Tag:Josh Hamilton
Posted on: July 3, 2011 12:33 am

3 Up, 3 Down: Ramirez slams Rangers

By Evan Brunell

UpMatt Garza, Cubs -- Garza took a no-hitter into the sixth but settled for a one-run complete game, striking out seven White Sox in a 1-0 loss as he was outdueled by Phillip Humber and Matt Thornton's combined whitewashing. Despite losing, Garza easily had the best performance on the night. Maybe it's because it's too early to get the stink of Cubs defeat on him, but Garza's been a pretty bright spot this year.

Hanley Ramirez, Marlins -- Ramirez has been a new man lately, as he's racked up seven hits, six runs scored and eight RBI in his last four games. He had five of those RBI Saturday when he hit a grand slam in the first inning, then hammered a solo shot later in the game. Ramirez contributed a single to the 9-5 defeat of the Rangers. Ramirez is still batting .230, but that's not going to last and when Ramirez gets hot, he gets scorching hot.

Josh Hamilton, Rangers -- Hamilton tried to hang with Ramirez by hitting two of his own home runs, but only amassed three RBI total. He also had a three-hit night. The outfielder missed time earlier this season with injury, but has raked when in the lineup. He's off his 2010 pace that saw him earn the MVP, but that's also high standards to live up to.

Today, we're honoring the three notable players to leave one of Saturday's games with an injury...

DownFausto Carmona, Indians -- Carmona dropped a bunt single and then strained his right quad trying to make it to first base safely. Why we have to go through this charade with pitchers (never mind the AL part, pitchers, period), again, exactly? Carmona only got through two innings, so Frank Herrmann stepped up with three innings and the 'pen took turns holding things down. Middle reliever All-Star Vinnie Pestano walked away with the save. Carmona is expected to hit the 15-day DL.

Ryan Braun, Brewers -- Braun won't hit the DL, at least not yet, but he's out for Sunday after a strained left quad knocked him from the eventual 8-7 rally to defeat the Twins. Braun went 1 for 4 with a double and RBI before departing after an eight-inning ground out. “It’s pretty tight, pretty sore,” Braun told MLB.com. “I’m definitely not playing [Sunday]. We’ll probably see where it’s at in a couple of days.” But it all worked out: George Kottaras delivered the winning hit from Braun's spot in the ninth.

Jose Reyes, Mets -- As the Yankees once again reminded the Mets whose boss in town, the NL counterparts lost Jose Reyes after two innings with tightness in his left hamstring. Reyes will get a MRI and will almost certainly miss Sunday's game. "It's not too much pain. I feel it a little bit," Reyes told the Associated Press. "I didn't want to blow my hamstring again because I've been through a lot with that." Reyes reached on an infield single to second in his only at-bat.

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

Posted on: June 28, 2011 9:31 am
Edited on: June 28, 2011 10:07 am

Pepper: Royals going to six-man rotation

BASEBALL TODAY: Will the Boston-Philly series live up to expectations with Josh Beckett facing Cliff Lee in the first of a three-game set? Will filing for bankruptcy protection save the Dodgers? C. Trent Rosencrans joins Lauren Shehadi to break it all down. Click on the video above to watch.

By Matt Snyder

TREND-SETTERS: The White Sox made news earlier this season when they shifted to a six-man rotation, as Philip Humber has been throwing far too well to remove from the rotation, and the other five members are all certainly good enough to merit remaining in the rotation. The Giants have faced questions on doing so when everyone is completely healthy, considering Ryan Vogelsong's ascent, but manager Bruce Bochy remains steadfast that they won't be going to six. The Royals, however, are ready to jump aboard with the White Sox plan (Kansas City Star). Their rotation is a bit less formidable than the White Sox or Giants, but the move comes with good, decent reasons. Rookie Danny Duffy is making progress in his development, so the Royals don't want to send him back down to the farm. Kyle Davies and his 7.46 ERA are returning from injury, while Bruce Chen, Luke Hochevar and Felipe Paulino are out of options. Also, Jeff Francis has accrued enough service time in the bigs that he could reject an assignment to the minors and become a free agent. So if the Royals want to keep everyone, they have to go to six. Of course, they could move someone to the bullpen, but they don't want to do that. Instead they'll just carry less position players, which isn't a horrible thing in the AL, I guess. Still, seems a bit radical to force six into a rotation with so much mediocrity.

