Tag:Adam Jones
Posted on: June 2, 2011 10:40 am
Edited on: June 2, 2011 10:51 am
 

Pepper: Injuries at forefront



By Matt Snyder

BASEBALL TODAY: What will Tommy John surgery for Daisuke Matsuzaka mean for the Red Sox? What is the latest with Dan Haren? I joined Lauren Shehadi to discuss a few of the injuries around baseball. Click on the above video to check it out.

HUGHES PROGRESSING: Ailing Yankees starting pitcher Phil Hughes could begin a minor-league rehab stint soon. Hughes threw a bullpen session Wednesday night and was pain-free. If he feels no setbacks following another session Saturday -- likely a simulated game or batting practice -- the next step could very well be a rehab assignment. Hughes has been on the shelf since April 14 with an inflamed shoulder and is hoping to return before the end of the month. (NYPost.com)

ZIMM BACK IN ACTION: It's been quite a while since the Nationals had third baseman Ryan Zimmerman in the lineup, but he took a step forward Wednesday, as he played three innings in an extended spring training game. Remember, this isn't a rehab assignment -- which is limited to 30 days -- but it does mean he's ready to start getting closer to such a step. (MLB.com)

BOCHY'S PLEA: Giants manager Bruce Bochy -- who, you may have heard, recently lost his catcher for the season -- reportedly made a "passionate plea" to Joe Torre in the MLB offices about better protecting catchers from injury. Bochy doesn't want to make any sort of slide rule, but would like the league to suspend players who hit catchers not blocking the plate. Check out the full quotes on Extra Baggs. I'm against any rule changes and the general sanctimony directed at the play just because a great player got hurt, but Bochy's actually got a point. If the catcher is 100 percent blocking the plate, the runner should bowl him over. That's baseball. But if he's off to the side of the plate and the runner goes out of his way to level the catcher, that shouldn't be tolerated.

WELLS READY FOR FRESH START: Vernon Wells got off to an awful start for the Angels and then hit the DL. As he prepares to return, he's ready to forget what has already happened and look for a new beginning. Wells: "You can't go back and change that (poor start). But I guess it is a chance for a new start. You're going to see numbers 'before DL' and 'post-DL' now. You'll have that stat breakdown, before and after. I guarantee you my post-DL numbers will be better than my pre-DL numbers." (OC Register) Just in case anyone's wondering, the "before DL" numbers: .183 average, four home runs, 13 RBI, 18 runs, .527 OPS in 35 games.

MAYBE KEEP IT DOWN NEXT TIME? Rickie Weeks led off the game with a home run Wednesday night at Cincinnati. It was the third time this season he's done so in that very ballpark. He's spreading the wealth, too, because his three blasts have come off three different pitchers (Edinson Volquez, Bronson Arroyo and Mike Leake).

POWER OUTAGE: Justin Turner's eighth-inning home run for the Mets broke a 10-game homerless streak, their longest in 21 years. It also ended a 10-game streak of the sort at Citi Field, their longest home streak since 1979. Don't expect questions about moving in the fences to go away anytime soon. (NY Times Bats blog)

COLLINS ERUPTS: Of course, Mets manager Terry Collins doesn't much care about home runs, specifically, but he's getting a little tired of losing. Via ESPN New York, here we go: "I'm running out of ideas here. Do we play hard? Absolutely. That’s not the issue. The issue is not effort. That’s not it. It’s about execution. We have to add on some points when we get the lead. And I’m not looking for home runs. I’m looking for quality at-bats. We can’t make careless mistakes. We do. We give up at-bats. We can’t do that. We don’t have that kind of team." He went on for a good bit, and concluded with this: " ... maybe I’ve got to make some adjustments. And, by god, they’ll be made. I don’t know if it comes with finding different players. But they’ll be made. Something is going to be changing."

MAN OF THE HOUR: We posted about Adam Jones' brilliant catch Wednesday, and after the game the compliments from his teammates flowed. Orioles closer Kevin Gregg raved that Jones "looked like Griffey," while starting pitcher Brian Matusz said, "It was awesome. It was a good momentum thing because it put a smile on my face and it helped me relax a little bit and have fun." O's manager Buck Showalter said that Jones has been "spoiling" his teammates with his defensive play all season. (MLB.com)

PAGING CARP: Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times makes the case that the Mariners should call on prospect Mike Carp immediately and plug him in left field. The fact is the Mariners have gotten basically nothing out of left field, and Carp could give the still-weak offense a boost. He's on a 17-game hitting streak with a .325 average and 14 homers in Triple-A. Meanwhile, Carlos Peguero is reeling in left for the big-league club, which is currently only 1 1/2 games out of first place in the up-for-grabs AL West. As I find myself doing more often than not, I agree with Baker. The Mariners are right in the mix and need more offense.

