Tag:Dan Haren
Posted on: July 3, 2010 9:59 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 12:16 pm
 

Scioscia against All-Stars for every team


Jose Rosado Because I grew up a Royals fan everywhere but Missouri, I've always been a fan of the rule requiring each team to have at least one representative for the All-Star Game.

Whether I lived in Cuba, Virginia, Texas, Japan or Georgia -- I was always guaranteed to see someone in a Royals uniform (usually George Brett) on TV every year. Not that the Royals of my youth needed the courtesy All-Star, they'd usually earned more than one berth in the game, but still, I knew there'd always be at least one. Sometimes that was the only time all year I'd be able to see a Royal on TV.

Now, though, I could -- if I wanted to punish myself -- watch just about every pitch of the Royals' awful season. With my MLB.tv subscription, my PS3, iPad and iPhone, I can watch those beautiful powder blue tops no matter where I go. That technology -- not to mention the advent of MLB Network, cable and satellite -- may have made the reason for the rule to have every team represented obsolete.

Angels manager Mike Scioscia said he thinks the rule should no longer apply.

"I'm all in favor of having guidelines where you try and represent every team," Scioscia told reporters, including the Orange County Register . "To have a hard-line rule, I think there are exceptions where a team doesn't have anyone All-Star worthy."

Scioscia was the manager of the All-Star team in 2003, when Lance Carter of the Ryas made the team with a 4.05 ERA and six blown saves.

"It's really a misnomer to say the manager picks the All-Star team. It doesn't happen," Scioscia said. "That team, with the guidelines in place, is virtually picked before it ever gets to the [manager]."

The rule helps explain why Jose Rosado's obituary will list him as a two-time All-Star and Mark Redman has an appearance on his resume.

There are currently 13 teams with losing records, some have obvious choices (like, say, the Cubs' Marlon Byrd or the Indians' Shin-Soo Choo), while it's a little tougher to choose a worthy All-Star from a team like the 24-55 Orioles (Ty Wigginton, Luke Scott?) or the 32-49 Astros (Dan Haren and his 4.56 ERA?)

Not all bad teams are created equally. The 33-46 Mariners have three worthy All-Stars in Ichiro Suzuki (who will no doubt be voted into the starting lineup by fans), Cliff Lee (if he's still a Mariner in a week) and Felix Hernandez. Even the Royals, at 35-45, wouldn't be embarrassed by David DeJesus, Joakim Soria or even Zack Greinke, who is having a down year.

If the game is truly for the fans, why not let it represent all the fans, and not just the Yankees and Red Sox? Baseball's All-Star Game is a celebration of the game with its best players and some of its nearly-best player or best players on one team. In the end, after injuries and the new rule against pitchers who pitch on Sunday throwing again in the All-Star Game on Tuesday, is it really that terrible to have the 75th best player in the game "snubbed" for the 131st?

In the end, I think of the 11-year old me waiting for Kevin Seitzer to get in the game, even if that visual is as anachronistic as my father listening to the Kansas City A's on the radio. Maybe out there somewhere, there's a kid excited about watch Andrew McCutchen get in the game, even if it's not "fair".

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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

Posted on: July 1, 2010 12:25 pm
 

Teams lining up for Haren

Dan Haren While Roy Oswalt and Cliff Lee are the marquee starting pitchers thought to be available at the deadline, it looks like plenty of teams are turning their attention toward the Diamondbacks' Dan Haren.

Various reports have listed the Yankees, Twins, Phillies, Nationals, Angels and Tigers as having interest in Haren, and Haren told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch this week that "I'd like to play [in St. Louis] again."

Why all the attention for a guy with a 4.56 ERA and $29 million left on his contract for the next two years? For one thing, this season looks like an anomaly. Haren has given up a ton of hits this season, leading the National League at 131, but his high BABIP of .345 indicates he's having some bad luck with balls finding holes.

Haren is fifth among all active pitchers in fewest walks and hits per inning (WHIP) in his career, he's won a minimum of 14 games each of the past five years, and he's a workhorse -- 33 or more starts and at least 216 innings for five straight seasons.

Haren is pitching better lately, and his June ERA was 3.19 in six starts. He also figures to benefit from getting out of Arizona and off the worst pitching staff in baseball.

If Haren, 29, settles back into the consistency he's always shown, he'd be a nice pickup despite his contract. Oswalt is due at least $18 million for 2011 (including a $2 million buyout of a club option for 2012), and after this season Lee is going to get a contract that makes Haren's look like pocket change. 

-- David Andriesen

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


Posted on: June 22, 2010 11:45 am
Edited on: June 22, 2010 11:54 am
 

Top 10 candidates to throw a no-hitter

Dallas Braden It's safe to say that baseball is entering an era of pitching. In a span of 23 days, three perfect games were thrown (one unofficial, but in this man's eye, Armando Galarraga had a perfect game) and young pitching has been exploding in quantity and quality as of late.

CBS Sports will attempt to explain why pitchers have the advantage over hitters these days with Scott Miller checking in this afternoon. Danny Knobler will look at the Mets' pitching history as one of three teams without a no-hitter to their name. As a warmup, let's take a look at 10 candidates who have a chance to throw a no-hitter or perfect game, whether this year or down the road.

It should go without saying that it's near fool-hardy to predict who will throw a no-hitter. After all, who could have predicted Galarraga's success, or that of Dallas Braden, who notched the first perfecto of the year? Only Roy Halladay's gem could have been foreseen while Mark Buehrle cofounds logic with both a no-hitter (2007) and perfect game (2009) to his name.

With that caveat in mind, there are four attributes that lend themselves to greater odds for a no-hitter: strikeouts, walks, groundballs and defense. The best way to keep batters off the bases, quite logically, is to strike them out. This is balanced by a need to stay strong for the whole nine innings but is nullified due to the fact anyone with a no-hitter through six innings will stay on the mound until the end.

While walks are allowed in a no-hitter, those with shaky command are more prone to giving up hits, plus their odds for perfect games collapse. Last is something out of the hurler's control, which is defense. A pitcher must have strong defense behind him to make the sparkling defensive plays that are a staple of every no-hitter. Just ask Buerhle how good a defender Dewayne Wise is, or take a look at Austin Jackson's amazing warning-track catch that preserved -- at least at the moment -- Galarraga's bid. As for groundballs, if you can't strike 'em out, the next best thing is to induce a chopper that an infielder can flip to first for an out.

Defensive proficiency will be measured in UZR/150 (click here for an explanation of the statistic) -- but keep in mind that defense should only be considered for the 2010 season. Changes in defensive quality occur from year to year. Excluded from this list (sorry, Jon Lester and Ubaldo Jimenez) are those that already have no-hitters and perfect games on their resume -- a good amount of these players like the ones that received an apology also have high odds to add another to their resume.

Without further ado, your candidates with statistics through Tuesday, June 22:

Mat Latos RHP Mat Latos , San Diego Padres
2010: 7-4, 3.13 ERA, 79 IP, 8.1 K/9, 2.4 BB/9, 45.6 GB percentage, Team UZR/150 of 10.4

Latos is blessed with the league's best defense and plays in one of the most extreme pitcher's parks to boot. In his first full season, Latos has shown he's already among the better young pitchers in the game. He has already come close to a no-hitter, giving up one hit -- an infield single -- in a complete-game shutout of the Giants on May 13. He walked none and whiffed six.

Brandon Morrow RHP Brandon Morrow , Toronto Blue Jays
2010: 4-5, 4.97 ERA, 76 IP, 9.95 K/9, 4.86 BB/9, 40.8 GB percentage, Team UZR/150 of -4.5

Morrow has some endurance concerns to work with and he's not exactly a control pitcher as evidenced by his average of almost five walks per game. However, he has electric stuff and certainly could have a no-hitter in his grasp. On a good day or as he matures as a pitcher, a perfect game is feasible. He's already sacrificed a bit of velocity and strikeout ability to tamp down the walks, a large reason why his ERA has dropped almost two full points since May 10.

Dan Haren RHP Dan Haren , Arizona Diamondbacks
2010: 7-5, 4.71 ERA, 101 1/3 IP, 8.97 K/9, 1.78 BB/9, 42.8 GB percentage, Team UZR/150 of 6.7

Haren may not have the ERA (4.71), but his xFIP of 3.43 shows that he's been rather unlucky on the year. Haren is one of the best pitchers in the game and turned in 229 1/3 innings of 3.14-ERA ball in 2009, so not only can he produce, he can do it while going deep into games. His command is simply fantastic, and any time he toes the mound at a park not named Chase Field, he's got a great chance at a no-hitter. (Haren was a subject of CBS' Sports Fantasy Baseball podcast Tuesday, give it a listen here .)

Ricky Nolasco RHP Ricky Nolasco , Florida Marlins
2010: 5-6, 4.90 ERA, 82 2/3 IP, 6.53 K/9, 1.85 BB/9, 38.5 GB percentage, Team UZR/150 of -1.6

Nolasco has somehow lost three strikeouts per nine innings off his game, but if he reclaims it, should combine stingy command with his gas to rank as one of the league's best pitchers year in and year out. He has strung together two impressive seasons prior to 2010. Working against him is his groundball percentage and a home park with a big outfield.

Hiroki Kuroda RHP Hiroki Kuroda , Los Angeles Dodgers
2010: 6-5, 3.06 ERA, 88 1/3 IP, 7.13 K/9, 2.45 BB/9, 53.5 GB percentage, Team UZR/150 of -9.4

Surprised to see Kuroda on the list? Don't be. The 35-year-old combines a strong strikeout rate, walk rate and groundball rate into someone who keeps runners off bases and doesn't give up too many extra-base hits. While the team is a sieve on defense (the UZR/150 mark is the worst in the majors), most of the damage comes from the outfield.

