Tag:Adam Dunn
Posted on: February 21, 2011 10:38 am
Edited on: February 21, 2011 10:39 am

Morning Pepper: The next indy-ball major leaguer?

De La Rosa

NEVER GONNA GIVE YOU UP: Dane De La Rosa's eventual destination of Port Charlotte took years to accomlpish, but the 28-year-old finally arrived after flaming out of the Yankees organization, selling real estate and playing independent baseball for four seasons.

"It's a great feel-good story," Rays director of minor-league operations Mitch Lukevics said of De La Rosa and his path back to relevancy that has him poised to follow in the footsteps of Scott Richmond and Robert Coello as ex-indy players who fight their way to the majors. But first, De La Rosa had some growing up to do.

"I felt like I belonged there, which is not the mindset you need to have when you're there," De La Rosa said of his time in New York in which he appeared in just 20 games over the 2003-04 season. "You need to be humbled. Going through all this has made me a humble person, so I don't regret it at all."

De La Rosa headed to independent baseball after the Yankees cut him, but he struggled to adjust and then took a year off to sell real estate. However, his dream wouldn't die and he couldn't handle knowing his baseball career was over, so he returned to the independent leagues.  His play in 2007 got him a late-season pickup by the Brewers, but all he got was one two-inning stint at the rookie level before being released.

But after two more years in the independent leagues, De La Rosa finally caught the attention of the Rays, who brought him in for a workout. Tampa witnessed a 6-foot-5 righty with a fastball reaching 97-mph and immediately signed him.

"He was pounding fastballs, and we were thinking this is too good to be true," Lukevics said. De La Rosa would go on to split the year between high-Class A and Double-A, posting a 2.01 ERA in 76 innings and whiffing 80 while coughing up 26 walks. Now, he has a chance to win a bullpen spot in the major leagues after being placed on the 40-man roster, news that came just weeks after becoming engaged. That's a lesson in the art of perseverance.

"If Dane De La Rosa has taken this journey and now he's on the 40-man major-league roster and a heartbeat away from pitching in the big leagues," Lukevics said, "it tells every young man, every player they have a chance if they keep working." (Tampa Tribune, also source of photo)

PARTY TIME: Brian Wilson is sure one lucky guy. He was picked up in Arizona by none other than Charlie Sheen on a private jet and ferried to Sheen's house, where he hosted yet another party. This one was full of ballplayers watching movies and kicking back. (And yes, Sheen's iconic Major League was played, capping off the night.) Sources said the party was only "R-rated" instead of the debauchery that usually happens at the Sheen estate.

No word on whether Wilson's virtual doppleganger attended the festivities. (TMZ)

A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME: Pete Rose joined a fundraiser for a Legion team and had plenty of jokes to crack even as there was the requisite talk about Rose's gambling and Hall of Fame chances. "This is America. You're supposed to get second chances," Rose said. "I chose the wrong vice." Or maybe his second chance was frittered away when he lied about gambling? Anyways, cool anecdote: Rose would always leave four tickets per game for his father, who would move seats every time Rose didn't get a hit. One day when Rose went 0-for-4 and didn't hustle (imagine that) on a grounder to second, his father castigated him.

"He asked me, 'Did you run hard in your third at-bat with the runner on third?'" Rose relayed. "I thought about it and I realized I hadn't because I thought I should've gotten a hit, and I grounded out to second."

His father's response: "'Don't embarrass me in this town. You run until the umpire says safe or out.'" (Oroville Mercury-Register)

LONG TIME NO SEE: When the Pirates traded Jason Schmidt back in 2001, they were hoping the return would put them on the path to respectability. Instead, Armando Rios got hurt and Ryan Vogelsong posted a 6.00 ERA from 2001-06 after rocketing through the Giants' system. But now, Vogelsong is finally back in San Francisco after stints in Japan and Triple-A for the Phillies and Angels last season. 

