Tag:Indians
Posted on: August 5, 2011 4:56 pm
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On Deck: Ubaldo makes his Indians debut

OD

By C. Trent Rosecrans


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Ubaldo JimenezJimenez brings the heat: Ubaldo Jimenez makes his Cleveland debut against the Rangers, a team he's never faced. Jimenez was 6-9 with a 4.46 ERA for the Rockies this year, but was much better on the road than at (his former) home -- going 3-4 with a 3.38 ERA away from Coors Field and a 3-5 mark with a 5.55 ERA in Colorado. Jimenez will not only have to face the Rangers and Derek Holland, but also the heat. According to Weather.com, the forecast is for a game time temperature of 106 degrees, which would make it the hottest game in Rangers Ballpark history -- a place with quite the history of steamy weather. Texas had two 105-degree games last month. Indians at Rangers, 8:05 p.m. ET

East showdown: Yes, it's terribly unoriginal to put yet another Yankees-Red Sox game in the preview. Yes, the rest of the country is sick of having the two teams rammed down our throats. And yes, they've already played nine games and have nine more against each other. But the reason this rivalry gets talked about is that it's worth talking about. Entering this three-game set at Fenway Park, the two teams are tied for the best record in the American League at 68-42 and atop the American League East standings. Boston is 8-1 so far this season against their rivals, beating Friday's starter Bartolo Colon twice already. However, in those two starts, Colon has allowed just seven hits and three earned runs over 10 1/3 innings. Lefty Jon Lester is on the hill for Boston. He's allowed 13 hits and seven earned runs in two starts against the Yankees this season, but picked up victories in both starts. Yankees at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. ET

Aaron HarangJeff KarstensSinking ship?: Piitsburgh's quickly gone from the belle of the ball to, well, the Pirates. Looking to break their streak of 18 consecutive losing seasons, the Pirates have lost their last seven games and are now two games under .500 at 54-56. Pittsburgh will see a familiar foe on the mound in Padres right-hander Aaron Harang, a former Red who has started 23 career games against the Pirates, going 13-6 with a 4.19 ERA. Harang has beaten the Pirates and Astros more than any other teams in baseball. He faces off against Pittsburgh's best starter, Jeff Karstens. Karstens is 8-5 with a 2.49 ERA and has allow two or fewer earned runs in 13 of his last 16 starts. Padres at Pirates, 7:05 p.m. ET

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Posted on: August 5, 2011 10:20 am
 

Pepper: Thome's silver hammer

Jim Thome

By C. Trent Rosecrans

I know this may seem like a dead horse, but I'm still dismayed at the relative silence around Jim Thome's impending 600th home run. He hit homer No. 598 last night and it seems like it was greeted by crickets. My colleague Matt Snyder wrote about this a couple of weeks ago after I touched on it, so it may seem redundant, but is it any more redundant that the constant (and deserved) fawning over Derek Jeter's 3,000th hit?

I've said all this before, but it just feels like it needs repeating -- Thome will soon become just the eighth player in baseball history to hit 600 home runs. So why is it being overlooked?

Is it because the steroid era has devalued home run totals?

Is it because the next guys on the list are Sammy Sosa and Alex Rodriguez? And the guy atop the list is Barry Bonds?

Is it because Thome isn't a Yankee?

Is it because after 12 years in Cleveland, he's moved around, playing for the Phillies, White Sox, Dodgers and Twins?

Is it because the bulk of his productive years were in Cleveland?

Is it because he's no longer an everyday player?

Is it because there were two weeks between homer No. 595 and 596 and then another two weeks until No. 597? 

Is it because Thome has done it relatively quietly, not drawing a lot of attention to himself, therefore not receiving a lot of attention?

Or am I totally off base and blowing this out of proportion?

It could be any one of those reasons or a good combination of all of them. It just seems to me, it's something that could and should be celebrated not just in Minnesota, but all over baseball. Thome now has 598 home runs and will soon have 600 -- I'm not saying they need to dig out the dirt from the batter's box after his 600th and sell the dirt in keychains (like they did for Jeter), but it should be something we watch, anticipate and celebrate.

