Craig Calcaterra

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Two minor leaguers suspended

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Fresh from the police blotter, we learn that both San Diego Padres minor league pitcher Ryan Butler and Oakland Athletics minor league pitcher Sean Murphy  have received 50-game suspensions without pay following a second positive test for a drug of abuse.

Butler, a 33rd round pick of the A’s in 2010, is currently on the roster of the Single-A Lake Elsinore Storm of the California League. Murphy, a 7th round pick of the Padres in 2014, is currently on the roster of the Double-A Midland RockHounds of the Texas League.

Since they’re minor leaguers, the cost of not paying paid for 50 games is *mashes hands on calculator* like, $11 or so.

The saddest baseball story in four words

Opening Day
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Yet another slow day in the world of baseball, yet another time-wasting thought exercise.

This one courtesy of a Twitter meme by someone named Amy Rios. I have no idea who Amy Rios is, but her tweet from the other day just found its way into my timeline and now half of the people I follow are playing games with it.

Here’s the tweet:

 

A pretty simple concept. And one which, as you can imagine, lends itself to political stuff pretty easily. I’ve already seen about a dozen variations on “Inauguration of Donald Trump” and the like. My personal contribution was “Directed by Michael Bay,” but then “The Rock” truthers came out of the woodwork so maybe that one is not too good. People have bad taste.

The baseball-themed ideas are what have, obviously, stuck in my head. Our own Drew Silva offered one:

I was gonna laugh but I know what it’s like to lose Jason Heyward from my team and I sympathize with what Drew is going through.

Other possibilities? “Right Fielder Yasmany Tomas” is kind of frightening, but I suppose we’ll have to wait until the season gets going to see if it’s really sad. “Plate umpire Joe West” is certainly anxiety-inducing and could be sad I suppose. “Pitcher comes to bat” is sad if you’re smart and realize the DH should be universal. “Curt Schilling just tweeted …” could work.

Any ideas of your own?

Yasiel Puig is not on the market

Yasiel Puig
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USA Today’s Bob Nightengale says that teams asking the Dodgers about Yasiel Puig are being told that he is not available for trade. He adds an “at least for now” on to the end of that. Not sure if that’s his gloss of if he’s implying that the Dodgers would, in fact want to move him.

That tea leaf reading aside, this response doesn’t seem surprising to me even if the Dodgers do want to trade Puig. He’s coming off of a bad season filled with injuries. His stock could not be lower at the moment. Even if Dodgers brass has secretly decided that they want to part ways with the guy, it would make perfect sense to do so after he’s had some time to rebuild some value. The guy, when healthy, was an electrifying performer. If he put up a couple of months of nice production and good behavior, he’d be worth way, way more to potential suitors than he is now.

All of that said, it seems premature to even think about trading him. He’s under a team-friendly contract and is controlled by them through 2018. He’s only 25 years-old. If the Dodgers implode this year, sure, maybe consider it. If he has a materially negative impact on the club in ways that don’t kill his trade value, why not. But at the moment, he is second to probably only Adrian Gonzalez in terms of “bats the Dodgers really need to perform if they want to win the NL West” and if they dealt him their lineup would have a pretty big hole in it.