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Tag:Carlos Beltran
Posted on: June 7, 2011 10:31 am
Edited on: June 7, 2011 11:25 am
 

Looking back at second-round picks

Joey Votto

By C. Trent Rosecrans


While the first-round of the MLB Draft is gaining more attention in the last couple of years, the later rounds are where most of the work is done. 

The second round starts today at 11 a.m. ET, so here's a look at some of the best second-round picks in recent memory.

Angels: In 1999, the Angels took John Lackey out of Grayson County Community College with the 68th overall pick in the draft. In 1995, they took Jarrod Washburn with the first pick of the second round.

Astros: Perhaps the team's best player right now, outfielder Hunter Pence, was the 64th overall pick in 2004. 

MLB Draft

Athletics: The A's took Vista, Calif., high schooler Trevor Cahill with the 66th overall pick in 2006. Two years before that they took Kurt Suzuki in the second round and in 2003 they took Andre Ethier in the second round. They traded him for Milton Bradley and Antonio Perez in 2005.

Blue Jays: Right-hander Dave Bush in 2002 is probably the team's best second-round pick since taking Derek Bell in 1987.

Brian McCannBraves: Current first baseman Freddie Freeman was selected with the 78th overall pick in 2007, but the best pick was easily 2002's No. 64 overall pick, a local high school catcher named Brian McCann.

Brewers: The Brewers took Yovani Gallardo with the fifth pick of the second round in 2004.

Cardinals: In 2001, the team took Dan Haren with the 72nd overall pick. More recently, Jon Jay was taken in the second round of the 2006 draft.

Cubs: You have to go back pretty far -- unless you go with Bobby Hill -- to find much success with the Cubs' second-round pick, but if you go as far back as 1984, they took Greg Maddux with the third pick of the second round and he turned out OK. Also among their second-round picks is former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Quincy Carter (1996).

Diamondbacks: A's starter Brett Anderson was Arizona's second-rounder in 2006. He was part of the big trade that send Dan Haren to the Diamondbacks.

Dodgers: The Dodgers got future closer Jonathan Broxton with the 60th overall pick in 2002.

Giants: Of recent vintage, the Giants have taken Nate Schierholtz in 2003 and Fred Lewis in 2002, but the most interesting second-round pick by San Francisco was in 1982. That year they took the son of a team legend with the 11th pick of the second round (39th overall), but Barry Bonds went to Arizona State instead.

Indians: Jason Kipnis is one of the team's top prospects, taken in the second round in 2009. In 1995, the Indians took first baseman Sean Casey out of Richmond with the 53rd overall pick.

Mariners: Recently-demoted Orioles starter Chris Tillman was taken in the second round of the 2006 draft. Keep an eye on 2009 second-rounder Rich Poythress, who had 31 homers in Class A last season.

Mike StantonMarlins: It wasn't until the 12th pick of the second round -- and 76th overall -- for someone to pick up Mike Stanton in 2007. 

Mets: There's some slim pickins for the Mets recently, but few Mets fans would trade their second-rounder of 1977, Mookie Wilson. (Seriously, this one was tough, the only players the Mets have picked in the last 15 years who have made the majors were Kevin Mulvey, Neal Musser, Pat Strange and Tyler Walker -- maybe that explains some things.)

Nationals (Expos): Jordan Zimmermann was the team's second-rounder in 2007. Current Reds All-Star second baseman Brandon Phillips was taken by the Expos with the sixth pick of the second round in 1999.

Orioles: Nolan Reimold was taken 61st overall in 2005, but if you want to go back a few years, the team took Cal Ripken with the 22nd pick of the second round in the 1978 draft. Ripken was the third of four picks the Orioles had in the second round that year.

Padres: San Diego took Chase Hedley in 2005.

Phillies: Jimmy Rollins was the team's second-rounder in 1996, going 46th overall.

Pirates: Last year's pick was Stetson Allie, who many expected to go in the first round. Lefty Tom Gorzelanny was taken in the second round in 2003 and catcher Ryan Doumit was taken 59th overall in 1999.

Rangers: The only player taken by the Rangers in the second round of the last decade to make the majors is Jason Bourgeois.

