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Tag:Wilson Valdez
Posted on: December 12, 2011 11:49 am
Edited on: December 12, 2011 11:56 am
 

Homegrown Team: Nationals/Expos



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What if players were only permitted to stay with the team that originally made them a professional?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

We continue the series today with the Washington Nationals/Montreal Expos. Yeah, remember them -- the best team in baseball in 1994 before the strike ended the season without a World Series? If you don't, you'll need to be reminded of a certain Bartolo Colon trade, which ended up being awful for the Expos, who got 17 starts from Colon after coughing up three future All-Stars for him. What we see is a team that looks pretty good, but has loads of young talent either already developing in the bigs or soon to be arriving.

Lineup

1. Grady Sizemore, CF
2. Brandon Phillips, 2B
3. Ryan Zimmerman, 3B
4. Vladimir Guerrero, RF
5. Jason Bay, LF
6. Danny Espinosa, 1B
7. Ian Desmond, SS
8. Brian Schneider, C

Starting Rotation

1. Cliff Lee
2. Stephen Strasburg
3. Jordan Zimmermann
4. Javier Vazquez
5. John Lannan

Bullpen

Closer - Drew Storen
Set up - Bill Bray, Craig Stammen, Collin Balester, Miguel Batista
Long - Armando Galarraga, Brad Peacock, Tom Milone, Ross Detwiler

Notable Bench Players

Bryce Harper, Chris Marrero, Wilson Valdez, Anthony Rendon, Jamey Carroll, Orlando Cabrera, Geoff Blum and Roger Bernadina.

What's Good?

The starting rotation is really good, especially if you start to think about the future. Much like the real Nats, Peacock, Milone and Detwiler all have the potential to break through and really make this a strong top-to-bottom rotation. Here, you have a perennial Cy Young candidate sitting at the top, too. The batting order definitely has the potential to be good, but there are a lot of question marks, so we can't really be overly excited about it. But, much like with the rotation, there is some serious potential on the way in Harper and Rendon. Finally, the bench is really good. This team has depth.

And in case you're curious, the three All-Stars the Expos gave up for Colon were Sizemore, Phillips and Lee. None of the three had made their major-league debut at the time of the trade.

What's Not?

If we were really going to stick Vlad in right field, we'd have to pray no one hit the ball out there. Should I have gotten more creative and put Vlad at first, moving Espinosa out to right? Maybe. We could move Vlad to 1B and throw Harper into the fire, play Bernadina in the outfield and move Vlad to first or just bench Guerrero. I'm open to any idea, but the idea I used was to maximize the offense. Hey, it worked when the Cardinals put Lance Berkman in right this past real season, right? Also, Schneider is a pretty bad catching option at this point, but there were zero other options on current 40-man rosters or in free agency in the MLB (which is what we used to build these rosters). Finally, the bullpen is very thin in front of Storen in the late innings.

Comparison to real 2011

The real-life Nats are just on the cusp of breaking through, though it'll be tough in the stacked NL East. These Nats would be a bit better with the legitimate ace Lee and a great bench. Maybe mid-80s in wins, but with tons of help on the way. Much like with the real Nats, it's kind of a "watch out next year" type deal -- with the likes of Harper, Rendon, Peacock and Milone waiting in the wings while Strasburg, Zimmermann, Storen, Espinosa et al continue to get better.

Next: Boston Red Sox

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Posted on: August 8, 2011 10:28 pm
 

Polanco hopes to play through sports hernia

Placido PolancoBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. told reporters third baseman Placido Polanco has been diagnosed with a sports hernia, but may avoid the disabled list.

Polanco underwent an MRI on Monday and will receive a shot on Tuesday and be re-evaluated on Friday. If Polanco has to undergo surgery, Amaro said doctors told him Polanco could return in three to four weeks.

"Frankly a lot of guys have played through this injury," Amaro told reporters, including Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com. "It's just a matter of the discomfort. If it's too great, we'd probably have to do a procedure, but it would not necessarily end his season.

"I think we can manage this and get him through the season, but we'll know more Friday."

Amaro noted Raul Ibanez played through a sports hernia in 2009 and it was more severe than Polanco's injury.

