Posted on: December 21, 2011 12:35 pm
Edited on: December 21, 2011 6:13 pm
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What if players were only permitted to stay with the team that originally made them a professional?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 Rangers are in an interesting position in the franchise's history -- no longer a middle-of-the-road team, the Rangers have turned themselves into one of the game's biggest players. The team has reached the last two World Series with a mixture of homegrown players (Ian Kinsler, C.J. Wilson, Alexi Ogando), savvy trades (sending Mark Teixeira to Atlanta for a haul that included Elvis Andrus and Neftali Feliz, plus the deal with the Reds getting Josh Hamilton) and big-ticket free-agents (Adrian Beltre). It's tough to argue with the results, as the Rangers have positioned themselves into becoming one of the top teams in baseball and don't appear to be going anywhere anytime soon.
1. Ian Kinsler, SS
2. Craig Gentry, CF
3. Mark Teixeira, 3B
4. Carlos Pena, 1B
5. Travis Hafner, DH
6. Edwin Encarnacion, 2B
7. Laynce Nix, RF
8. John Mayberry, LF
9. Taylor Teagarden, C
1. C.J. Wilson
2. John Danks
3. Derek Holland
4. Colby Lewis
5. Ryan Dempster
Closer - Joaquin Benoit
Set up - Darren Oliver, Nick Masset, Scott Feldman, Jesse Chavez, Yoshinori Tateyama
Long - Tommy Hunter
Notable Bench Players
Ivan Rodriguez will be in discussion for the Hall of Fame when his career ends, but he's now a backup catcher and could be a good one. You have a pair of first baseen in Justin Smoak and Mitch Moreland who aren't going to strike fear into too many pitchers, as well as two outfielders probably better defensively or as pinch runners in Jason Bourgeois and Scott Podsednik.
The rotation is deep -- in addition to the five listed, you could also throw in R.A. Dickey, Aaron Harang and Edinson Volquez. And while there's no real shut-down closer, there are some very good bullpen arms, and the list above doesn't include Blake Beavan, Josh Lueke and Danny Herrera.
Besides Kinsler and Teixeira, the lineup is suspect. And the defense is worse. The outfield is kind of a hodgepodge, while the infield is a disaster with only Carlos Pena playing in his usual position. While Teixeira hasn't played third base since his rookie year in 2003, Kinsler has never played shortstop, nor has Encarnacion ever played second base -- but there just wasn't a whole lot of options. The outfield doesn't have the likes of Hamilton or Nelson Cruz to help out, either.
Comparison to real 2011
Would this team wind up in World Series? Not bloody likely. The pitching is fine and even maybe an slight upgrade to the team that won the American League pennant again in 2011, but that lineup is demonstratively worse. The Rangers were third in baseball in runs and second in OPS, and without Hamilton, Cruz, Mike Napoli, Michael Young and Beltre, this squad isn't going to do anything close to that. Teixeira is a good player -- and Pena could put up big homer numbers in that ballpark -- but those losses from the real squad are just too much to overcome. This team is maybe a .500 squad, at best, and that's only because of the depth in the pitching staff.
Next: St. Louis Cardinals
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Tags: Aaron Harang, Adrian Beltre, AL West, ALexi Ogando, Blake Beavan, C.J. Wilson, Carlos Pena, Colby Lewis, Craig Gentry, Daniel Ray Herrara, Darren Oliver, Derek Holland, Doug Davis, Edinson Volquez, Edwin Encarnacion, Elvis Andrus, Homegrown, Ian Kinsler, Ivan Rodriguez, Jason Bourgeois, Jesse Chavez, Joakim Benoit, John Danks, John Mayberry, Josh Hamilton, Josh Leuke, Justin Smoak, Laynce Nix, Mark Teixeira, Mitch Moreland, NEftali Feliz, Nick Masset, R.A. Dickey, Rangers, Ryan Dempster, Scott Feldman, Scott Podsednik, Taylor Teagarden, Tommy Hunter, Travis Hafner, Yoshinori Tateyama
Posted on: June 12, 2011 1:19 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
Hunter Pence, in the midst of a 22-game hitting streak, is sitting out the Astros' game against the Braves on Sunday -- although there's still a possibility he'll play, as the Astros are down to just three healthy outfielders after scratching Jason Bourgeois.
Bourgeois was initially penciled in to replace Pence in right field, but his sprained left ankle is keeping him out of action today, with Jason Michaels playing right.
Pence told reporters he was just getting a day off, but manager Brad Mills said Pence's lower back is still stiff and bothering him.
