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Monday, May 14, 2001

May 11, 2001

Learn from the wisdom of the Transaction Oracle.

Anaheim Angels

Placed C Ben Molina on the 15-day DL with strained right hamstring; purchased   the contract of C Jose Molina from Salt Lake of the PCL. Placed C Jorge Fabregas   on the 15-day DL with an inflamed right elbow.? Called up C Jamie Burke from   Salt Lake (AAA).

ORACLE SAYS:I?d say that losing your backup catcher right after losing     your starting catcher is especially bad luck.? Well, I would, that is, if     the backup catcher wasn?t Jorge Fabregas, whose only accomplishment in his     professional career is taking Colangelo to the cleaners in a hilarious arbitration     caper in which Fabregas was asking for $1.4 million, lost his case, only     to have Colangelo give him a 2-year contract for $2.9 million (if I?m remembering     the story accurately).

Atlanta Braves

Placed P Kevin Millwood on the 15-day DL with an inflamed right shoulder.

ORACLE SAYS:The Braves have had a hard time of it this season and even     though Millwood has long since lost his 1999 form, this still is another     blow to the Braves.? Unless I missed something, no MLB team with a full     season of Rico Brogna has ever had a winning record, so this was probably     just fate intervening due to the awesome power of Reeko.

Baltimore Orioles

Activated P Sidney Ponson from the 15-day DL; optioned OF Eugene Kingsale to   Rochester (AAA).

ORACLE SAYS:The Orioles did absolutely nothing with the roster     spot since Ponson was placed on the 15-day DL, choosing to use the spot     on a number of guys that never actually got to play.? After all, when you?re     a bad team after playing a third of your games against a Chuck LaMar     team, you have to declare the season a loss and see if Chuck McElroy is     that young pitching star for the next 10 years.

Boston Red Sox

Activated 3B John Valentin from the 15-day DL; placed IF Craig Grebeck on the   15-day DL with left shoulder tendinitis.

ORACLE SAYS:It?s hard to tell how Valentin will play (I?ll take a wild     guess and suggest that 1995 performance is probably out), but he has to     be an improvement on the way Grebeck?s been playing.? This helps Mike Lansing     most of all.

[this space reserved for future John Valentin injury]

Colorado Rockies

Placed P Brian Bohanon on the 15-day DL with an inflamed left elbow; recalled   P Robert Averette from Colorado Springs.

Florida Marlins

Activated P Chuck Smith from the 15-day DL; optioned P Jason   Grilli to Calgary (AAA).

ORACLE SAYS:Getting Smith back is a big boost to the Marlins if his shoulder     is healed.?? Smith in 2000 probably had one of the most obscure great performances     by a rookie in MLB history, with an ERA of 3.23 in 19 starts.? Ankiel got     all the accolades, but Smith and Brian Tollberg of the Padres were big contributors     in 2000.? Grilli had a 6.31 ERA when he was sent down, but that was mostly     due to getting killed in Arizona a couple of starts ago.

Activated P A.J. Burnett from the 15-day DL; optioned   P Joe Strong to Calgary (AAA).

ORACLE SAYS:Hopefully Burnett can finally pick up his career where it     left off before a thumb injury ruined his 2000 season.? Burnett had been     on the DL for a broken foot from spring training.

Houston Astros

Removed IF Charlie Hayes from the restricted list; optioned IF Keith Ginter   to New Orleans (AAA).

ORACLE SAYS:Hayes was on the restricted list while he attended his mother?s     funeral.? Tragedy aside, Hayes really doesn?t belong on a MLB roster anymore     than Von or Rutherford do at this point.

Minnesota Twins

Placed 1B/DH David Ortiz on the 15-day DL with a   fractured right wrist; recalled P Jack Cressend from Edmonton (AAA).

ORACLE SAYS:Big, big loss for the Twins.? Ortiz has been a big part of     the offense in the Twins? fast start and he?s far more likely to keep up     his hitting than Doug Mientkiewicz being Ted Williams (I expected a few     seasons like .280/.400/.400 from Mientkiewicz eventually, but nothing like     this).? Hopefully, the Twins won?t go nuts and sign Jose Canseco or trade     all their prospects for Jeff Conine.

Oakland A?s

Activated 1B John Jaha from the 15-day DL; optioned OF Eric Byrnes to Sacramento   (AAA).

Pittsburgh Pirates

Placed C Keith Osik on the 15-day DL with a strained right   hamstring; purchased the contract of Don Wengert from Nashville (AAA); recalled   OF Tike Redman from Nashville; optioned SS Jack Wilson to Nashville.


Osik?s not a big loss for the Pirates; they have Craig Wilson, a catcher       who the Pirates like at first base better, around for the time being.?       Hard to send a guy down when he?s hitting .444/.615/1.444.? Osik?s injury       can only help Wilson, who is a different person than the middle infielder       Craig Wilson.?

Wengert is almost certainly on the team just for the       short-term.? Pirate fans can expect Wengert to generally pitch poorly       and to win ugly.? Wengert?s first start with the Pirates is typical of       what can be expected when the going is good:? 5 IP, 9 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, and       0 SO.

Jack Wilson?s demotion was only a matter of time.? Wilson?s not as bad       as he was hitting (.155/.210/.241), but he really shouldn?t have been       on the roster this year since he?s not a Burrell-type prospect by a long       shot and hadn?t played above AA.? What?s really sad is that, knowing the       Pirates, they probably didn?t send Wilson down for his wretched hitting       but for making 3 errors in a game last week (which at the very least partially       was due to his injured finger).

Tike Redman?s up in order to give Lloyd McClendon a better excuse for       playing Derek Bell.? Redman had a hot 100 at-bats at AAA, but that?s the       first time he?s ever hit at all in his professional career.

San Diego Padres

Activated OF Tony Gwynn and P Kevin Walker from the   15-day DL; optioned P Brian Lawrence to Portland (AAA); optioned P Jimmy Osting   to Mobile (AA).

ORACLE SAYS:It?s sad to say, but the time may be here at which Tony Gwynn     is a hindrance to the future of the Padres franchise.? The Padres aren?t     likely to be contending as the season goes on and when Darr gets off the     DL, you have Darr, Kotsay, Trammell, and Colangelo who all need playing     time and all have a brighter future than Tony.?

Agreed to terms on a two-year contract extension with OF Mark Kotsay.

ORACLE SAYS:Kotsay will now make just over 3 million dollars next year     and close to 4 and a half in 2003.? He?s not the player that he was projected     to be before his professional debut, but 3 million dollars doesn?t buy a     lot.

St. Louis Cardinals

Activated P Jason Christiansen from the 15-day DL;   optioned P Jason Karnuth to Memphis (AAA).

ORACLE SAYS:Expected move here.

Tampa Bay Devil Rays

Released 3B Vinny Castilla; placed P Mike Judd on   the 15-day DL with right shoulder soreness; optioned P Ryan Rupe to Durham (AAA);   recalled Ps Ariel Prieto, Dan Wheeler, and Travis Phelps from Durham (AAA).

ORACLE SAYS:About time that the Rays released Castilla, who has been a     whiny, oft-injured, no-hit, no-field, no-run expensive zero for the Devil     Rays since the big three-way trade that took him away from the friendly     confines of Planet Coors.? The pitching moves are just some shuffling that     is unlikely to help or hurt the Devil Rays.? Giving Aubrey Huff the starting     job is a decision that should?ve long been made and the release of Castilla     practically forces McRae (who is worse than Rothschild can ever hope to     be) to play Huff.


Dan Szymborski Posted: May 14, 2001 at 06:00 AM | 0 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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