POT, MEET KETTLE? I personally stay out of the business where you label entire fan bases as more stupid, obnoxious, smart, respectful, etc. The reason is very simple: Every single fan base has morons. Every single fan base has intelligent fans. Every fan base has jerks, and every fan base has kind and respectful fans. I immediately disregard any comment that contains "all (insert team) fans are (insert insult)." This doesn't seem to be the majority opinion, however, as it's fun for fans to mock other fan bases and label them. With that in mind, I thought it was funny that a Philadelphia writer thought Boston fans have become obnoxious (Boston Herald's "Behind Enemy Lines" feature). Because, you know, tons of opposing fans point to Philly fans as obnoxious themselves. Honestly, it's too bad the Phillies and Red Sox are in different leagues. That could be a pretty sweet rivalry on many levels. I guess we'll have to settle for the World Series this year? Maybe?

TRIPLE-DOUBLE: In the Cubs' 7-3 win over the Rockies, three players hit two home runs each -- Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Pena for the Cubs and Carlos Gonzalez for the Rockies. No, this wasn't a game played in Coors Field, but the wind blowing out at Wrigley can make things quite hitter-friendly. It was the first time this had happened since 2006 and only the 13th time it happened since 2000. (Baseball-Reference blog)

MAYBE THIS TIME: Mat Gamel of the Brewers was once touted as the next big power bat to come through Milwaukee's system, but things stalled a bit. In 2009, he was given 148 plate appearances for the Brewers and hit just .242 with 54 strikeouts. Last season he was pretty bad when given a chance, though he was only granted 17 plate appearances. Still, he's only 25 and is tearing up Triple-A so far in 2011. He's hitting .321 with 18 homers, 58 RBI, 54 runs, 21 doubles and a .957 OPS. He's especially picked up the pace in June, as he's hit 10 of his home runs this month. With six games in AL parks coming this week, the Brewers have summoned him (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel) and will likely use him as a DH or first baseman -- with Prince Fielder then serving as DH. If Gamel hits well, it will be interesting to see what the Brewers do moving forward. They're going to be in contention, but there's really no good defensive place for Gamel. And it's entirely possible he's the replacement at first for Fielder, if he walks as expected, next season.

SAVING J.J.: Diamondbacks closer J.J. Putz was unavailable both Saturday and Sunday, but he's not injured. Instead, manager Kirk Gibson noted he's trying to "develop a bullpen" and also make sure Putz is still in tip-top shape come August and September. Putz picked up saves on three straight days prior to being unavailable, so it made perfect sense. (MLB.com)

DAVEY'S FIRST ROAD TRIP: Nationals new manager -- and the last one for 2011, presumably -- Davey Johnson flew with his ballclub from Chicago to Los Angeles and made a point to have an individual conversation with every player on the flight. One area he wants to improve immediately is the offense. “I definitely think this club has been an underachiever offensively. I don’t like to give up outs. I’ll bunt when I have to. I’ll hit and run when I feel like it. I think this club hasn’t quite come into it’s own. It doesn’t really know how good an offensive club it can be. It definitely has a chance to be a good one.” (Washington Times) What's funny is that Jayson Werth and Ryan Zimmerman (and maybe Ian Desmond) are due to get hot, so that should improve the offense naturally. And Johnson will get some of the credit. Which is part of the give-and-take, of course. If the team starts playing worse, he'll get the blame, too.

JONNY COOL: Jonny Gomes of the Reds broke into the bigs for the Rays. He returned to Tropicana Field Monday night in interleague play, and his former teammates had nothing bad to say about him. In fact, they really like him. Andy Sonnanstine, B.J. Upton and James Shields in particular had high praise for Gomes as a teammate (TBO.com).

FALLACIOUS CLAIM: Josh Hamilton has been awful during the day, and he actually got an optometrist to agree with his assertion that the cause of this was the fact that Hamilton has blue eyes. It sounds ridiculous, and Fangraphs.com illustrates that it is, based upon historical data of blue-eyed players hitting during the day vs. their numbers at night. Best example: Mark Grace and his deep-blue eyes. He played tons of day games for the Cubs and was great throughout his career in day games.

"NEANDERTHALS: The legalization of gay marriage in New York has been a big source of conversation, apparently, in the Mets' clubhouse. Color commentator and formet Met Ron Darling has been particularly outspoken in favor of the passage, though many of the current players are reluctant to publicly speak about the issue -- and it's hard to blame them, as any answer would likely anger at least one fan. An interesting quote from an unnamed player, courtesy of the New York Daily News, is that most players believe professional sports locker rooms aren't ready to fully accept an openly gay teammate because "most of us are still Neanderthals."

DUSTY BOBBLEHEAD: I'm not as big a fan of bobbleheads as many fans, but the Dusty Baker one the Reds are giving away this coming Saturday is pretty cool, simply because it has a bin of toothpicks on it. We'll leave you with a video of the Reds players promoting the giveaway with glasses and the signature toothpick in the video below ...

