Posted on: January 25, 2012 3:26 pm
Edited on: January 25, 2012 4:41 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
With Prince Fielder finally off the market, we're officially in free-agent left-over time, with most of the big-name, big-money guys enjoying new contracts.
So, who is left? That's a good question. The best players available are starting pitchers -- with Edwin Jackson and Roy Oswalt leading the charge -- but in our free-agent tracker, only one position player (Derrek Lee) among the top 25 free-agent position players is available, while three top 25 pitchers remain (Jackson, Oswalt, Javier Vazquez).
Here's the best player -- and the rest -- among the remaining free agents at each position as we get closer and closer to spring training:
Catcher: Ivan Rodriguez. OK, he's a big name, a future Hall of Famer, but he's also 40 -- and a catcher. Rodriguez, 156 hits from 3,000, adjusted to being a backup catcher last season and it's the role he'll play if he can find a team for 2012.
Others available: Jason Varitek, Ronny Paulino, Ramon Castro, Jason Kendall.
First base: Derrek Lee. The 36-year-old finished the 2011 season in Pittsburgh and had a nice finish to the season, hitting .337/.398/.584 with seven homers in his return to the National League Central after struggling in Baltimore for most of the first half of the season. However, he did miss nearly a month after breaking a bone in his left wrist shortly after joining the Pirates. Lee could retire, CBSSports.com Insider Jon Heyman reported.
Others available: Casey Kotchman, Conor Jackson, Ross Gload, Russell Branyan.
Second base: Jeff Keppinger. The Giants non-tendered the 31-year-old infielder who struggled in his 56 games in San Francisco. Keppinger hit just .255/.285/.333 as the team's everyday second baseman, well off his career .281/.332/.388 line. Keppinger brings versatility with the ability to play any of the infield positions, and he's also played in the outfield. He could be a fit with the Mariners, Yankees or Rays.
Others available: Aaron Miles, Carlos Guillen.
Third base: Mark Teahen. Our top third baseman was recently released to make room for a 41-year-old relief pitcher, what does that tell you? The Blue Jays acquired the 30-year-old Teahen in three-team deal that sent Edwin Jackson and others to St. Louis and Colby Rasmus to Toronto. Teahen hit .200/.273/.300 with the White Sox and Blue Jays, playing both corner infield and outfield spots, in addition to handling some DH duties. Another positive is that he often tweets pictures of his two adorable boxers.
Others available: Eric Chavez, Bill Hall, Alex Cora.
Shortstop: Ryan Theriot. Theriot is versatile, with the ability to play pretty much anywhere on the field -- but he's best suited, defensively, to second base. He started the 2011 season as the Cardinals' starter at shortstop, but there's a reason the team went out to get Rafael Furcal. He hit .271/.321/.342 for the Cardinals last season, but at this point he's likely best suited as a utility player.
Others available: Edgar Renteria, Miguel Tejada, Felipe Lopez.
Outfield: Yoenis Cespedes. While we have J.D. Drew ranked higher, he's expected to retire soon, leaving the extremely talented Cespedes as the top available outfielder. Cespedes has just recently acquired citizenship in the Dominican Republic, so now the official courting of the Cuban center fielder can begin. The Marlins, of course, are said to be very interested, even if Cespedes is less interested in Miami. Both Chicago teams are said to have interest in him as well.
Others available: Kosuke Fukudome, Raul Ibanez, Juan Pierre, Magglio Ordonez, Corey Patterson, Rick Ankiel, Marcus Thames, Jeremy Hermida, Jay Gibbons, Milton Bradley.
Designated hitter: Johnny Damon. The 38-year-old Damon is hardly the prototypical slugging designated hitter, but he still has some value. Last season he hit .261/.326/.418 for the Rays with 16 home runs. He could be a fit in Detroit, where he hit .271/.355/.401 with eight home runs in 2010.
Others available: Hideki Matsui, Vladimir Guerrero.
Starting pitcher: Edwin Jackson. At 28, Jackson has already pitched for six different teams and could be looking at his seventh. With the White Sox and Cardinals, the hard-throwing right-hander went 12-9 with a 3.79 ERA in 31 starts and 199 2/3 innings. He struck out 148 batters while putting up a 1.437 WHIP. There are recent reports that he's willing to sign a one-year deal, and is drawing interest from the Tigers. He was 13-9 with a 3.62 ERA for Detroit in 2009.
