Tag:Andres Torres
Posted on: April 6, 2011 10:33 pm
Edited on: April 6, 2011 10:34 pm
 

Andres Torres feels pain of Holliday, Dunn

SAN DIEGO -- Matt Holliday can say he's going to avoid the disabled list in St. Louis, and maybe he will. The White Sox can hope that Adam Dunn only missed "up to five games", as they said on their Twitter account Wednesday.

But Andres Torres is here to tell you: Good luck with that.

Like Holliday and Dunn, with what suddenly has become the Injury of the Year in these early days of 2011, the Giants' outfielder underwent an emergency appendectomy last September.

As Holliday and Dunn hope to do, Torres avoided the disabled list and returned before anybody reasonably expected.

But that was after rosters had expanded in September, so the Giants weren't necessarily playing a man short.

And. ...

"If we wouldn't have been so close to the playoffs, I would have taken more time, to be honest with you," Torres said Thursday. "I wasn't 100 percent, but I told myself, 'Go for it.'"

There were times when Torres wondered whether he was crazy.

He missed 12 days following the emergency appendectomy, came into a game as a defensive replacement on September 24, then started the next day ... but was removed mid-game because he still wasn't right. Then he sat for two more days.

"I hope [Holliday] gets better quick, but if he does it in a week, that's amazing. Seriously," Torres said. "I came back and played in one game, and I felt something pop out in my stomach and they had to take me out for two more days.

"The thing is, you've got a belt on. And let's say you reach or jump for the ball, you've got stitches."

Granted, neither Holliday nor Dunn is in Torres' speed category, but Torres said running is the biggest problem in returning from an appendectomy.

"It's painful," Torres said. "Diving for balls, too. I'm a sprinter but for me, when I came back, to be honest with you, it was painful.

"We were just going for the playoffs, and I wanted to be there."

Torres explained that surgeons make three small holes across your stomach in the procedure, and that, along with the stitches, can't be wished away.

"The pain, I'd say, lasts for 18 to 20 days," Torre said. "The pain is going to be there."

Likes: Best thing I've seen this spring, hands down: Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn, 50, at San Diego's Petco Park on Wednesday. Gwynn, after a tough battle through radiation treatments to remove a tumor from his mouth, looks terrific and has lost weight. The twinkle is back in his eye, the life is back in his laugh and he looks even younger than the last several times I'd seen him. Just terrific. ... Tim Lincecum when he's on. ... Fun times with the traveling Giants' road show: They activated closer Brian Wilson on Wednesday, and he came on to pitch the ninth to a loud, raucous ovation. In San Diego. ... XM Radio during baseball season. ... The MLB Extra Innings package on television (which I still need to order before the Early Bird special expires this weekend). ... A list of CDs to pick up and being back home near my local record store to grab them. First up: The Drive-By Truckers' Go-Go Boots, which was released back in February.

Dislikes: What's with all of these appendicitis attacks? Not only St. Louis' Matt Holliday, the White Sox's Adam Dunn, and last September, the Giants' Andres Torres. Lesser known because it was right after the season, the Twins' Michael Cuddyer had an emergency appendectomy in October. Cuddyer was stricken not long after the Twins were eliminated by the Yankees in the playoffs and watched part of the World Series from his hospital room, post-surgery.

Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"Yeah I’m sorry, I can’t afford a Ferrari
"But that don’t mean I can’t get you there
"I guess he’s an X-box and I’m more Atari
"But the way you play your game ain’t fair"

-- Cee Lo Green, Forget You

Posted on: February 27, 2011 1:09 pm
 

Stuff my editors whacked from the column

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Outtakes from the Twins' camp regarding why Michael Cuddyer may have missed the World Series had Minnesota advanced in October, plus a rookie pitcher to watch:

-- Yes, Michael Cuddyer says, getting bounced from the playoffs by the Yankees (again) last October still hurts. But things might not have worked out well for him regardless last October even had the Twins played in the World Series.

Not only did he undergo arthroscopic surgery on his knee in mid-October, but he was stricken with appendicitis two days after that. All the time, he was going to push the knee surgery back until the offseason. The appendicitis? That might not have cooperated.

"If we had been in the World Series ... I was in the hospital watching Game 2," Cuddyer says. "I was thinking, 'That could be us.' And I was thinking, 'That could be me in San Francisco, laying in a hospital.

