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Tag:Jered Weaver
Posted on: May 2, 2011 5:55 pm
 

On Deck: Ethier looks for 28

Andre Ethier
By C. Trent Rosecrans

Streaking -- Los Angeles' Andre Ethier looks to extend his hitting streak to 28 against the Cubs tonight. Chicago starts left-hander James Russell, who Ethier's only faced once. In their lone matchup, Ethier grounded out to Russell on July 8, 2010. Ethier is hitting .219/.242/.344 against left-handers this year. Cubs at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m. ET

Matchup of the night -- Bartolo Colon's first two starts of the season have been fantastic -- he's 2-0 with a  1.84 ERA as a starter. Justin Verlander has traditionally started the season slowly, going 9-14 with a 4.75 ERA in March in April in his career, but he's 18-8 with a 2.75 ERA in the month of May. Yankees at Tigers, 7:05 p.m. ET

Flu boys -- Jered Weaver and Clay Buchholz each had their starts backed up a day to Monday after dealing with the flu on Sunday. Maybe that was just so we could see these two face-off at Fenway. Weaver was the best pitcher in the majors in April (so says CBSSports.com's baseball crew), but has struggled in his five career starts at Fenway Park, going 1-3 with a 7.76 ERA. Buchholz, 17-7 with a 2.33 ERA last season, haste to post and quality start this season. He's 1-3 with a 5.33 ERA. Angels at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. ET

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Posted on: May 1, 2011 3:48 pm
Edited on: June 1, 2011 1:03 pm
 

Players of the Month: Bautista, Weaver



By Matt Snyder


April was a month chock full of big individual performances in the ultimate team sport.

April's Best
Expert Batter Pitcher
Knobler Bautista Weaver
Miller Bautista Weaver
Brunell Bautista Garza
Rosecrans Bautista Johnson
Snyder Bautista Weaver
Fantasy Bautista Weaver
It was a month when we saw Andre Ethier put together a 26-game hitting streak en route to a .380 batting average. We saw his teammate Matt Kemp storm out of the gate as hot as anyone and slug a few walk-off home runs. Lance Berkman and Alfonso Soriano have apparently discovered the fountain of youth, while Alex Gordon had a breakout month four years in the making. Ryan Braun and Joey Votto have hit the ball as consistently well as anyone in the game. Matt Holliday returned in less than two weeks from an appendectomy and continued to mash. In the Big Apple, veteran Alex Rodriguez and youngster Ike Davis have been raking. Carlos Quentin and Troy Tulowitzki had stretches where they were hitting everything in sight. Ben Zobrist had one incredible double-dip and young Brett Wallace is finally making good on his promise.

April was also a time where Josh Johnson dominated the entire NL. Dan Haren showed he can still be a staff ace, while Michael Pineda showed glimpses of his ace potential. Matt Garza learned how to strike guys out at a much higher rate than ever before, while Roy Halladay just continued to do what he's done for his entire career. Alexi Ogando and Justin Masterson have surprised in a good way, while Jaime Garcia and Trevor Cahill prove last year was no fluke. Kyle Lohse, Aaron Harang and Josh Beckett turned back the clock, while Zach Britton showed up a bit early. And what has gotten into James Shields?

April was about much more than everything above, but those are just a few of the players who have come through with exciting performances thus far in 2011 as we turn the calendar to May.  

But above and beyond all else, in terms of individual players, April was all about Jose Bautista and Jered Weaver -- just look at the CBSSports.com staff awards for April's top batter and pitcher.

