Craig Counsell and Casey McGehee have done a nice job platooning at second base following Rickie Weeks' season-ending wrist surgery, but the Brewers went for a change anyway Sunday by acquiring Felipe Lopez from the Diamondbacks for a pair of marginal prospects in Cole Gillespie and Roque Mercedes. Lopez hit .305/.368/.416 in 84 games with Arizona after batting .283/.347/.387 last season.
While not necessarily an upgrade over the previous second-base platoon, Lopez potentially enables the Brewers to shift the Counsell-McGehee duo to third base while phasing rookie Mat Gamel out of the action and perhaps even back to the minors. Gamel has hit just .239/.339/.413 through 127 plate appearances, which along with his poor defense made him a weak spot in the short term.
Moving away from Arizona's hitter-friendly ballpark hurts Lopez, but he figures to continue leading off in Milwaukee and could be given a chance to run more after swiping just six bases in nine tries. Ryan Roberts is expected to replace Lopez in Arizona, but doesn't offer real fantasy value and the other in-house alternative is the similarly underwhelming Augie Ojeda.
While Lopez joins his fifth NL team since 2006, here are some other notes from around baseball ...
* Joel Zumaya coughed up multiple runs Friday for the fourth time in his last nine appearances, but more importantly came out of the game after hearing a "pop" in his shoulder. He was immediately placed on the disabled list and an MRI exam revealed that Zumaya aggravated the stress fracture that shut him down for the final six weeks of last season and delayed his debut for three weeks this year.
Zumaya never ceased lighting up radar guns and actually threw harder than ever prior to the latest setback, averaging a career-high 99.3 miles per hour with his fastball. The other good news is that a stress fracture is less troubling that a torn labrum or rotator cuff in terms of his long-term outlook, although at this point he's been on and off the disabled list for three years and is likely done until 2010.
* Ramon Hernandez has been disappointing for the Reds, batting .249/.330/.355 in 77 games while managing just five homers and 12 doubles in 273 at-bats after coming over in the winter trade that cleared room for Matt Wieters in the Orioles' lineup. And now he won't have a chance to improve his stats in the second half, as the team announced Sunday that he'll miss 4-6 weeks following knee surgery.
Hernandez being sidelined may not be such a bad thing for the Reds' offense, as Ryan Hanigan has hit .307/.399/.385 in 285 plate appearances of backup duties during the past two years. He's not that good, but Hanigan also posted a similar .296/.376/.378 line in 125 games at Triple-A and can definitely get on base at a better clip than Hernandez. However, lack of power limits his fantasy upside.
AL Quick Hits: With trade rumors swirling, Roy Halladay allowed one run Sunday in a complete-game win over the Red Sox … Brett Anderson tossed eight scoreless innings Sunday, but got a no-decision against John Lackey's nine shutout frames ... Ichiro Suzuki reached base four times and made a game-saving catch in the ninth inning Sunday … Luke Hochevar had a career-high nine strikeouts versus zero walks in a no-decision Sunday … Edwin Jackson took another tough-luck loss Sunday, falling to 7-5 despite a 2.52 ERA that ranks third in the AL … Mark Grudzielanek could get a look at second base in Minnesota soon after inking a minor-league deal Sunday … Joba Chamberlain rebounded from an ugly stretch by striking out eight while allowing one run in 6.2 innings Sunday … Jacoby Ellsbury returned to the lineup Sunday after sitting out two games with the flu, but went 0-for-4 against Halladay.
NL Quick Hits: Jake Fox went 3-for-5 with a homer and four RBIs while subbing for Aramis Ramirez at third base Sunday … Joel Pineiro kept rolling with seven innings of one-run ball Sunday, slicing his ERA to 3.09 … J.A. Happ improved to 7-0 with seven shutout innings Sunday … Mark DeRosa went 0-for-2 with a walk Sunday, making him hitless in 15 at-bats since being dealt to St. Louis … Jimmy Rollins is batting .377 this month after notching three hits Sunday … Scott Olsen (shoulder) is scheduled to be examined Monday by Dr. James Andrews … Matt Cain picked up his 11th win with seven frames of one-run ball Sunday … Alfonso Soriano homered for the second straight game Sunday after coming back from a dislocated finger … Andrew Miller tossed just 29 of 65 pitches for strikes while failing to make it out of the third inning Sunday … Rick Ankiel (shoulder) will play on despite an MRI exam revealing what Tony La Russa called "some issues."