Posted on: May 15, 2011 11:47 pm
By Matt Snyder
Dan Uggla, Braves. In switching teams for the first time of his major-league career, it's been a rough start to the 2011 season for Uggla. He entered Sunday's game with a .196 batting average and .629 OPS (his career low in OPS is .805, back in 2007). Maybe his go-ahead, eighth-inning home run off Roy Halladay is what he needs to get hot. He went 2-3 to climb above the Mendoza line (.205) and also drew a walk. So he got on base three of four trips against one of the game's elite pitchers and played the part of hero with a late home run. That's a pretty solid day.
Justin Turner, Mets. The Mets were getting no-hit by Aneury Rodriguez through four innings, but by the end of the sixth, Turner had five RBI as the Mets put up seven runs in two frames -- and it was enough for the victory. Turner connected on a two-run double to tie the game at two in the fifth inning and then concluded the Mets' scoring with a three-run blast in the sixth. In those two at-bats, Turner knocked in more runs than he had in his first 36 at-bats in 2011.
J.J. Hardy, Orioles. Hardy -- from the nine-hole, mind you -- had the big blow for the Orioles in a 9-3 win over first-place Tampa Bay Sunday. He hit a grand slam in the sixth inning that made a 4-2 game into a laugher (8-2, math majors) instantly. On the day, Hardy was 2-5, which means he's hitting .400 (10-25) with two home runs and seven RBI since coming off the disabled list earlier this month. If Mark Reynolds would come around, the Orioles would actually have a pretty potent top-to-bottom batting order.
Javier Vazquez, Marlins. Vazquez is now 2-4 with a 7.55 ERA, but that doesn't even come close to describing how much of a burden he's been on the Marlins. That's because he's putting his team into a huge hole right out of the gate. Sunday, he coughed up six runs on six hits in the first inning alone -- including a two-RBI double by opposing pitcher Jason Marquis. Now, Marquis is one of the best hitting pitchers around, but he's still a pitcher. The Marlins would only score four runs all game, so it was essentially over after one inning. It shouldn't be surprising, as Vazquez has a 15.75 ERA in the first inning this season. That's an awful lot of pressure to put on your teammates to begin a game. Fish Tank blog notes that Vazquez could be in trouble of losing his spot in the rotation, but he's fortunate in that there aren't many good options waiting in the minors. He's just gotta get better, especially with the Marlins in what looks like a long-term three-team race in the strong NL East.
Brian Duensing, Twins. His grip on a job in the starting rotation may be slipping away. Duensing lasted just three innings Sunday against the Blue Jays, giving up eight hits and seven earned runs. Kevin Slowey is the obvious next in line, and he followed Duensing with six innings to finish the game. Fortunately for Duensing, Slowey allowed four earned runs in his six innings, but that's still better than Duensing -- and you've got to give Slowey a bit of a free pass with three of those runs coming on Jose Bautista homers. The best hitter on the planet at this point only accounted for one of the seven runs Duensing allowed.
Josh Willingham, A's. There's nothing really to say, other than to let the stat-line speak for itself. Willingham was 0-5 with four strikeouts and left seven men on base. Ouch.
BONUS DOWN: Mother Nature. Seriously, we the baseball fans in this great nation collectively cry "uncle." Prior to Sunday, there had already been more postponements this season than there were all of 2010, and now we can add three more to the list, as the Cubs-Giants, Mariners-Indians and Tigers-Royals games were postponed. This is a joke, and an unfunny one at that.
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: April 20, 2011 10:27 am
By C. Trent Rosecrans
Greinke threw three scoreless innings at Class A Brevard County on Tuesday night. Greinke retired nine of the 10 batters he faced, struck out four and threw 35 pitches. He allowed a single hit, to Tampa's Mitch Abeita, who singled with one out int he third. Greinke struck out the next two batters he faced.
According to the Brewers, Greinke said he "felt great" and threw 91-94 mph with his fastball.
Greinke's next start is expected to be Sunday for Triple-A Nashville. The Brewers want him to make at least three starts in the minor leagues, so he'd return May 4 against the Braves at Turner Field.
And hey, with the Brewers in contention, Greinke may decide to try this year, so that's nice. [MLB.com]
BASEBALL TODAY -- NESN.com's Tony Lee joins Lauren Shehadi to talk Red Sox as Boston is still looking for its first road win following Tuesday's loss in Oakland (as predicted on yesterday's Baseball Today by some wise, handsome baseball writer).
MISSING MARTINEZ -- The Tigers won't move the hobbled Magglio Ordonez to designated hitter full-time with Victor Martinez on the disabled list. Alex Aliva will catch most of the games with Martinez out, but Omir Santos, called up Tuesday, will catch some, including today. [Detroit Free Press]
UPTON HISTORY -- A cool look at the history of Upton brothers rumors -- and there's been a lot for the pair from Chesapeake, Va, the latest that the Nationals are now scouting B.J. Upton (he's the one with the Rays). [MLBTradeRumors.com]
STAND BY YOUR MAN -- Dodgers manager Don Mattingly has issued a vote of confidence in his closer, Jonathan Broxton. Broxton has a 6.14 ERA, but has converted all five of his save opportunities this season. [MLB.com]
SIZEMORE'S SCHEDULE -- The Indians will be watching Grady Sizemore carefully in his return. He won't play more than two games in a row during his first week back and that could be the plan for a while. [Akron Beacon Journal]
BRADEN TO SEE SPECIALIST -- A's left-hander Dallas Braden will see Dr. Lewis Yocum in Los Angeles on Wednesday for another opinion on his stiff left shoulder. Right-hander Tyson Ross will take Braden's spot in the rotation, starting Friday in Seattle. [MLB.com]
DODGER VICE CHAIRMAN -- I think Frank McCourt is awesome and should be emperor of the universe.
