May 27, 2015, 2:12 PM EDT
The retooling Braves continue to tinker with their roster, as the team is reportedly about to send infielder Alberto Callaspo and pitchers Eric Stults, Ian Thomas and Juan Jaime to the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for veteran third baseman Juan Uribe and reliever Chris Withrow.
Callaspo’s departure makes sense, as he had struggled to establish himself as the utility infielder Atlanta hoped he’d be when he was signed in December. Though Uribe has the longer track record, it’s more likely that the Braves believe Withrow has the higher upside. The 26-year-old righty is considered a power arm, but is recovering from last summer’s Tommy John surgery with the hope that he’ll make an appearance at Triple-A Gwinnett towards the end of the season.
Other than toiling in last place, having opposing managers take shots at GM-turned-manager Dan Jennings, players not showing up for charity events and the third base coach getting confused on signs, things seem to be going quite well for the Marlins these days.
In all seriousness, Miami looks rudderless as the losing and drama continues to unfold. If opposing managers are having trouble respecting Jennings’ switch from general manager to skipper, how are the players in the Marlins clubhouse supposed to? Not only that, but it’s inevitable that every managerial gaffe will be double and triple-guessed, especially because fans and pundits are well aware of Jennings’ inexperience at the professional level. Maybe the players are able to play through this and stay competitive, and maybe Jennings grows into the job down the road. But until that happens, it’ll be hard to look at the situation in Miami as anything other than perplexing.
NEW YORK METS
For those who thought the Mets would go away once the Nationals overtook them in the division standings, think again. Though they’re 1 1/2 games back in the NL East and not the hot club they were in April, the starting rotation is still doing the heavy lifting to keep them afloat.
Bartolo Colon, who has looked more his age in recent starts, is still tied for the league lead in wins with seven. Jacob deGrom and Matt Harvey have ERAs under 3.00. Even Noah Syndergaard hasn’t given up more than three runs in a start so far. So despite the fact that the Mets have a pedestrian offense, don’t be surprised if they’re in it throughout most of the summer.
Apparently displeased with commentary from the Philly faithful, general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. called out Phillies fans for being impatient with the rebuilding process, especially when it comes to promoting top minor league prospects to the big club. It’s pretty obvious that he’d rather take his time letting the pair of 21-year-old pitchers Aaron Nola and Zach Eflin develop in Double-A Reading rather than rushing them to the majors. But with the team in the middle of a rebuild, that won’t be the most popular decision — even if it’s the most prudent one.
The good news on the rebuilding front is that the club’s big trade chips continue to play well. Jonathan Papelbon is a perfect 11-for-11 in save opportunities this year, Cole Hamels is 4-0 with a 1.53 ERA over his last four starts, and even Ryan Howard has suddenly been raking. If they keep going like this, the type of haul Amaro could get in return for these high-priced vets will leave even the most cynical Philly fans happy.
FINAL NL EAST STANDINGS
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.
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