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Latest Transactions -- Latest: Andrew Lefave Traded to Nationals

First a link to the April / May transaction thread, now closed:




And a link to the June transaction thread, also now closed:




As being discussed here on the Major League Forum, LHP Chris Cody acquired from the Tigers organization for RHP Jose Capellan:




Recent MiLB.com article (thanks to our reader "molitor fan" for the find):




Cody climbing ladder with finesse


By Evan Mohl / MLB.com


Throwing the ball hard has become an obsession in baseball. Scoreboards that show pitch speed are requisite for any game and can be found at every niche and corner of baseball stadiums.


Last year, fans and announcers marveled at Joel Zumaya of the Detroit Tigers touching 102 mph on the radar gun. At the Legends of the Game Baseball Museum at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, visitors can stick their hand in a catcher's mitt and feel the power of a Nolan Ryan fastball.


It seems strange that in a game Yogi Berra once described as 90 percent mental, scouts, analysts and fans are infatuated with a purely physical ability such as pitch speed. Nonetheless, player-development personnel time and time again shy away from players who can't throw the ball 95 mph.


None of this seems to bother Chris Cody, who has often been labeled a "soft-tossing lefty" and a "finesse" pitcher. Instead, he takes the mound every fifth day with his high-80s fastball, doing what he does best: pitching. The Brewster, N.Y., native is just as effective by painting the corners, hitting his spots and changing speeds.


"The room for error is greater the harder you throw," admitted Cody. "So, naturally, you have a little bit of advantage if you can throw the ball 95 miles per hour. But velocity is pretty much the least important thing when you look at all the ingredients for a successful pitcher."


So while most young ballplayers try to be the next Roger Clemens, Randy Johnson or Pedro Martinez, Cody looks to different pitchers. He aspires to be like Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Jamie Moyer, who all rarely hit 85 on the radar gun. Despite their speed "deficiencies," these pitchers have had success in the Major Leagues by making up for what they lack in velocity with control, changing speeds and deception.


"Those guys go out there every night and make it look easy while throwing nothing over 85 miles per hour," said Cody. "They're true pitchers. That's kind of the inspiration I look at. I see those guys going out there every night, and there's no real reason why anybody can't do that."


That attitude has made Cody successful as a professional ballplayer. The 23-year-old has dominated at every stop he's made -- from Oneonta of the New York-Penn League to West Michigan of the Midwest League.


This year Cody boasts a 1.77 ERA, which ranks second in the MWL. In 91 1/3 innings, he's struck out 92 batters while allowing just 15 walks. Opponents are hitting a paltry .215 against Cody, who has failed to pitch six innings in just two of his 14 starts.


So much for pitch speed and radar guns.


Cody's filthy stats earned him a spot in the Midwest League All-Star Game and a promotion to Class A Advanced Lakeland.


But truth be told, it wasn't always this easy for Cody. He had trouble getting recruited in high school because of his low velocity. He also suffered an injury to his elbow that forced him to sit out of baseball during the summer of his junior year, when most big-time baseball colleges and universities do their heavy recruiting.


"I wasn't highly recruited by any college coaches," said Cody. "I guess I kind of scared them away. I didn't play that junior summer, which is a big time for college coaches to recruit you."


For Cody, however, playing baseball was life. His father had taught him the game when he was 8 years old, and Cody loved it. So when then Manhattan Jaspers Coach Steve Trimper offered him a Division I scholarship, Cody said it was a "no-brainer."


"Coach Trimper gave me a shot, gave me a scholarship," said Cody. "He didn't think my injury or velocity was that big of a deal."


Cody proved his coach right and excelled for the Jaspers. He set school records in wins, complete games, and strikeouts . In his final season, Cody compiled a 12-2 record with a 1.42 ERA. He pitched nine complete games while fanning 105 batters over 108 innings.


