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Tag:Blue Jays
Posted on: August 2, 2011 10:10 pm
 

Jays' Lawrie close to be called up... again

Brett LawrieBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Once again, Blue Jays prospect Brett Lawrie is knocking on the door of the big leagues.

Lawrie was on the verge of being called up in May when he was hit in the hand by a fastball, suffering a non-displaced fracture in his left hand. But he's back and in 16 games with Triple-A Las Vegas since coming off the disabled list, Lawrie is hitting .344/.417/.625 with three home runs.

Blue Jays manager John Farrell told reporters Lawrie was still in the team's immediate plans.

"We haven't changed from our goal of getting him at-bats and games played at the big-league level prior to September," Farrell told reporters, including Ken Fidlin of QMI Agency.

When he's called up, the team will have to make a decision not at third base, but in right field. Jose Bautista will move from third base to right field. The team could send down either outfielders Travis Snider or Eric Thames, or release designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion.

Thames is hitting .285/.326/.485, while Snider is hitting .236/.282/.368. Both are young, though. Thames is 24 and Snider is just 23. That could mean the odd man out is  Encarnacion. Encarnacion, 28, is hitting .270/.314/.444, but has seen his homers decrease to just nine this season in 325 plate appearances. Last season he had 21 homers in 367 plate appearances.

"The most important thing is that we're getting to a point with our roster that performance -- what you do between the lines -- directly impacts that decision," Farrell said. 

Lawrie was acquired in the offseason in a trade with the Brewers that sent Shaun Marcum to Milwaukee and sent Lawrie, a native of British Columbia, to Toronto.

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Posted on: August 2, 2011 2:07 pm
 

Orioles release Duchscherer, claim Reyes

By Evan Brunell

DuchschererThe Orioles released right-handed starter Justin Duchscherer on Monday, the Orioles' website reports, while Jo-Jo Reyes has been claimed off waivers from Toronto, MLB Trade Rumors adds.

Signed as a free agent, Duchscherer didn't throw one pitch for Baltimore after struggling in spring training with a left hip strain that developed into requiring back surgery. It's the fifth straight year "The Duke" has required surgery and the third that has kept the righty out for a significant period of time.

Baltimore signed Duchscherer along with Derrek Lee and Vladimir Guerrero in hopes the trio could push Baltimore into relevancy, but all three have suffered poor seasons and/or injuries, and Baltimore is in last place in the AL East, 23 games behind Boston.

The release is curious, given Duchscherer was on the 60-day disabled list and was not occupying a 40-man spot. Still, he was a lost cause for the rest of the season, so his release doesn't affect much.

Reyes is a flier, and not much else. Despite Toronto being fans of his talent, the lefty just couldn't put it together, posting a 5.40 ERA in 20 starts, striking out 64 and walking 35 in 110 innings. He was also smoked for 14 home runs, giving him 47 home-runs allowed in 304 career innings. It's a no-lose proposition for the O's to take a chance on Reyes for the rest of the season, but don't expect much.

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Posted on: July 31, 2011 1:24 am
Edited on: July 31, 2011 1:26 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Dutch deals in Toronto



By Matt Snyder


Derek Holland, Rangers. The man they call "Dutch" in Rangers country -- Dutch_Oven45 is his Twitter handle -- was absolutely magnificent Saturday afternoon in Toronto. He held the Blue Jays to just four hits in his complete-game shutout, and three of those didn't even make it to the outfield. The one line drive to the outfield was courtesy of Jose Bautista, too, which is completely forgivable. Holland is now 10-4 with a 4.14 ERA and has thrown a shutout in three of his past five outings. In fact, he's tied with Cliff Lee for the major-league lead with four shutouts.

Yunesky Maya, Nationals. He wasn't even supposed to start. Just a few hours before the game, the Nationals traded scheduled starter Jason Marquis to the Diamondbacks, thrusting Maya into the starting role. He entered the game with a 6.31 ERA in nine career starts and was facing a red hot Mets team. Maya went out and worked 5 1/3 scoreless innings, spreading out five hits. The Nationals went on to win 3-0 and ended their six-game losing streak.

Dan Uggla, Braves. Perhaps only Adam Dunn was more of a disaster in the majors for most of the 2011 season. But Uggla has picked things up for the Braves of late. Saturday, he clubbed a three-run homer in the Braves' 5-1 win over the Marlins. Since July 4, Uggla is hitting .338 with eight homers, 18 RBI and an OPS north of 1.100. It couldn't be happening at a better time, either, with Brian McCann on the shelf and Chipper Jones struggling to stay healthy.



