Tag:Josh Collmenter
Posted on: June 24, 2011 2:58 pm
Edited on: June 24, 2011 5:03 pm
 

Gibson returns to Detroit

Kirk Gibson

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Baseball's all about sentiment -- or at least it is supposed to be. It doesn't seem to be that way for Kirk Gibson, who returns to Detroit as manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks in a three-game series against the Tigers.

Gibson not only played for the Tigers, but he led them to a World Series title in 1984 and is a Michigan native who played football for Michigan State. He even still lives in the area. Add to that his first professional manager was Jim Leyland, who managed him at Class A Lakeland in 1978. There has to be some excitement for Gibby going home, right?

Not so much.

From Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic:

"They're the enemy," Gibson said. Obviously, I had some great times there, but it's totally different. Tiger Stadium is where I played, and it's a different stadium. The organization has turned over quite a bit since I was last there. …

"I've moved on from that. I've been here five years."

That's the exact attitude that made Gibson a fan favorite during his playing days and it's apparently working as a manager for the first-place Diamondbacks.

The Diamondbacks also feature former Tiger great Alan Trammell as its bench coach and two players who will point to their hand if you ask them where they're from: Saturday's starter, Josh Collmenter, and closer J.J. Putz.

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Posted on: June 24, 2011 9:54 am
Edited on: June 24, 2011 4:41 pm
 

Pepper: Oswalt hints he may be done

By C. Trent Rosecrans

BASEBALL TODAY: Just why did Jim Riggleman ditch his job? CBSSports.com senior writer Danny Knobler joins Lauren Shehadi to discuss Riggleman, Ubaldo Jimenez and more. Check it out.

OSWALT END?: It's not just that Roy Oswalt is hurt -- leaving Thursday's start with the Cardinals after just two innings -- but that he may have pitched his last game ever.

Oswalt will not only likely miss his next start, he could also be done. He's already hinted at retirement and with a back injury, it may not be worth it for Oswalt to come back.

After Thursday's outing, Oswalt sounded anything but confident in his return. David Hale of the News Journal has a full transcript of Oswalt's postgame comments, and they don't sound like the comments of someone who is confident it'll be an easy road back.

Heres' the question and answer that says it all to me:

Q: Do you allow yourself to think about your career at this point?

A: I've had a pretty good one.

That sounds like someone who is content with walking away if he gets bad news soon.

We may know more Monday after his scheduled MRI.

HOT SEAT: Edwin Rodriguez didn't last a full calendar year as the Marlins manager and the Cubs' Mike Quade could follow that lead. Quade's on the hot seat (even if general manager Jim Hendry's seat should be hotter). [Chicago Tribune]

LI'L' GOOSE: Pirates manager Clint Hurdle compared closer Joel Hanrahan to Hall of Famer Goose Gossage, and after stifling a laugh, John Perrotto of the Beaver County Times takes a look at the comparison and sees some parallels.

SCOUTING DARVISH: Rangers general manager Jon Daniels was scheduled to see Japanese right-hander Yu Darvish's start on Friday. Darvish may be the top free-agent pitcher this season if he comes to the United States, as expected. The Braves and Twins reportedly had scouts at his last start, when he picked up just his second loss of the season. It was one of his worst starts of the season and he still gave up just one earned run, allowing nine hits and striking out 10 in eight innings. [YakyuBaka.com]

A'S OPEN TO DEAL: The sharks are circling in Oakland, as scouts have been checking out outfielder Josh Willingham, infielder Mark Ellis and left-handed relievers Craig Breslow and Brian Fuentes. [San Francisco Chronicle]

ANOTHER LOOK: Diamondbacks pitcher Josh Collmenter, he of the tomahawk motion, looks forward to facing teams another time so he can prove he's more than a gimmick pitcher. We'll see. [MLB.com]

NICE RIDE: The Toledo Mud Hens players are going to miss Brandon Inge, who was activated by the Tigers on Thursday. During his rehab trip with Detroit's Triple-A team, Inge sprung for a limo for several players to take them from Louisville, Ky., to Columbus, Ohio, skipping the planned bus ride. [Detroit News]

DEJA VU: A St. Louis ace 1-7 through June? (Well, now 2-7 after Thursday night's 2-7) It's been done before. Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Dispatch  compares Chris Carpenter's 1-7 start to that of John Tudor's 26 years ago. 

