Posted on: November 23, 2011 11:59 am
Edited on: November 24, 2011 12:26 am
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What if players were only permitted to stay with the team that originally made them a professional?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 waivers, 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.
It's late November. The awards have all been handed out. The Winter Meetings are in a few weeks. Pitchers and catchers don't report for almost three months. So it's the perfect time to kick off a fun little series. So we're starting the Homegrown series right now. We have a landing page that will be filled out as we move forward with the feature -- on which you can see the exact date we'll be posting each individual team.
What I love most about this series is that it has the potential to either enlighten or vindicate rabid fans in heated arguments. Large-market, big-spending teams are often attacked by opposing fans as simply trying to "buy championships" without having to develop their own talent. The biggest target is the Yankees, so what better team to start the series with?
The news is pretty good for the haters. You have been vindicated. This team would be ... well, you'll see.
1. Brett Gardner, LF
2. Derek Jeter, SS
3. Robinson Cano, 2B
4. Alfonso Soriano, DH
5. Jesus Montero, 1B
6. Melky Cabrera, RF
7. Austin Jackson, CF
8. Francisco Cervelli, C
9. Eduardo Nunez, 3B
1. Ian Kennedy
2. Ivan Nova
3. Phil Hughes
4. Chien-Ming Wang
5. Jeff Karstens
Closer - Mariano Rivera
Set up - John Axford, David Robertson, Tyler Clippard, Mark Melancon, Joba Chamberlain
Long - Phil Coke? Jose Contreras?
Notable Bench Players
Jorge Posada, Dioner Navarro, Juan Rivera, Jose Tabata ... and that's about it. Unless Marcus Thames and Shelley Duncan get you excited.
That bullpen is sick. It would easily be the best in baseball, with any lead past the fifth inning seemingly being safe in the hands of Clippard, Robertson, Axford and Rivera.
Anything else. Nothing is horrible, but the lineup, defense and rotation leave a lot to be desired. What's worse, there's really no depth in case of injuries. They'd have to turn to either Coke or a minor leaguer (Dellin Betances?) in the rotation -- or convince Andy Pettitte to come out of retirement -- and Ramiro Pena is the only backup infielder. There are plenty of backup outfielders, but Tabata's really the only one with upside.
Comparison to real 2011
Well, let's see. The 2011 Yankees won 97 games en route to a division title and the best record in the American League. This team is mediocre at best. The bullpen is awesome, but how many leads would there be to protect? 75? There is an MVP candidate in Cano, but having Soriano as protection isn't near as cushy as he's used to. Since this is the first team in our 30-team series, we won't reveal many other specifics, but I can tell you that this Yankees team would probably finish fourth in the AL East. Thus, it's much worse than reality. I have no way of measuring this, but I do think this team is better than many Yankee-hating fans would have guessed. Lots of those act like the Yankees have never developed anyone. This isn't an awful collection, it's just not good.
Now, it's absolutely worth noting the Yankees lost lots of draft picks as compensation for signing free agents, so that's why they don't have any depth. But let's just remember this is supposed to be a fun exercise for the offseason.
Up next: San Diego Padres
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Tags: AL East, Alfonso Soriano, Austin Jackson, Brett Gardner, Chien-Ming Wang, David Robertson, Derek Jeter, Dioner Navarro, Eduardo Nunez, Francisco Cervelli, Homegrown, Ian Kennedy, Ivan Nova, Jeff Karstens, Jesus Montero, Joba Chamberlain, John Axford, Jorge Posada, Jose Contreras, Jose Tabata, Juan Rivera, Marcus Thames, Mariano Rivera, Mark Melancon, Matt Snyder, Melky Cabrera, Phil Coke, Phil Hughes, Robinson Cano, Shelley Duncan, Tyler Clippard, Yankees
Posted on: June 4, 2011 3:08 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
The Dodgers have the most players on the disabled list in the majors, but infielder Juan Uribe (hip) and outfielder Marcus Thames (quadriceps) are expected to return soon. Starter Vicente Padilla has had a setback with pain in his neck, so he wasn't called up.
The Dodgers called up infielder Ivan De Jesus Jr. and right-hander John Ely.
Furcal returned from the DL on May 22 after suffered a fractured left thumb and was hitting just .225/.244/.300 with one home run and a stolen base in 10 games since his return. He's hitting just .212/.246/.273 in 17 games overall.
