Tag:Ian Desmond
Posted on: May 12, 2011 11:57 pm
 

3 up, 3 down: Carlos Beltran launches Mets to win

Beltran

By Evan Brunell


upCarlos Beltran, Mets -- Well, Beltran certainly announced himself with authority, blasting three home runs including a stifling top-of-the-ninth inning shot to quell any shot the Rockies thought they had of a comeback as they had made noise each of the two innings previous. Beltran ended the day with three runs scored (duh) and six RBI, propelling the Mets to a 9-5 victory. Proving he's over his knee issues, Beltran now has eight homers on the year and a .295/.387/.590 line. Despite a hefty price tag and balky knees, it really does look like New York may be able to not only trade the right fielder, but extract some value in return.

Zach Britton, Orioles
-- Man, this guy is just killing it and seems like a lock for the Rookie of the Year award already. Britton drove his ERA down to 2.42 by handcuffing the Mariners through nine, giving up just three hits, walking none and punching out five. Opponent Jason Vargas had a similar line, going nine with seven hits, one walk and four whiffs. Neither gave up a run, and this game went all the way into the 12th before Brandon League choked away a one-run lead by going like this: single-HBP-HBP-line out-single by J.J. Hardy. Despite the 12 innings, the game was played in a tidy 2:52. In other words, the end of the sixth inning of any of the Red Sox-Yankees game this weekend.

Yankees offense
-- The end result was a loss, but the Yankees avoided striking out just once but Sean O'Sullivan was able to limit New York to four runs in 6 2/3 innings, adding two walks. You won't see a pitcher or offense lose too many games while avoiding going down by K. O'Sullivan has a respectable 3.79 ERA but it feels like the wheels should fall off anytime. But back to the Yankees -- it's the fourth time this season a team has avoided striking out, and the second time the team in question lost. (And yet, the losing team of the White Sox scored the most runs of all with seven -- go figure.) On a year-to-year basis, this happens roughly 10-20 times, so this won't be the last non-strikeout game we see in 2011. 

downIvan Nova, Yankees -- Shows you what I know, right? Earlier Wednesday, the On Deck item suggested that Nova, who had impressed so far in the early going, should easily handle the Royals because Sean O'Sullivan was due for a regression. Uh, not so much. (Well, as detailed in the '3 up' section, O'Sullivan kinda got away with it.) Nova was blasted by the Royals and four Royals had 2 RBI apiece. The right-hander only got through 3 innings and three batters in the fourth before giving way to  31-year-old Cuban Amaury Sanit, who made his big-league debut with 4 2/3 innings of three-run ball and will certainly be farmed out. Nova coughed up an eye-popping 10 hits, giving up just four earned runs but eight total thanks to two errors and slogged through 73 pitches, walking two and whiffing none. K.C. was keyed into Nova right from the start; not much to do but hope the rookie can shake it off and move on.

Ian Desmond and Jayson Werth, Nationals -- The Nats held tough for 11 innings before caving into a Brian McCann single to end the game, and it's tough to wonder what might have been if Ian Desmond and Jayson Werth, the Nos. 2 and 3 hitters, respectively, had even attempted to make contact with the ball. OK, that's not fair -- they each did, once... but also struck out four times apiece. That's over half of the total strikeouts by Braves pitches, by the way. Werth has shown signs of snapping out of his slump recently, but this was a backbreaking slide back for him, while Desmond still hasn't figured things out at the plate.

Casey Coleman, Cubs -- Yuck. Coleman dished out six earned runs on nine hits in 4 1/3 innings, allowing four free passes and zero swings and misses for a third strike. That spikes his ERA to 7.22 and it's clear Coleman needs plenty more seasoning in the minors. Problem: the Cubs have no one else to pitch. Literally. While Doug Davis is making his debut on Saturday, that only pushed James Russell out of the rotation and sadly, Coleman and his 7.22 ERA are the best option to round out the starting five until Randy Wells comes back. That can't come fast enough.

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Posted on: April 20, 2011 3:45 pm
 

Desmond awaiting call on first child

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Ian DesmondI wonder if Chelsea Desmond's wife has the number to the dugout phone in St. Louis? Because her call will determine how much her husband plays against the Cardinals in today's doubleheader and possibly tomorrow.

