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Tag:Jim Tracy
Posted on: July 14, 2011 10:26 pm
Edited on: July 14, 2011 11:55 pm
 

CarGo still in pain, but unlikely to hit DL

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Carlos GonzalezRockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez isn't ready to play yet, but it doesn't appear he will go on the disabled list.

Gonzalez skipped the team's batting practice before Thursday's game against the Brewers but did hit off a tee.

"My wrist doesn't hurt when I'm just standing here, but it hurts when I put weight on it or swing the bat," Gonzalez told Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post.

Manager Jim Tracy said Gonzalez is still day-to-day, but he doesn't want to rush Gonzalez or have him worried about his wrist.

"We want him to be to a place where CarGo is playing free and easy," Tracy told the newspaper.

Gonzalez had an MRI on Monday, and it showed no break. He did, however, receive a cortisone shot. Gonzalez left a game against the Royals on July 3 after running into the wall making a catch. See it here:

Gonzaelz has played in three games since the injury, twice as a defensive replacement. He went 0 for 4 in his only game since the injury, Friday against Washington. He entered the games on Saturday and Sunday but didn't make a plate appearance. 

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Posted on: June 15, 2011 3:45 pm
Edited on: June 16, 2011 9:17 am
 

Fowler's stay in Triple-A may be extended

Dexter Fowler

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Dexter Fowler's Triple-A rehab stint could turn into a demotion, Jim Armstrong of the Denver Post writes

The Rockies have told Fowler he may be staying in Triple-A when his rehab assignment is done later this week to work on his swing.

"We told Dexter that there was the possibility that once the 72-hour rehab is up there are no guaranteed that you'll go from rehab right to recall," Rockies manager Jim Tracy told Armstrong. "He's aware of that. There are some things that obviously all of us have had a lot of discussions about … There are some things that obviously have to be ironed out."

With Fowler on the DL because of a left abdominal strain, rookie Charlie Blackmon (right) has taken over left field and Carlos Gonzalez has been shifted to center. In his eight games, Blackmon, the Rockies' second-round pick in 2008, is hitting .290/.290/.323 in eight games since being called up, he's also stolen four bases without being caught.

Fowler was struggling this season, hitting .238/.340/.348 in 247 plate appearances and had been caught stealing six times in eight attempts. He went hitless in four at-bats Tuesday for Triple-A Colorado Springs. 

Fowler is one of those incredible athletes who's fun to watch, but his speed has yet to be turned into an offensive weapon. He has a total of 42 stolen bases in his three seasons as a regular and a success rate of 64 percent.  

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Posted on: May 20, 2011 1:39 am
Edited on: May 20, 2011 1:43 am
 

Injuries abound on Thursday

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Carlos GonzalezPlenty of injury news from Thursday night, here's a quick rundown:

• The Phillies are expected to put both Joe Blanton and Shane Victorino on the disabled list on Friday. Blanton was scratched from his start with elbow soreness. Victorino has been struggling with a hamstring injury since Saturday. He didn't play against until Wednesday when he was used as a pinch-hitter.

• In that same game, the Rockies' Carlos Gonzalez left with tightness in his left groin, but manager Jim Tracy said it wasn't serious and Gonzalez could be ready to play Friday in Milwaukee.

• The Rockies' Todd Helton sat out Thursday's game with a sore lower back, but his replacement, Jason Giambi, hit three homers and drove in seven. 

Red Sox starter Josh Beckett left after six innings with stiffness in his neck. Beckett downplayed it later, but he wanted to be cautious because the team already has starters John Lackey and Daisuke Matsuzaka on the disabled list. He is scheduled to start again Tuesday in Cleveland.

Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun left the team's game against the Padres after a fifth-inning popup with left shoulder soreness. He told reporters after the game that he didn't think it was serious, but didn't know if he'd be available for Friday's game.

• As for the Cardinals outfield -- Colby Rasmus was back in the lineup Thursday and Matt Holliday (quad) told reporters he thought he should be available for Friday, even if it's just to DH. However, Lance Berkman (wrist) will not be available, but shouldn't need a trip to the disabled list.

