Tag:Fredi Gonzalez
Posted on: August 9, 2011 8:48 pm
Edited on: August 10, 2011 12:04 am

Hanson leaves Braves to have shoulder examined

Tommy HansonBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Braves right-hander Tommy Hanson left the team on Tuesday to return to Atlanta and have his ailing right shoulder examined. The Braves will bump him from his scheduled start on Friday and have him penciled in to pitch Tuesday against the Giants.

"They'll do the whole workup on him and see what's there, see if there's a problem," manager Fredi Gonzalez told reporters, including David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "No matter how the evaluation goes, we're going to go ahead and bump him back."

Hanson lasted just 3 1/3 innings on Saturday against the Mets, allowing seven runs on eight hits.

Hanson went on the disabled list in June for rotator cuff tendinitis. Hanson is 1-3 with a 8.10 ERA in his five starts since the All-Star break and was 10-4 with a 2.44 ERA before the break.

Mike Minor, who started in Jair Jurrjens place in the rotation on Sunday in New York, will start on Friday. Jurrjens went on the disabled list with a right knee sprain.

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Posted on: August 8, 2011 9:56 pm
Edited on: August 8, 2011 11:36 pm

Umpire ejects Braves' Fredi and Freddie

Freddie FreemanBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Umpire Hunter Wendelstedt accomplished a rare feat on Monday, ejecting a Fredi (Gonzalez) and a Freddie (Freeman) in the Braves' game at Florida.

Gonzalez, the Braves' manager, was ejected for arguing balls and strikes during the fourth inning of the game, while Freeman was ejected after striking out to end the top of the eighth inning.

Gonzalez was ejected after Wedelstedt called a Derek Lowe pitch to Bryan Peterson a ball. After he did, he looked into the Braves dugout and ejected Gonzalez, who then walked out and argued for a moment.

"You can't argue balls and strikes," Gonzalez told David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution. "I deserve what I got."

Freeman thought he checked his swing against Steve Cishek with two strikes and two outs, but Wendelstedt called him out. After Freeman tossed his helmet, Wendelstedt tossed Freeman. Freeman never turned to say anything or show up Wendelstedt before the umpire tossed Freeman.

After the game, Freeman said the call on the strike was correct, but wasn't so sure about the ejection. He said he only asked Wendelstedt to check with the third base umpire.

"Couldn’t believe it. That was pretty incredible," Freeman said (via the AJC). "I didn’t say anything. There was no reason I should have been thrown out of this game. All I asked was, 'Why?' All he said was, 'You know what you got thrown out.' At the time, I didn't." 

It was Gonzalez's third ejection of the season.

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Posted on: August 8, 2011 8:39 pm

Braves' McCann eyes Friday return

Brian McCannBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Braves catcher Brian McCann said he may be ready to return Friday when he is eligible to come off the disabled list, he told David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

McCann took batting practice before Monday's game at Florida after taking light hitting and throwing on Sunday.

"It felt fine; it felt exactly how I thought it would," McCann said. "I didn't try to swing as hard as I could. But I was pleased with how the ball was coming off my bat.

"It's my first time really swinging more than 50 percent, so I didn't want to let it go. I felt really good swinging that bat as far as hitting the sweet spot and hitting line drives."

McCann suffered an oblique injury on July 26.

McCann said he hoped to play minor-league rehab games on Wednesday and Thursday before joining the Braves at Turner Field for the first game of a series against the Cubs on Friday. 

Manager Fredi Gonzalez was a little less sure, telling O'Brien: "That scares me, sending him out for a rehab assignment behind the plate."

Going into Monday's game, David Ross has started nine games and played in two more since McCann's injury and has struggled as an everyday player, hitting .171/.216/.286 with one homer in 38 plate appearances. McCann is the Braves' top hitter, hitting .306/.375/.514 with 18 homers.

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Posted on: July 4, 2011 10:03 am
Edited on: July 4, 2011 10:26 am

Harsh words for umpires

Ron Washington

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Fines be damned, Rangers manager Ron Washington and Braves third baseman Chipper Jones expressed their frustration with umpiring Sunday.

Washington's target was Angel Hernandez, known far and wide as one of the worst umpires in baseball. After Washington and first-base coach Gary Pettis were ejected arguing that Florida reliever Mike Dunn had balked.

"Angel is just bad," Washington told reporters (via the Dallas Morning News). "That's all there is to it."

Probably adding insult to injury is that Hernandez is on the same crew as Joe West, another notorious umpire.

