Tag:Colby Rasmus
Posted on: March 9, 2011 10:34 am
Edited on: March 9, 2011 10:48 am

Pepper: Davis finding his way

By Matt Snyder

Chris Davis may finally be ready.

In a straw poll of Rangers management, the Star-Telegram found Davis was easily the most impressive player thus far in camp. He's flashing power, hitting for a high average and playing solid defense. This follows a good season of winter ball, so it could be a harbinger of things to come in Texas.

We know the power he possesses. He hit 17 home runs in 295 at-bats in 2008 and then 21 in 391 in 2009. Of course, the problem is that his OBP deteriorated to a dreadful .284 in 2009 and his contact rate was embarrassing. He struck out 238 times in those two seasons -- which is a strikeout once in less than every three at-bats.

Most everything got worse last season. Davis hit only one home run in 120 at-bats. He struck out 40 times. He hit .192/.279/.571, good for a 54 OPS-plus.

The funny thing is, Davis has always destroyed minor-league pitching (.939 OPS) and is still only 24.

In terms of how the current Rangers roster is constructed, however, Davis may actually be blocked. Assuming Adrian Beltre is healthy and Michael Young doesn't get traded, there really isn't a spot. You've got Mitch Moreland at first base, Beltre at third, Young in the backup DH/1B/3B role and Mike Napoli also a DH who can fill in at first.

Maybe Davis gives the Rangers further incentive to offload Young? That might even mean eating a good portion of his remaining contract, but a powerful Chris Davis makes it easier to justify. That's just speculation, but it's entirely possible.

SOME TOMMY JOHN STATS: In an article about how the Reds are expecting Edinson Volquez to return to form this season, we're given a stat that 96 percent of the pitchers who undergo "Tommy John" surgery return to the same level of competition they were before the procedure. It makes sense. As long as the rehab and throwing programs are done properly, the newly inserted ligament should actually be stronger than the natural one was before the injury. This article notes that prior to injury, the ulnar-collateral ligament has likely been slowly deteriorated over time, so when the surgery happens, it's like a brand new ligament. There's a lot more interesting stuff in there, and it's a highly recommended click-through. (SI.com )

Also in SI.com , Tom Verducci talked to a "leader in the field of pitching biomechanics," who said that Nationals phenom Stephen Strasburg has a problematic delivery. Specifically, the contention is that Strasburg lands his front foot too early in his pitching motion, which puts in undue amount of torque on both his elbow and shoulder. When you considering how hard he throws, that's an excessive amount of pressure on those two body parts. There is also a moment in his delivery, according to the article, where Strasburg's elbow raises higher than his hand -- which switches the order of how the kinetics of a pitching motion are supposed to happen. This, again, puts a ton of pressure on his elbow. Hey, don't shoot the messenger, Nationals fans. I'm just passing along the info.

ONLY IN THE SPRING: Spring is a slow news time. You've got injuries and positional battles, sure, but otherwise it's mostly meaningless at-bats and killing time looking ahead to the regular season. Thus, Chipper Jones garnered some fan fare for bringing back and old-school look a few weeks ago when he pulled the bottoms of his pants up to knee-high. Of course, this only worked for Chipper with low-top shoes and he wasn't comfortable. So he returned to high-tops and, with those, had to bring the pants back down to ankle-length. (Atlanta-Journal Constitution )

ONLY IN THE SPRING, PART II: The Rays had a longest drive contest. Yes, with golf clubs. The four finalists were Johnny Damon, Cesar Ramos, Andy Sonnanstine and B.J. Upton. Who ya got? Go check it out, as there is video. (TampaBay.com )

SAY WHAT? Try to figure out this quote: "I don't ignore them because I've got to answer them. But I ignore them." That comes courtesy of Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, who is frustrated that the MLB Network questioned his team's outfield defense -- even though he apparently ignores them, or doesn't. Whatever. Any defensive metric you see says the outfield defense for the Cardinals will be pretty atrocious. Matt Holliday is fine in left field, though not spectacular. According to Fangraphs.com's ultimate zone rating, only two center fielders were worse than Colby Rasmus last year, who is certainly better suited for a corner spot. In right, they've got Lance Berkman, who was moved to first base in Houston due to becoming too slow for the outfield. He's 35 and hasn't been completely healthy for a full season 2008. To all this, La Russa would likely give the same response he did to MLB Network, "What do people know about our outfield defense?" (St. Louis Post-Dispatch )

TALKIN' BASEBALL: Willie, Mickey and the Duke. Those words were immortalized in Talkin' Baseball , a song written in 1981 by Terry Cashman. With the recent passing of the Duke, Cashman looks back on writing the song. (MLB.com )

STILL COOL CARLOS: While one Carlos on the Cubs sparred with a teammate over an error this spring, Carlos Zambrano has been a saint in Cubs camp. Tuesday, a defensive miscue allowed the leadoff man on base, but Zambrano never batted an eye. Of course, he won't say he's a changed man -- even though he said earlier in camp he was "cured" -- "Nah, I'm the same, bro," he told reporters. (Chicago Sun-Times ) Really, it's not just the spring, though. Zambrano has been a different man since re-entering the rotation last August 9. He went 8-0 with 1.41 ERA and 60 strikeouts in 11 starts and hasn't had an issue with teammates or management. The guy we're seeing this spring isn't just being good because it's spring. It's a carry over. Of course, with Zambrano, things could turn at any moment.

