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Tag:Hunter Pence
Posted on: August 30, 2011 9:50 am
Edited on: August 30, 2011 4:24 pm
 

Pepper: Arizona pulling away from champs

Daniel Hudson

By C. Trent Rosecrans

The Giants' last stand may come this weekend -- if they're even still in it by the time the Diamondbacks visit AT&T Park.

You may have noticed the Diamondbacks are starting to pull away in the National League West, winning their last seven games and increasing their lead in the division to five games. I'm still not sure exactly how it's happened, but you've got to appreciate what Kirk Gibson and his team have done.

Whichever team wins this division will do it by winning the division -- the Giants don't play anyone outside their division the entire month of September, while the Diamondbacks have three games against Pittsburgh in September, but no other games outside the division. What that means? A lot of the Padres and Dodgers and Rockies -- teams with a combined 29 games below .500.

One thing to keep in mind if you like trends, after the Diamondbacks won seven games earlier this month, they went out and lost their next six. If that trend repeats, it'd mean a sweep in San Francisco, which would put the Giants right back into it. But if San Francisco can't score more than a run or two in a game, they won't be sweeping anyone.

Real hero: You hear the word "hero" with sports way too much -- but it's an appropriate use of the word for Emmanuel Marlow. Who is Marlow? He's a vendor at Nationals Park who saved a choking fan on Thursday. Marlow, 49, used the Heimlich maneuver to save the young fan -- then went back to doing his job. Or his second job. Marlow also cares for patients with Parkinson's in his first job. Really, a great story and a real hero. [Washington Post]

Fan scare: Speaking of fan safety, a young fan was hit in the face by a foul ball at Citi Field on Monday. The Marlins' Greg Dobbs hit the ball and said he was told the boy did not suffer broken bones or had his sight damaged, so that's good news. Dobbs gave the kid's mother a bat and Mets second baseman Justin Turner gave him his jersey -- but that's a pretty high price to pay for a jersey and bat. Luckily the boy is OK. [MLB.com]

Perez impresses: The Royals have had their fair share of hyped prospects, so it's OK if you weren't too aware of catcher Salvador Perez. You may want to get used to hearing his name. Since being called up from Triple-A Omaha, he's started 16 of 18 games for Kansas City -- and he's hitting .295/.333/.443, including a 3-for-4 performance and his first home run in Monday's victory over the Tigers. Royals manager Ned Yost said he's "hard to take out of the lineup," and expects him to play 140 games a year. Perez hadn't played above Class A until this season and has had an incredible year, ending in the big leagues. [Kansas City Star]

The new Josh Beckett: Marriage has changed Red Sox starter Josh Beckett, he said. No longer is baseball his top priority -- but he's been even better with it as No. 2 in his life. [WEEI.com]

Standing pat: Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said he "doubts" the team will make a deal before the Aug. 31 trade deadline. Phillies place on the waiver line (last in the National League) and payroll limitations make any move unlikely. [Philadelphia Daily News]

Untested: Monday night was supposed to be an experiment for the Reds' Yonder Alonso. The Reds rookie received his first professional start at third base on Monday night but didn't have a single ball hit his way. While it was surprising, it was part of the plan. Dusty Baker said the team made Alonso's first start at third during a Homer Bailey start on purpose, as "guys don't usually pull Homer." They didn't, so consider the results of the experiment inconclusive. And don't expect a repeat of Alonso at the hot corner on Tuesday with Bronson Arroyo on the mound against the Phillies. [Dayton Daily News]

Carp may stay: Even if the Cardinals don't pick up Chris Carpenter's $15 million option, MLB.com's Matt Leach doesn't see the team letting the right-hander leave via free agency.

Feeling blue: The Mets will wear retro uniforms for their 50th anniversary next season and then add a blue jersey in 2013. [ESPNNewYork.com]

Garfoose is loose: The Rays released minor league right-hander Dirk Hayhurst, which wouldn't mean much if he weren't the author of the very entertaining Bullpen Diaries and a prolific blogger and Twitter user. Best of luck to Hayhurst -- because if he's out of baseball, he may be out of stories, and that would be a shame. [DirkHayhurst.com]

Stats are fun: Yahoo's Jeff Passan has 25 great, nerdy stats in his latest column. If any pitchers are reading this, for all that is holy, don't throw Joey Votto a fastball. 

Feliciano done? Left-handed reliever Pedro Feliciano may need career-ending shoulder surgery to repair his a tear in his shoulder. It will certainly end Feliciano's season, but could cost him more. He signed a two-year, $8 million contract before the season and hasn't thrown a pitch for the Yankees. He could get $8 million for just signing his name if he can't come back from this injury. [ESPNNewYork.com]

Socks appeal: There's a proper way to wear a baseball uniform and too often you don't see it -- instead you get the pajama pants look. Hunter Pence's high socks are gaining some attention in Philadelphia. [Philadelphia Inquirer]

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: August 23, 2011 9:51 pm
 

Earthquake shakes MLB

By C. Trent Rosecrans

The Orioles are in Minnesota, so they only heard about today's earthquake -- but the Maryland Stadium Authority isn't taking any chances with Camden Yards, inspecting the Orioles' home after Tuesday afternoon's earthquake, the Baltimore Sun reports.

The executive director of the Maryland Stadium Authority told the paper that he and a structural engineer were checking both Camden Yards and M&T Bank Stadium, home of the NFL's Ravens, on Tuesday. The Ravens have a preseason game against the Redskins on Thursday while the Orioles return home Friday to start a series against the Yankees.

"This is certainly a precautionary measure, but it seems appropriate given the magnitude of the earthquake," Michael Frenz told the newspaper. "There is no reason [to believe] it's not safe, but we have a lot of people coming in, so we want to make sure we're protecting public safety and the real estate asset."

The Nationals delayed Tuesday's game by 20 minutes because of the earthquake, also delaying the opening of the gates while Nationals Park was inspected. Nationals manager Davey Johnson was at the ballpark when the earthquake hit.

"I had my feet up on my desk and I was watching highlights of yesterday's games," Johnson told the Associated Press. "I looked down and my arms started shaking. I said, 'Am I having a tremor here?' And then the table next to me started shaking and I said, 'Oh, earthquake.'"

He was in better shape than the Diamondbacks. Arizona's team bus got stuck in traffic after the earthquake, delaying some players' arrival at the park for hours.

In Philadelphia, Phillies outfielder Hunter Pence tweeted about the earthquake right after it happened:

 

The earthquake could be felt in New York, but most of the A's players said they didn't feel it.

"it's like a state of panic here," Conor Jackson, a native of Southern California, told Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. "They're such rookies."

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: August 15, 2011 2:01 pm
Edited on: August 15, 2011 2:04 pm
 

Astros complete Pence deal, acquire Santana

By Evan Brunell

SantanaThe Astros announced on Monday that Domingo Santana was chosen as the player to be named in the Hunter Pence deal, closing the books on the blockbuster trade that saw Philadelphia fix its right-field hole with the adding of Pence.

The completed deal saw Pence head to the Phillies in exchange for Jarred Cosart, Jonathan Singleton, Josh Zeid and Santana, continuing Houston's trend of going after players in the lower level, as any chance of Houston contending will rest on players in the low minors. Santana, who was selected over one other unknown player as the player to be named later, is a strong addition as he was ranked No. 9 in the Phillies' system by Baseball America in the offseason. Santana has drawn Vladimir Guerrero comparisons, but he still has to develop quite a ways to reach those lofty expectations.

Santana was signed to a contract as an international free agent in 2008, when he inked for $330,000 and performed well down the stretch for the rookie club. In 2010, however, Santana stumbled in low-Class A, as well as in Class A following a promotion. Repeating Class A in 2011, the 19-year-old has come through with a .269/.345/.434 mark. For someone so young to be holding his own in Class A with the potential he has, it's a promising step forward and will give Houston another projectable, raw bat in the system to do damage with.

All told, the Astros walked away with the No. 2 (Singleton), 4 (Cosart) and 9th best prospects in the Phillies system according to Baseball America, as well as Zeid, who was ranked as having the best slider in Philadelphia's system and could blossom as a solid reliever.

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

Headshot thanks to MiLB.com.
Posted on: August 5, 2011 3:01 pm
 

Carlos Lee and the Astros' kiddie corps

Carlos Lee

By
C. Trent Rosecrans 

Your stat of the day: Carlos Lee has more career plate appearances than the rest of the Astros' position players combined.

The Houston Chronicle's Steve Campbell figured that stat out for his feature on Carlos Lee. Lee has 7,967 career plate appearances -- four more than the rest of Astros' position players combined.

Only three Astros, shortstop Clint Barmes (2,826), outfielder Jason Michael (2,588) and catcher Humberto Quintero (1,033) have more than 1,000 career plate appearances. Last season Hunter Pence led the team with 658 plate appearances in 156 games, so to put it in perspective, besides Lee, only two current Astros have more than two full seasons worth of big league plate appearances.

How about this? Lee is mired in an 0-for-23 funk -- tonight he'll have three teammates in uniform who don't have 23 career at-bats. In fact, the trio -- outfielder J.D. Martinez, third baseman Jimmy Paredes and outfielder J.B. Shuck have a combined 27 at-bats in the big leagues (and nine hits).

Lee's probably not going anywhere anytime soon, though. He's signed through next season -- and his $18.5 million salary is actually more than twice the rest of the team's position players combined salary.

"I’m more of a teacher, a mentor,” Lee told Campbell. “Pretty much whatever I can do to help, I’m open for it. I try to keep it loose, make ‘em understand to go out and have fun and play hard. Regardless of the situation, it’s still my job to go out there and do the best I can, compete as hard as I can."

(H/T to Aaron Gleeman at Hardball Talk

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

Posted on: August 2, 2011 10:22 am
Edited on: August 2, 2011 2:10 pm
 

Pepper: Cubs stumble with Colvin benching

Colvin
By Evan Brunell

TO PLAY OR NOT TO PLAY: OK, let me get this straight.

First, GM Jim Hendry somehow avoids making any trade of significance to help the Cubs moving forward in a futile attempt to keep the team relevant. Now, he and manager Mike Quade are not even playing one such person that could have a big impact next season?

The only Cubs deal at the deadline saw outfielder Kosuke Fukudome head to the Indians, freeing up right field for Tyler Colvin. Colvin hasn't impressed in the majors this season, but has been coming off the bench for the most part, also struggling in Triple-A. Still, he's a year removed from 20 home runs.

"The most important thing was that Tyler had to play," Hendry said of the Fukudome trade. "We saw the Tyler last year, and the Tyler this year wasn't quite the same. He went down to Iowa and worked hard, and it looks like he's made some progress and he deserves to play the rest of the way.

"And we need to find out whether he's an everyday guy or not by the end of this year. No matter how you slice it, the outfield situation, just like a few other (positions) will have to be addressed in the offseason."

Great. Except Colvin hasn't been in the lineup for two straight games. Quade seems to believe Colvin will get plenty of playing time the rest of the way, but if he's benching the 25-year-old to get Reed Johnson -- an aging, backup player -- more at-bats, Quade has the wrong idea here. (Chicago Tribune)

STAYING IN SAN DIEGO: Heath Bell says that he will take an offer of arbitration if the Padres offer it after the season, as that's how important it is to him to stay in town. This could complicate things for San Diego, who didn't deal the closer at the deadline for two reasons -- the possibility of signing Bell to a hometown-discount extension, as well as the chance to get two compensatory picks should the two sides be unable to agree on a new contract. Now, it seems San Diego may have erred in keeping Bell if they will have no choice but to retain him. (San Diego Union-Tribune)

SPELLING BEE CHAMPIONS: The Giants definitely are not spelling bee champions, even if they remain the reigning World Series champions. Check out this amusing photo snapped that shows the spelling prowess of those on the team. (BayBridgeBaseball.com)

NEW AGENT: When Japanese pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma was posted last offseason, the A's won the bidding but talks quickly broke down when Iwakuma's agent asked for an exorbitant amount to sign and accused the A's of not showing any respect. Well, Iwakuma's taking no chances this time around and has hired Paul Cobbe of Sosnick-Cobbe Sports to be his new agent. Expect him stateside in 2012. (ESPN)

KEMP DOMINATION: How amazing has Matt Kemp been this year? How important is he to the Dodgers? Let Anthony Jackson tell you: "Kemp has hit 36 percent of Dodgers HRs, has 22 percent of their RBIs and 35 percent of their stolen bases. Only other player in past 100 years to have 30/20/30 percent of his team's total in those three categories over a full season was Hank Aaron, '63 Braves." Lofty company. (ESPN Los Angeles on Twitter)

COWBOYS FAN: When Mike Adams was traded to the Rangers, everyone knew that he was a Texas homeboy. But what people didn't know is he had a Cowboys jersey ready to go in the Padres clubhouse as he had worn it earlier in the week. Miles Austin, the player's jersey that Adams is wearing, said he will go out and purchase an Adams jersey. "It's a great feeling when anyone from any profession, especially baseball, [wears your jersey]," Austin said. "That's America's pastime. I used to play baseball, but I ended up not being able to hit the curveball when I hit the eighth grade." (Ft. Worth Star-Telegram)

STEWART ALMOST DEALT: The Rockies thought they had a deal for third baseman Ian Stewart with another National League team (the Pirates, I'm guessing) but talks fell apart with a half-hour to go. (Denver Post)

INJURIES ON THE RISE: Major League Baseball injuries are on the rise, the American Journal of Sports Medicine details in its latest study. You would think this is odd given how treatment of injuries and physical conditioning have improved over the years. Is there a concerning trend? Maybe, but you can't draw conclusions from this as Hardball Talk notes. After all, these days players aren't asked to, for the most part, play through their injuries. Plus, the advent of technology has improved diagnosing injuries. (Hardball Talk)

DONUT: Hey Hunter, you're supposed to take the donut off the bat before you step to the plate. (Mocksession GIF)

SMALL STEPS: Former Red Sox top prospect Ryan Westmoreland is gearing up to face live pitching for the first time since his brain surgery over a year ago. It's a major step forward, and Westmoreland doesn't care how he performs. Just that he's finally facing a pitcher. (Providence Journal)

MAJOR-LEAGUE EXPERIENCE: The Nationals have the right idea, promoting Ross Detwiler to the rotation on Thursday. The club wants to give all their young starting pitchers as much experience as possible. Brad Peacock and Tom Milone will also get long looks. Some room in the rotation will be made by the exiting Jordan Zimmermann, who has about four starts left before he reaches his innings limit. (Washington Post)

HITS PER NINE INNINGS: Here's an interesting look in the leaders in hits per nine innings. Obviously, the leaders in this category are all solid pitchers, anchored by Nolan Ryan in the top spot. (Beyond the Boxscore)

TORN: Freddy Sanchez will have surgery on Tuesday to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder. You won't see him again this season. (Comcast Sportsnet Bay Area)

KISS CAM: At the Reds game, a fan got down on one knee and proposed to his girlfriend on the kiss cam. Problem: he fished the ring out from his fanny pack. So many comments to make... (MLB.com)

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


Posted on: July 29, 2011 10:19 pm
Edited on: July 30, 2011 1:22 am
 

Astros add electric arm in Pence trade

Jarred Cosart

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Hunter Pence will now be a Phillie, but who are the newest Astros?

Well, they're not Astros yet, but the newest members of the Houston farm system give a jolt to a system ranked No. 26 in baseball by Baseball America before the season (and 30th in each of the two previous years). Here's a closer look at the three players the Astros will get in return for the All-Star outfielder in addition to a player to be named:

RHP Jarred Cosart: The 21-year-old from the Houston area wowed everyone in attendance at the Futures Game in Phoenix this month. His fastball was clocked at 98 mph as he had a pair of strikeouts in a perfect eighth inning of work for the United States team. The 6-foot-3 right-hander has a good curveball to go with the electric fastball. At high Class A Clearwater, he's struck out 79 and walked 43 in 108 innings and has a 9-8 record with a 3.92 ERA. He's seen his walks skyrocket this season after walking just 23 with 102 strikeouts in his first two pro seasons. The Phillies drafted him in the 38th round in 2008, but it's not because he was a 38th-round talent. Every team seemed to expect him to pitch at Missouri, and that's what he told them. But the Phillies drafted him and offered him a $550,000 bonus and he took it. He has a very high ceiling and a lot of potential, but he still needs a lot more polish, which is why he's in Class A. Baseball America ranked Cosart the No. 43 prospect in baseball in its midseason rankings.

1B/OF Jonathan Singleton: Ranked the Phillies' No. 2 prospect at the beginning of the season by Baseball America, Singleton doesn't turn 20 until September. At 6-foot-2, 225 pounds, Singleton has  the potential for a ton of power. So far this season he's hitting .282/.386/.411 at high Class A Clearwater with nine home runs and 47 RBI in 92 games. He's also show a good approach at the plate and the ability to take a walk, walking 56 times this season. He has struck out 83 times, though. Singleton has played some left field, but he's much better suited to first base. Baseball America ranked Singleton the No. 41 prospect in baseball in its midseason rankings.

RHP Josh Zeid: Zeid, 24, is 2-3 with a 5.65 ERA at Double-A Reading, striking out 56 and walking 27 in 63 2/3 innings. A former Vanderbilt and Tulane pitcher, Zeid dominated the South Atlantic League last year, but was one of the oldest players in the league, going 8-4 with a 2.93 and 111 strikeouts on 107 1/3 innings. Although he's started 38 games in the minors, he projects as a reliever if he gets to the majors. Since moving to the bullpen at Double-A, he has 24 strikeouts in 16 innings, while allowing just 10 hits. He pitched in the Arizona Fall League last season and made the Rising Stars Game, the All-Star game in the fall league.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: July 29, 2011 9:10 pm
Edited on: July 29, 2011 10:06 pm
 

Phillies to get Pence from Astros

By Danny Knobler

The Phillies have acquired outfielder Hunter Pence from the Astros, sources told CBSSports.com Friday night.

The deal was described by two sources as "very close," and was expected to be announced later in the evening.

Pence, a 28-year-old two-time All-Star, gives the Phillies the strong outfield bat that manager Charlie Manuel has been asking for. Pence hit .308 with 62 RBI in 100 games this year for the Astros.

While Pence isn't as dynamic a player as Carlos Beltran, the outfielder the Giants got this week from the Mets, he fits the Phillies' pattern of acquiring players they can control past the end of the year. Pence can't become a free agent until the end of the 2013 season. That's why the Phillies were willing to pay a bigger price for him than they would have for Beltran.

Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro also has a history of being able to make deals with Astros GM Ed Wade. The two worked together when Wade was with the Phillies, and last year they engineered the trade that sent Roy Oswalt to Philadelphia.

First baseman Jonathan Singleton, who was pulled out of Friday night's game at Class A Clearwater in the eighth inning, is thought to be one of the players going to Houston in the trade. Pitcher Jarred Cosart, who starred in the All-Star Futures Game, was also thought to be in it. CSN Philadelphia reported that minor-league pitcher Josh Zeid and a player to be named will complete the four-player package.

Pence started for the Astros Friday night, but was pulled out of the game in the fifth inning.

The Braves had also tried to get Pence, but they weren't willing to surrender any of their top pitching prospects. The Phillies, who valued Pence more, were willing to come up with the players to convince the Astros to make the deal.

The Phillies originally expected that Domonic Brown could take over in right field this year, after they allowed Jayson Werth to leave for Washington as a free agent. But Brown got hurt in spring training and has struggled since then, and Manuel told reporters Friday afternoon that he would be better off developing in the minor leagues.

Earlier this week, the Phillies were still trying to decide whether to prioritize an outfielder or bullpen help. They decided to make Pence their top target, in part because they believe the bullpen will be strengthened in the playoffs by the addition of whichever starter they don't use in their postseason rotation (either Vance Worley or Oswalt).

The big question then was whether the Astros would truly consider dealing Pence, who is a favorite of outgoing Houston owner Drayton McLane. At one point this week, Astros officials were telling friends with other teams that they were much more likely to trade Pence this winter.

Once Beltran was dealt to the Giants on Wednesday, however, the Astros realized that the time to maximize Pence's value was now. Incoming owner Jim Crane intends to start a complete rebuild in Houston, likely dropping the Astros' payroll to around $60 million next year. So moving Pence, who makes $6.9 million this year and will be due for an arbitration raise, began to make more sense.

The Astros have also shopped center fielder Michael Bourn (the Reds are interested), and starting pitchers Wandy Rodriguez and Brett Myers. But Pence was always the one who would bring the biggest return.

The Braves move on to other targets. They could try to make a deal for White Sox outfielder Carlos Quentin, but the Sox are believed to be asking for the same high-end pitching prospects that the Braves refused to deal for Pence. Atlanta could also step up efforts to get Ryan Ludwick from the Padres, or potentially try to get B.J. Upton from the Rays.

Ken Rosenthal of Foxsports.com first reported that the Phillies and Astros were close to a deal.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: July 29, 2011 1:32 pm
Edited on: July 29, 2011 3:23 pm
 

Friday afternoon trade rumor roundup

Pence

By Evan Brunell

Today's the last weekday prior to the trade deadline, which expires on Sunday. Will there be a flurry of activity much like there was Wednesday when Colby Rasmus was part of a three-team deal and Carlos Beltran headed to San Francisco? It's too early to tell, but here's the latest rumors, headlined by Hunter Pence. If you're looking for information on Ubaldo Jimenez, we've broken that off into its own story -- head here and check it out.

HUNTER PENCE

MLB Trade Deadline
Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal says the Reds are on Michael Bourn, Houston's center fielder. An odd fit, given the team has Drew Stubbs, but Stubbs has been struggling this year and Bourn can impact Cincinnati at the top of the lineup. The team is also in on Hunter Pence, but Rosenthal tabs Pence as the "Phillies' to lose."

On Thursday, a deal between Philadelphia and Houston was so close that Pence was told during the game that night he was being removed due to a trade, as Heyman reports, but he never came out of the game. That's because a potential deal Philadelphia would have engineered with Jonathan Singleton, Jared Cosart and a third piece fell through when the 'Stros wanted Domonic Brown. Both sides are so close, though, it's hard to imagine a trade doesn't eventually happen. Heyman, for his part, thinks a deal will happen if it's Brown and Cosart for Pence.

However, Joel Sherman of the New York Post isn't ready to count out Atlanta. The 'Stros appear to prefer the Braves' prospects, but Atlanta refuses to deal Mike Minor. If that changes, Pence could be a Brave. Will that be enough to keep him out of Philly, a team Heyman says will "do whatever it takes" to get Pence?
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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