Tag:Rich Harden
Posted on: March 13, 2011 11:15 am
Edited on: April 18, 2011 11:35 am

Pepper: Gordon's last shot?

Alex Gordon
By C. Trent Rosecrans

Remember when Alex Gordon was the next George Brett? Royals fans sure do.

Now, though, the former second-overall pick in the draft, is an afterthought in the deep, talented Royals system.

Taken ahead of the likes of Ryan Zimmerman, Ryan Braun and Troy Tulowitzki, Gordon has a career line of .244/.315/.355 in 1,641 plate appearances in the big leagues and has since been moved from third base to the outfield.

While no longer one of the core building-blocks of the Royals rebuilding job, Gordon still has some talent (and a little trade value). He's also starting to get hot in the Cactus League, going 8 for 12 in his last five games. He's also shown good plate discipline, drawing 11 walks.

"The timing was off. I was seeing the pitches good, I was just late and not making solid contact," Gordon told MLB.com. "Lately, I've been getting easy earlier and seeing pitches better and making good contact, and that's what it's all about. So definitely a big change in the last week."

Gordon, 27, spent his offseason working with Royals hitting coach Kevin Seitzer, someone who knows a little bit about living in the shadow of the Royals' lone Hall of Fame player. Seitzer's emergence at third base moved Brett from third base to first in 1987 and even made the All-Star team as a rookie. Seitzer has been the team's hitting coach since 2009.

"I think I've pulled my hands back so I'm loaded instead of trying to find the load during the swing. I'm ready to go right off the bat," Gordon said. "I think that's helped, and I'm not late on pitches anymore, and I'm being aggressive."

With the Royals throwing out a placeholder roster for 2011 before the prospects begin to trickle in later this summer, Gordon may be getting his last chance to prove he's more than a Four-A player. Soon, that Royals influx of talent could make him the next Clint Hurdle in Royals history.

SILVA ON THE BLOCK: Three Nationals scouts, among others, watched the Cubs' Carlos Silva in his latest spring training start, ESPNChicago.com's Bruce Levine writes.

According to Levine, the Nationals and Yankees have had scouts at each of Silva's outings. Both teams are looking to fill their rotation and could afford Silva's $12 million salary.

Chicago has had good spring showings from Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner, making Silva expendable.

Dave MartinezHAIR CLUB FOR MEN: With Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez now Rays, manager Joe Maddon wants his team to follow the example of his newest stars.

"I encourage the growth of follicles," Maddon told the St. Petersburg Times. "I want them all to go nuts with their hair this year."

Although Ramirez is known for his long dreadlocks and Damon is now sporting a fauxhawk, the inspiration for his goal of being "the hirsute club" was bench coach Dave Martinez's bushy beard (pictured).

"Sometimes I just go with my instincts, and I just think it could turn into a lot of fun for the group," Maddon said, noting he'll let his hair grow out as much as possible. "So whatever keeps you focused on the field and having fun off it, I'm all for it."

FORMER CUBS OK: The Chicago Tribune caught up with former Cub Micah Hoffpauir, who is now playing in Japan.

"My first earthquake," Hoffpauir told the Trib. "And good Lord willing, it will be my last."

Hoffpauir, now a member of the Nippon Ham Fighters, was in his room on the 26th floor of his hotel in Tokyo when the earthquake hit, approximately 250 miles to the north.

"It felt like someone started shaking the whole country of Japan," Hoffpauir said. "At one point I thought, this building is going to fall down. But I was assured later that [swaying] is what the building was supposed to do."

He said he was evacuated from his hotel and was able to contact his wife in Texas to let her know he was OK. He said he has also been in touch with former Cub teammate Matt Murton, who was training further south in Osaka, and he was OK.

GARFOOSE FUNDRAISER: Author and Rays reliever Dirk Hayhurst will call you up and thank you personally if you donate $50 or more to Mercy Corp Fundraising for the victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. (DirkHayhurst.com)

HIDDEN TREASURE: Investigators found a jackpot of 1986 Mets memorabilia in a  Port St. Lucie storage facility following their case of former Mets clubhouse manager Charlie Samuels.

Samuels is accused of theft and illegal gambling.

