Saturday, July 25, 2009
Friday’s not-so-minor movesPosted by Evan Brunell
The last couple days have been abuzz with trades. The Rockies acquired middle reliever Rafael Betancourt while the Cardinals nabbed Matt Holliday. Lost in all the moves were some "small-fry" transactions that could have an impact on teams for weeks to come. Four of note:
Tigers recall Fien, activate Guillen
If the Tigers hope to keep pace with the suddenly perfect White Sox, the club will have to do better than their 443 runs on the year, good for 14th in the major leagues. Detroit's .693 OPS out of their left-fielders is good (bad?) for 24th in the bigs. Think the team would like to have Gary Sheffield's .286/.388/.481 line on the team?
To make room for Guillen, the club designated Josh Anderson for assignment. Guillen got off to a very poor start this season before going on the disabled list with a sore shoulder. Early speculation was that he would miss the entire year, but clearly, that didn't happen. With an MRI showing no structural damage, Guillen should contribute the remainder of the year. He went 3-for-7 with a solo home run in his return to the bigs yesterday, playing in a double-header.
Fien was recalled to enter the bullpen after Eddy Bonine started one of the doubleheader games. Fien has a 1.17 ERA in his last 10 Triple-A relief appearances and has whiffed 51 in 47.1 innings. With Joel Zumaya out of commission for a while, Fien could strike his way into a setup role.
Reds activate SS Gonzalez
It remains to be seen if Gonzalez has anything left in the tank. Once considered one of the game's best defenders at short, Gonzalez still can pick it, but certainly nowhere near his sensational 16.9 UZR/150 for the Red Sox in 2006. He missed all of 2008 with a fracture in his left knee. He got the 2009 season off to a .547 OPS before having surgery to remove bone chips from his elbow. Gonzalez will contribute on defense, but the Reds need him to crank out home runs like he did for them in 2007 -- the Reds are 20th in the majors in home runs with 88.
Athletics call up Patterson
Eric Patterson takes the place of Matt Holliday on the roster. Acquired last year as part of the Rich Harden trade, Patterson can play second base and the oufield. He'll get plenty of chances to prove himself. In 148 at-bats career, Patterson is at a paltry .189/.271/.243, seemingly at odds with his .326/.392/.523 line in Triple-A. The 26-year old should see a lot of time at second as the club tries to evaluate if he can be their starting second baseman next year.
Evan Brunell is currently editor of Fire Brand of the American League, a Red Sox blog he began in 2003. He also scores games at Fenway Park for MLB. He was the co-founder and president of MVN, an independent sports media web site.