Tag:Alex Gordon
Posted on: August 15, 2011 10:21 am
 

Pepper: Gordon wants to stay in Kansas City

Gordon
By Evan Brunell

STAY OR GO:
Alex Gordon's had a long, tough road in Kansas City. He arrived in town with expectations of being the next George Brett, and struggled to reach those expectations while adjusting to the major leagues. For a few years there, the third baseman was looking like a colossal bust, but he switched to left field and broke out this year at age 27 and has had a fantastic year leading off.

Gordon isn't a free agent until after 2013, but is already eager to sign a long-term extension to stay a Royal.

“Staying here?” Gordon told the Kansas City Star. “Heck, yeah. I love it here. I love the guys here. I love being close to home. I love the fans. I love everything about this place.”

Gordon noted that the team and GM Dayton Moore has already indicated they want to wait until after the season to discuss a long-term deal. Making just $1.4 million, that number is sure to rise, if not double, through arbitration. The Royals may want to wait another season to see if Gordon's newfound production is real, even if it's at the risk of a spiking salary through arbitration. There's no real rush here -- Kansas City's payroll started the year under $40 million after cracking $70 million the last few years. With that kind of flexibility at hand and no massive contracts due anytime soon, the Royals may want to exercise their flexibility to gauge Gordon for another season.

Working in Gordon's favor is that he's ready to help immediately and can be a linchpin of the team's transition to a young crop, which doesn't include a deep outfield. Lorenzo Cain appears ready to take over center field and Wil Myers is developing nicely in the outfield after transitioning from catcher and should be in the majors within a year or two, but that's about it. K.C. drafted outfielder Bubba Starling, who has yet to sign, but even if he does, his outlook is so far away it shouldn't have any impact on Gordon's possibilities to stick with Kansas City.

WAIVER WIRE
: A development on the waiver wire is that left-handed relievers are having a heck of a time clearing waivers, which is no big surprise when you consider that the big dogs of the Red Sox, Yankees, Phillies and other contenders are on the hunt for such help. (Boston Globe)

REHABBING A-ROD: Alex Rodriguez participated in a simulated game on Thursday, taking 13 at-bats and playing three innings in the field. He's currently slated to return to the Yankees on Thursday. (New York Post)

PLAY OR SIT: Magglio Ordonez's time as a productive hitter is winding to an end, and he's mired in a deep slump thus far in August, dragging his batting average to .223. Manager Jim Leyland isn't ready to sit Ordonez entirely, but did admit that he will pick and choose which pitchers Ordonez will face. (Detroit Free Press)

NEW MINDSET
: Carlos Pena may not be around to see it, but he knows what his club needs to do to move on -- adopt a new mindset, freeing the Cubs from the same old malaise. “It’s just viewing ourselves in a different light, wearing the uniform with pride, just all those personal things that (should be) ingrained in us,” Pena told CSNChicago.com.

BACK IN OAKLAND: Athletics manager Bob Melvin says if he returns to manage the team in 2012, he wants DH Hideki Matsui back. That's easy to say, when Matsui has been scorching hot since the All-Star break, but it's instructive to note that even with the hot streak, Matsui's overall line is .264/.338/.408. (San Francisco Chronicle)

CARD WARS: Topps and Leaf are embroiled in a legal battle over baseball cards, as Leaf is using Topps baseball cards to promote a new line of cards from Leaf. If you buy a "2011 Best of Baseball" set from Leaf, you receive one new, original Leaf card as well as a bonus card, which is turning out to be iconic Topps cards. (TMZ.com)

BAUER POWER? Jason Marquis is out for an extended period of time after fracturing his shin in Sunday's start. There's speculation that Trevor Bauer, who was drafted this past June, could potentially replace Marquis. (Arizona Republic)

CLEARED: Royals catcher Matt Treanor has passed the last hurdle in his recovery from a concussion and can now return to game action. A rehab stint in the minors is likely. (Kansas City Star)

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Posted on: August 5, 2011 1:16 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: AL East, Central dominate and fail

Santana
By Evan Brunell

UpCarlos Santana, Indians: A day after wearing the golden sombrero, Santana ripped a 3-for-4 night with three runs batted in and adding a home run for extra measure. The outing brought his overall batting average up to .232, a far cry from where he can be. The catching phenom has been drawing walks and hitting for power just fine, but that average has been strange to see. His splits don't really point to a clear delineation, either, as his batting average since June 17 (excluding Thursday night) is .248, which is much closer to his 2010 line of .260. Given his career batting average in the minors was .290, there's more there we have yet to see in the majors.

