Posted on: January 29, 2012 10:17 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
With Trevor Cahill and Gio Gonzalez gone, Brandon McCarthy will be the A's starter on opening day in Tokyo against the Mariners, manager Bob Melvin said during the team's FanFest on Sunday.
McCarthy, 28, could be the only returning starter from last year's Oakland rotation after the offseason trades of Cahill and Gonzalez. McCarthy was 9-9 with a 3.32 ERA in 2011, striking out 123 in 170 2/3 innings and 25 starts. He threw five complete games and posted a 1.131 WHIP.
"That would be a lot of fun," McCarthy told Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle when told of Melvin's statement that he'd likely start the first game of the season. "That's one of those notches anyone would like to have."
Newly signed Bartolo Colon will start the other game in Japan, Melvin said. Colon, 38, signed a one-year, $2 million deal with the A's after going 8-10 with a 4.00 ERA for the Yankees in 2011.
Oakland will play Seattle at the Tokyo Dome on March 28 and 29, before any other games start. Felix Hernandez will most likely get the start for the Mariners.
In addition to the trades of Cahill and Gonzalez, the team lost Rich Harden and traded Guillermo Moscoso.
The A's could round out their rotation with youngsters Brad Peacock, Tom Milone and Jarrod Parker. Oakland picked up the first two in the trade of Gonzalez to the Nationals and Parker came over in the Cahill trade with Arizona.
Another starter, Dallas Braden, will throw off the mound on Monday for the first time since shoulder surgery, he told Slusser. Braden compared Monday's session of 25 fastballs to Christmas -- "Get to bed early, leave cookies and milk on the table, see what happens."
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Posted on: October 20, 2011 11:57 am
By Evan Brunell
The Athletics are searching for a new pitching coach and it could end up being their old one, MLB.com reports.
The Athletics fired pitching coach Ron Romanick after the season, having promoted him from bullpen coach to fill the void left by Curt Young, who left to Boston after a contract dispute. Young had worked as pitching coach in Oakland for seven years, and 27 years in all inside the organization. In Boston, Young oversaw a Josh Beckett resurgence, and Clay Buchholz was pitching well before falling to a back injury. However, John Lackey's struggles plus a lack of a big season out of Jon Lester shone a spotlight on Young, who also had to battle with ineffectiveness all over the staff. It's difficult to determine how much blame Young serves, but after seeing skipper Terry Francona and GM Theo Epstein leaving, Young may prefer to return to Oakland.
Young is a friend of new manager Bob Melvin in Oakland and is expected to rejoin the A's by the end of the month.
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Posted on: September 30, 2011 5:18 pm
Edited on: September 30, 2011 6:32 pm
By Matt Snyder
Another season gone, another disappointment for 29 teams as one is immortalized forever. Let’s take a look back at 2011 and forward in Eye on Baseball’s R.I.P. series...
Team name: Oakland Athletics
Record: 74-88, 22 games back in AL West
Manager: Bob Melvin
Best hitter: Josh Willingham -- .246/.322/.477, 29 HR, 98 RBI, 69 R, 26 2B
Best pitcher: Gio Gonzalez -- 16-12, 3.12 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 197 K, 202 IP
With injuries to the pitching staff, more lack of offense, the most exciting thing happening for the A's this season came at the box office, not the ballpark. But hey, I rather enjoyed "Moneyball" -- I'd only advise going to the movie with the understanding that Tim Hudson, Mark Mulder, Barry Zito, Miguel Tejada and Eric Chavez were completely ignored. If you know that going it, it's enjoyable.
2011 SEASON RECAP
They started off losing four of their first five, but didn't give up by any stretch. In fact, the A's were 22-20 and tied for first place in the AL West on May 17. Then a seven-game losing streak sunk them and a week later they began a season-killing 10-game losing streak that cost Bob Geren his job. Bob Melvin took over and went 47-52 the rest of the way. Considering how bad the offense was and that both Dallas Braden and Brett Anderson were lost for the season, that's pretty fine work and general manager Billy Beane agreed -- giving Melvin a three-year deal.
The A's finished 12th in the AL in runs scored. They don't even get on base anymore, as the .311 OBP was also good for 12th in the AL. Meanwhile the staff ERA was the third best in the AL. So it's the same old story in Oakland. They can pitch, but not hit.
