Tag:Esmil Rogers
Posted on: May 24, 2011 8:45 pm
Edited on: May 24, 2011 9:06 pm
 

With De La Rosa down, Rockies need Cook

By Matt Snyder

With the news that the Rockies have probably lost Jorge De La Rosa for the rest of the season, their playoff hopes took a huge blow. It's still definitely possible, of course, as he's only one starting pitcher. It's just that losing a left-handed starter with his quality stuff (5-2, 3.34 ERA with 49 strikeouts entering Tuesday afternoon) is a big deal. Ubaldo Jimenez, Jhoulys Chacin and Jason Hammel are now firmly entrenched as the Rockies' top three starters, while Clayton Mortensen has filled in admirably for the injured Esmil Rogers. It's possible the Rockies have their five whenever Rogers comes back -- or Greg Reynolds could fill the role -- but what about the nearly forgotten Aaron Cook?

Cook, 32, is on the 60-day disabled list with a broken ring finger on his pitching hand. But he's close to being back -- eligible to come off the DL May 30 -- and has made three rehab starts. His most recent came Monday, when he coughed up four runs in five innings while striking out six. In all, he has a 5.79 ERA in the three outings, though we shouldn't put a ton of stock in the numbers of rehab outings. A lot of times the pitcher is just working himself into game shape without being overly concerned with the result -- like spring training.

Cook does have the pedigree of a guy who could step in and step up for his team. He was an All-Star in 2008, when he was 16-9 with a 3.96 ERA and worked 211 1/3 innings. When he's healthy, he's a bit of a workhorse in that he can pitch deep into games. He's averaged 6 1/3 innings per start since 2005, for example.

On the other hand, Cook has always allowed too many baserunners (1.45 career WHIP) and was largely ineffective in 2010 (5.08 ERA). He's a sore spot for many Rockies fans, due to those two numbers in addition to his nearly $10 million salary for this season. There's a mutual option for 2012, which means unless Cook steps up in a big way from here on out, he's a free agent once the season ends.

It's time for Cook to start earning that hefty paycheck. The Rockies need a rotational reinforcement immediately. Cook needs to be the guy -- for Colorado's sake and for his own.

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Posted on: April 19, 2011 1:24 am
Edited on: April 20, 2011 1:13 am
 

3 up, 3 down for 4/18: That's gold, Jerry

By Matt Snyder

3UP

Jerry Sands, Dodgers. Going 1-3 isn't exactly setting the world on fire, but Sands made an impact in his first major-league game. He doubled in his first at-bat and then hit a sacrifice fly next time up. The significance there is that the Dodgers had gotten just two RBI from left field all season, and Sands had needed two plate appearances to get halfway home. He made enough of an impact that Tim Hudson threw a pitch behind him next at-bat -- Ted Lilly retaliated next inning by doing the same to Nate McLouth and both benches were warned.

Felipe Lopez, Rays. Greeted with mass mockey in the Twitter world for being a cleanup hitter, Lopez quieted the critics for one night by going 3-4 with a double, home run, two runs and three RBI. He's raised his triple slash (batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage) lines to .316/.350/.553. And the Rays won, giving them a 6-1 record since that dreadful 1-8 start.

Kevin Correia, Pirates. Picked up off the scrap heap by the Pirates after a disastrous 2010 season, Correia hurled a complete game Monday against the division-leading Reds. He now has a 2.48 ERA through 29 innings. And don't look now, but the Pirates -- after having taken two of three from the Reds -- are only a game out. Of course, it's a four-way tie at 8-8, but still a game out and tied for second place. I'm sure Pirates fans will take it.

3DOWN

Esmil Rogers, Rockies. The 25 year old had gotten off to a nice start to 2011, sporting a 2.77 ERA through two starts. So much for that. He was absolutely torched by the Giants Monday night. In only three innings, Rogers allowed six hits, two walks and eight earned runs. In the first inning, he gave up back-to-back home runs to Pat Burrell and Nate Schierholtz -- the latter of which was a 450-plus foot moonshot to the upper tank. Needless to say, Rogers wasn't fooling anyone Monday.

