City of the Day
Panama City, Panama. 12 Players, 4 Active. First Player: Rupe Toppin (1962).
While Panama is diverse in which cities produce ballplayers, with 20 different cities yielding the 43 Panamanians, the capital and by far largest city hasn't even been the most proficient in yielding players, as 13 players have come out of Colon. However, players from Panama City have been historically better. Rupe Toppin was the first player from Panama City, but he only pitched two games in the summer of 1962, giving up three runs over two innings. Gil Garrido was the first player to play more than a couple of seasons, playing in 334 games for the Giants and Braves from 1964-1972. His best year was 1970, when he hit one home run and batted .264 in 101 games. The first player with any kind of success was Roberto Kelly, a two time All Star in the 90's who hit 124 home runs and batted .290 with 234 stolen bases over his 14 year career. His best year was 1990, when he hit 15 home runs and batted .285 with 42 stolen bases. In 1998, he hit 16 home runs and batted .323, but without a single stolen base. In 1995, a young Panamanian named Rivera broke into the majors. After going 5-3 with a 5.51 ERA in his first year in the bigs, the Yankees turned the man with the nasty cutter into a set-up man, then a closer, and the rest is history for Mariano Rivera. He posted eleven straight seasons with an ERA below 2.75, and 15 straight with more than 25 saves. He has 42 postseason saves and an ERA of 0.70. In 2005, the greatest closer of all time was 7-4 with a 1.38 ERA and 43 saves and win his first of what would be three Delivery Man of the Year awards. Rivera isn't the only popular pitcher to come from Panama City; Bruce Chen is 67-66 with a 4.61 ERA over his 15 year career. Last year, he was 12-8 with a 3.77 ERA for the Royals. Manny Corpas has pitched six years in the bigs and holds a 3.91 ERA. Back in 2007, he set a Colorado relief record with his 2.08 ERA, while also converting 19 of 22 save opportunities. The last active player is Luis Durango, who has a .292 career average over 39 games for the Padres and Astros.
Marlins traded Hanley Ramirez (14 HR, 48 RBI, .246 AVG, 14 SB, age 28) and Randy Choate (0-0, 2.49 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 1 save, age 36) to the Dodgers for Nathan Eovaldi (1-6, 4.15 ERA, 1.47 WHIP, age 22) and minor leaguer Scott McGough (3-5, 3.99 ERA, .249 BAA at High Class A, age 22).
Astros traded Wandy Rodriguez (7-9, 3.79 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, age 33) to the Pirates for minor leaguers Rudy Owens (8-5, 3.14 ERA, 1.17 WHIP at AAA, age 24), Robbie Grossman (7 HR, 36 RBI, .266 AVG, 9 SB at AA, age 22), and Colton Cain (3-5, 4.20 ERA, .242 BAA at High Class A, age 21).
Phillies signed Cole Hamels to a six-year, $144 million extension ($24 million per season).
Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez broke his hand and will miss 6 to 8 weeks.
Longtime catcher Jason Kendall retired after 15 years in the major leagues. He is 38 years old.
Diamondbacks traded Barry Enright (7-11 career record, 4.87 ERA, age 26) to the Angels for a player to be named later.
White Sox DH Adam Dunn was the first player to 30 home runs.
Astros lost their eighth straight game.
The Hanley Ramirez deal addresses the Dodgers' need for relief and left-infield help. Hanley, who has played 943 of his 945 career games for the Marlins, has not played up to par over the last two seasons. After a 2009 in which he hit 24 home runs, knocked in 106, and batted .342 with 27 stolen bases, he has steadily decreased in production. In 2010, he hit 21 home runs to go along with a .300 average and 32 stolen bases, but last year, he hit just ten and batted .243 with 20 stolen bases. This year is looking like more of the same, as he has hit 14 home runs and his average is down to .246. The three-time All Star can turn everything around in Los Angeles, with protection like Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp in the lineup. He will probably fill in at shortstop until Dee Gordon gets back, then move over to third for the remainder of the season. Los Angeles also acquired Randy Choate, one of the more underrated players in baseball. He is the definition of a lefty specialist, averaging just 2/3 of an inning per game for his entire 12-year career. Opponents hit just .232 off him for his career, and it's even lower for lefties. This year, opponents are batting just .178 off of him, while lefties are managing a dismal .150. His quirky sidearm delivery and nasty slider make it very difficult on opponents to pick him up. In 440 career games, he holds a 4.01 ERA.