Joakim Soria, Royals. The Royals handed their closer the ball with a 2-1 lead over the Indians in the bottom of the ninth. He got two outs before Matt LaPorta's three-run walkoff bomb nestled into the left field stands. Soria finished with a line of 2/3 innings, two hits, a walk, a hit batsman, four earned runs, a loss and a blown save. Needless to say, that's not a very good day at the office.

Zach Britton and Jason Berken, Orioles. This was about as ugly as it gets. In the second game of a double-header, the Orioles could have used a deep start by Britton to save the bullpen. Instead, he was awful. He only recorded one out while walking one, allowing seven hits and nine runs (six earned). Berken came on in relief and wasn't much better. He made it through 2 2/3 innings, giving up eight hits, two walks and seven earned runs. Yes, the Orioles trailed 16-1 through three innings. They lost 17-3. Also, for the first time in their storied history, the Yankees scored 12 runs in the first inning.

Colby Rasmus, Blue Jays. He's now 0-12 with five strikeouts since coming over in a trade from the Cardinals. As I reminded someone on Twitter Saturday afternoon, it's definitely a small sample size, but a bad start for the kid trying to win over Toronto fans.

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Posted on: July 29, 2011 11:06 am
Edited on: July 29, 2011 3:58 pm
 

Pepper: Gomes adjusting to Nats after deal

Gomes

By Evan Brunell

TRADE IMPLICATIONS: It's never easy to get traded, and Jonny Gomes is still adjusting to life in Washington.

Unfortunately, his first game ended hitless with a hit by pitch, grounding into a bases-loaded double play in the third, then striking out with runners on the corners in the seventh inning.

“You can’t help but kind of jump into an interview, if you will,” Gomes said. “It’s everyone’s first time seeing you and whatnot. I’ve got a few years in now. I’m a little older. I’m definitely not nervous by any means. But there’s still some sea legs. I can’t remember the last time I grounded into a double play with the bases loaded, maybe ever. I had to go back in the archives to find that. So I’m a little bit out of my element, things like that. But I felt good at the plate.”

Gomes admitted that staying in the National League is going a long way toward getting used to his new surroundings.

“It’s not like they’re going to pitch me different because I’m in a different uniform,” Gomes said. “There’s certain strategies with guys who hit behind you, who hit in front of you, guys who like to run, guys who don’t like to run – just kind of situational ball inside the clubhouse that I’ll have to adjust to. That just comes with days of service to this team.” (Washington Post)

RASMUS FALLOUT: Why didn't the White Sox simply trade for Colby Rasmus themselves, Phil Rogers reports. His conclusion? The White Sox want to keep the manager's seat available for Tony La Russa, as there's a distinct possibility he could rejoin the ChiSox after the year. (Chicago Tribune)

NEW REP IN TORONTO: For Rasmus' part, he just wants to move on and close the St. Louis chapter of his career. Who can blame him? Rasmus is looking to play his game in Toronto, free of distractions. Free from a manager the center fielder feels never cared for Rasmus. Free from constant speculation about his father's involvement in his career. (Sportsnet.ca)

MAN ON THE MOVE: Why does Edwin Jackson keep getting traded? It's simple: Jackson is a good enough pitcher to be in demand by many teams, but has a salary that has continually risen the last few years. (Big League Stew)

MORE CONINE: After Hanley Ramirez called Mr. Marlin Jeff Conine a "chicken," he then took to the Twitter waves to speak more on the subject, and this looks PR-scripted. "I'm sorry that Mr. Conine feels that way, and I admire him for all that he accomplished in his career. Proud to leave my skin on the field and the sweat on my uniform every night for my team, as we pursue our winning goals. End of story, we have games to win!" (Twitter link)

NO HITTING: Adam Dunn never hits in the offseason, choosing to pick up a bat in spring training and find his swing then. It's always worked, but it hasn't in Chicago. The good news is that Dunn's new home near Houston is close to a place for him to swing the bat in the offseason, and he may elect to change his routine this winter. (Chicago Sun-Times)

SKIPPING ZITO: Barry Zito was rocked so badly in his last start that he may have lost his opportunity to make his next start -- and perhaps has lost his spot in the rotation. (San Francisco Chronicle)

UNPOPULAR: Hideki Irabu was never a popular Yankee, but he didn't have many fans in the Japanese media, either. A New York Times story details how Irabu got a frosty reception from his countrymates in his first Yankees news conference. (New York Times)

TIME FOR A FIVE-MAN: Jake Peavy is ready for a five-man rotation with the departure of Edwin Jackson. The only drawback is that Peavy has essentially been a five-inning pitcher all season and won't be fully healthy until next year. This is something to watch. (Chicago Sun-Times)

TO PAY OR NOT TO PAY: It's always going to be better as a big-market team. That's just a fact. But parity rules the day in 2011, and payroll space isn't why. It's because most teams are geared to contend this year than usual. (BizofBaseball.com)

Mets DEBUT: New Mets prospect Zack Wheeler will draw his first start on Monday, in Class A Port St. Lucie. Wheeler was dealt for Carlos Beltran. (Zack Wheeler Twitter)

IRREGULAR: Kenley Jansen was hospitalized after Tuesday night's game, but was released a day later after a cardio conversion put his heartbeat back in place. (MLB.com)

Rays TRADE: Joe Maddon doesn't want his team to make any trades, the manager saying he likes the combination he's got. But there's a reason he's manager, not GM. You can bet on Tampa making some moves before the weekend is out. (St. Petersburg Times)

BEST CHICAGO GM: Three GMs are in action out in Chicago this weekend: the White Sox's Kenny Williams, the Cubs' Jim Hendry and football's Jerry Angelo, leader of the Bears. Which GM inspires the most confidence to get things done? No surprise, it's Williams, who has a history of not waiting around to make his move. (Chicago Tribune)

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: July 28, 2011 10:45 pm
Edited on: July 29, 2011 12:05 am
 

Thursday night trade rumors roundup

By Matt Snyder

We're less than three days away to the non-waiver trade deadline in Major League Baseball. As we inch closer, it seems that more players are becoming available, so there are bound to be some fireworks this weekend. Let's check out what happened Thursday night.

CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler reports that the Braves and Phillies -- losers in the Carlos Beltran sweepstakes -- are interested in White Sox right fielder Carlos Quentin. Joel Sherman of the New York Post says the Braves are front-runners on Quentin.

MLB Trade Deadline
CBSSports.com's Scott Miller reiterates the Braves' desire for an outfield bat and throws the name of Padres' outfielder Ryan Ludwick into the discussion. Mark Bowman of MLB.com also reports the Braves are after Ludwick.

Knobler reports that, though the Blue Jays are believed to be done making moves after the Colby Rasmus trade, they still could deal relievers Frank Francisco and/or Jon Rauch.

• Some of the biggest movement of the day happened in terms of Hunter Pence's status. It had been reported for all the early part of this week the Astros were holding onto their All-Star right fielder tightly, but things may have changed. Knobler noted that interest has picked up with Beltran off the market, though some rival GMs still don't think Houston will deal Pence. Fox Sports reports the Braves are in on Pence but the Phillies are the most serious suitor. Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports added that the Indians are also in the mix and the chances of Pence being traded are better than 50-50. ESPN's Jayson Stark says the interest in Pence is "exploding" and the Braves, Phillies, Red Sox and Reds are in on him. Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports said as many as eight teams are after Pence. In a contradiction to some of the above reports, however, is that Jon Heyman of SI.com earlier in the day reported the Phillies have given up on Pence and the Braves are the only team left with a shot.

Ubaldo Jimenez's name continues to bounce around, but the status is pretty much the same as before: The Yankees have the best shot, but it's not even close to being a sure thing and the Rockies may keep him.

Per Rosenthal, both the Yankees and Red Sox scouted A's starter Rich Harden during his outing against Tampa Bay Thursday.

• The Tigers are interested in Jason Marquis, reports Bill Ladsden of MLB.com.

• The Braves have had discussions about A's outfielder Coco Crisp, reports ESPN's Buster Olney. Rosenthal reports the Braves also have interest in A's outfielder Josh Willingham.

• Though Hiroki Kuroda's a hot name in the weak starting pitching market, as Knobler pointed out earlier Thursday, Newsday's Ken Davidoff reports that the Dodgers are not taking offers for him. Sherman reports the Yankees are in regular contact with the Dodgers about Kuroda, though.

• The Red Sox have the following starting pitchers on their radar, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe: Rich Harden, Erik Bedard, Hiroki Kuroda, Jeremy Guthrie, Aaron Harang, and Ubaldo Jimenez.

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

Posted on: July 28, 2011 6:13 pm
Edited on: July 28, 2011 6:15 pm
 

Jays ready to work with Rasmus' father

By Matt Snyder

Outfielder Colby Rasmus was traded earlier this week to the Blue Jays, and one of the main reasons the Cardinals decided to part with the talented 24 year old was reportedly their strained relationship with Rasmus' father, Tony. In fact, word was that Rasmus would neglect to listen to manager Tony La Russa or hitting coach Mark McGwire and instead would only accept coaching from his father.

