There’s no theme to my madness today. I’m just going with a stream of consciousness vibe here as I get ready to run around the block, lift some weights, and watch the Sharks hopefully move to a 3-0 lead over the Red Wings.
* Rick Ankiel was placed on the DL today, retroactive to May 3rd, with a strained right quadriceps muscle. He will be replaced on the active roster by Kila Ka’aihue. Of course, the Royals blew this one by giving Ankiel two pinch hitting at-bats on Saturday and Sunday after holding him out of the starting lineup since April 24th. This is yet another reason why the Royals fail to ever win (poor roster management). If you don’t know who KK is, he is a slugging first basemen who has an OPS over 1.000 this year in Triple-A. What position did the Royals just say they wanted Alex Gordon to learn? They also said they wanted Gordon to pick up an outfielder’s glove, so I won’t lambast them for that decision.
Since I’m on a role I might as well keep going with Royals talk. Mike Aviles has been called up from the minors and will start in place of Yuniesky Betancourt on Tuesday. Aviles hit .284 in some limited work at Triple-A this year, and the dude can flat out hit (he owns a .293 career mark in 540 at-bats with the Royals). Betancourt started out hot but he’s hit only .240 over his last 50 at-bats, and his defense has slipped in recent years as well. Aviles certainly could lock down the starting job at short if he starts out hot, so make sure he isn’t floating on waivers in your AL-only league.
* Kyle Blanks update: he still can’t hit. He has 18 strikeouts in his last 29 at-bats leading to an inconcionable K-rate of 44.4 percent on the year. He is so lost that it’s to the point that the team must send him to Triple-A since he is a walking disaster right now.
* Watching Tim Lincecum vs. the Marlins right now. He just struck out Cameron Maybin on a poor swing before getting Chris Coghlan to swing over a pitch by about 18 inches. He then gave up a hit to Hanley Ramirez before punching out Jorge Cantu for three Ks in the first inning. Dude is just amazing.
* Vin Mazzaro will replace Justin Duchscherer for one start. That is if you believe that Duke’s hip will respond quickly to the cortisone shot he just got. Don’t consider me to be one of those that believes that will happen. That means Mazzaro is a must add in AL-only leagues. He didn’t look great after a hot start last year, but a spot it the rotation is a spot in the rotation.
* Two pitchers going in opposite directions with health. Jair Jurrjens probably won’t make his start on Saturday because of a strained hamstring. He injured the hammy last Thursday and still isn’t ready to thrown in the pen (Kris Medlen could pick up the start). Carlos Silva, dealing with a wrist issue, didn’t need a cortisone shot in his wrist so he will make a start for the Cubs on Friday instead of needing another day of rest. I still want Jurrjens every time over Silva despite these health revelations – and I don’t even love Jurrjens which tells you all you need to know about my thoughts on Silva.
* Lincecum started the second inning punching out Dan Uggla on a 94 mph at the knees. He didn’t even get a swing off. Same thing just happened to John Baker.
For more of my thoughts on some things that shook out on Tuesday give Around the Horn a read where I discuss Jeff Clement, Austin Jackson, Chris Davis, Juan Pierre and the Phillies’ bullpen (Ryan Madson will miss at least eight weeks after having surgery to repair the toe he broke kicking a chair last week).
By Ray Flowers