As soon as Desmond gets the call, he's going on paternity leave.

Luckily for the Nationals, Chelsea hadn't called by the third inning of the first game on Wednesday, when the team's shortstop had a two-RBI single as part of the six-run inning off of St. Louis starter Jake Westbrook.

Major League Baseball has added a 1-3 paternity list this season and Desmond is looking to take advantage of it when needed.

"It's going to be dependent on when he gets that phone call that says, 'You've got to get home," Nats manager Jim Riggleman told reporters, including Amanda Comak of the Washington Times. "It could be today, it could be a few days from now. … Depending on when he goes, who we're going to be playing against and what kind of pitching we'll face, we'll bring the necessary player up."

The Nationals have another day game on Thursday before going to Pittsburgh for three games. The team is off on Monday before starting a homestead.

Texas pitcher Colby Lewis was the first player to use the new personal leave in MLB last week when he joined his wife after the birth of their daughter last Wednesday. Lewis returned to pitch last night against the Angels and gave up four runs in five innings of a 15-4 Rangers loss.

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Posted on: March 26, 2011 11:37 am
Edited on: April 18, 2011 12:33 pm
 

Pepper: Japanese players coping

Daisuke Matsuzaka

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Sometimes the nature of our 24/7 news cycle makes us forget -- or at least move on from -- even the biggest of news stories get lost in the next big story.

Even though Japan is still dealing with the destruction of the earthquake and tsunami -- and will be for years -- we're not hearing as much about Japan right now. It's only natural. But that doesn't mean that everything's OK there.

Yankees pitcher Kei Igawa went to Japan last weekend and was deeply moved by what he saw.

"It was pretty disastrous," Igawa told the New York Daily News through an interpreter. "The roads were a mess, and when I was home, the water wasn't running. It was pretty hard for me."

Igawa's parents and family are OK, but keep in mind his hometown of Oarai well south of the epicenter and 100 miles from the damaged nuclear plant in Fukushima. He said his house didn't suffer flooding, but did suffer damage from the earthquake.

The Yankees allowed him to return home, where he spent five days and returned earlier this week.

"Compared to the rest of the country -- especially up north, where it was much worse, I feel really fortunate," Igawa said. "I wanted to stay home a little longer, because my family and friends are going through  hard time. But I also had to resume baseball, because that's my job."

Igawa will start the season in Triple-A. He's in the final year of his five-year, $20 million contract.

Many other Japanese players are trying to come to terms with what's going on at home, as well.

"Fortunately, I am a survivor, but it hurts, of course," the Angels Hisanori Takahashi told the Los Angeles Times through an interpreter. "It has definitely been difficult to focus on baseball.

"Seeing all the [TV] footage, you get a little numb, but it's a real thing. I have to keep my eye on the tragedy, but I also have to play baseball here."

Red Sox starter Daisuke Matsuzaka said he's still too emotional about the situation to discuss it publicly, but he showed how he felt by giving $1 million to the Red Sox Foundation, which is giving all that money to the Japanese Red Cross Society to help fund relief efforts. The Red Sox said Hideki Okajima, Junichi Tazawa and Itsuki Shoda have also made personal donations through the Red Sox Foundation.

Matsuzaka joins fellow stars Ichiro Suzuki (100 million yen, roughly $1.2 million) and Hideki Matsui (50 million yen, roughly $620,000) in making large donations to the Red Cross for relief efforts in Japan.

BATISTA FINED -- Reliever Miguel Batista was the only Cardinal fined for last week's scuffle between the Cardinals and the Nationals. Batista hit Washington's Ian Desmond to start the fracas. [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

BUCK FALLOUT -- We've already had Buck Showalter backpedaling about his comments to Men's Health about his comments on Derek Jeter and the Red Sox. Derek Jeter, not surprisingly, wouldn't comment on Showalter's comment. However, a look at the stats say Showalter's wrong -- Jeter actually doesn't get the calls on the inside corder. [ESPN]

TULO'S FINAL FOUR -- Finally, a Final Four that matters. You can now vote for one of four songs Troy Tulowitzki will use for his at-bat music. Well, to me they're all crap, but I'm not the target audience. Tulowitzki had "Party in the USA" last year, so the selections this year are just as bad -- "Firework" by Katy Perry, "Baby" by Justin Bieber, "We R Who We R" by Ke$ha and "Yeah 3X" by Chris Brown. Vote here. [Denver Post]

THE LEGEND BEGINS -- I'm reading Jane Leavy's The Last Boy  about Mickey Mantle right now, so I knew about the legend of Mickey Mantle's home run at USC in 1961. Well, the Los Angeles Times remembers it too. A really cool story on the birth of the legend of the Mick.

