Tag:Phil Humber
Posted on: May 1, 2011 1:43 am
Edited on: May 1, 2011 1:51 am
 

3 up, 3 down: Shields, Halladay baffle batters

Shields

By Evan Brunell

3 UP

James Shields, Rays -- Shields delivered a dominating performance and may be on the way back towards being an ace. However, Shields is an inconsistent player, so we'll have to see how he performs more. Still, he twirled a beautiful start against the Angels, going eight strong with an eyebrow-raising 12 strikeouts against one walk, six hits and an earned run. He combined to strike out the first three batters of the game six times, holding them to 1 for 13 with a walk. This game pushes Shields' ERA down to 2.14.

Roy Halladay, Phillies -- What else do you expect? Halladay rivaled Shields for best pitching performance as he pitched a complete game seven-hitter, allowing a walk and punching eight out. The Mets -- especially Jason Bay in an 0-for-4 night with three whiffs -- were helpless as Philly squeaked out a 2-1 victory. That offense is starting to run a little cold in Philadelphia, who were lifted by reserve outfielder John Mayberry Jr.'s first home run of the year plus a sac fly by Placido Polanco. Carlos Beltran did have two hits, continuing a nice return from knee problems.

Michael Brantley, Indians -- The league's best hitting performance that also directly won the game for Cleveland by Brantley, who sparked the team to victory by first tying the game at two-all in the sixth by ripping a solo home run and then scoring the winning run on an Orlando Cabrera single. All in all, the leadoff man who was playing center as Grady Sizemore took a breather, stepped up to the plate with a 3-for-6 night (so did Cabrera), scoring those two runs and driving in himself on the homer to edge the Tigers 3-2. Top Indians pitching prospect Alex White got throw his start by throwing six innings and allowing just two runs despite coughing up four walks and six hits -- two home runs -- and whiffing four.

3 DOWN

Matt Thornton, White Sox -- Ozzie Guillen must be furious. In his house, that is, as he was suspended two games for his comments about the umpiring earlier in the week and then tweeting about it. Matt Thornton was called in by bench coach Joey Cora to keep the ChiSox in the game as they trailed 2-1 in the eighth. Phil Humber had a two-run, seven-inning start, calling into question whether he should be demoted when Jake Peavy returns. Against the Orioles, Thornton went as such: single, stolen base, strikeout plus Pierzynski error allowing a run to score and batter to reach, single, wild pitch, walk, infield RBI single, sacrifice fly, and -- that was it for Thornton as Jerry Gray sandwiched two outs around a hit by pitch. Not a good day at the park for Chicago's closer at the beginning of the season who has already lost his job.

Red Sox offense -- What can the Red Sox offense do for you? Well, it can mount a seven-hit attack on Doug Fister, walk six times, and ... leave 11 men on base in a 2-0 defeat. Awesome. David Ortiz want 0-for-4 with two whiffs, coming up in a key situation that could have changed the complexion of the game. The Red Sox left the bases loaded in the first (yes, really) and fourth, with Jacoby Ellsbury ending the threat in the fourth by getting doubled off second in a mistake. Oh, and no Mariners game is complete without a Milton Bradley ejection. The mercurial outfielder delivered a RBI double in the second to send Seattle up 1-0 then argued with the second base umpire about a play in which Miguel Olivo grounded to first and got the heave-ho. Skipper Eric Wedge was in the process of leaving the field after mounting his own complaint, but he didn't get tossed.

Kyle Drabek, Blue Jays -- Drabek got a little lesson in humility Saturday night, lasting just 2 1/3 innings. Drabek has been a bit up and down in his first full major-league season, but was still doing decently enough. Now his ERA rests at 4.45 after giving up five runs on seven hits, four walks and four strikeouts against the Yankees. He was dinked to death, but those runs count and can be even more deflating than a single big blow. You can attribute giving up a grand slam to one misplaced pitch, but you can't justify any of your stuff when everything is being rifled. Oddly enough, no Yank had more than one hit, but everyone did sans Derek Jeter (all together: when will he be demoted to No. 8 in the lineup? -- hey, look a reunion of the top two in the order from last season... at the bottom).

