Tag:Nick Swisher
Posted on: August 10, 2011 1:25 am
 

Angels' Hunter makes friends in the Bronx

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Torii Hunter turned down the chance at picking up an extra buck on Tuesday night after a fan offered him a dollar reward for his sunglasses.

In the fourth inning of the Angles' 6-4 victory in New York, Hunter went back to the warning track at Yankee Stadium to catch a fly by Nick Swisher and record the second out of the game. He noticed a fan had lost his sunglasses and went back to the warning track to retrieve the fan's sunglasses. When Hunter reached up to hand him the sunglasses, the fan offered him a dollar, which Hunter refused.

"He dropped his glasses, they fell over and he wanted to give me a dollar," Hunter told MLB.com's Joey Nowak. "I said thanks, though. It was a nice gesture."

Hunter is known as one of the best guys in baseball. Oddly though, he wasn't the only one to retrieve a pair of sunglasses on Tuesday. In Cincinnati, Reds right fielder Jay Bruce fielded a foul ball and noticed a dropped pair of glasses. In addition to handing the fan their glasses back, Bruce handed them a ball, as well.

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

Posted on: June 30, 2011 10:16 am
Edited on: June 30, 2011 11:00 am
 

Pepper: Don't buy me peanuts or Cracker Jack

By C. Trent Rosecrans

BASEBALL TODAY: Matt Snyder joins Lauren Shehadi to talk sweeps week in Major League Baseball, as the Phillies, Yankees and Mets go for sweeps in interleague series today.

BASEBALL FOR EVERYONE: A friend of mine has spent a good 15 years of his professional career around his great love, baseball. He's hoped to share that love with his son, named for his favorite player, Nolan Ryan. The two watch games on TV, but haven't been able to experience the game live.

Nolan hasn't been able to sit in the stands and wish for a foul ball to come his way or walk out of the concourse and see the field, hear the crowd roar as Ichiro Suzuki rounds second on his way to third or hear the pop of a Felix Hernandez fastball.

You see, two years ago, like any other toddler, Nolan ate some peanut butter. Soon, he could't breathe and broke out into hives. His parents loaded him into the car and rushed to the hospital. At one point, his mother decide they couldn't wait any longer and called 911 and they pulled over to the side as an ambulance rushed to their aid, closing the I-5. The paramedics were able to get it under control and doctors told them Nolan wouldn't have lasted much longer.

Nolan was diagnosed with a severe peanut allergy. Since then, they've noticed symptoms in their son if there is even peanut dust in the air. Safeco Field or any stadium was like walking into a poison trap for Nolan. 

Well, that won't have to be the case -- as the Mariners are one of the teams hosting peanut-free games this season, an increasing trend according to this Reuters article. Peanut allergies have doubled over the last decade, and nobody is sure why.

Five times a season, the Tigers offer peanut-free suites at discount prices, the next is Sunday against the Giants and all 70 seats are sold, the Detroit News reports. That's a good sign and hopefully encourages more of this.

PHILLIES GOOD: OK, this is hardly breaking news, but the Phillies' rotation is really, really good -- and that's even without Roy Oswalt.

David Hale of the News-Journal does the math for us, the current five starters in the rotation -- Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Vance Worley and Kyle Kendrick -- are a combined 12-3 with a 1.33 ERA in June with hitters managing just a .194 batting average against. WIth Halladay, Lee and Worley starting this month, the Phillies have gone 13-0.

BLAME BUD: While Bud Selig is 100 percent right to want Frank McCourt out as the Dodgers' owner, Yahoo!'s Jeff Passan writes that it's Selig's fault McCourt is in this position to begin with. Instead of finding the best owner for the team in 2004, Selig went with someone who would be on his side.

