Tag:Carlos Gonzalez
Posted on: September 10, 2010 5:29 pm
 

Red gives MVP nod to CarGo

Brandon Phillips Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips may not win Teammate of the Year for 2010, but you've got to give him credit for being honest.

First off, he had the whole incident that fired up the Cardinals, calling them "little bitches " and now when asked about the MVP, he's not even picking his own teammate.

Appearing on 104.3 the Fan in Denver (via SportsRadioInterviews.com ), Phillips picked the hometown boy -- Carlos Gonzalez over Joey Votto for MVP.

He was asked who is the MVP and said this:
"You want to know the truth, man? I'm a very honest, blunt person and honestly I believe CarGo is the man. He's hitting .340 … he's chasing the triple crown. If he leads in most of the categories of the triple crown, you've gotta lean that way. But it's not over 'til it's over." Phillips' Cincinnati teammate is tied with Gonzalez for the RBI lead (100) and is also tied in home runs (32). Gonzalez has a better average (.337) and slugging percentage (.614) but Votto leads the league in on-base percentage (.423) and OPS (1.013). Gonzalez's on-base percentage is .374. But that doesn't mean much to Phillips, a lead-off man who has in the past said , "I don't believe in that on-base percentage stuff. That's overrated to me. If you get hits, you'll be on base. That's what it's about."

Gonzalez does lead the NL in hits (173), while Phillips and Votto are tied for sixth (156).

You gotta give Phillips credit for honest -- if not diplomacy, but we already knew that wasn't one of his strong suits.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: September 9, 2010 11:36 am
Edited on: September 9, 2010 11:37 am
 

Infante could play Triple Crown spoiler

Omar Infante
There's a lot of talk about whether Carlos Gonzalez, Joey Votto or Albert Pujols can jump up and claim the Triple Crown in the National League, but keep an eye on the Braves' Omar Infante.

The red-hot infielder has become the Braves' regular second baseman, and has a chance of finishing with the 502 plate appearances required to qualify for the batting title. Entering play Thursday, Infante had a .342 average, two points ahead of qualified leader Gonzalez, and had 407 plate appearances, leaving him 95 short with 22 games left on Atlanta's schedule. That's 4.3 plate appearances per game, not impossible if he starts every game.

If he keeps hitting the way he has been -- he's batting .373 in the past 28 days -- he could even win the batting title without getting 502 appearances. If a player falls short, baseball credits him with hitless at-bats up to the needed number. If, for instance, he finished with 495 plate appearances but an 0-for-7 would still leave him with the lead, he would be awarded the title. Tony Gwynn won the NL batting title in 1996 with only 498 plate appearances.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: September 8, 2010 10:20 pm
Edited on: September 8, 2010 10:38 pm
 

CarGo's splits may hurt MVP chances

Carlos Gonzalez For so long we heard about the possibility of a triple crown this year -- Joey Votto, Albert Pujols, Miguel Cabrera, Josh Hamilton -- but with a month left to go in the season, the most likely candidate to do so is Carlos Gonzalez.

Gonzalez entered Wednesday's games first in average (.340) and RBI (100) and three behind in home runs (32 -- although Pujols hit his league-leading 36th in the first inning of the Cardinals' game on Wednesday). But even if Gonzalez does pull off the triple crown, his shot at the MVP is still in doubt.

The reason? Coors Field.

Gonzalez is no doubt a good player, but he has to be helped by playing there. His splits show he has certainly benefitted from the Rocky Mountain air -- he's hitting .394/.440/.801 at home and .288/.310/.450 on the road. 25 of his 32 homers (78 percent) -- and 66 of his 100 RBI (66 percent) -- have come at home, despite playing four fewer games at Coors Field than on the road.

Chipper Jones, who lost out on the 2007 batting title to then-Rockie Matt Holliday, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Coors Field is inflating Gonzalez's numbers.

"If [Gonzalez] is doing the same thing on the road that he's doing at home, I'd be glad to give him credit," Jones told the AJC's Carroll Rogers. "And he's a tremendous player, don't get me wrong, but the numbers. He's hitting like .390 at home with 25 homers and 65 ribbies."

