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Tag:Grady Sizemore
Posted on: March 22, 2011 10:26 am
Edited on: March 22, 2011 11:16 am
 

Pepper: After death of child, Cordero persevering

Cordero

By Evan Brunell

WORST NIGHTMARE: After midnight the morning of Dec. 4, former Nationals closer Chad Cordero got the worst news one could get: his three-month old daughter was dead from SIDS, otherwise known as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

Cordero was once one of the best closers in the game, saving 47 games for the inaugural season of the Washington Nationals after coming up with the Mariners. Cordero's been a non-entity for years now, struggling with injuries amid stints with the Mariners and Mets. He is now in camp with the Blue Jays, but first had to go through a horrific experience. His daughter, Teyta, was staying with his grandparents and was put to bed to sleep, but was checked on regularly. The last checkup came around midnight before Cordero's mother, Patti, discovered Teyta had passed at 12:45 a.m.

It was, like, so hard -- for weeks," wife Jamie Cordero said. "Like you didn’t want to go to sleep, because you just felt that much further away from her, like it really happened. But looking back right now, I’m just glad those first few weeks are over, because it’s just like hell."

Cordero is slated to appear in his first major-league game on Tuesday and will do so with Teyta near him, as he had her face tattooed on his left forearm. It's not clear how realistic a shot Cordero has at the big-league roster, but there's one person in Toronto who believes in him.

"If there was anybody who would fight back, it would be him," Toronto scouting director Dana Brown said, who drafted Cordero when with Montreal. (Washington Post)

STAKE IN METS TO DEPEND ON MONEY: The reports of the Mets selling 20-25 percent of the club are technically not true. While that could end up being the percentage of the team sold, the goal for the Wilpons is to sell whatever share meshes with a specific amount the team is looking for. While this amount would be nowhere near what's needed to gain majority control, it does mean that the new owner could own as much as a third of the company, if not more. It will all come down to what the Mets are valued at. (New York Daily News)

WHO WILL START? The Brewers are having trouble finding a solution to replace Zack Greinke, but the team continues to insist that it will fill the spot internally, with Marco Estrada the latest candidate who will draw the start Tuesday. The club is keeping an eye on the open market, though, and while they won't bring in someone making significant dollars, there will be some intriguing names that could be available. If the Cubs release Carlos Silva, he could head to Milwaukee. The same goes for the Yankees and Freddy Garcia, who may have lost the No. 5 spot to Bartolo Colon. (MLB.com)

UPTON GLAD FOR SUPPORT: B.J. Upton wasn't really paying attention to racial remarks an Orioles fan yelled out during a spring-training game Sunday, but manager Joe Maddon certainly was -- and so were other members of the team who spoke up. Upton, for his part, says he hears these type of  comments constantly. "There's 30, 40,000 people in the stands; you're bound to hear it. It's 2011, you know what I mean, but it is what it is. Freedom of speech, I guess." (Tampa Tribune)

THE BEST WEAPON: Manager Terry Francona doesn't have any interest in returning to a closer by committee, which Boston tried the year before Tito arrived. However, he clearly recognizes the value of having a top set up man to deploy where needed, calling Daniel Bard "the best weapon you can have. ... Sometimes you wait to get to your closer, you’ve already lost. With guys like Bard, it’s bases loaded, seventh inning, you’re going to win or lose right there."

I JUST PLAY: Jake Peavy would love to stay on schedule and be ready for opening day, but he realizes that manager Ozzie Guillen is the man that makes the decisions. Peavy took care to make clear he wasn't interested in calling the shots and has not done so all spring. In light of Peavy's recent setback, the team will exercise caution in working the righty back into the rotation given how close he is to returning to action. (ChicagoBreakingSports.com)

PICK-TO-CLICK: Devin Mesoraco won't be making the Reds' roster, but he's caught the eye of manager Dusty Baker, who called the backstop his "pick-to-click" player. He could be the first option up from Triple-A if Ramon Hernandez and/or Ryan Hanigan get injured. (Cincinnati Enquirer)

ROAD TO THE BIGS: South Korea said no. Japan said no. So Tim Redding returned stateside and is now on the verge of making the major-league roster for the Dodgers as Vincente Padilla and Jon Garland have both been knocked out by injuries. You don't see that kind of story often. (Los Angeles Times)

