Tag:Matt Holliday
Posted on: April 19, 2011 12:38 pm

Berkman leading Cards with words, bat

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Lance BerkmanMaybe Lance Berkman can talk to Red Sox fans. After the Cardinals started 2-6, the veteran spoke to his teammates about their slow start and told them not to panic. Since then, St. Louis is 6-2 and just a game out of first place in the National League Central.

"I do think more than anything else, I just didn't want anybody to be shellshocked," Berkman told Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "That was the feeling I got. That can happen when things don't go well, particularly when crazy things start happening and you're getting 'walked-off.' I just wanted guys to know this was a fluky thing. It wasn't to keep happening. There was no reason to get that deer-in-headlights look. We've still got a job to do."

Berkman was a member of the 2005 Astros who went on to the World Series after starting 13-23, so he's seen slow starts before and knows not to overreact. Berkman's Astros started 0-8 last season and where 36-53 at the All-Star break, but 40-33 after the break (some of that without Berkman, though).

Of course, it also helped that Matt Holliday returned the next day. In St. Louis' first eight games, the team hit .216 with a .581 OPS, in its last eight, it hit .353 with a .985 OPS.

Talking to a pitcher the other day, he said the Pujols-Holliday-Berkman trio was enough to keep him up at night --- "any one of those three can be a No. 3 hitter."

Berkman's also backed up his words with his play, in the Cardinals' first eight games, he was hitting .214.290/.286. In the six games he's played since, he's hit .417/.462/1.167 with six home runs. What makes that stretch even more impressive is that his batting average on balls in play is just .286 in those games.

Holliday's been in all eight games since returning from his appendectomy on April 10, hitting .400/.526/567. He hasn't homered, but he has hit five doubles and accounted for 7 RBI. He is getting a tad lucky -- despite the appendectomy -- with a .571 batting average on balls in play, an abnormally high number, so don't expect him to be hitting .400 all season, but who did?

On the other hand, Pujols has been below average -- by Pujols' standards -- during that stretch, hitting .297/.316/.568 in the last eight games. That's better than his first eight games (.167/.257/267) and should only get better as the season progresses. That's pretty good news for the Cardinals as they start a six-game homestand tonight starting with three against the Nationals, followed by three with the Reds.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed. 

Posted on: April 17, 2011 12:30 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 12:10 pm

Pepper: Dangerous game for fans, too

Jose Salazar

By C. Trent Rosecrans

When I went to Class A game the other day, I sat in the front row just to film from that angle and I was shocked at just how close I was sitting -- and how little the fans around me were paying attention.

Of course, it's worse at the minor-league level and in spring training where the stadiums are smaller, but it's still dangerous at the big-league level. Last night in Los Angeles, a fan at the Dodgers game was hit by a foul ball from Matt Holliday and carried off on a stretcher and taken to the hospital. [Associated Press ]

This spring, of course, Braves minor league manager Luis Salazar was struck in the face by a foul ball and lost an eye.

On Friday, Salazar returned to manage the Lynchburg Hillcats.

This weekend, it was a feel-good story to see Salazar back in uniform, but it was so close to being different. [Lynchburg News Advance ]

STRANGE BALK -- Take a minute to watch this -- last night Justin Verlander tried to pick off Daric Barton at first, but caught a cleat in the dirt, so instead of making a bad throw to first, he threw home and hit David DeJesus. Home plate umpire John Hirschbeck ruled it a balk, awarding Barton second base. DeJesus later walked. Verlander said afterward, even he laughed at how it looked. [MLB.com ]

BRADEN LEAVES EARLY -- A's starter Dallas Braden left Saturday's game with shoulder stiffness after five innings. There's no update yet, but it could be bad news for the A's. [San Francisco Chronicle ]

-- As teams honored Jackie Robinson this weekend, the Mets' Willie Harris finds the lack of African-Americans in the game "sad." Only 9.1 percent of major leaguers on opening day 2010 were African-American, while 20 percent were in 1995. Harris said he doesn't think MLB markets its top African-American stars, such as Torii Hunter, Carl Crawford and CC Sabathia, well enough. [New York Daily News

Rockies STARTER FALLS - - For the first time this season, a Rockies starter picked up a loss in the game. Jason Hamel was the first Rockies starter to earn an L, falling 8-3 to the Cubs and ending the Rockies' seven-game winning streak. [Associated Press ]