Chipper JonesWhile his specific beef was with rookie umpire Mark Ripperger, Jones took on the state of umpiring as a whole in his postgame comments, from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

"I've said it time and time again, the officiating in this league is substandard for the most part," Jones said. "I actually apologized to [Ripperger] after the 3-1 pitch, I said, 'I'm sorry. That pitch was right where the 2-1 pitch was and it was called a ball.' And he said that ball got plate.

"I knew that I was dealing with a larger than average strike zone at that point."

Jones tried to take first base twice in the at-bat, but Ripperger called the pitches strikes and Jones struck out to end the Braves' loss to the Orioles.

"I didn't say a word after the last pitch," Jones told reporters. "I know they are balls. I've been here 18 years, [and] I know what balls and strikes are. I know when guys are trying to pitch around me. He can stare me down all he wants; he made two bad calls."

Jones also said, "I guess it was a little too hot; [he] had to get on a plane." 

Jones' manager had his back: "I came back in here and looked at them on video; I thought they were awful," Fredi Gonzalez said. "I thought the balls were away, not even close. It's hard to lose a game on those two balls like that."

All three will be fined, but I'm not sure any of them care. In fact, Jones said as much afterward.

"I'm going to stick up for my team, if a guy's not going to do his job, I'm going to say something," he said. "If I get fined, I get fined. I don't care." 

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Posted on: June 16, 2011 8:58 pm
Edited on: June 16, 2011 9:08 pm

Marlins haven't 'pondered' a managerial move

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria isn't thinking about changing managers… yet.

Marlins president David Samson spoke to Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post about the team's struggles, but if I'm Rodriguez, the quotes aren't making me think about ditching the rental and buying real estate in South Florida.

The Marlins fired their hitting coach a week ago, so it's no surprise a reporter would be asking about Rodriguez's job status. Still, Samson didn't sound prepared to answer that particular question.

"It's not something that I have pondered with Jeffrey. I can't really say that… I can't really say, to be honest with you…" Samson said. "List, [general manager] Larry [Beinfest] and I are talking every day. Larry is talking with his baseball people to figure out what the best thing we can do, how we can get this turned around. Obviously, it got sour very quickly. I've never seen something turn as quickly, so we've got to figure out what, if anything, needs to be done."

The Marlins, with their loss on Thursday, have lost seven in a row and 15 of their last 16 (or 17 of their last 19, if you want to go back even a little further). Given the Marlins fired hitting coach John Mallee last week and Rodriguez only has a contract through the end of this year, it's understandable if he's feeling the heat. Add to those Loria's history of a quick trigger, it wouldn't be a shock of Rodriguez already has his office packed up ready to go at a moment's notice.

"I saw the firing of Mallee coming," Rodriguez told Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald. "I was more worried about Mallee than firing me. I think it would be a mistake [to fire me] because I don't think anything is going to change on the field. I'm grateful they gave me a chance to be here. What they do after this, whatever they want to do."

Last June Loria fired Fredi Gonzalez and named Rodriguez the interim manager. After flirting with several other managerial choices, most notably Bobby Valentine, Rodriguez was named the manager for the rest of the season and then given a contract for just the 2011 season. Many expect Loria to go after a big-name manager for 2012 when the Marlins move into their new stadium and perhaps make another run at Valentine.

Rodriguez at least has his best player behind him.

"I'm on his side," Hanley Ramirez told the Miami Herald. "Whatever he does, I'm good for it, because he's the best guy we've ever had here.

"Everything is bad right now. But he's there for you. I'll never complain about anything he does. He's a pretty good guy and a pretty good manager. He's smart."

Rodriguez is certainly smart enough to know his days as Marlins manager are numbered.

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Posted on: June 15, 2011 8:37 pm

Braves deny watering down field

Turner Field

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Mother Nature sometimes has a wonderful sense of humor.

The Mets complained to Major League Baseball following Tuesday's game in Atlanta about the field being too wet and manager Terry Collins insinuated the field was watered down to help slow the Mets and Jose Reyes, who slipped three times on the field in Tuesday's 4-3 New York victory.

The response came not from Bud, but from above, as rain has delayed the start of Wednesday's game. The game began at 8:30 p.m., an hour and 20 minutes after the original scheduled start time.

Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez denied the Braves watered down the field.

"Absolutely not. There's a whole infield. Usually if you're going to do that, you'll do it right there at first base," Gonzalez told Carroll Rogers of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "There was absolutely no gamesmanship being played."

Reyes still had two stolen bases on the night despite the dirt, but Collins still believed the Braves were trying to slow down his team.

"You alter the field according to your team," Collins told the New York Times. "These guys do not steal bases. They are not a big base-stealing team, [Jordan] Schafer is about the only guy. They are a fly-ball-hitting team, not a ground-ball-hitting team, so the field was overly wet. I don't know what to say except, I'd like to move the fences in when we play against [Mike] Stanton. You can't."

