Fanshots

Quintin Berry Claimed by Padres

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So it seems as if Quintin Berry has been picked up by the Padres. He wasn't really hitting tremendously well this year, but he's a pretty familiar name, so it's a bit odd to see him gone.

Braves Acquire Out-Maker Alex Gonzalez From Toronto Blue Jays

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The Braves acquired Alex Gonzalez from the Toronto Blue Jays today. Yes, Gonzalez has power, as he has 17 home runs already this year. But, he also makes outs in over 70% of his plate appearances . . . not just this year, but for his career too. The Braves traded away Yunel Escobar, who is having a down year and has less power, but has a career .368 OBP. Sure, it's upsetting to see the Braves lineup get some additional power, but in balance, I'm actually pretty excited to see them add such a spectacular outmaker to their lineup. If this is the Phillies' chief rival's big mid-season addition, I'll take it.

Braves dump Yunel Escobar

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Surprising 5-player deal here between the Braves and Jays, with Frank Wren cutting bait with his 27-year old starting shortstop in exchange for Alex Gonzalez and a pair of minor leaguers. Jo-Jo Reyes also went to the Jays. Escobar was having a rough season at the plate and has always been in Bobby Cox's doghouse, but he was worth 4.3 WAR last year and is still one of the more talented shortstops in baseball. Gonzalez is a good glove man and has shown uncharacteristic power with the stick this year (.238 ISO), but he's a 33-year old career .248/.294/.402 hitter who has slowed down immensely after a hot April. About the only thing that keeps me from being completely ecstatic about this deal is one of the prospects the Braves got in return: Tim Collins, a southpaw listed at 5'7" (but thats probably generous) who looks destined for a career as one of the top left-handed relievers in baseball. Despite not being able to drink for another month, Collins has torn apart Double-A this year (2.40 FIP, 15.3 K/9) and should be a stalwart in the Braves' bullpen starting next year.

Can someone give Charlie Manuel a ride to the ballpark?

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Article and accompanying photos chronicling Charlie Manuel’s difficulty in finding a mode of transport to Angel Stadium on Monday for All-Star batting practice.

Not sure if they're top 5 but the system is definitely replenished. I would assert no other org has...

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Not sure if they're top 5 but the system is definitely replenished. I would assert no other org has as much talent in its two A-ball full-season clubs as the Phils, and their best prospect is getting ready at Triple-A in Brown. Everyone I talked to mentioned how good Clearwater and especially Lakewood are, and Lakewood probably is the most talented roster in the minors, especially when Cosart was healthy. Cosart & Colvin were quite a combo — got a report that Colvin touched 97 in the seventh inning of a recent start — and Pettibone has made significant progress. The hitters got all the attention at Lakewood early this year, and the pitchers deserve some as well. Then Justin DeFratus hit 98 in the FSL all-star game and Clearwater started getting almost as much praise.

John Manuel of Baseball America (no relation to Charlie or Jerry, I presume) discussing the Phillies' farm system in a recent chat. If that doesn't make your day, I don't know what will.

Sequel! The Endless Debate: Cole Hamels, from Chris over at TheFightins.com. (WARNING: More NSFW...

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Sequel! The Endless Debate: Cole Hamels, from Chris over at TheFightins.com. (WARNING: More NSFW language)

Dusty Baker ought to learn about Park Factors

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"I wish we had a whole lot more runs than we had," Reds manager Dusty Baker remarked. "No lead [at Citizens Bank Park] is safe." Great American Ballpark (Cincinnati) Park Factor: 1.196 (2nd highest in MLB) Citizens Bank Park Park Factor: 1.040 (10th highest in MLB)

C Carlos Ruiz activated; C Dane Sardinha DFA'd

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Ruiz will start tonight against Cincinnati. Cerberus down to two heads... for now.

Welcome Back Chooch!!!!!!!

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Carlos Ruiz is back in the starting lineup tonight. In a blow to the long term survival of Cerberus, Dane Sardinha has been designated for assignment. Welcome back Chooch-- it is good to see you again!