Tag:Mark Buehrle
Posted on: April 11, 2011 10:29 am
Edited on: April 18, 2011 11:54 am

Pepper: No change in the Cards at closer

Ryan FranklinBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Three out of four isn't bad. Well, unless you're a closer and you've blown three of four save chances.

The only thing worse than having a closer that can't close is the manager having zero confidence in anybody else in the bullpen. 

When St. Louis manager Tony La Russa was asked if he was considering changing his closer from Ryan Franklin, he answered, "who's better?"

"Somebody's got to come up with somebody that's better on our club right now," La Russa told MLB.com's Matthew Leach. "The fact is that right now those young guys aren't better."

The young guys are Mitchell Boggs and Jason Motte, both of whom are being groomed to take over for Franklin.

In fairness to Franklin, errors by Albert Pujols and Colby Rasmus with two outs in the ninth led to two victories by the Giants on Friday and Saturday, respectively. However, the way the Cardinals are constructed, defense will not be bailing out too many pitchers this season, and Pujols and Rasmus are two of the teams' better defenders.

Sunday the Cardinals found a way to avoid a closer breakdown -- by giving its pitchers a five-run lead to close out. They were successful, salvaging the series against the Giants with a 6-1 get-away day win in San Francisco.

RED-HOT Rangers -- Jeff Wilson of the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram joins Lauren Shehadi to talk about the Rangers' great start.

CABRERA HELPING CABRERA -- The influence of veteran Orlando Cabrera has already started paying off for the Indians. During spring, Cabrera noticed Asdrubal Cabrera's approach in batting practice was that of a slugger, not a shortstop. He told him to try that in a game sometime. During the Indians' seven-game winning streak, Asdrubal Cabrera is hitting .316 with three homers and nine RBI. Asdrubal Cabrera had three homers all of last season. [MLB.com]

SIX-MAN ROTATION? -- The White Sox may look at a six-man rotation when Jake Peavy returns because of the performance of Phil Humber, at least on a short-term basis. [Chicago Tribune]

NICE MATCHUP -- For just the 21st time in history, two authors of perfect games will start against each other tonight, as Oakland's Dallas Braden faces Chicago's Mark Buehrle.

DUNN TAKE BP -- White Sox slugger Adam Dunn took batting practice before Sunday's game against the Rays and could return to the team's lineup as soon as today.

"It was good to get out of solitary confinement and hang out with the general population, you know what I mean," Dunn told the Chicago Tribune's Dave van Dyck.

However, Dunn said he was done making predictions about when he'd return when asked if he could play today against Oakland.

TINKERING -- Derek Jeter isn't the only Yankee messing with his mechanics -- right-hander Phil Hughes tinkered with his motion during his bullpen session on Sunday. Hughes is attempting to use more of the bottom half of his body in his delivery. [New York Times]

ROUSING THE TROOPS -- Rays manager Joe Maddon tried to eject all four umpires in Sunday's 6-1 loss to the White Sox. [St. Petersburg Times]

Enjoy this video while it lasts (why MLB.com won't allow embedded videos, I just don't know...)

LAROCHE CONFIDENT HE'LL BE BACK SOON -- Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche said he doesn't expect to miss any time after leaving Sunday's game with a strained left groin. LaRoche left in the 11th inning against the Mets, but said today's day off for the Nationals would give him ample healing time. [MASNSports.com]

ZIMMERMAN UNSURE OF RETURN -- Unlike his teammate LaRoche, Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman is unsure when he'll return from his strained abdominal muscle. Zimmerman will be re-evaluated on Tuesday following the off day. [Washington Post]

YOUNG UNHAPPY -- Mets right-hander Chris Young wasn't perfect on Sunday and  that wasn't good enough for him or the Mets. In his first seven-inning outing in nearly two years, Young allowed just one hit and two walks, and the walk came back to hurt him, accounting for the lone run he gave up to the Nationals. After he left the game, Washington tied the game in the eighth inning before winning it in the 11th. Young picked up a no-decision, but is 1-0 with a 1.46 ERA in two starts for the Mets this season.  [ESPNNewYork.com]

BACK-TO-BACK -- Mark Prior pitched on back-to-back days for the Class A Tampa Yankees on Saturday and Sunday as he makes the transition from starter to reliever in an attempt to return to the majors for the first time since 2006. Prior's fastball reached 91 on both days. [MLB.com]

NO BIG DEAL -- Cubs pitching coach Mark Riggins downplayed conflicting statements from pitcher Matt Garza and manager Mike Quade following Garza's loss to the Brewers on Saturday. [Chicago Sun-Times]

