Posted on: December 18, 2011 2:24 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What if players were only permitted to stay with the team that originally made them a professional?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.
The new-look Miami Marlins went out and spent some cash on big free agents this offseason, but had that cash been around (or, you know, owner Jeffrey Loria willing to spend it before getting his new ballpark), the team could have kept some of the notable talent in South Florida. While the Marlins sent Josh Beckett and Miguel Cabrera out after winning a World Series, it's intriguing to think of what could have been had the Marlins stayed homegrown.
1. Logan Morrison, CF
2. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
3. Miguel Cabrera, 3B
4. Mike Stanton, RF
5. Josh Willingham, LF
6. Alex Gonzalez, SS
7. Brett Hayes, C
8. Robert Andino, 2B
1. Josh Johnson
2. Josh Beckett
3. Chris Volstad
4. Jason Vargas
5. Livan Hernandez
Closer - Steve Cishek
Set up - Chris Resop, Chris Leroux, Sandy Rosario, Alex Sanabia, Rick VandenHurk
Long - Brad Hand
Notable Bench Players
The bench is deep and versatile, including young and old alike, infielders and outfielders. Some of those guys include Gaby Sanchez, Edgar Renteria, Ross Gload, Matt Dominguez, Mark Kotsay, Chris Coghlan and Jeremy Hermida. Of those, Sanchez and Dominguez are good, young players that are just blocked by superstars, while the rest are clearly bench players.
Gonzalez, Cabrera, Stanton? Does any pitcher want to face that heart of the order? That's two MVP-worthy players plus the best young power hitter in the game. The bottom of the lineup offers a respite, but it's not like it's a wasteland. The top of the rotation can stand in just about any postseason series, throwing Johnson and Beckett back-to-back.
Of course, once you get past the two Joshes, things get a little easier. And once you get past them to the bullpen, the road gets a little easier, as well. Cishek may one day be a closer, and had three saves last year, but there's a reason the team went out and signed Heath Bell. Morrison probably isn't the first choice to play center field, but he's athletic enough to do it, and having Stanton in right helps out, as well. Cabrera hasn't played third base since 2008, but it was a way to fudge the lineup a bit.
Comparison to real 2011
The Marlins were 72-90 in 2011, the same as their Pythagorean record. Of course, they didn't have Johnson for most of the season, so it's hard to really predict where he'd be with this squad. This team is probably better than the 2011 team, scoring more runs, but also struggling in the rotation, just as the regular Marlins did. Better than the 2011 team, this team is not as good as the 2012 team is shaping up to be.
Next: San Francisco Giants
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Tags: Adrian Gonzalez, Alex Gonzalez, Alex Sanabia, Brad Hand, Brett Hayes, C. Trent Rosecrans, Chris Coghlan, Chris LeRoux, Chris Resop, Chris Voldstad, Edgar Renteria, Gaby Sanchez, Heath Bell, Homegrown, Jason Vargas, Jeremy Hermida, Josh Beckett, Josh Johnson, Josh Willingham, Livan Hernandez, Logan Morrison, Mark Kotsay, Marlins, Matt Dominguez, Miguel Cabrera, Mike Stanton, NL East, Rick Vanderhurk, Robert Andino, Ross Gload, Sandy Rosario, Steve Cishek
Posted on: September 29, 2011 10:20 am
Edited on: September 29, 2011 11:28 am
By Evan Brunell
The morning after baseball's latest contender for the most exciting final day of the regular season, we're left trying to figure out just which of the improbable, impossible events that led to a night to remember was best.
Rays coming back from 7-0? Evan Longoria whacking a three-run home run to pull the Rays within one? How about Dan Johnson, he of a .167 batting average in 260 plate appearances over the last four years jacking a game-tying home run in the ninth? What about Evan Longoria's game winner, shades of Mark McGwire's 62nd home run?
But there were plenty of other memorable plays. How about Robert Andino shocking the Sox with a game-winning single in the ninth? Or earlier in the game, when Dustin Pedroia whacked a homer to give the Sox a lead? The Phillies sending a dagger in the hearts of Braves with a Hunter Pence RBI single in the top 14th? But Craig Kimbrel, he of 40 saves on the year, had to blow the game for Pence to walk off. Similarly, Jonathan Papelbon imploded for the Red Sox, handing Baltimore the victory. The Cardinals razed their way to a 8-0 win, but how huge was St. Louis' five-run first on the strength of five run-scoring hits?
There are no shortage of amazing plays or occurrences from Wednesday night. We ask you: Which one was the best?
