Tag:Shaun Marcum
Posted on: March 25, 2011 10:01 am

Pepper: Young, Daniels clear the air

Michael Young

By C. Trent Rosecrans

With no games to play, sometimes some stories get a little too overexposed. From the Cliff Lee sweepstakes to Chase Utley's day-to-day health and the Jon Daniels-Michael Young feud, we're all pretty much tired of them by now.

The story won't be closed until Young is no longer in a Rangers uniform, then he'll have a press conference, have his say and it'll all be over. For now, he's still a Ranger and back on speaking terms with his general manager. The two met Wednesday and Thursday, and Young said neither minced words.

"I laid out in detail what I was feeling, what my concerns were and gave him the opportunity to do the same," Young told the media on Thursday, including the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram. "Anytime you're going to sit down with somebody where there's a problem or an issue and air things out face-to-face, it's always productive."

Young would not say if he still wants to be traded, but Daniels said it's "unlikely" to happen before the season begins -- and Young understands that.

"It created a situation where fans, media and other people in the organization were almost taking sides," Daniels said (again, from the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram). "It should have never been that way. We both want the same thing, for the Rangers to win. Through that process, I think Michael took a lot of shots from the media and fan base that from my persecutive weren't necessary."

That last statement is interesting to me -- it's Daniels standing up for Young. He may have thought or said in private some of the same things the fans or media have said, but he's not going to do that in public. It's a wise move, one that  Young -- no matter what he's said in the past -- has to at least see as a move in the right direction.

Maybe Young plays out his days as a Ranger, maybe he doesn't. But either way, hopefully we can end this chapter.

READ THIS TODAY -- The Kansas City Star's Sam Mellinger writes a great column on former Royal Willie Mays Aikens and his faith. Aikens is dealing with family tragedy even after everything in his life was looking up. After 14 years in jail, Aikens had been hired by the Royals this offseason. I'll let Mellinger tell the rest of the story.

BLAME THE MESSENGER -- Well, once someone says something interesting, we all know they'll come back and claim it's "taken out of context." That's what Buck Showalter did on Thursday, backing away from his comments in the April issue of Men's Journal about the Yankees and Red Sox. [Boston Globe]

GALARRAGA TO BULLPEN -- The Diamondbacks are expected to move Armando Galarraga to the bullpen, with Aaron Heilman taking the fifth spot in the team's rotation. Galarraga has an 8.44 ERA in 16 innings this spring. Galarraga said he still wants to be a starter. [Arizona Republic]

NATS PICK FIFTH STARTER -- Tom Gorzelanny will fill out the Nationals' rotation, manager Jim Riggleman said on Thursday. Livan Hernandez will open the season for the Nationals, followed by Jordan Zimmermann, John Lannan and Jason Marquis. [MASNSports.com]

AND SO DO THE Rockies -- Colorado's fifth starter will be right-hander Esmil Rogers. Rogers will follow Ubaldo Jimenez, Jorge De La Rosa, Jhoulys Chacin and Jason Hammel. [Denver Post]

LAWRIE SENT DOWN -- After saying he was done with the minor leagues this offseason, Brett Lawrie discovered he's not the one in charge of that decision. The 21-year-old third baseman said he was disappointed, but understood his demotion. The Blue Jays acquired Lawrie this offseason by sending Shaun Marcum to Milwaukee in exchange for the former first-rounder. [MLB.com]

ORDONEZ READY -- Tigers outfielder Magglio Ordonez said he'll be ready for opening day. Ordonez returned to action for the first time since last week on Thursday night. Ordonez went 1 for 4 on Thursday with a double. [MLB.com]

BELTRAN IMPROVING -- Carlos Beltran reported no pain in his knees after a workout on Thursday and Mets manager Terry Collins was so impressed with the way he looked that he wouldn't count out Beltran for opening day. [New York Times]

MORALES IMPROVING -- Orthotic inserts have helped ease the soreness in the left foot of Angels first baseman Kendrys Morales. Morales still won't be available for opening day, but he has gotten the OK by the team's trainers to start "baseball activities." [MLB.com]

DAVIS DRAWING INTEREST -- Doug Davis, the 35-year-old left-hander, threw for as many as eight teams in Tempe, Arizona, on Thursday. Davis made just eight starts last season for the Brewers due to a heart problem and elbow surgery. Among the eight teams to watch him were the Rangers, Rockies, Orioles, Mets and Angels. [MLB.com]

