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Tag:Lyle OVerbay
Posted on: April 6, 2011 6:24 pm
Edited on: April 6, 2011 6:27 pm
 

Pirates impressive early on


By C. Trent Rosecrans

The Pirates are better than you think.

Is Pittsburgh going to challenge for the NL Central crown? No. Are they going to break their streak of losing seasons? Probably not. But they they will be better this season than they have been in many years and in the next couple of seasons, winning baseball in the Steel City may become a reality.

Pittsburgh has taken two of three from the Cardinals and Cubs to start the season, beating St. Louis 3-1 on Wednesday.

The main reason the Pirates are sitting at 4-2 is they have a legit top of their lineup.

Pittsburgh's top four hitters -- Jose Tabata, Neil Walker, Andrew McCutchen and Lyle Overbay -- are hitting a combined .356/.434/.621 in the team's first games. Walker and McCutchen each have a pair of homers, with Overbay adding another.

That's not a pace the team can sustain, but McCutchen is on the edge of stardom, while Walker and Tabata are good, emerging players. Overbay is the type of player with better results than reputation. A career .274/.358/.447 hitter, he's unlikely to continue hitting .304/..385/.522, but shouldn't fall too far.

Walker's performance as a rookie last season was overshadowed by an historic first-year class, but he still put up a very good season, hitting .296/.349/.462 with 12 home runs in 110 games for his hometown team.  Tabata's prospect status took a hit in the last couple of years, but he too put up solid rookie numbers in 2010, hitting .299/.346/.400 in 102 games.

Add in Pedro Alvarez, Ryan Doumit and Garrett Jones, and there's the making of an effective offense.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the Pirates are hitting .271/.333/.409 with six home runs. With that, the Pirates' starters have a 2.52 ERA through six games. That's unlikely to continue in a rotation of Kevin Correia, Paul Maholm, James McDonald, Charlie Morton and Ross Ohlendorf they've pitched well, with Correia picking up two wins so far this season and have made the Pirates anything but a pushover early.

Joel Hanrahan has been the rare closer in the big leagues to convert all of his save chances, recording the save in all four of the PIrates' wins this season.

It should also be noted that all six games have been on the road, where Pittsburgh had an MLB-worst 17-64 record a year ago.

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Posted on: January 10, 2011 12:48 pm
 

Pirates get a jump on spring, hold minicamp

For those counting down to the date pitchers and catchers report, the Pirates are way ahead of you.

Pittsburgh is currently hosting a minicamp at its spring training home in Bradenton, Fla. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review 's Rob Biertempfel reports "three dozen or so" players worked out at Pirate City, with new manager Clint Hurdle working out with players and doing drills for "about three hours."

"It was a good day," Hurdle said. "It was efficient. We were able to get on the field, move them around a little bit, work on some technique and play a little defense. There was some on-field hitting. IT's good to get back on the field and hear the crack of the bat and the smack of the ball in the mitt."

It was also a chance for many of the players to get re-acquainted and new players -- like Lyle Overbay and Matt Diaz -- meeting their new teammates.

"That's the hardest part, because I'm terrible with names," Overbay said.

There will be little throwing at the camp, except for Kevin Hart, who will throw a bullpen for the first time since May, when he had surgery to repair a torn labrum. If it goes well, he expects to be ready for the real spring training.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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


Posted on: December 14, 2010 1:46 pm
Edited on: December 14, 2010 2:51 pm
 

Pirates sign Overbay for one year

Overbay The Pirates have inked Lyle Overbay to a one-year deal in a move the club has made official.

Overbay isn't a star first baseman but has been a solid fielder and hitter since breaking in with Milwaukee. His luster wore off some in 2010 after hitting just .243 with a career line of .274. He did, however, bang 20 home runs for only the second time in his career with 2006's 22 only topping his 2010 mark.

Overbay is a doubles machine, at one point knocking 53 two-baggers. That affinity has tailed off in recent years but he still has yet to crack less than 30 doubles since becoming a full-time starter.

The 33-year-old is a solid signing for the Pirates. He can play full time and plug the gap at first base in a situation where Pittsburgh has no viable alternative (unless you count Garrett Jones and Steve Pearce, and it's best not to). Overbay won't block anyone (Pedro Alvarez?) from later moving to the spot and should contribute enough to the squad to justify his starting spot.

The Bucs have now imported Overbay and Matt Diaz on offense as well as filling out their offense with Scott Olsen and Kevin Correia.

UPDATE : MLB.com's Jennifer Langosch has a quote from Huntington as well as some news on Ryan Doumit. First, the quote:

"Lyle Overbay is a solid Major League player, and we expect him to have a positive impact on our club offensively, defensively and in the clubhouse," Huntington said in a statement.

