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Tag:NL Central
Posted on: March 3, 2011 9:54 am
Edited on: March 3, 2011 12:30 pm
 

Pepper: Perez's last chance?

Posted by C. Trent Rosecrans
Oliver Perez

For most established big leaguers, it's beyond idiotic to put much stock in many spring training results -- nobody's a star or scrub based solely on a game in the first week of March -- but Oliver Perez isn't the typical case.

The Mets pitcher has been hanging on to his roster spot by a three-year, $36-million thread for a while. In the last year of his ridiculous contract, the left-hander may be released if he "does not show significant improvement over Sunday's two-inning, four-run disappointment" today against the Cardinals, the New York Daily News' Andy Martino writes, citing two "major league sources familiar with the Mets' thinking."

Sunday, Perez was throwing an 84 mph fastball and struggled with his command. He was initially slated as a reliever for today's game, but he will instead start.

Manager Terry Collins said, "I'm quite sure he'll have another try after [Thursday]." But Martino says that may not be the case.

Since signing his big deal (any guess who his agent is?), Perez has gone 3-9 with a 6.81 ERA in 31 games. He made 14 starts in 2009 and seven last season before being put in the bullpen. He didn't pitch at all in June, and pitched just two games in August -- on the first day of the month and the next-to-last day of the month, and just one day in September.

There was talk the Mets would release him after the season, but they gave him one last try -- and that very last try could come today.

SPEAKING OF ALBATROSS CONTRACTS: Bruce Bochy told reporters Wednesday that Barry Zito's spot in the Giants' rotation is secure, despite a San Francisco Chronicle column citing a "source close to the team" as saying his job isn't safe.

General manager Brian Sabean also denied the story was a plant.

"Absolutely, unequivocally not," Sabean told Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News. "We have too much respect for players, and more so, I have a great relationship with Barry Zito. If things had gotten to that point, I would have talked to him directly, firsthand."

Zito walked five of the 13 batters he faced in his spring opener on Monday.

A.J. Burnett DOESN'T SUCK? So says, FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal.

In fact, Rosenthal points out the much-maligned Yankees' career numbers are pretty darn close to those of Boston's Josh Beckett, another former Marlin. The numbers Rosenthal uses are indeed close -- Burnett is 110-100 with a 3.99 ERA and an opponents' OPS of .701 in his career, while Beckett is 112-74, with a 3.96 ERA and .708 opponents' OPS.

The secret for Burnett to be successful, Rosenthal writes, is for Burnett to believe he can be successful. The Yankees certainly hope that's true.

WHO ISN'T? Speaking of disappointing Red Sox pitchers… John Lackey is "just tired" of talking about his 2010 season, he tells WEEI.com's Rob Bradford.

If I got $18 million to put up a 4.40 ERA. In his first season since coming over from the Angels, Lackey made 33 starts and put up a 14-11 record.

IT'S THE MONEY, STUPID: It's going to be difficult for either Dustin Ackley or Michael Pineda break camp with the Mariners, even if they earn a spot in spring, Larry Stone of the Seattle Times writes, because of the possible Super 2 status.

The Mariners may have to guess when to bring up their talented rookies in hope of not allowing them to reach arbitration eligibility early. To be safe, now most teams wait until June to bring up a heralded prospect. Remember Buster Posey? He was called up to stay last year on May 29.

Recently teams have guessed on when the Super 2 cutoff date would occur and lost on Tim Lincecum (2007) and Jay Bruce (2008) falling before the cutoff date. Teams worried about payroll, like the Mariners, are unlikely to take a gamble.

Ramon HernandezCITIZEN CATCHER: Congratulations to Reds catcher Ramon Hernandez, who took a couple of days off from Cincinnati's camp to go to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to take his United State citizenship test. Hernandez passed the test on Tuesday and will be sworn in at a later date.

"I already live here and I have my life here," Hernandez, a native of Venezuela, told Mark Sheldon of MLB.com. "My kids are U.S. citizens and my wife is a U.S. citizen. I'm the only one left. I feel like I've got to do it because I live here."

Hernandez celebrated with a double against the White Sox on Wednesday.

