Posted on: August 23, 2011 9:53 am
By Evan Brunell
GETTING HOT: Mike Moustakas didn't find the major leagues much to his liking in the early going, but things have turned around thanks to a recent tear that's lifted Moose's batting average to .206.
That's an accomplishment when it was at .182 mere days ago. Over the last five games, the third baseman has collected eight hits in 16 trips to the plate, doing much of his damage against the Red Sox who just completed a four-game series with Kansas City.
“Whenever you’re going bad,” Moustakas told the Kansas City Star, “you need those little things here and there to pick you back up, and this homestand kind of helped me out.”
Also encouraging from the 22-year-old is the three doubles collected during his five-game hot streak, a display of power that hasn't been around this year. It's taken quite some time for Moustakas to get used to the majors, but the Royals have proven to be very patient. Working in Moustakas' favor is that he's struggled at every single new level he's risen, so if history is any indication, he will snap out of his slump in due time.
Moustakas credits his turnaround with working alongside hitting coach Kevin Seitzer to close up his front shoulder more when at the plate. He needed some time to get into a groove with the new stance, but results are starting to show.
“Anytime you change something, it’s gonna feel uncomfortable,” Moustakas said. “But Seitz told me just stick with it, it’s gonna work out. And it ended up working out right now. I’m hitting the ball harder, squaring a little more balls up, so it’s paying off.”
BEAST MODE: The Brewers have started up a tradition, making hand gestures after a big play that translates to "beast mode." The inspiration came from the movie Monsters Inc. and describes what Milwaukee has been up to lately with a 22-3 record in its last 25 games.
"I don't want it getting carried away," manager Ron Roenicke said of the new trend to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. "Do I like it? Not particularly. But I don't think I'll say, 'Don't do it.' If I see it getting worse, I'll say no. I didn't like when the Rangers did the 'antlers' thing [last year]. If you're old school, you're not going to get along in the game these days."
BEST DRAFT: It's been a week since the deadline for drafted players to sign has passed. With a few days to digest, Jim Callis came up with the top five drafts, with the Nationals heading the list. Also ranking among the top five are the Diamondbacks, Red Sox, Pirates and Rays. (Baseball America)
COMPLETE PACKAGE: The New York Times ran a profile on Miguel Cabrera, who is one of the best young players in the game. Seriously -- he doesn't seem to be considered a superstar, but maybe he should be, as this factoid suggests: "Only five players in major-league history have had 1,500 hits and 250 homers, while hitting .310 or better, through their age-28 season. They are Jimmie Foxx, Mel Ott, Hank Aaron, Albert Pujols and Cabrera."
BEST BALLPARK: Four teenagers went on a trip, taking in games at all 30 stadiums in 54 days. The best stadium according to the four? Cincinnati's Great American Ballpark -- a quality park, but not one you usually hear as the best. It may have helped that they witnessed a walkoff in the Reds game. (Cincinnati Enquirer)
LOSING CUBA: A wave of defections across Cuban sports have recently left a void in Cuba, where sports is not a lucrative field. That's caused many athletes to defect in the aim to compete against higher competition and make more money. To help address the problem, Cuba is finally considering allowing its athletes to play abroad. (Associated Press, via The Globe and Mail)
LOOKING BACK: A year ago this week, Cody Ross was claimed off waivers by the Giants. The Padres were also interested in Ross, but the division leaders at that point declined to put in a claim while San Francisco won his rights. Of course, Ross ended up a postseason hero, while the Padres were frozen out -- but to hear GM Jed Hoyer say it, he would make the same move again. (Tom Krasovic, Inside the Padres)
MAKING FUN OF WERTH: Phillies fans have a new favorite pastime, which is making fun of Jayson Werth. Still roundly booed for taking a lucrative deal to play for the Nationals, the ex-Phillie felt the "love" during a homestand in which Phillies fans virtually took over Nationals Park. A Philadelphia car dealer got in on the fun, running an anti-Werth ad on Philadelphia sites. (Washington Post)
TWEETING TICKETS: Jesse Litsch challenged fans to find him in Wonderland, an amusement park near Toronto. The winner received two tickets to Tuesday's game, but it took until Litsch winning a gigantic Spongebob prize and tweeting about it for him to be spotted. (Toronto Star)
MOST HANDSOME SOPHOMORE: SI.com has photos from high school of 28 athletes, and Nolan Ryan and Barry Bonds are among the stars. One one came away with the designation of most handsome sophomore, though -- that being Ryan, who was among the 1965 class.