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed. 
Posted on: April 30, 2011 10:22 am
 

Peavy tosses rehab start, looks ahead to majors

By Evan Brunell

PeavyAt this point in Jake Peavy's career, any type of progress on rehab assignments is notable.

Peavy tossed 5 2/3 innings for the White Sox's Triple-A affiliate Friday, giving up three runs and seven hits. He flashed his control by walking none and whiffed eight, which is a great barometer for his readiness.

"I gave up a few runs, a two-run homer late, but I made a lot of good pitches," Peavy told MLB.com. "I couldn't feel any better stuff-wise. I thought I was much better than I've been in the past. I feel better than I have in quite some time."

Peavy, who has been out with rotator cuff tendinitis, will pitch Wednesday for Double-A as the Triple-A club has an off day. The aim will be to throw 100 pitches in that outing, then evaluate his readiness for the majors. Barring any unexpected surprises (and with Peavy, nothing's unexpected), he should be able to rejoin Chicago's rotation.

That will represent an interesting issue for the 10-17 White Sox, who are scrapping to stay out of the cellar. Peavy's replacement in the rotation, Phil Humber, has pitched well, with 3.20 ERA in 35 innings. He's represented yet another success story for pitching guru Don Cooper, although it's too early to anoint Humber a legitimate pitcher. Meanwhile, Edwin Jackson has been the worst of the five pitchers with a 5.86 ERA.

It's difficult to imagine Jackson being bumped from the rotation, though, and the trio of Mark Buehrle, Gavin Floyd and John Danks aren't going anywhere.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed. 
Posted on: April 16, 2011 7:23 pm
 

Peavy could return to rotation this month

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Jake PeavyWhite Sox right-hander Jake Peavy is on schedule to make his 2011 debut on April 29 against the Orioles.

Peavy threw a bullpen Saturday at U.S. Cellular Field and is expected to throw about 90 pitches at Double-A Birmingham on Monday, followed by a 100-pitch outing at Triple-A Charlotte after that. If all goes well, he'd be on schedule to pitch against the Orioles at home.

"I do feel like I'm getting there, like I'm coming out of spring training," Peavy told the Chicago Tribune's Dave van Dyck. "I'm getting a good feel for my pitches, I'm starting to feel stronger than in spring training."

Peavy missed the second half of 2010 after suffering a detached latissimus dorsi muscle in his back. This spring his return was delayed by shoulder tendinitis. Om two rehab starts, Peavy's 0-1 with a 1.86 ERA in 9 2/3 innings. He pitched six innings for Triple-A Charlotte on Wednesday, throwing 72 pitches.

Phil Humber is scheduled to start April 29 and the team could send him back to a long-relief role. However, pitching coach Don Cooper said last week the team may go to a six-man rotation to add more rest for the team's starters. If Peavy started April 30 in place of Gavin Floyd, the entire rotation could get another start in before the team's off day on May 5.

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

Posted on: April 11, 2011 10:29 am
Edited on: April 18, 2011 11:54 am
 

Pepper: No change in the Cards at closer

Ryan FranklinBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Three out of four isn't bad. Well, unless you're a closer and you've blown three of four save chances.

The only thing worse than having a closer that can't close is the manager having zero confidence in anybody else in the bullpen. 

When St. Louis manager Tony La Russa was asked if he was considering changing his closer from Ryan Franklin, he answered, "who's better?"

"Somebody's got to come up with somebody that's better on our club right now," La Russa told MLB.com's Matthew Leach. "The fact is that right now those young guys aren't better."

The young guys are Mitchell Boggs and Jason Motte, both of whom are being groomed to take over for Franklin.