EXTENSION FOR HARDY: Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy is on several team's trade wishlist, but he may not be going anywhere. The Orioles have reached out to Hardy's agent to talk about an extension. Hardy is a free agent after the season. [Baltimore Sun]

NO FIRE SALE: After the Cubs released Doug Davis, general manager Jim Hendry met with the media and assured them there would be no "fire sale." While nobody wants the bloated contracts of Alfonso Soriano or Carlos Zambrano, Hendry insinuated he wouldn't trade the likes of Carlos Marmol or Ryan Dempster. [Daily Herald]

NO FIRE SALE… YET: The Dodgers haven't started "substantive" trade talks yet, but could begin doing so after the break, ESPN's Buster Olney tweets.

ZIMMERMAN'S CHANGES: Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman has struggled after rebuilding his throwing mechanics during a season, including allowing the game-winning run with a throwing error on Wednesday. But Zimmerman is convinced he's doing the right thing and it'll pay off in the end. [Washington Post]

WOOD CLOSER: The Cubs could get reliever Kerry Wood back in time for this weekend's series with the White Sox, CSNChicago.com's Patrick Mooney tweets.

ROENICKE, GREINKE MEET: Brewers manager Ron Roenicke met with right-hander Zack Greinke to "clear the air" after Roenicke felt some of his postgame comments were misinterpreted by the media after Greinke's two-inning start against the Yankees. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]

BUCHHOLZ OUT PAST BREAK: After throwing a bullpen Tuesday, Boston right-hander Clay Buchholz said he won't make his next start and could be out until after the All-Star break. Buchholz is dealing with a muscle strain in his back. [Boston Herald]

STRASBURG'S MECHANICS: Stephen Strasburg is back throwing off a mound, but his mechanics look the same, some observers say. Does he need a change? Sports Illustrated's Will Carroll says he doesn't know (and if Will doesn't know, I certainly don't), but it would be wise for the Nationals to look into some biomechanics analysis to make sure his mechanics weren't the reason for his arm injury.

SWISH BEING SWISH: Nick Swisher said his recent turnaround on the field has allowed him to be himself in the clubhouse. [Wall Street Journal]

ECKSTEIN NOT RETIRED: Former Angels (among other teams) shortstop David Eckstein says he's not retired, he's just choosing not to play. There are teams that would be interested in the game's leader of grit, but isn't sure if he wants to return. He sounds like he just needs to be wined and dined in the right way and he'd return. [Los Angeles Times]

NAME GAME: Just as Hall of Famer Mickey Mantle was responsible for Pete Rose's nickname, "Charlie Hustle," another Hall of Famer hung the moniker "Donnie Baseball" on Don Mattingly. Mattingly said Kirby Puckett gets credit for the nickname. [MLB.com]

NAME CHANGE: Remember the old XFL and Rod "He Hate Me" Smart? The CPBL -- the Chinese Professional Baseball League of Taiwan -- is apparently trying some sort of similar name-changing gimmick with its foreign players. One of those is former Royal Dan Reichert who is now Robert 38. [FanGraphs.com]

DODGERS DREAM TEAM: Steve Garvey has put together what he calls a "Dream Team" to buy the Dodgers, including another former Dodger, Orel Hershiser. [SportsRadioInterviews.com]

DIFFERENT DERBY: The Midwest League featured a different type of home run derby, which featured a hitting contest with more than 50 targets and prizes, including a dunk tank. Really, though, the biggest improvement over the big-league version is the absence of Chris Berman. [Benjamin Hill]

BUTCH'S TIRADE: Former big-leaguer Butch Hobson is now a manager in an Independent League, but his tirade from the other night is certainly worthy of the majors. Check him out has he does a combination of Lloyd McClendon and Terrell Owens. [h/t ItsAlwaysSunnyInDetroit.com]

MASCOT FAIL: Is that a sock or are you just happy to see me? Check out this independent league mascot in Amarillo, Texas. Yep. That's not good. [h/t Big League Stew]

BRING A PACKED LUNCH: I've always wanted to go see a game on one of the Wrigley Field rooftops, and I'd still like to -- I'm just not sure I would eat anything they have. Several rooftop businesses failed their health inspections recently. [Chicago Tribune]

CONGRATS CHONE: FanGraphs.com looks at the worst players in baseball based on 2010 and 2011 -- with Mariners infielder Chone Figgins edging Brewers shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt for the title.