The long and winding road: If you don't read every word that comes out of Chris Jones' computer, you're missing out. Canada's finest's most recent piece is on the strange journey of Giants pitcher Barry Zito. I can't recommend it enough. [Grantland]

Here today: Most are assuming that Jose Reyes will re-sign with the Mets this offseason, but not so fast say Andy Martino of the New York Daily News. Martino says the Mets are unlikely to give him the "Carl Crawford money" he is assumed to desire (and should be able to command). Apparently it's not just the money that the Mets are worried about, but also the number of years. The Mets aren't excited about giving the injury-prone Reyes seven years.

Get back: Ryan Zimmerman is back to his old form, even though he's been back on the field for nearly two months. Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post writes that it took a while to break up the scar tissue that resulted from his abdominal tear and is no longer experiencing the soreness that had him skipping his post game workouts. 

Let 'em in: Ozzie Guillen's time in Chicago just seems to be at a natural end -- the team has underperformed and everyone seems to be tired of the marriage. Guillen sounds like he's over managing the White Sox in this interview with MLB.com's Scott Merkin, while he tells Yahoo! (via the Miami Herald) that he'd go to the Marlins "with a lot of class," and that it'd be "an honor to manage the Marlins." With Florida moving into a new park next year, it seems like the natural fit -- and he could manage there until Jeffrey Loria loses his patience at the All-Star break next year.

Here today: Red Sox minor leaguer Brandon Jacobs has no regrets about his choice to bypass a football scholarship at Auburn to sign with the Red Sox. Jacobs was a prized running back at Parkview High School in suburban Atlanta, but was drafted by MLB -- and a $750,000 signing bonus later, he found himself on the diamond instead of the gridiron. The 20-year-old has 14 homers and 26 stolen bases at Class A Greenville (S.C.). Even though Auburn won the national championship last season, Jacobs said he watched the game and didn't feel a twinge of regret. An interesting note, Parkview is the alma mater of another prominent football player who skipped a scholarship to play baseball, the Royals' Jeff Francoeur. [Boston Globe]

It was 10 years ago tonight: The Hardball Times looks back at the Indians' rally from an 11-run deficit to beat the Marienrs on Aug. 5, 2001. One thing to keep in mind about that, the Mariners won 116 games -- if they hold a lead, it's 117, a record number of wins. The 1906 Cubs also won 116 (in 10 fewer games).

I've just seen a face: Can't get enough of of Kenta Imamura, the Ichiro impersonator? Well, you're in luck. Apparently Imamurua is a professional Ichiro impersonator and is nicknamed "Nicchiro" -- "ni" is Japanese for two. [Super Ichiro Crazy]

Maybe I'm amazed: A baseball signed by Joe DiMaggio and kissed by Marilyn Monroe sold for $59,750 on Thursday. The bidding started at $17,000 and quickly escalated. [New York Daily News]

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Posted on: August 5, 2011 1:16 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: AL East, Central dominate and fail

Santana
By Evan Brunell

UpCarlos Santana, Indians: A day after wearing the golden sombrero, Santana ripped a 3-for-4 night with three runs batted in and adding a home run for extra measure. The outing brought his overall batting average up to .232, a far cry from where he can be. The catching phenom has been drawing walks and hitting for power just fine, but that average has been strange to see. His splits don't really point to a clear delineation, either, as his batting average since June 17 (excluding Thursday night) is .248, which is much closer to his 2010 line of .260. Given his career batting average in the minors was .290, there's more there we have yet to see in the majors.

Ivan Nova, Yankees: How are the Yankees supposed to decide between Phil Hughes and Ivan Nova now? The two are battling for a rotation spot as the Yankees take a brief turn through a six-man rotation. Hughes came through with a dazzling start and Nova has backed that up with an eye-popping outing in punching out 10 White Sox batters. That's easily a career high, as Nova's topped out at seven previously. He went 7 2/3 innings, giving up just one earned run and walk to drop his ERA to 3.81. Good luck figuring things out, skipper.

