In case, you've missed it, the signing deadline for players selected in June's draft is 10pm MDT tonight. The Rockies remain the least likely in the division to sign their top pick, but as it stands now, only three divisional first rounders have been inked. This is how we're looking this morning:
The Diamondbacks made quick work of signing 17th overall pick AJ Pollack, agreeing to terms nearly two months ago. Arizona also had the 16th overall pick. They selected and have now signed HS infielder Bobby Borchering. Jim McLennan includes an audio interview with Borchering in that last link. The deal means Arizona has successfully reached agreement with their first 11 picks and 28 of their top 29. That's getting down to business.
The Dodgers didn't have a first round pick once they signed Orlando Hudson, but they did recently strike a deal with second-round pick Garrett Gould. Los Angeles also has inked sandwich pick Aaron Miller and have deals with their first 11 picks and 18 of 19.
Donovan Tate, a HS outfielder and 3rd overall pick, has yet to sign with San Diego. Corey Brock reported that Kevin Goldstein at Baseball Prospectus believes he will sign for about a $6.5million bonus by tonight's deadline. Tate had been given a dorm room at Chapel Hill (sound familiar?), where he planned on played baseball and football. Despite that, the Padres remain confident they'll sign pick Tate.
The Padres also have yet to sign 2nd-rounder Everett Williams or 4th-rounder Keyvius Sampson. Corey Brock says "Williams could be tricky to sign since he was perceived as a first round pick that slid into the second round." Here's the draft database for the Padres.
Sixth overall pick Zack Wheeler remains unsigned, but the Giants are moving forward with talks. Brain Sabean said he "thinks we'll get it done" and those in the know seem to expect Wheeler to sign by the deadline. The Giants also signed their second round pick, high school catch Tommy Joseph, to the most lucrative 2nd round bonus so far this year: $712. San Francisco gave Buster Posey a $6.2mil bonus last year. Picks 2-17 have been signed.
Jim Callis at Baseball America put together a chart of unsigned picks and what their contract demands are. The details are quite vague, but it's still handy.
And now for your weekly divisional report, but first, my apologies for all the red links. I'm writing on a new computer and it seems to be having formatting issues...
NL West Report
Arizona (54-64, 4th, L1, 16 GB)
Last Week: 4-2. 2-1 vs. Mets. 2-1 vs. Dodgers. D-Backs fans brought brooms to the final game of each series, but Arizona failed to allow them to wave each time.
Divisional Change: Gained 1.0 game.
News: For the second straight year, the Diamondbacks have a veteran lefty with underwhelming stuff attempting to battle unthinkable battles off the field. After Doug Davis went through treatments for cancer last year, Scott Schoeneweis has had to cope with the surprise of his wife being found dead. None of us want to even imagine the horror ourselves, yet Schoeneweis took two weeks off to cope and be with his four children.
That apparently was not enough time, as the lefty was scored on in six of his past seven outings, allowing 11 runs in 5 innings in that span, including a .462 opponent batting average. He was placed on the DL with depression last week. Sad sad story.
Brandon Webb plans to pitch "somewhere" next spring after rehabilitating his surgically repaired shoulder. Arizona is still unsure whether to pick up his $8.5 million option for next season. Webb prefers to stay in Arizona.
Nick Piecoro looks into the payroll going forward to 2010.
Davis wants to be signed to a 3-year extension, but the Diamondbacks are non-committal at this point.
Injuries: Placed LHP Scott Schoeneweis on the 15-day DL Tuesday with depression. Eric Byrnes has started a rehab assignment in AAA in an effort to return this month from his broken hand. Justin Upton hit off a tee yesterday and is in line to return in September. Top prospect Jarrod Parker might need surgery, but Arizona won't pull the trigger on that yet. He will be re-evaluated next month.
ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS INJURIES
News on the other three divisional teams after the jump.
Los Angeles (70-48, 1st, W1)
Last Week: 3-3. 2-1 @ Giants. 1-2 @ Diamondbacks.
Divisional Change: Lost 0.5 game lead to COL.
This Week: 3 game home series vs Cardinals, 4 game road series vs Cubs. The Dodgers' week before their visit to Coors is filled with games against the top two teams in the NL Central.