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeonBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: August 16, 2011 8:26 pm
Edited on: August 16, 2011 8:42 pm
By Matt Snyder
Braves rookie starting pitcher Randall Delgado is making his second career major-league start Tuesday night. He's facing the banged-up Giants in Turner Field and is having great success. In fact, Delgado had a no-hitter through six innings. He was a fourth-inning walk away from having a perfect game going, but then Cody Ross led off the seventh inning with a home run. No-hit bid and shutout out the window. It was only 1-0 when Ross dug in, so Delgado lost a chance at his first major-league win, too, as he was removed immediately after the homer.
Delgado, 21, has only two career starts in Triple-A with the rest of his work coming Double-A and below. Still, in his two Triple-A starts, he struck out 15 batters in 13 innings and did not allow a single run. He's yet another hard-throwing pitcher from the Braves' system that seemingly pumps out pitching from an assembly line.
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: June 23, 2011 12:43 pm
Edited on: June 23, 2011 12:58 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
Last night a fan caught a foul ball at AT&T Park in San Francisco and was booed, chastised by the Giants' announcing crew and had to be reseated for his own safety. And anyone who did one of those things and mentioned the name Steve Bartman is wrong.
Here's the video:
Cody Ross isn't too happy about the fan making the play, and I understand that. That said, the fan was only reacting like any sane human would. The fella was there with his lady friend, and if you look here, the ball appears to be headed straight at the guy's said lady friend (cowering to the right in some sort of headband as the ball -- the white streak at the top of the picture -- heads toward her). For as far as the guy knows, the ball's going to hit his lady friend and he's protecting her.
See, I've sat in seats a lot like those, and you've got to be alert at all times. The ball can come to you at any time. This fan was watching the game and saw the ball coming at him. With no wall to worry about, the fan watched the ball the whole way, just as you're taught all your life. He didn't know someone was getting that close to him, and it doesn't appear Ross calls him off. The fan doesn't reach over the railing; he had position; and Ross runs into him (and he still makes the catch!)
In the end, the fan did nothing wrong (unless you count violating my rule that you don't take a glove to the game if you're old enough to drive yourself to the game). He realized he may have cost the team an out, and you can see by the words he mutters to himself, he's not happy with that as a fan. That's all the penance needed.
Posted on: May 27, 2011 11:31 pm
Edited on: May 28, 2011 2:32 am
By C. Trent Rosecrans
I swear I didn't want to write another word about Buster Posey -- but, it just keeps coming up. His replacement, Eli Whiteside, didn't let the the injury keep him from taking on a charging Prince Fielder.
Whiteside stood tall to one of the game's most formidable figures, despite Fielder's momentum and the knowledge of what had happened to his teammate. Cody Ross' throw home beat Fielder by a good margin, but the Brewers first baseman still tried to knock the ball out of Whiteside's glove.
Whiteside was knocked over, but able to hold onto the ball for the final out of the inning and walk away, as well. The play turned out to be the biggest of the game as Brian Wilson was able to come in and nail down his 14th save of the season in the ninth for a 5-4 Giants victory.
Fielder told the Associated Press he didn't have a choice but to try to bowl over Whiteside -- "You don't have any choice but to try and knock the ball loose."
Posted on: May 19, 2011 2:38 am
By C. Trent Rosecrans
Jake Peavy, White Sox-- While it seemed like a long time coming, Peavy was the Jake Peavy of old, holding the Indians -- who had scored 31 runs in their last three games -- scoreless, allowing just three hits. Peavy struck out nine and walked none. With Ozzie Guillen understandably having little faith in his bullpen, Peavy finished the game in 111 pitches.
Charlie Morton, Pirates -- The Pirates right-hander notched his second complete-game victory over the Reds on Wednesday and the second shutout of his career on Wednesday night. The Pirates victory snapped Pittsburgh's six-game losing streak and the Reds' five-game winning streak. Morton allowed five hits, striking out five and walking two.
Cody Ross, Giants -- Ross picked up Brian Wilson, who blew a save, by launching a three-run homer in the top of the ninth off of the Dodgers' Lance Cormier. Ross was 2 for 5 with three runs scored in the 8-5 Giants victory.
