Tag:Dave Bush
Posted on: May 28, 2011 2:12 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Rookie slams Brewers

Brandon Crawford

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Brandon Crawford, Giants -- Two days ago Crawford was in the Class A California League and Friday he was making his big-league debut. The 24-year-old found himself up with bases loaded in the seventh inning with his team down two runs. With one swing of the bat against Brewers starter Shaun Marcum, Crawford gave his team the lead and had his first hit in the majors. He was the first Giant to make  grand slam his first hit since Bobby Bonds in 1968.

Kevin Correia, Pirates -- It's no real surprise that Jon Lester is tied for the most wins in the majors with seven, but it's who he's tied with that is surprising. Yep, Correia. Signed to a two-year, $8 million deal in December, the Pirates may have made one of the offseason's best moves. Correia is 7-4 with a 3.44 ERA, going 7 1/3 innings against the Cubs on Friday, allowing just four hits and no runs. It was his sixth road win of the season.

Mike Leake, Reds -- With the Reds bullpen having thrown 31 innings in its last five games, Cincinnati needed a good outing from Leake, who was just called up from his first stint in the minors. Not only did Leake give them six innings, he allowed just  one run on seven hits, leading the Reds to just their second win in their last 10 games. Leake improved to 4-2 and picked up the first win by a Reds starter since May 16.


Rick Porcello, Tigers -- The day after Tigers starter Max Scherzer went just two innings, Porcello lasted only three. Porcello gave up six runs on six hits with two walks, giving up homers to Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford in the third inning. Porcello lost the game to a pitcher twice his age -- Porcello is 22 and Red Sox starter Tim Wakefield is 44.

Twins bullpen -- Scott Baker handed the Twins bullpen a 5-0 lead and asked them to get just six outs. He got 21, it shouldn't be too difficult to get just six, right? Alex Burnett gave up a hit and a walk, before giving way to Dusty Hughes who surrendered a three-run homer to Erick Aybar. Hughes was yanked after the next batter, Bobby Abreu singled. Jim Hoey came in and gave up a double to Torii Hunter, an RBI single to Alberto Callaspo and a sacrifice fly to Russell Branyan to tie the game. Hoey got out of the inning, but then gave up a leadoff triple to Peter Bourjos in the ninth and then Maicer Izturis singled to give the Angels the lead and eventual victory. The Twins have now allowed 49 runs in the eighth inning in 49 games.

Dave Bush, Rangers -- The right-hander gave up four hits -- three of them homers -- and five runs in the 14th inning of the Rangers' 12-7 loss to the Royals. Melky Cabrera, Eric Hosmer and Brayan Pena all homered off of Bush, with the three homers totaling 1,218 feet. The Royals were in extra innings because Alex Gordon homered off of Neftali Feliz in the ninth inning to tie the game. Feliz has blown three saves this season, all three against Kansas City.

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Posted on: April 27, 2011 1:11 pm
Edited on: April 27, 2011 4:41 pm
 

O'Day injury strains Texas bullpen

By Matt Snyder

Rangers relief pitcher Darren O'Day is headed to the disabled list with a torn labrum in his hip, reports ... Darren O'Day. Yes, gotta love the modern-day social media. O'Day posted this on his Facebook page Wednesday morning:

"Headed to the DL for a torn labrum in my left hip. Beyond that, I dont know much. Hopefully recovery will be quick, and I'll be back on the mound in no time."

Well, Wednesday afternoon, we know more and it's not good. He's headed to the 60-day disabled list and surgery is possible. (Dallas Morning News via Twitter)

With All-Star closer Neftali Feliz also on the shelf and Alexi Ogando in the rotation, that's three of the back-end bullpen arms the Rangers had planned upon by late March now not in the bullpen.

At present, the back-end has the ancient Arthur Rhodes and Darren Oliver -- who appears to be the top closing option with Feliz out. There are former starters Dave Bush and Brett Tomko as middle relief options. Pedro Strop and rookie Cody Eppley -- who looked good in his two-inning debut -- are left as the setup guys.

The bullpen hasn't been awful by any means this year. Rangers' relievers collectively have a 4.13 ERA, which is seventh in the AL. But now the anchor has been removed as has one of the better support men in O'Day (2.45 ERA in 7 1/3 innings).

