Posted on: November 28, 2011 11:54 am
Edited on: November 28, 2011 4:43 pm
By Matt Snyder
What if players were only permitted to stay with the team that originally made them a professional?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 of this feature, click here.
The Seattle Mariners have finished last place in the AL West six of the past eight seasons. Would things have been different if management had done a better job of keeping the right organizational pieces? In a word: Yes. Check this out ...
1. Ichiro Suzuki, RF
2. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
3. Alex Rodriguez, 3B
4. David Ortiz, DH
5. Adam Jones, CF
6. Shin-Soo Choo, LF
7. Dustin Ackley, 2B
8. Raul Ibanez, 1B
9. Jason Varitek, C
1. Felix Hernandez
2. Michael Pineda
3. Doug Fister
4. Brandon Morrow
5. Joel Pineiro
Closer - J.J. Putz
Set up - Rafael Soriano, Matt Thornton, Eric O'Flaherty, Brian Fuentes, Damaso Marte, George Sherrill
Long - Derek Lowe
Notable Bench Players
Adam Moore, Greg Dobbs, Bryan LaHair, Luis Valbuena, Jose Lopez, Yuniesky Betancourt, Willie Bloomquist, Michael Saunders, Carlos Peguero
Almost everything. The lineup is solid, the starting rotation is very good, the bullpen is great and there is some bench depth. There are superstars like King Felix and A-Rod with up-and-comers like Asdrubal Cabrera and Michael Pineda. And 2011 first-rounder Danny Hultzen (starting pitcher) will soon be added to the mix.
Age in some areas. A-Rod, Ortiz, Ichiro and Ibanez are all in different levels of decline, but there's no doubt they're all certainly in decline. Catcher is also a problem, as we're left deciding between a has-been (Varitek) and a possible never-will-be (Moore). Pick your poison there.
As for the lineup, I tried to figure out how to best work it. Maybe swap Jones and A-Rod spots? I'd be OK with that, considering the seasons those two had in 2011. Also, Ichiro's OBP was terrible for a leadoff man last season (.310), but wouldn't it make the back-end of the lineup too punchless if you batted Ackley leadoff? With the way I left it, the leadoff spot is weak.
Comparison to real 2011
The 2011 Mariners lost 95 games and this team above would have a shot at winning 95. You can take away from the older stars all you want, but with that pitching staff, the offense doesn't have to be great. It only has to be good, and it's easily good enough to get plenty of wins when only needing to put three or four runs on the board. Plus, as those older guys continue to decline, the likes of Jones, Ackley and Cabrera just get better. In Sunday's Homegrown Team, I said to expect to see the Cubs toward the bottom of the rankings (when we do them). This entry is the complete opposite. Expect to see the Mariners toward the top of the rankings. This is a great team. For now.
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Tags: Adam Jones, Adam Moore, AL West, Alex Rodriguez, Asdrubal Cabrera, Brandon Morrow, Brian Fuentes, Bryan LaHair, Carlos Peguero, Damaso Marte, Danny Hultzan, David Ortiz, Derek Lowe, Doug Fister, Dustin Ackley, Eric O'Flaherty, Felix Hernandez, George Sherrill, Greg Dobbs, Homegrown, Ichiro Suzuki, J.J. Putz, Jason Varitek, Joel Pineiro, Jose Lopez, Luis Valbuena, Mariners, Matt Snyder, Matt Thornton, Michael Pineda, Michael Saunders, Rafael Soriano, Raul Ibanez, Shin-Soo Choo, Willie Bloomquist, Yuniesky Betancourt
Posted on: September 13, 2011 1:16 am
By Evan Brunell
For quite some time now, the only race worth paying attention to was the Angels' spirited bid to keep pace with the Rangers. Even Los Angeles was left for dead once and executed a comeback. But now that the NL wild card is stirring and the Rays have barrelled to a three-game deficit in the AL wild card, the AL West race is no longer lonely. And now, with Los Angeles dropping a game to the Athletics, the AL West deficit is three games -- the same deficit the Rays face to overtake the Red Sox.
