Prospect three-day weekend

Did you hear that Bryce Harper got promoted to Double-A?

Of course you did, despite the news breaking on the Fourth of July like some patriotic baseball announcement. It was really only a matter of time for Harper, who was clearly not challenged by the South Atlantic League. The only surprise here is the jump over the Carolina League right to Double-A, but it’s only a mild shock and shouldn’t be anything that Harper can’t handle.

Major movement

Well, major as in the major leagues. More noteworthy than anything else as far as the prospects involved.

Zach McAllister got the call to start Thursday night for the Indians. McAllister was a former Yankees farmhand acquired last year in the Austin Kearns trade, which worked out well for the Indians considering Kearns is back in Cleveland this season.

Zack Cosart finally got the call to Cincinnati on Thursday after weeks of clamoring by Reds fans.

Heading the other direction was Dee Gordon, whom the Dodgers optioned back to Triple-A on Monday. After a hot start, Gordon slumped at the plate. He needs some more at-bats in Triple-A before he’ll be completely effective as a major leaguer, and perhaps a few dozen more protein shakes.

Minor moves

The Cubs have sent their controversial 2010 first-round draft pick, Hayden Simpson, down to Rookie ball after a miserable stint in Peoria.

The Padres promoted James Darnell to Triple-A, where he has continued his ridiculously hot hitting.

The Blue Jays still have no timetable for a return to game action for Brett Lawrie, but he has resumed baseball activities.

First-rounders

Since our last installment, a number of first-round picks have made their professional debuts.

C.J. Cron, selected 17th overall by the Angels, has two homers in his first six Rookie level games, and may not be in Orem too long. The Cardinals assigned second baseman Kolten Wong, the 22nd overall pick, to full-season Quad Cities in the Midwest League, where he’s posted a line of .273/.381/.394.

The Rays, who had more early picks than any other team, have also made a point of getting their picks signed and playing early. Jake Hager, a shortstop taken 32nd overall, is hitless in his first two games. Another shortstop, Brandon Martin, taken 38th overall, went hitless in his first. Pitcher Jeff Ames, taken 42nd overall, had a rough first outing, giving up four earned runs in an inning, while Blake Snell, taken 52nd overall, has tossed three scoreless innings. Last but not least, James Harris, Jr., taken with the 60th and final pick in the supplemental first round, is two for his first 20 at-bats.

Kevin Matthews, the 33rd overall pick by the Texas Rangers, threw his first professional inning in the Arizona Summer League.

References & Resources
http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20110704&content_id=21388800&fext=.jsp&vkey=news_milb
http://twitter.com/#!/CaminoTribe/status/88364110550548480
http://cincinnati.com/blogs/reds/2011/07/07/cozart-called-up/
http://twitter.com/#!/Dodgers/status/88005965051478018
http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20110705/sports/707059774/
http://twitter.com/#!/eddymk/status/88023892853129216

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