Posted on: December 7, 2011 11:35 am
Edited on: December 7, 2011 12:00 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What if players were only permitted to stay with the team that originally made them a professional?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.
Last offseason the Brewers made two huge moves that powered them to a National League Central title -- trading for Zack Greinke from the Royals and Shaun Marcum from the Blue Jays. One look at roster of players the Brewers have drafted and signed out of Latin America tell you exactly why the Brewers had to reach outside the organization for starting pitching. While the team has consistently developed position players, its track record with pitchers -- both starters and relievers -- is not so good. So, check out one of the best lineups in this exercise, and worst pitching staffs.
1. Corey Hart, RF
2. J.J. Hardy, SS
3. Prince Fielder, 1B
4. Ryan Braun, LF
5. Rickie Weeks, 2B
6. Brett Lawrie, 3B
7. Lorenzo Cain, CF
8. Jonathan Lucroy, C
1. Yovani Gallardo
2. Manny Parra
3. Dana Eveland
4. Mark Rogers
5. Tim Dillard
Closer - Mike Adams
Set up - Craig Breslow, Jeremy Jeffress, Zach Braddock, Tom Wilhelmsen, Michael Fiers, Mike McClendon
Notable Bench Players
The bench actually has a nice mixture of bats -- Mat Gamel, Matt LaPorta and Michael Brantley, along with two outstanding defensive replacements in Alcides Escobar in the infield and Tony Gwynn Jr. in the outfield. There's also a super-utility guy in Bill Hall.
The lineup is ridiculous. It's like the team's lineup from this year, but better. Lawrie at third base adds serious pop, while Hardy is an upgrade at shortstop (and really, who isn't an upgrade from Yuniesky Betancourt?) The core of the lineup is about the same, and shows the team knows how to spot bats that will play in the big leagues. This lineup is certainly one a manager would love to pencil in every, single day.
That pitching staff is ridiculous -- and not in a good way. Yovani Gallardo is a really good pitcher, but the rest ... woof. The fourth starter (Rogers) has 10 innings in the big leagues. The back of the bullpen with Adams, Breslow and Jeffress, well, it's better than the rest of the bullpen. Really, this is all a mess. There's no way this team could compete with this pitching staff. Just brutal.
Comparison to real 2011
Well, the pitching staff ensures this team wouldn't win the division or even sniff the playoffs. The staff is so bad, that even with all the runs they put up, there's likely no way this team wins 70 games. The Brewers tried to slug their way to titles in the past and it was proven it doesn't work. In the end, it's why the Brewers had to gut their minor league system to get Greinke, and trade away an impact bat to get Marcum -- pitching is vital to the success of a baseball team and this hypothetic team has next to none.
Next: Tampa Bay Rays
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Tags: Alcides Escobar, Bill Hall, Brett Lawrie, Brewers, C. Trent Rosecrans, Corey Hart, Craig Brselow, Dana Eveland, Homegrown, J.J. Hardy, Jeremy Jeffress, Jonathan Lucroy, Lorenzo Cain, Manny Parra, Mark Rogers, Mat Gamel, Matt LaPorta, Michael Brantley, Michael Fiers, Mike Adams, Mike McClnedon, NL Central, Prince Fielder, Rickie Weeks, Ryan Braun, Shaun Marcum, Tim Dillard, Tom Wilhelmsen, Tony Gwynn Jr., Yovani Gallardo, Zach Braddock, Zack Greinke
Posted on: April 19, 2011 10:20 am
By C. Trent Rosecrans
One of the best parts of any new season is seeing players reach their potential -- or in Sam Fuld's case, exceed it.
With a 4-for-4 performance in Monday's win over the White Sox, Fuld is now the American League batting leader, hitting .396. And he made another fantastic catch, as you can see above.
"It felt like someone took a blow torch to [his left hand], and then I look at it and then there's nothing to show for it, no blood," Fuld told reporters, including the Tampa Tribune's Roger Mooney. "Now I know what turf burn is like."
Replays showed starter David Price screaming and clapping his hands after the play, which helped him win his first-ever victory over the White Sox.
The Rays are giving out a Sam Fuld cape later in the season, but it doesn't appear he needs one.
FASTEST GUN IN THE MIDWEST -- There's little debate now, the gun at Great American Ball Park is juiced.