BACK IN CENTER: Grady Sizemore will clear another hurdle Thursday when he plays center field for three innings for the first time since having microfracture surgery on his left knee in June. He served as DH in a game Sunday and will likely fill that capacity again on Thursday. (MLB.com)

LEAVING VIERA? The Nationals have been rumored to be looking for a new spring-training destination for quite some time. And now, from the mouth of owner Ted Lerner, it's confirmed that Washington is looking to move out from the east coast of Florida to cut down on travel time. While they would like to stay in Florida, Arizona is not being ruled out. (Washington Post)

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Posted on: March 17, 2011 8:51 pm
Edited on: March 17, 2011 9:47 pm
 

Sizemore to play on Sunday

By C. Trent Rosecrans

http://sports.cbsimg.net/images/bas
eball/mlb/players/60x80/392088.jpgGrady SizemoreGrady Sizemore will return to the field on Sunday, Indians manager Manny Acta said on Thursday.

Sizemore hasn't played since May 16 when he injured his knee and had microfracture surgery in June. He will start by getting two at-bats as the team's designated hitter on Sunday against the Diamondbacks.

"Hey, we've got to sell some tickets," Acta joked to reporters, including Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Sizemore is expected to run the bases again on Friday, although Acta declined to say when he would start sliding. Sizemore told MLB.com he expects to slide Friday or Saturday.

"I'm excited to get back on the field," he told MLB.com. "Everything else has felt good. [Sliding] is just the last progression."

The Indians open the season on April 1 at home against the White Sox.

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Posted on: March 16, 2011 11:02 am
Edited on: March 16, 2011 12:34 pm
 

Pepper: Sign spring's end is near



By Matt Snyder


How can you best tell when spring is winding down and the real Major League Baseball season is nearing? Well, a few things. The snow finally stops falling. I guess, though this year who really knows. It's liable to snow at some places into May at this rate. Another good sign is watching the NCAA basketball tournament on CBS (shameless plug alert). How about baseball teams starting to name -- or get close to naming -- a fifth starting pitcher? That's a pretty good one, and it's happening in a lot of different places right now.

We've already passed along that Mark Rogers has been demoted, which leaves Wily Peralta the Brewers' likely five . We've also noted Michael Pineda being in Seattle's driver's seat as well. But there are plenty more.

Esmil Rogers looks like he's opening up a lead over John Maine and Greg Reynolds for the Rockies, after working five innings Tuesday and only facing the minimum 15 batters. (Denver Post )

Brandon McCarthy has gotten in the good graces of manager Bob Geren for being "impressive" and "consistent" in looking to win the A's fifth starting job behind a pretty underrated top four of Trevor Cahill, Brett Anderson, Dallas Braden and Gio Gonzalez. (San Francisco Chronicle )

Ever since Adam Wainwright went down with injury and the Cardinals said they were going to look internally, Kyle McClellan has been the front-runner to take the remaining spot. And every outing since then, he's gotten rave reviews and been tabbed as the front-runner. Thus, it would be pretty shocking if he didn't get the job. Still, the word from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch is that McClellan is merely "closer" to getting the nod.

Speaking of shocking, it would be just as shocking if Randy Wells doesn't win one of the Cubs' two remaining rotation slots. He's throwing well this spring and has the past experience. It also appears that former first-round pick Andrew Cashner is putting some distance between himself and the rest of the field as well. We'll get back to Cashner in a second. (MLB.com )

Of course, there is one team a bit behind the curve here. The Texas Rangers, your defending American League champs, still have a whopping seven guys in the mix for two spots. If a decision is made to start Neftali Feliz, one that seems increasingly likely with each passing day, that narrows the field to six guys for one spot. Those six: Derek Holland, Matt Harrison, Michael Kirkman, Alexi Ogando, Dave Bush and Eric Hurley. (Fort Worth Star-Telegram )