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Posted on: May 8, 2011 3:50 pm
 

Rockies' Tracy fumes, calls out Stewart

By Matt Snyder

On the heels of losing three straight games in walk-off fashion -- and losing three straight series -- Rockies' manager Jim Tracy is not happy.

"We haven't played worth a [expletive] the last two-plus weeks," Tracy said Sunday, as his still first-place team prepared to face the second-place Giants. But simply clinging to first place isn't enough to set his mind at ease.

“We have long graduated from trying to just be good. We aren’t interested in that. And if guys want to stay around here, they have to look in the mirror and do better,” he said. (Denver Post )

Specifically, Tracy has an issue with Ian Stewart. The 26-year-old third baseman was once one of the top prospects in all of baseball, but has not developed as the Rockies hoped. In fact, he's regressed. In 2009, Stewart hit 25 home runs and drove home 70 in 425 at-bats. This season, Stewart is hitting .079 with an embarrassing .291 OPS. He's struck out 16 times while only collecting three hits and one RBI in 38 at-bats. He did hit well in a quick minor-league stint earlier this season, but 1-15 since his return to the majors.

“I don’t want Ian to hit eighth. But unfortunately he’s not giving me much choice,” Tracy said. “We are getting to the point with him that’s it time for him to fish or cut bait. He’s either going to play his way in or play his way off the team.”

Well, he's certainly doing the latter right now, that's for sure. As long as Tracy continues to put Stewart in the lineup, though, he's got a shot to turn things around.

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Category: MLB
Posted on: April 19, 2011 10:20 am
 

Pepper: Super Sam

Sam Fuld
By C. Trent Rosecrans

One of the best parts of any new season is seeing players reach their potential -- or in Sam Fuld's case, exceed it.

With a 4-for-4 performance in Monday's win over the White Sox, Fuld is now the American League batting leader, hitting .396. And he made another fantastic catch, as you can see above.

Fuld was acquired in the deal that sent Matt Garza to the Cubs this offseason and learned a little bit about playing at Tropicana Field with his diving catch in the third inning on Tuesday.

"It felt like someone took a blow torch to [his left hand], and then I look at it and then there's nothing to show for it, no blood," Fuld told reporters, including the Tampa Tribune's Roger Mooney. "Now I know what turf burn is like."

Replays showed starter David Price screaming and clapping his hands after the play, which helped him win his first-ever victory over the White Sox.

The Rays are giving out a Sam Fuld cape later in the season, but it doesn't appear he needs one.

BASEBALL TODAY -- Lauren Shehadi and I talk about the Rockies pitching Cardinals offense.

FASTEST GUN IN THE MIDWEST -- There's little debate now, the gun at Great American Ball Park is juiced.

On Sunday, it had Pirates closer Joel Hanrahan throwing 102, while Pitch F/X had him hitting 98. On Monday, the scoreboard showed Aroldis Chapman hitting 106, when Pitch F/X showed his third pitch to Andrew McCutchen as "just" 102.4.

Last year I had scouts tell me the gun was pretty accurate, but apparently the excitement around Chapman got the Reds greedy, amping up the radar gun. If he does hit 105 mph again, will it say 110 on the scoreboard? Maybe the gun will make Bronson Arroyo feel better about his heater. [MLB.com]

GOOD SEATS -- Nate Schierholtz's brother was sitting 10 feet from where his mammoth shot landed in the third deck at Coors Field, and paid the guy who caught it $25 bucks to get the ball. [San Jose Mercury News]

STREET WATCH -- Rockies manager Jim Tracy is keeping a close eye on closer Huston Street, who hasn't pitched more than two days in a row this year, but has pitched in 10 of the team's first 15 games. [MLB.com]

AXFORD STRUGGLES -- Brewers closer John Axford had another bad outing on Monday, blowing a 3-2 lead in the ninth of an eventual 12-inning Milwaukee victory. The issues has been control, but manager Ron Roenicke said he's not concerned or thinking about any kind of change. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]

AND I WANT TO BE COMMISSIONER -- Royals designated hitter Billy Butler said he still wants to play first base. Manager Ned Yost's response? " You know what, I'd like to be an astronaut -- and for some reason they just won't let me." With Kila Ka'aihue is manning the spot until Eric Hosmer comes in to take it for good. [Kansas City Star]

