Tag:Orioles
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 30, 2011 10:45 pm
Edited on: July 30, 2011 11:54 pm
 

Pirates trade for Lee

By Matt Snyder

Derrek Lee spent parts of seven seasons in the NL Central, and now he's headed back. Lee has been traded to the Pirates for a minor league first baseman, Aaron Baker, the Orioles announced Saturday night.

Lee, 35, is hitting .248 with 12 home runs, 41 RBI and a .715 OPS. He will absolutely benefit from a trade back to the NL Central from the AL East, though, and qualifies as an upgrade over Lyle Overbay at first base. Lee hit .306 with 35 homers and 111 RBI in 2009, his last full season with the Cubs. Lee has a career .297/.370/.470 line at PNC Park, with 20 doubles, eight homers and 52 RBI in just 67 games.

Baker, 23, is hitting .285/.353/.474 with 15 homers and 72 RBI for High-A Bradenton.

This is a cheap, solid move for the Pirates to solidify the middle of their batting order. It doesn't mean much for the future, either, as Lee's a free agent after this season.

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Posted on: July 28, 2011 11:47 pm
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Wright powering Mets



By Matt Snyder


David Wright, Mets. The Mets completed a four-game sweep of the Reds with a 10-9 victory Thursday afternoon, and Wright went 3-5 with two runs and an RBI. Since coming off the disabled list, Wright is scorching hot, as he's gone 15-33 (.455) with three doubles, two home runs and 12 RBI. The Mets are 5-2 in that seven-game span and -- don't look now -- trail the Braves by 6 1/2 games in the Wild Card race. Maybe they should've kept Carlos Beltran?

Mark Trumbo, Angels. The Angels roughed up the Tigers' pitching staff to the tune of 12 runs on 17 hits. The rookie Trumbo got things started in the second with a two-run homer and ended the game with five RBI. He ended up a single shy of the cycle on his 3-5 day. The Angels kept pace with the Rangers and are still just two games out in the AL West.

Wandy Rodriguez, Astros. Granted, the Cardinals were missing Lance Berkman, but Rodriguez likely upped his trade value a bit in his last start before the non-waiver deadline. He worked seven innings in a 5-3 win, allowing just five hits and one earned run. He struck out six and walked only one. The best part? He worked on top. He threw a first-pitch strike to 22 of the 26 batters he faced (Alyson Footer via Twitter).



A's bullpen. The A's got five runs in the first inning from their anemic offense and also received a quality start from Rich Harden. Yet they still ended up losing 10-8 to the Rays. Craig Breslow, Brad Ziegler and Brian Fuentes had a pretty big hand in the loss. The trio combined to allow five hits, three walks and seven earned runs in the top of the seventh inning. It's pretty tough to win a game when the bullpen coughs up a seven-spot.

Mark Reynolds, Orioles. He's got loads of power, but it comes at quite the price. Reynolds went 0-3 with a strikeout Thursday, while also committing an error at third base when he was unable to haul in an attempted pickoff throw. Only four players in the majors have struck out more often than Reynolds, but he's now the league leader in errors. It's probably time to move him to DH, so only his strikeouts are an issue -- and you can live with those from a guy hitting lots of home runs.

Davey Johnson, Nationals. Was Jim Riggleman really doing that great a job managing? It's probably a mere coincidence -- though the Marlins managerial change has made them into a different team -- but Johnson is 9-17 now as manager of the Nats. They were 39-37 when he took over. After a 5-2 loss to Jack McKeon's Marlins Thursday, the Nats have now lost five in a row and seven of eight. They're 3-9 since the All-Star break and are now in last place by 2 1/2 games.

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Posted on: July 28, 2011 4:49 pm
Edited on: July 28, 2011 5:23 pm
 

5 under-the-radar trade targets to watch

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Sure, Carlos Beltran has been traded and there are still waves about Ubaldo Jimenez and other big names, but often it's the role players that are important in a pennant race. Here's guys that won't exactly stop the press, but could make a new team very happy they made a deal:

Josh Willingham1. Josh Willingham, Athletics: While not quite as sexy an acquisition as Carlos Beltran, Hunter Pence, B.J. Upton or even Ryan Ludwick, Willingham is certainly in demand.

