Minor League Transactions

This week’s installment considers all transactions reported between April 30-May 4.

Last week’s transactions available here.

Arizona Diamondbacks
Recalled: 3B Brian Barden
Optioned to Triple-A: LHP Dana Eveland, 3B Brian Barden

Eveland, acquired from the Brewers in November’s Johnny Estrada trade, allowed three runs in his 1 1/3 innings with Arizona before his demotion. He’s now allowed 49 runs in 60 2/3 career big league innings (7.27 ERA), giving him one of the more dramatic majors-minors performance splits around. Eveland, 23, had gone 27-18, 2.69 with 382-115 strikeouts-walks in 381 minor league innings entering 2007. Barden, a sixth-round pick from Oregon State in 2002, has hit well for Triple-A Tucson in each of the past two seasons while playing all over the infield. He even played 20 games at shortstop in 2006 after Stephen Drew’s promotion. The 26-year-old infielder was a .301/.353/.466 career hitter entering the season.

Atlanta Braves
Selected to major league roster: RHP Kevin Barry, C Jarrod Saltalamacchia, 2B Willie Harris
Reinstated from disabled list: C Ray Serrano, RHP Sung Ki Jung

Saltalamacchia, 22, quickly proved his poor 2006 season was an aberration and earned a big league callup when both Braves’ catchers were knocked out of action. Brian McCann missed a few games with a finger injury, while Brayan Pena hit the DL with a concussion. Saltalamacchia’s last name is the longest in major league history at 14 letters. Atlanta’s trade of outfielder Ryan Langerhans opened a roster spot for the versatile, lefty-hitting Harris, 28, who can play both second base and the outfield. While he hasn’t seen anything like regular playing time in any season except 2004, when batted 409 times for the White Sox, Harris was a .281/.362/.410 minor league hitter with 172 stolen bases entering the year.

Baltimore Orioles
Recalled: LHP Kurt Birkins
Outrighted off 40-man roster: C Alberto Castillo
Placed on minor league disabled list: RHP Jason Burch
Reinstated from disabled list: RHP Rob Bell
Rehabilitation assignment: RHP Scott Williamson (high Class A Frederick)

The Orioles added a third lefty to their bullpen in Birkins, who joins Jamie Walker and John Parrish. Birkins appeared in 35 big league games in 2006. Burch was acquired from the Rockies in January for Rodrigo Lopez. Williamson, one of the club’s four big-ticket reliever imports, was experiencing tightness in his right triceps.

Boston Red Sox
Released: 1B Ian Bladergroen
Recalled: RHP Devern Hansack
Placed on minor league disabled list: RHP Daniel Bard
Reinstated from disabled list: LHP Mario Pena, C Jonathan Still, 1B Ian Bladergroen

Bladergroen looked like a budding prospect after hitting .342/.397/.595 for low Class A Capital City in 2004 while in the Mets system. Granted, he was already 21 at the time and had batted just 269 times that year because of a torn ligament in his wrist. That offseason, Bladergroen was traded to the Red Sox for Doug Mientkiewicz and he’s played in just 178 games in the two seasons since, and had not taken the field yet in 2007. It’s tough to argue against Hansack’s 34-6 strikeouts-walks ratio in the International League, and the Red Sox certainly didn’™t when they called him up to replace the injured Mike Timlin. Bard was shut down with a triceps strain.

Chicago Cubs
Released: LHP Luke Hagerty, SS Albenis Machado
Reinstated from disabled list: RHP Todd Blackford

About a month after waving goodbye to their first pick in the 2002 draft, Bobby Brownlie, the Cubs cut ties with Hagerty, their second pick (and 32nd overall) that year. Whereas Brownlie was healthy in three of his five Cubs’ seasons, Hagerty, 26, was healthy for just one, his first with short-season Boise. Hagerty had Tommy John surgery in spring 2003, before his full-season debut, and wasn’t the same afterward, a fact attested to by his pitching in just 34 career games. Prior to the 2002 season, some clubs liked Hagerty better than his Ball State teammate Bryan Bullington, who went No. 1 overall to the Pirates that year, but Hagerty’s poor showing in the Mid-American Conference tournament dropped him as many as 15 places in the draft.

Chicago White Sox
Signed: RHP Jason Childers
Placed on suspended list: 2B Victor Mercedes
Selected to major league roster: OF Luis Terrero
Option transferred: LHP Carlos Vasquez (from Double-A Birmingham to Triple-A Charlotte)
Placed on minor league disabled list: RHP Lance Broadway, 2B Robert Hudson

Broadway left his last start after just two pitches because of lower back pain. Vasquez, who was acquired with David Aardsma from the Cubs for Neal Cotts in the offseason, made short work of the Double-A Southern League, striking our 14 and walking three in 14 2/3 relief innings.

