Tag:Cody Ross
Posted on: April 6, 2011 10:24 am
Edited on: April 6, 2011 5:10 pm

Pepper: Royal excitement


By C. Trent Rosecrans

Are the Royals baseball's most exciting team?

Well, through five games they are, that's for sure. All four of the Royals' victories this season have come in their final at-bat. Tuesday's walk-off winner was Melky Cabrera's 12th-inning RBI single for a 7-6 victory over the White Sox.

In the team's lone loss, on opening day, the Royals' Alex Gordon was just feet short of a walk-off homer in a 4-2 loss to the Angels last Thursday.

"All of a sudden, you just expect us to win and that's it," Royals infielder Chris Getz told MLB.com . "There are plenty of doubters out there, no one's giving us much of a chance, but what do we have to lose? We've got that good feeling and we'll just ride it out."

The Royals have had a different hero each night. In their first win, Kila Ka'aihue led off the ninth inning with a homer to break a tie, the next day the Royals scored two in the eighth inning, capped by Getz's RBI single. The Royals then used a three-run walk-off homer by Matt Treanor (above) in the 13th to beat the Angels in the series finale.

With four victories in their final at-bat, the Royals may not be the best team in 2011, but they're worth sticking around to watch.

Last season the Braves lead the big leagues with 25 victories in their final at-bat.

SEARCHING FOR A WIN -- Another day, another Red Sox loss. Will the Red Sox go winless this season and will the Reds go undefeated? Eye on Baseball's Matt Snyder joins blog favorite Lauren Shehadi with the answers (which, well, are both 'no.')

GOOD NEWS, BAD NEWS -- Ubaldo Jimenez's thumb is better -- but may not be good enough to allow him to make his start Friday in Pittsburgh. The Rockies' right-hander is expected to throw a bullpen today to test the cuticle injury on his right thumb. If Jimenez can't start, Jorge De La Rosa would start in his spot. De La Rosa will be on regular rest following Sunday's snow-out. [MLB.com ]

SHIFT BE A-GONE -- Red Sox first baseman Adrian Gonzalez said putting three men on the right side of the infield has never been an effective strategy against him. Last season he had more singles to left field than right. The Indians, though, had good luck with the shift on Tuesday. The Indians used the shift and Gonzalez was 0 for 4 with two groundouts to the right side. [WEEI.com ]

COSTLY ERROR -- Jayson Werth's error was one of several events that led to the Nationals' 3-2 loss to the Marlins on Tuesday. [CSNWashington.com ]

A TRADITION LIKE NO OTHER -- I absolutely love the baseball tradition of giving a guy the silent treatment after his first homer in the big leagues. Tuesday's victim was the Angels' Hank Conger. [Press-Enterprise ]

WELCOME HOME -- Padres starter Aaron Harang looked like his old self in a victory over the Giants on Tuesday. In his first season with his hometown Padres, Harang certainly looked comfortable at Petco Park. [San Diego Union-Tribune ]

CALLED SHOT -- Toronto's Yunel Escobar told teammates Carlos Villanueva and Edwin Encarnacion the team would come back to win, even though they were down 5-0 in the middle of Tuesday's game against the A's. After a four-run sixth inning to tie the game, Escobar delivered on his promise with a two-run homer in the 10th to give Toronto the win. [MLB.com ]

NO MINORS FOR LEAKE -- Reds manager Dusty Baker said sending starter Mike Leake was never an option, even though it appeared that Leake made the team out of spring only because of the injuries to Johnny Cueto and Homer Bailey. Baker said Leake was overthrowing in the spring and looked like the guy who started the season 6-1 with a 3.53 ERA in Tuesday's win over the Astros. Leake, the Reds' first-round pick in 2009 made the big league rotation out of spring training last season, bypassing the minors altogether.  [Cincinnati Enquirer ]

BELT MAY BE DEMOTED -- When Cody Ross returns to the Giants' lineup, rookie first baseman Brandon Belt could be the odd man out in San Francisco. The Giants say they will base their decision on Belt's play, but sending Belt down would keep the status quo. With Ross back in right field, Aubrey Huff could move back to first. Or if the team decides to keep Belt, Huff would move to left and would make Pat Burrell a bench player. Also, putting Belt in the minors for more than 20 days would keep him from accruing a full year of service time and delay his free agency a year. [FOXSports.com ]

NO FEUD -- Former Met Pedro Feliciano said he was going to strike out Ike Davis when the Yankees face the Mets next month. Davis was uninterested in escalating the "feud."