Alex Gordon, Royals: Gordon matched a career high with four hits in five trips to the plate, chipping in two runs and a double. Gordon has flourished -- years later than people thought, but he's flourished. The leadoff man is hitting .311/.382/.505 and thriving in left field. Maybe he needed to get away from third or maybe it's a happy coincidence, but having Gordon under the fold  means one less spot for the Royals to worry about in their rebuild. He's not a free agent until after 2013.



DownJon Rauch and Shawn Camp, Blue Jays: Rarely does a team throw away a victory like Toronto did on Thursday, losing 7-6 in 12 innings to the Rays. Toronto scored a run in the top eighth to even things up at 3-3 headed into extras. A Colby Rasmus double scored Yunel Escobar for a run in the top 10th, but Jon Rauch's first batter, Desmond Jennings, launched a home run to tie things up. But no worries, Jose Molina somehow ripped a triple (it would be unsurprising if it took him longer to reach third than it takes some to circle the bases on a homer) to score two. End ballgame, right? Nope. Rauch stayed in to try to close things out, but quickly gave up a double, single and RBI groundout. Enter Shawn Camp, who induced an out before coughing up the tying run in the form of a single by Robinson Chirinos. He got out of the inning, but Chirinos struck again in the bottom of the 12th with a bases-loaded single.

Zach Britton, Orioles: Britton didn't exactly excel in his second start since a brief demotion to the minor leagues sandwiched around the All-Star break to rest his arm and, no doubt, drop his service time down so he doesn't become a free agent until 2017. Britton gave up six earned runs to the Yankees in just 1/3 of an inning last time out. He gave up the same number of runs Thursday to the Royals, albeit in 5 1/3 innings. Four were earned, and no batters were fooled by his offerings, which were slapped around the diamond for 12 hits.

Carlos Guillen, Tigers: Guillen played in his 16th game after finally coming off the disabled list to make his season debut. The 35-year-old has been looked at to help save production at second base, but he hasn't quite done that with a .246/.274/.404 line after goign 0 for 4 with three strikeouts. That's not awful -- in fact, going into the game, he posted zero wins above replacement, so he's not harming Detroit, and no one expects him to live up to his $13 million deal; he's in "whatever we can get" territory. But he's still going to have plenty of 0-for-4 nights, like he did tonight.

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Posted on: August 4, 2011 2:28 pm
 

On Deck: Kipnis' streak, Bedard's debut

OD

By Matt Snyder

Ten teams get Thursday off while there were two day games, so we're looking at an eight-game slate Thursday night. Remember you can keep up with all the action on CBSSports.com's live scoreboard.

Power surge/BoSox debut: This just in: Indians' rookie second baseman Jason Kipnis is pretty good. He has only been in the bigs for 10 games, but he's now homered in four straight. He's the first player in major league history to go deep four times within his first two weeks of being promoted  and is also the first second baseman in Indians' history to do so (Cleveland Plain-Dealer). He'll put that streak on the line Thursday night against the Red Sox, who will send Erik Bedard (4-7, 3.45) to the mound for his Red Sox debut. This is a pretty big game for both teams, as the Red Sox have a one-game lead over the Yankees in the AL East, while the Indians have fallen to four games back in the AL Central they once owned. They've lost 10 of 13. Justin Masterson (8-7, 2.56) will attempt to turn the tide for the Tribe. Indians at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. ET.

Honeymoon over? The Pirates have been one of the big stories of the 2011 baseball season, as they were buyers at the trade deadline instead of sellers for the first time in ages. After having lost six straight, however, the Pirates have fallen below .500 for the first time in over six weeks. They're now six games out in the NL Central as the Brewers have really started to fire on all cylinders. Worse yet, the Brewers are in danger of being swept in four games by the Cubs, who came to Pittsburgh with a 42-65 record. James McDonald (7-5, 4.17) will try to get the Pirates off the schneid, while Rodrigo Lopez (2-3, 4.40) starts for the Cubs. Cubs at Pirates, 7:05 p.m. ET.