Hey, we all want a good, cushy job. Writing positive things about mcCourt worked for Steve Soboroff. The Los Angels developer was hired by the Dodgers as their vice chairman and will be charged with "leading the efforts to improve the fan experience at the stadium, strengthening ties to the region's community and philanthropic organizations, and expanding conservation and sustainability programs at Dodger Stadium."
To me it sounds like you've just got to go to a ton of baseball games, complain about the lines at the bathroom, go to some parties and drink some beers and wine -- and when you're done, make sure you throw the cans and bottles into the recycling bin. And all he had to do was write a letter to the Los Angeles Times saying the Dodgers' owner is super-duper. So, yeah, Frank McCourt, over here! I think you're awesome and doing a bang-up job.
YANKEE THEFT -- A woman is accusing the Yankees of stealing their famous top-hat logo from her late uncle in 1936. [New York Post]
BYE BYE PING -- Are the new college bat rules helping or hurting scouting? [FanGraphs]
ANGELIC WEDDING -- If you find a woman who will let you have your wedding at a baseball stadium? Well, that means you are a lucky, lucky man. Congrats, Matt Griffin. [Orange County Register]For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Tags: AL Central, AL East, AL West, Alex Aliva, Alex Rodriguez, Angels, Athletics, B.J. Upton, Braves, Brewers, Dallas Braden, Daniel Murphy, Diamondbacks, Dodgers, Don Mattingly, Felix Hernandez, Frank McCourt, Grady Sizemore, Indians, Jamie Moyer, Jerry Sands, Jonathan Broxton, Justin Turner, Justin Upton, Kevin Youkilis, Magglio Ordonez, Mariners, Mets, Nationals, NL Central, NL East, NL West, Omir Santos, Phillies, Phillies, Rays, Red Sox, Reds, Tigers, Tim Hudson, Victor Martinez, Yankees, Zack Greinke
Posted on: March 21, 2011 11:16 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 12:30 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
1. Bartolo Colon, Yankees -- While many scoffed at the idea of Colon coming back after a year off and joining the Yankees' rotation, he's certainly making his case. Colon, 37, had another strong outing on Monday. Colon retired 18 of the 20 batters he faced, including five strikeouts. He allowed two hits and a run. In 15 innings this spring, he has a 2.40 ERA, with 17 strikeouts and one walk.
3. Mets second basemen -- Now that the Luis Castillo soap opera is behind us, the Mets four remaining candidates for the second base job all contributed in a four-run ninth to lead New York past Atlanta. Brad Emaus, Daniel Murphy and Luis Hernandez each had run-scoring hits, while Justin Turner was hit by a pitch.
1. Arizona -- Isn't Arizona supposed to be a desert? Six Cactus League games were banged on Monday because of rain.
2. Mike Pelfrey, Mets -- The Mets' opening day starter was pounded for seven runs (four earned) and seven hits by the Braves. Pelfrey allowed six consecutive hits to start the ending and when it appeared he'd actually record an out, David Wright's error allowed another run to score. He finally retired the eight batter of the inning, only to be lifted due to a high pitch count.
3. Some fans -- Rays manager Joe Maddon had a fan tossed from Sunday's game after the fan made racial comments toward outfielder B.J. Upton. Upton said Monday that he heard the comments, but was more worried about his game. Upton said it's not the first time he's heard such comments (via MLB.com) -- "A lot of times, it happens when I'm in the outfield of a visiting stadium. Even I've heard it at home, too. I think it was just a situation where everyone heard it. Put it this way -- it's not too far-fetched to hear it." That's not surprising, but it's still sad.For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: February 18, 2011 8:18 pm
Luis Castillo isn't late for Mets camp. Not technically, at least. But it sounds like he's late by virtue of not being early.
The 35-year-old former All-Star will be in a four-way battle for the second base job with Daniel Murphy, Brad Emaus and Justin Turner, all of whom are already in Port St. Lucie. New manager Terry Collins is expected to deliver an ultimatum to Castillo when he presumably reports Saturday: Win the starting job, or you're going to get your walking papers.
General manager Sandy Alderson doesn't think Castillo, who put up a terrible .235/.337/.267 line in an injury-shortened 2010, would be a useful utility player and has said he's willing to absorb Castillo's $6 million salary and release him.
“I was hoping he would be here,” Collins told the Star-Ledger on Friday. “Just so I could get it done, just so I could get the conversation over.
“I’m a real believer in sending a message to the organization, as a player. I thought Johan Santana did that (by showing up Thursday). He sent a message to everybody on that team that ‘Hey, I’m behind you.’”
Castillo appears to have sent a different kind of message to his new boss.
-- David Andriesen
Posted on: January 19, 2011 4:15 pm
With Johan Santana not available, Mike Pelfrey will be the Mets' opening day starter.
"He deserves it," Mets manager Terry Collins said on Wednesday (via The Star-Ledger). "He earned it. He should have been on the All-Star team last year."
Pelfrey, 27, was 15-9 with a 3.66 ERA last season.
On Tuesday, he signed a deal for nearly $4 million a year, avoiding arbitration.
The Mets start the season on April 1 in Florida, so he'll likely be opposite Josh Johnson in the first game of the season.
Collins also said the team is hoping to sign another left-handed reliever to go along with Taylor Tankersley. He also said the second base job is wide open, adding 23-year old Jordanny Valdespin as a candidate at second along with Luis Castillo, Daniel Murphy, Brad Emaus and Justin Turner.
-- C. Trent Rosecrans