NO REPLICAS FOR FANS -- The Giants will not make replica World Series rings available to fans, but you can by commemorative jewelry from the team. So, you know, if you've outgrown your class ring, you can get a ring that's symbolic of an achievement you had absolutely zero to do with earning yourself. But, you know, if you have $3,570 dollars just lying around with nothing else to really do with it, why not? It's not like there are charities that could use it more than you can use a 14K white gold ring with diamonds and your name on it that will repel women. Seriously, just buy one of the cool hats with the gold SF the team wore the other day. [San Francisco Chronicle]

NEW BOX -- The fine folks over at FanGraphs have unveiled their new boxscore. I swear there are some stats that aren't real in there just to see if you're paying attention. Seriously, there's just about everything you'd ever want in this box, and going through one could take longer than actually watching the game. And I mean that in the most awesome way possible. [FanGraphs.com]

OLD GLOVES -- A cool graphic on the evolution of the baseball glove, or at least Spalding's gloves (and a bonus Wilson one, even though I've always been a Rawlings guy). [UniWatchBlog]

NICE DAY AT THE PARK -- What's better than a beautiful Sunday at the ballpark? Try a day at the park followed by a post-game concert by the Avett Brothers. The band performed at Turner Field yesterday following the Phillies' 3-0 victory. My sisters-in-law and other friends went, plus one of my sisters-in-law met Kevin Gillespie in the beer line -- not a bad day.

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Posted on: March 31, 2011 2:45 pm
Edited on: March 31, 2011 3:49 pm

Guillen: 'Very stupid' to start in Cleveland

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Ozzie Guillen The White Sox will start the season in Cleveland tomorrow, and Ozzie Guillen isn't happy about it.

"Very stupid to play in Cleveland right now," the White Sox manager told the Chicago Tribune on Thursday after his players built a snowman at the team's workout day at Progressive Field. "Nothing against Cleveland. We expect that. When you play on opening day … a couple of years ago they canceled like 30 games here. [But]  we are here and we have to play through snow."

The Indians had to clear 3-4 inches of snow to prepare for Thursday's workout and Indians groundskeeper Brandon Koehnke told the Cleveland Plain Dealer the field would be ready for play on Friday.

"Based on the forecast and the work we're doing, I don't have any reason to believe we can't be ready by Friday afternoon," Koehnke said. "It's going to be a long, painstaking process to get to that point, but these are the cards we've been dealt."

With temperatures rising, the snow is expected to melt, and Koehnke said the drainage system would take over.

That's not much comfort to the players who will be playing in the cold.

"That's why I don't understand why teams don't start in domes or on the West Coast for the first couple of weeks," Mark Buehrle told the Tribune. "We'll just have to deal with it and hopefully they can clean it off and be ready to go."

Buehrle has a point, even though it would stink to have your team constantly starting it season on the road and never getting to experience a true opening day. However, it doesn't make much sense to have the Angels, Diamondbacks and Astros open on the road.

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Posted on: March 29, 2011 9:05 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 12:28 pm

Who will play their final game in 2011?

Chipper Jones

By C. Trent Rosecrans

As we look forward to the 2011 season, we look at some of the players that might be entering their final season in big-league baseball. Few of these players are likely thinking about retirement now -- and some may not be thinking about calling it a career when the season ends.

Players can choose retirement and others will find retirement chooses them. Here's a look at some of the bigger names that could be entering their final season.

Carlos Beltran
Age: 34 on April 24
2010 stats: .255/.341/.427, 7 HR, 27 RBI, 3 SB
2011 role: Since playing 161 games in 2008, Beltran played 145 combined the last two seasons. 
Contract status: Final year of a seven-year deal.
Probability he hangs 'em up: Low. Beltran still wants to play and still thinks he can. He's the type who will play until he's physically unable to continue. That's probably not as far away as he thinks, and he may not get to make his own decision to retire. Injuries have slowed him the last couple of years and it's tough to see him returning to his former heights. 

Lance BerkmanLance Berkman
Age: 35
2010 stats: .248/.368/.413, 14 HR, 58 RBI
2011 role: Not only will Berkman be a regular, but he's going to be the Cardinals' regular right fielder. He hasn't played a full season in the outfield since 2004. He played 49 games in the outfield in 2005, 44 in '06 and 31 in '07, but none in the past three seasons. He was limited to 17 games this spring and hit .189/.204/.264 with one homer.
Contract status: Signed a one-year deal.
Probability he hangs 'em up: Iffy. He's one of those guys who will get another chance no matter how 2011 goes, but would his pride keep him from being just another guy or could he welcome a reduced role somewhere?