On Sunday, it had Pirates closer Joel Hanrahan throwing 102, while Pitch F/X had him hitting 98. On Monday, the scoreboard showed Aroldis Chapman hitting 106, when Pitch F/X showed his third pitch to Andrew McCutchen as "just" 102.4.
Last year I had scouts tell me the gun was pretty accurate, but apparently the excitement around Chapman got the Reds greedy, amping up the radar gun. If he does hit 105 mph again, will it say 110 on the scoreboard? Maybe the gun will make Bronson Arroyo feel better about his heater. [MLB.com]
GOOD SEATS -- Nate Schierholtz's brother was sitting 10 feet from where his mammoth shot landed in the third deck at Coors Field, and paid the guy who caught it $25 bucks to get the ball. [San Jose Mercury News]
STREET WATCH -- Rockies manager Jim Tracy is keeping a close eye on closer Huston Street, who hasn't pitched more than two days in a row this year, but has pitched in 10 of the team's first 15 games. [MLB.com]
AXFORD STRUGGLES -- Brewers closer John Axford had another bad outing on Monday, blowing a 3-2 lead in the ninth of an eventual 12-inning Milwaukee victory. The issues has been control, but manager Ron Roenicke said he's not concerned or thinking about any kind of change. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]
AND I WANT TO BE COMMISSIONER -- Royals designated hitter Billy Butler said he still wants to play first base. Manager Ned Yost's response? " You know what, I'd like to be an astronaut -- and for some reason they just won't let me." With Kila Ka'aihue is manning the spot until Eric Hosmer comes in to take it for good. [Kansas City Star]
BRING AN UMBRELLA -- Weather has been bad all around baseball early this season, although attendance hasn't been hurt too much. [Associated Press]
RIOS AILING -- Alex Rios will be getting a break in the White Sox's series with the Rays to try to help his sore left toe fully heal. Rios said the toe has been hurting him for the last five years, so it's doubtful a simple day off will cure him. [Chicago Tribune]
AARDSMA TAKING THE HILL -- Mariners closer David Aardsma is expected to pitching tonight in Triple-A, his firs tame action since his hip labrum surgery in January. The Mariners will likely wait for him to throw three or four games in the minors before taking him off the disabled list. [MLB.com]
VIN SCULLY ON 42 -- Dodger Gene Hermanski had the idea of everyone wearing No. 42 way back in 1948, Vin Scully said. [Sons of Steve Garvey]
NOTHING BREWING IN MINORS -- According to the latest Baseball America, the Brewers have the worst minor-league system in baseball. After trading away Brett Lawrie, Jeremy Jeffress and Jake Odorizzi this offseason, their top-ranked prospect is right-hander Mark Rogers -- the team's first-round pick in 2004. On Monday, Rogers lost to former Brewer starter Jeff Suppan in a Triple-A game. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]
MINOR LEAGUER HIT IN HEAD -- Eric Hurley, a right-hander with the Rangers' Triple-A team, was hit in the right side of the head in a game against New Orleans on Monday. Hurley, 25, didn't lose consciousness and was taken to a nearby hospital. He left the field over his own power. [ESPNDallas.com]
THROWBACK THURSDAY -- Not only will the Dodgers be breaking out their new throwback uniforms against the Braves on Thursday, Atlanta will throw in throwback duds. No word yet on which Braves throwbacks we'll see. The Dodgers are wearing 1940s-era blue satin-like unis. To announce the promotion the Dodgers sent out a press release on Brooklyn Dodgers letterhead (or maybe the ownership ran out of their regular letterhead and had to find some at the back of the closet instead of ordering new stock.) [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]
TODAY IN GLUTTONY -- The Akron Aeros have introduced a helmet sundae. No, not a mini-helmet sundae, a full-sized helmet sundae. [Akron Aeros]For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Tags: AL East, Alex Rios, Aroldis Chapman, Billy Butler, Braves, BRett Lawrie, Brewers, Brewers, Bronson Arroyo, Cardinals, Chris Sale, David Aardsma, David Wright, Dodgers, Eric Hosmer, Eric Hurley, Giants, Huston Street, Jake Odorizzi, Jeremy Guthrie, Jeremy Jeffress, Jim Tracy, Job Chamberlain, Joel Hanrahan, Joel Zumaya, John Axford, Kila Ka'aihue, Mark Rogers, Mets, Nate Scierhotlz, Ned Yost, NL Central, NL West, Orioles, Pirates, Rangers, Rays, Reds, Rockies, Ron Roenicke, Royals, Ryan Raburn, Sam Fuld, Tigers, Tigers, Ubaldo Jimenez, Vin Scully, White Sox, Yankees
Posted on: March 16, 2011 11:02 am
Edited on: March 16, 2011 12:34 pm
By Matt Snyder
How can you best tell when spring is winding down and the real Major League Baseball season is nearing? Well, a few things. The snow finally stops falling. I guess, though this year who really knows. It's liable to snow at some places into May at this rate. Another good sign is watching the NCAA basketball tournament on CBS (shameless plug alert). How about baseball teams starting to name -- or get close to naming -- a fifth starting pitcher? That's a pretty good one, and it's happening in a lot of different places right now.