A year after being a dependable rock in the rotation fresh out of St. Louis rejuvenation for the Angels, Joel Pineiro has been one of his liabilities. His ERA is now 5.33 after his latest try against the A's, allowing five runs in three innings, three in the first off the bat of Josh Willingham. He was chased from the game in the fourth, after two RBI singles pushed the A's lead to 5-1 in an eventual 6-3 victory. Meanwhile, Texas opens a series against the fading Indians, so the odds aren't looking good for L.A., who has had to scratch and claw all season long and has to go up against a tougher brand of opponent than the Rangers, who have a cushy schedule until the final three-game set of the season -- against the Angels.
Schedule remaining: 3 v. CLE, 3 @ SEA, 3 @ OAK, 3 v. SEA, 3 @ LAA
Coolstandings.com expectancy of division title: 85.1 percent
Los Angeles Angels
80-67, 3 games behind
Schedule remaining: 2 @ OAK, 3 @ BAL, 4 @ TOR, 3 v. OAK, 3 v. TEX
Coolstandings.com expectancy of division title: 16.1 percent
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Posted on: August 4, 2011 8:50 pm
By Evan Brunell
After giving up seven runs in 4 1/3 innings on Wednesday, the Angels have demoted Joel Pineiro to the rotation, reports the Los Angeles Times.
"I wish I had an explanation, but I have no idea what's going on," Pineiro said of his recent struggles to the Times on Wednesday night. "I've tried everything. I've seen video, worked on mechanics, thrown in the bullpen. Honestly, the next thing I can do is sacrifice a live chicken."
Apparently that didn't work either, as Pineiro will rejoin the bullpen for the first time since 2007, when he tried his hand at relieving with the Red Sox after falling out of favor as a starter with Seattle. That didn't work, and Pineiro was moved to the Cardinals midseason, where he excelled in a return to the rotation.
Pineiro has a 5.31 ERA on the year in 18 starts. He's been hit hard this year, and while his peripherals point to him being unlucky with a 4.35 xFIP, the peripherals can't account for a pitcher throwing so poorly that batters are making good contact, which appears to be the case with Pineiro. It doesn't help that his fastball is averaging 87 mph, a career low.
"This is embarrassing," Pineiro said. "I'm making the team, the [pitching] staff and myself look bad. I've got to turn it around. If it's going to be like this the rest of the year, it's going to be a long year for me."
Between Pineiro and rookie Tyler Chatwood's struggles, the Angels are suddenly threatening to fall off in the postseason chase. Just one game behind the Rangers for the division lead, Los Angeles can't afford a dropoff, especially with Texas loading up at the deadline with two strong relievers. Pineiro's fall is especially surprising, as he had a 3.90 ERA in his first 14 starts. Since then, he's pitched just 13 1/3 innings in four starts, giving up 22 earned runs while striking out just two, walking six and giving up five homers. Not pretty.
The Angels are stuck, though, with limited options for a replacement. Perhaps they should have been more active at the trade deadline?
"Our organizational pitching depth is not where it has been," manager Mike Scioscia said. There are limited options, but we'll look at everything and see what the best way is for us to move forward."
There are three candidates, starting with long reliever Hisanori Takahashi. The Japanese import made 12 starts for the Mets last season, shuttling between the rotation and bullpen. He's been exclusively a reliever so far on this season, contributing a 3.35 ERA in 48 1/3 innings.
Takahashi "is definitely going to be in the conversation," Scioscia said.
In Triple-A, the club has Trevor Bell, who has pitched in spurts with Los Angeles from 2009-11, ending up with a 5.33 ERA in 48 games and 11 starts. Bell has a 4.34 ERA as a starter down on the farm. There's also Garrett Richards, the team's top pitching prospect. At Double-A, the righty has a 3.04 ERA in 136 innings, striking out 98 and walking 39. Given the team's aggressive promotion and retention of Chatwood, who is 21 and made just three Triple-A starts in his career, Richards is a distinct possibility.
"We're going to throw a lot of things on the table," Scioscia added.
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: July 18, 2011 2:04 am
Edited on: July 18, 2011 4:12 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
There was no shootout in Tampa Bay, but maybe it would have been better than 16 innings -- but Dustin Pedroia finally ended the marathon in Florida with a 16th-inning single to drive in the game's only run. More on that later...
Daniel Hudson, Diamondbacks: Not only did Daniel Hudson allow just one run and five hits in his second career complete game, he also homered and knocked in two more with a two-out single in the seventh inning. Hudson clubbed his first career homer in the sixth inning off of the Dodgers' Ted Lilly and is now hitting .383/.396/.511. Hudson improved to 10-5 on the season and has won his last seven decisions.
