The National League East has not been as competitive as many experts tabbed it would be before the season began. The Atlanta Braves have been the best team all season long, but the Washington Nationals are about to get healthy and can pose a serious threat. The Philadelphia Phillies, Miami Marlins, and New York Mets should begin to start selling in the next few weeks.
Here is a quick look at the latest news around the National League East:
Our own Jeff Schafer posted this afternoon that Tim Hudson would get the start tonight in game 1 against the division rival, Philadelphia Phillies, but we’ve since learned from Mark Bowman on Twitter that Tim’s start will be pushed back to Saturday to give him an extra day’s rest. Instead, Paul Maholm will get the nod tonight against Cliff Lee.
One of the first things I remember after taking my first steps onto my high school baseball field was my coach yelling at all of our pitchers to “never walk the pitcher”!!! Those words were stuck in the brains of so many, we even wrote the saying inside of our lockers with a sharpie so we couldn’t forget.
Joey Terdoslavich, OF-1B, Atlanta Braves: The Atlanta Braves promoted Joey Terdoslavich to the major league roster yesterday, replacing the injured Jordan Shafer. A sixth round pick in 2010 from Long Beach State University, Terdoslavich was hitting .318/.359/.567 in 85 games for Triple-A Gwinnett, with 23 walks and 65 strikeouts in 351 plate appearances. He was something of a hot prospect in 2011 when he hit .283/.341/.526 with 52 doubles and 20 homers for High-A Lynchburg, but he had problems when attempting to make the steep jump to Triple-A last spring, where he hit just .180 in 53 games.
Dan Haren‘s significant struggles this season have been a major Nats storyline. At 6.15, he has the worst ERA of any starter with at least 80 innings pitched, and has been worth -1.5 wins above replacement, meaning that your run-of-the-mill Triple A callup would have performed significantly better.
While reports out there have suggested the Washington Nationals need to go after a back-of-the-rotation arm, and others have claimed they’re actively pursuing one, Nats’ GM Mike Rizzo said this week that he doesn’t anticipate the team trading for a starter.
When I left town a few weeks ago, the Nats were hovering around the .500 mark, struggling to hit, pitch and field depending on the day or the week or the phase of the moon or whatever it is that ails this team. When I returned, the Nats were still hovering around the .500 mark, still struggling to hit, pitch and field. So I expected some long faces at Nationals Park on Thursday, even if it was the Fourth of July in our nation’s capital. And everywhere else, for that matter.
In an interview before the start of the Phillies’ all-important series against the Braves, Ruben Amaro told WIP that his $20 million a year slugger isn’t getting the job done.
When Jonathan Papelbon, learned scholar, embracer of liberal values, and all-around awesome guy, takes to the airwaves, fun things happen.
Jason Grilli’s wild and unlikely journey to becoming one of the best closers in baseball wends through 10 major-league organizations and 11 minor-league cities. It passes through fleeting moments of success and long moments of frustration. It crosses the country, from Maine to New Mexico, and borders, from Calgary to Southern Florida.
New York Mets
After yesterday’s marathon loss to Arizona, the Mets designated reliever Brandon Lyon for assignment and recalled Greg Burke. They also made it known that Ike Davis would be returning from his minor league exile tonight, but have yet to announce who he’ll be replacing on the roster. The even money is on Gonzalez Germen, since the Mets are currently carrying 13 pitchers.
Now that the calendar has flipped to July, the main focus in Major League Baseball over the next month will be the non-waiver trade deadline. New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson will be in search of a trade partner to acquire an outfielder. Contending teams will be looking for bullpen help, and the Mets should consider making their closer, Bobby Parnell, available in trade talks.
The 1969 New York Mets were, in one respect, like a lot of other phenomena from that long-ago, undead decade: even people who weren’t yet born “remember” that championship team, in much the same way they “remember” Woodstock, the moon landing, MLK’s assassination, Altamont, the release of The White Album and other cultural and political touchstones of the era. The ’69 Mets of Seaver, Clendennon, Koosman, Kranepool, Jones, Agee, Grote and the rest are part of pop-culture lore as surely as Electric Ladyland and the police riots at the Democratic convention in Chicago in 1968 — not because they were the most dominant team of the age, but precisely because they weren’t. They were the Bad News Bears of the majors … except that, in the Mets’ case, they actually won it all at the end.