Tag:Javier Vazquez
Posted on: August 4, 2011 12:05 am
Edited on: August 4, 2011 9:59 am

Marlins' Vazquez talking retirement

Javier VazquezBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Quick trivia question -- who is the big leagues' active leader in strikeouts?

It may take you a while to come up with Marlins right-hander Javier Vazquez (well, unless you saw the headline and the picture), whose 2,462 are more than Tim Wakefield (2,121), CC Sabathia (1,949), Kevin Millwood (1,940) and Livan Hernandez (1,918). 

That may not be the answer next season, though.

Vazquez tells Manny Navarro of the Miami Herald that this may be his last season in the big leagues.

"I know what I want to do already. I've talked to my family about that and basically this could be my last year," Vazquez said. "This could be it for me. The hunger is still there. But I think God puts my priorities in order. Baseball is probably third right now."

Vazquez signed a one-year deal worth $7 million before the season, his 14th in the big leagues. This season stared out terribly for Vazquez, who gave up seven runs in 2 1/3 innings in his first outing of the season and had a 7.55 ERA through his first eight starts of the season. However, in his last eight starts, he's 4-2 with a 2.13 ERA and the Marlins are 6-2 in those starts.

While Vazquez could certainly help a team next year, he said he's more interested in his three children, ages 8, 6 and 3.

"He's still got good stuff in the tank," catcher John Buck told Navarro. "But unless his son asks him to play another year, he probably will just go home to be with his family."

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Posted on: July 25, 2011 9:01 am
Edited on: July 25, 2011 10:53 am

Pepper: The odd story of Kei Igawa

By Matt Snyder

The New York Yankees paid $46 million to bring Kei Igawa to America in 2007. He's been nothing short of a colossal bust since, as he compiled a 6.66 ERA and 1.76 WHIP in 16 major-league appearances. He has been in the minors since July 2008 and is not coming back. In fact, the Yankees tried to send Igawa back to Japan, but he refused. No other teams have interest in Igawa, and the Yankees have declined to release him.

Instead, Igawa and the Yankees seem to be simply riding out the contract, which does expire at the end of this season. He lives in Manhattan, yet doesn't go to Yankees games or even watch them on TV.

“I don’t watch their games anymore,” Igawa said (New York Times). “I never follow them.”

He commutes from Manhattan to Scranton for his Triple-A games every single day. He's reportedly quiet and a bit of a recluse. His minor-league numbers aren't bad, but they aren't really good either. He's married with at least one child, but won't reveal how many kids he has or his wife's name. They don't come with him to America, so he spends baseball seasons alone.

The story of Igawa is interesting and a bit odd, too. It's pretty long, but a highly recommended feature in the Sunday edition of the New York Times.

Hat-tip: Big League Stew

TRIVIA QUESTION: For a guy who has struck out just six batters per nine innings throughout his career, getting to 2,000 total would take quite a while. And it did. After 17 years and almost 3,000 innings, Tim Wakefield recorded his 2,000th strikeout Sunday in a Red Sox uniform (BostonHerald.com). He had 110 strikeouts for the Pirates way back in the early 1990s, so he was already over 2,000 for his career. Here's the trivia question: Only one active pitcher has more career strikeouts. Who is he? See the very last entry in this post for the answer.

JOHAN GETTING CLOSER: Mets ace Johan Santana might be ready to make a minor-league rehab start Wednesday. It would be significant because rehab stints are limited to 30 days, so Santana wouldn't be pushed into the outing unless he was less than a month away from returning to the majors. He still needs to make sure his surgically repaired left shoulder feels good when he wakes up Monday. “As of right now, it’s a wait-and-see mode. We’ll see how it is [Monday] and go from there," Santana said (New York Times). Then again, general manager Sandy Alderson reportedly believes another simulated game is the next step (ESPN New York).