Garland is 1-5 with a 4.33 ERA in nine starts. He's pitched 54 innings this year and could lose money because of his injuries. Garland is making $3.5 million this year, but would received another $3.525 million if he pitches between 150-190 innings this season and a vesting option for 2012 at $8 million if he pitches 190 innings this year.
Also on the 15-day disabled list for the Dodgers are relievers Jonathan Broxton (elbow), Blake Hawksworth (groin), Kenley Jansen (shoulder) and Hong-Chih Kuo (illness). Catcher Hecotr Gimenez (knee) is on the 60-day disabled list.
Los Angeles has just one pitcher on the 40-man roster who isn't either in the majors or on the major or minor league disabled list. That pitcher, Luis Vasquez, is currently at Class A Rancho Cucumonga.@cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: April 4, 2011 3:37 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
Sunday afternoon the sight of Aubrey Huff diving in right field was a joking matter. The night before he made a diving catch and then before batting practice his teammates put a faux-chalk outline of his dive in the Dodger Stadium grass.
A couple of hours later, it wasn't so funny.
In the first inning on Sunday, Huff dove on a Jamey Carroll liner which ended up a triple and helped the Dodgers score three in the inning. In the seventh inning, Huff also lost a ball over his head by Marcus Thames, good for another triple and driving in the go-ahead run.
One scout told CBSSports.com senior writer Danny Knobler that the Giants defense is "going to be an issue."
The Giants made their decision leaving camp that their defense would be secondary to scoring runs, as the team kept rookie first baseman Brandon Belt on the roster -- and it's not Belt that's the problem, he's a good defender. It's that in order to keep Huff and Belt in the lineup, Huff went to right field. And as right fielder's go, he's showing he's a first baseman.
I don't actually fault Huff, he's going out there and giving it his best and doing what the team asks him to do -- ultimately, it's just a flawed strategy putting Huff in the outfield. When Cody Ross is ready to come off the disabled list -- which is still at least two weeks away -- the Giants will be better at that spot, but they'll also have a decision between Belt and Huff -- or benching Pat Burrell and keeping Huff in the outfield. That said, the Giants will still have Miguel Tejada at shortstop.
But it's not just the Giants that are struggling defensively.
The Cardinals seemed to be one team unconcerned about defense this offseason and could be concerned as the season goes along. The team added 35-year-old Lance Berkman, who hadn't played in the outfield since since 2007, to play every day in right field and got rid of one of baseball's best defensive shortstops, Brendan Ryan, and replaced him with an average second baseman in Ryan Theriot.
Theriot is the only National League player with two errors through Sunday's game, while in the American League one notoriously bad fielder (Toronto's Edwin Encarnacion) and one remarkably good fielder (Oakland's Daric Barton) have three errors each.
There have been 68 errors this season through 46 games (following Sunday's games). That's only one more error than there was through 46 games last season (and 15 more than there was through 46 games in 2009).
That said, we all know errors aren't the best way to measure defense, there are plenty of examples of bad defense that didn't include an error in the boxscore.
On Sunday, the Cubs' defense let down closer Carlos Marmol. With one out and runners at second and third, Pedro Alvarez hit a dribbler to shortstop Starlin Castro who unloaded a bad throw to first, allowing two runs to score and the Pirates to get the win.
Milwaukee's Casey McGehee has had two costly decisions in the team's sweep at the hands of the Reds. In the ninth inning of Thursday's opener, McGehee failed to tag Brandon Phillips going to third, setting up the Reds' walk-off victory. On Sunday, McGehee went home and failed to get an out on a Drew Stubbs chopper, which led to a game-turned three-run homer by Phillips in the fourth. And that's two entire instances of the Brewers' bad defense without mentioning Yuniesky Betancourt, who the team had to take to get Zack Greinke, but didn't have to make their everyday shortstop. According to John Dewan's +/- system, no defensive player in baseball has cost their team more runs over the last three seasons than Betancourt's -66.
David Pinto over at Baseball Musings noted BABIP (batting average on balls in play) over the first weekend was .300, while it was .291 last season. That stat tells you a ball in the field was more likely to be fielded a year ago than it was this weekend.
Now, we're just 47 games into the 2011 season, so it's way too early to make any real conclusions about errors and defense as a whole, but it is something to watch.