MEETING THE CHAMP: The White Sox met with Muhammad Ali and his Athletes for Hope foundation Tuesday. He was given a No. 40 jersey with the "Champ" on back, instead of Ali. (Chicago Tribune )

TAKE A BOTTLE, DRINK IT DOWN, PASS IT AROUND: One of the best pastimes of baseball -- for fans, that is -- is having a frothy cold one at the ballpark. Big League Stew breaks down the top 10 beers available at major-league ballparks. If you prefer a simple domestic macrobrew, well, there's something for you in every stadium.

BRADLEY HEARING WEDNESDAY: There will be a private hearing with Milton Bradley, his wife and the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office to attempt to resolve their differences without taking any charges to criminal court. Bradley was arrested for alleged domestic violence and threats against his wife last month. (Seattle Times )


More MLB coverage
Posted on: January 16, 2011 12:24 pm
Edited on: January 16, 2011 1:29 pm

Cards weren't close to dealing Rasmus

Colby Rasmus The Cardinals aren't -- and weren't -- close to dealing outfielder Colby Rasmus this offseason, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes .

Rasmus reportedly asked for a trade last season, but general manager John Mozeliak said it was never seriously considered. So proposed trades such as the suggested Rasmus for Carlos Quentin deal with the White Sox were never more than media speculation.

"I think any trade discussions about Colby were completely manifested by what was going on in the media," Mozeliak said. "Dating back to September when that [story] broke, I'd get calls from teams right then and there. But they were bottom-fishing. They thought we were just going to give him away. That was never the case."

Rasmus requested a trade and had a heated exchange with Cardinals manager Tony La Russa in the dugout during a game and said he felt isolated from his teammates. Even Albert Pujols made a pointed comment about Rasmus during the season.

Still, La Russa -- who confirmed in September that Rasmus had asked for a trade -- claims it's a media issue, not an issue between the two.

"It's a story line that people wear out," La Russa told Goold. "It's inaccurate and it's unfair. … He's still gaining experience and figuring out how insincere [these reports] really are. We have a good relationship. Good to real good. At its worst, it's good. At its best, it's real good."

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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

Posted on: November 14, 2010 5:33 pm

Cards GM says Rasmus trade unlikely

Colby Rasmus Because of his run-in with manager Tony La Russa this past season, Cardinals center fielder Colby Rasmus has been a popular name in trade rumors, but Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak stated what most everyone else has said about a Rasmus trade -- don't count on it.

Talking to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch 's Joe Strauss , Mozeliak didn't say Rasmus was an untouchable, but he came close.

"Every player in the right deal could be traded," Mozleiak said, "but we're not shopping him. More importantly, I think it would be very difficult or almost impossible for us to replace him. So the way we're planning on moving, he's a big part of our club."

Mozeliak said the issues between Rasmus and La Russa have been handed and it's no longer an issue.

"I don't think someone with his service time (two years) can pick and choose where he wants to be," Mozeliak said.

And that's exactly why moving him made zero sense. Rasmus won't be arbitration-eligible until 2012 and won't be a free agent until 2015. He also had the third-best OPS among Cardinals regulars, hitting .276/.361/.498 last season with 23 home runs. For a team that was searching from offense from anyone without a $100 million contract, it would be difficult to give up a 24-year old producing at a premium position.

The Cardinals, however, would like to upgrade at shortstop, Mozeliak said. Brendan Ryan may have been the best defensive shortstop in the National League last season, but he hit .223/.279.294 in 2010. The team could also look to upgrade at second base, where Skip Schumaker hit .265/.328/.338.

"There is a school of thought that Skip will produce more than he did last year. There's a comfort level of that being probable," Mozeliak said. "In Brendan's case you would hope there would be some improvement, too. But if there were a way to address one of those positions in a positive way, we would pursue it. We probably have more of an emphasis on short than second at this point."

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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

Posted on: November 2, 2010 10:27 pm

White Sox have plenty on plate

Pierzynski The White Sox may be bracing for life without Paul Konerko, and have plenty of other question marks to address if they hope to reclaim AL Central Division crown in 2011.

