Tag:Shin-Soo Choo
Posted on: July 7, 2011 10:34 am
Edited on: July 7, 2011 1:43 pm

Pepper: Hurdle responds to Bochy comments

Barry Zito seeks his third straight win since coming off the DL while Jered Weaver looks to keep his hot streak going. Eye on Baseball Blogger Matt Snyder joins Lauren Shehadi to discuss those storylines and more in this edition of Baseball Today.

By Evan Brunell

ALL-STAR CRITICISM: Giants manager Bruce Bochy wasn't happy about criticism that Pirates manager Clint Hurdle and Marlins manager Jack McKeon leveled about his choices on who made the All-Star roster. Hurdle was annoyed that Andrew McCutchen hadn't made the team while McKeon questioned the selection of Bochy's player in Tim Lincecum.

Well, Hurdle fired back after hearing Bochy's comments, specifically that Hurdle and McKeon never lobbied for their players while other managers did, so how can they speak out against the selections?

"I don't think lobbying is a part of what you do in that position," said Hurdle, who has experience with the All-Star Game, managing it in 2008 when he represented the Rockies. "He's earned that opportunity by winning the National League championship. I just have never lobbied, and I never got any calls from any other managers lobbying the year I did it."

Hurdle did apologize if his comments were hurtful to Bochy.

"I have the most professional respect for Boch," Hurdle said. "He's a better manager than I'll ever be. My feelings came from the heart. Diplomacy, I guess, wasn't at the top of my list that day, and I can understand that as well.

"I've been on the other end of that. I just know that I took it with a grain of salt, and he felt he made the best decision for the National League because that's his job to represent. I wish the National League nothing but the most success that we go out and win the game.

"We've known each other back to when we were 16 years old. I can understand he's disappointed in what I had to say. I can deal with that."

McCutchen still has a chance to get on the roster as Ryan Braun from Milwaukee is hobbled by an inflamed tendon, and if he cannot play this weekend, will pull out of the game. (MLB.com)

ALL-STAR INVITE: Albert Pujols says he would be honored to go to the All-Star Game should he be selected as a replacement. Pujols missed his chance at going to the game thanks to his wrist injury, but could still squeak in as players pull out because of injuries or other reasons. It's possible Pujols could replace Braun. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

DODGER DEBACLE: More information in the saga that just won't go away. MLB has filed a motion that Dodgers owner Frank McCourt should not have the right to see various documents that McCourt is requesting, alleging that releasing the documents would turn the bankruptcy court hearing into "a multi-ringed sideshow of mini-trials on his personal disputes." (Los Angeles Times)

FIRST TIME FOR EVERYTHING: Davey Johnson has never ordered a suicide squeeze, per his own recollections. That changed Wednesday night for the Nationals. Wilson Ramos dropped a successful bunt, allowing Mike Morse to cross the plate with what turned out to be the winning run. (CSN Washington)

WHAT EYE PROBLEM? Mike Stanton visited an ophthalmologist Wednesday and received eye drops to combat an eye infection that has sent him spiraling into a slump. He's received eye drops and apparently they worked as he slammed a walk-off home run against the Phillies on Wednesday night to give the Marlins a victory. (MLB.com)

YOU'RE NO PUJOLS: Apparently Cleveland's Shin-Soo Choo is hoping to pull an Albert Pujols and get back on the field earlier than expected. After breaking his left thumb and staring at a diagnosis of eight-to-10 weeks out, Choo is telling friends he believes he can be back in early August. Given how fast Pujols returned, I suppose you can't rule it out, but ... well, don't go wagering on an early Choo return. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

YEAH AND NO: That was the Dodgers' Andre Ethier's answer when asked if he was pleased with his performance so far. Hitting a career-high .317 is great, but Ethier's seven home runs are a sudden loss of power for someone who slammed 31 two seasons ago. (Los Angeles Times)

WORKHORSE: Justin Verlander has made 37 consecutive starts of 100-plus pitches, which is tops in baseball all the way back to 1999, and probably a bit farther back, too. Second place boasts Felix Hernandez at 32 consecutive games from 2009-10, while Randy Johnson pops up multiple times. (Baseball-Reference)

UNSAVORY COMPARISON: Just three months into Jayson Werth's massive seven-year deal with Washington, and he's already being compared to another player who was a colossal bust on his own big deal, not that it was his fault for the team throwing ill-advised money at him. "Him" is Alfonso Soriano, and that's definitely company Werth does not want to be associated with. (Washington Post)

JONES HURTING: Chipper Jones admitted he shouldn't have played Tuesday after he received a cortisone shot for a meniscus tear as he is trying to avoid surgery. “I just didn’t feel right [Tuesday]," he said. "Not having that first step quickness, you favor it. It’s hard to stay on back of it right-handed, swinging the bat. Just one of those things we’ve got to continue to monitor and deal with.” For his part, Jones says he was perfectly fine for Wednesday's game. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

FIGGINS BENCHED: Finally. Chone Figgins has been benched and has easily become one of the largest albatrosses in the game. Figgin's replacement is Kyle Seager, who was promoted from the minors and will stay at third for the foreseeable future. (Seattle Times)

BARGAIN: Who were the best bargains signed as free agents in the winter? There are some worthy candidates in Bartolo Colon, Erik Bedard, Ryan Vogelsong and Brandon McCarthy. Fine seasons, all. But the best bargain is another pitcher, Phil Humber. Hard to disagree. (MLB Daily Dish)

CRAWFORD EN ROUTE: The Red Sox can't wait to get Carl Crawford back, and it looks as if that will happen after the first series back, which is in Tropicana Field. The Sox want to avoid Crawford playing on artificial turf right away, so a July 18 return in Baltimore appears likely (Providence Journal)

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Posted on: June 28, 2011 2:56 pm
Edited on: June 28, 2011 3:10 pm

Choo's surgery complete, recovery time 8-10 weeks

By Matt Snyder

The Cleveland Indians have issued a press release stating that right fielder Shin-Soo Choo underwent successful surgery on his injured left thumb Tuesday. Dr. Thomas Graham "openly reduced and internally fixated the fracture" in Choo's thumb.

There had been several different reports on how long Choo would be out, but the release said his recovery time is eight to 10 weeks. There was no elaboration from there, but one's got to assume that means it will be eight to 10 weeks until the thumb is healthy. That means from there Choo would need a minor-league rehab stint before re-joining the Tribe. Ten weeks from right now puts us at September 6. So Choo's year isn't over -- barring setbacks, of course -- but he's going to miss most of the remainder of the 2011 season.

Choo was hit in the thumb by an errant Jonathan Sanchez pitch on June 24 and placed on the disabled list shortly thereafter.

It's been a season to forget for Choo on a personal level. Though the Indians got off to a hot start, Choo struggled mightily early in the season. He started to come around before the injury, but still has a .244/.333/.353 triple-slash line (that's batting average/on-base percentage/slugging percentage). He was at .300/.401/.484 in 2010 and similar in 2009, so this season was a big step backward. Additionally, Choo was arrested earlier in the season for driving under the influence of alcohol.

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Category: MLB
Posted on: June 25, 2011 3:01 pm

Initial reports: Choo out at least six weeks

By Matt Snyder

The Indians received some bad news Friday night -- that right fielder Shin-Soo Choo suffered a broken thumb when he was hit by a pitch. Saturday, that news got even worse. A final determination will be made Monday, but the initial reports from Indians beat writers say that Choo has suffered a displaced fracture to his left thumb and he'll likely need surgery (MLB.com). There is no timetable just yet, but most reporters are saying Choo will be out six to eight weeks. Choo himself seems resigned to having to undergo surgery.

"There's a good chance of surgery," Choo said. "But I don't know how long it will be until I come back." (MLB.com)

Choo was hit with a 2-1 pitch by Giants' starting pitcher Jonathan Sanchez. The pitch also caused a laceration on Choo's thumb, where he needed three stitches.

Choo, 28, is having a down year but had picked things up recently. He is hitting .244 with five homers, 28 RBI, 11 steals and a .687 OPS. He was hitting .370 with a .981 OPS in his previous eight games before Friday, however, so it was entirely possible he was starting to hit like he did in 2009-2010.

Expect Travis Buck -- who was promoted from Triple-A when Choo was placed on the disabled list -- and Shelley Duncan to see starts in left field while Austin Kearns shifts to right with Choo on the shelf.

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Category: MLB
Posted on: June 25, 2011 1:03 am

Shin-Soo Choo breaks left thumb

By Evan Brunell

ChooShin-Soo Choo broke his left thumb in Friday's game, MLB.com reports. The right fielder was hit on the left hand with a pitch by the Giants' Jonathan Sanchez and immediately hit the deck in the fourth inning before exiting the game.

It's not yet known how long Choo will be out with the injury, but he will absolutely hit the 15-day disabled list. Travis Buck is on his way from Triple-A to fill in. Shelley Duncan pinch-ran for Choo, then went to left field with Austin Kearns moving to right. San Francisco prevailed 4-3 thanks to a three-run sixth.

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Category: MLB
Posted on: June 6, 2011 11:28 am
Edited on: June 6, 2011 11:54 am

Choo trying to move past mental struggles


By Evan Brunell

For a few years now, Shin-Soo Choo has been one of the most underrated players in baseball while quietly racking up numbers for the Indians.

This season, the Indians raced out to the best record in baseball before a four-game sweep dropped them behind St. Louis, Texas and Philadelphia, Choo has barely contributed with a .239/.319/.354 line in 238 plate appearances while hitting just five home runs. His balls aren't finding holes and his plate discipline has eroded.

"There's been a lot of stress this year," Choo told MLB.com on Sunday. "My wife has told me not to worry about it. I mean, I know. But it's hard to do it."

Choo admits that it's been tough to avoid thinking about other people's perceptions of him or ignoring what has been put out by the media.

"I need to close my ears, close my eyes," Choo said. "It's not easy, though.

"I know what the problem is right now," he added. "I'm thinking too much. I'm trying too hard. That's just my natural thought. I talked about it in spring training. Sometimes it helps and sometimes it makes it worse. It's given me a lot of stress."

In an attempt to right the ship, manager Manny Acta gave the lefty the day off Saturday, then batted him sixth on Sunday instead of his customary spot in the three-hole. For his part, Choo is trying to force his mind to focus on what it was like back in 2000, when he came to America from Korea.

"Eleven years ago, I was 18," Choo said. "After high school, I came to the United States. What was my goal? I wanted to play in the big leagues. The big leagues is the best baseball in the world. My name, everyday, is on the lineup card. If it's the nine-hole or eight-hole, it doesn't matter. Every day, my name is on the lineup card.

"I have bigger goals right now. But for the first time, I've backed up my mind to 11 years ago. I'm trying too much right now, so I'm trying to go back to 11 years ago, where I came from in Korea, wanting to make the Major Leagues.

"I'm playing in the Major Leagues. I'm still playing in the best league on the best team in baseball. I'm trying to slow down my mind a little bit."

No one's saying that Choo's mental struggles aren't impacting his play at the plate, but looking at pure statistics, it's easy to see what's changing. Choo is walking less, which could speak to reduced patience at the plate. However, Choo is actually swinging less than he has at any time in the majors, but his strikeout numbers are the highest since he broke out. His batted-ball numbers haven't changed significantly, but one other thing has -- balls in play. Choo is only seeing 30 percent of his batted balls fall for hits, compared to a career 35 percent mark which is a major reason for his decline. That doesn't mean there aren't any other reasons, or that the liners he's hitting this year aren't softer than last season's. That would impact whether they fall for a hit or not, but at least statistically, the numbers scream that Choo will eventually start hitting like his old self, mental struggles or not.

It hasn't been easy, though, and his DUI arrest on May 2 has complicated matters. Choo feels like he let down the Indians and their fans, plus his legion of fans back in Korea.

"I have two different countries. I worry about more fans. ... [After I was arrested], I wanted to play good in the field. I show better play and then try to make people forget about that happening."

No one's excusing Choo's DUI -- especially since he was well over the legal limit -- but Choo clearly is bothered by his arrest and wants to clear his name with fans. It's easy to see how he could press at the plate as a result, but before long, he should be back among the league's elite.

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Posted on: May 4, 2011 9:10 pm
Edited on: May 4, 2011 9:12 pm

Police release video of Choo's arrest

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Indians outfielder Shin-Soo Choo may have worried he wouldn't be able to return to Korea and come back to the United States as a result of his arrest for driving under the influence.

"If I go back to Korea, you get me, I never get back here. I'm done," Choo apparently told the arresting officer in the back of his police cruiser. "My life is done."

At least that's what I think I heard, it's a little tough considering the quality of the microphone and Choo's accented English (I would like to make it clear here, I'm not saying there's anything wrong with his accented English -- his English is a lot better than my Korean, which consists of one word --I'm just stating a fact that I have trouble understanding exactly what is said).

The Sheffield Lake (Ohio) police department released video of Choo's arrest. There seems to be some language problems, but not as many as you may expect for a non-native English speaker who had a blood alcohol content more than double the legal limit.

Here it is, via the Cleveland Plain-Dealer:

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Category: MLB
Posted on: May 3, 2011 3:36 pm
Edited on: May 3, 2011 4:13 pm

Shin-Soo Choo arrested for DUI

By Evan Brunell

ChooShin-Soo Choo was arrested for driving under the influence early Monday morning in Sheffield Lake, a small city a half-hour west of Cleveland, Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.

Choo, who is struggling at the plate to start the year, is with the team in Oakland and preparing to be in the lineup Tuesday night.

“We are aware of the incident with Shin-Soo Choo and have spoken to him about it," Indians GM Chris Antonetti said. The Indians organization takes these issues very seriously and we are disappointed in the matter. We will continue to monitor the situation."

Choo reportedly blew over twice the legal limit during a breathalyzer test, as MLB.com reports. That legal limit is .08, so he was at .16 or higher. He was arrested after driving away from police officers when asking for directions to Choo's residence.

This is the sixth DUI so far of the year for baseball, which is a strikingly odd number. For years, as the NBA and NFL struggled with players getting in trouble with the law, baseball always kept its nose relatively clean. But now, these DUIs are piling up with teammate Austin Kearns also being dinged along with Miguel Cabrera, Adam Kennedy, Coco Crisp and Derek Lowe.

How baseball can suspend Ozzie Guillen two games for tweeting after being ejected from the game and let these DUIs go unmentioned is odd. It's one thing to let the criminal justice system take care of it; it's another thing entirely to ignore a growing trend that reflects poorly on your organization. Coupled with Roger McDowell's homophobic slurs and contention that children don't belong at the ballpark, MLB is receiving a lot of negative attention lately. It's time for baseball to step in and say that a DUI is not OK. Anyone who is arrested for such an offense that endangers lives should automatically miss at least one game without pay, with the facts determining additional games missed.

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Category: MLB
Posted on: May 3, 2011 12:33 pm

Indians' hot start setting up for division race


By Evan Brunell

With one day in the books in baseball's second month, the division leader of the AL Central has gotten off to a commanding 19-8 start, building up a 4 1/2 game lead over the second-place finisher.

Except second place is Kansas City, which is odd enough. Even odder is who is atop the Central in the Cleveland Indians, who are 9 1/2 and 10 games, respectively, ahead of the White Sox and Twins, the trendy picks to win the division in the offseason.

So far, the Indians' dominance is no fluke; they're tied with the Rangers for the AL lead in runs scored with 146 and also boast the league's third-best ERA. They're doing all this with the second-youngest roster in baseball with an average age of 27.8, and that number could get dragged down as the months go on if they promote top prospects Lonnie Chisenhall and Jason Kipnis to man third and second, respectively.

How have the Indians pulled all this off with a roster that was projected to lose over 90 games?

Simply, the Indians have benefited from production out of left field that isn't going to hold up over the entire season. Justin Masterson, for example, is doing his best Derek Lowe impersonation and has rocketed off to a 2.25 ERA start, going 5-0. Another hot performer is Josh Tomlin, who has one less win than Masterson and has registered a 2.45 ERA.

"The biggest question mark," closer Chris Perez said of the Indians coming into the season to MLB.com, "was getting quality starts, [Nos.] 1-5, and we've done that."

But here's where red flags pop up. Masterson, if he has indeed finally learned how to neutralize left-handed batters, could have taken the next big leap forward toward becoming a top starter in the league. But even if he's taken that step, a 2.25 ERA just isn't sustainable and will backslide at least a full point. Tomlin, for his part, is due a serious regression shortly. Last season, he posted a 4.56 ERA and 4.76 xFIP in 12 starts. This year, those marks are at 2.45 and 4.02, respectively. While one may have to start buying into Tomlin as a solid starting pitcher despite an 87-mph fastball, any ERA under 4.00 means Tomlin is pitching over his head.

The outlook is rosier when you turn to the hitters. Travis Hafner's .342 average simply isn't sustainable, but he remains a quality bat while Asdrubal Cabrera has jumped out to a quick start along with Grady Sizemore. These performances are far more believable, and even if some hitters regress, it will be offset by the emergence of catcher Carlos Santana and right-fielder Shin-Soo Choo once those two kick into gear. Choo and Santana are both attempting to keep their OPS's above .700 when they should be breaking .800 without a sweat. That will happen by the end of the season.

"We're not putting godly statistics up there," backup outfielder Shelley Duncan said. "And we still have a couple guys who haven't really started hitting, and we still have some young guys who are going to get better and better."

Some of those young players include Matt LaPorta, a key player in the CC Sabathia trade way back in 2008. LaPorta has failed to live up to his billing so far, but may finally be ready to cobble together a quality season at age 26, already knocking out four homers and slashing .263/.344/.513.

So yeah, the offensive production of Cleveland looks like it will hold up well, but despite a strong bullpen to date, the starting pitching looks due for a serious regression. The offense will be able to cover that up to some degree, and Alex White could end up being the team's saving grace, but for now, that can't be assumed. Currently, the Indians shape up to be a team with a talent level that of a .500 ballclub or a shade under.

Here's the rub, though -- you can't backdate true talent. That 19-8 record is in the books and cannot be changed, period. Even if the Indians play to .500 caliber the rest of the way, you're looking at around 86 victories total. That's plenty enough to capture the AL Central the way things are going. Last season, the Twins took the division with 94 wins (and that's not happening again this year) while the White Sox took second with 88 victories.

Right there, it's clear Cleveland will contend into September unless they experience a sudden and massive decline back to being a 90-loss team, but that looks out the window at this point. In addition, if the Indians are in the hunt in late July, you have to figure the club will be buyers in the trade market and could supplement the team that much more.

"Everything's really falling into place for us, if you look at it," Perez said. "It's there for the taking, but it's not going to be easy. ... It might be one of those five-team races where nobody is really leading the pack. That's why it's nice coming out to this great start, because if we do stub our toe, we could still be there.

"That's all we can ask for is to have a chance."

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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