Ivan Nova, Yankees: How are the Yankees supposed to decide between Phil Hughes and Ivan Nova now? The two are battling for a rotation spot as the Yankees take a brief turn through a six-man rotation. Hughes came through with a dazzling start and Nova has backed that up with an eye-popping outing in punching out 10 White Sox batters. That's easily a career high, as Nova's topped out at seven previously. He went 7 2/3 innings, giving up just one earned run and walk to drop his ERA to 3.81. Good luck figuring things out, skipper.

Alex Gordon, Royals: Gordon matched a career high with four hits in five trips to the plate, chipping in two runs and a double. Gordon has flourished -- years later than people thought, but he's flourished. The leadoff man is hitting .311/.382/.505 and thriving in left field. Maybe he needed to get away from third or maybe it's a happy coincidence, but having Gordon under the fold  means one less spot for the Royals to worry about in their rebuild. He's not a free agent until after 2013.



DownJon Rauch and Shawn Camp, Blue Jays: Rarely does a team throw away a victory like Toronto did on Thursday, losing 7-6 in 12 innings to the Rays. Toronto scored a run in the top eighth to even things up at 3-3 headed into extras. A Colby Rasmus double scored Yunel Escobar for a run in the top 10th, but Jon Rauch's first batter, Desmond Jennings, launched a home run to tie things up. But no worries, Jose Molina somehow ripped a triple (it would be unsurprising if it took him longer to reach third than it takes some to circle the bases on a homer) to score two. End ballgame, right? Nope. Rauch stayed in to try to close things out, but quickly gave up a double, single and RBI groundout. Enter Shawn Camp, who induced an out before coughing up the tying run in the form of a single by Robinson Chirinos. He got out of the inning, but Chirinos struck again in the bottom of the 12th with a bases-loaded single.

Zach Britton, Orioles: Britton didn't exactly excel in his second start since a brief demotion to the minor leagues sandwiched around the All-Star break to rest his arm and, no doubt, drop his service time down so he doesn't become a free agent until 2017. Britton gave up six earned runs to the Yankees in just 1/3 of an inning last time out. He gave up the same number of runs Thursday to the Royals, albeit in 5 1/3 innings. Four were earned, and no batters were fooled by his offerings, which were slapped around the diamond for 12 hits.

Carlos Guillen, Tigers: Guillen played in his 16th game after finally coming off the disabled list to make his season debut. The 35-year-old has been looked at to help save production at second base, but he hasn't quite done that with a .246/.274/.404 line after goign 0 for 4 with three strikeouts. That's not awful -- in fact, going into the game, he posted zero wins above replacement, so he's not harming Detroit, and no one expects him to live up to his $13 million deal; he's in "whatever we can get" territory. But he's still going to have plenty of 0-for-4 nights, like he did tonight.

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Posted on: July 15, 2011 6:45 pm
Edited on: July 15, 2011 6:48 pm
 

Bauer wins Golden Spikes Award

Trevor BauerBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Trevor Bauer, the third overall pick in last month's MLB Draft, won the Golden Spikes Award as USA Baseball's top amateur player on Friday.

The right-hander went 13-2 with a 1.25 ERA in 16 starts for UCLA this season nd also led the country with 203 strikeouts. The 203 strikeouts was a Pac-10 record, eclipsing the mark set by USC's Mark Prior.

He's been compared to Tim Lincecum because of his unorthodox mechanics, but he's bigger than the Giants' ace.

Bauer was one of three finalists for the award, along with Texas right-hander Taylor Jungmann and Virginia lefty Danny Hultzen. Jungmann was drafted 12th overall by the Brewres and Hultzen went second to the Mariners.

The last 10 winners of the award were Bryce Harper, Stephen Strasburg, Buster Posey, David Price, Lincecum, Alex Gordon, Jered Weaver, Rickie Weeks, Khalil Greene and Prior.

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Posted on: July 15, 2011 1:34 am
Edited on: July 15, 2011 1:34 am
 

Francoeur wants to stay in KC

Jeff Francoeur

By C. Trent Rosecrans


If you're a Royals player and not really cheap and under team control for several more years, you know that come July there will be trade talk.

With a loss to the Twins on Thursday, Kansas City is now 37-56 and 12 games behind the Indians in the American League Central. That means someone's not going to be wearing royal blue for long.

Last year the Royals dealt Kyle Farnsworth, Rick Ankiel, Alberto Callaspo and Scott Podsednik before the July 31 deadline. This year, they could move several players, including outfielder Jeff Francoeur, lefty Jeff Francis and outfielder Melky Cabrera.