Ricky Romero, Blue Jays. The pitching matchup seemed to favor the Jays, as Romero was the opening day starter and the Red Sox were running Dice-K out there. Instead, they seemed to reverse roles. Romero couldn't make it through five, giving up eight hits and five earned runs. The worst part, though, was Romero's lack of command. He walked five guys and it took 109 pitches just to complete 4 1/3 innings.

Win as a short-term stat. Carlos Zambrano, Tim Stauffer and Shaun Marcum combined to throw 21 scoreless innings, yet none of them came away with a win. Zambrano was especially impressive, working eight shutout innings and striking out 10 batters for the first time since his no-hitter in September of 2008. But, wait, he didn't get the win! Gimme a break.

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Posted on: April 7, 2011 11:15 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 11:36 am
 

3 up, 3 down for 4/7: In Trevor they trust

By Matt Snyder

3UP

Trevor Cahill, A's. Oakland started 1-4 and was quickly digging itself a nice little hole behind the surging Rangers, so a win was rather important here -- not paramount being game No. 6 and all, but you hate to fall too far behind early, y'know? The ace of the talented staff came through by cruising against the strong Blue Jays' offense -- albeit one missing Jose Bautista. Cahill was efficient enough to get through eight innings on 105 pitches, striking out seven and walking zero. He only let three guys on base and one runner to cross the plate. Fortunately for him, it wasn't wasted as the A's pieced together two runs in the eighth and held on for a 2-1 victory.

Edwin Jackson, White Sox. Granted he was facing the most anemic offense of the early-going, but Jackson still struck out 13 hitters and found a way to last eight innings in doing so. That's a feat in how effective he was in helping the White Sox move to 4-2. He's now 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA after two starts.

Esmil Rogers, Rockies. It was supposed to be Ubaldo Jimenez's turn in the rotation, so Rogers figured he'd just do his best imitation. He worked 7 1/3 innings, giving up just four hits, one earned run and one walk against seven strikeouts. Most impressive was that from the second inning until the last batter he faced -- Ronny Cedeno, who singled with one out in the eighth -- Rogers allowed just one baserunner. That's right, he retired 19 of 20 batters during that span. That is straight dealing .

3 DOWN

Darnell McDonald, Red Sox. C'mon, really? You get inserted as a pinch-runner and make a baserunning gaffe to end the game? Not only that, it was completely unforgivable. A ball off J.D. Drew's bat caromed off pitcher Chris Perez and squirted toward third base. For some reason, McDonald seemed to think he could make it to third after Adam Everett picked up the ball. McDonald then threw on the brakes and tried to get back to second but was nailed to end the game. There were two outs, so a runner with McDonald's speed would easily score on a single from second and has no business taking a risk to get to third. If there was one out and he wanted a sacrifice fly in play it would be at least somewhat understandable. With two outs, though, that was an unnecessary risk. One you could argue only happened because the team hasn't won yet (meaning a feeling of desperation caused the mental meltdown).

Pedro Alvarez, Pirates. He was 0-4 with two strikeouts and an error. That's now 10 strikeouts in 30 at-bats with no walks. His OBP is down to .200. What should be Alvarez's biggest redeeming quality isn't yet showing through, either, as he has zero home runs and only one extra-base hit. He's only 24, though, and it's only seven games. Just a rough start.

Jonathon Niese, Mets. I love the seven strikeouts in four innings. The eight hits and six runs against a Phillies' lineup missing Chase Utley? Not so much. This was coming off a disastrous outing by Mike Pelfrey, too, meaning the bullpen had to throw 10 innings in the past two games. A long outing by R.A. Dickey Friday against the Nats would help ease the burden there.