If Brett Anderson and Dallas Braden come back strong from injuries, the A's have a very solid 1-5 rotation. Trevor Cahill will need a bounce-back season, but Gonzalez and McCarthy figure to be similar to this season. Full seasons out of Joey Devine and Andrew Bailey will make the bullpen better as well. But they were already good at pitching, as the numbers show. And they're still young enough to count on the staff being good for the next several years. So, just as it has the past several seasons, everything is going to boil down to what the A's can muster on offense. Young Jemile Weeks showed he's ready to take over at second base, but many other young players still haven't shown they can be consistent offensive threats at the big-league level. There's promise with the Chris Carter/Brandon Allen/Michael Taylor group and some prospects are getting closer to joining the fray. The 2012 season will not be a complete rebuild as much as it will be preparing for 2013.
David DeJesus, OF
Josh Willingham, OF
Coco Crisp, OF
Hideki Matsui, DH
Rich Harden, SP
Brandon McCarthy, SP
The A's have to focus entirely on the offense and should probably make an effort to get younger instead of throwing out a group of veteran cast-offs. Sure, the "Moneyball" movie had the "island of misfit toys" line, but remember, they ignored the strong foundation of youth in place. We can't do that in real life.
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Posted on: August 14, 2011 1:38 am
By C. Trent Rosecrans
Jorge Posada, Yankees: For the first time since he'd been benched, Posada was in the Yankees' starting lineup on Saturday. He may have made manager Joe Girardi reconsider things, if only briefly. Posada was 3 for 5 with six RBI including a grand slam in the the fifth inning off of Rays reliever Brandon Gomes as part of the Yankees' 9-2 victory. It was Posada's fifth career six-RBI day and will be in the lineup as the DH again on Sunday.
Miguel Cairo, Reds: For the first time in his 16-year career, Cairo hit more than one homer in a game, blasting two homers against the Padres in the Reds' 13-1 victory. The 37-year-old now has a career-best seven homers on the season, besting his 2004 total of six with the Yankees. The Reds clubbed seven homers in all, with Cairo and Ryan Hanigan hitting two each. Joey Votto, Jay Bruce and Todd Frazier also homered. The first five homers of the game came off starter Tim Stauffer, who last just three innings, and Cairo's second homer was off reliever Anthony Bass and Hanigan hit his second off of Joe Thatcher.
Asdrubal Cabrera, Indians: Cabrera's third inning three-run homer was the Indians' only offense of the day, but it was enough for Cleveland's 3-1 victory over the Twins. It was Cabrera's 20th homer of the season, making him just the third Indians shortstop to hit that many home runs in a season. Jhonny Peralta and Woodie Held each accomplished the feat three times, with Peralta's 24-homer season in 2005 setting the team mark for homers by a shortstop. While that doesn't sound like much, Cabrera entered the season with just 18 homers in his career. He also reached a career-high with 71 RBI.
Jered Weaver, Angels: In his first game back from a six-game suspension, the Blue Jays hit Weaver harder than Carlos Guillen. The Angels' ace lasted just 4 2/3 innings, allowing eight runs on eight hits. His eight runs were as many as he'd allowed in his previous seven starts and the three homers were as many as he'd allowed in his last 80 1/3 innings. Adam Lind's grand slam coped a five-run fifth, marking the first time Weaver had allowed mor ethan four runs in a start since Aug. 17, 2010. Edwin Encarnacion and Mark Teahen also homered off of Weaver, whose ERA jumped from 1.78 to 2.13.
Oakland Athletics: The A's committed four errors and had two wild pitches in a 7-1 loss to the Rangers, but A's manager Bob Melvin said, "Really, we played worse than that" (via the San Francisco Chronicle). Oakland starter Trevor Cahill took a no-hitter into the sixth inning before Yorvit Torrealba broke it up with a one-out single. That same inning, Jemile Weeks committed two errors on one play, setting up Ian Kinsler's RBI double for the game's first run. Shortstop Eric Sogard had an error in the fifth and third baseman Scott Sizemore's eight-inning error led to an unearned run in the three-run Rangers' eighth. The A's lead the big leagues with 98 errors in 119 games.
Jeremy Guthrie, Orioles: With a 5-1 lead, Guthrie allowed six consecutive two-out hits and five runs in the sixth inning, leading to a 6-5 loss to the Tigers. In his first 5 2/3 innings, the right-hander had allowed just two hits and a run but then fell apart. Guthrie fell to 5-16 on the season and the Orioles have lost nine of 11.For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: July 30, 2011 1:36 am
By C. Trent Rosecrans
One of the most interesting is the Cardinals having interest in Dodgers shortstop Rafael Furcal, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
This comes after the Post-Dispatch's Joe Strauss tweeted shortstop had become the team's "priority" at the non-waiver trade deadline.
Furcal, 33, is struggling this season, hitting .195/.267/.241 coming into Friday's game but could still help the Cardinals -- which tells you all you need to know about the team's struggles at the position.