Willingham is currently hitting .240/.327/.428 -- turning in his lowest OPS since becoming a regular big-leaguer. Playing in pitcher-friendly Oakland certainly doesn't help, but he does have 13 home runs in 324 plate appearances and a career .363 on-base percentage. Willingham has 116 career homers and could supply some pop to a team that needs a right-handed bat, and there are plenty of those. Both the Braves and Red Sox are in need of a right-handed bat in the outfield.

Willingham is a free agent after the season and currently projects as a Type A free agent, so it's possible the A's keep him if nobody meets their asking price.

Jamey Carroll2. Jamey Carroll, Dodgers: Carroll was a guy that was getting interest from Milwaukee before Rickie Weeks suffered a severely sprained ankle on Wednesday, and now he makes even more sense.

Not a bopper by any stretch of the imagination (he has just 12 career homers in 3,273 career plate appearances -- that's one homer every 272.75 plate appearances, and none since 2009), but he's a solid, steady bat hitting .291/.362/.356, a line that's pretty consistent with his .277/.356/.349 career slash line.

The 37-year-old can play around the infield and would step in at second for the Brewers -- and even be part of a mini-youth movement in Milwaukee where he'd take over the spot of 40-year-old Craig Counsell

The Indians are also interested in Carroll, who played in Cleveland in 2008 and 2009. There he would be used to back up rookies Jason Kipnis at second and Lonnie Chisenall at third base.

Coco Crisp3. Coco Crisp, Athletics: Crisp isn't having his best season, but the veteran center fielder could still help plenty of teams looking to shore up an outfield rotation or add a fourth outfielder.

Hitting .266/.317/.384 for Oakland this season, the 31-year-old has seen his stats drop from last season, and his .317 on-base percentage is his lowest since 2006. He does have 27 stolen bases, just five from his career-best.

CBSSports.com colleague Scott Miller made an interesting observation about Crisp, saying he's similar to Dave Roberts in 2004. Red Sox fans don't have to be reminded about Roberts' impact on Boston's title chase. 

The Indians and Reds have shown interest in Crisp, who could also help out the Pirates.

Koji Uehara4. Koji Uehara, Orioles: He's not exactly a household name, but the 36-year-old Japanese right-hander has been one of the game’s best relievers the last couple of years. 

Uehara has a 1.80 ERA this season in 45 innings, striking out 59 and walking eight. His WHIP is down to 0.689, but he has given up six homer so far this season, but that's about the only chink in his armor. In his career he's struck out 6.48 hitters for every walk.

Last season he closed some for the Orioles and converted 13 of 15 chances, so he could even fill that role if needed.

The Rangers, Pirates, Tigers and Twins have shown interest in him. He would upgrade any bullpen he joins.

Clint Barmes5. Clint Barmes, Astros: In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. And in the NL Central, Clint Barmes is a legitimate shortstop.

The Astros traded for the player better known as the guy before Troy Tulowitzki in Colorado or the guy who fell down the stairs carrying deer meat, but he's had a decent season in Houston. He's hitting .254/.320/.402 with seven homers for the Astros. Better yet, he's a good defensive shortstop -- and Ozzie Smith compared to the likes of Yuniesky Betancourt, Edgar Renteria and Ryan Theriot.

CBSSports.com senior writer Danny Knobler wrote the Brewers are interested in Barmes. The Brewers added Felipe Lopez on Thursday, but Lopez is not a legitimate shortstop (of course, neither is Betancourt) and will report to Triple-A.

Another team to watch may be the Diamondbacks, who lost Stephen Drew to a broken ankle. 

Barmes is a free agent after the season.

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Posted on: July 27, 2011 5:01 pm
 

No Beltran, no Pence, but Phillies want relievers

By Danny Knobler 

Yes, the Phillies made an effort for Carlos Beltran, before backing down and allowing him to go to the Giants. Yes, the Phillies talked to the Astros about Hunter Pence, although it appears now that nothing will happen, and the Astros will look to deal Pence in the winter, instead.

And as usual, the Phillies' biggest acquisition this month might well be a pitcher.

