Tag:Brennan Boesch
Posted on: April 11, 2011 7:46 pm
 

Achilles again sidelines Ordonez

By Matt Snyder

Tigers outfielder Magglio Ordonez left Monday's game against the Rangers with tightness in his Achilles. He had been battling soreness in his right ankle in the early going this season, after having surgery on the ankle this past offseason. He missed Sunday's game and was pulled following the seventh inning Monday. He will reportedly miss "at least the next few days" moving forward. (MLB.com )

Ordonez, 37, hasn't done much to help the 3-7 Tigers here in the early going of 2011. His on-base and slugging percentages are both below .300 and he still isn't moving well in right field. Meanwhile, Brennan Boesch and Ryan Raburn have swung the bat relatively well thus far -- not to mention both are much younger than Ordonez. It's hard to see how him missing a few days really hurts the team.

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Posted on: April 2, 2011 11:32 am
Edited on: April 18, 2011 12:31 pm
 

Pepper: Facebookin' baseball fans

Giants

By Evan Brunell

FACEBOOKIN': Oh, the things you can find out.

A group of Facebook data scientists got together and analyzed all 30 teams' fan pages on Facebook as well as status updates of its fans.

"While the U.S. may be a country of 50 states, to fans of Major League Baseball, it's a country of thirty teams, each with its own sphere of influence," the report stated.

So what was found?

For one, the World Series last season that opposed the Giants and Rangers pitted America's most liberal baseball fans against its most conservative. Not that much of a surprise given each team's respective locations. But the Giants were also part of a list of fans that were young and single. The two teams that paced baseball in having the youngest and most available fans were the Athletics and Blue Jays. On the opposite end of the spectrum, a Cardinals, Reds or Tigers fan is more likely to be older and married.

How about popularity? There are plenty of teams that "vie for popularity in Southern California, [but] teams like the Braves are dominant over most of the South," the report said.

The most popular team, though, was the Yankees as a fan "liked" the team every 1.5 teams. Bringing up the rear were the Nationals with over five teams liked per fan. (San Francisco Chronicle)

READYING FOR SUNDAY: Barry Zito is expected to make his start Sunday after coming through a throwing program Friday with no repercussions. Zito is still recovering from a car crash Wednesday night that has left him with a stiff neck. (San Jose Mercury-News)

FRENEMIES: A nice feature story on both Ed Wade and Ruben Amaro. Amaro, of course is the GM of the Phillies that has made bold moves lately to create a vaunted rotation while Wade hired Amaro to the front office and preceded Amaro as GM of the Phillies back in the dog days of Philly baseball before Pat Gillick came in and turned things around. (Philly.com)

BACK HOME: It was a strange return to Texas of sorts for Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who made his second straight opening start in the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Of course, last year he was a Ranger and ended up delivering the first game-winning hit of Texas' 2010 season. "I've got nothing but good things to say about Salty," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "The guy works his butt off. The tools are there, but it's like anything else. Talking and writing about it is one thing. Getting it done between the lines is another." (Ft. Worth Star-Telegram)

STOP CHEWING: Commissioner Bud Selig fully intends to attempt a ban on smokeless tobacco in the next round of labor negotiations. He may have a difficult time getting the ban in place. Where's the line between what baseball can demand and a player's on personal choice? (MLB.com)

MMM, FOOD: Here's an interesting list of the best new food at ballparks for 2011. Topping the list is the "Meat Lover's Hot Dog" that is being rolled out in Cincinnati. It's a quarter-pound hot dog wrapped in bacon, deep-fried and then topped with pepper, jack cheese and fried salami. Sounds delish, but also sounds right in line with America's obsession with pigging out and then complaining about being obese. (Mantestedrecipes.com)

LINEUP CONTROVERSY: Brennan Boesch is in the lineup for Saturday's tilt against the Yankees, while presumed starting left fielder Ryan Raburn has hit the bench. That creates lots of questions about just what is the status quo in Detroit. (Detroit News)

