Marty Caswell of XX1090 in San Diego tells us that Brad Hawpe will make his first start of the season in right field tonight against the Rockies while Jorge Cantu plays first base. Why does this matter?
Well, it could mean that prospect first baseman Anthony Rizzo is a lot closer to the big leagues than we thought. Rizzo, who was acquired from the Red Sox in the Adrian Gonzalez trade this past December, is batting .365/.444/.715 with 16 home runs, 63 RBI and a 1.159 OPS over 232 plate appearance with Triple-A Tucson this season. Whether it’s tomorrow, next week or next month, he’s clearly on the fast track.
Hawpe, of course, primarily played right field before signing with the Padres this offseason, but was generally regarded as one of the worst defensive outfielders in baseball. If the Padres are moving him back to make room for Rizzo, fine, but if they are doing this just to get Cantu some at-bats at first base, Padres fans aren’t going to be very thrilled.
NEW YORK — With star outfielder Adam Jones nursing a tender hamstring, the Baltimore Orioles selected the contract of Julio Borbon from Double-A Bowie and optioned pitcher Mike Wright to Triple-A Norfolk.
Borbon was inserted in the starting lineup for Baltimore, batting ninth against hard-throwing New York Yankees rookie Chad Green.
“We had some other center field options,” manager Buck Showalter said. “Borbon is our best option at this point.”
Jones left Friday’s game in the second inning with a left hamstring strain. He departed the previous night’s game at Washington in the ninth inning with hamstring cramps and aggravated the injury hustling down the first base line on a soft grounder to third.
“I got a feeling that if he hadn’t had that first swinging bunt, it might not have been a problem,” Showalter indicated. “He’s not going to trot to first base as much as I talked to him about it before the game.”
Although Jones was unable to talk his way into Saturday’s lineup, Showalter speculated that he might be available to pinch-hit.
The 30-year old Borbon was 2 for 9 in five games with the Orioles earlier this season, but was designated for assignment on July 26. To create room for Borbon on the 40-man roster, pitcher Logan Ondrusek was designated for assignment on Friday.
Good news in Boston: An MRI on Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi‘s left knee revealed no structural damage.
Benintendi slipped while trying to avoid a tag at second base, injuring his leg, but it appears he’s avoided a serious injury. A timetable for his return isn’t known at this point, but the Red Sox expect to get him back before the end of the season.
Benintendi is hitting .324/.365/.485 with a homer and ten RBI in 21 games.