Mark Buehrle
Age: 32
2010 stats: 13-13, 4.28 ERA, 99 K, 210 1/3 IP
2011 role: For the ninth consecutive year, Buehrle will start for the White Sox on opening day. He's expected to anchor the rotation and help lead Chicago into the playoffs.
Contract status: Final year of a four-year deal.
Probability he hangs 'em up: 50/50. Buehrle seems to have plenty left in the tank, but has talked openly -- and often -- about retiring after this season. He's also mentioned wanting to be closer to home and may compromise by signing with the Cardinals.

Johnny Damon
Age: 37
2010 stats: .271/.355/.401, 8 HR, 51 RBI, 11 SB
2011 role: He'll be the team's everyday left fielder, replacing Carl Crawford. That'll be a definite step down offensively and defensively, but he could  still help the Rays score some runs.
Contract status: Signed a one-year deal.
Probability he hangs 'em up: Low. Damon has 2,571 hits and would likely need two more years past this season to get to 3,000. The desire is there, but will anyone take him? His chances hinge on how he performs this season.

Vladimir Guerrero
Age: 36
2010 stats: .300/.345/.496, 29 HR, 115 RBI
2011 role: Guerrero will be the Orioles' everyday designated hitter.
Contract status: Signed a one-year deal.
Probability he hangs 'em up: Low. Guerrero certainly looked old and his bat looked slow last fall, but he was a big reason the Rangers were in the playoffs. His spring numbers have done nothing to dismiss the notion that he can still compete. He hit .365/.358/.635 with five homers for his new team. Guerrero was the one aging designated hitter that received a contract close to his last one.  

Derrek Lee
Age: 35
2010 stats: .260/.347/.428, 19 HR, 80 RBI
2011 role: He's expected to be the Orioles' first baseman, but injury concerns may throw a wrench in those plans.
Contract status: Signed a one-year deal.
Probability he hangs 'em up: 50/50. Lee didn't play in an exhibition game until March 19 because of his wrist. Then he fouled a ball off his foot in his first game back, which limited his play. He managed to get in just eight games this spring. If healthy, Lee can still play. But if he's not, he may just decide it's not worth it and return home to California to be with his family. 

Chipper Jones
Age: 39 on April 24
2010 stats: .265/.381/.426, 10 HR, 46 RBI
2011 role: Braves' everyday third baseman. He had a great spring, hitting .407/.453/.746 with four home runs in 20 games, a good sign for his comeback from knee surgery.
Contract status: Signed through the 2012 season, with a club option for 2013.
Probability he hangs 'em up: High. Jones talked about retiring last season, but came back when he couldn't finish under his own terms. 

Hideki MatsuiHideki Matsui
Age: 36
2010 stats: .274/.361/.459, 21 HR, 84 RBI
2011 role: A's everyday DH. The A's will be happy if Matsui can replicate his 2010 numbers with the Angels, but he's hitting in a worse park with fewer offensive weapons around him. Matsui had a rough spring -- .125/.246/.179 with one homer through Monday -- and if that continues through the season, it could by sayonara.
Contract status: Signed a one-year deal. Probability he hangs 'em up: Good. Matsui's been playing professionally since 1993 when he debuted at age 19 with the Yomiuri Giants. Matsui is now limited to DH and the market wasn't too hot for him this offseason, so a down year could mean there may be nowhere to go but home.

Roy Oswalt
Age: 33
2010 stats: 13-13, 2.76 ERA, 193 K, 211 2/3 IP
2011 role: Oswalt will take the ball every fifth day in what could be the best rotation since the advent of the five-man rotation -- or at least since the Braves of the early-to-mid 90s. Oswalt seemed energized by his trade out of Houston to Philadelphia before last year's deadline, going 7-1 with a 1.74 ERA in the regular season with the Phillies. He also pitched well in two starts and a relief appearance in the NLDS against the Giants.
Contract status: Final year of a five-year deal, but the Phillies have a $16 million option with a $2 million buyout.
Probability he hangs 'em up: Low. Oswalt's talked about retirement, but he's still very much a good pitcher and seems to have several good years ahead of him and a lot of money to be made.

Manny Ramirez
Age: 39 on May 30
2010 stats: .298/.409/.460, 9 HR, 42 RBI
2011 role: Ramirez will be the team's everyday DH. Ramirez and Damon are being counted on to help make up for the loss of Crawford and Carlos Pena
Contract status: Signed a one-year deal.
Probability he hangs 'em up: 50/50. Ramirez seems like he'll keep taking his show on the road until nobody wants him anymore. The fact that he's getting just $2 million this season tells you he wasn't wanted by many. His act has worn thin, but if he bounces back and hits like he can, someone will want him.