NO MO' WILY MO: The Diamondbacks released Wily Mo Pena on Sunday. The 29-year-old outfielder -- if we can call him that -- embodies the term "two true outcomes," as he hit five home runs and struck out 19 times in his 46 at-bats. He only had nine hits total and didn't take a walk. He certainly doesn't deserve a spot on the major-league roster with that kind of production, but when he gets into a pitch, it goes a long way. I think someone should pick him up just to put on a show in batting practice. Can't go wrong there. (Diamondbacks official Twitter)

QUALITY CONTROL: As Yankees relief pitcher Rafael Soriano works his way back from injury on a rehab assignment, the Yankees are going to base their decision on performance, not health. "We want to see him throwing the ball well and that his stuff is back," manager Joe Girardi said. "I think that's important. So to say that if he goes back-to-back, is that all you have to see? No. We have to see the quality of the stuff more important than the back-to-back." (MLB.com) It might sound obvious to judge on performance, but teams don't always do that. Once a guy is healthy, he's generally returned to the majors. For example ...

WANG TO START FRIDAY: Chien-Ming Wang will start Friday for the Nationals, despite being roughed up in his last Triple-A rehab start. He allowed five runs in five innings (Washington Post). It will be Wang's first major-league start since July 4, 2009.

SIGNATURE SANDWICHES: Concession company Aramark held social media voting on the best signature sandwiches at 11 MLB ballparks. Sports and Food has the list of winners, and it includes some pretty mouth-watering selections, which includes yet another reason to visit PNC Park.

RETREAD CITY: Remember Angel Berroa? He was the 2003 AL Rookie of the Year as a member of the Royals. He fizzled a few years later and hasn't played in the majors since 2009. He actually wasn't even playing in the minors this season, instead playing with the independent Bridgeport Bluefish. That didn't prevent the Diamondbacks from noticing him, as they've now signed him. He will report to Triple-A Reno (Bridgeport Bluefish official site). This is the same ballclub that went with Wily Mo Pena, Russell Branyan, Xavier Nady, Melvin Mora, Geoff Blum and Sean Burroughs this season.

TEMPORARY RETURN: Philip Humber of the White Sox has performed so well as a starting pitcher that the White Sox felt compelled to go with a six-man rotation. Because of a rainout, however, Humber will be shifted back to the bullpen for a few games this coming week. "I'm good with it," he said (Chicago Tribune). "Whatever they want me to do. I've said all along, when they give me the ball, I'll do the best I can with it."

CHEESY CELEBRATION: Terry Francona won his 1,000th game as a manager Saturday night when his Red Sox took down the Mariners. He celebrated by having a grilled cheese sandwich. (Full Count)

ON THIS DAY IN BASEBALL HISTORY: Roger Maris homered four times in a double-header in 1961, en route to hitting a then-record 61 home runs.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Javier Vazquez with 2,456. (Baseball-Reference)

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Posted on: July 21, 2011 4:43 pm
Edited on: July 21, 2011 5:07 pm

Trade Deadline Primer: NL East

By Eye on Baseball team

Leading up to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, the National League East has an actual race -- as well as a team with a bloated payroll and no hope -- which leads to a great chance of some pretty interesting trades to and from the division. Here's a look at the five teams in the NL Eeast:

Philadelphia Phillies

Status: Buyers

Needs: Bullpen, RH bat

Notes: Manager Charlie Manuel said he'd love a right-handed bat (Philadelphia Daily News), probably in the outfield, but this is the Phillies and expect the team to focus on pitching -- at least that's what history tells us. And because their rotation is pretty good (you may have heard about some of these guys), they focus on relievers, likely ending a streak of five years of adding a starter midseason. The team is likely one of the many suitors for Padres closer Heath Bell, although some suggest the Phillies prefer Mike Adams. Padres owner Jeff Moorad has reportedly told Adams he won't be traded. However, according to Tom Krasovic of Inside the Padres, the Phillies are willing to give up Class A first baseman/left fielder Jonathan Singleton in return for Adams.

Another bullpen trade partner could be the Orioles, CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler said. The Phillies could be interested in Jim Johnson or Koji Uehara.

MLB Trade Deadline

As for the right-handed bats, the Phillies are in on the same folks everyone's chasing -- Ryan Ludwick, Carlos Beltran, Hunter Pence and maybe Jeff Francouer. The biggest hurdle of all for the Phillies is money, as in they've already spent it and they're worried about the luxury tax. The team has just between $2 and $3 million to spend and avoid the luxury tax.

According to Jon Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com, the Phillies and Royals have already exchanged names in a possible Melky Cabrera trade. Cabrera is a cheaper, younger switch hitter for those who fall short in the Carlos Beltran sweepstakes.

