Tag:John Lackey
Posted on: September 4, 2011 10:56 am
 

On Deck: D-Backs pulling away in NL West

OD

By C. Trent Rosecrans


Follow all games live with CBSSports.com's GameTracker.

Pulling away: The National League's closest race is on the verge of being decided -- the Diamondbacks can take a commanding seven-game lead in the NL West with 23 games remaining with a victory in Sunday's series finale at AT&T Park in San Francisco. Arizona's Daniel Hudson looks for his 15th victory of the season and third straight. In his last four starts, he's gone 3-1 with a 2.43 ERA, pitching seven scoreless innings in his last start, a win over Coloardo. He's just 1-2 against the Giants this season, but limited them to a run on six hits in a victory at AT&T Park on Aug. 6. Giants starter Ryan Vogelsong has lost each of his last three starts and four of his last five. Diamondbacks at Giants, 4:05 p.m. ET

Matt HarrisonWelcome back: Rangers left-hander Matt Harrison will get another chance against the Red Sox, returning to the team's rotation to face the same team that roughed him up in his last start. Texas manager Ron Washington inserted Scott Feldman into Harrison's spot in the rotation last week and used Harrison in relief on Wednesday. Harrison gave up seven earned runs on 11 hits in five innings on Aug. 24 against the Red Sox, prompting Washington to give the 25-year-old a short break. Harrison had a 3.04 ERA before the All-Star break and 4.56 afterward, so the Rangers hope the time off returns him to his pre-break form. Red Sox starter John Lackey hasn't had much success against the Rangers, either. In two starts against Texas this season, he's given up 13 earned runs in 10 1/3 innings. Rangers at Red Sox, 1:35 p.m. ET

Clayton KershawCy Kershaw: While the American League Cy Young race is about as excited as most of the races around baseball right now (read: not very), the National League competition has heated up because of the performance of Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw. The 23-year-old is 17-5 with a 2.45 ERA overall and 8-1 with a 1.32 ERA since the All-Star break. Kershaw has won his last four starts, allowing just two runs in those four games. Kershaw has five starts to win three games and become the Dodgers' first 20-game winner since Ramon Martinez won 20 in 19990. Dodgers at Braves, 1:35 p.m. ET

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Posted on: September 1, 2011 9:55 am
 

Report: Lackey fined for bean ball

John LackeyBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Red Sox starter John Lackey has been fined for hitting Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli in Tuesday's game at Fenway Park, WEEI.com's Rob Bradford reports.

Citing a major league source, Bradford writes that Lackey was finder an undisclosed amount for his bean ball. Cervelli had hit a homer off of Lackey two innings earlier and emphatically clapped his hands as he crossed the plate -- a move several Red Sox seems to think crossed the line.

Lackey denied hitting Cervelli on purpose after the game -- but did admit he was trying to knock him down, just not hit him.

The incident emptied the benches, but Lackey was not ejected from the game.

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Posted on: July 22, 2011 5:19 pm
Edited on: July 22, 2011 6:15 pm
 

On Deck: Big series for Twins

OD

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Chance to gain ground: The Twins are apparently "going for it" -- or at least that's what the latest trade rumors say. We'll see after this weekend, when the Twins host the Tigers, the current leaders in the AL Central. Minnesota has not played particularly well this season and are still six games under .500, but just six games behind Detroit in the mediocre division. With Chicago and Cleveland -- the two teams ahead between Minnesota and Detroit -- playing this weekend, the Twins have a chance to make up some ground in the standings. Lefty Brian Duensing (7-7, 4.14 ERA) gets the call for Minnesota, with Detroit sending out right-hander Max Scherzer (10-6, 4.53 ERA). Tigers at Twins, 8:10 p.m. ET (Follow live)

