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Tag:Eli Whiteside
Posted on: May 30, 2011 9:37 pm
 

Nats' GM: Pudge won't come cheap

Ivan Rodriguez

By C. Trent Rosecrans


As soon as Buster Posey went down last week, Twitter had Ivan Rodriguez headed to San Francisco.

It's not going to be that easy, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said.

Although the Nationals seem to have a surplus of catchers, they're not going to let the future Hall of Famer go cheap.

"To move him, it would have to be a good deal that helps us long term, not a quick fix trade for offense to get us to the time when Ryan Zimmerman is back," Rizzo told the Washington Post. "Pudge would be a big piece for a contending team if they need a catcher."

Although Rodriguez is hitting just .211/.259/.342 and is now the backup for rookie Wilson Ramos, Rodriguez is still a good defensive catcher and a good leader in the clubhouse.

"We still need him here," Rizzo said. "His value to us has only risen since he got here and especially this year. The way he's worked with Wilson Ramos, he's proved it's not show or B.S. He's embraced the city of Washington. He wants to stay here. Sp, somebody would have to come up with a piece that would help us in our long-term future."

Rodriguez, 39, is in the final year of a two-year contract that pays him $3 million this season.

Although the Giants could use another catcher, even if it's to back up Eli Whiteside, selling Rodriguez now wouldn't make a lot of sense for the Nationals. As the season goes along, there will be more teams that need a catcher, and with Rodriguez' resume, his recent performance at the plate won't hinder his trade value.

Another reason to wait is that the Nationals' best catcher prosepct, Derek Norris, is struggling with the bat at Double-A, where he's hitting just .231/.383/.484.

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

Posted on: May 27, 2011 11:31 pm
Edited on: May 28, 2011 2:32 am
 

Posey's replacement unscathed by collision

Prince FielderBy 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.

Watch the play here.

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."

Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Friday's play was different than the one that knocked Posey out.

"It's a little different," Bochy told the AP. "He had the ball, so he could set up a little bit. A catcher's got a better chance than when he's in the process of trying to catch a ball. That's when he's really vulnerable. Still, it's a big guy bearing down on you. 'Whitey' did a great job."

Whiteside said he was injured twice in similar collisions during his time in the minors, once suffering a concussion and a sprained ankle in the other incident. Still, his teammates said they knew the catcher wouldn't duck Fielder.

"He's coming at you," Whiteside told Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News. "There's no rule in the book that says you can't take it to him."

That attitude didn't surprise his teammates.

"We all kid around and say that Whiteside is the last person you want to get upset," Cody Ross told Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle. "He's just a strong, big human being. He's the nicest guy in the world. You could tell that if he got upset he can do some damage."

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Posted on: May 27, 2011 8:27 pm
Edited on: May 27, 2011 8:48 pm
 

Giants sticking with Whiteside for now

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Eli WhitesideThe Giants aren't looking for another catcher to replace Buster Posey -- or at least they aren't right now, general manager Brian Sabean told reporters (via Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News.)

Several teams have contacted Sabean to offer him catching help, he said, but he has yet to pick up the phone and dial anyone else's number. For now, the team is sticking with Eli Whiteside.

"We thank our lucky stars Whitey is in that position," Sabean said. "He's caught extremely well, and we've done well when he's been out there. He deserves a shot to see what it looks like. He's been around the block. … And quite frankly, I don't think anyone will trade us a catcher who's any better than Whiteside. If someone is an all-around catcher, you're not going to get that player in a trade."

Whiteside is hardly Mike Piazza at the plate. Entering Friday, he was hitting .185/.267/.370 this season and .229/.281/.363 in his career. But he is a good defensive catcher and is well-liked by the team's pitchers.

It was reported Thursday that the Giants had talked to the Nationals about Ivan Rodriguez, but he's hardly a big upgrade offensively. Rodriguez is hitting .205/.256/.342 in 79 plate appearances for Washington.

If the Giants do deal for a catcher, it'll likely be for a backup type, a role that Rodriguez is filling in Washington right now. Chris Stewart, who has all of 48 big-league at-bats, is currently the team's backup.

