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Tag:David Robertson
Posted on: July 11, 2011 12:35 pm
Edited on: July 11, 2011 1:05 pm
 

Killer lineup paces AL East All-Stars

Bautista
By Evan Brunell

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

This just in: The talent assembled in the AL East is really, really good.

Just take a gander at the lineup for the AL East All-Stars on your lower right. Where exactly is there a hole? It's so deep that Curtis Granderson leads off despite boasting the second-most homers in all of baseball, tied with teammate Mark Teixeira with 25 apiece behind only Jose Bautista. It's so deep that Yunel Escobar, who leads off for the Blue Jays, is slapped into the nine spot as a second leadoff man. No matter how good any of the other division all-stars are -- the NL East, NL Central and NL West, along with the AL counterparts in the Central and West -- there simply is no stopping the offensive barrage this lineup has.

Let's take a look at who makes up the lineup, plus whose strolling to the mound and getting a win virtually any time this team plays.

WietersC Matt Wieters, Orioles: Russell Martin got off to a strong start, but tailed off. Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Jason Varitek have recovered from a lousy April, but April counts, plus the two split playing time. J.P. Arencibia is hitting .216/.280/.424. The Rays catchers... who are they, again? That leaves Wieters, who is hitting .267/.323/.410. Not great, but miles better than the average catcher is producing (.236/.305/.378 in the AL). He also receives strong marks for fielding and has caught 24 of a potential 54 would-be basestealers, a percentage that no other catcher is close to duplicating.

Gonzalez1B Adrian Gonzalez, Red Sox
: Freed from Petco Park, Gonzalez is annihilating pitchers in his first season with the Red Sox, rapping out a .352/.412/.589 line, slamming 17 home runs and contributing in virtually every facet of the game except stealing bases. And that's not necessary at all for Gonzalez to be one of the best players in the league.

Pedroia2B Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox: Entering play Sunday, Pedroia and Cano were virtually the same hitter on offense, with a .373 mark in wOBA, essentially a better version of OPS, scaled to OBP. So why did Pedey get the nod? Because hitting's not the only part of the game -- fielding is. And there, Pedroia is flashing leather that could win the Gold Glove while Cano has slipped to being below average after showing progress in recent years.

ineup
No. Name Team Pos
1 Curtis Granderson NYY CF
2 Dustin Pedroia BOS 2B
3 Jose Bautista TOR RF
4 Adrian Gonzalez BOS 1B
5 Alex Rodriguez NYY 3B
6 David Ortiz BOS DH
7 Ben Zobrist TB LF
8 Matt Wieters BAL C
9 Yunel Escobar TOR SS
Rodriguez3B Alex Rodriguez, Yankees: A-Rod may be 35 -- 36 later this month -- but that doesn't matter when throwing up a .295/.366/.485 mark in 344 plate appearances, showing that the possible eventual home-run king has plenty left in the tank. While Rodriguez just underwent the knife for knee surgery and will miss the next 4-6 weeks, he's still outproduced every third baseman in the division, which is no small feat with Kevin Youkilis in Boston and Evan Longoria down in Tampa. For those counting, A-Rod's 13 home runs bring him to a career 626.

EscobarSS Yunel Escobar, Blue Jays
:
In the midst of what can only be characterized nicely as a bad year in 2010, Escobar was traded to the Blue Jays among questions about his maturity and commitment to the game. I think Toronto's happy with his commitment, as the Cuban has a cool .292/.368/.441 line. Yes, the AL East is rather thin on productive shortstops (sorry, Derek Jeter), but Escobar would deserve this spot in almost any other division.

ZobristLF Ben Zobrist, Rays
:
One could argue that Zobrist has been the most valuable Ray this year. While he's been primarily playing second base, he's also been one of the best hitters with a .272/.359/.480 line, stealing 10 bases and being a fantastic fielder. Zobrist has moved around the diamond so much, playing every position over his career other than catcher. He only played one game in left last year of a career 24, but you make the All-Star team not just on hitting, not just on fielding, not just on stealing, but how valuable you are. And the ability for Zobrist to move around the diamond and play any position is ginormous.