Rematch: The two teams that faced off last October in the NLCS open a four-game series Thursday night in San Francisco. Both are currently in first place again in their respective divisions, though the Phillies are much more a postseason lock at this point. They have an eight-game lead in the NL East and the best record in baseball. The Giants, meanwhile, are clinging to a one-game lead in the NL West over upstart Arizona. Cliff Lee (10-7, 3.14) -- who saw the Giants in the World Series last year as a member of the Rangers -- gets the nod for the Phillies. Madison Bumgarner (6-10, 3.80) is looking to rebound from a bad last start for the Giants, but the last time he saw the Phillies he threw two scoreless innings in relief as the Giants clinched the National League pennant in Game 6 of the NLCS. Phillies at Giants, 10:15 p.m. ET.

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Posted on: August 3, 2011 8:05 pm
 

Choo may be back sooner than expected

Shin-Soo ChooBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Cleveland's Shin-Soo Choo could be back sooner than expected from a broken thumb suffered on June 24. Choo took 50 to 60 swings before Wednesday's game and said he felt good afterward.

"He was very impressive," Indians manager Manny Acta told Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. "I can't believe how quick a healer this guy is. He's going to hit on the field with the team Thursday. He seems a lot closer than we would imagine at this point by the way he swung the bat. That's good news for us."

The Indians are 14-19 since Choo was hurt and are hitting just .206 in their last 12 games.

Choo, though, has struggled all season, hitting just .244/.333/.353 with five home runs. In each of the last two seasons, Choo hit .300 hand had an OPS of .883 or better. Choo had gotten a hit in each of his five games before suffering his hand injury, but had just one extra-base hit in that stretch, and had no homers in his last 35 games before his injury.

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Posted on: August 3, 2011 1:40 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: D-Backs rookie leads team into 1st

Paul Goldschmidt

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks: In just his second game in the big leagues, the Diamondbacks' first baseman hit his first home run -- a two-run shot in the fifth inning of San Francisco's Tim Lincecum to give Arizona  the lead and ultimately a 6-1 victory. With the win, Arizona moved into a tie with the Giants for first place in the National League West.

Mark Teixeira, Yankees: Teixeira hit home runs from both sides of the plate on Tuesday, marking the 12th time he's done that in his career, the most in history. Teixeira hit a two-run homer in the second as a right-handed batter against John Danks and then hit a left-handed homer against Jason Frasor in the seventh inning. It was the second time he's homered from both sides of the plate this season. He entered Tuesday's game tied with Eddie Murray and Chili Davis, who had both homered from both sides of the plate 11 times in their career.

Jason Kipnis, Indians: Kipnis homered again on Tuesday, making it three games in a row the rookie second baseman has homered. He became the first Indian rookie to homer in three straight games since Richie Sexon did it in 1998.


Kevin Correia, Pirates: The All-Star couldn't get out of the third inning on Tuesday, allowing eight runs on 10 hits and four homers in Pittsburgh's 11-6 loss to the Cubs. Seven of the eight runs off of Correia came on homers, including two in the third inning -- one from Geovany Soto and one from Alfonso Soriano. Chicago finished the game with six homers and 21 hits as Pittsburgh fell to .500 at 54-54.

Justin Turner, Mets: After Jason Isringhausen loaded the bases with one out and a one-run Mets lead in the ninth inning, he finally got exactly what he wanted -- a double play ball to second base. But when Marlins runner John Buck stopped in his tracks. Instead of throwing it to second to try to get the double play, Turner panicked and instead tried to throw to first, but instead threw it wide in a throw that would have embarrassed Chuck Knoblauch, allowing the tying and go-ahead run to score.

Mike Adams, Rangers: In his Rangers' debut, the right-hander allowed his first home run to a left-handed hitter since May 18, 2010, as Brennan Boesch homered in the eighth inning to give Detroit a 6-5 victory. Adams took the loss and needed 32 pitches to get through the eighth inning.