Tags: AL West, Athletics, Aubrey Huff, Blue Jays, Brandon Belt, Brandon Phillips, Brendan Ryan, Brewers, Cardinals, Carlos Marmol, Casey McGehee, Cody Ross, Cubs, Daric Barton, Dodgers, Drew Stubbs, Edwin Encarnacion, Giants, Jamey Carroll, Julio Borbon, Lance Berkman, Marcus Thames, Miguel Tejada, Nelson Cruz, NL Central, NL West, Pat Burrell, Pedro Alvarez, Pirates, Rangers, Reds, Ryan Theriot, Starlin Castro, Yuniesky Betancourt
Posted on: January 18, 2011 9:56 am
Edited on: January 18, 2011 3:45 pm
The Dodgers have reached agreement with Marcus Thames to be Jay Gibbons' platoon partner, giving them some pop but not much defense in left field.
Thames, who spent last season with the Yankees, flirted with the idea of playing in Japan, but will man left for the Dodgers against left-handed pitching. The move provides Los Angeles with some outfield flexibility given their uncertainty about Tony Gwynn Jr.'s offense and the possibility of Gibbons being unavailable or ineffective. Gibbons, who has postseason eye surgery, recently came home from a winter ball assignment in Venezuela after experiencing vision problems.
Thames batted .288/.350/.491 last season with 12 homers in 212 at-bats.
The Los Angeles Times reports that the Dodgers are also close to a minor-league deal with veteran outfielder Gabe Kapler.
-- David Andriesen
Posted on: November 16, 2010 8:46 pm
Edited on: November 16, 2010 10:53 pm
Well, the first day of the general managers' meetings in Orlando was more eventful than expected. The Braves stole Dan Uggla from the Marlins, the Cardinals re-signed Jake Westbrook and Florida overpaid for John Buck.
There's other talk 'round the meetings and here's a few of the other notes from Tuesday:
• The Marlins are looking at a multi-year deal with right-hander Ricky Nolasco. (Miami Herald )
• Reds general manager Walt Jocketty says he's spoken to the agents for free agents Arthur Rhodes and Miguel Cairo. Asked if the Reds were likely to sign any outside free agents, Jocketty said, "probably not." (Cincinnati Enquirer )
• Jocketty says the Reds are talking to teams about acquiring a leadoff hitter. (MLB.com )
• The agent for Reds right fielder Jay Bruce says his client is open to selling out his arbitration-eligible years in a long-term deal. Bruce is a Super Two player. (MLB.com )
• Free agent left-hander Jeff Francis is drawing interest from the Pirates, Mariners, Rockies, Brewers and Astros. (ESPN.com )
• The Yankees are interested in left-handed reliever Pedro Feliciano. (Newsday )
• Bill Hall could be an option for the Yankees. (FoxSports.com )
• Chad Tracy, who played for the Marlins and Cubs last season, has signed with Japan's Hiroshima Carp for about $1.3 million. (NPB Tracker )
• Former Red and Mariner Wladimir Balentien has reportedly signed to play in Japan. (NPB Tracker )
• Japan's SoftBank Hawks are working on signing Marcus Thames. (NPB Tracker )
-- C. Trent Rosecrans
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: November 3, 2010 11:25 am
Edited on: November 4, 2010 9:01 pm
Baseball is currently in a five-day period where teams have exclusivity to negotiate with players who have become free agents. Sunday at midnight, that period will expire and free up players to talk to any and all teams.
There's plenty to like about this free-agent crop, as the top players at each position is enough to put together a contending team. Plus, there are a good number of nice backup options, too.
Below, you can find Evan Brunell's predictions on where free agents will wind up, going position by position with two names at each position.
C: Victor Martinez -- Tigers. All the noise surrounding Detroit going hard after Martinez seems legit. It's part of Detroit's M.O., filling a position of desperate need to contend and Martinez is the best option and remains capable of catching. Plus, Detroit has no major block at first or DH for an eventual switch for V-Mart as Alex Avila apprentices.
C: John Buck -- Yankees. Jorge Posada will be receiving most of his at-bats as a DH and Francisco Cervelli certainly can't start. The Yankees will flex their financial muscles on a catcher which they can bring in on a short-term contract who broke out in Toronto last season. It solves the catcher conundrum short term and leaves the long term free for Austin Romine.
1B: Adam Dunn -- Cubs. Another popular pairing that makes too much sense. The Cubs need to strike to stay in contention even as they try to get their minor-league system in order and producing over the next couple of seasons. Dunn's defense is minimized now that he's at first, and the Cubs need someone to sky them big flies. (And if the Cubs really are not going after big-name free agents , which I doubt is 100 percent true, I'll tab Dunn to the Athletics .)