CIVIL WAR-STYLE GAME: If you're in Savannah, Ga., this weekend, you have plenty of entertainment and dining options, but how about checking out some baseball at a Civil War fort? Fort Pulaski will host a game Sunday featuring rules from 1860. [Connect Savannah]

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: June 16, 2011 1:15 pm
Edited on: June 16, 2011 2:05 pm
 

Bonds, Griffey headline 'disrespectful' sons



By Matt Snyder


With Father's Day coming this weekend, it's the perfect time to think about how you can show up your Dad. What better way than to remind him you're better than he is? Maybe disrespectful, but still fun nonetheless.

I know when my son becomes more successful in life it will certainly be a sign of disrespect. Assuming in the sense that you disrespect your father if you outperform him -- and we're also assuming you have a sense of humor and realize this is tongue-in-cheeck -- we've compiled a list of 10 recent sons who disrespected the memory of their fathers by playing better. This is by no means exhaustive, just a quick glance at 10 dudes who played within the past decade or so that were better than their major-league fathers. Look for 10 "respectful" sons to be posted later Thursday at Eye On Baseball.

Roberto/Sandy Alomar. Father: Sandy. Sandy Sr. played for 15 seasons in the majors, making a single All-Star Game. He hit .245 with just 13 career home runs and a .578 OPS. He obviously stuck around for defensive purposes, yet never won a Gold Glove. He did have two sons come along and show him how it was done. Robbie's a Hall of Famer and one of the greatest second basemen of all time. Sandy Jr. had far too many durability issues to come close to that type of stature, but he did make six All-Star Games, won a Rookie of the Year and played in two World Series.

Barry Bonds. Father: Bobby. Bobby was no slouch, that much is for certain. He was a great power-speed combo guy, garnering 332 home runs and 461 stolen bases in his 14 seasons. He finished in the top five of MVP voting twice and ended his career with an .824 OPS. His son, however, scoffed at the notion of simply living up to Dad. He obliterated Bobby as a player. Barry won seven MVPs and is one of the greatest players in baseball history.

Robinson Cano. Father: Jose. If you didn't know Jose Cano was a major-league player, you can rest easy. You are certainly not alone. Jose appeared in six games as an Astros pitcher in 1989. He had a 5.09 ERA and 1.35 WHIP in 23 innings. Robinson's already one of the best second basemen in baseball and could very well be on his way to a Hall of Fame career, but that remains to be seen. Regardless, he's far exceeded his father already.

Prince Fielder. Father: Cecil. Cecil was one of the most prolific home run hitters in baseball for a good seven years. He led the majors in RBI for three straight seasons and was the first to break 50 homers in years. Prince, however, already has more wins above replacement and has been one of the most feared power hitters in baseball for the past five years. He's having a monster season, with an OPS over 1.000 and leading the NL in RBI. By the time the dust settles, Prince's big-league career will dwarf Cecil's. Remember, Cecil wasn't good until he was 26. Prince is 27 now.

Ken Griffey Jr. Father: Ken. Similar to the Bonds duo, Ken Sr. was hardly a bad player. He was a three-time All-Star and two-time World Series champion. He had a career .290 batting average and .359 OBP. He stole 200 bases while hitting 152 homers. But Junior was an icon, a 13-time All-Star and 10-time Gold Glover who clubbed 630 home runs in his career.

Jason Kendall. Father: Fred. Fred appears to have been one of those catchers who just hangs on forever because he's a reliable backstop. He was a dreadful hitter, as evidenced by his career .234 average and .598 OPS. Using OPS-plus, he had only one above average season and was otherwise not even close to average. You won't mistake Jason for a Hall of Famer, but he was a three-time All-Star and a really good-hitting catcher for about six seasons. His career .366 OBP is very solid for a catcher, and you've got to respect those 189 steals.