A PITCHER'S BEST FRIEND: A physicist writes an article on Baseball Prospectus stating that if the Diamondbacks used a humidor at Chase Field, they'd see a 37 percent drop in home runs. (Hat tip to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic)

THOSE AREN'T PILLOWS: The Planes, Trains and Automobiles worthy story of Mike Napoli's journey from the Angels to the Blue Jays to the Rangers from the Orange County Register's Bill Plunkett

SOMEONE IS INTERESTED IN THE METS: A group that includes Rays minority owner Randy Frankel and Entourage creator Doug Ellin, is interested in buying a share of the Mets, the New York Times reports.

Frankel would have to sell his share of the Rays, if approved.

THE DOCTOR IS AN IN-PATIENT: While the NFL seems to have someone on every Dancing With the Stars incarnation, MLB will be represented on Celebrity Rehab by former Mets ace Dwight Gooden.

Gooden, 46, will join Lindsay Lohan's dad and the kid from Baywatch on Dr. Drew's show, TMZ.com reports.

MMMM… GRAVY: A flow chart telling you which Major League Baseball team you should root for.

ANIMAL STYLE: For those non-Californians heading out to spring training in Arizona, here's a little help when it comes to the culinary hotspot that is In-N-Out. You've heard of the secret menu? Here's a look at every "secret" item on the menu.

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

Posted on: March 2, 2011 9:07 pm
Edited on: March 2, 2011 9:23 pm
 

Stars, scrubs of March 2 games

By Evan BrunellSilva

Coming your way: the three stars and scrubs of March 2 spring training games ...

STARS

1. Matt Wieters, BAL: 3 for 4, 2 RBI: Could Wieters be ready to break out? After a very disappointing 2010 season, the 24-year-old is looking to tap into the potential that caused the birth of MattWietersFacts.com. Stay tuned, but this is a nice start.

2. Casey McGehee, MIL: 3 for 3, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 HR: A nice day for the Brew Crew's third baseman. As the projected No. 6 hitter, he will be the last line of defense before the motley crew of Yuniesky Betancourt, Carlos Gomez and the pitcher in the lineup. McGehee, who cracked the 100-RBI barrier last season, will be counted upon to have a repeat season.

3. Jose Tabata, PIT: 3 for 3, 1 RBI. With Andrew McCutchen moving to the No. 3 spot, Tabata will be looked at to be the new leadoff batter for the Pirates. So far, so good, although what bears monitoring is Tabata's stated focus to improve his power. All Pittsburgh cares about is Tabata getting on base. 

SCRUBS

1. Carlos Silva, CHC: 1 IP, 3 H, 6 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 2 HR. Do you really have to ask why? Silva got into a fight with Aramis Ramirez after a disastrous first inning in which there were six runs coughed up by Silva's hand on two three-run home runs, and three errors committed by fielders. Really, it's just a day the Cubs would like to forget.

2. Nick Bierbrodt, BAL: 1/3 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 2 HR: Um, how much of a blast from the past is Bierbrodt? I recall the 32-year-old from High Heat 2001, and he was just as bad in the game as he was in the majors. He has a career 6.66 ERA (devilish!) in 144 2/3 innings and hasn't appeared in the majors since 2004. Just a guess, but that streak will extend another season.

3. Josh Johnson, FLA: 1 2/3 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 1 K: Not exactly a great debut for JJ, who will be looked upon to anchor the rotation once more and one of very few Marlins with long-term financial security and a home address in Miami. Ask Dan Uggla how rare that is.

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

Posted on: March 2, 2011 6:30 pm
Edited on: March 2, 2011 8:31 pm
 

Quade speaks on Silva-Ramirez dustup

By Matt Snyder, quotes contributed by Danny Knobler

A fight between pitcher Carlos Silva and third baseman Aramis Ramirez erupted in the dugout during the first inning of a Cubs Cactus League game against the Brewers Wednesday. Details can be found in our original post .

After the game, Cubs manager Mike Quade spoke on the situation.

"You've got two pissed-off people," he said of Ramirez and Silva. "It was a brutal first inning. ... Maybe that's what we need. My sense was Silva was frustrated, and said something about the defense. (Ramirez) took offense."

"Today was really tough to watch," he continued. "Guys get upset. I don't think anything comes of it."

It seems as though the entire team is in need of a wakeup call, even if it's only March 2. A fight in the dugout was just the boiling point, as the team has now committed 14 errors in four games.

"I can put 14 (errors) on the board, and four or five mental mistakes. We've got to talk about this tomorrow, straighten it out. It's not in my nature to watch this."