The Phillies remain among the teams most interested in Padres relievers Heath Bell and Mike Adams, although like others they continue to complain about the high prices. The Phils have looked at the Orioles and other teams, as well, in hopes of finding bullpen help.

I know, the Phillies bullpen has been among the most successful in the game this year. Their three blown saves are the fewest in the majors, and only one of the three came in the ninth inning. And after playing much of the year with three closers (Brad LidgeRyan Madson and Jose Contreras) on the disabled list, the Phillies now have Madson and Lidge back on the active roster.

Fine. But fast-forward to October, because the Phillies are all about October.

Do you feel comfortable with Michael Stutes and Antonio Bastardo pitching late in games in the playoffs? Are you sure about Madson as your playoff closer? Will Lidge be healthy and strong enough to help?

People who talk to the Phillies say they're asking all of those questions themselves, and that the answer can be seen in their efforts on the trade market.

The Phillies will likely still look to acquire a right-handed hitter, but it may well be more of a platoon bat off the bench. That could change, obviously, depending on who is available, and it would be interesting to see if the Phillies went after Carlos Quentin, if the White Sox really make him available.

The Phillies didn't get Beltran, and they almost certainly won't get Pence. Don't be surprised if they end up with a reliever.

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Posted on: July 27, 2011 4:50 pm
 

On Deck: Braves/Pirates meet after blown call

On Deck

By Evan Brunell


Follow all games live with CBSSports.com's GameTracker.

PiratesBravesONE DAY LATER: A day after the Braves essentially stole a win thanks to an umpire's blown call, the two teams will meet up with a nice pitching duel lined up. Jair Jurrjens no longer has an ERA under 2.00, but that can be forgiven as it's still low, with a 2.44 line going up against Paul Maholm and his 3.26 ERA. The Pirates are doing everything they can to stay in the NL Central hunt and must feel a bit of pressure at their backs to make up for the loss Tuesday night, as well as the knowledge the Cardinals just upgraded their pitching by adding Edwin Jackson, Marc Rzepcynzki and Octavio Dotel. Pirates vs. Braves, 7:10 p.m. ET

RasmusDONE DEAL: The Blue Jays made yet another smart deal on Wednesday, yet another in a series of trades since Alex Anthopoulous took over as GM. The centerpiece in the three-team deal for Toronto is center fielder Colby Rasmus. Rasmus isn't in the lineup for the game, but it's possible he will arrive in time to make an entrance. More than likely, Rasmus' Blue Jays debut will wait until Thursday. Toronto may also be dealing with a short bullpen, having traded away Dotel and Rzepcynzki. They have Ricky Romero toeing the hill against Alfredo Simon. Romero threw eight innings of one-run ball the last time he faced Baltimore, so the Jays will be hoping for a repeat. Orioles vs. Blue Jays, 7:07 p.m. ET

GiantsPhilliesPITCHING DUEL: The Giants added their own outfielder on Wednesday, agreeing to add Carlos Beltran for the Mets. There's no chance Beltran has of making it to San Francisco in time for the game tonight, largely because the deal is not yet completed thanks to some procedural moves. It's OK, though, because we've got a nice pitching matchup to make up for it. The Phillies will toss ace No. 4, Cole Hamels, who deserves much more than that label. Hamels has a sterling 2.62 ERA on the year with a 0.96 WHIP, striking out 134 and walking just 29. Tim Lincecum was supposed to go for the Giants but is ill (Barry Zito started in Lincecum's place as well Tuesday night), so Matt Cain will step in Lincecum's place. No problem: Cain's got a 3.06 ERA in 138 1/3 innings. Giants vs. Phillies, 7:00 p.m. ET

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Posted on: July 27, 2011 2:00 am
Edited on: July 27, 2011 2:18 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Who needs Joe?



By Matt Snyder


Vance Worley, Phillies. On the day the Phillies learned they'd be losing No. 5 starter Joe Blanton for the season, rookie phenom Worley showed -- once again -- that Blanton's spot is more than covered. The 23 year old has been sensational this season and came up big once again Tuesday night. He allowed only three hits and two runs in his first career complete game and is now 7-1 with a 2.02 ERA. If Roy Oswalt comes back as strong as he's capable, the Phillies have an absurdly scary rotation.

