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Tag:Ivan Rodriguez
Posted on: July 9, 2011 3:51 pm
Edited on: July 9, 2011 4:09 pm
 

Will A-Rod be the next to 3,000?

Alex RodriguezBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Derek Jeter was the first player to record his 3,000th hit in a Yankee uniform, but he may have company soon.

Of the active players close to 3,000, his teammate Alex Rodriguez may be the next to reach the mark. Rodriguez has 2,762 career hits, trailing only Jeter (3,002), Ivan Rodriguez (2,842) of the Nationals and Omar Vizquel (2,831) of the White Sox among active players on the all-time hit list.

After Alex Rodriguez, former Yankee and current Ray Johnny Damon (2,663), the Braves' Chipper Jones (2,565) and the Orioles' Vladimir Guerrero (2,513) are the closest to 3,000.

Alex Rodriguez seems to be the best bet to get to 3,000 first, even though he's currently injured. The other two players are older (A-Rod is 35, while Ivan Rodriguez is 39 and Vizquel is 44) and no longer every day players.

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Posted on: June 22, 2011 9:57 am
Edited on: June 22, 2011 11:34 am
 

Pepper: No rule change needed at 1B

By C. Trent Rosecrans

BASEBALL TODAY: There may not be a more interesting division in baseball than the American League Central. While the surprising Indians lead the Tigers by a game, the White Sox and Twins linger. Can the Twins, now just 6 1/2 games out, continue to get themselves in contention? Will Jake Peavy be able to stay in the White Sox's rotation? NESN.com's Tony Lee joins our own Lauren Shehadi to discuss.

RULE CHANGE NEEDED?: And just yesterday, I was going to make a sarcastic joke that I was surprised I hadn't heard Giants fans complain about safety at first base after the Albert Pujols injury.

For weeks after Buster Posey's injury we heard long discussions about changing the rules for plays at the plate and how the catcher had to be protected. Scott Cousins was vilified and scapegoated. Well, Wilson Betemit was taken off the hook when Cardinals manager Tony La Russa put all the blame on the shoulders of rookie Pete Kozma, even though in both cases the injured player deserves much of the blame for being in a  poor position (and I'm not saying either deserved to be hurt, just that they put themselves in a bad spot and got hurt -- it happens).

Anyway, the New York Times is the first (and only that I've seen) to start up the change-the-rules-at-first-base bandwagon. My response? In a word: no.

LUDWICK ON THE MOVE?: Ryan Ludwick was moved last July from one contender to another -- from St. Louis to San Diego (in a three-team trade that brought Jake Westbrook to St. Louis); he could be on the move again.

The Phillies, Marlins and Reds have all reportedly asked about Ludwick's availability. Ludwick is hitting .255/.322/.393 with a team-high nine home runs this season, but is hitting .279/.324/.419 away from Petco Park.

The Padres could also move some of their relievers, with the Phillies and Cardinals having already checked in on the availability of Chad Qualls and Heath Bell.[FoxSports.com]

SHIPPING HANLEY?: Are the Marlins better off without Hanley Ramirez? Ramirez is in the third year of a six-year, $70 million contract that pays him $46.5 million over the next three years and does not include a no-trade clause. [Palm Beach Post]

MADDON APOLOGIZES: Joe Maddon didn't intentionally pull the wool over the eyes of umpires Monday by not having Sam Fuld face a batter after warming up in the eighth inning, it's just that Bob Davidson was behind the plate, and he didn't know the rule any better than Maddon did. Maddon apologized to the umpires and Brewers manager Ron Roenicke. [Tampa Tribune]

FAUSTO FLOUNDERING: One Ohio team has already demoted its opening-day starter to the minors, and the other team may soon be sending its opening-day starter to the bullpen if he doesn't get it together. Cleveland's Fausto Carmona is 4-9 with a 6.17 ERA in 16 starts this season and is 1-6 with a 9.73 ERA over his last seven starts. [Cleveland Plain Dealer]

ESCOBAR IMPROVING: Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar has seen his batting average rise nearly 50 points in the last two weeks, and his glove was already playing at a high level. Is the one big-league player the Royals got from the Zack Greinke trade beginning to show why the Royals thought he could be part of their next wave of talent? [Kansas City Star]

HEADED HOME?: The Hanshin Tigers are scouting Hideki Matsui and Kosuke Fukudome if either Japanese player decides to return to Japan after the season. Fukudome would be a better fit for the Tigers, who play in Japan's Central League. Like in MLB, NPB has one league with the DH (the Pacific League) and one without (the Central League). [YakyuBaka.com]