Robb Nen. Father: Dick. The elder Nen played in parts of six MLB seasons, accruing 918 plate appearances. He hit just .224 with a .288 OBP. Robb was a dominant closer for about a decade, gathering 314 saves and 10 strikeouts per nine innings over the course of his career. He was a three-time All-Star, twice went to the World Series as closer -- winning once -- and moved the radar gun to triple digits on occasion. Even though Robb's career ended rather abruptly, it still was far superior to that of his father's.

Cal Ripken Jr. Father: Cal. Cal Sr. never made the bigs, but he did manage there. He had a far-from-illustrious minor-league career as a player. We know all about Cal Jr. and his consecutive games streak, along with the Rookie of the Year, two MVPs, all those All-Star Games, the 431 home runs and, well, you get the point.

Nick Swisher. Father: Steve. Steve made an All-Star Game in 1976, but he was overall a pretty bad hitter and never won a Gold Glove (he can thank Johnny Bench for that). Simply put, Steve Swisher was a nine-year major-leaguer who couldn't hit (.216/.279/.303) but stuck around because he was a backup catcher. Nick's a solid corner outfielder, having hit more than 20 homers six times and sporting a career .357 OBP. He's been to an All-Star Game and won the World Series, too.

Jayson Werth. Father: Dennis. Dennis Werth played in just 117 games in parts of four seasons, hitting .209 with three home runs and 15 RBI. He was basically just a pinch-hitter, getting 172 plate appearances in those 117 games. Jayson's been to an All-Star Game, two World Series, led the league in doubles, hit 129 bombs and now cashed in with a huge contract from a possibly up-and-coming team.

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

Posted on: June 15, 2011 10:02 am
Edited on: June 15, 2011 10:53 am
 

Pepper: Danks discovers cut-fastball


Justin Verlander nearly pitched another no-hitter on Tuesday. NESN.com's Tony Lee joins Scott Braun on Baseball Today.

By Evan Brunell


NEW CUTTER: John Danks is finally on a roll, turning around his 0-7 start by winning his last two games. Danks pitched far better than his record indicated, but couldn't seem to figure things out and cited his cut fastball as one pitch he was struggling with.

"I play with grips a lot," Danks said. "My last game, I finally had a good one and was encouraged. Whenever I'm throwing a good one, I'm throwing it out front. That makes sense. I tend to not get on top of it and get around it, and it doesn't do anything for me. My focus is throwing it out front."

Danks is using a grip taught by batting practice pitcher Kevin Hickey and has also experimented with other grips, including Mark Buehrle's.

"I will continue to work on other grips in case I lose it in a game so I have something to fall back on," Danks said. (Chicago Tribune)

ALL JETER, ALL THE TIME: Nick Swisher, for one, is tired of the Derek Jeter hoopla. Here's his response to a question about Jeter after taking out the Rangers:

"We just played a great game and you ask me that? I don't even know exactly what happened. A strain? Well, obviously, everyone knows what he's going up for, and he's the captain, we're going to miss him a lot, but then again we're trying to pick up where he left off. Gardy did a great job leading off for us tonight. I know he's excited about the opportunity to lead off for a little bit. But definitely when he's ready, we'll be ready for him to come back. He's a great player, definitely an elite, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. The show goes on.''  (ESPN New York)

BEST PLAYER IN THE GAME: How did Jose Bautista come about to be one of the -- if not the -- best players in the game? This fantastic feature explains it all, and no, steroids aren't part of it. (Yahoo! Sports)

BLANK THE GOAT: Cubs players created a stir Monday when they revealed new team shirts that read "F--k the Goat!!!" Predictably, questions arose as to whether the Cubs players are tempting fate.

