D.J. Short

Baseball Daily Dose

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Chisenhall Gets the Call

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Another day, another top prospect makes his way to the major leagues.

After scoring just four runs in a three-game sweep at the hands of the Giants over the weekend, the offense-starved Indians called up top prospect third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall before Monday's game against the Diamondbacks. The 22-year-old responded by going 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI single in his major league debut.

Chisenhall never had eye-popping numbers on the minor league level, including a .265 batting average and .779 OPS over 65 games with Triple-A Columbus this season, but his promotion is worth a shot when Indians' third basemen have combined to bat just .220 with a .634 OPS this season. Jack Hannahan began the season as the starter, but is hitting just .180 since the start of May.

There's a chance Manny Acta will sit Chisenhall against tough left-handed starters, as he had a .200 batting average in 75 at-bats against southpaws at Triple-A this season, but otherwise he should be the starting third baseman on most nights. I wouldn't bank on Chisenhall having value in mixed leagues right away, but the third base eligibility certainly helps his cause. He's at least worth securing in AL-only formats.

While we wait for the next top prospect to get the call to the majors, here are some more news and notes from around a light Monday in the baseball world.

- Contrary to earlier indications from the team, Mariners manager Eric Wedge said Sunday that rookie right-hander Michael Pineda will not have a strict innings limit this season. Instead, they plan to "manage his game-to-game pitch count and inning-to-inning pitch count."

Pineda has quickly emerged as a must-start in mixed leagues this season by posting a 2.45 ERA and 94/27 K/BB ratio over his first 15 major league starts, but he already has 95 2/3 innings under his belt. The 22-year-old is currently on pace to throw 200 innings this season after throwing 139 1/3 innings between Double-A West Tennessee and Triple-A Tacoma last season.

If that sounds like a scary innings-jump to you, you're not alone. Wedge has likely softened in his stance because the Mariners are surprisingly competitive in the AL West, but I wonder if his tune will change if they eventually fall out of things. Considering what we've seen from Mat Latos this season following a huge innings-jump last year, it's probably the best thing that could happen to Pineda for the long-term. In short, don't assume anything in fantasy leagues.

- Angels closer Jordan Walden is going through some tough times right now.

The hard-throwing rookie gave up a game-tying solo homer to Danny Espinosa on Monday night against the Nationals, blowing his third consecutive save and sixth in 23 chances.

Walden has a 3.12 ERA and 38 strikeouts over 34 2/3 innings this season, but he has also walked 17 batters. On the bright side, Monday's homer was the first he has given up all season long. It's unlikely he'll be pulled from the role and if he is, it will only be for a short period of time, but Scott Downs would be worth adding if Mike Scioscia wants to give him a few days to clear his head.

- Brian McCann hit his eighth home run of the month in Monday's win over the Mariners. He now has 14 home runs of his first 70 games this season, which is incredible when you realize that he had just two home runs over his first 38 games.

McCann hasn't hit as many as 24 home runs since his first full season in 2006, but he's now a near-lock to establish a new-career high if he stays healthy. It's hard to say he's not the best offensive catcher in the game -- both in fantasy and real life -- at the moment.

NL Quick Hits: Martin Prado (staph infection) could be cleared to begin running soon … Carlos Gonzalez homered twice Monday and is batting .344 this month … Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Pena both hit two homers in Monday's win over the Rockies … Matt Kemp had four of the Dodgers' 25 hits in a 15-0 rout of the Twins on Monday night … Pedro Alvarez (quad, neck) began his rehab assignment Monday with the GCL Pirates … Jonathan Broxton underwent an MRI on his right elbow Monday … Stephen Strasburg (elbow) tossed 20 fastballs in a bullpen session Monday without any issues … Jay Bruce (illness) singled in his return to the starting lineup Monday … Jason Heyward batted leadoff for the first time in his career Monday night … The Cardinals activated David Freese and Nick Punto from the disabled list Monday … The Astros are unlikely to trade Hunter Pence this season … Danny Espinosa and Michael Morse both hit their 15th homers of the season Monday night … Nick Hundley is likely out until Friday with a sore right elbow … Mike Leake tossed six shutout frames in Monday's win over the Rays … The Brewers called up Mat Gamel on Monday for their upcoming interleague series against the Yankees and Twins … Hiroki Kuroda is drawing early trade interest … Ryan Hanigan (back) hopes to return to the starting lineup Wednesday … Cubs manager Mike Quade said Monday that Kerry Wood (blister) is improving and is a week or so away from returning from the disabled list … Chien-Ming Wang (shoulder) allowed two runs over three innings Monday in his first minor league rehab start with Class A Hagerstown … The Brewers designated Sergio Mitre for assignment …

AL Quick Hits: Derek Jeter (calf) jogged Monday for the first time since being placed on the disabled list … Joe Mauer took grounders at first base prior to Monday's game against the Dodgers … Shin-Soo Choo had his broken left thumb examined by Dr. Thomas Graham on Monday … Torii Hunter (ribs) entered Monday's game as a defensive replacement in the eighth inning and could return to the starting lineup Tuesday … Bartolo Colon (hamstring) threw a four-inning simulated game Monday and could return as soon as this weekend against the Mets … Denard Span is making progress from his concussion, but continues to deal with fatigue … With Kyle Davies (shoulder) expected to return from the disabled list this weekend, the Royals will implement a six-man rotation … Jesse Litsch (shoulder) will need at least two more rehab starts before returning from the disabled list … Edwin Encarnacion is day-to-day with a lower back strain … Kevin Slowey (abdominal strain) will throw 50 pitches Wednesday in his second minor league rehab appearance with High-A Fort Myers … The Yankees will skip Brian Gordon in the starting rotation this week … Alex White (finger) played long-toss Monday at a distance of 75 feet … Pedro Feliciano (shoulder) made 15 soft throws off a bullpen mound Monday … Angels' 2011 first-round pick C.J. Cron will attempt to put off shoulder surgery in order to make his professional debut this summer … The Indians designated Adam Everett for assignment …


D.J. Short is a Rotoworld baseball editor and contributes to NBCSports.com's Hardball Talk blog. You can also find him on Twitter.
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