Now, if they're going big and bold, Buster Olney of ESPN.com, tweeted the Phillies could go for Pence, centering the deal around right-hander Vance Worley.

Atlanta Braves

Status: Bargain shoppers

Needs: Right-handed bat

Notes: The Braves need a right-handed bat like Roy Halladay needs air conditioning. Atlanta looks like the front-runner for the National League wild card, but don't have much money to spend. The biggest issue right now for Atlanta is its inability to hit left-handed pitchers. Braves hitters are hitting just .211/.285/.337 against lefties, with Jason Heyward, Nate McLouth and Jordan Schafer all below the Mendoza line against southpaws. That's why Jon Paul Morosi's report of the Reds' Jonny Gomes drawing the interest of the Braves makes sense, Gomes kills lefties to the tune of a .340/.446/.547 slash line this season and .281/..377/.510 in his career. There's also the regular names such as Ludwick and Beltran.

To make room for more payroll, the team could trade right-hander Derek Lowe, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's David O'Brien wrote. The Tigers could be interested in Lowe, but would have to take up the rest of the $20 million he's owed through 2012.

New York Mets

Status: One-stop shopping

Needs: Young talent under team control; pitching

Notes: Outfielder Carlos Beltran is the top position player on the market, but his future is clouded by the number of teams that could use an upgrade in the outfield and the fact that he's not for sale, he's for rent. Whatever team gets him won't even get compensation picks if he leaves as a free agent after the season.

The Mets would reportedly rather pay Beltran's salary and get a good young player or top prospect in return. They could unload him to a team willing to pay the roughly $8 million left on his contract, but then they wouldn't get much in return. The Mets would prefer big-league ready pitching talent. New York seems confident it can re-sign Jose Reyes, meaning they're not ready to throw in the towel and go full-on rebuilding anytime soon. 

Beltran, however, does have a no-trade clause. According to Tim Brown of Yahoo!, Sandy Alderson gave Beltran a short list of teams interested -- the Phillies, Red Sox, Braves, Giants, Brewers and maybe the Yankees -- and Beltran hasn't ruled any of them out.

It's pretty certain now that the Mets won't deal Reyes, but it appears they may be holding on to Jason Isringhausen, too, Sports Illustrated's Jon Heyman tweets.

Washington Nationals

Status: Listening to all offers

Needs: Leadoff man/center fielder of the future

Notes: The Nationals have pieces to deal -- from catcher Ivan Rodriguez to relievers Tyler Clippard, Drew Storen, Todd Coffey and Sean Burnett, plus starters Jason Marquis, Livan Hernandez and Tom Gorzelanny. In short, they're open for business, with GM Mike Rizzo saying no player is "untouchable" -- but then following that up with "we're not going to touch our core." That means, "after a while, they don't ask for [Danny] Espinosa," Rizzo told the Washington Post's Adam Kilgore. Ryan Zimmerman is also likely untouchable, as well as catcher Wilson Ramos.

One name to watch is shortstop Ian Desmond, but that would take quite the return for the team to move the 25-year-old.

More likely to go are some of the team's relievers. The Nats are deep in the bullpen and it's a position that's always in demand. The top tier would be Clippard or even Storen, but that would require Washington receiving a leadoff-hitting center fielder in return, someone like B.J. Upton, Michael Bourn, Colby Rasmus or Denard Span, FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal writes.

Florida Marlins

Status: Sellers

Needs: Third baseman, starting pitchers

Notes: The Marlins have starting pitchers that would interest many teams, but they may not part with them. Next year they rename themselves the Miami Marlins when they move into a new stadium and ownership would like a competitive team on the field when that happens.

Ricky Nolasco is the top starter to be had, but Knobler says they'd have to get a younger, cheaper starter in return for the 28-year-old right-hander.

The one the team may part with is Javier Vazquez, but it's not really their decision. Vazquez has a full no-trade clause and isn't in any hurry to leave South Florida. There are few places he'd accept a trade.

Sure to be gone is closer Leo Nunez. The Phillies are interested in Nunez. The other teams desperate for bullpen help -- like the Cardinals and Rangers -- are likely to at least inquire what it may take to get him.

Randy Choate has been verbal this week about his problems with current manager Jack McKeon and could get shipped off for not being a good soldier.

