Posted on: February 28, 2012 9:43 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
The Marlins made headlines with their offseason spending spree, the Phillies still have the game's most intimidating rotation, the Nationals have some of the game's biggest young talents and the Braves are a sleeper team that shouldn't be written off because of last season's late collapse. And then there's the Mets. Last season the team finished fourth in the division and went 77-85, and then they lost their best player. To say there's a lack of buzz surrounding the Mets would be an understatement.
Major additions: CF Andres Torres, CL Frank Francisco
Major departures: SS Jose Reyes, RH Chris Capuano
1. Andres Torres CF
2. Daniel Murphy 2B
3. David Wright 3B
4. Ike Davis 1B
5. Lucas Duda RF
6. Jason Bay LF
7. Josh Thole C
8. Ruben Tejada SS
1. Johan Santana
2. R.A. Dickey
3. Jonathon Niese
4. Mike Pelfrey
5. Dillon Gee
Closer: Frank Francisco
Set-up: Jon Rauch, Ramon Ramirez, Bobby Parnell
Important bench players
OF Scott Hairston, IF Justin Turner
Prospect to watch
The team's top prospect is right-hander Zack Wheeler, acquired in the Carlos Beltran trade, but if he sees Citi Field this season, it'll likely be near the end of the year when the team's fate has already been decided. Outfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis could contribute immediately. The 24-year-old missed the second half of the 2011 season with a torn labrum in his non-throwing (left) shoulder, but has been swinging the bat at full strength since last month. Before his injury, he was hitting .298/.403/.505 with six homers in 221 plate appearances for Triple-A Buffalo. A solid all-around player, Nieuwenhuis can play any of the three outfield sports, but center field may be where he could make his mark. The Mets have the 34-year-old Torres as the its starter in center and the 31-year-old Hairston backing him up, so it's not much of a stretch to see Nieuwenhuis get a chance sometime this season.
Fantasy sleeper: Lucas Duda
"From July 15 (about the time he took over for a departed Carlos Beltran) to the end of the season, Duda hit .322 with 10 homers and a .957 OPS -- numbers that jive with his minor-league track record. And that was at old Citi Field, complete with its big gaps, tall fences and ability to crush David Wright's spirit." -- Scott White [Full Mets fantasy team preview]
Fantasy bust: David Wright
"Over the last three seasons, he has a .284 batting average and .828 OPS, which are solid numbers but less than elite even for a third baseman. True, his struggles began the same year the Mets moved to spacious Citi Field, but that doesn't explain why his numbers have lagged on the road during that time. Thus, you can't assume the team's decision to move in the fences this year will be Wright's miracle cure. It'll help, but it won't eliminate the injuries, the perpetually rising strikeout rate and the curious home-road splits." -- Scott White [Full Mets fantasy team preview]
Santana returns to Cy Young form and Niese takes a step forward, as the Mets pitching staff rounds into form. The new dimensions of Citi Field make a huge difference for the team's offense, with Wright and Bay returning to form, while Duda becomes a star. Even in this perfect world, the Mets could have trouble leapfrogging the Phillies, Marlins and Braves. But Bud Selig could always add another eight playoff spots, giving them a spot in the postseason.
Santana's injuries continue to haunt him and nobody steps up to take over at the top of the rotation. Davis isn't the same player that he was before his injury and Duda suffers from a sophomore slump, as the offense struggles overall. And then there's the chance that the problems on the field pale in comparison to the ownership problems. The worst-case scenario (well, for 2012, it's may be the best-case scenario for the long term) has a repeat of the Dodger fiasco.
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Tags: AL East, Andres Torres, Bobby Parnell, C. Trent Rosecrans, Carlos Beltran, Chris Capuano, Daniel Murphy, David Wright, Dillon Gee, Frank Francisco, Ike Davis, Jason Bay, Johan Santana, Jon Rauch, Jonathon Niese, Jose Reyes, Josh Thole, Justin Turner, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Lucas Duda, Mets, Mike Pelfrey, R.A. Dickey, Ramon Ramirez, Ruben Tejada, Scott Hairston
Posted on: December 6, 2011 10:03 pm
Edited on: December 7, 2011 2:12 pm
By Matt Snyder
DALLAS -- The New York Mets have sent outfielder Angel Pagan along with either a player to be named later or cash to the San Francisco Giants for outfielder Andres Torres and relief pitcher Ramon Ramirez, the Giants announced Wednesday.
The Giants desperately need an offensive boost, yet don't really have any available money to sign free agents or take on expensive contracts via trade. Pagan, 30, doesn't exactly scream offensive powerhouse, but he had a better 2011 than Torres. Pagan hit .262/.322/.372 with seven homers, 56 RBI and 32 stolen bases last season for the Mets. He was a quality offensive player in 2009-10, though.