Emmanuel Burriss, Giants: Burris didn't get into Sunday's game until the ninth inning when he replaced San Francisco catcher Eli Whiteside in the top of the ninth inning against San Diego closer Heath Bell. He did exactly what Bruce Bochy had hoped -- stealing second. After moving to third on a sacrifice bunt, neither Andres Torres nor Pablo Sandoval could get him. No worries, Burriss singled off of Chad Qualls with one out in the 11th and then he stole second on a pitchout, with Kyle Phillips' throw going into center field, allowing him to move to third. He scored the winning run on Chris Stewart's perfect squeeze bunt.
Josh Beckett, Red Sox and Jeff Niemann, Rays: These two again showed how silly the win statistic is are judging a pitching performance -- are you going to say neither pitched well just because they didn't get the win? In the Sunday night game, we saw two excellent pitchers at their best. Both went eight innings, neither factored in the decision. Beckett allowed just a first-inning infield single to Evan Longoria that deflected off of Beckett, while Niemann allowed a single in the first and another in the fourth. Neither allowed a run. Beckett didn't walk a batter and struck out six. Niemann walked two and struck out 10. It wasn't just Beckett and Niemann, though -- five more Red Sox pitchers and seven Rays combined throw up 15 more zeroes on the board, with Adam Russel allowing the only run of the night on two hits and a walk in the top of the 16th.
Ryan Theriot, Cardinals: It's one thing to get mad about a bad call and argue with the umpires and even bump them, but it's another to do it when the umpire makes the right call, as Mike Muchlinski did when Theriot failed to touch second on a force play at second in the sixth inning. (After the game, Theriot stood his ground, saying he had position -- but hedged noting that even if he hadn't, he'd gotten that call before.) The play let Zack Cozart stay on second and he later came around to score the Reds' first run of the game, tying the game at 1. Theriot bumped Muchlinski before he was tossed and then tried to pull away first base umpire Chris Guccione who got between the two. Theriot can expect a suspension.
Joel Pineiro, Angels: Or maybe this should go Kurt Suzuki who was the only one of 10 Athletics batters to go to the plate against Pineiro and record an out, The Angels' starter walked the bases loaded to start the game before giving up a two-run single to Hideki Matsui. After another walk and an error, Conor Jackson hit a grand slam. After leadoff man Jemile Weeks hit a run-scoring single to make it 8-0, Piniero was given the hook. In all, he allowed eight runs (seven earned) on four hits and four walks. His ERA went from 3.90 to 4.58 on the season.
Jayson Werth, Nationals: Werth recorded his fifth 0-for-5 performance of the season and is now hitting .213/.318/.355. Werth hit .154/.291/.286 in June and is hitting .157/.271/.157 this month. He is still searching for his first extra-base hit of the month. Werth left four Nationals runners on base in Sunday's 9-8 loss to the Braves that saw Washington blow a 6-2 lead and an 8-7 lead. Not too bad for $126 million.For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: June 16, 2011 7:17 pm
Edited on: June 16, 2011 7:51 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
Anaheim is hardly out of the American League West race, just three games behind leader Texas and 2 1/2 games behind second-place Seattle, but owner Arte Moreno has already told general manager Tony Reagins not to spend any more money this season, ESPNLosAngeles.com's Mark Saxon writes.
Saxon cites a "baseball source" as saying the Angels won't spend any more money for the rest of the season after eating what was left of Scott Kazmir's $14.5 million salary this season and taking on the albatross contract of .193-hitting Vernon Wells. Oh, and they're still paying Gary Matthews Jr. $12.4 million this season for a grand total around $140 million for the team's 2011 payroll.
The Angels can still make move, but they won't be able to take on any payroll, so a deal would have to be a wash financially or in the Angels' favor.
Reagins has shown a willingness to deal at the deadline in recent years. The Angels added Mark Teixeira in 2008 at the trade deadline and Kazmir a year later. Last year the Angels picked up Alberto Callaspo and Dan Haren for a stretch run.