To be very fair, Oliver, Rhodes, Strop, Eppley and Bush have been quite good -- albeit with limited time for some. It's just that as everyone gets bumped back one or two spots in his specific role in the bullpen, there's much less stability for the group as a whole. In turn, the starting pitchers may start to feel the strain as well, as they're expected to work deeper into games in hopes to not tax the new guys like Eppley and whoever replaces O'Day -- which looks like Ryan Tucker (ESPN Dallas ) -- or overwork the reliable veterans.

Feliz should be back by mid-May, and the guess is by then it will be a big reprieve from an area that evolved into a problem for the defending AL champs. If not, well, that's one deep staff.

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Posted on: April 20, 2011 8:29 pm
 

Tomko unlikely to help Rangers out of bullpen

TomkoBy Evan Brunell

In a spate of moves Wednesday, the Rangers purchased the contract of Brett Tomko from Triple-A, marking the veteran's return to the majors for the first time since 2009.

While the Rangers needed to make a move after Michael Kirkman blew up Tuesday by giving up six runs in 1 1/3 innings, is Tomko really the best choice? His career 4.65 ERA in the majors belies what has been a poor string of results for the former seventh-place finisher in Rookie of the Year balloting way back in 1997. Over his last three big-league seasons, Tomko has a 5.36 ERA split between the Dodgers, Padres, Royals, Padres again, Yankees and Athletics before battling a right shoulder strain to close the year.

And since then, Tomko hasn't shown anything of note. The right-hander bounced around Oakland's minor-league system last year, trying to recover from injury. Two starts in rookie ball netted him a 6.23 ERA while six apiece in Double-A and Triple-A left him with ERAs over 7.00, and in two starts for Texas' Triple-A team this year, he was at a tidy 6.35 ERA. Not exactly someone who inspires confidence.

Tomko will be pitching out of the bullpen for the Rangers and belongs in the long man role, but Dave Bush is currently handling that role and has nigh been a nonfactor. That means Tomko's probably occupying a middle relief role. It's possible his fastball could play better in relief after not starting, but there's simply nothing in Tomko's recent history -- or entire history, really -- to suggest he can be a solid reliever.

That said, Tomko's stay in the majors could be brief. If and when the club brings back Tommy Hunter and Scott Feldman (and who knows, maybe Brandon Webb will get in on the action as well) that should spell the end of Tomko -- and Bush, too.

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Posted on: March 27, 2011 2:25 pm
 

Rangers looking to start Ogando

By Matt Snyder

With Tommy Hunter's ill-timed groin injury, the Rangers still have one open spot in the starting pitching rotation, and it appears Alexi Ogando is close to filling it. Ogando was moved to the bullpen -- in a setup role for stud closer Neftali Feliz -- last week, but the Hunter injury has forced the Rangers to rethink things. Ogando is going to stretch back out as a starter, which shouldn't be difficult considering he was starting just over a week ago, and will start Tuesday in an exhibition game. If things go well, he'll be slotted fourth, with Derek Holland being the No. 5. (Dallas Morning News )

Dave Bush, who was thought to be in the mix, has made the team and will join the bullpen as a long reliever. He's certainly still an option to start, should Ogando falter. Brett Tomko is another option, as he fights for one of the final roster spots. Michael Kirkman is still a consideration, but the Ogando move doesn't bode well for his immediate chances.

Ogando, 27, was stellar last season out of the pen. He compiled a 1.30 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and 39 strikeouts in 41 2/3 innings. He has a 5.06 ERA in 10 2/3 spring innings.

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Posted on: March 18, 2011 2:58 pm
 

Rangers' rotation shuffle shaking out

By Matt Snyder

According to pitching coach Mike Maddux, the Rangers have settled on the pitchers to fill the third and fourth spots in their starting rotation, behind C.J. Wilson and Colby Lewis.

Though it was not official, Maddux told a radio show that Tommy Hunter and Matt Harrison were close to being given the nod and that "the other spot is going to come down to the last couple weeks." (ESPN Dallas )

That last spot has a whole six guys still in the mix. Obviously, if management wants Neftali Feliz in the rotation, that's his spot. If not, the Rangers are deciding between Derek Holland, Michael Kirkman, Dave Bush, Brett Tomko and Alexi Ogando.

