher tossed 7.2 scoreless innings in the Phillies’ 8-0 Friday win at Cincinnati to improve his lifetime mark against the Reds to 9-0 with a 1.51 ERA.

It’s Never Too Late to Restart
Could this be Roy Hobbs all over again? Seven years after last appearing in the majors as an outfielder, Jason Lane took the mound as a pitcher for San Diego and dazzled, retiring all ten Pittsburgh batters he faced (striking out three) during a 4-1 Padres loss. The 37-year-old Lane had previously played from 2002-07 for the Astros, peaking in 2005 when he hit 26 home runs with 78 RBIs; he was released a few years later as his batting average plummeted below .200.

After bouncing around five organizations trying to reclaim his stroke, Lane went to where old players go to reinvent themselves: The independent Sugar Land Skeeters, who in past years let Roger Clemens throw at age 50 and gave former basketball star Tracy McGrady a turn on the mound. It was an impressive audition; in the last two years, Lane was 26-15 with a 3.88 ERA at the minor league level before being given his promotion back to the bigs by the Padres.

We-GoNe
The Chicago Cubs’ partnership with WGN, which has lasted almost as long as radio itself, will come to a close at the end of the season after 90 years. What’s surprising is that it was the station, not the team, who pulled the plug; WGN was able to exercise an opt-out clause after it lost considerable money as the struggling Cubs failed to draw fans to the dial.

Broken Windows
After a slow start to the season, Pablo Sandoval his gotten hot; even his foul balls have been wicked. Just ask Mark Sheldon, a reporter for mlb.com who’s hoping Bud Selig can splurge for his next laptop after this happened in Cincinnati this past Tuesday.

Nine Pitches, Nine Strikes, Three Outs
Twice this past week, two pitchers—Justin Masterson on Monday, and Garrett Richards on Wednesday—retired the side on nine pitches, all of them strikes. They join Cole Hamels and Brad Boxberger as pitchers this season who have done the same. There has never been a year where we had five of these instances, so there’s a full two-thirds of the schedule left for someone to reset the bar.

Whose Position is This Anyway?
The Chicago Cubs showed this past week why the shift is sometimes not the best idea.

Here’s What Doolittle Does Little Of
Oakland reliever Sean Doolittle has taken over the closer’s role in part because veteran Jim Johnson (6.46 ERA) has fallen apart, but also in part because of this: Through Saturday, Doolittle has struck out 42 batters—and walked one. Elias says that no other major league pitcher has ever struck out 40 batters to start a year with so few walks.

Not So Abad Anymore
Another Oakland reliever put the brakes on a more disturbing trend this past Friday when Fernando Abad earned the victory in the A’s 4-3 win at Baltimore. It was Abad’s first W since 2011; he had suffered 15 straight losses in the meantime.

A Walking Occupational Hazard
Norichika Aoki is really hoping these things happen in threes—because he’s fulfilled his quota of awkwardly painful moments over the past few weeks. First it was a swing and a miss and a fall to the ground; then it was a pop fly that hit off of his protective cup (assuming, of course, that he was wearing one). But then came this past week when he got beaned—not by the pitcher, but by St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina.

This Week's Challenger to Joe DiMaggio
The ghost of
Joe DiMaggio had a nice, relaxing week, at some point briefly checking with the baseball gods to see if anyone was in hot pursuit of his record 56-game hit streak. Relax, the gods said, you’re quite safe. It’s the same ol’ story, with New York’s Jacoby Ellsbury and Baltimore’s Nick Markakis now sharing the spotlight with 13-game hit streaks to end this past week with the longest active run going. It’s a long way to 56.

League vs. League
It was a busy week of interleague action, but both leagues split the difference with ten wins each to allow the American League to maintain its somewhat comfortable edge to date on the National League, 69-60, as it continues its pursuit of winning the interleague wars for the 11th straight season.

Wounded of the Week
wounded of the weekJohan Santana’s long and winding road back to the majors took an unpleasant detour this past week when he tore his Achilles while chasing down a grounder during a minor league game. The 35-year-old, two-time Cy Young Award winner was hoping to get promoted to the Baltimore Orioles and pitch in a major league game for the first time in two years after shoulder problems, but this effectively ends his season.

In Colorado, Jordan Lyles broke his glove hand trying to tag out Arizona’s Martin Prado at home during Wednesday’s 16-8 loss to the Diamondbacks—yet he pitched on for three more innings until the pain became unbearable.

Other injuries to overtake major leaguers included the obligatory DL stint for Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez (finger inflammation), a left foot issue for San Diego infielder Jedd Gyorko, a sore elbow for Milwaukee reliever Tyler Thornburg and problems for yet two more Texas Rangers: A sore elbow for picther Alexi Ogando (out one month) and a bum ankle for first baseman Mitch Moreland (the injured Prince Fielder's replacement), costing him three months.

Finally, the recovery for Boston hitting coach Greg Colbrunn appears to be good after he suffered a brain hemorrhage this past week. Red Sox players knew he was in trouble when he came on the field before Wednesday’s game at Detroit and didn’t know where the batting cage was.

He Said What?
“I don’t have Bonds, so it’s going to be Romero.” —Seattle manager
Lloyd McClendon, asked why he placed Stefan Romero, hitting .204 with three homers, in the cleanup spot for Wednesday’s game at Atlanta. Romero went 2-for-4 with a triple in the Mariners’ 2-0 win.


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