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Tag:Reid Brignac
Posted on: December 8, 2011 8:43 am
 

Homegrown Team: Tampa Bay Rays

Josh Hamilton

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What if players were only permitted to stay with the team that originally made them a professional?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.

No team has had as much success drafting and developing its players like the Tampa Bay Rays. The one-time laughingstock of MLB is a model franchise to even the biggest spenders. The Rays have had big name leave, but keep replacing them with younger, seemingly better players. A year ago, the Rays lost Carl Crawford because they could no longer afford him. By the end of the season, Crawford and the Red Sox were sitting at home while the Rays were in the playoffs -- again. The reason is because they grown enough crops on the farm to have a successful harvest nearly every fall.

Lineup

1. Carl Crawford, LF
2. Desmond Jennings, RF
3. Evan Longoria, 3B
4. Josh Hamilton, DH
5. B.J. Upton, CF
6. Aubrey Huff, 1B
7. Reid Brignac, 2B
8. John Jaso, C
9. Elliot Johnson, SS

Starting Rotation

1. David Price
2. James Shields
3. Jeremy Hellickson
4. Wade Davis
5. Jeff Niemann

Bullpen

Closer - Dan Wheeler
Set up - Matt Moore, Andy Sonnanstine, Alex Cobb, Jake McGee, Jason Hammel, Jose Veras

Notable Bench Players

The Rays have a couple of decent bats off the bench in Delmon Young, Matt Diaz, Jonny Gomes and Jorge Cantu.

What's Good?

Crawford and Hamilton to go along with Longoria, Upton and Jennings? That helps, that's for sure. The rotation is exactly the same -- and that's a good thing. You've also got Moore sitting there. The starters are an embarrassment of riches. It's one of the main reasons the Rays can still compete in the AL East with a smaller payroll.

What's Not?

The bottom half of the lineup isn't great -- especially with Johnson at short. But there's enough help at the top of the lineup to make up for the bottom. The bench isn't deep defensively, but it's the American League so you don't need quite as much as you do in the National League. The bullpen isn't full of experienced relievers, but there are some quality arms that can switch from starting to relieving.

Comparison to real 2011

The same pitching staff plus Crawford and Hamilton make up for losing some of its Frankenstein bullpen and Johnny Damon. I put Hamilton at DH to try to save some wear and tear on his body, he can still play in the field every once in a while and give Jennings a day off and have someone like Young DH. Or Young can play in the outfield. The bullpen might be the most interesting question, but I think the offense and the starting pitching are enough to improve, if slightly, on the team's 91-71 finish.

Next: Philadelphia Phillies

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: June 22, 2011 1:41 pm
Edited on: June 22, 2011 2:23 pm
 

Maddon going 'unconventional' against Marcum

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Rays manager Joe Maddon is known to buck the old managerial book, but today's is a little different.

Against Brewers right-hander Shaun Marcum, Maddon is loading up on right-handed hitters. He announced the move on Twitter:


Joe Maddon 

That means the team is keeping Matt Joyce, Johnny Damon, John Jaso and Reid Brignac on the bench. That means Ben Zobrist in right for Joyce, Sean Rodriguez at second, Elliot Johnson at shortstop and Kelly Shoppach behind the plate. Johnson and Zobrist are the switch hitters.

Maddon's one of baseball's best managers, and if I had the No. 1 pick in a managerial draft, he'd be my choice. That said, I'm not sure about this one. The rationale is likely that right-handers will have a better chance against Marcum's excellent changeup.

The numbers, however, don't exactly reflect that.

So far this season, right-handed batters are hitting .160/.225/.251 against Marcum and lefties are hitting .274/.312/.415 against him. Of the eight homers Marcum has allowed this season, five have been to left-handed batters in 20 fewer plate appearances. His career numbers are a lot closer, as right-handers hit .239/.297/.417 against him and lefties hit .241/.304/.401.

As for the two Rays switch hitters, Zobrist's numbers are pretty similar as a right-handed batter and a left-handed batter; Johnson is much better from the right side (.273/.400/.303) than the left (.167/.180/.354). 