Davis said it was Feliciano's job to strike him out, and well, last season he struck out 138 times, so "it's not that tough of a feat." [New York Post ]

BANDWAGON ROOM -- Attendance at Yankee Stadium through the first four games of the season is down about 8,000 fans per game. [ESPNNewYork.com ]

YANKS AREN'T ALONE -- As we mentioned the other day, it's not just Yankee Stadium that has its share of empty seats -- Wrigley Field has plenty of seats available, even for the seagulls. [Chicago Sun-Times ]

ON THE OTHER HAND -- Blue Jays fans are excited for their team in Toronto. [Slam! Sports ]

SUNSHINE BALL -- Is there any hope for baseball in Florida past March? [MASNSports.com ]

ROLAIDS ALERT -- The folks over at Big League Stew take a look at the top 10 new concessions at MLB parks this season. 

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


Posted on: April 4, 2011 3:37 pm

Defense costing teams early

Aubrey Huff

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Sunday afternoon the sight of Aubrey Huff diving in right field was a joking matter. The night before he made a diving catch and then before batting practice his teammates put a faux-chalk outline of his dive in the Dodger Stadium grass.

A couple of hours later, it wasn't so funny.

In the first inning on Sunday, Huff dove on a Jamey Carroll liner which ended up a triple and helped the Dodgers score three in the inning. In the seventh inning, Huff also lost a ball over his head by Marcus Thames, good for another triple and driving in the go-ahead run.

One scout told CBSSports.com senior writer Danny Knobler that the Giants defense is "going to be an issue."

The Giants made their decision leaving camp that their defense would be secondary to scoring runs, as the team kept rookie first baseman Brandon Belt on the roster -- and it's not Belt that's the problem, he's a good defender. It's that in order to keep Huff and Belt in the lineup, Huff went to right field. And as right fielder's go, he's showing he's a first baseman.

I don't actually fault Huff, he's going out there and giving it his best and doing what the team asks him to do -- ultimately, it's just a flawed strategy putting Huff in the outfield. When Cody Ross is ready to come off the disabled list -- which is still at least two weeks away -- the Giants will be better at that spot, but they'll also have a decision between Belt and Huff -- or benching Pat Burrell and keeping Huff in the outfield. That said, the Giants will still have Miguel Tejada at shortstop.

But it's not just the Giants that are struggling defensively.

RangersThe Giants' World Series opponents last fall started off their season with a fielding error on the first batter of the season when Julio Borbon ran into Nelson Cruz.

The Cardinals seemed to be one team unconcerned about defense this offseason and could be concerned as the season goes along. The team added 35-year-old Lance Berkman, who hadn't played in the outfield since since 2007, to play every day in right field and got rid of one of baseball's best defensive shortstops, Brendan Ryan, and replaced him with an average second baseman in Ryan Theriot.

Theriot is the only National League player with two errors through Sunday's game, while in the American League one notoriously bad fielder (Toronto's Edwin Encarnacion) and one remarkably good fielder (Oakland's Daric Barton) have three errors each. 

There have been 68 errors this season through 46 games (following Sunday's games). That's only one more error than there was through 46 games last season (and 15 more than there was through 46 games in 2009).

That said, we all know errors aren't the best way to measure defense, there are plenty of examples of bad defense that didn't include an error in the boxscore.

On Sunday, the Cubs' defense let down closer Carlos Marmol. With one out and runners at second and third, Pedro Alvarez hit a dribbler to shortstop Starlin Castro who unloaded a bad throw to first, allowing two runs to score and the Pirates to get the win.

Milwaukee's Casey McGehee has had two costly decisions in the team's sweep at the hands of the Reds. In the ninth inning of Thursday's opener, McGehee failed to tag Brandon Phillips going to third, setting up the Reds' walk-off victory. On Sunday, McGehee went home and failed to get an out on a Drew Stubbs chopper, which led to a game-turned three-run homer by Phillips in the fourth. And that's two entire instances of the Brewers' bad defense without mentioning Yuniesky Betancourt, who the team had to take to get Zack Greinke, but didn't have to make their everyday shortstop. According to John Dewan's +/- system, no defensive player in baseball has cost their team more runs over the last three seasons than Betancourt's -66.

