Tag:Gregg Zaun
Posted on: March 7, 2011 9:24 am
Edited on: April 18, 2011 12:31 pm

Pepper: Raise a glass

By C. Trent Rosecrans

The Orioles are a trendy pick to be better in 2011, and they should be. But no matter how the Orioles do on the field, things will be better this season in Baltimore because Natty Boh is back.

Before the take-over of the beer industry by the big brewing companies, regional beers were king -- be it National Bohemian (known as Natty Boh in Baltimore) in the mid-Atlantic, Hudepohl in Cincinnati or Hamm's in Minnesota.

These were different than the great microbrews of today, they were the macrobrews of yesterday. It's what you remember your grandpa dinking, whether it was an Olympia in Washington or an Old Style in Chicago. These were American, working-class beers. And they belonged with baseball, at the ballpark and at home, listening along to the local nine on the radio.

Well, one of these greats, National Bohemian, is back where it belongs, at the ballpark at Camden Yards. And for that, America and baseball are better than they were before. (Baltimore Sun)

For more fun, check out this video of old Natty Boh commercials (with an added bonus of Maryland history):

GARDNER MAY PUSH JETER FROM LEADOFF: The Yankees front office wants Brett Gardner, not Derek Jeter, leading off, Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News writes.

Jeter has batted first or second for most of his career, but it seems natural to put the speedy Gardner atop the lineup. Gardner had a .383 on-base percentage last season, along with 47 stolen bases. He also saw an MLB-best 4.6 pitchers per plate appearance, giving him a good case to bat first for the Yankees.

HOLD 'EM OR FOLD 'EM: Boston's Mike Cameron had his name thrown around a bit this weekend after Philadelphia lost Domonic Brown to a hand injury, but with J.D. Drew and Jacoby Ellsbury roaming the outfield, is it wise for the Red Sox to get rid of any outfielder?

Although Cameron is making $7.5 million this season, that would hamper many other teams, but not the Red Sox. Cameron is also a rarity in the Red Sox clubhouse, a right-handed hitter. (Boston Globe)

HART SIDELINED: Brewers right fielder Corey Hart missed the last week after straining a muscle in his side. He was expected to miss two weeks, but after a setback during a throwing exercise on Saturday, Hart said he doesn't expect to be back in the original timeframe.

However, manager Ron Roenicke said he expects Hart to be ready for opening day. (MLB.com)

MOM KNOWS BEST: Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli said he was feeling sorry for himself after suffering a broken bone in his left foot, until his mother set him straight.

"I woke up positive and [said] 'Let's do it,'" Cervelli told the New York Daily News. "That's it. Start the work, the therapy and get better. A lot of people in the world don't have legs or arms; I'm healthy. I just have something in my foot, but it's going to be OK."

MONTERO MAY BACKUP: Cervelli's injury may have opened the door for Yankees top prospect, Jesus Montero.

Many thought the Yankees would want him to play every day and not have him break camp just to back up Russell Martin. One who doesn't buy that theory, apparently, is Brian Cashman.

"There is a lot of knowledge that a catcher has to absorb that you just won't get at Triple-A," Cashman told FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal. "If it's the second week of April and he has only pinch-hit or started one game, I won't consider it a lost week. There are a lot of things going on behind the scenes that he has never experienced before.

"He can watch, see how [Martin] goes through it -- pre-game, advance scouting meetings, all those things. When he gets in there in the future, he'll be fully prepared, rather than just sink or swim."

The Yankees know Montero's bat can play right away, but many question his ability to stick behind the plate.

TRADE STUNG SAUNDERS: Former first-rounder Joe Saunders said he was upset last season when the Angels traded him to Arizona.

"I was pissed off. I'm not going to lie to you," Saunders told the Orange County Register.

Saunders said it was weird heading into the visitor's clubhouse at Tempe Diablo Stadium, the Angels' spring training home.

MULLET MANIA: Travis Schlichting has the greatest mullet in baseball history, and Yahoo!'s Jeff Passan has the story.

AUTHOR-PITCHER: Rays reliever Dirk Hayhurst -- better known as the author of The Bullpen Gospels than anything he's done on the field -- said he's walked a fine line between being truthful and writing a tell-all.

Hayhurst's often hilarious characters in the book (really, it's worth checking out, a fun, quick read), are real, but he doesn't name names. He's also working on a second book and has a contract for a third, but those will also be done in his particular style, where the only specific player you get dirt on is Hayhurst himself.

