Purchased the contract of LHP Radhames Dykhoff from Bowie (AA); sent RHP Bobby
Munoz outright to Rochester. [6/5]
Activated RHP Mike Mussina from the DL; placed RHP Terry Mathews on the 15-day
DL, retroactive to 6/2 (shoulder stiffness); placed OF Jeffrey Hammonds on the
15-day DL, retroactive to 6/3 (back spasms); purchased the contract of OF Jesus
Tavarez from Rochester; transferred RHP Everett Stull from the 15- to the
60-day DL. [6/6]
The Orioles are pretty punch-drunk at the moment, and that’s probably the worst
possible thing for them under the circumstances. They might railroad Ray Miller
out of town out of frustration and/or claim that they were undermined by
injuries, but they’d be missing the point: this team is bad because of the
players they went out of their way to get, and because the blush was already
off most of the players they already had.
Why is Jesus Tavarez up? Part of it is because Ray Miller thinks he’s pretty
good, going on what he saw from Jesus in spring training, and out of some
misconception that Tavarez is more than a slap hitter, and Miller’s conviction
that he can make him better. Part of it may be because Danny Clyburn is still
recovering from an injury. Most unfortunately, its probably because the Orioles
are comfortable with an outfield of Eric Davis, Brady Anderson, B.J. Surhoff,
and Joe Carter, so they only want a spare part to back that lot up. With Davis
and Anderson scuffling, and Joe Carter being Joe Carter, and Surhoff being a
bad defender and a barely adequate hitter, that’s a miserable combination on a
team already saddled with Cal Ripken’s shrinking contributions and Miller’s
fascination with Lenny Webster.
Mussina rejoins the rotation, giving the O’s a current group of Mussina, Scott
Erickson, Doug Drabek, Doug Johns, and Sid Ponson. Some folks have been awfully
hasty in the rush to name Johns the new Jamie Moyer, which doesn’t paper over
the unfortunate commitment to Erickson, Jimmy Key’s mortally wounded shoulder,
Scott Kamieniecki’s neverending arm troubles, Doug Drabek’s decrepitude, or
that Sid Ponson has been rushed. Radhames Dykhoff is another product of the
Orioles’ Aruban connection, with tight control. He’s been well-used as a middle
reliever in Bowie, tossing 36.2 innings in 20 games while striking out 47.
Miller’s already kvetching that he doesn’t like the kid’s 4-seam fastball,
since he’s expecting it to get deposited into the bleachers. A strange way for
Miller to try inspire the troops…
LOS ANGELES DODGERS
Optioned LHP Gary Rath to Albuquerque; placed 2B Adam Riggs on the 60-day DL
(‘slap’ lesion – right shoulder). [6/5]
In the shuffle after the Nomo trade, Rath lost his roster spot. There’s very
little chance that Dave Mlicki will outpitch Gary Rath, let alone Denny Reyes,
over the next five weeks, months, or years.
Man, did we just jinx Riggs or what?
Here’s hoping for a speedy recovery.
Activated RHP Bob Tewksbury from the DL; optioned UT Jon Shave to Salt Lake.
The Twins don’t have an off-day for a bit, so they’re going with a 12-man staff
for a week or two, with Tewksbury re-entering the rotation. Dan Serafini is out
of the rotation for the time being, but there are a couple of possibilities
here: if Serafini works out well in the pen, the Twins would be in a position
to shop Greg Swindell around seriously, and if LaTroy Hawkins or Eric Milton
stumble, Serafini could re-enter the rotation. Or Serafini could struggle, and
Tom Kelly would ask for something goofy, like bringing up Kevin Ohme. Sometimes
there’s no predicting what the Twins think is a good idea.
Activated SS Lou Collier from the DL; optioned INF Chance Sanford to Nashville.
Sanford flubbed his chance, and with Ramirez up for an extended look-see, he
can look at the past month as an improvement for his chances of signing into a
happy situation as a six-year minor league free agent this winter, since the
Bucs will be making a good amount of shuffling on the 40-man roster before the
year’s out. Collier may only platoon with Polcovich initially, since ‘Polky’
got hot in the past week or so.
Recalled UT Charles Gipson from Tacoma; optioned RHP Steve Gajkowski to Tacoma.
There’s no real reason for this move, other than to emphasize Piniella’s
capriciousness in the wake of last week’s foolhardy claims that Gajkowski could
close. Lou’s currently blustering about his responsibility to shake this team
up, but he’s ducking his responsibility for a large share of the team’s bullpen
problems. Sure, the Mariners have options: they could remember that Bob
Wells is a hack or that Bobby Ayala has been little more than the apple of
Lou’s eye since their Cincy days, or that Felipe Lira and Jose Paniagua could
help. None of that matters as long as the manager is incapable of determining a
useful work pattern for any of his relievers, and would rather bitch to Woody
Woodward about how it’s somebody else’s fault, and why can’t they get some new
Placed SS Kevin Elster on the 15-day DL, retroactive to 6/2 (partially
dislocated shoulder); purchased the contract of INF Scott Sheldon from
Activated OF Roberto Kelly from the DL; optioned RHP Al Levine to Oklahoma.
Placed 2B Mark McLemore on the 15-day DL (hamstring pull); recalled RHP Al
Levine from Oklahoma. [6/7]
Losing the team’s double-play combination will hurt more on defense than it
will offensively. Although McLemore has put up a .430 OBP so far, Luis Alicea’s
no slouch at .374. In Elster’s absence, Domingo Cedeno will get most of the
time at short, which is where the Rangers take the hit defensively (make no
mistake: Elster isn’t a great gloveman, but he’s reliable, while Cedeno has
been brutal in the past). But these are both solid alternatives, and it won’t
hurt the Rangers badly. If things break his way, Sheldon could play his way
into a role on the team; middle infielders who swing lefty with a bit of power
(12 HRs in 218 PA at Oklahoma, .254/.317/.508 overall) are assets. McLemore is
expected to be fully healthy before he has to come off the DL, so he’ll be in
the lineup again in two weeks. Roberto Kelly’s return cuts into Mike Simms’
playing time, which isn’t a setback. It simply means that the alignment of
Oates’ strong bench is slightly different, and Simms will wind up pinch-hitting
for a middle infielder or spotting Will Clark against tougher LHPs every once
TORONTO BLUE JAYS
Recalled RHP Robert Person from Syracuse; designated LHP Ben VanRyn for
assignment; added C Dave Morgan to the 40-man roster, and optioned him to
VanRyn was given a look as one of Tim Johnson’s Iowans from last season, and
flubbed his opportunity. Because of Johnson, he may choose to stay with the
organization. Person has been solid at Syracuse since recovering from April’s
car accident: 2.20 ERA, 49 IP, 34 hits, 22 walks, and 41 strikeouts in six
starts and three relief appearances. He still hasn’t kicked his gopher habit,
coughing up 7 taters. His callup could be either to showcase him, although he’s
going to be useful in a bullpen where Johnson restricts Dan Plesac to
situational work, Myers in the closer’s role, Quantrill in setup duty, and
Billy Risley has problems working on consecutive nights. Basically, Person will
inherit Chris Carpenter’s role in the pen, which means Erik Hanson’s place on
the team should be in serious doubt.