Others available: Roy Oswalt, Javier Vazquez, Rich Harden, Jeff Francis, Brad Penny, Chris Young, Brandon Webb, Jon Garland, Livan Hernandez, Tim Wakefield, Scott Kazmir, Rodrigo Lopez, Kyle Davies, Ross Ohlendorf, Doug Davis.
Relief pitcher: Arthur Rhodes. Rhodes turned 42 during the World Series and still appeared in 51 games during the regular season and eight more in the postseason. The left-hander had a disappointing run with the Rangers after signing a two-year deal with Texas. But he returned as part of Tony La Russa's bullpen in St. Louis, earning his first World Series ring in his 19 years in the big leagues.
Others available: Chad Qualls, Brad Lidge, Dan Wheeler, Damaso Marte, Michael Wuertz, Zach Duke, Javier Lopez, Juan Cruz, Jason Isringhausen, Mike Gonzalez, Todd Coffey, Shawn Camp, Scott Linebrink, Hong-Chih Kuo, Jamey Wright, Chad Durbin, Brian Tallet, Hideki Luis Ayala, Micah Owings, Dan Cortes, Sergio Mitre, Tony Pena, David Aardsma, Pat Neshek, Danys Baez, Ramon Ortiz.
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Tags: 2012 free agency, 2012 MLB Free Agency, 2012 MLB Free Agents, 2012 MLB Hot Stove, Aaron Cook, Aaron Miles, Alex Cora, Arthur Rhodes, Bill Hall, Brad Lidge, Brad Penny, Brandon Webb, Brian Tallet, C. Trent Rosecrans, Carlos Guillen, Casey Kotchman, Chad Durbin, Chad Qualls, Chris Young, Connor Jackson, Corey Patterson, Damaso Marte, Dan Cortes, Dan Wheeler, Danys Baez, David Aardsma, Derrek Lee, Doug Davis, Edgar Renteria, Edwin Jackson, Eric Chavez, Felipe Lopez, free agency, free agent tracker, Hideki Matsui, Hideki Okajima, Hong-Chih Kuo, Ivan Rodriguez, Jamey Wright, Jason Isringhausen, Jason Kendall, Jason Michael, Jason Varitek, Javier Lopez, Javier Vazquez, Jay Gibbons, Jeff Francis, Jeff Keppinger, Jeremy Hermida, Johnny Damon, Jon Garland, Juan Cruz, Juan Pierre, Kosuke Fukudome, Kyle Davies, Livan Hernandez, Luis Ayala, Magglio Ordonez, Marcus Thammes, Mark Teahen, Micah Owings, Michael Wuertz, Mike Gonzalez, Milton Bradley, MLB Free Agency, MLB Free Agents, MLB Hot Stove, Pat Neshek, Ramon Castro, Ramon Ortiz, Raul Ibanez, Rich Harden, Rick Ankiel, Rodrigo Lopez, Ronny Paulino, Ross Gload, Ross Ohlendorf, Roy Oswalt, Russell Branyan, Ryan Theriot, Scott Kazmir, Scott Linebrink, Sergio Mitre, Shawn Camp, Tim Wakefield, Todd Coffey, Tony Pena, Vladimir Guerrero, Yoenis Cespedes, Zach Duke
Posted on: September 26, 2011 4:55 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
Another season gone, another disappointment for 29 teams as one is immortalized forever. Let’s take a look back at 2011 and forward in Eye on Baseball’s R.I.P. series...Team name: Kansas City Royals
Record: 70-89, 22 games back in AL Central
Manager: Ned Yost
Best hitter: Alex Gordon -- .303/.376/.502, 23 HR, 87 RBI, 101 R, 45 2B, 17 SB
Best pitcher: Aaron Crow -- 4-4, 2.80 ERA, 1.39 WHIP, 64 K, 61 IP
Few seasons that end with a team 22 games back will garner as much optimism as the 2011 Royals, a team with few expectations other than playing time for young players and giving a glimpse of the future. Even before 2011, that future was bright -- but with some of the performances by the Royals' youngsters and even its less-youngsters -- have made that future seem even brighter.