NOT ROLLING IN MONEY: Forbes created a bit of a stir by revealing the Padres had the highest operating income last season at $37.2 million. Does that mean San Diego is pocketing money rather than reinvesting it back into the team? Not quite, as Forbes could have overstated the amount of profit by the team as much as $10 million. (San Diego Union-Tribune)

OVERCLAWING: The SEC believes Irving Picard is taking things a bit too far in his fee requirements in his capacity as trustee overseeing Bernie Madoff's financial empire. Picard is supposed to return the money to its rightful owners and yet could threaten the $2.5 billion fund of the government-sponsored nonprofit organization that manages the liquidation of failed brokerage firms in personal fees. (New York Daily News)

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Posted on: February 24, 2011 11:34 am
Edited on: February 24, 2011 3:49 pm
 

Honorary All-Grudzielanek team

Mark Grudzielanek played in 1,802 games over the course of 15 major-league seasons. He appeared in uniform for six different teams, making the NLCS twice -- once with the Cubs and once with the Cardinals. He hit .289 with over 2,000 hits and 946 runs scored. He earned one Gold Glove and made the All-Star team once. He was a good guy who always played hard and was generally liked by teammates. Basically, Grudzielanek had a quality major-league career, but won't be showing up on any all-time lists.

That is, unless you are looking squarely at that stupendous last name.

So, in light of his retirement announcement Wednesday, it only seems fitting to put together an All-Star team of the best names in baseball. We're looking for who will carry the torch on with Grudz's departure, so it's current players only. No real criteria, other than that the name just has to sound interesting or be really hard to spell -- or both. This is completely subjective, so there's definite room for argument.

Without further ado, here is the 25-man roster (we also listed all names we considered).

CATCHER: Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Red Sox. And here's the team captain. There's no better name in baseball. Backup: J.P. Arencibia, Blue Jays. Also considered: Francisco Cervelli, Yankees; Taylor Teagarden, Rangers.

FIRST BASE: Pablo Sandoval, Giants. Bonus points for having an awesome nickname. Backup: Kila Ka'aihue, Royals. Also considered: Justin Smoak, Mariners

SECOND BASE: Chone Figgins, Mariners. Real slim pickings here. Nearly every name for a second basemen is bland or common. We'll go with Figgins because "Chone" is pronounced "Sean" or "Shaun" or "Shawn." Also considered: Robinson Cano, Yankees; Dan Uggla, Braves.

THIRD BASE: Kevin Kouzmanoff, A's. Also considered: Placido Polanco, Phillies.

SHORTSTOP:
Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies. Alliteration gets him the nod here. Backup: Yuniesky Betancourt. Also considered: Marco Scutaro, Red Sox; Ryan Theriot, Cardinals.

LEFT FIELD: Scott Podsednik, Blue Jays. Also considered: Chris Coghlan, Marlins; Chris Denorfia, Padres; Ryan Langerhans, Mariners.

CENTER FIELD: Coco Crisp, A's. Another no-brainer. Second easiest pick on here after Saltalamacchia. Backup: Colby Rasmus, Cardinals. Also considered: Nyjer Morgan, Nationals; Rajai Davis, Blue Jays; Cameron Maybin, Padres; Denard Span, Twins; Ryan Spilborghs, Rockies.

RIGHT FIELD: Brennan Boesch, Tigers. Tough call here, but I'm a sucker for the alliteration. Plus, that's just a smooth combo. Props to his parents. Also considered: Jeff Francoeur, Royals; Nate Schierholtz, Giants; Nick Markakis, Orioles.

DESIGNATED HITTER: Milton Bradley, Mariners. Personal feelings aside, this was another obvious one.

