Tag:John Danks
Posted on: March 13, 2011 11:12 pm
 

3 up, 3 down for 3/12: Mo of the same

Mariano RiveraBy C. Trent Rosecrans

3 UP

1. Mariano Rivera, Yankees -- In his spring debut, Rivera struck out all three batters he faced -- the Twins' Jason Kubel, Matt Brown and Luke Hughes. Rivera got to spring training late because of his family's bout with the flu. The 41-year old is expected to pitch against on either Wednesday or Thursday.

2. Chipper Jones, Braves -- Jones went 2 for 3 with a two-run homer against the Astros and is now hitting .353/.421/.647 this spring. Not too bad for a guy many expected to be sitting at home this spring instead of coming back for another season with the Braves.

3. Danks brothers, White Sox -- Chicago starter John Danks allowed just one hit in five innings against the Dodgers on Sunday, while his younger brother Jordan was 2 for 5 with a grand slam in a "B" game against Cleveland. 

3 DOWN

1. Jaime Garcia, Cardinals -- Garcia was perfect in his first two innings on Sunday, but then gave up four runs in his third, three earned. Garcia's struggled this spring. In his three starts, he's pitched nine innings, allowed 18 hits, 10 earned runs, walked four and struck out four.

2. Joe Nathan, Twins -- Coming back from Tommy John surgery, Nathan hadn't given up a hit or a run in his first four one-inning appearances of the spring. Sunday, he made up for lost time, getting just one out and allowing six runs. He allowed five hits and one walk and a three-run homer by Delmon Young. He did say his elbow felt fine afterward.

3. Tommy Hunter, Rangers -- Fighting for a spot in the Rangers' rotation, Hunter has struggled all spring. It wasn't any better on Sunday, as he allowed seven runs on nine hits and 3 2/3 innings against the Giants. After his outing, Hunter put it plainly: "This spring stinks."

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Posted on: March 4, 2011 7:21 pm
Edited on: March 4, 2011 9:00 pm
 

3 up, 3 down: Jon Daniels' best, worst moves

DanielsBy Evan Brunell

The Rangers have handed GM Jon Daniels a four-year extension, rewarding the 33-year-old for steering the club to its first-ever AL pennant in 2010. For all of Daniels' talents, however, he's made quite a few missteps along the way. Here's a look back at Daniels' three best and worst moves as Rangers GM...

3 UP

1. The Teix Heist

The reason the Rangers made the World Series is thanks to the trade that sent Mark Teixeira to the Atlanta Braves. Consummated at the trade deadline of 2007, this deal represented the first time Daniels was trading away a major piece of a team and he needed to hit a home run.

He did. By dealing Teix and left-handed reliever Ron Mahay, Daniels hauled in catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, shortstop Elvis Andrus, pitchers Neftali Feliz, Matt Harrison and Beau Jones. The fact Salty stalled in Texas is concerning, but many viewed the backstop at the time as one of the elite young catchers in the game. Andrus would go on to blossom as Texas' starting shortstop while Feliz won the AL Rookie of the Year Award with 40 saves last season and is currently shifting to the rotation. Harrison is a young lefty who is battling for a rotation spot himself, while Jones is the one non-entity.

This deal will continue to pay dividends over time, as Andrus and Feliz will be in town for years to come while Harrison is valuable depth. Saltalamacchia's career is not yet over as he is slated to start in Boston, and the jury is out on Daniels' return for Salty in three minor leaguers.

2. Game Over

Daniels made another significant trade the day of the 2007 trade deadline when he dealt "Game Over" Eric Gagne and cash to the Red Sox for Kason Gabbard, David Murphy and Engel Beltre.

Gagne was impressive in his first season as an ex-Dodger and after missing the bulk of the 2006 season. He wasn't the lockdown closer of old, but looked as if he could be a quality part of the bullpen. Except as Red Sox fans know, he completely imploded and while he walked away with a World Series trade, he will forever be known as Gag-me in Boston. (For some reason, there are over 11,000 views of a video I took recording Gagne's Red Sox debut.) His saving grace in Boston was as a Type-B free agent, and the Red Sox would later trade the player they drafted with the compensatory pick to Cleveland as part of the Victor Martinez deal.

Meanwhile, David Murphy is one of the more valuable fourth outfielders in the game and would be a starter for many other teams. Beltre has his makeup questions but is developing nicely as Texas' center fielder of the future. Gabbard flamed out, but at the time was a possible back-of-the-rotation starter.

3. Draft Bonanza

A major reason why Daniels has stayed viable as GM of the Rangers is his drafting history. Of course, major credit goes to the people working under him that are in charge of the draft, but Daniels deserves credit for putting these people in those roles as well as having a hand in the drafting and development of these players.

His first draft pick, Kasey Kiker, has yet to develop significantly but is just 22 and does hold some promise. However, his following two have had major league time already: power-hitting Chris Davis who has unfortunately failed time and time again to lock down a starting spot in Texas and Danny Herrera, who is a member of the Reds bullpen currently and was used to get Josh Hamilton. Michael Main was used to get Bengie Molina, while Blake Beavan and Justin Smoak were packaged for Cliff Lee

Tommy Hunter was a viable member of the rotation last season and could have a nice career as a back-of-the-rotation pitcher, while Julio Borbon is prepared to start in center field. Tanner Scheppers ranked No. 77 on CBSSports.com's Top 100 Prospects and  may have ranked higher if he was clearly going to be a starter. The club also came away with an impressive haul in the 2010 draft.

Honorable Mention: One would expect the deal bringing in Josh Hamilton to be one of Daniels' better deals, but it's hard to justify that as one of his best deals simply by virtue of giving up Edinson Volquez. There's no denying Hamilton's talent -- after all, he won the AL MVP award -- but Volquez has turned out pretty well for himself. There's a similar case to be made for the trade that imported Carlos Lee and Nelson Cruz from Milwaukee in exchange for Laynce Nix, Kevin Mench, Francisco Cordero and Juan Cordero, so the honorable mention goes to signing Colby Lewis to a two-year deal prior to the 2010 season. Lewis was an utter failure stateside before heading to Japan and discovering his talent. Daniels didn't hesitate to bring in Lewis, and all he did was become the Rangers' best right-handed starter in the team's run to the AL pennant.

3 DOWN

1. The Young and Heartless

In March of 2007, Daniels signed shortstop Michael Young to a five-year, $80 million extension, a contract that was strange at the time and now has snowballed. Two seasons later, Daniels bumped Young to third base in a contentious move to free up short for Elvis Andrus. Young's bat has continued to be solid, but he remained a defensive liability at third and in a much-publicized spat, is now headed to DH and first base after demanding a trade. However, thanks to Young's contract, it will be difficult to move him.

Daniels certainly shouldn't have signed Young to this deal, but that's not why this ranks as one of his three worst moves as GM. While there's a lot of "he-said, he-said" going on by both sides, the fact remains that Young is not very keen on speaking to Daniels and feels "misled." Whether or not you believe Daniels or Young (or think the true answer is somewhere in-between), Daniels should have done a far better job managing the crisis as this has become a nightmare, both in terms of Young's trade value and in public relations. Heck, it even made a three-year-old kid very upset.

2. A-Gone

It's hard to fault Jon Daniels for trading away Adrian Gonzalez as he needed pitching and had Mark Teixeira at first. But goodness, couldn't he have done better? In his second significant trade of his GM career -- the first was also pretty bad -- Daniels shipped away someone who would become one of the best first-basemen in the game in short order in Gonzalez to the Padres along with Chris Young, who fashioned a nice run for himself in the rotation for San Diego. Terrmel Sledge was a throw-in to get Adam Eaton, Akinori Otsuka and Billy Killian in return.

Eaton was a disaster, making just 13 starts and moving onto the Phillies where he was even worse, while Otsuka became the Rangers' closer but fell to injury in 2007 at age 35 and has not returned to the majors since. Killian is now in independent baseball.

Hey, every GM has trades they regret. It's part of life. But this is one regrettable trade that makes one really cringe looking back on it.

3. A-Rod to Soriano to Nothing

OK, so Daniels wasn't responsible for the initial trade of Alex Rodriguez, but he certainly was responsible for turning Rodriguez's return in Alfonso Soriano into something. Unfortunately, his first major trade was a flop when he shipped Soriano to the Washington Nationals for Brad Wilkerson, Armando Galarraga and Terrmel Sledge. Sledge would be shipped in another terrible deal a month later in the Adrian Gonzalez deal, while Wilkerson couldn't arrest the decline he began in his final season for the Nats in '06. He did not top 350 at-bats in the two seasons he was a Ranger.

While Galarraga was and still is nothing to write home about, he chewed up almost 500 innings for the Tigers after the Rangers essentially gave him away, predominantly as a starter the last three seasons -- and of course, as the architect of the 28-out perfect game. He is now a Diamondback and expected to serve in the back of the rotation. These types of pitchers are far from sexy and you can't blame Daniels for tossing Galarraga in the deal, but it only serves to make this deal look even worse given he got absolutely nothing of value for Soriano, which in turn meant the team got nothing for A-Rod.

In Daniels' defense, he was handicapped by Soriano entering the final year of his deal, but Daniels should have looked for prospects in any deal, not an outfielder on the decline, a pitcher he would give away a couple years later and a bit piece that would go on to become part of Daniels' worst trade to date.

Dishonorable Mention: Not to pile on Daniels, who has turned into a very fine GM, but just like he has plenty of candidates for honorable mention, he has candidates for this category as well. Signing Kevin Millwood to a five-year, $60 million deal was head-scratching at the time and he stumbled badly on December 23, 2006 when he dealt away John Danks, Nick Masset and Jacob Rasner to the White Sox for Brandon McCarthy and David Paisano. Danks and McCarthy were two highly-regarded prospects at the time, but Danks is the one that blossomed, while Masset would go on to bust out himself as an important part of the Reds bullpen.

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Posted on: November 17, 2010 7:39 pm
 

Sale preparing to join White Sox rotation

Chris Sale Chris Sale went from Florida Gulf Coast University to the big leagues in the same season, coming up as a reliever for the White Sox in August after being drafted with the 13th overall pick in June's draft.

He's now looking at making the White Sox rotation next season.

"I feel strong enough to do this," Sale told the Chicago Tribune 's Mark Gonzales on Wednesday. "I shouldn't have to gain 30 pounds."

Gonzales writes that Sale has started a conditioning program to help his stamina and strengthen his legs. The left-hander is 6-foot-6 and 175 pounds, but says he doesn't want to feel like he has to put on much weight to start every dive days.

"I'm not going to get caught up on how big I can get," Sale said. "I want to make sure I'm in shape to start by the start of spring training."

Sale threw 103 innings in college in 2010 and 33 2/3 as a pro in the minors and majors last season.

The White Sox, though, aren't yet set on starting Sale next season.

"Whatever Kenny [Williams] wants to do, we'll do," pitching coach Don Cooper told the newspaper.

Jake Peavy isn't expected to begin the season in the rotation, but the White Sox already have Mark Buehrle, John Danks, Edwin Jackson and Gavin Floyd ready for 2011, and Sale could be the fifth member of the rotation.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: October 14, 2010 5:31 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 11:25 am
 

R.I.P White Sox: Never a dull moment

As the sports world waits for the crowning of a champion, 22 other teams are busy preparing for spring training. What went wrong for these teams, and what does 2011 hold? MLB Facts and Rumors here at CBS Sports will be answering those questions through all of October. Now: the Chicago White Sox.

There's one thing about these Chicago White Sox, they're never dull. And that was the case again in 2010 as Kenny Williams and Ozzie Guillen had their own reality show and provided more than enough fodder in an ultimately unsuccessful season.

WHAT WENT WRONG

Jake Peavy The vaunted White Sox rotation never quite lived up to its billing -- Jake Peavy (pictured, left) had his search cut in half with injury, and even before that he was medicore, going 7-6 with a 4.63 ERA. Mark Buehrle, John Danks and Gavin Floyd were merely slightly above average.

The team's hole at designated hitter was only magnified by watching their old flame -- the one they dumped -- marry up, as Jim Thome not only hit 25 homers, but he did it for the division-winning Twins. And then there's Manny Ramirez ... but that's an old story.

WHAT WENT RIGHT

The White Sox went on one of the longest hot streaks of the season, a stretch of 25 victories in 30 games to erase Minnesota's 9 1/2-game lead. But after that, the team just couldn't keep it going and saw its own lead in the division disappear.

Paul Konerko (pictured, below) had a fabulous season, hitting .312/.393/.584 with 39 homers and 111 RBI. (If you're talking about Konerko, it's good for him this season came in the final year of his contract.)

HELP ON THE WAY

The White Sox got a glimpse of the future at the end of the season. Brent Morel played 24 games and didn't put up the prettiest numbers at the big league level, but he could be the starting third baseman next season.

More impressive was 2010 first-rounder Chris Sale. The organization expects the left-hander to start. As a reliever -- in an attempt to limit his innings -- Sale showed the potential of a future ace. Fresh out of a small college, he wasn't intimidated by big league hitters, appearing in 21 games and amassing just a 1.93 ERA. He struck out 32 batters in 23 1/3 innings and walked 10 with a WHIP of 1.071.

Paul Konerko EXPECTATIONS FOR 2011

Since winning the World Series in 2005, it's been title or bust for Williams and Guillen. That's not going to change now.

SUGGESTIONS FOR 2011

The biggest question for Williams will be if he can afford to keep Konerko, a White Sox mainstay. Konerko had a huge year and is a free agent, but he'll also be 35 on opening day and will command a big price tag, plus a multiyear contract. If you're going to spend that kind of money, why not give Adam Dunn a shot? Or, heck, go for broke (which they've been known to do) and sign both. The team certainly wouldn't lack power with a Konerko-Dunn tandem.

It'll be easy to let Bobby Jenks go, but who to replace him as the club's closer? I like Matt Thornton, but I'm not so sure Williams/Guillen is ready to lean no the lefty and take him out of the set-up role.

2011 PREDICTION

The Magic 8 Ball tells us to ask again later, there's too much time between now and April to know just what the White Sox will look like. This much is sure, the White Sox will be interesting, even if it's just the manager and general manager.

Check out the rest of the R.I.P. reports here.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: September 7, 2010 12:18 am
 

Danks to start on short rest

John Danks With the surging White Sox 3 1/2 games behind the Twins, Chicago isn't taking any chances about winning the Central.

Danks will start on short rest Wednesday against the Tigers, lining him up to pitch during an important three-game set with the Twins September 14-16.

Danks will join Gavin Floyd and Mark Buehrle in doing battle against the Twins. The lefty last pitched Saturday against Boston in a doubleheader in which Floyd pitched the nightcap. Danks hurled 103 pitches over seven innings while Floyd went six innings, tossing 115 pitches.

The number of pitches was a huge factor in determining Danks as the Wednesday starter, amanger Ozzie Guillen mentioned to the Chicago Tribune .

"We're going to watch him very closely," Guillen said of the 25-year-old who has a 3.56 ERA in 27 starts, punching out 140 with a 13-9 mark.

Danks hasn't started on three days rest since beating the Twins in Game 163 of the 2008 season that gave the Pale Hose the division crown. In that game, Danks pitched eight scoreless innings, giving up just two hits while striking out four and walking three. Bobby Jenks then nailed down his 30th save for a 1-0 win on the back of a seventh-inning Jim Thome home run.

-- Evan Brunell

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Category: MLB
Posted on: June 16, 2010 10:01 pm
 

Solid debut for Alvarez

Pedro Alvarez White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen joked that there was so much hype surrounding Pirates prized prospect Pedro Alvarez he might walk the rookie to get to the next hitter.

That didn't happen Wednesday night, but the Alvarez Era got under way with the debut of what some call the best power hitting prospect the Pirates have had since Barry Bonds.

Alvarez didn't collect his first hit in the Pirates' 7-2 loss, but he walked and scored a run, going 0-for-2. He struck out swinging in his first at-bat against John Danks.

The pressure will be high for Alvarez to generate some offense and some buzz for the miserable Pirates, who have lost 10 in a row. But at least he can share the burden with the other young guns that have arrived in Pittsburgh of late. Top pitching prospect Brad Lincoln arrived last week, as did outfielder Jose Tabata. Tabata accounted for the only other Pirates run Wednesday, hitting his first home run in the eighth.

-- David Andriesen

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