Ramirez, 30, had a 2.62 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 66 strikeouts in 68 2/3 innings last season. He definitely bolsters the back-end of the Mets' bullpen, where they also added Jon Rauch and Frank Francisco Tuesday. Bobby Parnell joins Ramirez and likely Rauch in setting up for Francisco.
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Posted on: November 30, 2011 7:48 pm
Edited on: December 1, 2011 3:22 pm
While we all wait for tomorrow's 5:30 p.m. ET coronation of Bobby Valentine as the new manager of the Red Sox, here's the latest roundup of rumors, tidbits and other goings on around the baseball world -- or at least the internet part of it.
South Korean right-hander Chong Tae-Hyon is trying to decide between staying in his home country or joining the Orioles. The 33-year-old has been an All-Star in Korean and is a free agent for the first time. He's gaining plenty of interest in Korea, but would likely get a multi-year deal and a spot on the Orioles' 40-man roster, according to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun. The Orioles are also joining the sweepstakes for Cuban outfielder Yoennis Cespedes, Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com writes.
Speaking of Cespedes, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo watched him work out in the Dominican Republic on Tuesday, Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post writes. He notes the Nationals were in attendance at a showcase for Cespedes in early November, before the now-famous video was released.
Marlins outfielder Logan Morrison will meet with a doctor this week to determine if he needs surgery on his right knee, Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post writes. Morrison said he twice ran into walls, including one incident that required five stitches to close a cut.
Infielder Adam Kennedy has agreed to a one-year deal with the Dodgers worth $800,000 to serve as a left-handed bat off the bench and a utility player. Kennedy spent 2010 with the Mariners, hitting .234/.277/.355 with seven home runs. (Orange County Register)
The Giants are looking to move either Jeremy Affeldt or right-hander Ramon Ramirez,Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com reports. The team picked up Affeldt's $5 million option for 2012. Ramirez is in his third year of arbitration and should get a bump from the $1.65 million he made last season. Right-hander Sergio Romo is also arbitration-eligible.
If somehow the Cardinals don't end up re-signing Albert Pujols, the team could look to sign Jimmy Rollins to fill its hole at shortstop, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes. However, the team is stuck in a holding pattern until Pujols makes his final decision.
The good news for White Sox fans is that the team is cutting some of its ticket prices -- however that may be in anticipation of "gutting" the team, Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports. The team doesn't expect to get Mark Buehrle back and could look to trade lefty John Danks before he reaches free agency.
And, finally, to go back full circle to Valentine and the Red Sox, sources told WEEI.com's Alex Speier that after Terry Francona got the ax, Red Sox officials told at least one player that the team wasn't going to hire "someone like Bobby Valentine." Perhaps they forgot to add, "but maybe the real Bobby Valentine." ESPN.com's Buster Olney wrote that Red Sox players are already none too happy about the hiring, complaining about some of the things Valentine said about them on the air as ESPN's analyst.
Tags: 2012 free agency, 2012 MLB Free Agency, 2012 MLB Free Agents, 2012 MLB Hot Stove, Adam Kennedy, AL Central, AL East, Albert Pujols, Bobby Valentine, C. Trent Rosecrans, Chong Tae-Hyon, Cuba, Dodgers, free agency, free agent tracker, Giants, Jeremy Affeldt, Jimmy Rollins, John Danks, Korea, Logan Morrison, Mark Buehrle, Marlins, MLB Free Agency, MLB Free Agents, MLB Hot Stove, Nationals, NL Central, NL East, NL West, Orioles, Pete Orr, Phillies, Ramon Ramirez, Red Sox, Scott Elarton, Scott Podsednik, White Sox, Yoenis Cespedes
Posted on: September 5, 2011 12:17 am
By C. Trent Rosecrans
Willie Bloomquist, Diamondbacks: Bloomquist's two-run triple in the eighth inning may have been the final nail in the defending champions' 2011 coffin. Ryan Vogelsong held the Diamondbacks scoreless into the eighth inning before Ryan Roberts homered and then after Gerardo Parra singled and Geoff Blum walked, Bloomquist fired Ramon Ramirez's first pitch into the corner in right, scoring the eventual winning runs. With the 4-1 victory, Arizona leaves San Francisco up seven games in the division with 22 games remaining for each team.