Batter of the Month
Danny Knobler Scott Miller
Jose Bautista Jose Bautista, Blue Jays
No top player in baseball had more to prove, because no other player had so many people asking whether he could repeat 2010. His major-league high 28 walks show the respect that comes with a 54-home run season, but his nine home runs and American League-leading .366 batting average show he's taking advantage when they pitch to him.
Jose Bautista Jose Bautista, Blue Jays
Not only is Bautista leading the AL in both batting and homers, he's also leading in OPS and runs scored. Nobody matched his combination of average and production in the first month -- though Tampa Bay's Ben Zobrist gave it his one-day best during the doubleheader in Minnesota last week!
Evan Brunell C. Trent Rosecrans
Jose Bautista Jose Bautista, Blue Jays
Pitchers are rightfully terrified of Jose Bautista these days as he is delivering with a .366 average and nine home runs entering play Sunday. He's one of three qualified players with an OBP over .500. Overall, just a dominant month by someone who still had plenty of doubters. What are they thinking now?
Jose Bautista Jose Bautista, Blue Jays
As unbelievably good as Bautista's 2010 was, his April of 2011 was not only better -- but significantly better. Not only does he lead the majors in on-base percentage (.532), slugging (.780), OPS+ (235), walks (28) and runs (25), while leading the American League in homers (9) and batting average (.366) -- he hasn't even grounded into a double play so far this year.
Matt Snyder Fantasy -- Scott White
Jose Bautista Jose Bautista, Blue Jays
His breakout season in 2010 was an incredible outlier as compared to his previous career numbers, but it most certainly wasn't a fluke. Bautista's numbers are showing he's one of the game's most feared sluggers, including an MLB-high 28 walks heading into Sunday. 
Jose Bautista Jose Bautista, Blue Jays
Not only did Bautista lead all of baseball in both slugging percentage and on-base percentage, but he led all hitters in Fantasy points -- and he did it despite missing half a week for a personal matter. That's one way to quiet the skeptics coming off his out-of-nowhere 54-homer campaign.
Pitcher of the Month
Knobler Miller
Jered Weaver Jered Weaver, Angels
It's hard not to pick Josh Johnson, who had us thinking no-hitter in nearly every start. But as Scott Miller pointed out in his fine column last week, only seven pitchers since World War II have gone 6-0 in their team's first 23 games with a WHIP under 1.00. I can't think of much that Johnson did wrong. I can't think of anything Weaver did wrong.
Jered Weaver Jered Weaver, Angels
Weaver's WHIP (0.79) is ridiculous, and when a lineup as disciplined as the A's begin hacking at first pitches because they know they don't have a chance if Weaver gets ahead -- as the Athletics did last Monday night -- you know it's a special guy.
Brunell Rosecrans
Matt Garza Matt Garza, Cubs
Garza is 1-3, but that doesn't mean he's awful. His 1.98 xFIP leads baseball along with an 11.87 K/9; his peripherals suggest he's actually been unlucky so far, too. He's baseball's hottest pitcher hidden behind a won-loss record that does not reflect actual pitching performance.
Josh Johnson Josh Johnson, Marlins
It wasn't until his sixth and final start of April -- on the last day of the month, no less -- that Johnson had allowed a hit to any batter the first time through the order. He took a no-hitter into the seventh inning on opening day and took a no-no into the eighth in third start. His 3-0 record and 0.88 ERA are only the tip of the iceberg when describing how good he was this month.
Snyder Fantasy -- Al Melchior
Jered Weaver Jered Weaver, Angels
Very tough to pick someone other than Johnson here, but I give the nod to Weaver based upon his having thrown more innings, complete games and strikeouts with less walks in the same number of starts. Otherwise, they're basically identical and have been completely dominant.
Jered Weaver Jered Weaver, Angels
Josh Johnson may have a slightly lower ERA, and Roy Halladay may have a better strikeout-to-walk ratio, but nobody has been closer to perfection than Weaver. All six of his appearances have been quality starts, and he has allowed more than one run only once.

Danny Knobler and Scott Miller are Senior MLB Writers; Evan Brunell, C. Trent Rosecrans and Matt Snyder are Eye on Baseball Bloggers; Al Melchior is a Fantasy Data Analyst; and Scott White is a Fantasy Writer.