GrandersonCF Curtis Granderson, Yankees
:
As mentioned above, Granderson trails only Jose Bautista in home runs, having knocked 25. He's leading off because... well, just look at that lineup. But it also helps that he's corrected his struggles against left-handers, boasts a .362 OBP and has swiped 15 bags on the year. When New York first acquired Granderson prior to the 2009 season, many felt he had at least one 40-homer season in store thanks to the short right-field porch in (new) Yankee Stadium. That didn't happen last year, but barring injury or a major dropoff, Granderson will reach that mark this season for the first time in his career.

BautistaRF Jose Bautista, Blue Jays
(pictured): File under "Duh." Joey Bats has been the best player in baseball by far this year. That's what happens when you have an unconscionable (in the post-steroids era, that is) 31 home runs by the All-Star break with a sterling .468 OBP. If his .702 slugging percentage holds up, he will be the first player to crack that mark since Barry Bonds with .812 in 2004. And if you don't count Bonds because of his "alleged" steroids use -- nor Sammy Sosa, the last person is Larry Walker way back in 1999 with a .710 mark. But the dude had Coors Field helping him. So let's move on and bypass Mark McGwire too. You land on Jeff Bagwell's .720 way back in 1994. That's nearly two decades ago. Two other players also broke the .700 mark in '94 -- Frank Thomas with .720 and Albert Belle with .714. Before that, you have to trot all the way back to 1957 and Ted Williams' .731 mark. And that's why he bats third in this lineup.

OrtizDH David Ortiz, Red Sox
:
Surprisingly -- at least, surprisingly to those who jumped in a time machine from any time prior to this April -- this was an easy choice. Big Papi has raked all year and will represent the AL in the All-Star Game on Tuesday as the starting DH. Showing power not seen since 2007, the lefty has blasted 19 home runs in 343 plate appearances and has trimmed his strikeout rate to 13.4 percent. That's a career low for Ortiz, who is hitting .304/.391/.579 overall.

ShieldsSP James Shields, Rays
: Let's take a look at where James Shields ranks among all pitchers entering play Sunday. Seventh in innings pitched with 134. Ninth in ERA with a 2.47 mark and sixth in xFIP (ERA minus all the things pitchers aren't entirely responsible for, such as qualify of the defense behind him) with a 2.87 line. Ninth in K/BB ratio with a even 4.00 mark on the strength of 132 strikeouts against just 34 walks (one intentional). He's also tied with Roy Halladay in complete games with six. But we've got to put that in past tense, as Shields registered yet another complete game on Sunday, allowing just one unearned run to drop his ERA to 2.33. There's no question he belongs here.

RobertsonRP David Robertson, Yankees
:
Roberson has really come on this year and brings the heat with an average fastball velocity of 93 mph, pairing it with a curveball that befuddles batters. All that's handed him 56 strikeouts in 35 1/3 innings. We'll forgive his 23 walks given he's causing batters to windmill enough to power all of New York City, if not the state. Potentially Mariano Rivera's successor down the line, he has a 1.27 ERA on the year, with a more sane -- but still excellent -- 2.57 xFIP.

RiveraCL Mariano Rivera, Yankees
:
If this feature had been running since Rivera first became closer way back in 1997, he's probably working on a 15-year streak. Oh well, he'll settle for being the inaugural AL East closer. Rivera has had some triceps issues lately, but that hasn't prevented him from being his usual automatic self, racking up 22 saves with a 1.85 ERA -- his fourth straight season with an ERA under 2.00 and eighth of nine seasons.

