Tag:Grady Sizemore
Posted on: August 23, 2011 1:09 pm
 

Hafner could be done for year; Sizemore rehabbing

HafnerBy Evan Brunell

Fresh off a sweep at the hands of the Tigers, the Indians received sobering news on Travis Hafner, including the possibility that the DH could be out for the entire season.

As Jordan Bastain of MLB.com relays, Cleveland trainer Lonnie Soloff admitted that options were being weighed for Hafner, who hit the disabled list with a strained tendon in the bottom of his right foot. Currently in a walking boot, surgery might be necessary, which would finish Hafner's season and cap a season that started out as his most productive in years before a post-All Star break slump wound him down to a .281/.364/.448 mark in 319 plate appearances.

"We're in the process of seeking other medical opinions on the best course of treatment [for Hafner]," Soloff said.

If Hafner's season is truly done, the 34-year-old will have appeared in exactly half of a full season's worth of games, those 82 games representing the second-lowest in the last four seasons for the DH. But in 51 of these games, which came before the break, Hafner hit .325/.406/.528 and was a major reason for Cleveland's early surge to first place, just like his .220/.303/.339 line, along with a host of injuries to numerous Indians players, have helped sink the Indians into 5 1/2 games behind Detroit.

Fortunately, the loss of Hafner came after the return of outfielder Shin-Soo Choo, who returned from injury himself and is back to manning right field, with Kosuke Fukudome and Michael Brantley occupying the other two outfield spots. It's not clear who the DH the rest of the way will be, although first baseman Matt LaPorta was the DH on Monday with Carlos Santana playing first and Lou Marson catching. While you can expect that alignment to happen again, partly to rest Santana behind the plate, it doesn't figure to become the permanent configuration.

That permanent configuration could come when Grady Sizemore returns. Sizemore was scorching hot for 11 games in late April once he was activated off the DL for the injury that robbed Sizemore of much of his 2010 season. However, Sizemore slumped in early May before returning to the DL, then didn't get into a groove through the entirety of June, a waste offensively through that time period. Just when he heated up in July, he hit the shelf once more with a sports hernia. Now, Soloff reports further progress in Sizemore's rehab. The center fielder is expected to run agility/sprint drills in Cleveland on Tuesday, before graduating to batting practice Wednesday. Sizemore told reporters that he hoped to be in rehab games by the end of next week, which is also the start of September.

"I trust [Sizemore's] self-evaluation, but that's not outlined as of yet," Soloff cautioned as far as a timetable for rehab games goes. "We have a lot of hurdles to get over."

One potential way for the Indians to get Sizemore back and keep him healthy would be to keep him out of center and let Fukudome roam it for the rest of the year. Hafner's season-ending injury -- if in fact, it is season-ending -- would clear the way for Sizemore to DH. For now, the Indians have to plan on Sizemore returning at full strength to take the field.

Soloff also updated reporters on starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco's injury. After being placed on the 15-day disabled list with a right-elbow injury, Carrasco is working on increasing range of motion and will not return to the majors until after Sept. 1.

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Posted on: August 23, 2011 12:58 pm
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Posted on: August 17, 2011 9:53 am
 

Pepper: Signing deadline needs to be moved up

Bubba Starling

By C. Trent Rosecrans

The last couple of days showed us some of the best of baseball, five walkoffs on Tuesday, Jim Thome's 600th home run on Monday, triple plays both Monday and Tuesday and so much more. But Monday night we saw one of the things that needs to be fixed, and that's the signing deadline for draft picks.

Yesterday I touched on this, but I suggested just moving it from midnight to a more reasonable hour. That was a selfish wish. Hall of Famer George Brett tells the Kansas City Star that the deadline needs to be moved up more than a month to something like July 4.

The reason is simple, the development of players is stunted by a year and the posturing could hurt players. According to Brett, the Royals and Scott Boras, the "advisor" for their top pick, Bubba Starling, didn't even start talking until 10:30 p.m. on Monday night. The two sides then agreed to a deal with 20-40 seconds left, Brett said.

"If they made the deadline July 4, these guys would sign July 4 and the guy would jump on the plane and play some real baseball rather than go to Arizona when the season is almost over after not picking up a ball and a bat for how long … and playing football … he's not baseball ready," Brett told the newspaper. "It's going to take him a while." 

