Posted on: December 17, 2011 5:55 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What if players were only permitted to stay with the team that originally made them a professional?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.
In the 90s, the Indians welcomed a new ballpark with a cast of homegrown talent and twice used that to go all the way to the World Series, losing to the Braves in 1995 and the Marlins in 1997. A core of Jim Thome, Manny Ramirez, Albert Belle, Charles Nagy, Paul Shuey, Jaret Wright, Julian Tavarez and more helped that Cleveland team become a power in the middle part of the decade before the pieces moved on. Thome went to Philadelphia, Ramirez to Boston and others dispersed or saw their skills diminish as the window of opportunity passed. The current Indians saw the start of a new influx of talent in 2011 with the likes of Jason Kipnis and Lonnie Chisenhall, but more talent needs to come out of the system for the Indians to continue the promise of the first half of the 2011 season. The franchise has shown smart drafting and good development can get them to October baseball, and that it's the best way for a team of their means to get there -- and return.
1. Jason Kipnis, 2B
2. Marco Scutaro, SS
3. Victor Martinez, C
4. Jim Thome, DH
5. Jhonny Peralta, 1B
6. Luke Scott, LF
7. Lonnie Chisenhall, 3B
8. Ben Francisco, RF
9. Jose Constanza, CF
1. CC Sabathia
2. Fausto Carmona
3. Jeremy Guthrie
4. Bartolo Colon
5. Josh Tomlin
Closer - Vinnie Pestano
Set up - Tony Sipp, Aaron Laffey, Danys Baez, Edward Mujica, Rafael Perez, Brian Tallet
Notable Bench Players
There are some bit pieces, but not too much overwhelming talent coming off the bench. The best pieces are Maicer Izturis, Kevin Kouzmanoff and Russell Branyan.
This team could put up some runs, with a heart of the order featuring Martinez, Thome, Peralta and Scott, that's for sure. You've also got Sabathia leading the staff, and as the Yankees showed this past season, that can be enough to win the toughest division in baseball. Carmona is inconsistent, but still has a live arm, while Guthrie could thrive in a new environment and Colon proved he still has a little something in the tank during his 2011 season in New York.
Even if this Indians staff is a slight bump up from the Yankees' of 2011, the bullpen is a step down -- and the bullpen was one of the big reasons New York was able to win with a rotation featuring Sabathia and prayers for rain. The bench here is also thin.
Comparison to real 2011
The Indians were one of the feel-good stories for much of 2011, leading the American League Central for most of the first half of the season before fading and finishing the season 80-82. This hypothetical team has a better offense, better starting pitching and a worse bullpen. It's in no way a complete team, but it would have a chance at a winning record. The Tigers finished 95-67, well ahead of anyone else in the division. No, this Cleveland team wouldn't challenge the Tigers, but it would likely be better than the real 2011 Indians.
Next: Miami Marlins
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Tags: Aaron Laffey, AL Central, Albert Belle, Bartolo Colon, Ben Francisco, Brian Tallet, CC Sabathia, Charles Nagy, Danys Baez, Edward Mujica, Fausto Carmona, Indians, Jaret Wright, Jason Kipnis, Jeremy Guthrie, Jhonny Peralta, Jim Thome, Jose Constanza, Josh Tomlin, Julian Tavarez, Kevin Kouzmanoff, Lonnie Chisenhall, Luke Scott, Maicer Izturis, Manny Ramirez, Marco Scutaro, Paul Shuey, Rafael Perez, Russell Branyan, Tony Sipp, Victor Martinez, Vinnie Pestano
Posted on: June 26, 2011 12:21 am
Edited on: June 26, 2011 4:45 pm
By Matt Snyder
Jake Peavy, White Sox. When John Danks left the game in the second inning with an oblique injury, the White Sox appeared to be doomed. After all, the bullpen had worked seven innings the previous night and the opponent -- the Nationals -- entered the game as the hottest team in the majors. Just after Danks walked off the field, however, Peavy went trotting down to the bullpen. He ended up taking the ball to start the fifth inning and straight dealing. He worked four shutout innings, allowing only one hit and striking out seven. He picked up the victory in his first career relief appearance. Peavy teamed up with Brian Bruney and Sergio Santos to throw 7-1/3 scoreless innings in relief and the White Sox broke the Nationals' four-game winning streak with a 3-0 win.
