- David Brown at Big League Stew38 mins ago
As of Thursday afternoon, left-hander Tommy Milone might be saying to himself, "Be careful what you wish for." Because he got sure got it.
With the non-waiver trade deadline ticking down Thursday, the Oakland Athletics traded Milone to the Minnesota Twins for outfielder Sam Fuld. The deal came about 10 days after Milone asked the A's to trade him because they had sent him back to the minor leagues.
Sounds great for Milone, right? With top-tier left-hander Jon Lester coming to Oakland in another deal, there was little chance that the A's were going to get Milone any more starts this season. So he's better off elsewhere. Except:
Tommy Milone being assigned to Rochester for the time being, a Twins source says. Kennys Vargas will be in Kansas City tonight.Thu, Jul 315:10 PM PDTMinnesota at Kansas CityPreview Game
- David Brown at Big League Stew2 hrs ago
Before dealing for right-hander Justin Masterson on Wednesday, the St. Louis Cardinals were thought to be in the market for Jon Lester or another top-tier starting pitcher. Or possibly even some help on offense. Instead, with Lester going to the Athletics, and strong hitters appearing to a cost a premium amount, the Cardinals went after Boston's second-best starter, John Lackey.
Peter Gammons was the first to report that Lackey is heading to St. Louis for slugger Allen Craig and right-hander Joe Kelly. Lackey, 35, has been terrific for Boston since returning from Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery, posting a 3.55 ERA with 277 strikeouts in 326 2/3 innings in 2013 and 2014. He's also been tested in the playoffs, posting a 3.03 ERA in 104 career innings, including a 2.57 ERA in the 2013 World Series.
Lackey gives the Cardinals a great supplement to Adam Wainwright and Lance Lynn, especially with Michael Wacha questionable for the rest of the season, and Masterson a bit of a project.LiveSt. Louis2 - 2San DiegoFollow Game
- David Brown at Big League Stew3 hrs ago
With the trading deadline counting down Thursday, the MLB Network briefly fell for a fake story published on Twitter about the Tampa Bay Rays trading David Price and Ben Zobrist to the Detroit Tigers. The worst part: Ken Rosenthal, the reporter being used in the fake tweet, was in the studio as host Matt Yallof read the bogus trade on the air.
There's a line in "Anchorman" befitting of this moment: "Ron Burgundy will read anything that is put on that teleprompter. Anything!"
As the network went to commercial, the tweet was dismissed as fake, and the real Ken Rosenthal (who also reports for Fox Sports), took to Twitter to stop the disinformation from spreading:
- David Brown at Big League Stew14 hrs ago
He could have been joking — and kudos, if so — but it appeared Wednesday afternoon as if left-hander David Price thought the trade deadline had come and gone already. Price's name has been featured prominently in rumors for months, though the Tampa Bay Rays might be inclined to keep him for the pennant race and deal him in the offseason, instead of by 4 p.m. ET on Thursday.
Regardless, the topic has been constant and, perhaps, Price is looking forward to not having to answer questions about it. So, after the Rays fell 5-0 to the Brewers at Tropicana Field with Price pitching, someone asked:
Reporter: "Considering the trade deadline, do you have plans tomorrow to do something fun, to get away from it?"
Price: "No, I didn’t; I thought it ended today at 4. So… oh, is it [tomorrow]? All right. Well, that’s fine. Um… No. I’m playing golf. And I put my phone in my bag when I play, so… I won’t even know, honestly."
A year ago, Justin Masterson played for the American League All-Stars and was a big reason the Cleveland Indians reached the postseason, if only for a game. This season, with free agency pending after contract extension talks fizzled, he finds himself traded to the other league with the non-waiver deadline looming.
The St. Louis Cardinals acquired Masterson on Wednesday afternoon for minor-league outfielder James Ramsey, rated the No. 8 prospect in the Cards system by Baseball America. The trading deadline is 4 p.m. ET on Thursday.
Peter Gammons, who covered Masterson when he played for Boston, first reported the deal.