CABRERA'S CASE POSTPONED: The hearing for Detroit first baseman Miguel Cabrera's DUI arrest has been postponed again and rescheduled for July 12. That's the day of the All-Star Game. Cabrera, however, isn't required to be present for this hearing, though, so he can still go to the All-Star Game. [Detroit News]

NO DECISION: Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said he'd prefer not to negotiate during the season (and that doesn't make Jim Riggleman happy), but said it's not a rule. Pittsburgh starter Paul Maholm has said he'd like to sign an extension to stay in Pittsburgh. [MLB.com]

GARDNER'S D: A cool story here from ESPNNewYork.com's Mark Simon looking at the defense of Brett Gardner by talking to scouts, players and stats folks. 

BUCCO FEVER: If you haven't noticed, the Pirates (yes, the team in Pittsburgh) are in a pennant race. Sure, it's not even July yet, but we're talking the Pirates. The folks in Pittsburgh are beginning to take notice. [Pittsburgh Tribune-Review]

LAWRIE DELAYED: Blue Jays prospect Brett Lawrie was all but set to be called up at the beginning of the month, but before he could get the call, he was hit by a pitch and broke his left hand. Now he's having trouble gripping the bat and may not be ready until August. [CBCSports.ca]

FIGGINS DILEMMA: If you're following the Mariners, there's plenty of positives around the team -- including a record just a game under .500. But there's one big concern, Chone Figgins. The question for the Mariners is what to do with Figgins, who has two years and $17 million left on his contract. [Seattle Times]

BROXTON'S RETURN: Even when Jonathan Broxton comes off the disabled list, he won't automatically return to closing for the Dodgers, manager Don Mattingly said. [Los Angeles Times]

RETURN OF THE SPITTER: Here's an interesting theory (that I'm pretty sure I don't buy, but still interesting to think about) from Mat Kovach of the Hardball Times -- is the rise of pitching because of the return of the spitball?

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

Posted on: May 29, 2011 11:33 pm
 

Bullpen leads D-backs into first place

By C. Trent Rosecrans

J.J. PutzWelcome to first place, Arizona Diamondbacks.

Yep, you read that right, the Diamondbacks have ridden a six-game winning streak -- all on the road -- to the top of the National League West standing, moving past the Giants with their victory over the Astros and San Francisco's loss in Milwaukee.

"This is good right now, but we've got a long way to go," manager Kirk Gibson told Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. "We've talked about playing good baseball. It's hard to sustain it."

But the Diamondbacks have in the last 16 days, going 14-2 since dropping five in a row earlier this month.

As for the short-term changes, Piecoro pretty much nailed it in this piece -- Josh Collmenter into the rotation, Armando Galarraga out. Juan Miranda in at first base, Russell Branyan out. And then he adds the improvement of starter Joe Saunders and second baseman Kelly Johnson.

More than just the last two-and-a-half weeks, the Diamondbacks have been much better than they were a year ago, when they were 65-97, the third-worst mark in the big leagues.

First off, a lot of credit has to go to Kirk Gibson, in his first full year as a manager. His team is playing like he did -- all out, all the time.

Secondly, the bullpen is night-and-day better, and the thanks there has to go to general manager Kevin Towers.

Last season the bullpen had a 5.74 ERA -- the worst mark in the National League since divisional play began.

This year it's 3.40 ERA. The teams four blown saves are tired for fourth-fewest in the big leagues.

Closer J.J. Putz is perfect in his 15 save attempts and has struck out 20 in 22 innings, allowing just four earned runs. He's been joined by left-hander Joe Paterson (one earned run in 22 games), Sam Demel (three earned runs in 21 appearances) and David Hernandez (five earned runs in 24 appearances). Esmerling Vasquez has been pretty good, going 0-1 with a 3.32 ERA.

Demel and Vazquez were in the team's bullpen last season, but Towers worked on remaking the team's bullpen in the offseason, signing Putz as a free agent and getting Hernandez in the trade that sent Mark Reynolds to Baltimore. Paterson is a rookie who was taken by Towers in the Rule 5 draft out of the Giants' system.

In the end, the Diamondbacks may not be able to hold onto this lead -- especially against the defending World Series champs and the powerful Rockies. But they could -- nobody thought Cleveland would still lead their division on Memorial Day, yet the Diamondbacks and Indians are, and that's pretty fun.

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Posted on: May 12, 2011 10:13 pm
 

Diamondbacks on hunt for starting pitcher

Collmenter

By Evan Brunell


You know about the top of the Diamondbacks rotation: Ian Kennedy is pitching like an ace and Daniel Hudson is coming off two solid starts that give the Diamondbacks a nice core. However, the rest of the rotation has been so horrendous (Hey Jerry DiPoto: How's Joe Saunder's ability to win these days?) that the starters' ERA ranks third worst with a 4.86 mark.

Arizona already took one step toward fixing the issue by booting Barry Enright to the minors and installing Josh Collmenter. The righty will be making his first career start after debuting earlier this year as a reliever. Collmenter (pictured) had an impressive stint in Double-A's rotation last season before Triple-A proved difficult. He only received one start at Triple-A this year before the D-Backs dipped down, so it's tough to imagine Collmenter stepping in and performing immediately even if he could yet emerge as a solid back-of-the-rotation option.

Couple that with Armando Galarraga's 5.50 ERA that could cause 'Zona to go right back to Enright, and you have a full-blown crisis on your hands, one GM Kevin Towers would love to solve.

"I think we're certainly going to look in-house first, but that doesn't mean we're not looking externally as well," Towers told the Arizona Republic. My hope is that Collmenter gives us a shot in the arm here and the next two or three weeks (Zach) Duke also gives us another option."

Sure, but even if Duke returns, he's hardly going to morph into a permanent answer -- if he even sticks in the rotation. Remember, Duke flamed out of Pittsburgh. Tough to do that.

Towers, who is known for his wheeling and dealing, would no doubt like to swing a trade and is hoping to use a bench player like Willie Bloomquist to make that happen. The Diamondbacks will have a "logjam" of bench players once Bloomquist comes back from the DL along with Geoff Blum. Blum's trade value is next to zero as he has yet to debut on the year, while Josh Wilson is merely filler. The team could release Russell Branyan to make room for Blum, but it doesn't make sense to remove a power bat off the bench who could end up figuring into the first-base mix more extensively before long.

"Are there clubs that have some depths at Triple-A?" Towers asked. "Maybe back-of-the-rotation-type starters that are a fit for us and maybe one of our bench guys is a fit for them. Those are the things we're looking at externally, but nothing's hot right now."

It's difficult to speculate on who would be interested in acquiring Bloomquist as there's so many possibilities when you start talking back-of-the-rotation starters and bench players, relatively fungible pieces. One team that springs to mind is the Yankees, who will have to bump one of Freddy Garcia or Bartolo Colon from the rotation. It's highly unlikely New York would be interested in sacrificing any pitching depth, however.

Teams are only just getting started making phone calls to other organizations for major-league pieces. A handful of deals should start happening soon, and if we know one thing about Towers, it's that he's likely to be among the first to execute a trade.

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Posted on: April 17, 2011 11:07 pm
 

3 up, 3 down for 4/17: Grady's back

By C. Trent Rosecrans Grady Sizemore

Grady Sizemore, Indians -- Off the disabled list, the Indians' center fielder homered in his second at-bat and also doubled, going 2 for 4 in his season debut for Cleveland. Sizemore missed 11 months with a knee injury. Cleveland also moved into sole position of first place in the American League Central with their win and the Royals' loss. 

Josh Collmenter, Diamondbacks -- Making his big-league debut, the right-hander pitched two perfect innings in the 11th and 12th against the Giants and picked up the win when Stephen Drew drove in the winning run in the 12th for a 6-5 Diamondbacks victory. Collmenter struck out two and 22 of his 30 pitches were for strikes. Collmenter has a severly over-the-top motion that he learned throwing tomahawks in the Michigan woods.

Miguel Olivo, Mariners -- Seattle's catcher came into Sunday's game mired in an 0-for-24 slump, but after going hitless in his first three at-bats of the day, he singled and scored the winning run in the seventh inning of a 3-2 victory over Kansas City. Not only did Olivo break his slump, it helped break the Mariners' four-game losing streak.

Ryan Franklin

Ryan Franklin, Cardinals -- The Cardinals closer blew just two saves all of last year and has already blown four this season, including Sunday's game against the Dodgers. He's converted just one save this season and is 0-2 with an 11.57 ERA.

Tommy Hanson, Braves -- Hanson pitched well enough in his five innings, allowing five hits and three runs, striking out nine, but it was his work with the bat that lands him on this list. In the second inning, with bases loaded and one out, Hanson missed a bunt and Eric Hinske was caught out at home.

Astros defense -- With a 6-3 lead going into the seventh, the Astros made three errors leading to three unearned runs in the seventh and eighth innings of the team's 8-6 loss to the Padres. Pitcher Fernando Abad made two errors on one play in the seventh inning and shortstop Angel Sanchez added another in the Padres' four-run eighth.

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