The main return for Miami is Nathan Eovaldi, a former top prospect who is still just 22 years old. In his 10-game debut in 2011, Eovaldi was 1-2 with a 3.63 ERA. This year, with all 10 appearances being starts, he is just 1-6 but with a 4.15 ERA. He can assume a starting role in Miami and hopefully earn some more run support. Scott McGough also came over in the deal. He is a minor league pitcher who is holding his own at High Class A, posting a 3.99 ERA.
Wandy Rodriguez, who has been the subject of trade talks for a couple of years now, has finally been traded. He has kept his ERA below 3.80 for the last four seasons, and looks to bolster Pittsburgh's rotation. His best year was 2009, when he was 14-12 with a 3.02 ERA in 33 starts. The longest tenured Astro, he was the last player from the 2005 NL Pennant winning team still with them. He will join Kevin Correia, James McDonald and A.J. Burnett in a strong Pittsburgh rotation. Hopefully this year, the Pirates' trades can keep them from free falling, as they did last year.
The Astros acquired three minor leaguers, most notably Rudy Owens. Owens burst into top prospect discussions in 2009, when the 21-year-old went 11-2 with a 2.10 ERA in 25 starts between Class A and High Class A. At AA Altoona in 2010, he was 12-6 with a 2.46 ERA in 26 starts. After a rough season at AAA Indianapolis last year, he has bounced back to go 8-5 with a 3.14 ERA through 19 starts at the highest level of the minors. He could be major league ready very soon. They also acquired Colton Cain, a Texas native who has pitched well at High Class A Bradenton. In 2011, he posted a 3.64 ERA for Class A West Virginia. Lastly, they acquired Robbie Grossman, a AA five tool outfielder. At High Class A Bradenton last season, he hit 13 home runs, batted .294, and stole 24 bases in 134 games. He has been adjusting to AA competition, but has held his own, hitting seven home runs and batting .266 for Altoona.
Nationals (57-39) beat the Mets (47-50) 5-2.
Red Sox (49-49) beat the Rangers (57-39) 2-1.
Mariners (43-56) beat the Yankees (58-39) 4-2.
Phillies (44-54) beat the Brewers (44-52) 7-6.
Rays (50-47) beat the Orioles (51-46) 3-1.
Cardinals (51-46) beat the Dodgers (53-45) 8-2.
Diamondbacks (49-48) beat the Rockies (36-60) 6-2.
Cubs (40-56) beat the Pirates (54-42) 5-1.
Braves (53-44) beat the Marlins (45-52) 4-3.
Top Scorer: White Sox beat the Twins 11-4.
AL East: Yankees (58-39, .598 WPCT). AL Central: White Sox and Tigers (52-45, .536). AL West: Rangers (57-39, .594).
NL East: Nationals (57-39, .594). NL Central: Reds (57-40, .588). NL West: Giants (55-42, .567).
AL Wild Cards: A's (52-44, .542) and Angels (53-45, .541). NL Wild Cards: Pirates (54-42, .563) and Braves (53-44, .546).
Bottom Team: Astros (34-64, .347). Longest W Streak: A's and Reds, 6 games. Longest L Streak: Astros, 8 games.
Offensive: AVG: Andrew McCutchen (Pirates), .370. Home runs: Adam Dunn (White Sox), 30. RBI: Josh Hamilton (Rangers) and Miguel Cabrera (Tigers), 81. Stolen bases: Mike Trout (Angels), 31.
Pitching: Wins: R.A. Dickey (Mets), Gio Gonzalez (Nationals), and David Price (Rays), 13. K's: Felix Hernandez (Mariners), 147. ERA: Ryan Dempster (Cubs), 2.11 (98 innings, 23 earned runs). Saves: Jim Johnson (Orioles), 30.
Offensive: Paul Konerko (White Sox): 4-4, double, home run (16), RBI, run, AVG up .008 from .328 to .336, hitting streak to 4 games (10-15, .667 AVG).
Pitching: Gio Gonzalez (Nationals): Win (13-5), 7 innings, 1 run (0 earned), 2 hits, 2 walks, 4 K's (133), ERA drop: 0.19 runs from 3.32 to 3.13.
Worst Pitching Performance: Clayton Kershaw (Dodgers): Loss (7-6), 5.2 innings, 8 earned runs, 7 hits, 3 walks, 4 K's (136), ERA jump: 0.40 runs from 2.74 to 3.14.
Teams followed in this update: Boston Red Sox, Washington Nationals, New York Yankees, Chicago Cubs, Tampa Bay Rays, Los Angeles Dodgers, Philadelphia Phillies, Atlanta Braves, Colorado Rockies
If your team is not included, please leave a comment.
HR: home runs. RBI: runs batted in. AVG: batting average. SB: stolen bases. ERA: earned run average. WHIP: walks/hits per innings pitched. K's: strikeouts. WPCT: winning percentage