Tag:Ryan Dempster
Posted on: September 27, 2011 6:50 pm
 

R.I.P.: 2011 Chicago Cubs

By Matt Snyder

Another season gone, another disappointment for 29 teams as one is immortalized forever. Let’s take a look back at 2011 and forward in Eye on Baseball’s R.I.P. series...

Team name: Chicago Cubs
Record: 70-90, 24 games back in NL Central
Manager: Mike Quade
Best hitter: Aramis Ramirez -- .306/.360/.506, 25 HR, 92 RBI, 79 R, 35 2B
Best pitcher: Matt Garza -- 9-10, 3.35 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 189 K, 191 IP

After the 2008 season, the Cubs were in the middle of a bit of a golden era in the franchise. They had been division champions three times in a six-year span. That isn't saying much for a lot of teams, but this franchise hadn't had that kind of success since playing in the World Series four out of five seasons from 1906-1910. Alas, they were swept in the NLDS in 2008, despite having the best regular-season record in the National League, so general manager Jim Hendry decided to do some tinkering. The Cubs finished just five games over .500 in 2009 before coming in fifth place in 2010 and are currently in fifth again. And Hendry's out of a job, likely to be followed by Quade and some other coaches.

2011 SEASON RECAP

They were 9-8 and tied for first place after the first game of a doubleheader on April 20, but that was the high point in the standings. The Cubs would go on to lose six of seven games and never be a serious threat the rest of the way. They fell to 10 games back on June 4 and never got closer than nine back in the Central from that point forward. They actually moved up to fourth place September 19 for the first time since May 26, but the overwhelming majority of the season has been spent in fifth place, thanks to the lowly Astros. The biggest positives: Starlin Castro is well on his way to being a major-league star, Darwin Barney appears an adequate option at second base, Matt Garza had a good season, Sean Marshall is still great in middle-to-late inning relief and Jeff Samardzija finally doesn't look like a huge bust. The biggest negative is that this appears to be a badly flawed roster with not near enough help on the way from the minors.

2012 AUDIT

This is the toughest assignment of the R.I.P. series, because there's no way to know the direction of the ballclub until a new general manager is hired. The club is not immediately set up to compete, but there's a stipulation: With more than $50 million in payroll falling off before 2012 and even more off the books before '13, the Cubs could decide to be a major player in free agency. The franchise has enough money to grab, for example, Prince Fielder, C.J. Wilson and still have money left over to bolster the bullpen and find a fill-in at third base. On the other hand, many would argue that still isn't enough to make the Cubs immediate contenders in the National League. If the new GM agrees, he might be more in favor of leaving the payroll low for a season or two while building the system with a youthful foundation before pouncing on big-name free agents to fill holes in 2013 or 2014. One thing that should scare fellow franchises in the NL Central if the Cubs choose to spend big in the near future, is that the Cubs are clear of all big contracts except Alfonso Soriano and Carlos Marmol (and Matt Garza likely has a deal by then, too, I'd guess) prior to 2013 and Marmol's off after '13. They have the resources to be the Red Sox of the NL. It's just a matter of if the Cubs can put the correct plan in place, and that all comes down to who chairman Tom Ricketts hires as his next GM.

FREE AGENTS

Aramis Ramirez, 3B (mutual option)
Carlos Pena, 1B
Reed Johnson, OF
Ryan Dempster, SP (player option for '12)
John Grabow, RP
Jeff Samardzija, RP (club option for '12 and '13)

