- Mike Oz at Big League Stew12 hrs ago
Editor's note: The Stew's Trade Talk Tracker will be following the juiciest rumors in MLB until the non-waiver trade deadline on July 31. We'll give you the day's most important links about who may (or may not) be changing teams in the 10 days. PIRATES WANT A.J. BACK: One of the trades that makes the most sense is picking up a lot of traction: A.J. Burnett back to the Pirates. Even players want him back. [@Ken_Rosenthal]
BACK TO TORONTO? The Blue Jays are looking at bringing back Alex Rios. [CBS Sports]
COLON PUSH: The Mets are "trying hard to move" Bartolo Colon. [@DannyKnobler]
MEANWHILE: The Giants may or may not be interested in Bartolo. [Bay Area Sports Guy]
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew13 hrs ago
If you had July 22 in the "What day will Troy Tulowitzki go on the disabled list?" pool, congrats, you're our big winner.
The Colorado Rockies made it official Tuesday that their MVP-candidate shortstop would be hitting the DL because of a hip flexor strain. He sustained the injury running out a ground ball Saturday.
There's a good chance this is just a quick trip, as he's only on the 15-day DL, but with Tulowitzki and his rough injury history, it's tough to have total faith in his health. And if you're a Rockies fan, this is another reason to shake your head at what this season has become.
Tulowitzki, of course is one of the best players in baseball when healthy. That "when healthy" caveat has troubled him since 2009. The 2011 season was the last time he played more than 130 games in a season. He missed 210 games total between 2010-2013.
Thus far, 2014 had been a great example of what Tulo can do when he's playing every day. He leads the NL in batting average, on-base and slugging percentage. He's third in homers and No. 1 in Wins Above Replacement.Wed, Jul 2312:10 PM PDTWashington at ColoradoPreview Game
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew17 hrs ago
Roy Halladay has been a pretty interesting follow since he joined Twitter recently. There's been some folly (him figuring out how to use YouTube) and some fun behind-the-scenes moments (check out this fish he caught the other day).
On Tuesday afternoon, upon learning that former teammate Chase Utley had won the Philadelphia Phillies Heart and Hustle Award again, Halladay spent nine tweets talking about how wonderful of a guy Utley is and how people and children should strive to be like Utley.
It was a brothery lovefest worth of the City of Brothery Love.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew18 hrs ago
Andrew McCutchen and Regene Green finally met face to face Monday. She wore a turtleneck with "Cutch 22" on it and kissed his hand. He gave her a big hug, as he took a break from batting practice with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
That's the kind of greeting you get when the reigning NL MVP invites you to batting practice to celebrate your 100th birthday.
Green turned 100 in June and her birthday announcement in the local newspaper in Chicora, Pa., said she loved the Pirates and McCutchen was her favorite player. His camp spotted it, and the Pirates star sent her a video greeting and invite:
On Sunday, we saw 105-year-old Agnes McKee throw out the first pitch at the Padres game. So Cutch superfan Regene Green should make that her next goal.Wed, Jul 234:05 PM PDTLA Dodgers at PittsburghPreview Game
You'll excuse Dustin Ackley if he's not as graceful as some of the outfielders who often get associated with great leaping catches.
Ackley, the Seattle Mariners left fielder these days, was a second baseman until mid 2013. But his impressive leaping grab Monday night to steal a home run from Travis d'Arnaud of the New York Mets, proved that Ackley is a real outfielder now.
This didn't have the elegance of Mike Trout stealing a homer. Also, Ackley's landing could use some work, but there's no arguing with the results — he sized up the homer, jumped, caught the ball over the fence and brought it back with him. Ackley also had three hits and an RBI to contribute to Seattle's 5-2 win.
''I knew I felt something. I didn't know if I felt it hit off my glove or go in the web, but when I came down is when I knew I had it,'' Ackley said. ''I was like, 'Well something is in there.'''Wed, Jul 2312:40 PM PDTNY Mets at SeattlePreview Game
Matt Shoemaker almost had the Baltimore Orioles figured out. Almost.