1B: Aubrey Huff -- Giants. Unfortunately, while bringing in Huff eventually paid off big time for San Francisco, he is now overrated. With Brandon Belt tearing up the farm, there's no overwhelming reason to give Huff anything close to what he can get on the market. I have a feeling Brian Sabean will do what he always does, signing older players coming off big years to nonsensical contracts. You know it and I know it. Sleeper alert: The Giants move forward with a Mark DeRosa/Travis Ishikawa platoon at first, leaving Huff to land with the Mariners .
2B: Orlando Hudson -- Padres. The O-Dog will be on the move again, looking for his fourth team in four seasons, fifth overall. He's long wanted to join the Mets, but Luis Castillo has prevented him from doing so. The Padres plan to contend, but still need the dollars to make sense for who they bring in, and it will for Hudson to plug a vacancy at second with no viable internal options.
2B: Bill Hall -- Twins. Hall is looking for a starting job, but there are those telling him he is best suited as a super utility player. Look for Minnesota to give him a chance at the starting 2B job, but the Twins will love moving him around once they can justify it.
SS: Derek Jeter -- Yankees. I think a lot of people are going to be a bit surprised by how long the negotiations take. Despite popular sentiment, Brian Cashman is not one to pay someone beyond actual value. What he does have is disposable income that the owners can order him to pay a premium, so Cashman will do just that -- but only at a small premium.
SS: Juan Uribe -- Giants. This is one return that makes sense. Edgar Renteria isn't being brought back, even if he doesn't retire. Pablo Sandoval's struggles at third and Uribe's ability to slide to third as need be will be coveted by San Francisco, and he deserves the deal he'll sign for. It's a very weak market for shortstops, so even those that could be available in a trade (Jason Bartlett?) may have too prohibitive a price.
3B: Adrian Beltre -- Angels. Los Angeles makes the big strike here, importing a gifted defender who had a great season with the stick. He won't hit .321 again, but he'll be a signing on the level of Torii Hunter. He's expensive but will produce and help put L.A. back into postseason contention.
3B: Miguel Tejada -- Padres. San Diego was pleased with Tejada's production after acquiring him from Houston and will sign him to play his natural position of short even though he began the transition to third base last season.
LF: Carl Crawford -- Red Sox . Crawford will spark a bidding war between the Red Sox, Angels and some other team yet to be known, plus a late charge by the Yankees (you know it'll happen). In the end, the Red Sox will win out, offering just enough to entice Crawford to Boston.
LF: Marcus Thames -- Phillies. Thames built his value this past year, establishing himself as a strong platoon option against left-handers who surprisingly held his own against righties. The Phillies are interested in bringing in another right-handed hitter to pair with Ben Francisco, and Thames seems like the perfect low-cost, high-upside option.
CF: Johnny Damon -- Astros. Damon may be a center fielder, but it's in name only as he's restricted to left and DH at this point of his career. No contending team is going to be interested in starting him, but he can still land somewhere where there's a faint glimmer of a chance at the postseason. Damon can be the grizzled, scrappy veteran who can lead them to the top. Welcome to Houston, Johnny!
CF: Melky Cabrera -- Royals. Cabrera's stock is down. Way, way down. He'll have to latch on with a bottom-feeding club who gambles on his tools. Kansas City seems like the perfect place to do that. With an up-and-coming farm, he could fit in seamlessly if he takes his job seriously. If he doesn't, the Royals simply move on.
RF: Jayson Werth -- White Sox. It makes a lot of sense for the White Sox to go after Werth -- they have their own bandbox and need someone who can play the outfield and who could DH in his off days. Carlos Quentin's defense needs to be hidden or moved to first if they don't bring Paul Konerko back. Helping matters is Chicago has the money to make it happen.
RF: Andruw Jones -- Braves. Coming off a strong season for the White Sox where he proved he can still bring it, just not quite as a full-time outfielder (although that possibility does exist), Jones seems like he could make a return to Atlanta. The Braves have a need to remake their outfield, and Jones seems to be a perfect piece of the puzzle.
DH: Jim Thome -- Twins. No reason for Thome to leave the Twins, really. He had a strong season there, became a cult hero, has been loyal to his teams and Minnesota definitely could use this slugger back provided the two can agree on how much playing time he will get. Having Delmon Young, Denard Span, Michael Cuddyer, Jason Kubel and Justin Morneau doesn't leave much room for Thome, but it worked out just fine in 2010.
