Tag:Ricky Nolasco
Posted on: August 21, 2010 7:11 pm
 

Nolasco may have torn meniscus

Ricky Nolasco The good news?

The Marlins have expressed interest in signing pitcher Ricky Nolasco to a long-term extension.

The bad?

Nolasco will likely be scratched from his scheduled start Sunday and is undergoing tests to see if he has a torn meniscus in his right knee, according to MLB.com. If so, the righty would be out for the season and finish 2010 with a 14-8 record and 4.22 ERA in 155 2/3 innings. Nolasco has been the team's second-best starter right behind Josh Johnson, so losing him for the rest of the year would be a blow as the team scrapes to finish above .500.

If Nolasco does indeed have a torn meniscus, all extension talks would be tabled until he proves his health. At 27, Nolasco has two more years of arbitration to go before becoming a free agent. Making $3.8 million, his price tag figures to rise quickly, even factoring in a torn meniscus.

To replace Nolasco, the team may elect to tab Andrew Miller for a couple of spot starts until Sean West can return from the disabled list. Currently filling in for West is 21-year-old Alejandro Sanabia, who twirled a gem on Thursday.

Miller was a former top prospect included in the Miguel Cabrera swap. The Marlins gave him 187 1/3 innings across the last two seasons but he only managed a 5.43 ERA, whiffing 7.1 batters per nine and walking 4.8. In 18 Triple-A starts, he posted a 6.01 ERA, whiffing seven and walking 6.4 batters per nine.

That is not a recipe for success.

Miller is already in the big leagues, recalled on Thursday to provide bullpen depth, so it would be simple for the team to slot Miller into the rotation. Whether they should is another question entirely.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.
Category: MLB
Posted on: July 27, 2010 12:56 am
 

GMs position themselves with public statements

A few general managers popped their heads out of their war rooms Monday to give impromptu briefings.

When GMs speak publicly this time of year, the general message is almost always the same: "We might do something if it makes sense, but we might not." Which is, of course, saying nothing, but it serves one of two purposes:

1. Telling the fan base not to expect anything, because there's really nothing out there that's good for the team, in order to pre-emptively minimize negative reaction when you don't do anything.

2. Giving the impression that you're doing No. 1 to convince other teams that you really are fine standing pat, in order to spur those other teams to budge on talks that are stuck.

Kenny Williams Kenny Williams had a lengthy conversation with reporters in which the central message was that he's not willing to meet ridiculous demands just to make a trade.

"Prices are still too high as far as I'm concerned," he said. "You know, we have a plan and that plan resulted in this team being constructed the way it is. ... So you have to be cognizant of making a move that is a little too shortsighted and jeopardizes your future"

It's not clear whether there was visible eye-rolling at these statements. Seeing as they were made by the same guy who said the same thing at this time last year, then got Mark Kotsay on the 28th and Padres ace Jake Peavy 23 seconds (literally) before the deadline.

"I can't [lie to] you guys; you've seen it before," Williams said. "If there's an opportunity to do something in a major way that doesn't disrupt what we have and adds to it, we'll take that shot."

Rays vice president Andrew Friedman said he's looking for an "impact player," though he doesn't feel the need is as pressing as it has been the past couple of years.

"So we're working hard not to create the illusion of that player and make sure that it's someone we really want," Friedman said. "And there are guys who fit that description. Hopefully we'll be able to do something that makes us better, but only time will tell."

Marlins president Larry Beinfest said he's going to work on long-term deals with more than one player (a source tells the South Florida Sun-Sentinel that he's talking about Dan Uggla and Ricky Nolasco), and seems ready to accept that even though the Marlins are playing pretty well, there's just too much real estate and too many teams between them and the playoffs to be aggressive.

"If there's something we think makes sense, we'll do it. Are we going to force anything at this point? I wouldn't say so. Are we driven by the need to move money? That's a no," he said. "We're going to open a new ballpark in 18 months and everything we do now is going to be very important as we look forward to opening that building, and we want to be very competitive when we move in there. There may be moves now that may [bear] fruit when we get there into '11 and onto '12, so we're looking at that as well."

-- David Andriesen

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


Posted on: July 20, 2010 1:37 pm
Edited on: July 20, 2010 3:04 pm
 

Trade deadline seller: Florida Marlins

As the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline looms, the CBS Facts & Rumors team will look at the biggest players leading up to the deadline. This week we'll look at the teams who will be talked about the most; next week will be the players who might be moved.

Dan Uggla It's the time of the year where the Marlins get rid of future payroll considerations. The Marlins are only two games below .500 after their current three-game winning streak, but still trail three teams in the NL East and six teams in the wild-card race. Many other organizations may see this as a chance to make a move, but not the Marlins.

Record: 45-47, nine games out of the NL East, three behind third-place Philadelphia and three-and-a-half behind the second-place Mets. Six games back in the wild card.
President of Baseball Operations:  Larry Beinfest
Expectations: None. Really, how many people would notice if the Marlins moved from South Florida? If anything, the Marlins have more of an eye on 2012 when their new stadium opens.
Payroll status: The Marlins had an opening day payroll of more than $47 million, but just $18.75 million tied up in 2011.

What they have to offer

Dan Uggla (.277/.364/.467) is a free agent after the 2011 season, but the Marlins know they can get more for him now rather than next July. He's been mentioned as a match for the Rockies -- and he'd do great at Coors Field, but the Marlins may need to hang on to him…. he's no prize defensively, but he can flat rake.

It also makes financial sense for the Marlins to hold on to Uggla. The Marlins are the only team in the majors with a salary floor, because of an agreement they reached without the players union in January. Josh Johnson is slated to make $7.5 million in 2011 and with another chunk of money going to Uggla -- who is making $7.8 this season and is arbitration eligible -- the Marlins could satisfy their part of the agreement with the union without overpaying for a player on the free-agent market.

That could be bad news for not only the Rockies, but also the Tigers, Red Sox, Yankees, Rangers, Braves and Phillies, who have been rumored to have interest in Uggla. He will likely get dealt by the deadline -- next year's deadline.

So who may get dealt?

Jorge Cantu (.261/.311/.417) has cooled since his white-hot start to the season, but is still a proven RBI producer, Cantu has 53 RBI so far this season. He's played third and first base this year, but is a better fit for an American League team looking for help at the DH spot. A free agent after the season and owed the rest of his $6 million salary for 2010, he could be a bargain for teams -- like the Angels or White Sox -- not looking to spend what it takes for a guy like Adam Dunn or Derrek Lee. He'd also be a nice piece for the Yankees and could certainly provide some pop off the bench.

Wes Helms (.241/.296/.388) is an option for teams wanting some of what Cantu provides without the price tag. Helms is making less than $1 million this year and is a free agent after the season. He'd be a rental player, but it's cheap rent and won't upset a clubhouse or make anyone nervous about their future with the team. Like Cantu, he can play first, third or DH.

Cody Ross Cody Ross (.280/.332/.408) is one of the more attractive outfielders on the market. He's arbitration eligible at the end of the season and making just $4.45 million this year. He'll get a good raise for 2011. With Chris Coghlan, Cameron Maybin, Logan Morrison and Mike Stanton, the Marlins could part with the 29-year old Ross. The Red Sox and Yankees reportedly have had preliminary discussions with the Marlins about Ross. The Braves are also interested.

Leo Nunez (3-2, 2.79 ERA, 22 saves) is attractive to any team looking for relief pitching, which is basically any team that considers itself still in the race. Relief pitching is scarce and expensive near the deadline, which makes Nunez more valuable. He's making just $2 million this year and is arbitration eligible after the season.

Ricky Nolasco (9-7, 4.66) is under team control for two more seasons, which makes him attractive to both the Marlins and suitors. He's making $3.8 million this season and is eligible for arbitration. He's been decent, but should receive a budget-busting raise in the offseason. Some reports have said he's available and others say the Marlins want to keep him.

Nate Robertson (6-7, 5.10) is a free agent after the season, but he's very cheap for the Marlins, despite his $10 million pricetag for this season. The Tigers are paying $9.6 million of his salary.

What they want in return?

The Marlins feel pretty good about their future outfield, with Stanton, Maybin and Morrison and if Ross is moved, expect Coghlan to move to third base. Rookie first baseman Gabby Sanchez is playing well and the shortstop spot is more than ably handled, so the team will likely be looking for arms in return or maybe a catching prospect -- really, not that much different than what every team wants.

Predictions:
Uggla stays put and Helms is dealt to the Yankees. Cantu's name pops up a couple of places, but he's not moved. The asking price is too high for Ross and the team is stuck with him.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

More trade deadline chatter -- Buyers: New York Yankees

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


Posted on: July 4, 2010 6:00 pm
 

Marlins beginning to think about selling

Dan Uggla The Florida Marlins are slipping out of contention and may be making some players available. Joe Frisaro of MLB.com notes that except for Hanley Ramirez and Josh Johnson, any player who is eligible for arbitration and free agency can be available.

Frisaro notes that such players include Jorge Cantu, Ricky Nolasco, Cody Ross and Dan Uggla.

Cantu, who nailed 100 RBI exactly last year, is a free agent after the season who can play first and third. He's hitting .265/.318/.434 on the year and could grab the attention of the Texas Rangers. A Type B free agent, Cantu would give the Rangers a compensatory draft pick if he left via free agency -- but only if Texas offered arbitration. Unless Cantu picks it back up to the 25-home run power he once displayed, however, the Rangers would certainly pass as he could command over $10 million in arbitration.

Nolasco is just 27 and has been unlucky for the second year in a row, flashing an ERA around 5 when his peripherals indicate that his ERA should be a full run lower, if not more. The Marlins certainly know this and won't be giving Nolasco away for pennies on the dollar -- teams will have to pay for how well Nolasco has pitched, not how well his games have turned out. For this reason, it's unlikely that any team will match up with Florida. Nolasco has one year of arbitration left.

Ross is an intriguing bat who is serviceable against right-handers and completely annilihates lefties. Boston has been linked to him for quite a while now, but many teams would love to have Ross start or in a luxurious position as a fourth outfielder. He has an extra year of arbitration before he can become a free agent. Even though the Red Sox have been linked to Ross before, it's unclear if there is a fit -- Darnell McDonald can be considered a poor man's Cody Ross and despite the tattered outfield, Boston has more pressing needs.

Dan Uggla (pictured), making $8 million in his final year of free agency, could be attractive to teams in need of a second- or third-baseman. That means Boston, Colorado and Philadelphia will inevitably be linked to the two. Of the three, the Phillies make the most sense because they have the longest-term need (Chase Utley will miss all of July and August at the very least) and the most money available what with Boston bumping up against the luxury tax. Other teams in need of a bat, such as the Rangers, will certainly inquire.

The best thing for all teams with multiple needs is for Florida to continue falling out of contention. The Marlins would then enter a semi-rebuilding phase and there would be plenty available to suit near every team's need. In addition to the four names above, Frisaro notes that pinch-hitter Wes Helms and back-of-the-rotation starter Nate Robertson would be available. There are certainly other candidates to be moved as well. Despite a tattered bullpen, closer Leo Nunez and relievers Clay Hensley and Brian Sanches would draw interest.

-- Evan Brunell

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

Posted on: June 22, 2010 11:45 am
Edited on: June 22, 2010 11:54 am
 

Top 10 candidates to throw a no-hitter

Dallas Braden It's safe to say that baseball is entering an era of pitching. In a span of 23 days, three perfect games were thrown (one unofficial, but in this man's eye, Armando Galarraga had a perfect game) and young pitching has been exploding in quantity and quality as of late.

CBS Sports will attempt to explain why pitchers have the advantage over hitters these days with Scott Miller checking in this afternoon. Danny Knobler will look at the Mets' pitching history as one of three teams without a no-hitter to their name. As a warmup, let's take a look at 10 candidates who have a chance to throw a no-hitter or perfect game, whether this year or down the road.

It should go without saying that it's near fool-hardy to predict who will throw a no-hitter. After all, who could have predicted Galarraga's success, or that of Dallas Braden, who notched the first perfecto of the year? Only Roy Halladay's gem could have been foreseen while Mark Buehrle cofounds logic with both a no-hitter (2007) and perfect game (2009) to his name.

With that caveat in mind, there are four attributes that lend themselves to greater odds for a no-hitter: strikeouts, walks, groundballs and defense. The best way to keep batters off the bases, quite logically, is to strike them out. This is balanced by a need to stay strong for the whole nine innings but is nullified due to the fact anyone with a no-hitter through six innings will stay on the mound until the end.

While walks are allowed in a no-hitter, those with shaky command are more prone to giving up hits, plus their odds for perfect games collapse. Last is something out of the hurler's control, which is defense. A pitcher must have strong defense behind him to make the sparkling defensive plays that are a staple of every no-hitter. Just ask Buerhle how good a defender Dewayne Wise is, or take a look at Austin Jackson's amazing warning-track catch that preserved -- at least at the moment -- Galarraga's bid. As for groundballs, if you can't strike 'em out, the next best thing is to induce a chopper that an infielder can flip to first for an out.

Defensive proficiency will be measured in UZR/150 (click here for an explanation of the statistic) -- but keep in mind that defense should only be considered for the 2010 season. Changes in defensive quality occur from year to year. Excluded from this list (sorry, Jon Lester and Ubaldo Jimenez) are those that already have no-hitters and perfect games on their resume -- a good amount of these players like the ones that received an apology also have high odds to add another to their resume.

Without further ado, your candidates with statistics through Tuesday, June 22:

Mat Latos RHP Mat Latos , San Diego Padres
2010: 7-4, 3.13 ERA, 79 IP, 8.1 K/9, 2.4 BB/9, 45.6 GB percentage, Team UZR/150 of 10.4

Latos is blessed with the league's best defense and plays in one of the most extreme pitcher's parks to boot. In his first full season, Latos has shown he's already among the better young pitchers in the game. He has already come close to a no-hitter, giving up one hit -- an infield single -- in a complete-game shutout of the Giants on May 13. He walked none and whiffed six.

Brandon Morrow RHP Brandon Morrow , Toronto Blue Jays
2010: 4-5, 4.97 ERA, 76 IP, 9.95 K/9, 4.86 BB/9, 40.8 GB percentage, Team UZR/150 of -4.5

Morrow has some endurance concerns to work with and he's not exactly a control pitcher as evidenced by his average of almost five walks per game. However, he has electric stuff and certainly could have a no-hitter in his grasp. On a good day or as he matures as a pitcher, a perfect game is feasible. He's already sacrificed a bit of velocity and strikeout ability to tamp down the walks, a large reason why his ERA has dropped almost two full points since May 10.

Dan Haren RHP Dan Haren , Arizona Diamondbacks
2010: 7-5, 4.71 ERA, 101 1/3 IP, 8.97 K/9, 1.78 BB/9, 42.8 GB percentage, Team UZR/150 of 6.7

Haren may not have the ERA (4.71), but his xFIP of 3.43 shows that he's been rather unlucky on the year. Haren is one of the best pitchers in the game and turned in 229 1/3 innings of 3.14-ERA ball in 2009, so not only can he produce, he can do it while going deep into games. His command is simply fantastic, and any time he toes the mound at a park not named Chase Field, he's got a great chance at a no-hitter. (Haren was a subject of CBS' Sports Fantasy Baseball podcast Tuesday, give it a listen here .)

Ricky Nolasco RHP Ricky Nolasco , Florida Marlins
2010: 5-6, 4.90 ERA, 82 2/3 IP, 6.53 K/9, 1.85 BB/9, 38.5 GB percentage, Team UZR/150 of -1.6

Nolasco has somehow lost three strikeouts per nine innings off his game, but if he reclaims it, should combine stingy command with his gas to rank as one of the league's best pitchers year in and year out. He has strung together two impressive seasons prior to 2010. Working against him is his groundball percentage and a home park with a big outfield.

Hiroki Kuroda RHP Hiroki Kuroda , Los Angeles Dodgers
2010: 6-5, 3.06 ERA, 88 1/3 IP, 7.13 K/9, 2.45 BB/9, 53.5 GB percentage, Team UZR/150 of -9.4

Surprised to see Kuroda on the list? Don't be. The 35-year-old combines a strong strikeout rate, walk rate and groundball rate into someone who keeps runners off bases and doesn't give up too many extra-base hits. While the team is a sieve on defense (the UZR/150 mark is the worst in the majors), most of the damage comes from the outfield.

Jered Weaver RHP Jered Weaver , Los Angeles Angels
2010: 7-3, 3.04 ERA, 94 2/3 IP, 10.7 K/9, 2.19 BB/9, 37.2 GB percentage, Team UZR/150 of -7.2

Weaver doesn't have the defense behind him but if he keeps up his newfound two-seamer and ascension into the ranks of the pitching elite, he'll sniff a no-hitter before his career is over. The 27-year-old is breaking out, but the one negative is he has yet to go further than 7 1/3 inning on the season. On the bright side, he has four career complete games (two shutouts), all of which were registered in 2009.

Adam Wainwright RHP Adam Wainwright , St. Louis Cardinals
2010: 10-4, 2.23 ERA, 109 IP, 8.34 K/9, 2.39 BB/9, 52.3 GB percentage, Team UZR/150 of 2.5

Wainwright is a horse's horse and misses a lot of bats. His curveball -- as Carlos Beltran can attest to -- could be his money pitch, which would cause plenty of strikeouts and groundballs. He gave up just two hits and one walk (eight punchouts) in a complete-game victory over the Brewers on June 4.

Cliff Lee LHP Cliff Lee , Seattle Mariners
2010: 5-3 2.55 ERA, 77 2/3 IP, 7.76 K/9, 0.46 BB/9, 43.2 GB percentage, Team UZR/150 of 1.4

Cliff Lee is having a season for the ages with an obscene 16.75 K/BB ratio. All batters can do is hope against hope they can put the bat on the ball and it somehow finds a green patch of grass. He may not whiff as many as others on this list, but he doesn't have to when he simply doesn't give up a free pass unless the manager wiggles four fingers at him. He pitches in a pitcher's park with a strong defense behind him as well.

Stephen Strasburg RHP Stephen Strasburg , Washington Nationals
2010: 2-0, 1.86 ERA, 19 1/3 IP, 14.90 K/9, 2.33 BB/9, 44.1 GB percentage, Team UZR/150 of 1.6

It's not often that someone with three career starts to his name lands on a list such as this, but Strasburg isn't your usual pitcher. He combines filthy stuff with pinpoint control and keeps setting strikeout records. Not only is Strasburg a candidate for a no-hitter or perfect game, but it wouldn't be shocking if he racked up multiple no-hitters. Nolan Ryan holds the MLB record with seven total no-hitters, and it's not out of the realm of possibility Strasburg could match Ryan provided Strasburg pitches for many years to come.

Tim Lincecum RHP Tim Lincecum , San Francisco Giants
2010: 7-2, 3.11 ERA, 92 2/3 IP, 10.29 K/9, 3.59 BB/9, 48.9 GB percentage, Team UZR/150 of 8.4

Lincecum is the reigning back-to-back Cy Young victor and at age 26, is just getting started. He's giving up a few more walks than normal, but also leads baseball in whiffs per nine innings. On July 27, 2009, Lincecum whiffed 15 Pirates in a complete game effort. He coughed up three walks and four hits in that outing. The closest he has come to a no-hitter was June 29 of the same year when he gave up two hits to the Cardinals, but shut them out on eight punchouts and no walks.

-- Evan Brunell

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

 
 
 
 
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