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Posted on: July 31, 2011 8:07 pm
Edited on: August 1, 2011 12:05 am
 

Trade deadline winners and losers

Jimenez

By Evan Brunell


Now that the trade deadline is over and the dust has settled, who are the winners and losers of the trade deadline?

There were plenty of big names dealt over the past week, including Colby Rasmus, Ubaldo Jimenez and Hunter Pence. Other players also moved that should impact teams for the next several years, and there were also plenty of minor deals to shore up holes. Over the coming months and years, the deals consummated today will be analyzed to death. We'll kick things off the same day with this uncompromising, unscathing look at your trade deadline winners and losers.

WINNERS

1. ACE IN THE HOLE

IndiansIn today's trade deadline chat, a commenter who appeared to be an Indians fan was rather upset with the deal to acquire Ubaldo Jimenez from the Rockies, pointing to Jimenez's decreased production and velocity as to why the deal was a failure from the start. While Jimenez's fastball velocity drop is concerning (96.1 mph average last year, 93.4 mph this season), his peripherals line up to what he produced last season. Jimenez may not be an Ace in the Roy Halladay mold, but at the very least, he's an excellent No. 2 who would serve as an ace on oh, 20 teams?

And unlike most top pitchers traded, Jimenez is under team control through 2013 and is just 27. He gives the fanbase a jolt of optimism as Cleveland attempts to win the division, and then most importantly, gives the Indians the premium pitcher necessary to compete the next two years, when Cleveland's core solidifies around a young, talented infield and an upcoming rotation. All they gave up were four minor-league players (three of them pitchers), none of which are guaranteed to turn into anything resembling Jimenez. This deal could still yet work out for Colorado, but it's already working out for Cleveland.

And of course, the Indians also added outfielder Kosuke Fukudome, who will help Cleveland withstand the losses of Shin-Soo Choo and Grady Sizemore, then become part of a nice stable of outfielders when these players return. They also were hoping to get outfielder Ryan Ludwick, but lost him to the Pirates. That may have been for the best anyways, as Cleveland was reportedly balking at San Diego's price for who wouldn't have significantly upgraded the outfield corps.

2. BOURN TO WIN

BravesAtlanta made out like bandits in the deal for Michael Bourn, acquiring a leadoff hitter who plays a premium defensive position... and not surrendering any top prospects. The Braves gave up a no-hit center fielder in Jordan Schafer plus three minor-league pitchers in Brett Oberholtzer, Paul Clemens and Juan Abreu. There are some intriguing aspects to these pitchers, but none are can't miss and only Oberholtzer appeared on Baseball America's top 10 Braves prospects list prior to the season. That hardly seems like fair value for Bourn.

The Braves, meanwhile, gain a 28-year-old who is the sixth-best center fielder in 2011, according to Fangraphs' Wins Above Replacement metric. With dazzling defense, scorching legs and a capable bat. Hitting .303/.363/.403, Bourn has added 39 stolen bases into the conversation to become a dynamic leadoff hitter that will cause problems right off the bat to start the game. Atlanta controls his rights through 2012 as well, so he's not a short-term rental. Again, remember: they didn't give up any of their top prospects for someone who, at least this season, has performed as a game-changer.

3. BULLPEN JACKPOT

RangersTexas gave up a pretty penny, there can be no doubt on that. The Rangers didn't make this list because they hoodwinked another team. Baltimore has to be pleased with the Chris Davis - Tommy Hunter haul for Koji Uehara, and the two minor-league pitchers sent to San Diego for Mike Adams will be heard from again. But Texas belongs on this list simply because of how impressively they upgraded their bullpen in the blink of an eye.

No longer are the Rangers handicapped by a shaky bullpen with a volatile closer. While the closer remains, the bridge to Neftali Feliz just got a lot more stable, with Adams and Uehara able to get the game from the starter to Feliz without breaking a sweat. Even better, the presence of Adams allows the Rangers to move Feliz out of the closer's role in October if need be, as well as grease the skids for a conversion to starting pitcher next season with Adams in the fold to close.

