Rockies demote Drew Pomeranz to Triple-A

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Drew Pomeranz was the prospect centerpiece of the Ubaldo Jimenez trade in mid-2011 and started 22 games for Colorado last season, but the Rockies demoted the left-hander to Triple-A.

Pomeranz had an ugly 2-9 record last season as a 23-year-old rookie, but his 4.93 ERA was right around average for someone calling Coors Field home and of the nine pitchers to start at least 10 games for the Rockies only Jhoulys Chacin (4.48) had a lower ERA. And Chacin is now the Opening Day starter.

Pomeranz was very good at Triple-A last season with a 2.51 ERA and 46/20 K/BB ratio in 47 innings, but senior vice president of major league operations Bill Geivett told John Schlegel of MLB.com that the former No. 5 overall pick is going back down to work on his off-speed stuff:

Where he’s at right now, he’s an attacking fastball guy but with limited use of his secondary pitches. We’ve got to get that back in order so he can handle a game plan and handle a lineup and do the type of things that I think are not that far away.

Given the state of the Rockies’ rotation right now Pomeranz could be back in a hurry.

Another interestingly named player is promoted by the Pirates

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When you promote a player from the minors, the first and foremost consideration is whether or not he can help your ball club. But, assuming that’s taken care of, teams should really, really make it a priority to call up dudes with cool sounding names because it makes life more interesting for the rest of us.

The Pirates are doing that. The other night Dovydas Neverauskas made his big league debut. In addition to being the first Lithuanian born-and-raised player in major league history, it’s a solid, solid name. Now the Pirates are making another promotion: Gift Ngoepe.

Yep, Gift Ngoepe. He’s an infielder from South Africa, making the leap to the bigs due to David Freese‘s hamstring injury. Ngoepe, 27, was batting just .241/.308/.379 through 66 plate appearances this season with Triple-A Indianapolis, his ninth in the minors, so he’s not exactly a prospect. But man, that’s a killer name.

It’s also worth mentioning that Gift and Neverauskas were arrested together in a bar fight last August in Toledo, so there is already a good basis for some bonding here.

Good luck, Gift. Gift Ngoepe. Mr. Ngoepe. G-Ngo. Man, I could do this all day.

Manny Machado teaches us to never give up

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The Rays beat the Orioles last night, but the play of the game belonged to an Oriole defender.

Evan Longoria was batting and he chopped a ball foul down the third base line. At least it started out foul. As we all know, however, it doesn’t matter where the ball starts, it matters where it is when it crosses the bag.

Manny Machado knows this and didn’t give up on the ball despite it starting several feet in foul territory. He watched it come back, stayed with it and threw out Longoria who, unlike Machado, did give up on it, assuming he’d merely get a strike and another hack. Watch:

Longoria would get Machado back, however, fielding a ball Machado smoked to third base in the ninth inning, recording the second to last out of the game.