Frank Wren, unimpressed with the Braves current form, has traded Mark Teixeira to the Angels in return for 1B Casey Kotchman and pitcher Steven Marek.
This deal came about for three reasons:
1. Injuries: Chipper Jones and Tim Hudson were recently put on the DL. Hudson may be forced to undergo Tommy John surgery and miss the rest of the season.
2. Losses: Not only did the Braves lose the last two games of the series in Philadelphia, but they led by 6 runs in the first game and 5 runs in the finale.
3. Free Agent: Texeira is a free agent at the end of the year and the Braves would not have been able to shell out the big money to resign him. Therefore they went for experience in Kotchman rather than two compensational picks they would have received if they kept Teixeira till the end of the season.
Oh yeah and the Angels wanted him.
Casey Kotchman is hitting .287 with 12 HRs and 54 RBIs, while reliever Steven Marek has gone 2-6 with a 3.66 ERA at Double-A Ball.
The Braves are building for next year and this a good move in my opinion.
1. Jose Reyes SS 1. Hanley Ramirez SS
2. Endy Chavez RF 2. Jeremy Hermida RF
3. David Wright 3B 3. Jorge Cantu 3B
4. Carlos Delgado 1B 4. Josh Willingham LF
5. Carlos Beltran CF 5. Dan Uggla 2B
6. Fernando Tatis LF 6. Mike Jacobs 1B
7. Damion Easley 2B 7. Cody Ross CF
8. Brian Schneider C 8. John Baker C
9. John Maine P 9. Ricky Nolasco P
In this post I’ll take a look at what the top three contenders in the NL East need before the Trade Deadline.
- Relief Pitcher
The Mets need another reliever to solidify their bullpen. Billy Wagner and Pedro Feliciano have been good at the back end of the bullpen, but the middle relief could use some help. Possible targets include Huston Street (OAK), Arthur Rhodes (SEA), Eddie Guardado (TEX) and Brian Fuentes (COL).
- Outfield Bat
Beltran has had a below average season, but is still producing in center. Ryan Church performed great when he played. The problem is that he has only played 57 games due to concussions. Angel Pagan is also missing time due to injury. With these two out the Mets acquired Fernando Tatis, who has been tremendous in LF. Endy Chavez has been playing in RF and has not produced enough. The Mets are concerned that Church may take time to be back to his normal self when he does return. The Mets were targeting both Xavier Nady and Casey Blake until they were traded. Possible targets now include Jason Bay (PIT), Randy Winn (SF), Raul Ibanez (SEA) and Jay Payton (BAL).
- Starting Pitcher
Although the Phillies have already made a move to bolster their starting pitching by getting Joe Blanton, they may still be on the lookout for a starter. To keep up with the Mets the Phillies will be looking for someone who can consistently produce quality starts. Possible targets include Erik Bedard (SEA), A.J. Burnett (TOR) and Derek Lowe (LAD).
- Relief Pitcher
Brad Lidge has converted all 24 save opportunities and has been lights out at
the end of the game. Tom Gordon has been on the DL with elbow inflammation and the rest of the bullpen has struggled to hold off the opposition’s bats. Possible targets include George Sherrill (BAL), Jack Taschner (SF), Brian Fuentes (COL), Jesse Carlson (TOR), Jamie Walker (BAL), Brian Tallet (TOR) and John Grabow (PIT)..
- Outfield Bat
Pat Burrell is having an awesome season in left with 26 HRS. Victorino is in center. Earlier this week there was a monster deal was in the making that could have sent Victorino and some prospects to Colorado in return for Matt Holliday and Brian Fuentes. The deal fizzled out and seems to have been thrown out the window now that Victorino is on a tear. The Phillies most likely targets are *Manny Ramirez (BOS), Matt Holliday (COL) and Raul Ibanez (SEA).
*Yes you read correctly, Manny Ramirez. The Red Sox is having issues in Boston and may end up heading to Charlie Manuel in Philly.
The Marlins are in desperate search of a catcher with Matt Treanor on the DL. They need to spend some money and bring in a good catcher, who can hit and handle the young pitching staff, if they are going to stay in the race in the NL East. Possible targets include Ivan Rodriguez (DET), Yorvit Torrealba (COL) and Bengie Molina (SF).
- Relief Pitcher
The Marlins have Kevin Gregg closing and Matt Lindstrom in set-up. They need another arm in the pen and are prepared to give up Cody Ross or Mike Jacobs to get a reliever. Possible targets include Arthur Rhodes (SEA), Brian Fuentes (COL), and Jack Taschner (SF).
As you probably noticed, all three teams are in search of another reliever. Fuentes is the one that keeps popping up, but he may go to the Cards instead. Fuentes is probably to expensive for the Phils and the Marlins are unwilling to give up Chris Volstad or Anibal Sanchez. In my opinion Arthur Rhodes will go to the fish, George Sherrill will go to the Phils, and the Mets won’t get a reliever in the end.
Mets 9 Cardinals 1
Johan Santana was very impressive in a complete game performance that include one blemish, an Albert Pujols home run. Santana gave up 6 hits and struck out 5. Wright, Tatis and Castro each a HR and 2 RBI. The Mets were able to get to Cards starter Kyle Lohse, who gave up 7 ER on 11 hits in 5 innings of work. That was only Lohse 3rd loss of the season to 12 wins. Santana improved his record to 9-7 on the year as the Mets won the 4 game series. They are off tomorrow as they head down to Florida to take on Ricky Nolasco and the Marlins on Tuesday night. John Maine (9-7) will pitch for the Mets in search of his 10th win.
Cubs 9 Marlins 6
The Cubs got a bit of payback today as they came from behind to win the finale and split the 4 game series. Rick VandenHurk struggled to hold the early lead gave up 5 ER on 8 hits in 3.2 innings. This was after Mike Jacobs had hit a three run homer in the 2nd and a two run homer in the 3rd. Mark Hendrickson came on and gave up 3 ER in 3 innings. He got the loss, putting his record at 7-8. Although there were 15 runs in this game there could have been a lot more as the two teams combined to leave 29 men on base. The Marlins will head home to face the Mets on Monday night.
Dodgers 2 Nats 0
Washington were shut out for the second consecutive day as they managed only 5 hits off Clayton Kershaw. Jason Bergmann pitched well for the Nats. He surrendered 6 hits and 2 runs in 6 innings. Bergmann got the loss, his eighth of the year. This was the Nats 6th consecutive loss as they were shut out for the 15th time this season. The Nats now have the worst record in the Majors at 38-67. This completed their 12 game road trip. They will now head home to face the Phillies on Tuesday night. Collin Balester (1-2) will take the mound against Brett Myers (3-9).
Phillies 12 Braves 10
Jorge Campillo and Joe Blanton were the starters for today’s rubber game. Blanton pitched 2 innings giving up 2 ER, while Campillo went 1.2 innings before the rains hit. The game was delayed for 1 hr 57 mins before the game was resumed. Both pitchers were replaced thus forcing more working on the already worn out bullpens. Kelly Johnson and Omar Infante hit back-to-back home runs in the fourth extending the Atlanta to 5. Philadelphia then stormed back getting 5 of their own in the bottom half of the inning on a Chris Coste two run homer and a Shane Victorino 3 run shot. The Phillies then took the lead on a Pat Burrell solo shot in the fifth off Julian Tavarez, who got the loss. The Braves bullpen were unable to stop the Phillies as they added 5 runs in the 6th and another in the 7th, building the Philly lead to 12-5. The Braves fought back in the 8th, getting 5 runs. They were unable to do anymore as Philly closer Brad Lidge came in to shut the door in the ninth. This was his 24th save of the year.
Brian McCann was forced to leave the game in the sixth after a home plate collision with Phillies CF Shane Victorino. X-rays were taken on McCann’s neck as a precautionary measure.
Phillies 56-49 1 GB
Marlins 55-50 2 GB
Braves 49-55 7.5 GB
Nats 38-67 19 GB
These are the players that did the most for their respective teams this week.
Carlos Delgado: 9 for 22, 4 HRs, 13 RBIs, 8 Walks, 3 R
Willie Harris: 10 for 24, 2 HRs, 9 RBIs, 4 Walks, 5 R
Mark Teixeira: 7 for 21, 2 HRs, 5 RBIs, 6 Walks, 4 R
David Wright: 9 for 22, 1 HR, 5 RBIs, 6 Walks, 8 R
Jorge Cantu: 11 for 26, 0 HR, 4 RBIs, 4 Walks, 2 R
Jair Jurrjens: 8 IP, 1 W, 0.00 ERA, 3 H, 6 K
Oliver Perez: 7.2 IP, 0 W, 1.25 ERA, 6 H, 12 K
Kevin Gregg: 3 IP, 2/2 SV/SVO, 0.00 ERA, 0 H, 1 K
Jorge Campillo: 7 IP, 1 W, 0.00 ERA, 2 H, 6 K
Johan Santana: 8 IP, 0 W, 2.25 ERA, 8 H, 4 K
The Mets were one of the teams interested in ex-Pirates outfielder Xavier Nady. The Yankees beat them to the punch as they acquired Nady along with Damaso Marte in a six player deal. Ryan Church, the Mets starting right fielder, has been on the DL with post-concussion syndrome and is not expected to return until after the trade deadline, leaving the Mets in a dilemma. The Mets are unsure how he will perform when he does return.