Instead of playing baseball and cashing checks, Starling was working out with the Nebraska football team as a negotiating ploy, showing that he was "serious" that he'd turn down millions of dollars to play football. He was also risking injury and his future with no guarantee.

That said, with the way money was thrown around on Monday night, it seems to make little sense to sign early. The teams showed that players who wait to sign until the deadline will be rewarded. An agent I spoke to on Tuesday said he's had players sign early in the past -- which is all well and good for the teams, but did he do his players' a disservice by not waiting until the end? In his previous cases, no, it was still the right thing to do. But next time? When the 27th player picked gets $800,000 above slot, the waiting game pays. That's not going to change, the way to fix that it to shorten the wait.

Pirates' booty: Speaking of the draft signings, the Pirates spent $17 million in signing bonuses for their draft picks. While there are negatives, for Pittsburgh, this is a positive. For many years teams like the Royals and Pirates wouldn't draft the best available player in the draft, instead drafting the best available player that would fit into their budget. The Royals gave Bubba Starling a huge contract and the Pirates gave out several, including an $8 million signing bonus to No. 1 overall pick Gerrit Cole and $5 million for second-rounder Josh Bell. Last season we heard about how the Pirates weren't spending their luxury tax gains, but now we see an actual plan and owner Bob Nutting is putting money into the team. [MLB.com]

Right player, wrong position: Living in Cincinnati I've seen this before -- teams in MLB will often pick the best player available in the draft, regardless of position, now Yonder Alonso is in the big leagues with the Reds and has little to do because Joey Votto isn't going to sit the bench for him. The Nationals saw a player some considered to be the best in the draft fall to them and couldn't pass up Rice third baseman Anthony Rendon, despite already having a 26-year-old at third base in Ryan Zimmerman. The Nationals are happy to have Rendon and let that problem play out. [MASNSports.com]

Bundy eyes 2013: Orioles first-round pick Dylan Bundy said his plan is to be in the big leagues in 2013. The right-hander would be 20 in 2013. Brett would tell him if he was serious about that, he maybe should have signed sooner. [Baltimore Sun]

Overrated Howard: Baseball-Reference.com's Sean Forman made the argument in the New York Times that Philadelphia's Ryan Howard is not an elite hitter. The bigger argument was about overvaluing the RBI -- the stat that Howard provides much of Howard's worth. It does certainly help that he plays for the Phillies and has some pretty decent players in front of him in the lineup.

Umps visit kids: Jerry Meals may be Public Enemy No. 1 in Pittsburgh, but not to 3-year-old Emily Berger. Berger, who had undergone surgery on Monday, was one of the children visited by a group of MLB umpires to visit a children's hospital on Tuesday. Meals, who famously blew the call at home plate to end a 19-inning game in Atlanta for Pittsburgh loss, and the rest of his crew hosted a Build-A-Bear workshop for dozens of children. [Pittsburgh Tribune-Review]

Sizemore improving: The Indians hope Grady Sizemore can return next month after he started baseball activities on Tuesday as part of his rehab from a right knee injury and a sports hernia surgery. [MLB.com]

Granderson's rare feat: Curtis Granderson has a shot at leading the American League in homers and triples. The last player to do that was Jim Rice in 1978. [Baseball-Reference.com]

Mariners doing well: Jack Zduriencik won the offseason according to many before the 2010 season, and we saw how that worked. But even with that in hindsight, it appears Zduriencik has had a good couple of weeks despite his team's fall in the standings over the last two months. [Seattle Times]

More Thome: If you haven't had enough of Jim Thome (and really, it's not like we've even got to a tenth of the DJ3K madness yet), his hometown paper, the Peoria JournalStar put together a fantastic package looking back on his life and career. Make sure you check it out.

Give the people what they want: Nice job by the Brewers' promotion department with the announcement of  "Tony Plush Rally Towels" for the Sept. 9 game against the Phillies. "Tony Plush" is the "gentleman's name" of outfielder Nyjer Morgan. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]

Bashing Boise: No, not the Broncos and their "Smurf turf," but the city's Class A team -- Cubs owner Tom Ricketts said Boise's Memorial Stadium is "below standard." [Chicago Tribune]

Pros vs. G.I. Joes: Some White Sox players are playing video games with soldiers online. [MLB.com]