Rays: The Rays famously took Josh Hamilton No. 1 overall in 1999, but their second-round pick that year was pretty good too -- Carl Crawford.

Red Sox: How about Justin Masterson (2006), Dustin Pedroia (2004) and Jon Lester (2002)?

Reds: NL MVP Joey Votto (2002) was the third pick of the second round (44th overall) and Travis Wood was taken in the second round of the 2005 draft. Keep an eye on 2009 pick Billy Hamilton, who already has 45 stolen bases this season for Class A Dayton.

Rockies: For recent vintage, Seth Smith (2004) is the pick, but you can go back a few years and pick Aaron Cook (1997).

George BrettRoyals: For all the prospects the Royals have stockpiled in the last couple of years, strangely not too many are second-rounders. Outfielder Brett Eibner (2010) was the only member of the Royals' Top 10 by Baseball America taken in the second round. You have to go back to Carlos Beltran (1995), Jon Lieber (1992), Bob Hamelin (1988), Mark Gubicza (1981), Darryl Motley (1978) and Dennis Leonard (1972) to find serious big-leaguers. Oh, and also a kid out of El Segundo, Calif., in 1971 named George Brett. He was pretty good, too.

Tigers: The Tigers took Brandon Inge with the 14th pick of the 1998 draft as a catcher out of Virginia Commonwealth. In 1976, Alan Trammell was the second pick of the round.

Twins: A nice run of arms earlier in the decade with Kevin Slowey (2005), Anthony Swarzak (2004), Scott Baker (2003) and Jesse Crain (2002). Frank Viola was the team's second-rounder in 1981.

White Sox: A's outfielder Ryan Sweeney (2003) is the team's best second-rounder since Bob Wickman (1990) -- not counting Jeff Weaver, who went back to school after he was picked in 1997 and was taken by the Tigers a year later.

Yankees: In the last 20 years, only two Yankees second-rounders have made the big leagues, Shelley Duncan (2001) and Randy Keisler (1998). Catching prospect Austin Romine was the team's second-rounder in 2007. In 1982, the team did take a shortstop from McAdory High School in Bessemer, Ala., who went on to play football at Auburn instead. His name is Bo Jackson. That was the year after the team took Stanford outfielder John Elway.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: June 6, 2011 10:12 am
Edited on: June 6, 2011 10:35 am
 

Pepper: No baseball in November



Can Zack Greinke continue to lead the Brewers? What is going on with Cliff Lee? How important is Josh Hamilton to the Rangers? Scott Miller joins Lauren Shehadi with the answers.

By Evan Brunell


NO BASEBALL IN NOVEMBER
: As baseball tries to expand the postseason to one additional Wild Card series, the question has always been how that can be pulled off without pushing the postseason into November, which both fans and players dislike. Angels manager Mike Scioscia feels the postseason can be limited to just October and accommodate an expansion without eating into the 162-game season.

Scioscia, who is part of a special committee for on-field matters and has input into the expansion of the playoffs, feels that by tightening up travel time and playing the occasional doubleheader, an extra series can be fitted in easily. In regards to travel, Scioscia points to his own team's upcoming trip from L.A. to Seattle, New York, Florida and back to Los Angeles as inefficient because of two off days during the trip.

"I don't know what kindergartner figured that one out, but I think maybe we can move to first grade and get that a little better organized," Scioscia said. "The bottom line is we need to be more efficient with travel."

Scioscia believes teams should play in the division for the bulk of April, July and September, which will cut down on travel, as well as schedule the occasional double-header. If baseball can trim the postseason by a few days as well, the World Series would be complete by the time Halloween rolls around.

"We can't have baseball played in November," Scioscia said. "I don't think the Pilgrims set it up that way." (Los Angeles Times)

SLEEPLESS IN CHICAGO
: Cubs manager Mike Quade admitted after Albert Pujols' 12th inning walk-off home run on Saturday that he needs to do a better job communicating with his pitcher and catcher on what to do in these type of situations. Clearly, he's got some more work to do as Pujols repeated his walk-off home run heroics in the 10th inning Sunday. (MLB.com)

