Tag:Bartolo Colon
Posted on: September 22, 2011 5:14 pm
 

On Deck: Braves, Red Sox off, but chase continues

OD

By C. Trent Rosecrans


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Matt MooreBig start for rookie: Rays rookie Matt Moore made a good second impression on Monday when he threw three innings in the Rays' win in Boston, and now he has quite the stage for his first big-league start -- at Yankee Stadium with the Rays hoping to gain a half-game on idle Boston. The Rays are 2.5 games behind the Red Sox and now they have company, too, as the Angels are also suddenly tied with the Rays behind the Red Sox. Moore was the top pitching prospect in baseball and went 12-3 with a 1.92 ERA at Double-A and Triple-A, striking out 208 batters in 144 2/3 innings. Moore actually pitched better for Triple-A Durham than he did Double-A Montgomery. He went 4-0 with a 1.37 ERA in nine starts, striking out 79 of the 204 batters he faced, while walking 18. He faces Bartolo Colon, who made his MLB debut when Moore was 6. Rays at Yankees, 7:05 p.m. ET

Back in it: The Angels appeared to have blown their playoff chance after losing two of three in Baltimore, but have bounced back to win their last two games in Toronto, while Tampa Bay and Boston have tread water. Thursday starter Ervin Santana is 11-12 with a 3.40 ERA, but has lost each of his last three starts, allowing five earned runs in each of his last two starts. Since his complete game victory at Rogers Centre on Aug. 12, the right-hander is 2-4 with a 4.47 ERA in seven starts, with the Angels going 3-4 in those games. Rookie right-hander Henderson Alvarez, who has thrown six or more innings in his last six starts and hasn't lost since Aug. 26. Los Angeles returns home after the game tonight to face the A's and the Rangers to finsih the season. Angels at Blue Jays, 7:07 p.m. ET

Surging Giants: The defending champs have won five of their last seven games, getting to within 3.5 games of the National League wild card, trailing the Braves and the Cardinals. Left-hander Madison Bumgarner starts for San Francisco and has won each of his last five starts, putting up a 1.04 ERA with batters hitting just .189/.256/.262 against him over that stretch. That includes a five-inning, three-hit performance against the Dodgers on Sept. 11. Since August, Dodger starter Hiroki Kuroda's record has improved, with him winning six of his nine starts. Giants at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m. ET

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Posted on: September 12, 2011 4:19 pm
Edited on: September 12, 2011 5:17 pm
 

How blockbusters explain Manager of the Year

Kirk Gibson

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Joe Posnanski of Sports Illustrated came up with what he calls the "Movie Plus-Minus" -- it's a stat he uses to rank movies. It's simply this: how much he expected to like a movie versus how much he actually liked a movie. It's how a good movie can still be seen as bad, because expectations were too high -- or how a bad movie can actually be good. Anyway it's all about the expectations in judging the experience, if you don't expect much and it turns out to be good you have a more favorable impression than maybe a movie that you expect to be pretty good and turns out to be about what you expected, even if that movie is much better in a vacuum.

That's exactly how it seems that the Manager of the Year Award in baseball is awarded. Manager of the Year is usually an easy formula:

(Wins) - (Expected wins) = MoY total.

The highest number of MoY gives you the hardware.

Last year nobody expected anything out of the San Diego Padres, yet they nearly won their division. So little was expected that it didn't even matter that the Giants won the division or the Padres piddled away a lead at the end, they were in it and that was enough for the voters to make Bud Black the winner. In the American League, Terry Francona may have done his best managing in 2010, but because he finished third and the Red Sox are expected to make the playoffs every year, he finished fourth in the voting with no first-place votes. Instead it was Ron Gardenhire, followed by Ron Washington and Joe Maddon.

The likely winner in the National League this year? Well, that's easy. Kirk Gibson is going to be the overwhelming, perhaps unanimous, winner because nobody expected the Diamondbacks to contend, and here they are. Manny Acta and Maddon, whose teams were picked to make the playoffs by just about nobody, are frontrunners for this year's award in the American League.

So which managers scored high on the Movie Plus-Minus? Let's look at this summer's blockbusters and who their managerial equivalents:

Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson as Rise of the Planet of the Apes: In April, it sounded ridiculous -- another Plaent of the Apes reboot? Didn't anyone see Tim Burton's attempt? This was a bad idea. A horrible idea. And that's what it looked like in Arizona, where the team started the season with Armando Galarraga and Barry Enright in the rotation. How about Russell Branyan and Melvin Mora. Geoff Blum? But like Gibson, Apes director Rupert Wyatt made all the right moves, making the ridiculous exciting and harnessing the energy and genius of his enigmatic star (James Franco and Justin Upton). While it may not be the best movie or take home either an Oscar or a World Series title, it certainly had the highest Movie Plus-Minus and Gibson will take home some hardware, even if his team doesn't.

