Jerry Blevins. Elsa/Getty Images.

Mets trade for left-handers Jerry Blevins and Alex Torres

The New York Mets added two left-handed relievers to their pitching staff in a matter of hours Monday.

The team has just announced that they have acquired Jerry Blevins from the Washington Nationals for outfielder Matt den Dekker.

Earlier Monday morning the Mets also acquired left-hander Alex Torres from the San Diego Padres in exchange for minor league right-hander Cory Mazzoni, plus a player to be named later.

Both trades appear to be a win for the Mets who’ve had pitching woes of late losing both lefty reliever Josh Edgin and starter Zack Wheeler to Tommy John surgery.

To read this post in full please go to Baseball Hot Corner using the link below:

Mets acquire lefty relievers Jerry Blevins and Alex Torres

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@OakAsSocksGrl. @bbst_mlb.

Kris Bryant. Getty Images.

Cubs send top prospect Kris Bryant to minor league camp

Monday, after all the controversy, it became official. The Chicago Cubs sent third baseman Kris Bryant down to their minor league camp.

He wasn’t the only one of their top prospects to be sent down. Shortstop Addison Russell was also cut from big league camp and second baseman Javier Baez was optioned to Triple-A Iowa.

Bryant’s status had been under scrutiny recently. The Cubs are demoting this spring’s home run leader so that they can keep him an extra year.

Kris Bryant. Getty Images.

Kris Bryant. Getty Images.

If Bryant started the season in the big leagues he’d have enough service time to be eligible for free agency a year earlier than if the Cubs start him in the minors and call him up in a few weeks.

Personally, I think it’s a load of crap and is certainly unfair to the kid who has hit .425 with nine homers and 15 RBI in 40 at-bats this spring but that’s just my opinion …. You can read my less opinionated post on this story go to Baseball Hot Corner via the link below:

Cubs’ Kris Bryant cut from Big League Camp

Then you can vote in BBST’s latest poll on this matter:

Brewers (1)

Opening Day Preview: Milwaukee Brewers

MILWAUKEE BREWERS 2015 PREVIEW

The Milwaukee Brewers starter the year off incredibly strong in 2014. They remained in first place above both the Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals for the first half of the season, keeping control of the National League Central. Going into the All-Star break they led the division by a game over the Cardinals but things quickly went downhill in the second half.

Their offense just ran out. The team completely imploded, making careless mistakes and not playing at all like the team seen all throughout the first half of the season. The Brewers, who were very much in playoff contention even during their downfall, still finished the season over the .500 mark but they missed the playoffs. The team finished third in the N.L. Central, eight games behind the Division Champion Cardinals and six games behind the San Francisco Giants and the Pirates who took the two N.L. Wild Card spots both finishing the season at 88-74.

The Brewers were and still are a talented team whose aim is to remain consistent throughout the entire 2015 season.

To read the full preview of the 2015 Milwaukee Brewers that analyzes the lineup, starting rotation, bullpen and more, you can go to Baseball Hot Corner using the link below:

Opening Day Preview: Milwaukee Brewers

Brought to you by Baseball Hot Corner. @MLBHotCorner.

@OakAsSocksGrl. @bbst_mlb.

Zach Greinke. Reed Saxon/AP.

More questions arise surrounding Dodgers’ pitchers

I know that I’ve discussed this issue on this blog at great length already (you can find the orginial versions of the post HERE) but on Friday more information came to light about the Los Angeles Dodgers’ pitching staff.

According to Zack Greinke, he doesn’t expect to be 100 percent by Opening Day and according to manager Don Mattingly, the shoulder injury to reliever Brandon League is much more serious than orginally thought.

These are not good signs for the Dodgers who already have question marks in thier rotation and bullpen. I’ve condensed all the information already provided in detail on my blog and added the news that came to light Friday in a post for Baseball Hot Corner that can be found using the link below:

Dodger’s pitching full of question marks

Brought to you by Baseball Hot Corner. @MLBHotCorner.

@OakAsSocksGrl. @bbst_mlb.

Taijuan Walker. Getty Images.

How has Taijuan Walker still not been named the Mariners’ 5th starter?