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Posted on: May 1, 2011 11:39 am
Edited on: May 2, 2011 12:04 am
 

Weaver scratched Sunday, will start Tuesday

By Matt Snyder

It looks like the Tampa Bay Rays have caught a big break. They were scheduled to face Jered Weaver Sunday and instead will get Tyler Chatwood, the Angels said Sunday. Weaver has been scratched from the lineup with an illness, as he was sick Saturday night and though he felt better Sunday morning, the club has decided to go with Chatwood instead.

Weaver has been arguably the best pitcher in baseball this season. He's 6-0 with a 0.99 ERA, 0.79 WHIP and 49 strikeouts in 45 2/3 innings. He already has two complete games in just six starts. Chatwood, a rookie, is 2-1 with a 3.86 ERA. His problem area is control, as he's walked 15 hitters, compared to just 10 strikeouts in 23 1/3 innings. Chatwood actually had a rough start in his debut and has been much better (2-0, 2.95) since. Still, he's no Weaver.

UPDATE: Chatwood didn't fare well, but neither did his counterpart Alex Cobb and the Angels came out on top , 6-5. Weaver -- who lost nine pounds in just a few days due to the illness -- will get the start Tuesday against the Red Sox for the Angels, who are tied with the Rangers at 16-12 atop the AL West.

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Posted on: April 25, 2011 5:01 pm
Edited on: April 25, 2011 5:06 pm
 

On Deck: Weaver vs. Gonzalez

Gio Gonzalez Jared Weaver

By C. Trent Rosecrans
 

Today we're starting another daily feature at Eye on Baseball, On Deck will bring you three of the things you need to know for each night's game, from streaks to showdowns to pennant battles and beyond, we'll highlight three games or players each night, letting you know what to watch for in the day's slate of games.

Best matchup -- Oakland's Gio Gonzalez vs. Anaheim's Jered Weaver. I'm not a big believer in the East Coast bias myth, but will say that if this were a Yankees-Red Sox matchup, you'd already be sick of hearing about these two. Gonzalez is coming off his first loss of the season, a 5-3 defeat at the hands of the Red Sox, but is still 2-1 with a 1.80 ERA. Weaver may be the American League's best starter, at least in April, leading the league in ERA (1.23) and with five wins. The game doesn't start until 10:05 p.m. ET, but it's worth staying up late to watch -- and with these two on the hill, even those on the East Coast won't have to stay up too far after bedtime. A's at Angels, 10:05 p.m. ET

Streaking -- Andre Ethier enters tonight's game against the Marlins as the owner of a 21-game hitting streak. It's the longest April hitting streak in Dodgers history, but still 10 games behind the team's best hitting streak. Willie Davis hit in 31 straight games in 1969, breaking the previous record of 29 held by Zack Wheat, set in 1916. Dodgers at Marlins, 7:10 p.m. ET

Closer watch -- The Phillies have a new closer in Ryan Madson after Jose Contreras went on the disabled list on Sunday. Contreras was already filling in for the injured Brad Lidge, but Madson has been the team's closer-in-waiting for more than a year now and will get yet another shot at showing Philadelphia he can do the job full-time. Tonight may not be his best shot, with Cliff Lee (2-1, 3.91) on the mound for the Phillies and Ian Kennedy (2-1, 5.64) starting for Arizona, there may not be much pressure -- nevermind a save situation -- in the ninth inning at Chase Field tonight. Phillies at Diamondbacks, 9:40 p.m. ET

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Posted on: April 10, 2011 6:12 pm
Edited on: April 10, 2011 6:28 pm
 

Red hot Weaver punches out 15

By Matt Snyder

Jered Weaver led all of baseball with 233 strikeouts last season and he's well on his way to repeating the feat. Sunday, Weaver struck out 15 Blue Jays over the course of 7 2/3 innings. He racked up 125 pitches in the process, which is why he was unable to finish the eighth inning. He departed with a 3-1 lead, which ended up being the final score.

