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Tag:Colby Lewis
Posted on: August 18, 2011 4:50 pm
 

On Deck: Angels need Weaver to play stopper

On Deck

By Evan Brunell


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WeaverCy Watch
: Jered Weaver allowed eight earned runs his last time out against the Blue Jays in his worst start on the year by far. That shot his ERA up to 2.13 from 1.78 and is quickly losing ground to Justin Verlander in the AL Cy Young Award race. Not only for that race does Weaver need to show up, but the Angels desperately need some help. Los Angeles is taking a five-game losing streak up against six straight for Texas, with Thursday night wrapping up a four-game series that has seen L.A. slip to seven games back. If the Angels want any hope of staying in the AL West race, a win tonight would be a good place to start. Colby Lewis goes for Texas. Rangers vs. Angels, 10:05 p.m. ET

ArizonaPhilliesTop dogs: The Phillies are 8 1/2 up against the Braves, with a 79-42 record good enough for first place in the division and in baseball. It's not as if the Braves are any slouches with 72 wins and the NL Wild Card race in hand, but Arizona is also in first place out in the NL West... with 69 victories. 'Zona goes up against Philadelphia looking to take the rubber game of the series and an outright win in the season series. Ian Kennedy has won seven consecutive starts and is after his 16th victory, which would lead the game. Vance Worley, meanwhile, is hoping to match Kennedy's run as he's won six straight -- but gave up six runs in four innings last time out. Diamondbacks vs. Phillies, 7:05 p.m. ET

MastersonBattling out in the AL Central: This has already become a common refrain and figures to continue being one down the stretch, but there's a good battle set up between AL Central opponents. The Indians, two games behind the Tigers for the division lead, are attempting to fend off the White Sox, who are 3 1/2 behind Detroit. Cleveland has ace Justin Masterson lined up for battle against Phil Humber, who recently became a permanent member of the Sox's five-man rotation after the six-man rotation finally ended when Zach Stewart was moved to the bullpen. This is the rubber game of the three-game series, with eight games to come in September. "I know that every game means a lot because we're playing the White Sox and we're going to play Detroit, but there are so many games left that if we go day-by-day paying attention to that I'm going to get a heart attack," manager Manny Acta told the Associated Press. Indians vs. White Sox, 8:10 p.m. ET

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


Posted on: July 28, 2011 1:28 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Mauer power on display

Mauer

By Evan Brunell


Joe Mauer, Twins: The first home run of the season for Joe Mauer came Wednesday night in the first inning. With two out, he launched a solo home run to right field, a 383-footer. He had a 2-for-4 night with three runs, two RBI and a walk. Now hitting .288/.357/.350, Mauer is heating up, and has been for some time. With this new power, he might be ready to carry Minnesota to a shocking first-place finish. (At six games back, it really might happen.)

Zack Greinke, Brewers: Greinke's appeared in the 3 Down space more than once this season, but we always talked about his astounding strikeout-to-walk rate, now at an impressive 123-21, and said that his ERA -- which was 5.56 four starts ago -- would have to drop. It has, all the way to 4.50, as he's pitched 25 2/3 innings over those starts, giving up four unearned runs and none on Wednesday to the Cubs.

Jacoby Ellsbury, Red Sox: Have you noticed what Ellsbury's up to lately? He's hit eight home runs in his last 17 games and now has 17 on the year, tying him with Adrian Gonzalez for second most on the team. The leader? David Ortiz, who banged his 20th on the night, adding Boston's first grand slam of the year. Ellsbury scored three, drove in two and was 3-for-4 with a walk, pushing his line to .325/.383/.528 on the year. He also stole his 29th stolen base, which is rather low for him but with the added power, the Sox don't mind. Boston's never had a 25 HR/25 SB player, by the way.


James Shields, Rays: We're going to spend this edition of 3 Down yelling at pitchers who made poor starts. Let's kick things off with Shields, who somehow gave up 10 earned runs to the Athletics -- yes, the Oakland Athletics -- in four innings, with his ERA going from 2.53 to 3.03. The A's scored one in the third but it all exploded in the fourth with nine scored, with Hideki Matsui's three-run home run the biggest blow. He walked and struck out two apiece and will now attempt to banish this game from his mind as he tries to stay in the AL Cy Young race.