When it comes to 22-year-old right-hander Taijuan Walker making the Seattle Mariners‘ starting rotation manager Lloyd McClendon has been non-committal.

Despite Walker’s quiet yet incredible spring, the fifth and final spot in the rotation is still up for grabs between Walker and 26-year-old left-hander Roenis Elias.

Walker has sometimes struggled a bit with his command. He tends to overthrow his fastball and his curveball is still a work in progress, but you can’t really see that this spring. Walker’s been in the rotation conversation for two seasons.

So far in 2015, he has not allowed a single run this spring in 18 straight innings. He’s 2-0 in five starts for Seattle. He’s averaging 9.5 strikeouts per nine innings and just 2.0 walks. Still, McClendon has yet to announce Walker as his fifth starter.

To find out the reasons why McClendon has yet to make a decision and what some possible outcomes could be, you can read this post in its entirety at Baseball Hot Corner using the link below:

Taijuan Walker has still not been named the Mariners’ 5th starter??

Brought to you by Baseball Hot Corner. @MLBHotCorner.

@OakAsSocksGrl. @bbst_mlb.

Brady Aiken. Getty Images.

2014 No.1 draft pick Brady Aiken has Tommy John surgery

The Houston Astros seem to have dodged a bullet when they were unable to come to agreement with their first round draft pick in 2014.

The Astros selected Brady Aiken first overall in the First-Year Player Draft last year. The 18-year-old left-hander out San Diego’s Cathedral Catholic High has the potential to develop three above-average pitches in his fastball, curveball and changeup.

He was going to sign a record (for a prep pitcher) $6.5 million contract with the Astros until he was examined by the team’s medical staff.

Brady Aiken. Getty Images.

Brady Aiken. Getty Images.

Once Aiken was examined by the team’s medical staff, it was determined that he would likely need Tommy John surgery at some point in the future. The team lowered their offer to $5 million and there was no deal. Aiken left $5 million sitting there and walked away.

Thursday Aiken underwent Tommy John surgery which he announced on the The Players’ Tribune website.

He’d gotten in to the IMG Academy’s post-graduate program and planned on preparing for the 2015 draft but after only 13 pitches in his first start for IMG his UCL tore.

“I just put my total focus into preparing for the 2015 Draft.

Aiken wrote on the site about what happened last summer after he didn’t sign with Houston,

“My workouts were the best they had ever been. I was throwing better and harder than I had ever before. And then, in my first game for IMG Academy last week, I threw a pitch and something felt a little wrong.

Despite, being disappointed that, and Aiken doesn’t actually say this but, the Astros’ were right he describes being injured and having to comeback from Tommy John surgery, “a temporary setback.” He believes he still has a chance in the 2015 draft and he could be right.

“When I decided not to sign, I knew injuries were always a possibility. Two other pitchers drafted after me in the first round last year were picked by their teams despite just having undergone Tommy John surgery,” Aiken wrote.

This is true and a lot of pitchers do well after Tommy John surgery but more and more, they are getting their second procedure done before the age of 30. For Aiken having had his first one at just 18 years old, well if I were a GM I’d be nervous about it.

Still it’s highly likely that at least one team will take the chance and wait out Brady’s recovery period in order to procure young talent. Aiken is very talented, but how long will he last is my question? 

Carlos Rodon. Ron Vesely/Getty Images.

White Sox Carlos Rodon puts forth one of the spring’s best outings

The Chicago White Sox named right-hander Jeff Samardzija their Opening Day starter on Wednesday. He will take the place of Chris Sale, who while very close to making a return to the mound after fracturing his right foot earlier this spring, will not be ready for the season opener.

The White Sox had entertained the idea of keeping top pitching prospect Carlos Rodon, who has been replacing Sale in their spring rotation, in the bullpen during the regular season until Sale’s return. Lately, though the idea had been to keep Rodon starting in Triple-A so he’d be stretched out and ready to go if needed for an emergency start.

Rodon made the most dominating start of any White Sox starter, perhaps any starter in the league, so far in 2015 in Wednesday’s game against the reigning American League Champion Kansas City Royals.

To read this post in full please go to Baseball Hot Corner using the link below:

Carlos Rodon Dazzles In One Of The Spring’s Top Pitching Performances

Brought to you by Baseball Hot Corner. @MLBHotCorner.