Of course, Marcum is in his first year with the Brewers and these Rays are familiar with the former Blue Jay. As noted in Jonah Keri's The Extra 2%Maddon used a similar strategy against Marcum last season and the right-hander was 0-2 with a 5.55 ERA in four starts against the Rays. The Rays won three of those games. In the first, Marcum allowed 10 hits and five runs (four earned), but threw eight innings of one-run ball before giving up three hits and four runs in the ninth. The Rays pounded him in their next matchup, with 10 hits and seven earned runs in four innings. The second two matchups were less successful for Maddon's team, with Marcum going six innings each time, allowing five hits and one run in one start and six hits and three runs in the other.

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Posted on: May 18, 2011 9:54 am
Edited on: May 18, 2011 9:59 am
 

Pepper: Peavy, Posada, Pudge and More



BASEBALL TODAY: What should White Sox fans expect from Jake Peavy tonight? Will Jered Weaver get back on track in Seattle? Tony Lee of NESN.com joins Lauren Shehadi with the latest edition of CBSSports.com's Baseball Today.

By Matt Snyder


MORE POSADA-GIRARDI FEUD: Evidently, the Jorge Posada-Joe Girardi issue Saturday night had been brewing for some time -- at least according to the New York Daily News. Reportedly, Posada and Girardi began to butt heads back in 2005 when Girardi was the Yankees' bench coach and Posada was the everyday catcher. Girardi was "heavily involved" in the game-planning in terms of how to work opposing hitters, but reportedly Posada would routinely deviate from the plans during games. So then Girardi would call Posada out, which made Posada angry.

"Jorge felt everything he did behind the plate was being second-guessed by Girardi on the bench," the Daily News' anonymous source said. "The way Jorge called a game was a big issue for Girardi."

The source went on: "Girardi couldn't wait to get him out from behind the plate," the source said. "He hated the way he called a game."

Whether or not this is true, I'm just ready for it to all be in the past. Permanently.

ON THE FLIP SIDE: With the whole Posada drama in New York, Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post takes the time to point out that Nationals catcher Ivan Rodriguez could have very well done something similar considering his role has been severely downgraded this season as Wilson Ramos has taken over as the starter. It hasn't been lost on Rodriguez's teammates, either. “He comes in here, they hit him eighth, he doesn’t say a thing,” one Nationals player said, motioning toward Rodriguez. I believe the difference is that Rodriguez has had to bounce around from team to team, so he's had the chance to be humbled and avoid a sense of entitlement. But that doesn't make Posada right. He could learn a thing or two from one of the best catchers to ever play the game. (Nationals Journal)

SHAKEUP COMING: The Giants' offense is getting to be more and more of an issue with each passing day, as they've now scored the least amount of runs in the National League. There's talk of a shakeup coming with the starting lineup, specifically the infield, in an attempt to get more offense. In fact, the Giants might recall Brandon Belt, play him at first, and then move Aubrey Huff to third base until Pablo Sandoval is healthy again. That's a drastic move defensively, since Huff hasn't played third in a few years and wasn't good there to begin with. It's just how desperate they're getting for more punch. (Mercurynews.com)

MORE JOHNSON, LESS BRIGNAC: Rays manager Joe Maddon said that Elliot Johnson is likely to see the majority of the playing time moving forward at shortstop while Reid Brignac will play less. Considering Johnson is a switch-hitter and Brignac swings lefty (with the majority of opposing starters being right-handed), it won't be a straight platoon in the least. "I don't want to be committed to that. You're going to see more of Elliot. Let's put it that way," Maddon said. "I think he's done a nice job." (TampaBay.com) Johnson is 3-7 with two home runs and a stolen base in his past two starts. Brignac is hitting just .179 with a dreadful .402 OPS this season.

