Posted on: July 5, 2011 10:35 am
Edited on: July 5, 2011 2:10 pm
If you had one game to win, would you start Justin Verlander, Jon Lester or CC Sabathia? C. Trent Rosecrans joins Lauren Shehadi to answer that question and more.
By Evan Brunell
RETURN PENDING: Dodgers shortstop Dee Gordon is being sent out to Triple-A to make room for Rafael Furcal's return, but if manager Don Mattingly knows what he's talking about, Gordon will be back at some point.
The scrawny son of Tom Gordon hit .232/.250/.280 in 85 plate appearances, just flat out awful numbers, and it's hard to think that his complete and utter lack of power is being exposed. Sure, there are plenty of successful slap hitters in the bigs, but even they have a modicum of power. When you look at Gordon, you certainly will have trouble finding any ounce of fat or muscle on him, so rifling line drives is a lot harder than for someone like Michael Bourn, who also has low power numbers.
Mattingly said that Gordon "showed [Mattingly] he wants to be great. That's the biggest thing."
"He has a real good feel for the game," GM Ned Colletti added. "He was able to slow things down more than not."
Maybe so, but the 23-year-old has a ways to go if he wants to be the Dodgers' future starter. (Los Angeles Times)
ICE-CREAM TEAMS: Ice cream and baseball are as American as it gets, so it's no surprise that someone came up with corresponding ice-cream flavors for each baseball team. The Yankees being "vanilla" might sound odd given the term means ordinary, but let Timothy Malcom explain.
"The Yankees is and have been America’s most popular baseball team. It’s clean, it’s tradition, it’s even kind of predictable. But it’s always great, and always there at the end of the day. Damn Yankees."
Meanwhile, the poor Cubs get stuck with Neapolitan -- "Combine the tradition of the Vanilla Yankees, the sweet failure of the Chocolate Red Sox and the perennially optimistic Midwest following of the Strawberry Cardinals, and you have this wonderful combination of baseball’s top tier. The problem, of course, is nobody ever buys Neapolitan." (Timothy Malcom)
HAUNTED HOTEL: Humberto Quintero is currently at Houston's Triple-A affiliate on a rehab assignment for an injury. The backstop's team completed a game in Memphis, Tenn. and departed back to Oklahoma City afterward. Quintero hung back for the night, but had to switch hotels after two murders took place. I'd switch, too. (MLB.com)
HIGH-SCHOOL MEMORIES: The last time Laynce Nix played first base was in high school. Before Monday, that is. Slammed with injuries, Nationals manager asked Nix, an outfielder, if he had ever played first. After hearing that Nix did so in high school, Johnson decided that was good enough and sent Nix out to first base for the seventh inning. “It was pretty wild, I’m still trying to figure out how that worked out,” Nix said. “But it was fun.” (Washington Times)
PRIVATE PITCHERS: Cubs manager Mike Quade wonders if pitchers should have the chance to warm up privately. He's not referring to the standard mid-inning tosses, but rather when a pitcher is forced to enter the game without warming up in the bullpen due to a pitcher's injury. In these cases, he can warm up for as long as he needs on the mound, but he can't get ready in the bullpen. Why not, Quade asks. ‘‘If a guy’s more comfortable doing his thing [in the bullpen], I’d rather have him [do that] because of the urgency once you get on the mound and everybody’s watching.’’ Interesting idea, but if the dude is expected to pitch in a game on that mound in front of a national TV audience and crowd, he can handle warming up. (Chicago Sun-Times)
WHY? A 4.47 ERA doesn't quite lend itself to being called a setup man, especially Kameron Loe, who has given up lead after lead this season despite not being notably any worse than last year. Fans are getting fed up with Loe, who blew a lead Monday as Milwaukee went on to lose. So why did Loe get the ball? Simple, says Brewers manager Ron Roenicke: lefty Zach Braddock was tired and the club isn't prepared to throw Takashi Saito, who has missed the entire season to date due to injury until coming off the DL mere days ago, into the fire that quickly. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
TOUGH CHOICE: Giants manager Bruce Bochy said he had a terrible time trying to figure out which Padres reliever to name to the All-Star Game: Heath Bell or Mike Adams? In the end, he took the closer -- but if and when Bell is traded this month, Adams will take over closing duties. (San Diego Union-Tribune)
MISERABLE: Clay Buchholz admitted he is "getting a little miserable" with the back problems that have yet to get better and have left him on the DL for 2 1/2 weeks, already past the projected return date. The righty is seeing a back specialist and will simply have to wait things out before returning to the Red Sox rotation. (WEEI)
GARLAND DONE? Part of what has made Jon Garland so appealing to teams is his durability. Well, 2011 certainly won't be part of his resume after his second trip to the disabled list has gone on for a month with right-shoulder inflammation and threatens his entire year. The right-hander will get a second opinion, but the Dodgers pitcher is likely done for the year whether he goes under the knife or not. (ESPN Los Angeles)
TIME FOR SPRING TRAINING: Johan Santana threw off a mound Monday and had no setbacks, so Santana will now begin his version of spring training. Don't count on a return from the lefty until mid-August, at which point this Mets team could have an entirely different look thanks to the trade deadline. (New York Post)
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Posted on: January 21, 2011 7:56 pm
Edited on: January 21, 2011 8:05 pm
The Brewers and reliever Kameron Loe agreed to a one-year deal worth $1.25 million, MLB.com's Adam McCalvy reports .
