Tag:Bartolo Colon
Posted on: April 29, 2011 5:49 pm
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On Deck: Can Clayton Richard halt the streak?



By C. Trent Rosecrans

Ethier's Kryptonite? -- We all know about Andre Ethier's 24-game hitting streak. Tonight could be the night it ends. Ethier is 1 for 13 in his career against Padres left-hander Clayton Richard with two strikeouts and no walks. Richard is 1-1 with a 3.95 ERA and pitched into the eighth inning in his last start. Padres at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m. ET

Welcome back -- Clint Barmes was supposed to be the Astros' long-term answer at shortstop. Instead, he suffered a broken hand in spring training and hadn't played this season. Tonight he makes his Astros debut, batting second and playing short. Barmes hit .400 (6 for 15) in four minor-league rehab games this week. Brewers at Astros, 8:05 p.m. ET

He lives -- The Yankees seemed to have struck gold in two reclamation projects -- two nights ago Bartolo Colon looked like he was poised for another Cy Young and tonight Freddy Garcia makes his third start of the season. In his first two, Garcia has allowed just four hits and no runs in 12 innings. He faces the hard-luck Ricky Romero, who struck out 10 Rays and allowed just five hits in his last outing and picked up a loss. He's received just four runs of support in his last four starts. Blue Jays at Yankees, 7:05 p.m. ET

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Posted on: April 27, 2011 11:17 pm
Edited on: April 28, 2011 12:33 am
 

Colon pitching like it's 2005

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Bartolo ColonAdmit it, you laughed too when the Yankees signed Bartolo Colon. Colon, Freddy Garcia, Kevin Millwood -- it was like the 2005 All-Star team all over again.

Except, you know, Colon has been pretty darn good.

On Wednesday, Colon went eight innings, allowing just a run on seven hits, while striking out six and walking one. His ERA is down to 2.77 on the season. 

Colon, 37, averaged 93.25 mph on his four-seam fastball and maxed at 96.1 mph and only needed 99 pitches to hand the ball over to Mariano Rivera.

"Colon was amazing. Colon was, wow!" White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen told reporters (via the Associated Press) after the game. "I don't remember seeing him throw that good in Cleveland or when he was pitching in Anaheim. I had a good opportunity to watch the game [on] TV. It was amazing how that ball had a lot of movement."

The Yankees started with Colon in the bullpen, but with Phil Hughes on the shelf, Colon came out of the bullpen to start. Last Wednesday he went 6 2/3, allowing two runs on five hits to pick up the win. He made three relief appearances before getting his chance to start, but has been noticeably better as a starter and he'll certainly get his chance to continue starting.

Colon won the Cy Young in 2005 with the Angels, but has struggled with injuries the last couple of seasons. Even his manager from last season, Guillen, joked before Wednesday's game about Colon's injury problems. And then Colon went out and pitched into the eighth inning for the first time since 2007.

"You really just want him to continue to keep making pitches like he's been making them," Yankees manager Joe Girardi told reporters after the game (via Bergen Record). "He's already had great location of the fastball. And he's been extremely effective."

He has, and it's just more good news for the Yankees.

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Posted on: April 18, 2011 10:11 am
Edited on: April 18, 2011 11:02 am
 

Pepper: Sizemore to continue leading off

Sizemore

By Evan Brunell

UP TOP: Grady Sizemore will remain at the top of the order and lead off for the Indians now that he's finally back from injury. To hear manager Manny Acta tell it, it was never a consideration to stick Sizemore into the middle of the order.

"We talked to him about it in spring training. He's leading off, because we have Carlos Santana in the lineup," Acta said. "If he had to hit second, third or fourth, he's not the kind of guy who's going to pout. He's a coach's dream. He'll do whatever you want him to do."

Sizemore's return is much welcome for a surging 11-4 Indians club who now have a potential elite bat back in the lineup, although he won't play all 148 remaining games. The Indians plan to be cautious with Sizemore and will rest him fairly regularly in the early going which will open up the leadoff spot for new left-fielder Michael Brantley.

Although Sizemore has had a pair of 100-RBI seasons (and runs scored), Santana's presence allows Acta to lead Sizemore off and increase the chances the club can get something going at the top of the order instead of batting Sizemore and Santana back-to-back  in the 3-4 spots. One other consideration could have Sizemore batting second and Brantley leading off, but it appears as if Acta is completely committed to leading Sizemore off. It's certainly a better idea than knocking Sizemore or Santana down to cleanup, but long-term, the team may benefit batting Sizemore second. Until Brantley proves himself with a modicum of long-term success, however, Sizemore is the man leading off. (Akron Beacon Journal)

BASEBALL TODAY: Can the Rockies keep up their hot start all season long? Will the Dodgers be a player in the National League West? Troy Renck of the Denver Post joins Lauren Shehadi with the latest.

FINALLY, SUCCESS: It's been a good start to the year for Alex Gordon, who is already considered a bust this early into his career. But as he says, regular playing time at one position is the whole reason why he's hitting .365/.394/.540 in 66 plate appearances, leading the AL with 14 runs scored. It's still very early, but it's great to see Gordon get off to a hot start and revitalize his career. (Kansas City Star)

BLUE OX: The Twins have made some of the most creative commercials the last few years and the newest installment is no exception. Jim Thome dons his cap to Paul Bunyan by doing a skit with a blue ox and sporting a double-breasted flannel shirt with his name and number on the back. The best part of the commercial, though, is Michael Cuddyer's spit take. (Big League Stew)

NO, REALLY, I LIKE IT: New BoSox outfielder Carl Crawford is keeping a season diary and in it, speaks to his early struggles and the fact that he actually likes to lead off, contrary to reports.

"It's actually fun to bat leadoff," he says. "I get to do everything I like to do on a baseball field. I get to be exciting and run and set the table. There's nothing wrong with batting leadoff at all. People that say I hate batting leadoff don't know me that well." (ESPN Boston)

BARD'S THE MAN: Skipper Terry Francona has made no secret of the fact that Daniel Bard is his go-to guy in the bullpen and loves being able to deploy him at any time instead of having to use strict guidelines as he has to do for the closer's spot. All the more reason why closers in this day and age are overrated. Bard entered Sunday's game against Toronto at a pivotal point in the seventh inning with two men on and calmly engineered a double play and strikeout. (Providence Journal)

SETBACK: Bryan Stow, the Giants fan severely beat by two scumbags who happen to root for the Dodgers, was placed back into a medically-induced coma as he suffered seizures when doctors tried to draw him out. There's still no timetable for recovery or knowledge how much brain damage, if any, Stow suffered. (FOX Sports)

COLON'S BACK: When we last saw Bartolo Colon, he appeared to have pitched (and eaten) his way out of baseball in 2009. Except now the newly pinstriped reliever will return to the rotation and start Wednesday. (MLB.com)

DOMINATION: Colon will have to keep an eye on Kevin Millwood, another veteran pitcher the Yankees picked up on a lark. Despite poor reviews of his preseason work, Millwood flat out dominated Double-A hitters on Sunday, tossing a one-hitter in a seven-inning complete game. Millwood can opt out of his deal on May 1 if he's not called up to the majors. If his outing is any indication, he won't have any trouble finding a job. (MiLB.com)

FIRST TIME FOR EVERYTHING: In the second game of the doubleheader Sunday, Jayson Werth sat out his first game as a National due to "aches and pains." With 14 games under his belt, Werth will return to the lineup on Tuesday. With the move, Rick Ankiel is now the only player to have started every game for Washington. (Washington Post)

WRIGHT IS RIGHT: It's tough to imagine Jamey Wright still pitching effectively as he personifies the average journeyman bouncing around from team to team to fill in. Yet, the 36-year-old has actually cobbled together a nice string of seasons as reliever and impressed in his two-inning stint for the M's Sunday. Wright appears to be Seattle's most trusted reliever outside of closer. (Seattle Times)

TAX-FREE: When an Astros fan won 315 coupons to net a free cup of coffee and/or a doughnut or a dozen doughnut holes, he had no idea that he would be issued a Form 1099 that would strip him of $237 worth in tax refunds. The Astros refused to pay the difference, but Shipley's Do'Nuts agreed to make up the balance. The Astros also got back into the fan's good graces by giving him four tickets to opening day as well as a Jeff Bagwell signed baseball. (Houston Chronicle)

STREAK SNAPPED: In what is believed to be the longest streak in college baseball but unverifiable, Kansas State's Nick Martini went 0 for 5 on Sunday to snap his streak of 93 straight games reaching base. He registered a hit in 76 of these games. (Washington Post)

LEFTY MOVES: The Blue Jays are trading left-handed pitcher David Purcey to Oakland for reliever Danny Farquhar. Farquhar is an ex-Blue Jay, having been shipped west in the Rajai Davis deal during the winter. (FOX Sports) Meanwhile, the Red Sox optioned lefty Felix Doubront to the minors and welcomed back Hideki Okajima, who will take another crack at this whole relieving business.

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Posted on: March 25, 2011 5:29 pm
 

Yankees roundup: Garcia, Molina, more

By Matt Snyder

Some short Yankees notes as we watch spring wind down (Hat-tip to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com for some info):

- There hasn't been a final decision yet on the fifth rotation spot, but it's very likely that both Freddy Garcia and Bartolo Colon make the team. The best bet is Garcia lands the starting job with Colon going to the bullpen as a long reliever.

- With Francisco Cervelli injured and Jesus Montero having a dreadful defensive spring, Gustavo Molina (pictured right) is the odds-on favorite to win the backup catcher job out of camp. Remember, Jorge Posada is slated as the designated hitter going into the season and Russell Martin is now the starter behind the dish. Montero and Austin Romine will be sent to the minors to begin the season.

- Kevin Millwood will initially head to Triple-A, but he's out on May 1 if not on the big-league roster. He's basically insurance against Ivan Nova (the No. 4 starter) or Garcia not working out. And, of course, there could be injuries.

- It's still a possibility that Curtis Granderson will open the season on the disabled list, but no certainty. If he does, expect newly-acquired Chris Dickerson to be in the center-field mix. The Yankees could shift Brett Gardner to center and use Andruw Jones in left, or plug Dickerson into center.

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Posted on: March 25, 2011 8:44 am
Edited on: March 25, 2011 2:07 pm
 

Yankees add Millwood

By C. Trent Rosecrans

UPDATE (2:03 p.m. EST): The Yankees' signing of Kevin Millwood is official, and now the contract details are out.

Millwood signed a minor-league contract which will turn into a one-year, $1.5 million contract if he's added to the team's 40-man roster. He can earn up to $3.5 million more in incentives. He'll earn $500,000 more with for five, 10, 15, 20 and 25 starts. He'll earn another $1 million if he reaches 30 starts.

If Millwood is not added to the major-league roster by May 1, he can opt out of his contract.


Kevin MillwoodThe Yankees have adding veteran right-hander Kevin Millwood, Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated tweets.

According to a previous Heyman tweet, Millwood would sign an "incentive-laden minor-league deal."

The Yankees brought in Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia to compete for their fifth starter's spot, but Millwood adds insurance in case either of those don't work out. It's unlikely Millwood would be with the Yankees to start the season, instead reporting to minor league camp and getting his own type of private spring training in the team's system.

Colon, 37, has had a better spring than the 34-year-old Garcia. Colon has a 2.40 ERA with 17 strikeouts and a walk in 15 innings this spring. Garcia has a 5.93 ERA, striking out 12 and walking two in 13 2/3 innings.

While Colon has had the better spring, he also comes with more question marks. He hasn't pitched in the big leagues since July of 2009 and he's also… how to put this delicately… not in the type of shape that gives a manager confidence in his ability to make 30 starts.

Garcia made 28 starts for the White Sox last season, but had just 23 starts from 2007-09.

Garcia told the Newark Star-Ledger that he'd be fine with working in long relief if that's what the Yankees want.

With Millwood, who was 4-16 with a  5.10 ERA with the Orioles last season, the Yankees have a  proven backup plan if needed. If the contract is indeed a minor-league deal filled with incentives, it would appear to be an inexpensive contingency plan for New York, and one that makes a lot of sense. High-risk, low-cost chances are always worth a shot, especially for the Yankees.

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Posted on: March 21, 2011 11:16 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 12:30 pm
 

3 up, 3 down for 3/21: Colon making his case

Bartolo Colon

By C. Trent Rosecrans

3 UP

1.  Bartolo Colon, Yankees -- While many scoffed at the idea of Colon coming back after a year off and joining the Yankees' rotation, he's certainly making his case. Colon, 37, had another strong outing on Monday. Colon retired 18 of the 20 batters he faced, including five strikeouts. He allowed two hits and a run.  In 15 innings this spring, he has a 2.40 ERA, with 17 strikeouts and one walk.

2. Joe Mauer, Twins -- It's not just that Mauer had two hits and an RBI against the Pirates on Monday, but he also caught six innings. It was Mauer's second start behind the plate of spring.

3. Mets second basemen -- Now that the Luis Castillo soap opera is behind us, the Mets four remaining candidates for the second base job all contributed in a four-run ninth to lead New York past Atlanta. Brad Emaus, Daniel Murphy and Luis Hernandez each had run-scoring hits, while Justin Turner was hit by a pitch.

3 DOWN

1. Arizona -- Isn't Arizona supposed to be a desert? Six Cactus League games were banged on Monday because of rain.

2. Mike Pelfrey, Mets -- The Mets' opening day starter was pounded for seven runs (four earned) and seven hits by the Braves. Pelfrey allowed six consecutive hits to start the ending and when it appeared he'd actually record an out, David Wright's error allowed another run to score. He finally retired the eight batter of the inning, only to be lifted due to a high pitch count.

3. Some fans -- Rays manager Joe Maddon had a fan tossed from Sunday's game after the fan made racial comments toward outfielder B.J. Upton. Upton said Monday that he heard the comments, but was more worried about his game. Upton said it's not the first time he's heard such comments (via MLB.com) -- "A lot of times, it happens when I'm in the outfield of a visiting stadium. Even I've heard it at home, too. I think it was just a situation where everyone heard it. Put it this way -- it's not too far-fetched to hear it." That's not surprising, but it's still sad.

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Posted on: March 6, 2011 10:09 am
Edited on: March 6, 2011 11:35 am
 

Pepper: Phillie concern

Domonic Brown

By C. Trent Rosecrans

After nothing but (deserved) rave reviews this offseason, reality is hitting the Philadelphia Phillies.

Still the favorite in the National League East, the same problem that kept them in a division race last season is popping up again -- injuries.

Chase Utley is already getting cortisone shots and, as our own Danny Knobler wrote it perfectly, if the Phillies are concerned -- and they're saying they're concerned -- it's not a good sign.

And now Domonic Brown is out with a broken hamate bone in his hand. Although Brown was struggling this spring -- hitless in 15 at-bats -- and was likely headed to Triple-A, he was still part of the team's plans for 2011.

The hamate injury is a tricky one -- he'll likely be able to play this season, but he won't be the same. Last year when I was around the Reds a bit, I talked to two players who were in different stages of the same injury. One, Yonder Alonso, suffered the injury in 2009, the other, Chris Dickerson, had the surgery during last season.

Dickerson was able to return and even played with the Reds and Brewers after the surgery. Alonso had the surgery in June of 2009 and was back that season, as well. However, the injury saps power. Alonso told me several times that the ball just didn't jump off his bat the same, what would be a double in the past wasn't getting past outfielders, and what was a homer in the past just died in the outfield. As doctors told him, about a year fate the surgery, his power was back. 

Brown can return this season, but don't expect him to be the same player he has shown to be in the minor leagues and that he'll be in the future.

The Phillies are counting on Ben Francisco and Ross Gload to fill in for Jayson Werth until Brown is ready. Now they'll be counting on those two longer.

Pitching won't be a problem for Philadelphia, and it wasn't the problem last year. When the team got in trouble, it was injuries and offense. With uncertainly to the health of Utley and then general uncertainty with Jimmy Rollins, there's cause for concern in Philly.

That said, they're still the favorites, but maybe not quite the prohibitive favorites they were before.

STAYING PAT: The Yankees appear to be happy with the starters they have in camp -- CC Sabathia, Phil Hughes, A.J. Burnett, Bartolo Colon, Freddy Garcia, Sergio Mitre and Ivan Nova.

Brian Cashman tells the Boston Globe the team is unlikely to trade for a starter before opening day.

"Can't rule it out, but it's highly unlikely," Cashman said. "Normally anything of quality doesn't become available until after the June draft. That's why you try and get as much as you can get accomplished in winter."

HOT DOG RUN: Apparently because the team mom forgot the orange slices, after his stint in Saturday's game, Boston's Dustin Pedroia ducked out of the Red Sox clubhouse to the concession stand for three hot dogs.

"They probably didn't think he was a player," Red Sox manager Terry Francona told reporters, including the Providence Journal. "Did you see that outfit he had on? He looks like he's going into second grade."

NATS OPTIMISM: A scout tells Sports Illustrated's Jon Heyman (via Twitter) that Nationals right-hander Jordan Zimmermann is "back." He's throwing 94-95 mph with a "superb" slider. Said the scout, "if they had [Stephen] Strasburg, they'd be dangerous."

The Nats don't, but Zimmermann offers hope for 2012, as he had Tommy John surgery in August of 2009, a year before Strasburg. 

AMBASSADOR GRIFFEY: Ken Griffey Jr.'s new job with the Mariners is to be an ambassador of sort, but before he does that, he served the same role for the U.S. State Department in the Philippines. 

Griffey just returned from working with coaches and youth players in the Philippines. 

USA Today's Paul White caught up with him last week before his trip. Griffey still refuses to talk about his exit from the game, but he'll likely be seen around the Mariners some this season. His new job requires about a month's worth of work with the team, doing a little bit of everything.

More importantly, he's being a dad. His daughter Taryn recently led Orlando's Dr. Phillips High School to the Florida girls basketball championship. Taryn Griffey, a freshman point guard, had 21 points in the championship game.

His son, Trey, is a junior safety and wide receiver who is being recruited, as well.

PIAZZA NOT BUYING Mets: Mike Piazza tells the New York Post he's interested in buying part of a baseball team "someday" but not now.

"I think everything is timing," Piazza said. "It's an interesting time in the game. There's a lot of change going on … but as far as anything on the forefront, there's nothing. Let's just say I talked to some people that are interested in getting into the game … It doesn't cost anything to talk. At least not yet."

NO PANIC FOR Braves: Atlanta's 23-year-old Craig Kimbrel has the inside track to replace Billy Wagner as the Braves' closer, but he's not been very good so far this spring. He's struggled with his command and has allowed four runs and six hits in three appearances this spring.

"If there is a trend like this later in the spring, then you start worrying about it," manager Fredi Gonzalez tells MLB.com. "But not right now."

CAIN FEELS BETTER: Giants pitcher Matt Cain played catch for about eight minutes on Saturday and felt no pain in his right elbow.

Cain was scratched from his last start and won't make his scheduled start on Tuesday, either. (MLB.com)

PIONEER LAID TO REST: About 500 people reportedly attended the funeral of Wally Yonamine in Hawaii on Saturday, according to Sanspo (via YakyuBaka.com). A memorial service will also be held in Tokyo later this month.

Yonamine, the first American to play professional baseball in Japan, died earlier this week at 85. The New York Times had a good obituary earlier this week, and a column in the Honolulu Star Advertiser shed light on how Yonamine dealt with death threats and other pressures when he started playing in Japan.

However, Yonamine became a star in Japan and was elected to the Japan Baseball Hall of Fame in 1994. He was also the first Asian-American to play in the NFL.

NOT THAT IT'S GONNA HAPPEN: But contraction isn't going to happen.

Union chief Michael Weiner tells the St. Petersburg Times that the union will fight any attempt to contract teams.

"Having been in bargaining in baseball since the late 80s, anything is fathomable, so we don't either take anything for granted or rule anything out," Weiner said. "All I would says is if that changes, if contraction becomes a goal of the owners in this negotiation, the tenor of the talks would change quickly and dramatically."

Bud Selig tells the Los Angeles Times it's not a goal for the owners, and it's certainly not a fight they want to take up.

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Posted on: March 4, 2011 10:00 pm
Edited on: March 4, 2011 10:02 pm
 

3 up, 3 down for 3/4: The return of Peavy

Peavy
By Evan Brunell

It feels like the days are dragging now that spring training games are started. Craving relevance, it's important to take the performances of players -- especially day-to-day ones -- this early into spring training with a grain of salt. That said, there's still plenty news of note...

3 UP

1. SP Jake Peavy, CHW: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K. Scott Miller has more on Peavy, but here's the gist: the White Sox starter pitched in a game for the first time since injuring his shoulder in July. While the road to pitching in the regular season is still long, the fact Peavy made it through a game and had no issues during and after the game is a milestone.

2. SP Bartolo Colon, NYY: 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K. Who saw this coming from Colon? He flat out dominated the Red Sox and turned enough heads that one has to wonder if Colon really might claim that No. 5 spot. It's way, way too early to proclaim Colon the front-runner, but Colon was an afterthought before this start. No longer.

3. LF Nolan Reimold, BAL: 3 AB, 2 R, 1 H, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HR. Reimold is battling for a spot on Baltimore's bench and is doing everything he can to avoid a demotion. Unfortunately, his inability to play center puts him behind the eight-ball. It's possible the O's could deal Reimold at the end of spring training, but that's hard to imagine given Derrek Lee and Vladimir Guerrero are temporary. Baltimore needs to keep its depth and young players, even if that means more seasoning down on the farm.

3 DOWN

1. SP Ryan Rowland-Smith, HOU: 2 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 1 K. Not good for "Hyphen," who is battling for the No. 5 spot in the Astros rotation. He has no shortage of challengers, including Nelson Figueroa, Aneury Rodriguez and Jordan Lyles, plus a few others. If he fails in his quest, he will be shuttled off to the bullpen.

2. RP Juan Gutierrez, ARI: 2/3 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 1 K. Gutierrez gave up 13 home runs last season but somehow managed to save 15 games with a 5.08 ERA. That won't repeat itself this season, and if the 27-year-old wants to be an important part of the bullpen, he can't have outings like this with plenty of competition around him.

3. CF Dexter Fowler, COL: 4 AB, 0 R, 0 H, 0 RBI, 1 K. Now with the center field job his free and clear, Fowler needs to take another step forward this year after two years of over 500 plate appearances. Fowler was good enough those seasons, but he needs to take the next step forward if he wants to be considered an integral piece of the club. A .182 average to start spring training isn't helping.

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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