MILLWOOD GOOD? -- Is Kevin Millwood really that bad? Looking at some of the recent pitchers to have 16 losses and an 82 ERA+ like Millwood did last season shows some pretty decent pitchers have done that before. [Baseball-Reference.com blog]

HE'S NOT FAT, HE'S BLOATED -- Dodgers shortstop Rafael Furcal explains he was bloated from medication, not fat when spring training started. Furcal ate contaminated meat in his native Dominican Republic in January and the drugs he took made him bloated. He looked big when he checked in, but he was just 193 pounds, about the same he usually checked in at. He's now at 188, just about where he likes to play. [Los Angeles Times]

D-BACKS BULLPEN ISN'T BORING -- Diamondbacks bullpen catcher Jeff Motuzas has discovered bored, rich relievers will pay people to amuse them. So, Motuzas takes on dares to pick up extra bucks. Among the things he's done -- snorted wasabi, eater regurgitated yogurt, left hot balm on his shaved armpits for an entire game and gotten shot in the earlobe with a BB gun. Livan Hernandez once paid him $3,000 to drink a gallon of milk in 12 minutes. The two also had a deal that Hernandez could punch him in the junk for $50 a pop -- with a $300 bonus after every 10th punch. [Wall Street Journal]

BUT IS HE WRONG? -- An anonymous "MLB star" had several things to say to  ESPN the Magazine about the Tigers' Miguel Cabrera, including "why isn't Cabrera paying a guy $100 a night to drive him around? Plenty of guys do that. That he didn't is a slap in his teammates' faces." [MLive.com]

ROCK THE KAZMIR -- Mike Scioscia didn't sound too optimistic about Scott Kazmir when he announced the lefty had made the team's rotation. If Kazmir struggles continue into the regular season, Matt Palmer may be an option. [Los Angeles Times]

TOGETHER WE'RE GIANT -- Our buddy Will Brinson loves the Giants commercials. I found them amusing, but still not as good as the Mariners commercials. I like the Cardinals ones better, too.

RIGGLEMAN DOESN'T CARE ABOUT YOUR STATS -- You've seen some good commercials, now listen to a bad one. The Washington Nationals, MASN and Jim Riggleman are attacking stats in their newest campaign. Apparently a bunt or a "well-placed single" are "smart" -- and the walk is recognized as a good thing. But yeah, a pretty silly campaign.

THE NATURAL ON THE HILL -- Robert Redford will throw out the first pitch at the Cubs' opener on April 1 against the Pirates. [Chicago Tribune]

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Posted on: March 21, 2011 5:32 pm
Edited on: March 21, 2011 7:04 pm
 

Cardinals, Nats have words

Livan Hernandez

UPDATED 6:58 p.m.

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Benches cleared Monday in the Cardinals-Nationals game, but they may have emptied at the wrong time.

The two teams met on the field -- with the managers, Jim Riggleman and Tony La Russa yelling each other -- in the seventh inning after Cardinals reliever, and former National, Miguel Batista hit Ian Desmond.

That got the Nationals' Nyjer Morgan's ire, and the two teams met in the middle of the field for a typical baseball millabout.

However, it was the third time a player had been hit in the game.

Chris Carpenter hit Laynce Nix with a fastball in the fifth inning and then the Nationals' Livan Hernandez hit Colby Rasmus.

While Carpenter denied hitting Nix on purpose -- "Not at all," Nix told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "It was either cutting or moving back over the plate."

Of course, it may be noted that Carpenter only had trouble locating after Morgan bumped into Albert Pujols when running into first base that inning and a trainer had to be called onto the field.

Nix felt like he was hit on purpose.

"There's no question about that," Nix told reporters, including the Washington Post. "As for why, I think you have to ask them."

