An obscure gem for the Dodgers
Rookie starter Carlos Monasterios is 3-0 with a 2.27 ERA for the Los Angeles Dodgers. If his name sounds familiar, that might be because he was a member of the Phillies' organization from 2006 to 2009.
Monasterios, who is filling in for the injured Vicente Padilla in the Dodgers' rotation, was one of four prospects who came to the Phillies on July 30, 2006, from the Yankees for Bobby Abreu and the late Cory Lidle.
The 24-year-old from Venezuela is the only one in the majors now. Converted catcher Jesus Sanchez is still in the Phillies' organization, as a pitcher for single-A Clearwater. Pitcher Matt Smith left baseball because of elbow trouble, and highly touted shortstop C.J. Henry left baseball because he was not good at it. (Henry was last seen on the University of Kansas basketball team.)
The Phillies lost Monasterios in the Rule 5 draft last December: The Mets grabbed him and subsequently sold him to the Dodgers.
"I think he has a lot of confidence in himself," pitching coach Rick Honeycutt told the Los Angeles Times this week. "He's able to locate, and his curveball is slowly getting better. . . . There's been a lot of positives."
Fathers and sons
As usual, a chunk of the attention devoted to this week's amateur draft centered on the sons of former big-league players who were selected. Amid a never-ending stream of names, Ozney Guillen, Delino DeShields Jr., Cam Bedrosian, and Dickie Thon Jr. simply stood out.
For decades, however, very few baseball sons amounted to much. Dick Sisler hit one of the most-important homers in Phillies history for the 1950 Whiz Kids, but he was no match for Hall of Fame first baseman George Sisler.
Eddie Collins, Ed Walsh, Smoky Joe Wood, Dolf Camilli, Earl Averill, Yogi Berra, Maury Wills, Tony Perez, and Pete Rose were all major stars. Their sons were not.
In the last 25 years, that has turned a bit, with Ken Griffey Jr., Barry Bonds, Roberto Alomar, Jason Kendall, and Robb Nen clearly surpassing their dads. Prince Fielder seems capable of matching Cecil Fielder, and Jayson Werth already has Dennis Werth beat by a mile.
Buddy Bell and Bob Boone belong in a special category. Those two exceptional players were the middle tier of three-generation baseball families - both fathers and sons.
Coming and going
Pittsburgh summoned outfielder Jose Tabata from triple-A Indianapolis on Wednesday. The 21-year-old - a former Yankees prospect who played for the Trenton Thunder at one point -
joined 23-year-old Andrew McCutchen in a Pirates outfield that has gotten much more promising in the last year.
To make room on the roster, the Bucs demoted struggling first baseman Jeff Clement. He was the No. 3 overall pick in the 2005 draft by Seattle - ahead of Ryan Zimmerman (No. 4), Ryan Braun (5), Ricky Romero (6), Troy Tulowitzki (7), Mike Pelfrey (9), and McCutchen (11).
Clement, who will turn 27 in August, already seems to be running out of chances.