Posted on: December 1, 2011 12:30 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What if players were only permitted to stay with the team that originally made them a professional?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/past entries of this feature, click here.
Long a punching bag for fans and media alike, the Kansas City Royals have become a darling in recent years due to their strong farm system. We keep hearing about how they'll be a World Series caliber team by 2014 and the first wave of strong talent hit the bigs in 2011 -- with Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas leading the charge. There's more on the way, too. For the purposes of this exercise, though, the Royals get to add two All-Star veterans to the lineup who have long since departed. Oh, and they get back an aloof ace.
1. Alex Gordon, LF
2. Johnny Damon, RF
3. Eric Hosmer, 1B
4. Carlos Beltran, CF
5. Billy Butler, DH
6. Mike Moustakas, 3B
7. Salvador Perez, C
8. Johnny Giavotella, 2B
9. Mike Aviles, SS
1. Zack Greinke
2. Luke Hochevar
3. Aaron Crow
4. Danny Duffy
5. Chad Durbin
Closer - J.P. Howell
Set up - Jeremy Affeldt, Greg Holland, Blake Wood, Tim Byrdak, Mike MacDougal
Long - Louis Coleman
Notable Bench Players
Matt Treanor, Kila Ka'aihue, Mark Ellis, David DeJesus, Mitch Maier, Jarrod Dyson
That really looks like a nice lineup. There's obviously some growing up to be done in the 6-7-8 spots, but that's a lot easier done when the top five spots are that strong. And remember, Wil Myers is on the way ...
With Beltran and Damon getting up into their high-30s, the outfield defense would lack range. Of course, DeJesus and Dyson are both available off the bench as late-inning defensive replacements, so the situation wouldn't be dire. There is no real closer, but that's a bit overrated anyway. And the starting rotation leaves something to be desired, for now, until Crow and Duffy prove their worth and some of the other prospects (like John Lamb and Mike Montgomery) start to arrive.
Comparison to real 2011
It's actually pretty similar, aside from a few huge names. These Royals have Beltran and Damon instead of Melky Cabrera and Jeff Francoeur, while Greinke has been thrown atop the rotation. Those are upgrades and, remember, the real-life Royals didn't get full seasons out of many of their young players. It's reasonable to put this squad above .500 and maybe even lingering around in the playoff chase into August.
Up Next: Atlanta Braves
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Tags: Aaron Crow, AL Central, Alex Gordon, Billy Butler, Blake Wood, Carlos Beltran, Chad Durbin, Danny Duffy, David DeJesus, Eric Hosmer, Greg Holland, Homegrown, J.P. Howell, Jarrod Dyson, Jeremy Affeldt, John Lamb, Johnny Damon, Johnny Giavotella, Kila Ka'aihue, Luke Hochevar, Mark Ellis, Matt Snyder, Matt Treanor, Mike Aviles, Mike MacDougal, Mike Montgomery, Mike Moustakas, Mitch Maier, Royals, Salvador Perez, Tim Byrdak, Wil Myers, Zack Greinke
Posted on: May 30, 2011 11:20 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
"How do I know?" Mattingly answered, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Matt Guerrier and Mike MacDougal both have saves this season, but Mattingly said he'd rather keep those two pitching in the middle innings -- and as a safety net if one of his younger relievers gets in trouble and have to leave in the middle of an inning.
That leaves him with Javy Guerra, Scott Elbert and Rubby De La Rosa as the choice to close. All three have recently been called up from the minors.Combined, the three have pitched 39 1/3 innings in the big leagues -- and 30 1/3 of those belong to the lefty Elbert, who appeared in 19 games for the Dodgers in 2009.
The three have pitched well enough in their limited appearances so far.
Elbert, 25, had given up just one hit and a walk, while striking out five in four scoreless innings before Monday, when he allowed a hit and a walk, but no runs or outs in his six-pitch outing. He was rescued by Guerrier, just as Mattingly said he wanted to do.
Guerra, 25, came into Monday's game having allowed four hits and two walks in six innings, allowing two runs, while walking two and striking out four. He earned a save last week against the Astros.
De La Rosa, 22, picked up the win in his last outing, Friday against the Marlins when he allowed a run on two hits in two innings of work. It was just the second outing of his career, having made his big-league debut three days earlier with a scoreless inning against the Astros. The hard-throwing right hander was 7-2 with a 2.37 ERA and six saves last season at Class A and Double-A.