Having traded for Rasmus, the Blue Jays are looking to build a relationship with the elder Rasmus.

“At some point, it’s appropriate for us to have a conversation with Colby’s dad,” Jays’ manager John Farrell said (National Post). Farrell noted that Tony Rasmus has been coaching Colby since he was eight years old and the two use certain terminology. The Blue Jays want to keep things consistent for Colby.

“You’re not looking to build up walls … This is part of managing people,” Farrell said (National Post).

Rasmus is hitting .246 with 11 home runs, 40 RBI and a .753 OPS this season. Last season he hit 23 home runs and had an .859 OPS. The former first round draft pick has the potential to be a star, but the falling out in St. Louis became a distraction and that can't happen again.

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Posted on: July 28, 2011 9:53 am
 

Pepper: Pirates' pursuit of Beltran a positive

PNC Park

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Carlos Beltran refused a deal that would send him to the Pirates, but just the fact that I can write that is pretty darn cool. Yep, the Pittsburgh Pirates were seeking a rental player at the deadline from the New York Mets.

Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported the Pirates had made an "aggressive push" to get Beltran and were willing to pick up the $6.5 million left on his contract for this season.

Beltran's now with the defending champs and that's probably the best fit for him, which is the beauty of having a no-trade clause. Instead of finishing the season in Pittsburgh, he'll be in San Francisco, good for Beltran.

But it's also a sign of where the Pirates are and how they're planning on trying to win now. Last year we heard about the Pirates hoarding their luxury tax disbursement, this year we're hearing about them trying to improve.

Is it a new world order? Maybe not, but it is an indication that the Pirates' ownership is behind its team and serious about a winner. It also may end up helping the Pirates, who don't give up young talent and can contend for more years with a player that could develop into something special. Even if Beltran had accepted a trade to Pittsburgh, he wouldn't have stayed.

The Pirates have shown their commitment and that's something that was needed after last year's fiasco.

What to expect in Toronto: The folks at the Hardball Times take a look at what to expect from Colby Rasmus in Toronto. The move from Busch Stadium to the Rogers Center should help his power numbers a little bit, but not as much as it would if he were a right-hander. Meanwhile Rasmus' new manager said he'll play every day, replacing Rajai Davis. [The Globe and Mail]

La Liar?: Rasmus' father, Tony, says Cardinals manager Tony La Russa is incorrect in his assertion that his son was listening to him instead of his coaches. Rasmus said La Russa is "made that stuff up" and bullied general manager John Mozeliak into trading Rasmus for pitching. "Tony would like to have 25 pitchers," Tony Rasmus told the Toronto Sun, "like he thinks he has to put his stamp on every ball game. They had nothing else to trade. I think everyone is better off now." In a TV interview, Colby Rasmus was asked about his relationship with La Russa after the trade and the younger Rasmus said, "I hope he's happy." Tony Rasmus said La Rusa blames Rasmus for leading to Walt Jocketty leaving the Cardinals.

Winner, loser: Jeff Passan of Yahoo! says the two big deals on Wednesday showed the way to make deadline deals and the way not to make deadline deals. Let's just say the defending champs are doing something right, while another team panicked.

Oswalt strong in rehab start: Phillies right-hander Roy Oswalt allowed just one hit in four innings for Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Wednesday. Oswalt said after the start that he would probably need at least one, if not two more rehab starts before he's ready to re-join the Phillies rotation. [Delaware County Times]

Washington wants 'fire': Rangers closer Neftali Feliz can bring the heat, but his manager Ron Washington wants to see more "fire" from him on the mound. Washington said he doesn't see the urgency from his closer. Feliz has blown five saves this season after blowing just three last year. His strikeout rate is also down from a year ago. [MLB.com]

Wily Mo's back: The Mariners -- a team desperate for offense -- has signed outfielder/DH Wily Mo Pena to a minor-league contract on Wednesday. Pena hit five homers in 17 games for the Diamondbacks. Pena is expected to start at Triple-A Tacoma. [MLB.com]

Left is right: It's never a good thing for a pitcher to hear he'll have to undergo surgery to repair a loose capsule and torn labrum in his shoulder, but for Padres' right-hander Dustin Mosley, at least the surgery he'll undergo this offseason will be in his left shoulder. Mosley said he's hurt the shoulder twice this season and one more time earlier in his career, all while batting. Moseley may have to swing one-handed, bat left-handed or just bunt a whole lot more to keep his shoulder from popping out of joint when he swings. [North County Times]