The outing actually took Weaver's ERA up to 0.87, since he allowed an earned run and his ERA was 0.69. He's struck out 27 batters in 20 2/3 innings. 

Another reason Sunday's outing was especially big was that the Angels used nine pitchers Saturday night in a 14-inning game. Weaver enabled manager Mike Scioscia to only use 1 1/3 innings worth of bullpen work.

Weaver finished fifth in Cy Young voting last season and made the All-Star team for the first time, but Weaver is still one of the most underrated pitchers in baseball. Maybe it's because of the archaic manner in which many cling to wins and losses (he was only 13-12 last year), but this guy is a truly elite pitcher and has shown as much in his first three starts. Hey, with a 3-0 record now maybe more people start to notice.

It's far too soon to really start looking at anything of the nature, but he'd be the early leader for the AL Cy Young.

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Category: MLB
Posted on: April 1, 2011 10:26 am
Edited on: April 1, 2011 4:55 pm
 

Pepper: Overreacting to overreactions

By Matt Snyder

Of the many great opening day pastimes in baseball, one of my favorite is the overreaction police.

Look, we all know there are 162 games in a season and that yesterday's game for each of the 12 teams that played means as much as when they play a game August 17. The flip-side to that is we haven't seen a meaningful game in months, so of course it's fun to try and examine and analyze everything we saw.

No one thinks Albert Pujols is going to suck this year because he hit into three double plays in an 0-5 afternoon. No one believes each player who hit a home run yesterday is going to hit 162 bombs this year. In fact, those "pace" jokes are so overplayed it's insane -- "Ryan Braun is on pace for 162 home runs. Sincerely, Stat Dork." Hey guys, 1990 called and wants its joke back.

So let us take a look at some of the things we saw and make sure everyone takes a deep breath and realizes we saw six games yesterday. There are 2,430 in the regular season, but there's absolutely nothing wrong with talking about every single one of them.

CLOSING CONCERNS IN CENTRAL? Two NL Central teams sent their respective closers out for a save situation in the ninth inning Thursday, and both came away with losses. The outings were quite a bit different. Franklin was only stung by a home run. Blowing a game is never easy to swallow, but when a closer only gives up one crack of the bat, it's a whole different situation than what the Brewers' John Axford went through. Axford allowed a single and walk to start the inning. He had a three-run lead and two batters in the tying run was digging in with no outs. A bit of a fielding gaffe/unlucky play was followed by a sac-fly and then three-run walk-off bomb. You just can't let the first two runners on like that. It would be easy to start worrying about either closer, but blown saves happen. I do think Franklin is more of a concern because he's old (38) and his ERA already jumped a run and a half last year -- but Axford's outing Thursday was far more problematic.

If fans or fantasy owners of either pitcher want an example of an NL Central closer from recent years who made it through an opening day failure, I've got one. Kerry Wood allowed three runs on opening day in 2008. He actually ended up blowing four of his first 14 save chances. The rest of the season he closed down 24 of 26 games.

CLUTCH CAMERON: Cameron Maybin has been a disappointment thus far in his early career, but he's still only 23. He surely made a good impression on Padres fans Thursday, slugging the game-tying home run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to dead center field. Then, in the 11th, Maybin followed a Chase Headley base hit with a knock of his own. Headley would score on the play due to a pretty embarrassing defensive lapse by John Jay and Ryan Theriot. Because of the error, Maybin didn't get an RBI, but he got the two biggest hits in the Padres' victory.

MAYBE PUT HIM ON NEXT YEAR?
Jason Heyward is now 2-2 with two home runs in his first at-bat of the season.

WICKED WEAVER: Jered Weaver seems to be one of the more underappreciated aces in the game. All he did Thursday was throw 6 1/3 shutout innings, striking out six. Sure, he was playing the Royals, but it still counts.

