2008 MLB Promotions and Demotions

Promotions and Demotions The Latest Roster and Injury News for Bettors
by Badger of Predictem.com

Here is the latest roster news, notes and tidbits and injury updates
from the final weekend of Spring Training 2008 for all of you
baseball bettors.

And the 5th-Starter is?

Most of the battles worth keeping an eye on in spring training are
the ones for a spot in the starting rotation. Heres some of the
latest on those battles:

Milwaukees 5th starter last season, Claudio Vargas, was released to
give rookie left-hander Manny Parra the job. Look for Vargas to land
somewhere, as he is a good enough major league pitcher (11-6, 5.09
ERA) who will catch on somewhere. Meanwhile, keep an eye on Parra. He
is the Brewers top prospect who threw a perfect game in Triple-A last
year (was, so you might get excellent value on Parra in an underdog

Esteban Loaiza gets the 5th-starter nod over Chan Ho Park for the
Los Angeles Dodgers to start the year. Loaiza got it more because of
his guaranteed deal and not because he earned it by his spring
training performance (15 hits in 15 IP, 2 HRs). Japanese import
Hiroki Kuroda, who struggled in his first spring training (23 hits in
19.2 IP, 11 ER) is the Dodgers No. 4 starter, giving the Dodgers a
very suspect back end of the rotation.


The Cincinnati Reds decided to keep young righty Edinson Volquez on
the big league club instead of sending him to Triple-A. Volquez, who
came to the Reds in the off-season Josh Hamilton trade, looked like
he was big-league ready this spring going 2-0 with a 2.70 ERA and 26
Ks in 20 innings pitched. Volquez beat out big-time prospect Homer Bailey for the
rotation spot.

New York Mets RHP Orlando Hernandez looks like he will start the
season as the No. 5 guy for now. El Duque was solid in his last
spring start (5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 K) and is touting a return to
his old, high leg-kicking windup as the key to his pain-free approach.

The Houston Astros named Chris Sampson as their 5th starter this
week, which is made more noteworthy because it sent Woody Williams
into early retirement. Williams and his $6-million dollar salary were
released by the Astros, and Williams told reporters he has no
intention of playing anywhere else. Meanwhile, Sampson was tagged
around (138 hits in 121.2 IP, 20 HRs) in his 19 starts last season,
so the Astros pitching is already looking like a good one to bet

The Kansas City Royals named lefty John Bale the 5th starter instead
of lefty Jorge De La Rosa, who was sent to Triple-A. Bale has
only nine major league starts in his career, but his spring was
better (14.2 IP, 13 H, 8 R, 11 K) than De La Rosas (12.1 IP, 18 H,
13 R, 8 BB, 10 K) so he gets the gig. The Royals have veteran Brett
Tomko as their No. 4 starter ahead of Bale, and Tomko was simply
atrocious this spring (18.2 IP, 31 H, 21 R, 13 K) making the Royals
another attractive candidate for bettors to pick against early and

Heres a 5th starter to keep an eye one, Pittsburghs Zach Duke. If
Duke regains his 2005 form (8-2, 1.81 ERA, 79 H in 84.2 IP) instead
of his 2006 form (10-15, 4.47, 255 H in 215.1 IP) the Pirates could
give bettors some excellent value on days that Duke starts.

News Flash: Rolen and Edmonds Are Injured

Stop me if youve heard this one before. Yes, perpetually injured
stars 3B Scott Rolen of Toronto and CF Jim Edmonds of San Diego are
hurt again, and both will miss opening day this year.

Edmonds is expected back by Saturday (will miss five games) with a
strained calf, but while he is out the Padres will rely on a
combination of Jody Gerut, Paul McAnulty and Scott Hairston to man
two spots of the Padres opening day outfield. Nothing against those
guys mentioned above but, really? The Padres were already offensively
challenged in the spacious Petco Park, but their opening week versus
Houston and the Dodgers could set records for fewest runs scored. Look for a quick call to the minors for stud Chase Headley to be called up and be the starting LF by the all star break.

Rolens injury is much more serious from a fantasy owners
perspective. Rolen broke the middle finger on his right throwing hand
last Sunday doing fielding drills on the side at a back field. He had
a screw put in it during surgery on Monday, so you know the doctors
prognosis of him being out 4-to-6 weeks knocks him out for at least
April and most likely May. Toronto is covered nicely in the short
term with backup infielder Marco Scutaro ready to take his place.

Other Injuries To Watch

Yankee lefty Andy Pettitte is scheduled to pitch in a minor league
game on Sunday, so the hopes of him making a start on the following
Saturday versus Tampa Bay. That is, if Pettitte doesnt have his old,
cranky back acts up on him again. His arm wont be stretched out much
either, making his starts worth a look at betting the over since the
Yankees bullpen will be handed the game early.

Milwaukee center fielder Mike Cameron isnt injured, but his 25-day
drug suspension is going to affect the Brewers. Left-handed hitting
Tony Gwynn Jr. and right-handed hitting Gabe Kapler will likely do a
straight platoon in his absence, but Gwynn could get more time
following a hot spring (.382, .444 OBP). Either way, the Brewers
lineup is much less imposing without Cameron in the No. 2 slot.

The Dodgers have so many injury problems at third base that they are
now considering breaking camp with Blake DeWitt as the starter.
DeWitt has never played above Double-A, but he is next in line now
that Tony Abreu has joined fellow third base teammates Nomar
Garciaparra and Andy LaRoche. I feel safe in saying that the Dodgers
are going to struggle to score runs again this season and Joe Torre
will wish he never left New York.

New York Mets outfielder Moises Alou had hernia surgery recently, and
likely will miss most of April. Get used to this Mets fans, and hope
first baseman Carlos Delgado doesnt join him in the geriatric ward

Even though the Los Angeles Angels rotation is in shambles, it still
looks like they will be worth betting on this season. A few days
after announcing that ace John Lackey was shelved for a few weeks due
to shoulder soreness, the Angels also learned that Kelvim Escobar had
a setback in his comeback from his sore shoulder. Escobar is out
indefinitely, which is never a good prognosis. Now Jon Garland and
Jered Weaver become the Angels top two starters, and most likely
underdogs in every start. Both have been strong this spring, so look
for some good value with them as dogs early on this season.