Tag:Erik Bedard
Posted on: March 28, 2011 5:42 pm
 

Michael Pineda makes Mariners rotation

Pineda

By Evan Brunell

The Mariners have decided to go with phenom Michael Pineda in the No. 5 spot of the rotation, as Geoff Baker reports on Twitter.

This is a surprise, as Pineda is just 22 and it would have been entirely justifiable for the Mariners to send him to Triple-A for some more seasoning and wait until June to promote Pineda. By allowing Pineda to break camp with the team, Pineda could hit free agency after the 2016 season. Of course, this is all assuming Pineda stays in the majors and doesn't lose service time in the future, but it is difficult to imagine Pineda blowing up and requiring a demotion. The Mariners would not have made the move to Pineda without being fully confident in both his current talent and ability to sustain it over a full year.

The right-hander was recently named the No. 20 prospect in all of baseball by CBS Sports and could eventually emerge to give the team a wicked complement to Felix Hernandez atop the order.

Pineda split 2010 between Double- and Triple-A, making 13 starts in the lesser league and earning a 2.33 ERA in 77 innings, walking 17 and whiffing 78. While he would walk 17 in Triple-A as well in less innings (62 1/3), he also dialed up his whiff proficiency, seating 76 by way of the K. Due to some bad luck, he finished his Triple-A season with a 4.76 ERA in 13 starts.

Now, Pineda will hit the majors and give fans and Ichiro Suzuki something to get excited about. There's promise in the Emerald City with Pineda hitting the majors and Justin Smoak manning first base after being acquired in the Cliff Lee trade. Top hitting prospect Dustin Ackley, who was ranked No. 8 among the top 100 list, will hit the majors at some point this season and take over second base. It will take some time for all the talent to gel together, but there's cause for real optimism.

Pineda will bring up the back of a rotation headlined by Hernandez and followed by Jason Vargas, Doug Fister and Erik Bedard.

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

Posted on: March 12, 2011 5:07 pm
Edited on: March 12, 2011 5:23 pm
 

Mariners top prospect Pineda to make rotation?

PinedaBy Evan Brunell

Former Nationals GM Jim Bowden is now a host on MLB Network radio and tweeted the Mariners rotation as he sees it after discussing it with manager Eric Wedge and GM Jack Zduriencik.

Topping the rotation to no one's surprise is Felix Hernandez, the AL Cy Young Award winner this past season. Behind him are Jason Vargas and Doug Fister -- soft-tossing pitchers with some success at the major-league level, but nothing to write home about. Vargas did have a 3.78 ERA in 31 starts over 192 2/3 innings, but clearly benefited from Safeco Field -- his home ERA was 2.86, away 4.85 while his overall xFIP was 4.82.

Fister, meanwhile, had a 4.11 ERA in 28 starts and 171 innings pitched, but paired his stingy 1.7 BB/9 rate with a 4.9 K/9 mark. His xFIP was actually intriguingly close to his ERA at 4.27, but exhibited drastic first- and second-half splits. Prior to the All-Star Game, Fister had a 3.09 ERA in 13 starts that spiked to 5.09 in 15 post-break starts.

It's the two starters behind Vargas and Fister that are intriguing. The No. 4 starter appears to be Erik Bedard, with good reports coming out of camp that the lefty is healthy and ready to contribute. When Bedard has been able to take the field the last three years (and not at all in 2010), he has delivered on the promise he flashed in 2009-09 with the Orioles. If Bedard can put together a full season, he could easily be the club's No. 2 starter.

The No. 5 starter appears to be Michael Pineda, the No. 20 prospect in CBSSports.com's Top 100 Prospects list. This isn't a surprise, as Pineda's talents are exceptional and appears near-ready for the majors. However, to come out with Pineda starting the season in the rotation is a bit odd. While money shouldn't be a major influence in a player's arrival in the majors, that's doubly so for big-market teams and/or those in competition. The Giants, for example, won the World Series on the back of Rookie of the Year Buster Posey, who was held down until late May. The Giants ended up needing the final day of the regular season to win the division.

However, the Mariners harbor no illusions that they are not better than the Rangers and Athletics, if not the Angels as well. While .500 is not out of reach for Seattle, the added value of keeping Pineda down until he wouldn't qualify for being a Super Two arbitration-eligible player seems worth more than having Pineda grab 32 starts with the big-league club. While Seattle is a big-market team, that doesn't mean the M's shouldn't take advantage of the rules.

Plus, Pineda hasn't torn apart Triple-A yet and only has 12 starts at that level. The 22-year-old posted a 4.76 ERA last year in those 12 starts after a 2.22 mark in 13 starts. Pineda's strikeout and walk rates in Triple-A held steady, but coughed up a few extra home runs that was likely the difference in the ERA. There just doesn't appear to be an overwhelming reason to bring Pineda up immediately along with No. 8 prospect Dustin Ackley who is preparing to become the second baseman.

