First batch of September call-ups includes Giambi

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Teams will be calling up players throughout the day as rosters expand to 40 spots, so keep an eye on Rotoworld’s player news page for all the latest transactions.
Along with the Brewers bringing back J.J. Hardy once his service time was sufficiently suppressed, here are some of the other noteworthy early moves:
* As expected, Jason Giambi has joined the Rockies’ bench after signing a minor-league contract last week. He went 8-for-18 with two homers in a brief stay at Triple-A and will fill the same pinch-hitting role that the Dodgers have in store for Jim Thome.
* Tim Hudson was activated from the 60-day disabled list and will make his season debut tonight against the Marlins, facing big-league hitters for the first time since undergoing Tommy John elbow surgery 12 months ago.
* Brandon Wood is back with the Angels and will no doubt take his usual seat on the bench after hitting .293/.353/.557 with 22 homers in 99 games at Triple-A. He’ll be joined by homerless wonder Reggie Willits and catcher Bobby Wilson, who reportedly might end up as the player to be named later in the Scott Kazmir trade.
* Speaking Kazmir, his old rotation spot in Tampa Bay now belongs to Andy Sonnanstine, who’s back with the Rays after a two-month demotion to Triple-A. Sonnanstine had a 6.61 ERA in 15 starts with the Rays and then posted a 4.40 ERA in nine starts at Durham, so things could get ugly tonight against the Red Sox.
* Acquired from the Orioles for a PTBNL or cash last week, Joey Gathright will be the Red Sox’s pinch-runner and defensive replacement down the stretch. Gathright isn’t much of a hitter with a career .262/.327/.303 line, but he’s one of the fastest players in baseball, has tons of range in the outfield, and will prove to be a major asset if the Red Sox ever need someone to jump over a car.

Zack Greinke named the Dbacks’ Opening Day starter

SCOTTSDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 21:  Pitcher Zack Greinke #21 of the Arizona Diamondbacks poses for a portrait during photo day at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick on February 21, 2017 in Scottsdale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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Not a surprise, but a news item on a slow news day is a news item on a slow news day: Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo has named Zack Greinke as the club’s Opening Day starter.

Greinke’s first season with the Diamondbacks is not exactly what the club hoped for when he signed a six-year, $206.5 million deal in December of 2015. He dealt with oblique and shoulder issues while struggling to a 4.37 ERA over 26 starts. Greinke hasn’t pitched yet this spring, but will make his spring debut on Friday. He and the club are obviously hoping for a quiet March and a strong beginning to the season.

Either for its own sake or to increase the trade value of a player who was acquired by the previous front office regime.

“La Vida Baseball,” celebrating Latino baseball, launches

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A new website has launched. It’s called “La Vida Baseball,” and it’s all about celebrating the past, present and future of Latino baseball from a Latino perspective.

The site, produced in partnership with the Hall of Fame, has four general areas of focus:

  • Who’s Now: Focusing on current Latino players;
  • Who’s Next: Focusing on top prospects here, in the Caribbean and in Central and South America;
  • Our Life: Off-the-Field stuff, including player’s lives, lifestyles and hobbies; and
  • Our Legends: Focusing on Latino baseball history, Hall of Famers and overlooked players.

As the site has just launched there aren’t yet a ton of stories up there, but there is one about Roberto Clemente, another about Felix Hernandez and some other stuff.

The site is much-needed. Baseball reporters for American outlets are overwhelmingly white, non-Spanish speakers. Reporters, who, generally, gravitate to the players who are the most like they are. Which is understandable on some level. When you’re writing stories about people you need to be able to communicate with them and relate to them on more than a mere perfunctory level. As such, no matter how good the intentions of baseball media, we tend to see the clubhouse and the culture of baseball from a distinctly American perspective. And we tend to paint Latino players with a broad, broad brush.

La Vida Baseball will, hopefully, remedy all of that and will, hopefully, give us a fresh and insightful depiction Latino players and their culture.