Tag:Jayson Werth
Posted on: February 27, 2011 12:01 pm
Edited on: February 27, 2011 12:13 pm

Pepper: Werth hates the Phillies

By Evan Brunell

HATE IS A STRONG WORD: How quickly Jayson Werth forgets.

"I hate the Phillies too," Werth said in response to GM Mike Rizzo's complaining about how Philadelphia has thrown purpose pitches and executed dirty plays against the Nationals in recent years.

Werth, in his new role with the Nationals as a $126-million man will be to bring an edge to the club, something club officials felt was lacking. In fact, prior to Werth's arrival, Ian Desmond was considered as the closest to a vocal leader as the team had. Oh, and Desmond was a rookie. But now, Werth will be looked at to assume the mantle and give the Nats a harder edge as they march toward respectability.

No mention of Werth would be complete without acknowledging the stupidity of the outrageous contract handed Werth. But while that contract will come back to burn the Nats one day, at least for the next three to four years, Washington will love his middle-of-the-order bat along with his leadership. (Washington Post)

STICK A NEEDLE IN ME: Jason Hammel has turned to alternative medicine to manage his high cholesterol. A hereditary condition, high cholesterol was responsible for his father's death via heart attack at age 47, and the Rockies pitcher has no interest in following in his father's footsteps in regards to a demise. However, Hammel's treatment via Chestor caused side effects of soreness, which Hammel believes was responsible for his poor finish to the season. Now, he's turned to acupuncture and herbal treatments. (MLB.com)

LEARNING EXPERIENCE: Don Mattingly enters his first season as a major league manager, but has already learned some important lessons. Namely, walking off the mound after a coaching visit and then turning around to answer a question counts as two trips to the mound. That gaffe, put on display last season, is not one Mattingly plans to make again. (San Jose Mercury News)

NEW-LOOK Rangers: It's early yet, but manager Ron Washington has already settled on his lineup. Ian Kinsler will lead off, followed by Elvis Andrus. It's a rather curious move, as Kinsler is more power-oriented while Andrus gets on at a good clip and steals bases. Michael Young will bat sixth to try to increase his RBI opportunities. That leads one to wonder: a baseball move, or an appease-Young move? (Ft. Worth Star-Telegram)

KROONING FOR 200: Marc Kroon is back stateside. The former longtime minor league reliever found success in Japan and nailed down 177 saves in a six-year span. However, Kroon found offers lacking this past season and thus has returned stateside, joining San Francisco in an attempt to make the bullpen. Some believe Kroon is being blackballed by Japan so he will not receive 200 saves, an important landmark in Japanese baseball. Given the league's treatment of foreigners when chasing Japanese baseball records, that comes as no surprise. Kroon still harbors hope he can go back. (San Francisco Chronicle)

ONE STEP AT A TIME: Matt Bush was out of baseball from 2008-09 and was a former failed first-round pick of the Padres with behavioral issues. Now, the ex-shortstop has turned heads since becoming a pitcher and has rocketed up the Rays' depth chart. Bush is still a ways away, but this is one potential feel-good story worth monitoring. (Tampa Tribune)

BOSTON'S WHERE THE STATS ARE AT: The statistical revolution isn't just flooding baseball, it's flooding sports in general. And Boston is where it's all happening, as many consider it the "Silicon Valley of sports analytics." A sports analytics conference is taking place in Boston this upcoming weekend, and the Boston Globe takes a look at how analytics have influenced sports growing out of Boston. (Boston Globe)

IT'S NOT JUST ABOUT BASEBALL: Rays skipper Joe Maddon has a lot on his plate this spring, trying to assemble a new-look Rays team to compete in the AL East. At the same time, he's attempting to make Hispanics welcomed in his hometown of Hazleton, Pa. Residents are resisting the Hispanic influx, which Maddon fears could be the demise of a city with residents long in the tooth. (St. Petersburg Times)

ON SECOND THOUGHT, IT'S JUST BASEBALL: A nice interview with Bill James, who helped usher in the statistical revolution in baseball. There's likely no sports analytics conference in Boston without this talent, but while baseball may constantly be on James' mind, he likes other stuff too. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

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Posted on: February 14, 2011 2:38 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 11:26 am

Video: Phillies open camp

CBSSports.com's Mark Miller and senior writer Scott Miller were in Clearwater, Fla., today as the Philadelphia Phillies reported for camp. Here's the video of their visit:
Closer Brad Lidge is ready for 2011, and should be in line for plenty of save opportunities.
And rookie Domonic Brown says he's ready to step in for Jayson Werth. Brown appeared in 35 games for the Phillies last season, hitting .210/.257/.355 with two home runs.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: February 14, 2011 1:24 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 11:36 am

Camp notes: Sabathia opting out?

