Tag:Carl Crawford
Posted on: July 15, 2011 10:40 pm
Edited on: July 15, 2011 11:03 pm
 

Crawford passes test in rehab appearance

Carl CrawfordBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Carl Crawford remains on track to return to the Red Sox lineup on Monday in Baltimore after playing five innings at Triple-A Pawtucket, R.I., on Friday.

Crawford has been on the disabled list since suffering a hamstring injury on June 17.

Crawford went 1 for 2 with a walk in three plate appearances. He ran the bases after all three plate appearances -- reaching in the fifth on a fielder's choice. In the third inning, he walked and then had to start and stop quickly while running the bases -- exactly the situation he wanted as he tested his legs.

"When you stop like that, that was something i was hoping to do, too, because when you stop real quick like that and nothing happens, that's a good sign," Crawford told the Providence Journal.

Crawford is expected to play for Pawtucket again on Saturday before leaving on Sunday for Baltimore and being activated on Monday.

"I just want to try to do everything two days in a row and make sure there's no pain or anything like that after that happens," Crawford told the newspaper. "Then I'll be ready to go."

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Category: MLB
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 21, 2011 3:49 pm
Edited on: June 21, 2011 3:57 pm
 

No changes in AL All-Star voting

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Josh HamiltonThis time of year, Major League Baseball releases All-Star voting totals every week, and at some point it becomes white noise -- especially when there's no change in the voting.

In the American League update released Monday, the top three at each position remained unchanged.

Of the nine positions fans get to vote for in the AL, eight are currently occupied by American League East players, with Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton the lone exception. And even the reigning MVP is getting some heat from Boston's Jacoby Ellsbury. Hamilton is third in outfield voting (trailing Toronto's Jose Bautista and New York's Curtis Granderson) with 2,400,408 votes, and Ellsbury now has 2,249,323 votes. Fellow Sox outfielder Carl Crawford is fifth.

The infield is dominated by Yankees -- catcher Russell Martin, second baseman Robinson Cano, third baseman Alex Rodriguez and shortstop Derek Jeter. First-baseman Adrian Gonzalez and DH David Oritz of the Red Sox lead at their positions.

Voting runs through June 30, and the teams are announced July 3. 

The complete voting is available on MLB.com.

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Posted on: June 18, 2011 4:37 pm
Edited on: June 18, 2011 4:44 pm
 

Red Sox put Crawford on DL

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Carl CrawfordThe Red Sox have placed outfielder Carl Crawford on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring, the Boston Herald's Mike Silverman tweets.

Crawford left Friday's game against the Brewers in the first inning after beating out an infield single on Casey McGehee's throw on a chopper to third. He was replaced by Darnell McDonald. The team called up Josh Reddick to take his place.

Silverman also tweeted that Boston manager Terry Francona said the medical staff told him Crawford would need 10 to 14 days to recover, so putting him on the DL was a "no-brainer."

After a slow start that saw him hitting .155/.204/.227 at the end of April, Crawford has hit .295/.318/.476 since with five homers. 

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Posted on: June 17, 2011 8:12 pm
Edited on: June 17, 2011 10:44 pm
 

Crawford leaves game with hamstring strain

By Matt Snyder

Red Sox left-fielder Carl Crawford left Friday night's game against the Brewers after just one at-bat with an apparent leg injury. Crawford legged out an infield single and then grabbed his left leg -- in the hamstring area -- before departing with trainer Mike Reinold (Alex Speier via Twitter).

Darnell McDonald replaced Crawford in left field, and he -- along with some Mike Cameron -- would take over if Crawford misses any length of time.

The Red Sox have said it's a strained left hamstring. Reportedly, an MRI revealed it was only a Grade-1 strain, which is the most mild. There's no word yet on if Crawford will go on the DL or just miss a few games. The issue with this injury isn't pain. Hamstring injuries can linger for quite a while and are susceptible to reinjury. Plus, Crawford's a guy who relies heavily on his speed, both offensively and defensively.

Crawford got off to a miserable start to his Red Sox career, but since the start of May, he's hit .295 with seven doubles, four triples, five home runs, 25 RBI and 27 runs. He's been a big part of the Red Sox's winning ways of late, so losing him now would be a blow to the club.

Third baseman Kevin Youkilis also left the game, but it sounds much less serious -- albeit more unpleasant. He's said to have a "stomach illness." (Speier Twitter)

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Category: MLB
Posted on: June 14, 2011 10:06 am
Edited on: June 14, 2011 7:52 pm
 

Pepper: McLouth close; who moves to left?