But Cody had to demonstrate he could play with the best. So in the summer of his sophomore year, Cody received an invitation to play in the Cape Cod League under legendary Chatham A's Coach John Schiffner. During that summer in New England, Cody established himself as a true prospect.


"I had some success there," said Cody. "That's when I started believing that if the chips fell in the right spot, I'd get a pretty decent shot at playing pro ball."


And in 2006, after Cody's stellar senior year at Manhattan, the Detroit Tigers selected him in the eighth round.


As he makes his ascent up the baseball ladder to the big leagues, Cody continues to rely on more than his physical gifts. On the mound, he prides himself on being poised, refusing to give anything to the opposing team. One sign of weakness could cost him the upper hand in the battle between pitcher and batter.


"I don't get rattled easily," said Cody. "I try to have the same look on my face whether I'm throwing a nine-inning shutout or if I've given up five runs in the first two innings. I try to stay the same, keep even-keeled."


In trying to explain all his success, Cody says it's nothing more than working hard, listening to coaches, being astute and hitting the corners.


"I'd say consistency is the biggest thing," said Cody. "That's what separates the big leaguers from the Minor Leaguers -- being able to repeat something 90 or 100 percent of the time, that's what I'm striving for. To throw a fastball on the outside corner at the knees once is great. If you can do it 10 more times in a row, then you're doing something special."


Having a devastating changeup helps, too. But either way, Cody is headed in the right direction, proving once again that velocity isn't everything.


LHP Chris Cody Career Statistics (2006 on final stat line):




Chris Cody compiled a 1.17 ERA in 14 starts with West Michigan before his promotion. (Photo by Emily Smith/MLB.com)



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Chris Cody..... Eye on the Tigers

February 10th, 2007

by Don Leypoldt


It's lefty Chris Cody's nature to open an interview discussing one of his earned runs.


Cody posted a 2.38 ERA and a strikeout-walk ratio of nearly 6:1 in his 11 starts for the short season New York-Penn Leagues Oneonta Tigers last summer. Despite such an impressive professional debut, there are deer ticks that are bigger than Cody's ego. But then again, his miscue on July 20th against Brooklyn was no ordinary run.


"I hung a curveball. The batter knocked it down the line into a corner and the runner came around to score," Cody recalled. "At first I didn't think much of it. I went through six innings and I thought 'Wow, one run. That's a pretty good start."


"About three hours later-in the 20th inning or so-I'm thinking to myself 'Man, if I had just not given up that run in the first inning, we'd be home by now.'" In a 26 inning marathon that lasted over six and a half hours, featured 206 plate appearances and had 21 consecutive scoreless frames, the Tigers were eventual 5-1 winners.


For the record, Cody's father and college coaches lasted all twenty-six innings. But Cody's family played an important role in his adjustment to the minors, so it is no surprise that they showed unwavering support during the Oneonta-Brooklyn epic. "I'm familiar with Oneonta because I have a lot of family there. Another thing that was special was being able to play in front of family, see them and get a home cooked meal every now and then," Cody commented.


The marathon was one more memory in a fabulous 2006 for the Brewster, N.Y. native. Cody ended his senior year at Manhattan College with a 12- 2 record, a 1.42 ERA, nine complete games and nearly a strikeout per inning. He left as the school's all time leader in wins (29), ERA (2.94) and strikeouts (295).


While Cody's success stunned the college baseball world, it did not surprise Manchester (CT) Silkworm fans (of the wood bat New England Collegiate Baseball League). In his 2003 summer at Manchester, freshman Cody posted a 4-2 record, a typo-like 0.91 ERA and 56 strikeouts in 49.1 innings. He also demonstrated the calm, cerebral persona that he would use - along with a mid 80's fastball and tremendous command - to eventually dominate both Division 1 and New York-Penn League batters.