2011 SEASON RECAP
For the 2011 Royals, the wins and losses were never part of the proposition, it was progress by the likes of Eric Hosmer, Alcides Escobar, Mike Moustakas, Johnny Giavotella and Salvador Perez. What the Royals found was that Hosmer is an absolute stud, Escobar can contribute enough at the plate to keep his glove in the lineup and Moustakas, after a rough start, has shown the ability that had so many excited.
Not only were the new toys impressive, so were some of the other, slightly older types, such as Gordon, Billy Butler, Melky Cabrera and Jeff Francoeur (none of whom are older than 27). In all, the Royals were sixth in the American League in runs (719), fourth in batting average (.274) and fifth in OPS (.743) -- all marks better than league average.
The problem for the Royals was finding pitching, finishing 12th out of 14 AL teams in team ERA at 4.46, allowing the third-best OPS by opponent batters (.763) and their starters had a 4.83 ERA.
The rotation remains a mess, and without a significant trade or two in the offseason will likely stay that way. It's never a good sign when your best starter was Bruce Chen. There are, of course, good pitching prospects, but the arms the organization was banking on breaking through all took steps back in 2011, with lefty John Lamb undergoing Tommy John surgery, another lefty, Mike Montgomery, struggled in Triple-A, while yet another lefty, Chris Dwyer, struggled in Double-A.
Left-hander Danny Duffy had his ups and downs, going 4-8 with a 5.64 ERA in the big leagues, but his stuff was never in question. Many talented young pitchers have struggled in the big leagues before finding their control.
Former Astro Felipe Paulino (an actual right-hander) pitched relatively well this season for the Royals, going 3-6 with a 4.10 ERA for the Royals in 118 2/3 innings. Luke Hochevar, a former No. 1 overall pick, has teased with his talent -- but seems to do so every year. If this is the year he puts it all together…
The offseason focus is pitching, namely starting pitching. Of course, few teams aren't looking for starting pitching. The difference is the Royals still have some talented prospects to dangle.
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Tags: Aaron Crow, Alcides Escobar, Alex Gordon, Bruce Chen, Bruce Chen, C. Trent Rosecrans, Chris Dwyer, Danny Duffy, Eric Hosmer, Felipe Paulino, Jason Kendall, Jeff Francis, Jeff Francoeur, Joakim Soria, John Lamb, Johnny Giavotella, Kyle Davies, Like Hochevar, Melky Cabrera, Mike Montgomery, Mike Moustakas, Ned Yost, R.I.P. Royals, Ricky Nolasco, Salvador Perez
Posted on: July 7, 2011 7:48 pm
Edited on: July 7, 2011 7:51 pm
By Matt Snyder
Royals catcher Jason Kendall was trying to battle back from a shoulder injury until the results of an MRI came back Thursday. The news is probably career-ending. He has tears in two tendons in his right shoulder and will have surgery next Wednesday in Los Angeles. He's out for this season and likely all of 2012.
“That takes him out of the picture for this year and out of the picture for next year,” manager Ned Yost said (Kansas City Star). “I think it’s more a quality-of-life surgery so he can have function in his shoulder.”
At age 37, this probably means the end of Kendall's career. Yost stopped short of explicitly saying so, but it sounds like the end.
“They’re going to have to reattach those (tendons) to see if they hold this time,” Yost said (KC Star). “They didn’t hold last time. The odds of them holding this time, in a baseball setting, probably aren’t really good.”
Kendall is a three-time All-Star who has put together an admirable 15-year career. He's caught over 2,000 big-league games and amassed 2,195 career hits with a .288 average and .366 on-base percentage. He also had great speed for a catcher, stealing 189 bases. Oh, and he's also fifth in major-league history with 254 hit-by-pitches.
We obviously can't say Kendall's career is 100 percent concluded, but it will be a long road back.
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Posted on: June 16, 2011 1:15 pm
Edited on: June 16, 2011 2:05 pm
By Matt Snyder
With Father's Day coming this weekend, it's the perfect time to think about how you can show up your Dad. What better way than to remind him you're better than he is? Maybe disrespectful, but still fun nonetheless.
I know when my son becomes more successful in life it will certainly be a sign of disrespect. Assuming in the sense that you disrespect your father if you outperform him -- and we're also assuming you have a sense of humor and realize this is tongue-in-cheeck -- we've compiled a list of 10 recent sons who disrespected the memory of their fathers by playing better. This is by no means exhaustive, just a quick glance at 10 dudes who played within the past decade or so that were better than their major-league fathers. Look for 10 "respectful" sons to be posted later Thursday at Eye On Baseball.
