Tag:Prince Fielder
Posted on: May 27, 2011 11:31 pm
Edited on: May 28, 2011 2:32 am
 

Posey's replacement unscathed by collision

Prince FielderBy C. Trent Rosecrans

I swear I didn't want to write another word about Buster Posey -- but, it just keeps coming up. His replacement, Eli Whiteside, didn't let the the injury keep him from taking on a charging Prince Fielder.

Whiteside stood tall to one of the game's most formidable figures, despite Fielder's momentum and the knowledge of what had happened to his teammate. Cody Ross' throw home beat Fielder by a good margin, but the Brewers first baseman still tried to knock the ball out of Whiteside's glove.

Whiteside was knocked over, but able to hold onto the ball for the final out of the inning and walk away, as well. The play turned out to be the biggest of the game as Brian Wilson was able to come in and nail down his 14th save of the season in the ninth for a 5-4 Giants victory.

Watch the play here.

Fielder told the Associated Press he didn't have a choice but to try to bowl over Whiteside -- "You don't have any choice but to try and knock the ball loose."

Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Friday's play was different than the one that knocked Posey out.

"It's a little different," Bochy told the AP. "He had the ball, so he could set up a little bit. A catcher's got a better chance than when he's in the process of trying to catch a ball. That's when he's really vulnerable. Still, it's a big guy bearing down on you. 'Whitey' did a great job."

Whiteside said he was injured twice in similar collisions during his time in the minors, once suffering a concussion and a sprained ankle in the other incident. Still, his teammates said they knew the catcher wouldn't duck Fielder.

"He's coming at you," Whiteside told Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News. "There's no rule in the book that says you can't take it to him."

That attitude didn't surprise his teammates.

"We all kid around and say that Whiteside is the last person you want to get upset," Cody Ross told Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle. "He's just a strong, big human being. He's the nicest guy in the world. You could tell that if he got upset he can do some damage."

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Posted on: May 21, 2011 2:01 am
Edited on: May 21, 2011 2:28 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Prince walks off

Prince Fielder

By C. Trent Rosecrans
 

Prince Fielder, Brewers -- Milwaukee tied the game in the eighth and 13th, only to find itself down one once again in the 14th inning against the Rockies. With one on and one out, Fielder hit an absolute, no-doubt-about-it, bomb off of Felipe Paulino into the second deck in right field for the win.

Ezequiel Carrera, Indians -- In his first career at-bat, Carrera (not to be confused with either of the Indians' Cabreras) came into a tie game as a pinch hitter in the eighth inning with a runner on third and two outs. On the first pitch he saw as a big leaguer, Carrerra laid down a nice bunt down the first-base line. Reds first baseman Joey Votto fielded it and tried to tag him, but missed, driving in the winning run.

Nationals offense -- After not scoring a run in their last 19 innings, the Nationals busted out with a team-record 17. Five different Nationals homered, including Jayson Werth, who hit two homers. Danny Espinosa, Roger Bernadina, Wilson Ramos and Laynce Nix also homered.


Koyie Hill, Cubs -- Hill had a passed ball and an error on a steal attempt that led to two runs -- and that was just in the first inning. The Cubs finished with four errors in the game, including two by Starlin Castro. Hill was also 0 for 3 at the plate in Chicago's 15-5 loss at Fenway Park.

Reds pitchers -- Cincinnati hurlers have now either hit or walked a batter with bases loaded 11 times this season, including three times in the sixth inning of Friday's 5-4 loss to the Indians. Reds starter Travis Wood didn't allow a hit until the sixth, but after three straight singles, he walked Asdrubal Cabrera to drive in the Indians' first run and then hit Shin-Soo Choo to make it 4-2. Logan Ondrusek then came into the game and walked the first batter he faced, Carlos Santana, making it 4-3.