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: June 27, 2011 2:14 pm
Edited on: June 27, 2011 2:27 pm

Rangers interested in Mets' K-Rod, Beltran

Carlos Beltran

By C. Trent Rosecrans

The Rangers have been on record as looking for bullpen help, and the Mets could be a possible trade partner, SI.com's Jon Heyman tweets.

Heyman notes the Rangers have expressed interest in both Mets outfielder Carlos Beltran and closer Francisco Rodriguez.

Last week Rodriguez noted he'd be fine moving into a setup role for a team that'll be in the playoff hunt, and the first-place Rangers (in a pretty weak division) certainly qualify in that regard.

More interesting is Beltran, who hasn't played center field this season. Last year he started 58 games in center, only to be replaced this season by Angel Pagan. Josh Hamilton has started nine games in center this season and 29 a year ago.

While Hamilton and Nelson Cruz have spent time on the disabled list, the other Rangers outfielders have gotten opportunities, but nobody's taken ahold of it. David Murphy is hitting .233/.310/.317 with four home runs in 226 plate appearances, while his OPS has dropped 179 points from last season. He's played mostly left this season but also center and right. 

The Rangers used three different starters in center field in this past weekend's series against the Mets. Hamilton started there Friday; Craig Gentry started Saturday; and former Met Endy Chavez started Sunday. Add to that, the player who has started the most games in center for the Rangers is Julio Borbon.

Besides Hamilton, of the other three, Chavez is the only one that has a homer (two) this season. All have respectable splits, but none has a long-term track record, much less one that compares to Beltran's.

Beltran is in the final year of his seven-year, $119 million deal with the Mets. He's making $18.5 million this season and has a full no-trade clause.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: June 21, 2011 3:49 pm
Edited on: June 21, 2011 3:57 pm

No changes in AL All-Star voting

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Josh HamiltonThis time of year, Major League Baseball releases All-Star voting totals every week, and at some point it becomes white noise -- especially when there's no change in the voting.

In the American League update released Monday, the top three at each position remained unchanged.

Of the nine positions fans get to vote for in the AL, eight are currently occupied by American League East players, with Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton the lone exception. And even the reigning MVP is getting some heat from Boston's Jacoby Ellsbury. Hamilton is third in outfield voting (trailing Toronto's Jose Bautista and New York's Curtis Granderson) with 2,400,408 votes, and Ellsbury now has 2,249,323 votes. Fellow Sox outfielder Carl Crawford is fifth.

The infield is dominated by Yankees -- catcher Russell Martin, second baseman Robinson Cano, third baseman Alex Rodriguez and shortstop Derek Jeter. First-baseman Adrian Gonzalez and DH David Oritz of the Red Sox lead at their positions.

Voting runs through June 30, and the teams are announced July 3. 

The complete voting is available on MLB.com.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: June 18, 2011 5:49 pm
Edited on: June 18, 2011 5:53 pm

Rangers continue to help Taylor

Johnathan Taylor

By C. Trent Rosecrans

The Rangers made headlines across the country -- including here at CBSSports.com -- for making paralyzed Georgia outfielder Johnathan Taylor's dreams come true by drafting him.

On Saturday, the Rangers announced they'd made a difference in another way -- by making what has been called a "substantial donation" to the Johnathan Taylor Fund. The team tendered a contract, but he won't sign with the club so he can continue to receive his scholarship, finish his degree and remain a part of the Bulldogs' program, serving as a student manager or in some other capacity, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram writes.

"We met with his family this week and thought that was the right thing to do," Rangers scouting director Kip Fagg said on Saturday, according to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. "His focus right now is his rehab and to finish school."

The Rangers held a press conference at Turner FIeld in Atlanta with Taylor, as well as the team's top two picks, Georgia high school left-hander Kevin Matthews, taken No. 33 overall, and Taylor's former UGA teammate, outfielder Zach Cone. Cone was taken with the 37th overall pick in the draft. Both Matthews and Cone signed their contracts with the Rangers on Friday.

Cone, incidentally, was the player who collided with Taylor in the accident that caused his injury.

"There were a lot of ups and downs to go through what we went through," Cone said, according to T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com. "It wasn't easy. But to see J.T. getting better, to see our team make a run, to get drafted by the Rangers and see J.T. up here, it's pretty sweet.

"This shows a lot about the Rangers and their organization and how they are about their players. To be here with and be teammates with J.T., it's awesome."

Taylor said he's determined not just to walk again, but to play baseball again.

"Right now, my goal is to get better during the rehab and focus on trying to get my legs back under me again and start walking and running and get back on that field again, like I always wanted," Taylor told the Associated Press.