BRING AN UMBRELLA -- Weather has been bad all around baseball early this season, although attendance hasn't been hurt too much. [Associated Press]

GOOD JOBA -- Joba Chamberlain's velocity is down, but his results are up. His slider has become a good pitch, helping his results. [New York Daily News]

NICE SHOT -- Ryan Raburn's pop foul in the first inning on Monday was the first-ever ball to hit the roof at Safeco Field. [MLB.com]

PLENTY OF GOOD SEATS AVAILABLE -- The Mets' bad start is good if you're looking for bargain shopping on the highest-priced seats at Citi Field. [New York Times]

RIOS AILING -- Alex Rios will be getting a break in the White Sox's series with the Rays to try to help his sore left toe fully heal. Rios said the toe has been hurting him for the last five years, so it's doubtful a simple day off will cure him. [Chicago Tribune]

AARDSMA TAKING THE HILL -- Mariners closer David Aardsma is expected to pitching tonight in Triple-A, his firs tame action since his hip labrum surgery in January. The Mariners will likely wait for him to throw three or four games in the minors before taking him off the disabled list. [MLB.com]

MORE SURGERY FOR ZUMAYA? -- The Tigers put Joel Zumaya on the 60-day disabled list and another surgery is possible on his right elbow. [Detroit Free Press]

NICE CATCH -- David Wright played catch with some young fans at Turner Field the other day. Pretty cool stuff. [Big League Stew]

NEW DUCKS UNIFORM -- The Oregon Ducks have added an orange jersey? Orioles pitcher Jeremy Guthrie models the newest Oregon uniform combo. [WhoSay.com/JeremyGuthrie]

VIN SCULLY ON 42 -- Dodger Gene Hermanski had the idea of everyone wearing No. 42 way back in 1948, Vin Scully said. [Sons of Steve Garvey]

TROP VETERAN -- White Sox rookie Chris Sale recalled going to the first-ever Tampa Bay (Devil) Rays game in 1998 when he was 9. [Chicago Tribune]

NOTHING BREWING IN MINORS -- According to the latest Baseball America, the Brewers have the worst minor-league system in baseball. After trading away Brett Lawrie, Jeremy Jeffress and Jake Odorizzi this offseason, their top-ranked prospect is right-hander Mark Rogers -- the team's first-round pick in 2004. On Monday, Rogers lost to former Brewer starter Jeff Suppan in a Triple-A game. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]

MINOR LEAGUER HIT IN HEAD -- Eric Hurley, a right-hander with the Rangers' Triple-A team, was hit in the right side of the head in a game against New Orleans on Monday. Hurley, 25, didn't lose consciousness and was taken to a nearby hospital. He left the field over his own power. [ESPNDallas.com]

THROWBACK THURSDAY -- Not only will the Dodgers be breaking out their new throwback uniforms against the Braves on Thursday, Atlanta will throw in throwback duds. No word yet on which Braves throwbacks we'll see. The Dodgers are wearing 1940s-era blue satin-like unis. To announce the promotion the Dodgers sent out a press release on Brooklyn Dodgers letterhead (or maybe the ownership ran out of their regular letterhead and had to find some at the back of the closet instead of ordering new stock.) [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]

TODAY IN GLUTTONY -- The Akron Aeros have introduced a helmet sundae. No, not a mini-helmet sundae, a full-sized helmet sundae. [Akron Aeros]

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Posted on: March 11, 2011 11:01 am
Edited on: March 11, 2011 11:51 am
 

Pepper: Wagner coach at 28; Japan quake fallout

Pepper

By Evan Brunell

These days are certainly different for Ryan Wagner, a 2003 first-round pick of the Reds. He debuted that same year at age 21 and looked as if he would deliver on his promise, but injuries and attrition caused him to struggle over the next two years before being dealt to the Nationals in a contentious deal, with Cincinnati later alleging that the Nationals then-GM Jim Bowden wasn't up-front about the injury issues of reliever Gary Majewski. 