• A new hot rumor is that the Tigers are making a push for Ubaldo Jimenez and have offered top prospect Jacob Turner, according to FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal. Turner, the team's 2009 first-round pick, is 3-5 with a 3.48 ERA at Double-A Erie this season. He has 90 strikeouts and 32 walks in 113 2/3 innings. The Tigers would prefer not to deal anyone from their big-league roster.
Towers also said there are six or seven prospects he doesn't want to deal.
• Brewers general manager Bob Melvin told Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel he is still looking at deals, but wasn't hopeful of completing another. On Thursday the Brewers acquired Felipe Lopez from the Rays and brought him from Triple-A Durham where he was playing for Tampa Bay before bringing him to Milwaukee to replace the injured Rickie Weeks.
Melvin said the team would love to find another infielder, but isn't seeing many on the market. The Brewers have rumored to have talked to the Dodgers about both Jamey Carroll and Furcal.
However, the Los Angeles Times' Dylan Hernandez tweets the Dodgers' conversations about Carroll "have died."
• Orioles reliever Koji Uehara is a hot name, Sports Illustrated's Jon Heyman tweets. He says Uehara will go somewhere. He'll make any bullpen better. However, Rosenthal tweets that it's only a 50-50 chance the Orioles move Uehara. He is 13 appearances shy of a $4 million vesting option for 2012. The Baltimore Sun links Uehara with the Pirates, Diamondbacks, Rangers, Phillies and Tigers and notes all five of those teams have had scouts around the Orioles in recent series.
• The Rangers are certainly interested in bullpen help, but San Diego may not be their only trading parter. Brady Tinker of Fox Sports Southwest, tweets Andrew Bailey of the Athletics is the "most likely top bullpen addition" by Texas.
• The Braves may be reluctant to make much of a deal at the deadline so they don't repeat the Mark Teixeira mistake when the team sent, among others, Neftali Feliz and Elvis Andrus to Texas, David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes. The Braves are refusing to give up any of their top four pitching prospects -- Julio Teheran, Arodys Vizcaino, Randall Delgado or Mike Minor. They could look at dealing from that grow in the offseason when the team could be searching to fill more holes. Atlanta has placed center fielders Nate McLouth and Jordan Schafer on the disabled list in the last two days with Jose Constanza starting on Friday, making his big-league debut. Yahoo!'s Passan tweets the team is targeting center fielders. Rosenthal writes Atlanta is looking not only at center fielders such as B.J. Upton and Michael Bourn, but also corner outfielders such as Ryan Ludwick, Carlos Quentin and Josh Willingham.@cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Tags: AL Central, AL East, AL West, Andrew Bailey, Andy Oliver, Arodys Vizcaino, Astros, Athletics, B.J. Upton, Bob Melvin, Brewers, C. Trent Rosecrans, Cardinals, Carlos Quentin, Clint Barmes, Diamondbacks, Dodgers Rafael Furcal, Felipe Lopez, Hiroki Kuroda, Jacob Turner, Jamey Carroll, Jason Kubel, Jason Marquis, Jordan Schafer, Jose Constanza, Josh Willingham, Julio Teheran, Koji Uehara, Leo Nunez, Marlins, Michael Bourn, Mike Minor, MLB rumors, Nate McLouth, NL Central, NL East, NL West, Phillies, Pirates, Pirates, Randall Delgado, Randy Choate, Rangers, Rockies, Ryan Ludwick, Tigers, trade deadline, Twins, Ubaldo Jimenez
Posted on: June 23, 2011 10:18 am
Edited on: June 23, 2011 12:31 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
"That's just not going to happen," Cashman told Roger Rubin of the New York Daily News.
"We have an everyday shortstop in Derek Jeter," he added. "And I think we have an everyday shortstop that would be playing for a lot of clubs in Eduardo Nunez. The Yankees don't have a need now or in the future for a shortstop.
"But we do need a setup man."
Like Rafael Soriano, another player Cashman said the team didn't have any interest in signing?
SPEAKING OF: I understand baseball memorabilia, I really do. I mean, I own a game-worn Dick Pole jersey. But a dirt keychain? After Jeter's 3,000th hit, five gallons of dirt will be dug up from the batter's box and shortstop patch and sold off in various forms. The "DJ 3K" merchandise line will include not just dirt (which will be infused into key chains, plastic disks paired with photos and in bats among other items), but also the usual T-shirts, hats, jerseys, bobbleheads, patches, balls and even necklaces. [New York Times]
"He made it very easy on me," A's manager Bob Melvin told reporters, including Jane Lee of MLB.com. "You would, to an extent, expect that, but to the extent and the level he went, for me, was off the charts. The first thing I said to him was, 'OK, the second-base situation,' and he said, 'That's an easy one, you gotta play him.'"
