O’Dowd: Rockies looking to add a starting pitcher

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Ubaldo Jimenez to Cincinnati?  Not at all likely.  The Rockies are aiming to land a starting pitcher, not subtract one, prior to the July 31 deadline.

Colorado GM Dan O’Dowd told the Denver Post’s Troy Renck that the Rockies are hoping to pick up a starting pitcher under team control beyond this season.

That makes sense, considering that the Rockies are 8 1/2 games back of the Giants in the NL West and 10 1/2 games back of the Braves in the wild card.  Known for some big second-half comebacks in previous years, the Rockies aren’t giving up on 2011 just yet.  However, they’re also not interested in mortgaging the future when they currently have a better record than just four NL teams.

Renck mentions Florida’s Anibal Sanchez as one possibility for the Rockies.  Sanchez, who had a strong case for a spot on the NL All-Star team, is making $3.7 million this year and will be eligible for free agency for the first time after 2012.

Baltimore’s Jeremy Guthrie, Houston’s Wandy Rodriguez and Cincinnati’s Edinson Volquez are a few other pitchers who could fit for the Rockies.  I’d mention Minnesota’s Kevin Slowey as well, but as an extreme flyball pitcher, he’d likely have difficulties in Coors Field.

Video: Jaime Garcia hits a 399-foot grand slam

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Jaime Garcia has been at the center of trade talks for several days now, but on Friday night, he commanded center stage for an entirely different reason. The Braves’ southpaw went head-to-head with Dodgers’ lefty Alex Wood and mashed his first career grand slam: a two-out, 399-foot blast that cleared the wall in right field and put the Braves up 9-0 in the fifth inning.

The bases-loaded knock was the third career home run for Garcia, whose contributions at the plate have been few and far between over his nine-year track in the major leagues. Not only did the homer mark an impressive career first for the 30-year-old, but it was just the second pitcher grand slam in Braves’ history and the first since 1966.

Garcia looked almost as impressive on the mound during Friday’s series opener, issuing one run, four hits and three strikeouts through his first six innings. The Braves currently lead the Dodgers 12-1 in the top of the seventh inning.

As for whether the slam will affect negotiations between the Braves and Twins? MLB.com’s Mike Petriello put it best:

Ryon Healy exits game after taking a ground ball to the face

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Athletics’ first baseman Ryon Healy had a scary moment during Friday’s loss to the Mets. Lucas Duda smacked a single to the first base side, where the ball took a high hop and caught Healy in the left temple. He crumpled to the ground after getting struck by the one-hopper, but was eventually able to stand and walk off the field with assistance from a trainer.

Prior to the injury, Healy went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI single in the first inning. He was replaced by Yonder Alonso, who finished off the rest of the night’s 7-5 loss with a walk in two plate appearances.

Following the game, manager Bob Melvin told reporters that Healy did not appear to have sustained a concussion as a result of the hit. Healy said he thinks he’ll be good to go for Saturday’s game, though a final decision likely won’t be made until tomorrow.