THE PROFESSOR: Of the two nicknames you see listed for Greg Maddux on baseball-reference.com, I always preferred "the Professor," even though it's nowhere near mainstream. He was so much more cerebral than his opposition, seemingly getting guys out just with his mind. Thus, it's only fitting he's passing along some knowledge to Cashner in Cubs camp as a special assistant. His latest nugget? "Walks are overrated." It's not surprising, coming from a guy who probably never walked someone by accident in his prime. Those who remember watching him in the mid-90s are nodding in agreement. You could feel when Maddux was walking someone on purpose; otherwise it didn't happen. Oh, and if Maddux's wisdom isn't enough, Kerry Wood has also taken Cashner under his wing. (Chicago Tribune )

RUSSELL THE MUSCLE: Hey, someone has to fill the void left by Mark Reynolds -- both in terms of power and strikeouts. Despite his lackluster defense -- which is reportedly a concern for manager Kirk Gibson -- Russell Branyan is turning heads by killing the ball this spring, to the tune of a 1.274 OPS. And don't scoff. While Branyan has a bad batting average and strikeout issues, his career OPS-plus is 115 and he averages 31 home runs over the course of 162 games. He need only hold off Juan Miranda and once-big prospect Brandon Allen. (MLB.com )

NO WORRIES: Clayton Kershaw was torched Tuesday by the Rangers, but Dodgers manager Don Mattingly isn't worried about his likely ace. Nor should he be, considering it's only the spring and Kershaw entered the game with a 0.00 ERA through 11 1/3 innings. (Los Angeles Times )

SWITCHBACK: Prior to the ALDS last year, the rules for the dreaded catwalk at Tropicana Field were altered, but now those rules are reverting back to where they were in the regular season of 2010. Check out the complete list on St. Petersburg Times .

GETTING GRADY BACK: Sunday could be the day. Grady Sizemore hasn't seen game action in about 10 months, but reportedly he has a real shot to play Sunday. Obviously huge news for the Tribe. (Cleveland.com )

KEEPING DICE-K: There's been a lot of talk about the Red Sox trading Daisuke Matsuzaka of late. Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe makes a good case to fans that Dice-K is actually a pretty average major-league pitcher and that, as the fifth starter, that's really all the team needs. Put the absurd salary aside and just enjoy the good Red Sox team, he pleads. I tend to agree. (Boston Globe )

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Posted on: March 14, 2011 11:02 am
Edited on: April 18, 2011 11:18 am
 

Pepper: Nationals may leave spring-training home

Viera

By Evan Brunell

LONELY ROAD: The complexion of spring training has changed drastically over the last couple decades. There has been a seismic shift with central- and west-based clubs flocking to Arizona where the weather is friendlier and the commute between spring training homes shorter. 

Meanwhile, in Florida, the eastern coast is struggling to keep its business with only the Mets, Cardinals, Marlins and Nationals its occupants. The other clubs are based in west Florida and the Nationals are one team weighing its options on relocation. Although Washington's lease on its spring training complex in Viera, Fla., runs through 2017, that is not expected to be a major hurdle should the club deem its time in Florida untenable.

The major issue at hand is transportation, as Washington routinely requires over 1 1/2 hours of travel time to get to other spring complexes for exhibition games. Those missed hours all add up significantly in expenses as well as lost time. (FloridaToday.com)

Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal steps into the time machine and revisits the Yankees' occupation of Fort Lauderdale as spring training home from 1962-95. The one unfortunate byproduct of time marching on is sometimes it forces us to abandon places with great historical weight, such as Fort Lauderdale or the Dodgers' famed -- and now abandoned -- spring training home of Vero Beach, Fla.

I AM NO. 5: With the news that Aaron Cook will miss extended time due to injury, there is a battle for the No. 5 spot in Colorado. Felipe Paulino is out of the race, as he is now being converted to a reliever. That leaves two favorites for the spot in Esmil Rogers and Greg Reynolds. Despite Reynolds' strong season, it may be prudent to keep him in Triple-A for now. (Denver Post)

HEY, WHAT ABOUT ME? Yesterday, all attention was on Nationals center fielder Nyjer Morgan for alleging his hit-by-pitch in Sunday's game was on purpose for a dustup last season. But lost in all this was Danny Espinosa also being plunked, this one in the head. Espinosa turned out fine, but admitted to being surprised. (Washington Times)

