Tag:Padres
Posted on: July 21, 2011 7:02 pm
Edited on: July 21, 2011 7:21 pm
 

Padres send out Rizzo, call up Blanks

BlanksBy Evan Brunell

The Padres demoted first baseman Anthony Rizzo to Triple-A after he struggled in his big-league debut. Rizzo hit just .143/.282/.265 in 117 plate appearances, bashing just one home run.

This after tearing apart Triple-A in 52 games, blasting 16 home runs and contributing a .365 average. That smacks of someone who no longer needs any seasoning, but the 21-year-old couldn't figure out the bigs in time to save his job. While he should be back by September at the latest, the new first baseman for the team is Kyle Blanks (pictured).

You may recall Blanks from back in 2009, when the then 22-year-old bombed 10 home runs in 54 games. He was Mike Stanton before Stanton completely rewrote the books on power from young players. Blanks couldn't keep the good times rolling in 2010 before undergoing Tommy John surgery and missing much of the season. He got off to a late start this season after missing more time due to Tommy John recovery, but since then he has been a man on a mission.

Buried at Double-A due to Rizzo at Triple-A, Blanks, 24, hit .282/.353/.475 in 201 PA but turned on the jets upon promotion to Triple-A. He's cranked 11 home runs for Tucson, which is admittedly a hitter's environment, but a .351/.421/.716 line isn't one to sneeze at regardless of where you hit. Blanks' future is likely in left field once Rizzo sticks for good, but in the interim he should give the Padres some thump with his bat as well as some time to evaluate Blanks to determine how he fits in the 2012 puzzle.

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Posted on: July 21, 2011 5:17 pm
Edited on: July 21, 2011 7:43 pm
 

Orlando Hudson leaves game with head injury

Murphy

By Evan Brunell

Orlando Hudson suffered a severe injury Thursday, crashing into a wall on the first-base side when diving to make a catch on Omar Infante's pop-up in foul ground. Hudson made a lunging grab just prior to the warning track, with his momentum carrying him into a dive. His head made contact with the padded wall, angling his body just before collision for the back of his head and right shoulder to absorb the impact, but he ended up being knocked unconscious.

 "It was a scary moment," manager Bud Black told the Associated Press. "When a guy goes unconscious, you're worried. Any sort of collision with a wall or a teammate is just a sickening feeling in your stomach, and I think we all had that."

Hudson, whose catch ended the seventh inning with a 5-3 Padres lead, was sighted moving his arms before being carried off the field in a stretcher, shaking hands with a teammate. The injury appeared scarier than it actually was, as Hudson was walking around after the game, texting on his phone and acting normally.

The 33-year-old has long been one of the best fielding second basemen in the game and is hitting .239/.335/.317 in his first season with San Diego, swiping a season-high 13 stolen bases.

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Posted on: July 21, 2011 9:42 am
 

Padres owner says Adams won't be traded

Mike AdamsBy C. Trent Rosecrans

One of the hottest names on the trade market is Padres reliever Mike Adams, but team owner Jeff Moorad has told Adams he won't be traded, Yahoo!'s Jeff Passan writes.

Citing a team source, Passan reports Moorad told the right-handed reliever, "you're not going anywhere."

Adams, 33, is 3-1 with a 1.23 ERA, striking out 43 batters and walking nine in 44 innings. He's allowed just 23 hits, for a WHIP of .727. Most importantly, he's under team control for 2012, his last season of arbitration. That's what makes him more valuable in many team's eyes than Padres closer Heath Bell -- any team that acquires him can count on his services for not just this season, but next season as well. He will likely get a nice raise from the $2.533 million he earns this season.

Bell has been linked to just about every team still in the hunt. Passan says 12 teams have inquired on Adams. That would likely include the Red Sox, Rangers, Phillies, Yankees and Brewers.

Moorad knows the game, he's a former agent, so he could just be trying to play a game to improve his leverage or he could really want to keep Adams and use him as a closer after Bell departs.

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Posted on: July 20, 2011 10:04 am
Edited on: July 20, 2011 11:05 am
 

Pepper: Harper struggles early in Double-A



By Matt Snyder


Bryce Harper is the top prospect in all of baseball. He has prodigious power and a huge outfield arm. Low-A ball proved no match for him this season, as he hit .318 with 14 home runs, 46 RBI, 19 steals and a .977 OPS in 72 games before being promoted to Double-A. But he's still only 18, and is having a rough transition to Double-A.

Through 10 games, Harper is hitting .171 with a .237 on-base percentage and has yet to record an extra-base hit (Nationals Journal). He also looked overmatched at the Future's Game. So what does this mean?

Not a damn thing.

He's 18. Making the transition from the lower levels of the minors (Rookie ball, Low-A, High-A) to the upper levels (Double-A, Triple-A) is the toughest transition for a player this side of when they hit the majors. He even skipped a level. Plus, 10 games is hardly a representative sample from which to draw conclusions and he started slow in Low-A. It's possible he tears up Double-A pitching starting next game.

If we can say anything definitively, maybe it's that this is good for the fans clamoring for a quick Harper promotion. He's going to be special in a Nationals uniform, just not in 2011 and probably not 2012 either.

NOT SATISFIED: After trading Tuesday night for infielder Jeff Keppinger, Giants general manager Brian Sabean said he was working on "something much bigger" before the move and that he's not done making an effort to improve the badly flawed offense (Extra Baggs).

GMs ON HOT SEAT: Ken Rosenthal at Fox Sports breaks down some general managers who may be out of a job by the time we turn the page to next season. The ones he lists on the hot seat are Ed Wade of the Astros and Jim Hendry of the Cubs. I'd argue pretty vehemently both should be canned immediately, so no shock there. Also of intrigue, Rosenthal says Yankees GM Brian Cashman and Rays GM Andrew Friedman might step away from their current posts. It would be interesting to see how quickly each is snatched up by other teams.

TROUBLE ON THE HOMEFRONT? Before Tuesday night's loss to the Padres, the Marlins had won nine of their last 10 games, but not everyone was happy. Left-handed reliever Randy Choate was pulled from the game Monday after falling behind 2-0 to a hitter. Yes, in the middle of an at-bat. Considering Choate had struck out 23 lefties and walked just before the game, he felt his track record should at least allow him to finish the hitter. McKeon disagreed and yanked him, saying he was "out of sync." The two reportedly talked, but Choate was still upset. (Fish Tank blog)

IRRELEVANT NO-TRADE CLAUSE: Cubs left fielder Alfonso Soriano told reporters he didn't even know he had a no-trade clause. Then he said he'd be willing to waive it if it meant he could play for a contender. Of course, Soriano is owed about $61 million through 2014 and considering his age, how quickly he has regressed and his current level of production, there's pretty much no way anyone is giving much for him. The guess is he's stuck in Chicago -- and, for the record, Soriano did say he was happy in Chicago and wanted to win there. (Chicago Sun-Times)

BEDARD'S RETURN DELAYED: Erik Bedard's return from injury has hit a snag, and he'll be pushed back. He's likely going to need a simulated game before thinking about a rehab assignment. This is big news, because we're approaching the trade deadline and a healthy Bedard was likely to be a pretty solid trading chip for the Mariners. He still might go, but his injury history will be a sticking point for potential suitors. (Seattle Times)

BLYLEVEN ON Twins: Bert Blyleven will be enshrined in Cooperstown this weekend, as a new member of the Baseball Hall of Fame. MLB.com has a lengthy story in which Blyleven reflects on his time with the Twins. One thing that jumped out at me is how Blyleven was drafted out of high school and promoted to the majors after just 21 starts and at the age of 19. If that happened nowadays, how much would we have to hear about the Twins "rushing" him to the bigs? Just something to think about.

IKE'S SEASON STILL IN QUESTION: Earlier Tuesday, a story about Ike Davis saying he feared he was done for the 2011 season broke, but then later Tuesday he changed his tone a bit. There's still a question on if he'll be able to get his ankle healed and make it back on the field, but Davis wasn't ready to rule anything out: "I'm not throwing the towel in," he said (ESPN New York). "I'm going to do everything I can to get healthy. And if I don't, I can't really do anything. My body is just not right. I'm working hard and I want to get back on the field."