Taylor's mother, Tandra, said she was told she would never be able to walk again after shattering her right knee in a car accident two years ago. It took her two years to get back on her feet, and she's sure her son will return.

"He's coming back," Tandra Taylor told the AP. "He's definitely coming back because you can't stop someone who is determined to do something, no matter what they say."

Taylor is rehabbing in Atlanta and was able to join the Rangers on the field before the game and watch batting practice, where he met Josh Hamilton and the other Rangers.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: June 11, 2011 12:54 am

No Home Run Derby for Hamilton

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Josh HamiltonJosh Hamilton is currently on pace to start for the American League in the All-Star Game, but he will not be participating in the Home Run Derby, he said Friday.

"I already said to them, I'm not doing it," Hamilton said, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "Let [Jose] Bautista hit 29, and maybe I'll come back and do it."

Hamilton hasn't participated in the Home Run Derby since hitting 28 homers in the first round of the 2008 All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium. Despite Hamilton's record first-round, Justin Morneau won the event in 2008.

Hamilton missed a month of the season with a shoulder injury and has hit just four home runs, but three of them have come since June 3.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: June 8, 2011 6:13 pm
Edited on: June 8, 2011 8:38 pm

Rangers fire hitting coach

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Thad BosleyForget the fact that the Rangers came into Wednesday's game with the fourth-best on-base plus slugging in the majors at .760 or have scored more runs than all but three American League teams. Rangers hitting coach Thad Bosley "has been relieved of his duties," according to a team press release.

Bosley was in his first year as the team's hitting coach, replacing Clint Hurdle, who left to take the manager spot in Pittsburgh.

Bosley will be replaced by Scott Coolbaugh, who was the hitting coach at the team's Triple-A affiliate in Round Rock, Texas.

I'm interested to see where this story goes from here, because it wouldn't seem on-field performance was the problem for Bosley and first-place Rangers.

Here's what Josh Hamilton had to say about the move, via Anthony Andro of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram:

"Thad was a good guy," Hamilton said. "He had a good heart. He just didn't fit with us. He's professional the way he approaches the game and the way he approaches teaching the game. It just didn't mesh with our clubhouse."

Hamilton said the biggest difference in Bosley and the other hitting coaches the Rangers have had was in his style of communication.

"A lot of it was communication," Hamilton said. "There was not a lot there. You'd like to have somebody that knows when to back off, when to approach, gets what they want to get across to you but find out your personality and how to get it across to you. Those things just didn't happen the way it needed to."

A source tells CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler that Bosley's attempts to change Hamilton's approach at the plate played a part in the dismissal.

According to the Dallas Morning News's Evan Grant, it wasn't just Hamilton who had problems with Bosley. From Grant's blog:

The problem, however, may be more over communication than philosophy. While the Rangers last two hitting coaches - Rudy Jaramillo and Hurdle - were eager to communicate with players, Bosley was much more reserved. That quietness could be perceived as being aloof or disconnected.

And there had been some recent confrontations with players. Perhaps the most serious of those was an incident between Bosley and struggling catcher Yorvit Torrealba. According to multiple sources, Torrealba asked in Philadelphia if he could take some extra batting practice swings since pitcher Colby Lewis declined to participate in batting practice on the day he was pitching. It was, according to sources, agreed upon that Torrealba could hit in two different groups. But when he stepped in with the second group, sources said, Bosley told him he was not supposed to take the additional swings. Torrealba then left the field. An argument between the two ensued in the clubhouse.

It was, according to club sources, one of a number of disagreements with other players, ranging from veterans to young players.

Coolbaugh is in his fifth season in the Rangers system. He was drafted by Texas in 1987 out of the University of Texas and played for the Rangers, Padres and Cardinals, as well as teams in Japan in Korea.

Bosley was the A's hitting coach from 1999-2003, serving on the same staff as Rangers manager Ron Washington in Oakland.

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

Posted on: June 7, 2011 3:54 pm
Edited on: June 7, 2011 4:05 pm

Yankees, AL East dominate AL All-Star voting


By C. Trent Rosecrans

Who says that old East Coast bias is limited to the media? Fan voting -- in the American League -- is leaning heavily east, as well.

The latest American League All-Star voting totals have AL East players winning at nine of the 10 positions fans can vote for, with the Yankees taking up the entire infield. The lone outsider is the Rangers' Josh Hamilton, who is third in voting for three outfield spots, behind the Blue Jays' Jose Bautista and New York's Curtis Granderson.

Yankees Russell Martin, Mark Teixeira, Robinson Cano, Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter occupy the top spots around the horn.

David Ortiz has overtaken Texas' Michael Young as the leading vote-getter at designated hitter.

Complete results are available at MLB.com.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com