07/26/05 7:28 PM ET
Notes: Will Tomko be traded?
With deadline approaching, righty takes rumors in stride
By Rich Draper / MLB.com
The right-hander is slated to start Wednesday's game against the Cubs -- or maybe somewhere else.
The latter scenario is a slim possibility, but one that nevertheless exists, with the eight-year veteran the focal point of hot trade rumors involving the Los Angeles Angels and Philadelphia Phillies.
Pitchers, especially experienced ones with playoff know-how, are at a premium with the non-waiver trade deadline coming Sunday, and Tomko is renowned for post All-Star break mastery on the mound, a track record contending teams would love to call their own.
"It's a business thing -- you gotta take it in stride -- but the waiting game is the worst, wondering if it is going to happen or not going to happen," said Tomko.
"I've been around this game long enough and I'm a free agent at the end of this year," said the hurler, who has logged a 7-10 record and 5.03 ERA this season. "If there are no plans for me here, I'm going to go somewhere else next year."
It's a win-win situation for Tomko. He's 15-5 with a 3.80 ERA in the second half of the last two campaigns, and he could prove invaluable if the Giants are to contend for the National League West title.
Or, he could make a name for himself in another city.
"There aren't a whole lot of free agent pitchers out there next season," said the 32-year-old Tomko, owning 80 lifetime victories with five double-digit-win seasons. "I know what cards I have and I know what cards [the Giants] have. It's a game within a game, in a way."
Tomko called this season a "crazy year" for him and the team, admitting his current Giants numbers don't reflect his overall effectiveness, what with little run support early in the year when he easily could have notched four or five wins.
So Tomko can ponder what if. Which team wants him, which team doesn't. Where would he fit best?
As he noted, there's a whole lot of demand out there for quality pitchers, but "supplies" are extremely limited.
"There are only five or six guys, veteran guys, out there who know how to pitch, and have been in crucial games," he said. "It's going to be thin."
Injury update: Neither J.T. Snow (sore back) nor Ray Durham (mild groin problem) were slated to play Tuesday, with manager Felipe Alou giving them another day to rest.
"J.T. is 1,000 percent better," said trainer Stan Conte, "and Ray hit [in the cage] today; he's feeling better."
Rehabbing closer Armando Benitez (hamstring surgery) threw a bullpen session on Monday and will do it again in Milwaukee. Next step for Benitez is a simulated game.
Homer ball funny: When Pedro Feliz homered into left field Monday night at Wrigley Field, a fan wearing headphones caught it, and he couldn't hear -- or ignored -- bleacherites imploring him to throw the ball back.
Finally, one woman wearing a "Throw It Back!" T-shirt handed him a "dummy' ball which he threw onto the field. He kept the real one.
On deck: Tomko is looking for his first victory over Chicago since 2003 in Wednesday's 11:20 a.m. PT contest at Wrigley Field.
In his last two outings vs. the Cubs, Tomko (7-10, 5.03) sports an 11.82 ERA, giving up seven earned runs in 5 1/2 frames. He's 2-4 lifetime with a 5.29 ERA in 10 career appearances against Chicago.
Rich Draper is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.