NO JOYCE FOR D-BACKS: One of the feel-good stories from last season was how umpire Jim Joyce and pitcher Armando Galarraga came together following Joyce's blown call that cost Galarraga a perfect game. It even ended up with the two collaborating on a book -- "Nobody's Perfect: Two Men, One Call, and a Game for Baseball History" -- which is being released Thursday. Due to the business relationship, Joyce has been forbidden by Major League Baseball to work any Arizona Diamondbacks games. Galarraga is not even with the D-Backs at present, as he's in Triple-A, but Joyce is still not allowed to do any Arizona games. (ESPN.com)

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Posted on: June 1, 2011 7:02 pm
Edited on: June 1, 2011 7:40 pm
 

Play of the Day: Jones robs Olivo

By Matt Snyder

Adam Jones hit a go-ahead home run in the top of the eighth inning as the Orioles beat the Mariners 2-1 Wednesday afternoon, and it might not have been his most impressive play of the day -- or season, for that matter. Mariners catcher Miguel Olivo led off the bottom of the fourth inning with a deep drive to center field that had extra bases written all over it. Jones had other ideas. He made an over-the-shoulder catch with about one foot to spare before having to climb up the wall to avoid injury.

Click here to watch the video on MLB.com

Pretty impressive all around day for Jones. He had the catch and the home run and was also 3-4 at the plate, raising his batting average to .291. Jones leads the Orioles with 30 RBI, and his home run tied him for the Orioles lead with Mark Reynolds (7).

Still, I'd cast my vote for the catch when considering his best work to date.

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Category: MLB
Posted on: June 1, 2011 3:45 pm
Edited on: June 1, 2011 4:03 pm
 

AL All-Star balloting update: Bautista tops all



By Matt Snyder


Tuesday, Major League Baseball unveiled the first update on the All-Star balloting for the National League, so Wednesday we found out the American League update. Needless to say, non-Yankees fans won't be happy, but we'll get to that in a second. The big story is that the fans nailed the top overall vote-getter (that goes for both leagues). Jose Bautista of the Blue Jays leads the majors in runs, home runs, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, OPS, OPS-plus and total bases. You can add top vote-getter to the list for now, because he's gathered 1,261,659 votes. If this holds, he'd become the first Blue Jays player ever to receive the most votes and the first to start the game since Carlos Delgado in 2003.

As things stand now, here are the would-be AL starters: Russell Martin, Mark Teixeira, Robinson Cano, Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Curtis Granderson -- yes, those are actually the leaders in votes; I didn't accidentally start listing the Yankees' starters -- Jose Bautista, Josh Hamilton and Michael Young (DH).

So, yeah. Six Yankees starters if this was the final version. Here are some observations:

- Asdrubal Cabrera trails Jeter by about 260,000 votes at short. I guess I'm not shocked for several reasons. First of all, the voting began pretty early in the season and Cabrera was a relative unknown when it started. Secondly, you have Jeter and the whole chase for 3,000 hits thing going on. Third, it's the Yankees. If this is a lifetime achievement thing, OK, but if we're looking at just 2011, it's egregious. Cabrera's been the big offensive force for the most surprising team in baseball -- one that has the best record in the AL.

- Teixeira's having a big power year and him starting the game wouldn't be completely undeserved, but I'd rather go with Adrian Gonzalez or Miguel Cabrera there. If you have a problem with Cabrera's off-field issues in the spring, well, vote for Gonzalez or Tex.

- Third could shape up to be a real good battle between A-Rod, Adrian Beltre and Kevin Youkilis -- who were all probably helped by the injury to Evan Longoria.

- Martin is the correct selection behind the plate. Oh, and Joe Mauer's second in voting (tsk, tsk).

- Granderson certainly deserves to start and Cano probably does as well. So Yankees haters need to lay off these guys.

- The outfield voting isn't awesome, that's for sure. Hamilton has been hurt most of the season and sits third. Matt Joyce isn't even in the top 15, nor are Carlos Quentin, Adam Jones, Michael Brantley or Alex Gordon. But Ichiro Suzuki, Nelson Cruz and Carl Crawford are all in contention.

View the full voting results by clicking here.

There are obviously a lot more issues, but it's the initial ballot release and many of the votes were cast when it was released without having a good grasp of how the 2011 season would turn out. Fortunately, there's still time to support your guys and rectify any problems you might have. Voting doesn't end until the end of June.

