Tag:Corey Hart
Posted on: July 13, 2010 7:49 pm
Edited on: July 13, 2010 7:58 pm
 

Melvin: Macha's job safe

Ken Macha The Brewers have had a disappointing start to the season, 40-49 at the break and 8 1/2 games out of first place.

GM Doug Melvin has no interest in firing manager Ken Macha despite the squad not living up to expectations, however. Rumors had surfaced that Melvin might not be in the dugout to kick off the second half which prompted Melvin's comments.

"I'm not a big believer in interim managers," Melvin told Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel . "If things get to the point where you see no fight in the players, that's different."

For now at least, the fight very much so remains in the players, and Macha will stay in the dugout. Whether he remains there to begin 2011 is a different story altogether as the veteran manager is in the final year of his contract.

Melvin also addressed trade rumors primarily centering around Corey Hart who has predominantly been linked to the Giants and Rays. Melvin said he's not actively shopping anyone, but has spoken to various general managers about trades.

"If I think we have matches with other clubs, I'll talk to them," he stated. "If something came along that made us better for now and in the future, you've got to look at it. If a trade makes you better, you do it. You don't trade just to trade."

-- Evan Brunell

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

Category: MLB
Posted on: July 13, 2010 6:52 pm
Edited on: July 13, 2010 7:58 pm
 

Rays, Giants interested in Hart

Corey Hart Could Corey Hart be on the move?

The Brewers' outfielder, who has 21 home runs at the break and participated at the Home Run Derby, has the Giants, Rays and Padres interested, says John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle .

Hart is under team control through 2011, which certainly works in his favor as the cash-strapped Giants, Rays and Padres would like to make a move with the long-term in mind. However, Milwaukee is expected to ask for starting pitching in return and the Giants have stated they will not be trading any.

Closer Brian Wilson believes the Giants are just fine without Hart.

"I think we've got just what we need," he said. "Would it help [to add a bat]? Of course it would help. Putting a big hitter in the lineup would help any team. We're excited about what we have."

On Sunday, Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune tweeted the "Rays appear to be getting serious" about Hart and have Jeremy Hellickson available. Hellickson is 11-2 in Triple-A as a starter with a 2.21 ERA. The lefty is banging down the door to the majors, but the Rays are deep with top prospect Wade Davis occupying the fifth spot and Andy Sonnastine in the bullpen.

Although Davis has a ton of promise, he has a 4.69 ERA and Hellickson may be better prepared to give the Rays quality innings down the stretch. The Brewers would be able to afford to groom Davis for the remainder of the year and have to love his strikeout potential -- but not his four walks per nine innings.

One thing is clear: the Brewers need pitching and the Rays may be the best fit with a stockpile of young pitching and a clear need for offense, whether that's out of the DH spot or outfield.

-- Evan Brunell

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

Posted on: July 12, 2010 8:27 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 11:18 am
 

Home Run Derby blog: Big Papi victorious

David Ortiz The 2010 Home Run Derby kicks off with four American League competitors trying to take out the National League competitors and establish some momentum heading into the All-Star Game Tuesday night.

The AL does battle with Miguel Cabrera, David Ortiz, Nick Swisher and Vernon Wells while the NL will answer with Corey Hart, Matt Holliday, Hanley Ramirez and Chris Young .

CHAMPION : David Ortiz. Eight, 13, 11 home runs by round, respectively. His 32 total blasts place him third on the list for most total home runs in a Home Run Derby. Bobby Abreu's 41 in 2005 and Josh Hamilton's 35 in 2008 are the top two.

Ortiz was most appreciative of the fans, saying that the players want to give the fans a good experience to thank them for following the team. He called Ramirez "a son" to him, saying "the longer he is here, I will be a mentor to him."

THIRD ROUND

Hanley Ramirez - 6

Hanley Ramirez couldn't find the magic even after David Ortiz gave him a mid-round hug, and Big Papi is the Home Run Derby champion.

