Link-O-Rama: Meche, Cecil done for the season

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* Gil Meche is unlikely to pitch again this season because of shoulder inflammation, likely finishing at 6-10 with a 5.09 ERA in 23 starts after posting a 3.82 ERA through his first two years in Kansas City. He’s still under contract for two more seasons at $12 million per year.
* Brett Cecil held the Twins to two runs over six innings this afternoon in what will be his final start, as the Blue Jays have decided to shut down the 22-year-old rookie after he logged 142 innings between Triple-A and the majors. Toronto previously shut down fellow rookie Marc Rzepczynski after 149 innings. Both will be in the 2010 rotation.
* Dan Barbarisi of the Providence Journal reports that the Red Sox have been very happy with Billy Wagner so far, but will continue to carefully monitor his workload following Tommy John elbow surgery. “I promised him when he came here that we wouldn’t let a pennant race get in the way of his health,” manager Terry Francona said.
* Tony Pena Jr.’s move to the mound is off to a solid start, as he tossed 19.1 innings with a 2.33 ERA and 18/6 K/BB ratio in the minors after giving up his career as a banjo-hitting shortstop. Pena the pitcher has been clocked as high as 93 miles per hour and throws a sinker, slider, and splitter.

The Cards dealt Stephen Piscotty to the A’s, in part, so he could be near his ailing mother

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Last night we wrote about the rumored deal between the Cardinals and the Athletics for Stephen Piscotty. The deal is now official, with Piscotty going to Oakland for minor leaguers Yairo Munoz and Max Schrock.

Something else emerged about the deal today: a big reason why St. Louis traded Piscotty to Oakland as opposed to another team was so that he could be near his mother, who was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease last May. Piscotty and his family are from Pleasanton, California, about 35 miles from Oakland.

Here’s Cardinals GM John Mozeliak:

This was certainly a baseball trade — Piscotty became expendable for the Cardinals after they acquired Marcell Ozuna yesterday — but it was one which could’ve been made with any team with a couple of red or white chip prospects. That Mozeliak considered Piscotty’s personal situation in making the deal with the A’s is a credit to him and his staff.

The 26-year-old Piscotty hit .235 with nine homers and 39 RBIs in 107 games last season. He has hit .268 with 38 homers and 163 RBIs in 2+ major league seasons. He agreed to a six-year, $33.5 million contract extension last spring.

As for the prospects in return: Munoz, 22, hit .300 with 13 homers and 68 RBIs this year for Double-A Midland and Triple-A Nashville. Schrock, 23, batted .321 with seven homers and 46 RBIs for Midland, and was a Texas League All-Star.