Brewers manager Ron Roenicke as X-Men: First Class: The franchise has had its hits, but stumbled in its last outing (X-Men: The Last Stand and 2010). Back with a new focus (the origin story for the movie and pitching for the Brewers), the movie not only lived up to tempered expectations, it exceeded them -- just like the Brewers. A thoroughly enjoyable season for the Brewers and a fun movie, both will be punished because there were decent expectations for the movie and the season, even if they delivered the goods. As a bonus, you can also use Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon to link X-Men First Class and Roenicke -- Roenicke manages Ryan Braun, who was in one of the world's worst commercials with Marissa Miller, who was on Entourage with Kevin Connolly, who was in Beyond All Boundaries with Bacon, the bad guy in X-Men: First Class.

Pirates manager Clint Hurdle as Green Lantern: Neither ended up being being good, but compared to expectations, it was an Oscar and a World Series. If you weren't scared off by the words "Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan", you certainly were when you heard about the CGI suit. Expectations were incredibly low, just as they were in Pittsburgh (and after 18 losing seasons, why not?). That said, there were some bright spots -- the suit wasn't anywhere near as bad as expected and there was a sort of tongue-in-cheek nod to superhero cliches in the movie, while Andrew McCutchen is a superhero himself. Both had a  decent quick start, but in the end, both suffered as time went on and some concepts (a ring given to some dude by an alien, or Kevin Correia as an All-Star), proved too ridiculous for anyone to fully get behind the movie -- or the Pirates. In the end, though, you'll remember it as "not that bad" even if the Pirates do record their 19th consecutive losing season, but Hurdle will likely have a positive MoY score.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi as Super 8: You figured it would be good -- it was from J.J. Abrams and Steven Spielberg, there was plenty of money behind it. Expectations are always high for the Yankees and neither Spielberg nor Abrams are strangers to hype. A solid leading man (Kyle Chandler, Derek Jeter) and surprising performances from others thrust into lead roles (the kids in the movie and the not-quite-kids like Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia in the Yankees' rotation), made it a great summer. While some expectations can never be met, the Yankees and Super 8 got the job done. Of course, rarely are awards given for merely meeting expectations.

Phillies manager Charlie Manuel as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2: Everyone knew the story coming in -- Harry would defeat Voldemort and the trio of Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels would prove as unbeatable as the Elder Wand, the Resurrection Stone and Cloak of Invisibility. It was great fun to watch, but the source material was handed to director David Yates by J.K. Rowling, just as Ruben Amaro Jr. and Pat Gillick gave Manuel this pitching and roster. Dismissed as just a press-button manager or director, the film succeeded, but those charged with doing so will have their role in making it so diminished because the perception is that it would be difficult to screw up the hand that was dealt.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy as Cowboys and Aliens: An excellent cast, a director with a good track record, beloved source material and, well, in the end it wasn't a hit.

Astros manager Brad Mills as The Smurfs: You expected it to be bad, but maybe not this bad.

Now, it'll just be interesting to see if Moneyball lives up to Art Howe's managing.

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Posted on: August 24, 2011 1:13 am
 

A's Allen hits two tape-measure homers

Brandon AllenBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Brandon Allen hadn't hit a homer since being traded from the Diamondbacks to the A's at the trade deadline, but he made up for that with two at Yankee Stadium in Tuesday's 6-5 victory over New York.

But it wasn't just that Allen hit two homers -- it is where he hit them. His first homer, off starter Bartolo Colon in the second inning was just the second hit into the third deck at new Yankee Stadium. Russell Branyan hit one there last Aug. 21. Allen's second homer -- off of Hector Noesi in the eighth inning -- "just" went into the second deck. 

"Both had the same sound," A's manager Bob Melvin told reporters (via MLB.com). "One just had a little more topspin on it. That first one, I can't imagine too many other home runs hit farther in this building than that one."

Watch both homers here.

In his 10 games as an Athletic, Allen's hit .394/.432/.758 and at least put himself into consideration for the starting spot at first base for Oakland in 2012. He doesn't have the strongest competition, as Daric Barton was the incumbent and struggled mightily before being demoted to Triple-A in June. Prospect Chris Carter has as much power as anyone, but has yet to show he can hit in the big leagues.

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Posted on: August 13, 2011 9:38 pm
 

'Kitchen accident' sidelines Yankees' Garcia

Freddy GarciaBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Yankees starter Freddy Garcia won't start on Sunday against the Rays after cutting his finger in a "kitchen accident" last week. 