We've already passed along that Mark Rogers has been demoted, which leaves Wily Peralta the Brewers' likely five . We've also noted Michael Pineda being in Seattle's driver's seat as well. But there are plenty more.
Esmil Rogers looks like he's opening up a lead over John Maine and Greg Reynolds for the Rockies, after working five innings Tuesday and only facing the minimum 15 batters. (Denver Post )
Brandon McCarthy has gotten in the good graces of manager Bob Geren for being "impressive" and "consistent" in looking to win the A's fifth starting job behind a pretty underrated top four of Trevor Cahill, Brett Anderson, Dallas Braden and Gio Gonzalez. (San Francisco Chronicle )
Ever since Adam Wainwright went down with injury and the Cardinals said they were going to look internally, Kyle McClellan has been the front-runner to take the remaining spot. And every outing since then, he's gotten rave reviews and been tabbed as the front-runner. Thus, it would be pretty shocking if he didn't get the job. Still, the word from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch is that McClellan is merely "closer" to getting the nod.
Speaking of shocking, it would be just as shocking if Randy Wells doesn't win one of the Cubs' two remaining rotation slots. He's throwing well this spring and has the past experience. It also appears that former first-round pick Andrew Cashner is putting some distance between himself and the rest of the field as well. We'll get back to Cashner in a second. (MLB.com )
Of course, there is one team a bit behind the curve here. The Texas Rangers, your defending American League champs, still have a whopping seven guys in the mix for two spots. If a decision is made to start Neftali Feliz, one that seems increasingly likely with each passing day, that narrows the field to six guys for one spot. Those six: Derek Holland, Matt Harrison, Michael Kirkman, Alexi Ogando, Dave Bush and Eric Hurley. (Fort Worth Star-Telegram )
THE PROFESSOR: Of the two nicknames you see listed for Greg Maddux on baseball-reference.com, I always preferred "the Professor," even though it's nowhere near mainstream. He was so much more cerebral than his opposition, seemingly getting guys out just with his mind. Thus, it's only fitting he's passing along some knowledge to Cashner in Cubs camp as a special assistant. His latest nugget? "Walks are overrated." It's not surprising, coming from a guy who probably never walked someone by accident in his prime. Those who remember watching him in the mid-90s are nodding in agreement. You could feel when Maddux was walking someone on purpose; otherwise it didn't happen. Oh, and if Maddux's wisdom isn't enough, Kerry Wood has also taken Cashner under his wing. (Chicago Tribune )
RUSSELL THE MUSCLE: Hey, someone has to fill the void left by Mark Reynolds -- both in terms of power and strikeouts. Despite his lackluster defense -- which is reportedly a concern for manager Kirk Gibson -- Russell Branyan is turning heads by killing the ball this spring, to the tune of a 1.274 OPS. And don't scoff. While Branyan has a bad batting average and strikeout issues, his career OPS-plus is 115 and he averages 31 home runs over the course of 162 games. He need only hold off Juan Miranda and once-big prospect Brandon Allen. (MLB.com )
NO WORRIES: Clayton Kershaw was torched Tuesday by the Rangers, but Dodgers manager Don Mattingly isn't worried about his likely ace. Nor should he be, considering it's only the spring and Kershaw entered the game with a 0.00 ERA through 11 1/3 innings. (Los Angeles Times )
SWITCHBACK: Prior to the ALDS last year, the rules for the dreaded catwalk at Tropicana Field were altered, but now those rules are reverting back to where they were in the regular season of 2010. Check out the complete list on St. Petersburg Times .