Also on the block are free-agents-to-be Greg Dobbs and Omar Infante. Infante's value is a lot less than it was a year ago.

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Posted on: July 2, 2011 6:16 pm
Edited on: July 2, 2011 6:33 pm

Vazquez credits lower body for resurgence

VazquezBy Evan Brunell

On June 11, Javier Vazquez boasted baseball's worst ERA at 7.09 and struggled through a tough beginning to the season off the field, too.

Vazquez came to Miami with high expectations on a one-year, $10 million contract. Despite losing velocity with the Yankees during his second go-round with the team in 2010, Vazquez was a Cy Young Award candidate the year before with the Braves. But the right-hander just couldn't get it going on the field, with the velocity issues on his fastball remaining and dealing with a death in his wife's family, among other issues.

But over his last three starts against the Phillies, Angels and Athletics, he's turned it around by allowing just two earned runs over 17 1/3 innings, walking just two and striking out 12.

“I feel like the last five or six starts I’ve been throwing the ball better,” Vazquez told the Miami Herald, crediting Marlins pitching coach Randy St. Claire for his turnaround. “It hasn’t meant better results because I had some really bad games during that stretch. But the life of my fastball is back, and I feel a lot better. Sometimes because my velocity wasn’t there, I would try to trick people. Now that my fastball is back, I’m trying to stay more aggressive, mix it up better.”

St. Claire told Vazquez that he wasn't using his lower body enough in his delivery to power his fastball. Since undergoing that adjustment, his fastball velocity has ticked up, going from a fastball averaging under 90 mph to topping out at 93.

The Marlins had a brutal June that will likely make them sellers at the trade deadline. If Vazquez continues to pitch this well, it's possible Florida could get something for him at the deadline. More than likely, teams will be scared away so Vazquez will have to pitch the rest of the way for a 2012 contract.

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Category: MLB
Posted on: June 27, 2011 1:02 pm
Edited on: June 27, 2011 2:05 pm

Ross: Don't move McCann from catcher

David Ross

By C. Trent Rosecrans

David Ross is probably baseball's best backup catcher, and he's fine being in that role.

Although Ross is hitting .308/.390/.519 this season with three homers in 59 plate appearances and is one of the game's better defensive catchers, he told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's David O'Brien that he's not in favor of moving Brian McCann from behind the plate to open a spot for the 34-year-old.

"There's a reason why I'm a backup," Ross told O'Brien. "I've had a chance to succeed, I've had a chance to start. I'm hit-or-miss over the longevity of a long season. I got exposed [as a starter] maybe, or however you want to look at it. I'm a better player now than I was then, but [backup] is also a good role for me to be in. Play as hard as I can for a couple of days, then get out for a couple of days, then get back in. It's a role that I'm comfortable in.

"Fans saying, 'Oh, David should play every day and move Mac to first, then we'll have a better bat in the lineup.' Well, David hit .203 for a season. [laughs] There were some home runs in there, but David hit .203 for a season. So let's not just jump to conclusions."

Ross is referring to 2007, when he had the chance to be a starter in Cincinnati, playing 112 games and hitting .203/.271/.399 with 17 home runs. The year before he did hit .255/.353/.579 with 21 homers to get the chance in '07.

Ross also defended McCann's defensive abilities.

'I think Mac is an All-Star not just because of his bat," Ross said in the interview. "He calls a great game. We have one of the best pitching staffs in the game, and catching is a huge part of that.

"Year to year, every player is different. But [for example], Javy Vazquez had a subpar year before he came over here and had one of the best years of his careers. And then left, and was just kind of average. Just logically, that could have something to do with Mac and the way he calls a game. I don't know that, but . . ."

I was also interested in what Ross had to say about being a backup. He said that sometimes being a role player is easier for a veteran, because young players never come to the big leagues wanting to be a backup and when you've understood your own limitations, you are better prepared to accept that role and thrive.

The Reds released Ross in 2008 and he was signed as a free agent by the Red Sox that season and was on the team's postseason roster, showing the value his glove has. After that season, the Tallahassee, Fla., native signed as a free agent with the Braves and has thrived since then. As a Brave, he's hit .286/.386/.498, but has been strictly a backup to McCann, the National League's best offensive catcher.