LOSERS

1. QUANTITY OVER QUALITY

DodgersIn the morning, Los Angeles' deal sending Rafael Furcal -- who was injured most of the year and not producing when he was in the lineup -- to St. Louis was finalized. They received a 24-year-old outfielder crushing Double-A but without much promise, and $1.4 million in saved money. Whatever, right? The Dodgers aren't listed here because of that deal.

There was only one trade made the entire week in which a team was instantly ridiculed for its move. The Cardinals were headed for the loser's seat before the waning minutes of the deadline, but Los Angeles took it away with a staggering display of incompetence. To help Boston facilitate acquiring Erik Bedard, the Dodgers agreed to trade away Trayvon Robinson, one of the few bright spots in the high minors that could actually hit. Robinson, along with Jerry Sands, could have made a pretty decent first base-left field combo over the next few years. Instead, Robinson will take his .293/.375/.563 line with 26 home runs in Triple-A to Seattle while the Dodgers come away with three organizational pieces.

And really, that's all they are. You've got catcher Tim Federowicz, who has a strong defensive reputation but whose hitting will be challenged enough that he best profiles as a long-term backup catcher. Those aren't tough to find. Add in starter Stephen Fife, who has pitched to Federowicz all season for Double-A Portland, who profiles as a back of the rotation starter or solid middle reliever. Lastly, Juan Rodriguez, a reliever who throws smoke but is 22 years old and in Class A. Splendid. Oh, and all three will be Rule 5 eligible after the year, meaning they need to be added to the 40-man roster or risk being lost in the draft -- and all three would be strong candidates to be taken. The Dodgers, in one fell swoop, traded away one of their few high-ceiling prospects for three organizational players who will all require 40-man spots, which are incredibly valuable.

2. STANDING PAT

CubsYou will hear much more on Monday about the Cubs' massive failure at the trade deadline thanks to GM Jim Hendry, who really should be fired on the spot. But while we're here, we might as well recap the Cubs' situation. That situation is a 42-65 record, which is just a few losses away from a 100-loss pace. The Cubs are loaded with unseemly contracts, ranging from the obscene (Alfonso Soriano) to the bad (Carlos Zambrano) to the unnecessary (John Grabow).

And yet, not only was Hendry content not to move any pieces but he was fine encouraging Aramis Ramirez to stay in town. He was fine ruling out the trading of a backup platoon infielder in Jeff Baker. (Read that last sentence again.) The only player Hendry parted with was Fukudome, and he never had fans in the front office and was a lock to leave after the season, anyways.

Instead of trying to set the Cubs up for future success, Hendry seemed paralyzed by which direction to go and while choosing to become buyers would have been ludicrous, it would have been a more palatable direction than just staying pat. Of course, the Cubs aren't flush with a deep farm system, especially after trading for Matt Garza. So Hendry's stuck pretending to be a contender for what, at least from this side of things, seems to be nothing more than a desperate attempt to save his job by pretending his team is close to contention and does not need a fire sale -- a fire sale that would have been entirely Hendry's fault.

3. MASTER PLAN FOILED

OriolesLet's think back to before the season started. Baltimore was coming off a 66-96 season, but optimism abounded thanks to Buck Showalter's 34-23 record to cap off the year. Brian Matusz was emerging into a top young pitcher and Zach Britton wasn't too far behind. The offense needed some help, but was young enough and projectable enough to have some optimism moving forward. In an attempt to make baseball relevant again in Baltimore and give the players some leadership, as well as something to strive for, the O's went veteran heavy in their free-agent signings.

Understandable, even if Baltimore knew it wasn't going to make any type of postseason run. It could still jack up energy in the city, then deal these players at the trade deadline for solid prospects or young players that might help the O's take the next step forward. Alas, Justin Duchscherer has been hurt all season. Vladimir Guerrero has taken his $8 million and crumbled before our very eyes, then hit the disabled list and destroyed his trade value. Only Derrek Lee's recent hot streak saved his trade value, and even he was only able to fetch a 23-year-old currently doing pretty decent ... in high-Class A. Hardly the return to make Baltimore relevant. The Orioles took a risk in the offseason, and even if you don't blame them for Lee and Guerrero's failures at the plate, they are losers because they came away from these moves with a net negative. All these millions of dollars and playing time allocations wasted, rather than giving Felix Pie and Nolan Reimold an entire year to establish themselves.

