Tag:Mariners
Posted on: July 18, 2011 2:05 pm
Edited on: July 22, 2011 2:14 pm
 

Trade Deadline Primer: AL West

By Eye on Baseball Team

Baseball's trade deadline is just 13 days away. The rumor mill is certainly spinning, but we've only really seen one big move -- the Brewers acquiring Francisco Rodriguez. In the upcoming days we'll take a glance around baseball and sort out what we can expect to see from each major-league team. First up, the AL West, a division that saw several deadline deals last season, including an intradivisional Cliff Lee deal (though that happened in early July). It doesn't appear the landscape is ripe for another blockbuster like that, but let's dive in.

Texas Rangers
Status: Buyers
Upgrade needed: Pitching, both starting and relief.
Possible matches: Padres, Marlins, Nationals, A's, Mariners
Notes: If the Rangers continue to win at this pace and create big separation in the AL West -- they're currently up four games and have won 11 in a row -- they won't feel the need to make a big splash. They have reportedly talked to the Marlins about pitching, with Anibal Sanchez, Ricky Nolasco and Leo Nunez as possibilities (Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports). Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reports, however, that the Marlins aren't going to move Nolasco or Sanchez. Evan Grant of Rangers Blog reports the Rangers are interested in Heath Bell, Mike Adams, Andrew Bailey and Brandon League -- though Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle says the A's would have to be overwhelmed to move Bailey, since he's under team control until 2014. Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports also has the Rangers in on Bell, Adams, Bailey and throws in Tyler Clippard of the Nationals. Buster Olney of ESPN says the Rangers are the "leaders" in the Bell/Adams sweepstakes. I'd expect the Rangers to do whatever it takes, within reason, to get to the World Series again.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Status: Frugal buyers
Upgrade needed: Could use more pitching and another bat.
Possible matches: They'd have to shed payroll first, so none at this point.
Notes: Thanks to several high-priced acquisitions in recent memory (Vernon Wells, c'mon down!) the word is the Angels don't want to increase the payroll -- even though general manager Tony Reagins denies that assertation, there's evidence to suggest it. So, while they'd probably like to upgrade several areas -- coincidentally, an upgrade over Wells would be nice -- there won't be much flexibility. Expect the Angels to make minor trades at the absolute maximum. UPDATE: Rosenthal reports Aramis Ramirez is on the Angels' wish list, but that Ramirez still has no intention of waving his no-trade clause for anyone -- at least until after July 31. This is interesting on several levels. Going after Ramirez would completely contradict the notion that the Angels aren't adding payroll. Not only is Ramirez making a pretty penny this season, but a trade would cause a $16 million option for next season to vest. Also, Ramirez's insistence on not leaving starts to make you wonder if he knows the Cubs will pick up his option after the season.

Seattle Mariners
Status: In limbo, but probably sellers.
Players available: Doug Fister, Jason Vargas, Erik Bedard, Brandon League.
Notes: We can't really be sure how things stand just yet. The Mariners were all set to be buyers and were reportedly interested in upgrading the offense, for example. But they've now lost nine in a row and -- teamed with the Rangers' winning streak -- that has buried them. I can't see a reason to move Felix Hernandez, and the Mariners won't, but some are sure to speculate about him. Just take those "rumors" with a grain of salt. All-Star reliever Brandon League could fetch a decent return and, when the Mariners decide to start selling, Bedard seems like a name that could be involved in any trade talks. Knobler also reports that Vargas and Fister are available -- and points out Hernandez and Michael Pineda are not.

Oakland Athletics
Status: Sellers
Players available: Josh Willingham, Coco Crisp, David DeJesus, Conor Jackson and Michael Wuertz. Probably several more, too.
Possible matches: Pretty much any buyer.
Notes: You have to figure at least three of the above players are shipped somewhere. Things will probably go down to the wire, as none are huge difference makers and will probably be last resorts on July 31. Willingham could go sooner, as he's being dangled, it's just that not many teams are overly excited about him. The Pirates are said to be in on him, but could be setting their sights higher on Hunter Pence.

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Posted on: July 18, 2011 8:59 am
Edited on: July 18, 2011 12:59 pm
 

Pepper: Baseball's color issue



By Matt Snyder


There's a lengthy article in the Star-Telegram about the extremely low number of African-American players in baseball, and how it trickles down to fans. Curtis Granderson points out that he can rarely count 10 in the crowd, excluding stadium personnel. Is this a problem? Upon first glance, my thoughts were no. It's not an issue of racism, because it's pretty clear major-league teams will sign anyone that can help them win. My gut feeling is that more young African-American kids are drawn to basketball and football. Just look at the demographics and diversity in those leagues. As long as there's no discrimination, why does it matter what color the players and fans are?