PRETTY BOY: You won't find Eric Hosmer in Hollywood any time soon. The first baseman is jockeying with fellow teammate Mike Moustakas for title of best hitting prospect in the Royals system and is already on manager Ned Yost's good side. "The thing that I like about [Hosmer] is that being pretty is not high on his list of priorities," Yost said. (MLB.com)

FLOWERS BLOOMING: Count White Sox skipper Ozzie Guillen among Tyler Flowers' fans. Flowers was once a top catching prospect whose luster wore off in recent years, but a strong spring training has Guillen excited about the future. (ChicagoBreakingSports.com)

RUN GRADY, RUN: Grady Sizemore ran the bases successfully Sunday and is on track to play in a spring-training game in several days. It will mark his first game since May 16, so will need some time to get acclimated. He is not expected to be ready for Opening Day but could be ready to go shortly thereafter. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

PLAY OR GO HOME: Braden Looper hopes to make the Cubs after taking a year off. The former closer and starter appears to have a good shot of making the club and is drawing interest from other teams. One issue: Looper isn't interested in playing anywhere but Chicago and will go home to his family if he doesn't make the Cubs. (Chicago Sun-Times)

ONE IN, TWO OUT: Reds manager Dusty Baker appears settled on Chris Heisey making the team as a backup outfielder. That would leave Fred Lewis and Jeremy Hermida on the outside looking in. (Cincinnati Enquirer)

SURGERY DEFERRED: Braves minor-league manager Luis Salazar will undergo eye surgery (again) Tuesday. This is a delaying of surgery originally scheduled for Sunday as doctors wanted to wait for swelling to go down. He is expected to make a full recovery after taking a line drive off the face last Wednesday. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

NOT DONE: So, has the 48-year-old Jamie Moyer changed his mind about coming back to baseball after undergoing Tommy John surgery? Nope. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

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Posted on: March 13, 2011 11:15 am
Edited on: April 18, 2011 11:35 am
 

Pepper: Gordon's last shot?

Alex Gordon
By C. Trent Rosecrans

Remember when Alex Gordon was the next George Brett? Royals fans sure do.

Now, though, the former second-overall pick in the draft, is an afterthought in the deep, talented Royals system.

Taken ahead of the likes of Ryan Zimmerman, Ryan Braun and Troy Tulowitzki, Gordon has a career line of .244/.315/.355 in 1,641 plate appearances in the big leagues and has since been moved from third base to the outfield.

While no longer one of the core building-blocks of the Royals rebuilding job, Gordon still has some talent (and a little trade value). He's also starting to get hot in the Cactus League, going 8 for 12 in his last five games. He's also shown good plate discipline, drawing 11 walks.

"The timing was off. I was seeing the pitches good, I was just late and not making solid contact," Gordon told MLB.com. "Lately, I've been getting easy earlier and seeing pitches better and making good contact, and that's what it's all about. So definitely a big change in the last week."

Gordon, 27, spent his offseason working with Royals hitting coach Kevin Seitzer, someone who knows a little bit about living in the shadow of the Royals' lone Hall of Fame player. Seitzer's emergence at third base moved Brett from third base to first in 1987 and even made the All-Star team as a rookie. Seitzer has been the team's hitting coach since 2009.

"I think I've pulled my hands back so I'm loaded instead of trying to find the load during the swing. I'm ready to go right off the bat," Gordon said. "I think that's helped, and I'm not late on pitches anymore, and I'm being aggressive."

With the Royals throwing out a placeholder roster for 2011 before the prospects begin to trickle in later this summer, Gordon may be getting his last chance to prove he's more than a Four-A player. Soon, that Royals influx of talent could make him the next Clint Hurdle in Royals history.

SILVA ON THE BLOCK: Three Nationals scouts, among others, watched the Cubs' Carlos Silva in his latest spring training start, ESPNChicago.com's Bruce Levine writes.

According to Levine, the Nationals and Yankees have had scouts at each of Silva's outings. Both teams are looking to fill their rotation and could afford Silva's $12 million salary.

Chicago has had good spring showings from Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner, making Silva expendable.

Dave MartinezHAIR CLUB FOR MEN: With Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez now Rays, manager Joe Maddon wants his team to follow the example of his newest stars.

