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ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

Recalled INF Hanley Frias from Tucson; designated RHP Amaury
Telemaco
for assignment. [6/8]

So Telemaco is lost on waivers twice in thirteen months; he didn’t help
himself during his brief duty with the D’backs this year, but more
importantly, he didn’t cost enough to draw attention to himself in a
Colangelo operation. It sort of reflects an organizational strength that
the D’backs have four unmovable veterans in the pen (Gregg Olson, Darren
Holmes, Greg Swindell and John Frascatore), plus two prospects (Vlad Nunez
and Byung-Hyun Kim) who should be in purple and teal for awhile.

Nevertheless, Telemaco has value, and to have to change teams twice,
essentially because neither of your employers had a very firm grip on
roster management, is silly. On the other hand, it’s great for Telemaco,
because it means he’ll get an opportunity to help a team instead of rotting
in some sort of organizational limbo for the D’backs.

The D’backs have something of a problem on their hands. They’re already
having a hard time finding enough playing time for Andy Fox and Tony
Batista, and Frias isn’t good enough to push his way past either of them.


ATLANTA BRAVES

Placed SS Walt Weiss on the 15-day DL; recalled SS Mark
DeRosa
from Richmond. [6/9]

This is a doubly painful injury that hurts the Braves both offensively and
defensively. Ozzie Guillen is a menace in the field…and that might be his
strong suit. DeRosa’s better than the Ozzeroo afield, but at best he might
platoon. This could be divine intervention, in that the Braves had only
recently recognized that it’s better to bench Otis Nixon and Ice Williams,
while playing Ryan Klesko in left field and a mildly dangerous first-base
platoon of Randall Simon and Brian Hunter. If the Braves actually wanted to
get major-league offense out of more than seven lineup slots, they might
dispense with the Mets and the Phillies by August 1.


CLEVELAND INDIANS

Placed DH Wil Cordero on the 60-day DL (broken wrist); optioned
UT Jolbert Cabrera to Buffalo; recalled OF Jacob Cruz and
purchased the contract of INF Jeff Manto from Buffalo. [6/9]

Cordero’s out for at least ten weeks, which is about as important to this
team as John Hart’s golf stroke. Less so, because if Hart can’t putt, he
might get frustrated and make a bad deal. Cruz can play (.278/.363/.444 at
Buffalo), and Manto has always been capable of contributing some quality
PAs and filling in around the infield. The shame is for Bisons fans,
because Manto was arguably the International League’s MVP based on his
.322/.493/.698 start.

With Cordero gone, Manny Ramirez serving his suspension and Richie Sexson
prone to long slumps, Cruz has the opportunity to claim a good chunk of
playing time against right-handed pitchers. If you’re wondering what
happened to Alex Ramirez, he’s also hitting well at Buffalo:
.300/.338/.486. But he’s also very similar to Sexson (right-handed with
power, little patience so far, an outfielder), while Cruz gives the Tribe a
left-handed bat, and Manto gives the team a spare infielder who can handle
both corners and, in a pinch, second base. Ramirez might have more of a
future than Manto, but we’re talking about the twelfth or thirteenth man:
neither is going to get major playing time.


COLORADO ROCKIES

Purchased the contract of RHP David Wainhouse from Colorado Springs;
optioned RHP David Lee to Colorado Springs. [6/9]

Wainhouse has had a nice run in the PCL, racking up nine saves and a 2.75
ERA. Earlier this year with the Rox, he posted up a 7.56 ERA, vs. the 7.04
ERA Lee compiled to earn his demotion. Basically, there’s no sign that this
is anything other than organizational indecisiveness.


DETROIT TIGERS

Optioned UT Jason Wood to Toledo. [6/9]

Activated 1B Tony Clark from the DL. [6/11]

I’m not sold on the proposition that Clark is going to out-hit Frank
Catalanotto, but both of them should easily out-hit anointed leadoff savior
Luis Polonia, or Gregg Jefferies, "Lord of the Pool". The move
should cut into Catalanotto’s playing time, which isn’t going to help the
Tigers in their pricey, pathetic quest for second place in the AL Central.


FLORIDA MARLINS

Optioned RHP Rafael Medina to Calgary; activated 3B Kevin
Orie
from the DL. [6/8]

Now Orie gets to become…a pinch-hitter? A defensive replacement for Mike
Lowell? A guy to trade back to the Cubs, who need a right-handed-hitting
gloveman to spot for and platoon with Tyler Houston? Orie won’t out-hit
Lowell or Kevin Millar, and he’s not good enough to command all that much
unless the shopper is really hard up. Or named "Robinson".


MONTREAL EXPOS

Claimed OF Scott Hunter off of waivers from the Mets. [6/10]

The question is whether he’s worth a spot on the 40-man roster. At Triple-A
Norfolk, he was hitting .228/.269/.383, with eight home runs and eight
walks in 194 plate appearances. Admittedly, it’s his first full season at
the level, and he’s only 23, but the only good season he’s ever had came
when he repeated Double-A last year. As much faith as I have in young
players, this seems a stretch, even for an organization like the Expos that
has plaenty of room for useful players on the 40-man roster.


