Tag:Mike Stanton
Posted on: September 9, 2011 10:48 am
 

Pepper: Is Rivera's sucessor Robertson?

Robertson

By Evan Brunell

Mariano's successor? The other day, I read a piece suggesting that the Yankees could theoretically sign Jonathan Papelbon in the offseason, have him set up Mariano Rivera's final year in town and then take over.

It's possible. But it's more probably that Rivera's successor is already on the team, and I'm not talking about Rafael Soriano.

“There are a lot of similarities there in how they throw their fastballs,” catcher Russell Martin told the New York Post when asked to compare Rivera and setup man David Robertson, who has broken through in a big way this season with a 1.23 ERA in 58 1/3 innings, striking out 89 and walking 31. That ERA is unsustainably low, but speaks to the impact the righty has had in the bullpen. Robertson is no Rivera -- who is? -- but those kind of strikeout numbers would work quite well in a closer's role. While Robertson walks a bit too much, that hasn't bothered other walk-prone closers such as Carlos Marmol, even if it increases the chances of an occasional blowup.

“Maybe that can happen a few years down the road,” Robertson said of replacing Rivera. “But I don’t have to worry about that. Mo’s not leaving. It would be cool to do [to be the closer]. But we have No. 42 and he ain’t leaving.”

Offended: Incoming Astros owner Jim Crane is "offended" by both the delay in being approved and the public perception of Crane -- especially when details of his divorce leaked out, invading his personal life. Crane also noted that his contract to buy the team expires on Nov. 30. (Houston Chronicle)

Power rankings: Four unlikely candidates to manage the Cubs top the latest power rankings on the subject. GMs Andrew Friedman, Billy Beane, Theo Epstein and Brian Cashman lead off the list that has a distinct Boston flavor to it. (Chicago Tribune)

No more I-Rod: Ivan Rodriguez likely won't catch for the remainder of 2011, as the Nats want to take a look at their future in Wilson Ramos and Jesus Flores. Rodriguez hopes to catch at least four more years. While that's a stretch, he should catch long enough to net hit No. 3,000 -- he's at 2,842. (Washington Post)

Doubles machine: Not only do Royals outfielders lead baseball in outfield assists by a wide margin, but each of them also has at least 39 doubles. That makes them the third team in baseball history to reach the feat, along with the 1998 Angels and 1932 Phillies. But both these teams had an outfielder with 39 doubles, with Melky Cabrera there already. So on his next one, the Royals will set history. Oh, and DH Billy Butler is two away from 40, so four players could reach the mark for K.C. That would be the fourth such time a team pulled that off. If they can all reach 42, it will be the first time ever a team has accomplished such a feat. (Rany on the Royals)

Braden shows up: Dallas Braden wasn't too keen on showing his face in the Oakland clubhouse after undergoing season-ending surgery in May, much to the chagrin of his teammates. GM Billy Beane interviewed and spoke to Braden, as the San Francisco Chronicle writes, leading to this quote from Braden on Beane's encouragement: "Makes you feel like less of a loser."

Alonso's story: Background stories about Cuban defectors always has two components: the harrowing departure from Cuba, plus how grateful the players are to be in the majors. Rather than being a cliche, it's a reminder of the challenges that one faces in life. Yonder Alonso is no exception, whose family bolted Cuba when he was 9 years old. (MLB.com)

More homers than walks: Prior to the season, 99 instances of 20-plus homers with less than 20 walks have occurred in baseball history. Now, eight are on pace to add to the total, with 50 coming since 1991 in further evidence how the game has changed and tilted toward power. Alfonso Soriano is on pace for his fourth such distinction, plus Mark Trumbo. Vernon Wells and J.J. Hardy both have the same amount of homers and walks, while Nelson Cruz, Adrian Beltre, Michael Morse and Adam Jones are threatening. (MLB.com)

Glad you left: Which teams are sick of seeing certain players? Here's a full list, led by Washington being crushed by Mike Stanton this season with a 1.087 slugging percentage. (The Hardball Times)

