SwollenDome Baseball

  • The Cubs have a minor league prospect named Rock Shoulders. That’s right. He’s now a member of the All-Name Team without rising to the major league roster. Shoulders enters Friday’s play with a dominant .365 batting average (31-for-85) with 13 extra-base hits (five home runs) and 17 RBI. He’s struck out 23 times in 85 at-bats, so that means that he owns a .500 BABIP. Oh, yeah. Shoulders is playing for the Kane County Cougars. You can’t beat this!
  • A Mickey Mantle bat from the 60s is scheduled to hit the auction block for Grey Flannel Auctions. That’s not news. The newsworthiness of the event is that the bat has been altered and includes a piece of cork in the barrel. Does this taint the image of Mantle?
  • The White Sox lost starting pitcher Gavin Floyd to the 15-day disabled list last week because of soreness in his elbow. According to The Sports Exchange, Floyd stated that his “ulnar collateral ligament is unstable.” That line seems to predict that surgery will be in the offing, as Floyd will meet with a surgeon on Monday. The White Sox rotation took another hit on Thursday when Jake Peavy was scratched from his scheduled start because of back spasms.
  • Mitchell Boggs was the first reliever in line for the closer role in St. Louis when Jason Motte was felled by an elbow injury. Boggs struggled and ceded the role to Edward Mujica (7-for-7 in save opportunities). Boggs was shipped to Triple-A Memphis following a terrible stretch. He allowed 15 earned runs on 17 hits and 12 walks in 10 2/3 innings pitched.
  • Albert Pujols provided the lone offense, a solo home run, in the Angels’ latest loss to the Orioles. Though Pujols possesses a dismal .245 batting average this season, he has produced at least one RBI in four consecutive games (19 overall).
  • The Rockies signed veteran right-hander Roy Oswalt to a minor league contract on Thursday. He posted a terrible partial season for the Rangers in 2012 (5.80 ERA in 17 appearances), but had pitched fairly well for the Phillies in 2011 (3.69 ERA and 9-10 record). Oswalt will work an extended spring training before making several appearances in Double-A. He’s certainly not the Oswalt of 2004-2006. However, he’s a nice, low-cost veteran addition if the Rockies continue to battle atop the NL West.
  • You pitch to the opponent in the batter’s box. So, don’t blame Kyle Kendrick for beating the Marlins. Kendrick allowed two earned runs in seven innings on Wednesday to pick up his third win of the season. He struck out five batters while scattering seven hits and two walks. Kendrick possesses a fantastic 2.43 ERA (1.13 WHIP) with 29 strikeouts against 10 walks.
  • Let’s stay in Philly for a moment. Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly reports that the Phillies have made multiple pitches to the Marlins about the now-injured Giancarlo Stanton. The Marlins have rebuffed any offers to date, but speculation abounds that he will eventually be moved.
  • Dan Haren of the Nationals posted his second consecutive top-notch start in a 3-1 victory over the Braves. Haren allowed one earned run in eight innings pitched, limiting Atlanta to four hits and a walk while striking out four batters. The 32-year-old righty was battered in his season debut by the Reds, but has pitched to a solid 3.81 ERA in his past five starts. His hit rate is through the roof (11.7 per nine IP). You can take some solace in his stellar control (24 strikeouts against five walks).
  • I like the manic, screaming and thumping version of “Happy Together” that’s being featured in the