Hi, bye: Outfielder Jonny Gomes was traded from the Reds to the Nationals last month, but he wasn't informed until just before the Reds' game started, meaning he wasn't able to say goodbye to his teammates in Cincinnati. Now a member of the Nationals, Gomes got to say both hello and goodbye to the Reds when the team started their series in Washington. [Cincinnati Enquirer]

Cut those sideburns: Monday was the 20th anniversary of Don Mattingly sitting out a game for refusing to cut his hair. [MLB.com]

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: July 19, 2011 11:24 pm
Edited on: July 20, 2011 5:34 pm
 

Indians on hunt for outfielders, pitching

LudwickBy Evan Brunell

Both Jim Bowden of ESPN and Jon Heyman of SI.com report that the Indians are chasing either Ryan Ludwick or Josh Willingham to add to the club's offense.

While two separate reports give some credence to the rumor, don't forget that both people could be drawing from the same source. Regardless, it's no surprise to see Cleveland nosing about for a right-handed outfield bat, given the struggles of Grady Sizemore to stay on the field and Shin-Soo Choo's broken thumb keeping him out until late August. Add in DH Travis Hafner's brittle body, and despite ranking 10th in baseball in runs scored, you can see how offense is a question mark for the Indians.

Ludwick has seen his offense depressed since being traded to the Padres midway through the 2010 season but has drawn trade interest from quite a few teams and could be a nice complementary piece. Willingham has had his own offensive dropoff since joining Oakland before the season but has been hot in July after an injury and slump dragged down his numbers in June. He's a safer bet than Ludwick to produce, but he also costs more and would come with a higher price tag. Carlos Beltran has also come up as a possible target, although it's unlikely Beltran would waive his no-trade clause to go to Cleveland -- plus the Indians wouldn't want to surrender a top prospect.

More important to Cleveland is shoring up the pitching as CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler reports. One name to note here is Aaron Harang, as Heyman reported Cleveland's interest on Tuesday. The right-hander is having a bounceback season with the Padres, but pitching in Petco Park is a big reason why. His 3.19 ERA will command a higher price than he's truly worth, while another of Cleveland's targets, Hiroki Kuroda, may not pan out because he has a no-trade clause and wants to stay on the West Coast. As a result, the Dodgers' trade market for Kuroda is quite thin.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed. Also, check out Danny Knobler's trade deadline news and rumors.



Posted on: July 15, 2011 11:47 pm
Edited on: July 15, 2011 11:56 pm
 

Pirates move into first place in NL Central

Neil WalkerBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Just because I can, I'm going to type this sentence -- the Pittsburgh Pirates are in first place.

And it's true. Wait, it gets better. It's July 15 and the Pirates and the Cleveland Indians are in first place. Who had that at the beginning of the year?

The Pirates beat the Astros behind a shutout from Jeff Karstens, while the Brewers fell to the Rockies and the Reds topped the Cardinals. With Friday's results the Pirates lead the Cardinals by just percentage points -- .5275 to .5269. Milwaukee is a half-game back of the leaders, with the Reds three games back.

I touched on this the other day, but the Pirates are the season's best story and could break the franchise's streak of 18 consecutive losing seasons. The team started off hot then faded a bit, but have hung around and are now 48-43 on the season.

The Indians used two-run homers by Asdrubal Cabrera and Grady Sizemore to send the Orioles to their ninth straight loss. Cleveland broke its tie with the Tigers when the White Sox put five runs on Justin Verlander for an 8-2 victory in Detroit.

We'll see if either team is there at the end, but at this point, who cares? It's after the All-Star break and the Indians and Pirates are in first place and that's just awesome.

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

Posted on: June 1, 2011 5:18 pm
Edited on: June 1, 2011 8:27 pm
 

On Deck: Correia goes for MLB-best eighth win

On Deck

By Evan Brunell


CorreiaCHASE FOR EIGHT: Raise your hand if you thought Kevin Correia would be the first pitcher in baseball to reach eight victories. Yeah, didn't think so. But Correia can do just that Wednesday night against the Mets and Chris Capuano. The game being in New York can only help the right-hander's cause, as he's won six of seven games away from his home park. The Pirates will also go for their 17th victory on the road, a mark they didn't reach last season until Oct. 1. If Correia can limit the 25-29 Mets to two runs or fewer, it will mark 13 straight games a Pittsburgh starter has accomplished the feat, the first time since a 14-gamer in 1968. Pirates at Mets, 7:10 p.m. ET