--The other day White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said he has the league's best bullpen, despite his relievers blowing six saves and converting just one. On Saturday, he said he knows he has a good defensive team, despite its 15 errors this season, 13 in the last 10 games. [Chicago Tribune ]
SPEAKING OF -- The A's lead the majors with 17 errors, including one more on Saturday. First baseman Daric Barton -- widely viewed as one of the best defensive first basemen in the game -- is tied for the team-lead with three errors. Third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff has three, as well. [MLB.com ]

EARNING HIS KEEP -- Could this be the year Alfonso Soriano lives up to his promise and salary? Soriano leads the Cubs with five home runs and 12 RBI. [Chicago Tribune ]

NO LEFTY -- The Dodgers don't have a left-handed reliever in their bullpen after Hong-Chih Kuo was place don the disabled list and replaced on the roster by right-hander Ramon Troncoso. [Los Angeles Times ]

ROYAL PEN -- One of the reasons the Royals are leading in the American League Central is their bullpen, well, almost all of their bullpen. In a reversal of expectations, only closer Joakim Soria, one of the best closers in baseball the last couple of years, has struggled. Manager Ned Yost said his closer is just "human" and should be fine. Still, the likes of Tim Collins, Jeremy Jeffress and Aaron Crow have impressed. [Kansas City Star ]

NEW PITCH -- Giants closer Brian Wilson is playing coy about a new pitch in his arsenal. Wilson, who will talk about most subjects, isn't discussing a new pitch he's throwing to right-handed batters. It may be a two-seam fastball, a cutter or even a screwball. [San Jose Mercury News ]

ATTENDANCE WOES -- This month six teams have set records for their lowest attendance since their current park opened -- the Braves, Indians, Mariners, Cardinals, Yankees and Twins. Overall attendance is down just two percent this year, which is less than I expected. [USA Today ]

HOW LOW CAN IT GO? -- Seattle is being hit particularly hard at the turnstiles. [Seattle Times ]

UBIQUITOUS OBLUQUE -- I missed this earlier this week, but heard Tim McCarver bring it up during yesterday's Mets-Braves games -- Michael S. Schmidt of the New York Times wrote a great article about the oblique injury, noting 14 players had gone on the DL this year with an oblique injury. Also, before MRI technology improved to its current point, the injury had been called rib cage or abdominal injuries, the diagnosis is just better nowadays.

BIG DRAFT -- What if you had to pick from Troy Tulowitzki, Ryan Zimmerman, Ryan Braun, Justin Upton, Ricky Romero, Andrew McCutchen, Jay Bruce, Mike Pelfrey, Wade Townsend, Chris Volstad, John Mayberry Jr., Jacoby Ellsbury, Colby Rasmus or Clay Buchholz? The 2005 draft offered those choices. [Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel ]

WRIGLEY GRIDIRON -- The Cubs and Northwestern want to continue playing football games at Wrigley Field, despite the challenges they faced this season. In the end, money wins. [Chicago Tribune ]

TUCSON HOME -- Padres owner Jeff Moorad said Tucson will be the Triple-A home for the Padres for at least another year and could be an option if the team isn't able to get funding for a park in Escondido, Calif. [Arizona Daily Star ]

A DIFFERENT MANNY -- Manny Ramirez changed when he went to Boston. [Akron Beacon-Journal ]

HOT DOGGIN' -- A look at the best and craziest hot dogs at ballparks this season. I'm thinking about getting that Meat Lovers Dog at Great American Ball Park later today. I'll take pictures. In the name of "journalism" of course. I'm also curious about the Bahn Mi Dog at Nationals Stadium and [SeriousEats.com ]

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb  on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: April 12, 2011 4:30 pm
Edited on: April 12, 2011 4:39 pm

Dunn back in Sox lineup

Adam Dunn

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Adam Dunn is back.

Less than a week after his emergency appendectomy, the White Sox designated hitter is back in the lineup against the A's tonight.

Dunn's batting third against Oakland's Trevor Cahill, according to Mark Gonzalez of the Chicago Tribune.

Dunn took batting practice yesterday and reported discomfort, but was still looking to talk the White Sox coaches into putting him into the lineup. He is aided by being a designated hitter and not having to play the field.

Dunn tried to return to the lineup this weekend, but wasn't cleared.

"I'm a quick healer, like Wolverine," Dunn said last week.

Dunn missed had the appendectomy early April 6 and missed six games, beating St. Louis' Matt Holliday back into action. Holliday missed seven games after his appendectomy, returning to the lineup on Sunday. 

Throughout his career, Dunn has played hurt and played nearly every day. Dunn's played in at least 152 games in eight of his nine full seasons in the big leagues.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed. 
Posted on: April 10, 2011 11:59 am

Pepper: The appendectomy brothers

By Matt Snyder

Sluggers Matt Holliday and Adam Dunn have both undergone appendectomies thus far in the new baseball season. We know this. We also know that the usual length of missed time following such a procedure is around four weeks, and that Andres Torres missing just under two weeks last season was a pretty fast return.