WORK OF ART -- Pedro Martinez will be on hand at the Smithsonian on Friday for the unveiling of his portrait at the National Portrait Gallery. A painting of Martine done by Susan Miller-Havens has been donated to the gallery by MLB.com's Peter Gammons and his wife.  [Smithsonian]

BETTER LATE THAN NEVER -- The man the late Buck O'Neil handpicked to run the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City following the legend's death, is finally getting the job. Bob Kendrick was passed over as the head of the museum two years ago and on the brink of collapse, Kendrick has been tabbed to takeover.

Few people were as upset at the snub as former Kansas City Star columnist Joe Posnanski, who has kissed and made up with the museum on his blog. [Kansas City Star]

FAN-DESIGNED UNIFORM -- I didn't know until yesterday that the White Sox uniforms of the the 80s were the product of a contest run by the team to design a new uniform. Richard Launius, then of Dayton, Ohio, designed the White Sox's pullover Sox uniforms with numbers on the pants.  [ESPN.com]

FOOD NETWORK INVADES YOUR PARK -- The Food Network is offering steak sandwiches at eight ballparks this summer. If you're in Baltimore, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Detroit, Milwaukee, San Diego, St. Louis or Texas, you can go visit Paula Deen working her cart at your park. What, you don't think she's going to be there? Maybe Morimoto? We can hope. [Sportsandfood.com]

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Posted on: March 20, 2011 1:53 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 11:48 am

Pepper: Collins to dial down intensity


By Evan Brunell

TIME TO LOOSEN UP: Terry Collins is well aware of his reputation as a no-nonsense manager whose intensity lost the respect of his players when he helmed the Astros and Angels.

However, to hear Collins tell it, he realizes where he went wrong and wants to make changes.


"I’ve thought about it a lot," he said. "I took it way too serious. Even though I enjoyed it, I didn’t enjoy it. It was all about the winning, winning, winning, instead of enjoying being around these guys and watching them play, enjoying the experience and the challenge of competing. That’s what I love to do.

"There was that thing that I had to prove something. I still want to prove that we’re good enough, but I don’t think it’s the same type of attitude I had in the past. And with that comes the fact that these guys are human beings, and they need communication."

Collins plans to have the Mets play aggressively, as his Angels did -- which still continues to this day under manager Mike Scioscia. He also places a premium on players aspiring to be great and staying focused, which sounds a lot like the old Collins, but the skipper knows that.

"Hopefully, the energy -- or whatever people want to say, the intenseness that I have -- may work here," Collins said. (New York Times)


IZZY COULD SET UP: Jason Isringhausen was once one of the Mets' most heralded pitching prospects before injuries completely wrecked his early years. He was later moved to Oakland and became a closer, famous for his time in St. Louis. Now, after missing most of the last two years, Izzy appears poised to set up closer Francisco Rodriguez back in New York. (New York Post)

IT'LL BE PUDGE: After a brief skirmish among Nationals reporters as to the state of the catching, it appears Ivan Rodriguez will certainly start Opening Day for Washington -- but Wilson Ramos figures to get the bulk of work behind the plate in short order. (Washington Post)

NO MORE GUYS: Five Guys is a weakness of Evan's, and it will no longer taunt him in Nationals Park, as the burger chain has opted not to renew its lease despite being one of the more popular options for customers. (Eater.com)

SILVA'S SPOT IN DANGER: Carlos Silva has had a beyond-awful spring training and although he's slated to take the bump once more next Wednesday, that may not happen. Manager Mike Quade and GM Jim Hendry are expected to sit down and make some touch decisions prior to then. It's entirely feasible that Silva will be put out of the running for the No. 5 starter's spot at that time. (Chicago Sun-Times)

GOOD NEWS FOR BREW CREW: Milwaukee already has enough problems figuring out who will replace Zack Greinke in the rotation, so bad news regarding Shaun Marcum is not ideal. However, the righty believes while he may have to skip a start in spring training, he will be on track for the regular season. (MLB.com)

THE NATURAL: Ken Griffey, Jr.'s talent on the field sometimes evoked comparisons to the immortal Ray Hobbs, but who knew that Griffey had untapped potential? Griffey stopped by the Mariners' broadcast booth for five innings Friday and drew rave reviews. (MLB.com)