Shaun Marcum, Brewers: Marcum again showed why the Brewers could be a team to be reckoned with in the postseason. Although Zack Greinke was the team's most high-profile pickup in the offseason, Marcum's been just as good, if not better. Marcum, acquired in a trade with the Blue Jays, improved to 12-5 with a 3.11 ERA after allowing just one hit and a walk in seven innings in a 4-0 victory over the Astros. He took a no-hitter into the sixth inning when Jordan Schafer singled up the middle with one out. No Astro made it to second base until the eighth when Francisco Rodriguez walked J.B. Shuck and then a single to Jason Bourgeois. However, Rodriguez recovered to retire the next two batters he faced to quell the scare. With the win and the Cardinals' loss to the Reds, Milwaukee now leads the NL Central by 9 1/2 games.
Derek Jeter, Yankees: Many of us said Jeter was too old and should just be sent out back and shot (or, you know, out to stud or whatever Derek Jeter will do after he's done with baseball), but those of us who said that (with me raising my hand right here) were wrong. The Captain didn't just go 2 for 5, tying a career-high five RBI in Sunday's 9-3 rout of Toronto, but since the All-Star break he's hitting .343/.397/.448. The one thing he hasn't done much of in that span is hit homers, but he had his second of the second half on Sunday and first since July 25. However, on a team with Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez, Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson, the Yankees don't need Jeter to hit homers, just be on base when the others do.
John Lackey, Red Sox: A favorite whipping boy of Red Sox fans, Lackey looked as if he were getting it together -- going five straight starts without giving up more than four earned runs (baby steps, people, baby steps). That streak ended on Sunday. Lackey allowed six runs on eight hits in five-plus innings of work. He didn't retire a batter in the Rangers' seven-run sixth inning, leaving after allowing three straight singles, threw a wild pitch and then walked a batter before being lifted. Lefty Felix Doubront gave up Lackey's final three runs and then three of his own in a 11-4 Rangers victory.
Mark Reynolds, Orioles: The Orioles third baseman committed two errors in the Orioles' 8-1 loss to the Rays, taking over the lead in the majors for errors, leapfrogging shortstops Elvis Andrus of the Rangers and Starlin Castro of the Cubs, who both have 25 errors. Reynolds hadn't started a game at third base since Aug. 14, but was moved back to third on Sunday to give Robert Andino a day off. Reynolds booted a two-out grounder with bases loaded in the third inning and led to four unearned runs in the inning. Reynolds' fielding percentage is down to .897 at third base. He's dead last in pretty much any fielding stat you want to name, UZR, UZR/150 and fielding percentage among them -- and it's not really close. Among qualified third basemen, none have a fielding percentage less than .940.
David Herndon, Phillies: His 2-1 pitch to Mike Cameron with bases loaded in the bottom of the 14th was close -- but his 3-1 pitch wasn't, as Herndon walked in Emilio Bonifacio to give Florida a 5-4 victory. Herndon loaded the bases in the 13th inning, but got out of it. He couldn't repeat the feat in the 14th, despite not allowing a ball out of the infield. In 3 2/3 innings, he walked seven batters -- so really blaming one call on one pitch doesn't carry much weight.For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Tags: 3 Up 3 Down, AL East, Astros, BRewers, C. Trent Rosecrans, David Herndon, Derek Jeter, Diamondbacks, Elvis Andrus, Emilio Bonifacio, Felix Doubront, Geoff Blum, Geraro Parra, Giants, John Lackey, Mark Reynolds, Mike Cameron, NL Central, NL East, NL West, Orioles, Phillies, Playoff race: NL Central, Playoff race: NL West, Ramon Ramirez, Rangers, Red Sox, Ryan Roberts, Ryan Vogelsong, Shaun Marcum, Starlin Castro, Willie Bloomquist, Yankees, Zack Greinke
Posted on: August 18, 2011 5:03 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
Victorino was the only player suspended after an Aug. 5 incident in San Francisco in which Victorino was hit by Giants pitcher Ramon Ramirez and benches emptied. Victorino had to be restrained by home plate umpire Mike Muchlinski and made contact with the umpire. Victorino tackled a Giants coach, but claimed he was coming to the aid of a teammate.@eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: August 8, 2011 5:42 pm
Edited on: August 8, 2011 6:18 pm
By Matt Snyder
Phillies center fielder Shane Victorino has received a three-game suspension for his role in a Phillies-Giants brawl Friday night, Major League Baseball announced Monday. Teammate Placido Polanco and the Giants' Eli Whiteside and Ramon Ramirez were fined, but not suspended. Victorino has appealed the suspension, meaning he'll continue to play until the appeal is heard by Major League Baseball.
Victorino was hit by a Ramirez pitch in the sixth inning and began walking toward the mound. The pitch came soon after a Jimmy Rollins stolen base, with the Phillies sporting a six-run lead. As Victorino approached Ramirez, Polanco started to run in from second base, when he was tackled by Whiteside -- the Giants' catcher, setting off the fracas.