OFFSEASON FOCUS

Where to even begin? This roster is a mess. First of all, I'd listen to offers for everyone except Starlin Castro. That doesn't mean you have to trade guys like Barney, Marshall or Soto, but you never know if the return might work with the game plan of the new GM. Let's sort through some of this and see what can be done short-term with the eyes on the future. My goal would be to contend in 2013. If it happens in 2012, that's just gravy.
  • Get Prince Fielder. He's 27 and incredibly durable (has never played less than 157 games in a full season). He'd then be the anchor for the Cubs for the foreseeable future, even if it takes a few years to build around him and Castro. Also of importance, if you bat Castro second and Fielder third, Castro's strike zone woes become less an issue (though he has walked more times than he's struck out in September, so it's getting better already).
  • Give Andrew Cashner one last shot to stay healthy in the rotation and also see if Samardzija can be successful as a starter. Having a rotation of Garza, Dempster, Randy Wells, Cashner and Samardzija won't be winning any championships, but Dempster is gone after 2012 and there'd be plenty of money to go after free agents. By then, they Cubs will know if they need just one guy or up to four with Garza. And the list of free agent starters after next season could have some big names -- assuming they aren't granted contract extensions -- like Matt Cain, Zack Greinke, Cole Hamels, Shaun Marcum and James Shields.
  • Read the riot act to Carlos Marmol. Considering the Cubs likely can't contend in 2012 and Marmol is signed through 2013, he has one year to fix himself. Marmol has blown an MLB-high 10 saves (he's tied with Jordan Walden). You can't count on closers to be perfect, but let's say Marmol only blew four saves, which is a very reasonable percentage. The Cubs would be 76-84, which isn't awful at all considering some of the injury issues and poor roster construction.
  • Give Bryan LaHair a shot in right field. LaHair is 28, so he's hardly a prospect, but it's possible he's a late bloomer like Ryan Ludwick or Jayson Werth. LaHair had 38 home runs, 109 RBI and a 1.070 OPS in 129 Triple-A games. He's hitting .309/.391/.545 in 19 games for the Cubs this season. Again, the eyes are on 2013 here, so if he flames out as many expect, you can address the position next offseason. But he's at least earned the chance to get an extended look in the bigs.
  • If the Cubs do fall out of contention in 2012, Marlon Byrd needs to be traded at the deadline and prospect Brett Jackson can then take over in center field. If Jackson is deemed ready earlier in the season and LaHair doesn't pan out, Byrd could be moved to right. 
  • I'd personally bring back Aramis Ramirez for two or three years, assuming the Cubs don't have to break the bank. The last thing they need is another albatross contract, so if he's demanding something like four years and $50 million, it's time to move on. But if it's reasonable, it makes sense to keep him. He's only 33 and has shown has can still swing the bat. He's got to have two to three years left of above-average production at third base. Prospect Josh Vitters had completely fallen off all prospect rankings prior to this season, but rebounded with a decent showing in Double-A this season (.283/.322/.448 with 14 homers, 81 RBI and 28 doubles) and he's still only 21. In two years, the Cubs will have an idea if he is going to be the next third baseman or not. If not, they can look outside the organziation or perhaps someone in the farm system will have emerged. Keeping Ramirez is a natural bridge to when it comes to that.
And there's a lot more, too, but those are the big ones.

The main thing here is the hire a new GM that puts the main focus on building the minor-league system. That way in a few years free agency won't be the only avenue to fill out a winning ballclub. Remember, people complain about the Yankees, Red Sox and Phillies in free agency, but lots of players -- Robinson Cano, Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury, Kevin Youkilis, Jon Lester, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Cole Hamels and several others were developed from within the respective systems. The Cubs have been terrible at developing their own in recent years and leaned on trades and free agency to bail them out. It needs to be a combination or everything will eventually fall apart like it did this season. From there, they can start to think about breaking a faux-curse and easing the pain of the legions of true fans.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: August 13, 2011 6:48 pm
 

Dempster on Zambrano: 'He's made his bed'

Carlos ZambranoBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Pretty much everyone who saw the video of Carlos Zambrano's noticed that when the Braves came out of the dugout looking for a fight, none of the Cubs came out to defend Zambrano. They didn't start on Saturday.

Before Saturday's game in Atlanta, several Cubs said Zambrano's actions were over the line.

"He's been doing a lot of things, not once or twice, he's got think a little bit more," Alfonso Soriano told reporters, including Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune. "He's a big man, but mentally he's weak."

Soriano confronted Zambrano before the pitcher packed his bags and left on Friday, a source told CBSSports.com.

Fellow starter Ryan Dempster, who has been with the Cubs since 2004, said he didn't think Zambrano would pitch for the Cubs again.

"It's not like it's something new," Dempster told the Chicago Sun-Times. "It's been one after another. We've learned to deal with it pretty good."

He added that the team was dealing with it better since Zambrano wasn't at the ballpark on Saturday.

"I think the guys in here are pretty upbeat today," Dempster told the Sun-Times. "He's made his bed; he's got to sleep in it. For us, we'll just go out there and give our best tonight and move forward. The faster you move forward the faster things get better."

Some players told the Sun-Times' Gordon Wittenmyer that they didn't think Zambrano could return to the team.

"I think he needs to find some guy to talk to him, because he's got a problem," Soriano told Wittenmyer. "A lot of people try to help him, but he doesn't let them help, because that's him."

General manager Jim Hendry, the same man who gave Zambrano a five-year, $91.5 million contract, called Zambrano's actions "intolerable," but said it wasn't out of character.

"We've had other instances of him not being the teammate I would aspire him to be," Hendry told the Tribune. "And certainly not all of that is public (though much of it is). You can tell by the sanction we're trying to enforce that it's not tolerated, and it's not right for the other 24. It's just totally uncalled for."

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: July 10, 2011 12:37 am
Edited on: July 10, 2011 1:11 pm
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Ramirez with bookend RBI



By Matt Snyder


Alexei Ramirez, White Sox. The Cuban Missile got the White Sox started and then finished the game off Saturday. In the first inning, Ramirez homered to give the White Sox a 1-0 lead. When he came to the plate in the bottom of the ninth, the White Sox were tied 3-3. A loss would have been their 10th straight against the Twins. But instead, Ramirez singled home A.J. Pierzynski to win it.

Torii Hunter, Angels. The veteran right fielder pretty much took care of the Mariners himself in the Angels' 9-3 win Saturday. Hunter clubbed two home runs and drove home five. It helped the Angels stay just one game behind the surging Rangers in the AL West.

Ubaldo Jimenez, Rockies. The Rockies have been one of the bigger first-half disappointments in baseball, as many expected them to compete for both the NL Wild Card and the NL West title. Instead they're sitting a handful of games below .500. One of the reasons has been the underperformance of ace Jimenez. He came into his Saturday start with a 3-8 record, 4.39 ERA and 1.35 WHIP. Maybe his outing against the Nats Saturday will get things going. Jimenez went eight strong, allowing only five hits, one walk, one run and striking out eight. The Rockies have now won two straight after a five-game losing streak.

Special mention: It's not rare to see Jose Bautista hit home runs (anymore), but two Saturday gave him 31 before the All-Star break. What is this, 2001?



Mike Quade, Cubs manager. Quade pulled Ryan Dempster after five innings and 87 pitches. That's not exactly egregious, though it does feel early for a guy who wasn't getting knocked around in a major way. Yet it worked. The Cubs won as the bullpen threw four scoreless innings. But Dempster and Quade got into a pretty decent argument when Quade told his pitcher he was taking him out of the game. Again, if this was a stand-alone issue, it's basically a non-issue. But Quade's Cubs are 17 games under .500, he constantly makes questionable decisions -- take bunting with Marlon Byrd when light-hitting Tony Campana was on deck earlier this week -- and now he's arguing with a player. And Quade's big selling point was supposedly that he's a player's manager. Instead, he appears to be in over his head.

Brewers' bullpen. The Brewers found a way to get to extra innings against the Reds Saturday, but allowing five runs in the 10th inning is pretty tough to overcome, and now the Brewers are back tied with the Cardinals atop the NL Comedy Central. This one was noteworthy because it was the 20th loss this season for the Brewers, tops in all of MLB.

People complaining about Derek Jeter. Sorry, 3,000 hits is a huge milestone. Of all the players who have ever played baseball, only 28 have gotten there. It's a big deal. And it was pretty awesome that he hit a now-rare home run in getting there. If you feel the need to be negative instead of just enjoying the moment, maybe you shouldn't be a baseball fan. The whole reason we watch the game is to enjoy it, so let's enjoy the achievement.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: July 4, 2011 1:03 pm
Edited on: July 4, 2011 1:20 pm
 

Cubs unsure when Dempster will return

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Ryan DempsterCubs starter Ryan Dempster was scratched from his team's Monday game against the Nationals with "intestinal issues" and manager Mike Quade seemed just as unsure about what was wrong with Dempster as when the right-hander would be able to make another start.

"It just seems like it's a product of his intestinal issues over the last couple of days," Quade told reporters, including Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune. "I'm not smart enough to know that, but it's his whole [core] region."

Dempster was hospitalized on Saturday night, but released on Sunday. Dempster said he'd like to start again before the All-Star break, but Quade noted he'd like to see him throw off a mound before another start.

Casey Coleman started Monday's game for Dempster. 

With Dempster missing Monday's start, all five of the starters in the Cubs' rotation at the beginning of the season have missed at least one start. Carlos Zamrbano (back) and Andrew Cashner (shoulder) are currently on the disabled list. Ramon Ortiz will start in Zambrano's place Tuesday against the Nationals.

The 34-year-old Dempster is 5-6 with a 4.99 ERA in 18 starts.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb 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 29, 2011 4:56 pm
Edited on: June 29, 2011 7:57 pm
 

On Deck: Battle in the Bronx

OD

By Matt Snyder


Five days games Wednesday, but that leaves 10 for the night time. We've heard -- and will continue to hear -- plenty about the Red Sox-Phillies series, so let's mix it up and check out three different games.

Division Leaders Square Off: Yeah, the Red Sox are actually in second place, so there's only one game between two teams in first place Wednesday, and that comes to us from the Bronx. The Yankees enter Wednesday night with a three-game winning streak and a 1-1/2 game lead over the Red Sox in the AL East. The Brewers have a two-game lead in the NL Central, but will be looking for a measure of revenge after being pummelled 12-2 by the Yankees Tuesday evening. Shaun Marcum (7-2, 2.95) gets the nod for the Brewers, and he's 0-4 with a 6.62 ERA in his last eight starts at Yankee Stadium (including both old and new). The Yankees send A.J. Burnett (7-6, 4.15), but the true draw in this game is the power on each side. Of the six players in the majors with 20-plus home runs on the season, three are playing in this game -- and that doesn't include Ryan Braun, A-Rod or a host of other sluggers. Milwaukee at New York (AL), 7:05 p.m. ET. Watch Live Scoring

Looking for No. 1: Davey Johnson took over as the Nationals manager Monday and he's lost his first two games. This comes after a stretch where the Nationals won 13 of 15 games and pushed themselves into the Wild Card picture. Wednesday, they'll look to get their new skipper his first victory against the Angels, who are 1-1/2 games out in the AL West. Upon first glance, the pitching matchup should favor the Angels, as it's Dan Haren (7-5, 3.05) against Jordan Zimmermann (5-6, 2.85), but look deeper. Zimmermann is 3-0 with a 1.05 ERA, 23 strikeouts and only six walks in June. Haren, on the other hand, is 3-3 with a 5.75 ERA and 1.50 WHIP in his last six starts. Washington at Los Angeles (AL), 7:05 p.m. ET. Watch Live Scoring

Picking Up Steam: Don't look now, but the hottest team in baseball is the defending World Series champions. The Giants have won seven games in a row. They've outscored opponents 34-16 in that span. Things shouldn't change much Wednesday night in Chicago, as the Giants send ace Tim Lincecum (6-6, 3.16) to the hill against the 32-48 Cubs. Lincecum scuffled a bit earlier this month, but looked just fine last time out, as the tossed seven shutout innings and struck out 12 in a win over the Twins. Ryan Dempster (5-6, 5.31) takes the hill for the Cubs, who are in fifth place in the NL Central and 12 games out of first place. San Francisco at Chicago (NL), 8:05 p.m. ET. Watch Live Scoring

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

Posted on: June 17, 2011 1:28 pm
Edited on: June 17, 2011 4:51 pm
 

Yankees scout Zambrano; could deal for righty

By Evan Brunell

With trade season kicking into gear and the Chicago Cubs inching closer and closer to irrelevancy, teams still in the postseason hunt are starting to scout Cubs players. The Yankees are no exception and are thought to be taking a serious look Carlos Zambrano, ESPN Chicago reports.

The Yankees had several scouts watch Zambrano pitch on the most recent 10-game road trip. These scouts weren't doing due diligence for the upcoming Yankees-Cubs series as New York uses video for advance scouting. No, these were top advisers to GM Brian Cashman, so the interest is real. Also helping matters in greasing a Zambrano-to-New-York trade is the fact that Big Z's pitching coach for his first nine years in the majors, Larry Rothschild, is now the Yankees' pitching coach. Rothschild jumped to the Big Apple before the 2011 season.

Zambrano has a 4.59 ERA on the season in 96 innings, punching out 67 and walking 35. That's improved command that Zambrano hasn't displayed since 2008, but his strikeout rate is just 6.4 K/9, also 2008-type numbers; he punched out just over eight per nine innings in the last two seasons. His ERA is a bit misleading, as it was at 3.98 just two starts ago; in addition, his FIP (similar to ERA, except it strips out all effect defense and other factors have on a pitcher's numbers) for the season is at 3.83.

There's $27 million left on Zambrano's contract, which the Yankees would have no problem absorbing if it meant giving up less in a trade. The righty does have a no-trade clause, but back on June 6, ESPN Chicago quoted a friend of Zambrano's saying, "At this point Carlos would probably let the Cubs trade him to Siberia."

Some Yankees evaluators prefer Ryan Dempster to Zambrano -- who wouldn't? -- but the Cubs are not believed to be interested in dealing Dempster. All told, a trade for Zambrano by the Yankees remains, at the very least, an intriguing option.

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



Posted on: June 14, 2011 2:19 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Pence's streak to 23

Hunter Pence

By C. Trent Rosecrans
 

Hunter Pence, Astros -- A day after sitting out his first game of the season because of a lower back injury, Pence extended his hitting streak to 23 games with a third-inning homer. He added another two RBI in the fifth on a single, giving him 50 driven in this season and stopping the Braves' six-game winning streak.

Carlos Carrasco, Indians -- Carrasco struck out seven while allowing five hits and three walks in seven shutout innings, earning the win in the first 1-0 game at new Yankee Stadium. Carrasco worked out of bases loaded jam with no outs in the first and never looked back. He improved to 6-3 and ended the Indians' four-game losing streak. The Indians have won just two games in their last 11, both Carrasco starts and 1-0 finals.

Ryan Dempster, Cubs -- The Brewers had looked unbeatable of late, but the team couldn't figure out an old nemesis in the Cubs' Dempster. Making his 45th appearance against Chicago and 23rd start, Dempster lowered his ERA against Chicago to 2.50, throwing seven shutout innings, allowing just four hits and striking out seven. He is now 6-0 with a 1.83 ERA in his last eight starts against the Brewers, but didn't pick up the victory, which went to Jeff Samardzija in the Cubs' 1-0 victory.


John Tumpane, umpire -- The home plate umpire for the Tigers and Rays may have helped keep Detroit in a tie for first place in the American League Central. With bases loaded and one out in the seventh, Rays left fielder Justin Ruggiano tried to tag up on Casey Kotchman's fly to right. Magglio Ordonez threw a strike to catcher Alex Avila, who had the plate blocked. The throw beat Ruggiano and Avila blocked it, the only problem was he didn't tag Ruggiano until after the runner touched the plate. Manager Joe Maddon was ejected for arguing the play. The Rays scored in the eighth inning to tie the game at 1, but the Tigers went on to win in the 10th, 2-1.

Ricky Nolasco, Marlins -- The Diamondbacks recorded nine runs (five earned) on eight hits and four walks off of starter Ricky Nolasco in just three innings. The Diamondbacks scored nine before the Marlins secured their second hit. The Marlins finished with a season-high 16 hits (including 10 with runners in scoring position), but the hole was too big to find their way out, losing 12-9 to Arizona. The Marlins finished an 11-game homestead with just one win.

Dee Gordon and Aaron Miles, Dodgers -- Gordon made several highlight-level plays on Monday, but botched a routine grounder by Reds catcher Ryan Hanigan to start the seventh inning. Paul Janish tried to help his fellow shortstop out by hitting a tailor-made double play ball to third, but Miles' throw bounced into the photo well, putting Janish at second. Bronson Arroyo followed with a game-tying single and then reliever Matt Guerrier walked Brandon Phillips and gave up a long homer to Joey Votto, setting up a 6-4 Reds victory.

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