But Corey Patterson of the Blue Jays makes a salient point (Star-Telegram).
"I really do like all of my teammates and I'm friends with them," Patterson said. "But it does bother me. It does. I'm not saying the whole stadium needs to be brown or black, it's not that. I could talk about this until I'm blue in the face, and you might sympathize, but it doesn't affect you, so you don't think about it too long.

"My mental processes might be different because of the environment I'm in.

"It's hard for me to explain. Someone might say it's fine and we're all cool, but it's easier said if you're the majority."
And he's right. Since I'm white, I don't know what the Pattersons and Grandersons of the MLB are going through. I always thought that just being accepting and supportive of everyone -- regardless of color -- was enough, but maybe the MLB does need to spend more money on campaigns to get all children in the country excited about baseball. After all, studies have shown most baseball fans are adults, while kids are more drawn to basketball, football and soccer. This could become less an issue of diversity down the road and more an issue of losing fans ... of all colors.

Getting defensive: The Rays are hanging around in the race this season despite having a less-than-exciting offense and having lost a lights-out back-end of the bullpen duo. They are, as usual, doing it with stellar defense. Steve Slowinski on TampaBay.com opines that this could be the best defensive team the Rays have had in the past decade. That's saying something, because they've been among the best defensive teams in baseball for the past four to five years.

Historic futility: The Mariners are on pace in July to have the fourth-lowest runs scored in a month -- in which the team plays at least 20 games -- in the history of baseball. No wonder they fell completely out of the race in a matter of two weeks. (The Seattle Times)

Runaway groom bride: A man wearing a wedding dress ran onto the playing surface during play at Turner Field Saturday night. The idiot was promptly tackled by security and arrested, but hey, I'm sure it was definitely worth it. (Big League Stew)

Pujols 'taunts' fans: After Albert Pujols' big three-run homer Saturday night in Cincinnati, Pujols told the Reds fans to quiet down, via body language (check out the screen-grab by clicking here). I can see some being up in arms about this -- because, let's face it, there is always at least one person who gets mad about anything these days -- but I have no issue. I actually kind of like it. Then again, I did grow up a Pacers fan and saw this from Reggie Miller on a regular basis. (via Hardball Talk)

Caught napping, literally: Saturday in Wrigley Field, the TV cameras caught Marlins relief pitcher Edward Mujica sleeping in the bullpen. Cubs broadcaster and former All-Star catcher Bob Brenly was aghast, calling it "embarrassing," though Mujica said it was less than five minutes that he had his eyes closed. Check out the video on MLB.com.

Already in trouble? As I noted in 3 Up, 3 Down Saturday night, Barry Zito had three really good starts before Saturday's debacle, but that seems to have been all he needed to shake the confidence of management. The possibility of skipping Zito's next turn is being discussed. Now, obviously it wouldn't be punishment of any sort, it's just that Zito is the No. 5 starter and the logistics of the schedule work out that a turn can be skipped. But had he thrown another gem Saturday, I doubt this would be a thought. (SFGate.com)

Let 'er rip, big fella: Adam Dunn has a pretty good shot at breaking the record for strikeouts in a season, and his manager isn't going to stand in the way. Ozzie Guillen told reporters that he'll bench Dunn if he's not helping the ballclub, but he won't specifically bench him to avoid the strikeout mark. (Chicago Tribune)

Cursed left hand: Blue Jays prospect Brett Lawrie was reportedly close to a promotion to the bigs before he was hit in the hand with a pitch May 31. The broken hand shelved him for weeks and he's now on rehab assignment. Saturday night, he was hit with a pitch on the same hand again -- only this time he walked away uninjured, due to a protective batting glove. At least he found out it works. (National Post)

Here today, gone tomorrow: Padres catcher Luis Martinez made his major-league debut Friday night and was then sent back to the minors less than 24 hours later. He still said it was a "dream come true" and is hoping to make it back. (MLB.com)

Happy Anniversary: Sunday marked exactly 70 years since Joe DiMaggio's famed 56-game hitting streak ended. Will anyone ever reach that mark again? I seriously doubt it. (Big League Stew)