News: Hiroki Kuroda said he is "lucky to be alive" after being struck in the head by a line drive by Arizona rookie infielder Rusty Ryal. It was the second time a pitcher was felled by a line drive to the head at Chase Field (the first being in 1998), and Ryal was credited with a double after the ball ricocheted into the stands.
Kuroda is quoted as saying that his wife thought he was dead when he was carted off. He is apparently okay now, will miss Thursday's start as a precaution but will remain in the rotation.
Randy Wolf had a heck of a game yesterday, taking a one-hit shutout into the eighth, striking out a season high 10 while falling a triple shy of the cycle at the plate. He was the sixth Dodger pitch ever to hit a home run during a three-hit night in franchise history. I blame Yumeiro Petit for everything.
Snoop Dogg takes Ticket Truck for spin | dodgers.com: News
On Tuesday, the Dodgers announced the launch of the club's first mobile ticketing unit with local rap icon Snoop Dogg taking the truck on its inaugural voyage.
Rookie knuckleballer Charlie Haeger was called up and will start tonight.
Joe Torre is confident Los Angeles will add an arm if they need it. Two options are John Smoltz and Vicente Padilla.
Transactions: Optioned LHP Eric Stults to AAA and called up RHP Charlie Haeger.
Injuries: Chad Billingsley threw 85 pitches in a bullpen session and reported no pain. He's set to tomorrow. Hiroki Kuroda is reportedly "feeling good" but will likely miss his Thursday start vs. Chicago. No replacement has been announced.
LOS ANGELES DODGERS INJURIES
60 DAY DL / OUT FOR THE SEASON
San Diego (49-70, 5th, L4, 21.5 GB)
Last Week: 2-4. 2-1 @ Brewers, 0-3 @ Cardinals.
Divisonal change: Lost 1.0 game.
This Week: 3 game home series vs Cubs, 4 game home series vs.
News: Heath Bell actually blew a save last night, just his second of the season. That quietly puts Huston Street in the NL lead in save percentage, trailing only Mariano Rivera for the MLB lead. Bell and Adrian Gonzalez were placed on waivers over the weekend. The Angels are interested in Bell, but the Jake Peavy trade lessens the need for San Diego to unload their talent.
Randy Read replaced Jim Lefebvre as hitting coach July 31, and the move has paid off so far. San Diego has hit over .300 under Read and are scoring over five runs a game.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia is injured for Texas. A potential replacement is Padre backup Henry Blanco.
Last year, an NL West shortstop injured his own hand. Actually, two of them did. One of them is now an elite player at his position, hitting cleanup for the NL Wild Card leaders. The other got traded and has spent most of the season on the disabled list due to anxiety. Am I ever glad we are proud owners of the former player. The Padres filed a grievance against Khalil Greene, attempting to recoup $1.7million in salary after Greene fractured his hand after "swiping a storage chest." San Diego privately resolved the case with Greene before they had to go to a hearing.
Transactions: Optioned C Eliezer Alfonzo to AAA. Signed RHP Matthew Lollis and assigned his to the AZL Padres. Optioned RHP Mike Ekstrom to AAA Portland and recalled RHP Cesar Carillo.
San Diego Padres Injuries
San Francisco (63-54, 3rd, L1, 6.5 GB)
Last Week: 2-4. 1-2 vs. Dodgers, 1-2 @ Mets.
Divisional Change: Lost 1.0 games in NL West. Lost 1.5 games in Wild Card.
This Week: Final game of a four game set @ Mets. 3 game road series @ Reds. First 3 games of 4 game road series @ Rockies.
News: Now that Alex Rios and his fat contract has headed south to Chicago, Andrew Baggarly at the San Jose Mercury News reminds (or informs) us that there was once talk of a Tim Lincecum for Alex Rios swap less than two years ago. The best trades are indeed the ones you don't make. Unless you're Toronto. Imagine that 1-2 punch.
Would you let Barry Zito go on a waiver claim? Henry Schulman at SFGate evaluates from all angles.
Ken Rosenthal has a Q and A with Giants GM Brian Sabean. Among the topics: how Sabean wanted to draft Lincecum so badly he refused to watch him in person, Barry Bonds, and the futures of the catching position, the Kung Fu Panda and Sabean himself.
Injuries: Activated Nate Schierholtz (hip) from the 15-Day DL and placed Rich Aurilia (ankle) on the 15-day DL.
San Francisco Giants Injuries