GREEN LIGHT: The Rangers' Craig Gentry is pretty fast. [Fort Worth Star-Telegram]

RESPECT: White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen sometimes goes out of his way to tweak the Cubs and Cubs fans, but not when he's talking about the other Chicago team's shortstop, Starlin Castro. Guillen calls Castro "amazing." Guillen gave some encouraging words to Castro after Monday's game, and that meant a lot to the young Cub. [Chicago Sun-Times]

TURNING 20: Nationals catcher Ivan Rodriguez celebrated the 20th anniversary of his big-league debut Monday. The 39-year-old Rodriguez has 13 Gold Gloves and an MVP since he came up as a 19-year-old with the Rangers. [MLB.com]

NICE PICK: With the Yankees in town, the Cincinnati Enquirer caught up with former Reds first-round pick Chad Mottola, who was taken with the pick before the Yankees took Derek Jeter. Mo Egger of ESPN 1530 in Cincinnati breaks down why Mottola wouldn't have played for the Reds even if they picked him. Hint, his name is Barry Larkin.

ARMS SALE: Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times looks at what the Mariners could get for Jason Vargas or Doug Fister, two guys who are having pretty decent years.

COMPELLING CAMPANA: A great story in The Tennessean about Cubs outfielder Tony Campana. As a kid in Franklin, Tenn., Campana battled Hodgkin's disease and couldn't play baseball, but was still in the dugout with his teammates, cheering them on. His coaches at the time didn't think he'd survive, much less be in the big leagues.

WORTHY CAUSE: There's a petition online to have Vin Scully call one more World Series. Scully hasn't called a World Series on TV since 1988 and is still one of the best. [Yahoo!'s Big League Stew]

CUTTER CUT: The Jays have told recently demoted Kyle Drabek to shelve his cutter for now. The team wanted him concentrating more on his fastball, but he kept going back to the cutter more than the team liked. The Jays hope he gains confidence in his fastball and lessens his reliance on the cutter. [National Post]

NO CHANGE IN POSTING: The posting system for Japanese players coming to the United States won't change, NPB Tracker passes along (since I can't read the original Sanspo report).

GOLDEN GROOMING: You may have missed the Golden Groomer Award, a monthly award given to the baseball player with the best facial hair. The last winner was Reds minor league catcher Corky Miller. [OMGReds.com]

LOGO FUN: Check out this really cool graphic of all the team's cap insignias since 1950 (including batting practice). Hat tip to the fine folks at the UniWatchBlog, which had a cool thing worth reading about spotting baseball fields from the sky.

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

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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 26, 2011 7:15 pm
Edited on: May 26, 2011 8:55 pm
 

MRI reveals no knee damage for Posey

Buster Posey

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Buster Posey sustained no knee damage in his collision with the Marlins' Scott Cousins, Giants head trainer Dave Groeschner told reporters, including Al Saracevic of the San Francisco Chronicle, meaning he may be able to return to the Giants this season. It was feared he was out for the season following Wednesday night's scary incident at home plate.

Posey is expected to be out six to eight weeks or longer after suffering a broken fibula and severely strained ligaments in his left ankle. The 2010 Rookie of the Year underwent three MRIs on Thursday to determine the extent of the injury.

"The fracture will be fine," Groeschner said. "The ankle injury is most concerning to us."

Posey will have surgery to repair ligaments on both sides of his ankles and may insert a screw into his ankle to help set the bone. The team expects Posey to have surgery within a week. Groeschner would not give a timetable for Posey's return, but did say he would be "out for a while."

Groeschner said the team has had other catchers sustain similar injuries and return.

Even if Posey does return this season, it would be late in the season and the team is already looking for possible short-term upgrades. Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com tweets that the Giants have already asked about Nationals catcher Ivan Rodriguez. Rodriguez, 39, has been supplanted as the team's starting catcher by Wilson Ramos and is in the second year of his two-year deal, paying him $3 million this season. Rodriguez's offense hasn't been good this season -- he's hitting .205/.256/.342 with two home runs in 79 plate appearances -- but he's still a force defensively, throwing out five of the 12 baserunners who have attempted to steal on him. The Nationals also have Jesus Flores on the 40-man roster as well as Derek Norris, a top prospect, at Double-A Harrisburg.

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Posted on: May 23, 2011 8:16 pm
 

Rizzo disciplined; Rodriguez fined

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Mike RizzoMajor League Baseball has disciplined Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo and fined catcher Ivan Rodriguez for their role in an altercation with an umpiring crew last week, the Washington Post reports.