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Posted on: July 31, 2011 1:00 pm
 

Hours after trade, Cabrera adjusting to new team

Orlando CabreraBy C. Trent Rosecrans

CINCINNATI -- The worst part about being traded near the trade deadline? For new Giant Orlando Cabrera it was that he'd just paid his August rent for his place in Cleveland.

"I just handed it over, I wondered if I could get it back," Cabrera joked before his first game in a Giant uniform on Sunday at Great American Ball Park.

Seriously, Cabrera said he was worried about his pregnant wife, who will be making the three-month trip to San Francisco with him, along with his two teenage daughters.

"She's eight months, she found a great doctor that she loves," Cabrera said. "The truth is, that was my only concern."

Last night the Cabrera family started packing its place in Cleveland -- and Orlando packed his bags to get to Cincinnati. After the Indians' walk-off victory over the Royals at Progressive Field on Saturday, he saw the end of the Reds-Giants game on TV, so when he was told he was traded to the Giants, he knew exactly where he was headed.

Of course, wherever he was going he'd likely be familiar with the surroundings, but maybe few places as much as Cincinnati, where he was the Reds' shortstop in 2010.

"They asked me about him yesterday, so I thought they might get him," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "I wish him well -- starting tomorrow."

The Giants will be Cabrera's ninth different team and seventh in the last five years. As his wife noted late Saturday night, he will now have played in every division in the baseball, with the Giants filling the NL West portion of his baseball bingo card. He started his career in the National League East with the Expos and played in Montreal from 1997-2004, before joining the Red Sox in the American League Central in 2004 in time for the team's run to the World Series title.

He signed as a free agent in the American League West with the Angels for the 2005 season, staying there three seasons, winning a Gold Glove in 2007 and reaching the playoffs twice. He was traded by the Angels to the White Sox after the 2007 season for his first stint in the American League Central before heading back to the American League West, signing with the A's before the 2009 season.

At the trade deadline in 2009, Cabrera was sent to the American League Central Twins and then signed as a free agent with the Reds in the National League Central before the 2010 season. 

He doubled up with the American League Central signing as a free agent with the Indians before this season and on Saturday was traded to the Giants for minor-league outfielder Thomas Neal.

"If I get traded somewhere, it's a pretty good chance I've played for or against the team they're playing recently," Cabrera joked as he tried on a new pair of uniform pants and met new teammates.

The one constant for Cabrera has been that in all those travels, he's seemed to end up playing in October. Cabrera's played in the postseason in each of the last five seasons with five different teams. Joining the Giants seemes to guarantee him a sixth different playoff team in six years.

"I'm really proud of that," Cabrera said. "I believe that's the biggest reason I'm here."

After a 7:30 a.m. flight from Cleveland to Cincinnati, Cabrera found himself in the Giants' lineup, playing shortstop and hitting sixth. Before the game, he said he hadn't yet been told of his role, but  Bruce Bochy said he'll be his everyday shortstop, replacing Miguel Tejada. In Cleveland, he had his playing time cut at second base, where the team had gone with rookie Jason Kipnis.

"The [Indians] told me they had good news and bad news -- maybe for me it was good news and good news," Cabrera said. "They ere feeling bad that I wasn't playing much. They were going to go with Kipnis every day. It's something that will work out for both [teams]."

Despite the early-morning flight, his worries about his wife and the thought of finding another place to live, Cabrera was all smiles while greeting his new teammates Sunday morning, less than 12 hours after learning he was headed to San Francisco (with a brief layover in Cincinnati).

"I'm on the 25-man roster of the world champions," Cabrera said. "That's enough for me."

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com