The smart money there is on Holland, though Kirkman is an up-and-coming prospect and Bush has the wily veteran factor. It just depends on which direction the Rangers want to go. That spot is probably a temp gig anyway, with Brandon Webb making progress and a sure bet to join the fray at some point during the first half of the season.

Hunter, 24, has an 8.31 ERA this spring, but has struck out 10 guys and only walked one. He was 13-4 last season with a 3.73 ERA in 128 innings.

Harrison, 25, has only allowed five hits and one earned run in nine spring innings (1.00 ERA). He had a 4.71 ERA in 37 appearances last season -- only six of which were starts. He was 1-1 with a 5.29 ERA as a starter.

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Posted on: March 16, 2011 11:02 am
Edited on: March 16, 2011 12:34 pm
 

Pepper: Sign spring's end is near



By Matt Snyder


How can you best tell when spring is winding down and the real Major League Baseball season is nearing? Well, a few things. The snow finally stops falling. I guess, though this year who really knows. It's liable to snow at some places into May at this rate. Another good sign is watching the NCAA basketball tournament on CBS (shameless plug alert). How about baseball teams starting to name -- or get close to naming -- a fifth starting pitcher? That's a pretty good one, and it's happening in a lot of different places right now.

We've already passed along that Mark Rogers has been demoted, which leaves Wily Peralta the Brewers' likely five . We've also noted Michael Pineda being in Seattle's driver's seat as well. But there are plenty more.

Esmil Rogers looks like he's opening up a lead over John Maine and Greg Reynolds for the Rockies, after working five innings Tuesday and only facing the minimum 15 batters. (Denver Post )

Brandon McCarthy has gotten in the good graces of manager Bob Geren for being "impressive" and "consistent" in looking to win the A's fifth starting job behind a pretty underrated top four of Trevor Cahill, Brett Anderson, Dallas Braden and Gio Gonzalez. (San Francisco Chronicle )

Ever since Adam Wainwright went down with injury and the Cardinals said they were going to look internally, Kyle McClellan has been the front-runner to take the remaining spot. And every outing since then, he's gotten rave reviews and been tabbed as the front-runner. Thus, it would be pretty shocking if he didn't get the job. Still, the word from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch is that McClellan is merely "closer" to getting the nod.

Speaking of shocking, it would be just as shocking if Randy Wells doesn't win one of the Cubs' two remaining rotation slots. He's throwing well this spring and has the past experience. It also appears that former first-round pick Andrew Cashner is putting some distance between himself and the rest of the field as well. We'll get back to Cashner in a second. (MLB.com )

Of course, there is one team a bit behind the curve here. The Texas Rangers, your defending American League champs, still have a whopping seven guys in the mix for two spots. If a decision is made to start Neftali Feliz, one that seems increasingly likely with each passing day, that narrows the field to six guys for one spot. Those six: Derek Holland, Matt Harrison, Michael Kirkman, Alexi Ogando, Dave Bush and Eric Hurley. (Fort Worth Star-Telegram )

THE PROFESSOR: Of the two nicknames you see listed for Greg Maddux on baseball-reference.com, I always preferred "the Professor," even though it's nowhere near mainstream. He was so much more cerebral than his opposition, seemingly getting guys out just with his mind. Thus, it's only fitting he's passing along some knowledge to Cashner in Cubs camp as a special assistant. His latest nugget? "Walks are overrated." It's not surprising, coming from a guy who probably never walked someone by accident in his prime. Those who remember watching him in the mid-90s are nodding in agreement. You could feel when Maddux was walking someone on purpose; otherwise it didn't happen. Oh, and if Maddux's wisdom isn't enough, Kerry Wood has also taken Cashner under his wing. (Chicago Tribune )

RUSSELL THE MUSCLE: Hey, someone has to fill the void left by Mark Reynolds -- both in terms of power and strikeouts. Despite his lackluster defense -- which is reportedly a concern for manager Kirk Gibson -- Russell Branyan is turning heads by killing the ball this spring, to the tune of a 1.274 OPS. And don't scoff. While Branyan has a bad batting average and strikeout issues, his career OPS-plus is 115 and he averages 31 home runs over the course of 162 games. He need only hold off Juan Miranda and once-big prospect Brandon Allen. (MLB.com )

NO WORRIES: Clayton Kershaw was torched Tuesday by the Rangers, but Dodgers manager Don Mattingly isn't worried about his likely ace. Nor should he be, considering it's only the spring and Kershaw entered the game with a 0.00 ERA through 11 1/3 innings. (Los Angeles Times )

SWITCHBACK: Prior to the ALDS last year, the rules for the dreaded catwalk at Tropicana Field were altered, but now those rules are reverting back to where they were in the regular season of 2010. Check out the complete list on St. Petersburg Times .

GETTING GRADY BACK: Sunday could be the day. Grady Sizemore hasn't seen game action in about 10 months, but reportedly he has a real shot to play Sunday. Obviously huge news for the Tribe. (Cleveland.com )

KEEPING DICE-K: There's been a lot of talk about the Red Sox trading Daisuke Matsuzaka of late. Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe makes a good case to fans that Dice-K is actually a pretty average major-league pitcher and that, as the fifth starter, that's really all the team needs. Put the absurd salary aside and just enjoy the good Red Sox team, he pleads. I tend to agree. (Boston Globe )

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Posted on: March 8, 2011 5:50 pm
Edited on: March 8, 2011 8:40 pm
 

Feliz to close; rotation fallout in Texas

By Evan Brunell

FelizOn Wednesday, the Rangers will throw Neftali Feliz into a spring training game expecting three innings out of the hurler. However, Feliz won't be putting in his work at the start of the game as is common for those who aspire to make the starting rotation. Instead, Feliz will be covering the seventh, eighth and ninth innings. Why is that?

"I don't think I have to tell you why we're doing that," manager Ron Washington told MLB.com.

And so comes to a close -- well, almost -- on the experiment to make Feliz (pictured) a starter. While nothing is official, all signs are pointing to the AL Rookie of the Year continuing in the role that saw him nail down 40 saves in Texas' run to the AL pennant last season. While Feliz was open to returning to the rotation, he made clear to team president Nolan Ryan and the media that he was simply more comfortable remaining as closer simply due to his familiarity with the role. While Feliz came up through the minors as a starter, his success at the major league level has been out of the bullpen and he has certainly delivered. But Feliz will continue to pitch multiple innings in spring training to work on his slider and changeup in an attempt to diversify beyond simply a wicked fastball.

"We're going to keep him stretched out so he can use all his pitches," Washington said.

Meanwhile, the absence of Feliz means there are now seven candidates for three spots in the rotation, and that's not even counting the injured Scott Feldman and Brandon Webb. Feldman had surgery in the offseason to repair a microfracture in his right knee but is not expected to be ready to pitch at the major league level until well into May, if not longer. Webb, meanwhile, has a rotation spot waiting for him but the Rangers feel the former Cy Young Award winner won't be ready for Opening Day.

"He's progressing," Washington said. "That's a good step forward. We went from long toss to bullpen to throwing live BP. Depending on how that goes, we'll set a plan from there."

Even if Webb isn't ready when time to line up along the foul lines and be introduced to the crowds, he shouldn't be that far behind, which only puts added pressure on the other candidates to step up their game.

Of the remaining candidates, top prospect Tanner Scheppers (ranked No 77. on CBSSports.com's Top 100 Prospects) profiles as a reliever long-term and is currently battling back stiffness, while Feliz's compatriot in the bullpen, Alexi Ogando, is gamely trying to win a rotation spot but is likely to return to his setup role. Dave Bush, the former Brewer, is in camp hoping for a rotation spot along with prospect Michael Kirkman, a lefty who had 14 relief appearances for Texas last season and could reprise that role in 2011.

Related

Tommy Hunter appears to be the one candidate with the best shot at a gig as he posted a 3.73 ERA (4.70 xFIP) in 128 innings over 22 starts and one appearance out of the bullpen. Hunter also posted similar statistics in his 19-start stint with the Rangers in 2009. 

The other favorites are Matt Harrison and Derek Holland. Holland is a former top prospect who has not yet locked down a permanent spot in the rotation but could be the club's best pitcher by year's end. The 24-year-old had a 4.08 ERA (4.40 xFIP) in 10 starts and four relief appearances for the Rangers and also appeared on the postseason roster along with Hunter. The lefty will start Wednesday in Feliz's place.

Harrison, meanwhile, has impressed early in camp. However, his peripherals don't come close to what Holland can put up and the club used him almost exclusively in relief last season with six starts and 31 bullpen appearances.

One has to imagine that Hunter and Holland will occupy the Nos. 3 and 4 spots in the rotation, respectively, with Bush and Harrison battling for the final spot that will eventually be turned over to Webb. There is also thought to be a long-relief spot available which could go to the loser of the rotation sweepstakes.

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Posted on: January 30, 2011 3:53 pm
 

Cuddyer wants extension, plus more notes

CuddyerSome news and notes on this Sunday as baseball readies for spring training in two weeks...

 

  • The Twins' Michael Cuddyer (pictured) would love to stay a Twin for the rest of his career, as MLB.com reports. He is entering the last season of his deal and is excited about the season now that surgery to clean out his knee has been a resounding success. No extension talks have taken place and once the season starts, Cuddyer won't speak about an extension.
  • The Rangers signed Dave Bush to a minor-league deal with an invite to spring training, per Anthony Andro of the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram. Bush has an opt-out clause in his deal, but this is exactly the kind of depth Texas should be building in a rotation that looks a bit suspect. If Brandon Webb suffers a setback in his return to playing time, Bush would serve as the No. 5 starter.
  • The Orioles are in the lead for Justin Duchscherer's services along with the Nationals, Jerry Crasnick of ESPN reveals. The deal from Baltimore is of the major league variety, so it would be tough for the Duke not to make the squad. However, he tells Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com that he has yet to decide and is close to deals with several teams. Crasnick has four teams in the hunt for the righty.
  • Rafael Betancourt has locked into a one-year extension to stay with the Rockies, as ESPN Deportes says per a MLB Trade Rumors translation. He'll make $3.77 million in 2011, per an already agreed upon deal, and $4 million in '12. The Rockies hold a club option for $4.25 million. The 36-year-old has been excellent in Colorado since coming over midway through 2009. He posted a 3.61 ERA in 62 1/2 innings for the Rox last season, whiffing 89 and walking just eight. An excellent season no matter how you slice it.
  • The Reds and Edinson Volquez agreed on a one-year deal, avoiding arbitration even as the two discuss a multi-year extension as MLB.com reports. "We tried to do a multiyear deal," GM Walt Jocketty says. "They just wanted to concentrate on the one year now. [Volquez's agent] had a few cases and wanted to get the arbitration thing out of the way."
  • Buster Olney of ESPN reveals that the Diamondbacks have opted not to pursue a humidor at Chase Field, at least for this season. The hitter's haven could benefit from a humidor, but given that the stadium isn't outrageously tilted toward hitters like Coors Field is in Colorado, there isn't a major push for it. The humidor could solve dry desert conditions that affect the baseball.
  • Amid reports the Orioles might sign Vladimir Guerrero, Luke Scott couldn't care less if he DHs or plays left, according to the Baltimore Sun. Just keep him with the Orioles, as he wants to sign a contract extension. The Orioles rebuffed overtures for an extension, although that doesn't mean it couldn't happen later.
  • In Nick Cafardo's excellent Sunday Notes column for the Boston Globe, he reveals that the Diamondbacks are considering Scott Schoeneweis. The lefty had a brief stint with the Red Sox in 2010 before being released. Schoeneweis pitched for Arizona in 2009 but was shocked by the drug overdose of his wife in May, struggling with depression after. How he has battled since in raising his kids and attempting to continue his career is nothing short of remarkable.
  • Cafardo also reports that the Rays are likely in on the services for Manny Delcarmen, along with three other teams. Delcarmen pitched for years with the Red Sox before falling apart in 2010 and ending the year with Colorado.

 

-- Evan Brunell

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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