"It would have been good if we were in the World Series. But it would have sucked if I was in a hospital bed while it was going on."

Weird thing is, as Cuddyer watched from his hospital bed, Joe Buck and Tim McCarver were talking about Giants center fielder Andres Torres -- and how he was felled by appendicitis in early September but made it back in time for the postseason.

-- One more piece of inside dope on Renaissance man Cuddyer:

"He's a gadget guy," Twins designated hitter Jim Thome says. "He's got all the music, all the information. He's a big trivia guy. He knows all about baseball. Somebody asks who scored 155 runs in whatever year, he knows.

"We go to him. He's the leader of our clubhouse."

-- Keep an eye on young minor-league right-hander Kyle Gibson, 23, tabbed No. 34 on <em>Baseball America's</em> list of top 100 prospects. Gibson could be the next great Twins homegrown starter. At the very least, the man who moved from Class A to Triple A last summer likely will pitch for the Twins at some point this summer.

"He's what you want," Twins pitching coach Rick Anderson says. "His makeup, his attitude, everything about him."

Gibson throws four pitches well -- fastball, change-up, curve and a sinker/slider that is his best pitch.

"He's not your typical kid coming up," Anderson says. "He talks about pitching, changing speeds, pitching to the side to get away from a hitter. He's going to be one you'll hear about."

Sunblock Day? Not one day that you haven't needed sunblock since camps opened. Consistently in the 80s with warm sunshine.

Likes: Unquestionably, one of the best sights of spring: Twins minor-league hitting coach Riccado Ingram in camp and feeling great after being diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor two years ago. He's been through chemotherapy, radiation and, praise be, it looks like he's out of the woods. What a great, great thing. ... Former infielder Jeff Reboulet visiting Twins camp. Reb, one of the good guys, is home in Dayton, Ohio, and working as a financial advisor (yes, he has some pro baseball clients), while teaming with his brother to run a sports academy in his spare time. ... Former Twins manager Tom Kelly, Hall of Famer Paul Molitor and former catcher Terry Steinbach in uniform instructing and running drills. ... Longtime radio man John Gordon retiring at 70 after 25 years with the Twins -- but still planning to broadcast 89 games this year. Team president Dave St. Peter and broadcast partner Dan Gladden talked him into it. ... Perfect tonic to re-charge the spring training batteries: An hour by the pool and dinner at Five Guys Burgers and Fries. Mmmm.

Dislikes: Minnesota bullpen coach Rick Stelmaszek, the longest tenured coach in the majors (this will be his 31st season), missing the first several days of spring camp following surgery to repair a detached retina in his right eye. He may wind up missing all of spring camp as the eye heals. Get well soon, Stelly. Spring camp with the Twins just isn't the same.

Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"Now you're lookin' at a man that's gettin' kind of mad
"I had lots of luck but it's all been bad
"No matter how I struggle and strive
"I'll never get out of this world alive
"My fishin' pole's broke the creek is full of sand
"My woman run away with another man
"No matter how I struggle and strive
"I'll never get out of this world alive"

-- Hank Williams Jr., I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive

 

Posted on: October 26, 2010 11:18 pm
 

Giants contemplate roster, lineup

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants will wait until Wednesday morning to finalize their World Series roster, but it is expected that Barry Zito, who has been left off of the roster in each of the first two postseason rounds, will remain on the sidelines.

As for a lineup, outfielder and leadoff man Andres Torres has been instrumental in making the Giants go this summer. But with lefty Cliff Lee starting Game 1 and with Torres having strained a muscle near his left hip in Game 6 of the NL Championship Series, indications are that the Giants may go with an outfield of Pat Burrell, Aaron Rowand and Cody Ross in Game 1.

"The lineup, you'll probably see it get tweaked a little bit with the left-handers, as we did when Cole Hamels was throwing against us," manager Bruce Bochy said. "Again, you're going with match-ups, how lefties handle certain lefties.

"I know they have a couple going against us the first two games. You could see it teaked a little bit. As far as Torres, I'll know more [Wednesday]."

Torres has never faced Lee or Game 2 starter C.J. Wilson. Rowand, career, is hitting .280 (7-for-25) with one home run against Lee. Overall, the Giants only have a few players with a very small number of at-bats against Wilson -- Juan Uribe leads the team with four at-bats against him.