The Rays seem like a perfect fit, if only for the fact that when asked about Hayhurst, manager Joe Maddon used the word "ameliorated" in his response. (St. Petersburg Times)

OLIVO CONFIDENT: Mariners catcher Miguel Olivo had a scare on Saturday when he pulled up lame with a hamstring injury and had to be helped off the field. Olivo will have an MRI today, but he told reporters on Sunday that he's confident he'll be ready for opening day. (Seattle Times)

BOOF REMAINS A MYSTERY: Even Boof Bonser doesn't know how his name came about, even though he's legally changed it. (Star-Ledger)

FORTUITOUS CUT: Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez is pretty happy he cut reliever Cristhian Martinez last year when both were with the Marlins. Martinez was optioned to Triple-A at the end of spring training last season and then designated him for assignment on April 3. The Braves signed him and now he's competing for the final bullpen spot.

Martinez struck out five in two innings against the Nationals on Sunday. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

MAYBIN MAY RETURN: San Diego's Cameron Maybin may return to action today after suffering concussion symptoms when he hit his head on a post during Wednesday's practice.

Maybin, the team's newly acquired center fielder, took batting practice on Sunday and said he felt good afterwards. (MLB.com)

D-LEE STILL OUT: Derrek Lee won't make his debut with the Orioles in the Grapefruit League until Wednesday at the earliest. (Baltimore Sun)

PEAVY TO MAKE SECOND START: White Sox starter Jake Peavy said he's sore from Saturday's start, but he's good enough to start on Wednesday. (Chicago Tribune)

FIRST BASE BATTLE: Here's something you don't hear very often -- Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said defensive will be a key component to the team's search for a regular first baseman.

Russell Branyan, Brandon Allen and Juan Miranda are the other leading candidates for that job. (Arizona Republic)

ZAUN TO RETIRE: Veteran catcher Gregg Zaun is set to retire after 16 seasons in the big leagues.

Zaun, 39, was in the Padres camp. He's a career .252/.344/.388 hitter, but better known for his defense, spending most of his time as a backup catcher.

His retirement gives Rob Johnson the inside track at the Padres' backup job. (Sportsnet.ca)

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
More MLB coverage
Posted on: December 12, 2010 12:17 pm
Edited on: December 12, 2010 1:16 pm

Cards hope to add a Molina

Bengie Molina The Cardinals are looking on cornering the market on Molinas, as they have "pressed" to sign Bengie Molina to backup his brother, Yadier in St. Louis, Joe Stauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes .

Bengie Molina, who played for the Rangers and Giants last season, has publicly mulled retirement.

"I don't know where he is [in his decision process]. Only he knows that," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa told the paper. "As far as the fit, it's great for us. But anybody who's used to playing a lot has to make an adjustment as a backup. You work so close with the first guy, if you give off any vibe about playing time, that's not good, whether it's Bengie or anybody else trying to clear that hurdle."

Strauss writes the Cardinals have $1 million to spend on a backup catcher, their only hole on the roster. Bengie Molina made $4.5 million last season.

The Cardinals have also expressed interest in Josh Bard and Gregg Zaun. The team may not make a move on their catcher until they make a decision on shortstop Brendan Ryan, who is drawing interest from the Twins.

UPDATE: On Twitter , Strauss notes "For what it's worth, TLR sounded less than optimistic Sat. that B. Molina would sign for backup $$/playing time."

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: December 6, 2010 4:42 pm

Mariners, Cardinals interested in Zaun

Zaun Gregg Zaun's season in Milwaukee as starting catcher was cut short by injury but isn't having trouble finding teams interested in his services.

The 39-year-old backstop -- due to turn 40 in April -- has drawn interest from the Mariners and Cardinals, as Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports reveals.

With St. Louis, Zaun would back up Yadier Molina and play infrequently, but would be on a contender with a chance to play in October.

Is that the best use of Zaun's services, though? Even in his advanced age, his knees are in good shape for a catcher thanks to never really getting an extended shot at a starting gig as he should have. Indeed, over the past 16 seasons, he has appeared in 1,232 games. Contrast that with 2,052 games for Ivan Rodriguez over his previous 16 seasons. That number grows to 2,499 over the course of I-Rod's career, spanning 20 seasons and soon to be 21.