Too close: Baseball journalist Marcos Breton has admitted he grew too close to Miguel Tejada, which has given him unique perspective on his release instead of, as he put it, "[being] too harsh on some subjects for this column, and I promised myself to reflect on Tejada the next time someone stumbles publicly, as all of us will, when life inevitably brings us down to size." (Sacramento Bee)

Try, try again: Tim Wakefield will try yet again for win No. 200, currently slated to start Tuesday against the Blue Jays. (Providence Journal)

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Posted on: August 31, 2011 1:55 pm
 

September Storylines: Kemp's season overshadowed

Matt KempBy C. Trent Rosecrans

The Dodgers may have the best player in the National League, and yet he's been overshadowed by the team's ownership story and even his own teammate, Andre Ethier who has a long hitting streak and a mysterious injury that have garnered headlines. Heck, the biggest story of the year involving Los Angeles' Matt Kemp may be better known for his breakup with his girlfriend last offseason than his breakout on the field this season.

Yep, Matt Kemp may be the best player in the National League, and Dodgerland is still talking about the McCourts, Ethier's possibly injury and the return of their broadcast team. Meanwhile, Matt Kemp leads all big leaguers in Wins Above Replacement players at 8.0 (according to Baseball-Reference.com -- FanGraphs.com has him sixth overall and second in the National League at 6.6).

If advanced metrics aren't your thing, he's hitting .321/.396/.573 with 31 home runs and 101 RBI -- numbers that put him in the running for the triple crown. (He's also tied for second in the NL in stolen bases with 35, 12 behind the Braves' Michael Bourn.)

September Storylines
    • A look at the postseason races

Last year it was Albert Pujols, Joey Votto and Carlos Gonzalez challenging for the triple crown, this year Kemp has the best shot. Here's a look at his numbers, and chances.

Batting average: Kemp's currently hitting .321, good for fourth in the National League behind Jose Reyes (.335), Ryan Braun (.331) and Votto (.325) -- with David Murphy (.320) hot on his heels. A career .292 hitter, this is his best batting average since 2007, when he hit .342 in 98 games (and 311 plate appearances) as a 22-year-old. This is the best year of the 26-year-old's career, so it's not like past performance will predict production, but he has tailed off in the last month of the season in his career. Kemp's hit .264/.310/.426 in September and October in his career, while hitting .297/.354/.502 in the other months (although those numbers do include this season's production). 

Home runs: Kemp's tied for the National League lead with Mike Stanton and Pujols with 31 homers, with Lance Berkman and Dan Uggla just one homer behind, each with 30. Ryan Howard and Prince Fielder both have 29 homers, while Troy Tulowitzki and Jay Bruce each have 28 homers -- meaning the race is wide open. 

The Dodgers have 10 home games remaining on their schedule and 17 road games, which would appear to help Kemp who has 16 of his 31 homers on the road this season in fewer games, hitting a homer every 17.3 plate appearances on the road and one every 19.4 plate appearances at Dodger Stadium. However, the stadiums left on the Dodgers' tour of the National League haven't been kind to Kemp -- he has just three homers in the parks left on the team's travel schedule, with two of those coming at Arizona's Chase Field. He hasn't homered in either San Francisco's AT&T Park or San Diego's Petco Park, despite playing six games in both stadiums this season. Kemp has just two homers in San Francisco in his career (166 plate appearances) and three in San Diego (139 plate appearances). Overall, he's managed just one homer every 40.6 plate appearances in the six parks (Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Washington, San Francisco, San Diego and Arizona) the Dodgers will play in during September and 15 total, seven of those at Chase Field.

RBI: Kemp enters Wednesday's game with 101 RBI, already tying his career best (2009), and just one behind leaders Howard and Fielder. Tulowitzki is the only other player with more than 90 RBI, with 94 on the season. The RBI stat is dependent on what other players do, and after struggling in July, the Dodgers had one of their best offensive months of the season in August, scoring 127 runs in the month, the most of any month and getting on base at a .322 rate, only just below its .339 OBP in June. That said, that doesn't mean much, since the Dodgers followed their productive June with their worst month of the season in July. Predicting RBI is the ultimate folly, because not only does Kemp have to deliver, so do his teammates. The same thing can be said about the others on the list, as well. 