With the Nats, Wagner was nothing more than a fungible reliever who regressed in effectiveness before undergoing surgery for a torn labrum in 2007. After two years of trying to rehab the injury, Wagner called it quits in 2009. And now, he's a 28-year-old manager, accepting a job with the Victoria Generals in the Texas Collegiate League, a college summer league.

"The college level is where I want to be," Wagner said. "I love coaching the younger boys, but it's definitely a slowdown from the big leagues.

"With the little kids, it's fun teaching the fundamentals and watching them grow. But a lot of these kids are D-I players and when you tell them something they are able to make the adjustments." (Victoria Advocate)

DEVASTATION IN JAPAN: While Americans were sleeping soundly, Japan was the victim of the worst earthquake since 1900, measuring 8.9 on the Richter scale. A tsunami developed that will hit Hawaii, but isn't expected to devastate the island. Other places, such as Thailand, may not be so lucky. In the midst of all this, Japan has canceled all professional baseball games for Saturday along with other major sporting events. (Yakyubaya.com)

CONCERN FOR GRANDMOTHER: There are plenty of Japanese ballplayers and media members stateside for spring training that have left many scrambling to contact friends and family. One such player is Daisuke Matsuzaka, who has heard from his family and friends but has not been able to reach his grandmother. (Boston Herald)

Yankees LEGEND OK: Yogi Berra suffered a fall at Yankees spring training camp Thursday and was taken to the hospital as a precaution. The Hall of Famer is doing just fine and may even return to camp Friday. (New York Daily News)

STUPID IS AS STUPID DOES: Stephen Strasburg has had a Twitter account for several months but only recently has been tweeting with any frequency. One such tweet yesterday: "Keeping it freaking stupid with coach today!" Who knows what that means, but good to know. (Washington Post)

WILD THING: "Adaptable, even-tempered and not easily rattled" were words used to describe Charlie Sheen. Huh. Interesting. But these words are from the Sheen of three decades ago when he was a relief pitcher for Santa Monica High School. Sheen served as a "very efficient" bullpen ace, coach Jose Lopez recalls. (Los Angeles Times)

MORE Mets MESS: Everyone knows about the Wilpons' struggle to hang onto the Mets in light of the Bernie Madoff scandal, but there's an entirely different scandal being dealt with at this point. Back in November, the Mets fired team employee Charlie Samuels, who admitted to gambling on baseball and also provided mob associates with insider tips. He is also under investigation for stealing memorabilia from the Mets clubhouse and then selling them. The New York Police Department's Organized Crime and Control Bureau was at Mets camp Thursday to interview players and employees about Samuels in the hope of ferreting out more information for the case. Baseball investigators were also on hand to see if illegal gambling is being conducted by other employees and players. Investigators spoke to people with close ties to Samuels, such as  Mike Piazza and Francisco Rodriguez. (New York Daily News)

AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT GAME: Rockies manager Jim Tracy finally got Denver Nuggets basketball coach George Karl in town, with Karl assisting Tracy in managing Thursday's game. While Karl's the basketball guru, he may have had a hand in Todd Helton cracking a double, speaking to the first baseman just before the at-bat. A bit of a stretch, but whatever, it's spring training. (Denver Post)

QUESTIONING COLE: MLB Trade Rumors has a bunch of questions for college pitcher Gerrit Cole, who should be a top-five pick in the upcoming amateur draft. Cole was plucked out of high school by the Yankees, but opted to go to UCLA and doesn't regret the decision. Also in the interview: Cole's relaying of a Charlie Sheen story. (MLB Trade Rumors)

OZZIE'S IMPRESSED: Dayan Viciedo has impressed manager Ozzie Guillen the most at spring training. The Cuban defector is currently converting to right field from third base as he looks unable to field the position and first base is locked up. Viciedo was hitting .476 in spring training games but a fractured right thumb will sideline him about a month and guarantees a ticket to Triple-A, which was likely coming regardless. If he can show some semblance of plate discipline, he could be a nice bat for years to come. (Chicago Sun-Times)