Click here to cast an online ballot.

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Posted on: May 31, 2011 4:37 pm
Edited on: May 31, 2011 7:20 pm
 

On Deck: Sweet Vogelsong



By C. Trent Rosecrans
 

Ryan VogelsongWHO'S THE UNDERDOG? One pitcher has a Cy Young Award on his shelf and two other top-three finishes in the voting, the other has three years of experience in Japan and went nearly seven years between winning starts in the big leagues. Yet, this season the Giants' Ryan Vogelsong is 3-1 with a 1.77 ERA this year and 2-1 with a 0.34 ERA in his last four starts, while Chris Carpenter is 1-5 with a 4.58 ERA. The Cardinals have gone 2-9 in Carpneter's 11 starts this season and winless when he starts at Busch Stadium. Giants at Cardinals, 7:09 p.m. ET (Watch live)

Jordan LylesLYLES DEBUTS: Houston's top prospect, Jordan Lyles, will make his debut tonight at Wrigley Field against the Cubs. The 20-year-old right-hander is pitching in Wandy Rodriguez's spot and will start at least two games, tonight and then Sunday at Petco Park against the Padres. At Triple-A Oklahoma City, he's gone 3-3 with a 3.20 ERA, including six shutout innings in his last start. While he has a good fastball, it's Lyle's changeup and slider that get scouts excited. Astros at Cubs, 8:05 p.m. ET (Watch live)

Erik BedardAdam JonesFAMILIAR FACES: It was one of the biggest trades offseason leading up to 2008, and for so long it appeared the Orioles got by far the better deal with the Mariners, as center fielder Adam Jones made the All-Star team in 2009 and a Gold Glove, while Erik Bedard was limited to just 15 starts in each of his first two seasons in Seattle before missing all of 2010 as a result of labrum surgery in 2009. Bedard has been impressive so far this year, going 3-4 with a 3.48 ERA, and 3-0 with a 1.09 ERA in his last five starts. Jones is 2 for 5 with a double in his career against Bedard. Orioles at Mariners, 10:10 p.m. ET (Watch live)

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Posted on: May 13, 2011 11:20 am
 

Huge series for Jones a good sign

By Matt Snyder

Adam Jones of the Orioles just concluded a three-game series where he was 8-14 with two doubles, a triple, five RBI and a 1.482 OPS. His batting average rose 35 points and his OPS went up 86 points in just three games.

So was it a coincidence that Jones got hot against the franchise that traded him to the Orioles as part of the Erik Bedard trade? Not if you take him at his word.

"I don't care about playing the Mariners anymore," he said after a huge game Wednesday (School of Roch). "The only thing that's cool is to still see Ichiro and some of the boys, my friends that get called up like Mike Wilson, some of the guys I played with. Besides that, they're another team now."

It could have been a coincidence, but Jones obliterated Felix Hernandez and he hadn't been hitting well, save for a few small stretches, yet in 2011. A deeper look at the numbers, however, suggest that Jones really doesn't dial it up against the Mariners. In his career, he's hit .297 against the Mariners, which is higher than his career mark of .274, but his slugging percentage against Seattle is a brutal .381 (and it just got a huge boost this past three games).

Instead, what just happened could merely be the beginning of a Jones breakout. His BABIP was low before the series started. His walk rate is up and strikeout rate down from last season, albeit slightly, which is possibly a sign he's learning plate discipline -- the thing that most prevented him from stardom the past two seasons. He's still only 25 -- and we're talking about someone who was once a top-30 prospect and has merely been a slightly above average player since the start of 2009. 

Plus, the hot series only draws attention to an upward swing. In the last 10 games, Jones is hitting .419 with three doubles, a triple, seven RBI and a 1.003 OPS. Only once in those 10 games did he go hitless, but he reached base and scored a run in that game. In four of those games, he collected at least three hits.

Instead of writing off a hot series against a former team, maybe we should be concentrating on Jones' possible breakout season. He certainly has the ability.

