Minor League Transactions

This week’s installment considers all transactions reported between May 5-11.

Last week’s transactions available here.

Arizona Diamondbacks
Released: RHP Matt Wilkinson
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Dustin Nippert
Placed on minor league disabled list: LHP Dana Eveland
Reinstated from disabled list: SS Matt Oxendine
Rehabilitation assignment: RHP Juan Cruz (Triple-A Tucson)

Eveland hit the shelf with a partially torn tendon in the middle finger of his pitching hand. Cruz was recovering from shoulder soreness. The 6-foot-7 Nippert had by far his most successful big league stint, going 1-0, 3.86 with eight strikeouts in 11 2/3 innings. He had received callups in both 2005 and 2006, and was sent down this time to make room for Cruz.

Atlanta Braves
Signed: RHP Matt Small (2006 D/F, 14th round), LHP Clayton McMillan (2006 D/F, 17th round), 3B Stephen Shults (2006 D/F, 15th round)
Acquired: 1B Graham Koonce from Royals for player to be named
Recalled: RHP Anthony Lerew
Reinstated from disabled list: RHP Blaine Boyer, 2B J.C. Holt

Big league first basemen Scott Thorman and Craig Wilson are probably safe, as Koonce, 32, figures to supply first base and DH power for the surging Triple-A Richmond squad. Koonce won 2003 Pacific Coast League MVP honors for Sacramento in a season in which he he hit .277/.403/.542 and led the league in homers (34) and RBIs (115). Lerew redeemed himself after an awful 2006 season by posting a 1.37 ERA for Richmond in 26 innings, which earned him his first big league start, in place of Mark Redman. He allowed two runs and fanned seven in six innings in his May 8 start. A re-thinking of Lerew’s mechanics and repertoire in spring training is partially responsible for the turnaround.

Baltimore Orioles
Signed: 3B Doug Reinhardt
Released: C Sandy Madera
Selected to major league roster: RHP Jon Leicester, RHP Todd Williams
Optioned to Triple-A: LHP Kurt Birkins
Outrighted off 40-man roster: RHP Sean Tracey
Placed on minor league disabled list: OF Nolan Reimold, OF Arturo Rivas
Reinstated from disabled list: C Sandy Madera, 2B David Cash, OF Nolan Reimold

Reimold left the Baysox’ May 10 game in the second inning and was placed on the DL not long after returning from a previous stint. Leicester sat out last season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament and hadn’t appeared in a big league game since May 9, 2005. The former Cubs prospect took Birkins’ place on the roster.

Boston Red Sox
Recalled: LHP Javier Lopez
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Devern Hansack
Placed on minor league disabled list: RHP John Barnes, RHP Jose Vaquedano, 2B Jeff Natale, SS Argenis Diaz
Reinstated from disabled list: RHP Runelvys Hernandez, RHP Jose Vaquedano, SS Scott Youngbauer
Reinstated from inactive list: LHP Daniel Haigwood

Lopez and Hansack switch places on the Boston and Pawtucket rosters. Hansack, the 29-year-old erstwhile Nicaraguan barnstormer, worked just 2/3 of an inning for Boston, walking three and giving up a run.

Chicago Cubs
Recalled: RHP Angel Guzman, OF Angel Pagan
Optioned to Triple-A: SS Ronny Cedeno, OF Felix Pie
Placed on minor league disabled list: RHP Todd Blackford, RHP Rafael Dolis, 1B Brian Dopirak, OF Ryan Harvey
Reinstated from disabled list: RHP William Muldowney, 3B Mike Kinkade

A couple of Angels attempt to save the Cubs from Cedeno’s poor hitting–.097/.121/.323 in spot duty–and slumping rookie Pie, the organization’s No. 1 prospect. Center fielder Pie, 22, hit just .224/.240/.388 in his first big league exposure, but his slump coincided with Alfonso Soriano’s return to the fold, so Jacque Jones shifted to center and Pie packed his bags for Des Moines, Iowa. Pie will be back to stay, possibly later this season. Dopirak jammed his thumb while sliding into second base. Harvey was back in Arizona rehabbing his hamstring pull.