Bronson Arroyo, Reds: Arroyo hasn't been doing great lately, accentuating Cincinnati's need for starting pitchers that much more acute. Arroyo, usually as steady as they come for over 200 innings and an average ERA of 4.00, has the ERA all the way up to 5.58 after allowing five runs (one unearned) in six innings. Arroyo has been shockingly consistent as to giving up four or five runs over six innings, but he's given up an inordinate amount of home runs this season, giving up his 30th on Wednesday to Lucas Duda. He's usually good for 30 an entire season.

Colby Lewis, Rangers: Lewis wasn't bad like Shields, but he wasn't great either. He danced around danger, giving up eight hits and two walks, allowing four earned runs. He gave up two homers, one each to Mauer and Michael Cuddyer. Lewis has actually been trying to come back from a very up-and-down season, his ERA resting at 5.70 after April, driving it down to 3.48 over the next month, then getting rocked in two starts to send it way back up to 4.97.  And on it went, him working it down to 3.93, before this latest outing has him an even 4.00.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: July 28, 2011 1:28 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Mauer power on display

Mauer

By Evan Brunell


Joe Mauer, Twins: The first home run of the season for Joe Mauer came Wednesday night in the first inning. With two out, he launched a solo home run to right field, a 383-footer. He had a 2-for-4 night with three runs, two RBI and a walk. Now hitting .288/.357/.350, Mauer is heating up, and has been for some time. With this new power, he might be ready to carry Minnesota to a shocking first-place finish. (At six games back, it really might happen.)

Zack Greinke, Brewers: Greinke's appeared in the 3 Down space more than once this season, but we always talked about his astounding strikeout-to-walk rate, now at an impressive 123-21, and said that his ERA -- which was 5.56 four starts ago -- would have to drop. It has, all the way to 4.50, as he's pitched 25 2/3 innings over those starts, giving up four unearned runs and none on Wednesday to the Cubs.

Jacoby Ellsbury, Red Sox: Have you noticed what Ellsbury's up to lately? He's hit eight home runs in his last 17 games and now has 17 on the year, tying him with Adrian Gonzalez for second most on the team. The leader? David Ortiz, who banged his 20th on the night, adding Boston's first grand slam of the year. Ellsbury scored three, drove in two and was 3-for-4 with a walk, pushing his line to .325/.383/.528 on the year. He also stole his 29th stolen base, which is rather low for him but with the added power, the Sox don't mind. Boston's never had a 25 HR/25 SB player, by the way.


James Shields, Rays: We're going to spend this edition of 3 Down yelling at pitchers who made poor starts. Let's kick things off with Shields, who somehow gave up 10 earned runs to the Athletics -- yes, the Oakland Athletics -- in four innings, with his ERA going from 2.53 to 3.03. The A's scored one in the third but it all exploded in the fourth with nine scored, with Hideki Matsui's three-run home run the biggest blow. He walked and struck out two apiece and will now attempt to banish this game from his mind as he tries to stay in the AL Cy Young race.

Bronson Arroyo, Reds: Arroyo hasn't been doing great lately, accentuating Cincinnati's need for starting pitchers that much more acute. Arroyo, usually as steady as they come for over 200 innings and an average ERA of 4.00, has the ERA all the way up to 5.58 after allowing five runs (one unearned) in six innings. Arroyo has been shockingly consistent as to giving up four or five runs over six innings, but he's given up an inordinate amount of home runs this season, giving up his 30th on Wednesday to Lucas Duda. He's usually good for 30 an entire season.

Colby Lewis, Rangers: Lewis wasn't bad like Shields, but he wasn't great either. He danced around danger, giving up eight hits and two walks, allowing four earned runs. He gave up two homers, one each to Mauer and Michael Cuddyer. Lewis has actually been trying to come back from a very up-and-down season, his ERA resting at 5.70 after April, driving it down to 3.48 over the next month, then getting rocked in two starts to send it way back up to 4.97.  And on it went, him working it down to 3.93, before this latest outing has him an even 4.00.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: June 18, 2011 1:45 pm
 

Was Lewis' flip baseball's best play of the year?