DEAD BALL
: The Phillies won Sunday's game 7-3, but that doesn't mask what was a missed opportunity to score an extra run for Philadelphia. Through no fault of the team, Domonic Brown's single hit the umpire at second base and was immediately ruled a dead ball. There were runners on first and third, but Ryan Howard, on third, was not allowed to advance. The bases were loaded for Wilson Valdez, who grounded into an inning-ending double play. Just overall a weird play and a weird result -- you'd think Howard would be able to score on that play. (MLB.com)

EJECTED
: Jason Marquis was ejected from the game Sunday after plunking Justin Upton for the fourth time in the four-game series. Both Marquis and manager Jim Riggleman were adamant that the HBP was not intentional after two Nationals got hit in the inning previous. You can believe that, as the game was currently 1-0 and Upton represented the go-ahead run on base. (MLB.com)

HARPER DOWN
: Touted Nationals prospect Bryce Harper was hit by a pitch on the left knee in the first inning, and had to leave the game after needing to hobble to the dugout. Good news, though: It appears to be just a bone bruise, so he should be back in the lineup before long. (Washington Post)

ZIMMERMAN REHABBING: In that same game in which Harper was struck by a pitch, third baseman Ryan Zimmerman began his comeback trail by going 2-for-2 with a walk. Zim had an ab tear way back on April 9 and is only just getting back into the fold. It's unclear when Zimmerman will return to Washington, but mid-June looks like a good bet. (MLB.com)

VERLANDER THE BEST? Jim Leyland's been around, so he's got plenty of first-hand experience on which pitcher has been the best to ever pitch for Leyland. The long-time skipper says Verlander has the best stuff of any pitcher he's seen without question, although he still calls Doug Drabek the best pitcher, as Verlander is still learning how to pitch. (MLB.com)

PERFECT IN TRIPLE-A
: Mike Minor has made two spot starts for the Braves due to Brandon Beachy's injury, but was shipped back to Triple-A as the club did not need a fifth starter for a while. Minor showed Atlanta he should be considered for the next spot start after taking a perfect game into the seventh and finishing up with a one-hitter through eight. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

TIME TO WAIT: Many in the game seemed to feel as if Brett Lawrie would be called up to Toronto last Friday. That changed when he was hit by a pitch, and that bruise has landed him on the seven-day DL although it was backdated to the point where he will only miss two games. Once Lawrie's pain subsides, he's expected to make his major-league debut. (MLB.com)

HITTING HINDERED: Luke Scott's torn labrum is affecting his hitting, he finally admitted on Sunday. Scott is hitting just .224 this year with six home runs and received a cortisone shot in the hopes that clears up the pain. For now, he's still avoiding any talk about surgery. (MASN)

BELTRAN BRUISED: Carlos Beltran has had a strong season so far, crushing a league-leading 19 doubles and playing in 57 of a possible 59 games. On Sunday, he had to leave the game with a bruise after fouling a ball off his right leg, but is considered day-to-day. (New York Times)

BACKSTOP HEALING: Nick Hundley bashed a home run in his rehab start on Sunday, proving his strained oblique has healed nicely. If he comes through his rehab assignment with no setbacks, he could be back in San Diego by Wednesday. (MLB.com)

MENTAL BREAKS: Jason Bay (New York Times) and Alex Rios (MLB.com) are both receiving mental breaks as both players are scuffling. Rios has been letting his frustrating seep out, so manager Ozzie Guillen feels as if Rios could benefit from a few days off. Bay, who has struggled mightily, will be back in the lineup when the team plays again Tuesday.

BATTING AROUND: Curious how many teams have batted around in the order during the first inning without recording an out? Well, the last time that happened was in 2006 when the Indians terrorized K.C. for seven runs before registering their first out, needing 10 hitters to do so. (Baseball Reference)

NEW JOB? Ozzie Guillen's on the hot seat in Chicago, so his job mixing drinks for a charity event could prove a harbinger of his future job. OK, not really. (White Sox Twitter)

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: June 1, 2011 1:55 pm
Edited on: June 1, 2011 2:06 pm
 

Beltran enters rumor mill with other Mets

By Matt Snyder

Not surprisingly, the trade rumors are beginning build up all around baseball as we enter June and surpass the 1/3 mark of the season. Even less surprising is how often the New York Mets are involved in the rumors, what with their payroll issues and being more than eight games out in the tough NL East already.