David Pinto over at Baseball Musings noted BABIP (batting average on balls in play) over the first weekend was .300, while it was .291 last season. That stat tells you a ball in the field was more likely to be fielded a year ago than it was this weekend.

Now, we're just 47 games into the 2011 season, so it's way too early to make any real conclusions about errors and defense as a whole, but it is something to watch. 

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Posted on: March 30, 2011 6:47 pm
Edited on: March 30, 2011 6:55 pm

Belt makes Giants' opening day roster

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Brandon BeltBrandon Belt will indeed be on the Giants' roster when the defending champions start the season tomorrow against the Dodgers.

The team placed first baseman Travis Ishikawa on waivers to make room for Belt, the team's top prospect.

With Belt on the roster, he'll most likely be in the lineup. Last season the Giants kept Buster Posey in Triple-A to avoid starting his arbitration clock. If the Giants are going have the 22-year-old slugging first baseman on the roster, he'll be on the field.

It will also allow the Giants to use Aubrey Huff to the outfield to help the void left by the absence of Cody Ross, who is on the disabled list with a sprained right calf. 

Belt told reporters he cried when manager Bruce Bochy told him the news. That, of course, earned some teasing from his teammates.

"You crying yet Belt?" Huff said, according to the San Jose Mercury News' Andrew Baggarly. "Tear up... I'm going to be tearing up the rest of the year in right field."

Belt hit .282/.338/.479 this spring with three home runs and 13 RBI in 71 at-bats this spring. Last season Belt hit .352/.455/.620 with 23 home runs and 112 RBI at three levels, leading the minors in OPS and was second in on-base percentage. He continued hitting in the Arizona Fall League, where he hit .372/.427/.616. He is also a very good defensive first baseman.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed. 
Posted on: March 24, 2011 6:09 pm
Edited on: March 24, 2011 6:50 pm

Torn calf muscle for Ross, out three weeks

By Matt Snyder

Cody Ross, the 2010 NLCS MVP, left Wednesday's spring training game with a calf injury, and Thursday MRI results revealed he has suffered a slight tear in the calf muscle -- which is technically a strain. He is expected to miss around three weeks, meaning the first two weeks of the regular season, so he's bound to land on the 15-day disabled list for the start of the season. (San Francisco Chronicle via Twitter )

"Obviously everybody's goal is to be healthy and play Opening Day," he said. "But it's not about Opening Day. It's about being ready to play for the majority of the season. I don't want to rush to get back for Opening Day, for the sake of being back, and look up in June and the calf is still bugging me. I want to try to treat it, get it right and get back as quick as I can for the rest of the season. (San Francisco Chronicle )

He is reportedly on crutches and wearing a boot over the injured area of his leg Thursday, but said both to be more precautionary than necessary.

Ross was a late-August wavier-trade acquistion for the Giants that didnt' receive huge attention at the time, but he ended up being a Godsend in the playoffs for the eventual world champions. He hit .350 with a 1.385 OPS, three home runs and five RBI in the NLCS. In the 15 playoff games, Ross sported a 1.076 OPS and drove home 10 runs with five homers. The Giants will likely look to Mark DeRosa and Nate Schierholtz to get the majority of the time in right field with Ross out.

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Category: MLB
Posted on: November 17, 2010 7:19 pm
Edited on: November 17, 2010 7:20 pm

No car for Giants' Ross

Cody Ross Can't blame Cody Ross for trying to get Jeffrey Loria's red Ferrari.

Apparently, before the 2009 season, Loria told his Marlins players he'd give his car to anyone who won a postseason MVP. After Ross, who was claimed off waivers from the Marlins by the Giants in August, won the National League Championship Series, he called up his old boss.

"(Ross) said, 'I won [the MVP] for the NLCS. Does that count?'," Loria told the Miami Herald 's Clark Spencer. "I said, 'Not exactly' and 'You're not playing for us. But I'm very happy for you."

Loria said he'd told the team that whoever won the World Series MVP for the Marlins would get the car.

Ross, though, can probably afford his own car. He's arbitration eligible this offseason and made $4,450,000 last season and will be a free agent after next season.

Ross hit .294/.390/.686 in the postseason, including three homers in the NLCS and another in the World Series. He hit .288/.354/.466 in 33 games for the Giants and .269/.322/.413 with 14 homers overall in 2010.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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

Category: MLB
Posted on: October 30, 2010 10:05 pm

Feliz sighting!