Lucas Duda, Mets. Pretty much the entire offense of the Mets could be placed here after the 17-hit, 14-run beating administered to the Rangers in Arlington Saturday afternoon, but Duda deserves special mention. He entered the game hitting just .173 and with only one multi-hit game this entire season -- and it was a two-hit game. Thus, Saturday's effort qualifies as a career day, even if he's only 25. Duda went 4-5 with three doubles, two runs and four RBI. His average rose all the way to .228. So we'll offer apologies to the rest of the team and give the spotlight to Duda.
Carlos Gomez, Brewers. Again, we're singling out one player when the entire team exploded. The Brewers beat the Twins 11-1 on the strength of 14 hits and four home runs -- one was the inside-the-park variety -- but Gomez gets a special mention. It wasn't just that he went 3-4 with a home run, two runs and two RBI, bringing his average up to .221. He also flashed his speed by scoring on a sac-fly to the second baseman.
Alexi Ogando, Rangers. Apparently I've fallen into an impromptu theme here, because this is the third straight entry where I'm spotlighting a player for a team effort. The Rangers pitchers were collectively horrible Saturday, taking the aforementioned beating from the Mets (see Duda, Lucas above). We're going to focus on Ogando because he was such an integral part of the Rangers' starting staff early in the season and has recently stumbled. Those who pay close attention to advanced metrics like FIP and BABIP knew Ogando's results were too good to be true, and now we're seeing the regression. After starting 7-0 with a 2.10 ERA and 0.90 WHIP, Ogando's gone 0-3 with a 9.31 ERA and 2.17 WHIP. He's had two bad outings and one decent effort. It could just be him tiring a bit, a few fluky outings or a downward trend. It's certainly enough for the Rangers to be concerned, however.
Tony Sipp/Cord Phelps, Indians. The Tribe took a 1-0 loss to the Giants Saturday afternoon, and those are always rough. This one has to qualify as especially so, due to the manner in which the Giants scored their lone run. After being given a gift when Giants outfielder Nate Schierholtz fell down between second and third and was tagged out in a rundown on a would-be triple, the Indians decided to give several gifts of their own. Indians second baseman Cord Phelps committed errors on two of the next three hitters, at which point starting pitcher Justin Masterson was removed from the game in favor of Tony Sipp. Sipp walked Andres Torres to load the bases and then balked home the eventual game-winning run. Yes, you read that correctly. Sipp balked with the bases loaded, which plated Miguel Tejada -- and that ended up being the only run of the game.
Cardinals defense. It's been a problem for the Redbirds all season and it surfaced again Saturday. This time around, Daniel Descalso's third-inning throwing error with two outs extended the inning and the next Blue Jays' batter -- Juan Rivera -- hit a three-run homer. The Cardinals lost 6-3. They've fallen two games back of the Brewers in the mediocre NL Central and only have a one-game lead on the Reds and Pirates.
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Posted on: April 7, 2011 10:15 am
Edited on: April 7, 2011 10:17 am
By C. Trent Rosecrans
Blue Jays shortstop Yunel Escobar may be the test case for Major League Baseball's new concussion guidelines after leaving Wednesday night's game against the A's following a collision with Oakland third baseman Adam LaRoche.
Escobar stayed in the game after he ran into LaRoche's knee on a head-first slide into third following a fifth-inning triple. After fielding his position in the sixth, Escobar was taken out of the game because of dizziness. He was taken to a hospital for testing and stayed overnight.
Escobar convinced manager John Farrell to keep him in the game after the incident and even wanted to stay after his half-inning in the field. Still, he was at shortstop jumping up and down and shaking his head.
Farrell said the team was waiting to see how he reacted and didn't like what they saw. Diagnosing a concussion is difficult, especially when an athlete is conditioned to play through pain, so managers need to be more proactive when a head injury occurs. Farrell acted and luckily it wasn't too late.
It won't be a surprise if Escobar is the first player to wind up on the seven-day DL for concussions. MLB has stepped up to the plate in giving teams ways to properly treat concussions, now it's time for the teams to follow through and use them. [Globe and Mail]
IS TODAY THE DAY? -- Can the Red Sox actually win a game? CBSSports.com senior writer Danny Knobler joins Lauren Shehadi to discuss it.