BENGIE WANTS TO PLAY: Don't call Bengie Molina retired, brother Jose of the Blue Jays says. Rather, Molina isn't interested in playing unless any contract he signs "shows him sufficient respect." Is it just me, or is an offer to extend your career and haul in at least another half-million plenty of respect to give? (FOX Sports)

INCREMENTAL PROGRESS: The Yankees haven't made formal who the Nos. 4 and 5 starters will be (bank on Ivan Nova and Freddy Garcia) but now we know who is following CC Sabathia on the mound: A.J. Burnett and Phil Hughes, respectively. (New York Post)

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Posted on: March 17, 2011 10:34 pm
Edited on: March 17, 2011 10:36 pm

Roenicke concerned about Marcum

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Shaun MarcumEarlier I wrote that Shaun Marcum wasn't concerned about his early exit from Thursday's game. He may not be, but his manager is.

"There is definitely concern there," Ron Roenicke told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "His neck bothered him the last couple of days and when he went out there today eh thought it was the neck. I don't know if he was overcompensating, I don't know."

Roenicke also noted Marcum's velocity was down.

"We're in a tough spot if he's down for a while," Roenicke said.

Zack Greinke is already expected to miss his first two starts of the season. The Brewers start the season in Cincinnati before going home to take on the Braves and Cubs.

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Posted on: March 17, 2011 7:17 pm

Marcum leaves early, says he's fine

Shaun MarcumBy C. Trent Rosecrans

You can forgive Brewer fans for being a little tight right about now.

Milwaukee had another starter leave the game prematurely -- this time it was right-hander Shaun Marcum. However, Marcum said he didn't think the tightness in his right shoulder was anything to worry about.

"This may be one of those things to take a day or two off of throwing to get the tightness out of there and pick back up where I left off and get ready for April 2," Marcum told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Marcum left after three innings of Thursday's game against the White Sox. He allowed just a hit and struck out two before exiting.

"It felt good the first two innings and in between the second and third it started tightening up," Marcum said. "We just decided it would be in the best interest to not go back out."

The Brewers, of course, lost Zack Greinke earlier this spring. The team has also seen injuries to Corey Hart, Yuniesky Betancourt, Ryan Braun, Carlos Gomez and Chris Dickerson.

"We are this far along, we have two weeks left and it seems like everyone is going down," Marcum said. "You want to be one of the guys that stays healthy and is able to play when it is my time."

It would be silly to panic now, but there is certainly concern in Brewer camp. A couple of more injuries and the needle could move away from concern and toward panic.

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Posted on: March 10, 2011 1:29 pm

Gallardo named Brewers' opening day starter

By C. Trent Rosecrans

In what would have been an upset a couple of weeks ago, but was now a foregone conclusion, Brewers manager Ron Roenicke officially named Yovani Gallardo his opening day starter.

Yovani Gallardo"With [Zack] Greinke and Gallardo, if you look at their last three years, they're both No. 1 [pitchers]," Roenicke told reporters Thursday morning (via the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel). "Gallardo is also our ace."

The Brewers will follow Gallardo, 25, with Shaun Marcum, Randy Wolf and Chris Narveson. The fifth starter spot is still undecided. Because of an off day in Cincinnati the day after the opener, the Brewers could have Gallardo pitch again on regular rest instead of using a fifth starter.

"We may wait and see what Yovani does in the opener," Roenicke said.

Narveson is scheduled to start the home opener on April 4 against the Braves.

While Gallardo doesn't have the name recognition of Greinke, he's a quality starter and has done plenty on his own to earn the opening day nod on his own merit. An All-Star last season, Gallardo started on opening day last season for the Brewers, going 14-7 on the season with a 3.84 ERA. He recorded 200 strikeouts in 185 innings. His xFIP (fielding independent pitching, normalized for park factors) last season was 3.42 last season. Greinke was 10-14 with a 4.17 ERA last season, along with an xFIP of 3.76.

Gallardo lost his opening day assignment last season, but was matched up against Ubaldo Jimenez of the Rockies. Gallardo did struggle last season against the Reds, going 0-2 with a 9.22 ERA in three starts against the NL Central champs. Greinke faced the Reds once and threw a complete-game five-hitter in a  win.