A life-long White Sox, Konerko eschewed an offer from the Angels after winning the 2005 World Series to re-up with the ChiSox. However, it sounds like Konerko's time in town could be done, even as Chicago hopes to retain him.

At the end of the season, Konerko said it was possible another team could lure him away from the White Sox even if Chicago makes a better offer, "because of what I'm feeling for myself and everybody involved in that moment," as ChicagoBreakingSports.com recalls.

The hint dropped, everyone caught it.

Fortunately for Chicago, there is no shortage of first-base options on the free-agent market, so they shouldn't have too much trouble replacing Konerko. One of said first-basemans joined the free-agent list Tuesday when the Diamondbacks declined his option -- Adam LaRoche. LaRoche could play very well at The Cell and give the White Sox close to what Konerko would give at significantly less dollars and years.

Meanwhile, the need for a left-handed hitter (LaRoche alert!), closer and catcher also keeps GM Kenny Williams awake at night.

The White Sox have always had interest in Colby Rasmus, who could solve their conundrum of a lefty (and an outfielder to boot, where the ChiSox can add a player) but given he is a young, up-and-coming star with the Cardinals, it will take a pretty penny to excise him -- troubles with Tony La Russa be damned.

More important at this time is the future of Bobby Jenks, as Mark Gonzales of ChicagoBreakingSports.com says "it would be stunning" if the White Sox allowed Jenks to return to the team for his final year of arbitration and pay him $9 million. The Red Sox have their same issue with Jonathan Papelbon, but are expected to retain him. Not so in Chicago, when the team has had frustrations with Jenks in the past.

They could elevate Matt Thornton to closer, if not even push Sergei Santos in the role, but Chicago could also ask J.J. Putz to return to town and entice him with the possibility of winning the closer's job. They could also be players for Rafael Soriano.

Lastly, the White Sox may be ready to see the A.J. Pierzynski (pictured) reign as backstop end. Prospect Tyler Flowers is an option to take over, and the club recently exercised a club option on Raul Castro to be a backup. They will dabble in trades (Mike Napoli?) and free agency (Miguel Olivo, John Buck, Victor Martinez?) to find their next catcher if Flowers is deemed ready.

The White Sox have a chance to make some noise this offseason. They have a good amount of money to spend, a desire to win and a GM that pulls no punches in doing so. Watch this team.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: October 8, 2010 1:55 pm
Edited on: October 10, 2010 11:05 am

R.I.P. Cardinals: Zzzzzz

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. Today: The St. Louis Cardinals.

The highlight of the season was a fight and a three-game sweep over the Reds in early August. After that, the team seemed to think that one-game lead they left Cincinnati with was enough for the rest of the season. That, for the record, was not a sound strategy.


The Cardinals seemed to sleep through much of the season, waking up only when the Reds' Brandon Phillips called them out, but quickly falling back asleep as soon as they left Cincinnati.

St. Louis was 27-33 against the dregs of the NL Central -- and there are plenty of those. The Cardinals won 12 of their 18 games against the division-champion Reds, and the only other team in the division St. Louis had a winning record against was the Pirates.

Oh, and then there was Felipe Lopez, but who didn't see that one coming?


Jaime Garcia Jaime Garcia was a legitimate Rookie of the Year candidate and behind Wainwright and Carpenter was a legitimate No. 3, making one of the best front three of a rotation in baseball.

The team may have also found a decent third baseman in rookie David Freese. Freese hit .296/.361/..404 in 70 games, but then an ankle injury ended his season in June. The team also liked what it saw from John Jay, who hit .300/.359/.422 in 105 games in the outfield.


Eh… well, not really. Shelby Miller is a great talent, but he's not ready for 2011. He'll be 20 at the beginning of next season and as good as he was in the Midwest League, that's still the Midwest League. Beyond Miller, the Cardinals' system is hardly the envy of any other big league organization.


In St. Louis, the expectations are always the same, win the division, sell out the joint and hopefully get to the World Series. With a payroll rising above the $100 million mark, expectations certainly aren't going to be tempered.


Tony La Russa It's unlikely to happen now, but maybe Tony La Russa's voice is being ignored in that clubhouse and the team could use a new voice. La Russa has run his course there. The team offered him another extension, but La Russa can always turn it down and stay at home, or find another job where he doesn't have to talk to the media every day. He's got that law degree to fall back on, after all.

It makes little sense to jettison Colby Rasmus, who is under team control for quite a while, just to satisfy La Russa, who won't be in St. Louis as long as Rasmus.

That said, if the Cardinals could trade Rasmus to Arizona for Stephen Drew and Kelly Johnson, it'd shore up the Cardinals' middle infield in the short term, but wouldn't be good for a long-term investment, especially with payroll continuing to raise. Johnson is a free agent after next season and Drew is a second-year arbitration-eligible player, represented by Scott Boras. Despite the immediate improvement, it's not a sound long-term strategy.

Oh, and it might be a good idea to pick up the $16 million option on Albert Pujols. That guy is pretty good.


It looks a lot like 2010, if the stars and role players stay healthy, the Cardinals can win the relatively weak NL Central. If one of the main four goes down, the team will finish second, just behind the division winner. With Pujols, Matt Holliday, Adam Wainwright and Chris Carpenter, the Cardinals can cruise to contention in the division, but we'll see if they can get back over the hump.

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

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .
Posted on: October 6, 2010 11:27 pm

Return of La Russa could spell Rasmus trade

Colby Rasmus Now that Tony La Russa has a one-year offer to return to the Cardinals, a possible Colby Rasmus trade may be resurrected if the skipper returns for a 16th year in town.

Even though both La Russa and Rasmus have said there is no friction between the two sides, there's plenty of smoke and other teams are poised to try to take advantage, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch 's Joe Strauss.

Strauss names the Braves as one team who would have interest, perhaps dangling Craig Kimbrel, a closer-in-waiting with a Billy Wagner-like arsenal. The Blue Jays are also interested.

While GM John Mozeliak says he has no interest in trading the 24-year-old slugger, his hand may be forced.

Given the team's inability to deal [Albert] Pujols, [Kyle] Lohse, [Matt] Holliday and [Chris] Carpenter due to contractual language and their refusal to deal young arms such as [Adam] Wainwright and [Jaime] Garcia, Rasmus represents the leading option for an "impact" trade," Strauss writes.

The Cardinals are pressed for money with many aging players locked up to long-term deals and Albert Pujols entering the final year of free agency. The Cards have several needs, chief among them a shortstop (unless they bring Brendan Ryan back in arbitration) and second baseman (with internal candidates of Skip Schumaker and Daniel Descalco as possibles). However, by trading Rasmus, a hole in center would open.

Strauss names the Diamondbacks as a potential fit, noting that Stephen Drew and Kelly Johnson are both nearing free agency and could be fits for the DBacks. However, Arizona likely will focus on pitching in any trades.

While it's fun to speculate about a potential Rasmus deal, his production, age and salary considerations all make him a valuable commodity and extremely unlikely to be moved.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .
Category: MLB
Posted on: September 16, 2010 10:57 pm
Edited on: September 16, 2010 10:57 pm

Cards GM says Rasmus won't be traded

Colby Rasmus Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak told fans at the team's Social Media Night that the team has "no interest" in trading disgruntled center fielder Colby Rasmus and that the position is "locked" for the Cardinals in 2011.

He also said he expects payroll to rise in the next three years and that he hopes Tony La Russa's status will be resolved early in the winter.

Rasmus requested a trade in July, a request the Cardinals didn't honor then and apparently won't this offseason, either.

"A lot of times players, out of frustration or for whatever reason, may go into a meeting and come out saying some things they may regret," Mozeliak said (via MLB.com's Matthew Leach ). "But a lot of times, you have to understand, these things never get out there. In this particular case, it's been festering for a while. But I can assure you, Colby's not  going to be treaded. I can assure you that some of the things he's dealing with are typical growing pains that young players go through. When I look at the talent he brings to the table, and when I think about how I could replace that, I realize that would be a very difficult task ahead."

As for the payroll, the Cardinals don't have much flexibility to go anywhere but up when it comes to the team's nearly $100-million payroll, especially if the team agrees to an extension with Albert Pujols.

The only big salary coming off the books is Brad Penny, who made $7.5 million this season. Kyle Lohse and Adam Wainwright are also scheduled for bumps in salary.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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

Posted on: September 6, 2010 3:13 pm

La Russa says things are fine with him and Rasmus

Tony La Russa Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said again Monday that he has no problem with disgruntled outfielder Colby Rasmus.

Before Monday's game in Milwaukee, La Russa told reporters there was no "me or him" ultimatum for 2011. Rasmus asked for a trade two months ago, it was reported on Sunday . La Russa confirmed the report before Sunday's victory over the Reds.

"It's one of the most incorrect evaluations or analysis that I can remember ever in my years," La Russa said (via MLB.com ). "[For someone to say], 'in 2011, either I'm going to be gone or he's going to be gone' … or relationship is nowhere near that."

La Russa said he has a good relationship with Rasmus.

"I don't think it's simmering," La Russa said. "I talk to him every day, almost."

Certainly nothing's going to happen between now and the end of the season, but La Russa's on a one-year contract, while Rasmus is under team control through 2014.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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

Category: MLB
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