Although it's unlikely Bud Selig and Joe Torre will agree with me, I find it refreshing that Hernandez went ahead and said he hit Rasmus on purpose. He told MLB.com's Bill Ladson he hit meant to hit Rasmus. We all know it's part of the game and it happens, it's actually nice when someone's honest about it, so kudos to Hernandez there. Here's the entire quote, thanks to MASNSports.com:

"You hit somebody on purpose and you know I'm going to hit somebody because I'm old school. I hit somebody and it's over right there. ...You got to take care of your teammates," Hernandez said. "If something happen to your teammates, you got to go and step up and do something. This is what I do. Take care of my teammates. Always."

Any admission is good for a fine and/or suspension, which is why most pitchers will just wink and smile before their denial. 

As for the hit batter who actually got people off the bench, Desmond said he didn't mind getting hit by Batista, because "Miggy throws like Miss Iowa, anyway," he told the Washington Post's Adam Kilgore (via Twitter). That, of course, is an allusion to last year when he famously said about fans booing him while starting instead of Stephen Strasburg, "Imagine, if you go there to see Miss Universe -- and you end up having Miss Iowa."

However, Hernandez wasn't happy another guy got hit.

"I hit [Rasmus] because [Carpenter] hit somebody. ... I was surprised [Desmond got hit] because you're not supposed to hit [a third] guy," Hernandez said. "That one's a problem. In the old-school baseball, and La Russa knows, if you hit somebody first, you're supposed to take the next one. That's it, it's over. Then you hit another guy again. It's not fair. That one's not real baseball."

There was bad blood between the two teams last year after Morgan ran into Cardinals catcher Bryan Anderson in August. Riggleman apologized after that game and kept Morgan out of the lineup the next day for fear of retaliation.

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Posted on: December 13, 2010 6:13 pm
Edited on: December 13, 2010 10:44 pm
 

Finding a match for Greinke difficult

Ian Desmond The Nationals want to deal for a pitcher and are "aggressively pursuing" a trade for Matt Garza or Zack Greinke, a major-league source tells Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post .

The Nationals like both pitchers, but have the problem that they don't exactly have the pieces either the Royals or Rays are looking for in return, especially since the team isn't ready to get rid of shortstop Ian Desmond (pictured) or starter Jordan Zimmermann.

"[Desmond] is a guy they think is going to be their shortstop for the next 10 years. That's a really tough guy for them [to trade]. It almost negates getting that pitcher," a source told Kilgore. "Everyone else [aside from Ryan Zimmerman and Jayson Werth] is fair game. They're not going to move Desmond. They'd move [Danny] Espinosa in a  heartbeat."

The Nats could get rid of Josh Willingham, but he's arbitration-eligible, Roger Bernadina and even relievers Drew Storen or Sean Burnett. The team could also move catcher Wilson Ramos.

"I don't see Washington having enough to do a deal with Kansas City," the source said. "I don't see that they have enough to offer unless they were willing to discuss a Desmond or a Jordan Zimmermann, and I don't see that happening. I can't see anyone else for Kansas City that gets them excited enough to do it."

The best fit for a Greinke deal, ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick writes , could be Toronto, which has expressed interest in the right-hander. The Blue Jays have catching prospects Travis D'Arnaud, J.P. Arencibia and Carlos Perez, plus outfielders Anthony Gose and Travis Snider. The Jays have balked at giving the Royals Snider and Kyle Drabek, the pitcher they got for Roy Halladay.

Crasnick writes the Yankees and Rangers probably aren't a match for a Greinke trade.

The Brewers have also inquired, and the Reds were reportedly interested in Cliff Lee at the trade deadline last season. Cincinnati has the prospects, but not the payroll flexibility to be able to afford the $27 million left on Greinke's contract.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: December 1, 2010 3:37 pm
 

Desmond popular name in trade talks

Desmond Thanks to the paucity of quality shortstops in the game, Ian Desmond has been a popular name in trade circles, as FOX Sports ' Ken Rosenthal reports.
The 25-year-old is very much part of Washington's plans, but if the right young pitcher was offered up for Desmond, the Nationals may have to consider it.

As Rosenthal says, the Nats are fans of Desmond but are running out of ways to upgrade its rotation, with an eye towards a vaunted corps with Stephen Strasburg at the top in 2012.