Before Vogelsong picked the Giants, the Dodgers came calling, but the righty stayed true to his roots. "I was like, I just can't wear Dodger blue," he said. (MLB.com)

PRIDE COMES BEFORE A FALL: Edgar Renteria isn't upset that the Giants declined his $10.5 miliion option (an obvious move, he says) but the resulting $1 million offer was disrespectful, he says. "I'm not going to play for anybody for $1 million," Renteria said. "I'd rather retire. That is why I say it [was disrespectful]. It's because I know what I can do in this game."

Renteria eventually signed for $2.1 million with the Reds. Meanwhile, if being offered $1 million is disrespectful, sign me up. (San Jose Mercury News)

REST IN PEACE: Cardinals co-owner Andrew Baur has passed away at the tender age of 66. He was a part of the 1996 purchase of the Cardinals by majority owner Bill DeWitt and was a member of the board of directors since the ownership change. Cause of death is not yet known. (FOX Sports Midwest)

LITERARY GENIUS: In Sunday's Morning Pepper, R.A. Dickey revealed he was writing a book about his major-league career. It's not often you hear of ballplayers who can write -- nevermind even read -- but add Burke Badenhop to that list. The Marlin relayed a story of the judge recognizing him when he served jury duty, but that was only the start of his offseason. He also got married, assisted a friend in writing a book about financial planning and is co-writing a movie script with his agent. But now, all he's concerned about is winning a bullpen spot. (Palm Beach Post)

DHING AIN'T EASY: DHs don't get a lot of respect in the league. Not only is it virtually impossible for them to get Hall of Fame or All-Star consideration, but many believe it's pretty easy to walk up to the plate four times a game, take your hacks and then warm the bench without having to play defense. Not so, and Adam Dunn is trying to figure out how to transition to a DH role. Fortunately, ex-White Sox players in Jim Thome and Harold Baines have some advice. (Chicago Tribune)

LESSON LEARNED: It couldn't have been easy for Mike Quade to step into Lou Piniella's shoes and then make the move of benching Starlin Castro for one game, but there you have it. The budding shortstop rode the pine for a mental lapse, and the Rookie of the Year candidate has said he learned his lesson from it. Quade, however, refuses to call it discipline, rather preferring to term it a "teaching moment" to get Castro a breather after breaking into the bigs amid much hoopla and starting on a regular basis. (Chicago Tribune)

-- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: January 24, 2011 3:36 pm
Edited on: January 24, 2011 8:11 pm

Diamondbacks sign Owings

Micah Owings The Diamondbacks have signed Micah Owings to a minor-league contract.

Owings, a right-hander, was drafted by the Diamondbacks in the third round of the 2005 draft. Owings started 45 games for the Diamondbacks in 2007 and 2008, going 14-17 with a 4.97 ERA, before being traded to Cincinnati as part of the deal that sent Adam Dunn to Arizona.

In two seasons in Cincinnati, Owings was 10-14 with a 5.35 ERA in 19 starts and 48 total appearances. The Reds designated Owings for assignment in August and was granted free agency after the season.

Many feel Owings is a better fit as a full-time hitter. In 198 career plate appearances, Owings hit .293/.323/.538 with nine home runs -- good for a 117 career OPS+. Owings was a great hitter in college at Georgia Tech and Tulane, and could be a designated hitter, first baseman or corner outfielder.

UPDATE: Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic tweets that Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers said Owings will work at first base during spring training in addition to working out of the bullpen.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Category: MLB
Posted on: January 21, 2011 4:44 pm
Edited on: January 21, 2011 4:46 pm

Dunn will play the field for White Sox

Adam Dunn Adam Dunn is bringing his glove to Chicago.

"I don't want to say [Dunn will play] twice a week, three times a week," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen told the Chicago Tribune 's Mark Gonzales . "It depends on who is pitching, lefty or righty. But he will be at first base more than people think."

Dunn will play first base to provide Paul Konerko a breather during the season.

"Believe me, P.K. was done late in the season," Guillen said. "He was done. I want to make sure I take care of that."