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

Posted on: July 10, 2011 2:42 pm
Edited on: July 10, 2011 7:51 pm
 

Several more All-Star replacements made

By C. Trent Rosecrans and Matt Snyder

David RobertsonPHOENIX -- The revolving door that is the 2011 All-Star Game rosters keeps spinning, as we've got wholesale roster changes to report.

Rays starter David Price is the latest player to pull out of Tuesday's game. He will be replaced by Yankees reliever David Robertson.

Price will be at the game here, but will be inactive for Tuesday's game because of turf toe. Because Price was a manager's selection, American League manager Ron Washington was able to select his replacement.

Alexi OgandoAlso, CC Sabathia was officially removed from the active roster because he started Sunday. His spot goes to the Rangers' Alexi Ogando. Sabathia wasn't an original selection; instead, he was a replacement for the Rays' James Shields, who was also disqualified because he started Sunday -- against Sabathia. Sabathia earned the nod -- which will count on his career ledger as an All-Star selection when Hall of Fame voting comes around -- because he was the next player on the players' ballot.

Likewise, Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander and Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez were also starting Sunday. Both were player elected, so the next two in line were Michael Pineda of the Mariners and Jon Lester of the Red Sox. So they are both All-Stars. Of course, Lester's on the DL, so he is now replaced by Ricky Romero of the Blue Jays

On the National League side of things, Mets' shortstop Jose Reyes is on the disabled list, and his replacement will be Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval. Reyes was voted as the starter at shortstop, so manager Bruce Bochy got to pick the replacement. Phillies third baseman Placido Polanco was elected as the starter at third base. He is injured, and he has been replaced by Diamondbacks catcher Miguel Montero. In turn, Bochy will get to name a starter at third, so it looks as if Sandoval might get the nod there -- though nothing has been made official yet.

Also, Cole Hamels of the Phillies started Sunday, so he is now ineligible to play Tuesday. The next highest vote-getter on the players' ballot is Kevin Correia of the Pirates, so he's in.

Braves closer Craig Kimbrel is also apparently headed to Phoenix, David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes. Kimbrel will be taking the place of the Giants' Matt Cain, who is starting for San Francisco on Sunday night, making him ineligible for Tuesday's game.

If there's any confusion as to why the formality is done to elect players when they can't play (Lester, Sabathia, etc.), it's because of salary bonuses for making the team and also resume-building -- for example, Sabathia's case for the Hall of Fame one day will include number of times he was an All-Star.

Finally, Josh Beckett will be available for the All-Star Game. There had been questions on if he'd go due to a recent, minor injury.

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

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

Posted on: April 28, 2011 8:21 pm
 

Big leaguers dealing with storm's aftermath

By C. Trent Rosecrans

David RobertsonYankees reliever David Robertson is apparently not much different than I am -- both of us spent a good amount of the last 24 hours watching YouTube videos and looking at newspaper photo galleries of the devastation in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Robertson is a native of Tuscaloosa, while I lived there less than a year. But still, it's scary to see a place you know absolutely destroyed. Robertson said his family, which still lives in Tuscaloosa, is fine.

"For me, I pretty much know the whole town," Robertson told the Star-Ledger. "And I was looking, looking, looking through the photos trying to see something I recognize and there was nothing there. There were little things that I could recognize and that was it."

Robertson said he left Yankee Stadium on Wednesday night not knowing exactly what happened. But when he got home and turned on the TV, he learned more.

Tigers catcher Alex Avila played baseball at Alabama and called friends he knew in Tuscaloosa last night and was amazed by what he was told.

"My friend who works with the baseball team there, R.J., rode out the storm in the baseball stadium -- which didn't get hit," Avila told the Detroit News. "He said everyone with the team is fine -- we know many of the same people -- but a lot of guys lost their homes and their cars.

"One of the players rode it out in a house a teammate of mine used to rent. He was in a bathtub with a mattress over his head.

"All that was left after the storm was the foundation of the house and the bathtub. If he had gone to the other bathroom in the house, who knows what would have happened?"