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Posted on: May 27, 2011 5:30 pm
Edited on: May 27, 2011 5:44 pm
 

On Deck: Bruce streaking, Reds slumping



By C. Trent Rosecrans
 

Jay BruceSTREAKING AND SLUMPING: Jay Bruce may be the hottest player in the majors, but his team may be the coldest. Since Dusty Baker gave him a day off to help him get it back together on May 18, Bruce is hitting .486/.526/1.057 with six home runs and 14 RBI. His team lost the game without him and has gone 1-7 with him in eight games since. The Reds have fallen from first place in the National League Central to third, four games behind the Cardinals and a game-and-a-half behind Milwaukee. Reds at Braves, 7:35 p.m. ET (Watch live)

Tim LinecumShaun MarcumMATCHUP OF THE NIGHT: Eli Whiteside may be catching Tim Lincecum, but it shouldn't hurt Lincecum. It won't help the team's offense, though. San Francisco has an OPS of .671, better than only four teams in the National League. The good news for San Francisco -- that's still better than two other teams in the offensively challenged National League West. You know what team can hit a little bit? Milwaukee. The Brewers are kind of the opposite of the Giants -- the team OPS is .737, good for fourth in the National League as a whole, and also fourth in the National League Central. On the bump for the Brewers is their best import of the season so far, Shaun Marcum. He's 6-1 with a 2.37 ERA as a Brewer. Giants at Brewers, 8:10 p.m. ET (Watch live)

SEARCH FOR FIRST: The Diamondbacks can't take first tonight, but they do have a chance of finding themselves atop the National League West after this weekend. While the division-leading Giants are in Milwaukee, the Diamondbacks face the National League's worst team, the Astros. Arizona starter Daniel Hudson has won five of his last six starts and is 5-5 with a 3.82 ERA overall. Astros starter Brett Myers has allowed five or more runs in three of his last four starts and is 1-4 with a 5.00 ERA overall. Diamondbacks at Astros, 8:05 p.m. ET (Watch live)

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Posted on: May 26, 2011 11:36 am
Edited on: May 26, 2011 3:58 pm
 

Posey breaks leg, Giants call for Belt

Posey

By Evan Brunell


Buster Posey's collision with Scott Cousins on Wednesday fractured a bone in his lower left leg, delivering a devastating blow to the Giants.

In addition to a broken leg, Posey is thought to have torn ligaments as well,  as CSN Bay Area reports. The Giants later announced that Chris Stewart has been recalled to take Posey's place, with Brandon Belt also joining the roster along with Brandon Crawford.

Posey's broken leg could heal in one-to-two months, a time span common for a broken leg. However, broken legs can mean a wide range of severity, and the complication of torn ligaments makes a possible ETA for a return that much more murky. Some players return from a broken leg inside two months. Others miss almost two full seasons, as Kendrys Morales of the Angels can attest. It would surprise no one if Posey was done for the season, but let's exercise some restraint and wait for further clarification. He will undergo a MRI Thursday that should clarify the issue, although in Pablo Sandoval's mind, the issue's already been clarified.

"Good morning I feel so bad because we lost buster for rest of the season it's gonna be hard with out him," Sandoval tweeted on Thursday.

Posey's agent, Jeff Berry, said he was planning on calling Joe Torre, the new leader of on-field operations, in the hopes of changing the rules that allow runners to barrel into catchers.

"You leave players way too vulnerable," Berry said. "I can tell you Major League Baseball is less than it was before [Posey's injury]. It's stupid. I don't know if this ends up leading to a rule change, but it should. The guy [at the plate] is too exposed.

"If you go helmet to helmet in the NFL, it's a $100,000 fine, but in baseball, you have a situation in which runners are [slamming into] fielders. It's brutal. It's borderline shocking. It just stinks for baseball. I'm going to call Major League Baseball and put this on the radar. Because it's just wrong."

"It's part of baseball. I understand that," Bochy said in a news conference on Thursday according to the San Francisco Chronicle. "Guys run into catchers. Being a catcher, I've been in a few of them. You're in harm's way there. I do think we need to consider changing the rules a little bit because the catcher's so vulnerable -- and there are so many who've gotten hurt, and just a little bit. I mean, they've had their careers or shortened. And here's a guy that's very popular in baseball. Fans want to see him play. Now, he's out for a while. I'd like to see maybe something considered here where we can protect these guys a little bit more. They just don't have the protection to take a guy coming in full speed, with that kind of force."