STARTING ROTATION: CC Sabathia, Yankees; Max Scherzer, Tigers; Brian Matusz, Orioles; Marc Rzepczynski, Blue Jays; Justin Duchscherer, Orioles. CC gets the nod due to his first name being Carsten. Oh, and for losing the periods to his initials. The other four are pretty obvious with those last names. Grudz is surely proud. Also considered: Bronson Arroyo, Reds; Tim Lincecum, Giants; Madison Bumgarner, Giants; Gio Gonzalez, A's; Tom Gorzelanny, Nationals.

BULLPEN: Octavio Dotel, Blue Jays; Jeff Samardzija, Cubs; Fu-Te Ni, Tigers; Boof Bonser, Mets; Burke Badenhop, Marlins. All pretty obvious great names here, and I especially love "The Hopper," as the Marlins' announcers call Badenhop. Also considered: Brian Duensing, Twins; Joba Chamberlain, Yankees; Jeremy Affeldt, Giants; Jason Isringhausen, Mets.

SETUP: David Aardsma, Mariners. Based mostly on the fact that if you listed every major league player of all-time alphabetically, only Aardsma would come before the great Hank Aaron.

CLOSER: J.J. Putz, Diamondbacks. C'mon. He uses a double initial and his last name looks like an insult (though it's actually pronounced "puts," not "putts," for those in the dark).

MANAGER: Mike Scioscia, Angels. Maybe it's all mental at this point, but spelling that thing correctly still trips me up. Give me Grudzielanek any day. Also considered: Mike Quade, Cubs; Ned Yost, Royals; Manny Acta, Indians.

-- Matt Snyder

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Posted on: October 17, 2010 9:36 pm
 

R.I.P. Tigers: Injuries play spoiler


As the sports world waits for the crowning of a champion, 22 other teams are busy preparing for spring training. What went wrong for these teams, and what does 2011 hold? MLB Facts and Rumors here at CBS Sports will be answering those questions in October. Today: our penultimate entry, the Detroit Tigers.

It was a tale of two seasons in the Motor City in 2010: a first half that was better than expected, and a second half that was worse.

Attrition had a lot to do with it, as injuries thinned the ranks and left Triple Crown candidate Miguel Cabrera exposed in the lineup. But the Tigers had a lot of young talent step up, and ended up feeling about as good as you can feel when you lead the division midway through the season and end up in third place with a .500 record.

WHAT WENT WRONG

Injuries. Bad ones, to important players, at critical times.

Brandon Inge broke his hand, Joel Zumaya his elbow and, most damaging, Magglio Ordonez broke his ankle on a slide into home plate on July 24 and never returned. Plus you had Carlos Guillen straining something twice a month and playing just 68 games. The injuries had a domino effect on the team, as roles changed and opponents started being able to pitch around Cabrera.

The offense and bullpen numbers were middle-of-the-pack, but the starting pitching was subpar, 11th in the AL in ERA.

Miguel Cabrera And this should probably more properly fall under what went right, but Armando Galarraga’s “perfect game that wasn’t” on June 2 ended up as more of a gut punch than a highlight. It was a good symbol of the Tigers’ season: No matter what they did, the breaks seemed to be against them.

WHAT WENT RIGHT

Cabrera was tremendous, putting up a .328/.420/.622 line with 38 homers and 126 RBIs. His RBI  total, on-base percentage and  OPS+ of 179 were tops in the AL. If it were possible to do it all yourself, he certainly gave it a try. Ordonez, too, was having a big season, batting .303 before his injury.

Young hitting was in abundance, with two outfielders in the rookie of the year conversation. Austin Jackson batted .293, scored 103 runs, hit 34 doubles and play exciting defense. Brennan Boesch looked a heck of a lot better in the first half (.342 average) than the second (.163), but showed he’s got potential.

On the pitching side, Justin Verlander was an 18-game winner and an All-Star, Max Scherzer went 12-11 with a 3.50 ERA after arriving last winter from Arizona, and 22-year-old Rick Porcello weathered some growing pains and a trip to the minors and won five of his last six decisions.
 