Avila said the house he used to rent was destroyed. Based on what I've seen, I'm just assuming the same about my old house.

Phillies pitcher Roy Oswalt took a leave of absence to be with his family in Mississippi after a tornado went by his house. The Philadelphia Daily News' David Murphy reports Oswalt's kids were with his grandparents when a tornado went near his house. Oswalt's children and grandparents rode out the storm in a tornado shelter and are fine. Oswalt's house wasn't damaged, but "suffered extensive property damage."

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Posted on: April 27, 2011 1:41 pm
 

Rough early season for Soriano in Bronx

By Matt Snyder

Rafael Soriano is the big topic of discussion Wednesday for Yankees fans and the New York media alike. Not shockingly, considering his line thus far in the season, it ain't pretty.

Soriano blew a four-run lead April 5, nearly blew a three-run lead on April 16 and lost the lead completely Tuesday night to the White Sox on a Paul Konerko two-run homer. He's got a 7.84 ERA, 1.94 WHIP and has walked eight hitters in 10 1/3 innings. This is coming off the heels of a season where he was one of the most dominant closers in baseball, racking up 45 saves on a 1.73 ERA and 0.80 WHIP in 62 1/3 innings. And how about this one? He only walked 14 guys all last season, so he's more than halfway there already.

What's worse is Soriano's attitude doesn't seem to be winning anyone over. He refused to talk to the media after the April 5 debacle, something that infuriated the writers. If you do a Twitter search for Soriano's name, it's chock full of Yankees fans saying he doesn't appear to care.

After Tuesday night's game, Soriano expressed his frustration.

"It has not been easy for me," Soriano said. "I've tried to figure out how to do the same that I did last year. I've been struggling right now, but I'll take it, forget all that tonight, come back and find out." (Metro )

Mike Francesca, famed New York sports-talk radio personality, is letting Soriano have it today, according to many New Yorkers on Twitter, including saying he'll "draw pictures" to help Soriano figure out how to get outs. Which is weird, since Francesca has never recorded a big-league out himself.

There also seem to be problems with Soriano not being a New Yorker, as he's describd an immature "out-of-towner" in one outlet (Staten Island Live ). And there are many who definitely believe Soriano should be removed from the eighth-inning role immediately. (New York Post )

Honestly, I tend to agree with removing Soriano from eighth-inning duties for the time being, just to let him get his head clear and find some success in non-pressure situations. It's no secret some players aren't used to the pressure that comes with playing for the Yankees from both the fans and the press. When he's being piled on in addition to possibly having lost a bit of confidence, the Yankees should find a way to get that back.

Joe Girardi does have an option or two. David Robertson is a very solid back-end of the bullpen pitcher. He's a hard-throwing, high-strikeout guy. He's yet to allow a run in 2011 through 8 1/3 innings. He's struck out 10 and only walked two. Joba Chamberlain has done the role before and has 12 strikeouts to only three walks, though he's been knocked around a few times by opposing hitters. Not as much as Soriano, so he's a better option.

But Robertson seems like the best eighth-inning option for Girardi at this point for everyone involved, most of all Soriano.

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Posted on: August 24, 2010 1:10 am
Edited on: August 24, 2010 1:12 am
 

Bautista faces allegations, inside fastballs

It was a big day for Toronto's Jose Bautista against the haters.

First it was talk of steroids and then it was 92 mph fastball at his head. The Blue Jays slugger came out swinging on both accords.

As for steroids, the whispers were vocalized a little louder before Monday's game, as Toronto Star hockey columnist Damien Cox compared Bautista to Roger Clemens and Brady Anderson .

Cox's column was headlined, "Gotta At Least Ask the Question."

Bautista's response?

"Well ask it," Bautista said, according to the National Post . "Don't write about it."

He's got a point, why didn't Cox, who presumably has access to the Blue Jays' clubhouse, go ahead and ask it to Bautista before writing?