Posted on: October 19, 2010 2:02 pm
 

Giants order: Renteria leadoff, Uribe at third

SAN FRANCISCO -- Juan Uribe's MRI exam was "clean", according to Giants manager Bruce Bochy, with "nothing structurally wrong. It did show some inflammation, but he was fine once the swelling went down."

So consequently, this is how the Giants' Game 3 lineup shakes out Tuesday afternoon against the Phillies: Edgar Renteria is playing shortstop and leading off, Uribe is at third and hitting seventh and Aaron Rowand is playing center and hitting eighth.

Makes as much sense as anything the Giants could run out there, being that with Andres Torres on the bench, they don't exactly have the consummate leadoff hitter. Renteria's on-base numbers against Philadelphia starter Cole Hamels (.333 on-base percentage, .250 batting average at 6-for-24) qualifies him as much as just about anyone else.

Not exactly a powerhouse, but that's how the Giants and Bochy have won all season, by moving parts around and patching things together.

Meantime, lefty Aubrey Huff is dropped to sixth against the lefty Hamels, with Buster Posey hitting third, Pat Burrell fourth and Cody Ross fifth.

"We felt like we needed a leadoff hitter, and Edgar is our best option with Torres not in there," Bochy said.

Things still could shift if Uribe does not react well during batting practice today. In that case, the Giants would scratch him and play Pablo Sandoval at third.

Meantime, Bochy expects the struggling Torres (3-for-25 this postseason with 12 strikeouts) back in the lineup for Game 4 against the Phillies' Joe Blanton.

"I think stepping back will help him out," Bochy said of Torres. "And you say that about a lot of hitters who are struggling a little bit. And there's a lefty going today. And there were times when we gave him a day against left-handed pitching.

"But I think sitting back, watching the game, will give him a break. Especially mentally more than anything."

 

Posted on: October 18, 2010 9:33 pm
 

Batting around Giants Game 3 lineup options

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants went home from Monday's off-day workout expecting lineup changes for Game 3 but not quite sure what they would be.

Infielder Juan Uribe underwent an MRI exam on his bruised wrist and manager Bruce Bochy indicated he would not know whether Uribe would be a go until Tuesday.

"Yes, it will impact our lineup," Bochy said as the Giants worked out Monday. "If he's good to go, he'll be out there. So it's just a matter now of waiting to see how he feels and the results from the MRI."

The best guess as to the Giants' Game 3 lineup goes something like this: Edgar Renteria likely will play shortstop, either Uribe or Pablo Sandoval will start at third base and Aaron Rowand probably will play center field.

Bochy wasn't definitive as he finished preparations for Game 3, but there were indications that the Giants had seen enough -- for now -- of Mike Fontenot's shaky third base defense and of leadoff man Andres Torres' continued struggles (3-for-25 this postseason with 12 strikeouts).

On whether Uribe would play short or third if he's able to go at all, Bochy said, "I can't answer that right now. I'll talk to the guys as far as the whole lineup. But getting back to Uribe, he will impact how we go. We have a couple of options. We know whether Pablo is at third or Edgar plays short, Uribe at third, or if Juan can't go, you've got Edgar and Pablo."

A bit later, Bochy made it crystal clear: "If Juan is not available, yes, Pablo will be out there."

As for Torres, Bochy left that hanging, too -- with hints left all over the place.

"I'm not prepared to tell you what we're going to do until I talk to the players," Bochy said. "I know Andres is battling it right now."

So assuming Renteria is at short, Uribe or Sandova (likely Sandoval) is at third and Rowand in center, that leaves one more big question: Who will supplant Torres atop the lineup?

Hot-hitting Cody Ross is one option. Rowand is another. So is Renteria.

Looking at the numbers against Phillies starter Cole Hamels, Ross or Renteria would appear to be the best options. For his career, Ross is batting .300 (9-for-30) against Hamels with a .323 on-base percentage, four home runs and six RBIs. Renteria is at .250 (6-for-24) with a .333 OBP. Rowand is only hitting .200 (3-for-15) with a .200 OBP.

"Ross has done it [batted leadoff]," Bochy said. "When Torres wasn't in there, Row's done it. Edgar has done it. So these are things that we're talking about now."