It'd be silly to predict a triple crown or even guess at a single crown for Kemp with a month to go in the season, but it's certainly worth keeping an eye on -- and gives Dodger fans something to cheer about, something that's not been easy to do in 2011.

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

Posted on: August 17, 2011 5:37 pm
Edited on: August 18, 2011 7:58 am
 

Mike Stanton: Humble, powerful slugger

By Matt Snyder

Marlins right fielder Mike Stanton is only 21 years old, but he's threatening to lead the NL in home runs. He currently has 28 (UPDATE: He hit his 29th Wednesday night), which trails the great Albert Pujols by two in the entire National League. And Stanton doesn't get by with cheap homers either. No, he gets his money's worth with prodigious shots. Just two days ago, Stanton hit one 474 feet. It was his third home run over 450 feet this season, while 13 have gone at least 425 feet. According to ESPN's home run tracker, Stanton is tied with Justin Upton for the big-league lead in "no doubt" homers with 11.

The best part about Stanton, however, is that he doesn't showboat on his home run. He simply drops his bat and starts running the bases.

Stanton told MLB.com that he doesn't feel like he's earned the right to draw attention to himself when he hits home runs. When pressed on if he'd ever show up a pitcher, he answered honestly.

“If they threw at me, for no reason,” he said (MLB.com). “Or to intimidate me or whatever, then I will. If I’m upset about something.”

Now, I'm sure some would argue he still shouldn't show the pitcher up, but let's remember two things: 1) He's only 21; 2) He's only speaking in hypotheticals. We don't know if he'd actually do anything. Our only evidence at hand is Stanton just hitting absolute moonshots and then running the bases like he's done it 500 times before. And if the pitcher didn't come at Stanton first, he said "there's no reason to (showboat)."

Stanton also noted he's terrified a ball will not clear the fence and he'll be thrown out at second base.

Whether it's fear, respect for the game or Stanton just being a cool customer, it's refreshing to see a young player refuse to showboat on home runs that travel so far past 400 feet. Many others could learn from him, including 10-year veterans.

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Category: MLB
Posted on: August 8, 2011 12:49 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Reddick, Red Sox walk-off winners

Josh Reddick

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Josh Reddick, Red Sox: In his first four at-bats of Sunday's game against the Yankees, Reddick went hitless and left six men on base. But he came up big in the 10th inning, singling in the game-winning run, for the first walk-off hit of his career. With the win, Boston moved back into sole possession of first place in the American League East, a game ahead of the Yankees. Reddick got his shot because Carl Crawford had three hits in his first four at-bats of the game, so after David Ortiz doubled with one out in the 10th off of Phil Hughes, the Yankees elected to intentionally walk Crawford and take their chances against Reddick. Reddick swung at Hughes' first offering, lining it the other way and just inside the left-field line, easily scoring pinch-runner Darnell McDonald from second.

Jake Peavy, White Sox: Peavy picked up his first victory since June 25 -- and his first win in a start since June 22 -- with eight shutout innings against the Twins. Peavy scattered three hits and struck out six batters without a walk to improve to 5-5 on the season. The White Sox picked up their first sweep of the Twins in Minnesota in more than seven years.

Johnny Giavotella, Royals: In just his third game in the big leagues, Ned Yost put the rookie second baseman in the No. 3 spot in the lineup. The result? A double and a solo homer. In three games this season, he's 5 for 11 and slugging .909. Giavotella started a rally in the fourth inning, leading the inning off with a double, moving to third on a wild pitch and scoring on Billy Butler's groundout. The Royals scored two more runs in the inning and his homer off of starter Max Scherzer in the next inning gave Kansas City a 4-0 victory, a lead they'd hold on to for a 4-3 victory over the Tigers.