80-dollar dog: Yes, there's a hot dog for sale with the hefty price tag of $80 -- the Broxton Rox, of the Canadian-American Association of Professional Baseball. Here's the description of the monstrosity: "The foot-long wiener will get the royal treatment. After deep frying, it will be rolled in truffle oil, then coated in porcini dust. The dog is to be topped with white truffle shavings and crème fraiche. If that doesn't gild the lily enough, the frank will be finished with caviar and fresh roe." (ThePostGame.com)

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Posted on: July 16, 2011 11:13 am
Edited on: July 16, 2011 11:22 am
 

On Deck: All eyes on Phillips

OD

By Matt Snyder


Saturday brings us the usual full slate of games, which you can follow on CBSSports.com's live scoreboard. The biggest story of the day has to be St. Louis' Public Enemy No. 1.

DatDudeBP vs. Saint Louie: Brandon Phillips is not especially liked in St. Louis, and that's putting it mildly. Last season he called the Cardinals "little bitches" and then incited a brawl when he tapped Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina on the shin guards. This season he's been quiet in terms of not starting any fights, but he found a way Friday night to best the Cardinals with a walk-off homer. Despite being a game under .500, the Reds are only three games out in the dreadful NL Central. The Cardinals are tied for first with the Pirates (feels weird to type, but also kind of cool). The Brewers trail by just a half-game. So the Reds-Cardinals matchup is a big one again Saturday. Chris Carpenter (4-7, 3.85) for the Cards squares off against the Reds' Bronson Arroyo (7-7, 5.58). St. Louis at Cincinnati, 7:10 p.m. ET.

CC looks to turn tide: The Yankees have come out of the break and lost two at Toronto. Meanwhile, the Blue Jays have now won five in a row. It's a trend the Bronx Bombers would certainly love to stop, as they trail the Red Sox by 1 1/2 games in the AL East. Saturday marks a pretty good shot for the Yanks to reverse things, as CC Sabathia (13-4, 2.72) gets the ball. It won't be easy for the New York offense, however, because All-Star Ricky Romero (7-8, 3.09) is the Blue Jays starter. Romero is 1-0 with a 2.08 ERA in two starts this season against the Yankees. New York (AL) at Toronto, 1:07 p.m. ET.

King Felix's tall task: The Mariners were in the thick of the AL West race for a bit. Losing seven games in a row doesn't help, nor does the fact that the Rangers have all of a sudden won nine straight. That means in just over a week's worth of games, the Mariners have fallen all the way down to 9 1/2 games out of first. They were 2 1/2 back before this stretch, which is the kind of thing that effectively moves teams from buyers to sellers in July. Fortunately for Seattle, it sends its best pitcher, Felix Hernandez (8-7, 3.19), to the mound. Unfortunately for Seattle, the opponent is the red-hot Rangers and All-Star pitcher C.J. Wilson (9-3, 3.20). Texas at Seattle, 10:10 p.m. ET.

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Posted on: July 15, 2011 11:25 pm
Edited on: July 15, 2011 11:31 pm
 

Aardsma to undergo Tommy John surgery

By C. Trent Rosecrans

David AardsmaMariners right-hander David Aardsma started the season nursing a hip injury and will finish it with Tommy John surgery. Aardsma, 29, didn't throw a pitch in a game this season.

The team announced Aardsma will undergo surgery next week.

Here's what he had to say on Twitter:

 

Aardsma had 31 saves for the Mariners last season and 38 in 2009. Brandon League won the closer job this spring and was named an All-Star with 23 saves this season.

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Category: MLB
Posted on: July 14, 2011 5:08 pm
Edited on: July 14, 2011 5:25 pm
 

On Deck: Sanchez/Garza kicks off second half

On Deck

By Evan Brunell


SanchezGarzaBEST MATCHUP: We all know how poorly the Marlins fared in June during a streak that saw manager Edwin Rodriguez resign in favor of new skipper Jack McKeon. Well, Florida is working on a five-game streak that they'll put up against the Cubs with Anibal Sanchez in tow. Sanchez, who pitched a no-hitter way back in 2006, is hoping to shake off a lousy start to July that raised his ERA to 3.58. Still one of the better pitchers in the game, Sanchez has been bandied about as a possible trade candidate if the Marlins can't sustain their newfound winning ways leading up to the trade deadline. Matt Garza will toe the mound for Chicago, no stranger to trade rumors himself as he was dealt from Tampa Bay to Chicago in the offseason and was recently linked to the Red Sox. Garza, despite his 4.26 ERA, has strong peripherals and will be a difficult pitcher for Florida to handle. Marlins vs. Cubs, 8:05 p.m. ET (Watch live)

