Tag:Dan Uggla
Posted on: July 7, 2011 1:39 am
Edited on: July 7, 2011 2:11 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Pinch-Hit McGehee



By Matt Snyder


Casey McGehee, Brewers. Maybe the Brewers should just start using McGehee strictly as a pinch-hitter? It's been a rough year for McGehee, as he entered Wednesday hitting .222 with four homers, 33 RBI and a .582 OPS. This was after hitting .285 with 23 homers, 103 RBI and an .801 OPS last season. Wednesday, however, McGehee came through with a clutch pinch-hit three-run homer. It came in the bottom of the seventh and put the Brewers up for good. Earlier this season, McGehee hit a two-run go-ahead homer in the bottom of the eighth as a pinch-hitter. So, in just four pinch-hit at-bats, McGehee has accrued 40 percent of his home runs, driven home five runs and won two games for the Brewers. This one was huge, too, because the Brewers had lost seven of eight and fallen into fourth place in the NL Central prior to the game.

Justin Masterson, Indians. The Yankees hadn't lost a series since being swept by the Red Sox in early June, but Masterson brought home the second win in three games against the Yankees with a dominant performance Wednesday. He threw eight shutout innings, allowing only three hits and two walks while striking out six. That's quite the feat against the powerful Yankees, and the outing lowered Masterson's ERA to 2.66. Poor run support is one of the reasons Masterson was kept off the All-Star team, because his record is now just 7-6, but he's pitched far better than that.

Dan Uggla, Braves. The Braves' 9-1 win Wednesday -- their eighth in the past nine games -- was a complete team effort. Jair Jurrjens was great again and the offense pounded 14 hits for nine runs. Let us look closer at Dan Uggla, though. He'd been a disaster for the Braves for most of the season -- you could argue only Adam Dunn had hurt his team more offensively -- but the past two days should provide from confidence for Uggla. In the two Braves' wins, Uggla was 4-5 with two home runs, a double, three walks, four runs and three RBI. With that pitching staff, getting some more offense would be a big step in the Braves challenging the Phillies in the NL East, where the deficit is now three games.

Room for one more -- Nate Schierholtz, Giants: We initially published this before the Giants-Padres game concluded, because it felt like it would literally last all night, but Schierholtz took care of things in the bottom of the 14th. He slugged a walk-off homer that cleared the wall by mere inches. It was his second home run of the night as he went 3-6 with two runs and three RBI.



Ricky Romero against Red Sox. It's just not working for the Blue Jays' ace when he squares off against Boston. The Red Sox lit him up for nine hits and six earned runs, including two home runs, Wednesday. As noted on Twitter by Stats, Inc., Romero now has an 8.08 ERA in his career against the Red Sox and 3.28 against everyone else. It's an even bigger discrepancy this season, though. After the disaster in Fenway Wednesday evening, Romero has an 11.45 ERA and 2.88 WHIP this season against the Red Sox, while he's sporting a 2.45 ERA and 1.11 WHIP against everyone else.

Domonic Brown, Phillies. He tripled in the sixth inning, only he didn't. Upon appeal at second base, Brown was called out for missing the bag. He even admitted after the game he missed it. John Mayberry followed with a home run, though there's absolutely no guarantee that happens with a runner on third, because you can bet the Marlins pitch Mayberry differently. Still, Brown missed the bag and gave away an out in a game where the Phillies lost in extra innings. Brown also misplayed a Gaby Sanchez single into a three-bagger that allowed two runs to score, meaning you could say he cost the Phillies the game with the two mistakes. Still, I could much more easily tolerate a physical gaffe than a mental one. I will never understand how a player misses a bag while running the bases in high school, much less in the MLB. That's an avoidable mental error at any level.

Jake Westbrook, Cardinals. The Reds came into Wednesday having scored two or less runs in four of their past five games. The Cardinals had held the Reds to just one run combined in the first two games of the series. So I guess you could say they were due, though that's likely no consolation to Westbrook. He was torched by the Reds for eight hits and seven earned runs through just 4 1/3 innings. Five of those hits were of the extra-base variety, including three homers. After seeing his offensive teammates rally and his bullpen hold strong for much of the game, Westbrook had to have felt even worse when the Cardinals lost 9-8 in the 13th inning.

