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Tag:CC Sabathia
Posted on: August 4, 2011 12:05 am
Edited on: August 4, 2011 9:59 am
 

Marlins' Vazquez talking retirement

Javier VazquezBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Quick trivia question -- who is the big leagues' active leader in strikeouts?

It may take you a while to come up with Marlins right-hander Javier Vazquez (well, unless you saw the headline and the picture), whose 2,462 are more than Tim Wakefield (2,121), CC Sabathia (1,949), Kevin Millwood (1,940) and Livan Hernandez (1,918). 

That may not be the answer next season, though.

Vazquez tells Manny Navarro of the Miami Herald that this may be his last season in the big leagues.

"I know what I want to do already. I've talked to my family about that and basically this could be my last year," Vazquez said. "This could be it for me. The hunger is still there. But I think God puts my priorities in order. Baseball is probably third right now."

Vazquez signed a one-year deal worth $7 million before the season, his 14th in the big leagues. This season stared out terribly for Vazquez, who gave up seven runs in 2 1/3 innings in his first outing of the season and had a 7.55 ERA through his first eight starts of the season. However, in his last eight starts, he's 4-2 with a 2.13 ERA and the Marlins are 6-2 in those starts.

While Vazquez could certainly help a team next year, he said he's more interested in his three children, ages 8, 6 and 3.

"He's still got good stuff in the tank," catcher John Buck told Navarro. "But unless his son asks him to play another year, he probably will just go home to be with his family."

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Posted on: August 1, 2011 11:04 am
Edited on: August 1, 2011 2:02 pm
 

Players of the Month: Pedroia, Sabathia victors

Sabathia

By Evan Brunell


Now that the trade deadline has passed, July is in the books. That means it's time to take a look at the best hitter and pitcher of the month as voted by CBSSports.com experts. The voting wasn't close, with the batter of the month in Dustin Pedroia and pitcher of the month in CC Sabathia walking away with five of six possible votes each.

July's Best
Expert Batter Pitcher
Knobler Pedroia Sabathia
Miller Pedroia Sabathia
Brunell Pedroia Sabathia
Rosecrans Freeman Sabathia
Snyder Pedroia Holland
Fantasy Pedroia Sabathia

Pedroia was a one-man wrecking crew in July, helping push Boston to a 20-win July, the most in Red Sox franchise history. Pedroia racked up statistics that would make your eyes pop. On the year, he's walking at a rate that's enabled him to post a .406 OBP and is enjoying the best power season of his career outside of last year, which was cut short due to injury. In fact, Pedroia got 2011 off to such a slow start, he was concerned that his foot was the culprit. After getting it checked out and his fears alleviated, Pedroia went off.

In the same division, but roughly 202 miles south, CC Sabathia was busy shutting down opponents left and right as the Yankees continue to hang tough in the AL East. Whether they can continue to do that or not without making a trade-deadline deal remains to be seen. If Sabathia can keep up his dominance that has vaulted him into being a concrete contender for the AL Cy Young, the Yankees may not have needed any upgrades. Sabathia is setting himself up for a nice payday after the year, when he can opt out of his contract. The Yankees will gladly tack on a couple of years the way Sabathia has been going.

Past players of the month: April | May | June

Batter of the Month
Danny Knobler Scott Miller
PedroiaDustin Pedroia, Red Sox
The Red Sox had the best July in their history, at 20-7. I'm not sure Pedroia had the best July in Red Sox history, but he had to be close, with a .411 batting average, and eight home runs, which tied him for second in the majors. And just to make sure he won, he had the go-ahead hit in Boston's win over the White Sox on July 31.
PedroiaDustin Pedroia, Red Sox
I'm a sucker for hitting streaks. Others maybe had gaudier numbers this month, but for Pedroia to bang out that 25-gamer while helping to keep Boston atop the AL East, that's impressive. Especially against great pitching and in the pressure of the AL East.
Evan Brunell C. Trent Rosecrans
PedroiaDustin Pedroia, Red Sox
Pedroia made Ted Williams proud with a .411 batting average to go along with a .723 slugging percentage that even Jose Bautista would be jealous of. After starting the season poorly and expressing concern that a screw in his surgically-repaired right foot was affecting him, Pedroia has been scorching hot. Now, he's making a case to be considered for the AL MVP with a 6.6 Wins Above Replacement (which counts fielding) mark on the season -- Bautista is the only hitter ahead with a 6.8 figure.
FreemanFreddie Freeman, Braves
You could pick one of three Red Sox players who had a fantastic month -- Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury and Adrian Gonzalez were all worthy, but they almost cancel each other out. Instead of being one of many on a team having a great July, the Braves rookie stepped it up when his teammates were falling by the wayside. This month alone, the Braves put Chipper Jones, Brian McCann, Jordan Schafer and Nate McLouth on the DL as Freeman slugged his way to a .362/.433/.600 month. He added six homers and 18 RBI, leading the Braves to a 16-10 record in July.
Matt Snyder Fantasy -- Al Melchior
PedroiaDustin Pedroia, Red Sox
Pedroia got at least one hit in every game but one during the month and 14 times he recorded a multi-hit game. His average jumped almost 40 points, his OPS over 100 and he displayed power and speed -- with eight home runs, 22 RBI and six steals. The guy who was hitting .240 with a .683 OPS at the end of May is a distant memory and Pedroia's climbing back into MVP territory.
PedroiaDustin Pedroia, Red Sox
July was a good month for Fantasy second basemen, with Ben Zobrist, Dan Uggla and Michael Cuddyer and others upping their production, but none was more productive than Pedroia. In fact, Pedroia had the highest value of any player, regardless of position, in both Rotisserie and Head-to-Head formats for the month. With a .411 batting average, in addition to 17 extra-base hits and five stolen bases, there may not have been a more balanced scoring threat in Fantasy than the Laser Show.
Pitcher of the Month
Knobler Miller
SabathiaCC Sabathia, Yankees
You can argue that the Yankees should have traded for a starting pitcher at the deadline. You can't argue that they needed an ace, because Sabathia proved once again that they already have one. He also proved that he deserves a spot in the debate over who is the best pitcher in the game, with a 4-1 record, a 0.92 ERA and 50 strikeouts in 39 innings.
SabathiaCC Sabathia, Yankees
Guy narrowly misses a no-hitter wearing a Yankees uniform, how can you go wrong? Sabathia is rockin' right now: A 0.92 ERA and a 0.79 WHIP in five starts. One game to win as we speak, he's my guy (if, ahem, Verlander isn't available).
Brunell Rosecrans
SabathiaCC Sabathia, Yankees
Sabathia was a beast to reckon with in July, racking up a 4-1 record while posting a miniscule 0.92 ERA, supported by a 2.15 xFIP that ties him for the best mark in baseball in July, along with Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke. Facing the Indians, Rays, Blue Jays and Mariners isn't a creampuff schedule, and he was able to minimize home runs and strand baserunners at a high rate, as well as go deep into games with his 39 innings pitched near the top of the leaderboards.
SabathiaCC Sabathia, Yankees
It's really hard to go anywhere else (perhaps Clayton Kershaw or Daniel Bard), but among those with 20 innings pitched this month, none had a lower ERA (0.92) or more strikeouts (50), and Sabathia also had the second-lowest WHIP (0.79). Here's how good he was -- of his five starts this month, in his worst outing, he went eight innings, allowed five hits and two runs, and struck out eight in a loss to the Rays on July 21.
Snyder Fantasy -- Melchior
HollandDerek Holland, Rangers
I was about to pick CC Sabathia, but note Holland's three shutouts during the month of July, which overwhelmed me. No one had more than one shutout in either April or May. Cliff Lee had three shutouts last month, but he was my pick then and Holland's my pick now. Only Lee and Holland have more than three shutouts this season and only two others -- James Shields and Jason Vargas -- have had three all season. Holland did that in his past five starts.
SabathiaCC Sabathia, Yankees
Sabathia is following in his perennial pattern of heating up in the second half, as he had a scorching-hot July. He led all qualifying starters with a 0.92 ERA and 0.79 WHIP for the month, and not coincidentally, only Greinke had a higher strikeout per nine innings rate. Sabathia also benefited from some apparent good luck, as opponents hit only .218 on balls in play against him (despite mediocre line drive and popup rates), but even so, he helped himself enough to outproduce Kershaw and Verlander.

Danny Knobler and Scott Miller are Senior MLB Writers; Evan Brunell, C. Trent Rosecrans and Matt Snyder are Eye on Baseball Bloggers; Al Melchior is a Fantasy Data Analyst and Scott White is a Fantasy Writer.


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Posted on: July 27, 2011 3:39 pm
 

Yankees have best chance at Ubaldo

By Danny Kobler

Of all the teams that showed interest in Rockies ace Ubaldo Jimenez -- and there were a lot -- the Yankees have the best chance of actually landing him, according to major-league sources.

The Rockies are still telling teams that they don't need to trade Jimenez, who is 27 years old and is signed to a team-friendly contract that could run through 2014. But it's clearer than ever that the Rockies are willing to make a deal, with the Reds and possibly the Red Sox as other teams that match up well enough to get a deal done.

The Rangers showed signficant interest in Jimenez early on, but sources said Wednesday that they were all but out now, in large part because the teams just don't match up on the value placed on prospects. Another impediment to a Rockies-Rangers deal is the lingering frustration over last year's failed talks for Michael Young, but it appears the bigger problem was a lack of a match on prospects.

Rockies general manager Dan O'Dowd said earlier this month that he would require "a Herschel Walker-type deal" to trade Jimenez, but it appears that O'Dowd would be willing to accept something less than that, perhaps along the lines of deals that were made in recent months for Matt GarzaZack Greinke and Cliff Lee.

The Yankees have basically declared top prospect Manuel Banuelos off-limits in talks, but they have enough depth that they could put together an attractive package without him. O'Dowd is said to want three or four players in return for Jimenez, and it's thought that some combination of Jesus Montero, Austin Romine, Dellin Betances, Ivan Nova or Phil Hughes could convince the Rockies to make a deal.

The Reds also have enough prospects to make a trade work, but they have indicated a strong reluctance to deal catcher Devin Mesoraco, the prospect who most interests the Rockies.

Talks with the Red Sox apparently haven't advanced as far, but it's believed that they would need to build a package around pitcher Kyle Weiland.

Other teams that showed early interest in Jimenez include the Tigers and Blue Jays, but the chances of a deal with either of those teams appear far more remote at this point.

The Yankees' pieced-together starting rotation has performed well, but they still don't have a clear No. 2 starter behind ace CC Sabathia. The Yankees have looked at many available starting pitchers, including Hiroki Kuroda of the Dodgers and Wandy Rodriguez of the Astros, but Jimenez is the one guy who could slot in behind Sabathia in their rotation and make them more dangerous in October.

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Posted on: July 26, 2011 9:04 pm
Edited on: July 26, 2011 9:56 pm
 

Sabathia loses perfect game in seventh

By Matt Snyder

The Seattle Mariners have lost 16 straight games, and things weren't exactly going well for much of Tuesday night in the Bronx. CC Sabathia had a perfect game through 6 1/3 innings, until Brendan Ryan collected a base hit. Sabathia had still been utterly dominant against the hapless Seattle offense through seven, as he'd struck out 14 -- including seven straight at one point.

The biggest problem for Sabathia and the Yankees was Mother Nature. A rain delay stopped play with Sabathia on the hill in the top of the sixth. There was a 30-minute delay before play resumed. Sabathia did continue his outing after the rain delay, though we'll never know if that break ruined his rhythm (the seven straight strikeouts streak was broken up by the first hitter after the delay, for example).

A second, 14-minute, rain delay came after the seventh and then Sabathia allowed the first three men he faced in the eighth to reach base. He was then removed in favor of David Robertson.

Sabathia, 31, has 33 career complete games and 12 shutouts, but has never thrown a no-hitter.

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Posted on: July 21, 2011 11:24 am
Edited on: July 21, 2011 11:38 am
 

On Deck: Runs at a premium in Toronto

OD

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Dodging a dozen: Seattle's lost 11 games in a  row, but has shown signs of life in the first two games of the series in Toronto, scoring at least five runs in back-to-back games for the first time since June 2-3. Starter Doug Fister can only dream of that kind of support -- he is getting the worst run support in the majors at 2.03 per game and just one run in total for his last three starts. Overall he's 3-11 with a 3.18 ERA, a better ERA than Michael Pineda, Felix Hernandez, Jon Lester and David Price. His opponent, Ricky Romero owns the same 3.18 ERA, but hasn't gotten much help either. In the 12 of his starts that the team has lost, they've scored 24 runs. In his last start against the Mariners, he threw a five-hit complete game, but lost 3-2. Mariners at Blue Jays, 12:37 p.m. ET (Follow live)

C.J. WilsonJered WeaverAll-Star showdown: The Rangers' 12-game winning streak is over, and now they've got to face manager Ron Washington's choice to start All-Star Game, Angels right-hander Jered Weaver. In Phoenix, Washington said Weaver was one of the most intense competitors he'd ever faced. Not only is he a competitor, he's a heck of a pitcher. Weaver's 12-4 with a 1.90 ERA, the best mark in the majors. As good as he's been this season, he's been even better lately, going 6-0 with a 1.40 ERA in his last 10 outings. The man Washington is putting on the mound today isn't too bad either -- and he was in Phoenix as well -- as C.J. Wilson is 10-3 with a 3.11 ERA. He's 6-0 with a 2.80 ERA in his last 10 starts. Rangers at Angels, 3:35 p.m. ET (Follow live)

CC SabathiaHappy birthday CC: Yankees left-hander CC Sabathia will celebrate his 31st birthday at Tropicana Field on Thursday night. It marks the third time in his career he's started on his birthday, going 0-1 with a 9.35 ERA in 2002 and 2006. But it would be hard to be pitching better than Sabathia has recently, winning his last seven starts with an ERA of 1.68 over that span. In his last five starts, he's allowed just two runs and struck out 50 in 39 2/3 innings. On the other side is Big Game James Shields, who has a streak of his own -- four starts, all losses. Yankees at Rays, 7:10 p.m. ET (Follow live)

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Posted on: July 16, 2011 11:13 am
Edited on: July 16, 2011 11:22 am
 

On Deck: All eyes on Phillips

OD

By Matt Snyder


Saturday brings us the usual full slate of games, which you can follow on CBSSports.com's live scoreboard. The biggest story of the day has to be St. Louis' Public Enemy No. 1.

DatDudeBP vs. Saint Louie: Brandon Phillips is not especially liked in St. Louis, and that's putting it mildly. Last season he called the Cardinals "little bitches" and then incited a brawl when he tapped Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina on the shin guards. This season he's been quiet in terms of not starting any fights, but he found a way Friday night to best the Cardinals with a walk-off homer. Despite being a game under .500, the Reds are only three games out in the dreadful NL Central. The Cardinals are tied for first with the Pirates (feels weird to type, but also kind of cool). The Brewers trail by just a half-game. So the Reds-Cardinals matchup is a big one again Saturday. Chris Carpenter (4-7, 3.85) for the Cards squares off against the Reds' Bronson Arroyo (7-7, 5.58). St. Louis at Cincinnati, 7:10 p.m. ET.

CC looks to turn tide: The Yankees have come out of the break and lost two at Toronto. Meanwhile, the Blue Jays have now won five in a row. It's a trend the Bronx Bombers would certainly love to stop, as they trail the Red Sox by 1 1/2 games in the AL East. Saturday marks a pretty good shot for the Yanks to reverse things, as CC Sabathia (13-4, 2.72) gets the ball. It won't be easy for the New York offense, however, because All-Star Ricky Romero (7-8, 3.09) is the Blue Jays starter. Romero is 1-0 with a 2.08 ERA in two starts this season against the Yankees. New York (AL) at Toronto, 1:07 p.m. ET.

King Felix's tall task: The Mariners were in the thick of the AL West race for a bit. Losing seven games in a row doesn't help, nor does the fact that the Rangers have all of a sudden won nine straight. That means in just over a week's worth of games, the Mariners have fallen all the way down to 9 1/2 games out of first. They were 2 1/2 back before this stretch, which is the kind of thing that effectively moves teams from buyers to sellers in July. Fortunately for Seattle, it sends its best pitcher, Felix Hernandez (8-7, 3.19), to the mound. Unfortunately for Seattle, the opponent is the red-hot Rangers and All-Star pitcher C.J. Wilson (9-3, 3.20). Texas at Seattle, 10:10 p.m. ET.

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Posted on: July 14, 2011 8:34 pm
Edited on: July 15, 2011 12:59 am
 

Colon rocked by Jays

Bartolo Colon

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Has Bartolo Colon's magic worn off?

In his first start of the second half, the Yankee right-hander turned in a stinker, his second in a row. Colon gave up six hits and eight runs -- three earned -- in just 2/3 of an inning against the Blue Jays on Thursday before being replaced by Luis Ayala, who didn't help matters when he balked in a run to give Toronto a 9-0 lead after just one inning.

Colon walked two -- he was averaging just 2.2 per nine innings before Thursday --   and didn't strike out any, throwing 42 pitches to get two outs. Well, actually, he used fewer to get two outs, as seven straight Blue Jays reached with two outs before Colon was lifted.