Felix HernandezJohn LackeyStreak buster? The Mariners have now lost 12 in a row, but they've got perhaps the best possible matchup they could hope for in Boston -- Felix Hernandez against John Lackey. This is bizzaro world, though and Hernandez is coming off a "bad" outing and Lackey a "good" one -- so you just never know. But of course, that's why we watch, isn't it? That said, Hernandez's "bad" outing was nine hits and four runs in 7 2/3 innings with six strikeouts and a walk, while Lackey's "good" outing was 10 hits and four runs (three earned) with seven strikeouts and a walk in 5 2/3 innings -- but that's what we get when we use relative terms like good and bad. Mariners at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. ET (Follow live)

Look good, play good: I know I'm a little bit weird about these kind of things, but I'm looking forward to tonight's Phillies-Padres game, not because of the matchup of Cole Hamels and Cory Luebke, but because of the uniforms. It's another throwback night, and this one is in my wheelhouse -- 1984. Not only do we get the Padres' so-called Taco Bell hats and brown and yellow pullovers, while the Phillies will wear their pinstripes (although with buttons instead of a zipper, which would make them 1987 uniforms). Anyway, according to UniWatch, this is a good sign for the Padres, because the Phillies are 1-6 at home in throwback uniforms. Padres at Philies, 7:05 p.m. ET (Follow live)

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Posted on: July 6, 2011 10:02 am
Edited on: July 6, 2011 3:54 pm
 

Pepper: Harper was 'bored' in Class A



What is the latest with Jon Lester? What will the Yankees get out of the return of Phil Hughes? Tony Lee of NESN.com joins Lauren Shehadi to answer those questions and more.

By Evan Brunell


BORED: Bryce Harper admitted he was "bored" in Class A in a CSN Washington interview, as the Washington Post recaps. The 2010 No. 1 pick said he had developed bad habits over his last 20 games with Hagerstown. Those 20 games represent 25 percent of Hagerstown's entire season.

“Those last 20 games, I was really, you know, really not too focused,” Harper said. “You know, I was wanting to get out of there, doing things that I shouldn’t have been doing. And once I got [to Harrisburg Monday night], baseball was fun again. It was a lot of fun being out here, being in this kind of crowd, this type of atmosphere. You know, that’s what you live for.”

Harper hit .318/.423/.554 in 72 games for Hagerstown before the promotion and had 14 home runs. On one hand, it's understandable that Harper got bored with the level as the 18-year-old really didn't have much left to prove. One could also argue the Nationals shouldn't have left him in Hagerstown so long. Even a high-Class A promotion could have sparked Harper's interest. On the other hand, it's a sobering revelation that Harper fell into bad habits because he was bored. Again, he's only 18 and was playing in Class A, so no sweeping proclamations should be made here that would follow Harper for the rest of his career. But unless he matures in this area he could face sticky situations in the future. What if Harper, expected to be a perennial MVP candidate in Washington, gets bored after his second MVP award, falling into bad habits and tailing off? What if the Nationals aren't contenders? Will this be Zack Greinke all over again?

Harper did say that he won't pressure Washington for a promotion to the majors, but he also didn't publicly lobby for a promotion out of Class A and instead got bored over his last 20 games. The outfielder has said in the past that he hopes to reach the majors by the end of the year, but GM Mike Rizzo has already flatly ruled out any big-league promotion.

“I’m gonna let them make that decision,” Harper said. “I’m not gonna force the issue or anything. I’m just gonna go out and I’m gonna play my game like I can. ... I’m here right now, and we’re trying to win a championship here. That’s what I want to do.” (Washington Post)

HUGHES IS BACK: Phil Hughes is finally back and will start for New York on Wednesday. After a mysterious loss of velocity that saw him placed on the disabled list after just three starts on the season, Hughes' velocity has returned and he's ready to move on. "It's not like I'm towards the end of my career; I knew I have a few good years left in me," Hughes said. "I figured it didn't just go away, that something had to be up. That's why I went and got it checked out. And ever since I took that rest and the cortisone, it's been a different story." Hughes will be facing Cleveland and Justin Masterson at 7:05 p.m. (New York Daily News)

BURGLAR PASSES ON TICKETS
: A car burglar stole an Apple iPod in a town outside of Chicago. There were also two tickets to a Cubs game in the car, but the burglar passed. Ladies and gentlemen, your Chicago Cubs! (Chicago Tribune)

END OF SEASON FOR CUBS
: The Cubs better just pack it in, right? That's what Gordon Wittenmyer writes, noting that no club has ever come back from 16 games below .500 to eventually reach October. The Cubbies are now at 17 games under. (Chicago Sun-Times)

TICKETS RISING: As Derek Jeter chases hit No. 3,000, Yankees tickets on the resale market have spiked. On June 29, you could have gotten a July 9th ticket for an average price of $117. Now, it's all the way up to $188. (BizofBaseball.com)

SOX ON THE HUNT: In a TV interview with NESN, Theo Epstein admitted that the Red Sox were eyeing trading for a "complementary" position player (likely a right-handed backup outfielder), feeling that the pitching depth is strong enough, as WEEI transcribes. Epstein also notes that Lackey is running out of time to turn his season around, and his rotation spot would be in danger if he continues to pitch poorly. (WEEI)

DELAYING PINEDA: The Mariners are trying to figure out a way to delay Michael Pineda's second-half debut to keep his workload light, but it all depends on whether he gets elected to the All-Star Game. Teammate Felix Hernandez pitches Sunday, so is ineligible to play in the All-Star Game. If Pineda is named as Hernandez's replacement, he will likely not pitch until June 19 in Toronto, which would be his 10th day of inactivity, All-Star Game excluded. (Seattle Times)

BEDARD CLOSE: The Mariners expect to have Erik Bedard back shortly after the All-Star break. Bedard is having a fine comeback season but just landed on the 15-day DL. While the M's haven't set their rotation in stone, it's looking like Bedard will be healthy enough to return during the Texas series that begins the second half of the season.

BATTERED: Brian Matusz was one of the Orioles' best pitchers last year. This year? After missing the start of the season with an injury, he was rocked to the tune of a 8.77 ERA in six starts, earning a demotion to Triple-A. Alas, his first start down there went just 5 2/3 innings, coughing up four runs. (Baltimore Sun)

GARLAND DONE: The end of the season for Jon Garland is here, as he will undergo shoulder surgery with an expected recovery time of six months. That means the impending free agent has an outside shot at breaking camp next season. (Los Angeles Times)

ADVICE, PLEASE: For Toronto's minor leaguers in Lance Durham and K.C. Hobson, their travails through the minor leagues are affected by the fact they are the son of a major leaguer (Leon and Butch, respectively). These players lean on their dads for advice as they fight to reach the majors. (Slam! Sports)

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Posted on: July 6, 2011 12:41 am
 

Lester to miss next start

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Jon LesterJon Lester left Tuesday's start against the Blue Jays after four innings with a strained latissimus muscle and will miss his final start of the first half,  the Boston Globe reports.

Reliever Alfredo Aceves has been told he will start in Lester's place on Sunday, according to the newspaper.

Lester hadn't allowed a hit before exiting the game and Matt Albers retired five batters before allowing his first and only hit in two innings, earning the victory. The Red Sox used three more relievers the day after using four relievers to make up for John Lackey's 2 1/3-inning start.

The Red Sox will have their left-hander examined on Wednesday.

"We'll certainly get him checked out extensively tomorrow," Francona told reporters. "That good sign of it, I think, is that he didn't do it on one pitch. Between innings, it felt like it was cramping on him. There's no way we're going to let him pitch."

If Lester goes on the disabled list, he could return July 22, the sixth game after the All-Star break.

"It should be fine," Lester told reporters. "Hopefully for the rest of the season. I don't think it's a long-term issue."

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Posted on: July 4, 2011 11:49 pm
Edited on: July 5, 2011 12:03 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Dunn comes through



By Matt Snyder

Adam Dunn, White Sox. Maybe the 4th of July will go down as the day Dunn got things together in 2011. He's still only hitting .171 and did strike out once, but Dunn was 2-4 with two RBI Monday. He connected on a two-run homer to tie the game in the eighth inning and then was at the plate in the bottom of the ninth when the White Sox won via walk-off balk (more on that below). If Dunn can regain some confidence from this game, it would do wonders for getting his season out of the gutter.

Alex Presley, Pirates. The rookie outfielder has been piling up hits for the Pirates since his promotion. Monday, Presley was 3-4 with a triple, RBI and a walk. He's now hitting .364 and more than filling the shoes of injured leadoff hitter Jose Tabata for the Pirates, who are now only 1-1/2 games out of first place in the NL Central.

Rangers offense. Sparked by three hits from both David Murphy and Michael Young -- who was a home run short of the cycle -- the Rangers pounded the Orioles' pitching staff for 13 runs and 18 hits. They had seven doubles, a triple and two homers. Every starter except Elvis Andrus collected a hit and seven players had multi-hit games. The production enabled the Rangers to win and hold on to a first place tie with the Angels.



Aaron Crow, Royals. Just a day after finding out he made the All-Star team, Crow had an awful rough outing. The Royals' setup man lost the lead in the eighth on the aforementioned Dunn home run and then lost the game in the ninth when he balked home A.J. Pierzynski. Pierzynski got on base with a single, was sacrificed to second and advanced to third on a wild pitch from Crow. This loss falls squarely on Crow's shoulders.

Carlos Marmol, Cubs. Marmol entered the game in the bottom of the 10th with a tie game and Jayson Werth on second base. Marmol was summoned because Marcos Mateo was injured and had to leave the game. Marmol needed only five pitches to lose the game. First, he paid zero attention to Werth at second, which allowed Werth to steal third base so easily that Cubs' catcher Geovany Soto didn't even bother to throw to third. Then, on Marmol's fifth pitch, he uncorked his first wild pitch of the season, which allowed Werth to score. Yep, a walk-off wild pitch and walk-off balk in the same day.

John Lackey, Red Sox. Lackey was very solid last time out, but failed to build upon it one iota Monday. He lasted only 2 1/3 innings, giving up nine hits and seven earned runs. His ERA is now back up to 7.47. The good news, Red Sox fans, is that he's only signed through 2014.

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Posted on: June 8, 2011 4:04 pm
Edited on: June 8, 2011 4:39 pm
 

Lackey: elbow will get worse

LackeyBy Evan Brunell

John Lackey said on Tuesday that the right elbow strain that put him on the 15-day disabled list will get worse but is now just normal soreness, WEEI reports.

“It’s going to get worse eventually," he said after holding the Athletics to three runs in 5 2/3 innings on Sunday in his return from the DL.

Lackey received a cortisone shot to help manage the pain, which he said got the swelling down. "(Now) things aren’t hitting against each other. That didn’t feel so good. It’s probably going to be something I have to stay on top of. The guys did a great job of helping me come back, so hopefully we can keep it where it is.”

The injury caused Lackey to miss 53 days in the early part of 2009 and led to him signing a five-year deal that stipulated a sixth year at a league-minimum salary if his elbow concerns cropped up again. The injury that landed him on the DL didn't count as the trigger for the sixth year.

“I know I have damage in there already, so you never know for sure," Lackey said about an injury that has rendered him a bust in Boston so far. "But every pitcher will find something. Some of us just got a little more than others." Lackey added that an MRI revealed that the condition of his elbow is similar to what it was when he joined Boston before the 2010 season.

If Lackey's elbow gets worse, that suggests he'll eventually need surgery. One could argue that he should undergo it now, but surgery should always be avoided if possible, and the Red Sox desperately need Lackey's innings in the middle of a rotation that has depth concerns. If Lackey's swelling stays down, he can last the rest of the year and then undergo offseason surgery, provided he's back and healthy for spring training. But one can't help but think his shoulder is a ticking time bomb.

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

Looking back at second-round picks

Joey Votto

By C. Trent Rosecrans


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

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

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

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

MLB Draft

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Padres: San Diego took Chase Hedley in 2005.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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