Bochy said he had previously spoken to Posey about not getting out in front and blocking the plate -- and to an extent, Posey tried to honor that.

"He was not completely in front of the plate. He was in a position where he could make a tag without being hit, too," Bochy said. "He just got himself in a tough position there because [the way] his leg was situated. He was down on one knee, and ideally, you'd like to have the foot pointed that way to protect you a little bit. But, again, you're trying to handle a throw. You don't have time to get set up perfectly. That's what hurt him was his leg was tucked underneath him when he got hit."

This is a sticky situation. On one hand, Bochy clearly feels that Cousins didn't need to take out Posey. On the other, it was a game in extra innings with a potential scoring play. Cousins and the ball both arrived to Posey at virtually the same time, and if Cousins had chosen to attempt to slide to the plate, there's no guarantee he would have made it. It's just an unfortunate end result, but that's baseball.

Cousins tried to reach out to Posey, leaving two voicemails and told reporters Monday he did not sleep Wednesday night. "The last thing I wanted to do was break the guy's leg," he told the Palm Beach Post.

Belt takes the place of outfielder and pinch-runner Darren Ford, who hit the DL with an ankle sprain. The Giants were originally going to resist calling Belt up to replace Ford, but the loss of Posey has changed matters as the Giants need to find a way to inject offense into the club, and fast. The Giants won't have any trouble fitting Belt into the lineup, as first baseman Aubrey Huff is struggling with the bat while left field can also accommodate Belt's production.

Even though Huff hasn't played third base since a 33-game stint in 2008, it's possible the Giants could slide him to third temporarily to get Belt's bat in at first base, which would allow the team to continue playing Pat Burrell and Nate Schierholz in the outfield. In this scenario, Miguel Tejada would move back to shortstop, a position he vacated to fill Pablo Sandoval's absence at third. Now that the Giants have also lost Mike Fontenot to the DL due to a groin strain, the options to fill the shortstop position are weak enough to the point the club would likely benefit from Tejada moving back to short all in the name of getting Belt's bat into the lineup.

Stewart has been with four different teams in the last five years, playing mostly at Triple-A. He received eight at-bats in 2006 for his career debut with the White Sox before collecting 43 plate appearances for the Rangers in '07. The 29-year-old moved onto the Yankees, snagging just one game's worth of playing time in '08, playing for New York's Triple-A team the entirety of 2009 before returning to the bigs with San Diego last season. At San Diego he appeared in two games as a defensive replacement. Now, Stewart could easily match his career 54 plate appearances as the new tandem in San Francisco. Eli Whiteside is expected to get the bulk of the playing time in the early going, but he doesn't exactly command being slotted in the lineup every day.

Crawford, meanwhile, was playing at high-Class A, hitting .322/.412/.593 in 69 plate appearances. He spent the bulk of 2010 with Double-A, hitting .241/.337/.375 and started the 2011 season with a broken finger. The corresponding move for Crawford is not yet known, but it is likely Fontenot to the DL. He'll be the infield backup, with Emmanuel Burriss likely slotting in at shortstop if they don't move Tejada back to short.

Assuming Posey is out for a long time, if not the rest of the season, the Giants may want to call up ex-Giant Bengie Molina, who was with San Francisco from 2007 until partway through last season, when he was moved to the Rangers and faced the Giants in the World Series. Molina, a free agent, has been waiting for both the right fit and price before playing again. He may have just found it.

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Posted on: April 3, 2011 6:02 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 11:53 am
 

Giants' Wilson ready to return from DL

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Giants closer Brian Wilson said he'll be ready to come off the disabled list when he is eligible to do so Wednesday in San Diego.

Brian Wilson

Wilson threw a simulated game against Pat Burrell, Nate Schierholtz, Mike Fontenot and Eli Whiteside at Dodger Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Wilson threw about 25-30 pitches, according to Andrew Baggerly of the San Jose Mercury News (via Twitter.)

Wilson said afterward he threw all his pitchs and he's ready to return from the oblique injury that put him on the DL to start the season.

When asked if his next outing would be in a big-league game, Wilson said it would be.

"It could be. It will be," Wilson told Baggerly. "I've been ready for two weeks."

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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