Dan's Dugout: Dominicans dominate news again • Latino Sports


Dan’s Dugout: Dominicans dominate news again


What a week for Dominican players in major league baseball!

Pedro Martinez (left) and Juan Marichal are the lone Dominicans in the Hall of Fame. Image Credit: George Napolitano

Pedro Martinez (left) and Juan Marichal are the lone Dominicans in the Hall of Fame. George Napolitano photo

First the Cooperstown induction of Pedro Martinez sparks a four-day frenzy that stretched from Santo Domingo to Montreal, cutting a large swath through Boston and Red Sox Nation.

Then Johnny Cueto gets traded from the also-ran Reds to the first-place Royals, giving Kansas City the best starting rotation in the American League.

And proving that the third time’s the charm, Jose Reyes returns to the National League in a blockbuster six-player swap that sends NL All-Star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki to the Toronto Blue Jays.

There could be more to come, especially if the moribund Milwaukee Brewers decide to bite the bullet on star centerfielder Carlos Gomez.

With the trade deadline set for Friday at 4 p.m. EDT, there’s a good chance other Latinos will be on the move. A trio of Cubans — closer Aroldis Chapman (Reds) and outfielders Yasiel Puig (Dodgers) and Yoenis Cespedes (Tigers) — have also been the subject of many rumors.

How much longer will Aroldis Chapman pitch for the Reds?

How much longer will Aroldis Chapman pitch for the Reds?

So has Venezuelan slugger Carlos Gonzalez, whom the Rockies would like to move while he’s in the middle of his current hot streak. The problem with him, as with many players, is a hefty contract. CarGo is owed $37 million over the next two years.

As for Americans wearing a for-sale sign this week, it’s a good bet that the last-place Philadelphia Phillies will unload their best starter (Cole Hamels) and their best closer (Jonathan Papelbon). The former picked a great time to pitch a no-hitter — against the Cubs in his last start.

Also up for grabs this week, for any who can afford them, are closer Craig Kimbrel and slugging outfielder Justin Upton of San Diego; jack-of-all-trades Ben Zobrist of the Oakland A’s; and pitcher Jeff Samardzija of the Chicago White Sox.

Maybe the Sox can get cute and confound the headline writers by swapping their hard-throwing starter for Marc Rzepczynski, the Cleveland reliever and the only man in the majors whose name is more difficult to spell.

As for the New York teams, the Yankees may be quiet this year as they contemplate their unexpected perch at the top of the American League East standings.

The Mets, on the other hand, are so close to first-place Washington in the NL East that they’ll tinker with their roster until they strike the perfect balance.

Troy Tulowitzki is taking his bat north of the border

Troy Tulowitzki is taking his bat north of the border

Sandy Alderson has already acquired infielders Jose Uribe and Kelly Johnson, a pair of productive hitters, from Atlanta and closer Tyler Clippard, formerly of the Nationals, from Oakland. To his credit, Alderson didn’t up much more than yesterday’s tuna fish sandwich.

The Reyes-for-Tulo trade was a shocker — mainly because it came out of nowhere. The Rockies wanted out from Tulo’s contract and medical bills but knew they needed a replacement at shortstop. And the Blue Jays decided the power of Tulowitzki was preferable to the speed of the switch-hitting Reyes.

Toronto, hoping to topple the Yankees over the final two months, still needs pitching help and will focus on Chapman or Kimbrel to plug their bullpen hole.

Many of the available players are on the market because their contracts expire at the end of the season. The Padres are willing to entertain offers for Upton, whom the Orioles covet, only because he’ll be a free agent this fall.

The same goes for 38-year-old catcher A.J. Pierzynski, who played so well so early this year that he moved from backup to regular in Atlanta. The Braves have already said they will deal him for a prospect and hope to re-sign him again for 2016.

On the other hand, Atlanta has withdrawn Cameron Maybin from trade talks. In the middle of a career

The Braves plan to keep productive newcomer Cameron Maybin

The Braves plan to keep productive newcomer Cameron Maybin

year, he’s become the most valuable player on the team, with the possible exception of defensive whiz Andrelton Simmons.

When the Mets asked the Braves for Simmons, the cackles could be heard all the way from Georgia to Manhattan.

Elsewhere in baseball:

Mets team captain David Wright, out since April 14 with spinal stenosis, has no return date yet . . .

Former Marlins closer Steve Cishek, exiled to the minors earlier this year, will help the Cardinals . . .

Michael Conforto’s fast start with the Mets reminded reporters that Jeff Francoeur started so well with the Braves that Sports Illustrated made him its cover boy under the caption “The Natural” . . .

Washington breathed a huge sigh of relief when versatile infielder Anthony Rendon came off the disabled list a few days ago . . .

Toronto reliever Steve Delabar won the “fifth man” election to the AL All-Star team two years ago but has dropped all the way to Triple-A Buffalo . . .

Going the opposite way is rookie Cubs catcher Kyle Schwarber, a 2014 first-round draft choice who swings a solid bat . . .

No-hitter vs Cubs could be his last game with Phils

No-hitter vs Cubs could be his last game with Phils

The Hamels no-hitter was the first against the Cubs in 50 years . . .

New Yankees reliever Nick Goody fanned 70 in 48 1/3 minor-league innings this year . . .

The minute Alex Rodriguez hit three home runs in a game, one reporter mused, “He must have been taking something” . . .

Damn the DH: Giants ace Madison Bumgarner has three homers this season . . .

Congratulations to the Cleveland Indians for erecting a Larry Doby statue in front of Progressive Field.


About Dan Schlossberg

Former AP sportswriter Dan Schlossberg of Fair Lawn, NJ has produced 35 baseball books, including autobiographies of Ron Blomberg, Al Clark, and Milo Hamilton. Also a broadcaster, he is the host and executive producer of Braves Banter and Travel Itch Radio and a contributor to Sirius XM.

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