The talk Thursday to which Quade is referring is a team meeting he's called. It's being called not only for the fight, but for the errors as well.

"I've got to do (the meeting) for me. I don't sleep if I don't, Quade said. "If we start getting after each other (fight) on a regular basis, we're going to be done."

Of course, it's worth mentioning that sometimes teammates argue when things aren't going well. And the whole team is on edge, coming off an incredibly disappointing 2010 and a tenuous beginning to the spring of 2011. It's just something that needs to be controlled by the new manager -- though Ramirez early mentioned that the air was already clear between Silva and himself.

"These are things you don't like. You'd rather it be smooth. But I'd rather have that, almost, than complacency," Quade pointed out.



Posted on: March 2, 2011 4:30 pm
 

Prospects who could vault to top of 2012 list

ChisenhallAs part of the CBSSports.com Top 100 prospects list, there are many who will graduate from the list and thus provide holes to be filled. A fair number will be filled from those who are drafted in June, but there will also be leaps forward by certain players. Here's the top five names to watch for a massive leap forward (no one ranked No. 25 or higher were considered):

No. 30 Jonathan Singleton, PHI
Age: 19
Position: 1B
Bats/Throws: L/L

It's not fair, is it? After the Phillies depleted their farm system to trade for Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay, here they are with Domonic Brown ranked No. 3 on the Top 100 list and Singleton No. 30. Singleton could leap up this list with a consistent showing in 2011; he couldn't hold up to a full season in 2010. He's being moved to left field, so will have to sustain his offense while learning a new position.

No. 31 Lonnie Chisenhall, CLE
Age: 22
Position: 3B
Bats/Throws: L/R

Chisenhall is the Indians' great hope to anchor the infield and provide an elite bat alongside catcher Carlos Santana and outfielder Shin-Soo Choo. With a strong season, Chisenhall could make a late-season debut although one has to cast an eye toward 2012 for any regular playing time. At just 22, Chisenhall figures to spend the entire year in Triple-A.

T-No. 44 Zach Wheeler, SF
Age: 20
Position: SP
Bats/Throws: R/R

Wheeler, drafted No. 6 in the 2009 draft, impressed in his first showing in the professional ranks. He started 13 games and relieved in seven more, pitching a total of 58 2/3 innings and turning heads with a 10.7 K/9 rate although that was paired with a 5.8 BB/9 rate. If he can knock down that walk rate, he could zoom up the list. In Wheeler's favor is missing time in 2010 with a cracked fingernail that may have impacted his command. Wheeler could eventually emerge as a No. 1 and shows an ability to handle workloads of 200-plus innings.

No. 63 Nick Castellanos, DET
Age: 19
Position: 3B
Bats/Throws: R/R

Castellanos was drafted No. 44 overall in the 2010 amateur draft solely because of bonus demands. His potential is sky-high and could be the best third baseman on the 2012 top prospect list, although Chisenhall and Brett Lawrie will have something to say about that. The Tigers love taking prep players, and Castellanos is no exception. He has big power and a solid glove, but the jury is still out on how he transitions to advanced competition.

No. 100 Carlos Martinez, STL
Age: 19
Position: SP
Bats/Throws: R/R

Formerly Carlos Matias, the Red Sox have to be annoyed they lost out on Martinez after faulty paperwork on the player's end. Martinez punched out 78 in 12 starts in the Dominican Summer League over 59 innings and turning the heads of many. Martinez's fastball plays in the high 90s and holds one of the best fastballs in the game as Baseball America's Ben Badler reports. He does need to improve his secondary stuff but at just 19, has plenty of time to do so. Now with a work visa finally secured, Martinez will be stateside for 2011. A top-10 ranking is probably optimistic, but top-25 should be well within reach.

HONORABLE MENTION: No. 44 Brett Lawrie, TOR third baseman and No. 38 Gary Sanchez, NYY catcher.

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Posted on: March 2, 2011 4:05 pm
Edited on: March 2, 2011 6:32 pm
 

Silva, Ramirez fight in Cubs' dugout

By Matt Snyder

We've seen this before in the Cubs dugout, only this time it was a different Carlos. A fight broke out Wednesday in the Cubs dugout between Carlos Silva and Aramis Ramirez. At first the person locked in combat with Silva was unknown, but Alfonso Soriano spilled the beans later in the clubhouse.