Replay resistance: Dodgers manager Don Mattingly saw the play in Atlanta Tuesday night, but he's still not in favor of expanding replay. Mattingly's two issues -- the time and the human element. My response would be the time could be helped with technology and a dedicated umpire off the field for replay and the human factor isn't as important as the correct call factor. [MLB.com]

Papi's milestone: David Ortiz's grand slam on Wednesday gave him 1,000 career RBI with the Red Sox, just the sixth player to achieve that feat in Boston. He joins Carl Yastrzemski, Ted Williams, Jim Rice, Dwight Evans and Bobby Doerr -- not bad company. [Boston Herald]

Stability behind the plate helps Rangers: Having the same catchers all season -- Yorvit Torrealba and Mike Napoli -- has helped Rangers pitchers. Torrealba has started 71 games behind the plate this season. [Fort Worth Star-Telegram]

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Posted on: July 27, 2011 4:56 pm
 

Wednesday afternoon trade rumors

By C. Trent Rosecrans

We actually got the big trades on Wednesday with a three-way deal sending Colby Rasmus to Toronto and Edwin Jackson to St. Louis, as well as the biggest domino of the non-waiver trade deadline falling, as Carlos Beltran will join the Giants on Thursday. But that doesn't mean the rumors stopped, boy oh boy, are they still hot and heavy. Here's our roundup of the morning and early afternoon's rumors:

• One official for a contender told ESPN.com's Jayson Stark that he believes the Rockies will move Ubaldo Jimenez. Apparently there's too much smoke for there not to be fire. The same official told Stark, "You don't do this with your best pitchers unless you're ready to trade him." 

• Even with the Cardinals rebuilding their bullpen in Wednesday's Rasmus deal, they're still talking to the Padres about Heath Bell and Mike Adams, CBSSports.com senior writer Scott Miller tweets.

• The Cubs are apparently interested in dumping two of their higher-priced players, Carlos Zambrano and Alfonso Soriano. Sports Illustrated's Jon Heyman tweeted the Cubs are offering up much of the money left on their contracts. A rival front-office member told Heyman, "They'd have to pay 95 percent." Zambrano is making $17.875 million this season and $18 million next season. He has a $19.25 million vesting option for 2013 that takes effect if he is first or second in the 2011 Cy Young vote (not likely) or is in the top four of the 2012 Cy Young vote and is healthy. He has a full no-trade clause. Soriano is signed through 2014 at $18 million per season. The Cubs are hoping the Yankees bite, Buster Olney of ESPN.com tweets.

• A's general manager Billy Beane tells Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle that he's not interested in giving away any of the available A's players on the cheap. He said the team isn't looking to dump payroll.

• After Beltran turned down the Indians (or his agent did), Cleveland has moved on and is trying to land Rasmus, B.J. Upton and Hiroki Kuroda, Jeff Passan of Yahoo! tweets. Of course, that was before Rasmus was off the table.

• The Astros say they want a "very top" pitching prospect in return for Hunter Pence, Heyman tweets. He notes with that price tag, most expect Hunter to stay in Houston.

• FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal tweets the Braves are now the most interested in Pence, but are also interested in the Padres' Ryan Ludwick.

• The Phillies have done background work on White Sox outfielder Carlos Quentin, Olney tweets. Philadelphia is searching for a bat that would basically replace what Jason Werth did for them last season.

• Rockies outfielder Ryan Spllborghs is a possibility for the Red Sox, Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe writes. He also adds the Twins are listening to offers for right-hander Kevin Slowey.

• The Yankees have asked about Florida's Ricky Nolasco, but was told the team would deal him, Heyman tweeted.

• The chances of the Dodgers trading Andre Ethier are "very slim" FoxSports.com's Jon Paul Morosi reports. But there's a chance as Ethier will be a free agent after 2012.

• The Reds are telling teams catcher Devin Mesoraco and shortstop Billy Hamilton are "untouchable," Rosenthal writes. However, he also notes the Rockies wouldn't require either of those two. If a deal didn't include those, it would take some other big pieces, though. The Reds' system is deep enough to have those pieces, such as Yasmandi Grandal, Yonder Alonso, Travis Wood and Mike Leake.

• Even though the Rays have said James Shields is unavailable, Rosenthal tweets Cincinnati is targeting Sheilds over Ubaldo Jimenez.

• With Rasmus off the table, the Nationals are targeting the Twins' Denard Span and could move closer Drew Storen to get the outfielder, Rosenthal said on MLB Network.

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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