Monday, July 10, 2006

Some Pre All-Star Banter

Thank some random deity for Jon Papelbon's blown save yesterday. The guy scares the bejeezus out of me, so to see him look a bit mortal was a relief.

It looks like my touting of Kris Wilson was just a bit premature. I can still see him giving the Yankes useful innings, possibly out of the bullpen, but there is no denying that he just didn't have it in him yesterday. He pitched out of a first and third, one out jam in the second, which left the third inning very curious. Did working out of the jam boost his confidence, or was it the base for further frustration if it happened again. And, apparently, it was the latter, as Wilson looked piiiiiiiiiiissed, unable to finish off the side. My only question following the game: if the fifth start after the break comes down to Wilson and Chacon, who do you give it to?

Considering the point from which they had to start, the bullpen didn't do a terrible job. You hate to see Villone give up two run homers, but they're going to happen from time to time. And Proctor, well, I guess we can say that he reacted well to a few bad pitches, striking out the side in the seventh despite surrendering the go-ahead run. Again, he's going to give up a run every once in a while; it's just the timing that sucked.

I'm curious as to what's going on with the roster following the break. I'm logically guessing that Nick Green will be banished once Cano returns, and that Thompson will be back in Columbus once Matt Smith or T.J. Beam spend the requisite 10 days in the minors. Though, the return of Beam and Smith could be delayed should Octavio Dotel return – or at least that's the prayer.

The stove is re-heating as we prepare the countdown to the deadline. None of the high-profile players have really come close to being dealt, though I'm guessing the GMs will have quite a few meetings over the next four days.

Thankfully, there has been more talk recently about the acquisition of Craig Wilson than Abreu and Soriano. Wilson comes much cheaper, and won't be an incredible hindrance if/when Sheffield and Matsui return. Plus, there are other teams with the need for a power hitting outfielder that are better armed in the minor league department. I would expect that if Soriano, Carlos Lee, and Abreu go anywhere, it will be to the Angles (more likely Abreu), Tigers, and Dodgers. Toronto may get into the bidding for an outfielder, too.

The availability of Andruw Jones has been a question of late. With the Braves history of not overpaying for their own free agents, it appears likely he'll be patrolling center field for another team next year. He'll be a half-season rental for any taker, but his price tag will likely exceed what you'd pay for that kind of service. If it's reasonable, I'd expect the White Sox to jump into the bidding. Brian Anderson may be the future, but Jones can help them win now.

This is all just running off at the mouth, though. There is a good chance that none of these players get dealt, and that the deadline will be filled with minor moves for role players. Which, unlike many fans, are the moves I like to see.