"I'm very surprised. It's only the fourth game of the spring, and we're fighting each other," Soriano told reporters, including CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler. "We don't have to fight ... We don't need that. ... They have to talk. I think if they talk, everything will be normal. I hope they talk.

"Maybe Aramis wasn't in a good mood today."

Ramirez doesn't seem too worried about the scuffle.

"Everything is taken care of. (It was) just a misunderstanding," he said.

Silva's anger stemmed from a pretty horrendous inning by the team, including himself. The Cubs committed three errors -- including one each from Ramirez and shortstop Starlin Castro (Chicago Sun-Times , via Twitter) -- and a catcher's interference in Silva's one inning of work. Of course, he also coughed up a pair of three-run home runs in the midst of the debacle.

"He wants to do good," Ramirez said of Silva. "Obviously, he didn't throw the ball well, and we didn't make plays behind him. Everything just went the other way."

Silva and his co-combatant were quickly broken up by teammates. Silva was subsequently pulled from the game and walked to the clubhouse with strength coach Tim Buss.

Silva left the game early and refused to talk about the incident. He was said to have been "too worked up" to face the media. Ramirez, on the other hand, has shown over the course of his career he's pretty mild-mannered, a point he reiterated after the game.

"I've never gotten involved with anybody," Ramirez said. I'm not a troublemaker, put it that way."

Though we shouldn't completely jump to conclusions, all signs indicate Silva was the instigator here. He was the one removed from the game and escorted to the clubhouse. Further, he was trying to prove a point Wednesday, as he's recently been chirping about having to win a rotation spot.

"I'm not a kid. I'm not a rookie anymore," he said at this year's Cubs Convention (via Chicago Tribune ). "I know how everything works. But I showed this team what I can do last year. Everyone is saying they're looking for a fourth and fifth starter. I think that's ridiculous."

Silva went 10-6 with a 4.22 ERA last season, but he started 8-0, 2.93. So, in his final 10 starts, he went 2-6 with a 6.15 ERA and 1.59 WHIP.

"He's fighting for a spot," Ramirez added. "He's got to do good."

Things certainly didn't go as planned Wednesday for the right-hander, but remember, it's a long spring.

CBS UPDATE: Manager Mike Quade speaks on the incident .

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Category: MLB
Posted on: March 2, 2011 2:47 pm
Edited on: March 2, 2011 4:44 pm
 

Which top prospects could impact majors in 2011?

By Evan Brunell

CBSSports.com's Top 100 prospect list is out, casting light on players that will eventually become household names. But until that happens, these prospects need to tap into their potential and prove they can hack it at the big league level.

Below is a list of top prospects that could make an impact on the majors in 2011. Before getting into the list, "impact" is defined as those who are projected to break camp with the team and play an important role with the club. Others, such as Jesus Montero, Dustin Ackley, Brandon Belt, all will have an impact once the hit the majors -- but that's likely to come in the summer months, and are listed at the end of the article.

BrownNo. 3. Domonic Brown, PHI
Age (all ages as of April 1, 2011): 23
Position: RF
Bats/Throws: L/L

Brown is battling for the starting right field job and although Ben Francisco is proving to be a stiffer challenger than thought, Brown will still get ample opportunites in the majors. There's some thought he could return to Triple-A, but he has nothing left to prove at that level and progression will only come with playing time in the bigs. Philly may have to swallow hard and deal with the growing pains, but the payoff will eventually be huge.

HellicksonNo. 6. Jeremy Hellickson, TB
Age: 23
Position: SP
Bats/Throws: R/R

Hellickson could step in and replace Matt Garza without batting an eye, as the youngster is fully prepared to pitch in the cauldron that is the AL East. Hellickson will turn 24 on April 8, but already has 36 1/3 innings of major league experience under his belt. He walked just eight (plus two intentional) plus whiffing 33, which is an impressive debut but only underscores just how ready he is for prime time.

ChapmanNo. 9. Aroldis Chapman, CIN
Age: 23
Position: RP
Bats/Throws: L/L

Chapman won't be closing in Cincinnati, but will put pressure on Francisco Cordero as the setup man. We all saw what Chapman could do last season and he should continue to baffle hitters. The Reds considered making him a starter but opted to keep him in the bullpen which may unfortunately preclude a move to the rotation. It is difficult for teams justify moving young players that succeed in the 'pen back to the rotation.

