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Tag:Barry Zito
Posted on: March 31, 2011 1:00 pm
Edited on: March 31, 2011 3:59 pm
 

Zito tells Bochy he's OK after wreck

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Barry Zito Barry Zito expects to pitch his scheduled outing against the Dodgers on Sunday, he told Giants manager Bruce Bochy.

According to Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News , Zito met with his manager and told him he was shaken up, but otherwise OK following a car accident last night in West Hollywood.

Zito was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center for precautionary X-rays and an MRI on his sore neck, and the tests showed no structural damage.

Bochy told KNBR that he still wants Zito to meet with trainers before making a decision about his Sunday start. Bochy said a car hit Zito's car after running a red light. Zito was not cited by police and was listed on the police report as "a party to" the accident, indicating he was not at fault.

Because the Giants have an off day on Monday, Madison Bumgarner could be moved up in the rotation to replace Zito.

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Posted on: March 31, 2011 7:39 am
Edited on: March 31, 2011 4:05 pm
 

Zito taken to hospital after car accident

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Barry ZitoGiants starter Barry Zito was taken to a hospital and released Wednesday night after he was involved in a  two-car accident, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

According to police, Zito was taken to Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles with unknown injuries after he was involved in an accident near the intersection of Sunset Blvd. and Sunset Plaza Drive near Zito's home in Hollywood Hills. Police are investigating the accident and the Giants pitcher is listed on the report as a "party to" the accident, which means police don't believe he is at fault.

The Giants face the Dodgers in Los Angeles tonight and Zito is scheduled to start the team's fourth game on Sunday night. 

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Category: MLB
Posted on: March 17, 2011 12:00 am
 

Getting to know the Cardinals

By C. Trent Rosecrans

MVP

Sure, it seems like a cop-out or too obvious, but how is any talk of a Cardinals' most valuable player going to come down to anyone but the best player in the game, Albert Pujols?

Albert PujolsHow good is Pujols? Last season he was second in the MVP voting after a .312/.414/.596 season. He led the National League in home runs (42) and RBI (118), as well as all the majors in runs (115) -- and it was still reasonable to call it a "down" year for him.

Pujols has three MVP trophies so far in his career and it'd be an upset if he didn't finish his career with at least four.

PLAYER ORACLE

Rogers Hornsby played with Buck Jordan for the 1927 New York Giants
Buck Jordan played with Johnny Vander Meer for the 1937 Cincinnati Reds
Johnny Vander Meer played with Minnie Minoso for the 1951 Cleveland Indians
Minnie Minoso played with Jim Morrison for the 1980 Chicago White Sox
Jim Morrison played with John Smoltz for the 1988 Atlanta Braves
John Smoltz played with Colby Rasmus for the 2009 St. Louis Cardinals

Alyssa MilanoPOP CULTURE

Anthony Morton "Tony" Micelli not only had to retire from his spot as a second baseman for the St. Louis Cardinals because of a shoulder injury, but he also lost his wife and then had to swallow his pride and become a live-in housekeeper for an advertising executive in Connecticut.

Sure, it could be a sad story, but in the end, it provided more laughs than tears, even if we never learned exactly Who's the Boss?

Tony Danza played Micelli in the eight seasons of the sitcom that aired from 1984 to 1992. On the show, his daughter was played by Alyssa Milano (right), who took the inspiration from her ballplayer TV dad and has been connected to Major League Baseball for several years. Milano has dated several  big league players, including former Cardinal Brad Penny, along with Carl Pavano and Barry Zito.

Milano isn't just attracted to players, but also the game. In 2007 she was playoff correspondent for MLB.com and in 2009, she wrote a book called Safe at Home: Confessions of a Baseball Fanatic. She also designed a line of baseball-themed clothes for women, sold at MLB.com.

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More MLB coverage

Posted on: March 3, 2011 9:54 am
Edited on: March 3, 2011 12:30 pm
 

Pepper: Perez's last chance?

Posted by C. Trent Rosecrans
Oliver Perez

For most established big leaguers, it's beyond idiotic to put much stock in many spring training results -- nobody's a star or scrub based solely on a game in the first week of March -- but Oliver Perez isn't the typical case.

The Mets pitcher has been hanging on to his roster spot by a three-year, $36-million thread for a while. In the last year of his ridiculous contract, the left-hander may be released if he "does not show significant improvement over Sunday's two-inning, four-run disappointment" today against the Cardinals, the New York Daily News' Andy Martino writes, citing two "major league sources familiar with the Mets' thinking."

Sunday, Perez was throwing an 84 mph fastball and struggled with his command. He was initially slated as a reliever for today's game, but he will instead start.

Manager Terry Collins said, "I'm quite sure he'll have another try after [Thursday]." But Martino says that may not be the case.