Kevin Correia, Pirates: Correia wasn't awful -- but he needed to be better than that to put the stops to the Pirates' losing streak. He lasted 5 2/3 innings, allowing five hits and four runs on four walks and three strikeouts. Correia has 10 wins away from PNC Park, but is 2-7 with a 7.71 ERA at home, as the Pirates lost 7-3 to the Padres to drop their 10th in a row. With the loss and Milwaukee's win, the Pirates fell to 10 games out of first place in the National League Central and into fourth place, a half-game behind the Reds. Pittsburgh is now five games under .500 on the season at 54-59.

Rockies resting on the sabbath: Colorado lost its 16th consecutive Sunday game, falling 3-2 to the Nationals at Coors Field. The Rockies won their first two Sunday games of the season and haven't won since. Colorado came back to tie the game in the seventh, but Jayson Werth's RBI single in the eighth gave the Nationals the lead and ultimately the victory.

Marlins defense: Logan Morrison and shortstop Emilio Bonifacio ran into each other trying to catch Corey Patterson's sixth-inning popup, allowing Patterson to reach second. After getting two outs, the Marlins intentionally walked Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday singled to right, where Mike Stanton let the ball bounce off his glove. Patterson would have scored anyway, but it allowed Pujols to go to third and Holliday to advance to third (not to mention tie the game). After an intentional walk to Lance Berkman, Jon Jay singled in two runs on a blooper. After Florida tied the game in the bottom of the inning, Bonifacio's throwing error on a Patterson grounder led to three unearned runs in the seventh and a 8-4 Cardinals victory.

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Posted on: August 5, 2011 8:42 pm
 

Marlins discussing long-term deal for Stanton

Stanton

By Evan Brunell

The Marlins have been discussing a long-term contract for Mike Stanton, the prodigious power-hitter who has cranked 47 home runs just 205 games into his career as a 21-year-old.

The report from the Palm Beach Post says that nothing specific in money or years has come up in a discussion, and that an offer would not be made "until next year." Whether that means after the season or during the 2012 season is unclear. Stanton, under baseball's rules, will make the league minimum or near it for his first three years in the majors unless a contract supersedes it. Since the outfielder will only be at 1.118 years of service time after the season, he has two more years at the league  minimum to look forward to.

Thus, any long-term deal is going to have that in mind with a very low base salary for years one and two. If the salary jumps up into the million(s) in the first couple of years, it will be to mitigate the risk of years 3-6 at a lower value. Stanton's three arbitration years will also come at a reduced cost. The general rule of thumb is that players operate on a 40-60-80 salary scale in their arbitration years. That is, a player can be expected to make 40 percent of what he could earn on the free-agent market in his first year of arbitration. His second year of arbitration gives him 60 percent value, and so on. So right off the bat, a five-year deal signed for Stanton after the season will buy out his remaining years of team control at a price you would not even come close to seeing on the free-agent market.

The motivation for Florida to do this deal is to lock in cost certainty over the next five years, with a specific dollar amount attached to Stanton for long-term planning. Plus, they can pay out a discount over and above the league-minimum and arbitration years because Stanton is receiving long-term security. While he might be able to make more going through the arbitration process, it is also an unguaranteed process that could see him released after each season at no cost should he lose all value, whether via injury or other reasons.

The Post refers to the Brewers' Ryan Braun's original contract with the Brewers as an example. Braun inked a eight-year, $45 million deal with Milwaukee when he had 0.129 years of service time, mere days apart from Stanton entering 2011. (One year's service equals 172 days.) Sound low? That's because of how cheap Braun is being paid in the first five years of his deal. In the year after signing the deal -- which would have kicked in this season in Stanton's case -- Braun earned a $455,000 salary, followed up by $745,000 the next year and $1 million in 2010. Then, when Braun would have entered arbitration without the deal, his salaries spiked to $4 million for 2011, $6 million in 2012 and $8.5 million in 2013. His deal goes on for two more years after that at a total price of $22 million. The end years are lower, both because of Braun locking in profits early on and earning significantly over the league minimum in years two and three of his deal.

