Friday, May 23, 2014

Notes, quotes and comment

Danny Valencia is hitting over .300
so far for Kansas City, but most of
his playing time has come against
left-handers.
Important if true: Mike Berardino, the Pioneer Press beat writer who is also a Baseball America alumnus, says BA's mock draft 3.0 will project the Twins taking Tyler Kolek with the fifth overall pick June 5.

That would be the first mock draft to diverge from the Nick Gordon-to-the-Twins scenario, and an indication that BA's reporting suggests that scouting directors are truly leery of the health risks posed by truly high-velocity high schoolers. Kolek is regarded as the hardest-throwing prep pitcher of the draft era, which opened in 1965 with a guy named Nolan Ryan in the field.

No prep right-hander has ever gone 1-1, and if Kolek doesn't I don't know what it will take for it to happen.

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Former Twins third baseman Danny Valencia, on his third organization since washing out in Minnesota, figures to get regular playing time in Kansas City. The Royals shipped stalled prospect Mike Moustakas back to Triple A Thursday.

Valencia has put up a slash line of .308/.362/.423 with K.C., but that's not only in limited at-bats, it's come mostly against lefties. Right-handers have always turned off his faucet. Valencia would be a more useful player if platooning were common, but it ain't the seventies.

The Royals entered the season with playoff ambitions. Moustakas' failure dampens those ambitions. Valencia as a full-time player will dampen them further.

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It took the Dodgers a couple of days, but they released ear-chomping catcher Miguel Olivo on Thursday evening.

Perhaps there were procedural issues behind the delay, but canning Olivo had to happen. I expected it to come much sooner than it did.

I note that the original stories all cited Scott Boras, the high-powered agent whose client list includes the chompee (Alex Guerrero), as the source for the information about the chomping. I wonder if Boras went public quickly because he knew the Dodgers hoped to downplay the incident rather than lose a piece of catching depth.

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A big ouch: Prince Fielder figures to have spinal fusion surgery in his neck. If so, he will miss the remainder of the season.

I don't know enough about such things to guess at how much it will affect his play in future years. Fielder has seven years and more than $160 million left on his contract, which Texas inherited from Detroit; the Tigers will pay part of that, but on the whole Dave Drombowski, the Detroit GM, is looking really bright in moving Fielder off his payroll last winter.

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