Tag:Carlos Pena
Posted on: September 8, 2011 2:23 am
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3 Up, 3 Down: Williams' gem leads Angels

Jerome Williams

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Jerome Williams, Angels: Williams was one of three pitchers to take a no-hitter into the sixth inning along with Oakland's Guillermo Moscoso and Philadelphia's Roy Oswalt, but neither of those pitchers was pitching for such high stakes. With the Rangers losing earlier in the day to the Rays, the Angels took the field Wednesday night knowing they could make up ground on their rivals in the only real playoff race left. Williams retired 15 of the first 16 batters he faced before Seattle's Trayvon Robinson homered to lead off the sixth inning and put Los Angeles in a 1-0 hole. It looked as if Robinson's stellar start would go for naught until the Angels rallied for three runs in the eighth inning to give Robinson and the Angels the 3-1 victory and to pull to 2.5 games behind the Rangers. Robinson's homer was the only hit the Mariners would record, as Williams struck out five and walked one.

Mark Reynolds, Orioles: Reynolds struck out four times (fun stat for the guy who's always sitting next to me at baseball games, strikeouts are worth one out, just like any other way a player makes an out), but with two outs in the 11th inning, Reynolds came through against Hector Noesi with an RBI single to give Baltimore a 5-4 victory in the Bronx.

Carlos Pena, Cubs: Pena was hitting just .135 off of left-handed pitchers and Reds lefty Bill Bray had limited left-handed hitters to just a .188 batting average this season -- so Dusty Baker's decision to replace Logan Ondrusek with Bray was sound. It just didn't work. With the game tied at 3 and one on and one out in the eighth inning, Pena caught up to Bray's first-pitch slider that didn't slide and put it on Sheffield Avenue for a 6-3 Cubs victory. Pena has five home runs and 16 RBI against the Reds this season.


A.J. Burnett, Yankees: As far as Burnett starts go, the Yankee whipping boy wasn't too bad on Wednesday, allowing four runs on seven hits in six innings, striking out seven and walking four. No, those aren't great numbers, but it's certainly good for Burnett this season. However, he did make history -- and not the kind he'd like -- on Wednesday with three wild pitches. It was the eighth time he's recorded at least three wild pitches in his career, the most in the modern history. Nolan Ryan, Phil Niekro and Tommy John all had seven games with three wild pitches, which is pretty decent company. Burnett has 23 wild pitches this season, the most in baseball.

Daniel Bard, Red Sox: Thanks to Bard, Tim Wakefield failed in his eighth attempt at his 200th career victory. With Boston leading 8-6 in the eighth inning, Bard hit the first batter he faced and after loading the bases and recording two outs, he gave up the lead by walking Eric Thames and Jose Bautista to tie the game. Matt Albers then came in to relieve Bard and gave up a three-run double to Edwin Encarnacion, who drove in five in the game to give the Jays the lead for good. Wakefield wasn't great, allowing five runs (four earned) and three hits in five innings. He walked three and hit two more, but was in line to record the W.

Orlando Cabrera, Giants: Many around the Bay Area are wondering why Giants manager Bruce Bochy is sticking with Cabrera over rookie Brandon Crawford at shortstop everyday. It didn't get any better in the team's 3-1 loss to the Padres on Wednesday. In the eighth inning, Cabrera dropped an easy popup behind the infield by Wil Venable, who later scored on a Cameron Maybin triple to give San Diego a two-run cushion going into the ninth with closer Heath Bell on the mound. It was Cabrera's fifth error in 30 games with the Giants. He's also struggling at the plate, going 3 for 28 in the team's last 10 games, including an 0-for-3 night on Wednesday.

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Posted on: August 22, 2011 3:31 pm
Edited on: August 22, 2011 5:09 pm
 

Thome hits waivers, could be traded

By Matt Snyder

Twins designated hitter Jim Thome -- who recently joined an elite group of sluggers by hitting his 600th career home run -- has been placed on waivers (Ken Rosenthal via Twitter). So it's possible he could be traded within the next week.

