Tag:Clay Buchholz
Posted on: July 16, 2011 6:18 pm
Edited on: July 16, 2011 6:38 pm
 

Buchholz not back any time soon

By Matt Snyder

Red Sox starting pitcher Clay Buchholz is presently on the disabled list with a lower back strain. He played catch Friday in Tampa Bay, but the results didn't sound too positive. The 26-year-old reportedly said there's no timetable for his return and it sounds like he'd say he's less than 80 percent right now (via BostonHerald.com).
“It’s basically just going to be a feel thing,” Buchholz said. “It’s something that I don’t think I can really rush into or try to do more than I can on that particular day just for the fact that it’s a muscle in my back. It sucks. Obviously, I want to be pitching, I want to help the team in any way I can. Me going out there not 100 percent, or not 80 percent, I don’t think is going to help the team any. I think if I rush back into it, it will be something that will be here for the rest of the season and I don’t want that. I’d rather be ready to pitch at 100 percent and I feel like that’s the way that I can help this team win.”
Buchholz is 6-3 with a 3.48 ERA and 1.29 WHIP in 14 starts this season. He was 17-7 with a 2.33 ERA last year, en route to finishing sixth in AL Cy Young voting. He's one of three members of Boston's opening day starting rotation on the disabled list. Daisuke Matsuzaka is out for the season and ace Jon Lester is currently going through a short -- at least the Red Sox hope so -- DL stint as well.

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Posted on: July 5, 2011 10:35 am
Edited on: July 5, 2011 2:10 pm
 

Pepper: Dee Gordon 'wants to be great'; demoted


If you had one game to win, would you start Justin Verlander, Jon Lester or CC Sabathia? C. Trent Rosecrans joins Lauren Shehadi to answer that question and more.

By Evan Brunell


RETURN PENDING: Dodgers shortstop Dee Gordon is being sent out to Triple-A to make room for Rafael Furcal's return, but if manager Don Mattingly knows what he's talking about, Gordon will be back at some point.

The scrawny son of Tom Gordon hit .232/.250/.280 in 85 plate appearances, just flat out awful numbers, and it's hard to think that his complete and utter lack of power is being exposed. Sure, there are plenty of successful slap hitters in the bigs, but even they have a modicum of power. When you look at Gordon, you certainly will have trouble finding any ounce of fat or muscle on him, so rifling line drives is a lot harder than for someone like Michael Bourn, who also has low power numbers.

Mattingly said that Gordon "showed [Mattingly] he wants to be great. That's the biggest thing."

"He has a real good feel for the game," GM Ned Colletti added. "He was able to slow things down more than not."

Maybe so, but the 23-year-old has a ways to go if he wants to be the Dodgers' future starter.  (Los Angeles Times)

ICE-CREAM TEAMS: Ice cream and baseball are as American as it gets, so it's no surprise that someone came up with corresponding ice-cream flavors for each baseball team. The Yankees being "vanilla" might sound odd given the term means ordinary, but let Timothy Malcom explain.

"The Yankees is and have been America’s most popular baseball team. It’s clean, it’s tradition, it’s even kind of predictable. But it’s always great, and always there at the end of the day. Damn Yankees."

Meanwhile, the poor Cubs get stuck with Neapolitan -- "Combine the tradition of the Vanilla Yankees, the sweet failure of the Chocolate Red Sox and the perennially optimistic Midwest following of the Strawberry Cardinals, and you have this wonderful combination of baseball’s top tier. The problem, of course, is nobody ever buys Neapolitan." (Timothy Malcom)

HAUNTED HOTEL: Humberto Quintero is currently at Houston's Triple-A affiliate on a rehab assignment for an injury. The backstop's team completed a game in Memphis, Tenn. and departed back to Oklahoma City afterward. Quintero hung back for the night, but had to switch hotels after two murders took place. I'd switch, too. (MLB.com)

HIGH-SCHOOL MEMORIES: The last time Laynce Nix played first base was in high school. Before Monday, that is. Slammed with injuries, Nationals manager asked Nix, an outfielder, if he had ever played first. After hearing that Nix did so in high school, Johnson decided that was good enough and sent Nix out to first base for the seventh inning. “It was pretty wild, I’m still trying to figure out how that worked out,” Nix said. “But it was fun.” (Washington Times)