Cincinnati Reds
Signed: 3B Mike Edwards
Placed on suspended list: RHP Derrik Lutz
Placed on minor league disabled list: SS Caonabo Cosme

Third baseman/outfielder Edwards, 30, wasn’t a free agent for long after his release from the Pirates a week prior. The ninth-round pick of the Indians in 1995, Edwards was a career .290/.381/.434 minor league hitter entering the year, and he had played in the big leagues for the A’s, Dodgers and Pirates.

Cleveland Indians
Recalled: LHP Rafael Perez, OF Ben Francisco
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Fausto Carmona, OF Shin-Soo Choo, OF Ben Francisco
Reinstated from inactive list: OF Juan Valdes

Despite gaudy 3-1, 2.55 big league numbers, Carmona’s short-term future in Cleveland had been in doubt until Jake Westbrook went on the DL.

Colorado Rockies
Recalled: SS Omar Quintanilla
Selected to major league roster: RHP Alberto Arias
Optioned to Triple-A: SS Clint Barmes
Outrighted off 40-man roster: RHP Bob Keppel
Placed on minor league disabled list: LHP Zach Parker, C Agustin Sanchez, 3B Duke Sardinha
Reinstated from disabled list: RHP Darren Clarke

The Rockies substituted Barmes, who was hitting just .100/.143/.150 as a backup and who hadn’t hit since the first half of 2005, for Quintanilla, who offers a lefty bat and positional versatility. Quintanilla, the 33rd overall pick of the 2003 draft by the A’s out of Texas, came to Colorado in July 2005 in exchange for Joe Kennedy. Arias threw 3 2/3 scoreless innings to pick up a win in his major league debut May 1 against the Giants.

Detroit Tigers
Signed: SS Henry Mateo
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Aquilino Lopez
Placed on minor league disabled list: 2B Kevin Hooper
Rehabilitation assignment: RHP Jose Mesa (Triple-A Toledo)

Florida Marlins
Signed: RHP Brad Voyles
Outrighted off 40-man roster: RHP Nate Field
Placed on minor league disabled list: SS Jonathan Fulton

Voyles never has developed fastball command, but he’s struck out plenty of minor league batters (449 of them in 427 innings) with his devastating curveball-changeup combo. He’s been far less successful against big leaguer competition, posting a 6.45 ERA and walking nearly as many (44) and he’s struck out (56) in 68 1/3 innings. Drafted by the Braves in the 45th round of the 1998 draft, Voyles was traded to the Royals for Rey Sanchez and has also pitched in the Yankees and Cardinals organizations.

Houston Astros
Released: LHP Jacob Coash
Outrighted off 40-man roster: LHP Stephen Randolph
Reinstated from disabled list: RHP Felipe Paulino
Reinstated from inactive list: OF Brian Gordon

Kansas City Royals
Released: OF Ethien Santana
Recalled: LHP Neal Musser, OF Shane Costa
Selected to major league roster: OF Billy Butler
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Ryan Braun
Placed on minor league disabled list: RHP Patrick Green, C Todd Balduf
Reinstated from disabled list: 2B Mike Gaffney, OF Andrew Larsen, OF Jarrod Dyson
Rehabilitation assignment: LHP John Bale (Double-A Wichita)

After spending the entire 2006 season with Double-A Wichita, Butler needed just 25 games at Triple-A Omaha before the Royals bumped him up another level to Kansas City. He joins fellow top prospect and former Wranglers teammate Alex Gordon with the big club. The 21-year-old Butler had been making a mockery of the Pacific Coast League, batting .337/.445/.584 with six home runs and an eye-opening 18-12 walks-to-strikeouts ratio. Drafted 14th overall in 2004 as a third baseman, Butler skipped low Class A entirely on his way to high Class A High Desert in 2005, where he began his transition to the outfield. He won the Texas League batting crown in 2006 with a .331 mark, one year after hitting .348 and finishing runner-up in the California League batting race. In 339 minor league games, Butler is a career .343/.419/.566 hitter, and an impressive .329/.391/.515 at Double- and Triple-A. He went 2-for-4 in his big league debut May 1. Costa, meanwhile, proved to be too good for Triple-A by hitting .378/.458/.533 one year after his .342/.398/.593 effort with the O-Royals. Costa, 25, was the club’s second-round pick out of Cal State Fullerton in 2003. The Royals signed Bale, 32, in December after he had pitched the previous three seasons in Japan.

Los Angeles Angels
Recalled: SS Brandon Wood

Los Angeles Dodgers
Optioned to Triple-A: LHP Hong-Chih Kuo
Placed on minor league disabled list: LHP Tim Hamulack
Reinstated from disabled list: RHP Harold Eckert, RHP Zach Hammes, RHP Joseph Jones

Kuo is recovering from a strained shoulder he suffered during spring training.