The Angels could try to unload Joel Pineiro ($8 million) and Fernando Rodney ($5.5 million) in a search for more offense. They could also try to move Bobby Abreu, who has a vesting option worth $9 million for next season with another 147 plate appearances.For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: May 26, 2011 11:17 am
Edited on: May 26, 2011 11:31 am
By Evan Brunell
QUICK TURNAROUND: The Reds and Phillies finished their 19-inning duel at 1:19 a.m. ET on Thursday morning. Less than 12 hours later, both teams will be back at it. It's a good thing, then, that both teams have good starters going, so they should be able to quickly zip through tired batters. Cliff Lee will look to give Philly three of four in the series while the Reds have lost six of seven and are now in third place, 3 1/2 games behind the Cardinals. Homer Bailey, meanwhile, has a 2.08 ERA in four starts on the year and will hope to keep his breakout season going. He had a tough-luck loss last time out, falling to the Indians despite taking a one-hitter into the seventh. Reds at Phillies, 1:05 p.m. ET
FIRST PLACE: With the Rangers off, the Angels have a chance to draw into a tie for the AL West at just 1/2 game back of Texas. Standing in their way are the Athletics, who are looking to reverse their fortunes and avoid dropping any further in the standings. Joel Pineiro will attempt to win No. 100 for his career in his third attempt at the milestone. Oakland's Brett Anderson, meanwhile, is looking to snap an 0-3, 5.04 ERA skid in his last five starts but will need the moribund office to come awake. With a victory, the A's will split the four-game series but with one of the worst hitting attacks in the majors and a solid pitcher in Pineiro on the mound, it won't be easy. Athletics at Angels, 3:35 p.m. ET
GET BACK ON THE HORSE: A game after losing Buster Posey for quite some time, the Giants will attempt to shake off the extra-inning loss to the Marlins and will offer up Ryan Vogelsong on the mound. Vogelsong, who had not pitched in the majors since 2006, somehow has a 3-0 record and 1.93 ERA in 32 2/3 innings. Florida, who has one extra win on the year, will counter with Anibal Sanchez, who hasn't lost since April 10, posting a 2.14 ERA in seven starts since. San Francisco may be in for a long day, as both Mike Fontenot and Posey figure to be out of the lineup. Combine that with the poor play of Aubrey Huff and Miguel Tejada, and the lineup may not even be able to outscore the Twins. Marlins at Giants, 3:45 p.m. ET
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Posted on: April 9, 2011 2:09 am
Edited on: April 9, 2011 2:21 am
By C. Trent Rosecrans
"It's very frustrating," Kazmir told reporters, including Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register. "I kind of changed my delivery a bit and it seemed like the lower back never bounced back."
Kazmir lasted just 1 2/3 innings Sunday against the Royals, allowing five runs on five hits, two walks and two hit batters (not to mention a balk).
Kazmir worked out Wednesday in Tampa Bay, but manager Mike Scioscia said Kazmir started complaining about his back tightening up.
"We'll push him back and give him a few days for this to calm down," Scioscia said.
Palmer struggled this spring with bronchitis, but pitched well at the end of spring training. He was 11-2 with a 3.93 ERA in 2009 before a shoulder sprain hindered his performance in Triple-A and with the Angels in 2010.
Posted on: September 14, 2010 9:53 pm
Joel Pineiro is finally returning to the Angels after a lengthy absence following an injury warming up to start on July 28.
Originally thought to be out for the rest of the season, Pineiro will pitch inside the dome of Tampa Bay on Saturday. The latest step forward was Sunday when he hurled six innings, allowing two runs for high-Class A in its playoffs. He took a no-hitter into the sixth before imploding, but showed enough progression to put the majors next on his list.
"I was throwing everything," Pineiro told MLB.com . "It went really well. It was exciting, the atmosphere for the game. Obviously, it was a bigger game for them than for me, but it was fun. They were very aggressive, swinging early in counts, and I had only 50 pitches after five innings."
Pineiro will displace Trevor Bell, who will move to the bullpen to make room for the righty. Prior to the injury, Pineiro was working on a 10-7 record and 4.18 ERA in 20 starts over 131 1/3 innings. Since Pineiro went down, the Angels have gone from a 52-52 record and 8 1/2 games out to 70-73, 10 games out and no postseason hopes.
Manager Mike Scioscia isn't deterred however, believing good things await the Halos in 2011 with Pineiro and the rest of the rotation.
"Our rotation has always been our foundation," Scioscia said. "We like what we have here. It's a good mix, a good blend of talents."
What the Angels need to focus on is improving their offense and they are thought to be one of the top suitors for free-agent outfielder Carl Crawford.
-- Evan Brunell
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .