Tag:Gio Gonzalez
Posted on: December 10, 2011 12:05 pm
 

Homegrown Team: Chicago White Sox

Magglio Ordonez

By C. Trent Rosecrans


What if players were only permitted to stay with the team that originally made them a professional? No trades, no Rule-5 Draft, no minor or major league free agency ... once you are a professional baseball player, you stay in that organization. This series shows how all 30 teams would look. We give you: Homegrown teams. To view the schedule/past entries of this feature, click here.

If there's an opposite of the Oakland A's and Billy Beane's Moneyball, it's Kenny Williams and the White Sox. The White Sox have not drafted well and searched to fill holes through free agency, spending money and taking big chances in trades. While Williams' way makes him the butt of some jokes and nobody's making a movie about him anytime soon, he does have something Beane doesn't have -- a World Series trophy.

Lineup

1. Alexei Ramirez, SS
2. Gordon Beckham, 2B
3. Michael Morse, 1B
4. Chris Young, CF
5. Carlos Lee, DH
6. Magglio Ordonez, RF
7. Ryan Sweeney, LF
8. Brent Morel, 3B
9. Chris Stewart, C

Starting Rotation

1. Mark Buehrle
2. Gio Gonzalez
3. Daniel Hudson
4. Brandon McCarthy
5. Clayton Richard

Bullpen

Closer - Jon Rauch
Set up - Matt Guerrier, Chris Sale, Addison Reed, Boone Logan, John Ely
Long - Lucas Harrell

Notable Bench Players

Not surprisingly, when looking at the state of the organization (and the state of that lineup), the White Sox are thin on bench players, with Dayan Viciedo making a push for the starting lineup as well as Chris Getz on the infield and Mike Cameron in the outfield.

What's Good?

There's no Adam Dunn, for starters. The rotation is good, especially at the top with Buehrle and Gonzalez. The rest of the rotation is good enough, as well. While Rauch isn't the top closer around, the rest of the bullpen is talented.

What's Not?

The lineup isn't going to strike fear into too many pitching staffs, even though there are nice pieces. The corner outfielder and DH are all on the down side of their career. There's also not much depth on the roster among position players.

Comparison to real 2011

The White Sox finished 79-83 in 2011, thanks to poor seasons from Dunn, Morel, Beckham and Alex Rios. The rotation is likely a little better in real life than this team, while the bullpen is better here than in real life, evening out. The lineup may not put up a lot of runs, but the White Sox didn't, either. The real team has an impact bat in Paul Konerko and a good complimentary piece in Carlos Quentin. This lineup doesn't have those kinds of weapons, so I'm not so sure our hypothetical team could match the 79 wins the White Sox finished with in 2011.

Next: Baltimore Orioles

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: December 7, 2011 10:16 am
Edited on: December 7, 2011 10:41 pm
 

MLB Winter Meetings rumors: Wednesday

By Matt Snyder

MLB Winter Meetings
DALLAS -- We're live from the media room, lobby or anywhere else in the Dallas Hilton for Major League Baseball's annual Winter Meetings. Tons of rumors will continue to circulate throughout the meetings, so we'll keep this as a landing spot for anything and everything. Check back for updates all day Wednesday. We'll timestamp updates made after the initial post.

6:54 p.m. ET: Breaking news: The Marlins are out of the running to sign Albert Pujols, per Scott Miller of CBSSports.com.

Buehrle, Marlins, Nats

10:48 a.m. ET: If the Marlins lose out on the Albert Pujols sweepstakes, they'll go hard after free agent left-hander Mark Buehrle, reports Clark Spencer.

12:59 p.m. ET: Buehrle talks are "heating up" and he's narrowed the list to three teams, Danny Knobler reports.

4:19 p.m. ET: The Nationals have made what they believe is a "legit, fair, market-value offer" to Buehrle that they are hoping he expects, general manager Mike Rizzo told Washington beat writers (Amanda Comak).

5:11 p.m. ET: Buehrle has signed with the Marlins. Full story.

7:39 p.m. ET: Rizzo told the Washington beat writers he wasn't willing to go to a fourth year on Buehrle. Now the club will shift its focus to free agent pitcher Roy Oswalt or trading for Gio Gonzalez (Bill Ladson).

Red Sox, A's talk Bailey

• The closer-less Red Sox appear to be interested in Bailey, but the price could be too high, as Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe writes the A's are asking for a package including prized third base prospect Will Middlebrooks in exchange for the closer. Peter Gammons of MLB Network says the Red Sox are dangling outfielder Josh Reddick in return for Bailey.

Rangers, Angels, Wilson

• The Rangers met with Bob Garber, the agent for free-agent lefty C.J. Wilson, on Tuesday. Garber told ESPNDallas.com that he was "pleasantly surprised" by the Rangers' offer to keep their former No. 1 starter.

12:55 p.m. ET: The Angels are pushing hard for Wilson, Knobler has learned. Full story.

Rockies, Street, Padres, Lidge


11:31 a.m. ET: The Rockies have agreed in principle to trade Huston Street to the Padres. The deal is basically done, but not yet finalized. Full story.

12:05 p.m. ET: The Rockies have "mild" interest in free agent reliever Brad Lidge, reports Danny Knobler.

Dotel

12:07 p.m. ET: The Tigers have interest in free agent reliever Octavio Dotel, but he prefers to stay with the Cardinals, Knobler reports.

Phillies, Tigers, D-Backs, Gio Gonzalez

• The Athletics are one of the prettiest girls at this ball, dangling starter Gio Gonzalez and closer Andrew Bailey, and apparently both the Tigers and Phillies are looking to get in and bust a move on Billy Beane. The Tigers are in on Gonzalez, but aren't sure they can match the package the Yankees can offer for the left-hander, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle tweets. And then there's the Phillies, who are dangling perpetual outfield prospect Domonic Brown in exchange for Gonzalez, according to Jim Bowden of ESPN and MLB Network.

10:44 a.m. ET: Two reporters say Middlebrooks' name never came up in talks between A's and Red Sox.

12:24 p.m. ET: Knobler reports the Tigers asked about Gonzalez but didn't like the price. Cross them off the list of serious suitors.

12:25 p.m. ET: The Diamondbacks are pushing hard for Gonzalez, reports Bob Nightengale of USA Today.

2:51 p.m. ET: The A's will not trade Gonzalez during the Winter Meetings, per Joel Sherman.

Kuroda

1:31 p.m. ET: The Cubs, Rockies and Diamondbacks are all after free agent starter Hiroki Kuroda, reports Jon Heyman. It had been previously believed that Kuroda would either stay with the Dodgers or go back to Japan -- and a return to Japan is still entirely possible.

2:50 p.m. ET: The Yankees and Red Sox are also in on Kuroda, reports Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com.

Cubs, Rockies, Stewart, Colvin

2:52 p.m. ET: The Cubs and Rockies are discussing a swap of Tyler Colvin (Cubs' outfielder) and Ian Stewart (Rockies' third baseman), reports Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.

Mets

4:11 p.m. ET: The Mets are shopping everyone on the roster except David Wright, Joel Sherman reports. Andy Martino circles back and says Ike Davis is also off limits, though. Sherman now reports that the Mets are mostly talking about moving Jonathon Niese, not Davis.

5:56 p.m. ET: The Mets are "talking to three or four teams" about Niese, reports Heyman, who notes they seek "multiple pieces" in return, such as an infielder, catcher or prospect.

7:36 p.m. ET: The Mets are "absolutely" listening to trade proposals on Niese and Daniel Murphy, but "their asking price is high," reports Andy McCullough.

Dotel

5:45 p.m. ET: The Tigers are the frontrunner for Octavio Dotel, reports Ken Rosenthal, who also notes an NL team is involved as well. It's very possible that team is the Cardinals, but the Reds and Brewers have been connected to Dotel also.

7:17 p.m. ET: It's between the Tigers and Cardinals, says Knobler.

9:50 p.m. ET: The Tigers are nearing a deal with Dotel. Full story.

Madson, Phillies

10:40 p.m. ET: Ryan Madson has declined arbitration, so he's definitely available for bidding (Knobler).

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: December 5, 2011 12:00 pm
Edited on: December 5, 2011 8:21 pm
 

MLB Winter Meetings rumors: Monday

By Matt Snyder

Hot Stove Season
DALLAS -- We're live from the media room, lobby or anywhere else in the Dallas Hilton for Major League Baseball's annual Winter Meetings. Tons of rumors are going to be circulating throughout the meetings for the next four days, so we'll keep this as a landing spot for anything and everything. Check back for updates all day Monday. We'll timestamp updates made after the initial post.

Pujols

CBSSports.com's Scott Miller writes that the Cardinals are making every effort to get free agent superstar Albert Pujols signed.

Fielder

Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com blogged last night that the Brewers were finally feeling a bit optimistic their chances to keep free agent first baseman Prince Fielder. The Nationals are one name that have been thrown into Fielder rumors, but the Washington beat writers -- including MLB.com's Bill Ladson -- are reporting that Fielder is not a target. The Nats are reportedly content to use Adam LaRoche at first base and Mike Morse in left field, with Morse a backup option at first.

12:50 p.m. ET: MASN.com reports that the Orioles do have interest in Fielder, but general manager Dan Duquette doesn't want fans to get their hopes up just yet.

1:00 p.m. ET: Jon Heyman adds that the O's interest in Fielder is owner Peter Angelos' "secret mandate."

2:03 p.m. ET: Britt Ghiroli of MLB.com reports the interest in Fielder is not heavy and his name didn't even come up during the Orioles' morning briefing.

Phillies, Rollins, Ramirez, Polanco

• While the Phillies have not rushed to sign starting pitcher Cole Hamels to a contract extension -- he's due to be a free agent after the 2012 season -- there is a strong expectation from both sides that a deal gets done eventually, reports Knobler.

• The Phillies are strong players for free agent third baseman Aramis Ramirez, reports Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post. MLB.com's Todd Zolecki confirmed the interest, but surmises Ramirez is merely a backup plan in case the Phillies can't retain shortstop Jimmy Rollins. On Rollins, his options could be dwindling. ESPN.com's Buster Olney is reporting that the Phillies' only competition for Rollins are Milwaukee and St. Louis.

1:05 p.m. ET: Knobler reports the Brewers are in on everyone at shortstop and third base, but not far along in negotiations.

12:57 p.m. ET: Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports the Phillies are actively shopping third baseman Placido Polanco. Dealing him would free up a spot for Ramirez.

2:35 p.m. ET: Rollins' agent -- Dan Lozano -- met with Phillies officials last night and talks "did not go well at all," according to Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com. The report indicates Rollins and Lozano are not backing down from the intially requested five-year contract.

3:18 p.m. ET: Miller reports the Phillies are "definitely" in on Ramirez, but that the Angels (and "others") are also very interested.

5:38 p.m. ET: General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said "honestly, there is no rush to do anything," on the Rollins situation (Matt Gelb).

6:23 p.m. ET: Ramirez wants to play for a winner and has interest from the Phillies, Brewers and Angels, tweets Knobler, but nothing is close yet. The Tigers haven't shown serious interest in Ramirez, either, and probably won't at all, Knobler also notes.

Royals, Angels, Gio Gonzalez

• While they are "downplaying it," the Royals would trade closer Joakim Soria for starting pitching help, reports Joel Sherman of the New York Post. This makes sense after the signing of Jonathan Broxton, and we also know the Royals badly wanted to upgrade their rotation. Sherman also notes the Royals would talk about Greg Holland, who posted a 1.80 ERA and 74 strikeouts in 60 innings last year.

2:05 p.m. ET: Heyman reports Gio Gonzalez is one target of the Royals, also noting that highly-touted Royals prospect Wil Meyers is quite popular among opposing teams.

2:50 p.m. ET: Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com says that an executive from an "AL West rival" of the A's believes Gonzalez will be traded.

2:10 p.m. ET: Perhaps the Angels are a match with the Royals? Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports the Angels are seeking help in the back-end of the bullpen, "specifically [an] experienced closer."

7:25 p.m. ET: Scott Miller confirms the report that the Royals like Gonzalez. Miller also learned the Royals are looking for a utility infielder who can play both second and third base.

Willingham

• Nine teams have called on free agent outfielder Josh Willingham, including the Twins, Red Sox, Indians and Reds, tweets Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com.

4:26 p.m. ET: The Rays are "making a serious run" at Willingham, tweets ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick. Rosenthal tweets that the Rays aren't close, but are one of the three to four finalists to land Willingham.

Indians

1:04 p.m. ET: The Indians are in on every free agent first baseman other than Fielder and Pujols, reports Heyman, who specifically named Casey Kotchman as being on the Cleveland radar.

Buehrle

2:01 p.m. ET: Coveted free agent starting pitcher Mark Buehrle has been connected to over a dozen suitors. Knobler reports that the left-hander has not eliminated any teams from consideration and is not close to a decision.

4:51 p.m. ET: Rosenthal reports that the Nationals, Marlins, Rangers and Twins are after Buehrle, but that the Twins offer isn't as strong as the others.

Braves

2:06 p.m. ET: Sherman reports that the Braves are one of the teams waiting for free agents Buehrle and C.J. Wilson to sign -- because the Braves will then see if the trade interest in Jair Jurrjens picks up.

Twins, Capps, Rangers, David Murphy

2:42 p.m. ET: The Twins have asked the Rangers about the availability of David Murphy, tweets ESPN.com's Jayson Stark. Rosenthal countered by saying the Rangers are "reluctant to compromise outfield depth."

6:57 p.m. ET: The Twins have re-signed Matt Capps. Full story.

Dodgers, Harang, Hairston

3:29 p.m. ET: The Dodgers are making progress on signing free agent starting pitcher Aaron Harang. Full story.

6:06 p.m. ET: The Dodgers have signed Jerry Hairston. Full story.

Wilson

4:45 p.m. ET: C.J. Wilson has a six-year offer from a team other than the Rangers, reports Jeff Wilson. MLB Trade Rumors notes the Rangers, Angels, Nationals, Marlins and that dreaded "mystery team" are currently in the mix for Wilson's services. If he comes off the market, expect the heat to increase on the already-beloved Mark Buehrle. The two are easily the best left-handed starters out there.

Dotel

6:58 p.m. ET: The teams interested in relief pitcher Octavio Dotel are the Reds, Cardinals, Brewers, Tigers and Mets, reports Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com.

Astros

7:23 p.m. ET: The Astros are looking to trade veterans Brett Myers and Carlos Lee. Scott Miller has the full story.

Giants

7:26 p.m. ET: Miller has learned the Giants are willing to trade infielder Jeff Keppinger, outfielder Andres Torres and relief pitcher Ramon Ramirez.

Hat-tip: MLB Trade Rumors

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: November 4, 2011 2:35 pm
 

Athletics could be ready to strip down team

Gonzalez

By Evan Brunell


Depending on what happens with the Athletics' attempted relocation to San Jose, the club could enter a rebuilding phase.

As has been reported for some time now, Oakland would strip the team and enter into a rebuilding process over the next three seasons should commissioner Bud Selig rule that the A's can move to San Jose. The issue has been on Selig's desk since March 2009 and is complicated by the Giants claiming territorial rights over San Jose. The hope is that Selig will have a ruling shortly for the A's, and it could impact the team's offseason moves.

If Selig approves the move to San Jose, any new stadium would require at least three years to be built. Oakland and GM Billy Beane would enter into a rebuilding period in the hopes of having a contender ready to go once the stadium opens. That could mean trading players such as Gio Gonzalez, Trevor Cahill and Kurt Suzuki. The only person that would be unavailable in a rebuilding, Fox Sports reports, is second baseman Jemile Weeks, who debuted this season.

If there is no news, the club likely will move to younger players regardless. As opposed to last season when Beane went hard after Adrian Beltre, Lance Berkman and Japanese import Hisashi Iwakuma, and losing out on each, poor revenues could force the A's into yet another rebuilding process. Things could change, though, if Selig rules against San Jose. Faced with a long-term arrangement in Oakland, Beane could be aggressive just like last season to build a contender with the core already in place.

Should the A's rebuild, there will be no shortage of suitors, especially with a poor free agent class. Gonzalez (pictured), in particular, has been linked to the Yankees before and could be dealt to New York for top prospect Jesus Montero, which would give the A's a long-coveted elite bat they can control for some time.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeonBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: September 30, 2011 5:18 pm
Edited on: September 30, 2011 6:32 pm
 

R.I.P.: 2011 Oakland Athletics

By Matt Snyder

Another season gone, another disappointment for 29 teams as one is immortalized forever. Let’s take a look back at 2011 and forward in Eye on Baseball’s R.I.P. series...

Team name: Oakland Athletics
Record: 74-88, 22 games back in AL West
Manager: Bob Melvin
Best hitter: Josh Willingham -- .246/.322/.477, 29 HR, 98 RBI, 69 R, 26 2B
Best pitcher: Gio Gonzalez -- 16-12, 3.12 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 197 K, 202 IP

With injuries to the pitching staff, more lack of offense, the most exciting thing happening for the A's this season came at the box office, not the ballpark. But hey, I rather enjoyed "Moneyball" -- I'd only advise going to the movie with the understanding that Tim Hudson, Mark Mulder, Barry Zito, Miguel Tejada and Eric Chavez were completely ignored. If you know that going it, it's enjoyable.

2011 SEASON RECAP

They started off losing four of their first five, but didn't give up by any stretch. In fact, the A's were 22-20 and tied for first place in the AL West on May 17. Then a seven-game losing streak sunk them and a week later they began a season-killing 10-game losing streak that cost Bob Geren his job. Bob Melvin took over and went 47-52 the rest of the way. Considering how bad the offense was and that both Dallas Braden and Brett Anderson were lost for the season, that's pretty fine work and general manager Billy Beane agreed -- giving Melvin a three-year deal.

The A's finished 12th in the AL in runs scored. They don't even get on base anymore, as the .311 OBP was also good for 12th in the AL. Meanwhile the staff ERA was the third best in the AL. So it's the same old story in Oakland. They can pitch, but not hit.

2012 AUDIT

If Brett Anderson and Dallas Braden come back strong from injuries, the A's have a very solid 1-5 rotation. Trevor Cahill will need a bounce-back season, but Gonzalez and McCarthy figure to be similar to this season. Full seasons out of Joey Devine and Andrew Bailey will make the bullpen better as well. But they were already good at pitching, as the numbers show. And they're still young enough to count on the staff being good for the next several years. So, just as it has the past several seasons, everything is going to boil down to what the A's can muster on offense. Young Jemile Weeks showed he's ready to take over at second base, but many other young players still haven't shown they can be consistent offensive threats at the big-league level. There's promise with the Chris Carter/Brandon Allen/Michael Taylor group and some prospects are getting closer to joining the fray. The 2012 season will not be a complete rebuild as much as it will be preparing for 2013.

FREE AGENTS

David DeJesus, OF
Josh Willingham, OF
Coco Crisp, OF
Hideki Matsui, DH
Rich Harden, SP
Brandon McCarthy, SP

OFFSEASON FOCUS

The A's have to focus entirely on the offense and should probably make an effort to get younger instead of throwing out a group of veteran cast-offs. Sure, the "Moneyball" movie had the "island of misfit toys" line, but remember, they ignored the strong foundation of youth in place. We can't do that in real life.
  • Let Harden walk and spend the money on offense. Guillermo Moscoso and the five starters mentioned in the Audit section above give the A's enough rotation depth, not to mention if Tyson Ross can return healthy. Really, let's include the bullpen here. The pitching is fine. Bring back McCarthy and otherwise there's no reason for players outside the organization to even be considered.
  • Carter has been awful against major-league pitching, but it's only been in small samples with no consistent at-bats. At some point they need to leave him in the lineup for an extended stretch to find out if he's a "quadruple-A" player or not. Likewise, they might as well stick with Allen and Taylor, too, and just go with a youth movement offensively. Between first base, right field and DH, at least two of these three should be in the lineup everyday, in different combinations. 
  • Shortstop prospect Grant Green is going to be ready for a look soon. He hit .291/.343/.408 in Double-A. Cliff Pennington will hold down the fort in the meantime.
  • With Hideki Matsui likely to be retained, there is very little reason for the A's to bother with David DeJesus. They need to see what Taylor and Carter can do. When Matsui needs the occasional off day, you have all three young sluggers in there. 
  • I would bring Willingham back. He and Matsui can provide veteran stability to the middle of the order so that there isn't any extra pressure put on the younger guys. 
  • If anyone from outside the organization is brought in, it needs to be an on-base guy. They tried to go with patchwork quasi-power hitters and didn't work. You can't score runs if you aren't getting on base, so it's time Beane's A's go back to their roots.
  • How long until Michael Choice is ready? The A's 2010 first rounder was in High-A this season, but he hit 30 home runs with a .918 OPS. Better yet, he's a center fielder, which they'll need soon. Maybe bring back Crisp for one more season to bridge the gap?
If everything breaks right, the A's could be a serious AL West contender in 2013. The pitching staff is young and good. The offense could very well be respectable again with proper development from Weeks, Taylor, Choice, Green, Allen and Carter to go with Kurt Suzuki as a future nucleus. Plugging in veterans would only hinder the youngsters.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: September 24, 2011 1:32 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Gio buries Angels



By Matt Snyder


Gio Gonzalez, A's. The Angels desperately needed this game and they had their ace on the hill. All-Star Game starter Jered Weaver worked 8 1/3 innings, allowing just two runs, but he was outdueled by Gonzalez. The A's left-hander allowed only three hits and one run in 7 1/3 innings and pretty much ended the Angels' postseason chances with a 3-1 A's win. They are eliminated in the AL West and have an absolutely minute chance in the wild card.

Ryan Braun, Brewers. MVP? He might well win it on the strength of Friday night's three-run bomb in the eighth, as the Brewers clinched the NL Central.

Jim Thome, Indians. Prior to the game, the Indians announced that they would erect a statue of Thome in Progressive Field. During the game, he reminded everyone why. In a 6-5 victory, Thome went 3-for-4 with a double, home run and three RBI.



David Price, Rays. The Rays really needed this one. Sure, the offense was stifled in a masterful performance by Blue Jays' pitcher Brandon Morrow, but Price didn't have a memorable night. At least not in a good way. He allowed five runs in six innings. The box score only shows two of those runs being earned, but that's because of two throwing errors Price himself made in a three-run third inning. And the Rays now have a very tough task in the wild-card race

Drew Pomeranz, Rockies. The 22-year-old rookie looked great in his first two big-league starts, but he got a wakeup call Friday night against the worst team in the majors. The Houston Astros lit him up for seven hits and six earned runs in just two innings.

The White Sox. Well, let's see. Bruce Chen absolutely owns them -- as he spun yet another gem against the Sox Friday night. The White Sox only managed two hits all game. Their pitching staff also allowed 18 hits and 11 runs, including nine extra-base hits to the Royals. Oh, and starting pitcher Zach Stewart also committed two errors. So other than a poor showing with offense, defense and pitching, it was a good night. Right?

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: July 24, 2011 11:35 pm
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Monster day for Upton

Upton

By Evan Brunell

UptonJustin Upton, Diamondbacks
: Justin Upton was a one-man wrecking crew on Sunday, going 4 for 4 with three RBI, two runs, a walk and stolen base as Arizona blanked the Rockies 7-0. Oh, and this came on the backing of a double, triple and two singles. This is coming off a six-RBI game on Saturday, so the 23-year-old is scorching hot and has lifted his overall line to .301/.378/.526 on the season. He's clearly the linchpin of the Diamondbacks' offense, and any chance of Upton being traded has gone up in smoke. (Check out that picture above, where you can see what looks like wood dust coming off the bat. That's power.)

Madison Bumgarner, Giants: Division rival Chad Billingsley actually had the more impressive pitching line on the night, but Bumgarner's 7 2/3 innings pitched with eight hits allowed, one earned run, zero walks and eight strikeouts is plenty enough to carry the day. This is part of a larger trend, as the lefty has whiffed 64 batters in his past 62 innings, ranging all the way back to June 1. He's only walked five batters in this time span with three home runs, so it's little surprise that his ERA has plummeted to 3.56 from 4.06 six starts ago.

David Wright, Mets: The Marlins edged New York 5-4, but Wright was a star in the game, going 3 for 4 with two runs and RBI apiece. He added a double to his two-run home run in the seventh inning to send the Mets up 4-3. He's had two excellent games in the three games he's been back and has gone a combined 6-for-14, with four extra-base hits and six RBI. Not a bad return for the 28-year-old.



DownGio Gonzalez, Athletics: Gonzalez just didn't have it Sunday against the Yankees, getting knocked around for six runs in 4 2/3 innings. The lefty was touched up for seven hits and issued three free passes against just five strikeouts. Two starts ago, Gonzalez also gave up seven runs to the Rangers in just four innings, but only three were earned.  Before Sunday, his worst start was all the way back on April 25, when he allowed four earned runs in five innings to the Angels.The 25-year-old has tossed 120 innings on the year, pacing for 199 2/3. This after throwing 200 innings last season in his first full turn in the rotation. At some point you have to take the gloves off, but is Gonzalez tiring?