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Posted on: June 21, 2011 4:34 pm
Edited on: June 21, 2011 4:51 pm

On Deck: Sox, Twins on fire, Marlins sinking

On Deck

By Evan Brunell

LatosLatosSCORCHING HOT: The Red Sox have won 14 of their last 16, and a lot of that success is thanks to their bats. Last night, Boston went off for 14 runs against the Padres, a total that includes a 10-run seventh inning. The Sox have scored at least 14 runs in a game for the sixth time in their last 29 games. The only other Major League team to do that in a single-season span of less than 30 games was the 1930 Yankees, Elias reports. Those Yankees did it seven times in a 20-game stretch in June. They'll throw spot starter Alfredo Aceves, going in place of the ill Josh Beckett, against San Diego's 23-year-old ace. Mat Latos posted a 2.92 ERA in 31 starts last season, but he has struggled with mechanics and is currently at 4.06 through 13 starts, walking 27 and striking out 68 in 75 2/3 innings. Padres vs. Red Sox, 7:05 p.m. ET (Watch live)

: Even Jack McKeon couldn't stave off the Marlins' newfound propensity to lose: Florida lost to the Angels by a 2-1 score last night and fell to 32-41. In McKeon's second night, Hanley Ramirez will likely be in the lineup after being benched last night for a lack of hustle. Florida doesn't really have a great option in Javier Vazquez to halt the 11-game losing streak the team is on as he boasts a 6.85 ERA on the year. He's been better of late, but facing an AL team is a tall task. The Angels still have a solid offense and will be backed by Ervin Santana, pitching much better than Vazquez with a 4.25 ERA, but yet sharing an identical 3-7 record. At least Florida gets Mike Stanton back from a three-day absence (eye infection). Angels vs. Marlins, 7:10 p.m. ET (Watch live)

GiantsPavanoMORE, PLEASE
: The Twins are on fire. The club is in San Francisco for the game and has won seven straight, including winning 14 of 16, much like Boston. That's pulled them up to a 31-39 record. There's still a ways to go, as first-place Cleveland is at 39-32, but you can't count the Twins out. They're sending Carl Pavano to the mound. Pavano has turned around a horrid start and has wrestled his ERA all the way down to 4.20. The Giants will counter with 21-year-old lefty Madison Bumgarner with his 3.21 ERA. The Giants have a streak going of the bad kind, losing their last four, clinging to a half-game lead over Arizona for first in the division. Twins vs. Giants, 10:15 p.m. ET (Watch live)

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Posted on: June 7, 2011 1:57 am

3 Up, 3 Down: Sweet victory for Danks

By Matt Snyder

John Danks, White Sox. From 2008-2010, Danks was 40-31 with a 3.61 ERA, a 1.24 WHIP and a decent strikeout rate. Basically, he was a very solid No. 3 pitcher and at age 26, he had a good shot to become even more entering 2011. Instead, he started 0-8 with a 5.25 ERA and 1.51 WHIP. The sad thing is, through seven starts, Danks wasn't bad at all. He got little run support in some games and the bullpen blew leads in some others. Then Danks got all focused on that archaic wins and losses total and started to press, even wondering aloud what was wrong with himself. Then he lost confidence and fell apart in a few starts. Fortunately, Danks got off the schneid Monday night. For a while it looked like Danks would have to do it all himself. The White Sox held a tenuous 1-0 lead through six innings, but would tack on two more runs and the bullpen held the lead. Danks worked 7 1/3 innings and allowed only an unearned run. He struck out six and earned his first victory of the season. Good for him.

Brennan Boesch, Tigers. Nelson Cruz of the Rangers hit two home runs and drove home four, but Boesch completely overshadowed him in a 13-7 Tigers win. Boesch got things started with a three-run homer in the first inning and didn't take his foot off the gas. He homered again in his next at-bat and ended the game 5-6 with a double, two home runs, three runs and five RBI. A tip of the cap to Michael Kirkman for getting Boesch to fly out in the seventh (though Kirkman also allowed Boesch's double a few innings earlier).

