Posted on: June 29, 2010 10:13 am

White Sox interested in Dunn

Adam Dunn
Adam Dunn may finally be exactly where he belongs. It's not that Dunn is legendary bluesman or a crazy fan looking to jump on the field and start swinging at the sight of Royal blue that makes him fit right in on the Southside of Chicago, it's the spot in the lineup he'd occupy.

Finally, finally, Dunn can complete his destiny to become a designated hitter, as the Chicago Sun-Times ' Joe Cowley reports the White Sox are targeting the Nationals' slugger.

"Names have been talked about by both sides," Cowley quotes a source as saying. "[GM Kenny Williams] might want to act quickly, though."

Dunn is in the final year of a two-year contract with the Nationals and would likely be a Type A free agent, so that could raise the price for the White Sox. It also helps the Nationals' bargaining stance that Dunn would fit the Angels' needs, as well.

The White Sox's current designated hitter, Mark Kotsay, has struggled, hitting .212/..317/.365 with six home runs and 16 RBI. Dunn would represent a significant upgrade. He's currently hitting .275/.366/.559 with 17 home runs and 47 RBI.

In the past, Dunn has been reluctant to be a designated hitter, but he's proven to be one of the worst defensive players in baseball, both in the outfield and at first base.

The affable Dunn has said he'd like to stay in D.C., but that may be as much a result of him feeling comfortable more than anything. When he was in Cincinnati, he would get a tad prickly about the subject of the trade deadline every July and was on edge about the subject until the calendar switched to August.

However, it was after the trade deadline that he was traded from the Reds to the Diamondbacks in 2008 for Micah Owings, Wilkin Castillo and Dallas Buck. The Diamondbacks did not offer Dunn arbitration following the 2008 season.

Dunn will likely be asked about this report before today's game and will dismiss it and pledge that he wants to stay with the Nationals and he doesn't want to be traded.

Dunn doesn't have a no-trade clause, but could be more open to a move to the White Sox because his best friend in baseball, Ken Griffey Jr., had a positive experience at the end of the 2008 season when he was traded from Cincinnati to Chicago.

The 30-year old Dunn is one of the most consistent power hitters in the game, hitting 40 or more home runs in six of the previous seven seasons, his dip coming last season when he hit 38. A lightening rod for fans, Dunn is often the center of the average-vs.-on-base percentage argument and the importance of strikeouts. Dunn is a career .251/.382/.522 hitter. This season his average is at an all-time high, but his on-base percentage is lower than usual.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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

Posted on: June 28, 2010 6:55 pm

Cox: Strasburg 'can only get worse'

Bobby Cox When Bobby Cox says something is the best or the worst or the biggest he's ever seen in baseball, it means something. Because not many people in the game have seen more than Cox.

The Atlanta manager, who skippered his first major-league team in 1978, said Monday that the Nationals' Stephen Strasburg is the most polished fledgling pitcher he has ever seen -- and that was without having actually seen the rookie pitch in person. The Braves were set to face Strasburg hours after Cox's comments to reporters.

Who was closest?

"[Roger] Clemens," Cox said. "When we saw him for the first time, he was reeeaaallly good. But I think this kid, just watching the games on TV, might be a little more polished at this stage. And Roger was as good as it could get.

"It's hard to imagine, but he is. Every game I've watched him pitch. He is. It's just a fact. Everybody's got to get their feet wet. But he's different."

Strasburg went into Monday's game with a 1.78 ERA and a record 41 strikeouts in his first four major league starts. Even so, Cox said he wasn't sure the youngster should make the NL All-Star team because he's played only a small portion of the season.

"To me, I'd love to see him on there. But for the other guys that have had 15 starts, it's probably not fair to knock one of them off that actually, you know, have the stats. But he'd be a good one. I want to see him pitch in the All-Star Game. But to have five starts, it's probably not fair to the other guys that are on the border of making [the team]."

As for the future, Cox said Strasburg "can only get worse."

-- David Andriesen

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

Posted on: June 28, 2010 4:20 pm

Heyward doesn't need surgery

Jason Heyward Good news for the Braves, as Jason Heyward won't need surgery on a strained thumb ligament, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution 's David O'Brien reports .

O'Brien spoke to a person familiar with the situation and expects an official announcement later today.

Heyward underwent an MRI on Monday morning on the thumb that has been bugging him since sliding into third base head-first on May 14.

Writes O'Brien:

The MRI exam revealed a strained ligament where it attaches to the bone, and possibly a bruise. While it’s not an injury that requires surgery, it’s possible the soreness could linger until Heyward gets extended rest in the offseason.

In the meantime, it will likely be up to the 20-year-old right fielder to play when he feels comfortable enough to do so. He’s out of the lineup for Monday night’s game, the third consecutive start he’s missed since the soreness.

The Braves face the Nationals and Stephen Strasburg tonight, but Heyward isn't in the lineup for the third consecutive game.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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

Posted on: June 27, 2010 5:12 pm
Edited on: June 27, 2010 5:21 pm

Heyward to miss Strasmus

Jason Heyward

There will be no meeting of the über-rookies, at least not Monday.