"Nobody's said anything to me and I don't see why they should," Bautista told the Globe and Mail . "Baseball has a strict policy against those performance-enhancing whatever you want to call them."

After he hit his 39th and 40th home runs against the Yankees, ESPN personality Bill Simmons also accused Bautista of using steroids on Twitter : "Jose Bautista just hit his 40th HR. Previous high: 16. It's Aug. 23rd. But it's not the Steroids Era anymore. I'm just confused."

While it's tough to defend yourself against words, fastballs are easier to swat away.

Bautista hit a two-run home run off of Yankees starter Ivan Nova. After Bautista deposited a ball foul into the upper deck on the direst pitch he saw from Nova in the sixth, Nova threw an 0-1 fastball near Bautista's head and the Blue Jay hit the deck before getting up and moving toward the mound as both dugouts emptied.

From the Globe and Mail :

“I was just trying to see what kind of reaction I was going to get from him,” Bautista said. “And I was surprised to see he was pretty defiant, he was walking up towards me, flashing his hands up and started yelling.

“That’s when I felt the pitch was intentional.”

Nova denied it was anything of the sort.

“It wasn’t on purpose,” Nova said. “I just throw the ball. I’ve got to pitch. I pitch inside, I can get a lot of outs. The pitch wasn’t on purpose.”

Bautista flied out in that at-bat.

In the eighth, Bautista came up against David Robertson and turned on a fastball for his 40th homer of the season to give the Blue Jays a 3-2 lead.

Bautista flipped his bat, watched it, took a couple of steps and a glance toward the mound before breaking into a slow trot around the bases. As he approached the plate he started pumping his fists and didn't  stop until he was headed toward the dugout and was high-fiving teammates. I'm no Tater Trot Tracker , so I could be off on this timing, but I got 28.6 seconds on Bautista's trot -- which wouldn't be one of the top 10 slowest trots of the season, but it would be in the top 10 of the non-David Ortiz division) -- but it certainly wasn't quick.

"Given what transpired earlier, I enjoyed it pretty good," he told MLB.com's Jordan Bastian .

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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


Posted on: August 2, 2010 5:54 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 12:04 pm
 

This week in free stuff: Aug. 2-9

A look at this week in promotional giveaways from around baseball:

Monday, Aug. 2
Ike Davis bobblehead Brooklyn Cyclones (New York-Penn League) -- Ike Davis bobblehead -- or bobblesomething. The Cyclones are celebrating Davis' three heads-over-heels caches over the dugout railing with an upside-down bobblehead, although I'm not sure what exactly bobbles.
Springfield Cardinals (Texas League) -- duffel bag. The practical giveaways are the best -- who can't use another duffel bag?

Tuesday, Aug. 3
Ryan Howard gnome Springfield Cardinals (Texas League) Whitey Herzog bobblehead. If you missed the big league team giving away Whitey bobbleheads last week, here's another chance.
Reading Phillies (Eastern League) -- Ryan Howard garden gnome. It kind of looks more like a wizard version of Ryan Howard, but, you know, either way my wife would love this, not because she likes Ryan Howard but because she has a really weird things with gnomes. When she saw our local nine had a gnome giveaway this year, she circled that date on the calendar.

Wednesday, Aug. 4
Chicago Cubs -- beer koozie. What else could you want or need at Wrigley Field?
Los Angeles Dodgers -- beach towel
Portland Sea Dogs (Eastern League) -- Hanley Ramirez bobblehead. I always appreciate when minor league clubs honor players who played for them, even if they're no longer in the organization. Kudos Sea Dogs.
State College Spikes (New York-Penn League) -- Daniel Moskos & Tony Sanchez double bobblehead

Thursday, Aug. 5
Lehigh Valley IronPigs (International League) -- Brian Schneider bobblehead
New Britain Rock Cats (Eastern League) -- beach towel
Brooklyn Cyclones (New York-Penn League) -- Irish Heritage Jersey
State College Spikes (New York-Penn league) -- kids Roberto Clemente Kids activity book. It's good to educate the kids.

