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The Angels optioned Howard Kendrick
to Triple-A on Saturday, one day after Maicer Izturis went 4-for-4 starting at
second base in his place. The real story had less to do with Kendrick’s falling
star than the guy who was summoned from Triple-A Salt Lake in his place: Sean
Rodriguez, who batted .273 and led the Pacific Coast League with 21 homers and
60 RBIs, major power production from a thin position. Izturis will likely see
the majority of starts at second base for now, but a few big games from
Rodriguez could force manager Mike Scioscia to reconsider, which could leave
owners ruing the day they didn’t scoop up the 24-year-old when the opportunity
first presented itself.
And hey, if Rodriguez doesn’t work
out, there’s always Brandon Wood, who has nothing left to prove at Salt Lake,
having hit .294 with 14 homers, 35 RBIs and a .600 slugging percentage in 170
- The good news is that no structural
damage was found in Roy Halladay‘s groin Saturday. The bad news is he’ll miss
at least one start after leaving Friday’s outing after just three innings.
- No good news to report for Jake
Peavy, except maybe that he won’t have to worry about getting traded until
winter, unless he rushes back from his strained ankle just to prove he’s
healthy before the July 31 Trade Deadline.
- Grady Sizemore finds out Monday whether
his elbow needs surgery or more treatment, the difference between two months or
another two weeks.
- Jose Valverde returned to action on
Saturday, retiring one Diamondbacks hitter before giving way to LaTroy Hawkins
for his ninth save.
- Also returning to the mound Saturday
was Rich Harden, who was sharp against the Twins, fanning nine and yielding two
runs in six frames.
- Frank Francisco, out of commission
since June 3, will test his sore shoulder on Sunday before determining whether
another trip to the DL is due.
- Jose Contreras made his second start
Saturday since being recalled from Triple-A Charlotte, and it looked just like
the first — only instead of pitching eight scoreless innings of one-hit,
three-strikeout ball, he hurled eight scoreless innings of two-hit, eight
strikeout ball in Milwaukee. With his fastball velocity reportedly back where
it was two years ago, he might be worth a second look in deeper leagues.
- Another right-hander lasting longer
into starts is Ubaldo Jimenez, who threw his first complete game of the season
Friday against Seattle, on the heels of an eight-inning, nine-strikeout showing
in St. Louis.
- Even the erratic Luke Hochevar
joined the party, tossing his first career complete game against the Reds on
Friday, which should buy him several more chances to stick in the Royals
- Hochevar’s teammate, Alberto
Callaspo, is growing more and more secure as the club’s second baseman, ringing
up a .462 average during his seven-game hit streak, including two homers in his
last four games. There are worse ways to fill your middle-infield spot.
- The Royals’ longest active hit
streak belongs to Billy Butler, who’s on an 11-game ride with a .359 clip over
that span. Slowly but surely, the former top prospect is coming into his own.
- It’s safe to say Jason Kubel has
come into his own, with homers in four of his last five games as the Twins
- You have to feel for Twins rookie
Anthony Swarzak, who was optioned to Triple-A Rochester after shutting down the
Cubs for seven innings at Wrigley Field on Saturday.
- Saturday was the last straw for
Manny Parra, whose demotion to Triple-A Nashville came after the lefty was
hammered for six runs in 1 2/3 against the White Sox as his ERA ballooned to
- Reds fans can’t help but see a
little Corey Patterson in Willy Taveras, who’s hitless in his last 32 at-bats.