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Did Rangers starter Colby Lewis make the play of the year last night?

Here's the GIF (from Jeff Sullivan) of the play where Lewis scoops the ball to Michael Young to get the Braves' Jason Heyward:



We've all seen second basemen make the scoop when there wasn't time to do anything else, but Lewis scooped it at least 40 feet from just inside the runner's lane that starts half-way to first base.

What usually makes a play of the year is not only degree of difficulty, but also originality. There are daily diving catches and weekly home-run robbing catches, that's what makes plays like this unique. 

Here's the official MLB.com video, which doesn't allow for embedding until a few days after the play, that shows multiple angles of the play. 

Add to the fact that Lewis struck out 10 Braves in 6 2/3 to earn the win, it was a heck of a day for the right-hander.

Let's look at some of the other contenders, shall we?

I'd have to go with Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips' between-the-legs barehanded-flip to get the speedy Jason Bourgeois of the Astros. Here's that play:


But I don't know if any play has the degree of difficulty of Indians shortstop's Asdrubal Cabrera's double play on May 20 against the White Sox, changing directions to field the ball after it tips off the pitcher's glove and then go behind the back to start the double play.


What play am I forgetting? What's your play of the year so far?

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Posted on: June 12, 2011 12:42 am
Edited on: June 12, 2011 12:43 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Moustakas cranks first homer

Moustakas

By Evan Brunell

upMike Moustakas, Royals -- The latest Royal phenom banged his first career home run in his second game up; he was hitless in two other at-bats and added a walk. The blast came on a solo shot that pulled the Royals within two of a game they would tie and go on to lose 7-5. He blasted a pitch middle-away over the right-field fence, and Angels right fielder Torii Hunter spoke to the fans and got the ball back for the rookie.

Chase Utley, Phillies -- Utley had a solo home run just like Moustakas, which brought the crowd some measure of relief. Manager Charlie Manuel said recently that he felt Utley was beginning to come out of spring-training mode and was ready to hit. Boom, home run. He was 2 for 5 with a double and four RBI all told, pushing his line to a un-Utley like .252/.341/.394. The Phillies broke open the game late against the Cubs, with Utley's two-run shot capping the 7-1 victory.

Mike Leake, Reds -- In a matchup between Tim Lincecum and Mike Leake, Lincecum will win 4 out of 5 times. Well, this was one of those other times as The Freak imploded and Leake shined against a decrepit Giants lineup by going eight strong with four hits, one walk and eight whiffs. Bad offense or not, stellar outing with 113 pitches, 72 for strikes. Leake's ERA dropped all the way to 4.06 and has earned himself some rope with a second straight strong start.

DownBrandon Morrow, Blue Jays -- Morrow had a very bad day, skittering his ERA up to 5.63 by coughing up nine earned runs in 4 1/3 innings. Yikes. He added four strikeouts against three walks and quite a few Red Sox hitters had banner days. It turned into such a rout, Toronto put backup infielder Mike McCoy into the game to pitch, where he flashed a knuckleball en route to losing 16-4.

Colby Lewis, Rangers -- Lewis lasted much shorter than Morrow, only tossing 1 1/3 innings with 52 pitches allowing six runs, two walks and a whiff. David Bush stifled the Twins offense for 4 2/3 innings before leaving with an injury and was a laugher the entire game. That's two straight bad showings for Lewis. Is he slumping or is something else going on?

Kelly Johnson, Diamondbacks -- Johnson deserves credit for punching in three runs on a double, but he did whiff in the four other at-bats. While striking out is really not any worse than grounding out, that many K's gets your attention. Johnson's hitting a moribund .221/.294/.442 and is trying to find the stroke that fueled his 26-homer season last year. He's been pulling out if it lately and has really been turning on the power but his batting average has gone backwards as of late. A couple lucky breaks, and things could be looking different.

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


Posted on: June 8, 2011 6:13 pm
Edited on: June 8, 2011 8:38 pm
 

Rangers fire hitting coach

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Thad BosleyForget the fact that the Rangers came into Wednesday's game with the fourth-best on-base plus slugging in the majors at .760 or have scored more runs than all but three American League teams. Rangers hitting coach Thad Bosley "has been relieved of his duties," according to a team press release.

Bosley was in his first year as the team's hitting coach, replacing Clint Hurdle, who left to take the manager spot in Pittsburgh.

Bosley will be replaced by Scott Coolbaugh, who was the hitting coach at the team's Triple-A affiliate in Round Rock, Texas.

I'm interested to see where this story goes from here, because it wouldn't seem on-field performance was the problem for Bosley and first-place Rangers.

Here's what Josh Hamilton had to say about the move, via Anthony Andro of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram:

"Thad was a good guy," Hamilton said. "He had a good heart. He just didn't fit with us. He's professional the way he approaches the game and the way he approaches teaching the game. It just didn't mesh with our clubhouse."

Hamilton said the biggest difference in Bosley and the other hitting coaches the Rangers have had was in his style of communication.

"A lot of it was communication," Hamilton said. "There was not a lot there. You'd like to have somebody that knows when to back off, when to approach, gets what they want to get across to you but find out your personality and how to get it across to you. Those things just didn't happen the way it needed to."

A source tells CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler that Bosley's attempts to change Hamilton's approach at the plate played a part in the dismissal.

According to the Dallas Morning News's Evan Grant, it wasn't just Hamilton who had problems with Bosley. From Grant's blog:

The problem, however, may be more over communication than philosophy. While the Rangers last two hitting coaches - Rudy Jaramillo and Hurdle - were eager to communicate with players, Bosley was much more reserved. That quietness could be perceived as being aloof or disconnected.

And there had been some recent confrontations with players. Perhaps the most serious of those was an incident between Bosley and struggling catcher Yorvit Torrealba. According to multiple sources, Torrealba asked in Philadelphia if he could take some extra batting practice swings since pitcher Colby Lewis declined to participate in batting practice on the day he was pitching. It was, according to sources, agreed upon that Torrealba could hit in two different groups. But when he stepped in with the second group, sources said, Bosley told him he was not supposed to take the additional swings. Torrealba then left the field. An argument between the two ensued in the clubhouse.

It was, according to club sources, one of a number of disagreements with other players, ranging from veterans to young players.

Coolbaugh is in his fifth season in the Rangers system. He was drafted by Texas in 1987 out of the University of Texas and played for the Rangers, Padres and Cardinals, as well as teams in Japan in Korea.

Bosley was the A's hitting coach from 1999-2003, serving on the same staff as Rangers manager Ron Washington in Oakland.

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Posted on: May 17, 2011 1:54 am
 

3 up, 3 down: Believe in 'The Hopper'



By Matt Snyder


First things first, big ups to the Cleveland Indians for scoring 19 runs in a game. That's quire impressive. You won't find them included here, because I wanted to spread the love a bit.

Burke Badenhop, Marlins. The unheralded -- yet effective -- middle reliever put himself in the spotlight late Monday night with a bat in his hands. After throwin a scoreless 10th inning, Badenhop was left in to bat with runners on first and second (backup shortstop Ozzie Martinez was available to pinch hit, too). He swung at ball three with a 2-1 count, but worked the count full. On the payoff pitch, Badenhop laced a single to center that plated Mike Stanton for the go-ahead run. The Marlins would hold on, 2-1, despite fellow pitcher Jonathon Niese tripling in the bottom half of the 11th. Needless to say, it was quite the wacky night at Citi Field -- but the end result was the Marlins moving to within a game of the Phillies in the NL East.

Colby Lewis, Rangers. The White Sox were returning home after a successful road trip that saw them win six of their last eight. Manager Ozzie Guillen promised the fans his team would make it up to the fans for having not had home success earlier in the season. Lewis had other ideas, as he spun his first career shutout. He only allowed five hits and a walk while striking out seven.

Rockies' offense. The Rox entered Monday night 9-16 since their 11-2 start. They hadn't won a series since April 26 and were 3-9 in their last 12. And they were facing Tim Lincecum. After being shut down for four innings by Lincecum, the Rockies' bats woke up in a big way. Carlos Gonzalez came through with the big blow -- a three-run home run that drove Lincecum from the game. The final line for the two-time Cy Young winner was: 5 2/3 innings, nine hits, six walks, two home runs (Seth Smith with the other) and seven runs (only three earned). That's gotta build some confidence in the Rockies' clubhouse and could possibly get them right back on track.




Joaquin Benoit, Tigers. Max Scherzer was brilliant again for the Tigers, working seven solid innings against a hot Blue Jays offense and lowering his ERA to 2.81. The game was tied at one entering the eighth, but Benoit pitched the Tigers right out of the game by allowing three runs on four hits. That means he's given up 16 hits and 12 earned runs in his past six outings -- spanning just five innings.

The New York Yankees. With all the soap opera stuff involving Jorge Posada, Derek Jeter, Rafael Soriano and the entire front office, it's getting to be a bit much. Oh, and the Yanks have now lost six games in a row for the first time under Joe Girardi. Monday night, they built a 5-1 lead off Rays' ace David Price only to blow it and lose 6-5. They're now in a virtual tie with the Red Sox and Blue Jays and closer to last place than first.

Orioles' bullpen. Chris Tillman left with a 6-0 lead, but over the following four innings, the Orioles would unsuccessfully use six relievers. Mike Gonzalez gave up four runs (though only one was earned). Jeremy Accardo was charged with two hits and one earned run. Clay Rapada got an out, but walked the only other batter he faced. Jim Johnson allowed three hits and a run in his inning of work. Koji Uehara allowed a hit and walk in his inning, though he did get through it with a zero on the scoreboard. Last, and certainly least, closer Kevin Gregg coughed up the game in the ninth when he walked Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia before Adrian Gonzalez's walk-off two-RBI double.

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Posted on: April 26, 2011 2:30 pm
Edited on: April 26, 2011 4:35 pm
 

Webb's (lack of) velocity a serious issue

By Matt Snyder

In this morning's Pepper , I passed along that Rangers' starting pitcher Brandon Webb threw two perfect innings in extended spring training. At the time, that was all the information that was at my disposal. After reading the report filed by Jason Grey of ESPN.com, there's definite reason to believe Webb isn't anywhere near being ready to return.

The reason is that his fastball is dangerously slow. Meaning, it's a high-school level velocity. He threw 12 fastballs, and Grey had Webb clocked at 84 one time. That was his fastest pitch. Everything else sat between 78-82 mph. Yes, he was throwing a fastball only 78 miles per hour.

For what it's worth, Webb still feels like he's going to get close to where he was before all his arm issues.

"[Pitching coordinator Keith Comstock] feels like there's more clicks in there, and I do too. I feel like there's definitely some more in there. I'm not too far off. 84 is a little low. When I was good I was probably 86-89, topping at 90 or so. If I can get back to 86-88 I think I'll be all right," Webb told Grey. (ESPN Insider )

Webb also told Grey he was "letting it go" and not holding back on his fastballs. So that's definitely a problem.

In terms of getting back to the bigs, the team Webb plays for is as much a problem as his velocity. The Rangers have gotten solid starting pitching, with a 3.56 ERA that ranks them third in starting ERA in the AL. With Colby Lewis and C.J. Wilson firmly entrenched in the rotation, Alexi Ogando and Matt Harrison going lights out, Derek Holland having a decent start and the impending returns of Tommy Hunter and Scott Feldman, there isn't exactly a pressing need for starting pitching. And with the Rangers figuring to be in the thick of the AL West race all season, there's no reason to rush anyone -- and the club certainly won't be throwing anyone out there who can't break 85 with a fastball.

At this point, I'd be shocked to see Webb on the Rangers before August and wouldn't even be surprised if he fails to make it the entire season. It's sad how quickly an arm injury has derailed his once-stellar career, but it appears to be the sobering reality -- no matter how optimistic Webb continues to remain.

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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