Craig Calcaterra

Oakland A's pitcher Sean Manaea throws against the Los Angeles Angels during the first inning of a spring training baseball game, Friday, March 25, 2016, in Mesa, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)
Associated Press

Athletics to call up top prospect Sean Manaea

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Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Athletics are calling up pitching prospect Sean Manaea to start Friday night against the Astros.

Manaea, the Royals first-round draft pick in 2013, was acquired from Kansas City last year in the Ben Zobrist deal. While he has a sketchy health history heading into this year, he has been doing just fine at Nashville in 2016, posting a 1.50 ERA and a 21/4 K/BB in 18 innings.

The future is now.

Charlie Morton needs hamstring surgery, out for the rest of the year

Philadelphia Phillies' Charlie Morton, center, is helped off the field after injuring his leg during the second inning of a baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers, Saturday, April 23, 2016, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Tom Lynn)
Associated Press
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Bad news for the Phillies and Charlie Morton: the 32-year-old starter needs surgery for a torn hamstring and is done for the remainder of the season.

Morton had a 4.15 ERA in four starts, but he tore his left hamstring Saturday while trying to beat out a bunt. Viva the pitcher batting, I guess. Adam Morgan is expected to take his spot in the starting rotation, at least at first. The Phillies will use a lot of pitchers this year, no doubt.

It’s not like Morton was the key to the Phillies 2016 season or anything, and it’s unlikely that he’d even still be on the team the next time they’re contenders. But a player like Morton is a valuable cog on a young team like the Phillies, taking the innings someone has to take, doing his best to save the bullpen so it can be used with younger, less-experienced pitchers and being a role model and mentor to the guys who will, one day, play for the next good Phillies team. For those reasons, and simply for his own well-being, of course, this rather sucks.

How to circumvent international signing bonus pools

Money
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This is more of a must-click link thing, because Ben Badler is the expert here and over at Baseball America he explains how teams have, since the dawn of the international bonus caps in 2011, circumvented the rules.

Not surprisingly, the way rules are circumvented enrich some — trainers; owners who are paying less for international talent — and cost poor, young players. Nor surprisingly Major League Baseball doesn’t really enforce its own rules that much. It would if bonus expenditures were dramatically enhanced, but breaking the rules here and there to get around restrictions appears to be less than a petty misdemeanor in the eyes of the league.

Like anything else: when you make rules which restrict what people would be doing anyway (i.e. spending money to get the best talent) people are going to find a way to do what they wanted to do anyway. And when that happens, it’s probably a good idea to look at the rules and ask what the heck the point of them was in the first place.