IndiansJaysNEW STREAK: The Indians lost five of six games before pulling out a victory Tuesday, with Grady Sizemore collecting his first two hits since returning from the disabled list four days ago. Sizemore had been 0 for 12 with seven whiffs, but his fortunes changed as the Indians dropped the Blue Jays to one game over .500. Now, the AL-best Indians will look to put Toronto at .500 by sending Josh Tomlin to the hill. Tomlin has been one of the early surprises this season, with a 6-2 mark and 2.74 ERA. He'll oppose Jays rookie right-hander Kyle Drabek, who hasn't been terribly impressive so far this year with a 4.16 ERA and a poor 1:1 K/BB ratio. Indians at Blue Jays, 7:07 p.m. ET

JimenezSKIDDING ROX: Hard to believe the Rockies are slipping out of the race for first place, but a 2-10 swing in their last 12 games has dropped them into a tie with the Dodgers for third place. Working off a 25-29 mark, the Rockies need ace Ubaldo Jimenez to step up and earn his first win of the season. Jimenez, who was 10-1 with a 0.78 ERA at this point last season, has been slowly improving since his rough start to the season, but he coughed up six runs to the Cardinals last Friday to drop his ERA to 5.86. Among starters with at least 40 innings pitched in the NL, Jimenez's ERA is sixth-worst -- and two of the pitchers ahead of him no longer have major-league jobs. The Dodgers aren't an easy mark for Jimenez, as he's lost three of his last four starts against them. Rockies at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m. ET

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.



Posted on: May 26, 2011 10:12 am
Edited on: May 26, 2011 10:43 am
 

Pepper: Assessing chances of a K-Rod trade



By Evan Brunell

K-ROD TRADEABLE? For a while now, Francisco Rodriguez's $17.5 million vesting option has been seen as a major roadblock to any trade.

Rodriguez is a fine closer, but a $17.5 million figure for a closer is rather exorbitant, especially in recent years as the market for closers has appeared to plateau. K-Rod needs to finish at least 55 games for that option to vest, and he's at 18 through almost two full months. That puts him on pace to clear the threshold by the end of the year for New York, unless the Mets trade him first.

While Rodriguez could be traded to a setup role which would take care of that pesky games-finished requirement, reporter Andy Martino writes that his value as a closer may not be half-bad after all. He cites Rodriguez's dominant on-field play with his new personality off it, with Rodriguez demonstrating remorse for previous actions. It could be a good move for a team comfortable with trading for K-Rod to head up the ninth. It also helps that Rodriguez has expressed a willingness to tear up his current option and renegotiate a new deal.

Lost in this article is the bottom line: Rodriguez won't negotiate away his vesting option unless he stands to benefit by getting an extended contract from the team dealing for him. Helping matters is that K-Rod is willing to consider any team, even one of the 10 teams that are currently blocked thanks to a no-trade clause. But the bottom line remains: there's no reason for Rodriguez to tear up his 2012 option if he doesn't get something out of it. That kind of money over one season is well worth it to Rodriguez, who could then go get another big-money deal after 2012.

But working in favor of the Mets is Rodriguez's $3.5 million buyout. If New York agrees to fund the buyout -- which it must pay regardless of the option vesting -- other teams may change their perception of Rodriguez's value. Instead of digging into their pockets in free agency to sign the likes of Heath Bell and Jonathan Papebon, a team could address the K-Rod issue by having the Mets pick up $3.5 million at the trade deadline, giving the acquiring team one-and-a-half years of Rodriguez at a 2012 price of $14 million. Still hefty, but not outlandish and worth the price of doing business on a short deal. And as we've learned, short deals for closers is a smart route to go. (New York Daily News)

BOBBLEHEAD CURSE
: Sure, Omar Minaya was a pretty bad GM in New York and now Fred Wilpon is on a media blitz designed to tell his side of the story but is only complicating things more. And yet, what might be to blame are bobbleheads, part of a yearly giveaway. Previous bobblehead players have ended up injured or ineffective after garnering the honor. This year's recipient? Ike Davis, currently on the DL. (New York Times)