A.J. Burnett will be moved up to start in his place and the rest of the team's starters will also move up a day. The Yankees had been using a six-man rotation, so with Garcia out, all the starters will be on their regular rest.

The Yankees had been hoping to go back to a five-man rotation and Garcia's injury made the decision easy.

"I told everyone I was going to tell them I was going to have a decision tomorrow as far as what we were going to do and sometimes decisions have a way of working their way out," manager Joe Girardi told reporters, including Mike Vorkunov of the Star-Ledger.

The cut on Garcia's finger doesn't allow him from throwing his splitter.

Ivan Nova will start Monday's opener in Kansas City, followed by Bartolo Colon and CC Sabathia.

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Posted on: August 5, 2011 4:56 pm
 

On Deck: Ubaldo makes his Indians debut

OD

By C. Trent Rosecrans


Follow all games live with CBSSports.com's GameTracker.

Ubaldo JimenezJimenez brings the heat: Ubaldo Jimenez makes his Cleveland debut against the Rangers, a team he's never faced. Jimenez was 6-9 with a 4.46 ERA for the Rockies this year, but was much better on the road than at (his former) home -- going 3-4 with a 3.38 ERA away from Coors Field and a 3-5 mark with a 5.55 ERA in Colorado. Jimenez will not only have to face the Rangers and Derek Holland, but also the heat. According to Weather.com, the forecast is for a game time temperature of 106 degrees, which would make it the hottest game in Rangers Ballpark history -- a place with quite the history of steamy weather. Texas had two 105-degree games last month. Indians at Rangers, 8:05 p.m. ET

East showdown: Yes, it's terribly unoriginal to put yet another Yankees-Red Sox game in the preview. Yes, the rest of the country is sick of having the two teams rammed down our throats. And yes, they've already played nine games and have nine more against each other. But the reason this rivalry gets talked about is that it's worth talking about. Entering this three-game set at Fenway Park, the two teams are tied for the best record in the American League at 68-42 and atop the American League East standings. Boston is 8-1 so far this season against their rivals, beating Friday's starter Bartolo Colon twice already. However, in those two starts, Colon has allowed just seven hits and three earned runs over 10 1/3 innings. Lefty Jon Lester is on the hill for Boston. He's allowed 13 hits and seven earned runs in two starts against the Yankees this season, but picked up victories in both starts. Yankees at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. ET

Aaron HarangJeff KarstensSinking ship?: Piitsburgh's quickly gone from the belle of the ball to, well, the Pirates. Looking to break their streak of 18 consecutive losing seasons, the Pirates have lost their last seven games and are now two games under .500 at 54-56. Pittsburgh will see a familiar foe on the mound in Padres right-hander Aaron Harang, a former Red who has started 23 career games against the Pirates, going 13-6 with a 4.19 ERA. Harang has beaten the Pirates and Astros more than any other teams in baseball. He faces off against Pittsburgh's best starter, Jeff Karstens. Karstens is 8-5 with a 2.49 ERA and has allow two or fewer earned runs in 13 of his last 16 starts. Padres at Pirates, 7:05 p.m. ET

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Posted on: July 15, 2011 2:19 am
Edited on: July 15, 2011 2:19 am
 

MLB receives Colon's medical records

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Bartolo ColonMajor League Baseball has secured copies of medical records for the stem cell procedure that Yankees pitcher Bartolo Colon underwent last year in the Dominican Republic, but the question of whether Colon was treated with human growth hormone could still be unresolved, according to the New York Times.

Colon and two doctors have denied the use of HGH in the procedure on Colon's elbow, even though one of the doctors -- Joseph R. Purita of Boca Raton, Fla. -- has used HGH in similar stem cell treatments in the past. Purita didn't perform the procedure, but was overseen by Purita.

MLB has asked for the paperwork more than two months ago but didn't receive them until Tuesday. One of the doctors said he didn't receive written notice that MLB requested the records.

There's further confusion because the doctor, Sergio Guzman, claims he has yet to be paid by Colon. Guzman told the newspaper that the two had agreed to pay 4 percent of any future contract for the treatment. Colon signed a one-year deal with the Yankees for $900,000.

Colon, 38, didn't play in 2010 and was 14-21 with a 5.18 in the four years before 2010. This season he's 6-5 with a 3.47 ERA but had his worst start of the season on Thursday, lasting just 2/3 of an inning and allowing eight runs in a loss to the Blue Jays.

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Posted on: July 14, 2011 8:34 pm
Edited on: July 15, 2011 12:59 am
 

Colon rocked by Jays

Bartolo Colon

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Has Bartolo Colon's magic worn off?