The one thing that's different this year is that Francoeur doesn't want to go. Francoeur has a mutual option for $4 million next season.

"People keep asking me about it," Francoeur told the Kansas City Star's Bob Dutton. "And what I say is I'm sure if a team came to the Royals and overwhelmed them [with an offer] for me or Melky, they'd probably have to do it. But you know what? I think a lot of us will be here."

Francoeur has been traded during each of the last two seasons -- from the Braves to the Mets in 2009 and from the Mets to the Rangers last season.

"Let's say you trade me and Melky, you're just starting over," Francoeur said. "If you're trying to build something to go to the next level, at some point you've got to make a stand and keep guys."

That said, are Francoeur and Cabrera really the guys you keep around? Neither player is the long-term solution. When the Royals talk about their future and their possible contention in 2013 or 2014, it's not Francouer or Cabrera that is expected to be in right field, it's 20-year-old Wil Myers, currently in Double-A, who should be manning right at Kauffman Stadium.

Francoeur is a talented player, but he's hardly a first-division starter. This year he's hitting .265/.308/.443 with 12 home runs and 56 RBI, pretty much typical Francoeur numbers (he's a career.268/.310/.427 hitter). Cabrera is hitting .293/.332/.455 with 11 home runs and 51 RBI, nearing career-best numbers all-around. Cabrera is just 26 and under team control through next season.

The team may want to keep one of the two around to play right with Alex Gordon in left and Lorenzo Cain in center field next season. That said, if there's a decent offer, neither Francoeur or Cabrera is irreplaceable -- they're both in Kansas City for a reason.

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Posted on: July 11, 2011 6:59 pm
Edited on: July 11, 2011 7:08 pm
 

All-Star selection a surprise to Royals' Crow

By C. Trent Rosecrans

PHOENIX -- When Kansas City broke camp in March, Royals rookie Aaron Crow didn't expect to be returning to Arizona until next season. Instead, he's a member of the American League All-Star team.

However, Crow (2-2, 2.08 ERA) doesn't think he's the most deserving Royal of an All-Star nod. Find out who Crow thinks should be at Chase Field on Tuesday in his place:



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Posted on: July 11, 2011 12:38 pm
Edited on: July 11, 2011 1:05 pm
 

Verlander fronts AL Central All-Stars

By Matt Snyder

2011 All-Star Game
SEE THE OTHER DIVISION ALL-STARS: AL East | AL West | NL East | NL Central | NL West

The AL Central has been the most upside-down of all divisions in baseball this year, at least according to preseason expectations. Thus, the team doesn't much look like one we'd expect. Let's dive in.

C Alex Avila, Tigers: Very easy choice here, as the AL All-Star starter resides in this division. It's just that if you read that phrase at the start of the season it would have been very obvious we were talking about Joe Mauer. And if Mauer went down with an injury for a while -- as he did -- the next in line would have likely been Carlos Santana. Nope, it's instead Avila. With a .370 on-base percentage, 10 homers and 46 RBI, he's the man. It's been that kind of year in the Central.

1B Miguel Cabrera, Tigers: This was a very tough call over Paul Konerko. The two are so comparable across the board that it's hard to make a distinction. We'll give the nod to Cabrera based upon the 40-point lead in on-base percentage, but this is really a dead-heat. The fans certainly got the AL "Final Vote" right when electing Konerko.

Lineup
No. Name Team Pos
1 Alex Gordon KC LF
2 Asdrubal Cabrera CLE SS
3 Miguel Cabrera DET 1B
4 Carlos Quentin CWS RF
5 Travis Hafner CLE DH
6 Jhonny Peralta DET 3B
7 Melky Cabrera KC CF
8 Alex Avila DET C
9 Gordon Beckham CWS 2B
2B Gordon Beckham, White Sox: This is a choice between the undeserving. Orlando Cabrera, Chris Getz, Alexi Casilla, Ryan Raburn. Yeah, those are the other choices. Beckham has at least shown flashes of being productive and -- at this point in their respective careers -- easily has the most potential. Unfortunately, that's what we have to go on here.

SS Asdrubal Cabrera, Indians: Unlike second base, we're loaded here, with Cabrera, Jhonny Peralta and Alexei Ramirez. Alcides Escobar is a defensive stud, too. Cabrera, though, is hitting .293/.387/.489 with 14 homers, 51 RBI, 55 runs and 12 steals. Ramirez is our runner-up here, because we're doing something else with Peralta ...

