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Pittsburgh at Anaheim, 24 June 2007


Tom Gorzelanny (7-4, 2.98) vs. Bartolo Colon (6-3, 6.01).

This is it for the sketchy updates, I promise. I traveled all day yesterday; I'm back in California now. A bunch of interesting transactions have happened in the past 48 hours or so:

-P- The Pirates grabbed Josh Phelps from the Yankees and sent Brad Eldred back to the minors. Maybe I have too much love for Phelps left over from the days when he was a top-shelf prospect, but as a no-risk gamble, I'm glad to have him. He has no defensive value and he's 29, but he does have an .802 career OPS, and all of that came while playing in divisions far better than the Pirates'. This isn't a big transaction by any means, but Phelps is capable of helping a terrible hitting team. There's some danger of thinking Phelps has upside when he doesn't - call it the Daryle Ward Error. But Phelps is also a better hitter than Ward was.

-P- The Cardinals acquired pitcher Mike Maroth from the Tigers for a player to be named. Lefty starting pitching usually doesn't come cheap, so the PTBNL could be a real prospect, which might be a shame for the Cards - Maroth has struck out a mere 28 batters in 78 innings this year, which kind of makes him like Zach Duke minus the youth. Maroth has had some success in the past, so maybe there's a chance that Cards pitching coach Dave Duncan can fix him. Of course, I think I said the same thing about Kip Wells. By the way, the Cards also signed Tomo Ohka, who'd been horrible for the Jays, to a minor league contract.

-P- The Tigers dealt Wil Ledezma to the Braves in what would appear to be a challenge trade for another young lefty reliever, Macay McBride. Statistically, they're relatively similar players, but McBride is more than a year younger and has less service time, and he's been better recently. The Braves may hope they can make Ledezma into a starter, but until I see them actually do it, I'm calling this deal a winner for the Tigers.

-P- Finally, the Royals tried to trade our old friend Leo Nunez to the A's for Milton Bradley, but then they nixed the deal because of worries about Bradley's health. Since the Royals acquired Nunez from the Pirates, they made him a reliever (which wasn't surprising, but I'd have given him a longer shot as a starter, since he'd done well in that role), then promoted him and demoted him pretty much at random. That won't help a guy's career. In spite of that, Bradley is a guy who can help a big-league team if he's healthy. The same couldn't be said of Benito Santiago, who the Pirates got for Nunez.

Other news:

-P- Ian Snell is angry and he's not afraid to say so:

"I [expletive] hate this," he said at his stall, his voice rising. "And you can put that in the paper. I [expletive] hate losing. I hate when the team doesn't bring out its full potential. And if they fine me, fine me. I don't care. Because this is getting stupid. We're better than what we're showing."
I know it was partly Snell's fault the Pirates lost yesterday, but the Bucs still need more players like him.

-P- The Pirates are interested in Braves catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Saltalamacchia is exactly the sort of player the Pirates should want - he's young, good, and blocked (by Brian McCann) - but it's not as if his talent is a secret. Unless the Pirates are willing to trade Jason Bay, Snell or Tom Gorzelanny, I don't think they're going to get him.

-P- Steve Pearce and Serguey Linares will represent the Bucs in the Futures Game. I have no idea what the Bucs are thinking in sending Linares, who has eight strikeouts and 21 walks for Lynchburg - was Bobby Bradley not available?