Among the treasure found in the storage facility was signed uniforms from the 1986 Mets team that defeated the Red Sox in the World Series. The collection is reportedly worth "hundreds of thousands of dollars." (New York Daily News)

SIZEMORE GETTING CLOSER: Indians manager Manny Acta said he thinks center fielder Grady Sizemore is scheduled to start running bases today and could be cleared to play in games sometime in the last 10 days of spring training. (MLB.com)

D-TRAIN OFF THE RAILS: Dontrelle Willis left Saturday's game with a sprained ankle, tripping on a bat after backing up the plate on Bobby Scales' two-run single. Willis had a rough outing, allowing two hits and two walks while recording just a single out. (MLB.com)

THANK YOU, COME AGAIN: Commissioner Bud Selig said Saturday that the stake in the Diamondbacks once owned by Padres chief executive Jeff Moorad has been sold. Current Arizona managing general partner Ken Kendrick absorbed the eight percent of the Diamondbacks  for $21 million. Moorad's group owns 49 percent of the Padres. (MLB.com)

HARDEN OUT OF ROTATION MIX: Rich Harden is officially out of the race for the Athletics' fifth-starter sport. Harden could still find a spot in the bullpen, but it's getting crowded too. Brandon McCarthy, Tyson Ross and Bobby Cramer are still competing for the fifth starter spot, with the losers then looking to make the bullpen. (San Francisco Chronicle)

STATS FOR DUMMIES: The great Joe Posnanski gives you a primer on advanced offensive statistics. (JoePosnanski.com)

LINEUP CONSTRUCTION: Little has more breath and keystrokes wasted on it more than lineup construction. It's a fan's favorite nitpick to show why their manager is an idiot, yet it doesn't really matter that much in the long term. (Although, it makes the most sense to get your better hitters at the the top of the order, because they get the most at-bats). But anyway, Astros manager Brad Mills discusses his philosophy for filling out his lineup card. (Houston Chronicle)

RAYS RESURRECTION: Former top pick Matt Bush is making a comeback in Tampa's training camp. (Tampa Tribune)

BASEBALL PROJECT: If you missed our Ear on Baseball podcast with the Baseball Project, what's wrong with you? Seriously?

Anyway, you can catch up with Scott McCaughey, who says despite touring the world with various rock bands, he's always kept up with baseball because it's a "a sort of zen thing for me" and reading boxscores is "like meditation" -- I think we can all understand that. (Athens Music Junkie)

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

More MLB coverage
Posted on: December 15, 2010 12:26 pm

Harden back to A's

Rich Harden has agreed to return to Oakland for $1.5 million plus incentives, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com.

Harden, who pitched for the A's from 2003 until a midseason 2008 trade to the Cubs, flopped in 2010 after signing a one-year, $7.5 million deal with the Rangers. He went 5-5 with a 5.58 ERA and was left off the Rangers' playoff roster.

Harden will likely be used out of the bullpen in Oakland.

-- David Andriesen

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

Posted on: October 6, 2010 6:41 pm

Rangers DFA Harden

The Rangers took a chance on Rich Harden last December, signing him to a one-year, $7.5 million deal in the hopes that he'd bounce back after a so-so year in Chicago. It didn't work, as Harden struggled to a 5-5 record and was left off the playoff roster.

Now the Rangers are moving him off the roster entirely, designating him for assignment so they can make room on the 40-man roster for right-hander Ryan Tucker, claimed off waivers from the Marlins. It's really just a formality -- the Rangers have an $11 million option on Harden that they weren't picking up, and have no need to keep him on the roster. They'll pay him a $1 million buyout.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .
Category: MLB
Posted on: September 24, 2010 7:47 pm

Rangers' lost boys biding their time

Scott Feldman
If a team reaches September with its season-opening No. 1 and 2 starters clinging to roster spots, that's not generally a sign that things have gone well.

But in Texas, they've managed just fine without much help from Rich Harden or Scott Feldman, who, according to T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com, are unlikely to even make the Rangers' postseason roster.

"It's all right," said Feldman, who has pitched just three times this month out of the bullpen. "I just wish I was contributing to the team a little more ... a lot more. I'm just trying to stay ready. If they need me, I'm more than ready. I'd be happy to contribute in some way."

Feldman won 17 games last season and was the opening-day starter this spring. But he's 7-10 with a 5.45 ERA and was dropped from the rotation in late July.

"I was not expecting this," Feldman said. "I was expecting to be on a good team ... that part has been great. But I didn't expect to be marinating in the bullpen and not pitching. That's obviously disappointing."
Harden has managed just 88 innings and has had miserable command, leading the majors with more than six walks and 19 pitches per inning. He signed a one-year deal with the Rangers and won't be back.

"I don't know ... it wasn't a lack of effort," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. "Maybe a combination of health issues, general inconsistency and a lack of command. We knew it was kind of a high-risk/reward signing. He's capable of more. It didn't pan out the way anyone predicted."

