MLB In Full Bloom - Joakim Soria Traded To Tigers - 7/24/2014

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On Wednesday night, the Texas Rangers sent their closer Joakim Soria to the Detroit Tigers for right-handed pitching prospects Jake Thompson and Corey Knebel. Last week, the San Diego Padres got a nice return from the Los Angeles Angels last week for Huston Street and Soria didn’t come cheap either. Thompson was a second-round pick in 2012 and currently has a 2.96 ERA in 200 2/3 career innings between rookie ball and Double-A. Knebel was drafted in 2013 out of the University of Texas at Austin and made his major league debut in Detroit earlier this season. The 22-year-old owns a dominant 1.26 ERA in 64 1/3 career minor league innings. After the deal was completed, the Tigers announced that Joe Nathan will continue to be their closer, but that is not likely to last long. Nathan has an ugly 5.89 ERA this season and he has blown five saves in 25 opportunities. Nathan has been pretty good of late and has closed his last three save opportunities, but it is quite possible that Soria will be the Tigers closer sooner than later.

MLB NEWS & NOTES

  • Yoenis Cespedes (thumb) was diagnosed with a right thumb sprain on Wednesday night after he hit two home runs in another Athletics victory. Cespedes suffered the injury swinging the bat on Wednesday night.  X-rays were negative, but Cespedes is likely to miss the game today with the Astros. The A's are calling him day-to-day so fantasy owners should monitor this situation based on that report.
  • Hunter Pence was 0-for-3 with a walk until clearing the bases with a double to break a scoreless tie in the top of the ninth in Wednesday's win over the Phillies. Pence has destroyed his former team this week and entered Wednesday's game with six hits in 13 at-bats. He now has 6 RBI in the series and can help the Giants wrap up a four-game sweep this afternoon. Pence has been among the most productive hitters in baseball this year with a .304 BA with 13 home runs, 41 RBI, and 10 stolen bases.
  • Neftali Feliz is expected to take over as the Rangers' closer in the wake of the Joakim Soria trade. Feliz is still working to regain his dominant stuff, but he owns an impressive 2.61 ERA in 10 1/3 innings of relief since rejoining the Rangers' active roster on July 4. He needs to be owned in all standard fantasy leagues even though his save opportunities may be few and far between for a Rangers team that has clearly mailed it in this year.
  • Ervin Santana allowed just one run in 7 1/3 innings and he earned the win against the Marlins on Wednesday. This was his second double-digit strikeout game this season. Santana struck out 10 Marlins and was in control throughout the game. His last double-digit strikeout game came in his second start on April 14. Santana improved his ERA to 3.87 and he was face the Padres on Monday in his next start.
  • Starling Marte (concussion) was placed on the 7-day DL on Wednesday by the Pirates. There were some differing reports about Marte's status, but his concussion tests came back positive, and he will be out until at least July 28. It's been a challenging year for Marte who has struggled at the plate and been in and out of the lineup for a variety of issues. Brent Morel was called up as a corresponding move.
  • It was a wacky night last night around Major League Baseball. Hunter Pence gave the Philly Phanatic mouth-to-mouth after the legendary mascot was struggling to complete a sit-up. Did you see the epic standoff between Aaron Barrett of the Nationals and Brandon Barnes of the Rockies? The two men participated in this epic standoff in which both refused to leave where they stood for the national anthem. After sunscreen was applied and energy drinks were provided by teammates, the two continued to stand at their positions. Denard Span actually stepped in the batter's box to start the game. The winner was Barrett, who was standing near the dugout railing while Barnes stood at the edge of the warning track in foul territory down the first-base line. Barnes was forced to move by first-base umpire Jordan Baker made him move. Finally, did you see that cheese crackers were delivered right to home plate? It happened during Wednesday's Rays-Cardinals game in St. Louis, where  St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina had third-base coach Jose Oquendo take two packages of cheese crackers and set them on home plate for his brother Jose Molina, the Rays catcher. The elder Molina seemed to appreciate the fine gesture from his brother and he tucked them in his back pocket, perhaps for late-inning snack.

MLB In Full Bloom - Welcome To The Bronx Chase Headley - 7/23/2014

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On Tuesday, the New York Yankees acquired Chase Headley from the San Diego Padres for infielder Yangervis Solarte and right-handed pitching prospect Rafael De Paula to San Diego in the deal. It didn't take long for Headley to get on the good side of Yankees fans. After getting to Yankee Stadium in the middle of the game, Headley struck out as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning and then grounded out in his next two at-bats. It didn't matter because Headley was a hero after delivering a walk-off single in the 14th inning of a 2-1 victory over the Rangers. It will be interesting to see whether Headley can revive his career over the next two months before he hits free agency. He finished fifth in the National League MVP voting in 2012 after batting .286 with 31 homers and 115 RBI, but he’s battled injuries since then and going into Tuesday's game, has hit just .243.

MLB NEWS & NOTES

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