Anyways, in Seattle, Zaun would likely split time behind the dish with Adam Moore and receive at least 200 at-bats -- which is plenty valuable since Zaun has enough left in the tank. The switch-hitter cranked to the tune of a .260/.345/.416 line in 262 plate appearances in 2009, following that up with .265/.350/.392 in 117 plate appearances.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: November 10, 2010 7:44 pm
Edited on: November 10, 2010 7:45 pm

Padres to make Hundley the starter

Hundley With two years of apprenticeship under him, the Padres are ready to let Nick Hundley loose as their starting catcher.

San Diego's second-round pick in the 2005 draft will be asked to catch around 95 games in 2011, as GM Jed Hoyer told the North County Times . Hundley recently finished up his age-26 season by appearing in 85 games and making 307 plate appearances, hitting .249/.308/.418 with eight home runs.

While the Padres have paired Hundley with two other catchers receiving the bulk of playing time the past two seasons (Henry Blanco and Yorvit Torrealba, respectively), Hoyer believes it's time to let Hundley shine, something manager Bud Black concurred with.

"I saw strides this year in his overall handling of the pitchers, handling of the game, and keeping the focus throughout the game," Black said. "Just his overall in-game awareness, I saw progress. He really made strides on defensive end. I thought he threw better, much more under control and with accuracy. Our overall trust in Nick now as a major league catcher is there."

It wasn't the offense Hundley had to improve, as he had a remarkably similar season to 2009. Rather, it was the defense. Hundley threw out 29 percent of basestealers, an improvement from 20 percent in 2009. In addition, Hundley has been able to learn how to better call a game.

"I think I'm a lot more in command, a lot more relaxed, a lot quieter and I'm getting my pitchers strikes rather than giving them away," Hundley noted. "I don't want people to notice me back there. I think that's been a consistent improvement, but I still have a ways to go."

That puts San Diego in the market for a backup catcher, which there is never a shortage of in the offseason -- or even regular season.

One such option is Gregg Zaun, who started 2010 as Milwaukee's starting catcher before suffering a season-ending injury. Despite that, the 38-year-old Zaun figures to be in demand by teams, and the Padres would have to be one such team who could start Zaun with confidence in more games than a backup would typically see.

One problem: Zaun wants to be a Ray, as Jim Bowden reports . The Rays are expected to non-tender Dioner Navarro, but that still leaves them with Kelly Shoppach and John Jaso, so Zaun's wish is unlikely to be granted.

Wonder if San Diego is his No. 2 preferred destination...

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Category: MLB
Posted on: November 2, 2010 5:15 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 12:13 pm

Brewers decline option on Hoffman

Trevor Hoffman The all-time saves leader is a man without a team.

Trevor Hoffman was among three players whose options were declined by the Brewers. Milwaukee also declined its options on starter Doug Davis and catcher Gregg Zaun.

Hoffman, 43, recorded his 600th save in 2010, but was replaced as the team's closer by rookie John Axford. Hoffman's contract had a $7 million mutual option for 2011, but his buyout increased from $500,000 to $750,000 when he finished his 35th game of the season.

Davis will receive $1 million not to pitch for the Brewers in 2011. He had an option of $6.5 million. He started just eight games because of injury troubles in 2010.

Zaun had a $2.25 million option, but will get a $250,000 buyout. He played in just 28 games in 2010 because of shoulder issues.

Milwaukee also announced it claimed 29-year old right-hander Justin James off of waivers from Oakland and selected the contract of catcher Martin Maldonado. Maldonado is the third catcher on the 40-man roster, joining Jonathan Lucroy and George Kottaras, making Zaunn's return unlikely.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: June 9, 2010 9:14 pm
Edited on: June 9, 2010 9:19 pm

Zaun to have season-ending surgery

Brewers catcher Gregg Zaun will have season-ending surgery on his shoulder on Tuesday to repair a torn labrum. Zaun, 39, says he hopes to be able to return in 2011.

"I wanted to feel good about my chances of coming back to play in 2011, and everybody tells me that this rehab is six months," Zaun told MLB.com . "I'm not unrealistic. I know that next year, whether it's here or somewhere else, I'm going to be the kind of guy who is ready to play the opening day of Spring Training. So I need the extra time, and it was fish or cut-bait time for me. I needed to make a decision."

Zaun was hitting .265 when he went on the disabled list last month.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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

Category: MLB
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