Once the calendar flips to June, absolutely bring up Pineda and Ackley. Until then, the Mariners need to focus on getting these players additional seasoning at Triple-A and delaying their clocks as long as possible. 

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

More MLB coverage
Posted on: March 11, 2011 11:01 am
Edited on: March 11, 2011 11:51 am
 

Pepper: Wagner coach at 28; Japan quake fallout

Pepper

By Evan Brunell

These days are certainly different for Ryan Wagner, a 2003 first-round pick of the Reds. He debuted that same year at age 21 and looked as if he would deliver on his promise, but injuries and attrition caused him to struggle over the next two years before being dealt to the Nationals in a contentious deal, with Cincinnati later alleging that the Nationals then-GM Jim Bowden wasn't up-front about the injury issues of reliever Gary Majewski. 

With the Nats, Wagner was nothing more than a fungible reliever who regressed in effectiveness before undergoing surgery for a torn labrum in 2007. After two years of trying to rehab the injury, Wagner called it quits in 2009. And now, he's a 28-year-old manager, accepting a job with the Victoria Generals in the Texas Collegiate League, a college summer league.

"The college level is where I want to be," Wagner said. "I love coaching the younger boys, but it's definitely a slowdown from the big leagues.

"With the little kids, it's fun teaching the fundamentals and watching them grow. But a lot of these kids are D-I players and when you tell them something they are able to make the adjustments." (Victoria Advocate)

DEVASTATION IN JAPAN: While Americans were sleeping soundly, Japan was the victim of the worst earthquake since 1900, measuring 8.9 on the Richter scale. A tsunami developed that will hit Hawaii, but isn't expected to devastate the island. Other places, such as Thailand, may not be so lucky. In the midst of all this, Japan has canceled all professional baseball games for Saturday along with other major sporting events. (Yakyubaya.com)

CONCERN FOR GRANDMOTHER: There are plenty of Japanese ballplayers and media members stateside for spring training that have left many scrambling to contact friends and family. One such player is Daisuke Matsuzaka, who has heard from his family and friends but has not been able to reach his grandmother. (Boston Herald)

Yankees LEGEND OK: Yogi Berra suffered a fall at Yankees spring training camp Thursday and was taken to the hospital as a precaution. The Hall of Famer is doing just fine and may even return to camp Friday. (New York Daily News)

STUPID IS AS STUPID DOES: Stephen Strasburg has had a Twitter account for several months but only recently has been tweeting with any frequency. One such tweet yesterday: "Keeping it freaking stupid with coach today!" Who knows what that means, but good to know. (Washington Post)

WILD THING: "Adaptable, even-tempered and not easily rattled" were words used to describe Charlie Sheen. Huh. Interesting. But these words are from the Sheen of three decades ago when he was a relief pitcher for Santa Monica High School. Sheen served as a "very efficient" bullpen ace, coach Jose Lopez recalls. (Los Angeles Times)

MORE Mets MESS: Everyone knows about the Wilpons' struggle to hang onto the Mets in light of the Bernie Madoff scandal, but there's an entirely different scandal being dealt with at this point. Back in November, the Mets fired team employee Charlie Samuels, who admitted to gambling on baseball and also provided mob associates with insider tips. He is also under investigation for stealing memorabilia from the Mets clubhouse and then selling them. The New York Police Department's Organized Crime and Control Bureau was at Mets camp Thursday to interview players and employees about Samuels in the hope of ferreting out more information for the case. Baseball investigators were also on hand to see if illegal gambling is being conducted by other employees and players. Investigators spoke to people with close ties to Samuels, such as  Mike Piazza and Francisco Rodriguez. (New York Daily News)

AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT GAME: Rockies manager Jim Tracy finally got Denver Nuggets basketball coach George Karl in town, with Karl assisting Tracy in managing Thursday's game. While Karl's the basketball guru, he may have had a hand in Todd Helton cracking a double, speaking to the first baseman just before the at-bat. A bit of a stretch, but whatever, it's spring training. (Denver Post)

QUESTIONING COLE: MLB Trade Rumors has a bunch of questions for college pitcher Gerrit Cole, who should be a top-five pick in the upcoming amateur draft. Cole was plucked out of high school by the Yankees, but opted to go to UCLA and doesn't regret the decision. Also in the interview: Cole's relaying of a Charlie Sheen story. (MLB Trade Rumors)

OZZIE'S IMPRESSED: Dayan Viciedo has impressed manager Ozzie Guillen the most at spring training. The Cuban defector is currently converting to right field from third base as he looks unable to field the position and first base is locked up. Viciedo was hitting .476 in spring training games but a fractured right thumb will sideline him about a month and guarantees a ticket to Triple-A, which was likely coming regardless. If he can show some semblance of plate discipline, he could be a nice bat for years to come. (Chicago Sun-Times)

ON THE WAY BACK: Erik Bedard was one of the better left-handed starters in the game but missed all of 2010 and had just 30 games started combined between 2009-10. Clearly, Seattle's trade for Bedard hasn't quite worked out, but the lefty had a strong start Thursday and felt he was approaching how he felt during his 2006-07 run. That's all well and good, but the 31-year-old needs to actually pitch in a major league game multiple times before anyone gets excited. (MLB.com)

BIG SWEAT: Dennys Reyes makes himself known to Red Sox fans, as the portly left-hander appears all but a lock to snag a spot in the Red Sox bullpen as the requisite lefty. Reyes has quite an interesting story of how he dislocated his right shoulder, which forced him to begin throwing left-handed. He didn't get the shoulder treated, which is why his right shoulder has a six-inch hunch over the left and still causes him pain on certain fielding plays. (Boston Herald)

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

More MLB coverage

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

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

Posted on: December 2, 2010 9:38 pm
 

Bedard signs 'non-guaranteed' deal with Mariners

Erik Bedard The Mariners will give even more money to Erik Bedard, signing him to a one-year "non-guaranteed" deal on Thursday.

The team announced the deal, including the "non-guaranteed" part, so they know they're going to take a beating if that wasn't included.

Last season, Bedard got $1.5 million from the team without ever throwing a pitch. Since the Mariners traded five players to Baltimore in return for Bedard, the left-hander has made just 30 starts in three years, while undergoing three shoulder surgeries.

And really, did you see the Mariners play last year? Even though he didn't play a single game, he wasn't the team's worst player. Heck, if worse comes to worse, he's a career .267 batter (4 for 15), so he could DH. Only one Mariners regular last season hit better than that -- Ichiro (.315). Heck, forget "regulars" only one other Mariner batter had a better batting average than that -- catcher Guillermo Quiroz (.286, 2 for 7).

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: November 3, 2010 3:54 pm
 

M's decline options on Bedard, Branyan, Lopez

Erik Bedard The Mariners have declined their options on left-hander Erik Bedard, Russell Branyan and infielder Jose Lopez.

The Mariners had an $8 million option on Bedard with a $250,000 buyout. He made $1.5 million this year and made just one rehab start at Triple-A Tacoma in 2010. The team may try to bring him back at a much lower rate.

Branyan was due $5 million. The first baseman was acquired in a trade with the Indians in June. He played in 57 games for the Mariners, hitting .215/.319/.483 with 15 home runs and 33 RBI.

Lopez, who had a $4.5 million option with a $250,000 buyout, is eligible for arbitration, if the Mariners desire. However, the team already has Chone Figgins and Dustin Ackley coming, so he would unlikely be an option for a team that's going to be watching every penny and expecting another rough year. The Denver Post 's Troy Renck notes (via Twitter ) the Rockies have interest in Lopez.

The Mariners had already declined their option on right-hander Ian Snell.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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


Posted on: July 23, 2010 7:49 pm
 

Bedard seeking a third opinion

Erik Bedard Stop me if you've heard this one before, Mariners starter Erik Bedard will seek another opinion on his sore shoulder, the Seattle Times ' Geoff Baker reports .

Next week Bedard will head to New York to meet with specialist Dr. David Altchek to get a third opinion on his shoulder. He's already met with Dr. Lewis Yocum and Dr. Edward Khalfayan.

The Mariners had hoped to the left-hander could be healthy enough to trade by the deadline, and with that hope shot, it looks less and less like Bedard will be able to pitch at all this season.

The Marienrs re-signed Bedard for $1.5 million this season thinking he may be able to return at midseason, but that's passed. The team has an $8 million option (with a $250,000 buyout).

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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

Category: MLB
Posted on: July 22, 2010 12:03 am
 

Bedard likely done for 2010

Erik Bedard Erik Bedard is not likely to pitch at all in 2010, as the Seattle Times reports .

Bedard, who underwent surgery for a torn labrum in his left shoulder in July 2009, has been recovering since and trying to get back on a mound. He was slated to return to the majors recently, but was scratched when he had a setback in a bullpen session.

A recent MRI exam did not bear out good results, as Bedard told Geoff Baker.

Both sides aren't revealing the results of the MRI, but Bedard doesn't expect to pitch for the rest of the season. He is consulting with his surgeon, Dr. Lewis Yocum, and the Mariners' medical director.

Bedard was acquired prior to the 2007 season from Baltimore and posted a 3.67 ERA in 15 starts while missing time with various injuries. In 2009, he checked in with a 2.82 ERA over another 15 starts before the surgery. That's been the extent of his Mariners career that saw Adam Jones, Chris Tillman and George Sherrill, among others, traded to the Orioles for the young left-hander.

Bedard inked an incentive-laden one-year deal with the Mariners along with a base salary of $1.5 million. He will be a free agent again after the year.

-- Evan Brunell

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

Category: MLB
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com