Tag:Tommy Hunter
Posted on: January 17, 2011 5:07 pm
Edited on: January 17, 2011 5:09 pm

Who can win the AL West?

CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler took a look at the Athletics and whether the club can be contenders in the AL West after importing Grant Balfour and Brian Fuentes to bolster the bullpen.

The answer? Oakland is close to contention, but isn't quite there.

A bullpen that ranks as one of the five best entering spring training will pair with a young, dynamic rotation and improved offense with the additions of David DeJesus and Josh Willingham -- even if the offense may still fall short of being taken seriously. Oakland is beginning to emerge as a popular sleeper pick and should be in the thick of the race, but how do the other teams in the division stack up?

Seattle Mariners

BradleyThe Mariners have been quiet this offseason with minimal money to spare. The only significant acquisition the club made was importing Miguel Olivo to catch, although Jack Cust was also added to the team and should get some at-bats at DH.

The Mariners will be banking on bounceback years from Milton Bradley (pictured) and Chone Figgins as well as Erik Bedard staying healthy for a full season out of the rotation. Seattle is in a retooling process with Justin Smoak at first and rookie Dustin Ackley eventually taking over second base. The only chance they have of being relevant in the division late in the year is playing a spoiler role.

Los Angeles Angels

DownsThe Angels' offseason has been nothing short of awful, whiffing on every premier free agent after owner Arte Moreno declared they would be heavy players. Carl Crawford landed in Boston while the club dragged its feet on Adrian Beltre and saw him wind up in Texas. Now, the Angels have a roster eerily similar to the one that finished 80-82.

Oh, excuse me -- they signed lefties Scott Downs (pictured) and Hisanori Takahashi to pitch out of the bullpen. That's not nearly enough to change this team's prognosis as a .500 team. Kendry Morales returning to first base will do a lot, but this is a team on paper that will need a whole lot of luck to hang with Texas and Oakland.

Texas Rangers

BeltreThe reigning AL champions may have lost Cliff Lee, but they made up for it by adding Adrian Beltre to man third. In one fell swoop, they significantly upgraded the infield defense (which the pitchers will certainly appreciate) and ensured their offense wouldn't take a hit with Vladimir Guerrero's foray into free agency. No, Cliff Lee is no longer a Ranger and the rotation looks a bit suspect, but they are still a cut above any other team.

What Texas needs to happen in the rotation is for C.J. Wilson to prove he wasn't a fluke in a successful conversion from reliever, for Tommy Hunter to emerge as an innings-eating stalwart in the middle of the rotation and for Colby Lewis to continue his successful return from Japan. The Rangers need Scott Feldman to bounce back from a 7-11, 5.48 ERA year and return to his 17-8, 4.08 mark from 2009 and for Brandon Webb to finally brush off the injuries that have plagued him the past two seasons in order to round out the rotation.

The Rangers should be able to win the division, but Oakland could push them especially if the Rangers' rotation falls apart. It's difficult to envision the Angels as a factor -- too much has to go right -- and the Mariners aren't close to contending.

-- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: October 30, 2010 11:21 pm

Hunter to start Game 4

Tommy Hunter Tommy Hunter will start Game 4 of the World Series for the Rangers as scheduled, manager Ron Washington said after Saturday's 4-2 victory over the Giants. And even if they'd lost, Washington said Hunter would still have been his man on Sunday.

"Well, as far as I was concerned, Tommy Hunter always had the start tomorrow," Washington said in the postgame news conference. "He will start tomorrow."

Not that Washington was left with much of a choice. While many wanted Cliff Lee to start Game 4 on short rest, that would leave Hunter to pitch Game 5. C.J. Wilson would be tough to go to on short rest with his blisters, and with the Rangers not facing elimination, they may as well put Hunter out there sooner rather than later.

The good news for the Rangers is that their bullpen is rested, as Colby Lewis went 7 2/3 innings on Saturday and Texas needed just seven pitches from Darren O'Day and 13 from Neftali Feliz to finish out Game 3. Hunter was 13-4 with a 3.73 ERA during the season, but hasn't pitched longer than four innings in either of his two postseason starts. He allowed three runs in 3 1/3 innings in Game 4 of the ALCS, when the Rangers used four relievers to beat the Yankees.

Lewis looks like a good choice for Game 7 if needed, and with a Game 5 start, Lee could be used in relief in a final game if it comes down to that.

While the Rangers feel good about Lewis, Giants pitching coach Dave Righetti told reporters he's concerned about Jonathan Sanchez's lack of velocity and the coaching staff would have to discuss who would start a Game 7 if needed. Based on Saturday, if this series goes the distance, the Rangers are the early favorites. However, there's a long way to go until a possible deciding game on Thursday.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: October 25, 2010 9:50 pm

Rangers announce rotation

Tommy Hunter And we've got our rotations set for the World Series, as Rangers manager Ron Washington met with the media at the team hotel on Monday.

Game 1: Tim Linecum vs. Cliff Lee
Game 2: Matt Cain vs. C.J. Wilson
Game 3: Jonathan Sanchez vs. Colby Lewis
Game 4: Madison Bumgarner vs. Tommy Hunter (pictured)

However, Washington said the rotation could change, meaning Hunter's slot isn't secure if things aren't going Texas' way when Game 4 rolls around.

In other notes (thanks to Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram ):

• The team's bullpen hasn't been set, and the team is considering leaving a left-hander off the roster and adding a right-hander, possibly Dustin Nippert or Mark Lowe. The team added extra left-handers to face the Phillies' heavily left-handed lineup.

Vladimir Guerrero will start in Game 1 in right field, and could also start the second game. David Murphy would start if Guerrero sits.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: October 19, 2010 5:27 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 12:34 pm

Rangers-Yankees ALCS Game 4 breakdown

The Rangers hold a 2-1 lead in the ALCS against the Yankees and are facing the struggling A.J. Burnett. All stats are from the regular season.

Texas Rangers

Postseason stats: Hitting /Pitching

1. Elvis Andrus , SS
overall: .265/.342/.301 in 588 AB, 32 SB
vs. NYY: .233/.324/.333 in 30 AB

on road: .268/.354/.292 in 284 AB
against RHP: .264/.343/.301

2. Michael Young , 3B
overall: .284/.330/.444 in 656 AB, 21 HR
vs. NYY: .306/.306/.389 in 36 AB
on road: .260/.299/.380 in 334 AB
against RHP: .270/.314/.425

3. Josh Hamilton , CF

overall: .359/.411/.633 in 518 AB, 32 HR
vs. NYY: .250/.386/.400 in 20 AB

on road: .327/.382/.512 in 254 AB, 10 HR
against RHP: .401/.447/.716, 1.163 OPS

Tommy Hunter 4. Vladimir Guerrero , DH

overall: .300/.345/.496 in 593 AB, 29 HR
vs. NYY: .250/.286/.313 in 32 AB

on road: .284/.336/.461 in 282 AB, 13 HR

against RHP: .287/.328/.482

5. Nelson Cruz , LF

overall: .318/.374/.576 in 399 AB, 22 HR
vs. NYY: .250/.294/.563 in 32 AB, 3 HR
on road: .267/.324/.480 in 202 AB, 9 HR

against RHP: .314/.368/.572

6. Ian Kinsler , 2B
overall: .286/.382/.412 in 391 AB

vs. NYY: .400/.571/.500 in 10 AB
on road: .257/.322/.388 in 206 AB

against RHP: .258/.353/.389

7. David Murphy, LF

overall: .291/.358/.449 in 419 AB, 12 HR
vs. NYY: .250/.357/.375 in 24 AB
on road: .294/.367/413 in 218 AB, 5 HR
against RHP: .298/.368/.479 in 305 AB, 11 HR

8. Bengie Molina, C

overall: .240/.279/.320 in 175 AB
vs. NYY: .143/.208/.190 in 21 AB
on road: .241/.292/.316 in 176 AB
against RHP: .213/.253/.292 in 277 AB

9. Mitch Moreland, 1B 

overall: .255/.364/.469, 9 HR in 145 AB
vs. NYY: .250/.471/.250 in 12 AB, 5 BB

on road: .244/.330/.500, 6 HR in 86 AB
against RHP: .264/.373/.496

RHP Tommy Hunter
overall: 13-4, 3.73 ERA in 128 IP, 68 Ks, 33 BB
vs. NYY: 0-0, 3.60 ERA in 1 GS, 5 IP, 8 Ks, 3 BB
on road: 6-4, 4.48 ERA in 60 1/3 IP, 27 Ks, 19 BB

X-factor to win: A.J. Burnett has been awful of late, and if the Rangers can get to him early, Joe Girardi will have no choice but to go to his bullpen early. That could help  Texas not only Tuesday, but also in Game 5 on Wednesday.

Keep an eye on: In his only start against the Yankees, right-hander Tommy Hunter struck out eight Yankees in five innings. He didn't factor in the decision, but the Rangers won that game on Sept. 11 at Rangers Ballpark.

New York Yankees

Postseason stats: Hitting /Pitching

1. Derek Jeter, SS
overall: .270/.340/.370 in 663 AB
vs. TEX: .385/.448/.615 in 26 AB, HR
at home: .295/.365/.425, 7 HR
against RHP: .246/.316/.317 in 451 AB

2. Curtis Granderson, CF
overall: .247/.324/.468 in 466 AB
vs. TEX: .200/.360/.250 in 20 AB
at home: .262/.336/.511
against RHP: .243/.340/.526 in 308 AB, 20 HR

3. Mark Teixeira, 1B
overall: .256/.365/.481 in 601 AB
vs. TEX: .167/.286/.292 in 24 AB, HR
at home: .288/.410/.558, 15 HR
against RHP: .247/.344/.461 in 421 AB

A.J. Burentt 4. Alex Rodriguez, 3B
overall: .270/.341/.506, 125 RBI in 522 AB
vs. TEX: .360/.515/.720 in 25 AB, 2 HR, 8 RBI
at home: .294/.368/.553, 62 RBI in 228 AB
against RHP: .290/.352/.530 in 379 AB

5. Robinson Cano, 2B
overall: .319/.381/.534, 41 2B in 626 AB
vs. TEX: .233/.272/.300 in 30 AB
at home: .298/.360/.521, 16 HR
against RHP: .337/.400/.544 in 379 AB

6. Nick Swisher, RF
overall: .288/.359/.511, 29 HR in 566 AB
vs. TEX: .103/.188/.138 in 29 AB
at home: .287/.356/.498 in 279 AB
against RHP: .285/.330/.547 in 386 AB, 25 HR

7. Lance Berkman, DH
with Yankees: .255/.358/.349 in 106 AB
vs. TEX: .226/.400/.387 in 31 AB
at Yankee Stadium: .250/.314/.375 in 64 AB, 1 HR
against RHP: .267/..393/.453 in 322 AB

8. Brett Gardner, LF
overall: .277/.383/.379, 47 SB in 477 AB
vs. TEX: .333/.440/.333 in 21 AB
at home: .274/.384/.401
against RHP: .287/.387/.453 in 322 AB

9. Francisco Cervelli, C
overall: .271/.359/.335 in 266 AB, 0 HR
vs. TEX: .556/.733/.556 in 9 AB, 6 BB
at home: .262/.336/.361 in 122 AB
against RHP: .246/.315/.302 in 179 AB

A.J. Burnett, RHP
overall: 10-15, 5.26 ERA in 186 2/3 IP, 145 Ks, 78 BB
at home: 5-7, 4.59 ERA in 80 1/3 IP, 67 Ks, 33 BB
vs. TEX: 1-0, 2.50 ERA in 3 GS, 19 2/3 IP, 17 Ks, 7 BB

X-factor to win: Surviving the first inning. The Yankees have given up runs in each of the opening frames of the first three games of the series, a total of six runs.

Keep an eye on: Burnett hasn't pitched well against too many teams, but the Rangers are one of them. He's gone seven innings twice in three starts against Texas, striking out 17. Nelson Cruz has struck out five times in eight at-bats against Burnett and Josh Hamilton is hitless in five at-bats.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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

Posted on: October 19, 2010 12:24 am
Edited on: October 19, 2010 11:29 am

Yankees sticking with Burnett

A.J. Burnett Joe Girardi is sticking with A.J. Burnett to start Game 4 of the American League Championship Series on Tuesday.

When he was asked in the postage press conference if he was still going to pitch Burnett, Girardi didn't hesitate.

"Yes. Yes," Girardi said.

He answered the follow-up -- if he'd had to think about it -- just as quickly.

"No," Girardi said.

Burnett was 10-15 with a  5.26 ERA in the regular season and wasn't used in the ALDS. He went 1-7 with a 6.61 ERA in the last two months of the season. However, he did make three starts against the Rangers this year and went 1-0 with a 2.50 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP.

Last season, Burenett was 1-1 with a 5.27 ERA in five postseason starts.

The Yankees could have used CC Sabathia on short rest, but then would have had to find a Game 5 starter on short rest, too.

Burnett will face Tommy Hunter, who was 13-4 with a 3.73 ERA. He went five innings in a no-decision against the Yankees on Sept. 11, allowing two runs on six hits, while striking out eight and walking three in a Rangers victory.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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

Posted on: October 15, 2010 11:24 am
Edited on: October 19, 2010 11:10 am

Our fearless second-round predictions

David Andriesen, Evan Brunell and C. Trent Rosecrans are in agreement on the National League, but have a split decision in the American League.

David Andriesen

ALCS: Rangers over Yankees in 7

This is a great matchup of two teams that, despite their disparate postseason pedigrees, are very similar. While there's a lot of talk about Cliff Lee being the difference-maker, CC Sabathia gives the Yankees an equally powerful weapon. It's easy to say each of those guys are an automatic two wins, but I have a feeling one of them is due for a stumble (I just don't know which one). A.J. Burnett would seem to be a huge comparative liability for the Yankees, so of course he'll go out and pitch a shutout. Could go either way here, but I grew up a Rangers fan, so my inner fanboy tips the scale.

NLCS: Phillies over Giants in 5

The Phillies look like an unstoppable freight train right now. Even when the Reds had them on the ropes in Game 2, the Phillies swatted them away. We are seeing the importance of starting pitching so far this postseason, and nobody can match Philadelphia in that department. The Giants are obviously no slouches on the mound, but it will be an upset if the Phillies don't win the whole thing.

Evan Brunell

ALCS: Rangers over Yankees in 7
The Yankees and Rangers are pretty evenly matched up, so the nod has to go to the team with the better ace. CC Sabathia has been worth every cent of the megadeal he signed with the Yankees so far, but even he can't match up to Cliff Lee. If both teams stick to a four-man rotation, that's an added benefit to Texas as Tommy Hunter is far more trustworthy than A.J. Burnett. The one question is if Texas' offense can keep up with the Yankees, who will grind starters down and get into the bullpen early.

NLCS: Phillies over Giants in 6
While the Giants have their own Big Three and a burgeoning Big Four, the Phillies simply have too much firepower. The starting pitching is sublime while the bullpen has come together quickly to support a strong offense. San Francisco's team is essentially the poor man's Philadelphia, but that doesn't help the Giants when it comes to facing Philly.

C. Trent Rosecrans

ALCS: Yankees over Rangers in 7
A.J. Burnett can only lose one game, right? And Cliff Lee can only pitch two, right? C.J. Wilson has been good, but I still have to go with the better-hitting team, and that's the Yankees. In the end, they have too many bats for the Rangers. Of course, I said the same thing about the Rays and look where that got me.

NLCS: Phillies over Giants in 5

Let's see -- the Phillies have the better rotation and the better offense. Sounds pretty simple. It's tough to see how San Francisco's offense can do much better than Cincinnati's did against Phillie piching. We should get a couple of great 1-0, 2-1 games, but look for Philadelphia to come out ahead in both of those.

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Posted on: October 13, 2010 5:26 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 11:05 am

Rangers set ALCS rotation

Rangers manager Ron Washington officially confirmed that his ALCS rotation will be what we projected last night, with C.J. Wilson getting the nod for Game 1.

So that's Wilson vs. CC Sabathia in the first game, followed by Colby Lewis vs. Phil Hughes, Cliff Lee vs. Andy Pettitte and Tommy Hunter vs. A.J. Burnett.

Washington also said the Rangers will add a reliever for the series, dropping reserve infielder Esteban German from the roster. Left-handers Michael Kirkman, Clay Rapada and Matt Harrison and right-handers Mark Lowe and Scott Feldman are the candidates to be added.

UPDATE: The Yankees have switched it up and will throw Hughes second and Pettitte third. The above text has been changed to reflect that and is correct.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: October 9, 2010 9:47 pm

News on Game 4 starters

If the Twins win the game that's under way now, they will face a mismatch on the mound in Game 4 tomorrow. Joe Girardi said again Saturday that ace CC Sabathia would get the call on short rest Sunday at Yankee Stadium. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, however, said he did not consider throwing Game 1 starter Francisco Liriano on short rest. He told reporters that Nick Blackburn would get the Twins' Game 4 start. Blackburn was 10-12 with a 5.42 ERA during the regular season.

We know there's going to be a Game 4 in the Giants-Braves series, and Giants manager Bruce Bochy said he's undecided about -- or at least not ready to disclose -- whether he'll throw Game 1 starter Tim Lincecum on three days' rest or turn to rookie Madison Bumgarner. Meanwhile, Braves manager Bobby Cox says he's leaning toward Game 1 starter Derek Lowe in Game 4 over rookie Brandon Beachy.

The projected starters for Game 4 in Arlington on Sunday are Tommy Hunter for the Rangers and Wade Davis for the Rays.

-- David Andriesen

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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