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Posted on: June 8, 2011 11:11 pm
Edited on: June 9, 2011 12:32 am

Marlins fire hitting coach Mallee

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Several Marlins players are unhappy the way the team fired hitting coach John Mallee following Wednesday's 10-inning loss to the Braves.

According to the Palm Beach Post, general manager Mike Hill told players in the clubhouse after the game, but not all players were at their lockers, so some heard from other teammates.

The team announced the move after the game and also announced it had hired ESPN analyst Eduardo Perez to replace Mallee. Perez is the son of Hall of Famer Tony Perez, a special assistant for the Marlins.

Mallee, 42, was in his 10th season with the organization and was named hitting coach last July when Edwin Rodriguez took over as manager for Fredi Gonzalez. The team fired Jim Presley the same day it fired Gonzalez.

"I don't think it's right. I don't think it's just," outfielder Logan Morrison told the Palm Beach Post. "He had me prepared more than anybody.

"It's definitely not his fault. We let him down. Everybody has their finger on the panic button. It's hard to relax and play baseball."

Florida went into Wednesday's game hitting .255/.327/.382 with an OPS of .708, slightly above the league average. The Marlins are 10th in the National League with 239 runs scored.

The Marlins have lost seven straight, hitting .175 (11 for 63) with runners ins coring position during the streak, including 1 for 8 on Wednesday. Marlins president Larry Beinfest pointed to that stat as the biggest problem with the team and said he hoped the change would help.

Perez played for six teams, ending his playing career in Seattle in 2006. In his career, he hit .247/.326/.431.

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Posted on: June 7, 2011 4:50 pm
Edited on: June 7, 2011 7:54 pm

On Deck: Jeter's big homestand


By Matt Snyder

Jeter Watch: Derek Jeter has entered the home stretch in his quest to reach 3,000 hits, and he now has a 10-game homestand where he could possibly make it. But he'll have to pick up the pace. He needs 14 hits to reach the plateau. He's averaging 1.09 hits per game so far this season, so that would give him about 11 hits during the homestand. Tuesday night, there's much more going on for the Yankees than Jeter, as the Red Sox come to town. The battle is as it always should be in the minds of many fans from the northeast: For first place in the AL East. The Yankees lead the Red Sox by one game. Taking the hill for the Red Sox is Jon Lester (7-2, 3.94). Freddy Garcia (4-4, 3.34) will go for the Yankees. As for the Jeter watch, he's faced Lester 41 times in his career, gathering 12 hits in 38 at-bats (.316) while striking out nine times. Boston at New York (AL), 7:05 p.m. ET. WATCH LIVE SCORING

Homecoming: Braves second baseman Dan Uggla and manager Fredi Gonzalez are returning to Sun Life Stadium for the first time in an opposing uniform. Uggla's return is the much bigger deal, as he manned second base for the past five seasons for the Marlins. He racked up 154 home runs, 465 RBI, 499 runs, 170 doubles and two All-Star appearances during that time and was one of the premier power-hitting second basemen in baseball. This season for the Braves, well, things haven't quite gone as planned. Uggla is hitting .172 with a .552 OPS. Coming off the best season of his career, he's compiling his worst stats, and it's not even close. The homecomings coincide with a series that is important for both the Braves and Marlins. Each are trailing the Phillies by four games in the NL East. The Marlins have lost five straight, and the Braves have dropped four of six. Tommy Hanson (6-4, 2.82) takes the mound for the Braves, and the Marlins send 21-year-old Brad Hand for his major-league debut. He was 7-1 with a 3.53 ERA and 1.27 WHIP in Double-A. Atlanta at Florida, 7:10 p.m. ET. WATCH LIVE SCORING

Moving CarGo: For the second straight game -- and only the second time all season -- the Rockies will send Carlos Gonzalez out to center field and also bat him leadoff. The move to center comes because of Dexter Fowler's injury, but Ryan Spilborghs could have been an option, too. Moving CarGo to leadoff seems designed to do whatever it takes to jumpstart him and the Rockies' offense. There's obviously no correlation between playing a different position and better production at the plate, but Jim Tracy is trying any kind of mix to get Gonzalez on track. After an MVP-caliber season, Gonzalez is hitting .249 with a .728 OPS. Last season, those figures ended at .336 and .974. The experiment didn't work Monday night. Gonzalez went 0-4 with two strikeouts. Tuesday, he'll give it another go in San Diego. The Padres send Tim Stauffer (1-4, 3.99) to the mound to face off against Ubaldo Jimenez (1-5, 4.98). Of note there: Jimenez had been terrible until a shutout last time out. Colorado at San Diego, 10:05 p.m. ET.

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