Milwaukee Brewers
Released: RHP Stuart Sutherland, C Max St. Pierre
Reinstated from disabled list: RHP Kevin Roberts, LHP Jeff Housman
Reinstated from inactive list: RHP Stuart Sutherland

Defensive specialist St. Pierre was acquired from the Brewers in February for righthander Ben Hendrickson. St. Pierre had signed with Milwaukee earlier that month, meaning the Brewers could have just signed him themselves without trading Hendrickson, in turn signifying they were pretty eager to part ways with Hendrickson.

Minnesota Twins
Released: LHP Adam Revelette, OF Mark Robinson
Optioned to Triple-A: 2B Alexi Casilla
Placed on minor league disabled list: LHP Sean Land, 3B Glenn Williams
Rehabilitation assignment: 3B Jeff Cirillo (high Class A Fort Myers)

New York Mets
Placed on suspended list RHP Emary Frederick
Recalled: RHP Chan Ho Park
Selected to major league roster: RHP Lino Urdaneta, 2B Ruben Gotay
Reinstated from disabled list: OF Joe Holden

Park surrendered seven runs in four innings in his April 30 start. Gotay, who was acquired in a July 2006 trade for Jeff Keppinger, was called up to take the roster spot of injured second baseman Jose Valentin. The switch-hitting Gotay. 24, was a career .276/.355/.423 hitter in the minors entering the season, but has not replicated even than modest success in 434 major league at-bats. Signed by the Dodgers out of Venezuela in 1996, Urdaneta, 27, also has pitched in the Tigers’ organization and in the Mexican League. His callup came as a surprise, seeing as he had racked up a 5.84 ERA to go with his six saves at Triple-A New Orleans and had struck out just two batters in 12 1/3 innings.

New York Yankees
Signed: RHP Jim Brower, RHP Tim Lavigne
Recalled: RHP Chris Britton
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Chris Britton
Option transferred: LHP Chase Wright (from Double-A Trenton to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre)
Placed on minor league disabled list: RHP Elvys Quezada, 1B Cody Ehlers
Reinstated from disabled list: RHP Guillermo Villalona, 2B Carlos Mendoza, 3B Kyle Anson, SS Angel Chavez

Oakland Athletics
Acquired: OF Jack Cust from Padres for player to be named
Recalled: C Adam Melhuse
Placed on temporarily inactive list: RHP Brad Knox
Reinstated from disabled list: 1B Haas Pratt

The A’s pursued Cust, 28, after DH Mike Piazza injured his shoulder in a basepath collision. The 30th overall pick of the Diamondbacks in the 1997 draft, Cust had not done much–.222/.331/.389–with 144 big league at-bats entering the season. But after five seasons of diminishing returns at the Triple-A level, the former top prospect seemed to right himself in 2006 with Portland in the Padres system, hitting .293/.467/.549 with 30 home runs. Cust’s on-base percentage was tops in the PCL, thanks to a walk total nearly double the total (143 to 78) of PCL runner-up Chris Carter. Cust continued his hot hitting in 2007, starting the year .295/.429/.692 with eight homers, to get the attention of Oakland.

Philadelphia Phillies
Released: 2B Brett Dalton, 3B Brad Key
Selected to major league roster: RHP Yoel Hernandez
Option transferred: SS Michael Garciaparra (from Double-A Reading to high Class A Clearwater)
Reinstated from inactive list: RHP J.D. Durbin, SS Michael Garciaparra

Pittsburgh Pirates
Recalled: RHP Marty McLeary
Placed on minor league disabled list: RHP Jacob Cuffman, 2B Jim Negrych
Reinstated from disabled list: RHP Ron Belisario, RHP Matt Lorenzo, LHP Mike Tejera
Reinstated from inactive list: 2B Cameron Blair

Negrych, the Pirates’ sixth-round pick last year out of Pittsburgh, is out with an injury to his oblique muscle.