GETTING GRADY BACK: Sunday could be the day. Grady Sizemore hasn't seen game action in about 10 months, but reportedly he has a real shot to play Sunday. Obviously huge news for the Tribe. (Cleveland.com )
KEEPING DICE-K: There's been a lot of talk about the Red Sox trading Daisuke Matsuzaka of late. Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe makes a good case to fans that Dice-K is actually a pretty average major-league pitcher and that, as the fifth starter, that's really all the team needs. Put the absurd salary aside and just enjoy the good Red Sox team, he pleads. I tend to agree. (Boston Globe )
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Tags: AL Central, AL East, AL West, Alexi Ogando, Andrew Cashner, Athletics, Brandon McCarthy, Brewers, Cardinals, Clayton Kershaw, Cubs, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Dave Bush, Derek Holland, Diamondbacks, Dodgers, Eric Hurley, Esmil Rogers, Grady Sizemore, Greg Maddux, Indians, John Maine, Kerry Wood, Kyle McClellan, Mariners, Mark Rogers, Matt Harrison, Michael Kirkman, Michael Pineda, Neftali Feliz, NL Central, NL Central, NL West, NL West, Randy Wells, Rangers, Rays, Red Sox, Rockies, Russell Branyan, Wily Peralta
Posted on: March 15, 2011 2:04 pm
By Matt Snyder
Shortly following the injury to ace Zack Greinke, the Brewers seemed to indicate Mark Rogers was the front-runner to take the temporary gig as their No. 5 starting pitcher.
Tuesday, however, that plan was blown out of the water, as Rogers has been demoted to the minors (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel ). While manager Ron Roenicke was reportedly unimpressed with Rogers' outing Monday, the performance itself wasn't what made the decision. Instead, it was the fact that Rogers could only work one inning. Other pitchers in camp fighting for the temporary slot are throwing five innings and will easily be ready for opening week (Journal-Sentinel ).
At this point, the front-runner for the April 6 start -- the first time the Brewers need a fifth starter -- is 21-year-old right-hander Wily Peralta. He will have to fight off Marco Estrada and Eulogio De La Cruz.
Estrada has a 2.25 ERA in four spring innings while De La Cruz has a 9.00 ERA in five innings.
None of the three candidates are overwhelmingly impressive in terms of stuff or resume, but this is only a temporary spot.
Much of this discussion could be rendered relatively moot anyway, as the Brewers won't again need a fifth starter until April 15 and after that second spot start, Rogers -- or even Greinke -- could be ready to step in.
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: March 9, 2011 3:08 pm
Edited on: March 9, 2011 3:08 pm
By Evan Brunell
The right-hander has yet to pitch in a game in spring training, but that could come as soon as this weekend. Rogers was picked with the No. 5 overall pick back in 2005, has been set back by two shoulder surgeries. The first came in January 2007 when he needed his right labrum repaired in the shoulder. A year and a half later, Rogers underwent surgery again to clean up scar tissue. That caused him to miss all of 2007 and 2008, but he returned in 2009 with a sterling campaign, albeit at high-Class A.
Rogers took another step forward in 2010 as a 24-year-old, making 24 starts at Double-A with a 3.71 ERA. He also made one start in Triple-A and then was called up to the majors where he contributed 10 innings, coughing up just two earned runs and three walks against 11 strikeouts. Rogers' injury is still enough of a concern that his future is considered to be a reliever, but it's too early to make that permanent switch, as his talent is still high despite struggling with control as his 5.6 BB/9 mark in the minors last season indicates.
The Brewers have virtually no depth behind the front five for the rotation, partly a casualty of all the money and players invested in Greinke and fellow newcomer Shaun Marcum. Rogers, along with Manny Parra, should be considered the front-runners to replace Greinke. Parra is a failed starter who profiles better in the bullpen, but could be asked to fill in until Greinke returns. Past that, the Brewers could ask 21-year-old Wily Peralta to fill in, but he has just eight starts in Double-A as his highest level reached.
Amaury Rivas is a better bet as the 25-year-old posted a 3.37 ERA in 25 starts for Double-A last season. Still, the choices here are lacking. Milwaukee will certainly be on the prowl for starters that become available later on in spring training, but don't expect a deal for someone like Kevin Slowey. After all, whoever the Brewers acquire will be bumped from the rotation upon Greinke's arrival. That limits the Brewers to internal options who either have options or would move to the bullpen or externally, those Milwaukee wouldn't mind parting with after only a few starts.