Tag:Gregor Blanco
Posted on: April 24, 2011 4:24 pm
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Greinke can't finish 3 innings in minors

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Zack GreinkeBefore Sunday's game against the Astros, Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said the Brewers wouldn't rush Zack Greinke's return to the Brewers.

Hours later, he showed why, struggling a little against the Royals' Triple-A affiliate in a start for the Nashville Sounds.

Greinke went 2 2/3 innings, allowed three hits and two runs, walking one and striking out two. He finished with 54 pitches, 32 strikes.

It was Greinke's second minor-league rehab outing. He threw 35 pitches in three innings at Class A Brevard County on Tuesday. He is scheduled to make another start for Nashville on Friday.

Roenicke said Greinke wasn't pressing the team to get back sooner than the first week in May.

"Not any more," Roenicke told Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "He was. To bring back Zack a week earlier or five days earlier and really not have his arm strength, it makes no sense to me. We need this guy for the long haul.

"When he's back here, I want him to be solid for the rest of the season, hopefully getting us into the playoffs. That's when I want him good."

Greinke retired the first five batters he faced on Sunday before giving up a double to Lance Zawadzki in the second and walking Gregor Blanco, but struck out Irving Falu to end the inning. In the third, he allowed back-to-back triples, including one to center fielder Lorenzo Cain, one of the players the Brewers gave up to get Greinke. Greinke was relieved after Eric Hosmer's sacrifice fly.

Former Brewer Jeff Suppan started for the Storm Chasers.

While Greinke is still a few starts away, the Brewers expect to get right fielder Corey Hart back as soon as Tuesday. Hart is scheduled to play all nine innings for the Sounds on Monday and then could return either Tuesday or Wednesday.

"We'll see how [Monday] goes," Roenicke told MLB.com. "If his at-bats are good and he feels his timing is there, we may try to do something."

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Posted on: March 7, 2011 12:45 pm
Edited on: March 7, 2011 5:10 pm
 

Yankees' Gardner working on bunting

Brett Gardner

By C. Trent Rosecrans

In today's Pepper, we talked about Brett Gardner maybe getting a shot at supplanting Derek Jeter as the Yankees leadoff man. It makes perfect sense, Gardner is crazy fast and gets on base at a good clip.

The one thing he may have to improve upon is bunting. In 995 plate appearances in the big leagues, he has just 10 bunt hits. You'd think with his speed, which is truly elite, he'd try to lay down more bunts. 

"The last few years, I just kinda got away from it, it's something I didn't really try to do, I guess it's something I didn't use as much as I should have," Gardner told CBSNewYork.com. "It's not something I've completely lost, it's something I'm going to continue to work at, something that will make more of a complete player and give me another weapon to use to get on base, get guys over and put the ball in the defense's hands and make them make mistakes."

Gardner had 18 bunt hits in 251 plate appearances at Double-A Trenton in 2009 in 2006, so it's not like he can't do it.

I'm not normally a big fan of the bunt as an offensive weapon, but for someone with superior speed such as Gardner, it can be a game-changer. At the very least, just the danger of him laying down a bunt could benefit the Yankees.

Gardner said he's been good at sacrifice bunts, but needs to work on bunting for hits.

"The thing for me is, I could sit out here all day and practice and do it right and do it right and do it right, but in game situation, your adrenaline is pumping and I'm always try to put the ball on the ground and run," Gardner said. "So it's a matter of staying in there a split-second longer and making sure I get the bunt down and a good bunt and then run as opposed to running out of the box and losing my angle and letting the bat head drop and fouling the ball off, which is a bad habit I've gotten in the last couple of years. I'm much better on a  regular sacrifice bunt because I take my time and I don't rush and I make sure I put the ball on the ground where I want to and for the most part I've been able to do that when I slow things down."

Gardner had seven bunt hits last season, so he is working on it. Still, he was successful on just 36.8 percent of his attempts for a base bunt hit, it's something with work he could improve upon.

The Angels' Erick Aybar and Julio Borbon of the Rangers led the big leagues last season with 18 bunt hits, while only seven more players had as many as 10 bunt hits. Texas' Elvis Andrus had 13, while Angel Pagan, Gregor Blanco, Juan Pierre and Nyjer Morgan each had 12 bunts hits and Michael Bourn had 10. In that group, Blanco had the best percentage at 57.1 percent, while Pierre was the lowest at 21.8 percent.


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Posted on: July 27, 2010 5:54 pm
 

Time runs out on McLouth

Nate McLouth
The Braves have decided they can't wait any longer for Nate McLouth to prove he can get things turned around, optioning their center fielder to Triple-A Gwinnett.

McLouth, 28, was batting just .168 on the season and was 1-for-15 in five games since returning from a June head injury suffered in a collision with Jason Heyward. He missed nearly six weeks, and has been completely lost at the plate since coming back July 21.

McLouth is in the second year of a three-year, $15.75 million contract.

The Braves have recalled Brent Clevlen from a rehab assignment to take McLouth's spot on the roster, but he's probably just keeping the seat warm until Gregor Blanco can come back from Gwinnett. Blanco, who has batted .310 in 36 games with the Braves this season, was sent to Gwinnett last week and rules say can't be recalled until he's been down 10 days. That's four days from now.

So what now for the first-place Braves? Melky Cabrera has been sharing time with Matt Diaz in left, but can play center full-time and leave Diaz, who's hot at the plate, more playing time. There are outfielders on the block, but perhaps nobody except Scott Podsednik who could play center.

-- David Andriesen

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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