HEY, HOW ABOUT JOBA? The much-maligned Joba Chamberlain threw a perfect seventh for the Yankees, which was followed by Rafael Soriano and Mariano Rivera shutting down the Tigers. If Joba throws like he's capable, the Yankees' bullpen will be downright filthy.

NO LOVE LOST: It's no secret Dodgers and Giants fans generally don't particularly care for each other. One Giants fan even went far enough to hire a banner plane to fly by Dodgers Stadium with the sign "DODGERS STILL SUCK - FROM SF CHAMPS FAN." (Picture here , via Big League Stew). The fan was Henry Yu, who said he was sick of hearing all those years about how the San Francisco Giants had never won a championship from Dodgers fans. "This is for all the Giants fans like me," Yu said, "who've taken so much verbal abuse over the years." (Inside Bay Area )

DON'T TRUST STATS THIS WEEK:
Fangraphs warns against it, just as we did yesterday in the chat. Fangraphs crunches lots of numbers, that's what they do and why they're great, but I think we summed it up pretty succinctly in the chat yesterday: Chris Shelton. Tuffy Rhodes.

BOSTON BOOZE: Fenway Park is moving to expand the sale of mixed alcoholic drinks for Red Sox games this season. Representatives are meeting with the licensing board to gain approval, but they'll have to convince the board and local police they will sufficiently monitor sales. Don't stadiums generally make those stadium mixed drinks so weak that it's basically the same as drinking beer? If so, what's the problem? Just don't allow people to order "doubles." (Boston.com )

C'MON CURTIS: Rebecca Black's Friday is an Internet hit, and it's sufficiently awful. It's also apparently Curtis Granderson's personal at-bat music. (Yardbarker.com ) There is, of course, the possibility that it was a joke by someone in the organization. Let's hope so. What's next, is someone going to use a Justin Bieber song? This also relates to our opening day chat, as we had the discussion on what the best at-bat songs would be. I went with Stone Cold Steve Austin's theme, but I also think Welcome to the Jungle by Guns N' Roses would be solid. No matter what kind of music you prefer, I think we should all agree an early teenage girl telling you Friday comes after Thursday doesn't really fit with adult males playing sports. Right?

AT LEAST CURTIS GETS A CHOICE: I guess the old-schoolers win this one. The Cubs will use organ music for the players, not selected music intros. (Chicago Tribune )

POOR PETE: Legendary Reds player Pete Rose looked a bit, shall we say, odd Thursday. See for yourself . (With Leather)

JUST LIKE THE MOVIES! Two high school baseball players in Texas have been booted from their team for allegedly sacrificing a few live chickens in order to break out of slumps. We've heard about the live chicken curse from Bull Durham and Major League . The best part is some of the quotes. Check this one out from the police: "It appears that superstition relating to a slump in baseball performance could have played a part." Seriously, thanks for the heads up, officer. (Yardbarker )

ICHIRO INTO HIS FORTIES: Check out this article by John Hickey, and it sounds like Ichiro Suzuki really wants to play well into his forties. The Japanese star seems to already be safeguarding against age concerns, like saying: “Let’s say that I was 20 when I twisted or sprained an ankle. Three years from now when I’m 40 and I twist or sprain my ankle, people will say it’s because of age. It’s not second-guessing. It’s just human nature.’’ He also notes he wants to spend his entire career with the Mariners. That 3,000 hit (in America) plateau is getting pretty close to being a lock anymore. (Sportspress Northwest )

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Posted on: March 31, 2011 11:31 pm
Edited on: March 31, 2011 11:45 pm
 

3 up, 3 down for 3/31: Opening day is here

Reds

By Evan Brunell

Ahhh, finally. It's here: opening day. March 31 kicked off the 2011 baseball season and if the games held were any indication, we're in store for quite a fun year.