According to the report, the league considers the manner "closed." Rodriguez has been fined "an undisclosed amount."

Rodriguez was many of Nationals to confront umpires after Phil Cuzzi erroneously called Jayson Werth out on a close play at first base in a loss to the Mets.

According to a report (denyed by Rizzo), umpires called security after Rizzo confronted them outside their dressing room. Later, Rizzo said his confrontation with the umpires had nothing to do with the play in the ninth. Either way, neither the umpires nor MLB appreciated it.

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Posted on: May 18, 2011 9:54 am
Edited on: May 18, 2011 9:59 am
 

Pepper: Peavy, Posada, Pudge and More



BASEBALL TODAY: What should White Sox fans expect from Jake Peavy tonight? Will Jered Weaver get back on track in Seattle? Tony Lee of NESN.com joins Lauren Shehadi with the latest edition of CBSSports.com's Baseball Today.

By Matt Snyder


MORE POSADA-GIRARDI FEUD: Evidently, the Jorge Posada-Joe Girardi issue Saturday night had been brewing for some time -- at least according to the New York Daily News. Reportedly, Posada and Girardi began to butt heads back in 2005 when Girardi was the Yankees' bench coach and Posada was the everyday catcher. Girardi was "heavily involved" in the game-planning in terms of how to work opposing hitters, but reportedly Posada would routinely deviate from the plans during games. So then Girardi would call Posada out, which made Posada angry.

"Jorge felt everything he did behind the plate was being second-guessed by Girardi on the bench," the Daily News' anonymous source said. "The way Jorge called a game was a big issue for Girardi."

The source went on: "Girardi couldn't wait to get him out from behind the plate," the source said. "He hated the way he called a game."

Whether or not this is true, I'm just ready for it to all be in the past. Permanently.

ON THE FLIP SIDE: With the whole Posada drama in New York, Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post takes the time to point out that Nationals catcher Ivan Rodriguez could have very well done something similar considering his role has been severely downgraded this season as Wilson Ramos has taken over as the starter. It hasn't been lost on Rodriguez's teammates, either. “He comes in here, they hit him eighth, he doesn’t say a thing,” one Nationals player said, motioning toward Rodriguez. I believe the difference is that Rodriguez has had to bounce around from team to team, so he's had the chance to be humbled and avoid a sense of entitlement. But that doesn't make Posada right. He could learn a thing or two from one of the best catchers to ever play the game. (Nationals Journal)

SHAKEUP COMING: The Giants' offense is getting to be more and more of an issue with each passing day, as they've now scored the least amount of runs in the National League. There's talk of a shakeup coming with the starting lineup, specifically the infield, in an attempt to get more offense. In fact, the Giants might recall Brandon Belt, play him at first, and then move Aubrey Huff to third base until Pablo Sandoval is healthy again. That's a drastic move defensively, since Huff hasn't played third in a few years and wasn't good there to begin with. It's just how desperate they're getting for more punch. (Mercurynews.com)

MORE JOHNSON, LESS BRIGNAC: Rays manager Joe Maddon said that Elliot Johnson is likely to see the majority of the playing time moving forward at shortstop while Reid Brignac will play less. Considering Johnson is a switch-hitter and Brignac swings lefty (with the majority of opposing starters being right-handed), it won't be a straight platoon in the least. "I don't want to be committed to that. You're going to see more of Elliot. Let's put it that way," Maddon said. "I think he's done a nice job." (TampaBay.com) Johnson is 3-7 with two home runs and a stolen base in his past two starts. Brignac is hitting just .179 with a dreadful .402 OPS this season.

GUT FEELING: The Mariners are about to receive a shot in the arm -- both offensively and defensively -- Wednesday, as Gold Glove center fielder Franklin Gutierrez will finally be activated from the disabled list. He'd been sidelined since the middle of spring training with a stomach ailment that had bothered him a good portion of 2010 as well. Expect Gutierrez to immediately take over in center for Mike Saunders, who has been fine in center but brutal offensively (.171/.222/.265). Gutierrez is superb in the outfield and a capable hitter. He hit .245 with 12 home runs and 64 RBI last season, but remember, he was plagued by the stomach issue. In 2009, he hit .283 with 18 homers, 70 RBI and a .764 OPS. (MLB.com)