St. Louis Cardinals
Signed: LHP Ryan Meaux
Released: RHP Matt Lane
Recalled: RHP Dennis Dove
Reinstated from disabled list: RHP Kyle Sadlowski

Dove is the classic case of the stats not indicating who the future big leaguers are. At Georgia Southern, he was good (22-9, 3.97) but never dominated as much as his upper-90s gas led scouts to expect. His funky (or max-effort, or ugly) delivery has never led to much command, and in pro ball, he’s fared worse than in college, entering the season with a 13-24, 4.45 career record with 104 walks and just 209 strikeouts in 271 innings. Still, he’s in the big leagues, replacing the late Josh Hancock. Command remains the issue–Dove had six walks and just seven strikeouts in 12 innings at Triple-A Memphis at the time of his promotion. (John Manuel)

San Diego Padres
Traded: OF Jack Cust to Athletics for player to be named
Recalled: LHP Justin Hampson, LHP Royce Ring
Optioned to Triple-A: LHP Justin Hampson
Outrighted off 40-man roster: C Pete Laforest
Placed on minor league disabled list: RHP Cesar Carrillo, RHP Drew Miller, RHP Grant Varnell, 2B Tom King
Reinstated from disabled list: RHP Tim Stauffer

The Padres opened the season without a lefty reliever, but tried out both Hampson and Ring–a San Diego State product–in the span of a week. Both pitched well. Otherwise, it was a tough week for San Diego pitching prospects: Carrillo, the system’s best, will miss the season with a torn ligament in his right elbow. While it was likely Carrillo would have Tommy John surgery, the pitcher had not decided on a surgeon. Miller, a 37th-round draft-and-follow in 2005 from Seminole (Okla.) State JC, hit the DL with mild shoulder soreness. He was expected to miss one start.

San Francisco Giants
Released: LHP Ryan Meaux
Recalled: 2B Kevin Frandsen
Reinstated from inactive list: RHP Sun Woo Kim, LHP Ricardo Rincon

Frandsen, who was hitting .403/.506/.522 for Triple-A Fresno, replaced righthander Russ Ortiz, who hit the DL with an inflamed nerve in his elbow.

Seattle Mariners
Signed: OF Charlton Jimerson
Released: C Erwin Jacobo
Placed on minor league disabled list: RHP Juan Zapata
Reinstated from disabled list: LHP Justin Thomas, SS Erick Monzon

Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Placed on minor league disabled list: RHP Wade Townsend, OF Fernando Perez
Reinstated from inactive list: SS Salvador Paredes
Rehabilitation assignment: 3B Greg Norton (Double-A Montgomery)

Townsend was shut down with right forearm fatigue. The eighth overall pick in both the 2004 and 2005 drafts (he didn’™t sign with the Orioles the first time), Townsend appeared in 12 games with short-season Hudson Valley in 2005, then missed the entire 2006 season to Tommy John surgery.

Texas Rangers
Recalled: RHP Mike Wood, OF Victor Diaz
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Scott Feldman
Placed on minor league disabled list: RHP Luis Mendoza
Reinstated from disabled list: SS Johany Abreu

Diaz, 25, earned another big league audition by hitting .356/.386/.567 for Triple-A Oklahoma. A 37th-round draft-and-follow of the Dodgers in 2000, Diaz has been traded twice, the first time to the Mets for Jeromy Burnitz in 2003, then to the Rangers for Mike Nickeas last August. Unhappy with his demotion to Triple-A Norfolk last season, Diaz hit just .224/.276/.330 for the Tides.

Toronto Blue Jays
Signed: LHP James Crowell, C Joseph Burke, OF Howie Clark
Released: LHP Alan Stidfole
Recalled: RHP Dustin McGowan

McGowan took the place of injured lefthander Gustavo Chacin, but failed to capitalize on the opportunity by giving up five runs in five innings of his May 3 start. The 33rd overall pick of the 2000 draft, McGowan started fast with Triple-A Syracuse, going 0-2, 1.64 with 29-9 strikeouts-walks in 22 innings, but has struggled to make the transition to the majors. McGowan, 25, now sports a 6.84 big league ERA over 77 2/3 innings.

Washington Nationals
Released: RHP Pedro Astacio
Recalled: OF Kory Casto
Outrighted off 40-man roster: 2B D’Angelo Jimenez
Placed on minor league disabled list: RHP Marco Estrada, C Juan Brito, 1B Larry Broadway, SS Seth Bynum
Reinstated from disabled list: RHP William Bunn, 3B Tony Blanco, 3B Leonard Davis

Astacio gave the Nats 17 starts last season, but did not take the field this year. Broadway was out with a right ankle sprain. Casto, who was hitting .324/.419/.730 for Triple-A Columbus, took the roster spot of Jimenez, who wasn’t. Not so long ago, in 2001, Jimenez, 29, ranked just behind Nick Johnson and Alfonso Soriano in the Yankees’ farm system hierarchy. Jimenez’ poor defensive play and limited speed and power have tainted him with an air of underachievement, despite acceptable-for-a-middle-infielder .263/.348/.376 numbers in the big leagues. A broken neck resulting from an automobile accident in January 2000 is partially responsible for Jimenez’ stalled development, but the fact that he’s played in the majors for seven teams–Yankees, Padres, White Sox, Reds, Rangers, A’s and Nationals–gives us a strong clue as to how replaceable he’s been.