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Posted on: March 25, 2011 10:01 am
 

Pepper: Young, Daniels clear the air

Michael Young

By C. Trent Rosecrans

With no games to play, sometimes some stories get a little too overexposed. From the Cliff Lee sweepstakes to Chase Utley's day-to-day health and the Jon Daniels-Michael Young feud, we're all pretty much tired of them by now.

The story won't be closed until Young is no longer in a Rangers uniform, then he'll have a press conference, have his say and it'll all be over. For now, he's still a Ranger and back on speaking terms with his general manager. The two met Wednesday and Thursday, and Young said neither minced words.

"I laid out in detail what I was feeling, what my concerns were and gave him the opportunity to do the same," Young told the media on Thursday, including the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram. "Anytime you're going to sit down with somebody where there's a problem or an issue and air things out face-to-face, it's always productive."

Young would not say if he still wants to be traded, but Daniels said it's "unlikely" to happen before the season begins -- and Young understands that.

"It created a situation where fans, media and other people in the organization were almost taking sides," Daniels said (again, from the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram). "It should have never been that way. We both want the same thing, for the Rangers to win. Through that process, I think Michael took a lot of shots from the media and fan base that from my persecutive weren't necessary."

That last statement is interesting to me -- it's Daniels standing up for Young. He may have thought or said in private some of the same things the fans or media have said, but he's not going to do that in public. It's a wise move, one that  Young -- no matter what he's said in the past -- has to at least see as a move in the right direction.

Maybe Young plays out his days as a Ranger, maybe he doesn't. But either way, hopefully we can end this chapter.

READ THIS TODAY -- The Kansas City Star's Sam Mellinger writes a great column on former Royal Willie Mays Aikens and his faith. Aikens is dealing with family tragedy even after everything in his life was looking up. After 14 years in jail, Aikens had been hired by the Royals this offseason. I'll let Mellinger tell the rest of the story.

BLAME THE MESSENGER -- Well, once someone says something interesting, we all know they'll come back and claim it's "taken out of context." That's what Buck Showalter did on Thursday, backing away from his comments in the April issue of Men's Journal about the Yankees and Red Sox. [Boston Globe]

GALARRAGA TO BULLPEN -- The Diamondbacks are expected to move Armando Galarraga to the bullpen, with Aaron Heilman taking the fifth spot in the team's rotation. Galarraga has an 8.44 ERA in 16 innings this spring. Galarraga said he still wants to be a starter. [Arizona Republic]

NATS PICK FIFTH STARTER -- Tom Gorzelanny will fill out the Nationals' rotation, manager Jim Riggleman said on Thursday. Livan Hernandez will open the season for the Nationals, followed by Jordan Zimmermann, John Lannan and Jason Marquis. [MASNSports.com]

AND SO DO THE Rockies -- Colorado's fifth starter will be right-hander Esmil Rogers. Rogers will follow Ubaldo Jimenez, Jorge De La Rosa, Jhoulys Chacin and Jason Hammel. [Denver Post]

LAWRIE SENT DOWN -- After saying he was done with the minor leagues this offseason, Brett Lawrie discovered he's not the one in charge of that decision. The 21-year-old third baseman said he was disappointed, but understood his demotion. The Blue Jays acquired Lawrie this offseason by sending Shaun Marcum to Milwaukee in exchange for the former first-rounder. [MLB.com]

ORDONEZ READY -- Tigers outfielder Magglio Ordonez said he'll be ready for opening day. Ordonez returned to action for the first time since last week on Thursday night. Ordonez went 1 for 4 on Thursday with a double. [MLB.com]

BELTRAN IMPROVING -- Carlos Beltran reported no pain in his knees after a workout on Thursday and Mets manager Terry Collins was so impressed with the way he looked that he wouldn't count out Beltran for opening day. [New York Times]

MORALES IMPROVING -- Orthotic inserts have helped ease the soreness in the left foot of Angels first baseman Kendrys Morales. Morales still won't be available for opening day, but he has gotten the OK by the team's trainers to start "baseball activities." [MLB.com]