"Hunter doesn't want to ask for a day off, and God bless him, that's the way you want everybody to be," Mills told Steve Campbell of the Houston Chronicle. "But throughout the conversation he said it hurt him when he ran and he felt like it was going to lock up on him and if it locks up on him when he tries to do something, he could really hurt something."
Pence left Friday's game with a stiff back, but was back in the lineup on Saturday, doubling in the first inning and in the 10th inning of a 6-3 loss to Atlanta. During the streak, Pence is hitting .391/.417/.587 with three home runs and 15 RBI. The team record for longest hitting streak is 30 games, held by Willy Taveras who did it in 2006.For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: June 7, 2011 10:31 am
Edited on: June 7, 2011 11:25 am
By C. Trent Rosecrans
While the first-round of the MLB Draft is gaining more attention in the last couple of years, the later rounds are where most of the work is done.
The second round starts today at 11 a.m. ET, so here's a look at some of the best second-round picks in recent memory.
Angels: In 1999, the Angels took John Lackey out of Grayson County Community College with the 68th overall pick in the draft. In 1995, they took Jarrod Washburn with the first pick of the second round.
Athletics: The A's took Vista, Calif., high schooler Trevor Cahill with the 66th overall pick in 2006. Two years before that they took Kurt Suzuki in the second round and in 2003 they took Andre Ethier in the second round. They traded him for Milton Bradley and Antonio Perez in 2005.
Cubs: You have to go back pretty far -- unless you go with Bobby Hill -- to find much success with the Cubs' second-round pick, but if you go as far back as 1984, they took Greg Maddux with the third pick of the second round and he turned out OK. Also among their second-round picks is former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Quincy Carter (1996).
Giants: Of recent vintage, the Giants have taken Nate Schierholtz in 2003 and Fred Lewis in 2002, but the most interesting second-round pick by San Francisco was in 1982. That year they took the son of a team legend with the 11th pick of the second round (39th overall), but Barry Bonds went to Arizona State instead.
Indians: Jason Kipnis is one of the team's top prospects, taken in the second round in 2009. In 1995, the Indians took first baseman Sean Casey out of Richmond with the 53rd overall pick.
Mets: There's some slim pickins for the Mets recently, but few Mets fans would trade their second-rounder of 1977, Mookie Wilson. (Seriously, this one was tough, the only players the Mets have picked in the last 15 years who have made the majors were Kevin Mulvey, Neal Musser, Pat Strange and Tyler Walker -- maybe that explains some things.)
Nationals (Expos): Jordan Zimmermann was the team's second-rounder in 2007. Current Reds All-Star second baseman Brandon Phillips was taken by the Expos with the sixth pick of the second round in 1999.
Orioles: Nolan Reimold was taken 61st overall in 2005, but if you want to go back a few years, the team took Cal Ripken with the 22nd pick of the second round in the 1978 draft. Ripken was the third of four picks the Orioles had in the second round that year.
Padres: San Diego took Chase Hedley in 2005.
Pirates: Last year's pick was Stetson Allie, who many expected to go in the first round. Lefty Tom Gorzelanny was taken in the second round in 2003 and catcher Ryan Doumit was taken 59th overall in 1999.
Reds: NL MVP Joey Votto (2002) was the third pick of the second round (44th overall) and Travis Wood was taken in the second round of the 2005 draft. Keep an eye on 2009 pick Billy Hamilton, who already has 45 stolen bases this season for Class A Dayton.
Royals: For all the prospects the Royals have stockpiled in the last couple of years, strangely not too many are second-rounders. Outfielder Brett Eibner (2010) was the only member of the Royals' Top 10 by Baseball America taken in the second round. You have to go back to Carlos Beltran (1995), Jon Lieber (1992), Bob Hamelin (1988), Mark Gubicza (1981), Darryl Motley (1978) and Dennis Leonard (1972) to find serious big-leaguers. Oh, and also a kid out of El Segundo, Calif., in 1971 named George Brett. He was pretty good, too.
White Sox: A's outfielder Ryan Sweeney (2003) is the team's best second-rounder since Bob Wickman (1990) -- not counting Jeff Weaver, who went back to school after he was picked in 1997 and was taken by the Tigers a year later.
Yankees: In the last 20 years, only two Yankees second-rounders have made the big leagues, Shelley Duncan (2001) and Randy Keisler (1998). Catching prospect Austin Romine was the team's second-rounder in 2007. In 1982, the team did take a shortstop from McAdory High School in Bessemer, Ala., who went on to play football at Auburn instead. His name is Bo Jackson. That was the year after the team took Stanford outfielder John Elway.For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Tags: Aaron Cook, Alan Trammell, Andre Ethier, Angels, Anthony Swarzak, Astros, Athletics, Austin Romine, Barry Bonds, Billy Buckner, Billy Hamilton, Blue Jays, Bo Jackson, Bob Hamelin, Bob Wickman, Bobby Hill, Brandon Inge, Brandon Phillips, Braves, Brett Anderson, BRewers, Brian McCann, Broxton, Cal Ripken, Cardinals, Carl Crawford, Carlos Beltran, Chase Hudley, Chris Tillman, Cubs, Dan haren, Darryl Motley, David Bush, Dennis Leonard, Derek Bell, Diamondbacks, Dodgers, Dustin Pedroia, Frank Viola, Fred Lewis, Freddie Freeman, George Brett, Giants, Greg Maddux, Hunter Pence, Indians, Jarron Washburn, Jason Bourgeois, Jason Kipnis, Jeff Weaver, Jesse Crain, Jimmy Rollins, Joey Votto, John Lackey, Jon Jay, Jon Lester, Jon Lieber, Jonathan, Jordan Zimmermann, Josh Hamilton, Justin Masterson, Kevin Mulvey, Kevin Slowey, Kurt Suzuki, Mariners, Mark Gubixza, Marlins, Mets, Mike Stanton, Milton BRadley, MLB Draft, Mookie Wilson, Nate Schierholtz, Nationals, Neal Musser, Nolan Reimold, Orioles, Padres, Pat Strange, Phillies, Pirates, Quincy Carter, Randy Keisler, Rangers, Rays, Red Sox, Reds, Rich Poythress, Rockies, Royals, Ryan Doumit, Ryan Sweeney, Scott Baker, Sean casey, Seth Smith, Shelley Duncan, Stetson Allie, Tigers, Tom Gorzelanny, Travis Wood, Trevor Cahill, Twins, Tyler Walker, White Sox, Yankees, Yovani Gallardo
Posted on: May 4, 2011 11:14 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
If you missed it, Tuesday night Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips made the best play of the year -- fielding Jason Bourgeois' dribbler with his bare hand on a straight sprint and flipping the ball to first baseman Joey Votto between his legs to get the speedy runner.
It was hands-down the best play I've seen this season. However, there's at least one person who doesn't agree with me -- Brandon Phillips.
From his Twitter (@DatDudeBP):
That other play was on April 12 in San Diego. On that play, he ranged right and barehanded the ball, throwing on to first to get Will Venable. Although there was a higher degree of difficulty for Tuesday's play, the play against the Padres came with a runner on third and kept the game tied in the eighth inning -- a game the Reds would win 8-2 in 11 innings.
Which do you think is better?
Either way, it shows why Phillips has two of these:
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Posted on: May 4, 2011 10:29 pm
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Posted on: June 20, 2010 7:11 pm
Edited on: June 20, 2010 8:01 pm
Not content to remain in free fall, the Astros made some changes after Sunday's loss, their eighth in 10 games.
Houston designated for assignment catcher Kevin Cash (.216 average), outfielder Cory Sullivan (.190) and reliever Casey Daigle (six major-league innings in four years). Called up were catcher Jason Castro, infielder Chris Johnson and outfielder Jason Bourgeois. Castro and Bourgeois were not on the 40-man roster.
Castro (pictured), the Astros' top draft pick in 2008, will be making his major league debut, and manager Brad Mills indicated to reporters after the game that he'll be the starting catcher. Humberto Quintero was hit in the head by a swung bat Sunday, causing a gash that needed seven stitches, and could miss time. Cash was the only other catcher on the active roster.
Castro, 23, was batting .265 with four homers and 26 RBIs for Triple-A Round Rock. He's a good contact hitter who has power potential.
Johnson's arrival could portend a seat on the bench for third baseman Pedro Feliz, batting a disappointing .220. Johnson hasn't done much in two brief prior major-league opportunities (including eight games this season), but he's been killing the ball at Triple-A (.329 average, .932 OPS) and the Astros are in dire need of offense.
Bourgeois, a Houston native, brings speed and will probably be a backup in the outfield, replacing Sullivan. He was batting .345 at Round Rock, fifth in the Pacific Coast League.
Houston is 26-44, 12 1/2 games out in the National League Central. The Astros have scored the second-fewest runs in the NL and have the lowest OPS in the majors at .619. They really have nothing to lose by looking to the future and giving some young guys a chance.
-- David Andriesen
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