The strides that Jon Garland has taken this year have been simply amazing. For those who've watched him throughout this season, he has really matured before our eyes. From throwing a changeup on a full count to Miguel Tejada to strike him out, or getting out of a runners-at-the-corners, nobody out jam in last night's game. The progress he's made this year has been a joy to watch.
Now, onto today's game. El Duque takes his 7-2, 4.98 ERA versus Boston's vaunted lineup to square off against Wade Miller, who sports a 2-4 record with a 5.01 ERA. Hernandez makes his second start back from the DL, hoping to take the third game in this four-game set.
What to look for: Jermaine Dye, battling bug bites the past two nights, looks to make a return to the lineup. Lineups haven't been released yet; and honestly, if he's not in tonight's lineup, I'm going to start getting worried. Ok -- not really, but this is still one really odd injury.
On the trade front: It looks as if Baltimore is backing out of the A.J. Burnett trade talks:
The source said the team, including owner Peter Angelos, has cooled on the idea of dealing for the 28-year-old Burnett because he is expected to file for free agency at season's end - making him a two-month rental.
To further hamstring the proposed deal with Florida, the Orioles have all but decided they don't want to acquire Florida third baseman Mike Lowell, even if half of the $21 million owed to him through 2007 is picked up by the Marlins or another team.
Personally, I see Burnett as an improvement over White Sox' starter Jose Contreras, but not at the expense of giving up a key bullpen arm like Damaso Marte. I'd certainly be willing, however, to include a top minor leaguer in the deal, such as Ryan Sweeney. In the end, if Burnett were to be acquired, one of two things could happen -- a.)offer him a deal long term, and he accepts. I do have reservations, however, as I'm not sure how much money a guy who has only once pitched over 200 innings in a career should get. Or, -- b.)offer him arbitration, and if he declines it, the Sox get two compensation picks, which would go along way to replacing the top talent in the Sox' farm system.
That's all from me, I'm headed to the game tonight.
Update [2005-7-23 14:10:30 by Heads22]: The Orioles have (somewhat) acquired Phil Nevin for Sidney Ponson. This leaves the Sox as frontrunners for AJ Burnett, in many eyes, as that move is virtually viewed as dead for the O's.
Update [2005-7-23 18:5:17 by Heads22]: Lineup