Sergio Santos, White Sox -- Ozzie Guillen had yet to name Santos his official closer, but headed into Friday, Santos hadn't allowed a run all season, including spring training. After retiring the first two batters of the ninth with a one-run lead, the Dodgers' Russ Mitchell hit a solo homer to tie the game. Santos allowed three more runs in the 10th, leading to a 6-4 White Sox loss.

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Posted on: May 19, 2011 5:30 pm
 

On Deck: Posada in lineup, field



By C. Trent Rosecrans

Jorge PosadaPOSADA IN THE FIELD -- Jorge Posada will use a mitt in a game for the first time this season, but it'll be the first baseman's type, not the catcher's model. Posada will start his 16th career game at first base, while Mark Teixeira moves to designated hitter. Posada, for the record, will be batting seventh. Because of Wednesday's 15-inning game, the Yankees didn't take batting practice or infield, which Posada said he'd like to have gotten in advance of his first start at the position (or any real position) this season. Posada played some first in spring training and has been taking grounders there this season. Yankees at Orioles, 7:05 p.m. ET (Watch live)

Andre EthierSTRUGGLING -- Andre Ethier is no stranger to streaks this season, lodging a 30-game hitting streak earlier this season. However, his current streak is nothing to brag about. Over the last five games, he's 0 for 17 with five strikeouts. He's just 1 for 6 in his career against tonight's starter, San Francisco lefty Madison Bumgarner. Ethier is hitting just .235/.264/.314 against lefties this season, with all four of his homers coming off right-handers. Since hitting in his 30th straight game on May 6, Ethier is 7 for 42, hitting .167/.239/.238. Giants at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m. ET (Watch live)

Aaron HarangDR. JEKYLL AND MR. HARANG -- One of the feel-good stories of April was the return of Aaron Harang. Now with his hometown Padres and away from homer-happy Great American Ball Park, Harang looked like the 2006-07 version of the right-hander, going 4-0 with a 1.88 ERA in his first four starts as a Padre. The Next four starts, well, not so good -- 1-2 with an 8.46 ERA. Tonight he faces a familiar foe, Milwaukee, in his new spacious Petco home. Harang is 5-5 with a 4.65 ERA in 21 starts against the Brewers, but he may fare better when some of those Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder shots miss the seats. Brewers at Padres, 10:05 p.m. ET (Watch live)

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Posted on: April 27, 2011 10:43 pm
 

Chapman impresses beyond radar gun readings

Aroldis Chapman

By C. Trent Rosecrans

It won't grab any headlines because there was no crazy radar gun readings, but Reds left-hander Aroldis Chapman had his best outing yet on Wednesday.

It wasn't just that Chapman got the Reds out of a jam in the eighth inning of the team's eventual 7-6, 10-inning victory over the Brewers, but it was more than that. It was that he pitched for the second day in a row and maintained his velocity. It was recognizing a batter (Carlos Gomez) swinging early to catch up with the fastball and giving him a slider. It was having the bases loaded and getting on of the game's best hitters to ground out weakly. And it was also his pickoff move, which stunned and froze Corey Hart on the basepaths.

It was everything. Reds manager Dusty Baker said it's the best he's seen Chapman since he came up at the end of last season.

Baker brought in the left-hander to face the right-handed Rickie Weeks with one out and two on in the eighth inning. Chapman hit Weeks, but then struck out Gomez and retired Braun to end the inning.

With two outs in the ninth, he gave up a hit to Hart in the north, but it also set up his pickoff move, something not too many have seen so far in his career. 

Up until Wednesday, there had been concern about Chapman's ability to pitch in back-to-back games, but his velocity didn't suffer Wednesday (an average fastball of 99.13 mph and a high of 100.8 mph) even though he pitched on Tuesday. Tuesday, Chapman faced just one batter, striking out Prince Fielder.

Wednesday he needed just 19 pitches to get through 1 2/3 innings, and 17 of those pitchers were strikes. He earned the win and has yet to allow an earned run this season.