Michael Martinez got the start for Monday's game against the Dodgers. Wilson Valdez will also get some starts in Polanco's place.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: May 27, 2011 12:42 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Pitchers can hit too

Cliff Lee

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Ciff Lee, Phillies -- The day after Wilson Valdez showed position players could pitch, Cliff Lee showed pitchers can hit. Lee hit a single and double, driving in three runs in the Phillies' 10-4 victory over the Reds. While Lee wasn't especially sharp (by his standards) on the mound, he did what was most important for his team, stay on the mound. Following the 19-inning affair on Wednesday, Lee saved the team's bullpen by going eight innings on Thursday, despite giving up 10 hits and four runs. He did strike out eight batters and walked one.

Carlos Zambrano, Cubs -- Zambrano isn't your ordinary pitcher when he steps up to the plate, the guy knows what to do with the bat in his hand. Wednesday he went 3 for 3 with an RBI and a double. He'd also pinch-hit Tuesday night, driving in two, so he finished the series against New York 4 for 4 with three RBI. Oh, and he pitched six innings, allowing six hits and two runs, just one earned, while striking out five and walking two.

Carl Crawford, Red Sox -- Still worried about Crawford? Maybe not, especially after his last two days when he was 8 for 9 with two doubles, two triples and a home run. He was a triple shy of the cycle on Wednesday when he went 4 for 4, but made up for it with two triples on Thursday while going 4 for 5 with three RBI against the Indians. He entered May hitting .204/.227/.431 and is up to .277/.368/.645. Crawford's gonna be just fine.


Joel Piniero, Angels -- At least he's consistent. And honestly, he wasn't so bad. He went 6 1/3 innings and allowed four runs on 11 hits with no walks. In his last outing, he went 6 1/3 innings, allowing four runs on 11 hits with no walks. He did strike out one more batter than he did five days ago, three instead of two. The bad part is he lost both games.

Adam Dunn, White Sox -- Dunn took another collar on Thursday, striking out in all four of his plate appearances, including a K to end the eighth inning with a runner on third in a tie game. Dunn struck out three times against Toronto starter Brandon Morrow and then once against lefty Marc Rzepczynski. Dunn is now 0 for 33 with 15 strikeouts in 39 plate appearances against left-handers this season. Ozzie Guillen has said he'll move Dunn to seventh in Chicago's lineup on Friday.

Marc Rzepczynski, Blue Jays -- And speaking of Rzepczynski, the Jays left-hander may have gotten Dunn to end the eighth, but he picked up the loss with his work in the ninth. After third baseman John McDonald's error allowed Alex Rios to reach base and advance to second, Rzepczynski uncorked a wild pitch putting the go-ahead run on third. He followed that by hitting Gordon Beckham, setting the table for Juan Pierre. Pierre hit one down the line to first baseman Juan Rivera, who fielded the ball, but Rzepczynski wasn't able to beat Pierre to the bag. Rios scored easily on Pierre's grounder, but Beckham scored when Rivera's throw bounced off of the pitcher. 

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Posted on: April 7, 2011 6:16 pm
 

Wilson Valdez's bat says 'Chase who?'

By Matt Snyder

Games like this have to help set the minds at ease of Phillies' brass, the fans and Chase Utley himself. Wilson Valdez just had a monster game. He went 4-4 with two doubles, three runs and three RBI in an 11-0 beatdown of the Mets. Gaudy numbers for anyone, but for a man the Phillies were forced to start -- even having to beat out punchless Luis Castillo in late spring training to win the job -- it has to serve as a cherry on top.

His rate stats (like the .429 batting average and identical on-base percentage) are obviously skewed now, because an absurd game like that is bound to do so with only 22 plate appearances. Still, if the Phillies get any fraction of the production from Valdez as they've seen thus far, it's far more than they could have expected to see from the position offensively with Utley on the shelf. 

It's not just Valdez, either. The Phils have now scored 43 runs in six games -- one of which they only managed one -- and sit atop the NL East at 5-1. Team this with the news Utley may soon be running again, and things are looking up early for the NL favorites.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: July 28, 2010 7:52 pm
Edited on: July 29, 2010 12:42 am
 

Phillies' Brown doubles in a run in first AB


Dominic Brown Phillies rookie Domonic Brown got a huge ovation as he stood at the plate for the first time in Philadelphia -- it was bigger after his RBI double off of Diamondbacks starter Edwin Jackson.

