* Hard as it may be to believe, here’s the complete list
of every left-handed pitcher in baseball history with more wins than
Jamie Moyer: Warren Spahn, Steve Carlton, Eddie Plank, Tom Glavine,
Lefty Grove, Randy Johnson, Tommy John, Jim Kaat, Eppa Rixey, Carl
Hubbell. All of which is made even more amazing by the fact that Moyer
had a 34-54 record when he turned 30 years old.
* A’s manager Bob Geren said yesterday
that Justin Duchscherer’s recovery from spring elbow surgery has been
delayed because of back problems, making him unlikely to return from
the disabled list before the All-Star break.
* On the other hand, it sounds like Kelvim Escobar will come off the DL this weekend despite struggling in last night’s rehab start at Triple-A.
* Ozzie Guillen continues to downplay the notion of Gordon Beckham joining the White Sox in the second half, saying:
“The last thing we worry about is Beckham, and I don’t know why people
in Chicago fell in love with this kid. He’s a great player, he’s going
to be in the big leagues, he’s going to be a big part of this
organization pretty soon. But we don’t have Beckham on our mind right
now. I don’t and I’m the one making the lineup. If we have Beckham
here, we’re in trouble.”
* Miguel Angel Sano, a 16-year-old shortstop from the Dominican Republic, is the latest stud international prospect to have MLB teams salivating.
Former Mets catcher Johnny Monell signed a contract with the KT Wiz of the Korea Baseball Organization, per a report by Chris Cotillo of SB Nation. The 30-year-old originally struck a deal with the NC Dinos on Thursday, but the deal appeared to fall through at the last minute, according to Cotillo’s unnamed source.
Monell last surfaced for the Mets during their 2015 run, batting a dismal .167/.231/.208 with two extra bases in 52 PA before the club DFA’d him to clear space for Bartolo Colon. While he’s had difficulty sticking at the major league level, he’s found a higher degree of success in the minor league circuit and holds a career .271 average over a decade of minor league play. He played exclusively in Triple-A Las Vegas during the 2016 season, slashing .276/.336/.470 with 19 home runs and a career-high 75 RBI in 461 PA.
The veteran backstop appears to be the second MLB player to join the KT Wiz roster this offseason, as right-hander Donn Roach also signed with the club last month on a one-year, $850,000 deal.
Brewers’ right-hander Phil Bickford received a 50-game suspension after testing positive for a drug of abuse, per the Los Angeles Times’ Bill Shaikin. This is the second time Bickford has been suspended for recreational drug use, as he was previously penalized in 2015 after testing positive for marijuana prior to the amateur draft.
Bickford was selected by the Giants in the first round of the 2015 draft and was later dealt to the Brewers for lefty reliever Will Smith at the 2016 trade deadline. He finished his 2016 campaign in High-A Brevard County, pitching to a 3.67 ERA, 10.0 K/9 rate and 5.0 BB/9 over 27 innings.
Two other suspensions were handed down on Friday, one to Toronto minor league right-hander Pedro Loficial for a positive test for metabolites of Stanozolol and one to Miami minor league outfielder Casey Soltis for a second positive test for drugs of abuse. Loficial will serve a 72-game suspension, while Soltis will serve 50 games. All three suspensions are due to start at the beginning of the 2017 season for each respective minor league team.
Brewers’ GM David Stearns issued a statement after the Commissioner’s Office announced Bickford’s suspension (via Vince Lara-Cinisomo of Baseball America):
We are very disappointed to learn of Phil’s suspension, but we fully support the Minor League Baseball Drug Prevention and Testing Program and its enforcement by the Commissioner’s Office. Phil understands he made a mistake, and we fully anticipate that he will learn from this experience.