Derek Jeter's injured right calf may keep him out of action for some time. CBSSports.com's C. Trent Rosecrans joins Scott Braun on Baseball Today.

By Evan Brunell

Read about Dodgers' owner Frank McCourt being unable to meet payroll on June by clicking this link.

BRAVE RETURNS
: Before Monday, Jordan Schafer had four stolen bases in three games. That's more than any Brave has for the entire season. While Nate McLouth may be a better hitter, Schafer is the better runner and defender. That's given skipper Fredi Gonzalez a quandary in who to move to left once McLouth is activated off the DL.

“I don’t know which one [would move to left],” Gonzalez said. “I know Schafer’s done it. In spring training he played all three. We made sure he played all three in spring training. I don’t know that Nate’s ever played another position other than center field.”

McLouth has 39 career games in left, so there's that. Compounding issues is that McLouth would likely stay the every-day guy once left-fielder Martin Prado returns from a staph infection that should keep him out the rest of the month. Do you put Schafer, the better defender, in center only to shift McLouth back when Prado returns? Or do you opt for continuity?

In additional Braves news, outfielder Jason Heyward could be activated from the DL as soon as Wednesday. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

CHEER CRAWFORD
:
Carl Crawford returns to Tropicana Field for the first time since leaving the Rays. Will he be cheered or booed? Crawford hopes not to be booed, especially given the Rays didn't even bother to offer him a contract. It's likely a moot point as Red Sox fans will invade the stadium as usual, while Tampa struggles to draw attendance from its fans. (TBO.com)

HARSH WORDS
: Peter Gammons recently called Wrigley Field a "dump," much to the delight and agreement of White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen. Now, Rick Morrissey brings out the big guns when he says, "Wrigley is a crumbling mausoleum where baseball dreams go to die." Ouch. (Chicago Sun-Times)

BOWLING PIN: Back in September 2009, Prince Fielder and the Brewers engineered a unique celebration of a home-run when he acted like a bowling ball and the rest of the players standing at home plate fell over as if they were bowled over. That came against San Francisco, and new Giants infielder Bill Hall admits he was one of the people to come up with the idea. (San Francisco Chronicle)

MAGGLIO TRADED? Could the Tigers deal outfielder Magglio Ordonez, who was activated from the disabled list Monday? The Tigers have played well in Ordonez's absence, and it will be tough to find the slugger playing room given DH belongs to Victor Martinez and Ordonez's defense is tough to deal with in the outfielder. That could put Ordonez on track to be dealt to a team that needs a DH. (Fox Sports)

Phillies NEED RIGHT-HANDED BAT: It's difficult to consider Philadelphia a destination for Ordonez because of his defense and salary, but that's one route the Phillies could go. Another is Ryan Spilborghs, whom the Phillies have coveted in the past. (Denver Post on Twitter)

TRAGEDY: Back in March, Georgia outfielders Zach Cone and Jonathan Taylor collided while fielding a fly ball. Taylor may never walk again while Cone was picked with the No. 35 overall pick. Although his numbers suffered this season, the Rangers think they got a good player. The club also drafted Taylor in the 33rd round as a gesture of goodwill. (Ft. Worth Star-Telegram)

LOVING KIDS: "I like the kids more than I like their [fathers]," Ozzie Guillen said in a story profiling how the White Sox skipper opens the clubhouse to children of players after games -- win or lose. (Chicago Tribune)

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Posted on: June 7, 2011 10:31 am
Edited on: June 7, 2011 11:25 am
 

Looking back at second-round picks

Joey Votto

By C. Trent Rosecrans


While the first-round of the MLB Draft is gaining more attention in the last couple of years, the later rounds are where most of the work is done. 

The second round starts today at 11 a.m. ET, so here's a look at some of the best second-round picks in recent memory.

Angels: In 1999, the Angels took John Lackey out of Grayson County Community College with the 68th overall pick in the draft. In 1995, they took Jarrod Washburn with the first pick of the second round.

Astros: Perhaps the team's best player right now, outfielder Hunter Pence, was the 64th overall pick in 2004. 

MLB Draft

Athletics: The A's took Vista, Calif., high schooler Trevor Cahill with the 66th overall pick in 2006. Two years before that they took Kurt Suzuki in the second round and in 2003 they took Andre Ethier in the second round. They traded him for Milton Bradley and Antonio Perez in 2005.

Blue Jays: Right-hander Dave Bush in 2002 is probably the team's best second-round pick since taking Derek Bell in 1987.

Brian McCannBraves: Current first baseman Freddie Freeman was selected with the 78th overall pick in 2007, but the best pick was easily 2002's No. 64 overall pick, a local high school catcher named Brian McCann.

Brewers: The Brewers took Yovani Gallardo with the fifth pick of the second round in 2004.

Cardinals: In 2001, the team took Dan Haren with the 72nd overall pick. More recently, Jon Jay was taken in the second round of the 2006 draft.

Cubs: You have to go back pretty far -- unless you go with Bobby Hill -- to find much success with the Cubs' second-round pick, but if you go as far back as 1984, they took Greg Maddux with the third pick of the second round and he turned out OK. Also among their second-round picks is former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Quincy Carter (1996).

Diamondbacks: A's starter Brett Anderson was Arizona's second-rounder in 2006. He was part of the big trade that send Dan Haren to the Diamondbacks.

Dodgers: The Dodgers got future closer Jonathan Broxton with the 60th overall pick in 2002.

Giants: Of recent vintage, the Giants have taken Nate Schierholtz in 2003 and Fred Lewis in 2002, but the most interesting second-round pick by San Francisco was in 1982. That year they took the son of a team legend with the 11th pick of the second round (39th overall), but Barry Bonds went to Arizona State instead.

Indians: Jason Kipnis is one of the team's top prospects, taken in the second round in 2009. In 1995, the Indians took first baseman Sean Casey out of Richmond with the 53rd overall pick.

Mariners: Recently-demoted Orioles starter Chris Tillman was taken in the second round of the 2006 draft. Keep an eye on 2009 second-rounder Rich Poythress, who had 31 homers in Class A last season.

Mike StantonMarlins: It wasn't until the 12th pick of the second round -- and 76th overall -- for someone to pick up Mike Stanton in 2007. 

Mets: There's some slim pickins for the Mets recently, but few Mets fans would trade their second-rounder of 1977, Mookie Wilson. (Seriously, this one was tough, the only players the Mets have picked in the last 15 years who have made the majors were Kevin Mulvey, Neal Musser, Pat Strange and Tyler Walker -- maybe that explains some things.)

Nationals (Expos): Jordan Zimmermann was the team's second-rounder in 2007. Current Reds All-Star second baseman Brandon Phillips was taken by the Expos with the sixth pick of the second round in 1999.

Orioles: Nolan Reimold was taken 61st overall in 2005, but if you want to go back a few years, the team took Cal Ripken with the 22nd pick of the second round in the 1978 draft. Ripken was the third of four picks the Orioles had in the second round that year.

Padres: San Diego took Chase Hedley in 2005.

Phillies: Jimmy Rollins was the team's second-rounder in 1996, going 46th overall.

Pirates: Last year's pick was Stetson Allie, who many expected to go in the first round. Lefty Tom Gorzelanny was taken in the second round in 2003 and catcher Ryan Doumit was taken 59th overall in 1999.

Rangers: The only player taken by the Rangers in the second round of the last decade to make the majors is Jason Bourgeois.

Rays: The Rays famously took Josh Hamilton No. 1 overall in 1999, but their second-round pick that year was pretty good too -- Carl Crawford.

Red Sox: How about Justin Masterson (2006), Dustin Pedroia (2004) and Jon Lester (2002)?

Reds: NL MVP Joey Votto (2002) was the third pick of the second round (44th overall) and Travis Wood was taken in the second round of the 2005 draft. Keep an eye on 2009 pick Billy Hamilton, who already has 45 stolen bases this season for Class A Dayton.

Rockies: For recent vintage, Seth Smith (2004) is the pick, but you can go back a few years and pick Aaron Cook (1997).

George BrettRoyals: For all the prospects the Royals have stockpiled in the last couple of years, strangely not too many are second-rounders. Outfielder Brett Eibner (2010) was the only member of the Royals' Top 10 by Baseball America taken in the second round. You have to go back to Carlos Beltran (1995), Jon Lieber (1992), Bob Hamelin (1988), Mark Gubicza (1981), Darryl Motley (1978) and Dennis Leonard (1972) to find serious big-leaguers. Oh, and also a kid out of El Segundo, Calif., in 1971 named George Brett. He was pretty good, too.

Tigers: The Tigers took Brandon Inge with the 14th pick of the 1998 draft as a catcher out of Virginia Commonwealth. In 1976, Alan Trammell was the second pick of the round.

Twins: A nice run of arms earlier in the decade with Kevin Slowey (2005), Anthony Swarzak (2004), Scott Baker (2003) and Jesse Crain (2002). Frank Viola was the team's second-rounder in 1981.

White Sox: A's outfielder Ryan Sweeney (2003) is the team's best second-rounder since Bob Wickman (1990) -- not counting Jeff Weaver, who went back to school after he was picked in 1997 and was taken by the Tigers a year later.

Yankees: In the last 20 years, only two Yankees second-rounders have made the big leagues, Shelley Duncan (2001) and Randy Keisler (1998). Catching prospect Austin Romine was the team's second-rounder in 2007. In 1982, the team did take a shortstop from McAdory High School in Bessemer, Ala., who went on to play football at Auburn instead. His name is Bo Jackson. That was the year after the team took Stanford outfielder John Elway.

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Posted on: June 6, 2011 2:05 pm
Edited on: June 6, 2011 2:29 pm
 

Red Sox turning into speed demons

Pedroia

By Evan Brunell


Last season, the Red Sox ranked 25th in all of baseball with 68 stolen bases the entire season, a return to the norm after Jacoby Ellsbury inflated the team total to 126 with 70 thefts, and Dustin Pedroia adding 20. It's no wonder that the stolen base total collapsed in 2010 without significant contributions from Ellsbury, and Pedroia missing much of the second half.

Now, though, the Red Sox are near the top of the leaderboard with 47 steals, good for 12th. It's no wonder, as Ellsbury is back in full force, with 22 bags swiped already, putting him on pace for 60. However, the second-place burner may surprise you as it's not Carl Crawford, with 417 stolen bases to his name already. From 2003-10, he stole no less than 46 bags, topping out at 60 in 2009 -- but he has just eight stolen bases in 2011 with four caught stealing. That's a terrible stolen-base percentage for Crawford, never mind the fact he's only on pace to steal 22 bases thanks to a .286 on-base percentage that is climbing, but still has a long way to go.

That's left Dustin Pedroia as the other burner on the bases. While the diminutive second baseman isn't lumbering, he's still not a speedster. That's why it's surprising to look up and see Pedroia with 13 stolen bases on the year already, putting him on pace for 35. What Pedroia lacks in speed, he makes up for baserunning smarts, as his career 69 stolen bases come against just 14 caught stealing, or an 83-percent success rate. That's significantly over the oft-used figure of 75 percent as the break-even rate to justify stealing a base in the first place. That is, if you steal bases at a clip greater than 75 percent, the stolen base is a weapon for your team. Get caught more than 25 percent of the time, though, and the stolen base is harming the team's chances of winning.

All the more surprising given Pedroia's fleet feet is the fact he has a screw embedded into his left foot after fracturing it last season. Pedroia has admitted that the screw has bothered him this season and could be a factor in his current batting average of .244 and .333 slugging percentage, although he's made up for it with a .355 OBP.

The Red Sox have been trying to diversify their offensive approach and stolen bases have been one category that has seen stark improvement. With the crackdown on steroids and amphetamines, baseball is increasingly moving to a more athletic sport and that's taken hold in Boston as well, which targeted Crawford in free agency in part because of his speed on both the bases and defense. For decades, the Red Sox were known as a station-to-station team that relied on home runs, all the more strange given the 1909-10 BoSox were referred to as the "Speed Boys." The 1909 squad stole 215 bases, which remains a franchise record.

That record could be in danger as soon as next season, provided Ellsbury and Crawford steal their usual 50 to 60 bases and Pedroia keeps up his 30 SB rate. At that point, with three players alone, the team would be at 130 to 150 stolen bases. Their projected right-fielder for next season -- Ryan Kalish (replacing J.D. Drew, who is an impending free agent) -- can also burn up the basepaths. He stole 10 bases (caught once) last season in 179 plate appearances and added 25 in the minors. If you figure him for 30 stolen bases, you're suddenly looking at 160 to 180 stolen bases. Given that the team high for stolen bases from 1917 on is 126 -- set in 2009 -- the Red Sox would be one of the fastest teams in franchise history, and should they crack the 180-stolen base barrier, would be the first Red Sox team to steal that many bases since 1913.

How's that for a paradigm shift?

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