Ramirez started off with two outs before blasting a 449-foot shot, but followed that up with two more outs to dig himself a big hole. He was able to start sending balls to the rocks in center field -- at one point ripping off consecutive shots -- but then fell back into a slump with two outs, making poor contact each time. That sparked the pep talk from Big Papi, but could only muster one more home run the rest of the way.

David Ortiz - 11

Hanley Ramirez has his work cut out for him, as Big Papi cranked 11 home runs in the final round. That's tied for the most in the final round, and Papi peppered the right-field bleachers with his longest blast in the right-field well, 450 feet away.

Papi continued his tradition of taking a drink and towel midway through but still couldn't recover his energy. He dinged three homers after the respite, but that's enough to get a comfortable lead over the Florida shortstop. Win or lose, it was a very impressive showing for the DH who has shown that he really is back to being a self-titled "bad man."

SECOND ROUND

Corey Hart - 0 (13)

Well, that was anti-climatic. After the possibility of a Hanley Ramirez-David Ortiz tiebreaker to see who advances to the finals, Corey Hart followed up with a disappointing oh-fer.

"I don't feel too tired but it was a long break and I wasn't able to get my body back [to where he could hit home runs again,]" Hart told a reporter after his second-round performance.

Ortiz and Ramirez will square off in the finals next.

Hanley Ramirez - 12 (21)

Hanley Ramirez certainly didn't go quietly, bashing 13 home runs to tie Big Papi at 21 home runs apiece, meaning Corey Hart needs to boom at least nine to assure himself of a place in the finals.

After two outs, Ramirez decided that the center left-field bullpen and rocks had angered him and pummeled them without mercy. He amassed five home runs before turning his attention to left field and cranking a 476-foot blast followed by a 465-foot bomb. He then eked one over the left-field bleachers by the foul pole for a puny 373-foot home run. After seven straight home runs, he took several pitches before launching his final homer of the round to tie Big Papi.

Miguel Cabrera - 5 (12)

Miguel Cabrera only hit five home runs and won't reach the final round as he couldn't even combine to defeat Corey Hart's first-round total. However, he had some doozies, denting the rocks in center field with the farthest going 474 feet. An ice-cold streak halts his night, however

David Ortiz - 13 (21)

David Ortiz just put on an incredible power display, bashing 12 home runs with his longest going 478 feet. He made his living hanging around right-center field and the right-field well, chipping in a 413-foot wraparound of the right-field foul pole at one point. With five outs and nine homers in the bank, Ortiz grabbed a drink and towel but couldn't sustain his barrage, "just" hitting four bombs the rest of the way.

Ortiz stuck to pulling the ball, averaging 420 feet with his homers. Only his second home run of the day has been on the left side of center field. Big Papi seems near guaranteed to reach the finals now, but there's still plenty more Home Run Derby to be had.

FIRST ROUND

Miguel Cabrera - 7

Miguel Cabrera, a veritable Triple Crown candidate, will finish off the first round by stepping to the plate with 22 long balls on the season. He got things started with what seemed to be a requisite first round. He then rocked four straight home runs, the farthest going in deep left at 469 feet. It's not the farthest homer he would blast, however, which went 476 feet. It looked like he'd be stuck on six after four straight outs to take him to eight outs, but blasted one more to solidify his ranking in the second round.

It's Corey Hart, David Ortiz, Hanley Ramirez and Cabrera who advance.

Hanley Ramirez - 9

Hanley Ramirez gets things started with a home run to center as Will Ferrell is delivering plenty of punch lines on the air as an announcer, complimenting the broadcasters for their difficult job as HanRam rips off three straight outs before skying a 417-foot fly for his second homer.

Ramirez then put on a power display, jacking three straight with a deep fly of 472 feet. He spread his homers between left and center and took a cue from Big Papi by summoning a drink and towel -- except earlier in the round than Ortiz did. The renewed strength got Ramirez to power past Big Papi for nine total home runs, popping a 462-foot and 455-foot home run as part of his barrage, causing Ferrell to claim "If that ball wasn't hit hard, I'm Santa Claus!"