While there obviously might be more players included in the rumors by the end of July, things will likely center around four big-name guys. A while back, I said we should brace for "The Summer of Reyes." Of course, Jose Reyes has been playing so well, there are some calling for the Mets to give him a nice-sized contract and instead trade David Wright. Don't expect to stop hearing about Francisco Rodriguez being moved to someone for setup help, but CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler makes a good case why it won't happen. Now, let us enter Carlos Beltran into the rumor mill.

In fact, Beltran is the most likely Mets player to be traded by the July 31st trade deadline, according to Jon Morosi of Fox Sports.

It makes sense, because Beltran is a free agent after the season. Morosi also mentions a clause in Beltran's contract that guards against the Mets receiving draft-pick compensation should he walk as a free agent -- meaning: If Beltran leaves as a free agent, the Mets get nothing back.

Thus, Beltran fits the mold of a rental quite well, considering he's also proven that he's healthy enough to swing the bat with authority again. Entering Wednesday, Beltran is hitting .279 with 16 doubles, eight home runs, 28 RBI, 25 runs and an .875 OPS.

Oh, and then there's the whole thing about Mets owner Fred Wilpon talking about what a big mistake the Beltran contract was. With that in mind, don't expect any resistance to a trade from Beltran, even though he's a 10-and-5 guy.

Beltran does make about $3 million per month, so the Mets might have to pick up some of the tab in order to move him, but there's probably a deal attractive enough for all parties involved to help make that happen.

Regardless of what actually will happen, it's going to be a fun rumor season as always. And we won't be able to ignore the Mets.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: May 25, 2011 10:23 am
Edited on: May 25, 2011 10:52 am
 

Pepper: Mets on verge of accepting ownership bid

By Evan Brunell

SO THE TIME HAS COME FOR A NEW OWNER: OK, so technically a new Mets minority owner, but the move could have lasting implications.

Sources say that former commodities trader Ray Bartoszek and investor Anthony Lanza have been chosen as the preferred bidders for the available stake in the Mets' franchise. The new owners will have a say in the team's finances and path forward, as incumbent owner Fred Wilpon has promised. And if Wilpon is forced to sell the team -- a distinct possibility -- it's likely that Bartoszek and Lanza will emerge as the new owners.

It's unclear how much stake the new owners will receive, but the cost is expected to be around $200 million for up to a 49 percent stake and a deal is extremely close. First, though, negotiations on whether the minority group can purchase a small stake in SportsNet New York has to be ironed out, but could be the necessary final piece for the deal as 49 percent may not be justifiable enough for $200 million given the Mets' debt problems.

Bartoszek previously headed up oil trading for the world's biggest commodity trader, Glencore International, while Lanza is an owner of Carriage House Partners, a private equity firm. (New York Post)

100 PERCENT
: Unsurprisingly, Carlos Beltran disagrees with Fred Wilpon's comments that he's 65-to-70 percent. "I'm 100 percent," Beltran said. And he's playing like it. (Newsday)

FIGGINS SLOWLY IMPROVING
: Chone Figgins has been a shell of his former self since arriving in Seattle, but skipper Eric Wedge thinks things are getting better. "I feel like he's been a little bit more aggressive,'' Wedge said. "I feel like he's starting to make better contact. More firm." It's still way too early to think about Figgins finally delivering on his contract, but any step forward is positive. (Seattle Times)

STREAK SNAPPED
: CC Sabathia hurled a complete game victory Tuesday, coming away with the win. It was his first complete game win since May 8, 2009... and also the first Yankees complete-game winner since. That's the longest streak in AL history for a stretch in-between complete-game wins at 341 games. (New York Daily News)

NEW CLOSER
: Until Andrew Bailey returns, Grant Balfour will be the new closer in Oakland, replacing Brian Fuentes after the flap Fuentes created with his comments Tuesday. Too bad no one let Balfour know. (MLB.com)

ODDITY: Here's something interesting: Curtis Granderson has smacked 16 home runs and four triples, an impressive feat so far. But it's been all or nothing, as his four doubles pop out, a rare occurrence. After all, if you hit for power, you'll have your fair share of doubles. Granderson's doubles account for just one-sixth of his extra base hits, and only two other players in history have more extra-base hits than him with a similar 1/6 ratio of doubles: Mark McGwire in 2001 and Wes Covington in 1957. (Baseball Reference)