"I encourage the growth of follicles," Maddon told the St. Petersburg Times. "I want them all to go nuts with their hair this year."

Although Ramirez is known for his long dreadlocks and Damon is now sporting a fauxhawk, the inspiration for his goal of being "the hirsute club" was bench coach Dave Martinez's bushy beard (pictured).

"Sometimes I just go with my instincts, and I just think it could turn into a lot of fun for the group," Maddon said, noting he'll let his hair grow out as much as possible. "So whatever keeps you focused on the field and having fun off it, I'm all for it."

FORMER CUBS OK: The Chicago Tribune caught up with former Cub Micah Hoffpauir, who is now playing in Japan.

"My first earthquake," Hoffpauir told the Trib. "And good Lord willing, it will be my last."

Hoffpauir, now a member of the Nippon Ham Fighters, was in his room on the 26th floor of his hotel in Tokyo when the earthquake hit, approximately 250 miles to the north.

"It felt like someone started shaking the whole country of Japan," Hoffpauir said. "At one point I thought, this building is going to fall down. But I was assured later that [swaying] is what the building was supposed to do."

He said he was evacuated from his hotel and was able to contact his wife in Texas to let her know he was OK. He said he has also been in touch with former Cub teammate Matt Murton, who was training further south in Osaka, and he was OK.

GARFOOSE FUNDRAISER: Author and Rays reliever Dirk Hayhurst will call you up and thank you personally if you donate $50 or more to Mercy Corp Fundraising for the victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. (DirkHayhurst.com)

HIDDEN TREASURE: Investigators found a jackpot of 1986 Mets memorabilia in a  Port St. Lucie storage facility following their case of former Mets clubhouse manager Charlie Samuels.

Samuels is accused of theft and illegal gambling.

Among the treasure found in the storage facility was signed uniforms from the 1986 Mets team that defeated the Red Sox in the World Series. The collection is reportedly worth "hundreds of thousands of dollars." (New York Daily News)

SIZEMORE GETTING CLOSER: Indians manager Manny Acta said he thinks center fielder Grady Sizemore is scheduled to start running bases today and could be cleared to play in games sometime in the last 10 days of spring training. (MLB.com)

D-TRAIN OFF THE RAILS: Dontrelle Willis left Saturday's game with a sprained ankle, tripping on a bat after backing up the plate on Bobby Scales' two-run single. Willis had a rough outing, allowing two hits and two walks while recording just a single out. (MLB.com)

THANK YOU, COME AGAIN: Commissioner Bud Selig said Saturday that the stake in the Diamondbacks once owned by Padres chief executive Jeff Moorad has been sold. Current Arizona managing general partner Ken Kendrick absorbed the eight percent of the Diamondbacks  for $21 million. Moorad's group owns 49 percent of the Padres. (MLB.com)

HARDEN OUT OF ROTATION MIX: Rich Harden is officially out of the race for the Athletics' fifth-starter sport. Harden could still find a spot in the bullpen, but it's getting crowded too. Brandon McCarthy, Tyson Ross and Bobby Cramer are still competing for the fifth starter spot, with the losers then looking to make the bullpen. (San Francisco Chronicle)

STATS FOR DUMMIES: The great Joe Posnanski gives you a primer on advanced offensive statistics. (JoePosnanski.com)

LINEUP CONSTRUCTION: Little has more breath and keystrokes wasted on it more than lineup construction. It's a fan's favorite nitpick to show why their manager is an idiot, yet it doesn't really matter that much in the long term. (Although, it makes the most sense to get your better hitters at the the top of the order, because they get the most at-bats). But anyway, Astros manager Brad Mills discusses his philosophy for filling out his lineup card. (Houston Chronicle)

RAYS RESURRECTION: Former top pick Matt Bush is making a comeback in Tampa's training camp. (Tampa Tribune)

BASEBALL PROJECT: If you missed our Ear on Baseball podcast with the Baseball Project, what's wrong with you? Seriously?

Anyway, you can catch up with Scott McCaughey, who says despite touring the world with various rock bands, he's always kept up with baseball because it's a "a sort of zen thing for me" and reading boxscores is "like meditation" -- I think we can all understand that. (Athens Music Junkie)

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Posted on: February 15, 2011 10:05 am
Edited on: February 15, 2011 10:10 am
 

Morning Pepper: Plush digs in Arizona

Welcome to Morning Pepper, a roudup of news and notes from around baseball.


* Diamondbacks closer J.J. Putz tweeted this photo of the team's workout room at the newest spring training facility, Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. Man, that place needs a nickname immediately. Anyway, the facility isn't too shabby, as you can see in this video tour with the Denver Post.

* Albert Pujols went to high school and college in Kansas City and has ties there. You don't suppose ... no, not going to happen.

* A look at the tie Stan Musial will wear today when he receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom (it seems the Cardinals are missing a good chance to at the very least make some money by selling those ties -- I'd buy one)

* The great Joe Posnanski on the most interesting winners of Gold Gloves

* Daniel Bard, who bears a strong resemblance to one of the guys in Lady Antebellum, reflects on his "Grammy win" and whether he might have to give up baseball for music.

* Grady Sizemore still shooting for opening day.

* Don't expect a quick answer to the Yankees' rotation.

* Jim Leyland looks at Patrick Leyland as a player in camp, not a son.

* Kerry Wood: I started with the Cubs, I want to end here.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans and David Andriesen

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Posted on: January 27, 2011 10:59 pm
Edited on: January 28, 2011 1:21 am
 

Indians GM says Sizemore, Carmona won't be traded

Grady Sizemore Indians general manager Chris Antonetti has had a blanket policy of not commenting on rumors -- except this one.

"This one time, I will comment on it. We have not had a single discussion about potentially trading Grady Sizemore," Antonetti told MLB.com's Jordan Bastian. "Now, there are teams that call us all the time to ask about our players -- that's just the nature of the business.

"They'll ask about almost everyone on our roster at different points in the offseason, but I can tell you at no point have we contemplated trading Grady, and we have no intention of trading Fausto [Carmona], either."

Earlier this week, MASNsports.com reported the Indians and Nationals have had "conversations" about sending Sizemore and Carmona to Washington.

"If you want to create another buzz, just go home and log in and say that you heard we're going to trade Jason Kipnis for Derek Jeter," Indians manager Manny Acta said.

That's not likely to happen, either.

That's not to say Sizemore will be in an Indians uniform on opening day. Sizemore is trying to come back from microfracture surgery on his left knee. Antonetti said the team is still hopeful Sizemore will be ready to play in spring training games by mid-March and hopefully ready for opening day. He played in just 139 games in the last two seasons.

Antonetti said catcher Carlos Santana is ahead of Sizemore in his rehab and expects him to be ready for opening day.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: January 25, 2011 9:27 am
Edited on: January 25, 2011 1:53 pm
 

Nats want Sizemore, Carmona?

Grady Sizemore
The Indians are still looking to move salary, and could unload two of their top three payroll obligations for 2011 if, as reported by MASN's Phil Wood, the Nationals are potentially interested in trading for pitcher Fausto Carmona and outfielder Grady Sizemore.

Carmona is due $6.1 million in 2011, with three years of club options beyond that. He wouldn't exactly be the top-of-the-rotation ace Mike Rizzo went into the winter targeting, but based on his 2010 numbers (13-14, 3.77 ERA, 210.1 innings, 102 ERA+), he can at least be a solid rotation piece.

Sizemore was originally a prospect for the Expos (now Nationals) before went to Cleveland along with Cliff Lee in that bizarre Bartolo Colon trade in 2002. Sizemore would be a somewhat high-risk acquisition, as he played just 33 games last season before being knocked out by knee surgery and might or might not even be ready for opening day. But it's a high-upside scenario if Sizemore is healthy -- it's not often you get a shot at a 28-year-old three-time All-Star center fielder. He's due to make $7.5 million this season with an $8.5 million club option for 2011.

Keep in mind that this is just talk, and the Nationals might end up interested in one of the two instead of both (assuming even that Cleveland would part with both), but if Washington got the pair it would be $13.6 million for a couple of potentially big pieces with options in place for another year or, alternately, the chance to cut ties. The Indians would get even closer to the bottom of the barrel in payroll, and Indians fans would again get the shaft.

-- 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