In his first start of the second half, the Yankee right-hander turned in a stinker, his second in a row. Colon gave up six hits and eight runs -- three earned -- in just 2/3 of an inning against the Blue Jays on Thursday before being replaced by Luis Ayala, who didn't help matters when he balked in a run to give Toronto a 9-0 lead after just one inning.

Colon walked two -- he was averaging just 2.2 per nine innings before Thursday --   and didn't strike out any, throwing 42 pitches to get two outs. Well, actually, he used fewer to get two outs, as seven straight Blue Jays reached with two outs before Colon was lifted.

Several Yankee beat writers speculated on Twitter that Colon could still be dealing with a hamstring injury, something that's not out of the realm of possibility. Colon went on the disabled list last month with a strained left hamstring and didn't look good coming off the mound to try to field two balls hit back at him by Rajai Davis and Yunel Escobar -- not that the 38-year old, 265-pounder (that's his listed weight) ever looks too good coming off the mound.

After the game, Colon told reporters he had no pain, but was tentative on his hamstring.

"I feel good, but sometime I feel a little bit nervous," Colon told reporters through an interpreter, according to the New York Times. "I'm afraid to push."

After coming off the disabled list, Colon pitched six scoreless innings against the Mets on July 2 and then picked up the loss in 5 2/3 innings against the Rays that lifted his ERA from 2.88 to 3.20. Thursday's outing put his ERA at 3.47, with thanks to third baseman Eduardo Nunez's error on J.P. Arencibia's grounder that loaded the bases with two outs.

Now, two bad outings happen -- it's not exactly unheard of for a pitcher to struggle at this point of the season. But Colon wasn't in baseball last season and was 14-21 with a 5.18 ERA over his last four seasons before missing 2010, so it's natural to wonder if he will regress to the mean. The Yankees are covered; Phil Hughes has returned to the rotation (with his rediscovered fastball) and Ivan Nova is in the minors just in case someone else in the rotation goes down.

Even if all Colon does is give the Yankees a great first half (6-4, 3.20 ERA), he will have been one of the best signings of the season. (He signed a minor league contract in January that pays him just $900,000 this season.) For the Yankees, $150,000 a win is like ordering off of the dollar menu. Last year the team paid $1,095,238.10 for each of CC Sabathia's 21 wins and $1,650,00 for each of A.J. Burnett's 10 victories. Between Colon and Freddy Garcia's $1.5 million contract, the Yankees could have appeared on Extreme Couponing with their bargain hunting -- even if they were stocking up on boxed macaroni and cheese to put in the pantry at their beach house.

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Posted on: July 2, 2011 12:27 pm
Edited on: July 2, 2011 1:09 pm
 

On Deck: Halladay returns to Toronto

On Deck
By Evan Brunell

HalladayHOMECOMING: Roy Halladay apparently couldn't care less that he's about to step on the Blue Jays' mound for the first time wearing a different uniform. "I feel like it's any other start," Halladay told MLB.com. "It's been long enough for me where that's not really something that's in the forefront. Obviously it's the first time back, but I don't really anticipate anything different than any other road start." I'm guessing there's just a little bit of an emotional twinge in Halladay, but he's a robot who does nothing but get outs, so what do I know? He'll be opposed by Carlos Villanueva, an ex-Brewer who opened the year in the bullpen and impressed enough to get, and so far retain, a rotation spot. Phillies vs. Blue Jays, 1:07 p.m. ET (Watch live)

KershawWeaverBEST MATCHUP: What a fantastic matchup slated for the Freeway Series in a rematch of a battle this past Sunday, when Kershaw outdueled Weaver with a six-hitter. Weaver was in line for his 10th win before L.A. rallied off closer Jordan Walden, but Kershaw's been the better pitcher this year. That may sound like heresey given Kershaw has a 2.93 ERA and Weaver 1.97, but if there's one thing you should learn from reading these pages, it's that ERA doesn't mean everything. Kershaw's peripherals are stronger than Weavers and he'll be going after his third straight complete game, which no Dodger has achieved in the last 11 years. Dodgers vs. Angels, 9:05 p.m. ET (Watch live)

YankeesMetsSUBWAY BATTLE: The Yankees are trying to win the division and would love to buffer their lead over the Red Sox, currently at an all-too-tenuous 2 1/2 games. The Mets, meanwhile, would love to avoid dipping under .500 for the first time since last Saturday. The Mets are still lingering on the fringes of the wild card race, plus boast perhaps the most exciting player in the game today with Jose Reyes. The Yanks will have Bartolo Colon coming off the DL to continue his bizarrely successful year. Likewise, the Metropolitans will trot out Dillon Gee, also experiencing unforeseen success. Yankees vs. Mets, 4:10 p.m. ET (Watch live)

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