Daric Barton, Athletics -- Barton is a phenomenal defensive first baseman, or at least he has been. On Wednesday, he notched his sixth error of the season and it was costly. After Delmon Young led off the 10th inning with a single, Alexi Casilla popped up a bunt attempt, but Barton elected to let it drop and try to throw Young out at second. Instead, he threw it past second, moving both runners up. Trevor Plouffe (who had a costly error of his own) hit a sacrifice fly to give Minnesota a 4-3 victory and drop the A's out of first place in the American League West. He also filed out to end the game.
Edwin Encarnacion, Blue Jays -- Encarnacion has earned the nickname "E5" for his play at third base. Well, that changed for a night, at least, as he was instead "E3" -- committed two of the Jays' five errors in the loss to the Rays. Encarnacion has 10 errors this season, seven at third and three at first. The Blue Jays have just 31 total errors, with Encarnacion making up for nearly a third of them.
Mike Aviles, Jarrod Dyson, Royals -- Both entered the game as pinch runners in the ninth after Eric Hosmer's game-tying homer, and both were picked off by Neftali Feliz before Wilson Betemit struck out looking to end the inning. The Royals lost 5-4 in 11 innings.For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: April 20, 2011 2:36 pm
Edited on: April 20, 2011 3:24 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
Talk about a bad birthday -- Brandon Belt will celebrate his 22nd birthday today by going to Fresno.
"Yeah, a pretty good birthday present," Belt told reporters, including Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News. "I'm not taking it too bad. It's a numbers game now and I didn't exactly play great. It could be the best for everybody to get at-bats and be ready to contribute next time."
Belt struggled since singling in his debut and homering in his second game, hitting .192/.300/.269 overall, with just the one home run in 17 games and 60 plate appearances.
The 2009 fifth-round pick out of Texas established himself as a top prospect in his first professional season in 2010, hitting .352/.455/.620 with 23 home runs and 112 RBI at three levels in the minors. This spring Belt hit .282/.338/.479 with three home runs and 13 RBI in 71 at-bats making the team with the help of Ross' injured right calf.
Now with Ross back, Aubrey Huff will move to first and Ross will move into right field.
Huff was scheduled to get today's game off, but Pablo Sandoval is out with a minor right triceps strain and Huff will play first with Mark DeRosa moving from first to third to make up for Sandoval's absence. Huff was just sitting the day game after a night game, a common move for veteran players.
Posted on: April 19, 2011 6:47 pm
By Matt Snyder
Postseason hero Cody Ross has rejoined the defending World Series champions. He's been sidelined thus far in 2011 with a calf injury, but has told reporters he's presently 100 percent after a short minor-league rehab stint.
The Giants won't activate Ross until Wednesday, as they want to allow him to rest after a late game Monday night and flight to rejoin the team.
Considering rookie first baseman Brandon Belt -- who has struggled -- is out of the lineup Tuesday for the second-straight game, the writing seems to be on the wall that he'll be the person sent down to the minors in a corresponding move. Then, when Ross reclaims his job in right field, Aubrey Huff will move to first base.
Funnily enough, Huff reportedly sent Ross a text that said, "Thank God you're back. Now I can go back to first base," which prompted Ross to reply that's where Huff belongs. (Extra Baggs )
Ross, 30, hit the ball just fine in his two minor-league games. He was 3-6 with two walks, a double, a run and an RBI in eight plate appearances.
Ross was only with the Giants for 33 games to close the 2010 season, but endeared himself to fans with a huge postseason, where he hit .294 with a 1.076 OPS, five home runs and 10 RBI in the three postseason series, winning the NLCS MVP.
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: April 19, 2011 1:29 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
I'll admit it, I had to Google who the heck Keenan Cahill was, and, well I'm still not sure I'm the target audience for this, but… the 16-year old YouTube star has gotten Brian Wilson and Cody Ross in on the act.
Here is Cahill, Wilson and Ross lip-synching to Taio Cruz's Dynamite (I had to Google that, too):
Here's an Associated Press story about Cahill if you want to know a little more. It's kind of a cool story about a kid who hasn't had an easy life and has found his own niche. Although, pretty soon it will seem like Wilson will be at least a quarter of all YouTube videos.