Konerko hit .312/.393/.584 last season with 39 homers. In September and October, he hit .271/.354/.588 with seven homers.

Konerko has generally been considered a fair defensive first baseman, while Dunn has a reputation as one of the worst fielders in baseball. However by both UZR and runs saved, Dunn was better than Konerko in 2010. Konerko had a -14.7 UZR/150 and a -17 runs saved in 2010, while Dunn had a -3.3 UZR/150 and -8 runs saved. Over the last three years, Dunn was the worst first baseman in baseball with -29 runs save, but Konerko was fourth-worst at -22. Neither's going to win a Gold Glove, but it probably won't be as dramatic a drop-off as many would think when Dunn does take the field.

Last season, Dunn said he didn't want to become a full-time designated hitter, and the White Sox saying he could play first often to spell Konerko could have had a hand in him selecting Chicago and heading to the American League.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: January 19, 2011 7:53 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 11:26 am

June draft order set

With Carl Pavano signing with the Twins, there are now no Type A free agents left unsigned, which means there are no more possible compensatory reassignments of first-round picks. Compensatory picks can still be added for Type B signings, but those will fall in the "sandwich" round between the first and second rounds.

That's a long way of saying we have our first-round order for the 2011 June draft, which is projected to be one of the richest and deepest in recent years.

1. Pirates
2. Mariners
3. Diamondbacks
4. Orioles
5. Royals
6. Nationals
7. Diamondbacks (for unsigned 2010 pick Barret Loux)
8. Indians
9. Cubs
10. Padres (for unsigned 2010 pick Karsten Whitson)
11. Astros
12. Brewers
13. Mets
14. Marlins
15. Brewers (for unsigned 2010 pick Dylan Covey)
16. Dodgers
17. Angels
18. Athletics
19. Red Sox (from Tigers for Victor Martinez)
20. Rockies
21. Blue Jays
22. Cardinals
23. Nationals (from White Sox for Adam Dunn)
24. Rays (from Red Sox for Carl Crawford)
25. Padres
26. Red Sox (from Rangers for Adrian Beltre)
27. Reds
28. Braves
29. Giants
30. Twins
31. Rays (from Yankees for Rafael Soriano)
32. Rays
33. Rangers (from Phillies for Cliff Lee)

It's a good time to be the Diamondbacks (who have two of the top seven picks), the Brewers (two in the first 15) and the Rays (three first-rounders). The Rays also also have a whopping seven sandwich-round picks, meaning that as of today (with more sandwich picks to come) they'd make 10 of the first 53 picks.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: January 4, 2011 8:42 pm

Nats land LaRoche

Adam LaRoche
With the first base market coming down to the nitty gritty, the Nationals and Adam LaRoche finally agreed to pair up, with the former Diamondback accepting a two-year deal, according to Peter Gammons of MLB.com.

The Orioles and Nats were doubly courting LaRoche and Derrek Lee, and when Baltimore (which reportedly offered LaRoche three years) signed Lee this deal became almost a foregone conclusion. No word yet on the financial details.

LaRoche, 31, becomes the replacement for Adam Dunn in Washington. He put up a .261/.320/.468 line at the plate with 25 home runs and 100 RBI last season and has hit 20-plus homers for six consecutive years.

Gammons reports LaRoche will take his physical on Thursday, so this deal should become official soon. He's probably just happy to know he's staying put for a couple of years after moving from the Pirates to the Red Sox to the Braves in 2009 and then staying just a season in Arizona.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: January 3, 2011 8:03 pm
Edited on: January 3, 2011 8:18 pm

DH market still crowded

Vladimir Guerrero If there's a surplus of one position on the free agent market, it may be the designated hitter spot.

Jim Thome, one of last season's bargain pickups, is still unsigned, as are Vladimir Guerrero, Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon. And then there's the not-retired Jermaine Dye, Jason Giambi, Russell Branyan, Jose Guillen and Hank Blalock.