@OakAsSocksGrl. @bbst_mlb.

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Kris Bryant & Mookie Betts. Getty Images.

Who’s having a better spring Kris Bryant or Mookie Betts? Vote Now on BBST!

So which one of the two is having a better spring training this year? Is it the Boston Red Sox Mookie Betts or the Chicago Cubs’ Kris Bryant?

Check out my post on Baseball Hot Corner using the link below or clicking here, then come back and vote for the player you think is having the better spring!!

Kris Bryant is owning spring training but so is Mookie Betts

Koji Uehara. Jared Wickerham/Getty Images.

Red Sox closer Koji Uehara doubtful for Opening Day

Boston Red Sox closer Koji Uehara hasn’t pitched since March 14. He is still suffering from a hamstring injury he suffered this spring.

Uehara, who turns 40 years old on April 3, signed a two-year, 18 million contract to remain with Boston after the 2014 season.

He’s collected 47 saves for the Red Sox over the past two seasons while posting a 1.75 ERA and was a member of the 2014 American League All-Star team.

The Red Sox are planning to have Uehara throwing off flat ground this week and are hoping to have him throw a bullpen session over the weekend. Still, time is running out and Uehara has only pitched three innings so far this spring.

Manager John Farrell admitted that Uehara may not be ready for the season opener,

“With each passing day that he’s not in a game, there’s growing concern in the sense of, ‘Will he be ready for April 6?’ We’re just working through that,” Farrell said. “Three games next week would give him six appearances in spring training. Is that enough? We just have to evaluate the stuff once he gets back in games.”

If Uehara does end up starting the season on the disabled list, the team can make his 15 days on the DL retroactive to March 27. This means that he would likely only miss Boston’s first series of the season.

The top candidate to fill-in during Uehara’s, still potential yet likely, absence is Edward Mujica. Mujica has nine years of big league experience where he’s jumped around from team to team.

He was an All-Star in 2013 with the St. Louis Cardinals 37 games for the team that year. He has a total of 49 career saves.

My colleague over at Baseball Hot Corner has another solution for the Red Sox in the Philadelphia Phillies’ Jonathan Papelbon, you can read about here.

Ryan Cook. Getty Images.

ICYMI: A’s send down Ryan Cook, Coco suffers setback

ICYMI – because I did today. I wasn’t feeling well and missed all the big baseball news today (yes, I know about Hector Olivera but I’m sticking with A’s news in this post). So just in case you missed it here’s what happened in A’s land today … well, it all went down in Mesa, AZ but you get the idea:

Former All-Star reliever Ryan Cook was sent to minor league camp Tuesday and will be starting the season at Triple-A Nashville.

Cook has been struggling all spring despite reporting to camp healthier than he has been in recent years. He owns a 16.88 ERA after giving up three runs in just two innings of work on Monday.

For more on Ryan Cook and the A’s bullpen options you can read more on Baseball Hot Corner via the link below:

A’s option former All-Star reliever Ryan Cook to Triple-A

In other A’s news Coco Crisp, who has been limited to just 15 at-bats this spring due to a triceps injury, pinkeye and he was scratched from today’s game because of an elbow issue.

He was given a cortisone shot and will be kept out of the lineup for at least another few days. The same elbow soreness kept him out of games from March 9-16.

Coco Crisp. Getty Images.

Coco Crisp. Getty Images.

The A’s were already going to be keeping Crisps’ number of spring appearances at a minimum due to the neck injury he suffered last season crashing into the centerfield wall at Oakland’s O.Co Coliseum. The injury continued to plague Crisp all season limiting him to 463 at-bats. He hit .246/.336/.363 in 2014 for the Athletics.

Luckily for the A’s Crisp has a history of being able to recover quickly from injury and not have problems being ready to go at the plate. So while the injury isn’t a good thing for Oakland, it isn’t overly concerning. Manager Bob Melvin said,

“He’s the last guy we worry about as far as being ready, “We’ve seen him come right off the disabled list and get going. We just have to get to the finish line (opening day) with him healthy.”

Overall, Tuesday just wasn’t the best day for Oakland, however, it could have been a lot worse considering the injuries that are hitting so many other teams around the league.