ANOTHER RIPKEN: Cal Ripken Jr.'s son, Ryan Ripken, is going to play in the Under Armour All America Baseball Game at Wrigley Field next month. The young Ripken hit .353 as a junior this season and the first baseman is fielding scholarship offers from several colleges. Fortunately, Cal is not pushing his son to baseball, saying he just wants Ryan to do whatever makes him happy (Associated Press).

HOMETOWN DISCOUNT: Padres closer Heath Bell is one of the biggest names being thrown around in trade talk, but he's actually willing to take a "hometown discount" to stay in San Diego. The problem is, he's not likely to have that choice. The Padres are in rebuilding mode, and he's their most attractive trading chip. (Sports Radio Interviews)

TEAM FOR SALE: The Dodgers aren't the only team in financial danger out west, as the Padres' Triple-A affiliate will be put up for sale if plans for a new stadium aren't finalized soon. There were plans for a 9,000-seat stadium in Escondido, but the funding for the stadium is now unavailable in the new state budget. Padres CEO Jeff Moorad said he is still holding out hope that things get worked out before the end of the year. (SignonSanDiego.com)

WANG BACK SOON: Nationals starting pitcher Chien-Ming Wang is scheduled to make one more Triple-A start before joining the majors (Adam Kilgore via Twitter). For more on Wang's return to the majors, check out my short article from this past weekend.

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Posted on: July 19, 2011 11:24 pm
Edited on: July 20, 2011 5:34 pm
 

Indians on hunt for outfielders, pitching

LudwickBy Evan Brunell

Both Jim Bowden of ESPN and Jon Heyman of SI.com report that the Indians are chasing either Ryan Ludwick or Josh Willingham to add to the club's offense.

While two separate reports give some credence to the rumor, don't forget that both people could be drawing from the same source. Regardless, it's no surprise to see Cleveland nosing about for a right-handed outfield bat, given the struggles of Grady Sizemore to stay on the field and Shin-Soo Choo's broken thumb keeping him out until late August. Add in DH Travis Hafner's brittle body, and despite ranking 10th in baseball in runs scored, you can see how offense is a question mark for the Indians.

Ludwick has seen his offense depressed since being traded to the Padres midway through the 2010 season but has drawn trade interest from quite a few teams and could be a nice complementary piece. Willingham has had his own offensive dropoff since joining Oakland before the season but has been hot in July after an injury and slump dragged down his numbers in June. He's a safer bet than Ludwick to produce, but he also costs more and would come with a higher price tag. Carlos Beltran has also come up as a possible target, although it's unlikely Beltran would waive his no-trade clause to go to Cleveland -- plus the Indians wouldn't want to surrender a top prospect.

More important to Cleveland is shoring up the pitching as CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler reports. One name to note here is Aaron Harang, as Heyman reported Cleveland's interest on Tuesday. The right-hander is having a bounceback season with the Padres, but pitching in Petco Park is a big reason why. His 3.19 ERA will command a higher price than he's truly worth, while another of Cleveland's targets, Hiroki Kuroda, may not pan out because he has a no-trade clause and wants to stay on the West Coast. As a result, the Dodgers' trade market for Kuroda is quite thin.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed. Also, check out Danny Knobler's trade deadline news and rumors.



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 15, 2011 3:00 am
Edited on: July 15, 2011 8:49 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Good starts, bad finishes

Aaron Harang

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Aaron Harang, Padres: In his last two outings, Harang has combined to throw 13 scoreless innings and allow just five hits since coming off the disabled list and the Pades have no wins to show for it. On Saturday he left after six no-hit innings only to see the Padres lose in the ninth inning. Thursday, Harang gave up five hits, but struck out four and walked one during his seven innings. He left the game with a 1-0 lead to the Padres' usually stellar bullpen. But after Mike Adams' scoreless eighth, Heath Bell blew his second save of the season when Aubrey Huff homered to lead off the ninth. The Padres would go ahead and lose in the 12th (see below).

Matt Garza, Cubs: Garza has had some bad luck in his first season with the Cubs, entering Thursday's start with a 4-7 record and 4.26 ERA, but with an xFIP of 2.86 -- xFIP is a metric that is supposed to take out the factors the pitch can't control, such as having Starlin Castro as your shortstop and the ballpark, which is the x part. Anyway Thursday Garza had just his second scoreless start of the season, holding the Marlins scoreless through seven innings, giving up six hits and three walks while striking out six and lowering his ERA to 3.97. Like Harang, Garza was in line for the win until the game got to his closer (see below).

