Drew Silva

Baseball Daily Dose

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Moustakas Arrives

Friday, June 10, 2011


Prospects galore.

Not to be outdone by the Padres, who officially promoted top first base prospect Anthony Rizzo on Thursday morning, the Royals purchased the contract of third baseman Mike Moustakas from Triple-A Omaha after their Thursday afternoon tilt with the Blue Jays.

Moustakas will be in uniform and will likely draw his first big league start at third base on Friday night in Kansas City's series-opener out in Anaheim. A 22-year-old from Los Angeles, he was selected with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2007 MLB Amateur Draft and has been lighting up minor league scoreboards ever since. In 118 games between Double-A Northwest Arkansas and Triple-A Omaha last season, Moustakas slugged 36 home runs and tallied 134 RBI against a .999 OPS. In 55 games this year at Omaha, he smashed 10 home runs and registered a total of 26 extra-base hits.

Moustakas isn't the best defender and may have to move away from the hot corner eventually, but he has a major league-ready bat and the Royals have committed to giving him everyday starts over Wilson Betemit going forward.

It's been tough -- maybe tougher than ever -- to find steady fantasy production at third base this season. David Wright is all wrong, Evan Longoria has been battling injuries, Ryan Zimmerman has played in only eight games and Aramis Ramirez is … well … looking like all the other members of the ever-disappointing Cubs.

Moustakas might not make a ton of noise right away, but he should be good for double-digit home runs if he remains in the big leagues through the end of the season and he's likely to see a decent amount of RBI chances while hitting near the heart of the Royals' improving batting order. In fantasy circles, any kind of pop at third base is big. Moustakas immediately becomes a fantasy star and a must-add in all eligible leagues.

This is Friday's edition of the MLB Daily Dose...

* While we're railing against the long list of disappointing third basemen in baseball this year, consider this: if Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols makes two more starts at third base or appears at the position in six more games, he'll become eligible at the hot corner in Yahoo! fantasy leagues. That eligibility would then carry over to the 2012 season. We're talking nearly 10 months of Pujols: The Third Baseman, and that's a pretty exciting thought now that he is sufficiently raking.

Albert scored two runs and tallied an RBI in Thursday's 9-2 stomping of the Astros. He has an extra-base hit in each of his last six games and has bumped his OPS from .721 to .833 since May 29. The Cards have a have a 2.5-game lead over the Brewers in the National League Central and the best record in baseball at 38-26.

* The Red Sox got fantastic news Thursday on All-Star second baseman Dustin Pedroia. According to Sean McAdam of CSN New England, who had the story an hour before anyone, the knee scope performed in Boston on the infielder's right knee showed no structural damage and only bruising around the knee cap. Pedroia is going to join back up with the Sawx on Friday in Toronto and could even start in Friday night's series opener against the Blue Jays.

Great, right? But there are still questions to be answered. Pedroia, who carries a proud .299/.369/.449 career batting line, is hitting just .247/.361/.338 through 275 plate appearances this season and is sporting a .676 OPS since the beginning of May. He's clearly playing injured, and the only fix for that is rest. It seems likely that he might eventually miss a chunk of time.

* One more big note: Yankees setup man Joba Chamberlain was diagnosed Thursday with a torn ligament in his throwing elbow and is likely to undergo Tommy John surgery within the next couple of weeks. If he has the procedure, he won't return until the 2012 season.

The Yankees are going to be accused of babying Chamberlain ineffectively in the early part of his career, and there's little doubt that management would go back and tweak some things if given the opportunity to do it all over again, but injuries can't be blamed on the front office or coaching staff. The ligament tear is the price Joba pays for throwing tens of thousands of baseballs at weird arm angles and big league-level speeds, not an innings limit or a role change. Pitching isn't a normal activity for most human arms. Pitchers get injured.

Chamberlain, 25, has turned into a nice setup man and should return to form when he regains his health by either rehab or surgery. The success rate for Tommy John surgery these days is remarkably high.

National League Quick Hits: Phillies closer Ryan Madson blew his first save of the season in Thursday's loss to the Cubs … Slumping Mets outfielder Jason Bay will sit for at least one more game in an effort by management to get him going offensively ... Pirates catcher Chris Snyder will undergo potentially season-ending surgery Friday on his lower back … Jimmy Rollins is back in the Phillies' lineup after missing four games with a bruised knee … Astros lefty Wandy Rodriguez has been cleared to return to action Monday against the Braves … Will Venable has been recalled after a production-related demotion to Triple-A Tucson … Tom Gorzelanny is scheduled to begin a minor league rehab assignment Monday … Mike Stanton hit his 14th home run Thursday against the Braves … The Mets are expected to promote outfielder Lucas Duda from Triple-A Buffalo on Friday … Huston Street earned his 18th save Thursday in the Rockies' defeat of the Dodgers … Marlins closer Leo Nunez is pitching through a bit of back soreness … Troy Tulowitzki drove in four runs Thursday against the Dodgers … The Padres placed reliever Luke Gregerson on the disabled list with an oblique strain … Nick Evans was designated for assignment by the Mets … Bill Hall is drawing free agent interest from the Nationals and Orioles … The Dodgers optioned promising young outfielder Jerry Sands back to Triple-A … J.J. Putz was unavailable Thursday due to back and neck soreness … Jonny Venters earned his second save of the season Thursday against the Marlins … Padres center fielder Cameron Maybin could be activated from the disabled list Monday … Martin Prado has a knee injury and is not expected back until Saturday or Sunday … The Marlins signed former All-Star Jose Lopez to a minor league contract.

American League Quick Hits: The A's fired manager Bob Geren and named Bob Melvin interim skipper due to "communication issues" … The Twins placed outfielder Denard Span on the 7-day disabled list with whiplash and concussion-like symptoms … Joakim Soria earned a shaky save Thursday in his first appearance back in the closer's role … Tigers ace Justin Verlander struck out 10 in a win over the Mariners Thursday … Trevor Cahill allowed six runs to the White Sox Thursday in his fourth straight poor outing … Indians DH Travis Hafner is scheduled to take batting practice Friday for the first time since landing on the disabled list … The Orioles placed first baseman Derrek Lee on the bereavement list … Yunel Escobar is day-to-day with quad discomfort … Derek Holland struck out 10 batters Thursday in a no-decision against the Twins … Red Sox lefty Franklin Morales is scheduled to begin a short rehab assignment Friday … Josh Hamilton hit a solo homer in Thursday's extra-innings loss to Minnesota … Adam Dunn hit a two-run homer in Thursday's win over the A's … Scott Feldman could resume his rehab assignment Saturday … Jason Kubel is nearing the start of a minor league rehab assignment … The Royals optioned Mike Aviles to Triple-A Omaha after recalling Moustakas … Ricky Romero took a complete-game loss Thursday against Kansas City, pitching eight strong innings in a losing effort … Jeff Niemann was roughed up Wednesday in a rehab start at Triple-A Durham.




Drew Silva is a baseball editor for Rotoworld and also contributes on NBC Sports' Hardball Talk. He can be found on Twitter.
Email :Drew Silva



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