Spared: Sure, the Reds ended up winning, but it shouldn't have taken 13 innings to do so after leading 8-0 through five. That is unacceptable.

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Posted on: June 18, 2011 7:28 pm
Edited on: June 18, 2011 7:57 pm
 

Reds, Phillips haven't discussed extension

Brandon Phillips

By C. Trent Rosecrans

The Reds are expected to pick up Brandon Phillips' $12 million option for next season, John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer writes.

The team hasn't spoken to Phillips about an extension, Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said, but didn't rule it out.

"He's got an option," Jocketty told Fay. "That's what options are for. We might try to get something done later."

Earlier this week, Phillips told Amy K. Nelson of ESPN that it would be "hard to keep me here," when asked about his future in Cincinnati. He added, "I'm not trying to break the bank. I'm just trying to be fair. I don't want Jayson Werth money or CC Sabathia money."

That's a little different than what Phillips has repeatedly told the Cincinnati media for the last couple of years. When speaking to Cincinnati people, he's always said he wants to stay in Cincinnati and follow in the footsteps of his boyhood idol, former Reds great Barry Larkin.

He reiterated his desire to finish his career as a Red when speaking to Fay on Saturday.

"I told the Reds and the whole world this is where I want to be," Phillips said. "If it doesn't happen, I'm going to be very, very disappointed. I feel like I've made this a second home. I bought a house here. This is where I want to be, man. The fans just took me in. I feel like I need to stay here and give back.

"Hopefully, it happens. If it doesn't happen this year, I feel in my head and my heart, it's not going to happen."

Phillips has not only made himself a fan favorite through his use of Twitter, but has also donated enough money to help rebuild a local youth baseball field through the Reds Community Fund. He's backed his talk up with actions off the field, to be sure.

Atlanta signed second baseman Dan Uggla to a five-year, $62 million deal this past offseason. Uggla has more power than Phillips, but Phillips is a better all-around player. Philips won his second Gold Glove last season and has been even better defensively this year. His batting average and on-base percentage are about the same as they were a year ago -- and better than his career averages -- but his slugging percentage has taken a dip, as he's hitting .280/.338/.387 this season with five home runs. He hit 30 homers in 2007 and his home run numbers have dropped each season since. 

Phillips will be 30 later this month, so any extension will take that into consideration.

Last year the Reds showed they are willing to pick up a questionable high-priced option when they picked up Bronson Arroyo's $11.5 million option before spinning that into a three-year, $35 million extension.

Phillips will probably be looking for something similar, although he's possibly worth more.

Uggla's contract will be one comparison, but the Reds could point to Rickie Weeks, who signed a four-year, $38.5 million extension heading into this season. Weeks has outperformed Phillips at the plate this season (although, Phillips is much, much better defensively). Phillips has also been much more durable than Weeks, who has played more than 130 games just once in his career, while Phillips has played at least 140 games in every season since coming to the Reds in 2006.

Phillips has the second-highest salary in the game for a second baseman, trailing only Chase Utley.

The Reds' payroll is at $80 million this season -- but they have Francisco Cordero's $12.125 million coming off the books after this season. The team also has raises coming to Arroyo, Joey Votto, Johnny Cueto and Jay Bruce. Votto's signed through 2013, his last season before he's eligible for free agency. He gets a $4 million raise for 2012 and $7.5 million raise to $19 million in 2013. Bruce also has an increased salary for each of the next five seasons.

Reds owner Bob Castellini has said he could afford to keep the core of his team only if the team's attendance picked up after their National League Central run of a season ago. So far this season, the Reds are averaging 24,230 fans a game at Great American Ball Park, which is actually down from last season's average of 25,438. The average should increase as school lets out for the summer, but if there's a big enough increase in attendance for Castellini to keep his word is still to be seen.

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Posted on: June 7, 2011 4:50 pm
Edited on: June 7, 2011 7:54 pm
 

On Deck: Jeter's big homestand

OD

By Matt Snyder


Jeter Watch: Derek Jeter has entered the home stretch in his quest to reach 3,000 hits, and he now has a 10-game homestand where he could possibly make it. But he'll have to pick up the pace. He needs 14 hits to reach the plateau. He's averaging 1.09 hits per game so far this season, so that would give him about 11 hits during the homestand. Tuesday night, there's much more going on for the Yankees than Jeter, as the Red Sox come to town. The battle is as it always should be in the minds of many fans from the northeast: For first place in the AL East. The Yankees lead the Red Sox by one game. Taking the hill for the Red Sox is Jon Lester (7-2, 3.94). Freddy Garcia (4-4, 3.34) will go for the Yankees. As for the Jeter watch, he's faced Lester 41 times in his career, gathering 12 hits in 38 at-bats (.316) while striking out nine times. Boston at New York (AL), 7:05 p.m. ET. WATCH LIVE SCORING

Homecoming: Braves second baseman Dan Uggla and manager Fredi Gonzalez are returning to Sun Life Stadium for the first time in an opposing uniform. Uggla's return is the much bigger deal, as he manned second base for the past five seasons for the Marlins. He racked up 154 home runs, 465 RBI, 499 runs, 170 doubles and two All-Star appearances during that time and was one of the premier power-hitting second basemen in baseball. This season for the Braves, well, things haven't quite gone as planned. Uggla is hitting .172 with a .552 OPS. Coming off the best season of his career, he's compiling his worst stats, and it's not even close. The homecomings coincide with a series that is important for both the Braves and Marlins. Each are trailing the Phillies by four games in the NL East. The Marlins have lost five straight, and the Braves have dropped four of six. Tommy Hanson (6-4, 2.82) takes the mound for the Braves, and the Marlins send 21-year-old Brad Hand for his major-league debut. He was 7-1 with a 3.53 ERA and 1.27 WHIP in Double-A. Atlanta at Florida, 7:10 p.m. ET. WATCH LIVE SCORING

Moving CarGo: For the second straight game -- and only the second time all season -- the Rockies will send Carlos Gonzalez out to center field and also bat him leadoff. The move to center comes because of Dexter Fowler's injury, but Ryan Spilborghs could have been an option, too. Moving CarGo to leadoff seems designed to do whatever it takes to jumpstart him and the Rockies' offense. There's obviously no correlation between playing a different position and better production at the plate, but Jim Tracy is trying any kind of mix to get Gonzalez on track. After an MVP-caliber season, Gonzalez is hitting .249 with a .728 OPS. Last season, those figures ended at .336 and .974. The experiment didn't work Monday night. Gonzalez went 0-4 with two strikeouts. Tuesday, he'll give it another go in San Diego. The Padres send Tim Stauffer (1-4, 3.99) to the mound to face off against Ubaldo Jimenez (1-5, 4.98). Of note there: Jimenez had been terrible until a shutout last time out. Colorado at San Diego, 10:05 p.m. ET.

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Posted on: May 15, 2011 11:47 pm
 

3 up, 3 down: Big knock for Uggla



By Matt Snyder


Dan Uggla, Braves. In switching teams for the first time of his major-league career, it's been a rough start to the 2011 season for Uggla. He entered Sunday's game with a .196 batting average and .629 OPS (his career low in OPS is .805, back in 2007). Maybe his go-ahead, eighth-inning home run off Roy Halladay is what he needs to get hot. He went 2-3 to climb above the Mendoza line (.205) and also drew a walk. So he got on base three of four trips against one of the game's elite pitchers and played the part of hero with a late home run. That's a pretty solid day.