Yes, there was a trade deadline back on July 31, but it's a non-waiver deadline. In the month of August, players who clear waivers can be traded. Also, players could be claimed via the waivers process and then traded to the team that claimed them.

Rosenthal reports that the Phillies want Thome, but seeing as how they have the best record in baseball -- and, thus, the last shot at him in the waivers process -- it's very doubtful he makes it to them. What about a return to Cleveland for Thome? With Travis Hafner going on the disabled list Monday, it's possible the Tribe ends up with an opening at DH. Going back to Cleveland, where Thome spent the first 12 years of his career, would be a nice story and give the Indians an obvious offensive upgrade. Thome has an .868 OPS with 12 home runs this season in just 230 plate appearances.

The Yankees could also be interested in an upgrade at DH, while the Giants and Braves would certainly benefit from some punch off the bench.

Rosenthal also reports Carlos Pena, Jason Kubel and Heath Bell hit waivers Monday.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.


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)

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeonBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: August 1, 2011 9:44 am
 

Pepper: Pelfrey finds sinker; Buchholz finished

Pelfrey

By Evan Brunell

SINKING: Mike Pelfrey thinks he has his sinker back and is hoping to reclaims some optimism during a season where Pelfrey crumbled under the weight of being considered an ace, regressing from a 3.66 ERA in 204 innings last night to a 4.55 mark to date.

"Mike takes such pride in what he does," pitching coach Warthen told the New York Daily News. "I see a guy who was forcing his pitches instead of throwing them."

Pelfrey, for his part, believes that mechanics were an issue. The right-hander's bread and butter has been his sinker, but that lost effectiveness when he altered his arm slot to make his secondary pitches more effective. While Pelfrey isn't scrapping his arm slot, he did say he has to make sure to get his arm out in front of his body more when he throws the sinker. Perhaps then, Pelfrey thinks, he can start racking up the numbers he produced last season even though his peripherals in both 2010 and 2011 are rather similar.

"... I've never seen anybody that can command a baseball as well as he can," Warthen added. "So when he goes out and walks three, four, five guys, I'm just baffled. It's beyond my belief that that can happen with a guy who can do the things he can with the baseball."

Pelfrey will face the Marlins on Monday night and has long struggled against Florida with a career 1-7 record and 5.25 ERA in 15 starts. He'll look to use his sinker, which pushed him to a complete-game victory last time out, to walk away with a win. (New York Daily News)

TOP GMS
: You usually see a winners or losers list come out of the trade deadline, but what about a list of best GMs for those who focused on the short-term and then long-term? Unsurprisingly, contending teams dominate the first list, rebuilding the latter. (ESPN's Jim Bowden)

BAD BACK
: Clay Buchholz appears to have a stress fracture in his back, which will shut him down for the rest of the season and most likely the postseason as well. David Wright recently missed two months with a stress fracture. (CSNNE.com)

BELL EXTENSION: Now that Heath Bell is staying in San Diego, the talk can turn toward the Padres potentially signing him to a contract extension. Bell, for his part, continues to stand by his proclamation that he will accept a three-year deal with a hometown discount to stay with the Pads. (North County Times)

Dodgers DEAL: The Dodgers are considered one of the biggest losers of the trade deadline, dealing a blue-chip prospect for three organizational players. Steve Dilbeck pens a defense, saying the blue-chipper in Trayvon Robinson clearly didn't fit in Los Angeles' plans, plus they finally got the prospect catcher they coveted in Tim Federowicz. GM Ned Coletti says Federowicz could make the roster next spring training. (Los Angeles Times)

Cubs DON'T DEAL: Carlos Pena, who is expected to resign with the Cubs should Chicago miss out on Prince Fielder in free agency, was thrilled the Cubs stood pat at the trade deadline.

"I'd rather have someone really working toward our common goal, instead of (trading players) just for show," Pena said. "Our GM is not like that. He's not trying to 'look' like he's working. He's working. It's totally different than [thinking] 'I can fool the world by switching a couple pieces here,' and it really looks like he's making moves, making changes. When in reality it's just all for show.