GUT FEELING: The Mariners are about to receive a shot in the arm -- both offensively and defensively -- Wednesday, as Gold Glove center fielder Franklin Gutierrez will finally be activated from the disabled list. He'd been sidelined since the middle of spring training with a stomach ailment that had bothered him a good portion of 2010 as well. Expect Gutierrez to immediately take over in center for Mike Saunders, who has been fine in center but brutal offensively (.171/.222/.265). Gutierrez is superb in the outfield and a capable hitter. He hit .245 with 12 home runs and 64 RBI last season, but remember, he was plagued by the stomach issue. In 2009, he hit .283 with 18 homers, 70 RBI and a .764 OPS. (MLB.com)

REMEMBER ME? Dallas McPherson was once a top-20 prospect in all of baseball. He was the Brandon Wood of the early-to-mid 2000s -- expected to be a big power source for the Angels, only to flop several times before the Angels finally gave up on him. The difference was McPherson could blame some of his woes on injuries and he wasn't near as bad, sporting a .755 OPS in 117 games for the Angels in parts of three seasons. Still he hadn't been in the majors since 2008 ... until Tuesday night. McPherson is now a member of the White Sox and got a hit in his big-league at-bat in three seasons. It has been a long road back through a back surgery and lingering problems. "I've got to be honest, I wasn't sure I'd hear those words again," he said in discussing his promotion back to the majors. (Chicago Sun-Times)

FLASHBACK CAPS FOR SALE: The Angels are going to wear four different throwback jerseys this season on Friday home games, in what they're calling "Flashback Fridays." Well, the lids will be available for sale, which is sweet. I'd love to get the one with the lower-case "a" with a halo over it. Awesome. (The Ballcap Blog)

HIGH PRAISE: It's become pretty common knowledge at this point that Brandon Phillips is the best defensive second baseman in baseball, but that doesn't mean it hurts for him to hear the words from a former Reds second baseman -- one who is in the Hall of Fame. "He's unbelievable to me, with his range and everything," said Joe Morgan. "I think he's the best defensive second baseman in the game. He's athletic and he's willing to take chances, which I think is what separates him." (Cincinnati.com)

DREAM COME TRUE: Tony Campana grew up in the Cincinnati area and was able to make his major-league debut Tuesday night in Cincinnati -- only it was for the Cubs. He didn't disappoint his reported 50-plus friends and family in attendance, either, as Campana picked up an RBI double in his first big-league at-bat. He scored the go-ahead run an inning earlier when he had entered as a pinch-runner. "It's pretty much a dream come true, other than the outcome of the game," Campana said. "I couldn't be happier to come out, get a hit, score a run and get an RBI." Oh, yeah, that outcome. The Cubs blew the game again. This time in the eighth. (MLB.com)

RAIN DELAY FUN: All kinds of stuff happens when baseball players are waiting out rain delays. Here's a great video of some jousting with bats, courtesy of college teams Radford and High Point.



For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: March 27, 2011 10:19 pm
Edited on: March 28, 2011 3:40 pm
 

Three Rays' players burglarized

By Matt Snyder

David Price, Evan Longoria and Reid Brignac rented a home together in Port Charlotte, Fla. and were victimized in a break-in burglary Saturday night. The assailants made off with quite the haul, too.

Price estimates he had $50,000 worth of losses. The laundry list of some of the items taken: a 60-inch flatscreen TV, headphones, three iPads, two X-Boxes, a laptop computer and several "high-priced" watches.

Fortunately, none of the three players were around when the theft took place. Price was first on the scene after it happened and noticed some plants outside were knocked over, which caused him to contact Brignac and Longoria before the three called the police.

The players were very positive about the job the police department has done for them so far and looked on the bright side.
"Thank God nobody was there," Brignac said Sunday. "If we were there, it would have been a different story."

"That was one of the biggest things," Longoria said, "that everybody was okay and safe, and nobody had to fight their way out of a home invasion robbery. … A multitude of different things could have happened, and there could have been people injured."
(St. Petersburg Times )

No word on what kind of karmic mistake Longoria made this offseason, but it's the second time this spring he's been victimized. He also had a car stolen earlier this month. Talk about some bad luck. On a very serious note, let's hope it's just a coincidence with Longoria. You never know with famous people and twice in a month is an awfully big coincidence if it is one. Again, let's hope it is.