ON THE WAY BACK: Erik Bedard was one of the better left-handed starters in the game but missed all of 2010 and had just 30 games started combined between 2009-10. Clearly, Seattle's trade for Bedard hasn't quite worked out, but the lefty had a strong start Thursday and felt he was approaching how he felt during his 2006-07 run. That's all well and good, but the 31-year-old needs to actually pitch in a major league game multiple times before anyone gets excited. (MLB.com)

BIG SWEAT: Dennys Reyes makes himself known to Red Sox fans, as the portly left-hander appears all but a lock to snag a spot in the Red Sox bullpen as the requisite lefty. Reyes has quite an interesting story of how he dislocated his right shoulder, which forced him to begin throwing left-handed. He didn't get the shoulder treated, which is why his right shoulder has a six-inch hunch over the left and still causes him pain on certain fielding plays. (Boston Herald)

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More MLB coverage

Posted on: February 25, 2011 6:11 pm
 

CarGo to stay in left this season

Carlos GonzalezWhile I'm of the belief that outfield Gold Gloves should be rewarded for each of the three positions in the outfield, rather than just a generic "outfield" spot, last season Carlos Gonzalez seemed to earn his working at all three spots. The Gold Glover started 55 games in center, 51 in left and 34 in right.

This season, Rockies manager Jim Tracy wants Gonzalez to be a left field and a left fielder only.

"He's earned it," Tracy told reporters, according to the Denver Post's Jim Armstrong. "You have to show respect for the player."

Not that it seems to bother Gonzalez.

"I'm here to play whatever he wants me to play," Gonzalez said. "I'm sure if he needs a right fielder, I'll be the first person to say I'll play there. I'm here to help the team."

Dexter Fowler will be the team's everyday center fielder, while the right field spot may be up in the air. The Rockies hope Seth Smith wins the job in spring, but if he doesn't, Ryan Spilborghs and Ty Wigginton could see time there.

Last season, Gonzalez was best in left field, according to UZR/150, recording a 12.6 rating there. He had a -8.6 UZR/150 in center and -18.6 in right. His career UZR/150 ratings are a little better, 13.3 in left, 3.7 in center and 0.8 in right. He finished 10th in the Fielding Bible Awards among left fielders last season. 

As for the Gold Glove? Well, we all know the bat is a big part of that -- and no matter where he plays, Gonzalez certainly brings his bat. He finished with .336/.376/.598 with 34 home runs and 117 RBI last season.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: February 24, 2011 9:54 am
Edited on: February 24, 2011 7:27 pm
 

Pepper: Dominoes falling after Wainwright injury



THE WAINWRIGHT EFFECT:
In what had previously been a rather quiet week in baseball, we learned Wednesday that star Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright might be forced to undergo what would be season-ending surgery (Update: He will have the surgery ). So, of course, the news sent shockwaves through the baseball world -- and I don't mean those sent by an alleged celebratory song that turned out to be, well, nothing .

First of all, his contact situation becomes murky. As the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes , Wainwright had a two-year option for $21 million for the 2012 and 2013 seasons that vested due to his top-five finish in Cy Young voting last season. If he ends a season on the disabled list due to an  arm or shoulder injury, however, the Cardinals may void the deal. If he does have to go through the surgery and rehab, Wainwright will be a 30-year-old battling back from Tommy John surgery at this time next. And keep in mind the Cardinals will be desperately finding ways to keep Albert Pujols come next offseason. Simply put: this injury could cost Wainwright a lot of money -- or at the very least cloud his future with the Cardinals.

Next up, my colleague C. Trent Rosecrans did an excellent roundup of possible Cardinals options to replace Wainwright, but one guy who may end up eventually being an option is Mark Buehrle of the White Sox. The veteran left-hander is in the final year of his four-year contract and could go on the block by the time the trade deadline comes around. Of course, many things would have to happen between now and then and it's a long way away from the time when any talk could be taken seriously, but Buehrle seemed to indicate (to MLB.com) he would waive his no-trade clause in the right situation -- though he'd rather stay in Chicago.

And finally, in the likely-washed-up category, Kevin Millwood is working out like he's expecting a job this season. "I am just kind of keeping going, staying in shape and getting my arm ready to go when something does happen," Millwood told the Baltimore Sun .