"He's not like that. He's doing something that's going to mean something at the end of it all, something substantial, and we're going to reap the benefits. I'd rather have that. We put all our heads together, all our energy together, and personally, I'm excited about the possibility of me being part of that team. Even with our record at this point, with our difficulties, I can say the same thing. I'm excited about what's coming."

Sorry, Carlos. Hendry still messed up. (Chicago Tribune)

THAT'S NICE: That's the reaction of columnist Dejan Kovacevic on the Pirates' haul at the trade deadline, bringing in Derrek Lee and Ryan Ludwick. Unfortunately, they may be arriving aboard a sinking ship as Pittsburgh's pitching regresses. (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)

BEHIND THE SCENES
: Here's a quick look behind the scenes of the Francisco Rodriguez trade that sent the Mets closer to Milwaukee. K-Rod requested that his vesting option for 2012 be waived so the Mets were free to make baseball decisions about Rodriguez's usage. Alderson used that information to convince other teams the closer would void the option, which is exactly what happened once the righty moved to Milwaukee. (New York Times)

LOOKING FORWARD: Manager Eric Wedge won't let the Mariners get complacent the rest of the way, even if the trades made at the deadline deleted two strong pitchers from the staff and clearly set Seattle back this season. "What we're not going to do is spin our wheels," Wedge said. (MLB.com)

TOP DH: One of the best DHs in baseball history is Frank Thomas, who wasn't afraid to proclaim David Ortiz an all-time great at the position. Also, Thomas is a believer that DH gets a bum rap when it comes to Hall of Fame voting and perception of the position. "You ask any DH in the league how tough it is to sit there and pinch hit four times a day and put up monster numbers,” he said. (Boston Herald)

OPTION VESTS: Bobby Abreu's option for 2011 vested with his 433rd plate appearance of the season, reaching the milestone in the ninth inning Sunday against the Tigers. Abreu is now tied to Los Angeles for one more season at $9 million.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: July 29, 2011 1:32 pm
Edited on: July 29, 2011 3:23 pm
 

Friday afternoon trade rumor roundup

Pence

By Evan Brunell

Today's the last weekday prior to the trade deadline, which expires on Sunday. Will there be a flurry of activity much like there was Wednesday when Colby Rasmus was part of a three-team deal and Carlos Beltran headed to San Francisco? It's too early to tell, but here's the latest rumors, headlined by Hunter Pence. If you're looking for information on Ubaldo Jimenez, we've broken that off into its own story -- head here and check it out.

HUNTER PENCE

MLB Trade Deadline
Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal says the Reds are on Michael Bourn, Houston's center fielder. An odd fit, given the team has Drew Stubbs, but Stubbs has been struggling this year and Bourn can impact Cincinnati at the top of the lineup. The team is also in on Hunter Pence, but Rosenthal tabs Pence as the "Phillies' to lose."

On Thursday, a deal between Philadelphia and Houston was so close that Pence was told during the game that night he was being removed due to a trade, as Heyman reports, but he never came out of the game. That's because a potential deal Philadelphia would have engineered with Jonathan Singleton, Jared Cosart and a third piece fell through when the 'Stros wanted Domonic Brown. Both sides are so close, though, it's hard to imagine a trade doesn't eventually happen. Heyman, for his part, thinks a deal will happen if it's Brown and Cosart for Pence.

However, Joel Sherman of the New York Post isn't ready to count out Atlanta. The 'Stros appear to prefer the Braves' prospects, but Atlanta refuses to deal Mike Minor. If that changes, Pence could be a Brave. Will that be enough to keep him out of Philly, a team Heyman says will "do whatever it takes" to get Pence?
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: July 25, 2011 12:13 pm
Edited on: July 25, 2011 12:27 pm
 

Report: Pena 'almost surely' will be traded

By Matt Snyder

Cubs first baseman Carlos Pena makes a lot of sense as a potential trade candidate. He's playing with a one-year contract and could provide some serious pop from the left side of the plate. He also plays sound defense at first base, so any contender looking for some offensive punch could use him.