UPDATE: One of the items stolen was an AK-47 rifle that belonged to Longoria.

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Posted on: November 16, 2010 10:50 pm
 

Red Sox shopping Scutaro

Marco Scutaro The Red Sox are listening to offers on shortstop Marco Scutaro, FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal reports .

Several teams are interested in Scutaro, while the Red Sox would let Jed Lowrie take over at short if the Red Sox traded him.

The Red Sox are looking for middle relief, and Rosenthal notes the Cardinals, Padres, Reds and Pirates as a match with a need at shortstop and bullpen depth.

While there aren't many free agent shortstops on the market, the Rays are also looking to trade arbitration-eligible Jason Bartlett in favor of Reid Brignac. Bartlett made $4 million in 2010 and will be a free agent following the 2011 season.

Scutaro was somewhat of a disappointment for the Red Sox this season, hitting .275/.333/.388, down from his breakout season in Toronto in 2009, when he hit .282/.379/.409 in his only season of his career with an OPS+ better than 100 (average).

The 35-year old shortstop is due $5 million next season and has a $6 million team option for 2012 or a $3 million player option and a $1.5 million buyout.

Lowrie is younger and hit .287/.381/.526 in 197 plate appearances in 2010, playing both shortstop and second.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.


Posted on: October 3, 2010 8:50 pm
Edited on: October 3, 2010 8:55 pm
 

Ray unhappy with playoff times

Who did we ever whine to before there was Twitter?

As soon as times were announced for the first four days of playoffs, the complaints came in. And it wasn't just fans.

Rays infielder Reid Brignac took to Twitter (@reidbrignac ) to complain about the Rays' day games on Wednesday and Thursday at Tropicana Field:

Reid Brignac

Well, Brignac may need to look way back into, say, last week, to remember that the Rays aren't quite the draw -- in attendance or TV ratings -- as the Yankees. The Yankees are going to get the primetime slots, it's just the way it works.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .


Category: MLB
Posted on: September 7, 2010 1:17 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 12:05 pm
 

Rays test their bench

Joe Maddon How about this for a record you didn't know existed?

Monday night the Rays tied a major-league record by using six pinch hitters in one inning. It was the ninth time that's happened -- and the seventh in September, when rosters expand.

Joe Maddon did it in the seventh inning of Monday's game in Boston because his team was being blown out and wanted to give his regulars some rest and get his bench players some at-bats.

"They all looked good up there. We like our depth, we like our bench," Maddon told the St. Petersburg Times ' Marc Topkin . "I want to keep them sharp, I've got to get them out there. Hopefully as we proceed and hopefully make the playoffs we're going to have to make a lot of tough decisions regarding who those 25 people are going to be, so these guys have got to play. If they're going to contribute the rest of this month they just can't sit on the bench."

How'd it work? Well enough for six pinch hitters to get to bat -- as well as three starters -- who accounted for two of the three outs. None of the starters got a hit, with Carlos Pena walking. The pinch hitters went 3 for 4 with two walks, scoring all three runs in the inning.

Here's how it went down:

The Red Sox started the inning with Robert Coello replacing starter Jon Lester.

Dan Johnson, batting for Ben Zobrist, singled to center.

Kelly Shoppach flied out to center.

Matt Joyce, batting for B.J. Upton, singled to right.

Willy Aybar, batting for Jason Bartlett, singled to center, loading the bases.

Brad Hawpe, batting for Carl Crawford, walked, scoring a run.

Desmond Jennings, batting for Evan Longoria, walked, scoring a run.

The Red Sox pulled Coello and put in Dustin Richardson.

Carlos Pena walked, scoring a run.

Out goes Richardson, in comes Scott Atchison.

Reid Brignac, batting for Sean Rodrgiuez, pops out to first.

Rico Baldelli flied out to end the inning.

The last team to use six pinch hitters in an inning was the Mariners in 2007 and the last two do it in a non-September game was the Expos in May of 1970.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .




 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com