Secondly, Jones' future in Pittsburgh has been crystallized along with Doumit as Huntington reveals the former first baseman will platoon with Matt Diaz in right field. That sends Doumit to the bench to back up catcher Chris Snyder and also serve as a reserve outfielder.

UPDATE : Rob Biertempfel of MLB.com has the deal at $5 million for the year.

-- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: December 6, 2010 3:29 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 11:52 am
 

First base market dwindling

Carlos Pena The Toronto Blue Jays are making a rush at Carlos Pena, ESPNBoston.com's Gordon Edes tweets .

The Jays wouldn't want to be left out in the musical chairs of the first base market.  Assuming the White Sox lock up Paul Konerko, the Jays, along with the Diamondbacks, Cubs and Nationals all need first basemen, with Pena the prettiest girl at the ball.

What does it say that a guy who hit .196 is the best option left? Well, it says Adam LaRoche, Russell Branyan and Lyle Overbay are the next-best options.

In searching for first basemen, many teams are calling the Reds about Yonder Alonso, Yahoo!'s Tim Brown writes . However, with Joey Votto three years from free agency and a reluctance to sign long-term, the Reds are reluctant to move their No. 1 pick in the 2008 draft.

UPDATE: As for Alonso, here's what Reds general manager Walt Jocketty had to say to MLB.com's Mark Sheldon : "I think right now, Yonder is a guy that still figures in the organization," Jocketty said. "It gives us protection. He believes that he's working this winter to come in and compete for a spot on the bench next year to play some first and left field and be a left-handed hitter off the bench."

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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


Posted on: October 13, 2010 9:19 pm
 

Overbay faces uncertainty

Lyle Overbay
Lyle Overbay doesn't know what he's going to find on the free-agent market this winter, but he knows that he has a lot to prove after a season in which he batted .243.

"It's something I've never gone through. Hopefully, it'll be fun," The Blue Jays first baseman told MLB.com. "At the same time, you don't know. I'm not going to be disappointed if I don't get what I want. I don't expect a whole lot, but you never know."

Overbay said he's prepared for anything from multi-year offers to minor-league offers, and he doesn't know whether the Blue Jays will come calling or whether he'd be interested if they did. It appears Toronto will be in the market for a first baseman. There are a lot of options that come with question marks, so they might decide to stick with the known quantity.

Overbay said he was stung and "irritated" by the treatment he got from Toronto fans when he started the season poorly. The 33-year-old also said he wants to see whether the Blue Jays are going into rebuilding mode, figuring there's no need to go through that if you're probably not going to be around if and when it pays dividends.

"The situation has got to be right," Overbay said. "Obviously, it's not going to be a long-term deal. So, if they take a step back, I just don't see myself coming into that. It's not going to help them and it's not going to help me, because I'm not going to be part of the winning part of it.

"I think the offseason for them is going to be big to see what direction they go in. I think that's going to dictate a lot of it."

Overbay was the Blue Jays' second-highest paid player in 2010 at $7 million. It was the final year of a four-year, $24 million contract.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: August 5, 2010 4:53 pm
Edited on: August 5, 2010 7:35 pm
 

Youkilis out for year

Kevin Youkilis Red Sox manager Terry Francona told reporters Thursday afternoon that first baseman Kevin Youkilis will have to have surgery on his injured thumb and is out for the year.

Youkilis tore a muscle in his right thumb on Monday, and was to be examined by a hand specialist Thursday.

"He'll be immobilized for approximately six weeks and then be re-evaluated from there," Francona said. "I think Youkilis was pretty resolved to the fact that this was probably going to happen."

It's a big blow to the Red Sox, who are six back in the American League wild-card race. Youkilis was batting .307/.411/.564 with 19 homers and 62 RBI. The Red Sox might turn out to be lucky they were unable to pawn off Mike Lowell, who has had nowhere to play this season but now looks like the starter at first.

If Boston decides to pursue a first baseman, the options appear limited. Ty Wigginton, Lyle Overbay and Derrek Lee are among first-base options who didn't move before the non-waiver deadline, but it's unclear whether they could get through waivers. The Mariners would probably let Russell Branyan go. Teams have reportedly been looking at Carlos Delgado, who hasn't played since last year and is recovering from hip surgery.

-- David Andriesen

UPDATE: Lowell was in the lineup at first again Thursday. Francona told reporters the plan is to have him at first for three games of the four-game series against the Yankees. He said the other first-base options on the current roster are Victor Martinez, David Ortiz and Jed Lowrie.

UPDATE: The Boston Herald reports that the Red Sox will work out Delgado in the next few days. There have been reports that the White Sox, Rockies, Angels and Mariners have called about Delgado recently.