DH: Manny Ramirez -- Rays . Manny is a DH and probably will find the market a bit hostile towards him. He's not upper-echelon any longer, but not many teams need a DH. After long and overdrawn-out negotiations thanks to Scott Boras, ManRam will finally sign around the beginning of spring training and coast into town to help the Rays and what could be a moribund offense.
RHSP: Carl Pavano -- Brewers. Pavano is set to cash in on his success with the Twins and is certain to be in a position where he can outdo accepting arbitration thanks to a poor right-handed starter's market. Milwaukee needs to find starting pitching and fast, and the Brewers proved last year with Randy Wolf they weren't afraid to go get it. Wolf's struggles won't be enough to deter Milwaukee from Pavano, not when a Wolf-Pavano-Yovani Gallardo rotation would do wonders in the NL Central.
RHSP: Hiroki Kuroda -- Dodgers. Kuroda's been a bit overlooked on the national stage, as he truly is a strong pitcher. The Dodgers want -- need -- to contend, so they'll make sure Kuroda goes nowhere. They do need to slash salary, but a lot of that was tied up in Manny Ramirez, so there's plenty for Kuroda.
LHSP: Cliff Lee -- Rangers. Buy into Texas being players for Lee and Lee eschewing the bright lights of New York just as long as the money is there. And it will be. The wife likes having him close to home, he's going to be on a contending team and get his money. There isn't much reason to move to New York.
LHSP: Jorge De La Rosa -- Tigers. Detroit has money to spend and a need in the rotation. De la Rosa will flirt with quite a few teams, Yankees included, but it's Detroit who will step up. It needs a strong pitcher in the rotation to have any hope of contending, and de la Rosa falls right into the bracket the Tigers are comfortable with.
RHRP: Rafael Soriano -- Angels . L.A. has said all the right things in moving forward with Fernando Rodney as a closer after moving Brian Fuentes, but the Angels bullpen was in tatters all season and Rodney is not good enough to block Soriano, who is one of the best closers in the game but will find a rough market.
RHRP: Joaquin Benoit -- Rays . Benoit's price tag is going to be high, but the Rays will be faced with a barren bullpen. Why not bring back someone they know can do it for them? They can entice Benoit with the possibility -- probability -- about taking over as closer.
LHRP: Scott Downs -- Red Sox. Downs is a Type-A free agent, but Boston will gladly fork over its second-rounder after Crawford gives Tampa Bay its first-rounder. The Red Sox want to beef up their bullpen after years of trolling through cast-offs. Downs has been coveted for a while, and Boston will take the plunge.
LHRP: Brian Fuentes -- Marlins. Florida wants to contend, but needs some help in the bullpen to do so. Knowing the Fish, they won't be looking to spend big at the position, but Fuentes is a nice, safe and affordable pick to be the new closer they want.
-- Evan Brunell
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Tags: 2010 free agency, Adam Dunn, Adrian Beltre, Andruw Jones, Aubrey Huff, Bill Hall, Brian Fuentes, Carl Crawford, Carl Pavano, Cliff Lee, Derek Jeter, Hiroki Kuroda, Hot Stove League, Jayson Werth, Jim Thome, Joaquin Benoit, John Buck, Johnny Damon, Jorge de la Rosa, Juan Uribe, Manny Ramirez, Marcus Thames, Melky Cabrera, Miguel Tejada, Orlando Hudson, Rafael Soriano, Scott Downs, Victor Martinez
Posted on: October 19, 2010 10:21 pm
Edited on: October 20, 2010 1:52 am
Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira left Game 4 of the ALCS with what appeared to be a right hamstring injury.
With two on and no outs in the bottom of the fifth inning, Teixeira hit a ball to Michael Young at third base. Young touched the bag and threw wide to first, where Teixeira was falling into first base safely.
However, about 10 feet before the bag, Teixeira grabbed his right hamstring and his momentum took him through the bag. He left the game quickly, with no discussion of staying in, as he was in obvious pain.
Marcus Thames pinch-ran for Teixeira and it appears Nick Swisher will move to first base for the Yankees. Backup first baseman Lance Berkman is serving as the team's designated hitter, but if he were used to replace Teixeira at first, the team would lose its DH spot.
UPDATE: Swisher is indeed at first and Thames is staying in the game in right.
UPDATE: The Yankees announced that Teixeira will undergo an MRI at New York Presbyterian Hospital to determine the severity of the injury. The team is calling it a strained right hamstring.