"I keep saying it and I'm going to say it again: it's unbelievable," Reds closer Francisco Cordero told reporters, including the Cincinnati Enquirer's John Fay. "I'm real glad I'm here, that I get to see it. It's special. He's a special boy. Nobody else in the history of the big leagues has thrown that hard."

Cordero is still the Reds closer, but ever since Chapman's come up, Baker's been using him in higher-leverage situations that Cordero. While most value in a reliever is assumed to be the closer, Baker is doing a good job of keeping his highest-paid player (Cordero) happy and productive (5-for-5 in save opportunities), while using his best reliever in the situations where he's needed the most.

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Posted on: April 21, 2011 3:14 pm
Edited on: April 21, 2011 3:40 pm
 

Braun signs big extension with Brewers

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Ryan BraunThe Brewers have announced a five-year extension for outfielder Ryan Braun through the 2020 season. There's also a mutual option for 2021.

According to CBSSports.com senior writer Danny Knobler, the deal is worth $105 million for those five years from 2016-20, with a $10 million signing bonus. He'll make $19 million from 2016-18, $18 million in 2019 and $16 million in 2020. There's a mutual option worth $20 million for 2021 and a $4 million buyout. He has a no-trade clause and has agreed to defer some of the payments in hopes of helping the owners keep their payroll competitive.

Here are some other notes Knobler passed along:

• Braun and Troy Tulowitzki are the only two players in the game signed through 2020, with two more -- Joe Mauer and Adrian Gonzalez -- signed through 2018.

• The average annual value of his contract is $21 million, the most for any outfielder. He is guaranteed $145.5 million from this season through the end of the contract.

• Now 27, Bruan is now one of seven players signed through age 36 that have spent their entire career with one team, joining Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, Mariano Rivera, Ryan Howard, Chipper Jones and Todd Helton.

• It's the largest contract (by annual average value) given out by a team in the lower third of teams determined by the Nielson Company.

Braun had signed an eight-year, $45 million deal in May of 2008.

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Posted on: April 18, 2011 2:01 pm
 

Brewers manager Roenicke employing shifts

By Evan Brunell

FielderNew manager Ron Roenicke has brought a new twist to the proceedings in Milwaukee, with his constant defensive shifts the talk of baseball.

Roenicke was in charge of evaluating the opponents' spray charts during his time as Angels bench coach. The spray charts revealed tellingly where hitters usually put balls in play and upon being named to helm Milwaukee, told his coaching staff that he planned to utilize defensive shifts more often.

No one could have envisioned how far Roenike would go, however, as defensive shifts are used on a nightly basis.

"We're playing the percentages," Roenicke told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. "We're looking at spray charts, seeing where guys hit the ball. ... It's up the middle that's the big part. Guys hit a lot of balls up the middle, and I want that covered if I can. ...

"It's always bothered me when, say, a right-handed hitter hits one ground ball to the right side and he hits 60 ground balls to the left side, why are we playing two guys on the right side? It makes no sense to me."

Prince Fielder is certainly no stranger to defensive shifts, as he routinely has to deal with three infielders on the right side of the diamond.

"As a hitter, it's frustrating at times. Now that I'm used to it, I don't let it bother me. I used to. But what can you do about it? It's going to be around the rest of my career," Fielder said. "[We] might get beat sometimes, but more often than not when they put on the shift I hit it to where they are. There's not many times I hit a ground ball right where the shortstop should be," he added, clearly believing that shifts are the way to go.

The Brewers have already been beat thanks to the shift, however. On Friday night, Wilson Ramos knocked a single through the right side in the second inning, which ended up being pivotal in an eventual 4-3 win for the Nationals. However, the occasional loss doesn't outweigh the overall benefits of taking hits away on a regular basis. After all, losing thanks to the shift stands out more than winning thanks to the shift as you can't easily point to a certain situation that changed the complexion of the game thanks to the shift.