FIRST PITCH WORTH SEEING -- The White Sox's home opener today and throwing out the first pitch will be Minnie Minoso. Minoso is anywhere from 85-91 and one of the great ambassadors of baseball. We used Baseball-Reference.com's player oracle linking franchise legends to current players and I swear a good third of them that I did included Minoso, who played his first big-league game in 1949 and his last in 1980 (although, he did manage just five games after 1964, appearing in three games in 1976 and two in 1980 in a publicity stunt). [Chicago Tribune]
LA RUSSA UPSET -- Cardinals manager Tony La Russa has found an easy scapegoat for his team's 2-4 start, the media. You'll never lose in a public opinion poll when you place yourself against the fourth estate. Baseball's king of deflection is at it early this season. [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]
GOOD SOLDIER -- Mariners second baseman Jack Wilson said he was in agreement with manager Eric Wedge's decision to pull him after two errors on Wednesday. The question is, with his contract up at the end of the season, could Wilson be traded away before the season ends to a team that needs a shortstop (St. Louis, Milwaukee, Houston?), especially with Dustin Ackley waiting to take over at second base. [Seattle Times]
CAREER NUMBERS -- Albert Pujols and Lance Berkman have been in the National League Central long enough to have played nearly a season's worth of games against each team. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Derrick Goold breaks down Pujols' and Berkman's 'seasons' against NL Central opponents. The conclusion? Those two are pretty good -- and the Reds don't want to see either. Pujols' best numbers -- .372/.456/.695 with 45 HR and 134 RBI in 157 games -- are against the Pirates, and the Reds are in second place (159 games, 43 HR, 133 RBI, .356/.440/.656). Berkman's best are against the Reds, hitting 49 HR, 137 RBI and .318/.438/.678 in 152 games against Cincinnati.
SMALL BALL -- For just the second time in the nine-year history of Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, there were two straight games without a homer on Tuesday and Wednesday. The only other time that happened was Aug. 6-7, 2005 against the Marlins. That hasn't hurt the Reds, who scored 20 runs in those two games. The Reds have scored 43 runs through the first five games, the second-best mark in their history. In 1976, Cincinnati had 44 runs through five games. That team, of course, repeated as World Series champions. The team is also 5-0 for the fifth time in history -- twice winning the World Series after such a start (1919, 1990).
CABRERA HITS 250 -- Miguel Cabrera hit his 250th career home run on Wednesday and Tiger manager Jim Leyland said he was sure his slugger would have "250 more." It seems likely if Cabrera stays on the field. [MLive.com]
OPENING DAY -- Today's opening day for the minor leagues. The game to watch is in Rome, Ga., where Bryce Harper will make his professional debut for the Class A Hagerstown Suns. [Rome News-Tribune]
HALL OF FAME PIG -- Ryne Sandberg, the new manager of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs is comfortable in his new job with the Phillies' Triple-A affiliate. [Allentown Morning-Call]
RALLY CAP -- The Altoona Curve is the first professional team to feature a reversible cap with a design in the lining to make a rally cap. The inside features a lining depicting the team's "rally mascot" Al Tuna. It's a pair of googly eyes, representing the head of the fish mascot. [MiLB.com]
MAKE IT A DOUBLE -- The Red Sox are getting closer to being able to selling mixed drinks at Fenway Park after reaching an agreement with Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino and other interest groups. This comes just in time, as the Red Sox are winless. [Boston Globe]
SHEPARD DIES -- Larry Shepard, the former Pirates manager and pitching coach for the Big Red Machine, died on Tuesday. He was 92. Shepard managed the Pirates in 1968 and 1969 and was the Reds' pitching coach from 1970-78. He also served as the pitching coach for the Phillies and Giants. [Associated Press]
RETURN TO MONTREAL -- The Blue Jays are considering playing exhibition games in Montreal and other Canadian cities. [MLB.com]
A REAL CLASSIC -- "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" will be preserved at the Library of Congress along with 24 other recordings chosen for their cultural significance. [Associated Press]
10 YEARS OF PNC -- One of the best ballparks in Major League Baseball turns 10 this year, as the Pirates start their home opener on a roll, winner of their first two series. Even 10 years old, the $270 million stadium is still one of the best in baseball, even if its tenants haven't been. [Pittsburgh Tribune-Review]
MLB.COM Q&A -- The boss over at MLB.com talks about technology and baseball [All Things Digital]
Tags: AL Central, AL East, AL West, Albert Pujols, Blue Jays, Blue Jays, Braves, Bryce Harper, Cardinals, Charlie Manuel, Cole Hamels, Craig Kimbrel, Indians, Jack Wilson, John Farrell, Lance Berkman, Larry Shepard, Mariners, Mark Teixeira, Miguel Cabrera, Minnie Minoso, Nationals, NL Central, NL East, Phillies, Pirates, Red Sox, Reds, Royals, Ryne Sandberg, Tigers, Tim Collins, Tony La Russa, Tony Sipp, White Sox, Yankees, Yunel Escobar