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Thursday, July 14, 2005

Pickoff Moves

Saunders Promoted To AAA

Chronicles yesterday had a great discussion of the near-necessity of the Angels picking up another pitcher by the trade deadline. I agree with that to some degree, but this comment -- "...no starter at AAA Salt Lake has impressed" -- may yet be disproven. Via FutureAngels comes word that Joe Saunders (3.49 ERA, 7-4, 105.2 IP, 80 K, 32 BB) has been promoted to AAA Salt Lake. To fill out the rotation, Alex Serrano, formerly of the AAA Colorado Springs Sky Sox, was signed as a free agent after being cut. The 24-year-old Serrano had been with the Rockies throughout his previous career. He had a 5.85 ERA and a 4-3 record with the Sky Sox.

Bob Timmerman DH's On Japanese Baseball

One of my favorite commenters at Dodger Thoughts comes forward with a fun little piece at Baseball Analysts about the Nippon Ham Fighters. Ham? Why would you want to fight ham? Whatever, it's pretty cool. I love it that they play baseball in Japan. And wouldn't you know it but that two of the players I actually know about -- slugging Korean first baseman Seung-Yeop Lee and rookie Iranian-Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish -- have a collision, which Lee wins with a home run.

The Big Crawl To The Bigs

Jason Mooneyham has wanted to be a baseball player for a long, long time. So long, that it literally hurts:
When Jason Mooneyham was 11, a little-league line drive whacked him hard on the side of his head as he was pitching.

"He grabbed the ball and threw to first," said Jason's father, Phil. "Then [he] sat down, almost knocked out."

The baseball's stitching was embossed on his head.

You could say Mooneyham still has baseball on his brain, because now, 23 years old and just as hard-headed, the game is literally his life. Last month, he achieved a goal he has dreamed of for as long as he can remember: He became a professional baseball player, a Dodger farmhand. An Ogden Raptor.

Mooneyham tried to make it as a walk-on at Long Beach State (Go Dirtbags!), but couldn't, and settled for Chapman University, where he got noticed by a Dodger scout. He was signed in the 40th round, for a $1,000 bonus. Good luck, kid.

NCAA/Dirtbag Notes

Not that anyone especially cares, but --

In order for the University of Wisconsin to be able to play a baseball season, the start date would have to be about April 15th or so. You can't fix it for everybody.
Thanks for the links, Rob. It's now official, Al Leiter has been DFAed, and Jason Vargas has been called up.

On the D-I proposal, Josh makes a good point. At least through the end of March, the change will not help northern teams all that much. The move to shorten the season by 4 games, in my opinion, comes out of the realization that 56 games in 3 months (rather than 4) would mean a lot of weeks with 5 games. Not exactly the best for STUDENT-athletes. And very detrimental to western schools, which will find it very difficult to schedule top competition on week nights.
I always thought the name Ham Fighters would be perfect for a team comprised of ayatollahs...
Notice that Scott Erickson has a job (as does Steve Schmoll), and Al Leiter does not.

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