Roberto/Sandy Alomar. Father: Sandy. Sandy Sr. played for 15 seasons in the majors, making a single All-Star Game. He hit .245 with just 13 career home runs and a .578 OPS. He obviously stuck around for defensive purposes, yet never won a Gold Glove. He did have two sons come along and show him how it was done. Robbie's a Hall of Famer and one of the greatest second basemen of all time. Sandy Jr. had far too many durability issues to come close to that type of stature, but he did make six All-Star Games, won a Rookie of the Year and played in two World Series.
Barry Bonds. Father: Bobby. Bobby was no slouch, that much is for certain. He was a great power-speed combo guy, garnering 332 home runs and 461 stolen bases in his 14 seasons. He finished in the top five of MVP voting twice and ended his career with an .824 OPS. His son, however, scoffed at the notion of simply living up to Dad. He obliterated Bobby as a player. Barry won seven MVPs and is one of the greatest players in baseball history.
Robinson Cano. Father: Jose. If you didn't know Jose Cano was a major-league player, you can rest easy. You are certainly not alone. Jose appeared in six games as an Astros pitcher in 1989. He had a 5.09 ERA and 1.35 WHIP in 23 innings. Robinson's already one of the best second basemen in baseball and could very well be on his way to a Hall of Fame career, but that remains to be seen. Regardless, he's far exceeded his father already.
Prince Fielder. Father: Cecil. Cecil was one of the most prolific home run hitters in baseball for a good seven years. He led the majors in RBI for three straight seasons and was the first to break 50 homers in years. Prince, however, already has more wins above replacement and has been one of the most feared power hitters in baseball for the past five years. He's having a monster season, with an OPS over 1.000 and leading the NL in RBI. By the time the dust settles, Prince's big-league career will dwarf Cecil's. Remember, Cecil wasn't good until he was 26. Prince is 27 now.
Ken Griffey Jr. Father: Ken. Similar to the Bonds duo, Ken Sr. was hardly a bad player. He was a three-time All-Star and two-time World Series champion. He had a career .290 batting average and .359 OBP. He stole 200 bases while hitting 152 homers. But Junior was an icon, a 13-time All-Star and 10-time Gold Glover who clubbed 630 home runs in his career.
Jason Kendall. Father: Fred. Fred appears to have been one of those catchers who just hangs on forever because he's a reliable backstop. He was a dreadful hitter, as evidenced by his career .234 average and .598 OPS. Using OPS-plus, he had only one above average season and was otherwise not even close to average. You won't mistake Jason for a Hall of Famer, but he was a three-time All-Star and a really good-hitting catcher for about six seasons. His career .366 OBP is very solid for a catcher, and you've got to respect those 189 steals.
Robb Nen. Father: Dick. The elder Nen played in parts of six MLB seasons, accruing 918 plate appearances. He hit just .224 with a .288 OBP. Robb was a dominant closer for about a decade, gathering 314 saves and 10 strikeouts per nine innings over the course of his career. He was a three-time All-Star, twice went to the World Series as closer -- winning once -- and moved the radar gun to triple digits on occasion. Even though Robb's career ended rather abruptly, it still was far superior to that of his father's.
Cal Ripken Jr. Father: Cal. Cal Sr. never made the bigs, but he did manage there. He had a far-from-illustrious minor-league career as a player. We know all about Cal Jr. and his consecutive games streak, along with the Rookie of the Year, two MVPs, all those All-Star Games, the 431 home runs and, well, you get the point.
Nick Swisher. Father: Steve. Steve made an All-Star Game in 1976, but he was overall a pretty bad hitter and never won a Gold Glove (he can thank Johnny Bench for that). Simply put, Steve Swisher was a nine-year major-leaguer who couldn't hit (.216/.279/.303) but stuck around because he was a backup catcher. Nick's a solid corner outfielder, having hit more than 20 homers six times and sporting a career .357 OBP. He's been to an All-Star Game and won the World Series, too.