So far this offseason, the Red Sox exercised their option on David Ortiz, the Yankees have said they'll move Jorge Posada out from behind the plate, as will the Tigers with newly-signed Victor Martinez. Adam Dunn will be a first-time designated hitter with the White Sox.

As for teams with needs, that includes the team Thome DH'd for last season, the Twins, who would like him back. Of course, after putting up the year he did, he feels like he deserves a raise -- especially with his 600th career home run likely coming this season. The Rays, Angels and Rangers also have obvious needs, while the Orioles, Royals and Blue Jays could upgrade at the spot or stay put.

As it stands, here how the current AL DHs line up:
Orioles -- Luke Scott
Red Sox -- David Ortiz
Yankees -- Jorge Posada
Blue Jays -- Edwin Encarnacion
Rays -- Matt Joyce
White Sox -- Adam Dunn
Indians -- Travis Hafner
Tigers -- Victor Martinez
Royals -- Billy Butler
Twins -- Jason Kubel
Angels -- Mike Napoli
A's -- Hideki Matsui
Mariners -- Jack Cust
Rangers -- David Murphy

And here's who is left on the market (2010 AVG/OBP/SLG HR, RBI)
Jim Thome .283/.412/.627 25, 59
Vladimir Guerrero .300/.345/.496 29, 115
Manny Ramirez .298/.409/.510 16, 42
Johnny Damon .271/.355/.401 8, 51
Russell Branyan .237/.323/.487 25, 57
Jason Giambi .244/.378/.398 6, 35
Andruw Jones .230/.341/.486 19, 48
Hank Blalock .254/.319/.349 1, 7
Jose Guillen .258/.314/.416 16, 62
Jeremy Hermida .216/.268/351 6, 29
Troy Glaus .240/.344/.400 16, 71
Mike Sweeney .252/.321/.444 8, 26
Jorge Cantu .256/.304/.392 11, 56
Jermaine Dye (2009) .250/.340/.453 27, 81

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: December 6, 2010 2:28 pm
Edited on: December 6, 2010 4:43 pm

Ozzie Guillen: Dunn to hit third

Dunn Ozzie Guillen held court Monday at the Winter Meetings, and revealed that he plans to hit slugger Adam Dunn third in the order.

"I want him to hit in the first inning," Guillen said of the lefty (pictured). Makes sense, as Dunn will generally either hit a home run or walk, which would extend the first inning. That would leave Paul Konerko in his customary cleanup spot.

How about at closer, where the White Sox no longer have Bobby Jenks after non-tendering him?

Either Matt Thornton or Chris Sale will close, so Guillen seems to want a lefty in the role. Sale is currently preparing to be a starter in the expectation that Jake Peavy won't be able to begin the season, so the job may fall to Thornton. That's not final, however as the team could bring back J.J. Putz to fill the role or opt for another player.

Guillen also had a quip (when doesn't he?) about Jayson Werth's seven-year, $126 million pact with the Nationals.

"I wish I was his agent. Or his wife," he said.

-- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: December 5, 2010 2:24 pm
Edited on: December 5, 2010 3:26 pm

Konerko, White Sox close

Paul Konerko Jon Heyman of SI.com reports via Twitter that a face-to-face meeting between Paul Konerko and White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf is the only remaining formaility in the first baseman re-signing to stay on the South Side.

It's purportedly going to be worth $13 million per season. After wrapping up a four-year, $56 million deal for Adam Dunn earlier in the week, that adds up to a heavy commitment to heavy hitters by the White Sox. Konerko's return also means Dunn will spend a lot of time as the designated hitter, which is not his preference, but he can just cry himself to sleep on a giant mattress stuffed with money.

Konerko, 34, has played 12 years in Chicago, and is coming off a resurgent season in which he batted .312/.393/.584 with 39 homers and 111 RBI. His .977 OPS was the highest of his career. The Diamondbacks, Orioles and Cubs were reported as having varying levels of interest in him.

-- David Andriesen

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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