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Tag:Bobby Cramer
Posted on: June 7, 2011 5:17 pm
Edited on: June 7, 2011 5:42 pm
 

A's Weeks latest prospect to get the call

Jemile WeeksBy C. Trent Rosecrans 

The prospects are coming! The prospects are coming!

Isn't that what Paul Revere said? Oh, right, it was something different. But forget Paul Revere. This is much more interesting.

Now that it's June and many teams believe they're free from allowing a top prospect to earn Super Two status (if it indeed exists in the next CBA), the prospects are heading to the big leagues.

The Dodgers called up Dee Gordon Monday, and then the A's called up Jemile Weeks. Unlike Gordon, Weeks was in the lineup right away, leading off and playing second. Gordon is in the Dodgers' lineup Tuesday night.

Weeks, the younger brother of Brewers second baseman Rickie Weeks, was a first-round pick of Oakland in 2008 out of the University of Miami. He was hitting .321/.417/.446 with three home runs and 10 stolen bases at Triple-A Sacramento.

The A's also called up lefty Bobby Cramer, putting Brett Anderson and Mark Ellis on the disabled list. To make room for Weeks on the 40-man roster, Dallas Braden was moved to the 60-day disabled list.

Other prospects who could be coming any day include San Diego's Anthony Rizzo, Seattle's Dustin Ackley and Toronto's Brett Lawrie.

Ackley's another second baseman, and he's hitting .302/.420/.492 with eight home runs and 31 RBI in 59 games. He could add some sock to an anemic Mariner offense.

Lawrie was expected to be called up last week but was placed on the minor-league disabled list after being hit in the wrist on Sunday. The move is retroactive to Thursday. The minor-league DL is only seven days, and Lawrie suffered just a bruise, so he may be called up as soon as early next week. Lawrie has reportedly improved defensively at third base, where the team has gotten very little production.

Padres general manager Jed Hoyer told the Associated Press on Tuesday that Rizzo was "close" to being called up but that no decision has been made. He's hitting .363/.444/.715 with 16 home runs and 63 RBI for Triple-A Tucson. Brad Hawpe has been the team's first baseman, and he has been struggling (.238/.305/.366), and he's also been working in right field to make way for Rizzo.

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Posted on: June 6, 2011 3:32 pm
Edited on: June 6, 2011 3:44 pm
 

Anderson concerned he needs Tommy John surgery

AndersonBy Evan Brunell

The Athletics are getting more and more bad news on their rotation, as Brett Anderson is following up a five-inning, five-run outing against the Red Sox by returning to Oakland to get his elbow checked out, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

Anderson is concerned that he will need Tommy John surgery if his ulnar collateral ligament is torn. He battled left elbow soreness last season, hitting the DL twice for it, so there is a history here and cause for concern.

I attended the game last night and it was clear Anderson was struggling. He could not spot pitches where he wanted them, especially the curveball. He mentioned in the Chronicle that he was concerned about his slider's velocity, as it registered at an average speed of 80 mph, which he's been at all season. But last year, his slider was at 83-84 mph, so something is wrong. His fastball velocity has also dropped from an average of 92.1 mph to 90.9 -- not as steep a dip as the slider, but a dip nonetheless.

Oakland already has Dallas Braden and Brandon McCarthy hit the DL with injuries. Braden, who tossed a perfect game in 2010, is out for the year while McCarthy was one of the early-season surprises and was pitching well. The club has also lost rookie Tyson Ross, who was impressive in six starts after being pressed into duty thanks to the injuries. Oft-injured Rich Harden is also (unsurprisingly) on the DL. If Anderson needs to hit the DL, the club will have to call up Bobby Cramer to take his spot, and all of a sudden not only will the A's have an uninspiring rotation, they'll have zero depth to speak of.

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Posted on: May 20, 2011 5:04 pm
Edited on: May 20, 2011 7:26 pm
 

A's make multiple pitching changes

By Evan Brunell

RossThe Oakland A's made a blizzard of moves Friday, playing starters Tyson Ross and Brandon McCarthy on the disabled list as the most notable transactions.