Loe, 29, avoids arbitration with the deal. He can earn an extra $115,000 if he makes 78 appearances in 2011. Loe was seeking $1.65 million in arbitration and the Brewers offered $1.055 million.
Loe signed a minor-league deal last offseason and was called up on June 1. In 53 games, Loe was 3-5 with 2.78 ERA, striking out 46 in 58 1/3 innings.
The team still has two players left on tap for arbitration, Rickie Weeks and Shaun Marcum.
-- C. Trent Rosecrans
Posted on: October 12, 2010 7:10 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 11:58 am
As the sports world waits for the crowning of a champion, 22 other teams are busy preparing for spring training. What went wrong for these teams, and what does 2011 hold? MLB Facts and Rumors here at CBS Sports will be answering those questions through all of October. Next up: the Milwaukee Brewers.
Two years ago, the Brewers were exciting and a team to watch. They had potential, they had youth, they had star power. This year, they still had a team. It's not that the Brewers were bad -- they weren't good, but they weren't bad -- they were just immaterial. Still, the team has some talent and some hope for the future.
WHAT WENT WRONG
In a word: pitching. in two words: starting pitching.
Outside of Yovani Gallardo, the Brewers starters were not good. Randy Wolf had a winning record, but Gallardo and Chris Capuano were the only starters with an ERA+ of 100 or better, and Capuano was right at 100, but started just nine games. And then there was Jeff Suppan.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
The Brewers certainly have a potent offense -- they were third in the National League with a .759 OPS and fourth with 750 runs.
Rickie Weeks had the season everyone hoped he'd have when he showed such promise as a rookie in 2005. Weeks hit .269/.366/.464 with 29 homers and 83 RBI. Corey Hart had a great first half, hitting 21 homers en route to an All-Star appearance, but had just 10 the rest of the season.
John Axford (pictured) was lost in a sea of great rookies in the National League in 2010, but nearly any other season he'd find a way to pick up a Rookie of the Year vote or two as a result of his 24 saves and 2.48 ERA. Kameron Loe and lefty Zack Braddock were also impressive out of the bullpen.
HELP ON THE WAY
Amaury Rivas was a solid starter in Double-A, but beyond him, there's not much immediate impact in the Brewers' minor leagues for the rotation, which is where the team needs the most help.
The team's best position prospect, Brett Lawrie, plays second base. Weeks is headed to his third season of arbitration, so Lawrie may be a good choice to replace Weeks if the Brewers are out of the race at the trade deadline.
EXPECTATIONS FOR 2011
Right after the season ended, the Brewers announce they'd keep ticket prices the same -- that tells you something. Still, most will expect a little better than the 77-85 record. Most will be expecting a record around .500 with anything under the mark as a disappointment.
SUGGESTIONS FOR 2011
The Brewers have money to play with -- as they shed the contracts of Suppan, Bill Hall and Braden Looper. Plus they'll decline the option on Hoffman. That will help offset the raises set to kick in to Ryan Braun, Hart and Gallardo.
They need to spend their extra money on starting pitching -- there's not a whole lot of attractive options out there, but I might go for a guy like Javier Vazquez. Vazquez has been a disappointment with the Yankees, but he's an innings-eater and going from the American League East to the National League Central would certainly help. They can also look through the trash heap at a guy like Kevin Milwood, maybe.
The biggest question will be what to do about Prince Fielder. The first baseman is a free agent after 2011, and this offseason would be the best time to ship him out of town. Fielder got his wish and the team jettisoned manager Ken Macha, but he's ready for his final year of arbitration and then free agency. He may be worth more before the 2011 season, but look for the team to hold on to him until the trade deadline.
The division the Brewers play in can't be stressed enough -- the National League Central has two pretty good teams in the Reds and Cardinals, but it's not as if they have a team like the Phillies or Yankees or Red Sox. If everything breaks right, the Brewers could be in it come September. More likely, though, they'll be comfortably in third place, behind the two better teams but better than the Cubs, Astros and Pirates.
Check out the rest of the R.I.P. reports here .
-- C. Trent Rosecrans
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