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It shouldn't come as a big surprise that both Chipper Jones and Tim Hudson ended up on the DL, especially considering the Braves realized this past weekend they would not be buyers at this week's trade deadline. Jones hurt his left hamstring on Wednesday running out a grounder, and after avoiding the DL all season with a variety of ailments, he couldn't avoid it this time. Jones still leads the majors in hitting at .369, but the fact that this will be the fifth consecutive season he'll fail to play in 140 games keeps him a questionable fantasy pick in the early rounds. He's 36 years old and unlikely to suddenly learn how to stay healthy. But Omar Infante has played well in Jones' place, and remember, he has middle-infield eligibility.
Hudson's injury is more of a surprise, because durability has been one of his strengths and he's averaged more than 200 innings this decade. Hudson left his last start with elbow pain, and an MRI on Monday showed possible ligament damage in his elbow. He'll meet with Dr. James Andrews later this week. It's not a particularly good sign, as Braves general manager Frank Wren told reporters the damage is more than inflammation. Hudson is the Braves' ace, and, with 11 wins and a 3.17 ERA, a top-20 fantasy pitcher to boot. As with Jones, it's premature to release either player, but stay tuned.
If that wasn't enough, ESPN's Jayson Stark reported Monday night that the Braves were telling teams that Mark Teixeira is now available in a trade. Fantasy owners aren't concerned by this, because Teixeira will hit anywhere he goes, but those in NL-only leagues are scrambling. What if Teixeira ends up in Baltimore or plays with A-Rod? Chances are that if he moves, Teixeira would go to Arizona, where his value would go up in a hitters' park.
Oh, and on the field, the Cardinals scored 12 runs and walloped the home team. Charlie Morton, called up from the minors to replace Hudson, allowed eight runs before getting through the fourth inning. Yeah, things are getting ugly for the noncontending Braves.
Mets starter John Maine left the game against the Marlins in the fifth inning because of shoulder stiffness and should get checked out Tuesday. The Mets can ill afford to lose Maine, who is second on the staff in innings and strikeouts. Carlos Delgado, no doubt buoyed by switching lineup spots with Carlos Beltran, was caught stealing after an infield single in the third inning. Delgado, with four home runs in the past week, hadn't been caught stealing since 2004, when he played for the Blue Jays. J.J. Putz still isn't pitching on back-to-back days for the Mariners, so Brandon Morrow picked up his 10th save. Morrow is one of the most dropped players in ESPN's AL-only leagues, but let's remember that his season ERA is 1.51. Adrian Beltre hit two home runs against the Rangers, including the go-ahead shot in the eighth inning. He has hit 18 this season. First baseman Bryan LaHair hit his first in the majors. Kevin Slowey scattered six singles against the White Sox to win his seventh game, and he lowered his ERA to 4.00. Slowey bounced back after three underwhelming starts since his three-hit shutout against the Brewers to close out June. Josh Fields has two singles in his first 10 at-bats for the White Sox. Joe Crede isn't due back soon, but Fields, who has two errors already, might not be in the majors for long if he doesn't hit. What's gotten into weak-hitting utility man Geoff Blum? After hitting two home runs Sunday, Blum hit another Monday, a three-run shot off Johnny Cueto. Blum has nine home runs in 68 games. His career high is 11. Daisuke Matsuzaka breezed through five innings against the Angels, then allowed home runs to Casey Kotchman and Torii Hunter in the sixth and suffered his second-worst outing of the season. Kotchman has three home runs in four days, after hitting just two in May and June combined. Trade Manny Ramirez? Ha! Manny has been Manny the past three days, as he's knocked in six runs. Paul Byrd stymied the Tigers in 7 1/3 innings, combining with Edward Mujica on a four-hit shutout. Byrd entered the proceedings with a 5.28 ERA. The Tigers have been shut out an AL-leading 11 times. Backup Tribe catcher Kelly Shoppach hit his ninth home run, or nine more than once-top fantasy catcher Victor Martinez has. Mike Mussina allowed six runs to the Orioles and surrendered more than four earned runs in a game for the first time since April 17. Just call it a bad night, not a harbinger of doom. Orioles center fielder Adam Jones has been hitting .305 without much fanfare since the start of June. He hit a grand slam and knocked in five runs against the Yankees. Xavier Nady finally has a hit as a Yankee! It was a home run off Jeremy Guthrie. Steven Pearce, replacing Nady in right field for the Pirates, hit a pair of sacrifice flies for his first RBIs of the season Ian Snell fanned eight Rockies in his best start since mid-June. He's still not recommended, however. Meanwhile, journeyman Denny Bautista struck out four in the final two innings and looks to become the closer in Pittsburgh. Zack Greinke hadn't won since June 24, but he struck out 11 Athletics in 7 1/3 innings. Greg Maddux had a 14-start winless streak snapped with an ugly win over the Diamondbacks. Maddux has a 4.29 ERA, so even though he hasn't been winning, he remains usable, certainly more so than opponent Micah Owings, who allowed eight runs.