If Desmond was traded, the club would either shift Danny Espinosa to short and sign a veteran (Orlando Hudson?) to play second, or sign the vet for short.

-- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: September 27, 2010 11:14 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 11:57 am
 

Players criticize (lack of) fans


A couple of crowds on Monday night were not what some of the people on the field wanted them to be, and the players made it known.

The Rays had a chance to clinch a playoff berth with a win at home against the Orioles, and just 12,446 showed up. And it really wasn't even that many -- remember that baseball uses "tickets sold" as attendance, so season tickets count whether the people show up or not. The crowd was just over half Tampa Bay's season average of 23,047.

Rays ace David Price took to his personal Twitter account to complain, writing "Had a chance to clinch a post season spot tonight with about 10,000 fans in the stands....embarrassing."

Tampa third baseman Evan Longoria told the St. Petersburg Times that the small crowds down the stretch are "disheartening" and embarrassing."

In Washington, there were a few more fans -- 14,309. What troubled the Nationals was that way too many of them were Phillies fans there to watch their team clinch the National League East title.

The Washington Post quoted Nats shortstop Ian Desmond as saying it was "kind of embarrassing when everyone in the stadium is clapping against you when you’re at home."

Outfielder Nyjer Morgan had this to say to natsinsider.com:
"Damn, it was a lot louder at our place than it was at their place when we go there. It felt it was a home game for the Phillies."

It's not generally a good business practice to criticize the customers, but sometimes frustration takes over.

UPDATE: After his comment spread across the internet, Price tweeted: "If I offended anyone I apologize I did not think it was gonna turn into this ..."

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: September 26, 2010 6:33 pm
Edited on: September 26, 2010 6:33 pm
 

Riggleman wants new leadoff hitter for Nats

Roger Bernadina Nationals manager Jim Riggleman isn't sure who will be his leadoff hitter in 2011, but he's hoping the name comes from outside the organization.

There are several internal candidates such as Roger Bernadina, Ian Desmond, Danny Espinosa and Nyjer Morgan, but the Washington skipper sees them as options for the No. 2 spot, not leadoff.

But what if he has no choice but to choose a leadoff hitter from his current list of options?

"The players will make the decision, whether it's Morgan, Espinosa, Bernadina, whoever," Riggleman told MLB.com . "Somebody has to hit up there, and the one that doesn't will hit in the two spot. It's almost interchangeable.

"I think Nyjer can be a real plus for us in that two spot, but that means Desmond doesn't hit in the two spot, Bernadina [and Espinosa don't hit there, either]. It's going to have to work itself out at the end of the year and spring training."

All told, Morgan is likely the best internal option. Although suffering a down season by hitting .257/.317/.319 in 551 plate appearances with 33 stolen bases (and 17 caught), Morgan represents the best blend of on-base percentage and speed for Washington. After all, this is a player that stole 51 bases across two seasons of 2008-09, hitting .304/.363/.385 in full-time duty.

Bernadina (pictured) is receiving extended playing time in the bigs for the first time as a 26-year-old and has amassed 438 PA, hitting .256/.312/.400, stealing 16 bases. Bernadina has the speed and some more power than Morgan, but needs to improve his plate discipline before he can be viewed as a No. 2 hitter. Bernadina could end up the best long-term option, but Morgan should receive the benefit of the doubt for the time being.

Desmond, the starting shortstop and candidate for Rookie of the Year, has thrown up a .278/.316/.408 mark in 544 PA, swiping 16 bases. If Desmond can reclaim some place discipline he lost on the transfer from the minors to majors, he could be an excellent No. 2 hitter. Until then, he belongs in the No. 6 or 7 hole on a postseason-caliber team.

Lastly, Espinosa, in the hunt for the second base job next season, has a .224/.280/.539 line in 82 plate appearances, blasting six home runs. Power aside, Espinosa is struggling with the adjustment to the bigs. The 23-year-old hit .268/.337/.464 across Double- and Triple-A in 542 place appearances, so it doesn't seem like he'll have the bat skills to lead off or even bat No. 2, although he does have 25 stolen bases down on the farm. Espinosa, if he can improve his batting average/OBP and prove his power isn't a fluke, could be the ideal No. 5 hitter.

-- Evan Brunell

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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