Eric Hosmer, Royals. The Royals needed 11 innings to score three runs Monday, but came away with the victory. Rookie sensation Eric Hosmer accounted for all three. In the fourth, he reached on an error and then scored. In the seventh, he coaxed a big game-tying, bases-loaded walk. Then, with two outs in the bottom of the 11th, Hosmer came through with a clutch base hit to win the game in walk-off fashion. He's now hitting .304 with 20 RBI in 29 games since being recalled. Maybe it's time to give him Mike Moustakas as protection in the middle of the order? C'mon, Royals, don't make us wait forever.

Padres' offense. Six Rockies' pitchers combined to shut out the Padres Monday night, but it's not as if the Padres weren't given their chances. They collected nine hits and drew four walks, only to strand 11 and take the 3-0 loss. Brad Hawpe struck out with runners on second and third to end the first and Alberto Gonzalez struck out with the bases loaded to end the eighth -- and this was when it was only 1-0 Rockies. There were several other chances, but those were just the two most egregious. That's how you rank in the top three in NL ERA and still sit in last place.

Javier Vazquez, Marlins. Just when it looked like Vazquez had turned a slight corner, he was obliterated by the Brewers. Eight hits and six runs in four innings was the line, with the big blow coming courtesy of Prince Fielder in the third inning. The ERA has now ballooned all the way back up to 6.50 for Vazquez and the Marlins are officially reeling. They've lost five in a row, including getting swept in four games to the Brewers -- who entered the series 9-19 on the road.

The Cubs. Seven straight losses, baserunning blunders, bad errors, balls misplayed in the outfield and a team that is completely falling apart in nearly every way. For Cubs fans, 2008 is sure a distant memory ... and it was only three years ago. The rest of the road trip shows two more at Cincinnati and three at Philly. Oh, and then they return home for a seven-game homestand against the Brewers and Yankees. It's hard to see things going well any time soon.

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Posted on: June 6, 2011 4:50 pm
Edited on: June 6, 2011 5:19 pm

On Deck: It's opposite day


By Matt Snyder

We've actually got a decent slate of games for a Monday night, with 22 teams in action. Plus, there's the MLB Draft, so it's actually a nice little Monday in terms of the middle of the MLB season. Let's dive in and take a look at three matchups chock full of contradictions.

BACK TO THE PACK: The Twins have won four in a row for the first time all season. The Indians have lost four in a row for the first time all season. Of course, seeing a Twins' winning streak and Indians' losing streak wouldn't have been so surprising if things went the way they were predicted to have gone this season. Most expected the Tribe to be where the Twins are and the Twins to be toward the top. So are the recent surges simply a correction, or just a fluke? Time will tell, but the Indians still lead the Twins by 12 1/2 games. On the hill Monday evening for the Indians is Josh Tomlin (7-2, 3.27), while Scott Baker (2-4, 3.86) gets the ball for the Twins. Minnesota at Cleveland, 7:05 p.m. ET.

CREW TURNING TIDE: The Brewers went down to Florida with a 9-19 road record. The Marlins were 14-12 at home and right at the heels of the Phillies in the NL East. Three games later, the Brewers are in position to complete a four-game sweep in Miami. Late heroics have sparked the Brew Crew -- they've won each of the three games by one run, twice with homers in their final at-bat and once with a two-run seventh. So far in 2011, the two pitchers taking the hill Monday night haven't performed to expectations. Zack Greinke (4-1, 5.29) has been blessed with pretty incredible run support, as the Brewers have scored 29 runs in his past four starts. That accounts for his good record despite only three quality starts in six tries. On the other side, Javier Vazquez (3-4, 6.02) has been pretty bad for the Marlins this year in his return to the NL East, but he's got a 2.84 ERA with 15 strikeouts and three walks in his past three starts. Milwaukee at Florida, 7:10 p.m. ET.

BOOM VS. BUST: The White Sox host the Mariners and, again, the fact that the Mariners have a better record at this point in the season would have been quite the surprising prediction back in March. Not only that, but back in March John Danks was expected to be a reliable starter for the White Sox while there were questions about whether Michael Pineda would be held down in the minors for one more year of seasoning. Instead, Danks sits at 0-8 with a 5.25 ERA and appears to have lost all his confidence. Meanwhile, Pineda is one of the top pitchers in the American League and a bona fide Rookie of the Year contender (if not front-runner). Is Monday when their respective fortunes continue or reverse? Seattle at Chicago, 8:10 p.m. ET.

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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