Likes: No surprise that Tony La Russa will be back with St. Louis in 2011. How would any manager in his right mind leave a team whose centerpieces include Albert Pujols, Chris Carpenter, Adam Wainwright and Matt Holliday. ... Supposed to be beautiful 70 degrees when Game 3 of the NLCS starts here at 1:07 p.m. local time Tuesday. ... Critics are giving solid reviews to the new Elton John/Leon Russell disc The Union. But I may have to buy it just for the goofy cover shot of two weirdos at the piano. ...

Dislikes: Sure am glad I wasn’t on the road when Junior Seau drove off the cliff in my home town. Glad my wife wasn't on the road, too.

Rock 'n' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"I'm just a guitar in the pawn shop on the corner
"Hey come on by and listen to my song
"I've seen at least a million of those tiny smokey barrooms
"And I've helped to heal some heartaches
"And I've helped to sell some beer
"And the last one to help me
"Just couldn't wait to sell me
"For 20 dollars and left me hanging here
"But I dream about the spot light
"And the roaring of the people
"And I wonder if I'm ever gonna hear 'em sing along"

-- Jamey Johnson, The Guitar Song

Posted on: October 18, 2010 2:17 am
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Posted on: October 18, 2010 2:16 am
 

Andres the Giant not so giant

PHILADELPHIA -- The most painful part of Sunday's 6-1 loss for San Francisco might have been watching the continued struggles of leadoff man and center fielder Andres Torres.

After fanning four times against Philadelphia starter Roy Oswalt, Torres now is 3-for-25 this postseason with 12 strikeouts.

He's whiffed six times in nine at-bats in this NL Championship Series.

Suffice it to say, if only for his own good, the Giants are going to have to make a move with their lineup for Game 3 Tuesday in San Francisco.

"It's obvious his timing's off," manager Bruce Bochy said. "This kid has had a great year for us. He's a big reason why we're here."

Not only did Torres help the Giants take off once Bochy installed him as an everyday player by the end of April, he made a gutsy comeback from appendicitis a couple of weeks earlier than doctors expected. Stricken on Sept. 12, Torres was returned to the lineup Sept. 24.

After never having played more than 75 games in a season, Torres appeared in 139 for the Giants this season. His 570 plate appearances more than tripled his previous career high of 185 in Detroit in 2003.

"There's no question he's struggling, but other hitters are, too," Bochy said. "He's fighting it a little bit.

"He got here early and was working on some things. But you get in a rut like this, you start battling yourself a little bit. I think that's the case with Andre. He's certainly a guy who makes us go when he goes. It would be nice to get him going, no question."

As for whether Aaron Rowand might replace Torres in the lineup, or even whether Pablo Sandoval could play third instead of Mike Fontenot -- who had a rough day defensively Sunday -- in Game 3, Bochy was not prepared to address that in the immediate aftermath of Game 2.

"These are things we'll talk about on the flight back," he said. "Facing a left-hander [Cole Hamels], you'll see a couple of changes."

Likes: The late Harry Kalas on the Citizens Bank Park big screen leading the crowd in "High Hopes" after a Phillies win. ... Tim Lincecum's reaction to the whole wolf-whistle thing in Game 1 in Philadelphia on Saturday. He handled it perfectly -- with humor. ... Looks like Texas and the Yankees is going to be quite the shootout. Both the ALCS and NLCS are setting up very well for those of us who like lots of drama. ... The cheesesteaks at Carmen's in Philadelphia's Reading Terminal. ... Glad to see Michigan State remain undefeated, fun to see highly ranked Ohio State and Nebraska go down. What a great Saturday in college football. You just never know. ... Another great run Sunday along the Schuylkill River on a gorgeous fall day. Fun cruising by the blues band that was playing in front of the Philadelphia Art Museum, entertainment for a charity walk raising money for breast cancer.

Dislikes: Aw, terribly sad to see June Cleaver -- Barbara Billingsley -- pass away over the weekend. One more harsh reminder of time marching on.