Brown pulled Jackson's 1-1 changeup to right and just barely missed a home run, but motored around the bases for a double and easily scored Jayson Werth, who led off the second with a  double. Brown showed why he was recruited to play wide receiver at Miami, with his long strides making what could have been a close play an easy double.

Brown went to third on a Carlos Ruiz single to left and then scored on Wilson Valdez' s groundout.

Brown's probably the Phillies' best offensive prospect since Ryan Howard. Brown had been the reason the Phillies were shopping Wertth, but he wasn't called up until the team put Shane Victorino on the disabled list. 

The 6-foot-5 outfielder was rated the No. 15 prospect in baseball before the season by Baseball America and didn't do anything this season to hurt that standing. In Double-A and Triple-A, Brown hit a combined .327/.391/.589 with 20 home runs and 68 RBI in 93 games.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.




Posted on: July 23, 2010 11:51 am
Edited on: July 23, 2010 11:56 am
 

Late-night sacking for Phillies scapegoat

Milt Thompson
"Welcome home! You're fired!"

That's what happened to Milt Thompson, who was relieved of his duties as Phillies hitting coach late Thursday night, manager Charlie Manuel waiting until after the team's charter flight from St. Louis landed in Philadelphia.

What, they were afraid maybe he'd flip out and tip over the beverage cart? Order the fish and the chicken just to stick it to the team? Unless the decision was literally made on the plane, why make the guy a "dead man flying"?

Whether Thompson (who will be replaced by former Phillies hitting coach Greg Gross) deserved to lose his job at all is a matter of debate. Between 2004, when he joined the team, and 2009, the Phillies were the only National League team to score 5,000 runs. Two of the past three years under Thompson, the Phillies have led the NL in scoring. This season they're sixth in the NL in runs, fifth in homers, 12th in batting average, ninth in OPS and 10th in walks.

To be sure, there's room for improvement for the Phillies offense, but the ability of a hitting coach to affect in-season issues (such as Jimmy Rollins failing to find his stroke after being hurt) is always overrated.

"It's definitely not Milt Thompson's fault," Manuel said in June, defending Thompson as the team went through a rough patch offensively. "He doesn't do the hitting."

Apparently since then, it has become Thompson's fault. Maybe he was doing the hitting, sneaking up to the plate disguised as Wilson Valdez.

Hitting coaches are usually the first fired in a disappointing season because a team needs a scapegoat, needs to do something just for the sake of doing something. And it almost never works.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.




Category: MLB
Posted on: July 17, 2010 5:13 pm
Edited on: July 17, 2010 5:14 pm
 

Orioles to keep an eye on waiver wire


The Orioles will be watching the waiver wire carefully, the Baltimore Sun 's Jeff Zrebiec reports . Team president Andy MacPhail told Zrebiec the Orioles could pluck a high-priced veteran from the waiver wire, much like the White Sox grabbed Alex Rios from the Blue Jays last year.

"A claim would be something that would definitely be attractive," MacPhail said. "The trade for a big-time player, if it's going to subtract from the core guys you are trying o build around, that becomes problematic. It's something you obviously would have to look at."

Most teams put players on the waiver wire to see fit hey clear. If not, they'll either pull them back, work out a trade, or like the Blue Jays last season, be happy for some other team to pick up a heavy contract.

It would be an interesting, gutsy move for a team like the Orioles, who have several needs to fill.

As for their trade talks, Zrebiec hears talks between Baltimore and Philadelphia regarding Miguel Tejada and Ty Wigginton "are dead," quoting a source as saying the Phillies are content with Wilson Valdez at second base until Chase Utley is ready to return.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: July 1, 2010 2:21 pm
 

Surgery for Utley

A source told MLB.com that Phillies second baseman Chase Utley was scheduled for surgery Thursday to repair a torn thumb ligament. Utley injured the thumb on a headfirst slide Monday.

The expected recovery time for the injury is four to six weeks. Utley has been exceptionally durable, and is on the disabled list for just the second time in his eight-year career.

In Utley's absence, the Phillies will likely cover second base with some combination of Juan Castro, Wilson Valdez and Brian Bocock.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.


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