Rockies acquire Jose Morales in minor swap with Twins

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From the Twins’ official Twitter feed comes word that the club has traded catcher Jose Morales to the Rockies for young left-hander Paul Bargas.

Morales, 27, hit .194/.295/.250 with zero home runs, two doubles and seven RBI over 36 at-bats in 2010 for the Twins.  He will serve as a rarely-used backup in Colorado behind Chris Iannetta, who is finally getting a chance at real playing time.

Iannetta had 16 homers in 289 at-bats for the Rockies in 2009 and 18 homers with an 895 OPS back in 2008.  When given everyday looks, he has produced.  Now it’s time for him to produce over the course of an entire season.

Bargas was selected by Colorado in the 13th round of the 2009 MLB Amateur Draft.  He hasn’t climbed out of Single-A, but the 22-year-old posted a solid 3.59 ERA and 1.12 WHIP over 67.2 innings this past year in the South Atlantic League and may have a future as a big league setup man if he continues to flash good numbers down on the farm.

The Twins appear comfortable with Drew Butera serving as Joe Mauer’s primary backup in 2011.

Clayton Kershaw struggles with control, walks six Marlins

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Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw entered Wednesday night’s start against the Marlins without having issued a walk in his previous three starts. In fact, his last walk came on April 3 when he issued a free pass to Paul Goldschmidt with the bases empty and two outs in the bottom of the first inning. All told, Kershaw was on a streak of 26 walk-less innings before he took the mound at home to take on the Marlins.

Kershaw started off Wednesday in character, striking out the side in the first inning. He issued a walk in a tough second inning, but escaped without allowing a run. Kershaw walked two more in the third and again danced out of danger. In the fourth, Kershaw walked Lewis Brinson to load the bases with no outs and — you guessed it — didn’t end up allowing a run. His errant control finally came back to bite him in the fifth when Kershaw issued back-to-back two-out walks, then served up a three-run home run to Miguel Rojas down the left field line. His night was done when he completed the inning. Five innings, three runs, five hits, six walks, seven strikeouts, 112 pitches.

The six walks Kershaw issued over five innings marked his first six-walk outing since April 7, 2010 when he issued six free passes to the Pirates in 4 2/3 innings. The only other time he walked as many was on August 3, 2009 against the Brewers in a four-plus inning outing. Kershaw hasn’t even walked five batters in an outing recently — the last time was September 23, 2012 against the Reds.