"I've seen Vladimir Guerrero, for so many years [opponents] over-shift and take base hits away from him," said Roenicke, who used infield shifts against four Washington hitters Friday night. "And now with Prince, so far in spring training and [the regular season], they take a lot of hits away because they over-shift," Roenicke said. "In that inning [Friday], it hurt us on the catcher's ball. I don't know if he was trying to go that way. It looked like he was.

"But, so far, it has really helped us."

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Posted on: March 29, 2011 4:43 pm
Edited on: March 29, 2011 10:02 pm
 

Possible 2011 trade candidates, obvious and not

By Matt Snyder

One of the big reasons preseason predictions are often blown to bits is the number of games played by certain players for certain teams. Major injuries, for example, but also because players end up being traded. Underachieving and overachieving teams end up becoming sellers and buyers, respectively, by the deadline.

There are going to be names already being thrown around in rumors and on fan message boards from the get-go. We'll give you five obvious names sure to appear in trade talks. Then, because it's so much more fun to throw stuff at the wall, we'll dig deeper and find 10 not-so-obvious names that could end up being traded or at least discussed. In those cases, certain things have to happen in order to clear the way for a deal, but those things can't be absolutely outlandish.

Remember, many players have no-trade clauses or are 10-and-5 guys, so every possible deal is contingent upon that. We're just making a list and enjoying it as a fun discussion point.

Let's get it on.

FIVE OBVIOUS TRADE NAMES

Michael Young, Rangers. No explanation needed, really.

Heath Bell, Padres. He wants to stay in San Diego and the Padres might want to try and keep him (without having to pay much long term, of course), but when the market for late-inning relievers gets strong in July and the Padres are well out of the race, he'll be one of the most mentioned names.

Felix Hernandez, Mariners. For now, the Mariners have sworn up and down he's never going anywhere. Even if the team is brutal again this season, it's reasonable to believe the Mariners will immediately hang up the phone any time someone like Brian Cashman says the name Felix. But if they start listening and someone is desperate enough to absolutely bowl them over, it very well might happen. He's in the obvious category because I'm sure people will not stop talking about the possibility. My initial feeling is he ends the season in Seattle, however.

Fausto Carmona, Indians. Remember CC Sabathia and Cliff Lee? Carmona is a big step down, but he's still a starting pitcher on the Indians who is not going to re-sign. He only has a club option left on his contract after 2011. When (not if) teams become desperate to add starting pitching in the race -- Yankees and Cardinals come to mind as candidates, but it could be anyone if unforeseen injuries or ineffectiveness pops up -- teams will come calling for Carmona. That is, of course, assuming he's been productive and the Indians are out of it. And you know the Indians will listen. My prediction is he's the most sure bet on here to be traded.

Grady Sizemore, Indians. Same as Carmona, except Sizemore has tons more upside and tons more downside -- due to injury woes. If he shows he's healthy and the Tribe don't inexplicably stay in the AL Central race, he's gone. Only a 2012 club option remains on his contract after this season.

10 NOT-SO-OBVIOUS NAMES


Jonathan Broxton, Dodgers. He's a free agent at the end of the year and we know about the Dodgers' money woes. As long as they aren't in the midst of the race, some team is going to want to bolster its bullpen. This one is pretty feasible, actually.

Chris Carpenter, Cardinals. As with every player's present team on this list, the Cardinals would have to fall out of contention pretty early. If they did, Carpenter has already said he's not averse to a deal. Plus, he's a free agent after the season and there's some big-name soon-to-be free agent the Cards desperately want to keep.

Francisco Cordero, Reds. Only a '12 club option remains on his contract. What if Cordero loses his closing job to Aroldis Chapman early a la Frank Francisco yielding to Neftali Feliz last year? What if the Reds fall out of contention? Easy to see a chain of events here.