Stanton has a .259/.330/.528 mark this season in 427 place appearances, blasting 25 home runs. If he can boost his average, he can become one of the best players the game has ever seen. Even if not, he'll remain an elite player and will come at a heavy cost to Florida. Stanton will have to chose long-term certainty over exorbitant salaries if both sides are to come to a deal. Otherwise, Stanton could choose to risk that he stays healthy and continues excelling, at which point he would make a significant amount of money through the arbitration process.

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Posted on: July 17, 2011 1:10 am
Edited on: July 17, 2011 9:49 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Marlins offense explodes



By Matt Snyder


Mike Stanton, Hanley Ramirez, rest of Marlins. The Marlins dominated the Cubs from start to finish Saturday, pounding out 14 hits and 13 runs. Seven of those hits were of the extra-base variety, too, so it was quite the show. Two players in particular stood out, though. Mike Stanton clubbed a pair of homers, giving him 20 on the season and putting the league lead in his sights. Hanley Ramirez doubled three times, scored three times and drove in two. Since new manager Jack McKeon moved Ramirez to the cleanup spot in the lineup (89 plate appearances), he's hit .371/.449/.603 with six doubles, four homers, 23 RBI and 17 runs. And the Marlins have won seven of eight.

Alfredo Simon, Orioles. This is amazing: Courtesy of MASNSports.com, the Orioles had only had one starting pitcher work at least seven innings in the past 29 games. In that stretch, the starters had a 7.71 ERA, and the Orioles were 6-23 in those games. They won Saturday evening, and not coincidentally it was because they got a quality start. Simon did better than the textbook definition of quality start. He went seven innings and allowed two earned runs. It was only his second start since 2009 and fifth of his career.

Edwin Jackson, White Sox. As bad as the White Sox have been, they're now only four games out of first place (the two Central divisions are pretty terrible, aren't they?). The move forward Saturday came courtesy of an Edwin Jackson shutout. Jackson scattered nine hits and threw a complete game for the first time in a White Sox uniform. His last complete game was his 149-pitch no-hitter as a member of the Diamondbacks on June 25, 2010.



Reds' gaffes. The Reds could have won Saturday night to move within two games of first place in the NL Central, but three mistakes were far too costly to overcome. In the fourth inning, Chris Heisey ran into the third out at third base, when he essentially had no chance of making third. That meant instead of turning the lineup over, pitcher Bronson Arroyo had to lead off next inning. In that next inning, Drew Stubbs was doubled off second base on an Edgar Renteria flyout to end the inning. But those errors paled in comparison to Arroyo's two-out throwing error on a Jon Jay bunt. It extended the inning with two men on base, and Albert Pujols coming to the plate. Pujols hit a three-run home run and the Cardinals won 4-1.

Cole Hamels, Phillies. The Mets own the All-Star left-hander. Hamels came into the game Saturday 11-4 with a 2.32 ERA and 0.93 WHIP, but he had a 7.45 ERA and 1.66 WHIP in two starts this year against the Mets. Saturday was no different, as the Mets worked Hamels over. He only got through 4 1/3 innings, allowing eight hits, four walks and seven earned runs. This was a Mets' lineup missing Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran, David Wright and Ike Davis.

Barry Zito, Giants. So much for the return to All-Star form. Zito was 3-0 with a 1.29 ERA since coming off the disabled list. Saturday night, he was facing off against arguably the worst offensive team in the majors and was torched. He lasted just 3 2/3 innings, giving up seven hits, four walks and eight earned runs. He gave up home runs to Jesus Guzman and Orlando Hudson. Basically, it was one of the worst outings imaginable. We'll give Zito the benefit of the doubt and say it could be a temporary setback, but I'm sure Giants fans are a bit worried.

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Posted on: July 12, 2011 12:40 pm
Edited on: July 12, 2011 2:54 pm
 

Remembering the 2001 All-Star Game

Rodriguez, Ripken

By Evan Brunell

Arizona is currently in the headlines due to hosting the 2011 All-Star Game, but 10 years ago the state made news due to the Diamondbacks downing the Yankees in a thrilling World Series that will stand as one of the all-time best.