Jayson Werth. Father: Dennis. Dennis Werth played in just 117 games in parts of four seasons, hitting .209 with three home runs and 15 RBI. He was basically just a pinch-hitter, getting 172 plate appearances in those 117 games. Jayson's been to an All-Star Game, two World Series, led the league in doubles, hit 129 bombs and now cashed in with a huge contract from a possibly up-and-coming team.
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: May 9, 2011 8:43 pm
Edited on: May 9, 2011 9:03 pm
By Evan Brunell
The Pittsburgh Pirates finishing .500? There's a whole generation of baseball fans that don't understand that concept, but that's exactly where the Bucs find themselves at just over one month into the season.
Now 17-17, Pittsburgh will look to go one game over .500 as they face the Dodgers Monday night. If it can pull that off, it will be the first time since May 29, 2004 that the club was over .500 this late in a season. Unfortunately, 2004's squad finished with 89 losses and the ensuing years saw an even worse decline, so that statistic doesn't mean that the club has made any type of progress.
But when you look at 2004's club against 2011's, it's clear that progress has been made.
Back then, the Pirates weren't as young a club, although many were still under 30 years of age. Some ended up with good seasons, with a 26-year-old Jack Wilson slashing .308/.335/.459 with 41 doubles, which remains his best year to date. Craig Wilson at age 27 cranked 29 homers but never again approached these levels and was out of baseball after 2007. Most of the other hitters with one notable exception in Jason Bay have gone on to vanish or barely cling to relevancy (Jason Kendall and Ty Wigginton).
The pitching side of the ledger had a fantastic year by Oliver Perez and Kris Benson's solid 20-start stint prior to being traded to the Mets hide what was a poor staff that was shored up by a strong bullpen. All told, while the team was relatively young, it was only as good as it was thanks to the performances of five players, four of which never approached 2004 levels again.
It's a different story in 2011, with a much younger club. That's not reflected in the average age of the squads as 2011's 27.9 average age is higher than 2004's 27.45, but the Pirates boast a yonger core with the potential to be among the game's best. The bullpen has been effective to start the year and the rotation is deeper than 2004's counterparts. That may come as an oddity when Kevin Correia is the ace of the club, but it's no less true. Offensively, Pedro Alvarez, Andrew McCutchen, Jose Tabata and Neil Walker form a quartet that 2004's club can't hold a candle to.
For the Pirates to sustain their newfound dominance, however, they have to step up their prospect procurement. This is a team that is thin on pitching and saw that partly addressed in last season's draft with the selections of Jameson Taillon and Stetson Allie, but still has an overall farm that Baseball America ranked 19th last season, largely due to the graduations of the offensive core. Compare that to 2004's ranking of 11, topped by Zach Duke and a host of other pitchers that failed to ascend.
It's no wonder that the 2004 club dipped to 89 losses, and as promising as 2011's club is, Pittsburgh will have to look ahead toward next year as a more realistic chance of breaking the streak of futility. It is difficult to envision Correia continuing to pitch to a 2.91 ERA, and as interesting as Charlie Morton's progress is, a regression has to be expected until (and if) he fixes his control problems, which he took a step forward in doing so in his last start by allowing only one free pass. And while James McDonald can be counted on to improve, it'll be balanced out by Jeff Karstens's probable regression.
For Pittsburgh to have any hope at finishing at .500, it will come from an offense ranked 22nd in runs scored so far. The entire infield plus Tabata and McCutchen are off to quite a slow start. Their expected improvement could offset pitching regression, but the other issue at play is Pittsburgh's division counterparts. Now that Milwaukee has its top three starting pitchers healthy and contributing, so their 14-20 record will turn around in a hurry and that's bad news for the Pirates given the imbalanced schedule that pits Pittsburgh against its NL compatriots for the majority of the games. Thus, even if the offensive regrouping does offset the pitching, it's difficult to envision a .500 record being sustained, especially once injuries hit the pitching staff; the club has virtually no pitching to speak of in Triple-A which is a flaw that will get exposed at some point.
Still, the improvement in the Steel City has to lend a certain amount of optimism to its long-suffering fans, who would glady take any type of improvement even if it it's not an 81-81 record. While even 1997 and 1998's 83 loss-seasons look out of reach, the Pirates appear poised to post the franchise's best record since 2004, and could even go beyond. That will set up quite the storyline for next year, when the Pirates look to avoid 20 straight seasons of finishing under .500.