"I have news for you. When you take the field, nobody is thinking about the goat, whether they're wearing the T-shirt or not," manager Mike Quade said. (Chicago Tribune)

YOUNG MILESTONE: Michael Young is now the Rangers' all-time leader in games played after Monday, passing Rafael Palmiero with 1,574 games. (New York Times)

FASTEST MAN ALIVE: Tony Campana believes he's the fastest man in the league, and manager Mike Quade concurs. Wonder if Michael Bourn might take exception to that. (Chicago Tribune)

HATED: This may come as a surprise, but the Yankees are one of the most hated teams in the game. But has anyone ever wondered who the 10 most hateable Yankees are in Rangers history? Probably not, but now you know. (Dallas News)

CLOSER IN L.A.: It appears as if Javy Guerra is quickly grasping the Dodgers' closer role. The rookie has been getting more and more late-inning, high-leverage outings lately and appears to be de facto closer, even as manager Don Mattingly refused to put a label on Guerra. (MLB.com)

BARNEY HURT
: Darwin Barney strained his right knee and will hit the disabled list for it. The second baseman leads all NL rookies in batting average with a .294 mark. (ESPN Chicago)

KAZMIR NEARING END? Scott Kazmir got raked once again in a minor-league rehab start, leaving him with a 17.02 ERA in 15 2/3 innings over five starts. It's likely that L.A. will now release Kazmir, who has a career 5.31 ERA with the Angels in 35 starts, one of the bigger busts in recent memory. (Los Angeles Times)

SECOND OPINION: Freddy Sanchez will receive a second opinion on his dislocated shoulder in the hopes of avoiding season-ending surgery. Sanchez is hoping to heal the shoulder on his own. (MLB.com)

SANDOVAL BACK: Pablo Sandoval was thrilled after his first game back from injury, saying he feels great and the surgery to repair his right wrist went well. The team, too, seems to be relieved that Sandoval has returned. (San Jose Mercury News)

GRANTED: Cole Hamels is one of the best pitchers on the field, but off the field he runs a charity that grants various amounts of money to Philadelphia schools to help them educate children in the face of budget cuts. (MLB.com)

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Posted on: June 4, 2011 9:52 pm
Edited on: June 5, 2011 5:29 pm
 

Best first-round picks of the last decade



By C. Trent Rosecrans

With the MLB Draft beginning Monday night at 7 p.m. ET, the Eye on Baseball crew is going to look at the best -- and worst -- first-round draft picks by each team in the last 10 years. 

With the way the baseball draft goes, there are plenty of busts in the first round every year, but there are a lot of great players in the game that were drafted in the first round and the supplemental first round. Tomorrow we'll look at the misses, but for today, here are the hits.

Arizona Diamondbacks: Most first overall picks make the majors and many (Alex Rodrgiuez, Ken Griffey, Chipper Jones) find their way to superstardom. Justin Upton may not be a superstar yet, but the first overall pick of the 2005 draft already has one All-Star appearance under his belt and will probably have more to come.

Atlanta Braves: With the 14th pick in the 2007 draft, the Braves took a local kid, outfielder Jason Heyward. Nice pick.

MLB Draft

Baltimore Orioles: Matt Wieters is close to taking this spot, but for now it's still Nick Markakis, who was taken with the seventh overall pick of the 2003 draft out of Young Harris College in Georgia.

Boston Red Sox: The Red Sox had five picks in the first round and the supplemental first round in 2005, and as good as Jacoby Ellsbury and Jed Lowrie are, the pick here is right-hander Clay Buchholz, taken 42nd overall out of Angelina College.

Chicago Cubs: While his name is now a cautionary tale, it's easy to forget just how good Mark Prior was before arm trouble. Drafted with the second pick of the 2001 draft, he won six games in 2002 and 18 in 2003, his best season. Overall, Prior was 42-29 with a 3.51 ERA.

Gordon BeckhamChicago White Sox: Even with his struggles last year and this season, Gordon Beckham has been a productive player for the White Sox after he was taken with the eighth overall pick in the 2008 draft.

Cincinnati Reds: Taken out of high school with the 12th overall pick in 2005, Jay Bruce is the reigning National League Player of the Month and only seems to be getting better at 24. He already has 85 homers in his career, including a National League-best 17 this season.

Cleveland Indians: How bad have the Indians' first-round picks been the last decade? The 18 players taken by Cleveland in the first round and the supplemental first round over the last 10 years have collected just 506 games in the majors, 334 for Cleveland. Lonnie Chisenhall (29th overall in 2008) may eventually be their best in this list, but for right now it's the Orioles' Jeremy Guthrie, who at least has 40 big-league wins.

