Astros right-handed pitching prospect Vincent Velasquez struck out four and allowed one single in two innings during a rehab start with the rookie-level GCL Astros on Friday.
Velasquez has missed two months with a groin injury, so it is good to see him back on the mound. He has the potential to be a solid mid-rotation starter, but he missed all of 2011 after having Tommy John surgery, which has slowed his development. He has a low-to-mid-90s fastball and a great change-up, and could be part of the Astros rotation as soon as late-2015.
Rays right-handed pitching prospect Karns tossed seven solid innings for Triple-A Durham on Friday, striking out seven batters while scattering five hits and two walks, allowing one run.
Karns was knocked around in his major league debut with Washington in 2013, and serves as little more than organizational pitching depth for Tampa Bay this season. He has had a rough season, putting up a 5.63 ERA and a 1.424 WHIP, while seeing his K/9 dip to 9.6 and his BB/9 increase to 4.3. Karns could be up later this season, particularly if the Rays trade some starting pitching.
Twins right-handed pitching prospect Kohl Stewart scattered six hits, while allowing one run and striking out five batters for Low-A Cedar Rapids on Friday.
The Twins have held back the reigns on Stewart this season, but he has performed very well, putting up a 2.58 ERA and a 1.148 WHIP as a 19-year old in a league where the average player is 22.
Alberto Callaspo (hamstring) is expected to avoid the disabled list, but is unlikely to return to the Athletics lineup over the weekend.
Callaspo sustained the injury while running to first base during his first at-bat on Friday. The veteran infielder is confident that his hamstring strain isn't serious and that he'll be able to return to the lineup after the All-Star break.
Pirates outfield prospect Josh Bell went 3-for-4 on Friday for High-A Bradenton, raising his season line to .334/.380/.495.
Bell has hit .385/.430/.569 with nine doubles and five home runs since the beginning of June, striking out 11 times and walking 10. Bell has All-Star potential with his bat, but there are questions as to whether he will be able to stick in right field, or if he will lose too much speed and be forced to first base. Either way, he his bat is his calling card, and he is worth a look in deep leagues.
Pirates right-handed pitching prospect Tyler Glasnow struck out 10 batters over 5 2/3 shutout innings while allowing seven hits and one walk for High-A Bradenton on Friday.
Glasnow's ability to rack up strikeouts was on full display, but he allowed seven hits for the second consecutive start. The Pirates front office would like to see Glasnow throw more strikes and go deeper into games, though they should be happy with his holding opposing batters to a .175/.284/.242 while striking out 28.8 percent of the batters he has faced for the season.
Braves prospect right-handed pitcher Lucas Sims allowed six hits, one walk, one hit batsman and two runs (one earned) over 6 2/3 innings, striking out five batters for High-A Lynchburg.
Sims has had a rough season, putting up a 4.97 ERA and a 1.342 WHIP with a surprisingly low 5.5 K/9. Opposing batters are hitting .251/.332/.395 off Sims. He is an athletic right-hander who has the potential to be a No. 2 pitcher, but his components are substantially down from his full-season debut in 2013.
Orioles recalled C Steve Clevenger from Triple-A Norfolk.
He'll provide extra depth behind the plate and function as a utility option for the O's in the last two games leading up to the All-Star break. In 24 games with the Orioles this season, he's hitting .243/.300/.378 with eight RBI.