David Ortiz - 8

David Ortiz, continuing his resurrection from a pitiful April, blasts eight home runs and is in prime position entering the second round. Hitting off of Yankees coach Tony Pena who also delivered to Swisher, Ortiz' first fly came after one out and was straight away into the rocks after initially looking it would die a quick death.

His next swing saw his farthest pitch, a 440-foot shot, end up in right field before getting friendly with the area by the right-field foul pole. His next four home runs spread over four outs were in the vicinity of the foul pole. Ortiz, wearing padded cleats to protect his feet in case of foul balls, then moved over to traditional right field for his remaining home runs. After eight outs, he grabbed a towel and drink although it didn't do any good as he registered two outs.

Matt Holliday - 5

It looked like Matt Holliday was going to follow in the footsteps of Chris Young with just one home run a 434-foot bomb to left field once he reached nine outs. However, he took a liking to the gold ball and ripped four consecutive home runs which may be enough to land him in the second round.

He skied an absolute bomb over the left-field foul pole, going an impressive 497 feet and drawing quite the impression from teammate Albert Pujols who was on the sidelines. Two of his home runs landed in the bullpen and averaged 441 feet, the longest average to date.

Nick Swisher - 4

Nick Swisher -- who, let's be honest, shouldn't have beaten Kevin Youkilis in the Final Vote -- cranked four home runs to pull into second place on the leaderboard. The switch-hitter batted lefty, where he has had the most success in the power department over his career.

He got things started with a 424-foot home run pulled into the left-field bleachers and wrapped one around the foul pole as well to jump out to two home runs against one out. He'd crank just two the rest of the way, although he did bomb a 440-foot home run. Eyeing several balls with eight outs left wasn't enough as a fly ball dies at the wall to finish the first round for Swish.

Corey Hart - 13

Corey Hart certainly put on a show, registering back-to-back deep flies after his first out to immediately pull even within Vernon Wells for the lead in the Home Run Derby.

He then tacked on three additional home runs before his second out. He flashed tremendous opposite-field power on his third and fourth blasts, knocking homers over 420 feet away. His deepest home run was his ninth, just after eking a 382-foot shot into the bullpens in left field. This one went into deep left at 464 feet but he wasn't done with the long bombs. He skied a 459-foot shot, lined an out into center then rapped a 453-foot bomb. He ended his barrage with a 451-foot drive into the rocks in center field and finished with an average of 433-foot home runs.

Vernon Wells - 2

Vernon Wells ripped some traditional big flies, but most didn't have much juice on it. He received a gift with his first home run after three outs when a fan caught a 361-foot homer by sticking his glove out over the fence, much to Wells' amusement. He then skied some shots dying at the warning track before ripping the most legitimate home run of the night, a 428-foot blast.

That's all Wells can do, however, and takes quite the imposing lead with two home runs. While most of Young's shots were liners, Wells at least had the pretty looping fly ball, just not enough distance.

Chris Young - 1

Young could only grab a single home run, going 410 feet after notching two outs. The outfielder predominantly pulled the ball but could only get major air on the lone home run, the rest dying out as liners. Several went foul, a groundball was mixed in there and the only ball not to be pulled was on the last out of round one when Young skied one to center field.

-- Evan Brunell

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



Posted on: July 8, 2010 10:57 pm
Edited on: July 8, 2010 10:59 pm
 

Ramirez might back out of Derby

Hanley Ramirez If this trend continues, will anyone be willing to compete in the Home Run Derby a few years from now?

Hours after Hanley Ramirez was announced as a participant in next week's event, the Marlins shortstop said Thursday night he was pulling out. Then he changed his mind back. Halfway.

"I'm not doing that," Ramirez told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. "I'm going to cancel it." A few moments later he said it was "50-50."

Ramirez said he was worried about how participating might affect his swing in the second half, a sentiment that's getting very familiar.

It doesn't seem like participating in one unconventional batting practice, which is essentially what the Derby is, could throw off a player's swing on a long-term basis, but there is plenty of anecdotal evidence of the "Derby curse," and participating is becoming seen as a real risk.

Where sluggers used to clamor to get into the showcase, baseball seems to have more trouble filling the field every year. And teams are telling players not to participate, as the Yankees did this week with Robinson Cano.

At the moment, assuming Ramirez is in, he's on the NL squad with Corey Hart and Matt Holliday. The AL squad is Miguel Cabrera, David Ortiz and Vernon Wells. Both leagues still need to add one hitter. If they can find one.

-- David Andriesen

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



Posted on: July 7, 2010 10:42 am
Edited on: July 7, 2010 3:11 pm
 

Yankees not happy with Cano's Derby debut

Robinson Cano Teams don't get to choose whether their players participate in the Home Run Derby.

That doesn't mean they have to like it.

Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano will be one of eight players in the hitting contest next Monday, but the team would prefer he weren't involved. There is mounting anecdotal evidence that participating in the Derby -- which involves repeating an unnatural, go-for-the-fences swing dozens of times -- can have lasting effects on a player.

In 2008, Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton put on an amazing display at the Derby, hitting a record 28 home runs in the first round. His home run production took a pronounced drop, 21 in the first half of the season and just 11 in the second, and Hamilton has said the Home Run Derby threw off his swing. Bobby Abreu and Albert Pujols have similarly slumped and said the Derby affected them.

More and more players are declining Derby invitations, but Cano couldn't resist the chance to take center stage. He'll be joined by Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers, David Ortiz of the Red Sox, Vernon Wells of the Blue Jays, Corey Hart of the Brewers and Matt Holliday of the Cardinals. The National League has yet to name its two other participants.

"I would prefer he's not involved in it, but that's not my decision," Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long said of Cano in the New York Daily News. "History suggests that guys that do the home run hitting contest get fatigued and exhausted from the process. I'm happy for the fact that he's maybe getting the opportunity, but in the same breath we have to be careful in how he goes about this."

Cano has said he's just going to take the normal swings he would take in batting practice, and manager Joe Girardi hopes that's true.

"I think it's a lot of swings for a player; physically, I think it's somewhat of a grind, but it's an honor to be involved," Girardi said. "The biggest thing is that we keep Robinson Cano healthy and strong the whole year. If that in any way would fatigue him, then I would prefer that he didn't get fatigued."

-- David Andriesen

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


Posted on: July 6, 2010 6:43 pm
 

Six confirmed for derby


Corey Hart Six players have confirmed that they don't fear the Home Run Derby curse and will take part in the exhibition on Monday.

It's not like there were going to draft people, but Miguel Cabrera, Robinson Cano, David Ortiz, Vernon Wells, Corey Hart and Matt Holliday are in.

Albert Pujols has already said he's not interested, as has Josh Hamilton, who suffered the curse two years ago.

Unfortunately, Chris Berman hasn't suffered said curse, so we're stuck with his yelling for another year.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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

Posted on: July 4, 2010 1:25 pm
 

Report: Giants have eye on Hart

Corey Hart The Giants are desperate to upgrade their offense, and Prince Fielder has been one of the more popular names linked to them. However, a new name has emerged, and that's Fielder's teammate in Corey Hart.

The report from Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe notes that while the Giants may be interested, the Brewers may elect to hang onto the outfielder currently enjoying a career season with 18 home runs -- .287/.351/.566 overall. He's making $4.8 million the year and has one more year of arbitration ahead of him; he figures to rake in the money after the year he's having.

The Brewers aren't dead yet in the NL Central as they are just 8 1/2 games out. It would be a tough road, but Milwaukee could conceivably rally and make a tight race out of it. As the Rocies and multiple other teams have shown us in recent years, it's not to count anyone out for dead until mid-August if there's still a chance.

That aspect will play a large part in the coming weeks as GM Doug Melvin will have to decide whether to go for it or trade off some valuable pieces, preferably for starting pitching. Corey Hart is just one of several whose futures in Brewers garb could be decided by the team's play leading up to July 31.

