– Jay Bruce fractured his right wrist
attempting to make a sliding catch in the first inning of Saturday’s
game against the Mets. He is scheduled to return to Cincinnati for an
MRI on Sunday. The 22-year-old outfielder is batting just .207 this
season, but he does have 18 homers and 41 RBI. Chris Dickerson figures
to get most of the playing time in his absence, however the Reds will
likely call up former-first round pick Drew Stubbs to take his place on
the roster. Stubbs is batting .279/.374/.371 with two homers, 25 RBI
and 33 stolen bases for Triple-A Louisville. And with 358 at-bats under
his belt at the Triple-A level, he’s more ready than the hot-hitting
– Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times
thinks the Dodgers should go full-tilt after Roy Halladay. He
recommends including native Canadian Russell Martin in the deal, as
well as prospects Devaris Gordon (son of Tom Gordon) and Josh Lindblom.
While the proposed trade seems far-fetched, know that the Dodgers sent two scouts
to see Halladay pitch on Thursday night in Tampa Bay. The Blue Jays
would probably want one of either Chad Billingsley or Clayton Kershaw
in a possible deal.
– Jonathon Broxton, still bothered by a sore big toe on his right foot, will skip the All-Star game.
In his first full-season as closer, Broxton has compiled a 3.10 ERA,
0.93 WHIP and .149 BAA. He is 20-for-22 in save opportunities. As for a
replacement, Mark Bowman of MLB.com thinks it should be Rafael Soriano.
– John Smoltz notched his first win since last April 17 as
the Red Sox topped the Royals 15-9 on Saturday night. The 42-year-old
allowed just one run on four hits over five innings, striking out seven
and walking one. David Ortiz had his 1000th hit as a member of the Red
Sox — a fourth-inning two-run home run. Note that 10 of Ortiz’s 12
homers have come at Fenway Park.
– Matt Cain left Saturday’s start against the Padres after getting hit in the elbow by a line drive in the second inning. X-Rays showed a contusion, but no break. At 10-2 with a 2.38 ERA, Cain earned his first All-Star nod, but he is now doubtful for the game.
The Brewers acquired prospects Jake Nottingham and Bubba Derby from the Athletics on Friday in exchange for slugging outfielder Khris Davis. The hope is that Nottingham will develop into the Brewers’ catcher of the future, so you could say that the club is planning for life after Jonathan Lucroy. However, Brewers general manager David Stearns said today that the trade doesn’t change Lucroy’s immediate status.
The Brewers are in rebuild-mode and Lucroy is an excellent trade chip if healthy, as his contract includes a $5.25 million club option for 2017. It’s likely just a matter of time before he’s shipped elsewhere, but yesterday’s trade shouldn’t change the timeline for a potential deal. Nottingham doesn’t turn 21 until April and has yet to play in Double-A, so he’s still a ways off from the majors. The Brewers can afford to wait on the right offer for Lucroy, whether it’s in spring training or at the trade deadline or perhaps later.
Checking in at 6-foot-3 and 230 pounds, Nottingham batted .316/.372/.505 with 17 home runs over 109 games last season between Class A and High-A. He was traded from the Astros to the Athletics as part of the Scott Kazmir deal last July. It’s worth noting that Stearns was the assistant GM for Houston when Nottingham was drafted in the sixth round back in 2013, so he’s clearly a fan.
Giants second baseman Joe Panik missed nearly all of August and September last season due to a nagging back injury, but he told Alex Pavlovic of CSNBayArea.com on Friday that he’s feeling “100 percent.”
Panik, who earned his first All-Star selection last season, originally landed on the disabled list in early August due to what was described as lower back inflammation. He made his return in September, but appeared in just three games before being shut down. The good news is that he was cleared by doctors in mid-December and considers himself “back to normal.”
“It was right around the time of all the signings,” he said, smiling. “I was able to fly under the radar. I got tested and everything had healed up. I got cleared and was able to have my full offseason workouts. I’m good to go. I’m happy to be feeling good and going back out on the field to show that I’m healthy. My swing feels strong.”
Panik altered his offseason workout routine and plans to spend less time in his spikes in the early part of spring training. The hope is that these changes will prevent future issues.
After a strong showing as a rookie in 2014, the 25-year-old Panik proved to be one of the best second baseman in the majors last season by batting .312/.378/.455 with eight home runs and 37 RBI over 100 games while playing solid defense.
Baseball America unveiled their top 100 prospect list Friday night during a special on MLB Network. It should come as no surprise that Dodgers infielder Corey Seager came in at No. 1.
This makes Seager the consensus top prospect in the game. He was also ranked first by MLB.com, Baseball Prospectus, and ESPN’s Keith Law. Twins outfielder Byron Buxton was ranked second on all four lists.
Baseball America has the most aggressive ranking of Cuban infielder Yoan Moncada from the Red Sox, who checked in at No. 3. He was followed by pitching prospects Lucas Giolito from the Nationals and Julio Urias from the Dodgers to round out the top five.
You can see Baseball America’s full top 100 list here.
Mets reliever Jenrry Mejia was permanently suspended on Friday after testing positive for a third time for a performance-enhancing drug. The right-hander is maintaining his innocence, as ESPN’s Adam Rubin notes in quoting Dominican sports journalist Hector Gomez. Mejia said, “It is not like they say. I am sure that I did not use anything.”
Mejia has the opportunity to petition commissioner Rob Manfred in one year for reinstatement to Major League Baseball. However, he must sit out at least two years before becoming eligible to pitch in the majors again, which would mean Mejia would be 28 years old.
Over parts of five seasons, Mejia has a career 3.68 ERA with 162 strikeouts and 76 walks over 183 1/3 innings. He was once a top prospect in the Mets’ minor league system and a top-100 overall prospect heading into the 2010 and ’11 seasons.