Pepper: Dee Gordon 'wants to be great'; demoted
Posted on: July 5, 2011 10:35 am
Edited on: July 5, 2011 2:10 pm
If you had one game to win, would you start Justin Verlander, Jon Lester or CC Sabathia? C. Trent Rosecrans joins Lauren Shehadi to answer that question and more.
By Evan Brunell
RETURN PENDING: Dodgers shortstop Dee Gordon is being sent out to Triple-A to make room for Rafael Furcal's return, but if manager Don Mattingly knows what he's talking about, Gordon will be back at some point.
The scrawny son of Tom Gordon hit .232/.250/.280 in 85 plate appearances, just flat out awful numbers, and it's hard to think that his complete and utter lack of power is being exposed. Sure, there are plenty of successful slap hitters in the bigs, but even they have a modicum of power. When you look at Gordon, you certainly will have trouble finding any ounce of fat or muscle on him, so rifling line drives is a lot harder than for someone like Michael Bourn, who also has low power numbers.
Mattingly said that Gordon "showed [Mattingly] he wants to be great. That's the biggest thing."
"He has a real good feel for the game," GM Ned Colletti added. "He was able to slow things down more than not."
Maybe so, but the 23-year-old has a ways to go if he wants to be the Dodgers' future starter. (Los Angeles Times)
ICE-CREAM TEAMS: Ice cream and baseball are as American as it gets, so it's no surprise that someone came up with corresponding ice-cream flavors for each baseball team. The Yankees being "vanilla" might sound odd given the term means ordinary, but let Timothy Malcom explain.
"The Yankees is and have been America’s most popular baseball team. It’s clean, it’s tradition, it’s even kind of predictable. But it’s always great, and always there at the end of the day. Damn Yankees."
Meanwhile, the poor Cubs get stuck with Neapolitan -- "Combine the tradition of the Vanilla Yankees, the sweet failure of the Chocolate Red Sox and the perennially optimistic Midwest following of the Strawberry Cardinals, and you have this wonderful combination of baseball’s top tier. The problem, of course, is nobody ever buys Neapolitan." (Timothy Malcom)
HAUNTED HOTEL: Humberto Quintero is currently at Houston's Triple-A affiliate on a rehab assignment for an injury. The backstop's team completed a game in Memphis, Tenn. and departed back to Oklahoma City afterward. Quintero hung back for the night, but had to switch hotels after two murders took place. I'd switch, too. (MLB.com)
HIGH-SCHOOL MEMORIES: The last time Laynce Nix played first base was in high school. Before Monday, that is. Slammed with injuries, Nationals manager asked Nix, an outfielder, if he had ever played first. After hearing that Nix did so in high school, Johnson decided that was good enough and sent Nix out to first base for the seventh inning. “It was pretty wild, I’m still trying to figure out how that worked out,” Nix said. “But it was fun.” (Washington Times)
PRIVATE PITCHERS: Cubs manager Mike Quade wonders if pitchers should have the chance to warm up privately. He's not referring to the standard mid-inning tosses, but rather when a pitcher is forced to enter the game without warming up in the bullpen due to a pitcher's injury. In these cases, he can warm up for as long as he needs on the mound, but he can't get ready in the bullpen. Why not, Quade asks. ‘‘If a guy’s more comfortable doing his thing [in the bullpen], I’d rather have him [do that] because of the urgency once you get on the mound and everybody’s watching.’’ Interesting idea, but if the dude is expected to pitch in a game on that mound in front of a national TV audience and crowd, he can handle warming up. (Chicago Sun-Times)
WHY? A 4.47 ERA doesn't quite lend itself to being called a setup man, especially Kameron Loe, who has given up lead after lead this season despite not being notably any worse than last year. Fans are getting fed up with Loe, who blew a lead Monday as Milwaukee went on to lose. So why did Loe get the ball? Simple, says Brewers manager Ron Roenicke: lefty Zach Braddock was tired and the club isn't prepared to throw Takashi Saito, who has missed the entire season to date due to injury until coming off the DL mere days ago, into the fire that quickly. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
TOUGH CHOICE: Giants manager Bruce Bochy said he had a terrible time trying to figure out which Padres reliever to name to the All-Star Game: Heath Bell or Mike Adams? In the end, he took the closer -- but if and when Bell is traded this month, Adams will take over closing duties. (San Diego Union-Tribune)
MISERABLE: Clay Buchholz admitted he is "getting a little miserable" with the back problems that have yet to get better and have left him on the DL for 2 1/2 weeks, already past the projected return date. The righty is seeing a back specialist and will simply have to wait things out before returning to the Red Sox rotation. (WEEI)
GARLAND DONE? Part of what has made Jon Garland so appealing to teams is his durability. Well, 2011 certainly won't be part of his resume after his second trip to the disabled list has gone on for a month with right-shoulder inflammation and threatens his entire year. The right-hander will get a second opinion, but the Dodgers pitcher is likely done for the year whether he goes under the knife or not. (ESPN Los Angeles)
TIME FOR SPRING TRAINING: Johan Santana threw off a mound Monday and had no setbacks, so Santana will now begin his version of spring training. Don't count on a return from the lefty until mid-August, at which point this Mets team could have an entirely different look thanks to the trade deadline. (New York Post)
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