-- Evan Brunell

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

Category: MLB
Posted on: July 3, 2010 1:19 am
Edited on: July 3, 2010 2:37 am
 

Hart deserving of votes in NL All-Star race

Corey Hart Now that the reaction to the latest voting of AL All-Stars is complete, we turn to the NL ...

It's hard to disagree with Albert Pujols at the top of the first base rankings. He's second in the NL in OPS, but not all that far behind Votto and has both the name recognition and defense working for him. But that Votto ranks fifth in voting indicates that not many may be fully appreciating Votto's season. After all, Troy Glaus and his .260/.364/.458 line ranks third.

Votto is at .314/.416/.579 with 19 home runs -- tied with Pujols among NL first basemen -- and has Glaus beat in almost every counting category: triples, runs, RBI, stolen bases, strike outs. The two are tied in doubles with 13 apiece, and Votto is the second-best fielder at first according to UZR/150. Glaus? Dead last. We can't even point to a big market or popular player here, really, as Glaus is in his first season with the Braves after not playing much of 2009 and Votto's more exciting given he's 26 and Glaus is on the wrong side of 30. Interesting.

At second, Chase Utley led the voting which was no surprise, but since he's out for eight weeks with surgery on his thumb, he won't be starting. The logical replacement is in fact, second in the 2B rankings with Martin Prado garnering just over 1.5 million votes. Impressive for a relative unknown, but Prado absolutely deserves the nod -- he's leading the NL in batting average at .333.

Third base has another Phillie, Placido Polando, just barely edging out David Wright. Unfortunately for Philadelphia, Polanco is shelved until late July so Wright will toe the third-base line in the first inning. The voting is close, here though: Polanco leads everyone with just under 1.5 million votes while fifth place belongs to Casey McGehee at one million. It's anyone's game between Polanco, Wright, McGehee and Chipper Jones along with Scott Rolen.

Really, it's down to Wright and Rolen as the deserving candidates. Wright playing for New York will carry him to the finish line, but he's in a virtual dead heat with Rolen. Rolen has flashed more power than Wright on the year but only barely, and Wright holds the same slim edge in UZR/150 fielding.

At shortstop, Jimmy Rollins is less than 500,000 behind leader Hanley Ramirez despite barely playing at all through the voting period. Troy Tulowitzki was a strong choice to start and currently ranks in third place with his long-term injury hampering his progress. If he hadn't gotten hurt, it would have been an interesting race between HanRam and Tulo.

At catcher, Yadier Molina has done absolutely nothing with the bat but is truly gifted with the leather. He has 1.6 million votes, edging out Brian McCann -- who leads all qualified catchers in OPS -- with ageless Ivan Rodriguez nipping at McCann's heels with 1.3 million votes. Carlos Ruiz is also over the million barrier, but is injured. Rod Barajas rounds out the voting.

Really, at catcher, it comes down to what you think is the most important. Offense or defense. It's a debate that has skewed to defense in team structure lately, but that was coming off an offensive-infested era.

In the outfield, Ryan Braun, Jason Heyward and Andre Ethier each have over two million votes apiece, and all are deserving candidates. Also extremely deserving are Jayson Werth (4th in voting), Corey Hart (unranked), Josh Willingham (unranked) and Colby Rasmus (14th). Heyward will miss the game with an injury -- even if he comes off the disabled list in time, as he says -- so Werth will probably slide into Heyward's spot.

Rasmus leads all outfielders in OPS, but was neither a minor-league phenom or someone who made waves in his rookie year last year, so it makes sense that his name isn't quite well-known yet. But it will be.

It's true that many feel Corey Hart (pictured) is a flash in the pan, but is that really a reason not to vote for him? His production is in the bank and irrevocable, and he was one of the league's best hitters. To have him unranked is a disservice, and here's hoping he at least shows up in the final vote.

-- Evan Brunell

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


 
 
 
 
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