Gregg Hoffmann

Midwest Diamond Report - 8/3

The four MDR teams made some moves before last Thursday’s non-waiver trade deadline, but no earth-shaking, or even game-changing, ones.

In a deal with the D-backs, the Brewers brought in a lefty bat and a Gold Glove outfielder in Gerardo Parra for minor leaguers Mitch Haniger and Anthony Banda. Parra made his first start in left on Saturday, scored a run and made a diving catch, but also had a throwing error and struck out to end the game.

The Cubs acquired switch-hitting catching prospect Victor Caratini from the Braves for infielder/outfielder Emilio Bonifacio, LHP pitcher James Russell and a cash consideration.

Caratini, 20, was selected by the Braves in the second round of the 2013 Draft (65th overall) and entered this season ranked by Baseball America as the eighth-best prospect in the Atlanta farm system.

The Cubs also acquired LHP Felix Doubront from the Boston Red Sox for a player to be named later. Doubront, 26, is 26-22 with three saves and a 4.82 ERA (224 ER/418.0 IP) in 98 major league outings (69 starts) during the last five years with the Red Sox.

Of course, the Cubs made their major trade several days before the deadline when they sent pitchers Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel packing to the A’s. They also traded 2B Darwin Barney to the Dodgers earlier.

The Twins bolstered their rotation, acquiring left-hander Tommy Milone from the A's in exchange for outfielder Sam Fuld. It was the lone trade for the Twins, who also decided to hold on to catcher Kurt Suzuki, as they signed him to a two-year extension.

The White Sox apparently came close to a three-team trade, but ended up with no deal.

Among the four teams, the Brewers were the only one making deals for this season’s pennant race. Parra will help as a reserve in the outfield. He’s as good or better fielder than Logan Schafer and has proven he can hit big league pitching.

But, when you compare the Brewers’ activity to the Cardinals, who landed two rotation-ready pitchers, the Parra move pales. The Brewers could have used another top of the rotation pitcher or bullpen guy, but GM Doug Melvin apparently thought he could find the latter from within the organization and the asking price for the former was just too high. Most teams wanted rookie pitcher Jimmy Nelson or other top prospects.

Melvin might turn out to be right, but he and Brewers’ fans also might regret the fact the club made no major moves to get ready for the pennant drive.

It’s also still possible for the Brewers, and the other three MDR teams, to make deals in August, but players first must clear waivers.

Sox-Twins Series

The rubber game in a MDR series between the White Sox and Twins will be played Sunday. On Friday, the Sox won 10-8, as Tyler Flowers homered and Jose Abreu extended his hitting streak to 21 games with three hits.

Chris Parmelee homered for the Twins. Brian Dozier and Trevor Plouffe had three hits each.

The Twins pounded out a 8-6 win on Saturday. Plouffe had four hits. Oswaldo Arcia’s two-run double provided the winning runs. Adam Eaton had four hits for the Sox.

In an important NL Central matchup, the Brewers were going for a series win Sunday, after beating the Cardinals  Friday behind Wily Peralta and losing on Saturday.

Player of the Week

The afore-mentioned Wily Peralta gets the MDR Player of the Week honor after recording his 13th win in a 7-4 win over the Cardinals. He beat St. Louis ace Adam Wainwright Friday night.

Other MDR teams’ Players of the Week included:

 

** the Cubs’ Chris Coghlan, who was hitting .385 in his last seven games and had a five-game hitting streak.

 

** the Twins’ Trevor Plouffe, who had three hits Friday and four on Saturday.

 

** the White Sox’s Jose Abreu, who extended his hitting streak to 21 games before going hitless on Saturday.

 

Updated Notes

 

Brewers

 

** OF Logan Schafer was optioned to the minors to make room for Gerardo Parra.

 

** RHP Jimmy Nelson, scratched from Saturday’s start because of a blister, will start Tuesday.

 

** 2B Scooter Gennett, suffering from a finger injury and a quad, left Saturday’s game after aggravating the quad.

 

Cubs

 

** Felix Doubront, acquired before the trade deadline, was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a left calf strain.

 

** INF Chris Valaika was selected by the Cubs from Triple-A Iowa to take Emilio Bonifacio's spot on the roster

 

** RHP Blake Parker was called up from Triple A.

 

Twins

 

** Joe Mauer and Ricky Nolasco are headed for rehab assignments with Class A Cedar Rapids and will play in Tuesday's game.

 

** The Twins recalled first baseman/designated hitter Kennys Vargas from Double-A New Britain.

 

**  Twins 2B Brian Dozier was back in the lineup for Friday's series opener after missing Thursday with a swollen and jammed thumb.

 

White Sox

 

** OF Adam Eaton is hitting .421 over his last 18 games despite playing with a broken middle finger on his right hand.

 

** RHP Matt Lindstrom and OF Avisail Garcia had successful starts to their minor league injury rehab stints Friday night with Triple-A Charlotte.

** The southpaw starting trio of John Danks, Jose Quintana and Chris Sale have combined to go 25-14 with a 3.25 ERA and 343 strikeouts in 384 2/3 innings over 61 combined starts.

What’s Ahead

The Brewers return home to Miller Park Tuesday to start series against the NL West contenders, the Giants and Dodgers.

A tour of the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame will be conducted Saturday, Aug. 9, as part of the Keltner SABR meeting. Gather at Goolsby’s across from the Hall plaques at 11 a. m.

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