3B Jhonny Peralta, Tigers: There was no other choice. I had to cheat and move Peralta back to third. Otherwise we were looking at Danny Valencia, Brent Morel, Mark Teahan, Jack Hannahan or the stuggled yet promising Mike Moustakas. Or some other players who aren't even close to All-Stars at this point, yet have been seeing time at third in this division. So we're using Peralta and his .312 average, 14 homers and 50 RBI.

LF Alex Gordon, Royals: After years of waiting, here is the Alex Gordon many were thinking would show his face in 2007. He's put up good numbers -- 11 homers, 50 runs, 50 RBI, 24 doubles, six steals -- and been a steady force in the lineup for the Royals. Even atop the lineup, which we didn't think we'd see when he arrived on the scene. This was a tough call over Brennan Boesch, but we're giving Gordon the nod.

CF Melky Cabrera, Royals: Grady Sizemore missed a lot of games due to injury, Austin Jackson has taken a step backward, Denard Span has missed a lot of games and Alex Rios has been awful. Who's that leave? Yep, Cabrera. Apparently it's the best last name to sport in this division, as 33 percent of the starting lineup has it. Melky has hit for average, hit for power, run well and been a leader for the young Royals. It's shocking to say it, but he's the easy choice here (again, it's backwards).

RF Carlos Quentin, White Sox: Once again, Boesch gets passed over. Quentin has 17 home runs, 51 RBI, a solid OBP due to walks and hit-by-pitches and plays solid defense in right for the White Sox. Plus, Konerko and Quentin have had to pick up some serious slack in the power department with the disappearance of Rios and Adam Dunn. This is actually a pretty loaded position, too, with Jeff Francoeur having a good year, Shin-Soo Choo's talent (when healthy), Michael Cuddyer and Boesch.

DH Travis Hafner, Indians: Sure, he's missed a small chunk of games, but Pronk has shown much more power than Victor Martinez, and that's what we want in a DH. Hafner has eight home runs and a .528 slugging percentage in 51 games, while Martinez has only hit six homers in 77 games with a .457 slugging percentage. Billy Butler also gets squeezed out here with having a bit less power than Martinez.

SP Justin Verlander, Tigers: Guys like Justin Masterson and Scott Baker are having pretty good seasons, but there's really no reason to even expand on the discussion. Verlander is starting to come up with Roy Halladay in the best-pitcher-in-baseball discussions.

RP Al Alburquerque, Tigers: The rookie has been a Godsend for the Tigers' bullpen, as he's taken over the setup role Joel Zumaya can never stay healthy enough to hold down. Plus, big-money free agent signee Joaquin Benoit faltered early in the season. Alburquerque stepped up and struck out 47 hitters in just 29 innings. Rafael Perez is the runner-up here, but Alburquerque gets the nod.

CL Chris Perez, Indians: Too bad Joakim Soria wasn't quite himself early in the season, because this could have been easy. Instead, we've got a three-way race with no right answer. No matter how many ways you look at Chris Perez, Sergio Santos and Jose Valverde, there's no real way to argue and ironclad case as one man emerging as the absolute best of the three. We'll go with Perez, but it's a coin-flip.

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Posted on: July 3, 2011 4:15 pm
Edited on: July 3, 2011 4:41 pm
 

McCutchen leads All-Snub team

Andrew McCutchen

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Many years on the day that the All-Star teams are announced, people bemoan the fan voting and selections that pick big names over deserving starters. This year won't be one of those years because for the most part the fans made good picks, as CBSSports.com senior writer Danny Knobler points out the fans and players agreed on 14 of the 17 selections. The lone starter that is obviously not worthy is Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, who is expected to come off the disabled list on Monday. Jeter's hitting just .260/.324/.324 so far this season, but he's still Derek Jeter -- not to mention his chase of 3,000 hits.

But no matter how many deserving players make the game, with a roster of 33 (plus another to be added, but even those on the 34th man ballot are eligible for our team, because four of those five won't be voted in) there are deserving players who won't be making the trip to Phoenix.

So here you go, the CBSSports.com All-Snub team:

C: Speaking of the fans getting it right, this is one position where the deserving player was voted in for both leagues, Detroit's Alex Avila and Atlanta's Brian McCann. With the Yankees' Russell Martin, Baltimore's Matt Wieters and St. Louis' Yadier Molina, the five most deserving players at the position are headed to Phoenix. The best of those left out is already in Phoenix -- the Diamondbacks' Miguel Montero, who is hitting .270/.344/.457 with nine homers. 