Colorado Rockies: While the Indians' choice was tough, the Rockies' wasn't -- Troy Tulowitzki was taken with the seventh overall pick in 2005.

Detroit Tigers: With the second pick in 2004, the Tigers took Justin Verlander.

Florida Marlins: The team's best pick of the last decade came in the fourth round of the 2002 draft when it took high school pitcher Josh Johnson, but as far as first-round picks, their best is right-hander Chris Volstad, taken with the 16th pick of the 2005 draft.

Chris BurkeHouston Astros: The Astros didn't have first-round picks in 2003, 2004 and 2007 and haven't had much production from any of them. There's really just two choices, Chris Burke (10th overall, 2001) and Jason Castro (10th overall, 2008). Castro has potential, but is out this season and has played in just 67 big league games, so the pick is Burke, who played in parts of six seasons with three teams, but his 18th-inning walk-off homer (left) to clinch the 2005 NLDS against the Braves is one of the franchise's signature moments.

Kansas City Royals: This choice could be much more difficult in five years, but for now it's pretty easy -- Zack Greinke. The Royals selected him sixth overall in the 2002 draft and he won the American League Cy Young Award in 2009.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: Jered Weaver was the 12th pick of the 2004 draft.

Los Angeles Dodgers: The Dodgers took lefty Clayton Kershaw with the seventh pick of the 2006 draft out of a Texas high school.

Milwaukee Brewers: This could change in a couple of years, but for now, Prince Fielder (seventh overall, 2002) leads Ryan Braun (fifth overall, 2005). Fielder is a free agent this offseason, while Braun is under contract through 2020.

Minnesota Twins: There were those who questioned the pick of hometown boy Joe Mauer with the first pick in the 2001 draft instead of Prior. Not anymore.

New York Mets: Fred Wilpon may not think he's a franchise player, but David Wright is the team's best first-round pick in the last decade, taken with the 38th overall pick in 2001.

New York Yankees: The Yankees have plenty of first-round picks on their roster, although few were their picks. Two key pitchers, starter Phil Hughes (23rd overall in 2004) and reliever Joba Chamberlain (41st overall in 2006), were Yankee picks. The pick here is Chamberlain, who has allowed fewer runs in a similar number of innings and is currently pitching.

Oakland Athletics: A chapter of the book Moneyball focuses on the 2002 MLB Draft and Billy Beane's distaste of drafting high school players. In the book, the team is excited the Brewers take a player they won't touch (Fielder), and the team also doesn't want Zack Greinke, Scott Kazmir, Cole Hamels or Matt Cain -- all high school player. But they get the man they want the most, Nick Swisher at No. 16. It's a good pick, as is Joe Blanton at 24 -- but it's hardly Greinke, Fielder, Hamels or Cain. The team also picked Jeremy Brown, a catcher out of Alabama, and Mark Teahen in the supplemental round. 

Philadelphia Phillies: Another pick from the Moneyball draft, the pick after the A's took Swisher, the Phillies snatched up Hamels, the left-hander from a California high school with the 17th pick.

Pittsburgh Pirates: The 2005 draft featured six players listed as center fielders taken in the first round -- and all six have made the big leagues. The second one taken was the Pirates' Andrew McCutchen with the 11th overall pick. The others were Cameron Maybin (10), Bruce (12), Trevor Crowe (14), Ellsbury (23) and Colby Rasmus (28).

San Diego Padres: The Padres may have had one of the biggest busts of the last decade in Matt Bush, the first overall pick in 2004 draft, but he's not been their only bad pick. The best of the lot was Khalil Greene, taken No. 13 in 2002, who had a promising start of his career, but his troubles with social anxiety disorder drove him from the game. Still, he's the Padres' career leader in homers by a shortstop with 84.

San Francisco Giants: Nine teams passed on the right-hander out of Washington, some scared off by his funky motion and small stature. Tim Lincecum proved them wrong.

Evan LongoriaSeattle Mariners: Adam Jones (37th pick in 2003) played in just 73 games for the Mariners, but was named an All-Star and won a Gold Glove with the Orioles in 2009.

