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Posted: Friday May 29, 2009 1:13PM; Updated: Friday May 29, 2009 1:14PM
Tom Verducci Tom Verducci >
THREE STRIKES

Infielder deals have yet to be made, but here's one to consider

Story Highlights

The Pirates' Freddy Sanchez would be a good fit at second base for the Rays

Matt Wieters will make his major league debut with the Orioles on Friday night

The center field position is making a comeback, thanks to a run of young players

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Freddy Sanchez
Freddy Sanchez would be a perfect for the Rays, who stress defense and grinding out at-bats.
John Iacono/SI
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1) It's interesting to see that none of the major infield injuries by contenders has been filled by a trade yet: Cardinals third base (Troy Glaus), Brewers second base (Rickie Weeks), Mets first base (Carlos Delgado) and Rays second base (Akinori Iwamura).

The Rays have hit a crisis point because of injuries, a decline in starting pitching and another awful trip to Cleveland. If they do decide to make a trade, one scout suggested that they ought to pry away Freddy Sanchez from the Pirates. Sanchez is exactly the kind of player who fits well in the way Tampa stresses defense and grinding out at-bats. Dan Uggla of Florida, another second baseman who could be available, is not nearly as good a fit for the Rays.

2) Nice to see Orioles catcher Matt Wieters finally called up to make his big league debut, but I've got to believe service time had something to do with the timing of it no matter how Baltimore spins it. I said this in spring training: Once we get past Memorial Day, watch for the promotion of top prospects. Generally, if a team waits until after Memorial Day to start the major league service clock of a player, he won't qualify as a "Super Two" and get into the arbitration system a year earlier than he otherwise would -- a tactic that saves millions of dollars for the club. Next up: Tommy Hanson. The Atlanta pitching prospect has been dominating Triple-A hitters, and could be promoted as soon as Sunday.

3) The center field position seems to be making a comeback, thanks to a run of very good young players. Only two regular center fielders are older than 32: Torii Hunter, 33, of the Angels; and Mike Cameron, 36, of the Brewers. And who would you pick among these guys who haven't hit their prime yet: Adam Jones, 23; Matt Kemp, 24; B.J. Upton, 24; Jacoby Ellsbury, 25; or Grady Sizemore, 26?

 
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