Mattingly didn't need to tip his hand Monday, as the Dodgers led 7-1 going into the ninth, a non-save situation. However, Guerra finished out the game for Los Angeles, allowing two hits, but no runs, in his inning of work.For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: May 19, 2011 8:03 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
The Dodgers will have to use Matt Guerrier and Kenley Jansen as their primary closers, with Mike MacDougal also in the mix. Guerrier picked up the save on Tuesday, but manager Don Mattingly has said matchups would dictate which of the two -- Guerrier or Jansen -- would close.
Los Angeles called up Ramon Troncoso from Triple-A. The right-hander has allowed 12 hits to the 17 batters he's faced this season -- for those of you not down with stats, that's not good. In 2 2/3 innings, he's given up six runs -- but hasn't walked (or struck out) a batter, so there's that.For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: May 4, 2011 4:04 pm
Edited on: May 4, 2011 4:13 pm
By Evan Brunell
Jonathan Broxton's struggles finally have an answer.
Broxton reported that his right elbow has been hurting for some time, which means the Dodgers now know why Broxton was throwing 90 mph instead of his usual 96 Tuesday night when he offered back-to-back four-pitch walks while registering just one out. Blake Hawksworth would come on to cough up the two inherited runs plus one of his own in the top ninth as the Cubs walked away with a 4-1 victory. Now, Broxton has been shut down pending the outcome of a MRI.
"Brox came in to complain about stuff, finally," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said to MLB.com. It's honorable he's willing to pitch like this, but in the end, it doesn't do him any good and it's not fair to him and really everybody else, either. If you can't pitch the way you're capable of, it's too tough to pitch like that here."
Here's where things start to break down. Broxton had an unsightly 7.58 ERA from June 28 through the rest of 2010, but the Dodgers don't seem to have bothered to investigate why Broxton stunk up the joint so much, nor did they pursue the issue in the offseason. Instead, Broxton was left to his own devices to pitch through what he earlier termed normal discomfort felt over the course of a season. In L.A.'s defense, it can't be responsible for tracking every possible injury with each player. But this was consistent failure spanning two seasons for someone in which the Dodgers have a great deal of money invested to perform a high-leverage role. The Dodgers simply have to do a better job investigating issues where there's constant red flags -- and need to do a better job communicating to players to speak up if something hurts.
Meanwhile, the Dodgers will now go to a closer-by-committee, but there's no clear leader there. Hong-Chih Kuo was rushed back from injury in an attempt to fix the bullpen and is still getting his sea legs under him while Vincente Padilla cannot be used on back-to-back days as he recovers from arm surgery. (In games where Padilla has at least one day of rest, bet on him getting the save call.) The team can't turn to Kenley Jansen either, as he was optioned to Triple-A to make room for Kuo. Jansen could fill the closer's role well as he's punched out 22 batters in 13 1/3 innings that don't include his two worst outings of the season when he gave up nine of 11 overall runs on the season to hand him a 7.43 ERA. Jansen will likely get the call if and when Broxton is placed on the DL.
"I'm going to deal with what we have," Mattingly added. "We have [Matt] Guerrier, [Blake] Hawksworth, [Mike] MacDougal."
But first, Mattingly had more pressing matters to attend to: finding a MRI tube large enough to fit the 300-pound Broxton.
"I'm serious," Mattingly said.For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: July 8, 2010 9:29 am
After back-to-back late-inning meltdowns, the Cardinals have gotten to the desperate stage with their bullpen, signing former All-Star closer Mike MacDougal.
MacDougal, who opted out of his minor-league contract with the Nationals earlier this month, was an All-Star with the Royals in 2003 and logged 20 saves for the Nationals last season. He pitched last night for Triple-A Memphis, allowing two runs on two hits in an inning. That pretty much stays in line with his performance this season. MacDougal had bounced between Double-A Harrisburg and Triple-A Syracuse in the Nationals' system this season, posting a 4-1 record with a 4.71 ERA in 21 appearances.
Despite the Cardinals' bullpen blowups the last two nights, their relievers have been good this season. Before Tuesday's epic fail of a ninth inning, St. Louis ranked second in bullpen ERA in the National League.
MacDougal, 33, is a former first-round pick by Kansas City and has 70 saves in his career, but has struggled with his controll in recent years. Last season, even as saved 20 games for the Nationals, he had as many walks as strikeouts (31).
But this is Dave Duncan, who can seemingly turn around nearly any pitcher, so if it's a good arm and a head problem -- or an arm problem and good head (i.e. Jeff Suppan), he's at least got a shot at turning him around.
-- C. Trent Rosecrans
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.