Votto's home park isn't exactly a pitcher's paradise, either. Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati is one of the most hitter-friendly parks in the majors, but he's hitting even better on the road than he is at home. At GABP, Votto's hitting .305/.402/.571 and away from GABP, he's hitting .336/.440/.612. His 32 homers are evenly split at 16 at home and 16 on the road.

Asked about Gonzalez's advantage, Votto sidestepped the question.

"I'd rather not comment on that," Votto told the Denver Post 's Jim Armstrong .

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Category: MLB
Posted on: September 6, 2010 5:51 pm
Edited on: September 6, 2010 5:56 pm
 

Rockies touch up Chapman

Aroldis Chapman Apparently, Aroldis Chapman is human.

The Reds used Chapman in the middle of an inning for the first time and he allowed not only his first big league hit, but also his first run.

Chapman entered the game with two outs and the Reds trailing by a run, 5-4.

Eric Young Jr. got the first hit off Chapman, a singled up the middle on a 98.6 mph fastball, scoring Seth Smith. Dexter Fowler then hit a hard ball at Paul Janish, who was knocked backwards and tried to get a force at second, but threw it over the head of Brandon Phillips, scoring Chris Nelson, scored as an error.

Carlos Gonzalez then hit a little bouncer over Chapman's head that third baseman Juan Francisco couldn't handle, loading the bases. After throwing a 103.1 mph fastball to Troy Tulowitzki, Ryan Hanigan had one go by him for a passed ball, scoring another run. Chapman then got Tulowitzki swinging at a slider to end the inning.

Chapman's final line -- 1/3 of an inning, three hits and an unearned run with a strikeout. He threw 16 pitches -- nine were clocked at 100 mph or better.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: September 3, 2010 2:26 pm
 

Checking out the NL MVP race

NL MVP
The NL MVP race is essentially a foregone conclusion now that the Cardinals continue to sink deeper and deeper in the NL Central Division, leaving Joey Votto's sublime season to shine as the Reds eye their first postseason appearance since 1995.

Votto is second in batting average, third in home runs and first in RBI, giving him a very real chance at the Triple Crown, although the top candidates in each category are so closely bunched together that it only takes a few games for standings to switch around.

Even if Votto has to be considered the prohibitive favorite, there are others that will leech votes from Votto. Let's break down who appear to be the strongest candidates.

Adrian Gonzalez 1B Adrian Gonzalez
San Diego Padres
.299/.388/.516, 76 R, 26 2B, 27 HR, 87 RBI, 5.5 UZR/150, 4 DRS, 4.9 WAR

Gonzalez hasn't had a season like 2009 -- but it's awfully had to replicate 2009 especially with Petco Park your home for half the games. His average is .05 points off a career high set in 2006, but his walk rate and power numbers have sank just enough that he can't be considered one of the favorites for the MVP. If -- or when -- Gonzo gets out of a Padres uniform, he'll likely win a MVP award.

Carlos Gonzalez LF/CF/ RF Carlos Gonzalez
Colorado Rockies
.332/.367/.610, 89 R, 26 2B, 8 3B, 31 HR, 93 RBI, 20 SB -6.8 UZR/150, -6 DRS, 4.5 WAR

CarGo has had a ridiculous season, and now the Diamondbacks and Athletics have to be kicking themselves for giving up on Gonzalez too soon. The knock on the outfielder was that his poor plate discipline wouldn't be enough to overcome his other attributes... except his power has taken a massive jump to elite status even as he takes a step back in walk rate from a 2009 mark of 8.8 percent to 5.5 percent. Gonzalez will lose votes thanks to his drastic home/road split. At Coors Field, he's bashing to a .391/.436/.790 mark. On the road, he's at .275/.296/.437 and has a walk rate of 3.1 percent as compared to 7.9 percent at home. Seems like he knows he doesn't perform away from Coors and is pressing as a result.

Aubrey Huff 1B/LF/RF Aubrey Huff
San Francisco Giants

.289/.385/.512, 82 R, 30 2B, 4 3B, 22 HR, 77 RBI, 11.5 UZR/150 (1B), 7 DRS (1B), 3.6 UZR/150 (OF), 4 DRS (OF), 4.7 WAR

Huff will garner a ton of "feel-good" votes as the 11-season veteran suffered through the worst OPS of his career in 2009 since his first full season in the majors with Tampa Bay in 2001. A late-season switch to Detroit only depressed his value even more, and he signed a small deal with the Giants with his tail tucked between his legs. Well, his chest is puffed out now as he's cobbled together nothing short of a fantastic year while splitting time between first, left and right and being solid with the glove. That versatility only adds to his value and he could surprise quite a few people with how high he could finish in MVP balloting.

Brian McCann C Brian McCann
Atlanta Braves
.285/.392/.492, 55 R, 21 2B, 20 HR, 71 RBI, 3 DRS, 5.1 WAR

McCann has constantly been overlooked as a premium power bat at a position where even a league-average bat is considered fantastic. Perhaps now that McCann has emerged as Atlanta's best hitter as the team leads the division will garner some MVP honors for the lefty. The scary part is that McCann hasn't even sniffed his career season, which came in his first full year as the starting catcher (.333/.388/.572) -- and no MVP votes. What does McCann have to do to get some respect? Is it the counting numbers -- runs and RBI being too low? The fact is that McCann is a catcher, and so naturally loses about 100-200 plate appearances due to needing to be rested more often. The NL lacking a DH compounds the problem for McCann. Don't hold his low counting statistics against him, not when his actual production is so high, and extraordinary for a catcher.

Albert Pujols 1B Albert Pujols
St. Louis Cardinals
.313/.407/.593, 92 R, 31 2B, 35 HR, 95 RBI, 12 SB, 1.9 UZR/150, 2 DRS, 5.8 WAR

Pujols is still a fantastic hitter, but has three things working against him in pursuit of a third-straight MVP award: 1) General apathy by voters in voting for him again, 2) The Cardinals slip-slidin' away in the NL Central Division race and 3) Votto's superhuman efforts causing Pujols to no longer be head-and-shoulders above anyone else. Whether deserved or not, the first issue would probably have torpedoed his chances even if the Cards were neck-and-neck with Cincinnati.

Joey Votto 1B Joey Votto
Cincinnati Reds
.325/.424/.603, 91 R, 27 2B, 32 HR, 97 RBI, 12 SB, 3.8 UZR/150, -3 DRS, 6.3 WAR

Yep, Votto's the presumptive favorite for the NL MVP Award -- but this is far from his introduction to being a top hitter. He finished 22nd in MVP balloting last season when he checked in at .322/.414/.567 and lost out on the Rookie of the Year Award in 2008 to the Cubs' Geovany Soto. His rookie season boasted a line of .297/.368/.506 as a 24-year-old, which many veterans would kill to have in just one prime season. He doesn't show any signs of slowing down and will give Pujols a tough road to any future MVP awards.

-- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: August 19, 2010 12:33 am
Edited on: August 19, 2010 2:22 am
 

Rockies' Gonzalez leaves with injury

There was a scare in Colorado as Carlos Gonzalez made a great catch at the wall and then went down for a couple of minutes with an apparent injury.

Here's Troy Renck of the Denver Post's blow-by-blow Twitter account of the scene at Dodger Stadium:



UPDATE: And where better to go for an update on Gonzalez than Renck's Twitter account ? Gonzalez tells him his right knee hurts, but there's no structural damage and shouldn't miss more than a day or two.

"It was ball, then boom," Gonzalez said. "I never saw the wall."

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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

Category: MLB
Posted on: July 17, 2010 11:56 pm
Edited on: July 18, 2010 1:31 pm
 

Volquez impressive in return

Less than a year after undergoing Tommy John surgery, Edinson Volquez was on the mound once again Saturday night, throwing 95 with a viscous changeup. In front of a sell-out crowd at Great American Ball Park, Volquez allowed just three hits to the Colorado Rockies and struck out nine in six innings, as the Reds kept pace with the Cardinals thanks to an 8-1 victory.

"Getting Volky back, especially a productive Volquez, is like making a major trade," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "You get a guy back, it'd be hard to find anyone out there better than he was. That was an outstanding performance, and he picked our whole team up. The guys are elated to have him back, you could tell the way they responded."

Edinson Volquez Volquez, an All-Star in 2008, joins a Reds rotation that started slow but has come on strong of late, in part bolstered by rookie Travis Wood. Wood, who was edged out for the fifth starter's spot in spring training by Mike Leake, will make his fourth start on Sunday. Despite not picking up a win in his first three starts, Wood impressed taking a perfect game into the ninth inning against the Phillies last week. In addition to Wood (0-0, 2.18), the Reds rotation consists of the reliable Bronson Arroyo (10-4, 3.95 ERA), a Johnny Cueto who seems to be putting it together (8-2, 3.42) and Leake (6-1, 3.53).

"I think we've got the best pitching staff in baseball," said second baseman Brandon Phillips, who hit a three-run homer in the fourth inning.

That 's likely overstating it more than a little -- but one-through-five, they may have the best starting pitching in the division, and that'll be important down the stretch. The Cardinals may be better with their first three, but St. Louis would welcome the guy Cincinnati sent down on Saturday (Matt Maloney) for one of the other two spots.

And with Volquez back, the team added a potential ace.

"For him to go out and pitch like he did today, there's a lot of teams in trouble," Phillips said.

Volquez's quick return should raise some eyebrows, considering his 50-game suspension for performance-enhancing drugs earlier this season. Volquez has stuck to his story that he used a fertility drug to help him start a family with his wife. However, the drug was similar to the one Manny Ramirez was suspended for using a year ago.

Volquez looked similar to the pitcher that made the 2008 All-Star team, with his fastball sitting around 95 mph and a nasty changeup. The one difference was a newfound confidence in his curveball -- that and more hair. A lot more hair, but the curveball was just as natty as the dreads that added a couple of hat sizes to Volquez's melon.

"The last couple of years I didn't throw my curve, [tonight] I threw it a lot," Volquez said. "I felt more comfortable with it than my changeup. Last night I told [Francisco] Cordero my curve was better than my changeup. I told him I'd show him. Today he said, 'yeah, you're right.'"

Reds catcher Ryan Hanigan said he didn't know how they'd use the curveball, but both he and Volquez noticed early on he had a good feel for it and they used it more and more.

"We didn't throw it that much in rehab starts in Triple-A, but he had such a feel for it and threw it so much, he got some quality strikes and strikeouts on that pitch tonight that was great," Hanigan said. "I wasn't expecting it."

Volquez admitted he was a little too excited in the first inning when Dexter Fowler doubled and Carlos Gonzalez singled him in. He needed 22 pitches that inning and used 55 pitches to get through three innings. However the second and third time through the Rockies' lineup, no batter registered a hit.

"By the third, fourth inning, his stuff was ridiculous," Hanigan said. "He threw all his pitches whenever he wanted to with the action I've seen from him in the past. It's impressive to see a guy like that command all his pitches so well in his first start. When he does that, he's tough."

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: July 8, 2010 9:58 am
Edited on: July 8, 2010 10:03 am
 

Final Vote coming down to final hours

Kevin Youkilis Oh, the suspense!

In another Yankee-Red Sox battle we're being hit over the head with, Nick Swisher holds "the slimmest of leads" over Kevin Youkilis in the American League Final Vote for the All-Star Game, despite nobody making a convincing case for Swisher other than his uniform, based on the latest results released by MLB.com.

In what can only be a desperate attempt by Major League Baseball's website to generate page views (since all voting takes place on the site), MLB.com has seen fit to release a breathless update to the (unlimited) voting that ends today at 4 p.m.

The winner of the final spots will be announced on MLB Network (yay synergy!) at 6 p.m.

Joey Votto still leads the National League voting (funny what leading the league in homers and OPS will do for you), but, the site warns -- without giving any numbers -- Carlos Gonzalez has passed Billy Wagner for third place in the voting. Ryan Zimmerman is still in second. Heath Bell was removed from the ballot when he was placed on the team as a replacement for Yovani Gallardo.

In the American League, it's all Yankees-Red Sox all the time. The release says it's a "virtual tie" between Youkilis (.292/.409/.574 with 17 home runs, 55 RBI) and Swisher (.298/.376/.518 14 HR, 48 RBI, one appearance on "How I Met Your Mother " --  CBS can play the synergy game too!), but not a real tie, because that would mean they're tied, as opposed to a "virtual tie" which goes back to the ol' tie goes to the Yankee rule.

Paul Konerko is in third place in the AL voting, followed by Michael Young and Delmon Young.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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