Randy Wolf served up five homers to the Cubs yesterday, joining Justin Lehr as the only NL pitchers to allow five homers in a game during the past five seasons.
Marlon Byrd and Geovany Soto both took him deep twice and Derrek Lee blasted his 300th career homer off Wolf, who has now allowed 15 long balls through 13 starts in the first season of a three-year, $30 million contract.
Afterward the 33-year-old southpaw was pretty tough on himself:
This is awful. It’s one of those times when you feel like you’ll wake up and it’s a bad dream. But it’s not. It’s reality. I have to deal with it and try to get better. I’m making a lot of mistakes out there and I’m not getting away with any of them. I’m better than that. I’ve just got to find a way to get better than that. I haven’t pitched well yet in my mind. It’s frustrating because I don’t feel any different than I did last year. The results definitely aren’t there. I’ve got to do something to get better results than I’m getting right now.
Wolf is now 4-6 with a 5.31 ERA and 49/39 K/BB ratio in 78 innings overall this season, which can’t make the Brewers feel good about owing him another $9.5 million in both 2011 and 2012 with a $10 million option or $1.5 million buyout for his age 36 season in 2013. Not quite Jeff Suppan territory yet, but he’s going in that direction and the Brewers may want to take a little break from signing non-elite, over-30 free agent starters.
Adrian Beltre has been on the disabled list all year because of nagging right calf strain, but he’s about to take a big step toward getting back to action.
Beltre has been cleared to begin playing in extended spring training games. He’ll commence them tomorrow at the Rangers facility in Surprise, Arizona. After three games the team’s doctors will reevaluate him. If things go well, he’ll likely be sent off for a full minor league rehab assignment.
Joey Gallo has filled in for Beltre all season, bringing a lot of power but not much else to the table. While Beltre is 38, his all-around game would be welcomed back on the field and his leadership would be welcomed back in the Rangers clubhouse. On a personal note, Beltre is only 58 hits shy of 3,000 for his career.
Barring a setback, he’ll be back with the big club in early June and will hit the milestone eventually.
Outfielder Michael Bourn was traded by the Diamondbacks to the Orioles late last season and hit a solid .283/.358/.435 in 55 plate appearances with them through the end of the season. While that’s not enough to outweigh the miserable season he had in Arizona, it was enough to get the O’s to give him a look in spring training with a minor league deal. They signed him to one in late February.
Then, a couple of days later, Bourn broke his finger while playing catch with a football. Unable to play, the O’s cut him. In early April, once Bourn healed, the O’s signed him again. He played 11 games for their Triple-A affiliate and went 9-for-41 with ten walks in 51 plate appearances. While that makes for a decent OBP, his lack of any sort of pop or good contact suggests that if someone throws him strikes, he can’t do much with the ball.
As such, the O’s had not called him up to Baltimore. And as a result of that, Bourn exercised his opt-out rights and became a free agent.
Someone may take a look at him given that his batting eye seems to be intact and given that, in an admittedly small sample size, he still performed last season. But if he does get a look, it’ll likely be back at the minor league level.