DAVIS DRAWING INTEREST -- Doug Davis, the 35-year-old left-hander, threw for as many as eight teams in Tempe, Arizona, on Thursday. Davis made just eight starts last season for the Brewers due to a heart problem and elbow surgery. Among the eight teams to watch him were the Rangers, Rockies, Orioles, Mets and Angels. [MLB.com]

WORK OF ART -- Pedro Martinez will be on hand at the Smithsonian on Friday for the unveiling of his portrait at the National Portrait Gallery. A painting of Martine done by Susan Miller-Havens has been donated to the gallery by MLB.com's Peter Gammons and his wife.  [Smithsonian]

BETTER LATE THAN NEVER -- The man the late Buck O'Neil handpicked to run the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City following the legend's death, is finally getting the job. Bob Kendrick was passed over as the head of the museum two years ago and on the brink of collapse, Kendrick has been tabbed to takeover.

Few people were as upset at the snub as former Kansas City Star columnist Joe Posnanski, who has kissed and made up with the museum on his blog. [Kansas City Star]

FAN-DESIGNED UNIFORM -- I didn't know until yesterday that the White Sox uniforms of the the 80s were the product of a contest run by the team to design a new uniform. Richard Launius, then of Dayton, Ohio, designed the White Sox's pullover Sox uniforms with numbers on the pants.  [ESPN.com]

FOOD NETWORK INVADES YOUR PARK -- The Food Network is offering steak sandwiches at eight ballparks this summer. If you're in Baltimore, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Detroit, Milwaukee, San Diego, St. Louis or Texas, you can go visit Paula Deen working her cart at your park. What, you don't think she's going to be there? Maybe Morimoto? We can hope. [Sportsandfood.com]

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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 14, 2011 11:02 am
Edited on: April 18, 2011 11:18 am
 

Pepper: Nationals may leave spring-training home

Viera

By Evan Brunell

LONELY ROAD: The complexion of spring training has changed drastically over the last couple decades. There has been a seismic shift with central- and west-based clubs flocking to Arizona where the weather is friendlier and the commute between spring training homes shorter. 

Meanwhile, in Florida, the eastern coast is struggling to keep its business with only the Mets, Cardinals, Marlins and Nationals its occupants. The other clubs are based in west Florida and the Nationals are one team weighing its options on relocation. Although Washington's lease on its spring training complex in Viera, Fla., runs through 2017, that is not expected to be a major hurdle should the club deem its time in Florida untenable.

The major issue at hand is transportation, as Washington routinely requires over 1 1/2 hours of travel time to get to other spring complexes for exhibition games. Those missed hours all add up significantly in expenses as well as lost time. (FloridaToday.com)

Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal steps into the time machine and revisits the Yankees' occupation of Fort Lauderdale as spring training home from 1962-95. The one unfortunate byproduct of time marching on is sometimes it forces us to abandon places with great historical weight, such as Fort Lauderdale or the Dodgers' famed -- and now abandoned -- spring training home of Vero Beach, Fla.

I AM NO. 5: With the news that Aaron Cook will miss extended time due to injury, there is a battle for the No. 5 spot in Colorado. Felipe Paulino is out of the race, as he is now being converted to a reliever. That leaves two favorites for the spot in Esmil Rogers and Greg Reynolds. Despite Reynolds' strong season, it may be prudent to keep him in Triple-A for now. (Denver Post)

HEY, WHAT ABOUT ME? Yesterday, all attention was on Nationals center fielder Nyjer Morgan for alleging his hit-by-pitch in Sunday's game was on purpose for a dustup last season. But lost in all this was Danny Espinosa also being plunked, this one in the head. Espinosa turned out fine, but admitted to being surprised. (Washington Times)

PRETTY BOY: You won't find Eric Hosmer in Hollywood any time soon. The first baseman is jockeying with fellow teammate Mike Moustakas for title of best hitting prospect in the Royals system and is already on manager Ned Yost's good side. "The thing that I like about [Hosmer] is that being pretty is not high on his list of priorities," Yost said. (MLB.com)

FLOWERS BLOOMING: Count White Sox skipper Ozzie Guillen among Tyler Flowers' fans. Flowers was once a top catching prospect whose luster wore off in recent years, but a strong spring training has Guillen excited about the future. (ChicagoBreakingSports.com)

RUN GRADY, RUN: Grady Sizemore ran the bases successfully Sunday and is on track to play in a spring-training game in several days. It will mark his first game since May 16, so will need some time to get acclimated. He is not expected to be ready for Opening Day but could be ready to go shortly thereafter. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

PLAY OR GO HOME: Braden Looper hopes to make the Cubs after taking a year off. The former closer and starter appears to have a good shot of making the club and is drawing interest from other teams. One issue: Looper isn't interested in playing anywhere but Chicago and will go home to his family if he doesn't make the Cubs. (Chicago Sun-Times)

ONE IN, TWO OUT: Reds manager Dusty Baker appears settled on Chris Heisey making the team as a backup outfielder. That would leave Fred Lewis and Jeremy Hermida on the outside looking in. (Cincinnati Enquirer)

SURGERY DEFERRED: Braves minor-league manager Luis Salazar will undergo eye surgery (again) Tuesday. This is a delaying of surgery originally scheduled for Sunday as doctors wanted to wait for swelling to go down. He is expected to make a full recovery after taking a line drive off the face last Wednesday. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

NOT DONE: So, has the 48-year-old Jamie Moyer changed his mind about coming back to baseball after undergoing Tommy John surgery? Nope. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

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Posted on: August 14, 2010 12:43 pm
 

Francis DL latest blow to Rockies rotation

Jeff Francis
Colorado's starters can't catch a break. Or rather, they can't stop being broken.

Every Rockies starter except Ubaldo Jimenez has been on the disabled list this season, and now left-hander Jeff Francis is going for the double dip. Francis, who had shoulder surgery last year and opened this season on the disabled list, will be placed on the DL again with tendinitis in the shoulder, according to insidetherockies.com.

Francis, a 17-game winner in his last full season in 2008, was 4-4 with a 4.56 ERA this season in 16 starts. The Rockies have a club option on Francis for 2011 at $7 million, and it's unlikely they'll keep him at that price.

This likely means Esmil Rogers dodges a bullet and will get to stay in the rotation when Jhoulys Chacin returns. Chacin now seems likely to step into Francis' spot and start Tuesday.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: August 12, 2010 11:19 am
Edited on: August 12, 2010 3:07 pm
 

Chacin angling for rotation spot

Jhoulys Chacin The Rockies are moving closer to reinserting Jhoulys Chacin into the rotation.

With Aaron Cook's move to the disabled list, a spot finally opened up for Chacin (pictured), who impressed earlier in the season with 12 starts and seven relief appearances as a 22-year-old. He posted a 4.04 ERA over 82 1/3 innings, being moved to the bullpen to make room for Jorge De La Rosa, struggling in the transition. He has been rather impressive in two minor-league starts since, throwing seven shutout innings for Triple-A on Tuesday.

Chacin is a candidate to step into the rotation on August 20 as Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports . Chacin's competition will be Esmil Rogers, who received Cook's spot in the rotation due to Chacin having already been moved to the bullpen. Rogers will get his chance to audition for keeping his rotation spot, starting against the Brewers. However, the 24-year-old has a lower ceiling than Chacin, struggling in Triple-A before finding brief success in Colorado. In 14 games, including three starts, Rogers has a 4.79 ERA in 35 2/3 innings.

The Rockies are 7 1/2 games out of the NL West Division race and are on life support. Chacin represents the best chance at winning immediately as well as the best long-term investment, as he could develop into a permanent mid-rotation starter for the Rockies, if not emerge as an eventual top-of-the-rotation performer.

-- Evan Brunell

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