HELP ON THE WAY

The Tigers farm system is considered thin at the top, but some very good signs arrived from Triple-A Toledo. Will Rhymes (pictured, below right) put himself in the picture for the starting job at second base by batting .304 in 54 games, and outfielder Casper Wells was tremendous 9.323/.364/.538) in a 36-game audition.

EXPECTATIONS FOR 2011

The Tigers have some good core pieces and a lot of payroll flexibility, and a big part of what went wrong this year can be attributed to injuries. For those reasons, the Tigers are in a good position for 2011.

Will Rhymes SUGGESTIONS FOR 2011

The Tigers have anywhere from $50 million to $70-plus million coming off the books, depending on how you do the accounting, so they’re in good position to address their needs.

The question is, how do they spend that money? They declined Ordonez’s pricey option, but could re-sign him for less. That would be a good start, but they could really use another middle-of-the-order threat.

As for the top free-agent bats, they’ve got room in the outfield for Carl Crawford or Jayson Werth, but no place for Adrian Beltre now that they’ve made a multi-year offer to Inge (and Beltre is not likely to become a DH). Detroit could be an attractive option for Adam Dunn if he softens on his demand not to DH.

The Tigers are happy with the trio of Verlander, Scherzer and Porcello at the top of the rotation, and have said they want to convert Phil Coke to starting because they need a left-hander. But a veteran guy like Aaron Harang would fit nicely.

2011 PREDICTION

Look for the Tigers to be contenders next year, making for what should be an entertaining three-way battle with the Twins and White Sox in the Central.
Check out the other R.I.P. reports here.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: September 22, 2010 12:07 am
Edited on: September 22, 2010 10:23 am
 

Tigers could have young offense in 2011

Austin Jackson Theoretically, the Tigers could have seven of eight position players on the diamond (excluding pitcher) be rookies from the 2010 season.

That won't happen, but it does underline how much of a transitional season 2010 was for the Tigers and how much young talent the team has in the fold.

Now it's about figuring out which ones start.

"You don't want to downplay what these kids are doing, but you don't want to get carried away, either," manager Jim Leyland told MLive.com .

"If you remember right, four months ago, people were talking about Boesch as Babe Ruth," Leyland added. "All of a sudden, that's gone away and they're talking about Will Rhymes and Casper Wells. You've got to be careful with all that.

"You've got to make sound judgments as an organization."

The seven rookies are:
  • C Alex Avila, who is hitting .228/.323/.338 as a 23-year-old in 311 plate appearances, seems to have played his way into the Tigers' plans, and should be at the very least the backup. He could enter as a starter, but it's likely Detroit pairs Avila with a veteran catcher. (Could they steal someone off the Marlins' wishlist?)
  • 2B Wil Rhymes is quickly becoming a fan favorite and has a .291/.337/.388 mark and just dinged his first home run. He has 195 PA on the year, but at 27 is likely a future utilityman or may have this be his best major-league success. With Carlos Guillen lost to microfracture surgery but eventually on the way back, second could be a position filled with various platoons of Rhymes, Danny Worth, Scott Sizemore and Ryan Raburn.
  • SS Danny Worth succeeded Adam Everett at short, but has struggled to put together a good season while losing time to injury as well, eventually manning the bench behind Jhonny Perala The 24-year-old had a .255/.295/.358 mark but has a sterling defensive reputation. Given the Tigers' interest in a pick-em man at short, Worth has a shot -- but odds are good Peralta returns.
  • Scott Sizemore was supposed to be the starting second baseman to begin 2009. Well, a left ankle fracture took care of that, but Sizemore has rebounded from that to post a .226/.302/.347 mark in 143 PA with three homers with the 25-year-old flashing a .298/.378/.472 line in 342 PA at Triple-A. Sizemore will probably start somewhere in 2011 -- whether at third or second base. Raburn could push him at third, or the team could import a hitter, minimizing second base to a plethora of candidates.
  • Casper Wells, 25, has taken Detroit by storm with three dingers in 70 trips to the plate, checking in with a .354/.400/.596 line.  Given his Triple-A line of .233/.309/.483 was decidedly more tepid, plus the struggles of Brennan Boesch, Wells won't be entering 2011 as a starter. Odds are he battles with Boesch and Raburn in one outfield position while the Tigers bring in at least one outfielder (and don't be shocked if it's a pricey one) to shore up the offense.
  • Austin Jackson (pictured) is the probable Rookie of the Year award winner and isn't going anywhere after flashing Gold Glove-caliber (as in, actually worth it instead of the numerous head-scratching Gold Glove awards that get handed out) defense and a .300/.355/.412 mark in 622 PA.
  • Brennan Boesch started the season on fire, as Leyland noticed, but a brutal second-half cool streak has brought him down to .265/.331/.432 with 14 dingers in 483 PA. The Tigers shouldn't won't allow Wells and Boesch to take up two starting spots and should have them battle for time, but with a possible outfield job and DH position vacant, Detroit may not be able to bring in two sluggers. That could hand Boesch a starting job.
There are certainly plenty of youngsters on offense, but as seems clear, the Tigers should bring in outside help.