Derek Holland, Rangers: Unlike the other two, Holland didn't let anyone else screw up his start. Holland allowed five hits in his second-straight shutout. The 24-year-old lefty went just 2/3 of an inning in his first start of July, but then shutout Oakland last week and Seattle on Thursday. Holland allowed five hits and a walk and struck out eight and took a perfect game into the sixth inning before walking the first batter he faced and then giving up a single to Chone Figgins. Unlike Garza or Harang, Holland picked up the W, improving to 8-4 with a 4.32 ERA.


Luke Gregerson, Padres: Bell blew his second save of the season, but it was Gregorson who picked up the loss for San Diego in the 12th inning against the Giants. The right-hander started the 12th with two walks and then committed an error to load the bases. After getting a popup and a strikeout, he threw four straight balls to Mike Fontenot to give San Francisco the lead. Pablo Sandoval's two-run single was the first hit of the inning and ended Gregorson's night in the 6-2 loss.

Carlos Marmol, Cubs: It wasn't just that Marmol walked the first three batters he faced in the ninth inning with a 2-0 lead, it was that after he gave up a double to Greg Dobbs, he failed to back up the play. It was apparent he expected all three runs to score, and they would have easily scored had Dewayne Wise not fallen after rounding third. The ball got past catcher Geovany Soto and with Marmol out of position, Wise was able to score. He then walked Emilio Bonifacio before being replaced by Kerry Wood, who allowed both of his inherited runners to score as the Marlins scored all six of their runs in the ninth, winning 6-3.

Blake Wood, Royals: Coming in to try to keep the Royals within a run over the Twins, Wood loaded the bases and then walked Ben Revere to score one run and followed that by hitting Alexi Casilla to make it 6-3. He was replaced by Everett Teaford who gave up a two-run single to Joe Mauer to close the book on Wood. Teaford was replaced by Louis Coleman, who got out of the inning, but the damage was done in Kansas City's 8-4 loss.

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Posted on: July 13, 2011 2:22 am
Edited on: July 13, 2011 7:42 am
 

Bell's slide steals the show

Heath Bell

By C. Trent Rosecrans


PHOENIX -- Heath Bell was sure he wouldn't get hurt sliding into the pitchers mound in the eighth inning -- he'd practiced it after all.

Wait… what?

"Yeah, I practiced," Bell said of his slide.

Where?

"On my lawn. Last week," Bell said. "I'm not going to do something stupid… well, I'm not going to do something stupid without preparing myself."

 Bell has sprinted in from the bullpen for every appearance since 2009, but for his third All-Star Game, he wanted to do something a little special. The result had players and fans alike laughing as the 6-foot-3, 260-pound Bell came in to face Jhonny Peralta with two outs in the eighth and just before he got to the mound, he slowed his run and slid feet-first, tearing up a little of the infield sod along the way.

See the play here.

The idea was hatched in the Padres' bullpen recently as Bell tried to conjure a signature move for his All-Star appearance. Finally, fellow right-hander Anthony Bass suggested the slide.

Even with the practice under his belt, Bell had second thoughts during the game. First manager Bruce Bochy gave his "this game really counts" speech before the game and Bell reconsidered. Then during his run, he thought maybe it was just a bit too much. But when he saw third baseman Pablo Sandoval clear the way for his slide -- he went for it.

At second base, Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips had gotten full warning that Bell was going to do "something." He saw the sprint and thought it was nothing new -- Phillips' former teammate Todd Coffey has been doing that for the last five years. And then Bell went into a slide.

"What in the world?" Phillips recalled. "It was funny. It was classic."

What about first basmean Joey Votto? What did he think?

"I think he was safe. I wasn't really that surprised," Votto said. "I was expecting more from Brian Wilson afterwards, though. I thought maybe he'd do something cool, like parachute in."

Wilson said he enjoyed Bell's slide, but had just one thought.

"You better get the guy out," Wilson said.

Bell needed five pitches, but did get Peralta to pop up to Phillips, ending the inning.

"It was my third All-Star Game and I wanted to have a blast," Bell said. "I did and I did my job."


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

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