Gallardo will face off against Cincinnati's Edinson Volquez in the opener at Great American Ball Park.

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Posted on: March 7, 2011 11:01 pm

Getting to know the Brewers

By Matt Snyder


Making the trade for Zack Greinke was big for the Brewers, but it didn't necessarily mean Greinke himself automatically became the most valuable player for the Brewers. It allowed Yovani Gallardo to move down to the two-slot in the rotation and -- when teamed with the acquisition of Shaun Marcum -- slotted Randy Wolf as the No. 4. That whole chain of events is huge. In terms of the position players, Prince Fielder is a monster bat in the middle of the order, but the heart and soul of the Brewers is Ryan Braun. The 27 year old rarely misses games or makes errors in the outfield. He's a clubhouse leader and is underpaid, comparing him to other perennial All-Stars, but content to stay with the Brewers and concentrate on winning. Oh, he also has a career 140 OPS-plus, which is outstanding, and steals 16 bases a year. For these reasons and many more, the MVP of the Brewers is easily Braun.

PLAYER ORACLE -- Teddy Higuera to Zack Greinke

Teddy Higuera played with Paul Molitor on the 1985 Milwaukee Brewers

Paul Molitor played with Denny Hocking on the 1998 Minnesota Twins

Denny Hocking played with Zack Greinke on the 2005 Kansas City Royals


In 2007, J.J. Hardy, Chris Capuano, Bill Hall and Jeff Suppan appeared on an episode of the "Young and the Restless." At the time the Brewers were in first place and the woman in the clip plays a rather enthusiastic fan of the four players. A few of the highlights she mentions were a stretch (Capuano as one of the best left-handed starters in the league? Really?), so maybe it's no surprise none of the four are still in Milwaukee. Seriously, weren't Braun and Fielder available?

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Posted on: February 28, 2011 11:38 pm

Reminder, at this point results mean little

Posted by C. Trent Rosecrans

You hear so often not to read too much into spring training results, especially early in the season. With established starters, this can be even more important to remember.

This early, many pitchers are working on specific things, not worrying about the results.

Roy HalladayHere's bits from three different established starters saying they only threw fastball and changeups.

Roy Halladay told David Hale of the News Journal that he wouldn't throw anything more than those two pitches until after three starts.

That said, he's working on a couple of other things.

"There's a couple of things I want to try, but for the most part, the biggest thing is just getting back comfortable," Halladay said.

He gave up two hits and a walk, striking out one batter in two innings on Monday.

New Cubs starter Matt Garza didn't have equal results with a similar repertoire, allowing five runs and five hits, including a grand slam by Coco Crisp in two innings.

"It's spring," Garza told Yahoo! Sports' David Brown. "I wasn't throwing any breaking balls today. It was mainly fastball and changeup. My location was off, but like I said, it's spring. At least the ball felt good coming out of my hand. It felt like I was very explosive toward home plate. Everything that needs to be there, is there."

New Brewer Shaun Marcum's results were between the two -- allowing four hits and two runs with three strikeouts -- but his arsenal was the same, just fastballs and changeups.

"I felt pretty good; just missed location with a couple of pitches," Marcum said, according to Tom Haudricourt of the Journal-Sentinel. "I wanted to work on throwing inside to left-handers. I struggled with it in batting practice. Obviously, it needs more work because we didn't get it in there today."

I've had pitchers tell me they'll go into a spring start concentrating on just one pitch, or one location -- and while older batters will sit back and track some pitches just to try to see more pitches early in the spring, while younger players hoping to make the club will pay attention to that and jump on a veteran pitcher. That's why the boxscores don't matter much in Florida and Arizona, this soon. But the time to start paying attention isn't too far around the corner.

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Posted on: February 9, 2011 10:38 pm

Brewers, Marcum dodge hearing

Shaun Marcum and the Brewers will not face off in an arbitration hearing Thursday, as word came Wednesday night that they settled on a one-year deal.

Tom Haudricort of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports the deal is for $3.95 million, just below the midpoint between Marcum's asking price of $5 million and the team's offer of $3 million, but there are performance bonuses that could push it over the $4 million mark.

Marcum missed the 2009 season after Tommy John surgery, and returned last season with a 13-8 campaign and a 3.64 ERA, pitching 195 1/3 innings.

-- David Andriesen

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