NO TROUT
: How tired do you think manager Mike Scioscia is of answering questions about 19-year-old prodigy Mike Trout? He continued to deflect any speculation that Trout would be called to the majors despite tearing up the minors and seeing L.A. limp along in left field with Alexi Amarista and Reggie Willits, although he did crack the door open for a promotion in a month. "I think that's a huge risk to take with a player with his upside," Scioscia said. "We see the growth in Mike. He's made an incredible amount of progress from last year to now. He's bridging that gap. Maybe in a month, this would be a different conversation, but right now, there's some growth he needs to be ready for that challenge of the major leagues." (Los Angeles Times)

WELLS ON MEND
: Angels left fielder Vernon Wells made progress in his return from a groin strain. He's not ahead of schedule, but underwent light agility drills and came away without complaint. (Los Angeles Times)

MY TURN: Mike Fontenot knows what groin strains feel like -- he just suffered one Thursday night that will probably get him on the 15-day DL. That's bad news for S.F., which already had a tattered left side of the infield. (San Francisco Chronicle)

RUNNER'S LUCK: The Giants also saw Darren Ford hobbled by a lateral sprain on his left ankle that will likely see the pinch-runner hit the DL. Bruce Bochy said there it would be "a longshot" for Brandon Belt to replace Ford on the roster. More likely is Ryan Rohlinger or Travis Ishikawa. (San Jose Mercury News)

STANTON'S BOMBS: Florida Marlins sluggger Mike Stanton is an attraction during batting practice these days. In San Francisco he drew applause from Giants fans as he launched home runs, including a standing ovation for a batting practice moonshot that went more than 500 feet. The applause quickly dissipated when he carried his home-run swing over into the game. (Palm Beach Post)

CASH IN THE BULLPEN
: When Andrew Cashner returns from his injury, bet on him moving into the bullpen. "When you miss a few months with an arm injury you cannot just go right back to pitching six innings or more when you return so I would think that he would be in the pen when he does come back this season," Cubs manager Jim Hendry said. If true, the Cubs are going to have to find another starting pitcher somewhere. They're so close in getting Casey Coleman out of the rotation, but still have Doug Davis to contend with, with only Coleman as depth. (CSNChicago.com)

SIZEMORE NEAR: Grady Sizemore has come through his rehab work so nicely that he may actually be activated the first game he is eligible for, which is Friday. His replacement on the major-league roster, Ezequiel Carrera, was seen shaking hands with teammates. Sizemore ran the bases prior to Wednesday's game and came through with no issues, putting him on track to be activated for the weekend series. (MLB.com)

BAD STEW: Rockies third baseman Ian Stewart pulled his hamstring in a game in Triple-A on Wednesday, so it looks like he will be out of action for a couple of weeks. Just another bad day in a line of bad days for Stewart this season. (Denver Post)

NO. 2: With the Mariners a surprising game under .500 and a weekend series with the Yankees coming up, Seattle needs to find a way to boost its offense if they hope to come away with a series win. How about batting Brendan Ryan, in the midst of a hot month, second in the order? (Seattle Times)

THOLE DIVE: In this day and age, if you mess up, you can bet everyone will soon be giggling at a .GIF of it. Josh Thole is no exception. (SB Nation)

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: May 11, 2011 4:53 pm
Edited on: May 11, 2011 10:13 pm
 

Sizemore out of lineup, to have MRI

By Evan Brunell

UPDATE: Grady Sizemore is just fine, as Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com relays. The Indians said that the MRI showed no structural damage and is day-to-day with a left knee contusion. (That's a fancy way of saying he has a bruise.)



By Matt Snyder


In looking at the posted lineup for the Indians Wednesday night against the Rays, Grady Sizemore's name is absent. He also reportedly already left the park in street clothes, and that's because he's on his way to getting an MRI on his right knee. (Cleveland.com via Twitter)

Sizemore reportedly tweaked his knee sliding into second base Tuesday night, though the injury is not initially believed to be serious by Sizemore or the Indians.

Now, you might be thinking that this is scary for the Tribe because Sizemore lost almost all of 2010 after undergoing microfracture surgery on his knee. Fret not, as that was on his left knee. So this yet undisclosed injury to his knee is completely unrelated.

The 28-year-old outfielder has been a huge part of the Indians putting together the best record in baseball through May 11. He's only played 18 games, but had an impact on the offense. He is hitting .282 with six home runs, 11 RBI, 15 runs, 10 doubles and a .974 OPS. A pace like this would easily land Sizemore in his fourth All-Star Game this summer, so let's hope the injury is of the minor variety.

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Category: MLB
 
 
 
 
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