According to MLB, "Victorino's aggressive actions prolonged the bench-clearing incident."
The Giants have denied the HBP was intentional while the Phillies have maintained it was.
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Posted on: August 7, 2011 4:25 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
During Friday's game, Bruno tweeted "gutless #!@&*# Giants. Bochy is a coward for having his illegal alien pitcher hit a guy since might Frisco boys…"
The tweet was quickly removed, but it had already been retweeted and reposted elsewhere.
On Sunday, Bochy took aim at Bruno's attack on Ramirez.
"Forget the remarks about me," Bochy told reporters, including Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle. "That doesn't bother me. For a guy to make a racist comment like that and have the ear of so many people, that bothers me. I can defend myself as a coward. I don't know if you can defend yourself making a racist comment."
Bruno, a nationally syndicated host, posted a semi-apology on his Facebook page, writing:
"I did remove my post and apologize for my comments regarding illegal aliens. I was angry and on the air and I stand behind my comments that Bruce Bochy is a coward, as are all managers who order pitchers to throw at guys just because their pitchers can't get a guy out. All of you people resorting to name calling are more classless and vile."
Bochy said he'd never heard of Bruno, whose show can be heard on Giants flagship station KNBR from 7 to 10 p.m, weeknights. He also laughed at the suggestion he ordered Ramirez to hit Shane Victorino.
"I guess I called Ramirez on the cell phone when he was on the mound," Bochy said, according to Schulman.
Ramirez, for the record, is from the Dominican Republic. And as all other baseball players that are citizens of another country, is in the United States legally under a P-1 visa.For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: July 31, 2010 5:31 pm
Edited on: July 31, 2010 5:34 pm
The Red Sox made two separate trades, dealing away Ramon Ramirez to the Giants and acquiring Jarrod Saltalamacchia from Texas.
Ramirez shone as a reliever for the Rockies in 2006 before a terrible 2007 season sent him to K.C. for 2008. He delivered on that potential before moving onto Boston for Coco Crisp and posted back-to-back seasons of sub-3.00 ERAs. However, while his strong season in 2008 was legitimate, the 2009 one was with a mirage of a 6.7 K/9 (down from 8.8) and 4.1 BB/9, similar to the Royals numbers but not helpful when combined with that K-rate.
Ramirez is back to being like gasoline on a fire as regression to the mean has hit him hard. His K and BB rates remain unchanged, leaving him at a 4.46 ERA in 42 1/2 innings. He was sent out for Daniel Turpen, a 23-year-old Double-A reliever has promise to emerge as a middle reliever one day.
The prize of the day for Boston is Jarrod Saltalamacchia, once a key to the Mark Teixeira trade that sent him from Texas to Atlanta. Boston has been trying to get him for years, and would have once upon a time cost Clay Buchholz.
This time, it cost Boston a mid-Class A first baseman in Chris McGuiness, low-Class A starter Roman Mendez, a player to be named later and cash (surprise).
McGuiness, 22, has shown blossoming power but is a bit old for his level. He is smart and is popular with teammates. His line on the year in 282 at-bats is .298/.416/.504 -- a strong line no matter how you cut it.
Mendez, 20, is the type of raw player that teams should absolutely take fliers on every now and then. Texas did this with Boston when acquiring Engel Beltre in the Eric Gagne deal. Beltre is a budding star now and is one of Texas' best minor-league players. Mendez, for his part, throws in the upper 90s and dominated the Dominican Summer League and rookie ball the last two seasons. His ERA is a sky-high 11.40 in six starts for Greenville, but for low-Class A Lowell is at 4.36 over eight starts with 35 whiffs in 33 innings. He's a great live arm to take a project on with.
Salty, for his part, has seen his luster fade in recent years.
Splitting 2007 between Texas and Atlanta at 22, Salty hit .266/.310/.422 in 329 plate appearances, the best mark of his career so far. He's chimed in with a .253/.352/.364 line over 230 PA in 2008 and .233/.290/.371 in 310 PA in 2009. He has only five at-bats to his name in 2010, as he has spent most of the season either on the disabled list (back issues) or Triple-A. The injury-prone catcher has a .244/.326/.445 line in Triple-A which is his second-poorest season in the minors overall.
He's been plagued with the yips, struggling to throw the ball back to the pitcher on the mound although that has turned around in recent weeks. All in all, he is still a strong prospect -- even if he's 25 now -- and a great flier for the Red Sox to take given their open-ended future at catcher. For Texas' part, they receive two strong, intriguing prospects for someone who desperately needed a change of scenery.
-- Evan Brunell
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.