CC Sabathia With spring training getting into full swing today, here's a look at notes from around baseball.

* CC Sabathia has always said in the past that he was absolutely, positively not going to exercise the opt-out clause in his contract after this season. Given the chance to rule it out again Monday morning, he "did some dancing around the issue and, for the first time, opened the door that he might deploy the opt-out," according to the New York Post.

Sabathia also came in noticeably lighter, saying he lost 25 pounds in the offseason because he wants to pitch another eight to 10 years. If he stays on his current deal, which runs through 2015, he'll be looking for a new contract at 36. If he opts out, he'll be trying to cash in on a long-term deal at 31. If nothing else, he can use the opt-out as leverage to get the Yankees to extend him past 2015.

* Jayson Werth showed up to Nationals camp sporting the mega-beard he had shaved off last year. The Washington Post noted that Ian Desmond told Werth, "Your beard is strong." Werth's response: "Strong to quite strong, actually."

* Red Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka tells WEEI.com he feels so good he thinks he can pitch more innings than his first season in 2007. Considering he threw 204 2/3 that year, that's saying something.

* Joe Girardi told reporters Derek Jeter will still lead off.

* The Pirates start camp one man down, as pitcher Jose Ascanio is having trouble getting out of Venezuela due to visa problems. Can't he just use his Amex?

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: January 24, 2011 1:14 pm
Edited on: January 24, 2011 1:55 pm

Manuel likes Rollins to lead off

Jimmy Rollins
With Jimmy Rollins hobbled for much of the 2010 season, Shane Victorino got the nod at the top of the batting order most of the time for the Phillies last season. Manager Charlie Manuel says, however, that he's inclined to have Rollins batting first next season.

"I have always [looked] at Jimmy as a leadoff guy," Manuel said Monday in a radio interview, as relayed by the Philadelphia Inquirer. "I think Jimmy is a very intelligent player. I'm not saying Victorino won't lead off for us. He would be our next option."

Rollins played in just 88 games last season, leaving Victorino as the leadoff man 82 times. Victorino batted .276 in the leadoff spot and .234 elsewhere in the lineup, but posted the lowest on-base percentage of any full season in his career. Rollins similarly bats better in the leadoff spot, where he's played the vast majority of his career games. Manuel said he could see moving Rollins around and even using him in the No. 5 spot, where Jayson Werth's departure has left a big hole.

"First of all, I think Jimmy could hit first, second, third, fifth, sixth or even fourth for a couple of days," Manuel said. "Listen, I take a lot of pride in our hitting and we're going to find somebody to hit fifth. We have some good candidates. I guarantee you we're going to get some production from that spot."

Of course, Rollins' effectiveness at any spot in the lineup is going to depend on his ability to bounce back from leg and wrist injuries and show that he's closer to the guy who won the 2007 MVP than the .248 hitter he's been the past two seasons.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: December 20, 2010 9:48 pm

Report: Cubs, Rangers top Webb's list

Apparently Brandon Webb likes red, white and blue, because a source tells MLB.com's Bill Ladson that the Cubs and Rangers are the front-runners for former Cy Young winner Brandon Webb. The Nationals also fit the patriotic bill, but they apparently have fallen back in the running for the former Diamondback.

The Nationals have been clear about wanting a top-shelf pitcher, but might be focusing on Carl Pavano. Washington also is looking for a first baseman, and is thought to be in the market for Derrek Lee. After the Jayson Werth signing, there's going to be only so much the Nats can do financially.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: December 20, 2010 5:37 pm

Offseason spending spree hits $1 billion

Maury Brown of bizofbaseball.com notes that with the Astros making their signing of Bill Hall official, major-league teams have now officially invested over $1 billion in contracts for free agents since the end of the season, including both one-year and multi-year contracts.

Hall's one-year, $3 million deal brings the total to $1,000,380,000 for 69 players. That's an average of about $14.5 million per man, but contracts like Cliff Lee, Carl Crawford and Jayson Werth (worth almost $390 million by themselves) skew that quite a bit. The 69 deals include 34 one-year contracts, which are worth an average of $3,365,588.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: December 16, 2010 12:17 pm
Edited on: December 16, 2010 4:08 pm

A's swap for Nats' Willingham

Josh Willingham You know, it might be time to start keeping an eye on the Athletics.

They went 81-81 last season, and their weakness was clear: They pitched great, but they couldn't hit. But Oakland has made big moves on offense so far this winter and could be poised to make another. Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the A's are in "serious discussions" to get outfielder Josh Willingham from the Nationals.

When you consider that the three outfielders who made the most starts for the A's last season combined for seven homers -- yes, seven -- they're looking at a big outfield upgrade. Coco Crisp played in just 75 games last season due to injuries, but if he returns to form he'll be productive in the leadoff spot. The A's got David DeJesus, a high average guy with a little power, in November. Adding Willingham, who's good for 20-plus homers when healthy, would give Oakland a formidable outfield.

The Nationals' motivation for moving Willingham would be money. He made $4.6 million last season and is arbitration-eligible, and Washington needs to pay Jayson Werth. They also could have other moves in the works, reportedly pursuing trades for pitchers Zack Greinke and Matt Garza and bidding on first basemen Adam LaRoche and Derrek Lee.

Rosenthal said the Nationals would get two minor leaguers from the A's in exchange for Willingham.

UPDATE: Buster Olney of ESPN.com says via Twitter the teams have a deal in principle, with the Nats getting "two young players, one of whom has major league experience."

-- David Andriesen

UPDATE : The deal is done. Washington receives fireballing reliever Henry Rodriguez, who can touch 100 mph, and minor-league outfilelder Corey Brown. Reports had GM Mike Rizzo demanding more for Willingham so this is a bit of a surprise, but the motivation may have been to get the left-fielder out of town after Rizzo refused to extend Willingham.

Rodriguez is the man with MLB experience and threw the second-fastest fastball in the bigs in 2010, touching 103.2 mph. He appeared in 29 games, hurling 27 2/3 innings of a 4.55 ERA, punching out 33 but walking 13. The 23-year-old will compete for the closer's job in Washington, which is wide open.

Brown, meanwhile, is a left-handed outfielder who appeared in Triple-A for the first time in 2010 as a 24-year-old. He hit just .193/.253/.378 in 148 plate appearances. He did, however, bash Double-A to the tune of .320/.415/.502 in 386 PA. With 22 stolen bases on the season, Brown could develop into a solid fourth outfielder for Washington.

Still, this package feels light for Willingham. Oh well, that's to Oakland's benefit who now have to figure out which starting outfielder hits the bench.

-- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: December 15, 2010 4:29 pm
Edited on: December 15, 2010 4:30 pm

Werth ticked at Lee?

Jayson Werth and Cliff Lee had their introductory news conferences Wednesday, and there seemed to be a story behind the story.

Werth and Lee became BFFs when Lee was in Philadelphia before, and as both approached free agency this winter apparently they had talked about landing in the same place. Werth signed first and sort of scuttled any chance of a reunion by signing for a last-place team and hogging half the payroll. The Nationals reportedly made inquiries on Lee, but weren't considered serious players in the negotiations.

Nevertheless, Werth was apparently upset when Lee called to break the news that he was heading back to their old digs.

"When he found out I was coming here," Lee said, "he wasn't the happiest person in the world."

It could be Werth was bummed about not being reunited with his buddy. It could also be that he's upset the Phillies cried poverty when it came to re-signing him, then magically came up with $120 million to sign Lee. So he gets to sit in last place and watch Lee and the Phillies play NL wrecking ball.

"The news in Philadelphia, they got their boy back, I guess," Werth said. "That's fine. I think that's good. I like that. If you're going to be the best, you've got to beat the best. They make their plays, and we're going to make ours."

VIDEO: Lee meets the press in Philadelphia:

-- 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