Reds have Rockies starter Ubaldo Jimenez “on their radar”

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Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Reds “have Ubaldo Jimenez on their radar” but also says “the Rockies will not trade Jimenez unless it is a perfect fit” and “the Reds are not certain buyers.”

In other words … who knows.

Rosenthal notes that the Reds, at 45-47 and four games back in the NL Central, aren’t sure yet whether they’ll be buying or selling come July 31. If they sell, veterans like Francisco Cordero and Ramon Hernandez will be shopped.

If they buy, then a potential top-of-the-rotation starter like Jimenez certainly would make sense and they could try to entice the Rockies by packaging a young starter like Homer Bailey or Mike Leake with first base prospect Yonder Alonso. Of course, if Colorado starts to actively shop Jimenez then Cincinnati will hardly be the only team interested.

Jimenez’s overall numbers aren’t pretty, but he’s pitched much better of late, was fantastic last season while throwing 222 innings with a 2.88 ERA, and is a 27-year-old under team control via reasonable salaries through 2014. Colorado should be asking a ton for him.

Three A’s rookies hit their first big league home runs on Saturday

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The Athletics followed Friday’s 3-0 shutout with a rookie-led home run derby on Saturday afternoon, watching not one, not two, but three rookies belt their first major league home runs off of the White Sox’ James Shields.

Right fielder Matt Olson was the first to strike, taking Shields deep on a first-pitch, two-run blast in the first inning for his first home run in 49 major league plate appearances:

Fellow outfielder Jaycob Brugman duplicated his teammate’s results in the second inning with a solo home run, his first extra-base hit of any kind since he made his debut on June 9:

In the third, with a comfortable 4-0 lead backing two scoreless frames from Oakland right-hander Daniel Gossett, Franklin Barreto took his shot at Shields. After getting the call several hours prior to Saturday’s game, he became the fastest of the three rookies to record his first big league homer, going yard on a 2-2 changeup and driving in Bruce Maxwell to give the A’s a six-run advantage.

The Athletics currently lead the White Sox 8-2 in the top of the sixth inning.

Athletics call up top prospect Franklin Barreto

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The Athletics called up their top prospect on Saturday, inserting shortstop Franklin Barreto into the lineup for their second game against the White Sox. Barreto was originally scheduled to make his major league debut on Sunday, but got a head start after Jed Lowrie sustained a minor knee sprain in Friday’s 3-0 win and was scratched from Saturday’s lineup.

Barreto, 21, has been rapidly climbing the rungs of the A’s minor league system after getting dealt by the Blue Jays in 2014. He got his first taste of Triple-A action late last year, going 6-for-17 with three RBI and getting caught stealing in two attempts. He fared little better this spring, slashing .281/.326/.428 with eight home runs and a .754 OPS through his first 309 PA in Nashville.

While his minor league production has been solid, if underwhelming for a prospect of his caliber, the A’s are expected to give the rookie infielder a long leash with both Marcus Semien and Chad Pinder sitting on the disabled list. Pinder landed on the 10-day DL after suffering a left hamstring strain on Friday. Semien, meanwhile, is still working his way back from the 60-day DL with a right wrist fracture and likely won’t rejoin the team until he completes a rehab assignment with High-A Stockton.