On the evidence of his last two starts — serving up 3 longballs to the Yankees today — he might be Leo Mazzone’s greatest project.

OK, perhaps that’s a bit of hyperbole. But I wanted to see if Mark Woehlers was reading this. Mazzone’s former protege, Jared Wright has been competent enough this afternoon, as New York leads Baltimore, 9-1 through 6 1/2.

Dontrelle Willis struck out 11, walking only one in Florida’s 3-0 defeat of Philadelphia. The Phillies’ depleted bullpen will be further taxed in the days ahead with the loss of Arthur Rhodes.

At the Cell, Javier Vazquez has just reliquinshed a 2-0 lead in the 6th ; a Grady Sizemore triple plated Andy Marte for the Indians, then Sizemore came in on a Jason Michaels single. The White Sox are probably aware that Johan Santana has a one-hit shutout of the Tigers (9 K’s) through 5 innings, the Twins leading 2-0.

After last night’s Booftastic performance, Minnesota can close the gap between themselves and Detroit to a mere two games if they can hang on this afternoon.

Though Nomar Garciaparra has homered in the Dodgers’ ongoing rout of the Mets today, Dodger Thoughts’ Jon Wiseman predicts the former Red Sox icon will be on the move this offseason.

Garciaparra may be battling injuries, a slump, an ancient curse – it doesn’t really matter. The story of his comeback season has downshifted – he is once again a player, however enticing, who can’t be counted on for a full season of high-caliber production. His overall 2006 OPS of .875 is fine, and he might still be able to hit at times like he did before the 2006 All-Star Game, but he’s about as risky to invest in as he was in the 2005-2006 offseason. He has ended up being good, but not great … healthyish, but not healthy.

Less than two months ago, it appeared that Garciaparra had either priced himself out of the Dodgers’ future plans or would grab a big chunk of salary to remain. Barring a heroic finish to the season, Garciaparra now stands to merely attract another one-year contract with incentives or a two-year deal at affordable rates. A three-year deal would seem out of the question.

Does that make Garciaparra more likely to remain a Dodger in 2007? On the one hand, he’s more affordable; on the other, James Loney becomes a more viable alternative at first base, leaving the Dodgers to invest capital elsewhere.