Jered Weaver RHP Jered Weaver , Los Angeles Angels
2010: 7-3, 3.04 ERA, 94 2/3 IP, 10.7 K/9, 2.19 BB/9, 37.2 GB percentage, Team UZR/150 of -7.2

Weaver doesn't have the defense behind him but if he keeps up his newfound two-seamer and ascension into the ranks of the pitching elite, he'll sniff a no-hitter before his career is over. The 27-year-old is breaking out, but the one negative is he has yet to go further than 7 1/3 inning on the season. On the bright side, he has four career complete games (two shutouts), all of which were registered in 2009.

Adam Wainwright RHP Adam Wainwright , St. Louis Cardinals
2010: 10-4, 2.23 ERA, 109 IP, 8.34 K/9, 2.39 BB/9, 52.3 GB percentage, Team UZR/150 of 2.5

Wainwright is a horse's horse and misses a lot of bats. His curveball -- as Carlos Beltran can attest to -- could be his money pitch, which would cause plenty of strikeouts and groundballs. He gave up just two hits and one walk (eight punchouts) in a complete-game victory over the Brewers on June 4.

Cliff Lee LHP Cliff Lee , Seattle Mariners
2010: 5-3 2.55 ERA, 77 2/3 IP, 7.76 K/9, 0.46 BB/9, 43.2 GB percentage, Team UZR/150 of 1.4

Cliff Lee is having a season for the ages with an obscene 16.75 K/BB ratio. All batters can do is hope against hope they can put the bat on the ball and it somehow finds a green patch of grass. He may not whiff as many as others on this list, but he doesn't have to when he simply doesn't give up a free pass unless the manager wiggles four fingers at him. He pitches in a pitcher's park with a strong defense behind him as well.

Stephen Strasburg RHP Stephen Strasburg , Washington Nationals
2010: 2-0, 1.86 ERA, 19 1/3 IP, 14.90 K/9, 2.33 BB/9, 44.1 GB percentage, Team UZR/150 of 1.6

It's not often that someone with three career starts to his name lands on a list such as this, but Strasburg isn't your usual pitcher. He combines filthy stuff with pinpoint control and keeps setting strikeout records. Not only is Strasburg a candidate for a no-hitter or perfect game, but it wouldn't be shocking if he racked up multiple no-hitters. Nolan Ryan holds the MLB record with seven total no-hitters, and it's not out of the realm of possibility Strasburg could match Ryan provided Strasburg pitches for many years to come.

Tim Lincecum RHP Tim Lincecum , San Francisco Giants
2010: 7-2, 3.11 ERA, 92 2/3 IP, 10.29 K/9, 3.59 BB/9, 48.9 GB percentage, Team UZR/150 of 8.4

Lincecum is the reigning back-to-back Cy Young victor and at age 26, is just getting started. He's giving up a few more walks than normal, but also leads baseball in whiffs per nine innings. On July 27, 2009, Lincecum whiffed 15 Pirates in a complete game effort. He coughed up three walks and four hits in that outing. The closest he has come to a no-hitter was June 29 of the same year when he gave up two hits to the Cardinals, but shut them out on eight punchouts and no walks.

-- Evan Brunell

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

Posted on: June 16, 2010 11:00 am
Edited on: June 16, 2010 4:40 pm
 

Wheeling and dealing only just started in Arizona


Even when the Diamondbacks return from their roadtrip on Monday, players may not want to lose track of their bags -- Conor Jackson may have been the trendsetter in an exodus from the desert.

Arizona general manager Josh Byrnes told Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic that more moves are likely on the way.

"We aren't where we need to be in the standings and as far as sort of the things we'd like to do to adjust the roster, there's also payroll considerations as we try to sort of get ready for next year," Byrnes said.

One of the team's most valuable trade pieces is starter Dan Haren. Haren tells Piecoro he likes the team's talent, but not the way they've played. Arizona is already 12 games behind the Padres in the National League West and 13 games below .500, so this team is contending anytime soon. Haren has two years left on his four-year, $44.75 million contract. His salary bumps up from $8.25 million this season to $12.75 million in both of the next two seasons, with a club option for 2013.

The Diamondbacks have plenty of young talent, and Haren said he'd like to stick around.

"That said, at this point in my career, I probably wouldn't want to be part of something like that," Haren told the newspaper. "Then again, I haven't really won anything since 2006 and I also want to win."

First baseman Adam LaRoche could be traded, but his 2011 mutual option ($1.5 million buyout) increases from $7.5 million to $9.5 million if traded, so he'd likely be a one-year rental.

Other trade options include closer Chad Qualls and second baseman Kelly Johnson.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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







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