"I think there are some ingredients here that are pretty young that can handle the job at this level, for sure," Jim Leyland noted. "But if you think you can just take all young guys and go walk through a division, that's not going to happen. You're going to get your [butt] beat."

If the Tigers run out all seven rookies in that lineup around Miguel Cabrera, then the club would certainly get their
"[butt]" beat.

 -- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: September 14, 2010 10:52 pm
Edited on: September 14, 2010 11:04 pm
 

Boesch follows up hot start with struggles

Brennan Boesch Brennan Boesch had one of the most impressive debuts a rookie can have, landing in the majors on April 23 and going on to hit .342/.397/.593 with 12 home runs in 267 plate appearances in the first half.

However, his second half has been anything but impressive, checking in at just two home runs over 201 PA with a line of .155/.234/.215. That's nothing short of a terrible line, and the struggles have been tough for the youngster to handle.

"You'd like to say you're ready and a finished product when you get here," Boesch told the Detroit News . "And it seemed that way for a while. But never did I get complacent."

Boesch was never a highly-regarded prospect, so his breakout was met with skepticism. Even though he predictably regressed, the amount of regression Boesch has undergone has been ridiculous, and is starting to weigh on the 25-year-old's mind.

"A lot of it is not physical, a lot of it is mental," Boesch added. "So, there are some things I'd like to fine-tune -- Being in a consistent mind-set, not allowing distractions to take over. I want to be consistent rather than amazing one day, and not the next."

Manager Jim Leyland, who has seen plenty of baseball players come and go, thinks Boesch has the chance to be a strong player if he can grow from his struggles.

"He can run, he can throw, he can hit for power. There was a stretch there when, arguably, he probably was producing better than anyone in baseball," he said. 

Certainly not in the second half.

To prepare for the 2011 season, Boesch is headed to California with teammate Danny Worth, where he will undergo a training program along with Delmon Young and Carlos Quentin. He'll enter 2011 with a good chance to make the major-league squad, especially with an outfield in flux with only Austin Jackson assured of a job.

Magglio Ordonez, the team's starting right fielder, went down with a season-ending injury earlier in the season and is a free agent. Johnny Damon, who is primarily the designated hitter but can also play left field, is also a free agent. Boesch, Casper Wells and Ryan Raburn all split time in the outfield, and Carlos Guillen, currently at second base, could shift to left field for the final year of his deal in 2011.

With just $55 million guaranteed prior to arbitration raises, the Tigers could also flash the checkbook to free agents in the attempt to propel Detroit back into the playoffs. 

With all of these factors, Leyland wasn't ready to commit to Boesch on the 25-man squad, but believes he'll recover from the second-half slump.