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeonBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: September 29, 2011 12:18 am
Edited on: September 29, 2011 2:17 am
By C. Trent Rosecrans
Evan Longoria's solo homer off of the Yankees' Scott Proctor capped what was perhaps the most exciting final day of the regular season in baseball history, and solidified two epic collapses by the Red Sox and the Braves.
Longoria's homer gave Tampa Bay an 8-7 victory just minutes after the Orioles' Robert Andino's liner scored the winning run in Baltimore to seal a 4-3 come-from-behind victory over the Red Sox. Longoria was in the on-deck circle in St. Petersburg, Fla., when the Red Sox score was announced. Just three minutes later, Longoria hit his second homer of the game.
It was just another comeback for the Rays, who were behind in the wild card race by as many as nine games and then were down 7-0 in the eighth inning of Wednesday's game against the Yankees. Tampa Bay scored six in the eighth inning, including three on Longoria's first homer of the night. Dan Johnson hit a two-out, pinch-hit homer in the ninth to tie the game.
While the Rays were within a strike of losing, the Red Sox were within a strike of winning.
Jonathan Papelbon, who had never surrendered an earned run at Camden Yards until Tuesday, struck out the first two batters he faced in the ninth inning trying to protect a 3-2 lead. But Chris Davis doubled and then Nolan Reimold hit a ground-rule double to tie the game and then Andino hit a sinking liner to left that Carl Crawford -- the former Ray -- couldn't catch, scoring Reimold.
Three minutes later, Longoria ended Boston's season, and completed the Red Sox collapse.@eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: September 9, 2011 1:30 am
By C. Trent Rosecrans
Ian Kennedy, Diamondbacks: Kennedy picked up his 19th victory of the season as the Diamondbacks beat the Padres 4-1 on Thursday. It was the 13th consecutive victory at Chase Field for Arizona, which is now 83-61 on the season and gaining on Milwaukee (85-60) for the second seed in the NL playoffs. Kennedy allowed just one run on seven hits in 7 2/3 innings, striking out 11 Padres. Kennedy has won each of his last four starts and 11 of his last 12. While most expect Roy Halladay or Clayton Kershaw to win the National League's Cy Young Award, Kennedy will have to be in the discussion.
Ricky Romero, Blue Jays: Toronto's left-hander entered Thursday's game against Boston with a 2-6 ERA in 11 career starts -- more than double his career ERA of 3.76. In two starts against the Red Sox before Thursday, Romero had given up 11 runs on 17 hits and eight walks in 8 2/3 innings. WIth that in mind, Thursday had to be a relief, as Romero silenced the Red Sox through 6 2/3 inning before giving up an RBI double to Jacoby Ellsbury to break up the shutout and ending his night. Reliever Casey Hansen gave up a two-run single with both runs charged to Romero. In all, Romero allowed three runs on five hits, striking out seven and walking three -- but most importantly for him, picked up the 7-4 victory against the Red Sox.
Robert Andino, Orioles: Baltimore's second baseman tied Thursday's game against the Yankees in the eighth inning with an RBI single and then won it with a single down the third-base line to score Nolan Reimold with the winning run in a 5-4 Orioles victory. Baltimore beat New York in extras on Wednesday as well, even though that game was in New York, not Baltimore.
Drew Storen, Nationals: The second game of the Dodgers-Nationals game was rained out, but Storen probably wishes the first game was called, too. The Washington closer had only pitched in two of the Nationals last 14 games and looked rusty when called into the tie game in the ninth inning. Storen gave up three hits, hit a batter and walked another in 2/3 of an inning before being lifted for Collin Balester who got Matt Kemp to fly out to end the inning, but not before the damage was done in an eventual 7-4 Nationals' loss.
Corey Luebke, Padres: Luebke didn't pitch poorly, allowing just two runs on three hits in 5 2/3 innings -- but against Kennedy, two runs were enough. Both runs came on solo homers -- by Paul Goldscmidt in the fourth and Justin Upton in the sixth. Luebke has given up 11 homers this season and seven of them are to the Diamondbacks -- three by Upton. Xavier Nady, Collin Cowgill and Aaron Hill have also taken Luebke deep this season.
Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox: Pedroia was 0 for 5 with three strikeouts and left five men on base in Boston's loss to Toronto. But it wasn't just Thursday's game that gets Pedroia here. THe Red Sox second baseman and former MVP had just 1 hit in 20 at-bats in the series against the Blue Jays, ending with a strikeout with two men on to end the game. It was only the second time Pedroia has struck out three times in a game this season and the third time since the All-Star break that he struck out more than once in a game.For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: August 12, 2011 6:17 pm
Edited on: August 12, 2011 8:40 pm
By Matt Snyder
Tigers relief pitcher Al Alburquerque was hit in the head and carted off the field during batting practice Friday evening in Baltimore. According to various reports, he was struck in the head by a fly ball off the bat of Robert Andino during Orioles batting practice as the Tigers' pitchers were playing catch down the left field line. He reportedly writhed in pain on the ground, kicking his legs, as medical personnel and teammates rushed to his aid. He did eventually stand up and get onto a cart before being taken off the field (Detroit Free-Press).