Justin Turner, Mets. The Mets were getting no-hit by Aneury Rodriguez through four innings, but by the end of the sixth, Turner had five RBI as the Mets put up seven runs in two frames -- and it was enough for the victory. Turner connected on a two-run double to tie the game at two in the fifth inning and then concluded the Mets' scoring with a three-run blast in the sixth. In those two at-bats, Turner knocked in more runs than he had in his first 36 at-bats in 2011.

J.J. Hardy, Orioles. Hardy -- from the nine-hole, mind you -- had the big blow for the Orioles in a 9-3 win over first-place Tampa Bay Sunday. He hit a grand slam in the sixth inning that made a 4-2 game into a laugher (8-2, math majors) instantly. On the day, Hardy was 2-5, which means he's hitting .400 (10-25) with two home runs and seven RBI since coming off the disabled list earlier this month. If Mark Reynolds would come around, the Orioles would actually have a pretty potent top-to-bottom batting order.




Javier Vazquez, Marlins. Vazquez is now 2-4 with a 7.55 ERA, but that doesn't even come close to describing how much of a burden he's been on the Marlins. That's because he's putting his team into a huge hole right out of the gate. Sunday, he coughed up six runs on six hits in the first inning alone -- including a two-RBI double by opposing pitcher Jason Marquis. Now, Marquis is one of the best hitting pitchers around, but he's still a pitcher. The Marlins would only score four runs all game, so it was essentially over after one inning. It shouldn't be surprising, as Vazquez has a 15.75 ERA in the first inning this season. That's an awful lot of pressure to put on your teammates to begin a game. Fish Tank blog notes that Vazquez could be in trouble of losing his spot in the rotation, but he's fortunate in that there aren't many good options waiting in the minors. He's just gotta get better, especially with the Marlins in what looks like a long-term three-team race in the strong NL East.

Brian Duensing, Twins. His grip on a job in the starting rotation may be slipping away. Duensing lasted just three innings Sunday against the Blue Jays, giving up eight hits and seven earned runs. Kevin Slowey is the obvious next in line, and he followed Duensing with six innings to finish the game. Fortunately for Duensing, Slowey allowed four earned runs in his six innings, but that's still better than Duensing -- and you've got to give Slowey a bit of a free pass with three of those runs coming on Jose Bautista homers. The best hitter on the planet at this point only accounted for one of the seven runs Duensing allowed.

Josh Willingham, A's. There's nothing really to say, other than to let the stat-line speak for itself. Willingham was 0-5 with four strikeouts and left seven men on base. Ouch.

BONUS DOWN: Mother Nature. Seriously, we the baseball fans in this great nation collectively cry "uncle." Prior to Sunday, there had already been more postponements this season than there were all of 2010, and now we can add three more to the list, as the Cubs-Giants, Mariners-Indians and Tigers-Royals games were postponed. This is a joke, and an unfunny one at that.

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Posted on: April 9, 2011 1:36 am
Edited on: April 9, 2011 2:08 am
 

3 up, 3 down for 4/8: Rays, Red Sox finally win

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Dan Johnson

3UP

Dan Johnson, Rays -- Johnson's three-run homer topped off a five-run ninth, giving the Rays their first victory of the season, 9-7 over the White Sox. Not only was it the Rays' first win of the season, Johnson gave the team its first lead of the season.

Antonio Bastardo, Phillies -- The 25-year-old lefty gave up Chipper Jones' 2,500th career hit on Friday, but after that he struck out the next six batters he faced -- Brian McCann, Dan Uggla, Jason Heyward, Alex Gonzalez, Freddie Freeman and Tim Hudson.

Jordan Zimmermann, Nationals -- Not only did Zimmermann pick up his first victory since undergoing Tommy John surgery, he also threw 91 pitches, while allowing six hits and two runs in 5 1/3 innings. Oh yeah, he also singled in two runs in the second inning.

3DOWN

Brian Wilson, Giants -- After staring in the Giants' pregame ceremonies to commemorate their World Series title, Wilson came into the game in the ninth inning to lock down another save. Instead, he gave up two runs on two hits and two walks. It was his second appearance since coming off the disabled list, allowing three runs Wednesday against the Dodgers. Manager Bruce Bochy has taken him out without finishing the inning in both outings. But hey, at least his ERA dropped from 40.50 to 33.75.

Albert Pujols, Cardinals -- You're not going to see this name in this part of 3 up, 3 down too often, but the two-time Gold Glover (including 2010) dropped a simple throw from pitcher Brian Tallet on Andres Torres' two-out grounder in the 12th inning on Saturday. That set up an RBI single by Aaron Rowand to give the Giants a 5-4 victory.

Boone Logan, Yankees -- In six plate appearances against lefties this season, Yankee the left-handed reliever has allowed three hits and two walks. Logan gave up hits to David Ortiz and J.D. Drew, with Drew's single in the seventh scoring two and locking up the first win of the season for the Red Sox. He did get Jacoby Ellsbury to ground out to end the inning, but the damage had been done by that point. With Pedro Feliciano and Damaso Marte on the DL, he's the team's only lefty in the bullpen.

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Posted on: February 18, 2011 1:29 pm
 

Video: Braves camp

The Braves are pretty happy to have Dan Uggla, at least that's what several players told CBSSports.com's Mark Morgan:


That Jason Heyward's not too bad, either:


Fredi Gonzalez takes over for Bobby Cox:


-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: January 19, 2011 9:16 am
Edited on: January 19, 2011 2:13 pm
 

Brewers cut off long-term talks with Weeks

Rickie Weeks The Brewers have gone all-in this season, trading what was left of their farm system to Kansas City to get Zack Greinke. Part of the reason the Brewers are going for it in 2011 is that the team knows it's the last year Prince Fielder is likely to be in Milwaukee. It could also be the last season of second baseman Rickie Weeks.

Weeks has filed for arbitration and is asking for $7.2 million, while the Brewers offered $4.85 million. The two sides had been seeking a multiyear deal, but are now focusing on just a one-year contract.

Brewers assistant general manager Gord Ash told MLB.com's Adam McCalvy that the two sides agreed to table the talks for a multi-year deal "to focus on a one-year deal but keep the options open in terms of revisiting a one-year deal," Ash said.

Weeks made $2.75 million in 2010 and produced for Milwaukee -- hitting .269/.366/.464 with 29 home runs, 83 RBI and 11 stolen bases, playing in 160 games. He led the National League in plate appearances in the year after he managed to play 37 games. Before 2010, he'd never played in 130 games in one season. The oddity of the arbitration process -- and the proof that it's very much in the favor of the players -- is that Weeks received a raise after his 2009 season when he had just 162 plate appearances.

Ash said the Brewers and Weeks' agent, Greg Genske, differed on both years and dollars for the 28-year old.

"There's a lot of negotiating that has to go on," Ash said. "He's looking at the player RIckie was this year and [assuming] he will be that going forward. Clearly, Rickie is a player we really value in terms of his dedication and his professionalism and his approach to the game, but we've had some uneven history here in terms of performance. … if there's a belief on Genske's side that Rickie Weeks is similar to Dan Uggla, then we're going to have a problem."

Weeks had an Uggla-like 2010, but will need another one in 2011 to even sniff Uggla-like money.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: January 4, 2011 8:26 pm
Edited on: January 4, 2011 8:26 pm
 

Uggla deal done: 5 years, $65 million

Dan Uggla
Dan Uggla's anticipated extension with the Braves is done, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, and it makes him the highest-paid second baseman in history.

At $13 million per season, Uggla's five-year, $65 million deal eclipses Chase Utley's deal (seven years, $85 million) in annual value. Uggla had been offered a four-year, $48 million extension by the Marlins, who traded him to Atlanta in November after he rejected it. Uggla was in his final year of arbitration eligibility, so this buys out four years of potential free agency.

In 2010, Uggla batted .287 with 105 RBI and 33 home runs, becoming the first second baseman ever to reach the 30-homer mark four times.

-- David Andriesen

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Category: MLB
 
 
 
 
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