Since signing his big deal (any guess who his agent is?), Perez has gone 3-9 with a 6.81 ERA in 31 games. He made 14 starts in 2009 and seven last season before being put in the bullpen. He didn't pitch at all in June, and pitched just two games in August -- on the first day of the month and the next-to-last day of the month, and just one day in September.

There was talk the Mets would release him after the season, but they gave him one last try -- and that very last try could come today.

SPEAKING OF ALBATROSS CONTRACTS: Bruce Bochy told reporters Wednesday that Barry Zito's spot in the Giants' rotation is secure, despite a San Francisco Chronicle column citing a "source close to the team" as saying his job isn't safe.

General manager Brian Sabean also denied the story was a plant.

"Absolutely, unequivocally not," Sabean told Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News. "We have too much respect for players, and more so, I have a great relationship with Barry Zito. If things had gotten to that point, I would have talked to him directly, firsthand."

Zito walked five of the 13 batters he faced in his spring opener on Monday.

A.J. Burnett DOESN'T SUCK? So says, FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal.

In fact, Rosenthal points out the much-maligned Yankees' career numbers are pretty darn close to those of Boston's Josh Beckett, another former Marlin. The numbers Rosenthal uses are indeed close -- Burnett is 110-100 with a 3.99 ERA and an opponents' OPS of .701 in his career, while Beckett is 112-74, with a 3.96 ERA and .708 opponents' OPS.

The secret for Burnett to be successful, Rosenthal writes, is for Burnett to believe he can be successful. The Yankees certainly hope that's true.

WHO ISN'T? Speaking of disappointing Red Sox pitchers… John Lackey is "just tired" of talking about his 2010 season, he tells WEEI.com's Rob Bradford.

If I got $18 million to put up a 4.40 ERA. In his first season since coming over from the Angels, Lackey made 33 starts and put up a 14-11 record.

IT'S THE MONEY, STUPID: It's going to be difficult for either Dustin Ackley or Michael Pineda break camp with the Mariners, even if they earn a spot in spring, Larry Stone of the Seattle Times writes, because of the possible Super 2 status.

The Mariners may have to guess when to bring up their talented rookies in hope of not allowing them to reach arbitration eligibility early. To be safe, now most teams wait until June to bring up a heralded prospect. Remember Buster Posey? He was called up to stay last year on May 29.

Recently teams have guessed on when the Super 2 cutoff date would occur and lost on Tim Lincecum (2007) and Jay Bruce (2008) falling before the cutoff date. Teams worried about payroll, like the Mariners, are unlikely to take a gamble.

Ramon HernandezCITIZEN CATCHER: Congratulations to Reds catcher Ramon Hernandez, who took a couple of days off from Cincinnati's camp to go to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to take his United State citizenship test. Hernandez passed the test on Tuesday and will be sworn in at a later date.

"I already live here and I have my life here," Hernandez, a native of Venezuela, told Mark Sheldon of MLB.com. "My kids are U.S. citizens and my wife is a U.S. citizen. I'm the only one left. I feel like I've got to do it because I live here."

Hernandez celebrated with a double against the White Sox on Wednesday.

A PITCHER'S BEST FRIEND: A physicist writes an article on Baseball Prospectus stating that if the Diamondbacks used a humidor at Chase Field, they'd see a 37 percent drop in home runs. (Hat tip to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic)

THOSE AREN'T PILLOWS: The Planes, Trains and Automobiles worthy story of Mike Napoli's journey from the Angels to the Blue Jays to the Rangers from the Orange County Register's Bill Plunkett

SOMEONE IS INTERESTED IN THE METS: A group that includes Rays minority owner Randy Frankel and Entourage creator Doug Ellin, is interested in buying a share of the Mets, the New York Times reports.

Frankel would have to sell his share of the Rays, if approved.

THE DOCTOR IS AN IN-PATIENT: While the NFL seems to have someone on every Dancing With the Stars incarnation, MLB will be represented on Celebrity Rehab by former Mets ace Dwight Gooden.

Gooden, 46, will join Lindsay Lohan's dad and the kid from Baywatch on Dr. Drew's show, TMZ.com reports.

MMMM… GRAVY: A flow chart telling you which Major League Baseball team you should root for.

ANIMAL STYLE: For those non-Californians heading out to spring training in Arizona, here's a little help when it comes to the culinary hotspot that is In-N-Out. You've heard of the secret menu? Here's a look at every "secret" item on the menu.

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Posted on: March 2, 2011 1:13 pm
Edited on: March 2, 2011 5:17 pm
 

Would Giants buy out Zito's contract?

By Matt Snyder

Barry Zito is slotted as the No. 5 starter for the defending World Series champions, but a report from the San Francisco Chronicle paints the picture that his hold on that slot is rather tenuous. In fact, Zito may be very close to seeing his time with the Giants come to an end.