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Category: MLB
Posted on: May 5, 2011 10:30 am
Edited on: May 5, 2011 1:20 pm
 

Pepper: Doc the finisher



By Matt Snyder

FINISH HIM: Roy Halladay is an old-school pitcher in more ways than one, but we'll just concentrate on the complete games for today. He toes the slab each day expecting to finish the job he started. And he does it with rare frequency in this day and age of obsessive pitch counts and situational relievers. As I noted on Baseball Today -- which you should have already viewed above -- Halladay is such a complete game machine that he has more since 2003 than all but six major-league teams. Of course, the Blue Jays lead the majors in that span due to the 44 Halladay provided them (of 77 total) and the Phillies 56 in that span, just one more than Halladay -- who has provided the Phillies with 11 thus far. He's great in so many ways, but Halladay's ability to complete games unlike any other single pitcher this generation is what truly sets him apart. (MLB.com )

NAME THAT TEAM: The Reds have a new Double-A affiliate coming to Pensacola, Florida. The team name is being chosen through a voting process with the fans. They have narrowed the field to six finalists now: Aviators, Blue Wahoos, Loggerheads, Mullets, Redbones and Salty Dogs. Mullets? Really, Pensacola citizens? I like creative names, but making a joke won't be funny for much longer than a few days. I love the other five choices, actually. Which means Mullets will win. (PNJ.com )

HELTON TIES GEHRIG: Todd Helton ripped a double Wednesday night, which was No. 534 of his career. It tied him with the great Lou Gehrig for 31st on the all-time list.

"It's an honor to be mentioned at any level with a guy like that," Helton said. "That's a lot of doubles. I always considered myself a gap-to-gap hitter, and that's the way you get doubles. "More important, there were two guys on, and they turned out to be pretty big runs." (MLB.com )

GROUND RULES: Not one, but two games were affected by a batted ball being lodged between the outfield wall and the ground Wednesday night. In Tampa Bay, it was off the bat of Evan Longoria. Had Juan Rivera left the ball there and gotten a ground-rule double ruling, the Jays wouldn't have clipped Johnny Damon at home as he was trying to score from first. The Blue Jays ended up winning by one, too. On the other hand, in the same situation in Kansas City, Orioles' center fielder Adam Jones left a ball lodged in the base of the wall and let the umpire make the call while Mike Aviles raced around the bases for a would-be inside-the-park home run. The umpire called it a ground-rule double and Aviles was eventually stranded as the Orioles won by one run. Particularly disturbing was how easily Jones pulled the ball from the wall after the umpire made the call. It was stuck, only lodged. I don't want to make outfielders sift through obstructions in the outfield, but they shouldn't be able to gain an advantage for their team by refusing to touch a ball that slightly lodges in the wall. Please note, I'm not blaming Jones. It was smart because he knew what would be called. The rule is the issue. (MLB.com )

SIGN LANGUAGE: Mets catcher Josh Thole has a dog that was discovered to be deaf. Along with his wife, Thole has taught the dog to understand sign language and has since made many friends in the animal-care community. (New York Daily News )

SOON TO BE GATHERING DUST: Raise your hand if you're interested in reading John Rocker's "memoirs." Yeah, apparently his book, which he's shockingly having to self-publish, is due out in June. It's called "Scars and Strikes." It's reportedly a mixture of politics and sports. That's good. I always felt he needed to talk more about his political views, because it's paramount we learn what he thinks as soon as is humanly possible. I don't even know how we've survived the past few years without hearing much from him. (AJC.com )

THERE'S A STAT FOR EVERYTHING: In case you don't believe me, cloudy skies benefit hitters while wide-open blue skies benefit pitchers. Seriously. "Brighter conditions may result in increased eye strain for a batter and a higher level of glare in a ballpark," a meteorological study found. (OC Register )

CENTURY MARK FOR STAIRS: Matt Stairs has been around long enough to collect 100 pinch hits. (Washington Post ) The longevity is probably more impressive, though. Stairs has played for 12 teams in 19 seasons. He's actually been a pretty good hitter for much of that journeyman career. His triple slash line (Average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage) is .263/.357/.480. That gives him an OPS-plus of 118.

THROWBACKS: The Dodgers and Cubs played a game in some really nice throwback uniforms Wednesday. Here is a post that tells you far too much about the uniforms. (Uniwatchblog.com )

TAKES ONE TO KNOW ONE: It's no secret Mike Stanton has some serious power. Consider Mark McGwire impressed after having seen Stanton up close. "Power hitters are born. He's just a born home run hitter," McGwire said after noting that Stanton is so talented he can play for "the next 25 years if he likes." High praise from a former basher himself (and keep the snickers to a minimum, please). Oh, and this was all said before Wednesday night when Stanton's bomb buried the Cardinals. (Miami Herald )

WHITHER WORLEY: Vance Worley is 2-0 with a 0.75 ERA and 12 strikeouts in 12 innings through two starts for the Phillies. Of course, he's about to have no spot in the rotation once Joe Blanton returns from the disabled list. You can't exactly bump Halladay or Cliff Lee or Cole Hamels or Oswalt. Blanton is firmly entrenched as the fifth starter, too. Philly.com takes a look at why it's OK for Worley to be sent back the minors and where he might fit if the club is inclined to keep him up with the big boys. One thing they didn't mention that I'd like to add is that maybe the Phillies could deal Blanton for a bat at some point? Some team is sure to get desperate for pitching at the trade deadline and the Phillies are going to need offense more than pitching at that point. Worley could slide in as a fine five for now.

