Tag:Ivan Rodriguez
Posted on: March 20, 2011 1:53 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 11:48 am
 

Pepper: Collins to dial down intensity

Collins

By Evan Brunell

TIME TO LOOSEN UP: Terry Collins is well aware of his reputation as a no-nonsense manager whose intensity lost the respect of his players when he helmed the Astros and Angels.

However, to hear Collins tell it, he realizes where he went wrong and wants to make changes.

 

"I’ve thought about it a lot," he said. "I took it way too serious. Even though I enjoyed it, I didn’t enjoy it. It was all about the winning, winning, winning, instead of enjoying being around these guys and watching them play, enjoying the experience and the challenge of competing. That’s what I love to do.

"There was that thing that I had to prove something. I still want to prove that we’re good enough, but I don’t think it’s the same type of attitude I had in the past. And with that comes the fact that these guys are human beings, and they need communication."

Collins plans to have the Mets play aggressively, as his Angels did -- which still continues to this day under manager Mike Scioscia. He also places a premium on players aspiring to be great and staying focused, which sounds a lot like the old Collins, but the skipper knows that.

"Hopefully, the energy -- or whatever people want to say, the intenseness that I have -- may work here," Collins said. (New York Times)

 

IZZY COULD SET UP: Jason Isringhausen was once one of the Mets' most heralded pitching prospects before injuries completely wrecked his early years. He was later moved to Oakland and became a closer, famous for his time in St. Louis. Now, after missing most of the last two years, Izzy appears poised to set up closer Francisco Rodriguez back in New York. (New York Post)

IT'LL BE PUDGE: After a brief skirmish among Nationals reporters as to the state of the catching, it appears Ivan Rodriguez will certainly start Opening Day for Washington -- but Wilson Ramos figures to get the bulk of work behind the plate in short order. (Washington Post)

NO MORE GUYS: Five Guys is a weakness of Evan's, and it will no longer taunt him in Nationals Park, as the burger chain has opted not to renew its lease despite being one of the more popular options for customers. (Eater.com)

SILVA'S SPOT IN DANGER: Carlos Silva has had a beyond-awful spring training and although he's slated to take the bump once more next Wednesday, that may not happen. Manager Mike Quade and GM Jim Hendry are expected to sit down and make some touch decisions prior to then. It's entirely feasible that Silva will be put out of the running for the No. 5 starter's spot at that time. (Chicago Sun-Times)

GOOD NEWS FOR BREW CREW: Milwaukee already has enough problems figuring out who will replace Zack Greinke in the rotation, so bad news regarding Shaun Marcum is not ideal. However, the righty believes while he may have to skip a start in spring training, he will be on track for the regular season. (MLB.com)

THE NATURAL: Ken Griffey, Jr.'s talent on the field sometimes evoked comparisons to the immortal Ray Hobbs, but who knew that Griffey had untapped potential? Griffey stopped by the Mariners' broadcast booth for five innings Friday and drew rave reviews. (MLB.com)

BENGIE WANTS TO PLAY: Don't call Bengie Molina retired, brother Jose of the Blue Jays says. Rather, Molina isn't interested in playing unless any contract he signs "shows him sufficient respect." Is it just me, or is an offer to extend your career and haul in at least another half-million plenty of respect to give? (FOX Sports)

INCREMENTAL PROGRESS: The Yankees haven't made formal who the Nos. 4 and 5 starters will be (bank on Ivan Nova and Freddy Garcia) but now we know who is following CC Sabathia on the mound: A.J. Burnett and Phil Hughes, respectively. (New York Post)

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Posted on: February 18, 2011 11:06 am
 

Nats' Riggleman: 'Pudge is our catcher'

Ivan Rodriguez Ivan Rodriguez will be more than a mascot or coach -- he's the Nationals starting catcher, and manager Jim Riggleman made that clear Friday morning.

"Pudge is our catcher," Riggleman said, according to CSNwashington.com . "We're going to go out there, and Pudge is going to continue to lead our ballclub as a leader behind the plate, a good hitter and just a good baseball player. He's got a lot of baseball left, so he's our catcher. And whoever wins that second spot is going to get incorporated into the lineup more and more as we go along."

Rodriguez, 39, hit .266/.294/.347 with four home runs and 49 RBI last season, but hit .296/.325/.389 in the first half, with just one homer. In the second half, he hit .231/.257/.297.

The Nationals have two good, young catching prospects in Wilson Ramos and Jesus Flores. Flores had been the team's starting catcher in 2009 before undergoing shoulder surgery. Flores hasn't played since 2009, but has played in parts of three seasons and is still just 26. He was hitting .301/.371/.505 in 2009 before his injury.

Ramos, acquired last season by the Nationals in the Matt Capps trade, started 15 games for the Nationals last season and hit .269/.296/.404 with a home run.

The two will battle it out for the backup job and the front-runner as the catcher of the future.

"Whether it's Ramos and/or Flores, they're very talented guys," Riggleman said. "We're not going to let them die on the vine. They've got to get playing time. So whichever guy is there, if not both of them, they're going to get playing time and stay sharp. And as the year goes on, probably get a little more playing time."

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: February 17, 2011 3:52 pm
 

I-Rod: I can still play, will help youngsters

Rodriguez

Ivan Rodriguez isn't the MVP catcher that manned home plate for the Rangers way back when, but the future Hall of Famer feels he still has plenty left to give, as he tells the Washington Post.

Even as Rodriguez appears poised to serve as backup catcher to Wilson Ramos and receive less than 400 plate appearances for only the second time in his career (and that was in 2000, when he only played 91 games due to injury), Rodriguez refuses to tab spring training as a competition for the starting job as he enters the final season of his two-year deal signed with Washington.

"That's not my decision. That's [manager Jim Riggleman]'s. The only thing I can tell you is I come here, and my goal is just to win ballgames. My main goal is just to have a good team together, stay positive as a team and contribute my part. I'm feeling great. I still feel like I can play this game for plenty of time. I'm always ready to contribute."

Rodriguez is joined in camp by Ramos, who was acquired in the Matt Capps trade last season and grew up idolizing Rodriguez, along with Jesus Flores, finally healthy after missing most of the last two seasons after impressing in early 2009.

"I'm glad that we have three good catchers on our ball club," Rodriguez said. "You don't find that on a lot of teams, and that's a positive thing about this organization. The catchers that we have, we have myself, and we have two very talented catchers, very young with a lot of talent. It's always nice to have that in an organization."

It's rather refreshing to see someone once at the top of his game accepting that time robs everyone of their abilities. While Rodriguez certainly feels he can play at a high level, he's also not going to go about his business at the expense of others with a long future yet in the game.

"We get along well. They respect me a lot," Rodriguez. I respect them very much. Like I said, it's two guys, Flores and Ramos, we're going to work hard. We're going to work a lot. I'm going to talk to them in spring training. I'm that kind of person. I want other people to do great. I want [Flores] to stay healthy. That's the main thing. The more healthy this ball club is, the better it's going to be. We're going to work together. We're all going to try to do the things that we have to do."

Rodriguez hit .266/.294/.347 over 421 PA last season, which are poor numbers in line with his 2009 season as well, so this could be the new iteration of Rodriguez -- one who can't hit much but still impacts the game on leadership and defense. However, there may be more left in the tank, as Rodriguez was off to a strong start before suffering an injury to his back that caused him to hit just .237/.262/.308 after June.

His poor play at bat along with a desire to play past 2010 caused I-Rod to abandon his focus on cardio and pack on four pounds of muscle which he believes will help him hold up down the stretch as a 39-year-old.

"For me, I still have a lot in my game. I am feeling very good, physically, mentally."

-- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: September 21, 2010 10:05 pm
Edited on: September 21, 2010 10:06 pm
 

Marlins on hunt for No. 1 catcher

Brad Davis The Marlins are dead-set on acquiring a No. 1 catcher in the offseason, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports .

John Baker has missed the majority of the year to injury and recently underwent Tommy John surgery. While Baker's agent said the catcher is "cautiously optimistic" about being ready for spring training, that's no sure thing. In addition, Ronny Paulino is in the doghouse after being suspended for 50 games (eight of which must be served at the beginning of 2011) and Florida is expected to look elsewhere before deciding whether or not to tender the arbitration-eligible Paulino a contract.

Yorvit Torrealba, Bengie Molina and John Buck will be considered for the opening, Jackson reports. Just don't bet on Victor Martinez joining the team -- both due to his subpar defense and large pricetag. Miguel Olivo, an ex-Marlin, could also be a possibility if Colorado doesn't pick up his option.

Other names that popped up were Jason Varitek, David Ross, Matt Treanor (another ex-Marlin) and Rod Barajas, but these players would only play part-time.

That leaves the No. 2 job to be won between Baker, Brad Davis (pictured) and Brett Hayes, with Paulino given the pink slip.

Another possibility to lead the Marlins is Ivan Rodriguez, who led Florida to the 2003 World Series. Although he is under contract with the Nationals for 2011, I-Rod has said he wants to finish his career in Florida, plus the Nats are suddenly deep in young catchers. The Nats and Marlins could link up in a trade, much like when Florida sent outfielder Josh Willingham north prior to the 2009 season.

 -- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: September 11, 2010 2:41 pm
 

Nationals to platoon Ramos, Rodriguez

Ivan Rodriguez The Nationals plan to give Wilson Ramos every chance to see if the youngster can be the catcher of the future.

Ramos, acquired in the trade for closer Matt Capps and considered one of the better young catching prospects in the game, will alternate games with incumbent Ivan Rodriguez (pictured), reports MLB.com's William Ladson .

Rodriguez inked a two-year, $6 million deal in the offseason to serve as Washington's catcher. In 379 plate appearances, Pudge has delivered a .269/.292/.347 mark while Ramos is working on a .275/.310/.450 cumulative line between Minnesota and Washington over 42 PA. In the minors, Ramos was slumping for the Twins' Triple-A affiliate but recovered once he headed to Washington's Triple-A club to hit .316/.341/.494 in 82 plate appearances.

Rodriguez, at this point in his career, is best served as a backup catcher and will likely play in that capacity next season even as he chases 3,000 hits . He is currently 198 away from the benchmark, which is an imposing distance away to be when riding the pine. As a backup, he would need at least two more years to reach the milestone.

What the Ramos/Rodriguez 2011 combo means for Jesus Flores, once thought to be Washington's catcher of the future who has had the past two years derailed by injuries, is anyone's guess.

Washington could theoretically ask Flores to start down in Triple-A to make up for all the at-bats lost over the last two seasons and then go with Ramos/Flores in 2012, which could end up being one of the better catching duos in the league.

-- Evan Brunell

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

Posted on: August 1, 2010 10:28 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 12:28 pm
 

Trade market still open


Adam Dunn Everyone refers to the last day of July as the "trade deadline" even if it's not exactly accurate. It's officially the "non-waiver trade deadline" and that first part may not roll off the tongue, but it's important. It's the reason why one of the most speculated-about players at the deadline, Adam Dunn, told me July 31 "doesn't mean [anything]" to him.

Dunn should know, in the last year of a two-year deal, Dunn's movement will be speculated upon throughout the next month. He also knows from experience, two years ago the Reds traded him to Arizona after the non-waiver trade deadline.

Waivers are certainly a complication, but deals still get done until the end of the month, when a player has to be on the roster to be eligible for the postseason. So how does it work?

First, most teams put most -- if not all -- their players through the waiver process since you don't have to give up a player who is claimed, you can just pull him off waivers.

Unclaimed players can be traded to any team. Claimed players can be kept, traded or just handed over to the claiming team for nothing but salary relief. That's what happened last year when the Blue Jays put him on waivers, the White Sox claimed him and Toronto was happy to shed his remaining five years for $59.7 million on his contract. So, if some team wanted to claim Carlos Zambrano or Kosuke Fukudome or Alfonso Soriano, the Cubs would likely dance for joy. But that's unlikely to happen (even though I would have said the same thing a year ago about Rios).

Now, if just one team claims a player, he can be dealt only to that team. If more than one team claims a player, he can be traded to the team with the worst record in his league that claims him. If no team in the same league claims the player, but more than one team in the other league claims him, he can be traded to the team with the worst record.

So now with the process out of the way, it's good to keep in mind that this isn't an unusual process. Last season Scott Kazmir, Jim Thome, Carl Pavano, Alex Gonzalez, Brad Penny, Aubrey Huff, Billy Wagner, Jon Garland and Ivan Rodriguez. So who could that be this year?

Obviously, Dunn is still out there. He realizes the real trade deadline is at the end of this month, not the beginning. If the Nationals can't agree to an extension, the Nationals need to get something for Dunn. Based on many of the rumors that were out there, it was hardly surprising he wasn't dealt. Nationals GM Mike Rizzo was asking for the moon and nobody was willing to spend the money to get there. White Sox GM Kenny Williams hasn't exactly hidden his desire for Dunn, and a little thing like waivers won't stop him. However, he'll have to hope nearly the rest of the teams pass on the big man, and that's not likely.

The biggest name that could move would be Manny Ramirez. The Dodgers don't know what they're going to get out of him and could shed roughly $7 million. As CBSSports.com senior writer Scott Miller notes , Ramirez has a full no-trade clause, but would likely waive that to go to the American League and DH. If the White Sox can't get Dunn, Ramirez may be a solid backup option -- albeit a bit expensive.

Andy LaRoche Diamondbacks first baseman Adam LaRoche has a mutual option for 2011 that increases to $9.5 million if he's traded, though the buyout remains at $1.5 million. Kelly Johnson may not get through waivers, but could still be traded. He's arbitration eligible after the season.

The Royals would certainly love for another team to take Jose Guillen and what's left of the $12 million salary for this season. Guillen is a free agent after the season.

Mike Lowell is still -- sorta -- with the Red Sox, but would likely sail through waivers because he's owed the remainder of his $12 million salary this season and nobody's quite sure what they'll get out of him.

The reliever market didn't see much action on Saturday, but Toronto's Kevin Gregg, Seattle's David Aardsma and Colorado's Joe Beimel could be moved before the end of this month.

As for starters, Colorado's Aaron Cook is signed for $9.25 million next season with a mutual option of $11 million in 2012 and a $0.5 million buyout. His annual salary increases by $1 million for each season.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: July 22, 2010 1:10 am
 

No Pudge Rodriguez back in Detroit

Ivan Rodriguez Anyone hoping for an Ivan Rodriguez reunion in Detroit shall hope no more as Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports says the Tigers have no interest in any reunion.

That's not because the Tigers are fine at catcher -- they're not. Gerald Laird and Alex Avila are currently in a timeshare -- and not a very good one. Avila is at a .210/295/.318 line through 176 at-bats in his first extended tour of the bigs at age 23. While he still has the potential to emerge into a starting catcher, it's not now.

Laird, on the other hand, is at an eye-gouging .183/.250/251 in 194 at-bats. I-Rod's .673 OPS (and remained cannon of an arm) would be a massive upgrade.

They can't be ruled out for Colorado's Chris Iannetta, although indications point to the Rockies waiting until the offseason to deal the young catcher. There isn't much else on the catcher's market now that Bengie Molina has landed with Laird's former team, the Rangers.

Rodriguez also has a contract through 2011 at an affordable salary, so Washington would likely need a significant offer to move Pudge, the team's starting catcher. Rodriguez can also mentor Jesus Flores when the youngster returns from being hurt, as he constantly has been in his career.

Morosi also notes that the Tigers don't want to bring back Nate Robertson. Robertson was traded from Detroit to Florida in spring training and posted a 5.47 ERA in 100 1/3 innings (and you don't want to see his numbers as of late) -- so the Tigers' lack of interest is no surprise.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.
Category: MLB
Posted on: June 16, 2010 1:42 am
Edited on: June 16, 2010 1:44 am
 

Could Ivan Rodriguez reach 3,000 hits?

Ivan Rodriguez At age 38, Ivan Rodriguez is still going strong.

Most catchers have washed out by this age due to the unrelenting pressure put on the knees of the diamond's captain, but not I-Rod. As a matter of fact, Pudge has his eyes set on 3,000 hits.

"That’s something I definitely think about," Rodriguez said to MLive.com. "I’m just going to take it one at-bat at a time, one game at a time ... and when that moment comes, it’s going to be unbelievable. To reach 3,000 hits in the major leagues is a great accomplishment."

Rodriguez currently has 2,759 hits through Tuesday's game with a .336 batting average (48 hits) over 143 at-bats. That projects out to 164 hits for the season over 490 at-bats. Assuming a regression in batting average -- his career mark is .299 and he has not been over .300 since hitting it on the nose in 2006 -- and playing time (Jesus Flores is due back shortly and will receive ample playing time), he should still finish in the neighborhood of 125 hits. That would place him at 2,836 by season's end.

That's just 164 hits away from 3,000. He'd have to turn in a season of batting .300 in full-time duty in 2011 to attain the record, but even playing part-time, should be on track to nab the milestone in 2012.

Rodriguez's contract runs through next season, so he may have to set the mark with another team. But he's so close, that he's a virtual lock to achieve 3,000 hits. Manager Jim Leyland, for one, thinks he can do it.

"He’s been able to last because he’s kept himself in great shape," Leyland said. "He goes to the gym on the road every day. And when you think of a catcher doing that, it is absolutely amazing."

Rodriguez is already the career hits leader for catchers, miles ahead runners up Ted Simmons, Carlton Fisk, Yogi Berra and Mike Piazza.

Pretty soon, he'll be able to call himself a member of the 3,000-hit club, too.

-- Evan Brunell

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


Category: MLB
 
 
 
 
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