UPDATE: The Yankees have announced Teixeira has a Grade 2 hamstring strain and is out for the rest of the postseason. He will need six-to-eight weeks to recover, which means his season is over.
The Yankees will replace Teixeira with rookie Eduardo Nunez on the postseason roster, meaning Teixeira will be ineligible for the World Series roster. Nunez played in 30 games this season, hitting .280/.321/.360 with a homer in 50 at-bats. He's played second base, third base and shortstop.
UPDATE: From Girardi's postgame press conference : "You know, Tex talked about he felt something pop in his hamstring. Barring some miracle, you know, he won't be with us tomorrow and playing. You know, we are planning on bringing up Núñez, so that would mean he would be out the next round, as well. But it doesn't look good."
-- C. Trent Rosecrans
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .
Posted on: October 16, 2010 12:55 pm
Edited on: October 16, 2010 1:02 pm
During the Rangers' collapse Friday night that could haunt the franchise for years to come, manager Ron Washington burned through five pitchers in the eighth inning.
Not a one was Neftali Feliz, the 22-year-old closer that could have stemmed the tide. And yet, it's hard to argue against Washington's thought process in terms of bullpen machinations until tabbing Derek Holland, the fifth pitcher of the inning.
The skipper replaced starter C.J. Wilson with a runner on second and a man already across the plate. (One could argue replacing Wilson was the first screw-up.) He chose lefty Darren Oliver to face Nick Swisher and Mark Teixeira in order to get them to hit from the right side of the plate. Good idea. Bad execution, as Oliver walked both batters. That meant Darren O'Day, a groundball specialist, was headed into the game to face Alex Rodriguez in the hopes of inducing a double play.
Good idea. Bad execution.
O'Day's first pitch was a groundball, technically -- a missile that skipped off the ground and ate Michael Young up for breakfast, lunch and dinner. There may have been a midnight snack.
Then, Clay Rapada, who had all of nine innings of experience with the Rangers this season, came on to try to nullify Robinson Cano who had bashed a home run the inning prior. Yet again a good idea, yet again bad execution. Another hit, and New York was still on the merry-go-round and a 5-1 Rangers lead had evaporated into a tie.
At that point, Washington was faced with three choices. One, he could bring in closer Neftali Feliz, who could at least keep the game tied. Two, Alexi Ogando, a right-hander who has been excellent in relief, could come on to face what would have been pinch-hitter Lance Berkman. Three, Washington could keep Rapada in the game or bring in Derek Holland to face Marcus Thames.
This is where Washington's choices fell apart.
Marcus Thames is a lefty killer and has been so his entire career. He has a career .264/.333/.505 line against lefties in 750 career at-bats. He was specifically brought to New York to act as a platoon player and face lefties.
Meanwhile, Berkman has struggled through a poor season and only snapped out of a funk. However, as Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News points out, Berkman is hitting .356 against right-handed pitching since Sept. 1, and that was the statistic Washington keyed in on and made him choose the Holland/Thames matchup.
"We really had to pick who we wanted to face," Washington said. "We got the matchup we wanted. They just beat us."There is some doubt as to whether the matchup they got was what they wanted, as there's certainly plenty of reasons that Ogando or Feliz would have been able to neutralize Berkman. Simply looking at the ERAs and xFIPs of each pitcher shows that Holland was the worse of the three pitchers to head to the mound, and Holland did so against someone whose job is to hit left-handed pitching.
Feliz ended up never entering the game, and Washington says it's because the rookie has "never" been asked to get six outs in a game.
"He's never done anything like that," Washington told the Morning News . "I wouldn't do that. I had the people I wanted in the game. They didn't get it done. It happens."
"Never" is a strong word. It means Feliz has never gotten six outs in a game before.
So what happened April 21 and August 10 against the Red Sox and August 13 against these very Yankees? How about 2009, when Feliz joined the team in mid-August as a reliever? He got eight outs once, seven once, six outs six times (of course), five outs twice and four outs four times.
Yes, that was 2009. But he's done it in 2010 as well, against two of the more potent hitting teams, one of which was the opponent Friday night.
Feliz should have entered the game to face Lance Berkman at the latest, holding back Ogando and Holland for extra innings if needed. Given Holland was a starter, he would have been able to go multiple innings if needed. One could argue Feliz should have entered to face Alex Rodriguez.
Instead, he never did. And now Texas is down one game in the ALCS.
-- Evan Brunell
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .