Well today is slated to be one of the lightest days of baseball this season so I’ll try to make this interesting so you at least have something to ponder while you twiddle your thumbs between the one early game and the late games. Luckily for us baseball always seems to find a way to create its own headlines.
Liriano dazzles again
Francisco (that's fun to say) Liriano has completely taken the reigns since coming back from an offseason (non-throwing arm) fracture. Liriano has now tossed three straight gems for the Pirates, the latest being a seven inning, nine strikeout performance with only one walk. His ERA currently rests at a squeaky clean 1.00 and his WHIP isn’t shabby either at 1.11. He’s getting strikeouts (25) and not walking batters (6) which plagued his final few seasons with the Twins. A lifetime American Leaguer, the 29-year-old Liriano has flourished in his first taste of the Senior Circuit. For those who nabbed him off waivers, kudos to you, you now have the option to sell high or wait for an implosion. He hasn’t shown this type of stuff since 2010 when he was the comeback player of the year. He may be paced for another run at that title in 2013 if he can stay anywhere close to his current pace.
M’s to Demote Struggling Montero
FINALLY, the Mariners have decided enough is enough with Catcher Jesus Montero. The one-time Yankee prospect, destined to fill the shoes of Jorge Posada has fallen on hard times at the big league level since being traded to the Mariners. Montero has a slash line of .208/.264/.327 and has not been a great catcher defensively. With his mediocre stats from 2012 accompanied by this year’s horrid start Montero is looking more and more like he will never fulfill his expectations. Kelly Shoppach will slide into the everyday role for now. Unfortunately prospect Mike Zunino isn’t exactly tearing the cover off the ball in Triple-A Tacoma with a .220/.290/.496 slash, however he does have 7 HR and 35 RBI in 127 AB.
NL Hot Shots:
Evan Gattis added to his growing rookie folk-lure with his 10th homer, a gargantuan grand slam. Ramiro Pena (2) and B.J. Upton (yes I swear it was B.J.) also homered. Upton also K’d twice.
Bryce Harper homered in a win over the Giants a day after being thrown under the bus by closer Rafael Soriano for being out of position on a fly ball the day before. I’m pretty sure that ball never gets hit to the OF without that flat slider from Soriano catching too much of the plate. I digress. The 20 year old now has 12 dingers to go with 23 RBI and a .287 BA.
Cliff Lee delivered a three-hit shutout over the Major-Triple-A Marlins. He only struck out 5 and walked two. Delmon Young homered in support of Lee, it was his second in as many games.
Josh Rutledge, in a surprising move, has been sent packing to Triple-A. After a hot start to 2012 Rutledge fizzled as the season progressed and apparently hasn’t show enough to make the Rockies feel secure. The 24-year-old second baseman will leave behind a .242 BA, 5 HR, 13 RBI, 5 SB and 26 runs scored. He should be back at some point, middle infielders with pop and speed are a high commodity.
Andre Ethier was given the day off on Wednesday because Donny Baseball is pulling his hair out trying to put a winning team on the field. It seems the message was well received as the Dodgers put up a 9 spot on the Brewers. Matt Kemp did a little bit of everything with a 2-for-4 game with an RBI double, a run scored and a stolen base. Kemp did however strike out twice with the bases juiced. The Dodgers are considering calling up Yasiel Puig and Joc Pederson, both of which are tearing up Double-A pitching.
Jaime Garcia is done for the season with surgery scheduled to repair a labrum tear.
Kyle Lohse will miss at least one start with elbow irritation. That’s never promising.
Adam Eaton will be re-evaluated after more elbow soreness. Uh oh! Sounds like a TJ surgery is in order.
AL Hot Shots:
I’m starting to ponder the new heading to the AL Hot Shots section;
It might simply need to be called: What Did Miggy Do?
So…what did Miggy do? He went 2-for-4 with his 13th homer and his ML Leading 50th, 51st and 52nd RBI
The Orioles teed off on Wednesday with homers from Chris Davis (14), Matt Wieters (7) and Nick Markakis (4) in a win over the Yankees. Jason Hammel moved to 6-2 with the win over Hiroki Kuroda who left the game due to a calf issue. Curtis Granderson hit his first homer and David Adams hit his second career Major League bomb.
Ross Wolf earned his first career win Wednesday for the Rangers, he defeated Jarrod Parker of the A’s. Parker gave up homers to David Murphy and Adrian Beltre in the same inning. Jurikson Profar did not play.
Clay Buchholz moved to 7-0 on the year with a seven inning one run performance. He struck out 4. David Ortiz knocked in 2 and stole third base for his first SB on the 2013 campaign. Ortiz now has 31 RBI, when you consider that Ortiz did not play a game until April 20th, that’s pretty amazing.
James Shields pitched 7 innings, struck out seven and allowed two earned runs. Usually those stats are good enough for win. Unfortunately for Shields the Royals offense is floundering and was able to muster just one run off of Houston’s Jordan Lyles (6 IP, 3K, 1 ER). Jose Veras nailed down save number eight, Lyles is now 2-1.
The Twins were toppled by the Braves Wednesday, they did get some late fireworks from their two rookies Aaron Hicks and Oswaldo Arcia as they both would homer in the top of the 9th. Each have four homers on the year. Hicks has been too inconsistent to start in fantasy and Arcia has slowed down the past few weeks with the Twins depth at OF Arcia really will need to step it up to get every day at-bats.
Follow Shawn on Twitter @CasKnowsRoto