HollandHOLLAND ROLLING
: Manager Ron Washington was so pleased by Derek Holland's four-hitter before the break that the lefty drew the first start after the break despite an up-and-down season. Holland will be charged with defending a seven-game winning streak against the Mariners, who will send Jason Vargas to the mound. In a battle of lefties, Vargas has the better numbers but at just age 24, Holland boasts the better upside. The going is tough when you pitch in Rangers Ballpark, but he's equipped himself well thus far and will have the pitching haven of Safeco Field working for him Thursday night. Holland hasn't quite made the leap toward being an excellent pitcher, but as a middle-of-the-rotation hurler, many teams could do worse. Rangers vs. Mariners, 10:10 p.m. ET (Watch live)

BrewersRodriguezK-ROD ARRIVES
: Another nice pitching matchup is in store with young Brewers righty Yovani Gallardo going up against Ubaldo Jimenez. Gallardo was once a lock to become a dominating pitcher, but hasn't taken that jump yet. At just age 25, it's not as if Gallardo is useless, especially since many teams would kill to have a No. 2 starter like Gallardo, but for every step forward (reducing his control issues), there's a step back as he's not striking out as many batters as he once was. Jimenez struggled earlier this season, starting off with a 5.86 ERA in his first nine starts, but has posted a 2.52 ERA in eight starts since. But the attention will be on Francisco Rodriguez Thursday night, as the new Brewer is expected to be in uniform. Will he receive a save chance? Unlikely, but he could make an appearance in the game. Brewers vs. Rockies, 8:40 p.m. ET (Watch live)

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Posted on: July 11, 2011 1:14 pm
Edited on: July 12, 2011 12:30 pm
 

Valverde, Wilson to close for All-Star teams



By C. Trent Rosecrans

PHOENIX -- Not only did the All-Star managers announce their starters on Monday, both Bruce Bochy and Ron Washington announced their closers for Tuesday's game -- if they get that opportunity.

It's no surprise Bochy is going with his Giants closer, Brian Wilson, while Washington said he'll go to the Tigers' Jose Valverde if he has a lead in the game's last inning.

Valverde is making his third All-Star appearance, which is why Washington chose him as his closer over first-timers Jordan Walden of the Angels, Chris Perez of the Indians and the Mariners' Brandon League. This of course is an issue because the Yankees' Mariano Rivera is inactive for Tuesday's game.

"I wanted to have a veteran that may be able to handle whatever pressures are there and that's why I  chose Valverde," Washington said. "I want to win bad, I want to make sure I had someone who can stand whatever heat is applied."

Valverde leads the American League with 24 saves and has a 2.70 ERA, striking out 39 batters in 40 innings. 

For Bochy, the decision was a bit easier -- Wilson's the guy he trusted to close out the World Series, so he's going to close out the All-Star Game if he's in position to close out a National League victory.

Wilson is in his third All-Star Game and gets the nod over the Padres' Heath Bell and the Braves' Craig Kimbrel.  Bochy did note that he'll have to talk Wilson on Tuesday because his right-hander has pitched four of the last five days, picking up saves on Thursday and Sunday, taking the loss on Friday.

"That was part of my reasoning for picking Kimbrel over [Braves starter Tommy] Hanson," Bochy said. "I wanted another reliever to help out late in the game."

For complete All-Star Game coverage, keep up with Eye on Baseball in Phoenix

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Posted on: July 10, 2011 2:42 pm
Edited on: July 10, 2011 7:51 pm
 

Several more All-Star replacements made

By C. Trent Rosecrans and Matt Snyder

David RobertsonPHOENIX -- The revolving door that is the 2011 All-Star Game rosters keeps spinning, as we've got wholesale roster changes to report.

Rays starter David Price is the latest player to pull out of Tuesday's game. He will be replaced by Yankees reliever David Robertson.

Price will be at the game here, but will be inactive for Tuesday's game because of turf toe. Because Price was a manager's selection, American League manager Ron Washington was able to select his replacement.