St. Louis Cardinals: With a compensation pick for the Red Sox signing Edgar Renteria, the Cardinals used the 28th pick of the 2005 draft to take Rasmus out of an Alabama High School.

Tampa Bay Rays: Were Luke Hochevar and Greg Reynolds better than Evan Longoria? The Royals and Rockies took those two right-handers with the first two picks of the 2006 draft, leaving Longoria (left) for the Rays.

Texas Rangers: Funny story here -- in 2001 I was working at the Athens Banner-Herald in Georgia and was covering the NCAA Regional in Athens when a Teixeira-led Georgia Tech squad was bounced from the tournament. After his last game, a kid from the student radio station asked Teixeira if he thought his poor showing in the regional would hurt his draft status. The Georgia Tech coach, Danny Hall, took the microphone before Teixeira could answer and said, "No." So did the Rangers, who took him fifth overall.

Toronto Blue Jays: The Blue Jays took lefty Ricky Romero out of Cal State Fullerton with the sixth pick in the 2005 draft.

Washington Nationals: Another pick that could change with the emergence of Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper, but that's still several years away because of the fourth pick of the 2005 draft,  Ryan Zimmerman.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: April 8, 2011 7:56 pm
 

No cast or surgery for Nishioka

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Tsuyoshi NishiokaThe Twins and Tsuyoshi Nishioka got good news on Friday when he was evaluated by the team doctor during Friday's game.

Dr. John Steubs said Nishioka's broken left fibula will not require surgery or a cast, although no timetable is set until his soreness and swelling subsides, MLB.com reports.

"It's still a fracture, but it's not a huge injury that will force me to miss the season or anything," Nishioka told reporters through translator Ryo Shinkawa. "I just want to get back as soon as possible."

Nishioka is on crutches and manager Ron Gardenhire said he expects his second baseman to be out four to six weeks.

The first-year Twin was injured when the Yankees Nick Swisher slid into him, trying to break up a double play. Swisher visited Nishioka and apologized, which Nishioka said was unnecessary. 

Minnesota called up  Luke Hughes to play second in Nishioka's absence. Huges led the twins with six home runs in the spring. Hughes started at second and hit eight, going 0 for 3, in the Twins' 2-1 victory over Oakland on Friday.

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

Posted on: April 7, 2011 5:16 pm
Edited on: April 7, 2011 6:42 pm
 

Nishioka suffers broken fibula

Tsuyoshi Nishioka
UPDATED (5:55 p.m. EST)
By C. Trent Rosecrans

The Yankees' Nick Swisher not only broke up a double play on his take-out slide of Twins second baseman Tsuyoshi Nishioka in Thursday's Yankee victory, but also broke Nishioka's left fibula.

Nishioka has been placed on the disabled list and Luke Hughes has been recalled to take his roster spot, according to a press release from the Twins. There's no timetable for Nishioka's return yet. He will see the team's doctors tomorrow, Kelsie Smith of the St. Paul Pioneer-Press tweets .

The slide, coming on a grounder by Mark Teixeira, appeared to be clean, and no Twins player objected to it, USA Today 's Bob Nightengale tweets . Swisher talked to Nishioka, but Nishioka said it wasn't necessary, that it was a completely clean play.

"The first thing I said was, ‘I’m sorry, man. I thought you were going to jump,” Swisher told reporters, including Christensen . “And he said, ‘It was my fault. I should have gotten out of the way.’ I was just trying to break up a double play. I didn't  mean to do that. Especially with a guy like that, just trying to make his mark over here.”

It looked for a minute that Nishioka would stay in the game, but he was then helped off the field with his arms around a trainer and his interpreter, putting little-to-no weight on his leg.

Nishioka is hitting .217/.280/.261 in his first year with the Twins. The Twins won with a bid in excess of $5 million in posting and signed him to a three-year, $9.25 million contract. Nishioka, 26, led Japan's Pacific League with a .346 average. 