Shoemaker, the Los Angeles Angels rookie starting pitcher, struck out 10 Orioles in 5 2/3 innings Monday night and he only gave up three hits to Baltimore batters not named Adam Jones.
Oh, but Adam Jones.
Jones launched a pair of two-run homers off Shoemaker, one in the first and one in the sixth. The second one ended Shoemaker's night and was also the difference in the O's 4-2 victory. Said Jones about Shoemaker after the game:
''I didn't know anything about him, but that's what scouting reports are for,'' Jones said. ''We had an idea of what he throws, but nobody had seen him. So when you go up there, the best way to figure things out is trial and error. He gave up two home runs, but overall, his plan worked. He had a lot of strikeouts.''Wed, Jul 237:05 PM PDTBaltimore at LA AngelsPreview Game
The good news, we suppose, is that New York Yankees rookie pitcher Shane Greene didn't finish Monday night's game on the disabled list. Given the Yankees luck with starting pitchers this season, that's something.
So that's the silver lining, here's the reality: Greene had a really rough night fielding his position during the Yankees' 4-2 loss to the Texas Rangers. He made three errors, and none on plays that were especially hard.
• Greene dropped a ball in the second inning while running to cover first.
• He fielded a comebacker later that inning, a rather routine play. He did the right thing by running toward first base a bit, but his underhand toss would have needed Manute Bol at first base to catch it. It was comically (and maybe even historically) bad.Wed, Jul 234:05 PM PDTTexas at NY YankeesPreview Game
At this point, it's not news that Andrelton Simmons did something impressive on a baseball field. The Atlanta Braves shortstop has already established himself as a Gold Glover andone of baseball's elite defenders. But just because we're used to seeing Simmons pulling off wonderful defensive plays doesn't mean we can't sit and appreciate his wizardry each time he puts it on display again.
Look at what Simmons did Monday night against the Miami Marlins. It was the top of the fourth inning and the Marlins had leadoff man Christian Yelich at first base. He took off running on the pitch, a hit-and-run attempt that sent Simmons to cover second base. Jordany Valdespin hit the ball to the left of Simmons, which generally would make for a successful hit-and-run. But not with Simmons on patrol.
Five Big Things is Big League Stew's look at the week ahead in MLB action, examining storylines and matchups you should keep an eye on.
1. THE RETURN (AND DEPARTURE?) OF CLIFF LEE Cliff Lee, welcome to back to the Philadelphia Phillies' starting rotation. Now, don't get too comfortable.
Lee, the veteran ace of the Phillies, makes his first start since May 8 on Monday night, and many eyes around baseball will be on Lee as teams prepare for the July 31 trade deadline. A contender needing another arm could do a lot worse than Lee. Since 2008, when he won the AL Cy Young, Lee has an ERA of 2.90.
He's coming off an injury, of course, a strained tendon in his elbow, so the buyers in MLB have every right to beware. This season he's 4-4 with a 3.18 ERA, but has the potential to be a frontline starter if he's healthy and those aren't easy to come by.
The New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays are reportedly among the teams that have been scouting Lee. Acquiring him will bring with it considerable cost, however. He's due $25 million next season.Wed, Jul 234:05 PM PDTSan Francisco at PhiladelphiaPreview Game
Dan Uggla wasn't unemployed too long. When the Atlanta Braves released the slumping second baseman Friday, there were a few likely destinations for the powerful but batting average-challenged Uggla.
The San Francisco Giants, who have been relying on inexperienced and/or injured players at second all season, were one of Uggla's suitors. The two sides didn't waste any time. Uggla has agreed to a minor-league deal to join the Giants, a roster move first reported by Ken Rosenthal at Fox Sports.
Giants beat writer Hank Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle adds the following details: