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Tag:David Hernandez
Posted on: February 29, 2012 9:54 pm
 

Spring primer: Arizona Diamondbacks

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By C. Trent Rosecrans

Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers didn't rest on the team's unexpected division title, adding Trevor Cahill to an already strong rotation, anchored by Ian Kennedy and Daniel Hudson. Arizona also added outfielder Jason Kubel to a two-year, $16 million deal to help out the offense. The Diamondbacks surprised everyone in 2011, but it's safe to say they won't sneak up on anyone in 2012.

Major additions: OF Jason Kubel, RHP Trevor Cahill, RHP Takashi Saito, LHP Craig Breslow
Major departures: RHP Jason Marquis

Probable lineup
1. Stephen Drew SS
2. Aaron Hill 2B
3. Justin Upton RF
4. Miguel Montero C
5. Chris Young CF
6. Jason Kubel LF
7. Paul Goldschmidt 1B
8. Ryan Roberts 3B

Probable rotation
1. Ian Kennedy
2. Daniel Hudson
3. Trevor Cahill
4. Joe Saunders
5. Josh Collmenter

Back-end bullpen
Closer: J.J. Putz
Set-up: David Hernandez, Brad Ziegler, Takashi Saito

Important bench players
OF Gerrardo Parra, UTIL Willie Bloomquist, 1B Lyle Overbay

Prospect to watch
The Diamondbacks traded right-handed starter Jarrod Parker, named the team's No. 1 prospect by Baseball America before the 2011 season, to Oakland in exchange for Cahill. While top-flight pitching prospects don't grow on trees, it may seem like it in Arizona. With two top-10 picks in last season's draft, Arizona took two right-handed power arms in Trevor Bauer and Archie Bradley. Those two, along with lefty Tyler Skaggs, give the Diamondbacks perhaps the best trio of pitching prospects in the game. Of the three, Bauer is the one expected to contribute the soonest. The right-hander was the second overall pick in the draft out of UCLA, won the Golden Spikes Award, given to the top amateur players in the country. While he can throw up to 98 mph, his curveball is his best pitch. The Diamondbacks thought about bringing him up for the stretch run last season, but he stayed in the minors, where he made seven starts. While his ERA wasn't pretty (5.96), he did strike out 43 batters in 25 2/3 innings.

Fantasy sleeper: Jason Kubel
"[The Diamondbacks] play in a hitter's park, much like the Metrodome, and recognize that a 29-year-old like Kubel is still young enough to salvage whatever he lost to expansive Target Field. Given his improvement against left-handed pitchers last year, a full season of at-bats could feasibly return Kubel to the 25-homer range. It's a reasonable enough possibility that he's worth a late-round flier in mixed leagues." -- Scott White [Full Diamondbacks fantasy preview]

Fantasy bust: Ryan Roberts
"You can't overlook the fact that his breakout season hinged on an unsustainably hot April in which he hit .313 with a 1.007 OPS. He hit .239 the rest of the way. Power and speed numbers aside, if his batting average is lagging right out of the gate, the Diamondbacks have little reason to give him the benefit of the doubt. He's already 31. It's not like he's any sort of building block. With higher-upside third basemen like Ryan Wheeler and Matt Davidson quickly rising through the minor-league system, Roberts is on a shorter leash than his ranking would have you believe." -- Scott White [Full Diamondbacks fantasy preview]

Optimistic outlook
After last season, how can you look at the Diamondbacks as anything other than a World Series contender? With Kennedy and Hudson continuing their development and solidifying themselves as legitimate top-of-the-rotation starters, plus Cahill and a Saunders that appears to have figured some things out, the pitching takes the Diamondbacks to an easy division title.

Pessimistic outlook
Last year proves to be an aberration, with all the pitchers taking a step back. Meanwhile, Drew never seems to recover from his injury, meaning a full season of Bloomquist and John McDonald at shortstop. It worked for a while last season, but it's unlikely to work again. Hill plays like he did in Toronto, as opposed to the way he played in the desert. With the offense and pitching struggling, the Diamondbacks could fall behind not just the Giants and Rockies, but also the Dodgers.

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Posted on: December 11, 2011 6:35 am
 

Homegrown Team: Baltimore Orioles

Erik Bedard

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 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. To view the schedule/past entries of this feature, click here.

The Orioles haven't had a winning season since 1997, and part of that has been the team's inability to draft, sign and cultivate its own players. Even the teams with the biggest payrolls, like the Yankees and Red Sox, have learned the lesson that you need to have a steady crop of homegrown players, not only to keep costs down, but also to have the commodities to trade if needed. The Orioles' Matt Wieters emerged as an All-Star in 2011 and Brian Roberts has had a solid career, but the team has still struggled to produce a consistent pipeline to the majors, and when those players have gotten there, they've often disappointed.

Lineup

1. Brian Roberts, 2B
2. Mike Fontenot, SS
3. Nick Markakis, RF
4. Jayson Werth, 1B
5. Matt Wieters, C
6. Nolan Reimold, LF
7. Jerry Hairston Jr., 3B
8. Willie Harris, DH
9. Darnell McDonald, CF

Starting Rotation

1. Erik Bedard
2. Zach Britton
3. Jake Arrieta
4. Brad Bergesen
5. Brian Matusz

Bullpen

Closer - David Hernandez
Set up - Arthur Rhodes, Jim Johnson, Koji Uehara, Jason Berken, Pedro Beato, D.J. Carrasco

Notable Bench Players

Eli Whiteside is the backup catcher, and a pretty good one. But other than that, the Orioles' bench is thin. Brandon Snyder? Ryan Adams? That's about all the team has to offer.

What's Good?

The middle of the lineup -- Markakis, Werth and Wieters is solid and the bullpen is deep. Other than that? Not much.

What's Not?

Take your pick -- the rest of the team's lineup isn't up to snuff. The rotation, minus Bedard, is similar to the real team's rotation in 2011. And then there's not much depth, either in the rotation or the lineup.

Comparison to real 2011

Only the Astros, Twins and Mariners had a worse record than Baltimore's 67-95 mark in 2011, and this team could be even worse. The rotation is about the same and the offense isn't as good without J.J. Hardy, Adam Jones and Mark Reynolds. The Orioles once were known for throwing money at free agents and not developing their own players, now they just don't develop their own players. A team of homegrown Orioles could challenge the 100 loss mark and maybe even the worst record in baseball.

Next: Washington Nationals

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: August 12, 2011 3:12 pm
Edited on: August 12, 2011 5:11 pm
 

Beat Down: Nick Piecoro on the Diamondbacks



By C. Trent Rosecrans

If newspapers still existed and you opened one up this morning, you'd open up the sports section and see that the Arizona Diamondbacks were in first place in the National League West. It's one of those things that nobody really expected to see on Aug. 12, but there it is. I sure didn't expect it, and wasn't sure I knew exactly how it happened. So, I figured I could research the whole thing and write something about it, or I could go to someone who has been there the entire season, so I e-mailed my buddy Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic.

Piecoro is in his fifth season covering the Diamondbacks. I first met him in the press box at Chase Field in 2007 when he was surfing my iTunes library from his computer and sought me out to talk music. Since then, we've had numerous pizzas and beers together, talking baseball and, more often, music. So when I thought about the Diamondbacks, I quickly thought of Nick. And then I thought this might be a good weekly feature looking at some of the teams around MLB from the people who see them the most and know them the best. So, for the first installment of the Beat Down, here's Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic:

Eye On Baseball:  So, really, first-place Diamondbacks? Really? Give me the short version of how this happened...

Nick Piecoro: I know, right? Well, there are a bunch of reasons. I’ll start with the emergence of Justin Upton, who has turned into a force in the middle of the lineup, a threat to do damage every time he’s up. They lead the league in home runs, so there’s a real element of a quick-strike offense. And if you look at their Baseball-Reference page, pretty much everyone in the lineup is at least close to a 100 OPS+, meaning there are no black holes in the lineup.

Then there’s the pitching staff. Ian Kennedy has pitched like a No. 1, and Daniel Hudson, Joe Saunders and Josh Collmenter (he of tomahawk-throwing fame) have slotted in well behind him. In the bullpen, they no longer cough up leads every night, and that’s thanks mainly to Kevin Towers acquisitions David Hernandez and J.J. Putz.

EOB: Did you see this coming? I sure didn't. I will say, our senior writers -- Scott Miller and Danny Knobler -- did say the D-Backs would be interesting this year, but I don't think any of us expected this.

NP: No way, not me. In spring training, they were a disaster. Part of the reason they’ve been able to turn it around is because they were quick to act to make changes with guys who weren’t getting the job done, and the list is long: Armando Galarraga, Barry Enright, Russell Branyan, Melvin Mora, Aaron Heilman, Juan Miranda, Zach Duke. Some got more rope than others, but the point is, anyone making predictions before the season was looking at a completely different roster than what they have now. Heck, Ryan Roberts, who has 15 home runs, wouldn’t have made the team in spring training if not for Geoff Blum’s injury.

EOB: How much of this is Kirk Gibson? Is the attitude he brought real? Has it actually changed things?

NP: You have to give him credit, certainly. You hear people talk about a manager’s personality rubbing off on his team, it’s hard not to see some of that with this group of guys, particularly when it comes to their penchant for comebacks and the whole never-say-die stuff. They’re a hard-nosed bunch and that’s exactly the kind of player Gibson was and manager he is. Personally, I’ve always been skeptical of a manager’s impact; I mean, all the stuff above explains their status as contenders well enough in my mind. (That and the fact the NL West and the NL as a whole is mostly devoid of good teams.) A friend likes to say that players win games, managers lose them and umpires ruin them. Well, if that’s the case, Gibson is doing an excellent job of not losing them.

EOB: Is Justin Upton your MVP?

NP:  Maybe not yet. But he could be.

EOB: I'm guessing he's not on the trade market this winter...

NP: Uh, no. I’m not sure I understand why he was out there last winter.

EOB: Are they set up for the long haul?

NP:  You would think so, yeah. They have literally no bad contracts -- not a one -- and they have a bunch of guys coming in the system, namely a few potential frontline-type starting pitchers in Jarrod Parker, Tyler Skaggs and Trevor Bauer. They’ll have a few decisions to make in the next couple offseasons with core guys like Kelly Johnson, Stephen Drew and Miguel Montero set to become free agents, but they’re in great position to retain who they want to retain and even should have money to spend to plug whatever holes might exist.

EOB: Finally, you're perhaps the hippest beat writer in the loop, what are you listening to right now?

NP: Heh. Is that like saying someone’s the MVP of the Pacific Coast League? I’ve been fairly obsessed with the new Handsome Furs album (link to "Serve the People" with a note that the album art has a nekkid lady). And -- how’s this for timing? -- I’m actually going tonight to see Cut Copy, an awesome band from Australia that have this catchy 80s-dance-pop thing going on (link here to "Far Away"). I’ve also been really into the new ones from Cults, Destroyer, Foster the People and others I can’t think of right now.

Thanks to Nick and you can check out his blog here and on Twitter @NickPiecoro.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: July 1, 2011 6:00 pm
Edited on: July 1, 2011 7:12 pm
 

Diamondbacks' Putz hits disabled list

By Matt Snyder

Diamondbacks' closer J.J. Putz has been placed on the disabled list, effective immediately, with tendinitis in his throwing elbow (Steve Gilbert via Twitter). The move is somewhat a surprise, as D-Backs manager Kirk Gibson said as recently as Sunday that Putz was 100 percent. Putz was fine last week, nailing down saves on three consecutive days, but then he had two straight bad outings earlier this week. In them, his velocity was noticably down. Putz reportedly received a cortisone shot Wednesday and the Diamondbacks believe he'll be ready to return immediately after the All-Star break (Nick Piecoro via Twitter).

Putz, 34, has a history of arm injuries but was cruising for the Diamondbacks before this week. Before the two bad outings when he was apparently injured, Putz had saved 21 games in 24 chances and had a 2.45 ERA with 31 strikeouts in 33 innings.

The likely replacement as the D-Backs' closer is David Hernandez. The 26 year old was the eighth inning guy and already has two saves of his own. He's been a bit inconsistent, but has struck out 41 hitters in 37 innings.

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Posted on: June 8, 2011 1:06 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Carrasco steps up for Tribe



By Matt Snyder

Carlos Carrasco, Indians. The reeling Indians brought a five-game losing streak into Tuesday night's game against the Twins -- who had won five in a row. The Tribe had lost 10 of 13 and were clinging to the AL Central division lead by 1 1/2 games over the Tigers. It was a lead that was seven games as recently as May 23. Someone needed to step up, and Carrasco did just that. He threw 8 1/3 shutout innings, allowing only three hits and one walk while striking out six. He did this with no margin for error, as the Indians only scored one unearned run.

Edinson Volquez, Reds. Volquez was demoted to Triple-A for two starts after showing few signs of life in the early-going. Tuesday, he looked like his old self, aside from the absence of the dreadlocks. While he got into trouble a few times, Volquez came through with a really good start. He gave up consecutive doubles in the second and then allowed the Cubs to load the bases, but he left them that way. It was smooth sailing after that, as Volquez didn't allow any Cub to reach second base again. He finished with five strikeouts in seven innings while allowing seven hits, two walks and one run.

Dee Gordon, Dodgers. While Gordon's actual debut came Monday night when he pinch ran late in the game, his first big-league start was Tuesday and he had one to remember. The son of "Flash" is actually the speedy one in the family and gathered his first career stolen base in the fifth inning. The final line was 3-5 with a run and stolen base. The Dodgers got the win, too, so it had to be a pretty satisfying night for Gordon.




Freddy Garcia, Yankees. As bad as the outing was, in which Garcia gave up four runs on four hits and three walks (though one was intentional) and took the loss, the worst part was he couldn't even get through two innings in the first game of a series. There's a full week of action ahead for the Yankees and the bullpen was needed for 7 1/3 innings. That's the kind of strain that can catch up in the next few games. Fortunately for the Yanks, they got a Yeoman's Effort from young Hector Noesi, who got through six innings with 71 pitches. Still, he's now going to be unavailable for the next several days and Garcia shortened the bullpen with his terrible outing. The Yankees now need a deep start from A.J. Burnett Wednesday.

Delmon Young, Twins. On a Carlos Santana double in the fourth inning, Delmon Young misplayed the ball, allowing Santana to take third base. He then scored on a ground out and the Indians won 1-0. We don't know how the game would have turned out if Young didn't commit the error, but that's the problem, no?

David Hernandez, Diamondbacks. The Arizona setup man entered Tuesday with a 1.65 ERA and 31 strikeouts in 27 1/3 innings. Unfortunately this is what can happen with one awful outing for a relief pitcher: Hernandez blew up his own ERA in one night. Worse yet, he blew the game. He was summoned with a 5-3 lead in the bottom of the eighth at Pittsburgh and the Pirates torched him for five runs on four hits. Hernandez didn't even record a single out. He faced six batters, allowing three doubles, a single, a walk and a fielder's choice in which every runner was safe. The ERA now says 3.29.

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Posted on: May 29, 2011 11:33 pm
 

Bullpen leads D-backs into first place

By C. Trent Rosecrans

J.J. PutzWelcome to first place, Arizona Diamondbacks.

Yep, you read that right, the Diamondbacks have ridden a six-game winning streak -- all on the road -- to the top of the National League West standing, moving past the Giants with their victory over the Astros and San Francisco's loss in Milwaukee.

"This is good right now, but we've got a long way to go," manager Kirk Gibson told Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. "We've talked about playing good baseball. It's hard to sustain it."

But the Diamondbacks have in the last 16 days, going 14-2 since dropping five in a row earlier this month.

As for the short-term changes, Piecoro pretty much nailed it in this piece -- Josh Collmenter into the rotation, Armando Galarraga out. Juan Miranda in at first base, Russell Branyan out. And then he adds the improvement of starter Joe Saunders and second baseman Kelly Johnson.

More than just the last two-and-a-half weeks, the Diamondbacks have been much better than they were a year ago, when they were 65-97, the third-worst mark in the big leagues.

First off, a lot of credit has to go to Kirk Gibson, in his first full year as a manager. His team is playing like he did -- all out, all the time.

Secondly, the bullpen is night-and-day better, and the thanks there has to go to general manager Kevin Towers.

Last season the bullpen had a 5.74 ERA -- the worst mark in the National League since divisional play began.

This year it's 3.40 ERA. The teams four blown saves are tired for fourth-fewest in the big leagues.

Closer J.J. Putz is perfect in his 15 save attempts and has struck out 20 in 22 innings, allowing just four earned runs. He's been joined by left-hander Joe Paterson (one earned run in 22 games), Sam Demel (three earned runs in 21 appearances) and David Hernandez (five earned runs in 24 appearances). Esmerling Vasquez has been pretty good, going 0-1 with a 3.32 ERA.

Demel and Vazquez were in the team's bullpen last season, but Towers worked on remaking the team's bullpen in the offseason, signing Putz as a free agent and getting Hernandez in the trade that sent Mark Reynolds to Baltimore. Paterson is a rookie who was taken by Towers in the Rule 5 draft out of the Giants' system.

In the end, the Diamondbacks may not be able to hold onto this lead -- especially against the defending World Series champs and the powerful Rockies. But they could -- nobody thought Cleveland would still lead their division on Memorial Day, yet the Diamondbacks and Indians are, and that's pretty fun.

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Posted on: June 19, 2010 9:20 pm
 

Simon back as O's closer


Alfredo Simon is back as the Orioles' closer, Baltimore manager Juan Samuel told reporters, including the Baltimore Sun 's Jeff Zrebiec on Saturday.

David Hernandez converted his first two saves chances while Simon was on the disabled list, but then blew his third on Friday. Simon has pitched twice since coming off the disabled list (left hamstring strain), including 2/3 of an inning on Friday.

"When Simon came back, we said we didn't want to throw him right into the fire," Samuel said. "He's been gone for quite a bit. We wanted to make sure he got some innings, got the feel back and I think he's there right now. We aren't going to be switching back and forth. Like last night,  Hernandez was the closer in the game. He had to get himself out of that. That's the same plan we have for Simon. If he's out there to close, he's going to stay out there and try to close the game."
-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.
Posted on: June 13, 2010 7:26 pm
 

Orioles get closer back


The Orioles activated closer Alfredo Simon following Sunday's loss to the Mets, the Baltimore Sun reports . The Orioles sent right-hander Brad Bergesen back to Triple-A Norfolk, where he will rejoin the rotation after spending time in the Orioles' bullpen.

Simon has been on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring since May 25. Simon has six saves in seven opportunities, going 1-1 with a 2.92 ERA.

"I try to come back to the same thing I was doing before. It feels really good right now," Simon told the Sun. "When I try to run hard, I feel a little bit [in the hamstring], but when I am throwing, not at all."

Orioles interim manager Juan Samuel told the paper Simon probably wouldn't pitch Monday against the Giants, leaving David Hernandez as the team's closer for one more game.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com