3 UP

Baseball fans -- It's opening day; what more could baseball fans ask? Fans were treated to an opening affair between the Tigers and Yankees that stayed close then saw New York push ahead on a go-ahead Curtis Granderson home run. The best was yet to come, however, when Ramon Hernandez delivered a walk off, three-run blast against the Brewers to propel the Reds to victory. Other games saw the Angels save off a comeback from the Royals, the Padres win an extra-inning affair in St. Louis, the Braves blank the Nationals, and the Dodgers outlast the Giants in a pitching duel between Clayton Kershaw and Tim Lincecum.

Ramon Hernandez, Reds -- Ramon Hernandez delighted the home crowd by belting a three-run home run to edge Milwaukee and deny manager Ron Roenicke his first victory as a skipper. Hernandez said that in his 12 years, it was the most amazing opening day for him. Well, ya think? It actually capped off a pretty great day for him as he collected four hits in five trips to the plate, although all his RBI came on the opposite-field shot.

Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers -- Kershaw was brilliant Thursday night, tossing seven scoreless and whiffing nine against four hits and a walk. The 23-year-old is clearly one of the top young pitchers in the game and is developing into a bona fide ace. Kershaw outdueled Tim Lincecum, giving up just one unearned run in seven innings (1 BB, 1 HBP, 1 IBB, 5 K)

3 DOWN

Albert Pujols, Cardinals -- Albert Pujols didn't exactly get his contract year off to a good start, going 0-for-5 while grounding into three double plays, which is a career-worst mark. All that left five men on base, and given the Padres needed two runs in the 11th to win it all, once could argue Pujols' poor night was responsible for the loss. Meanwhile, his teammate (and possible future successor as the team's best hitter) had a 3-for-4 night while driving in two runs, walking once and scoring another run.

Austin Jackson, Tigers -- Regression, meet the mean. Mean, regression. A-Jax got 2010 off to quite a nice start as the rookie hit .293 for the year after a scorching .364 batting average in April carried him the rest of the way. However, Jackson got this April off to a poor start, collecting just one hit in four trips to the plate and flailing at pitches the remainder of the time, tallying up three strikeouts.

Buster Posey, Giants -- The catcher tried to make a heads up play in the bottom of the sixth by trying to pick Matt Kemp off third base. As if the Giants already had enough to worry about dealing with a bases loaded situation thanks to a Miguel Tejada error and Juan Uribe hit by pitch. Kemp was a bit slow getting back to the bag after Posey blocked a ball, but Kemp was effectively one step away when Posey decided to unleash a throw. Problem: the throw sailed left, and third baseman Pablo Sandoval could not grab the ball as he had to reach across Matt Kemp. The ball skittered away and Kemp ran home for the game's first run.

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Posted on: February 28, 2011 8:22 pm
 

Monday's giveway: Trout's phone number

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Mike TroutSpring training offers the combination of preseason hype, unlimited time and the lack of pressure that allows teams to not only bond, but also to plan pranks.

The higher profile and younger the player, the bigger the target -- making Mike Trout an easy choice for veteran players. The 19-year-old outfielder is considered by most either the No. 1 or No. 2 prospect in all of baseball, along with Washington's Bryce Harper.

Angels veterans organized a surprise giveaway for fans at Tempe Diablo Stadium on Monday. Everyone in attendance received Trout's cell phone number.

Several times dung the game with the A's, the scoreboard showed Trout's phone number with the message -- "Fans call Angels' Mike Trout directly with your baseball questions," the Orange County Register reported.

Apparently Trout violated a the "speak-only-when-spoken-to" rule in a Monday-morning meeting.

"I deserved it, so I knew it was coming," Trout told reporters after the game.

The perpetrator was Jered Weaver, teammates tattled.

"I told [Weaver], 'Why'd you do it today?'" said Peter Bourjos, referring to the game with the A's that drew just 2,822 fans. "Do it when we're playing the Cubs."

Although Trout likely had a plenty of messages after the game, the phone number will promptly be changed, Trout said.

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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