Alexi OgandoAlso, CC Sabathia was officially removed from the active roster because he started Sunday. His spot goes to the Rangers' Alexi Ogando. Sabathia wasn't an original selection; instead, he was a replacement for the Rays' James Shields, who was also disqualified because he started Sunday -- against Sabathia. Sabathia earned the nod -- which will count on his career ledger as an All-Star selection when Hall of Fame voting comes around -- because he was the next player on the players' ballot.

Likewise, Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander and Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez were also starting Sunday. Both were player elected, so the next two in line were Michael Pineda of the Mariners and Jon Lester of the Red Sox. So they are both All-Stars. Of course, Lester's on the DL, so he is now replaced by Ricky Romero of the Blue Jays

On the National League side of things, Mets' shortstop Jose Reyes is on the disabled list, and his replacement will be Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval. Reyes was voted as the starter at shortstop, so manager Bruce Bochy got to pick the replacement. Phillies third baseman Placido Polanco was elected as the starter at third base. He is injured, and he has been replaced by Diamondbacks catcher Miguel Montero. In turn, Bochy will get to name a starter at third, so it looks as if Sandoval might get the nod there -- though nothing has been made official yet.

Also, Cole Hamels of the Phillies started Sunday, so he is now ineligible to play Tuesday. The next highest vote-getter on the players' ballot is Kevin Correia of the Pirates, so he's in.

Braves closer Craig Kimbrel is also apparently headed to Phoenix, David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes. Kimbrel will be taking the place of the Giants' Matt Cain, who is starting for San Francisco on Sunday night, making him ineligible for Tuesday's game.

If there's any confusion as to why the formality is done to elect players when they can't play (Lester, Sabathia, etc.), it's because of salary bonuses for making the team and also resume-building -- for example, Sabathia's case for the Hall of Fame one day will include number of times he was an All-Star.

Finally, Josh Beckett will be available for the All-Star Game. There had been questions on if he'd go due to a recent, minor injury.

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Posted on: July 10, 2011 12:56 pm
 

On Deck: D-Train pulls back into majors


By Evan Brunell


ShieldsSabathiaBEST MATCHUP: A great matchup is on tap at Yankee Stadium to cap off the first half, with Cy Young Award contenders CC Sabathia and James Shields squaring off in a battle. A victory would push the Rays to within three for second place over the Yanks, and there's no better pitcher this year for the Rays than Shields to get it done. Owner of a consecutive three-complete game streak in the past month, Shields boasts a 2.47 ERA, much to Sabathia's chagrin, who has a 2.90 mark. Not many pitchers can beat that, but Shields can. Sabathia, with 12 wins, can become the first AL pitcher in six years to have 13 prior to the break if he can pull off a win. Rays at Yankees, 1:05 p.m. ET (Watch live)

WillisWELCOME BACK, D-TRAIN: It's been a long road back for Willis who is now 29 years old, with his Rookie of the Year award back in 2003 at age 21 a distant memory after posting a 3.30 ERA in 27 starts and helping the Marlins to a World Series title. Just two years later, he won the Cy Young Award with a 22-10 record and pristine 2.63 ERA in 34 starts, registering seven complete games and five shutouts. Those are numbers that would make Roy Halladay jealous. And yet, starting in 2007 at age 25, Willis ran a streak of pitching for the Marlins, Tigers, Diamondbacks and Giants (only the minors for S.F.), pitching to the tune of a 5.81 ERA in 328 2/3 innings. Career over? Not quite. The lefty makes his 2011 debut for the Reds today after staging a comeback not many thought would happen in Triple-A. Whether you're a Reds fan or not, everyone needs more D-Train in their life, and he's finally back. He's opposing Randy Wolf of the Brewers. Reds vs. Brewers, 2:10 p.m. ET (Watch live)

MarinersAngelsDIVISION CHASE: The Mariners are slip-sliding their way out of the postseason chase thanks to an anemic offense (what else is new?) but still have an outside shot, just 6 1/2 games behind Texas and 5 1/2 behind Los Angeles. Seattle certainly will go into Sunday's game against the Angels expecting to win with 2010 Cy Young Award winner Felix Hernandez on the mound (3.22 ERA, 134/42 K/BB, 137 IP). Slight problem, though: The Angels have their own big dog going today in Dan Haren (2.65 ERA, 107/18 K/BB, 125 2/3 IP). It's another pitching duel in a day set up for quite a few low-scoring games. Mariners at Angels, 3:35 p.m. ET (Watch live)

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