UPDATE: Delgado's agent, tells the Chicago Tribune 's Mark Gonzalez that he's talked to the White Sox and says, "Carlos will be wearing a uniform for someone next week."

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.





Posted on: July 22, 2010 1:39 pm
Edited on: July 22, 2010 2:46 pm
 

Trade deadline sellers: Toronto Blue Jays

As the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline looms, the CBS Facts & Rumors team will look at the biggest players leading up to the deadline. This week we'll look at the teams who will be talked about the most; next week will be the players who might be moved.

Alex Anthopoulos The Blue Jays have a winning record, and for a while it sounded as if they were going to load up and make a serious run at the playoffs.  But after taking a realistic look at the landscape in front of them – they are fourth in their own division – it looks like the boys up north have decided to punt. They already pulled off one trade, swapping shortstop Alex Gonzalez for younger model Yunel Escobar on July 14.

Record: 48-47, 12 games behind and in fourth place in the American League East. Seventh in the AL wild-card race, 9 ½ games back.
General manager: Alex Anthopoulos, first year
Expectations: Building. The Jays are in the frustrating position of being a decent, but not great, team in a division that includes a couple of payroll bullies. But as the Rays have shown, you can overcome that by building smart.
Payroll status: Opening day payroll was $62.7 million, 22nd in baseball. The Jays have about $44 million committed to contracts and pro-rated portions of signing bonuses for 2011.

What they have to offer

Scott Downs might be the best reliever on the market. The left-handed middleman has a 2.52 ERA with 30 strikeouts in 39 1/3 innings, and hasn’t given up an earned run since June 6. He had some neck and arm soreness just before the break but has been unrestricted since.

The Jays are apparently asking a lot for Downs, scaring away some suitors. But he’s likely to be a Type A free agent after the season, which means Toronto could get two first-round picks if he leaves as a free agent. Even saving the rest of his salary (about $2 million left for the year) doesn’t make it worth trading him if they can’t get at least that level of talent back.

Major-league home run leader Jose Bautista (.238/.354/.542) is looking like a very attractive quick fix for teams in need of power. He can play any outfield position as well as third base. But he doesn’t hit for average, he will get a big salary bump in arbitration next year, and the Jays are reportedly asking a lot for him. Still, the Giants, Braves, Tigers and White Sox appear to be in play.

Scott Downs Reliever Jason Frasor has been erratic this season (check out his ERA by month: April 8.38, May 0.82, June 6.75, July 1.35) but when he’s on he has shown the ability to be effective against righties and lefties.

First baseman Lyle Overbay (.251/.330/.412) is an impending free agent the Jays would like to deal, though there are better first basemen on the market and Overbay is making $7 million this year.

Catcher John Buck (.285/.315/.518) was an All-Star and is an attractive and cheap ($1 million left for this year) power option, and the Jays have prospect J.P. Arencibia waiting in the wings.

There are conflicting reports on whether Toronto is shopping closer Kevin Gregg, who has been reliable and has a manageable $4.5 million club option for next season.

What they want in return?

The Jays are reportedly asking for middle infielders, which is odd because they control both of their starters through at least 2013. Maybe they’re looking for someone they can convert to third base.

They could use some starting pitching prospects to throw into their mix, and if they trade more than one of their relievers they’ll need reinforcements there.

Predictions: Bautista goes to the Giants, who finally give in to Toronto’s demands. The Mets get either Downs or Gregg. Overbay goes and Buck stays.

-- David Andriesen

More trade deadline chatter -- Buyers: New York Yankees, Los Angeles Angels; Sellers: Florida Marlins

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: July 8, 2010 1:11 pm
 

Jays have pieces to deal


With their recent slide, the Blue Jays have slipped into the seller's mode as the trade deadline approaches and ESPN's Buster Onley points out they may have the best-stocked store.

Every contender needs bullpen help, it's the nature of the beast, and the Blue Jays have three relievers they could dangle -- left-hander Scott Downs, right-hander Jason Frasor and closer Kevin Gregg, who has 19 saves and would be a boost as a set-up man to most teams.

Jose Bautista has 22 homers and can play multiple positions, making his trade value as high as it may ever be.

John Buck is solid behind the plate and having a good season and is a free agent after the season. He's a low-risk move for any team that needs insurance behind the plate.

Lyle Overbay isn't sexy, but he is in the final season of his contract and could help a team looking for corner infield help. Overbay is hitting .244/.322/.405 with nine homers and 30 RBI. He has been hot, though, hitting .284/.370/.407 over the last four weeks.

Toronto was a nice early-season story, but they're now a game under .500, 9 1/2 out in the wild card and stuck in the American League East. There are blocks to build upon for the future, and the right moves now could add to those blocks.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com