"I'm not gonna say he's a slam-dunk, but he'll compete [next spring] and whatever he gets is up to him," he said.

-- Evan Brunell

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Category: MLB
Posted on: September 1, 2010 4:20 pm
Edited on: September 1, 2010 4:22 pm
 

Evaluating the AL Rookie of the Year race

There has been an abundance of quality rookies hitting the majors in 2010... except most of them are in the National League.

In the American League, it's a decidedly different story. Oh sure, there's plenty of talent here -- of the names below, plenty of All-Star Game appearances will be racked up.

Brennan Boesch LF/RF Brennan Boesch
Detroit Tigers
.269/.329/.452, 432 PA, 41 R, 21 2B, 14 HR, 61 RBI, -1.7 UZR/150, 0 DRS, 1.4 WAR

Brennan Boesch's second half of the season has been the complete opposite of the first half, when Boesch burst on the scene with an exclamation mark. Still, his first half was so strong, he deserves real consideration for the award -- and if he can pull off a hot September, could actually make a run for it. His .342/.397/.593 OPS in 267 first-half plate appearances is nothing short of incredible, especially given Boesch was an unheralded prospect. In the second half, he has a paltry .152./218/.225, unsurprising given regression to the mean and his lacking peripherals. Still, his overall line remains strong enough to contend in a diluted pool of candidates.

Wade Davis SP Wade Davis
Tampa Bay Rays
11-9, 134 1/3 IP, 4.29 ERA, 51 BB, 85 K, 4.96 xFIP, 0.3 WAR

Davis hasn't had his season go entirely to plan, but is the only starting pitcher worthy of consideration with 11 wins and an ERA approximating a solid starter even if his xFIP points out that he's in actuality, a back-of-the-rotation starter. He'll likely top 100 strikeouts and will have his case bolstered by being a year-long member of a rotation that made the postseason. Davis skidded in June with a 6.00 ERA, but has turned his season back around and so far in August, is having his best month in peripherals.

Neftali Feliz CL Neftali Feliz
Texas Rangers
33 SV, 57 IP, 3.32 ERA, 16 BB, 59 K, 3.77 xFIP, 1.2 WAR

The prohibitive favorite, Feliz has notched 33 saves for the AL West-leading Rangers and done so in spectacular fashion, blowing away hitters left and right when he trots in from the dugout. Even though Texas should try to slot him in the rotation long-term, for now, he's been everything the Rangers needed at the end of a ballgame. If he can get to 40 saves in September, he should have the award all but locked up. Austin Jackson is Feliz's biggest competition for an award, and how both players produce in September will dictate the outcome.

Austin Jackson CF Austin Jackson

Detroit Tigers
.304/.357/.406, 542 PA, 83 R, 29 2B, 8 3B, 2 HR, 29 RBI, 3.4 UZR/150, 19 DRS, 3.1 WAR

Jackson has been quite lucky this season -- there's no denying that. However, there's also no denying that he can hit for contact despite a lack of walks and a propensity of strikeouts. He's also one of the best fielders in the game, which goes a long way towards giving him the best WAR ahead of anyone else on the list. Simply put -- he's contributed the most wins to a team of any rookie in the league. It's possible Jackson could lose some votes to teammate Boesch.

Sergio Santos RP Sergio Santos
Chicago White Sox
42 IP, 2.36 ERA, 22 BB, 43 K, 4.18 xFIP, 0.6 WAR

Why Santos on this list? Because unlike the rest of the rookie candidates, he's the last remaining who has made a tangible impact on his team's season. Santos has quickly morphed from a light-hitting infielder to one of the best relievers in the game, and closing may be in his future. Until then, he still has much to learn about pitching -- but not much to learn about how to throw a fastball. A big reason the White Sox are in contention is due to Santos, J.J. Putz and Matt Thornton all but putting the seventh and eighth innings out of reach.

Apologies to: Brian Matusz, Mitch Talbot

 -- Evan Brunell

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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