Mariano Rivera
Age: 41
2010 stats: 3-3, 1.80 ERA, 33 saves
2011 role: Rivera is expected to still be the best reliever in baseball history.
Contract status: First year of a two-year deal.
Probability he hangs 'em up: Low. He's 41, and that seems old. But tell that to any of the batters who face him. If he had signed a one-year deal this offseason, I could see him retiring after this season, but the two-year deal makes sense for both him and the team. He's 41 saves shy of 600 and 43 from overtaking Trevor Hoffman as the all-time leader.

Jim ThomeJim Thome
Age: 40
2010 stats: .283/.412/.627, 25 HR, 59 RBI
2011 role: A platoon/reserve DH for the Twins with Jason Kubel. Thome had the same type of role at the beginning of 2010 and became more of a regular after Justin Morneau's concussion. Thome is still dangerous against right-handed pitchers, but struggles against lefties.
Contract status: Signed a one-year deal.
Probability he hangs 'em up: Good. By the end of the season, Thome will be 41 and will likely hit all the milestones -- he has 589 homers -- he can before the end of his career.

Chase Utley
Age: 32
2010 stats: .275/.387/.445, 16 HR, 65 RBI
2011 role: Ideally he'd be playing second base every day for the Phillies, but who knows when he'll be ready?
Contract status: Signed through 2013.
Probability he hangs 'em up: Low. But injuries haven't been kind to Utley. He doesn't want to retire anytime soon, but it may not end up being his decision.

Omar Vizquel
Age: 44 on April 24
2010 stats: .276/.341/.331, 2 HR, 30 RBI, 11 SB
2011 role: He will once again be a utility infielder for the White Sox. He received more playing time than expected last season due to others' injuries, playing in 108 games for Chicago.
Contract status: Signed a one-year deal.
Probability he hangs 'em up: High. Although, with another year he has an outside shot at 3,000 hits. He enters 2011 with 2,799 hits, but it has taken him three seasons to get his last 201 hits. It seems difficult to believe he could play until he's 46 and keep that level of production. However, if he did get to the magic 3,000, it would cement his Hall of Fame candidacy.

Tim WakefieldTim Wakefield
Age: 44
2010 stats: 4-10, 5.34 ERA, 84 K, 140 IP
2011 role: Long reliever/emergency starter. It's the same role Wakefield was asked to play last season when he bristled at being taken out of the rotation. A knuckleballer is a tough pitcher to manage out of the 'pen, there's too much uncertainty in the pitch to use him as a late-inning reliever, but he doesn't fit into the rotation anymore and the team can still use him.
Contract status: Final year of a two-year deal.
Probability he hangs 'em up: High. Wakefield will be 45 at the end of the season and his role as a reliever isn't well-suited for the knuckleballer.

Kerry Wood
Age: 33
2010 stats: 3-4, 3.13 ERA, 8 saves
2011 role: Wood will be the main set-up man to closer Carlos Marmol. He thrived as a set-up man with the Yankees last season. 
Contract status: Signed a one-year deal.
Probability he hangs 'em up: 50/50. Wood still has plenty in the tank, especially if he doesn't have to be a closer anymore. He's seemed to embrace the elder statesman role with the Cubs and could still be an effective reliever for several years. He's considered retirement in the past and has already been told he has a job with the Cubs whenever he does hang them up.

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Posted on: March 29, 2011 9:05 pm
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Posted on: March 9, 2011 5:53 pm

Buehrle could retire after 2011

By Matt Snyder

Though he's not definitely leaning either way, White Sox starting pitcher Mark Buehrle hasn't ruled out retiring after the 2011 season, when his current contract with the White Sox comes to an end.

"I've set out this year that I'm hoping to play for a couple more years," Buehrle told "The Danny Mac Show" Wednesday (via Chicago Tribune ). "I'm not going to just go out there and play for the money or play in a spot that I don't want to be, just to play for a couple years to get some more money. It's going to have to be a contender and somewhere where me and my family are comfortable. If it happens, good, and if not then if I have to walk away from this game after this year I think I'll be happy with everything I've done."

What Buehrle has done is go 148-110 for 11 seasons with the White Sox. He's made four All-Star Games, finished fifth in Cy Young voting once, won two Gold Gloves and thrown a pair of no-hitters (one a perfect game).

He turns 32 this month and, as a left-hander, it would be pretty surprising he couldn't find work under a pretty solid two-year deal from someone -- even if not the White Sox, who Buehrle mentions might be pining to have Chris Sale join the rotation next year. His 4.28 ERA and 1.40 WHIP weren't great last season, but serviceable enough to stay in a rotation. Plus, his biggest value is that of a durable workhorse. Perhaps the most impressive thing on Buehrle's resume is the fact that he's thrown at least 200 innings in 10 consecutive seasons.

An innings-eater like that at age 32 won't stay on the free agent market too long. If he wants a job, he'll find one. If not, Buehrle will retire with a very admirable major-league career.

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Category: MLB
Posted on: March 6, 2011 9:45 pm

3 up, 3 down for 3/6: Walk-off edition

Tsuyoshi Nishioka

By C. Trent Rosecrans

3 UP

1. D.J. LeMahieu, Cubs. Yes, it's just spring training, but an extra-innings, pinch-hit, walk-off home run is always special. LeMahieu was the Cubs' second-round pick in the 2009 draft and had a solid 2010 in Class A Daytona, hitting .314/.346/.386 with 73 RBI and 15 stolen bases, playing second, third and short. LeMahieu had just two home runs as a pro, so this one may have been even more unlikely.

2. Tsuyoshi Nishioka, Twins. The newly-minted Twins second baseman went 2 for 3 with a triple and two RBI on Sunday against the Orioles. As impressive as his triple was, a third-inning hit-and-run got his manager's attention. With Alexi Casilla on first, Nishioka, batting left-handed, noticed the second baseman going to cover second and hit the ball in the vacated spot, allowing Casilla to advance to third.

3. Tim Lincecum, Giants. This skinny little kid for the Giants may end up being someone to watch. Lincecum was a little wild on Sunday, walking three and giving up three hits in 3 2/3 inning, but he also struck out seven batters.


1. Mat Latos, Padres. I don't like to make much of early-March numbers, but after his outing on Sunday he  went back to the dugout and fired his glove up against a wall. Latos allowed three runs on two hits and two walks before being lifted after just 2/3 of an inning, when he was scheduled to throw three. He struggled with his command, just 21 strikes among his 38 pitches. In his first start, he went just 1 1/3 innings and walked four batters, with 15 of his 34 pitches called strikes.

2. Mark Buehrle, White Sox. Buehrle was the first White Sox pitcher to go three innings this spring, yet it didn't do too well, allowing nine hits and five runs against the Royals on Sunday. It could have been worse -- the Gold Glover snared a Lorenzo Cain liner that appeared to be headed for a hit in the third inning, which was followed by a double.

3. Alcides Escobar, Royals. My mother always told me not to scratch bug bites or they'd get infected, and I never believed her. Sorry mom, you were right. The Royals shortstop was -- pardon the pun -- scratched from the team's lineup on Sunday following the infection of a bed bug on his right wrist. He'll miss Monday's split-squad games, but is expected back later this week.

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Posted on: February 28, 2011 9:08 pm

Carmona tabbed to start opening day

Posted by C. Trent Rosecrans

Fausto CarmonaThe Indians tabbed Fausto Carmona as their opening-day starter on Monday, before he went out to work two scoreless innings against the Reds at the team's shared home in Goodyear, Ariz.

Carmona will start opposite Mark Buehrle of the White Sox on April 1 at Progressive Park in Cleveland.

Not that it's much of a surprise -- it was Carmona or… Carlos Carrasco? But anyway, it was official until Monday when manager Manny Acta was asked if it was a "safe assumption" Carmona would start on opening day.

"That's a good assumption," Acta told reporters, including MLB.com. "Yeah, he's our opening day starter. He deserves that."

And while there are plenty we can assume -- we won't. Here's the official list so far:

Cubs -- Ryan Dempster
Dodgers -- Clayton Kershaw
Indians -- Fausto Carmona
Mets -- Mike Pelfrey
Rangers -- C.J. Wilson
Reds -- Edinson Volquez
Twins -- Carl Pavano
White Sox -- Mark Buehrle

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Posted on: February 24, 2011 7:53 pm
Edited on: February 24, 2011 8:48 pm

Buehrle to start opening day for White Sox

Mark BuehrleAnother day, another opening day starter announced. Today, it's the White Sox's Ozzie Guillen saying he'll hand the ball to Mark Buehrle in Cleveland on April 1.

Oh, except this one isn't "official."

"It's Buehrle unless something drastic happens," Guillen told reporters, including Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune.

Buehrle will be making his ninth opening-day start, so it's hardly a surprise. Still, it's a rite of spring for each one of these to be made public. Few will be surprising, but many managers will make sure they keep it under wraps as long as possible, for some reason.

So here's the list we've got so far:

Reds -- Edinson Volquez

Cubs -- Ryan Dempster

Rangers -- C.J. Wilson

Twins -- Carl Pavano

White Sox -- Mark Buehrle

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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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