ONE MORE: Orioles starter Brian Matusz agrees that he needs one more rehab start, so will pitch for Triple-A on Friday. But after that, he's expected to push to return to the staff for a June 1 start, which will mark his season debut. (MASN Sports)

NEW DODGER: Top prospect Rubby De La Rosa received the call to the majors, surprising the Double-A starting pitcher, who will pitch in relief. While the Dodgers contend his future is in the rotation, de la Rosa was needed to shore up a bullpen besieged by injuries and ineffectiveness. De la Rosa has the talent to emerge as closer in L.A., and the team is still in the postseason hunt, so the promotion does make some sense. (Los Angeles Times)

YER OUTTA HERE! Ned Yost isn't going to get tossed from a game anytime soon -- unless he feels one of his players are being disrespected --  but that will change in coming years. "This is the time, with a young club, that you set the tone," Yost said. "I don't want these guys complaining and moaning. An umpire's call is an umpire's call and it doesn't get changed. It's doesn't do anybody any good to whine or cry about it. So, if I'm yelling, moaning and screaming on every call, naturally they're going to follow my lead. So it's important to me, right now, to accept the umpire's calls. ... But disrespect a player one time and I'm gone." Also in the link: Stories about how the Royals are trying to help those affected by the devastating Joplin, Mo. tornado. (MLB.com)

BRING IT IN: Is it time for the Padres to bring in the fences at Petco Park? Petco has become the anti-Coors Field, and even Coors is no longer an offensive haven thanks to the effects of the humidor. There appears to be a growing groundswell to fix Petco, and it would be as simple as moving the fences in. No one advocates making Petco a hitter's park, but moving the fences in would only even the playing field just a bit -- and that's all one needs. (Rob Neyer)

FIRST WIN: Alfredo Simon nailed his first win of the season thanks to an Adam Jones walk-off home run. A relieved Simon was thrilled after the game as it was his first win since last season. He has been dealing with a murder charge in his native country since the winter and still isn't out of the woods yet. (MASN Sports)

NEW GRIP: Dustin Moseley has been a nice piece of the Padres so far this year, but the righty can't sit on his laurels when there's more to be done. He tweaked his changeup, which earned positive results after Monday's game. (MLB.com)

PATROLLING THE OUTFIELD: Josh Hamilton believes he could start playing the outfield immediately but will be held back until this weekend, where he is expected to return to left field. Once he has several games under his belt, it's possible he could start seeing some time in center. (Ft. Worth Star-Telegram)

BACK TO ACTION: Johan Santana finally stepped back on a mound for the first time since last season and threw 25 pitches. Santana is progressing nicely in his return from surgery and could rejoin the Mets in July. If he pitches strong down the stretch, he could be dealt after the year. (ESPN New York)

A NEW LOU: Lou is back in Chicago, and we're talking Montanez. The former Cubs first-round pick 11 years ago took a detour in Baltimore for four years, but wound up back with the Cubs this season in Triple-A. He finally reached the majors with his original club when tapped yesterday to replace Marlon Byrd on the roster. Montanez made the most of it, notching a RBI double in his first Cubs at-bat. (Chicago Sun-Times)

ON HIS WAY BACK: John Lackey pitched in a bullpen session Tuesday and came through with flying colors, setting him up for a rehab game on May 31 and a return to the Red Sox for June 5's start against the Athletics. (Boston Globe)

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: May 23, 2011 3:56 pm
Edited on: May 23, 2011 9:14 pm
 

Wright, Boras speak out on Wilpon's comments

By Evan Brunell

WilponEarlier Monday, Mets owner Fred Wilpon ripped several players in an article that ran in the New Yorker. Granted, those quotes were made in April while the Mets were busy being a mess, but that doesn't excuse Wilpon, who said third baseman David Wright, the face of the franchise, was a good player but not a superstar. Could have surprised the fanbase, as Wright has been marketed as a superstar to attract fans to the park.

He also called himself a schmuck for being suckered into Carlos Beltran's massive contract following his 2004 explosion in the postseason, as well as saying there was no way Jose Reyes would sniff a contract like Carl Crawford's seven-year, $142 million pact.

Wright chose to take the high road, declining to get into a tit-for-tat argument.

"Fred is a good man and is obviously going through some difficult times," he said in an e-mail to the New York Daily News. There is nothing more productive that I can say at this point.”

The Daily News adds that while Reyes is aware of the comments, he was "not bothered" and that his agents will not be commenting on the story. Carlos Beltran's agent, meanwhile, had different ideas. Scott Boras lashed out, saying he was surprised with the comments.

“These statements are not indicative of the Fred Wilpon I know,” Boras told the New York Post. Boras produced Beltran's statistics on the year, currently at .280/.377/.533 to dispute Wilpon's contention that the center fielder-turned-right fielder was "60 to 70 percent of what he once was." Again, Wilpon made these comments in April, when no one knew what to expect from Beltran as he moved to a new position to avoid wear and tear on the knees, plus was coming off an uninspiring 2010. But Boras also said, rightly so, that he didn't feel as if these comments should have been made.

“If you’re a member of a team or an organization and respect one another, any evaluation or internal opinion of players currently on the team should stay there,” he said. “If you want success and optimal performance, it’s best to keep those in-house.”

All this has led to uncertainty about Beltran's future in the city post-2011, as he is an impending free agent. Wilpon may not agree to bring him back, or Beltran may not be interested.

“Carlos enjoys being a Met and is excited by how well he’s doing,” Boras said. “I have always had a good relationship with Jeff [Fred's son, on the right in the photo, with Fred] and Fred. It’s up to the individual player to look at the context of the statements discussed and come up with their own opinion.”

One Met -- who probably doesn't make enough to enter Wilpon's radar -- had a suggestion for the team's owner.

"Sometimes people say things they regret," pitcher Mike Pelfrey told the New York Times. "It’s a mistake and you learn from it. Maybe next spring when we have our media workshop for the players, Fred can come and sit in on it."

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: May 20, 2011 1:41 pm
Edited on: May 20, 2011 1:42 pm
 

Who will DH in interleague for NL teams?

Soriano

By Evan Brunell


Interleague play is upon us, which means that we'll be seeing some players in the National League get more at-bats over the weekend (and later in June, when interleague play really gets going) while AL teams will grouse about losing one of their best bats in NL parks.

“Any time that you get to interleague play and get the opportunities to get the guys some more at-bats is big,” Astros manager Brad Mills told the Houston Chronicle. “Get some guys some playing time and to have [Carlos Lee] DH is really nice for when we start playing National League games again and having those guys have at-bats under their belt.”

It's pretty easy to figure out which players in the American League will lose playing time -- just look at whose been DHing the most all season and go from there. The NL, though, is a different story, who now have to fit someone from the bench into the starting lineup. Looking at just this weekend only, which players stand to benefit from interleague play?

Cubs vs. Red Sox
: Alfonso Soriano (pictured) is a man without a position, even though he'll go down in history with well over 700 games in left field to his name once he retires. But for the next three days, DH will be his home. Soriano still doesn't have an OBP over .300, but his power stroke is still going with 11 bombs so far. Tyler Colvin was recently demoted, so he won't get the playing time in left, so that job will fall to both Reed Johnson and Tony Campana. Johnson will absolutely be in the lineup Friday against a lefty, but with right-handers going the next two days, Campana could earn his first two starts of the season. Jeff Baker and Blake DeWitt could also figure into the equation.

Nationals vs. Orioles: Bank on Matt Stairs DHing, as manager Jim Riggleman termed him the "leading candidate" to the Washington Post. The pinch-hitting extraordinaire has just 21 at-bats on the year with two hits, but regular at-bats could get him going. Other contenders include Mike Morse, who has lost a lot of at-bats in left field to Laynce Nix lately, so this would represent an opportunity to get Morse going.

Reds vs. Indians: Jonny Gomes, despite recently being pushed into a three-way platoon, is the favorite to DH all three games in Cleveland. Gomes has been the DH in 16 of the last 18 interleague matchups for the Reds and will assume that position again in Cleveland which frees up left for Chris Heisey; Fred Lewis will likely also grab some at-bats.