REMEMBER ME? Dallas McPherson was once a top-20 prospect in all of baseball. He was the Brandon Wood of the early-to-mid 2000s -- expected to be a big power source for the Angels, only to flop several times before the Angels finally gave up on him. The difference was McPherson could blame some of his woes on injuries and he wasn't near as bad, sporting a .755 OPS in 117 games for the Angels in parts of three seasons. Still he hadn't been in the majors since 2008 ... until Tuesday night. McPherson is now a member of the White Sox and got a hit in his big-league at-bat in three seasons. It has been a long road back through a back surgery and lingering problems. "I've got to be honest, I wasn't sure I'd hear those words again," he said in discussing his promotion back to the majors. (Chicago Sun-Times)

FLASHBACK CAPS FOR SALE: The Angels are going to wear four different throwback jerseys this season on Friday home games, in what they're calling "Flashback Fridays." Well, the lids will be available for sale, which is sweet. I'd love to get the one with the lower-case "a" with a halo over it. Awesome. (The Ballcap Blog)

HIGH PRAISE: It's become pretty common knowledge at this point that Brandon Phillips is the best defensive second baseman in baseball, but that doesn't mean it hurts for him to hear the words from a former Reds second baseman -- one who is in the Hall of Fame. "He's unbelievable to me, with his range and everything," said Joe Morgan. "I think he's the best defensive second baseman in the game. He's athletic and he's willing to take chances, which I think is what separates him." (Cincinnati.com)

DREAM COME TRUE: Tony Campana grew up in the Cincinnati area and was able to make his major-league debut Tuesday night in Cincinnati -- only it was for the Cubs. He didn't disappoint his reported 50-plus friends and family in attendance, either, as Campana picked up an RBI double in his first big-league at-bat. He scored the go-ahead run an inning earlier when he had entered as a pinch-runner. "It's pretty much a dream come true, other than the outcome of the game," Campana said. "I couldn't be happier to come out, get a hit, score a run and get an RBI." Oh, yeah, that outcome. The Cubs blew the game again. This time in the eighth. (MLB.com)

RAIN DELAY FUN: All kinds of stuff happens when baseball players are waiting out rain delays. Here's a great video of some jousting with bats, courtesy of college teams Radford and High Point.



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Posted on: April 24, 2011 10:50 pm
 

At 44, Vizquel not close to retirement

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Omar VizquelWhite Sox utility man Omar Vizquel turned 44 on Sunday, but says he doesn't see the end of his career coming anytime soon.

"As long as the body is OK, and [I'm] performing and doing what I ask it to do," Vizquel told the Chicago Tribune's Mark Gonzales when asked if he could be celebrating more birthdays on the field. "Right now there's no reason I can't. I am going to keep trying to play. I don't need to be on a table getting massages, or [in] a Jacuzzi or need a personal trainer with me on the road trips. I feel like I can still do the same things I've been doing for all these years."

With an 0-for-3 day on Sunsday, Vizquel's average dipped to .308. But that's not too bad for a 44-year-old. He started at second base on Sunday, the third time he's started there this season. He's also started games at shortstop and third base. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, only Bobby Wallace of the Cardinals has played shortstop past his 44th birthday -- and that was 93 years ago.

"[Vizuqel] saved our [rears] last year, big-time, and continues to do it," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. "I need to put him out there because we need a break and he shows up to perform the way he does. That's not an easy thing to do."

Last season, in his first with Chicago, Vizquel hit .276/.341/.391. This season he's hitting .308/.357/.346.

Vizquel has 2,807 career hits but may need to play again at least next season to reach 3,000. He had 95 hits last season with the White Sox, but only 106 combined in 2008 and 2009. If he plays into 2013, he'd have a realistic shot at 3,000, which would guarantee him a spot in the Hall of Fame.

With 11 Gold Gloves at the game's most important defensive position, Vizquel is among the best to ever play as a defensive player, but is often overlooked because of the offensive shortstops of his time, such as Derek Jeter, Cal Ripken Jr. and Alex Rodriguez

Only Ozzie Smith had more Gold Gloves at shortstop (13) -- and only Smith, Greg Maddux (18), Jim Kaat (16), Ivan Rodriguez (13), Brooks Robinson (16), Roberto Clemente (12) and Willie Mays (12) have won more Gold Gloves overall.

Vizquel's offensive numbers are better than Smith's, but Smith was more popular and seen as perhaps the greatest defensive player off all-time, not just shortstop. Vizquel has always been respected, but still viewed as inferior to Smith defensively and other shortstops offensively. Smith tops Vizquel in WAR, 64.6 to 43.3, according to Baseball-Reference.com.

If Vizquel doesn't get to 3,000 hits, he'll be an interesting case. If he does, he's a slam-dunk.

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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