Apparently that's not good enough for Holliday and Dunn.

Holliday is set to return to the lineup Sunday, which would mean he'd only have missed seven games. (MLB.com ) Dunn seems ready to scoff at such a figure, as he is shooting for five days (his procedure was Wednesday). He took some cuts Sunday morning and reportedly felt "OK." (Chicago Sun Times )

This is a testament to the toughest of the players and modern medicine. Major props are due to everyone involved.

Ryan Zimmerman appeared to injure his hand Saturday night and is out of the lineup Sunday. More details are sure to follow. (Washington Post )

DEMOTION COMING: Chris Snyder is going to be joining the Pirates soon, which will force Jason Jaramillo back to Triple-A, as the team has no plans to carry three catchers or move Ryan Doumit out from behind the plate. (Bucco Blog )

HELTON'S ACHY BREAKY BACK: Todd Helton missed Saturday's game with back pain. We've seen this before, so hopefully it gets cleared up soon. Helton did note his back locked up similarly to something that happened in spring training and it only lasted a "couple of days" then. (Denver Post )

THE MENTOR: Ivan Rodriguez is helping Nationals reliever Drew Storen learn the mental side of pitching

“Last year, I was amazed,” Storen said. “When I would go out and pitch, I would just let him call it. The way my mind works was so amateur compared to him. He just calls such a polished game. It’s just like, ‘Wow.’ So now I’m starting to get it. Now I’m starting to think on the same lines as him, which shows you how I’ve learned from him. I pretty much feel like I’m a passenger when he’s out there. I don’t have to think. He knows what I’m comfortable with, and he knows what the best approach is.” (Washington Post )

That's saying a lot coming from Storen. He's one of the more cerebral players in the league and graduated from Stanford. Then again, he was only four years old when Rodriguez entered the league. It's nice to see a youngster knowing what he doesn't know and striving to learn.

MANNYLESS TROP: The Rays have cancelled all merchandise sales and giveaways relating to Manny Ramirez, for obvious reasons. This includes wigs of his dreads and a bobblehead giveaway. Nooooooo! (Tampabay.com )

AWFUL NEWS: A Pirates usher was found dead early Saturday morning lying face down in the street and bleeding from an apparent head injury. His car is missing, too, so there appears to be foul play involved. (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review )

GOOD NEWS: Luis Salazar is ready to return to his job as manager of the Braves' Class A affiliate (Lynchburg) this coming Friday. He has been sidelined for over a month after taking a line drive to the face and subsequently losing his eye. Of course, his life was in danger for a bit, so returning to the dugout is huge. Good for him. (AJC.com )

NO HARD FEELINGS: Chris Archer was dealt by the Cubs to the Rays in the Matt Garza trade, but he's not angry with the Cubs for doing so.

"When you get traded it's always a little bittersweet, but a team wants you," Archer said. "One team is willing to get rid of you for a big-name player and then one team wants you. Either way you look at it, I wasn't mad. I was wanted and it was for a big-name player, a No. 1 or No. 2 starter in the big leagues. Why would I be mad? If that's what the package is worth for a No. 1 or No. 2 starter in the big leagues, I'm happy with that." (Chicago Tribune )

It doesn't seem like a big deal, but I've seen far too many players act like there's some huge disrespect factor tied to getting traded. Good thing Archer isn't one of those.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: April 8, 2011 7:36 pm

Holliday could return this weekend

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Matt HollidayCardinals left fielder Matt Holliday hopes to return to the lineup Sunday in San Francisco, he told MLB.com's Matthew Leach.

"I don't think that's a stretch," Holliday said Friday after going through his first full workout since undergoing an appendectomy on April 1. "I think Sunday's a definitely a possibility, and possibly even tomorrow depending on [how things go]. I can't say without talking to Greg [Hauch, the team's head trainer], but in my mind, that's definitely a possibility."

Cardinals manager Tony La Russa wasn't quite as optimistic.

"I think that's probably a push," La Russa said. "I'm not saying he wouldn't, because he was in such great shape when he got hurt and we're anxious to get him back, but that seems like a push. But if they give him the green light and he says he's ready to go …"

Holliday is not on the tema's 15-day disabled list, so he can return anytime he's ready.

Meanwhile, Adam Dunn has said he wants to be back as soon as possible, but manager Ozzie Guillen doesn't expect him back before Monday, five days after undergoing an emergency appendectomy. 