Ellis is known as one of the good guys of the game, and this is another piece of evidence in that case. Ellis will play first and third for the A's, but the team's longest-tenured player won't be penciled in every day as he has been.
The 34-year-old Ellis is hitting just .210/.244/.286 in 60 games. Weeks has made the most of his opportunity when Ellis went not he DL, hitting .321/.357/.509 in the first 14 games of his big-league career.
Ellis has pride, but he understands that Weeks is a talent. In the end, that's the biggest thing -- players recognize talent. If his replacement was just someone hot, Ellis would unlikely step aside so easily, but Weeks is someone who can help the team in the long term. Ellis knows it. It can't be easy to put the ego aside like that, but he did. Hats off to Ellis.
As a side note, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle cites an "industry insider" as saying there's a "very good chance" Ellis will be traded across the San Francisco Bay to the Giants. Ellis is a free agent after the season, and with Weeks on board, it's unlikely he'll be back in Oakland next season.
PHANATIC HURT: Tom Burgoyne, the man inside the green Phillie Phanatic costume, was released from a Pennsylvania hospital Wednesday night after being hit in the head by a batted ball during a minor-league appearance at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. [Allentown Morning Call]
WELCOME BACK: The surging Twins will add DH Jim Thome and former closer Joe Nathan on Friday. Thome had five at-bats Wednesday in a simulated game at the team's complex in Fort Myers, Fla. Nathan struck out three Wednesday and allowed an unearned run, a walk and a hit in one inning for Triple-A Rochester. [Minneapolis Star Tribune]
EL TIANTE JR.: Reds right-hander Johnny Cueto added a little tweak to his delivery for Wednesday's start against the Yankees, turning his back to the hitter more than he has in the past. It worked, as he held the Yankees to two hits and one run in seven innings.
"I've been doing it, but I did it a little more tonight," Cueto told reporters, including the Cincinnati Enquirer's Tom Groeschen. "I'm trying to make it tough to see the baseball, so I'm hiding it real good now."
How good? Cueto improved to 5-2 and lowered his ERA to 1.63 this season. Batters are hitting just .193/.261/.297 against Cueto this season.
PEAVY, PIERZYNSKI OK: White Sox starter Jake Peavy and catcher A.J. Pierzynski had a heated argument that was caught on live TV in the dugout, and the two headed into the tunnel to escape the cameras. Afterward, both joked about the incident and said they were OK. [MLB.com]
ROX SEEK ARMS: Colorado Rockies general manager Dan O'Dowd said the team -- 3 1/2 games out of first in the NL West -- will look for pitching to help fill the void left by the loss of Jorge De La Rosa. Good luck finding someone like that. [MLB.com]
END OF THE LINE?: Veteran right-hander John Maine left the Rockies' Triple-A team after a bad start Monday and will use the time to decide whether he will retire or continue his comeback from shoulder surgery last season. The 30-year-old is 1-3 with a 7.43 ERA in 11 starts this season. [InsidetheRockies.com]
GLOVE STORY: Last week Yankees starter Brian Gordon became the first Major League player to use a non-leather glove in a game. Gordon uses a synthetic glove handmade by a guy in Cooperstown, N.Y. [MLB.com]
THREE TRUE OUTCOMES: You hear that phrase pretty often, especially talking about Adam Dunn, as a player who seems to either hit a home run, strike out or walk in every plate appearance. Thanks to the beauty of computers, the Baseball-Reference.com blog has the 25 players (ranked by plate appearances) whose total homers plus walks plus strikeouts were at least 60 percent of their career plate appearances. Dunn is on the list, as are Thome, Carlos Pena, Ryan Howard and Rob Deer.
MLB EXPANSION?: No, not of teams -- of rosters. Jerry Crasnick of ESPN looks at both sides of the proposition. While Crasnick writes mostly about an extra position player, I can't imagine Tony La Russa not wanting another reliever in his bullpen just so he could make another pitching change in the sixth inning.