Mets vs. Yankees
: Manager Terry Collins says that Fernando Martinez will DH the first two games with Carlos Beltran going on Sunday to take some pressure off his creaky knees, the New York Post writes. The Mets didn't want to call up F-Mart so he could get regular at-bats in the minors, but were forced into the move earlier. This will allow the Mets some type of justification for the move by getting Martinez into a game.

Astros vs. Blue Jays: As Mills alluded to, Carlos Lee will be the DH in Toronto, with Brian Bogusevic and Jason Michaels picking up outfield starts as a result. Anytime the Astros get Lee out of the field, they become a much better club. Granted, that still leaves them in bad shape. Lee is hitting .245/.274/.390 in 168 plate appearances in his second straight year of struggling. There's only one year left on his deal, which the 'Stros can't wait for to end. He notched his 2,006th hit last Saturday.

Dodgers vs. White Sox: The Dodgers will probably go with Jay Gibbons, as he's been working his way into more and more playing time in left. With the DH around, though, Gibbons should slide over to make room for Tony Gwynn, Jr.'s move into left field. Gibbons hasn't really gotten going yet, and this weekend series will be a great way for him to focus on just hitting while L.A. doesn't have to worry about sacrificing defense.

Cardinals vs. Royals: The Cardinals get some fortuitous timing of interleague as both Lance Berkman and Matt Holliday are hobbled due to injury. Only one can DH, but it will still get one of the two best bats on the team in the lineup. Bet on Holliday, who had a sore left leg. Berkman's injury is a bit more severe, with a right wrist sprain that limits his ability to swing a bat. John Jay, who earned starting time last season, has found the going much tougher this year, collecting just 78 at-bats despite appearing in 48 games. Jay tends to enter games as a defensive replacement, but has received four consecutive starts because of current or previous injuries to Holliday, Berkman and Colby Rasmus.  He's at .302/.397/.460 on the year.

Braves vs. Angels: To no surprise, Chipper Jones will receive a respite from his balky knees over the next two games as he recovers from a slight meniscus tear that could eventually require surgery. He'll play third on Sunday, though, which will open up DH for someone else. The guess here is the injury-prone Jason Heyward draws a start at DH, with Joe Mather or Eric Hinske patrolling the outfield as a result.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: May 14, 2011 4:27 pm
 

Jason Bay could see time in center field

Bay

By Evan Brunell


Jason Bay... center fielder?

That's a possibility as manager Terry Collins noted Saturday, as he wants to get 22-year-old Fernando Martinez in the lineup here and there before Angel Pagan returns from the disabled list.

"[Bay] would do it in a second," Collins told ESPN New York. "There's a possibility of that happening. I don't know when that's going to be, but I think we certainly need to consider a move like that once in a while just to get [Martinez] into games."

Martinez has been ripping the ball at Triple-A and could be Carlos Beltran's permanent replacement in the outfield. The Mets wanted him getting regular at-bats in the minors and were forced to recall Martinez when Ike Davis went down with an injury. However, Collins wants to avoid using Martinez in center, the position he has played 231 out of 342 outfield games down the farm. F-Mart has an arthritic knee, that age age 22, is already comparable to Beltran's and Collins wants to avoid as much wear and tear as possible, given the bright future he has in New York.

"At his age, he's got a similar leg to what Carlos has got," Collins said. "It's not that you worry about him pulling a muscle or something. It's just the wear and tear causes this guy to miss time. We want to try to avoid that if we can. ... There's no question he's going to have to deal with it his whole career. There's nothing you can do anymore. I mean, the wonders of modern medicine certainly might come up with something soon to relieve the issues of the arthritis that has set in there at a young age. But he's just going to have to deal with some discomfort, as Carlos does on a daily basis."

As a result, that pretty much leaves Bay as the only option to play center if Martinez is to play in a game, unless one of Bay or Beltran is benched, like the latter is Saturday with an eye issue. Martinez is in right field as a result, with Scott Hairston in center. Problem: Bay is defensively challenged, only has 37 career games in center and hasn't played there since 2005. It's not exactly a great idea, but the Mets don't have many alternatives at the moment.

One alternative -- even though that would be just one game -- is Carlos Beltran. Collins had previously said Beltran would not play any other outfield position other than right, but appears to be rethinking that as long as it was one game.

"Again, I think it's unfair. He's very, very comfortable right now in right field," Collins said. "I think the fact that he's out there [in right field] is what's kept him in the lineup this much. I talk to this guy every day. So if that's what we think is the best move, I know one thing: Carlos Beltran will be open to anything he can to do to help this club. He's done it so far. He won't change now."

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Posted on: May 12, 2011 11:57 pm
 

3 up, 3 down: Carlos Beltran launches Mets to win

Beltran

By Evan Brunell


upCarlos Beltran, Mets -- Well, Beltran certainly announced himself with authority, blasting three home runs including a stifling top-of-the-ninth inning shot to quell any shot the Rockies thought they had of a comeback as they had made noise each of the two innings previous. Beltran ended the day with three runs scored (duh) and six RBI, propelling the Mets to a 9-5 victory. Proving he's over his knee issues, Beltran now has eight homers on the year and a .295/.387/.590 line. Despite a hefty price tag and balky knees, it really does look like New York may be able to not only trade the right fielder, but extract some value in return.

Zach Britton, Orioles
-- Man, this guy is just killing it and seems like a lock for the Rookie of the Year award already. Britton drove his ERA down to 2.42 by handcuffing the Mariners through nine, giving up just three hits, walking none and punching out five. Opponent Jason Vargas had a similar line, going nine with seven hits, one walk and four whiffs. Neither gave up a run, and this game went all the way into the 12th before Brandon League choked away a one-run lead by going like this: single-HBP-HBP-line out-single by J.J. Hardy. Despite the 12 innings, the game was played in a tidy 2:52. In other words, the end of the sixth inning of any of the Red Sox-Yankees game this weekend.

Yankees offense
-- The end result was a loss, but the Yankees avoided striking out just once but Sean O'Sullivan was able to limit New York to four runs in 6 2/3 innings, adding two walks. You won't see a pitcher or offense lose too many games while avoiding going down by K. O'Sullivan has a respectable 3.79 ERA but it feels like the wheels should fall off anytime. But back to the Yankees -- it's the fourth time this season a team has avoided striking out, and the second time the team in question lost. (And yet, the losing team of the White Sox scored the most runs of all with seven -- go figure.) On a year-to-year basis, this happens roughly 10-20 times, so this won't be the last non-strikeout game we see in 2011. 

downIvan Nova, Yankees -- Shows you what I know, right? Earlier Wednesday, the On Deck item suggested that Nova, who had impressed so far in the early going, should easily handle the Royals because Sean O'Sullivan was due for a regression. Uh, not so much. (Well, as detailed in the '3 up' section, O'Sullivan kinda got away with it.) Nova was blasted by the Royals and four Royals had 2 RBI apiece. The right-hander only got through 3 innings and three batters in the fourth before giving way to  31-year-old Cuban Amaury Sanit, who made his big-league debut with 4 2/3 innings of three-run ball and will certainly be farmed out. Nova coughed up an eye-popping 10 hits, giving up just four earned runs but eight total thanks to two errors and slogged through 73 pitches, walking two and whiffing none. K.C. was keyed into Nova right from the start; not much to do but hope the rookie can shake it off and move on.

Ian Desmond and Jayson Werth, Nationals -- The Nats held tough for 11 innings before caving into a Brian McCann single to end the game, and it's tough to wonder what might have been if Ian Desmond and Jayson Werth, the Nos. 2 and 3 hitters, respectively, had even attempted to make contact with the ball. OK, that's not fair -- they each did, once... but also struck out four times apiece. That's over half of the total strikeouts by Braves pitches, by the way. Werth has shown signs of snapping out of his slump recently, but this was a backbreaking slide back for him, while Desmond still hasn't figured things out at the plate.

Casey Coleman, Cubs -- Yuck. Coleman dished out six earned runs on nine hits in 4 1/3 innings, allowing four free passes and zero swings and misses for a third strike. That spikes his ERA to 7.22 and it's clear Coleman needs plenty more seasoning in the minors. Problem: the Cubs have no one else to pitch. Literally. While Doug Davis is making his debut on Saturday, that only pushed James Russell out of the rotation and sadly, Coleman and his 7.22 ERA are the best option to round out the starting five until Randy Wells comes back. That can't come fast enough.

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