The Braves' Jason Heyward will not play Monday against Washington's Stephen Strasburg because of his sore left thumb, the Atlanta Journal Constitution 's David O'Brien reports .

Heyward will have the thumb examined by the Braves' hand specialist this week. The injury could also keep Heyward from the All-Star Game.

"It's nothing major because I've been on the field for the last two months with it," Heyward said. "But it's something that's creating a problem as far as being consistent. I want to get it taken care of now instead of having to worry about it later."

Heyward jammed the thumb sliding into a base head-first on May 14. In his last 24 games, he's hit .172/.274/.232 with one home run and seven RBI.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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

Posted on: June 24, 2010 11:16 am

Nats owner says Harper negotations have begun

Bryce Harper The Nationals drafted Stephen Strasburg with the No. 1 overall pick in 2009 and handed him a record-breaking $15.1 million deal.

Now, Washington has Bryce Harper in the fold after making him the first overall choice in 2010. Harper reportedly wants his own record-breaking deal, which is a lot of money for Washington to commit to a 17-year old outfielder. Strasburg was in a completely different boat, but Nats owner Mark Lerner isn't concerned about negotiations with Harper and agent Scott Boras.

"I'm confident we'll get a deal worked out," Lerner told Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post . "I think the kid wants to play."

Lerner revealed that Boras and GM Mike Rizzo have had conversations, but it will take until closer to the Aug. 16 signing deadline for things to truly ramp up. Lerner believes that the strong working relationship between Boras and Rizzo will help get a deal done. The two worked together on Strasburg's deal.

-- Evan Brunell

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

Posted on: June 23, 2010 7:06 pm

Bad call gives Strasburg his first L

Stephen Strasburg Stephen Strasburg suffered the first loss of his career on Wednesday, losing to the Royals 1-0. However, the game wasn't without controversy as home plate Hunter Wendelstedt killed a sixth-inning Nationals rally with a bad call at the plate.

With runners on first and second in the sixth, Adam Dunn singled to right and Roger Bernadina tried to score on Kansas City right fielder Jose Guillen. Guillen's throw was to the first-base side of home, Royals catcher Jason Kendall wheeled and placed the tag on Bernadina, apparently late, but Wendelstedt called him out.

With the naked eye, the play wasn't even close. Bernadina looked like his left leg slid past the plate by the time Kendall tagged him on the right knee. Replays showed Kendall tagged Bernadina on the left foot, but not before he touched the plate.

That was the second out of the inning and then Ian Desmond struck out against Brian Bannister to end the inning.

Bannister outpitched Strasburg, allowing five hits and no runs, while striking out four and walking two in six innings. Strasburg was no slouch, though, also going six, striking out nine and allowing nine hits, while walking none and giving up a run in the fifth. Strasburg is now 2-1 with a 1.78 ERA and 41 strikeouts in his his first four starts -- a major league record.

Guillen's two-out RBI single in the fifth inning off of Strasburg plated the only run of the game.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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

Posted on: June 22, 2010 6:54 pm

Nats bringing Wang along slow

Chien-Ming Wang Chien-Ming Wang's rehab with the Washington Nationals is going well, even if it's conservative.

Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports that Wang is at least one month away from a debut with the Nationals, and may stretch into early April. He is currently throwing simulated innings every two or three days at the team's spring training complex in Viera, Fla. Wang last pitched July 12, 2009 for the Yankees before having to shut down due to shoulder surgery.

e posted an ugly 1-6 record and 9.64 ERA in nine starts and three relief appearances prior to the surgery and it's thought his shoulder woes developed from compensating for not fully recovering from a foot injury sustained in 2008 by running the bases in interleague play.

"[Wang has] been incredibly positive," agent Alan Nero told Kilgore of the rehab. Part of why Wang is so upbeat, according to Nero, is the fact Washington is taking his rehab conservatively. They also allowed Wang a three-day visit to his family in New Jersey.

"With the Yankees, there was never a complete understanding of the injury," Nero added. "The conservative approach the Nationals have taken has been outstanding."

-- Evan Brunell

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

Category: MLB
Posted on: June 22, 2010 12:16 am

What are the odds?

Any Baltimore fans harboring dreams of a miracle should give up now. Even if they had a million chances, the Orioles wouldn't make the playoffs this year.

That's the conclusion of a postseason odds report compiled by baseballprospectus.com, which ran a computer simulation of the remainder of the 2010 season a million times. The Orioles were the only team that came out with a zero percent occurrence of making the playoffs. The Royals, Indians, Mariners, Nationals, Astros, Pirates and Diamondbacks each were under 1 percent.

In the crowded American League East race, the Yankees won the division 49 percent of the time, the Red Sox 26 percent and the Rays 21 percent. The best bet to reach the postseason? The Rangers, who made it in 81 percent of the simulated seasons.

-- David Andriesen

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

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com