Daily Dose: GM says Peavy's return is '50-50'

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General manager Kevin Towers revealed Thursday that Jake Peavy is
“50-50” to return from his ankle injury to pitch again this season.
“We’ll know more when he comes out of the cast,” Towers said. “I can’t
speak for Jake, but I’d much rather have him ready for 2010 than
risking a more serious injury by coming back too early this year.”

The injury erases whatever chance Towers had of finding an
acceptable deal for Peavy this year and he also indicated that the
Padres won’t look to trade Adrian Gonzalez or Heath Bell. However,
pitchers like Chad Gaudin, Kevin Correia, and Cla Meredith could be on
the block and Towers said that he doesn’t “see [Brian] Giles taking
playing time away from” the young outfielders once he’s healthy.

While the Padres choose to tweak rather than rebuild, here are some other notes from around baseball …

* Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that Boston is
“desperately” trying to trade Julio Lugo with both Mike Lowell and Jed
Lowrie on the verge of coming off the disabled list. According to
Rosenthal the Red Sox have informed teams that they’re willing to eat
nearly all of Lugo’s remaining deal–which pays $9 million this year and
another $9 million in 2010–in exchange for a marginal prospect.

Lugo has hit .284/.352/.367 in 37 games since coming back from knee
surgery, which basically matches his .271/.335/.390 career line, but
his defense has been terrible and the Red Sox clearly prefer Nick Green
as their utility man with Lowrie and Lowell set to return this weekend.
In the third year of a four-year, $36 million contract, Lugo has hit
.251/.319/.346 while missing one-third of Boston’s games.

* General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Thursday that Pedro Martinez
could be ready to make his Phillies debut as soon as July 30 against
the Giants. Martinez was placed on the disabled list with a strained
shoulder immediately after signing a one-year deal, but the stint is
just about building up arm strength. After seeking a $5 million
contract, Pedro ended up signing for under $1 million in guarantees.

* Released last week when the Blue Jays opted to eat the remaining
$15 million on his contract, B.J. Ryan inked a minor-league deal with
the Cubs on Thursday. Ryan clearly poses no threat to Kevin Gregg or
Carlos Marmol at this point, but it costs the Cubs just a prorated
portion of the league minimum to find out if he has anything left in
the tank as a possible middle reliever or situation left-hander.

AL Quick Hits: Adrian Beltre played catch Thursday for the first
time since June 30 shoulder surgery and said that he hopes to play
again this year … According to Joe Maddon there’s a “50-50 or 60-40”
chance that Evan Longoria (finger) will be available Friday after
missing the All-Star game … Kansas City has a new left side of the
infield with Yuniesky Betancourt and Alex Gordon both coming off the
disabled list Thursday … Alexi Casilla will get another chance at
second base in Minnesota after hitting .340 following his demotion to
Triple-A … Derek Holland has rejoined Texas’ rotation and Orlando
Hernandez could request his release from Triple-A after being told that
he won’t be called up … Chris Perez revealed Thursday that he’s “been
getting cortisone shots all year” on a left foot injury that will
require offseason surgery … Justin Duchscherer (elbow) threw 30 pitches
on the side Thursday and is hoping to begin a rehab stint by the end of
the month.

NL Quick Hits: Raul Ibanez picked up right where he left off
Thursday, homering twice … Chris Volstad served up three homers
Thursday to give him 20 bombs allowed in 113 innings after giving up
just three in 84 frames last year … Manny Corpas came off the disabled
list Thursday and will resume setting up for Huston Street … Scott
Olsen has been scratched from his scheduled Friday start with shoulder
tightness … Khalil Greene (anxiety) will start another rehab stint
Friday at Double-A … Jamie Moyer tossed seven shutout, one-hit innings
Thursday, but his ERA remains ugly at 5.58 … Chris Snyder (back) is
slated to begin a rehab assignment Monday … Chris Dickerson skipped
Thursday’s game because as Dusty Baker put it “he looked like Fred
Sanford walking around here” … Omar Minaya said Thursday that Carlos
Delgado (hip) is not expected back before August while Fernando
Martinez (knee) is likely out until September.

Mitt Romney’s sons are trying to buy a stake in the Yankees

TAMPA, FL - AUGUST 30:  Tagg Romney son of Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney gives an interview during the final day of the Republican National Convention at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on August 30, 2012 in Tampa, Florida. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was nominated as the Republican presidential candidate during the RNC which will conclude today.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
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Mitt Romney built his professional life in Massachusetts and was once the governor of the state. As such, it is not surprising that he has long identified as a Red Sox fan. So this has to be troubling to him from a fan’s perspective. From Jon Heyman:

The Romney family is bidding to buy a small stake in the Yankees months after their try for the Marlins stalled. If the deal goes through, it is expected to be $25 million to $30 million per percentage point and thought to be interested in one or two percentage points. The Yankees are valued around $3 billion or more.

The effort is being led by Mitt’s son Tagg, one of his brothers and their business partners. Mitt’s spokesman tells Jon Heyman that he has nothing to do with it personally. Tagg Romney is reported to have been planning a bid for controlling interest in the Marlins, but that has fallen through.

I find this interesting insofar as the M.O. for the Steinbrenners has, for years, been to buy out minority shareholders in the Yankees, not seek more. Indeed, when George Steinbrenner bought the Yankees back in 1973 he held just a bare controlling interest and there were a ton of silent partners, most of which were back in Ohio and knew Steinbrenner from his shipping business. I’ve personally gotten to know some of them over the years as there are a handful of them in Columbus and I crossed paths with them in my legal career. They have almost all been bought out in the past couple of decades. They still get season tickets and World Series rings and stuff. You can tell them by their personalized Yankees plates and the fact that, within the first ten minutes of meeting them, they will tell you that they once owned a piece of the Yankees but got pushed out.

In light of all of that it’s interesting that the Steinbrenners are once again accepting bids for small stakes in the team. Especially from someone whose interest in controlling the Marlins suggests that they do not consider it to be a mere vanity investment. Makes me wonder what the Steinbrenners’ long term plans are.

Max Scherzer still can’t throw fastballs

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 13: Max Scherzer #31 of the Washington Nationals works against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the fifth inning during game five of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park on October 13, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
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The Nationals will be many people’s favorites in the NL East this season. Not everything is looking great, however. For example, their ace — defending NL Cy Young winner Max Scherzer — can’t even throw fastballs right now.

The reason: the stress fracture he suffered last August is still causing him problems and Scherzer is unable to use his fastball grip without feeling pain in his right ring finger. He will throw a bullpen session tomorrow, but will only use his secondary stuff.

Scherzer has not been ruled out for Opening Day — the fact that he is throwing some means that his timetable isn’t totally on hold — but you have to figure, at some point, not being able to air things out and use his heater will lead to some problems in his spring training routine.