Thus, the tweet from Jon Heyman of SI.com Monday, saying Pena will "almost surely" be traded, shouldn't come as much of a surprise.

Of course, this was only one day after a story in the Chicago Sun-Times that said there was a mutual interest between Pena and the Cubs for him to stick around past this season. So, with all things we hear this week, everything has to be taken with a grain of salt. No general managers are actually letting their full plans publicly known, so it's a bit of a guessing game.

For speculation's sake, let's mull this from the point of view that Pena is definitely getting traded. Two teams immediately come to mind as good fits for Pena: The Diamondbacks (as Heyman mentioned) and the Pirates. Asking prices and who pays Pena's remaining salary -- he's on a one-year, $10 million deal and we're a bit past halfway through the season -- will determine everything, but those two ballclubs could use a power bat at first base immediately.

Pena, 33, is hitting .221 with a .334 on-base percentage, 20 home runs and 51 RBI. He actually didn't hit his first homer until May 3, though, so he's been hot since -- with 20 homers, 45 RBI and an .870 OPS in his last 247 at- bats.

Putting him in the cleanup spot for the Pirates to protect Andrew McCutchen -- who makes more sense hitting third -- would give the offense a whole new look. Neil Walker could then bat second or fifth. Either way, it's much improved. The D-Backs would be in a similar situation, as they could plug Pena between Justin Upton and Chris Young.

For now, though, all we can do is speculate. It's that time of the season.

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Posted on: June 24, 2011 8:02 pm
Edited on: June 25, 2011 5:25 pm
 

With rebuild on way, who could Cubs trade?

Soriano

By Evan Brunell


The Cubs are gearing up for trade season, as GM Jim Hendry and his staff plan to determine the team's future leading up to the trade deadline. The Chicago Tribune says that Chicago will start taking bids on overpriced or underachieving players, as Hendry continues his third rebuild, although he could be out of a job once the season ends.

With those parameters in mind, who could the Cubs deal?

Kosuke Fukudome, right fielder
Original contract:
4 years, $48 million
Contract remaining (includes 2011):
1 year, $13.5 million

Fukudome is enjoying his most productive season and has gotten better with each of his four years in the majors. He's playing center field on Friday for the first time since 2009, which tells you the Cubs are trying to keep his bat in the lineup. He still doesn't hit for much power, but that doesn't matter when you have a .400 OBP. Even better is the fact he is no longer a platoon player against left-handed pitching.

Chance of being traded: Fukudome has never really seemed to fit in Chicago, although his disappointing production to start is partly to blame. The Cubs project to have an Alfonso Soriano - Brett Jackson - Marlon Byrd outfield next season, so Fukudome would appear to be the odd man out. There are several teams in demand of an outfielder and it will be hard to do much worse than Fukudome in production, salary and cost to acquire.

John Grabow, reliever
Original contract:
2 years, $7.5 million
Contract remaining: 1 year, $4.8 million

For a team rebuilding, do they really need a reliever tasked with getting left-handers out -- but isn't? Grabow's contract is obviously not a hindrance, but his performance this season isn't up to par. While he's still getting lefties out at a better clip than righties, he hasn't exactly been a lockdown reliever. In 31 innings, Grabow has walked 11 and whiffing 16, posting up a 4.94 ERA and 4.79 xFIP.

Chance of being traded: Grabow isn't getting the job done overall or against left-handers, and the contract is hefty for his (lack of) production.

Carlos Pena, first baseman
Original contract:
1 year, $10 million

Pena isn't really underachieving thanks to his power production, nor is his contract prohibitive, but a .220 batting average is disappointing even if it represents a 24-point increase over 2010. By trading Pena, the Cubs could give Tyler Colvin an extended shot at playing time in the second half, plus gear up for possible runs at Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder. There are teams out there that would welcome Pena's 14 bombs and .350 OBP.