YANKEE STRIPPER, PART 2: The other man in a vintage photo of Joe DiMaggio has been identified, so we can put that to rest. Rugger Ardizoia said the picture was taken in spring training of 1941 when he was a minor leaguer with the Yankees and his fellow San Francisco native, DiMaggio, "took care" of him. [San Francisco Chronicle]
EXPOS BOOK: Jonah Keri, the author of the excellent book about the Tampa Bay Rays, The Extra 2%, will next tackle The Definitive History of the Montreal Expos. The book won't drop until 2014 -- the 10-year anniversary of the Expos' move -- but that doesn't mean it can't go on my Amazon wish list now. Or, well, as soon as Amazon has it listed. [JonahKeri.com]For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Tags: A.J. Pierzynski, Adam Dunn, AL Central, AL East, AL West, Athletics, Bob Melvin, Brian Gordon, Cardinals, Chris Carpenter, Dan O'Dowd, Derek Jeter, Dick Pole, Eduardo Nunez, Expos, Giants, Jake Peavy, Jemile Weeks, Jim Thome, Joe DiMaggio, Joe Nathan, John Maine, Johnny Cueto, Jorge De La Rosa, Jose Reyes, Mark Ellis, NL Central, NL East, NL West, Phillies, Rafael Soriano, Rays, Reds, Rockies, Tim Linecum, Twins, White Sox, Yankees
Posted on: June 9, 2011 1:34 pm
Edited on: June 9, 2011 2:35 pm
By Evan Brunell
Now that the Athletics have fired manager Bob Geren in the midst of a nine-game losing streak, let's take a look at his replacement.
Bob Melvin is a pretty vanilla choice -- he doesn't have a major personality and has always worked closely with the front office. This is exactly how GM Billy Beane likes it, with a manager who works in lockstep with the front office. In the famed Moneyball book, it was made clear that Beane felt a manager should be an extension of the front office and do what it requests. Melvin can certainly do that.
In Arizona, Melvin was sometimes referred to as the "mad scientist" for his jiggering of lineups, mixing and matching players to get the best out of each player. Given Oakland is struggling offensively, it could use a fresh look at lineup composition as a way to spark the offense. With Melvin's reliance on numbers and goal of hiding player's weaknesses, he is a logical fit.
Melvin was hired to manage the Mariners in 2003 as Lou Piniella's replacement, winning 93 games in his interim season but did not have his contract renewed after 2004 when the club tumbled to 99 losses. He was later hired as Diamondbacks manager in 2005 after Arizona severed ties with Wally Backman, who originally was supposed to be the new skipper. Melvin stayed there for almost a full five years, winning the NL Manager of the Year award in 2007 with a 90-72 record and division title before sinking to 82-80 and being fired with a 12-17 record in 2009. Overall, Melvin's career managerial record is 493-508.
Melvin was then a finalist for both the Brewers and Mets' managerial jobs this offseason, but lost to Ron Roenicke and Terry Collins, respectively. Beane said on a conference call to reporters that Melvin's availability for the job played a part in Geren's firing at this point. (Hat tip: San Francisco Chronicle.)
Melvin has copious coaching experience outside of managing. He was the bench coach for Arizona from 2001-02, earning a World Series ring in his first year. He was also Phil Garner's bench coach in Milwaukee for 1999 and Detroit in 2000. Prior to that, he served in a variety of roles for the Brewers, both as a coach in the majors and minors as well as in a front-office capacity.
No one knows how Melvin will do as a manager, but it's clear that Beane followed a blueprint here: Find someone who is numbers-friendly, will work with the front office and take orders, and a new requirement: be a strong communicator.
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Posted on: November 18, 2010 5:29 pm
The Mets have finished parading their Final Four through the Orlando Waldorf Astoria, and general manager Sandy Alderson's post-interview comments to reporters left some of them with the impression the team might have already reached a consensus.
Terry Collins and Wally Backman interviewed Thursday, a day after Bob Melvin and Chip Hale. Alderson indicated a decision could be coming "in the next two to three days." The memorial service for Alderson's father, who was struck and killed by a car last weekend, is scheduled for Saturday, so look for the Mets to either strike quickly with an announcement on Friday or wait until Monday.
All indications are that the Mets are down to Collins and Melvin, and they represent two very different approaches and personalities. Melvin is known as staid and analytical, while Collins is fiery and emotional (Ken Davidoff of Newsday , meeting Collins for the first time this week, called him "intense to the point of being off-putting").
Watching what everyone has said and done in this situation, I've got a feeling it's going to be Melvin. The former Diamondbacks and Mariners manager meshes well with the style of Alderson and the front-office staff he's been assembling. I worked with Melvin on an almost daily basis for two years when he managed in Seattle, and he's both extremely intelligent and much more competitive than people assume from his under-control demeanor. He's similar in comportment and approach to Tampa Bay's Joe Maddon, who has worked wonders. Fans will scream "boring" if Melvin is the pick, but Alderson knows public opinion doesn't win ballgames.
-- David Andriesen
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