Dunn could possibly pinch-hit, but Guillen doesn't want to do that, either.

"I'd rather lose a game than lose a guy for another month," Guillen told reporters, including the Chicago Tribune's Dave van Dyck. "If I have to pinch-hit Adam Dunn with the game on the line, I'd rather lose the game than have him hurt himself or lose him for we don't know how long."

Dunn has said he's a fast healer and doesn't expect to be out long. The White Sox start a three-game series with the Rays tonight before hosting the Athletics for three starting Monday. Chicago has an open day on Thursday and then three more home games against the Angels before leaving on a 11-game road trip starting April 18.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: April 7, 2011 3:07 pm
Edited on: April 7, 2011 3:15 pm

Dunn disappointed he's not in lineup

Adam DunnBy C. Trent Rosecrans

The only person surprised Adam Dunn wasn't playing today after an emergency appendectomy early Wednesday morning in Kansas City was Dunn himself. Although, Dunn still hopes to be back for Friday's game against the Rays.

"I thought I would be a lot better than what I am and it's very disappointing, actually," Dunn told MLB.com's Scott Merkin. "I tried everything last night and today to do it and it ain't happening.

"I'm really disappointed that I'm not plaining in this game today. I know it probably doesn't mean a lot, just another game to a lot of people, but home openers are really special -- especially when it's your first one. I definitely wanted to be out there and it's not going to work."

Dunn was in uniform and participated in the team's presume ceremonies. He said he'll return when he feels he can swing.

"It's not the pain," Dunn said. "I feel like when I swing, my belly button is going to go shooting at the pitcher. That's a bad visual. Seriously. That's what it feels like."

Dunn, of course, is the second high-profile player to undergo an appendectomy this season, along with St. Louis' Matt Holliday. Holliday played in the Cardinals' opener, but hasn't played since. He is expected back soon.

Dunn has an advantage that he plays in the American League, so he doesn't have to play in the field.

"I can function. I didn't get my leg chopped off," Dunn said. "It's just sore and kind of tough to move around. I definitely wasn't going to stay at home, that's for sure."

Dunn had said Wednesday that he wasn't going to miss Thursday's game.

"I'm a quick healer, like Wolverine," Dunn said. "I asked the doctor yesterday how long these things take and he gave me a general answer for the public. I’m subtracting 15 days off it. If I can tolerate [the pain], then I want to play. I don't mind playing when I'm not 100 percent."

Dunn has played in at least 152 games in all nine of his full big-league seasons but one.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb  on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: April 5, 2011 6:37 pm

Report: No disabled list for Holliday

By Matt Snyder

Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday will not go on the disabled list, according to manager Tony La Russa. This coming just four days after having an appendectomy sidelined the All-Star.

"He is not being disabled. He's making enough progresss now that he'll be back before 15 days. So we'll keep it going, without adding anyone (to the roster)," La Russa said. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch )

Holliday has played catch and run a few sprints and is expected to take batting practice Wednesday. He will reportedly appear some time during the Cardinals' upcoming 10-game road trip -- which includes stops at San Francisco, Arizona and Los Angeles. He will likely be available to pinch hit before returning to full-time duty in left field, but there's no specific word on when that will happen.

Holliday went 3-4 with a home run and two RBI on opening day. He went to the doctor the following morning as what he described as a prolonged "stomach ache" wouldn't subside. Friday morning is when doctors discovered he needed surgery to remove his appendix.

A return within the next few weeks would be a pretty fast turnaround. Most players take about a month to return after an appendectomy, though last season Andres Torres of the Giants was back after 13 days.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Category: MLB
Posted on: April 4, 2011 7:21 pm

Holliday hopes to avoid DL-stint

By Matt Snyder

The Cardinals will decide Tuesday whether or not to place Matt Holliday on the disabled list following an appendectomy this past Friday, but the outfielder believes he can make it back sooner.

"I told them I would like to not go on the DL," Holliday said (St. Louis Post-Dispatch ). "I can play in 15 days, if they can do without me for a few games."

Most of the cases of appendectomies for major league players result in an absence of about a month, but Andres Torres of the Giants came back after just 13 days last season. Holliday said he had been playing with pain for about a week before going to the doctor Friday morning and discovering surgery was needed.

He is not permitted to engage in any physical activities until the stitches from his surgery heal. The Cardinals could elect to just play with a 24-man roster if they feel it's worth it to get Holliday back before a 15-day disabled list stint would end. If they do decide to place Holliday on the DL, he can be backdated to Friday since he hasn't played since then.

Holliday went 3-4 with a home run on opening day.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Category: MLB
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com