Chance of being traded: Pena will probably stay, as none of the clear contenders other than the Angels appear to have any interest or need of a first baseman. If Washington somehow stays hot and inserts itself in the postseason race, they could use Pena as Adam LaRoche is now lost for the season due to injury. Washington actually coveted Pena over LaRoche, but the former Ray opted for Chicago.

Aramis Ramirez, third baseman
Original contract:
5 years, $75 million
Contract remaining: 1 year, $14.6 million, plus $16 million club option ($2 million buyout)

Ramirez has a no-trade clause and has already said he won't allow a trade out of Chicago, but he could always change his tune based on where he would be traded or just by flat-out changing his mind. After all, as Alfonso Soriano said recently, why would you block a trade if the team wants you out? Ramirez had a brutal first half last season before recovering in the second half. He hasn't been much better this season.

Chance of being traded: Unless a team is really desperate and the Cubs agree to cover the buyout plus some of his current deal (fat chance), Ramirez is staying.

Alfonso Soriano, left field
Original contract:
8 years, $136 million
Contract remaining: 4 years, $72 million

Soriano's 2009 is looking more and more like an aberration -- at least for now. That's good, but he still hasn't reached the level of play he flashed in his first two years with the Cubs. The 35-year-old is a liability on defense, is showing regression in plate discipline without much difference in contact levels and is just overall a massive risk for a team to take on.

Chance of being traded: Unless Soriano is part of another bad contract trade (for Barry Zito?), he's going to be finishing out his deal. How this contract is going to look in two years is a scary thought.

Carlos Zambrano, starting pitcher
Original contract:
5 years, $91.5 million
Contract remaining: 2 years, $38.875 million, plus $19.25 million vesting player option

Out of all the players on the list, Zambrano looks the most appetizing. Unfortunately, it's almost by default. Big Z has just one year after this remaining on his deal and it's a long shot he will get that player option to vest as he has to finish in the top four of Cy Young Award voting next season to trigger it. But as everyone knows, he's quite a hothead and is too erratic and inconsistent in his pitching. His 4.50 ERA won't draw any fans, although he's always capable of ripping off a dominating stretch as everyone witnessed in his final 11 starts of 2010.

Chance of being traded: Teams are always in need of pitching, so Zambrano might be able to find a new home by July 31. The odds are that he stays and is part of the rumor mill during the offseason.

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Posted on: May 31, 2011 6:27 pm
Edited on: May 31, 2011 6:46 pm
 

Doumit out a month with broken ankle

Ryan Doumit

By C. Trent Rosecrans

You know, it's not going to cause outrage like another play at the plate, but Pirates catcher Ryan Doumit is out at least a month with a fractured left ankle, the Pirates announced on Twitter.

Doumit was placed on the 15-day disabled list Monday with what was then termed a sprained ankle, but it's apparently more than that.

Doumit was hurt on a play at the plate in the second inning of Sunday's loss to the Cubs. He didn't get run over like Buster Posey, but he showed that even if a player slides, it can still be dangerous. Cubs first baseman Carlos Pena slid while trying to score on a sacrifice fly. Doumit was blocking the plate with his left leg and Pena's hard slide hurt Doumit's ankle. The difference between Doumit's injury and Posey's is the lack of ligament damage in Doumit's ankle.

Doumit was hitting .269/.333/.441 with four home runs this season. The team called up catcher Dusty Brown on Monday to help replace Doumit.

The Pirates' biggest loss isn't as much on the field as it is having Doumit as a trade chip. Any team that trades for Doumit will have to see that he's healthy before pulling the trigger on a trade. Luckily, if he's only out a month, he'll have nearly a month to prove himself before the trade deadline.

The Pirates are looking to trade him because he's in the final year of a three-year contract that pays $5.1 million this season with a club option for the next two seasons at a total of $15.5 million, which the team may not be able to afford -- or may simply not desire to pay. Pittsburgh also has a $6.75 million option on Chris Snyder, and the team's top prospect is catcher Tony Sanchez, who is currently at Double-A and hitting .271/.378/.368.

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