Tag:Brent Lillibridge
Posted on: November 26, 2011 1:46 pm
 

Homegrown Team: Pittsburgh Pirates

Jose Bautista

By C. Trent Rosecrans


What if players were only permitted to stay with the team that originally made them a professional? No trades, no Rule-5 Draft, no waivers, no minor- or major-league free agency ... once you are a professional baseball player, you stay in that organization. This series shows how all 30 teams would look. We give you: Homegrown teams.

In 2011 the Pirates extended their streak of losing seasons to 19, finishing 72-90 after a promising start. However, there are signs of the team finally putting it together, with much of their talent coming from within the organization. Andrew McCutchen and Neil Walker are among the future stars the team has drafted and kept. If Pittsburgh had been able to keep a couple more of its homegrown players, the Pirates could at the very least be looking at fielding a winning team.

Lineup

1. Andrew McCutchen, CF
2. Neil Walker, 2B
3. Jose Bautista, RF
4. Aramis Ramirez, 3B
5. Ryan Doumit, 1B
6. Jeff Keppinger, SS
7. Ronny Paulino, C
8. Nyjer Morgan, LF

Starting Rotation

1. Paul Maholm
2. Bronson Arroyo
3. Tom Gorzelanny
4. Brad Lincoln
5. Chris Young

Bullpen

Closer - Juan Oviedo (Leo Nunez)
Set up - Matt Capps, Mike Gonzlaez, John Grabow, Sean Burnett, Tony Watson
Long - Tim Wakefield, Zack Duke

Notable Bench Players

Pedro Alvarez, Rajai Davis, Brent Lillibridge, Nate McLouth, Alex Presley

What's Good?

The top of the lineup is the envy of just about any organization -- there's speed at the top and power throughout the first four batters. Jose Bautista will forever be the one that got away, but not just for the Pirates, who drafted him in 2000, but also for the Orioles, Rays, Royals and Mets, who all acquired -- a got rid of -- Bautista at some point. But still, the Pirates had him twice and are now watching him blossom as one of the game's best players while in a different uniform. In addition to the top of the lineup, the bottom of the lineup isn't too bad, while the bullpen is stout. 

What's Not?

The rotation isn't going to intimidate too many batters, but the team will put up some runs and leads have a good chance of being held with that bullpen. Keppinger is a solid bat and makes all the plays in front of him, but doesn't quite have the range most teams look for at shortstop. He can play there, but it isn't an ideal spot.

Comparison to real 2011

The Pirates rotation overachieved in the first half of 2011 and flopped in the second -- as Pittsburgh went 25-47 after finding themselves trailing by just a game in the NL Central at the All-Star break. While this lineup would put up more runs, its starters would allow more. That said, the improved lineup and bullpen would be good for several more wins and probably even give the team a winning record. 

Up next: Chicago Cubs

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Posted on: April 27, 2011 10:39 am
 

Lillibridge steals show for White Sox

By Matt Snyder

With one out in the top of the eighth inning Tuesday night, the White Sox trailed the Yankees 2-1. That's when Carlos Quentin was hit by a Rafael Soriano pitch and the MVP of the night finally got a chance to enter the game. That's right, wearing a proverbial cape, Brent Lillibridge came on to pinch run. Thus, it came as little surprise that Paul Konerko hit a go-ahead home run with Lillibridge on first base -- at least not in hindsight.

Because when Sam Fuld gets capes made after a great catch, there needs to be a Lillibridge line made as well after Tuesday night.

In the bottom of the ninth, with Lillibridge now in right field -- who, by the way, had only previously played 32 innings in right field in the majors of his 700 total innings -- the White Sox's bullpen once again tried to blow the game.

Derek Jeter led off with a single. He was bunted to second by Curtis Granderson -- side rant ... really? the way Granderson is swinging a power bat? -- and then Mark Teixeira coaxes a walk. So the tying run is on second and winning run on first with one out. Alex Rodriguez and Robinson Cano are coming up.

Enter Lillibridge.

A-Rod hits a rocket to the right-field corner and Lillibridge sprawls across the wall to catch it.

Two outs.

Cano hits an absolute seed to right and Lillibridge completely lays out and snares the liner to end the game.

‘‘I got a good read on it,’’ Lillibridge said of his catch on Cano’s ball. ‘‘But the biggest thing in my head was if there was a close play I have a chance for, I’m going for it. We have to have that attitude. It’s been rough for us, so I said all or nothing. I could have been the goat. In this instance, I was able to win the game.’’ (Chicago Sun-Times )

Watch the video on MLB.com by clicking here .

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Posted on: July 5, 2010 7:38 pm
 

Two benchings, two reactions


B.J. Upton There are two ways to take not being in the lineup: the B.J. Upton way and the Gordon Beckham way.

Upton is out against the Red Sox and Daisuke Matsuzaka. Manager Joe Maddon told Upton it was because he was 1-for-13 with a homer against Matsuzaka.

The White Sox are sitting Beckham for the second straight day in favor of Brent Lillibridge.

Both managers, Ozzie Guillen and Maddon, say these moves aren't permanent, but that was no consolation to Upton.

Upton was upset and told the St. Petersburg Times ' Marc Topkin so , "I thought I was an everyday player," Upton said. "I don't know if I'm subject to matchups now or not. I'm not going to get too bent out of shape about it, but obviously I want to be out there everyday."

Maddon told Upton he'd be in the lineup for the remaining six games before the All-Star break, but that was no consolation to Upton. Asked if he was an everyday player, Upton told Topkin, "I don't know. I have no idea. I could not tell you."

Upton is hitting .228/.321/.399 with seven home runs and 29 RBI.

Gordon Beckham Beckham is playing even worse. He's hitting .206/.271/.280 with two homers and 20 RBI.  Lillibridge was 4-for-6 on the White Sox's recent road trip.

"Lilly has been getting hits and hitting the ball hard," Beckham told the Chicago Tribune 's Mark Gonzales . "I don't think I'm hitting the ball softly. I'm not lucky, that's for sure. There's nothing I can do about it."

Guillen stood by Beckham and denied speculation that Beckham could be headed to the minors.

"[Beckham] is my second baseman," Guillen said. "He still is my second baseman. But right now, I think the way Lillibridge is playing, I'm going to give him a shot."

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

 
 
 
 
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