Ex-Indian Casey Blake, another target of the Mets, was traded to the Dodgers today for two prospects. Blake is hitting .289 with 11 HRs and 58 RBIs and could have been a key addition for the Mets. The Mets might be forced to bring up top prospect Fernando Martinez, something they would prefer not to do.
Marlins 3 Cubs 2 (12 innings)
For the second straight day the Marlins came from behind to defeat the Cubbies at Wrigley. Jeremy Hermida hit a solo shot in the third and then again in the eighth to tie the game. Chris Volstad went 6 innings giving up only 6 hits and 2 ER. Jorge Cantu drove in the winning run on an RBI double in the top of the 12th.Justin Miller got the win as Kevin Gregg came in to save his 22 game of the year. The Marlins and Cubs will finish up their 4 game series tomorrow at 2.05 at Wrigley with the Marlins trying for a series win.
Phillies 10 Braves 9
In a game full of offense the Phillies came out on top. The main story leading up to this game was Mike Hampton, who was making his first in three years. He went 4+ innings giving up 8 hits and 6ER. Hampton left with a 9-3 Braves lead with the bases loaded nobody out. All of his base runners scored as the Phillies scored 7 runs in the 5th, capped off by a Greg Dobbs pinch-hit three run homer. This was after the Braves jumped all over Phillies ace Cole Hamels in the fourth inning. Thirteen batters stepped up to the plate and three scored on Mark Teixeira’s three run bomb that knocked Hamels out of the game.
Tale of Two Halves
In the first 5 innings of the game the two teams combined for 19 runs on 20 hits. In the last four innings of the game the bullpens combined to give up 0 ER and surrendered only 2 hits, while striking out six.
Cards 10 Mets 8 (14 innings)
Brandon Night was making his major league debut for the Mets on Saturday night. He struggled early on, giving up 4 runs in the first. He then settled down and made it through 5 giving up 7 hits and 4 ER. Carlos Delgado hit his 21st and 22nd home runs of the season last night. Delgado has now gone 15 for 38 with 6 HRs and 16 RBIs in his last 10 games. The Mets went to the bottom of the ninth trailing by one until Fernando Tatis stepped up and smacked the ball over the center field wall at Shea.
The game went to extras and both teams put up 0s until Albert Pujols crushed a two-run homer in the top of the 14th. The homer was off Mets reliever Aaron Heilman, who in turn got the loss as the Mets were unable to comeback.
Dodgers 6 Nats 0
The Dodgers were baffled by Derek Lowe on Saturday night. They managed only one hit off the Dodgers right hander in his 8 innings of work. Odalis Perez got the loss having given 8 hits and 6 ER in 4 innings. Willie Harris singled off Joe Beimel in the ninth to get the Nats second hit of the night.
Jason Bergmann (1-7) will face Clayton Kershaw (0-3) in a 4.10 ET start.
Braves 8 Phillies 2
This is one of the most important series of the season for the Braves. If they sweep the Phillies there is a good chance the Braves will hold on to Teixeira and make a run at the division. If not they will most likely be selling at the deadline. The Braves got exactly what they needed from Jair Jurrjens. The 22 year old rookie turned in a dazzling performance, throwing 8 shutout innings against one of the best lineups in baseball. Brian McCann hit two home runs, a solo shot in the 4th and a Grand Slam in the 9th.
The Braves will hopefully see Hampton go to the mound on Saturday. The 35 year old has not pitched in the majors for the past seasons due to injuries. The Braves will need Hampton healthy if they are going to win the division. Hampton article
The Phillies were unable to get any run support for Kendrick, who gave 1 ER in 7 innings. Brad Lidge came on in the ninth and gave up 5 runs without recording a single out. The Phillies will send their ace Cole Hamels to the mound on Saturday.
Marlins 54-49 2 GB
Phillies 54-49 2 GB
Braves 49-53 6.5 GB
Nats 38-65 18 GB
Marlins 3 Cubs 2
The Marlins won their 54th game of the year thanks to Jeremy Hermida, who ripped a pinch hit home run in the top of the ninth. The Marlins pulled to within 1.5 games of the division leading Mets. These two teams will do it all over again tomorrow at 1.05 at Wrigley.
1. Hanley Ramirez SS 1. Alfonso Soriano LF
2. Luis Gonzalez RF 2. Ryan Theriot SS
3. Jorge Cantu 3B 3. Derrek Lee 1B
4. Mike Jacobs 1B 4. Aramis Ramirez 3B
5. Dan Uggla 2B 5. Kosuke Fukodome RF
6. Josh Willingham LF 6. Geovany Soto C
7. Cody Ross CF 7. Mike Fontenont 2B
8. Paul Hoover C 8. Reed Johnson CF
9. Josh Johnson P 9. Ryan Dempster
SPs: Josh Johnson (0-0) and Ryan Dempster (11-4)