Bruce Jenkins reports that he has a source close to the team who said there was "exasperation" in the organization about Zito and he's "definitely not safe." The report even stated the Giants would consider buying out his contract prior to opening day. This coming on the heels of Zito walking five batters out of the 13 he faced Tuesday against the Cubs in spring training play.

It's kind of shocking to read, though. Zito is still owed $57.5 million over the course of the next three seasons. Realistically, no team in its right mind would trade for that contract, considering recent output.

Zito has gone 40-57 with a 4.45 ERA and 1.41 WHIP in four seasons for the Giants. He still eats innings, though not as much as he did in Oakland -- his 199 1/3 innings last season were his best as a Giant, but his lowest output in six seasons across the Bay was 213. Still, he was ineffective enough to be left off the postseason roster for the Giants.

Basically, the Giants don't want Zito, but it's unlikely anyone else will at that price. But how bad does he have to be for the team to justify eating that much money? Especially when the only other options named in the report for the fifth-starter spot were Jeff Suppan (who has been worse than Zito recently) and Clayton Tanner (a 23 year old who was 9-9 with a 3.68 ERA and 1.44 WHIP in double-A last season)? I'd say he'd have to be historically bad in spring training. During the regular season, lots of things can happen, but a move to the bullpen feels more likely than eating a cool 50 million bucks. Then again, Jenkins is a reliable reporter, so I trust the quotes.

Man, what an albatross of a contract. Fortunately the Giants have a World Series trophy now. That seems to alleviate complaints about bad contracts.

UPDATE: Zito had a closed-door meeting with Giants manager Bruce Bochy Wednesday afternoon and was "not happy" upon exit, according to Andrew Baggerly of the San Jose Mercury News (via Twitter). More details are forthcoming. 
UPDATE: (By Evan Brunell) Zito revealed that Bochy told him the Giants had no idea what was being talked about in the original report. The lefty reiterated his desire to remain with the Giants and took umbrage with his work ethic being questioned.
“The thing about being out of shape, I have no idea who [the Chronicle's] sources are," Zito said according to the San Jose Mercury News. "Nobody I’ve talked to — trainers, strength coaches, the coaching staff — they’ve never heard anything about that. It’s unfortunate, but it’s the nature of the business.”
Releasing Zito never made sense -- although Zito has yet to and never will live up to his contract, he is still a capable back-of-the-rotation starter and the Giants aren't exactly flush in options behind Zito. Suppan, Tanner and retread Brian Lawrence... not exactly names to get excited about.

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Category: MLB
Posted on: March 1, 2011 9:53 am
Edited on: March 1, 2011 10:21 am
 

Pepper: Finding Mauer in Montero


Posted by Matt Snyder


In the latest Ear on Baseball podcast , C. Trent Rosecrans and I had Baseball Prospectus' Kevin Goldstein on, and among other things we discussed how Yankees star catching prospect Jesus Montero may eventually be ticketed for a position change.

Interestingly, in a Tuesday morning Bats blog (via New York Times ), there's a piece on Joe Mauer discussing similarities between the two catchers and how he believes Montero should do everything he can to remain a catcher, if that's what he wants to do.

"Too big. Not quick enough. I heard everything under the sun," Mauer said. He's 6-foot-5, while Montero is 6-foot-4.

Mauer also encouraged Montero to learn everything he can from veteran catchers Russell Martin and Jorge Posada in camp, and to learn everything about the pitchers he might be catching.

Montero, 21, is generally considered one of the top prospects as a hitter, but many scouts believe he'll be inadequate behind the plate in the bigs. Mauer believes he heard the same, but I think there's a difference. Most scouts knew Mauer could handle duties behind the plate, if memory serves correctly, it's just that many believe he needs to move away from behind the plate eventually in order to lengthen his career. He's too good a hitter to physically fall apart by his early 30s. That doesn't mean he's a bad defender.

CARLOS AT THE BAT: Yes, Cubs manager Mike Quade will use pitcher Carlos Zambrano as a pinch-hitter when the game dictates this season. While his actual skill with the stick pales in comparison to the sheer entertainment value of an at-bat, he can swing it. He has three Silver Sluggers and 21 career home runs to go with a .236 average and .631 OPS. Obviously that's pretty bad for an actual hitter, but if you're looking for someone to extend the bench, he's serviceable enough. In fact, he's hit at least .300 in a season twice, as recently as 2008 -- when he hit .337 with an .892 OPS. He was a better hitter than Derrek Lee that year. Seriously. (Chicago Tribune )

ZITO VS. PRINCE, PART II:
Last season, Barry Zito and Prince Fielder had a slight flare-up in spring training after Zito plunked the portly first baseman -- in retaliation for a Fielder celebration in 2009. Monday, the two had a spat ... over a walk? Really, guys? They were seen jawing at each other, but fortunately both took the high road after the game. Zito said he asked Fielder how his offseason went and how his family was doing. Fielder said they were discussing dinner plans. Boys will be boys, even when it's not yet summer, so there's no reason to make a mountain out of a molehill. (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel )

OBLIGATORY YOUNG UPDATE: Michael Young is not unhappy, nor is he dogging it in spring training. In fact, he's working just as hard as he ever has and made the first appearance of his life at first base Monday. He even accepts the addition of Mike Napoli, who is expected to steal plenty of at-bats from Young at DH this season. "He was a thorn in our side when he was in Anaheim. He can hit for power," Young said. "I think what he’s done in his career speaks for itself. When he got here in camp I think we’ve all been impressed with just how good a teammate he seems. That’s the kind of thing guys look at first. He seems a really good guy. Seems like he’s fit in really well since Day 1 and I’m excited that he’s here." (ESPN Dallas )

SCHLERETH INJURED: Tigers relief pitcher Daniel Schlereth injured his hamstring Monday. He actually felt a pop, but early the prognosis sounds positive, as the medical staff reportedly told the lefty it was a strain and not a tear -- which would cause him to miss significant time. Instead, it seems only a minor setback. In fact, he's more annoyed with the injury than anything else. "This is stupid," he said. "This isn't important. I'm not too worried about it. I just want to play. I want to make the team." (Detroit Free-Press )

TIME MACHINE: Mark Prior threw a perfect inning. In 2011. Granted, it was a single inning early in spring training, but it had to have been an encouraging outing for a man whose career was prematurely derailed years ago by injuries. For the optimistic out there, he's still only 30. There's time. (Star-Ledger )

WHO NEEDS OBP? The Rockies are ready to use catcher Chris Iannetta in the eight-hole this season. When you look at his batting average (.234) last season it makes sense. When you look at his OBP, it doesn't. His .353 career OBP is better than teammates Seth Smith, Ian Stewart, Dexter Fowler and Ty Wigginton. But his batting average is lower. It still amazes me how hard this concept is to grasp for so many. It astounds me that people look at batting average before OBP. Think about it in reverse. On-base percentage is a measure of how many times you don't get out. Isn't that the actual goal when you step in the batter's box? In this specific case, you could argue Fowler and Stewart are still young and could get better, but Iannetta's 27 and has torn up minor-league pitching for years. And when he takes a ton of walks this season with the pitcher on deck, his batting average won't be near as high as his OBP. Serenity now. (Denver Post )

SOLID INTERVIEW:
Another thing we discussed in the Ear on Baseball podcast was how incredibly loaded the Royals' minor league system is. General manager Dayton Moore sat down with John Sickels of Minor League Ball for an interview. I'm not going to bother to summarize or cut it down at all, just click through. The whole thing is worth a look. And while I'm not a fan of the Royals or anything, it's worth noting I'd like to see everything come to fruition with this group. It's been a long time since the Royals were a serious contender, so a little change there wouldn't hurt anything. Now, about those Pirates ...

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Posted on: October 26, 2010 1:32 am
 

Guillen not an option for Giants

Jose Guillen Not only is Jose Guillen not on the Giants' playoff roster, he's not even with the team, general manager Brian Sabean told the San Jose Mercury News ' Andrew Baggarly .

The Giants acquired Guillen in a trade with the Royals on Aug. 13, and Guillen played in 42 games for the Giants, hitting .266/.317/.375 with three home runs. He was not on the playoff roster in either of the first two series of the postseason.

Guillen would have been an option at designated hitter, but instead the Giants will likely use Pat Burrell and Pablo Sandoval.

• Another interesting note -- Barry Zito is officially the world's best-paid batting practice pitcher. Zito, who earned $18.5 million this season, threw live batting practice to Giants hitters on Monday.

• Bochy hinted that he'd likely keep Juan Uribe at third base and Edgar Renteria at shortstop against the Rangers.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: October 16, 2010 2:48 pm
 

Barry Zito off of NLCS roster

Barry Zito won't get a chance to help the Giants win the NL pennant as the lefty has been left off the roster, reports the San Jose Mercury News .

Zito was also left off the NLDS roster, where the Giants defeated the Braves in four games.

The reason for Zito being left off the roster is that there is no need for a No. 5 starter in the playoffs, which pushes Zito to only being able to help in relief. Given he is unable to warm up quickly and the Giants preferred to stick to just two left-handers in the bullpen, that means Zito has to watch for the sidelines again.

Guillermo Mota retains his bullpen spot as a result. Dan Runzler was also a candidate to supplant Mota, but Runzler is a lefty as well.

-- Evan Brunell

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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