In fairness to Franklin, errors by Albert Pujols and Colby Rasmus with two outs in the ninth led to two victories by the Giants on Friday and Saturday, respectively. However, the way the Cardinals are constructed, defense will not be bailing out too many pitchers this season, and Pujols and Rasmus are two of the teams' better defenders.

Sunday the Cardinals found a way to avoid a closer breakdown -- by giving its pitchers a five-run lead to close out. They were successful, salvaging the series against the Giants with a 6-1 get-away day win in San Francisco.

RED-HOT Rangers -- Jeff Wilson of the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram joins Lauren Shehadi to talk about the Rangers' great start.

CABRERA HELPING CABRERA -- The influence of veteran Orlando Cabrera has already started paying off for the Indians. During spring, Cabrera noticed Asdrubal Cabrera's approach in batting practice was that of a slugger, not a shortstop. He told him to try that in a game sometime. During the Indians' seven-game winning streak, Asdrubal Cabrera is hitting .316 with three homers and nine RBI. Asdrubal Cabrera had three homers all of last season. [MLB.com]

SIX-MAN ROTATION? -- The White Sox may look at a six-man rotation when Jake Peavy returns because of the performance of Phil Humber, at least on a short-term basis. [Chicago Tribune]

NICE MATCHUP -- For just the 21st time in history, two authors of perfect games will start against each other tonight, as Oakland's Dallas Braden faces Chicago's Mark Buehrle.

DUNN TAKE BP -- White Sox slugger Adam Dunn took batting practice before Sunday's game against the Rays and could return to the team's lineup as soon as today.

"It was good to get out of solitary confinement and hang out with the general population, you know what I mean," Dunn told the Chicago Tribune's Dave van Dyck.

However, Dunn said he was done making predictions about when he'd return when asked if he could play today against Oakland.

TINKERING -- Derek Jeter isn't the only Yankee messing with his mechanics -- right-hander Phil Hughes tinkered with his motion during his bullpen session on Sunday. Hughes is attempting to use more of the bottom half of his body in his delivery. [New York Times]

ROUSING THE TROOPS -- Rays manager Joe Maddon tried to eject all four umpires in Sunday's 6-1 loss to the White Sox. [St. Petersburg Times]

Enjoy this video while it lasts (why MLB.com won't allow embedded videos, I just don't know...)

LAROCHE CONFIDENT HE'LL BE BACK SOON -- Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche said he doesn't expect to miss any time after leaving Sunday's game with a strained left groin. LaRoche left in the 11th inning against the Mets, but said today's day off for the Nationals would give him ample healing time. [MASNSports.com]

ZIMMERMAN UNSURE OF RETURN -- Unlike his teammate LaRoche, Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman is unsure when he'll return from his strained abdominal muscle. Zimmerman will be re-evaluated on Tuesday following the off day. [Washington Post]

YOUNG UNHAPPY -- Mets right-hander Chris Young wasn't perfect on Sunday and  that wasn't good enough for him or the Mets. In his first seven-inning outing in nearly two years, Young allowed just one hit and two walks, and the walk came back to hurt him, accounting for the lone run he gave up to the Nationals. After he left the game, Washington tied the game in the eighth inning before winning it in the 11th. Young picked up a no-decision, but is 1-0 with a 1.46 ERA in two starts for the Mets this season.  [ESPNNewYork.com]

BACK-TO-BACK -- Mark Prior pitched on back-to-back days for the Class A Tampa Yankees on Saturday and Sunday as he makes the transition from starter to reliever in an attempt to return to the majors for the first time since 2006. Prior's fastball reached 91 on both days. [MLB.com]

NO BIG DEAL -- Cubs pitching coach Mark Riggins downplayed conflicting statements from pitcher Matt Garza and manager Mike Quade following Garza's loss to the Brewers on Saturday. [Chicago Sun-Times]