DrabekNo. 16. Kyle Drabek, TOR
Age: 23
Position: SP
Bats/Throws: R/R

Of all the names on this list, Drabek has the most tenuous hold on a roster spot but the team seems excited about his potential and wouldn't rule out a run at 200 innings. He shouldn't have too much trouble cracking the rotation and even if he starts in Triple-A, it won't be for long. One can't project Drabek to replace the man he was traded for (Roy Halladay), but he should eventually anchor the rotation.

FreemanNo. 19. Freddie Freeman, ATL
Age: 21
Position: 1B
Bats/Throws: L/R

As mentioned in the Top 100 list, Freeman lacks the ceiling of other first baseman such as No. 18's Brandon Belt, but is ready for the majors now and is locked in at first base. He figures to have a couple All-Star appearances in his future but not much beyond that. He should settle in as a valuable first baseman over his first six years, largely thanks to being under team control.

MinorNo. 29. Mike Minor, ATL
Age: 22
Position: SP
Bats/Throws: R/L

Minor doesn't have the ceiling of other top pitching prospects (similar to Freeman and first base), but he's also ready for the majors and was noticeably effective in the majors last season before he tired and lost velocity at the end of the season. If Minor can withstand the rigors of a full 162-game season, he should be an excellent No. 4-5 starter for the Braves, with the potential of more.

SaleNo. 33. Chris Sale, CHW
Age: 22
Position: RP
Bats/Throws: L/L

Sale is similar to Chapman in that he could start, but the White Sox have opted to keep Sale in the bullpen. He could vulture a few saves, but Matt Thornton is still expected to be the closer. That opens the door for Sale to play an important role in the late innings. He may be asked to switch to the rotation for 2012.

DominguezNo. 66. Matt Dominguez, FLA
Age: 21
Position: 3B
Bats/Throws: R/R

Dominguez can't quite hit, but boy, he can sure pick it. Already compared to Mike Lowell at the tender age of 21, Dominguez is expected to open the year at third for the Marlins. It appears Florida understands Dominguez will be a non-factor on offense and is willing to take that risk. But why start the service clock of an impact player when he could use more seasoning? Dominguez will never be a great hitter, but an extra year in the minors could go a long way. Read more from Scott Miller.

ArencibiaNo. 71. J.P. Arencibia, TOR
Age: 25
Position: C
Bats/Throws: R/R

Arencibia had quite an introduction to Toronto, but quickly faded after inconsistent playing time. Now finally handed to the keys to the starting job, there appears to be no question that Arencibia can hit. Catching, however, is another matter. The Jays have a couple other catchers in the system that could supplant Arencibia before long, which would shift the 25-year-old to first base or DH.

KimbrelNo. 85. Craig Kimbrel, ATL
Age: 22
Position: RP
Bats/Throws: R/R

Kimbrel is the favorite to open the year as closer, although he may share time with Jonny Venters. Kimbrel posted a ridiculous strikeout rate last year and could quickly rise up the ranks of top closers. Carlos Marmol has proven that walking a ton of batters is OK as a closer as long as you strike out players, bit still, Kimbrel could stand to improve in that area.

EspinosaNo. 86. Danny Espinosa, WAS
Age: 23
Position: 2B
Bats/Throws: S/R

A converted second baseman, Espinosa will start alongside Ian Desmond for the Nationals. He showed intriguing power in his 112-plate appearance look in 2010, but probably showed more power than he will produce over a longer season. The bright side? His .214 batting average was an anomaly. The jury is still out on just how good he can be at the major-league level and it appears likely he will eventually settle in as the top infield option off the bench, although he'll get every chance to prove he can be more.

McGeeNo. 95. Jake McGee, TB
Age: 24
Position: RP
Bats/Throws: L/L

McGee has to be considered the odds-on favorite to emerge as long-term closer of Tampa, but will start off setting up whoever wins the gig -- likely Kyle Farnsworth (cringe). McGee has excellent stuff and could have played well in the rotation, but the Rays moved him given his injury and durability issues. He's just as good a bet as Chapman, Sale and Kimbrel on this list to have a nice, long career as closer.