J.J. Hardy and Derrek Lee, Orioles. The O's busted out with 12 runs -- a season high -- on 16 hits Tuesday night in a resounding victory over the Blue Jays. The entire offense hit the ball well, but Hardy and Lee were the obvious stars. Hardy clubbed two home runs and drove home four. Lee went 4-5 with a double, home run and five RBI.

Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox and Emilio Bonifacio, Marlins. Both of these guys are getting close to making us pay attention daily to their hitting streaks. Bonifacio went 2-4 with a double in a Marlins victory to extend his streak to 24 games. Pedroia went 4-5 with a double and triple in a Red Sox win and is currently sitting with a 23-game hitting streak. The magic number for when streaks deserve our full attention is debatable, but with the trade deadline this week and lots of other stuff going on, 28 -- halfway to Joe DiMaggio's record 56 -- seems about right. Still, both of these guys deserve no less than a tip of the cap.



Neftali Feliz, Rangers. The 2010 AL Rookie of the Year hasn't been near as effective this season, and it showed once again Tuesday night. He closed 40 of 43 save opportunities last season, but Tuesday he blew his fifth save in 25 tries in 2011. He's already surpassed last season's walk total in a little more than half the innings. A crucial fielding error didn't help Feliz Tuesday, but he still allowed a single, two doubles and a walk. If the Rangers do acquire Heath Bell, they should seriously consider dropping Feliz to eighth-inning duties. Bell is much more a sure thing.

Reds defense.
We could call the division the NL Comedy Central when it comes to defense, but the Reds are actually a really good defensive team. Tuesday night, they tried to emulate their Central bretheren. Three errors -- including from the normally sure-handed Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips -- cost the Reds six runs in an 8-6 loss to the Mets. That's right, only two of the eight allowed runs were earned. That's pretty rough on the pitching staff. Chalk it up as a bad day, but the Reds need not make mistakes like this in the NL Central battle, as they've fallen five games back.

Offense in Pirates-Braves game. It was 3-3 after three innings. It was 3-3 after nine innings. It was 3-3 after 18 innings. Cristhian Martinez worked six scoreless innings from the bullpen for the Braves. Martin Prado went 0-9. Andrew McCutchen went 0-6. It was so bad the Pirates elected to sac-bunt against Scott Proctor -- whose ERA is over 7.00. Oh, speaking of Proctor ....

BONUS DOWN: Umpire Jerry Meals. OK, we understand that was a long night behind home plate, but you cannot end a game with such a ridiculous call. The Braves beat the Pirates 4-3 in 19 innings after receiving an absolute gift at home plate (click here for a post with video and photo evidence). Braves baserunner Julio Lugo pretty clearly exhibited the type of body language that he knew he was out at home plate on Scott Proctor's ground ball -- which became a game-winning fielder's choice. Meals just called Lugo safe. Lugo even popped up several feet shy of home plate and was tagged on both the arm and the leg before stepping on home plate and being called safe. We're bound to discuss instant replay a bit the rest of the week, as this was an embarrassing way to end a 19-inning game. I'd even guess most Braves fans agreed (the Braves broadcast team most certainly did). Oh, by the way, there had already been a few ejections due to arguing Meals' strike zone.

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Posted on: July 26, 2011 9:29 am
Edited on: July 26, 2011 9:42 am
 

Pepper: Bedard's start in nick of time



By Matt Snyder


Good news is hard to come by when a team has lost 16 games in a row, but the Mariners at least received marginally good news Monday. Left-handed starting pitcher Erik Bedard will return to the mound Friday (MLB.com).

On the surface, it's kind of a "who cares?" type movement. The Mariners are 15 1/2 games out and obviously will not factor into the AL West race. It's just that there's something else rapidly approaching, and that is the non-waiver trade deadline. Bedard is 32, on a one-year contract and has been effective when healthy this season (3.00 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 85 strikeouts, 26 walks in 90 innings).