Friday, Aug. 6
Baltimore Orioles -- Nick Markakis mini bobblehead
Detroit Tigers -- island-themed Tigers floppy hat. It's like a combo Magnum costume -- in floppy hat form. The pattern of a Hawaiian shirt and the Detroit Tigers' D
Pittsburgh Pirates --  Andrew McCutchen bobblehead
Buffalo Bisons (International League) -- toothbrush. This may be one of the lamer giveaways, I've got to admit.
Trenton Thunder (Eastern League) -- David Robertson bobblehead
Vermont Lake Monsters (New York-Penn League) Buster Olney bobblehead. When sportswriters get their own bobblehead, you may have run out of ideas. Olney grew up in the state.
Everett AquaSox (Northwest League) -- recycled tote bag

Saturday, Aug. 7
Kenny Lofton Cleveland Indians -- Kenny Lofton "The Catch" bobblehead. This one is great, I love bobbleheads from specific events, hence my Endy Chavez bobblehead. This one is from Lofton's catch over the wall of a sure homer by Baltimore's B.J. Surhoff on Aug. 4, 1996.
Florida Marlins -- samba whistle. Better than a vuvuzela.
Arizona Diamondbacks -- Luis Gonzalez bobblehead. In an added bonus, 50 fans will get an autographed, bronze version.
Colorado Springs Sky Sox (Pacific Coast League) -- Goose Gossage figurine.
Round Rock Express (Pacific Coast League) -- souvenir desk batting helmets
Northwest Arkansas Naturals (Texas League) -- lunchbox
Stockton Ports (California League) -- Grant Desme bobblehead
Kinston Indians (Carolina League) -- reusable grocery bag
South Bend Silver Hawks (Midwest League) -- reusable grocery bag
Princeton Rays (Appalachian League) -- Wade Davis bobblehead
Billings Mustakens (Pioneer League) -- Jason LaRue bobblehead. See what Jason LaRue looked like before his awesome mustache (hint: less awesome).

Sunday, August 8
Milwaukee Brewers -- Italian sausage racing sausage bobblehead. I've gotten the bratwurst and a previous italian sausage bobblehead off of eBay, and I can tell you it's great. Although my wife said she didn't think it looked like a sausage.
Chicago Cubs -- light switch cover. Really, a nice, simple giveaway. It's got pinstripes and if you're a Cubs fan and have a man room or something, it's pretty cool.
Pittsburgh Pirates -- batting helmet. The classics never die.
Harrisburg Senators (Eastern League) -- Stephen Strasburg bobblehead. How'd he get his own bobblehead? Oh yeah. He's good.
Brooklyn Cyclones (New York-Penn League) -- MCU Park model.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: July 19, 2010 1:21 pm
Edited on: July 19, 2010 4:16 pm
 

Trade deadline buyer: New York Yankees

As the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline looms, the CBS Facts & Rumors team will look at the biggest players leading up to the deadline. This week we'll look at the teams who will be talked about the most; next week will be the players who might be moved.

Every transaction talk, be it trades or free agents, seems to start with the Yankees and this time is no different.

Brian Cashman Record: 58-33, three games ahead of the Rays and 6 1/2 in front of the Red Sox.
GM: Brian Cashman
Expectations: Anything short of another World Series title is failure, plain and simple.
Payroll status: Not that it matters, the Yankees had an opening day payroll of more than $213 million and already have more than $144 million on the books for 2011.

What they need

Starting pitcher: With Andy Pettitte on the disabled list and A.J. Burnett's recent hissy fit, the Yankees suddenly look to need at least one starter. Until now, the opening day rotation of CC Sabathia, Pettitte, Burnett, Javier Vazquez and Phil Hughes had started all but two of their games. That could be matched this week alone. The team may also be wary of letting Hughes' innings add up through a pennant race and the playoffs. Sergio Mitre is scheduled to start in Pettitte's place, but until now, he's been more successful as a reliever than a starter.