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb   on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: February 26, 2011 12:52 pm
Edited on: February 26, 2011 1:06 pm
 

Pepper: No Millwood for Cards?

Posted by Matt Snyder

Kevin Millwood
WAINWRIGHTED: Let's face it, things are kind of (read: really) slow during the early weeks of spring training. We've got beat writers tweeting play-by-play of intersquad scrimmages, people making fun of people overreacting to Tim Lincecum's outing (though, at this point, I'm not sure anyone takes these early outings seriously) and one of the biggest news stories is a free agent for next season.

So when a star starting pitcher goes down injured, the aftermath is sure to linger. To the point that Kevin Millwood is a wanted man.

And rightfully so.

The Cards appear to be dead-set on Kyle McClellan entering the rotation. Manager Tony La Russa looks at him as a "real weapon" (St. Louis Post-Dispatch ) and notes he's paid his dues. Which he kind of has, but the flipside is that, in the process, McClellan has become one of the better set up options in the majors. He posted a sparkling 2.27 ERA last season in 68 appearances. Removing him from the bullpen in favor of the rotation leaves a gaping hole in the late innings.

That is why plugging in a veteran like Millwood -- who Dave Duncan could surely make work -- seems like a logical move. Post-Dispatch writer Bernie Miklasz makes a really good case for Millwood. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch )

In other Cardinals' rotation news, it appears Chris Carpenter -- the remaining ace of the former pair of bullets -- could be traded and wouldn't necessarily block a deal. Obviously the Yankees would be in on it, but a nugget from this post is that the Yanks have "told their scouts to bear down on several teams they think could have starters available" before the trade deadline, including the Cards, Braves, A's, Angels and White Sox. (NY Post )

SETTLE DOWN, HE'S FINE: Another effect of the early preseason is the reactions to injuries. Brian Roberts has missed several workouts with neck stiffness. Since there's nothing else going on, it's big news for Orioles camp -- I mean, really, how much could you be following the Felix Pie vs. Nolan Reimold battle for a roster spot? -- but Roberts is actually OK. In fact, he said if it was the regular season he'd be playing. (MLB.com )

THE ON-BASE MACHINE: MLBTradeRumors.com reports that Nick Johnson is working out and expecting a call anyday now, because several teams are "monitoring" the oft-injured 32 year old. He has a career OBP of over .400, so he could help someone's lineup.

FEELIN' CHIPPER: Chipper Jones has been having issues with his surgically repaired knee this spring. He even needed fluid drained after inflammation as recently as Thursday, but Friday was a good day. In fact, he may play in a Grapefruit League game Sunday. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution )

TO-MORROW: Brandon Morrow is as talented as almost any pitcher in the league. We've seen evidence on the diamond, like when he shutout the Rays August 8 with 17 strikeouts and only allowed one hit. Or his 12 strikeouts in six innings against the Yankees. This season, he's looking to achieve "new heights." If he does, watch out, AL East. (Toronto Star )

NOT SATISFIED: With an OPS-plus of 130, Nick Swisher had arguably the best season of his career last season. His .288 batting average and .511 slugging percentage were both career highs for the 30-year-old veteran. Still, it wasn't enough for Swish. He wants more. (NY Daily News )

CHICKS DIG THE LONG BALL: Mike Stanton is strong. We know that. He hit 22 home runs last season in 359 at-bats. In 324 minor-league games, he hit 89 bombs. The potential is there for an elite power hitter. And Friday, he put on a "show" in batting practice. (Palm Beach Post )

CHICKS DIG DEFENSE? Designated hitter Jack Cust is most certainly not known for his fielding prowess, having played only 16 games in the field in 2010. But he flashed the leather this week in practice, to the point that teammates were impressed. (MLB.com )

DURBIN SIGNS: As expected, Chad Durbin has signed with the Indians. The Tribe's rotation is far from set, so one would figure he's going to be prominently in the mix. The righty hasn't started a game since 2007 for the Tigers. (Jerry Crasnick via Twitter )

BEATING WITH THE BRAIN: Are the Cubs smarter in 2011? They think so. (Chicago Sun Times )

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