The rubber armed Cody permanently elevated his game in the opening round of the 2006 College World Series. Manhattan, making their first CWS appearance in nearly half a century, sojourned to Lincoln, Nebraska for a date with the #7 ranked and heavily favored Nebraska Cornhuskers. If that wasn't pressure enough, Cody was going to square off against the Huskers' Joba Chamberlain, the New York Yankees' eventual 2006 first round pick. And if that weren't enough, there were over 8,000 screaming partisan fans in attendance. The last time a man had faced such a turbulent Red Sea, Moses was pitching against Pharaoh.


But just like the Moses-Pharaoh duel, the underdog won. Cody tossed a complete game, seven strikeout, one-run gem as Manhattan knocked off Nebraska 4-1 in a national-news making upset. The Detroit Tigers rewarded the Brewster (NY) High School graduate by making him their 8th round pick in the 2006 Major League Baseball draft shortly thereafter.

The Nebraska game - as well as his defeat of then 15th ranked Tulane earlier in the year - helped to prepare Cody for professional baseball. "As far as the talent level goes," he observed about the New York-Penn League, "every game I pitched was similar to the nationally ranked teams I played. It was like top college talent every game out. That was

intimidating because you can't expect to pitch well against that type of competition every time."


Despite the collegiate success he had, Cody adjusted his pitching philosophy upon reaching the minors. "In Oneonta, they preach 'Pitch to contact.'" he said."Try to get hitters out on the first or second pitch instead of wasting four or five pitches trying to get a strikeout. They didn't complain when I stuck guys out! But if you control your fastball and you

pitch low in the zone - it can be hittable but it is hit on the ground, which is what they want."


The instruction he received kept runners off the base paths; Cody walked just nine in 53 short-season innings. "I had been told by several people to keep your walks down. I have always had pretty decent control, so I was looking to continue that. What (Oneonta) taught me really helped me in terms of keeping my mechanics consistent. Better mechanics led to a better walk ratio," Cody noted.


The Tigers have not announced their 2007 plans for Cody, but the southpaw is unfazed. "I'm just aiming to have a really good spring training. I want to go there in shape and show them that I've been working hard," he said.


No matter where the Tigers assign Cody, the hurler is where every member of the 2007 Silkworms wants to be. He left this advice for the young arms coming to Northwest Park this summer: "I use this analogy, even though I don't even know how to play chess! But pitching is a chess game, not a checkers game. If I try to blow it by a batter, sooner or later it's going to get hit. But if you hit your spots and keep the hitters off balance, then that is even more important than velocity."


He may not be a chess player but Cody said "Checkmate" to many batters in 2006. He is hoping that 2007 sees more of the same.

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From a Detroit Minor League Report on Cody's one and only Florida State League outing thus far:


Lakeland took a 9-2 beating from the Jupiter Hammerheads yesterday. There was an hour and seven minute rain delay in the middle of the game, and it's assumed that?s the reason Chris Cody only threw four innings. He gave up two runs on five hits and a walk while striking out three, but the second run scored after he allowed a single and was taken out of the game in the fifth.


Chris Cody was 5-5 with a 1.77 ERA for West Michigan before a promotion to Lakeland. (Photo by Chris Proctor/MLB.com)



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This is the type of pitcher that Melvin seems to like. That's how he rescued Doug Davis from the scrap heap and kept promoting Villanueva, even though neither of them had the measurable of velocity. I heard him in an interview talk about guys like this, who just keep getting people out. He loves 'em. No offense intended, but for now given the choice on this one, I think I'll trust DM's instincts instead of DrWood's.
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Another Latin player debuted in Arizona Sunday, RHP Jorge Crespo, a 20-year-old from Puerto Rico.




By the way, the Brewerfan Player Index now reflects all players on the rookie league level as well.


Your best tool for checking stats remains the MiLB.com pages, particularly via the box scores, simply click on a player, get his stats, splits, 2006 numbers, etc. To think how far MiLB.com has come in two years -- prior to that, it was a useless wasteland. Another example of MLBAM (MLB Advanced Media) doing just a remarkable job for us fans.