PRIVATE PITCHERS: Cubs manager Mike Quade wonders if pitchers should have the chance to warm up privately. He's not referring to the standard mid-inning tosses, but rather when a pitcher is forced to enter the game without warming up in the bullpen due to a pitcher's injury. In these cases, he can warm up for as long as he needs on the mound, but he can't get ready in the bullpen. Why not, Quade asks. ‘‘If a guy’s more comfortable doing his thing [in the bullpen], I’d rather have him [do that] because of the urgency once you get on the mound and everybody’s watching.’’ Interesting idea, but if the dude is expected to pitch in a game on that mound in front of a national TV audience and crowd, he can handle warming up. (Chicago Sun-Times)

WHY? A 4.47 ERA doesn't quite lend itself to being called a setup man, especially Kameron Loe, who has given up lead after lead this season despite not being notably any worse than last year. Fans are getting fed up with Loe, who blew a lead Monday as Milwaukee went on to lose. So why did Loe get the ball? Simple, says Brewers manager Ron Roenicke: lefty Zach Braddock was tired and the club isn't prepared to throw Takashi Saito, who has missed the entire season to date due to injury until coming off the DL mere days ago, into the fire that quickly. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

TOUGH CHOICE: Giants manager Bruce Bochy said he had a terrible time trying to figure out which Padres reliever to name to the All-Star Game: Heath Bell or Mike Adams? In the end, he took the closer -- but if and when Bell is traded this month, Adams will take over closing duties. (San Diego Union-Tribune)

MISERABLE: Clay Buchholz admitted he is "getting a little miserable" with the back problems that have yet to get better and have left him on the DL for 2 1/2 weeks, already past the projected return date. The righty is seeing a back specialist and will simply have to wait things out before returning to the Red Sox rotation. (WEEI)

GARLAND DONE? Part of what has made Jon Garland so appealing to teams is his durability. Well, 2011 certainly won't be part of his resume after his second trip to the disabled list has gone on for a month with right-shoulder inflammation and threatens his entire year. The right-hander will get a second opinion, but the Dodgers pitcher is likely done for the year whether he goes under the knife or not. (ESPN Los Angeles)

TIME FOR SPRING TRAINING: Johan Santana threw off a mound Monday and had no setbacks, so Santana will now begin his version of spring training. Don't count on a return from the lefty until mid-August, at which point this Mets team could have an entirely different look thanks to the trade deadline. (New York Post)

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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]

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Posted on: June 29, 2011 9:47 am
Edited on: June 29, 2011 9:59 am
 

Pepper: Beltran OK with trade

By C. Trent Rosecrans

BASEBALL TODAY: NESN.com's Tony Lee joins Lauren Shehadi to talk about tonight's Red Sox-Phillies matchup, as well as the Brewers' struggles in the Bronx and the surprising Pittsburgh Pirates.

BELTRAN OK WITH TRADE:
Carlos Beltran told the New York Post he would waive his no-trade rights if the Mets wanted to move him, but it would have to be the right situation.

"The team is always going to do what is best for the team, and as a player you have to make decision if the trade makes sense or not," Beltran told the Post.

The Mets are 40-39, but 9 1/2 games behind the Phillies and five games behind the Braves in the National League East. They're also five games back in the wild card, trailing Atlanta, Arizona, St. Louis and Pittsburgh and tied with Cincinnati.

Beltran is in the final season of his contract, and the Mets have already agreed not to offer him arbitration, which means neither the Mets nor any other team that acquires him for the stretch run will get free-agent compensation if Beltran signs elsewhere after the season.

The 34-year-old is hitting .281/.373/.489 with 11 home runs and 53 RBI this season. While he has an injury history, when healthy, he's still one of baseball's premier players.

SETBACK FOR JOHNSON: Bad news for the Marlins: Right-hander Josh Johnson will have his shoulder examined by Dr. James Andrews today. Johnson reported stiffness in his shoulder after throwing a bullpen Friday. Johnson is in the second year of a four-year, $39 million contract. [Miami Herald]

BUCHHOLZ DELAYED: Red Sox right-hander Clay Buchholz is unlikely to make his July 4 start against the Blue Jays. Buchholz is eligible to come off the disabled list Saturday, but he may need more time to recover from his lower back strain. [Boston Globe]

BASTARDO TO CLOSE: With yet another Phillies closer on the disabled list, lefty Antonio Bastardo will get the first shot at closing, manager Charlie Manuel said. Right-hander Michael Stutes could get the call if a particularly tough right-handed lineup is scheduled for the ninth. Ryan Madson went on the DL with a bruised right hand. [MLB.com]

SOX STANDING PAT?: MLB.com's Peter Gammons tweets the Red Sox can't add payroll this season. It looks as if they'll have to make due with that paltry $160 million payroll. How can they compete?

GENTLEMAN'S NAME: Brewers outfielder Nyjer Morgan explains his "gentleman's name" -- Tony Plush, also known as T-Plush, of course. [Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel]

BOURJOS BLOOMING: An adjustment to his stance and swing has paid off for Angels center-fielder Peter Bourjos, who is hitting .328 in June with 14 strikeouts after hitting just .176 with 31 strikeouts in May. [Orange County Register]

TIME TO SIGN GORDON: Is it time for the Royals to lock up Alex Gordon? The one-time savior of the franchise has served his time as a bust before busting out this season, hitting .294/.363/.481 so far in 2011. [Kansas City Star]

OGANDO OPTION: The Rangers could option Alexi Ogando to Triple-A until after the All-Star break, but just to get rest. After starting the season 7-0 with a 2.10 ERA in his first 12 starts, the former reliever has gone 0-3 with a 9.31 ERA in his last three starts. The Rangers could make a move if Ogando doesn't pitch well Friday against the Marlins. [MLB.com]

Rockies WANT 2B HELP: The Rockies are targeting the Dodgers' Jamey Carroll and other second basemen, but probably won't be able to afford the price of another starter. The team could also look at Orlando Cabrera if the Indians fall out of the race next month. Both Jonathan Herrera and Chris Nelson are slumping for the Rockies. [Denver Post]

MORE REIMOLD: Orioles manager Buck Showalter wants to use Nolan Reimold more. Maybe he should talk to the manager and make that happen. [MLB.com]

BULLPEN BUBBLES: Who better to judge a bubblegum taste-test than relievers? That's at least what the Washingtonian thought. The winners were Bubble Yum and Dubble Bubble. The video, though, is the key.

WHO DOESN'T LIKE NICKELBACK AND CREED?: Yeah, we've all thought it and said it to our buddies, but Riley Breckenridge, drummer for the band Thrice, wrote it for OC Weekly -- MLB players have terrible taste in music.

ANOTHER CALL FOR REPLAY: Good column by Gil LeBreton of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram calling for replay in baseball. I agree with LeBreton that umpiring hasn't suddenly gotten worse; it's that replay has gotten better with HD and every game televised, so we see the mistakes more.

FRANKRUPT: So those killjoys at MLB.com won't let you order a Chapter 11 Dodgers jersey, well, you can still get these cool "Frankrupt" T-shirts.

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Posted on: June 19, 2011 1:42 pm
Edited on: June 19, 2011 1:43 pm
 

Red Sox place Buchholz on DL

By Matt Snyder

Red Sox starting pitcher Clay Buchholz has been placed on the 15-day disabled list -- retroactive to June 17 -- with a lower back strain, the club announced Sunday afternoon. Buchholz left his start this past Thursday after only five innings with discomfort in his back, and it apparently hasn't improved enough to avoid the DL-stint. Andrew Miller will be activated in his place and start Monday night.

Buchholz, 26, is 6-3 with a 3.48 ERA and 1.29 WHIP in 14 starts this season. He's settled in after a rocky start, though, as he's 5-0 with a 2.59 ERA since the beginning of May. Last season Buchholz was 17-7 with a 2.33 ERA and 1.20 WHIP, numbers that helped him finish sixth in AL Cy Young voting.

Miller, 26, was once one of the most highly-touted prospects in baseball, but has since seen a significant fall from grace. He was the sixth overall pick in the 2006 draft, but has a career 5.84 ERA and 1.74 WHIP in parts of five big-league seasons. He has been solid for Triple-A Pawtucket this season, however, with a 2.47 ERA and 1.17 WHIP. He's also struck out 61 hitters in 65 2/3 innings.

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Posted on: June 16, 2011 4:52 pm
Edited on: June 16, 2011 5:55 pm
 

On Deck: Can Holliday help end Cards' slide?



By C. Trent Rosecrans

There may only be four night games tonight, but there's still plenty of entertaining storylines to follow in those four games.

Holliday just in time: Matt Holliday returns from the disabled list just in time to try to avoid a sweep at the hands of the Nationals and to help the Cardinals try to end a five-game slide. You think adding a guy hitting .342/.433/.542 with six homers in 44 games will help? I do. Since Holliday went on the DL, the Cardinals have fallen out of first place in the NL Central. Meanwhile, the Nationals have won their last five and with the Marlins' loss to the Phillies, the Nationals aren't in last place. They need to win to keep it that way. Cardinals at Nationals, 7:05 p.m. ET (Follow live scoring)

Giant sweep: Hoping to take over first place from San Francisco, the Diamondbacks welcomed the Giants, but now they're just looking to take a game from the defending champs. To do so, they'll have to solve the most surprising player of the season, Giants starter Ryan Vogelsong. The San Francisco right-hander is 4-1 with a 1.81 ERA this season and has an ERA of just 0.99 in his last seven starts. Giants at Diamondbacks, 9:40 p.m. ET (Follow live scoring)

Trading shutouts: In the first game of the Red Sox-Rays series, James Shields shut out the Red Sox. On Wednesday, Josh Beckett shut out the Rays. Thursday night's matchup features two pitchers more than capable of shutting down any lineup -- Tampa Bay's David Price (7-5, 3.51 ERA) and Clay Buchholz (5-3, 3.59). Red Sox at Rays, 7:10 p.m. ET (Follow live scoring)

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

Best first-round picks of the last decade



By C. Trent Rosecrans

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

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

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

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

MLB Draft

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Posted on: May 29, 2011 10:59 am
Edited on: May 29, 2011 1:46 pm
 

On Deck: Let's play two



By C. Trent Rosecrans 

Andrew OliverLet's play two -- Nearly gone are the days of the scheduled doubleheader (the A's have one next month), but Mother Nature can still provide us with the occasional twin bill. The Tigers are calling up hard-throwing left-hander Andy Oliver (left) to face Clay Buchholz in what looks like the pitching matchup undercard, as Justin Verlander faces Josh Beckett in the nightcap. The two aces faced each other 10 days ago, with neither starter factoring in the decision of the 4-3 Boston victory. Saturday's rainout was the fourth in the last nine home games for the Tigers. The forecast for today has a 40 percent chance of rain and scattered thunderstorms later this afternoon, so both teams will be keeping their fingers crossed that it stays dry. Red Sox at Tigers, 1:05 p.m. ET (Watch live) and 7:05 p.m. ET

Search for first -- The Mariners, owners of the worst record in the American League last season, enter Sunday's game against the Yankees just a half-game out of first place in the American League West. To reach first today, the Mariners need the Royals to beat the Rangers and overcome Yankees ace CC Sabathia, who is 9-4 with a 2.58 ERA in 17 career starts against Seattle. Sabathia's coming off his first complete game of the season, while Mariners lefty Justin Vargas is coming off a rough outing in Minnesota where he didn't make it into the fifth inning. Yankees at Mariners, 4:05 p.m. ET (Watch live)

We're going sweeping? -- For all of the Pirates' problems in the last, say 18 years, beating the Cubs hasn't been an issue in the last year or so. Since Sept. 30, 2009, Pittsburgh is 16-6 against Chicago and 11-5 at Wrigley Field. The tally is 4-1 for both entries into the ledge this season. Right-hander Jeff Karstens is 4-2 with a 3.86 ERA in six starts (and two relief appearances) against the Cubs in his career -- and 4-1 with a 2.25 ERA in four starts (and one relief appearance) at Wrigley Field. He faces off against Ryan Dempster, who lost to the Pirates on opening day. Pirates at Cubs, 2:20 p.m. ET (Watch live)

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