JUST HOLD THE GAMBLING: Mike Schmidt wants Jimmy Rollins to be more like ... Pete Rose. While Rollins might be part of a winning team, he's still underachieving, according to the Phillies Hall of Fame third baseman. "I just think Pete understood more what his role was. Jimmy kind of gets to being Jimmy. Jimmy needs to be more Pete Rose-like in his approach to the game, and more accountable for getting on base and understanding that offensively, he's about running and getting on base and getting hits and leading the lead in hitting," Schmidt told reporters. (Philadelphia Daily News )

BUT WHAT'S A ZONE RATING? Despite nearly every defensive metric available -- save for that good, old-fashioned eye test -- telling them otherwise, the Brewers seem to like the defensive prowess of Yuniesky Betancourt.

"I think appearances sometimes [work against him], how a guy plays," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel .

"He's more of a 'smooth' type of fielder, the manager went on. "He doesn't have the speed like you had with [former Brewers shortstop Alcides] Escobar and we had with [Angels shortstop Erick] Aybar. You don't see that flash where he's flying to the ball. He's moving OK; he's just a smooth runner. He's not as fast as those two I mentioned but he has good hands and a good arm. I think he makes the steady play. I don't consider him a defensive liability."

According to Fangraphs.com, including qualified players only, Betancourt rated as the third-worst shortstop in baseball last season defensively -- ahead of only Hanley Ramirez and Jason Bartlett. Maligned defenders like Derek Jeter and Starlin Castro rate out better. But hey, at least he has good hands -- always an important feature among guys who don't get to many grounders.

MOVE OVER RAUCH: The Blue Jays hurler stands at 6-foot-11 and is the tallest player in major league history, but that record appears to be toppling soon in favor of a 7-foot-1 pitcher for the Angels. Loek Van Mil appears a menacing presence on the hill, and that's before you factor in his ability to hit 99 on the radar gun. The 26 year old notes he wants to make the bigs on merit, not as a side show. (Yahoo! )

ALLOW MYSELF TO INTRODUCE ... MYSELF: Miguel Tejada will be portrayed by Royce Clayton in the upcoming movie, Moneyball . Clayton noted he worked hard to try and replicate Tejada's swing, but we won't see him using a Dominican accent. "I gave it a whirl, but [the producers] told me to lose it after a while," Clayton said. Considering the career .679 OPS (to Tejada's .801), there will be more than one difference. But, hey, at least we won't be forced to believe Freddie Prinze, Jr. is a major league prospect . (San Francisco Chronicle )

COLORADO CHALLENGE:
After a nine-game regression by a young, but really talented, team in 2010, Rockies manager Jim Tracy opened camp by challenging his team to get better. He used numbers. Like 833 (the number of days the team collectively spent on the DL last year) and 30 (the number of games the Rockies lost by one run). Seeing things like that makes you realize just how dangerous the still-young Rockies can be in 2011. The West race very much seems to be a two-teamer at this point. (MLB.com )

BYE BYE Rays? A St. Petersburg Times columnist discusses how either relocation or contraction never seems to stray far from the Tampa Bay Rays. He opines that by 2017, when debt payments to Tropicana Field are concluded, the Rays could be in trouble. On one hand, it's disappointing to hear talk like this for any team. On the other, it's even more disappointing that a team as exciting as the Rays -- who have won the AL East twice and American League once in the past three seasons -- can't draw any better. In 2010, the Rays drew 22,758 fans per home game, which is only 52 percent of the stadium's capacity. This was the worst among playoff teams. (ESPN.com )

A LASTING PLAN: After years of failing to live up to rather large hype, Lastings Milledge now has a "pretty good plan" on how to get his career on track as he joins the White Sox in camp. He's had his girlfriend cut off his long hair and is refocused. He won't reveal the ins and outs of his plan, but says the first step is making the team. Milledge was a first-round draft pick for the Mets out of high school in 2003 and arrived as a 21 year old in 2006, but he's only hit .269/.328/.394 in parts of five seasons for three different teams. Still, at age 25 he's far from cooked. Maybe he puts things together this time around. His talent is certainly still bouncing around in there somewhere. (Chicago Sun Times )

-- Matt Snyder

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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