The first Biogenesis bomb was dropped on Monday, when Major League Baseball announced that Ryan Braun was suspended for the remainder of the season due to his connection with the clinic. It appears that the next bomb could do even more damage.
According to a report from CBS Evening News’ Jim Axelrod, Alex Rodriguez could be facing a lifetime ban from MLB. The evidence the league has against A-Rod, according to a previous report from ESPN's T.J. Quinn, is “far beyond” what the league had against Braun.
A-Rod, of course, has admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs from 2001-03 during his time with the Rangers, but he’s said that he’s been clean since then. However, it appears that the evidence will tell another story.
While Axelrod was told that A-Rod will try to cut a deal with MLB, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale is hearing that the third baseman plans to appeal any suspension levied against him. If that’s the case, then A-Rod could wind up playing again this season while going through the appeals process. A-Rod is currently back at the Yankees’ spring training complex while rehabbing a quad injury that he suffered during his rehab assignment. His return isn’t imminent.
K-Rod Lands in Baltimore
The Orioles bolstered their relief corps on Tuesday, acquiring Francisco Rodriguez from the Brewers in exchange for third base prospect Nick Delmonico.
After not being signed by the Brew Crew until a couple weeks into the season, K-Rod pitched wonderfully for Milwaukee in 25 appearances, putting up a 1.09 ERA and 26/9 K/BB ratio over 24 2/3 innings. He took over the closer role for an injured Jim Henderson in late May and fared well in the role, converting all 10 save chances while posting a 1.25 ERA with over a strikeout per frame. He should be the primary setup man for Jim Johnson in Baltimore.
While K-Rod’s fantasy value plummets as he goes from closer to setup man, there will now be saves to be had in Milwaukee. John Axford has been the team’s best reliever of late. In fact, he’s been totally dominant, having been scored upon just once in his last 31 appearances. However, Henderson has been used as K-Rod’s primary setup man and was also terrific in the role before losing it following an injury. I’d bet on Henderson getting the first crack at the job, but manager Ron Roenicke said Henderson and Axford could "flip-flop" in the role based on matchups.
Mesoraco Heating Up
It seems long ago when Devin Mesoraco was a top-20 prospect. He's starting to show glimpses of why he achieved that lofty ranking.
In the first game of Tuesday’s doubleheader against the Giants, Mesoraco went 3-for-4 with two singles and a three-run homer in a victory. It was his second straight three-hit contest and second straight night with a longball. Over the last 15 games, Mesoraco is sporting a .308 batting mark with three dingers.
It might a tad early to get overly excited, as the 25-year-old is still hitting a pedestrian .258/.326/.405 for the season. However, note that his 42/21 K/BB ratio over 215 plate appearances is a pretty encouraging sign and the power he displayed in the minors has the potential to pop up at any time, especially with his home park.
At the very least, he’s got to have Reds manager Dusty Baker thinking about sticking him in the lineup more times than not after Ryan Hanigan returns from the DL Thursday.
National League Quick Hits: Jason Grilli (forearm) was placed on the disabled list Tuesday and will undergo further testing ... Chris Carpenter (shoulder) has halted his rehab assignment due to numbness in his throwing hand ... Matt Holliday (hamstring) will return from the DL on Saturday when first eligible ... Matt Kemp could require a DL stint even though X-rays on his ankle came back clean ... The Dodgers got late home runs from Adrian Gonzalez and Andre Ethier in a comeback win over the Blue Jays Tuesday ... Kris Medlen allowed four runs in 5 1/3 innings against the Mets Tuesday to lose his third straight start ... The Phillies and Giants are two of the teams that will watch Brian Wilson’s throwing session Thursday ... Aramis Ramirez (knee) took batting practice Tuesday but is still at least a week away from being activated ... Ross Detwiler is having more issues with his back and will have it examined by a specialist ... Jason Marquis will undergo Tommy John surgery ... Christian Yelich went 3-for-4 with two RBI in his major league debut Tuesday ... The Braves have some interest in lefty Joe Thatcher ... The Dodgers called up Carlos Marmol from Double-A Tuesday ...
American League Quick Hits: Clay Buchholz (shoulder) could be out until late August ... Miguel Cabrera (hip) will sit out again Wednesday but is expected to avoid the disabled list ... Joe Blanton is likely to lose his spot in the Angels’ rotation ... The Yankees are interested in Alfonso Soriano, but a deal isn’t close ... The Tigers are showing interest in Luke Gregerson ... Wil Myers homered again Tuesday and is hitting .316/.341/.496 in 117 at-bats since being recalled ... Joe Mauer is likely to be placed on paternity leave after his wife went into labor with twins ... Omar Infante (ankle) will begin a rehab assignment on Wednesday and should return this weekend ... Josh Hamilton got a cortisone shot for his right ankle but should return in a couple days ... Jason Vargas (arm) has resumed throwing from a mound ... Alex Cobb left his rehab start with a blister but expects to be OK for his next outing ... Derek Jeter (quad) took batting practice and did some running Tuesday and should be ready to come off the DL on Saturday ... Jesse Crain (shoulder) is expected back this weekend ... The Red Sox and Cardinals have interest in Jake Peavy ...