Alfonso Soriano, Cubs
For the second straight day, Soriano went deep, tagging CC Sabathia for a homer and coming just short on another that turned into a double. He also stole his first base since coming off the DL.
Johnny Cueto, Reds
The Astros tagged Cueto for five runs and eight hits as his record fell to 7-10. He stumbled to a 1-2 record with a 6.10 ERA in July.
A mere hours after Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that Ryan Franklin was his closer, he changed his mind and announced Jason Isringhausen had regained the role. The safest way for the Cardinals' bullpen to work these days is when it's up 12-3 in the ninth. Rangers shortstop Michael Young, a beacon of durability and offensive consistency, left Monday's game with a fractured finger but isn't expected to miss more than a week. Someone who will miss considerably more than a week is Yankees catcher Jorge Posada. Feel free to drop him, as his season is over. He'll have shoulder surgery, but should be ready for spring training 2009, keeper leaguers. The Jays announced A.J. Burnett was off the trade block, and he celebrated by fanning 10 Rays in seven strong innings. The Marlins haven't received much from Anibal Sanchez since his September 2006 no-hitter. He made four starts the rest of 2006 and six bad starts in 2007, but now he's scheduled to start Thursday after missing a year with labrum surgery. Pedro Martinez remains on the bereavement list after his father died last week, and he's tentatively on the schedule to start Friday against the Astros. Dodgers shortstop Nomar Garciaparra is out at least a few days with an MCL knee sprain. The Dodgers don't have much at the position -- Angel Berroa is now the main guy -- so a trade could come soon.
"The Braves asked for Conor Jackson early in the conversations between the two teams [for Mark Teixeira], and the D-backs said no, and it may be that a deal could be structured around Chad Tracy and a pitching prospect not named Max Scherzer. But the Braves maintain they have a range of offers from which to choose."
-- Buster Olney MLB trade deadline blog
"Manny is right. The Red Sox are tired of him. They are not going to pick up the option for 2009 and spend one more year as his prisoner. What he wants is to go to another team, on which he can put up big numbers for two months and either get that new contract or go out on the market. Rationally, one would think he could do that in Boston -- first help the Red Sox into the postseason, then hit the market. But that assumes rationality is in play."
-- Peter Gammons Full story
• The Astros welcomed back ace Roy Oswalt from the DL in time for Monday's game against the Reds and demoted Runelvys Hernandez. Oswalt survived an Adam Dunn grand slam and went five innings, throwing 74 pitches, to even his record at 8-8. He's owned in pretty much every league anyway and remains a decent buy-low option. Against the Reds, he's terrific, with a 20-1 lifetime mark.
• The Phillies finally found a way to get Adam Eaton off the roster, persuading the right-hander with the 5.80 ERA to accept a minor league assignment. J.A. Happ was expected to be recalled from Triple-A Lehigh Valley, where he will pitch in long relief. With Eaton gone and Brett Myers sputtering, it's noteworthy that 40 percent of Philly's opening day rotation has needed a minor league stint.
• Jonathan Meloan made his debut in the Indians' system after being acquired for Casey Blake, throwing a scoreless inning for Triple-A Buffalo. Meloan made 20 starts for the Dodgers' Triple-A team in Las Vegas, compiling a 4.97 ERA. Meloan is a dark horse option for saves later this season for the Indians.
• Remember former Dodgers infield prospect Joel Guzman? He's toiling at Triple-A Durham after not making the Rays this spring. Guzman, still only 23, hit a pair of two-run home runs against Louisville, giving him 19 for the season. Of course, that .251 batting average and 14 walks versus 90 strikeouts isn't so good.
• Monday was an interesting night for Yankees Triple-A pitchers, as prospect Alan Horne walked five in an inning-plus, allowing five runs. Chris Britton, whose career major league ERA in three seasons is 3.19, then threw three scoreless innings, fanning five. He could end up with the Yankees soon. Brian Bruney, previously thought to be out for the year with a Lisfranc foot problem, pitched to one batter and hit him, which led to a brawl. He was ejected. Bruney is probably closest to getting the call.