And here it is, photographic evidence that Ron Washington remembers Neftali Feliz is in fact in his bullpen:

Neftali Feliz

Feliz came in and pitched a perfect ninth, picking up his first postseason save in his first World Series appearance.

Granted, maybe he should've come in for the eighth in the highest-leverage situation, but Darren O'Day did get Buster Posey to end the eighth, so all's well that ends well.

Feliz struck out Pat Burrell (I know, shocker), got Cody Ross to fly out and then blew away Juan Uribe to end the game with a 99 mph fastball. He threw 13 pitches, 10 strikes.

Here were a few of my favorite (non-Chalupa) tweets of the night:

@MikeSilvermanBB : Righetti just told Mota he's embarrassing himself and the entire franchise walk Francoeur

@Ledger_NYMets : Neftali Feliz should change his name to Darren

@JPosnanski : They say the Masters begins on the back nine on Sunday. A Ron Washington managed game begins in the 8th inning.

@aandro : My assessment of why crowd seems quieter tonight. More corporate look. More rhinestudded jerseys means less real fans.

@Kevin_Goldstein : Ron Washington: "Who is this guy? Man I should use him more."

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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

Posted on: October 18, 2010 11:51 am
Edited on: October 18, 2010 1:12 pm

Cody Ross likely to return to Giants

Cody Ross The NLCS isn't over by any long shot, but Cody Ross has already etched a place for himself in Giants annals with his three home runs through the first two games.

But Ross wasn't supposed to be in this spot for the Giants. After being claimed off waivers August 22, Ross played sparingly down the stretch until receiving an opportunity with Jose Guillen sidelined with a sore neck. From Sept. 17 until the end of the season, Ross made 41 plate appearances, hitting .395/.439/.711 with three home runs.

That was enough to give Ross a starting spot in the postseason, where he has flourished. Despite splits indicating he mashes lefty pitching but not so much on righties, he has been playing full time, and his three bombs off Roy Halladay and Roy Oswalt clearly indicate Ross can handle righties.

While GM Brian Sabean didn't come out and explicitly say it, he left an impression on Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News that Ross will be tendered a contract for the 2011 season in what will be Ross' final year of arbitration eligibility.

"His situation is not daunting," Sabean said of Ross' salary, $4 million in 2010. "His number isn’t going to go off the map. His platform year was last year, not this year, so it’s a very affordable situation if we go that route."

Sabean admitted he didn't think Ross would make as much an impact on the postseason as he has, with four home runs and a RBI single that clinched the NLDS.

"Not necessarily on this stage," Sabean said when asked whether he expected such an impact. "But the kid hit 24 home runs last year, he’s a good all around player and he’s a little bit streaky."

While many feel the 29-year-old was claimed off waivers simply to prevent the Padres from putting in a claim, Sabean said that wasn't the only reason the claim was executed.

“Well, you don’t claim anybody unless you really like the player because you can end up in the very situation we were in,” Sabean said. “Quite frankly, other than [Andres] Torres, we didn’t have a good all-around outfield option."

Until Ross, but he had to fight his way into the lineup to prove his mettle -- which he has in spades, finishing with an overall .288/.354/.466 line for the Giants in 82 PA. The experience of wearing a Giants uniform has been enough for Ross to proclaim he wants to remain in San Francisco.

"When I got an idea of how this team is and is going to be, and playing in front of that crowd every day, I can’t see a place I’d rather be," he said. "This has been an amazing experience for me. I’d love to play here longer than these few months or even another year. I’d like to finish my career here."

-- Evan Brunell

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Category: MLB
Tags: Cody Ross, Giants
Posted on: October 17, 2010 10:04 pm
Edited on: October 18, 2010 2:29 am

Ross the stuff of legend

Cody Ross
Giants outfielder Cody Ross' home run tonight to break up Roy Oswalt's no-hitter (although it's not really "breaking up a no-hitter" in the fifth inning) was his fourth of the postseason.

But the most amazing part of what he's done this week has been the timing. He has recorded the Giants' first hit in the past three games, all by home run.

* Game 4, NLDS: First hit off Derek Lowe, solo homer with one out in the sixth.

* Game 1, NLCS: First hit off Roy Halladay, solo homer with one out in the third.

* Game 2, NLCS: First hit off Roy Oswalt, solo homer with one out in the fifth.

Also, five of his six hits have either tied the game or put the Giants ahead. That, my friends, is how you make yourself a postseason legend.

-- David Andriesen

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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