Alburquerque has suffered a concussion and will be forced to spend the night in the hospital for observation (Roch Kubatko via Twitter).
Andino was reportedly so shaken he didn't want to continue taking batting practice.
"I hit it and I saw where it was going and he wasn't looking," Andino said (Orioles Insider). "I tried to yell, but it was too late."
Alburquerque, 25, has been a godsend to the Tigers' bullpen this season. The rookie reliever has a 2.19 ERA and 57 strikeouts in 37 innings of work and has served as a quality setup man for closer Jose Valverde when called upon.
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: March 21, 2011 10:40 am
Edited on: March 21, 2011 10:42 am
By Evan Brunell
BONDS ON TRIAL: Monday marks the first day of the long-awaited trial in which Barry Bonds is charged with lying to a grand jury about his usage of steroids.
Bonds, who has adamantly stated that he never used steroids -- at least knowingly -- has had several legal victories leading up to the trial and it is anyone's guess whether Bonds will be convicted. If he is found innocent, former commissioner Fay Vincent believes his chances of making the Hall go up, but any conviction is "the end of the discussion for at least 30 years."
The anecdotal evidence against Bonds is overwhelming, and even if he's found innocent, it will be difficult to find a person who truly believes Bonds did not knowingly use steroids. It's unclear how much impact this trial will have on Bonds' Hall of Fame hopes. There will be plenty of writers who vote for Bonds if he cleared all the legal hurdles, but there will be just as many who pursue their own brand of vigilante justice, and there are plenty of supporting arguments for each party.
While the government has been limited by Bonds' victories in pre-trial hearings, they do hold a positive steroid test in which Bonds tested positive for the clear and the cream. That will force the trial to devolve into a "he said-she said" argument, with the government prepared to call 52 witnesses -- but none among them will be Bonds' close friend and trainer Greg Anderson, who has already served over a year in prison for contempt of court and could serve more.
While the lurid trial figures to get plenty of ink in the coming weeks, don't forget that Roger Clemens lands on trial in July, and that has the promise to be an even more salacious affair. (San Francisco Chronicle)
TO PLAY OR NOT TO PLAY?: While Japan struggles to deal with the devastation that the earthquake and tsunami wrought, there's a hot debate on whether the Japanese baseball league should begin play. Some look at how baseball was the salve for America's heartbreak after 9/11, some think the comparison is ridiculous. Either way, the Central League will open four days late and play only day games the first week to save power. The Pacific League will start up April 12. (New York Times)
STICKING WITH J.P.: Projected starting catcher J.P. Arencibia has had an awful start to spring training for the Jays, this after finishing last season 1 for his last 30. Even with the news that backup Jose Molina will catch Brandon Morrow and Kyle Drabek, that's still almost 100 games lined up for Arencibia, and the team is prepared to let the slugger play his way through any struggles. (Canoe.ca)
HUSTLIN': Mark Teixeira wasn't pleased with Ben Francisco Sunday, as the Phillies outfielder bumped into Teixeira on a groundball to first. "That's not a hustle play," Tex sniffed. "He could hurt me or hurt himself." Teixeira has a fair point, as most players will allow themselves to be tagged out on a play in front of them, but it's hard to blame Francisco for this one, who is battling for the starting right field job. (New York Post)
SAME OLD: The disabled list for Jake Peavy? What a surprise. After Peavy suffered a setback and admitted he has been pitching with rotator-cuff discomfort since March 4, manager Ozzie Guillen didn't mince words, saying Peavy is likely to start the season on the DL and will not make his next start Thursday. Peavy needed that start to stay on track to be the club's No. 5 starter on April 6, but Phil Humber will take his place instead. As for when Peavy can pitch again? He'll have to get past Ozzie first. (ChicagoBreakingSports.com)
WANTED: BACKUP INFIELDER: The Padres are on the hunt for a backup infielder, but may wait until next week for prices to drop on available players. Robert Andino of the Orioles and Alberto Gonzalez of the Nationals have caught San Diego's attention, and each should be available for a reasonable cost. (MLB.com via Twitter)
MORE POWER TO SCOTT: Scott Boras has a host of players under contract with the Nationals, including their three faces of the franchise in Jayson Werth, Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper. That will wield a lot of influence with the Nats, but contrary to popular perception, Boras may actually be able to exert a positive influence. (Washington Post)