But 2001 also boasted an All-Star Game to remember as Seattle hosted Cal Ripken, Jr.'s 19th and final (and all consecutive) All-Star Game. It should have been 20, but he wasn't elected to the game in his rookie year, when he won the Rookie of the Year Award and finished 30th in MVP voting.

Ripken, who retired after the 2001 season as baseball's Ironman with an impregnable 2,632 consecutive games played, was voted in as the starting third baseman, but moved to his old home of shortstop when starting shortstop Alex Rodriguez "encouraged" (read: physically pushed) Ripken to return to his home for over 14 years.

“At the time, it wasn’t so meaningful because I was mad," Ripken told the Baltimore Sun last week. "I don’t like to be surprised. I was wired, I was on a mike, and I really wanted to tell [Rodriguez], ‘No, get out of here,’ in a different way than I just described it to you.”

Despite Ripken's aversion, the swapping of positions was a great sight to see, with a young superstar standing aside for a legend.

“It was the coolest gesture that anyone can give you,” Ripken added. “When it was all said and done and I hadn’t embarrassed myself out there, it was the coolest gesture ever.”

But Ripken wasn't done showing us what made him such a terror for two decades and what got him elected to the Hall of Fame on his first try by a landslide. After a career in which he redefined the shortstop position and made it a power position with a career line of .276/.340/.447 and two MVP awards, Ripken gave everyone a final goodbye by being named Most Valuable Player after hitting the first pitch he saw in the game from Chan Ho Park in the third inning over the left-field fence, scoring the game's first run and becoming the oldest player to ever homer in the All-Star Game. (See below for video.)

That score held until the fifth inning, when Ivan Rodriguez singled off Mike Hampton, scoring Jason Giambi to push the AL lead to 2-0. That was whittled to 2-1 on Ryan Klesko's sacrifice fly against Mike Stanton, scoring Jeff Kent. Derek Jeter and Magglio Ordonez both delivered back-to-back solo home runs in the bottom of the sixth against Jon Lieber to provide the final score, 4-1.

Ripken's home run was recently named a finalist in MLB.com's Midsummer Classics contest, and is going up against Stan Musial's walkoff home run in the 12th inning of the 1955 game. The winner will be announced during the All-Star Game on Tuesday night.

On the eve of the All-Star Game 10 years later, the 2001 game still stands as one of the greatest.

See other All-Star Games to remember: 1941: Ted Williams blasts walkoff homer | 1949: First integrated edition | 1970's Ray Fosse/Pete Rose collision | 1999: Ted Williams steals show | 2002: The Tie

For complete All-Star Game coverage, keep up with Eye on Baseball in Phoenix

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Posted on: July 8, 2011 11:39 am
Edited on: July 8, 2011 12:13 pm
 

Video: Marlins minor leaguer hurt in celebration

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Last year we learned celebrations can be painful. Well, at least bloggers learned from Kendrys Morales and Chris Coghlan

The Marlins? Not as much.

At the Major League level, four different Marlins tried to deliver shaving cream pies to Marlins outfielder Mike Stanton on Wednesday. Nobody got hurt this time, but last July Chris Coghlan missed two months after suffering a knee injury trying to dump a Gatorade cooler on Stanton's head during an interview. Coghlan is back on the DL this season with trouble in the same left knee.

In the minors, outfielder Josh Kroeger sprained his right knee in a post-game celebration Monday. Kroeger, who led the Marlins' Triple-A New Orleans team in RBI and shares the lead in homers, tried to jump on Joe Thurston, whose RBI double gave the Zephyrs a walk-off win, but missed and was carted off the field after his knee buckled on landing.

Here's the video, which you may not want to watch if you're squeamish.

Marlins manager Jack McKeon said he's not planning on telling his team to curb its post-game celebrations.

"You have an isolated case or two like last year with [Coghlan] tearing up his knee," McKeon told Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post. "You hate to see it, but yet you hate to take it away from them.

"The thing is, I'd like to see more of them. I'm not seeing enough of them."

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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