NO REPLICAS FOR FANS -- The Giants will not make replica World Series rings available to fans, but you can by commemorative jewelry from the team. So, you know, if you've outgrown your class ring, you can get a ring that's symbolic of an achievement you had absolutely zero to do with earning yourself. But, you know, if you have $3,570 dollars just lying around with nothing else to really do with it, why not? It's not like there are charities that could use it more than you can use a 14K white gold ring with diamonds and your name on it that will repel women. Seriously, just buy one of the cool hats with the gold SF the team wore the other day. [San Francisco Chronicle]

NEW BOX -- The fine folks over at FanGraphs have unveiled their new boxscore. I swear there are some stats that aren't real in there just to see if you're paying attention. Seriously, there's just about everything you'd ever want in this box, and going through one could take longer than actually watching the game. And I mean that in the most awesome way possible. [FanGraphs.com]

OLD GLOVES -- A cool graphic on the evolution of the baseball glove, or at least Spalding's gloves (and a bonus Wilson one, even though I've always been a Rawlings guy). [UniWatchBlog]

NICE DAY AT THE PARK -- What's better than a beautiful Sunday at the ballpark? Try a day at the park followed by a post-game concert by the Avett Brothers. The band performed at Turner Field yesterday following the Phillies' 3-0 victory. My sisters-in-law and other friends went, plus one of my sisters-in-law met Kevin Gillespie in the beer line -- not a bad day.

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

Posted on: February 21, 2011 6:09 pm
 

'Big day' for Peavy

Jake PeavyThe first day of live batting practice is usually a big day for pitchers and batters, being the first step back actual baseball activities -- but Monday's session was even more important for White Sox starter Jake Peavy.

"A day like today is a fun day and a big day for you because there are times you think you'll never do what I did today again," Peavy told Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune. "I certainly think about it when you're sitting down with surgeons and they're trying to figure out how they're going to do surgery and try to figure out a rehab program. It's something that does cross your mind. What if I come back, and I'm never close to the same? Certainly, those are things you think about when you have alone time, but I think we're all past that and moving forward to being who I know I can be."

Peavy threw about 40 pitches to Jordan Danks, Stefan Gartrell and Brandon Short. Peavy said he threw at about 75 percent intensity and also threw some breaking pitches. The next test is how he reacts Tuesday, the day after throwing.

Peavy is expected to pitch March 4 against the Angels in another big test. Peavy has said that he hopes to be ready for opening day, but the White Sox won't need a fifth starter until a little while after that. Chris Sale will not be an option to replace Peavy in the rotation -- Phil Humber, Lucas Harrell, Jeff Gray and Charlie Leesman have been noted as options to pitch in the fifth spot instead of Peavy.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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

Posted on: February 17, 2011 5:25 pm
 

Sale will spend 2011 in bullpen

Chris Sale Chris Sale will start the season in the bullpen, White Sox general manager Ken Williams said on Thursday.

"Chris Sale is going to be in the bullpen," Williams told reporters, including the Chicago Tribune 's Mark Gonzales . "This is very important because I had to explain this to my coaching staff as well: the reason we had Chris Sale as starter is because that's what he has done his whole life. So if you tell him to prepare differently, you might not see the guy you last saw in September.

"We want him to prepare as he did so we can expect the same guy to show up. That means using all of his pitchers and building him up as a starter. He has shown he can transfer that to a relief role."

There had been a belief that Sale could start the season as a starter until Jake Peavy is ready. Now, Phil Humber, Lucas Harrell, Jeff Gray and Charlie Leesman will compete for the temporary fifth starter's spot until Peavy's ready.

Peavy threw a bullpen session on Thursday and said it was "just what I expected, because I've been on the mound before. Just nice and easy. Nothing too much. Just a side session."

Sale was drafted last season out of Florida Gulf Coast University and debuted on Aug. 6 against the Orioles. He pitched in 21 games for the White Sox, going 2-1 with a 1.93 ERA and four saves in 23 1/3 innings pitch. He struck out 32 and walked 10.

Despite making the majors as a reliever and spending this season as a reliever, the White Sox still believe he'll be a starter long-term.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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


 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com