ON THE BUBBLE:
No. 4 Jesus Montero, NYY catcher... No. 8 Dustin Ackley, SEA second baseman... No. 14 Zack Britton, BAL starter... No. 18 Brandon Belt, SF first baseman/left fielder... No. 37 Kyle Gibson, MIN starter... No. 52 Simon Castro, SD starter... No. 57 Yonder Alonso, CIN first baseman/left fielder... No. 74 Chris Carter, OAK first baseman... No. 79 Hank Conger, LAA catcher... No. 82 Zach Stewart, TOR starter... No. 92 Jordan Walden, Angels reliever... No. 96 Brent Morel, CHW third baseman... No. 99 Jeremy Jeffress, KC reliever.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: March 2, 2011 10:55 am
Edited on: March 2, 2011 3:34 pm
 

Carpenter's injured hamstring feels better

By Matt Snyder

A day after leaving a Grapefruit League game early with a strained left hamstring, Cardinals ace Chris Carpenter told reporters he already feels better and is encouraged by the slight progress.

"It's better than it was (Tuesday)," Carpenter told the Associated Press. "It's still there a little bit. They will treat it and see what happens."

The right-hander worked 2 2/3 innings in what was supposed to be a three-inning outing before leaving with what he described as a "tweak" in his hamstring. He showed up Wednesday with his leg wrapped, though he wasn't noticably limping.

Carpenter is not yet scheduled for a bullpen session, though his manager doesn't foresee a break in throwing.

"I'm sure he's going to keep his arm in shape whether it's play catch or something," Russa told the AP. "The first step was to see (how) he came in today. If he was a lot more sore, that first diagnosis of a tweak or a minor deal was inaccurate. So far we're hoping that's right."

The team is expecting him to miss one spring start, if not two.

Assuming there are no setbacks, expect Carpenter to be ready for opening day. He'll be expected to lead the St. Louis rotation, with Adam Wainwright out for the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

At least for now, the Cardinals seem to have avoided a complete disaster in camp.

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Category: MLB
Posted on: March 1, 2011 7:43 pm
Edited on: March 2, 2011 11:36 am
 

Wainwright speaks on injury, confident in future

WainwrightBy Evan Brunell

Despite missing an entire season and casting his future with the Cardinals in doubt, Adam Wainwright is upbeat about having to undergo Tommy John surgery, a massive blow to a Cardinals team that will now rely on Chris Carpenter to shoulder the load for St. Louis.

"I've definitely come to terms with it," Wainwright told reporters Tuesday, according to FOX Sports Midwest. "I was blessed with a big sense of peace. Ever since the night that I did it, I had a gut feeling that it was probably the time my elbow had gone."

Wainwright has been defying the odds time and time again on the tendon that finally snapped Feb. 21 (photo is from minutes before that fateful pitch) after a twinge on his third-to-last pitch of a bullpen session. Wainwright had sprained the ligament twice before in 1998 and 2004, avoiding surgery each time and also dodged a bullet last season by skipping his final start due to a strain of his right forearm flexor, as was said at the time. Alas, despite the right-hander having no restrictions in offseason training and starting spring training strong, the tendon's time had arrived.

"It wasn't completely torn, but the problem was the top of my ligament had a new tear in it and where I had injured it before was at the bottom of my ligament," Wainwright clarified. "When you put that all together, I will refer to the doctors on the percentages of it being torn, but basically the whole thing was mangled. It was time for it to go."

While Wainwright is upbeat about his future, believing that having "a real ligament in my elbow since my sophomore year of high school" portends good things in the future. It's rather scary to think of what Wainwright could stand to accomplish after finishing No. 3 and No. 2, respectively, the last two years in NL Cy Young Award voting.

"There was some excitement level on me going into the season, so I was a little disappointed, but at the same time I know I'm probably prolonging my career now by going ahead and doing this when I'm doing it," the 2-year-old added. "There was no way of getting around it. Both doctors I saw, Dr. [George] Paletta and Dr. [Lewis] Yocum, gave me a 10 percent chance to heal without surgery. So it was something I had to do."

Wainwright is expected to miss all of the 2011 season and then will work on getting ready for Opening Day 2012. It is possible he may not reach that timeframe, but Wainwright believes he will.

"The protocol nowadays is an 11-1/2-month program," Wainwright said. "Everything I've heard is I'll be back full steam, full bore, ready to go this time next year."

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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