Ross (pictured) suffered an oblique strain (surprise!) and could miss over a month, while McCarthy has a stress reaction in his shoulder that has bothered him for a few years and apparently has flared up. That's 40 percent of the rotation -- gone. And those were some pretty valuable members, too.

Ross had a 2.75 ERA in six starts and three relief appearances, with the rookie backing up his production with a 3.66 xFIP. McCarthy, meanwhile, had revitalized his career in Oakland out of the No. 5 spot in the rotation, throwing up an identical 3.39 ERA and xFIP although you wouldn't know it from his 1-4 record.

Josh Outman, Bobby Cramer and Guillermo Moscoso are potential replacements in the rotation, although Outman has been hit around in Triple-A as he returns from Tommy John surgery; Cramer has his own injury concerns to work through; Moscoso seems to be the one most likely to get the call -- or at least one of the two calls. There isn't a need for a No. 4 or 5 starter until Monday, so the A's will delay a decision until then.

Reliever Trystan Magnuson was also optioned after coughing up six runs over two innings Thursday. To replace the three open spots, Joey Devine, Jerry Blevins and Fautino de los Santos were recalled. De los Santos, acquired in the Nick Swisher trade way back in 2008, was converted to relief for the 2010 season and is making his major-league debut after coughing up just three runs in 15 1/3 innings split between Double- and Triple-A. The 25-year-old added 21 punchouts and eight walks.  Blevins, meanwhile, was with the team just last week before being sent down to work on control problems, but events necessitated his return. Blevins gave up seven runs in 4 2/3 innings for Triple-A, so he's really nothing more than filler and can be expected to be sent back down shortly.

Devine will return to the majors for the first time since 2008, when he had a sterling 0.59 ERA in 45 2/3 innings. Injuries have robbed him of the years since, only returning to a mound this season for Triple-A and contributing 12 1/3 scoreless innings, striking out 17 and walking one. In other words, looking just like the Devine of old. It's been a long road back for the 27-year-old.

And here's what McCarthy had to say about his DL trip on Twitter:



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Posted on: March 31, 2011 8:20 am
Edited on: April 18, 2011 11:33 am
 

Pepper: Opening day excitement

Yankee Stadium
By C. Trent Rosecrans

No day in the year probably evokes as many cliches as opening day. Several times today you'll hear of hope and optimism and that's total crap.

There's no reason for the Pirates fans or Astros fans or Royals fans to think 2011 will be any different than 2010. But the thing is, the beauty of the baseball season isn't that every team has a chance. It's that there are 162 games and no matter how bad the team, they'll still win three times out of every eight games. 

Even watching the Mariners for 162 this season, you'll still have walk-off wins, reasons for hope, shutouts thrown, home runs hit and a whole lot of baseball. It's a beautiful thing.

And then there's a team that you don't think has a chance that somehow stays atop the standings. Sure, they may not win it all, or even make the playoffs, like the Padres last season. But they still bring some excitement and reasons to watch through August and September. The ride isn't half the fun, it's all the fun.

Even without a spot at the top of the standings, there's a reason to go to the ballpark -- heck, going to the ballpark is reason enough. A hot dog, a beer and an afternoon game in the bleachers? Heaven, even if two also-rans are on the field.

Then there's rookies to watch and dream about their potential or the veteran to remember him in his prime.

Yeah, baseball is full of the cheesy cliches, but that's another part of the fun. I'm cheesy about the start of baseball season and I just don't care. (Of course, this is coming from someone who spent the last minutes leading up to a NCAA National Championship game back in the media room watching a Royals opener on TV right up until tipoff when I reluctantly went to my courtside seat to the game, so I may be a little messed up in the head.)

TENSION: Imagine going into the last day of the exhibition season unsure of your fate and then throwing a pickoff move into right field with two outs and a 1-0 lead in the ninth inning that leads to the losing runs. That can't feel good.

And then, well, being called into the manager's office right before the final cuts are announced. Really, really not good.

Except, after A's manager Bob Geren went over Bobby Cramer's gaffe, he then congratulated him on making the team.

Cramer, a 10-year minor league veteran, made his first opening day roster and will be the A's long reliever. (San Francisco Chronicle)

TICKETS AVAILABLE:  The guys who brought you last year's Mets help wanted video with not-John Ricco, are back trying to sell Mets opening day tickets.