With the deadline Sunday at 4:00 p.m. ET, Bedard's start coming Friday, several contending teams looking for starting pitching, a lack of quality starting pitchers readily available and the Mariners obviously in selling mode, Bedard coming off the disabled list couldn't come at a much better time for all parties involved. As long as he gets through the start healthy, expect to hear his name in rumors this coming weekend.

HOW TRADES HAPPEN: Former Reds and Nationals general manager Jim Bowden now writes for ESPN, and he has an article up about how trades happen. It's nothing really Earth-shattering, in fact it might seem a bit obvious, but it's still a detailed look about the methodology of going through a major-league trade from someone who has made several in his time.

BUCHHOLZ PROGRESSING: The Red Sox have the best record in the American League, and they've been doing it of late with a patchwork pitching rotation. Jon Lester returned Monday night and now Clay Buchholz is making solid progress in his fight to return from a back injury. Monday, he estimated that he's "75 to 80 percent" healthy after throwing a bullpen session, including breaking pitches (Boston.com).

LACK OF SECURITY: Last week, a fan ran onto Citi Field during a Mets-Cardinals game. Usually when these clowns run on the field, they're stymied by security pretty quickly. Not this time, as the fan took security for quite a ride. Jon Bois over at SB Nation has the details along with video and a map.

WHITE HOUSE INVASION: The Giants won the World Series last year with a group of colorful personalities. That group was back together Monday as the champs visited President Obama in the White House. The Giants went through the usual song and dance, glad-handing with the President, giving him some gifts and posing for plenty of pictures. Perhaps the best part of the whole visit was the presentation. You wouldn't expect personalities like Tim Lincecum or Brian Wilson to dial anything down for the visit -- like a haircut or shave, perhaps -- and they didn't disappoint. Check out the photo at right here, courtesy of the Associated Press.

SEVEN DOWN, TWO TO GO: Michael Cuddyer went into Monday night's game having played six positions for the Twins: First base, second base, third base, left field, right field and center field. After manager Ron Gardenhire saw his pitching staff bludgeoned for 25 hits and 20 runs in seven innings against the Rangers, he turned to Cuddyer for the eighth. Cuddyer ended up throwing the only scoreless frame of the game for the Twins. Sure, he gave up two hits and a walk, but he got through it without allowing a run (3 Up, 3 Down). No other pitcher for the Twins Monday could say the same -- Phil Dumatrait had a line with zero earned runs, but did allow two inherited runners to score. So now the only two positions Cuddyer has never played in a game for the Twins are shortstop and catcher. He has appeared as a DH before, so if you want to count that, he's eight for 10.

A-ROD ON TARGET: Yankees injured third baseman Alex Rodriguez had surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee on July 11 and was given a four to six weeks timetable for his return. As things presently stand, everything is in order and the Yankees expect him back by mid-August (MLB.com).

WALLACE'S TIME LIMITED: Brett Wallace got off to a hot start for the Astros this season. It wasn't just a few games. Through April 30, Wallace was hitting .388 with a .988 OPS. Since then, however, both figures have pretty progressively come down to the current marks of .279 and .749, respectively. Manager Brad Mills has reportedly tried to balance protecting Wallace against left-handers versus trying to develop the young first baseman. Mills is now leaning toward sitting Wallace more often against left-handers (Ultimate Astros).

BALL-HAWKIN': Highly-touted Angels rookie Mike Trout hit his first major-league home run Sunday, and it was caught by famous ball hawk Zack Hample -- who has caught over 5,000 balls at major-league games and written three books on the subject. The OC Register has the story about how Hample planned to catch Trout's first homer, how he made it happen and how he gave the ball back to Trout.

MORE DAY BASEBALL: When the Marlins move into their new home next season -- hopefully to a lot more fanfare than they get in their current football stadium -- they'll be playing a lot more day games (MLB.com).

BROOKS WAS HERE: The Orioles have begun building a statue to honor Hall of Fame third baseman Brooks Robinson at Camden Yards. The statue will be nine feet tall and weight 1,500 pounds. It's scheduled to be unveiled Oct. 21 of this year. Fittingly, the statue will depict the 16-time Gold Glover preparing to make a routine throw to first base (Baltimore Sun).

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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