Bullpen help: Starting pitching isn't the only pitching concern the Yankees have as Joba Chamberlain's days as the bridge to Mariano Rivera may be numbered, and it's not as if Chan Ho Park is going to step up and replace him.

Damaso Marte was placed on the disabled list this weekend with Boone Logan called up as the team's only left-handed reliever.

Big bat: Marcus Thames has been better than expected as the Yankees designated hitter, hitting .287/.396/.437 with three homers and 13 RBI in 87 at-bats, but he's hardly a difference-maker. This spot -- especially if Jorge Posada is healthy enough not to need a DH safety net -- could be upgraded, especially if that upgrade could be a spot starter in the outfield.

Bench help: After the regulars, the Yankees feature the likes of Ramiro Pena and Colin Curtis. The team could certainly upgrade its depth in both the infield and the outfield.

Who may fit

Ted Lilly Starting pitcher: Cliff Lee would have been a great fit, but he's gone. Lee was the marquee name available and there's a decided step down after the newest Texas Ranger. Other starters out there are Ted Lilly, Jake Westbrook, Brett Myers, Roy Oswalt, Dan Haren and maybe even someone like Brian Bannister.

Reliever: There are stop-gap attempts like David Aardsma and Leo Nunez, or the Yankees could go for the kill with someone like Royals closer Joakim Soria. Soria is under club control until 2014, so it would take more than just cash, but also top-flight prospects to get the Royals closer and team him with Rivera to make a formidable back of the bullpen.

Other, less expensive, fits could be either of the Blue Jays pair of relievers, Scott Downs or Jason Frasor.

Bat: Again, going for the kill would be Adam Dunn. Dunn in new Yankee Stadium would be a marriage made in heaven. Dunn doesn't want to DH and he doesn't really have any other value, but he would flourish both in the American League and in pinstripes. Still, the Yankees may not want to give up too much for a player they can just buy in the offseason.

If the Yankees can find a top-end starter, they could send Vazquez to Philadelphia for Jayson Werth. David DeJesus would upgrade the outfield, as well.

Bench help:
Wes Helms and Ty Wigginton are corner possibilities and Wigginton can play second, as well. Xavier Nady and Austin Kearns are possible outfield bats that may not be big, but could work for the Yankees.

Trade chips

Jesus Montero Catching prospect Jesus Montero was reportedly only available for Lee, however the almighty dollar is always available. Any team looking to clear cash off the bottom line will talk to the Yankees, who could send middling prospects loaded up with money sacks to any team that's interested. And there are always teams interested in that kind of prospect.

Right-hander Zach McAllister is 7-6 with a 4.82 ERA in 18 starts at Triple-A. He doesn't have dominant stuff, but has good control and projects as a back of the rotation-type pitcher.

Right-hander Ivan Nova, 23, has better stats than McAllister (7-2, 3.21, 78 strikeouts in 103 2/3 innings) and has an impressive fastball. Nova has impressive talent, but has also struggled with consistency as a pro. This season is his best yet, and there's a question as to whether he's reached his ceiling. Still, he's got enough talent to be intriguing to other teams.

Mark Melancon has long been bantered about as the replacement for Rivera when Mo decides to turn his sights to Cooperstown, but Melancon has yet to live up to that hype. He could be one of those players that need a change in scenery to live up to his potential, and there's enough potential for other teams to take a chance on him.

Other possibilities include SS Eduardo Nunez and 2B David Adams, who was one of the other guys mentioned in the Lee trade.

Predictions: The Yankees will add a reliever and a starter -- possibly Lilly and the lefty Downs. Other than that, the team may think it doesn't have to do too much to keep ahead of the Rays and Red Sox.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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