Several Yankee beat writers speculated on Twitter that Colon could still be dealing with a hamstring injury, something that's not out of the realm of possibility. Colon went on the disabled list last month with a strained left hamstring and didn't look good coming off the mound to try to field two balls hit back at him by Rajai Davis and Yunel Escobar -- not that the 38-year old, 265-pounder (that's his listed weight) ever looks too good coming off the mound.

After the game, Colon told reporters he had no pain, but was tentative on his hamstring.

"I feel good, but sometime I feel a little bit nervous," Colon told reporters through an interpreter, according to the New York Times. "I'm afraid to push."

After coming off the disabled list, Colon pitched six scoreless innings against the Mets on July 2 and then picked up the loss in 5 2/3 innings against the Rays that lifted his ERA from 2.88 to 3.20. Thursday's outing put his ERA at 3.47, with thanks to third baseman Eduardo Nunez's error on J.P. Arencibia's grounder that loaded the bases with two outs.

Now, two bad outings happen -- it's not exactly unheard of for a pitcher to struggle at this point of the season. But Colon wasn't in baseball last season and was 14-21 with a 5.18 ERA over his last four seasons before missing 2010, so it's natural to wonder if he will regress to the mean. The Yankees are covered; Phil Hughes has returned to the rotation (with his rediscovered fastball) and Ivan Nova is in the minors just in case someone else in the rotation goes down.

Even if all Colon does is give the Yankees a great first half (6-4, 3.20 ERA), he will have been one of the best signings of the season. (He signed a minor league contract in January that pays him just $900,000 this season.) For the Yankees, $150,000 a win is like ordering off of the dollar menu. Last year the team paid $1,095,238.10 for each of CC Sabathia's 21 wins and $1,650,00 for each of A.J. Burnett's 10 victories. Between Colon and Freddy Garcia's $1.5 million contract, the Yankees could have appeared on Extreme Couponing with their bargain hunting -- even if they were stocking up on boxed macaroni and cheese to put in the pantry at their beach house.

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Posted on: July 10, 2011 2:42 pm
Edited on: July 10, 2011 7:51 pm
 

Several more All-Star replacements made

By C. Trent Rosecrans and Matt Snyder

David RobertsonPHOENIX -- The revolving door that is the 2011 All-Star Game rosters keeps spinning, as we've got wholesale roster changes to report.

Rays starter David Price is the latest player to pull out of Tuesday's game. He will be replaced by Yankees reliever David Robertson.

Price will be at the game here, but will be inactive for Tuesday's game because of turf toe. Because Price was a manager's selection, American League manager Ron Washington was able to select his replacement.

Alexi OgandoAlso, CC Sabathia was officially removed from the active roster because he started Sunday. His spot goes to the Rangers' Alexi Ogando. Sabathia wasn't an original selection; instead, he was a replacement for the Rays' James Shields, who was also disqualified because he started Sunday -- against Sabathia. Sabathia earned the nod -- which will count on his career ledger as an All-Star selection when Hall of Fame voting comes around -- because he was the next player on the players' ballot.

Likewise, Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander and Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez were also starting Sunday. Both were player elected, so the next two in line were Michael Pineda of the Mariners and Jon Lester of the Red Sox. So they are both All-Stars. Of course, Lester's on the DL, so he is now replaced by Ricky Romero of the Blue Jays

On the National League side of things, Mets' shortstop Jose Reyes is on the disabled list, and his replacement will be Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval. Reyes was voted as the starter at shortstop, so manager Bruce Bochy got to pick the replacement. Phillies third baseman Placido Polanco was elected as the starter at third base. He is injured, and he has been replaced by Diamondbacks catcher Miguel Montero. In turn, Bochy will get to name a starter at third, so it looks as if Sandoval might get the nod there -- though nothing has been made official yet.

Also, Cole Hamels of the Phillies started Sunday, so he is now ineligible to play Tuesday. The next highest vote-getter on the players' ballot is Kevin Correia of the Pirates, so he's in.

Braves closer Craig Kimbrel is also apparently headed to Phoenix, David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes. Kimbrel will be taking the place of the Giants' Matt Cain, who is starting for San Francisco on Sunday night, making him ineligible for Tuesday's game.

If there's any confusion as to why the formality is done to elect players when they can't play (Lester, Sabathia, etc.), it's because of salary bonuses for making the team and also resume-building -- for example, Sabathia's case for the Hall of Fame one day will include number of times he was an All-Star.

Finally, Josh Beckett will be available for the All-Star Game. There had been questions on if he'd go due to a recent, minor injury.

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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