Paul Konerko1B: This position is so loaded that it's almost as tough picking its All-Snub member as it is the All-Star representatives. The fans got it right with Adrian Gonzalez and Prince Fielder, while Albert Pujols sits at home during the break for the first time since 2002. Both Mark Teixeira and Paul Konerko have strong cases for the All-Snub pick, and in the end I'm going to go with Konerko, who is hitting .317/.387/.567 with 21 homers by a nose over Teixeira and his 25 homers.

2B: Robinson Cano's 2011 hasn't equaled his 2010 and wouldn't be my pick at second base in the American League, but it's hard to get worked up and say the fans got it wrong on a guy hitting .292 with 14 homers at second base. The All-Snub representative is tough here, with the choice between the Rays' Ben Zobrist (.261/.347/.463) and Dustin Pedroia of the Red Sox (.277/.391/.406). Because I like speed, I'll take Pedroia and his 15 steals and higher walk rate, but just by a tad. Zobrist is on the 34th man ballot, so he's still got a chance. Apologies also to the Nationals' Danny Espinosa who has 15 homers already.

SS: We've discussed Jeter, but let's just acknowledge the fans noticing Jose Reyes -- even though it'd be tough to call yourself a fan and not notice what Reyes has done. The All-Snub goes to Jhonny Peralta of the Tigers, who is having a fabulous season, hitting .311/.359/.538 with 14 homers and solid defense to go with it.

3B: Arizona's Ryan Roberts wasn't even on the ballot, but he's had a fantastic first half of the season, hitting .251/.338/.430 with 10 homers and 12 stolen bases. He's a terror on the basepaths and has been one of the best all-around players at the position. Kevin Youkilis has better offensive numbers -- including 56 RBI -- but defensively he's played much like a first baseman playing at third. San Diego's Chase Headley has had a good season as well, but his glove also holds him back.

Alex GordonLF: You could certainly have made a case for Kansas City's Alex Gordon as a starter in the American League. Gordon came into the season as yesterday's news, a failed top prospect in the way of the Royals' youth movement. However, he's been the Royals' best player so far this season, hitting .301/.368/.491 with 10 home runs.

CF: I still can't believe Andrew McCutchen's name wasn't on the All-Star list, he's the best all-around center fielder in the game. He's hitting .289/.390/.493 with 12 home runs and 15 stolen bases while leading the surprising Pirates to their first winning record in years. 

RF: I'm fudging here, because the All-Star Game often has outfielders playing out of their normal spots, and here I'm going with the Phillies' Shane Victorino. The Phillies lineup as a whole has struggled for production and consistency, but Victorino has given them both. He's hitting .299/.371/.515 with nine home runs and 34 RBI. He's also a very good defender.

DH: You want some roster flexibility? You get it with this DH, who can also serve as a backup catcher -- oh, and Victor Martinez can bash. Martinez is hitting .335/.383/.490 with six home runs.

Starting pitcher: This one is interesting, because I'm going to exclude CC Sabathia, who not only didn't want to be selected, but will also ineligible to pitch in the game when he starts next Sunday. With Sabathia out of the way, I'm going with the Braves' Tommy Hanson, who is 9-4 with a 2.62 ERA in 15 starts, with more than a strikeout an inning and a league-low 6.2 hits allowed per nine innings.

Middle reliever: These guys are used to being overlooked, but that's not to say they aren't worthy. Since Braves' setup man Jonny Venters was named an All-Star, I'm going with David Robertson of the Yankees. Only in middle relief can a Yankee go unnoticed, but Robertson has been fantastic this season. In 33 1/3 innings this season, the right-hander is 1-0 with a 1.08 ERA, striking out 53 batters in 33 1/3 innings of work. He's allowed just four earned runs this season in 36 outings.

Closer: While Atlanta's Venters was recognized, his closer, Craig Kimbrel, was not. Kimbrel leads the majors with 24 saves and has a 2.57 ERA. He's struck out 67 batters in 42 innings, with 18 walks.

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Posted on: July 3, 2011 12:53 pm
Edited on: July 3, 2011 1:10 pm
 

34th man candidates revealed

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Not only is Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen left off the National League roster, he's not even on the ballot for the 34th roster spot with online voting at MLB.com. Here are the five candidates from each league for the last spot on their respective All-Star squads.

American League

Alex Gordon, Royals

Adam Jones, Orioles

Paul Konerko, White Sox

Victor Martinez, Tigers

Ben Zobrist, Rays

National League

Michael Morse, Nationals

Shane Victorino, Phillies

Andre Ethier, Dodgers

Todd Helton, Rockies

Ian Kennedy, Diamondbacks 

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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