Meanwhile, the Rangers converted C.J. Wilson to starting, and have been rewarded as he has posted a 14-7 record and 3.15 ERA. They also made a little trade you might have heard about, acquiring Cliff Lee in July. They are hardly hurting at the top of the rotation.

"We talked about our pitching depth at the beginning of the year," Daniels said. "We were counting on our depth coming into play, picking up the back spots of the rotation. The way it worked out -- in baseball you never know what's going to happen."

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .
Posted on: September 5, 2010 1:43 pm
Edited on: September 5, 2010 2:53 pm

Lee will be skipped

Cliff Lee Not only is Josh Hamilton out for the Rangers, Ron Washington told reporters that it's "70-30" that the team will skip Cliff Lee's spot in the rotation on Tuesday.

The ruins a dream matchup of Lee-Shaun Marcum.

But Lee's not been himself lately -- in his last five starts, he's 0-3 with an 8.28 ERA and even three walks. The Rangers have lost all five of those games.

Lee was scheduled to pitch a bullpen session on Saturday, but his ailing lower back didn't feel good enough, so he just played catch. Lee didn't thrown on Sunday.

The Rangers could start Rich Harden, who was recently moved to the bullpen, or maybe Scott Feldman, who was scheduled to make a rehab start today. The team said it would make a decision either today or tomorrow.

UPDATE: Lee won't be starting on Tuesday, the team has announced. Feldman, eligible to come off the DL on Monday, will likely get the start. The team still hasn't decided if he will be pushed back or skipped. If skipped, he would pitch again next Sunday against the Yankees.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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

Posted on: September 4, 2010 3:57 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 12:00 pm

Lee's next start in doubt

Cliff Lee Cliff Lee may miss his next start, scheduled for Tuesday in Toronto.

Lee played catch before Saturday's game, MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan reports , but didn't throw off the mound.

Lee, who is dealing with a strained muscle in his lower back, may try to throw again on Sunday. If he doesn't make his start, Rich Harden would likely take the mound in Toronto.

UPDATE: Sullivan reports that Lee is unlikely to make his start on Tuesday.

"He would like to start Tuesday, but we haven't made a decision," general manager Jon Daniels said. "We're going to err on the side of caution. Tuesday is not ruled out, but it's possible he may not start."

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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

Category: MLB
Posted on: August 23, 2010 9:57 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 11:53 am

Rangers' no-hitter broken up in 9th

Rich Harden The Rangers' Rich Harden has a no-hitter through six innings against the Twins.

Harden has walked four and stuck out five.

However, it's taken him 94 pitches to get through six and Ron Washington had a reliever up and warming in the bullpen after a leadoff walk in the sixth. A double play and a long fly later, the Harden went back to the dugout, nine outs away from the season's sixth no-hitter.

This is Harden's first start off the disabled list with right shoulder tendinitis.

The Rangers lead 3-0.

UPDATE: After Joe Mauer flied out and Jason Kubel struck out, Harden walked Michael Cuddyer on four pitches. He threw 111 pitches and Ron Washington came out to talk to Harden before replacing him with lefty Matt Harrison to face Jim Thome. Harden had only thrown more than 111 pitches once this season.

UPDATE: Thome lined out to end the seventh. The last combined no-hitter in the big leagues was June 11, 2003, when Roy Oswalt left after one inning with an injury and was followed by Peter Munro (2 2/3 innings), Kirk Saarloos (1 1/3 innings), Brad Lidge (2 innings), Octavio Dotel (1 inning) and Billy Wagner (1 inning).

UPDATE: Darren O'Day retired three consecutive outs to set up Neftali Feliz to finish off the no-hitter.

UPDATE: Feliz is in. Denard Span pops up for the first out. Orlando Hudson walks. Joe Mauer singles up the middle on an 0-2 count to break up the no-hitter. Well played, Mauer.

UPDATE: The Rangers finish out the one-hitter and win, 4-0.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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

Posted on: August 15, 2010 1:12 pm
Edited on: August 15, 2010 7:13 pm

Harden to DL

The Rangers have placed starter Rich Harden on the disabled disabled list, retroactive to Aug. 8, with right shoulder tendinitis.

Tuesday's starter for the Rangers against the Rays is TBA.

The Rangers recalled outfielder Brandon Boggs to take his roster spot.

UPDATE: Tommy Hunter will pitch Tuesday on three-days rest and then Derek Holland will be called up to start on Wednesday.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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

Category: MLB
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