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I heard him in an interview talk about guys like this, who just keep getting people out. He loves 'em.


Where was Melvin when Jack Krawczyck and that "soft-tossing lefty" whose name I can't remember (Lee? Threw high 80's, about 5-6 years ago, was in AA for like 3-4 years in a row before being lost in the minor league Rule 5 draft) were getting everyone out at A+ and AA but never saw AAA? Oh wait, he was in Texas, and we had the immortal Dean Taylor as GM.

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Huntsville Site:

Link, text follows --




Brewers Release Mateo


The Milwaukee Brewers have released outfielder Ruben Mateo and activated infielder/outfielder Ryan Crew from the disabled list. Crew will be in uniform for the Stars Wednesday in the opener of a four-game set with the Tennessee Smokies.


Mateo batted .241 with five home runs and 15 runs batted in over 24 games with the Stars. He joined the team on May 18 and played in 16 games before being placed on the disabled list with a nagging right hamstring injury on June 3 that he had re-aggravated the day before running the bases at Chattanooga. He played in eight games after being activated on June 24 and hit safely in each of his last four.


Crew is batting .290 with two runs batted in over 31 at-bats since joining the team June 3 in Chattanooga.

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In order to make room for LHP Chris Cody on the Brevard County roster, RHP Josh Baker lands on the disabled list once again. Good luck to Josh.


Also, we've learned that LHP Derek Miller has been promoted to AA Huntsville, in a move many considered overdue.


This means that a spot has to be freed up at AA, and there's a spot open at Brevard. We'll keep you posted.


Miller's a 25-year-old New England kid. Here's the link to his 2007 numbers, 2006 totals at bottom of the linked page:



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News from Huntsville:


The Milwaukee Brewers have promoted left-hand pitcher Derek Miller to Huntsville from high class-A Brevard County in the Florida State League and sent pitcher Robert Hinton from Huntsville to Brevard. Miller is scheduled to make his first double-A start on Friday night in the third of a four-game set with the Tennessee Smokies. Hinton is expected to be in uniform for Brevard County on Saturday night.


Miller was 4-4 with a 3.71 earned run average in 17 starts with the Manatees. He had struck out 75 and walked 25 in 94 2/3 innings of work and had won each of his last two decisions.


Hinton was 1-2 with a 7.46 earned run mark with the Stars in 27 appearances in relief.

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Nashville Media Notes:


GWYNN RECALLED BY BREWERS: Outfielder Tony Gwynn was recalled by Milwaukee this afternoon to replace Bill Hall on the Brewers? active roster. Hall was placed on the 15-day disabled list today with a sprained right ankle suffered while trying to make an outfield catch at the wall in Milwaukee?s game in Pittsburgh last night.


Gwynn batted .258 (17-for-66) with 10 runs scored in 16 games with the Sounds. No move has been made to fill his spot on the Sounds? roster. Nashville is one short of the 24-man active limit.

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In order to make room for LHP Chris Cody on the Brevard County roster, RHP Josh Baker lands on the disabled list once again. Good luck to Josh.


Bad news for Josh, coming off the injury. I recall being giddy a few years ago thinking he was a steal, having been overlooked as the fourth best pitcher on the Rice staff.

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Good for him, another feel good story.

"You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation."

- Plato

"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something."

- Plato

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Well, now we know whose roster spot RHP Mark DiFelice is taking in Nashville (see Transaction thread), as was noted elsewhere in this forum:


Chris Oxspring Headed To Korea


There's an open roster spot, most likely for a pitcher, in Huntsville now. With their All-Star Break, we won't know for a day or two on that fill.

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Rehabbing LHP Mitch Stetter's ready to head somewhere from Maryvale soon, too.


He's going back to AAA, or at least he should. And I don't think they would have promoted DiFelice only to send him back down, because there isn't anyone else on the AAA roster that should be sent to AA. Stetter might go on a further "rehab" assignment, but longterm, one of those guys I listed deserves it.

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