Tag:Brandon Wood
Posted on: May 8, 2011 11:29 am
Edited on: May 8, 2011 1:36 pm

Ailing Alvarez not headed to DL

By Matt Snyder

Pedro Alvarez hasn't played since Tuesday, when he left the Pirates' game early due to an injury to his right quadriceps. He did take batting practice Friday but was unable to play because he still couldn't run full speed. Manager Clint Hurdle thinks it's about time to either get back on the field or go on the disabled list.

"We are getting to that point," Hurdle said. "Once it gets to six days, for me, they need to come off or they need to go on. That's a long time to play short ... it can become problematic." (Post-Gazette.com )

Sunday, Alvarez warmed up for the Pirates game and was not included in the starting lineup. He will, however, avoid a stint on the disabled list, the Post-Gazette reports .

The promising 24-year-old third baseman has struggled mightily this season. He's hitting .212 with one home run, seven RBI, a .561 OPS and 34 strikeouts in 108 plate appearances. He struck out at a high rate as a rookie last season, too, but he also hit 21 doubles and 16 home runs in 347 at-bats -- helping him accrue a .788 OPS.

As long as Alvarez is down, expect the Pirates to continue to give the third base starts to Brandon Wood. The once-highly-touted prospect was released by the Angels earlier this season and the Pirates nabbed him. Since then, Wood's hitting .292 with three doubles and six RBI in 28 plate appearances.

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Posted on: April 28, 2011 9:56 am
Edited on: April 28, 2011 12:52 pm

Pepper: Talking Thursday's pitchers

By Matt Snyder

BASEBALL TODAY: Will Kyle McClellan remain perfect on the season? Can Ryan Dempster get back on track? Will Jon Lester get the Red Sox a much needed win? I joined Lauren Shehadi to discuss some of Thursday's more intriguing starting pitchers.

DISABLED DELMON: Twins outfielder Delmon Young hadn't played since April 18, but was hoping to avoid a DL stint. Instead, he's been unable to to get loose during batting practice and the Twins finally saved and placed him on the DL, retroactive to April 19. That's quite a while the Twins played short-handed, and they've been doing so pretty much all season anyway. At some point, expect their fortunes to turn. It all has to even out, right? (MLB.com )

The White Sox have gotten the bad end of basestealing this season offensively and defensively. They've allowed opposing runners to swipe 19 bags in 21 chances while only converting 14 of 30 attempts of their own. That's a vast discrepancy. The latter part of the equation is especially tough to understand with Juan Pierre in the lineup, considering he stole 68 of 86 last season. He's only five of 11 thus far in 2011. Of course, manager Ozzie Guillen had his usually colorful explanation on the matter: "We don't have that many people on base, so maybe we forgot how to run the bases." (Chicago Sun-Times )

THERIOT BACK SOON: The Cardinals don't expect Ryan Theriot to need a trip to the disabled list with his current ribcage injury. He may even take the field Thursday against the Astros. (StLtoday.com )

BELT BACK IN OUTFIELD? One of the reasons the Giants were said to have initially brought Brandon Belt to the majors on the opening day roster was that he was a superior first baseman. Of course, it also pushed Aubrey Huff into right field, where he's a butcher. So when Belt returns, it will reportedly be as an outfielder. He'd likely fit on either corner. The move only sounds like it would be for early in Belt's career, as general manager Brian Sabean said: "We know he can play first base." (SFgate.com )

LOGAN'S CAST: Logan Morrison of the Marlins recently got a cast off his injured foot. He's now selling the cast on eBay with proceeds going to the American Lung Association. That's not all, as he had the cast signed by every member of the Marlins -- except Hanley Ramirez.

CUDDYER ON MINORS: Twins slugger Michael Cuddyer writes a column for FOX Sports North, and in his latest installment he discusses the minor leagues, specifically how much it makes him appreciate the majors. He goes through the differences of each level, specifically how travel, food and lodging all get better with each promotion. I especially enjoyed this part about Class A: "I was only 19 and excited to start my professional career, so I really didn’t mind the six-hour bus ride to Clinton, Iowa. I didn’t mind the Econo Lodge that had a hole in the floor where I could see the room below me. I didn’t even mind the $12 per diem we received for all three meals. I didn’t know any better — I just thought it was great that I got to play baseball every day." (fsnorth.com )

AARDSMA STILL NOT READY: Mariners closer David Aardsma is on a rehab assignment at Triple-A Tacoma. It was his fourth outing, but he still wasn't right -- as he gave up a walk and triple to begin the inning. According to manager Eric Wedge, the Mariners are going to "give him the time that he needs to just get more comfortable being on the mound." (Seattle Times )

CEDENO OUT, WOOD IN: Pirates shortstop Ronny Cedeno was benched Wednesday night for the second straight game and it was said to be a "manager's decision" by skipper Clint Hurdle. Tuesday night, Cedeno entered as a pinch-runner and was caught stealing. Later in the game, he received an at-bat and grounded out to third. He must have thought the ball was foul, because he didn't run it out. Interestingly, the once-touted-now-maligned Brandon Wood got the start at short in each of the past two games. It's early and a small sample, but Wood is showing some good signs. He's hitting .250 with a double, two runs and two RBI. The best news, however, is that he's walked twice and only struck out once, giving him a .400 on-base percentage. (Bucco Blog )

BELTRE SUSPENDED BY Rangers: Yeah, if it was Adrian he'd get his own story. We're talking about 21-year-old Rangers prospect Engel Beltre. What happened was Double-A Frisco of the Texas League had a would-be go-ahead home run overturned and ruled a double in the ninth inning of a recent game. Both the manager and pitching coach were ejected in the aftermath. Then water bottles began to be thrown on the field by fans and a plastic trash can was hurled into the stands by Beltre. “It is definitely not something we condone,’’ Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. “It is a black eye for all involved.’’ (ESPN Dallas )

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Posted on: April 26, 2011 1:44 am

3 up, 3 down: Kennedy outshines Lee

Ian Kennedy

By C. Trent Rosecrans


Ian Kennedy, Diamondbacks -- Nobody -- or at least this nobody -- expected Kennedy to do much against Cliff Lee and the Phillies, but what did he do? He threw a three-hit shutout against the Phillies. Kennedy struck out 10 and didn't walk a batter. And it wasn't even his best night this week. Early Sunday morning Kennedy and his wife welcomed the birth of their first child. Heck of a couple of days for Kennedy.

Philip Humber, White Sox -- The Chicago starter was superb on Monday. The White Sox had lost 10 of 11 entering Monday's game in the Bronx and the right-hander took a no-hitter into the seventh inning before Alex Rodriguez's single. Humber was able to get out of the jam and left the game after that inning, stranding two runners while protecting a one-run lead. The 2004 first-round pick by the Mets is now 2-2 with a  3.20 ERA this season.

Brandon Wood, Pirates -- The former Angels prospect doubled in his Pittsburgh debut, driving in the eventual winning run in a 4-2 victory over the Nationals. Wood drove in two with the fourth-inning double.

Starlin Castro3DOWN

Starlin Castro, Cubs --  Talk about a bad night for the Cubs talented young shortstop, not only was he hitless in five at-bats, he had three errors in the Cubs' loss to the Rockies. All three of his errors came in the three-run Rockies second, with all three runs unearned.

Jamey Carroll, Dodgers -- With a 4-3 lead, two on and two out in the ninth, Jonathan Broxton got an easy ground ball from Florida's Scott Cousins to seemingly nail down the Dodger victory, except Carroll booted the ball, allowing the tying run to score. Omar Infante followed with a liner misplayed by Jerry Sands to score the winning run.

Colby Lewis, Rangers -- The Texas right-hander gave up back-to-back homers to Toronto's Corey Patterson and Jose Bautista, then walked a batter and gave up another homer, to Juan Rivera, in a six-run fifth inning. In 22 innings this season, Lewis has allowed eight home runs. He dropped to 1-3 with a 6.55 ERA.

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Posted on: April 22, 2011 1:33 pm
Edited on: April 22, 2011 1:36 pm

Pirates claim Wood off waivers

By Matt Snyder
Brandon Wood was designated for assignment by the Angels late Tuesday night, meaning he was placed on waivers before either traded or given his outright release. The Pirates have claimed the once-hyped third baseman off waivers, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com .

Wood, 26, was once a consensus top five prospect in all of baseball, but has floundered in major-league action for parts of five seasons, putting together a .168 average with 11 home runs, 33 RBI, a .456 OPS, 153 strikeouts and 13 walks in 493 plate appearances.

Pedro Alvarez is firmly planted at third base for the Pirates, so Wood isn't going to fit there. Wood could, however, move back to shortstop, where the Pirates are getting nothing out of Ronny Cedeno. At least Wood has upside. Of course, the Pirates do have a placeholder at first base in 34-year-old Lyle Overbay. Wood has seen some action at first in the past. If things go well, Wood could fit at shortstop and as a backup at several positions in the short-term and may be a long-term player at first base if he somehow gets everything figured out.

This claim is a low-risk move with the eyes on the future. If he doesn't pan out, it won't hurt the Pirates in the short- or long-term for having given him a chance to resurrect his once-promising career.

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Posted on: April 21, 2011 1:00 am
Edited on: April 21, 2011 1:04 am

Angels believe Brandon Wood wasn't rushed

By Evan Brunell

WoodBrandon Wood's tenure with the Angels is likely to come to an end 10 days from Wednesday, as he was mercifully designated for assignment prior to Wednesday's game.

"It was a difficult decision -- not just the baseball, you have personal relationships," GM Tony Reagins told the Orange County Register. "I've known him since he came into our organization as an 18-year-old kid in 2003."

The former top prospect, Wood once hit 42 home runs as a 21-year-old for Double-A Arkansas, but struggled to make the conversion to the majors. Despite chance after chance, Wood just couldn't get going at the major-league level even with 243 plate appearances worth in 2010. All told, Wood will end his Angels tenure with 494 plate appearances in the bigs with a putrid .168/.197/.259 line with 153 strikeouts. Finally, the Angels said uncle, which is the right move as the club has plenty on its hands trying to hang tough in the AL West without punting a spot to someone who clearly needs a fresh start.


"There was an extreme amount of expectations on Brandon Wood -- a first-round pick, top prospect on this list or that list, on this cover, that cover of magazines," Reagins said. "There were expectations that he was going to be a superstar-type player. I don't think he ever got comfortable at the major-league level. It just didn't work out. Sometimes that happens.

"And I'm not saying that it couldn't happen for Brandon Wood in another environment."


The 26-year-old could technically clear waivers, but even given his poor start, you can expect some teams to rearrange their bench to make room for a young infielder who could still break through. There are many teams, especially rebuilding ones, in which it would benefit them to take on Wood. The Royals, certainly, although they appear infatuated with Wilson Betemit and Chris Getz. The Pirates also make a ton of sense, as they are looking for an anchor at short and have been trying to move on from Ronny Cedeno for some time now. But it's not limited to just rebuilding teams. The Blue Jays, Twins, Cardinals ... all could be thought to have interest in Wood.


It shouldn't take much to acquire Wood. He is out of options and given how likely it is he gets claimed, the Angels can't dicker around and ask a lot for Wood. Reagins admitted he had explored trading Wood in the past but nothing was to his liking. If it wasn't to his liking before he forced a move, the market certainly won't heat up now.

One interesting question, however, is if the Angels messed up in guiding Wood through the farm system. It's not often a hyped first-round pick who destroys minor-league pitching fails so spectacularly in the majors. 

"There's no exact science in this that says a guy is going to succeed or a guy is going to struggle," manager Mike Scioscia chimed in. "There are some guys who are going to blossom and play above expectations and some guys are going to struggle. You just never really know.

"I don't think there's anything that we were looking at as far as how we brought Brandon along. Did you rush him? Did you make him wait too long? That wasn't the case with Brandon. I think he was prepared for his opportunity."

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Category: MLB
Posted on: April 20, 2011 12:19 am
Edited on: April 20, 2011 12:46 am

Wood designated for assignment, Aybar activated

By Matt Snyder

In a move that may eventually prove mutually beneficial, the Angels have designated Brandon Wood for assignment, the Angels announced after their victory Tuesday night. In a corresponding move, Erick Aybar was activated from the disabled list.

What that means for Wood is that the Angels have 10 days to trade, release or place Wood on waivers. If they elect to place him on waivers and he clears, he could join a minor-league affiliate of the Angels. Otherwise he's done with the organization.

A fresh franchise may be what Wood needs at this point anyway. For whatever the reason, something's not working for him in the bigs with the Angels.

Wood, 26, had been a highly-touted prospect for years. He was the 2005 Minor League Player of the Year. In 2006 and 2007, he was considered by most to be a top-10 prospect in all of baseball. With good reason, as Wood tore the cover off the ball in the minors. In 130 games at Class A-Advanced in 2005, Wood hit .321 with 43 home runs, 115 RBI, 109 runs and 51 doubles. Beginning in 2007, Wood hit .283 with 77 home runs in 1,288 Triple-A at-bats. But every time he was transitioned to the show, something was left behind. He showed some -- albeit very few and far between -- flashes of power. But that was about it.

As things stood entering Tuesday night, Wood had appeared in 172 games with 493 plate appearances in the majors -- which took place from 2007-2011. In that time, he hit .168 with 11 home runs, 33 RBI and a dreadful .456 OPS. Oh, and the worst part: He struck out 153 times while walking just 13.

He's still only 26, so he probably deserves a shot somewhere ... just don't expect it to be with the Angels. And that's probably best for Wood, too.

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Category: MLB
Posted on: March 20, 2011 8:32 pm

Brandon Wood may not be long for L.A.

By Evan Brunell

WoodDespite Brandon Wood's solid showing in spring training, he could be on the way out of Los Angeles, as the Los Angeles Times reports.

Wood has a .255/.300/.553 line in 47 spring training at-bats, bashing three home runs, three doubles and adding one triple. However, after his brutal 2010 campaign in which he slogged to a .169./198/.260 mark in 450 at-bats, Wood faced an uphill battle to make the club and given the team is deep in the infield, it all adds up to spell Wood's departure.

The only thing that could save Wood at this point is a trade or release of third baseman Alberto Callaspo given his contract is not guaranteed and has a lower ceiling than Wood, but Callaspo has produced in the majors thus far and would be a better bet to retain his value while it's anyone's guess what Wood can provide.

Given he is out of options, Wood would need to be traded or placed on waivers, and it's likely another team would grab Wood and hope to capitalize on his power potential that once made him one of the game's top prospects. Given Wood can play shortstop, third base and has been taking reps at first base, his versatility would lend him well toward netting a major-league gig with another team.

The Times suggests a rebuilding team, but throws out the Jays, who aren't rebuilding. That said, Toronto could use Wood to plug the hole at third base in which Jose Bautista is expected to fill, at least temporarily. The rub would be who the Jays would boot from the team, and the logjam it would create in the outfield.

Other teams that could use Wood and have more space include the Royals, whom could use help pretty much everywhere as they wait for the heralded prospects to arrive. The Indians are another rebuilding team that would be more than happy to take a flier on Wood, as well as the Pirates and Nationals.

But really, the vast majority of teams could all feasibly take on Wood in some sort of capacity. If the Angels do decide to part ways, they should be able to cajole a decent piece in a trade out of another team unwilling to take the risk they win the waiver claim on Wood.

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Posted on: February 25, 2011 8:23 pm
Edited on: February 25, 2011 8:52 pm

Morales only running only at '60 to 70 percent'

Kendry MoralesKendry Morales won't be ready to play in spring training games any time soon, but Angels manager Mike Scioscia said he expects his first baseman to be ready for opening day.

"What the time frame is for [Morales playing in spring training games] to happen remains to be seen but we have a long way to opening day," Scioscia told the Orange County Register. "By the time guys are playing every day [in spring] that last week to 10 days of the spring, hopefully he will be in the rotation at first base."

Morales will start off DHing and hitting in minor-league games.

But at what point do the Angels start getting nervous? The Angels open the season March 31 in Kansas City. For Morales to have the week to 10 days of spring training, he'd need to start by the 20th of March to get 10 spring training games. That's still somewhere in the range from 20-35 at-bats and that doesn't seem like it's quite enough to start the season.

Scioscia said he'd like Morales to get a certain number of at-bats, and he could get 40-50 in those 10 days with minor-league at-bats, but is that enough?

Three weeks out, Scioscia said Morales is running on the treadmill "while carrying only 60 or 70 percent of his body weight." Does that seem like something that can be overcome in three weeks? Perhaps, if there are no setbacks. If there's any kind of hiccup, Morales may not be ready for opening day.

If Morales isn't ready to play every day, it's likely Brandon Wood or Mark Trumbo will man first for the Angels. Wood has been hampered by a lower-back injury and hasn't been cleared to run the bases yet, either. It's unlikely he'll be cleared to play in exhibition games until later next week.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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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