PHOTO: Steve Pearce, No. 51 of the Pittsburgh Pirates, celebrates with teammate Neil Walker, No. 18, after Ryan Doumit, No. 41, hit a three-run home run against the Houston Astros during the game on May 8, 2011 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Posted on: May 6, 2011 9:26 pm
By Evan Brunell
Jason Kendall was once hoping to return to the Royals for Opening Day after suffering a season-ending tear to the rotator cuff last season. That obviously was not the case, but the veteran backstop is no longer trying to press his schedule.
"I have to continue to do this the right way if I'm going to continue to play -- not just play one week and end my career," Kendall told MLB.com. "Because I understand it was as major as major can get. Is it frustrating? Absolutely, but I also know what I have to do to play another four years."
Kendall believes he'll be ready in just over a month in either late June or early July, but isn't shooting for a specific date and rather is marking it by progress. He's already experiencing zero pain after still feeling the effects of the injury and surgery as recently as two weeks ago.
"Whenever I'm ready to go, whenever I can catch four days in a row and have a day off and catch the next day is when I'll go," he said.
If Kendall truly wants to play another four years, he'll be doing so as a 40-year-old. Kendall will turn 37 at the end of June, which means he would end his career at age 41 if he gets his wish to play another four years. It's possible Kendall could meet that goal but he certainly won't do so as starting catcher. He's already had a few years of being a complete non-entity on offense but his defense and leadership has remained up to par, two valuable traits teams look for in backups. Kendall's going to have to prove he can still throw out runners with that surgically-repaired arm, however.
Posted on: April 21, 2011 10:29 am
Edited on: April 21, 2011 1:28 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
I think I've booed once in my life and to tell you the truth, I felt like a jerk afterwards.
That was a long time ago and booing has kind of bugged me ever since. Maybe it's because I've always been harder on myself than anyone else. When I was a kid, coaches and my parents never yelled at me or criticized me because they could see I was madder about it than they were. I tried hard and hated to fail more than they hated watching me fail. I've just assumed most people are like that. Failing isn't fun.
And that's why I've just never understood booing in 99 percent of the cases it's done.
Ryan Franklin apparently aggress with me.
"Sure, I hear it," Franklin told FOXSportsMidwest.com after the first game. "I guess they have short memories too, because I think I've been pretty good here. It doesn't bother me, but it shows some people's true colors. You're either a fan or you're not.
"You don't boo your own team. I don't care who you are or what you say or just because you spent your money to come here to watch us play, that someone happens to make one bad pitch and give up a homer and you are going to start booing him? I've been here for five years, and four years I've been pretty good.
"You should go write stories about the fans booing. They are supposed to be the best fans in baseball. Yeah right."
The thing is, from my travels, the Cardinals fans are the best -- especially if you want to judge them in terms of not booing. When even Cardinals fans are booing, this thing is getting big (or as a society and as baseball fans, we're becoming even bigger jerks).
Franklin later apologized, issuing a statement (via MLB.com) -- "It was right after the games and I said things I shouldn't have said. I apologize for that. It was the wrong thing to say, but at the same time, I was frustrated. I am frustrated.
"I'm just trying to do my best to do everything I can to get back on track. So that's what I'm trying to do. I'm trying to get back out there and help this team."
Franklin also said he's loved his time in St. Louis and "it's my favorite place to play. It's just a frustrating time for me right now, because I feel like I'm letting everyone down."
To me, that's what it comes down to -- this game is hard. That's why we're not all baseball players. That's why we still go and watch, you never know what's going to happen. It's people trying their best and sometimes mistakes happen. To pile on someone who knows they didn't do well just seems like a jerk move to me. What's so wrong in your life that you have to boo someone else to make you feel better about yourself? Is it the money? You don't make enough so it makes you feel better to make someone with more money feel bad? Job frustration? Problem with teh ladies? Physical shortcomings? Sometimes the boos say more about the boo-er than the boo-ee.
BASEBALL TODAY -- Matt Snyder joins Lauren Shehadi to discuss the Dodgers and more.
Mets NEXT? -- There are some folks in New York feeling a little nervous over MLB's takeover of the Dodgers. There's a difference in that the Wilpons have been Bud's buds, while McCourt hasn't always played by Bud's rules. [New York Daily News]
BLAZING -- The great Tator Trot Tracker times Peter Bourjos rounding the bases in 14.02 seconds, which is flat flying. Texas' David Murphy misplayed Bourjos' single and Bourjos never stopped. Larry Granillo times every home run as part of his Tater Trot Tracker and the fastest inside-the-park home run last season was Angel Pagan's 14.48 inside-the-parker and Bourjos was nearly a half-second faster than that, which is amazing. (Bourjos also stole a home run from Murphy in the game.) [Baseball Prospectus]
ROAD BACK IV, A NEW HOPE -- A's starter Dallas Braden will not need surgery on his left shoulder. Braden has inflammation in his shoulder, but no structural damage. He will have to rest and take anti-inflammatory medication, but there is no timetable for his return. [San Francisco Chronicle]
FAMILIAR TERRITORY -- Noted former Expos fan Jonah Keri looks back on the last time MLB took over a franchise. Dodger fans may want to avoid reading it. [FanGraphs.com]
SHOWALTER ON WIETERS: DEPENDS -- Orioles manager Buck Showalter says catcher Matt Wieters is entertaining -- "I'm going to start keeping a notebook of Wieterisms. He's funny. He said a couple of things in the dugout last night, I almost peed my pants. He didn't even know it. He's sharp. He's quick." [Baltimore Sun]
ATTENDANCE WATCH -- Major League Baseball's attendance problem isn't as bad as it looks. Many of the empty seats are at the high-end of the ticket spectrum, meaning the tickets closest to the field (and likely to be seen on TV) are the ones going empty. [CNBC.com]
RAMBO: ATTENDANCE WATCH II -- This season has seen four of the five smallest crowds in the history of this version of Busch Stadium. [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]
OLDEST MINOR LEAGUER -- Here's a really good read on Andy Tracy, who at 37 is the oldest position player in the minors. [The Good Men Project]
BALLPARK BEERS -- A nice look at the craft beer options at Great American Ball Park, including my go-to summer beer, Bell's Oberon. Unfortunately, Oberon's no longer on tap at GABP because of our InBev overlords. [Red Reporter]
RICKEY WINS -- The new Pepsi Max commercial featuring CC Sabathia is pretty cool. I like anything with jokes about Rickey Henderson speaking in the third person, though, so I'm an easy mark.
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Tags: Adam Wainwright, AL Central, AL East, AL West, Andy Tracy, Angels, Athletics, Buck Showalter, Cardinals, Dallas Braden, David Aardsma, Dodgers, Jason Kendall, Mariners, Matt Wieters, Mets, NL Central, NL East, NL West, Orioles, Peter Bourjos, Rays, Reds, Rickey Henderson, Royals, Ryan Franklin, Tigers
Posted on: March 14, 2011 10:55 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 11:54 am
By C. Trent Rosecrans3 UP
1. Kyle Lohse, Cardinals -- Lohse has been a weak, expensive link in the Cardinals' rotation the last two years, but is impressing this spring. On Monday, Lohse allowed just one hit over six innings against the Braves. This spring, he's allowed just two runs in 13 innings.
2. Matt Cain, Giants -- In his first start since the spring opener, Cain pitched three hitless innings against the Brewers on Monday. Cain hadn't pitched since Feb. 27 because of inflammation in his right elbow.
1. Andrew McCutchen, Pirates -- Not only did McCutchen lose his glove trying to catch a home run by Baltimore's Randy Winn, in the same inning he was thrown out at the plate and complained that Orioles catcher Matt Wieters didn't avoid contact as much as he should in spring training (pictured).
2. Bruce Chen, Blake Wood, Jason Kendall, Royals -- One of the best days of spring is the one scheduled off day. For players (and reporters) the one day without a game in March is the prize of six weeks in Arizona and Florida, who go without a day to themselves from the middle of February until April. The Royals trio all had to show up to work on Monday, Chen and Wood worked in a minor-league intrasquad game, while Kendall continued his rehab from shoulder surgery.
3. Chris Sale, White Sox -- The 21-year-old lefty was good last season after being called up at the end of the year, but has struggled this spring. Chicago's first-round pick in the 2010 draft allowed three runs in the fifth inning of Monday's game against the Padres. He has a 7.36 ERA in five appearances this spring.