Masterson, 29, has posted a 5.51 ERA with 93 strikeouts in 98 innings while being extremely vulnerable to left-handed batters. As Dave Cameron of Fangraphs points out, he'll be a great situational relief pitcher if nothing else. And if the Cardinals can "fix him" — which is their reputation — Masterson is a shade below elite as a starter. He posted a 3.45 ERA with three shutouts and 195 strikeouts in 2013, and a 3.21 ERA in 33 starts in 2011.Thu, Jul 314:05 PM PDTSeattle at ClevelandPreview Game
A lot like they did in 2012, the Baltimore Orioles are winning once they get to extra innings. They improved to 12-3 and won their seventh straight in extras by beating the Los Angeles Angels 7-6 on Tuesday night. Manny Machado, seemingly a much more focused hitter since returning from a disciplinary suspension for throwing his bat in June, hit a walk-off home run in the 12th inning against Cory Rasmus.
The O's were 16-2 in extra innings in 2012, when they won 93 games overall and surprised many by making the playoffs. They lead the American League East with a 59-46 record so far in 2014.
''We have good chemistry in the clubhouse like we did back then and obviously we have a good bullpen as well,'' Machado said.Thu, Jul 314:05 PM PDTLA Angels at BaltimorePreview Game
Catcher John Baker performed as a pitcher and a history maker Tuesday night for the Chicago Cubs.
Baker, usually the team's backup behind home plate, was pressed into pitching duties in the 16th inning because the Cubs otherwise had run short of arms. He came through with a scoreless frame, and later scored the winning run in the bottom half, leading the way in a 4-3 victory against the Colorado Rockies at Wrigley Field.
In celebration, teammates showered Baker with beer, chocolate milk, hair gel, shampoo, body wash and more beer, he said via MLB.com:
"Best shower I've ever taken," Baker said.LiveColorado0 - 3Chi CubsFollow Game
No matter the outcome of the ballgame Tuesday night, Dodger Stadium was going to be a happy place: 86-year-old Hall of Famer Vin Scully announced he intends to return for a 66th season broadcasting the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The park went up for grabs in the second inning after the stadium's video board showed a "press conference" where players Hyun-jin Ryu, Yasiel Puig and Justin Turner made the announcement in three different languages before cutting to Scully waving to the crowd from the press box. He also hugged his wife, Sandi, to celebrate the announcement.
Of course, it was a rare occasion for Angelenos to see Scully at all, considering the ongoing programming dispute involving the team's new SportsNet LA channel, which still can't be viewed by most of the area. Scully's still calling the games, though, just as he has since 1950 when the team played in Brooklyn, N.Y., U.S.A.Thu, Jul 317:10 PM PDTAtlanta at LA DodgersPreview Game
The Detroit Tigers went with the Christmas in July theme at Comerica Park on Tuesday night by having Santa Claus catch the ceremonial first pitch thrown by local boy (and rock 'n' roll ace) Jack White.
Amid his tour, White has been attending ballgames all over the Midwest, most notably at Wrigley Field for the Chicago Cubs, where the internet caught him making some funny but frowny faces and we all laughed and laughed. Detroit is home for him, and he did the Tigers a solid by appearing with the jolly red elf himself:
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White appeared to be making an extra effort to smile at all times, lest anyone (especially Santa) would think he's a sourpuss.LiveChi White Sox5 - 4DetroitFollow Game
- David Brown at Big League Stew2 days ago
Louisville Bats catcher Tucker Barnhart happened to look over at the visitor's dugout Monday night and saw Charlotte's manager, Joel Skinner, talking about what just had happened.
"I read the manager's lips," Barnhart told Big League Stew in a phone interview. "And he said, 'I've never seen that before.' "
Skinner was referring to the pitch that Louisville right-hander Curtis Partch had thrown a moment earlier: One that somehow hit Blake Tekotte in the back as he stood in the batter's box, then hit Barnhart in the hand as he crouched behind the plate, and finally hit umpire David Soucy in the knee as he stood behind the catcher.
Barnhart hasn't been playing that long — this is his sixth season in pro ball, which includes 12 games over two stints this year with the big-league Reds. But he's never experienced anything like Partch's pitch. Batters have been hit in the body after swinging and missing. Batters have fouled pitches off the catcher that also deflect off the umpire. Nothing like this.