WATCH YOUR MOUTH: Joe Maddon heard an Orioles fan yell something racist to Rays center fielder B.J. Upton, so Maddon had the fan removed from the game. (St. Petersburg Times) Upton and other coaches confirmed hearing the comment, but the O's fan has since created a Twitter account to defend himself, saying he did not make racist comments. (Twitter: @AssClownOsFan)
REED WANTS SPOT: Jeremy Reed has a bit of a reputation of having an over-inflated sense of self and the ego to match. However, in camp to fight for a backup outfield spot alongside Chris Dickerson and Brandon Boggs, Reed has done near everything right in the hopes it's enough to land on the 40-man roster and make the team. He has stiff competition in Dickerson, but manager Ron Roenicke is impressed with Reed's work ethic. (MLB.com)
Tags: AL Central, AL East, AL East, Alberto Gonzalez, Barry Bonds, Ben Francisco, Blue Jays, Brewers, J.P. Arencibia, Jake Peavy, Japan, Jeremy Reed, Joe Maddon, Mark Teixeira, MLB, MLB Rumors, Nationals, NL Central, NL East, NL East, NL West, Orioles, Padres, Phillies, Rays, Robert Andino, Scott Boras, White Sox, Yankees
Posted on: February 16, 2011 8:15 pm
Edited on: February 16, 2011 8:16 pm
Once the Orioles acquired Mark Reynolds, it appeared to confirm that prospect Josh Bell would be ticketed for Triple-A.
However, manager Buck Showalter revealed to MASN Sports that Bell was in the running to be a utility infielder, backing up third and first base.
"I think Josh is going to come in here and have a really good spring," Showalter said, noting that Bell took a big step forward with his conditioning in the offseason. Bell is listed as 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds on player card, so he could have stood to lose some weight, which he appears to have done.
But how can Bell make the team if he would be limited to just third and first? Most managers like backup infield players to have more versatility.
"There's a way he can make this club if I feel like the at-bats are there for him, being a switch-hitter," Showalter revealed. "[Cesar Izturis] has the middle infield covered, so that guy doesn't necessarily have to be a guy who can play the middle of the infield."
Once (and still potentially) thought of as the O's third baseman of the future after being acquired from the Dodgers midway through the 2009 season, Bell hit Triple-A for the first time in 2010 as a 23-year-old. He impressed with a .278/.328/.481 line in 344 plate appearances along with 25 doubles and 13 home runs.
However, his major league stint was nothing short of disastrous, whiffing 53 times in 161 plate appearances, checking in with a .214/.224/.302 mark. That's simply brutal, even though Bell was just 23 and in his first taste of the majors. (It certainly doesn't mean Bell can't hit big league pitching -- Dustin Pedroia hit .198/.258/.303 in 98 PA in his first taste of the majors back in 2006.)
Although Showalter is leaving the door open for Bell to make the club as backup infielder, don't bet on it. It's far more important to Bell's development -- and Baltimore's future -- to amass at-bats on a regular basis down in Triple-A. Vet on Robert Andino or Nolan Reimold winning the extra spot.
-- Evan Brunell
Posted on: September 20, 2010 6:13 pm
The Orioles apparently have a new third baseman.
Robert Andino made his third straight start at the position Sunday despite never appearing in a major-league game at the hot corner.
Andino (pictured) rapped four hits in seven at-bats -- two homers -- in the two games preceding Sunday. However, Sunday saw him allow the ball to go in the outfield on the first grounder he saw at the position. Andino righted himself by notching a 5-3 grounder the next batter. Alas, at the plate he was hitless in four trips to the plate, dropping him to a .267/.290/.567 mark in 31 plate appearances.
That mark is quite an improvement over his .222/.274/.288 line in 215 plate appearances in 2009. Andino spent the bulk of the year playing short for Triple-A, collecting a .264/.302/.405 line in 588 PA. He was acquired from the Marlins prior to the 2009 season and brings value with the glove.
"I think the athletic set is impressive," manager Buck Showalter said of Andino to the Baltimore Sun . "I want to see other parts of the game challenge him."
Andino replaced Josh Bell at third. The hot prospect, acquired last season for reliever George Sherrill, has not found the bigs to his liking after a Triple-A promotion earlier in the season.
That doesn't mean that the 23-year-old is buried on the depth chart and no longer a part of the future, Showalter notes.
"We're giving Andino some opportunities that Josh got, and Josh will get to play some more," he said.
Bell is hitting .214/.224/.310 for the O's after bashing Triple-A for an .810 OPS and is in the lineup Friday night against the Red Sox.
-- Evan Brunell
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .