This news comes as a surprise to me, I thought Valentine would be a good fit for the Marlins and was exactly the type of person needed to light a spark under the team. The negotiations are not completely dead yet but they certainly hit a snag. Maybe the team is waiting until after their return from Puerto Rico or maybe Valentine realized what he could be getting himself into if things did not go well. Whatever the case may be, the Marlins will wish the fallout never happened. Valentine is one of the top candidates for not just Florida but several other teams, and it looks as though they may have dropped the ball.
Now that Jenrry Mejia has a posterior cuff strain, the Mets outlook on trading for Cliff Lee may have changed.
This is interesting because the Mets would essentially be "going all in" if they did acquire Lee, basically making it a championship or bust. Lee is a great pitcher and all, but is this really a risk worth taking? Sure the Mets would love another starter and could have three legitimate aces on their staff in Santana, Pelfrey, and Lee, but I would like to see Omar Minaya have some other things on the top of his priority list then just giving up young talent to acquire a pitcher who I fear may break down sooner rather then later. That being said, out of all the "young prospects" who the Mets would have to give up a trade for any big name star, Mejia would be the one I would get rid of first because Pelfrey, Niese, and Davis are untouchable. Not to knock Mejia but it seems like he's more likely to be the next Joba Chamberlain than top-notch starter.
Braves fans having been giving Jason Heyward love all season, and rightfully so, but Braves Blast thinks its time for him to break some old habits, instead of breaking himself.
In case you haven't heard, Heyward has been played on the disabled list due to a bruised left thumb after sliding head first into third base. Sure, there is a greater risk of injury when sliding head first but I am not completely against it, the only situation where I think sliding head first is unacceptable is at first base. Look at Jose Reyes for example; has anyone ever seen him slide feet first? That is a huge part of his game, and he has been doing it for years meaning that he knows how to do it properly and as safely as possible. Obviously, Heyward and Reyes are two totally different ballplayers, so I would advise Jason to not completely ditch headfirst sliding but to use it at a minimum.
The Phillies were bit by the injury bug again as Chase Utley and Placido Polanco was each placed on the 15-day disabled list.
Polanco currently leads David Wright by 22,000 votes for the starting position at third base for this summers All-Star Game in Anaheim. This is a major setback for Philadelphia as they had just got Jimmy Rollins back and were primed to make a run for the top spot in the division. Although Utley has been hampered by his hip injury all season, he was still always a threat at the plate and Polanco has put together a solid season by his standards with five home runs and 27 RBI. At this point, it looks like the NL East will come down to the Braves, Mets, and Phillies. The combination of Atlanta having a rough week and placing Heyward on the DL as well as the Phillies injury problems leaves the Mets in a spot they need to take advantage of.
Sound the alarm! Stephen Strasburg has now lost his last two decisions, despite allowing only four earned runs.
This is how bad the Nationals hitting has been as of late...the last time they scored a run in a Strasburg start was June 18th, a game in which they only scored just one run in a 2-1 loss at the hands of the Chicago White Sox. Strasburg didn't have his best stuff in last nights game against Atlanta but that doesn't excuse Washington's hitters from another disappointing performance. Equally disappointing is how the errors keep piling up, most notably for Ian Desmond who now has 19 miscues on the year. Its gotten to the point that for every groundball I am at the edge of my seat and holding my breath like it's the final out of the World Series. I don't want to say the seasons completely over for the Nats because as we have seen in recent years, anything can happen in the second half of the season, but you can bet GM Mike Rizzo will try to address his teams fielding issues before the upcoming trade deadline.