While not as good as their last Mets video, it's still pretty good.

 

MO BETTER: We know Mariano Rivera has been really good for a really long time, but check out his run as the Yankees' closer against all the other closers since he took over in New York in this great graphic from the Washington Post.

HOPEFUL HAPP: Astros lefty J.A. Happ still hopes to get back to pitch on his turn in the team's rotation, Sunday against the Phillies. The former Phillie, Happ, would be facing former Astro, Roy Oswalt in the final game of the opening series. (Houston Chronicle)

VIVA ANAHEIM: I think I've already named about three "best promo ever" winners, but this is my current favorite -- the Angels' Mexican wrestler mask. I so wish I could be in SoCal in May, instead I'll be in Ireland. Oh well. (Orange County Register)

MEET THE METS: The Mets are trying to embrace their blogging community and hosted a conference call with manager Terry Collins on Monday. (Networked Blogs)

BURNETT SICK: Yankees starter A.J. Burnett is dealing with the flu, but says he still expects to make his scheduled start on Saturday. (New York Daily News)

BASEBALL HEALING: I lived in Japan for a couple of years and I've told people many times about the high school baseball tournament and the best way I've been able to describe it is the NCAA basketball tournament -- but only better, because it's baseball. It's even more important this year. (Associated Press)

PIRATES LIKELY TO BEAT PREDICTION: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review columnist Joe Starkey doesn't have high hopes for the Pirates this season. That's understandable. That said, I think they'll do better than his 9-153 perdecition.

TATER TROT RETURNS: Larry Granillo is bring back the Tater Trot Tracker. For those of you who missed it last year, the blogger tracked the time of every home run trot i the majors last season. He's doing the tracker for Baseball Prospectus this year, check out what he learned last season.

UNIWATCH: The always awesome Uniwatch baseball preview. There aren't too many changes this year, except for the Dodger throwbacks and the end of the Blue Jays' powder blues.

SAFETY FIRST: MLB is taking steps to help protect players against concussions, but the players can choose to do more, and Justin Morneau is doing that. Morneau will wear the Rawlings S100 helmet this year. The oversized helmet offers more protection for a batter's head, but is the subject of ridicule by other players and fans. Some players, such as David Wright, have worn it briefly only to go back to a regular helmet after hearing the jokes. Morneau apparently doesn't think concussions are funny, and he's right. (St. Paul Pioneer Press)

BACKPEDDLING: Andre Either's agent says he'd love to stay in Los Angeles long-term. Of course he would. (Los Angeles Times)

AN APPLE A DAY: One of the most injured teams last season, the Red Sox are hoping prevention can help them beat injuries. (Boston Globe)

EXPRESS LINE: Putting aside the vogue bigger, badder, fatter concessions, two minor league clubs -- Richmond and Lehigh Valley -- are going with faster, allowing you to use your smartphone to preorder and pay for your concessions. (Ben's Biz Blog)

PREVIEW: Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper were on display at NatsFest at Nationals Park. Strasburg said he's hoping to start opening day 2012 for the Nats. Harper said his ankle is fine, even though there's still concern he may miss his minor league team's April 7 opener. (Washington Post)

SPEAKING OF PROSPECTS: The Kansas City Star's baseball preview section is mostly about the Royals of 2012 and beyond, instead of this year's team. Bob Dutton asks if the Royals' influx of talent means Kansas City can return to its winning ways of the 70s and 80s. And then Tod Palmer looks at how it could go wrong -- like the Pirates of the late 90s.

REMEMBERING THE DUKE: The Dodgers will wear a No. 4 patch on their uniforms to honor the late Duke Snider. (MLB.com)

DONE GOOD: Kudos for Dan Haren for his work in helping fund a Miracle League field, allowing special-needs kids a place to play baseball. (Arizona Republic)

MUST READ: This graphic novel biography of Roberto Clemente looks awesome. (Atomic Books)

WELCOME BACK: Hard-core baseball fans wept when MinorLeagueSplits.com was shut down, but a replacement has been founded -- mlsplits.drivelinebaseball.com/mlsp
lits
. Let's just say it's already been bookmarked.

LOW AND AWAY: Our friends the Baseball Project have let us use their music for our podcast, and to celebrate opening day, Yep Roc Records has the MP3 download of their album, Vol. 2: High and Inside on sale for $3.99. (Yep Roc Records)

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed. 
Posted on: March 13, 2011 11:15 am
Edited on: April 18, 2011 11:35 am
 

Pepper: Gordon's last shot?

Alex Gordon
By C. Trent Rosecrans

Remember when Alex Gordon was the next George Brett? Royals fans sure do.

Now, though, the former second-overall pick in the draft, is an afterthought in the deep, talented Royals system.

Taken ahead of the likes of Ryan Zimmerman, Ryan Braun and Troy Tulowitzki, Gordon has a career line of .244/.315/.355 in 1,641 plate appearances in the big leagues and has since been moved from third base to the outfield.

While no longer one of the core building-blocks of the Royals rebuilding job, Gordon still has some talent (and a little trade value). He's also starting to get hot in the Cactus League, going 8 for 12 in his last five games. He's also shown good plate discipline, drawing 11 walks.

"The timing was off. I was seeing the pitches good, I was just late and not making solid contact," Gordon told MLB.com. "Lately, I've been getting easy earlier and seeing pitches better and making good contact, and that's what it's all about. So definitely a big change in the last week."

Gordon, 27, spent his offseason working with Royals hitting coach Kevin Seitzer, someone who knows a little bit about living in the shadow of the Royals' lone Hall of Fame player. Seitzer's emergence at third base moved Brett from third base to first in 1987 and even made the All-Star team as a rookie. Seitzer has been the team's hitting coach since 2009.

"I think I've pulled my hands back so I'm loaded instead of trying to find the load during the swing. I'm ready to go right off the bat," Gordon said. "I think that's helped, and I'm not late on pitches anymore, and I'm being aggressive."

With the Royals throwing out a placeholder roster for 2011 before the prospects begin to trickle in later this summer, Gordon may be getting his last chance to prove he's more than a Four-A player. Soon, that Royals influx of talent could make him the next Clint Hurdle in Royals history.

SILVA ON THE BLOCK: Three Nationals scouts, among others, watched the Cubs' Carlos Silva in his latest spring training start, ESPNChicago.com's Bruce Levine writes.

According to Levine, the Nationals and Yankees have had scouts at each of Silva's outings. Both teams are looking to fill their rotation and could afford Silva's $12 million salary.

Chicago has had good spring showings from Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner, making Silva expendable.

Dave MartinezHAIR CLUB FOR MEN: With Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez now Rays, manager Joe Maddon wants his team to follow the example of his newest stars.

"I encourage the growth of follicles," Maddon told the St. Petersburg Times. "I want them all to go nuts with their hair this year."

Although Ramirez is known for his long dreadlocks and Damon is now sporting a fauxhawk, the inspiration for his goal of being "the hirsute club" was bench coach Dave Martinez's bushy beard (pictured).

"Sometimes I just go with my instincts, and I just think it could turn into a lot of fun for the group," Maddon said, noting he'll let his hair grow out as much as possible. "So whatever keeps you focused on the field and having fun off it, I'm all for it."

FORMER CUBS OK: The Chicago Tribune caught up with former Cub Micah Hoffpauir, who is now playing in Japan.

"My first earthquake," Hoffpauir told the Trib. "And good Lord willing, it will be my last."

Hoffpauir, now a member of the Nippon Ham Fighters, was in his room on the 26th floor of his hotel in Tokyo when the earthquake hit, approximately 250 miles to the north.

"It felt like someone started shaking the whole country of Japan," Hoffpauir said. "At one point I thought, this building is going to fall down. But I was assured later that [swaying] is what the building was supposed to do."

He said he was evacuated from his hotel and was able to contact his wife in Texas to let her know he was OK. He said he has also been in touch with former Cub teammate Matt Murton, who was training further south in Osaka, and he was OK.

GARFOOSE FUNDRAISER: Author and Rays reliever Dirk Hayhurst will call you up and thank you personally if you donate $50 or more to Mercy Corp Fundraising for the victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. (DirkHayhurst.com)

HIDDEN TREASURE: Investigators found a jackpot of 1986 Mets memorabilia in a  Port St. Lucie storage facility following their case of former Mets clubhouse manager Charlie Samuels.