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Posted on: April 4, 2011 6:06 pm
 

Hot Orioles off to best start since '97

By Matt Snyder

The Baltimore Orioles are 4-0 for the first time since 1997.

You know what else they haven't done since 1997? Make the playoffs.

Now, let's avoid alerting the small sample size police. There are 158 games left, which is 97.5 percent of the season. It's just that Orioles fans haven't had this much to be excited about in a long time. Not only has it been since '97 for a playoff appearance, but the Orioles have finished in either fourth or fifth place in the AL East every year since then except 2004, when the O's came in third. They've finished last in each of the past three seasons and haven't won 70 games since 2006.

It's not just the four wins that should have people excited, either. It's a combination of many factors.

Consider the Orioles were 34-23 under Buck Showalter last season. Also consider they have outscored opponents 17-4 thus far. That's right, just a 1.00 ERA for the entire staff, one that has gone through injuries and reshuffling already. Vladimir Guerrero and Adam Jones haven't started hitting yet -- and you'd expect they will. Brian Roberts appears healthy and is swinging for power, while Matt Wieters is off to a hot start -- which is paramount in confidence-building for a young hitter. The defense has only committed one error. Best of all, the Orioles have beaten two very capable teams in the Rays and the Tigers.

The Orioles have sprinted out of the gate for a marathon of a season, but it would be pretty hard to blame Baltimore for getting excited about the exceptional start by its Orioles.

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Posted on: March 25, 2011 9:06 pm
 

3 up, 3 down for 3/25: Beachy brings it



By Matt Snyder


3 UP

Brandon Beachy, Braves. Fresh off being named the Braves' No. 5 starter to open the season -- over the favorite, Mike Minor -- Beachy went out and dominated the Tigers. He threw six innings, allowing just two hits and one walk while strking out six. He took his spring ERA all the way down to 1.13. That is two earned runs in 16 innings, to go nicely with 16 strikeouts. His WHIP is a minuscule 0.63. If he carries this over into the season, the Braves will have an even more formidable rotation.

Drew Storen, Nationals. It's been a rough spring for Storen, who was initially expected to be the Nats' closer but has since been tabbed as part of a committee in the back-end of the bullpen. Friday, though, he was plugged in for the ninth inning with a one-run lead and made it stand. He threw a perfect inning, striking out two batters.

Adam Jones, Orioles. Breakout season on the horizon? He's got the goods. Friday he showed it, too. Jones went 3-4 with his fifth bomb of the spring, this one a two-run job off Scott Baker.

3 DOWN

Brandon McCarthy, A's. The former big-time prospect was having a really solid spring in his quest to earn the A's final starting spot, but he was roughed up Friday. He allowed 10 hits and six earned runs in 5 1/3 innings. He even walked his first batter of the spring. Of course, he did strike out six, so the 20:1 K:BB rate should be enough for him to grab that last spot. He's looking to hold off Tyson Ross and Rich Harden -- if he's ever healthy. Ross is only 23, but he's sporting a 0.59 ERA in 15 1/3 spring innings.

Mitch Talbot, Indians. The Tribe's No. 4 starter was crushed by the Brewers Friday. He gave up 14 hits and seven earned runs in six innings. He even gave up a grand slam to Carlos Gomez. Yes, that same Carlos Gomez who only has 17 career home runs in 1,308 career at-bats. Of course, he does have three this spring, so maybe he's looking to muscle up this year.

Edinson Volquez, Reds. He's here because the outing was termed as "solid" and he said afterward that he "felt great." (MLB.com ) Really? If you're the Reds and this is your ace -- especially considering Homer Bailey and Johnny Cueto are on the shelf and Bronson Arroyo is getting tested for valley fever -- it's gotta be a bit troubling, no? I see five innings pitched, nine hits, three earned runs and four walks. So that's 13 baserunners (a gawdawful 2.60 WHIP), including four extra base hits, and a 5.40 ERA from an ace in his last outing before the regular season. Spring stats don't mean anything and it's possible he's going to flip a switch before the real games start. I'm just saying it's pretty surprising this was considered such a good outing by Volquez and the Reds.

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