Chicago White Sox
Placed on minor league disabled list: RHP Gavin Floyd
Reinstated from inactive list: 2B Victor Mercedes

Cincinnati Reds
Released: RHP Andrew Good, RHP Justin Newman
Recalled: 2B Jeff Keppinger
Optioned to Triple-A: 3B Edwin Encarnacion
Reinstated from disabled list: RHP Andrew Good, RHP Thomas Pauly, 1B Jesse Gutierrez
Option transferred: OF Chris Dickerson (Double-A Chattanooga to Triple-A Louisville)
Reinstated from inactive list: RHP Derrik Lutz

Encarnacion was optioned after hitting just .218/.301/.287 in the majors (and .174/.255/.217 away from Great American Ballpark), but it was his unfocused defensive play, including six errors, that got him demoted. He committed an error in his first game back in the minors, but give Encarnacion credit for reporting to and suiting up for Triple-A Louisville the day after being sent down. Dickerson hit .272/.325/.351 with seven steals in 114 at-bats for the Lookouts.

Cleveland Indians
Recalled: RHP Fausto Carmona, RHP Edward Mujica, OF Franklin Gutierrez
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Matt Miller, LHP Rafael Perez
Placed on minor league disabled list: RHP Chris Niesel, RHP Brian Slocum, SS Brian Finegan
Rehabilitation assignment: RHP Matt Miller (Triple-A Buffalo)

The frequently-injured but always-effective Miller is recovering from a strained right forearm muscle. Perez, 25, had struck out three and not surrendered a run for Cleveland, but the Indians sent him down to make room for Mujica, himself a fine reliever prospect at Triple-A Buffalo. Mujica, 23, had racked up six saves as the Bisons’ closer, in the process fanning 14 and walking just three in 12 2/3 innings. Gutierrez, 24, was in the midst of a 15-game hitting streak at Triple-A and was hitting a robust .358/.395/.494 since returning from injury in mid April.

Colorado Rockies
Reinstated from disabled list: LHP Xavier Cedeno

Detroit Tigers
Recalled: RHP Aquilino Lopez
Option transferred: LHP Andrew Miller (high Class A Lakeland to Double-A Erie)

The 22-year-old Miller, the sixth overall pick from North Carolina last June, went 1-4, 3.48 with 28-15 strikeouts-walks in 41 1/3 innings with Lakeland. He allowed only one home run and compiled a strong 4.50 groundouts-flyouts ratio. Miller then went eight strong innings in his Double-A debut. Lopez, 32, is in the big leagues with his fourth team, his personal highlight coming when he saved 14 games for the 2003 Blue Jays, a team that won 86 games. Toronto had made him a major league Rule 5 selection from the Mariners the previous December. Lopez, who signed out of the Dominican Republic with Seattle in 1997, had fashioned a fine minor league career as a reliever, posting a 3.49 ERA and compiling 633-173 strikeouts-walks in 588 innings entering the season. He did, however, surrender 16 home runs in just 62 innings for Triple-A Portland in 2006, accounting for his unsightly 5.52 ERA.

Florida Marlins
Recalled: OF Reggie Abercrombie, OF Eric Reed
Selected to major league roster: 1B John Gall
Optioned to Triple-A: OF Eric Reed
Placed on minor league disabled list: RHP Jacob Marceaux, RHP Anibal Sanchez, RHP Scott Tyler, LHP Manuel Olivera, C Paul Hoover, 1B Todd Sears
Reinstated from disabled list: RHP Kenny Baugh, RHP Jesus Delgado, RHP Michael Hyle, RHP James Russ, LHP Jeff Gogal, LHP Avi Rasowsky, 3B Jacob Blackwood, OF Jose Campusano
Rehabilitation assignment: OF Jeremy Hermida (high Class A Jupiter)

Abercrombie, 26, returned to the minors with a vengeance after spending all of 2006 with the big club. In 30 games for Triple-A Albuquerque, Abercrombie hit .282/.353/.534 with four homers and went a perfect 15-for-15 on the bases, earning him a quick recall to Florida. Gall, too, made the most of his time at Isotopes Park, hitting .307/.458/.496 with 13 doubles. The 29-year-old Gall, an 11th-round pick of the Cardinals out of Stanford in 2000, was a career .296/.354/.456 hitter in the minors entering 2007. He converted to left field as a pro because he offered below-average power as a righthanded-hitting first baseman. Acquired for Josh Beckett in November 2004, Sanchez burst on the scene in 2006, winning 10 games as a rookie and tossing a no-hitter in September, but the 23-year-old began experiencing shoulder pain in January. After laboring through six big league starts this season, the Marlins optioned Sanchez to Triple-A, where he hit the DL with shoulder tendinitis three days later. Former Prospect Handbook coverboy Hermida prepares for a return from a bruised right kneecap he suffered in spring training.

Houston Astros
Signed: RHP Kyle Middleton
Released: RHP Robert Stiehl
Placed on restricted list: C Lou Santangelo
Placed on minor league disabled list: OF Nick Moresi
Reinstated from disabled list: C James Goethals
Reinstated from inactive list: RHP Chance Douglass
Rehabilitation assignment: RHP Rick White (Double-A Corpus Christi)

The Astros cut ties with the oft-injured Stiehl, the 27th overall pick of the 2000 draft, after he got off to a 0-0, 7.47 start with Double-A Corpus Christi. He pitched just 218 innings in six minor league seasons, going 10-10, 3.92 with 245-114 strikeouts-walks. Santangelo was suspended 50 games for failing a performance-enhancing substance test. The Astros signed Middleton, a product of Escambia High, Pensacola, Fla., away from independent Pensacola.

Kansas City Royals
Signed: 1B Jeff Eure
Released: SS Tyrone Wilson
Traded: 1B Graham Koonce to Braves for player to be named
Selected to major league roster: RHP Jason Standridge
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Brian Bannister
Placed on minor league disabled list: OF Andy Larsen
Reinstated from disabled list: C Todd Balduf, C Ross Boudreaux, SS Andres Blanco
Placed on temporarily inactive list: 2B Josh Johnson

Wilson, a 16th-round pick last year, received his walking papers after garnering a suspension for failing to even take a drug test. The Royals are the fourth big league team for which Standridge, 28, has pitched. The 31st overall pick in 1997 by the Devil Rays also has pitched for the Rangers and Reds, but has logged just 126 big league innings in six seasons. Standridge has been exceptionally durable in the minors, however, averaging 114 innings per year in full-season leagues. And that’s while working around big league stints, of which he’s had at least one every season since 2001.

Los Angeles Angels
Released: OF Dontavious McDowell
Recalled: 1B Kendry Morales, 3B Matt Brown
Optioned to Triple-A: SS Brandon Wood
Placed on minor league disabled list: C Bobby Wilson
Reinstated from disabled list: RHP Kenneth Herndon, RHP Darren O’Day, 1B Clifton Remole

Brown was recalled when the Angels sent down Wood to play every day. He saw time in just three big league games, going 1-for-11. McDowell has had a spotty career interrupted by a short-lived college football career, as he was Troy’s starting quarterback in 2004 before running into academic trouble.

Los Angeles Dodgers
Placed on suspended list: 1B Cory Dunlap
Recalled: SS Andy LaRoche
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Yhency Brazoban
Placed on minor league disabled list: RHP Harold Eckert, C Alberto Concepcion
Reinstated from disabled list: SS James Rohan, OF James Tomlin

Top prospect LaRoche, 23, got the call despite hitting just .235/.309/.367 for Triple-A Las Vegas because big league third baseman Wilson Betemit was playing even worse. Acquired last July from the Braves, Betemit began the year hitting just .156/.305/.297 in his first 64 at-bats.

Milwaukee Brewers
Signed: RHP Max St. Pierre
Released: 1B Jeffrey Eure
Placed on minor league disabled list: RHP Mike Jones, C Anderson Delarosa
Reinstated from disabled list: 1B John Alonso, 2B Joe Dillon, 3B Adam Heether
Rehabilitation assignment: OF Laynce Nix (Double-A Huntsville)

Recently-released catcher St. Pierre was re-signed and will attempt a conversion to the mound in extended spring training. Thanks to reader and brewerfan.net denizen Jim Goulart for the heads-up. The 24-year-old Jones, taken 12th overall in 2001, was out with a strained elbow. He’s missed large chunks of each season since 2003 with various arm ailments, and has 19-16, 2.96 career numbers with 276-162 strikeouts-walks in 352 innings.

Minnesota Twins
Placed on suspended list: 2B Luke Hughes
Recalled: C Chris Heintz
Placed on minor league disabled list: LHP Alexander Smit, 1B Ken Harvey
Reinstated from disabled list: LHP Ricky Barrett, 1B Ken Harvey, 3B Glenn Williams, SS Luis Ugueto

Smit was out with right foot soreness.

New York Mets
Signed: RHP Brian Lawrence
Placed on restricted list: RHP Jorge Reyes
Selected to major league roster: RHP Jorge Sosa
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Ambiorix Burgos
Placed on minor league disabled list: RHP Deolis Guerra, RHP Clint Nageotte, RHP Michael Swindell, 1B Mike Carp
Reinstated from disabled list: RHP Jorge Reyes, OF Ambiorix Concepcion
Reinstated from inactive list: RHP Emary Frederick

The Mets will give Lawrence a spin after his less-than-amicable split with the Rockies in April. Lawrence, 31, had gone 49-61, 4.10 in 934 big league innings before missing all of 2006 while recovering from shoulder surgery. Colorado signed the righthander last winter, but while he pitched well in spring training, Lawrence opened with Triple-A Colorado Spring on rehab. He didn’t help his cause by posting a 8.69 ERA there, however. Reyes incurred a 100-game suspension for failing his second performance-enhancing drug test. Sosa dominated at Triple-A New Orleans, going 4-0, 1.13 with 29-4 strikeouts-walks in 32 innings, to earn a promotion. Carp was expected to miss a month with a broken finger on his right hand.

New York Yankees
Signed: RHP Roger Clemens, OF Noah Hall
Recalled: RHP Darrell Rasner
Selected to major league roster: RHP Matt DeSalvo
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Colter Bean
Optioned to high Class A: LHP Kei Igawa
Placed on minor league disabled list: C Jason Brown, OF Brett Gardner
Reinstated from disabled list: RHP Joba Chamberlain

Yankees’ affiliates are drooling for the chance to add gate attraction Clemens for a game or two. DeSalvo bounced back from a terrible 2006 season to dominate with Triple-A Scranton and earn his first big league start, in which he pitched well, giving up a lone run in seven innings May 7. Igawa was optioned all the way to Tampa, with 2-1, 7.63 numbers, to rebuild his windup with pitching coordinator Nardi Contreras. Bean got his ticket for Scranton punched by allowing four runs on two hits and two walks in a May 4 outing; he allowed four more in his first outing back in Triple-A. Gardner was expected to miss at least a month with a broken hand. Chamberlain, the 41st overall pick from Nebraska last year, returned from a strained hamstring to strike out five in four innings at Tampa.

Oakland Athletics
Released: RHP Joseph Newby
Placed on minor league disabled list: RHP Inoel Deaza, 1B Jason Stokes, 2B Donald Murphy
Reinstated from inactive list: RHP Brad Knox

Philadelphia Phillies
Signed: RHP Jason Anderson, RHP Allan Simpson
Released: LHP Brian Mazone, OF Victor Hall
Selected to major league roster: RHP Clay Condrey
Placed on minor league disabled list: RHP John Ennis, RHP Ben Pfinsgraff, OF Jay Miller
Option transferred: SS Michael Garciaparra (from high Class A Clearwater to Double-A Reading)

Mazone, who was 3-2, 2.21 on the season, was granted his release so he could pitch in Korea. Ottawa acquired quality relievers Anderson and Simpson in his stead. Anderson, a 10th-round pick of the Yankees in 2000, has compiled career 41-29, 3.26 numbers in the minors with 494-166 strikeouts-walks in 569 innings. An eighth-round pick of the Mariners in 1997, Simpson has gone 32-39, 3.67 with 734-371 strikeouts-walks in 663 minor league innings. Neither has established himself in the majors. Recent waiver claim Garciaparra, 24, hit .182/.400/.273 in 11 at-bats with the Threshers.

Pittsburgh Pirates
Placed on suspended list: C Francis Poni
Placed on minor league disabled list: RHP Eric Krebs, RHP Franquelis Osoria, C Carlos Maldonado
Reinstated from disabled list: RHP Mark Corey, RHP Jason Roach
Reinstated from inactive list: C Steven Lerud
Rehabilitation assignment: C Humberto Cota (Triple-A Indianapolis)

Cota missed time with a left shoulder strain.

St. Louis Cardinals
Released: LHP Brian Schroeder
Selected to major league roster: RHP Brian Falkenborg, OF Ryan Ludwick
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Dennis Dove
Placed on minor league disabled list: RHP Brian Stitt, LHP Chris Narveson

The second-round pick of the A’s in 1999 out of Nevada, Ludwick has struggled to establish himself in the majors, despite being one of the minors’ most prolific sluggers. In eight seasons, Ludwick, 28, had hit .267/.348/.496 with 132 homers entering the year. He has twice finished runner-up for his league’s home run crown, in 2000 and again in 2006 with Triple-A Toledo. Narveson left his last start with a shoulder injury.

San Diego Padres
Released: C Charlie Lisk
Selected to major league roster: RHP Justin Germano
Optioned to Triple-A: LHP Royce Ring
Placed on minor league disabled list: RHP Jose Oyervidez
Reinstated from disabled list: OF Nick Crosta

Germano, a March waiver claim from the Phillies, gave up one run in six innings of his first big league start of the year May 8. He’s filling in for the injured Clay Hensley. Originally drafted by the Padres in the 13th round of the 2000 draft, Germano was traded to the Reds for Joe Randa in 2005 and then to the Phillies for Rheal Cormier last July. Entering the season, the durable Germano, 24, had gone 69-51, 3.69 with 803-191 strikeouts-walks in 1,027 minor league innings.

San Francisco Giants
Recalled: OF Fred Lewis, OF Dan Ortmeier
Selected to major league roster: RHP Tim Lincecum
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Scott Munter
Outrighted off 40-man roster: 1B Lance Niekro
Reinstated from disabled list: RHP Brian Wilson

Second-year phenom Lincecum, the 10th overall pick last year from Washington, decimated the Pacific Coast League in 31 innings there to begin the year, going 4-0, 0.29 with 46-11 strikeouts-walks. His big league debut was not quite so seamless–five runs on five hits in 4 1/3 innings–but the 23-year-old LIncecum redeemed himself with a seven-innings, two-runs effort his second time out. The Giants recalled Triple-A Fresno outfielders Lewis (.263/.349/.500) and Ortmeier (.268/.341/.482) after the club designated outfielder Todd Linden for assignment and lost outfielder Dave Roberts to injury. Wilson was recovering from a triceps strain.

Seattle Mariners
Signed: LHP Brad Thomas
Released: LHP Brad Thomas
Placed on suspended list: RHP Julio Mateo, RHP John Sullivan
Recalled: RHP Sean Green
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Julio Mateo
Placed on minor league disabled list: C Jair Fernandez, 2B Ronald Garth
Reinstated from disabled list: RHP Cibney Bello, RHP Ruben Flores, RHP Enrique Orta, LHP Tony Butler

Mateo was suspended for 10 games by the Mariners after he was arrested and charged with assaulting his wife. Butler, the club’s third-round pick last year, returned from a tired arm.

Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Recalled: RHP Tim Corcoran, RHP Chad Orvella
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Ruddy Lugo, SS Ben Zobrist
Placed on minor league disabled list: RHP Brian Lockwood
Reinstated from disabled list: RHP Jeff Kamrath, LHP Jonathan Barratt

Relievers Corcoran and Orvella were recalled to replace the demoted Lugo and righthander Juan Salas, who was suspended for 50 games for failing a performance-enhancing drug test. Orvella, 26, went 1-0, 2.76 with five saves and 21-7 strikeouts-walks in 16 1/3 innings for Triple-A Durham, while teammate Corcoran, 29, went 1-1, 2.51 with 13-6 strikeouts-walks in 14 1/3 innings. Zobrist, who lost the starting job to Brendan Harris, was optioned to Durham to make room on the big league roster for infielder Josh Wilson, a recent waiver claim from the Nationals. Wilson, a third-round pick of the Marlins in 1999 who can play anywhere on the infield, had hit .281/.342/.419 in eight minor league seasons coming into 2007.

Texas Rangers
Released: LHP Matt Merricks
Placed on restricted list: RHP Francisco Cruceta
Recalled: RHP Wes Littleton
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Wes Littleton
Placed on minor league disabled list: LHP Scott Rice, SS David Matranga
Reinstated from disabled list: RHP Luis Mendoza, RHP Tony Pluta, C Taylor Teagarden, 1B Nate Gold

Cruceta received a 50-game suspension for failing a test for performance-enhancing substances.

Toronto Blue Jays
Released: RHP Geremi Gonzalez
Recalled: RHP Jamie Vermilyea
Placed on minor league disabled list: RHP Adrian Martin, SS Ryan Klosterman
Reinstated from disabled list: RHP Po-Hsuan Keng, 1B Joey Metropoulos
Placed on temporarily inactive list: C Erik Kratz
Reinstated from inactive list: C Erik Kratz

Klosterman, who had been hitting just .159/.295/.182, injured his shoulder on a stolen base attempt. Vermilyea got the call when Victor Zambrano went on the DL; he was unscored upon in six big league innings.

Washington Nationals
Released: RHP Bryan Lambert
Outrighted off 40-man roster: OF Michael Restovich
Placed on minor league disabled list: RHP Edulin Abreu, LHP Coby Mavroulis, 2B Brandon Powell
Reinstated from disabled list: RHP Marco Estrada, RHP Dan Foli, LHP Chris Michalak

Restovich, 28, hit .143/.172/.179 in 28 at-bats with the big club. The Twins drafted the Rochester, Minn.-native in the second round of the 1997 draft, and he developed into one of the better minor league sluggers. A big 2006, in which he hit .293/.374/.560 with 27 home runs for the Triple-A Iowa Cubs, got him a gig on the Nationals’ 40-man roster in the offseason. Coming into the season, Restovich had hit .286/.367/.500 in the minors with 155 home runs.