MINNESOTA TWINS

Placed OF Matt Lawton on the 15-day DL (fractured eye socket);
recalled OF Jacque Jones from Salt Lake City. [6/9]

Activated SS Cristian Guzman from the DL; optioned INF Cleatus
Davidson
to New Britain (Double-A). [6/10]

Add Lawton’s pair of orbital fractures, courtesy of Dennis Reyes, to the
list of reasons why this is a year he’d rather forget. Between extended
slumps, operating as the equally unfortunate LaTroy Hawkins’ spokesman of
sorts and now this, Lawton has been the most-suffering Twin. Even so, he
should only be out for the two weeks before coming back. Jones hasn’t
mastered Triple-A pitching yet; despite hitting at Salt Lake, he’s only put
up a .298/.325/.444, which is anemic for the PCL in general, and his park
in particular.

Guzman’s return doesn’t really help in the short term. Denny Hocking was
doing a better job at the plate, and neither one of them is going to make
that much of a difference in the field for this team. If the Twins let
Hocking play, they could turn him into useful trade bait. Does that sound
ludicrous? Sure it does, but we live in a world where David Howard makes a
lot of money.


NEW YORK METS

Activated OF Jay Payton from the DL, and optioned him to Norfolk;
designated OF Scott Hunter for assignment (and lost him on waivers
to the Expos). [6/8]


OAKLAND ATHLETICS

Acquired RHP Scott Chiasson from the Royals to complete 3/30 trade
of RHP Jay Witasick. [6/9]


PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES

Claimed RHP Amaury Telemaco off of waivers from the Diamondbacks;
transferred LHP Matt Beech from the 15- to the 60-day DL; optioned
RHP Joel Bennett to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. [6/8]

Placed RHP Carlton Loewer on the 15-day DL, retroactive to 6/6
(stress fracture – upper arm); recalled LHP Randy Wolf from Scranton
Wilkes/Barre; transferred RHP Jeff Brantley from the 15- to 60-day
DL. [6/9]

A nifty snag for the Phillies, right out of Lee Thomas’ playbook:
"Taking Your Chances on Tough-Luck Pitching Prospects". Telemaco
should become a very important contributor in the Phillies’ pen, doing
everything the club hoped for from Robert Person and more.

The callup of Wolf may be premature. He’s pitched generally well for
Scranton, posting a 3.61 ERA in 12 starts, yielding 73 hits, 29 walks and
eight home runs in 77 1/3 innings, while punching out 72 batters. He’s made
a huge accomplishment just by surviving the Phillies’ development process
this far. Already he’s not your usual minor league lefty, because he cooks
with gas, so he may not have the same problems people like Doug Johns have
coming up. If he really makes the jump, the Phillies’ wild-card chances get
somewhat more realistic.


PITTSBURGH PIRATES

Optioned RHP Marc Wilkins to Nashville; purchased the contract of
RHP Greg Hansell from Nashville; transferred SS Pat Meares
from the 15- to the 60-day DL. [6/10]

Placed OF Turner Ward on the 15-day DL (knee); recalled CF Adrian
Brown
from Nashville. [6/11]

Wilkins struggled from the get-go, posting a 5.65 ERA. Armed with both the
positives and negatives of their experience with Mike Williams, they’ve
called up another long-suffering Triple-A vet in Hansell. Tossing middle
relief for the Sounds, he had a 2.00 ERA, allowing only 27 baserunners in
27 innings while striking out 36. With Williams’ example of how narrow is
the fence between minor league journeymen and guys with multi-year
contracts, this is his big opportunity.

Losing Ward to his still-recuperating knees, and Giles’ hamstring problems
not going away, might almost be enough to get Brant Brown some playing time
in center field. Unfortunately for the Bucs, spending three weeks on the
bench didn’t help him learn how to field the position.


SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS

Activated LF Barry Bonds from the DL; placed RF Ellis Burks
on the 15-day DL (inflamed knee). [6/9]

Obviously a net gain. Dusty still gets to have fun mixing and matching
playing time among Stan Javier, F.P. Santangelo, Armando Rios and Marvin
Benard at two of the outfield spots, which will give him a bench loaded
with players sharp from regular playing time. Once several of the D’backs’
bats slow down–and they will slow down–the Giants should be in a
great position to grab for sole possession of first place.


TAMPA BAY DEVIL RAYS

Placed RHP Dave Eiland on the 15-day DL (back); recalled LHP Norm
Charlton
from Durham. [6/8]

Placed LHP Mike Duvall on the 15-day DL (strained oblique muscle);
recalled RHP Mickey Callaway from Durham; transferred RHP Jim
Mecir
from the 15- to the 60-day DL. [6/9]

Charlton wasn’t fooling people in Durham, allowing seven home runs in 31
2/3 innings, so it’s safe to say he isn’t going to have yet another
Travoltian mini-comeback.

How bad off are the D-Rays? They could really use Dennis Springer right
about now, because their rotation has been reduced to Wilson Alvarez, Bobby
Witt on a respirator, Ryan Rupe, Bryan Rekar and now Mickey Callaway.
Callaway doesn’t throw that hard, and doesn’t really have any great pitch.
The International League tattooed him for 62 hits in 49 innings and a 4.98
ERA, but he’s got a nifty-looking 4-1 record, so he must be doing something
right. Right? Since the Bulls’ lineup might be better than the D-Rays’,
Callaway might have been better off in Durham, getting better run support.


TEXAS RANGERS

Activated RHP Mike Morgan from the DL; optioned RHP Danny
Kolb
to Oklahoma. [6/8]

As expected, Morgan didn’t really miss any time and made his scheduled
start on Tuesday. On the other hand, he got rocked, and the Rangers still
need a rotation that can give them five innings per start.

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