Samuels is accused of theft and illegal gambling.

Among the treasure found in the storage facility was signed uniforms from the 1986 Mets team that defeated the Red Sox in the World Series. The collection is reportedly worth "hundreds of thousands of dollars." (New York Daily News)

SIZEMORE GETTING CLOSER: Indians manager Manny Acta said he thinks center fielder Grady Sizemore is scheduled to start running bases today and could be cleared to play in games sometime in the last 10 days of spring training. (MLB.com)

D-TRAIN OFF THE RAILS: Dontrelle Willis left Saturday's game with a sprained ankle, tripping on a bat after backing up the plate on Bobby Scales' two-run single. Willis had a rough outing, allowing two hits and two walks while recording just a single out. (MLB.com)

THANK YOU, COME AGAIN: Commissioner Bud Selig said Saturday that the stake in the Diamondbacks once owned by Padres chief executive Jeff Moorad has been sold. Current Arizona managing general partner Ken Kendrick absorbed the eight percent of the Diamondbacks  for $21 million. Moorad's group owns 49 percent of the Padres. (MLB.com)

HARDEN OUT OF ROTATION MIX: Rich Harden is officially out of the race for the Athletics' fifth-starter sport. Harden could still find a spot in the bullpen, but it's getting crowded too. Brandon McCarthy, Tyson Ross and Bobby Cramer are still competing for the fifth starter spot, with the losers then looking to make the bullpen. (San Francisco Chronicle)

STATS FOR DUMMIES: The great Joe Posnanski gives you a primer on advanced offensive statistics. (JoePosnanski.com)

LINEUP CONSTRUCTION: Little has more breath and keystrokes wasted on it more than lineup construction. It's a fan's favorite nitpick to show why their manager is an idiot, yet it doesn't really matter that much in the long term. (Although, it makes the most sense to get your better hitters at the the top of the order, because they get the most at-bats). But anyway, Astros manager Brad Mills discusses his philosophy for filling out his lineup card. (Houston Chronicle)

RAYS RESURRECTION: Former top pick Matt Bush is making a comeback in Tampa's training camp. (Tampa Tribune)

BASEBALL PROJECT: If you missed our Ear on Baseball podcast with the Baseball Project, what's wrong with you? Seriously?

Anyway, you can catch up with Scott McCaughey, who says despite touring the world with various rock bands, he's always kept up with baseball because it's a "a sort of zen thing for me" and reading boxscores is "like meditation" -- I think we can all understand that. (Athens Music Junkie)

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Posted on: September 13, 2010 11:44 am
Edited on: September 13, 2010 11:44 am
 

A's rookie reaches end of long road

Bobby Cramer
September call-ups always bring with them some great stories, and one of the best in recent memory will be on display Monday night when Bobby Cramer takes the mound for the A's in Kansas City.

According to the Athletics, Cramer, 30, will be the second-oldest American-born starting pitcher to debut since 1957, and the fourth-oldest player in Oakland history to make a big-league debut.

The path Cramer took to get to this point would have beaten most people. He was a 38th-round draft pick in 2001, underwent Tommy John surgery the next year, and walked away from baseball in 2005 after failing to make it out of Class A. As he told MLB.com, he spent two years out of the game working as a gas pipeline maintenance worker and a math teacher before the A's gave him a second shot at minor-league baseball in 2007.

Shoulder troubles ended that stint, and he spent 2008 pitching in an independent league before the A's signed him again. He reached Triple-A in 2009, then Oakland loaned him to the Tigres de Quintana Roo of the Mexican League this season. He went 13-3 with a 2.95 ERA, was brought back to the U.S. and assigned to Triple-A Sacramento (photo courtesy of the River Cats), and went 2-2 with a 1.94 ERA in seven starts.

Now he'll finally see his dream come to fruition with family and friends in the stands.

"It's a good story on a personal level," A's manager Bob Geren said. "But on a baseball level, he's been [Sacramento's] best pitcher, and that's what we tend to do. If we need a spot, we go with who's the hottest, and he's been throwing the ball well."

-- David Andriesen

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