Prince Fielder, Brewers. Least likely candidate on here. The Brewers would have to fall really, really far out of the race. If that did happen, yet he was having a big season, another team might pay enough for him that the Brewers couldn't refuse, especially considering he's a free agent after the season and almost certainly leaving.

Travis Hafner, Indians. He's not obvious like Sizemore and Carmona because Pronk has that pesky $13 million due to him in 2012. Of course, let's give an example of someone that might pay: Say the Yankees are five games behind the Red Sox, Jorge Posada is hurt, Jesus Montero either gets traded for pitching or isn't hitting well in the minors and none of the other spare parts (like Eric Chavez) are working. On the flip-side, Pronk is raking. Would the Yankees make that move? I think they might. His pull power from the left-side would fit well in Yankee Stadium.

Aaron Hill, Blue Jays. The Jays are building a good foundation and a Hill deal would give them some flexibility both financially and defensively. They could move top prospect Brett Lawrie back to second base -- the only position he ever played professionally prior to this spring -- and then use Jose Bautista at third or keep him in the outfield, whatever worked best moving forward with the makeup of the roster. If Hill gets off to a hot start and the Jays don't, I like this move.

Francisco Liriano, Twins. He's here because it's already been rumored and the Twins have the option -- at least for now -- to move Kevin Slowey back into the rotation. As long as the Twins are in the thick of the AL Central, though, which should be all season, I don't see it happening.

Brandon Phillips, Reds. Not as far-fetched as you might think. OK, well, the Reds have to fall far out of the race in the NL Central (which seems incredibly unlikely), but if they do, Phillips is a big candidate to be shipped. He has a club option after the season and will be 30 by the deadline. Plus, his power has declined rather significantly since his breakout 2007 campaign.

Aramis Ramirez, Cubs. It's hard to see a scenario where the Cubs would pick up Ramirez's 2012 option, so this could easily be his last season in Chicago. If he stays healthy, hits like he can and the Cubs are not in the race by mid-July, he'll definitely be available.

Jose Reyes, Mets. A free agent at the end of the year, if Reyes proves he's healthy and produces numbers while the Mets fall behind in the NL East, he's certain to be dealt.

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Posted on: March 22, 2011 6:36 pm
 

Gamel could be Brewers' backup plan at first

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Mat GamelThe Brewers may have found their replacement for Prince Fielder after the season, and he's not coming from outside.

Former highly-touted third base prospect Mat Gamel was optioned to Triple-A Nashville on Tuesday to learn how to play first base. With Casey McGehee seemingly entrenched at third for the Brewers and Gamel struggling defensively, it seems like a natural fit. Or at least a pretty good contingency plan. Fielder is a free agent after this season and not many expect him to return to Milwaukee.

Gamel has suffered from injuries, but also found his way to the majors blocked by McGehee, Corey Hart in right and Ryan Braun in left. Before the 2009 season, Baseball America ranked him the No. 34 prospect in all of baseball. In the minors, he's certainly hit, putting up a .302/.376.489 line in six seasons, along with 77 home runs.

Last season he played at three levels, hitting .309/.387/.511 with 13 homers in 82 games at Nashville. 

"I told Mat that playing first base is not like sticking a Little Leaguer in right," general manager Doug Melvin told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Michael Hunt. "It's a tough position. A lot goes into it."

Melvin also said the team doesn't want Gamel playing right field for the Sounds. There has been speculation that the team could move Hart to first and Gamel replace him in right.

Gamel, serving mostly as a designated hitter this spring, hit .375/.444/.375 with three hits in eight at-bats this spring. A rib cage injury has limited his at-bats this spring.

In 167 career big league plate appearances, Gamel's hit .241/.335/.414 with five homers and 21 RBI. The bulk of his big league experience, 61 of 75 games, came in 2009. He's also played left field and served as the team's designated hitter and a pinch hitter. He played in 12 games last season.

The team is leaning toward keeping Erick Almonte or Luis Cruz to fill the backup infielder spot, Hunt writes.

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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