Sunday Insider: Short hops

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 12, 2012 - 12:19 AM
Kubel nears 30-homer mark

Jason Kubel's two-year, $16 million deal with the Diamondbacks includes a $7.5 mutual option for 2014, and it's already been a steal for Arizona. Between June and July, Kubel had 18 home runs and 49 RBI. He cooled in early August but hit two more homers Thursday, giving him 25 for the season. At age 30, the former Twin is playing closer to his Southern California home and thriving in the desert.

Faster than a speeding Mastroianni

Twins outfielder Darin Mastroianni went 70-for-85 in stolen base attempts as a Blue Jays minor leaguer in 2009, so he's as curious as anyone about Reds prospect Billy Hamilton, 135 stolen bases (in 154 attempts) entering Saturday between Class A and Class AA. "A couple years ago, when I stole 70, I felt like I was stealing every game," Mastroianni said. "So for him to have 100-and-whatever is just incredible."

Orioles prospects growing up fast

The Orioles promoted top infield prospect Manny Machado from Class AA this week. Will Dylan Bundy be next? A 19-year-old who posted a 1.92 ERA, with 103 strikeouts and 19 walks, in his first two minor league stops combined, Bundy got promoted to Class AA on Wednesday. "I think it is important for all the players to go to Double-A; that's the proving ground," Orioles GM Dan Duquette said.

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