Francisco Liriano, Twins: Liriano being his old inconsistent self? Never woulda guessed. In blowups that are all too prone with the talented lefty, Liriano allowed four earned runs in 2 1/3 innings, allowing six hits and four walks while only striking out three. Yuck. The outing sent his ERA to 4.86. How inconsistent is Liriano? Consider his last six games, and I assure your, the pattern repeats itself: 2 1/3 IP 4 ER, 6 IP 1 ER, 7 IP 1 ER, 4 1/3 IP 5 ER, 7 IP 2 ER, 3 2/3 IP 5 ER.

Ubaldo Jimenez, Rockies: In a game in which 20-plus scouts were in attendance, Ubaldo Jimenez gifted five earned runs in five innings -- his worst start since May 27. "It doesn't affect me," Jimenez told the Associated Press of the trade talk. "I know it's time for the rumors and there are going to be rumors. I will just try to go to the stadium and do my thing. Every time I try to get hitters out and what's going to happen is going to happen. You never know, but I am ready for whatever."

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: July 3, 2011 8:38 pm
Edited on: July 7, 2011 10:59 am
 

Halladay, Weaver should start All-Star Game



By C. Trent Rosecrans

Perhaps the list of who won't be starting the All-Star Game is as impressive as who may start the game on July 12 at Chase Field in Phoenix.

Because of the rule that pitchers who start on the Sunday before the game are ineligible to pitch in the All-Star Game, Justin Verlander, James Shields, Matt Cain, Felix Hernandez, Cole Hamels, CC Sabathia and Jon Lester won't be getting the nod to start the game. However, it should be noted that neither Sabathia nor Lester were selected to the team, perhaps with an eye toward the fact they wouldn't be able to pitch in the game.

With those pitchers eliminated from the competition, it's easier to pick the starters for next Tuesday's game. We'll continue the process of elimination to determine the starters for the All-Star Game.

National League

Without Hamels and Cain, there are six pitchers left to pick from. It's unlikely that Tim Lincecum or Ryan Vogelsong of the Giants would be headed to Phoenix if San Francisco manger Bruce Bochy wasn't making the picks, so cross them off the list. That leaves Roy Halladay, Jair Jurrjens, Clayton Kershaw and Cliff Lee.

I'd be surprised if Kershaw didn't start an All-Star Game in his career, but it's not this year. He's got the potential to be as good as anyone in the game, but he's allowed six earned runs in three of his last six starts, so he's out.

Cliff Lee had an unbelievable June, but take that away and he's 4-6 with a 4.23 ERA. He's out.

So it comes down to the two 11-game winners, Halladay and Jurrjens. Jurrjens leads in ERA at 1.89, while Halladay has a 2.44 ERA. Halladay has more strikeouts, 131 to 63 and also leads in WHIP (1.027 to 1.061). Either one would be a good pick, but expect Bochy to go with the veteran Halladay, and it's tough to argue picking Halladay for about anything. His track record gives him the edge.

American League

If Verlander and Shields were in this discussion, it would be a lot more difficult. So in the also-rans, we'll start with C.J. Wilson. Wilson is 8-3 with a 3.14 ERA, good numbers to be sure, but not elite. Like Bochy picking two of his starters (and 60 percent of his starting rotation), Rangers manager Ron Washington was looking out for one of his own players by picking him over Sabathia or Lester, so he's out of the discussion.

David Price is 8-6 with a 3.43 ERA with 116 strikeouts, a good half-season to be sure, but not an All-Star starting pitcher.

Gio Gonzalez is that under-the-radar starter who has been lights-out this season, going 8-5 with a 2.31 ERA and 106 strikeouts in 109 innings. Gonzalez is fourth in the American League in ERA but his WHIP is an improved 1.235, which is decent but not in the Top 10 in the league.

Jered Weaver and Josh Beckett are both in the top three in both ERA and WHIP, with Weaver first in ERA (1.92) and third in WHIP (0.921) to Verlander (0.862). Beckett trails Weaver in ERA (2.12) and jumped ahead of him in WHIP (0.906) with Sunday's performance. If you're one of those people who puts value in pitcher's wins as a stat, Weaver leads all American Leaguers eligible to pitch in the game with 10 wins, while Beckett's pedestrian record of 6-3 belies what he's been able to do on the mound this season.

Weaver had a case to start last season season's game in Anaheim, but wasn't eligible because he'd started the Sunday before the game. He's scheduled to start on Thursday, putting him on track to start again on July 12, and he should get that chance.

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


 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com