Rock 'n' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"Here comes my baby, flashin' her new gold tooth
"Here comes my baby, flashin' her new gold tooth
"Well she's so small, she can mambo in a pay phone booth
"Now flip, flop and fly, I don't care if I die
"Now flip, flop and fly, I don't care if I die
"Ah, don't ever leave me, don't ever say goodbye
"I'm like a Mississippi bullfrog, sittin' on a hollow stump
"I'm like a Mississippi bullfrog, sittin' on a hollow stump
+I got so many women, I don't know which way to jump"

-- Big Joe Turner, Flip, Flop and Fly

 

Posted on: October 9, 2010 2:23 am
 

Glaus sets up Ankiel, Braves and baseball win

One small step for the Atlanta Braves, one giant leap for major league baseball.

Oh, and a belated Merry Christmas to the Braves as well.

Yessir. When the Braves agreed to terms with Troy Glaus last Christmas Eve, they did not exactly envision him playing third base with the season on the line in the 10th inning of the NL divisional playoffs.

Fact is, they did not envision Glaus playing third. Period, end of sentence.

So what was he doing, all brittle and lumbering, starting the Braves' most crucial 5-4-3 double play in years as they seized another game with their last licks and evened their series with the Giants at one game apiece with a 5-4, 11-inning, Rick Ankiel Special on Friday night?

Excellent question.

Short answer is, quite simply, it's the beauty of the game. Sometimes the best-laid plans are forcibly scrapped at the most inopportune times, and the game reverts back to the schoolyard. You play here, you play there, and we'll see what happens.

Long answer? Desperate for offense and with a hole to plug at first base, Braves general manager Frank Wren gambled that Glaus could learn a new position and add the bat Atlanta needed. It was a sizable gamble, too, in that the shoulder surgery Glaus underwent in January, 2009, allowed him to play in only 14 games for St. Louis that summer.

It worked fine for a time, especially in May, when Glaus collected 28 RBI in 27 games. But his production diminished as the summer wore on and then, on Aug. 12, came a season-changer: Chipper Jones was lost for the rest of the year to a knee injury.

So what happens? Wren acquires first baseman Derrek Lee from the Cubs ... and Glaus is such a team guy, such a Bobby Cox devotee, that he's all for bringing Lee aboard and volunteers to play third base while he's at it.

Not that the Braves took him up on it. Are you kidding? He's 33, he's 6-6 and 250 pounds, and Glaus had reached the part of his career where, if he did play third, the odds were far greater that he would hurt himself (and the team) than much good would happen.

Until Friday night became just late and crazy enough that the Braves were left without many options. And Glaus entered the game as an, ahem, defensive replacement in the 10th.

It figured that the first batter in the 10th, Edgar Renteria, immediately dropped a bunt in Glaus' direction. Do you know how many total chances Glaus has had at third in the past two seasons? Nine, that's how many. And just one this year, in the one appearance (two total innings) he had made there.

Renteria reached base, of course. And so did two other Giants.

And there in the bottom of the 10th, with one out and the largest crowd ever to gather at AT&T Park roaring, what should Buster Posey do but roll a 'tweener grounder -- it wasn't hit hard, but it wasn't a soft grounder, either -- in Glaus' direction.

And the big guy came up with it, wheeled and threw to second to start the 5-4-3, and the relay to first barely beat Posey. Said later throwing home for the force out was never an option.

One false move in the play, and Renteria scores and the Giants win.

Instead, Glaus was perfect, in both the plan and the execution.

And next inning, Ankiel blasts a fastball into the water. And somehow, Kyle Farnsworth keeps the Giants off the board in the bottom of the 11th.

Not only did it complete a rousing comeback for a down-and-out team that had seen Cox ejected nine innings earlier, it also breathed life back into a postseason in dire need of mouth-to-mouth.

Six outs from a fourth series going 2-0 when bearded Giants closer Brian Wilson was summoned by manager Bruce Bochy, baseball was edging close to four sweeps, a first round ending by Sunday evening, the next round not slated to begin until next Friday.

So what were we all supposed to do if the game went dark Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday?

Convene a national convention to bitch about the umpires?

But enough about a downer of a first round, something that has become an all-too-familiar event and might warrant baseball reviewing the playoff format.

Right now, all the Braves care about is that, somehow, they live.

And bleak as it may look with Jones and Martin Prado (oblique) done for the year -- and, quite possibly, closer Billy Wagner (oblique) to follow after he hurt himself in the 10th inning Friday -- Tim Hudson getting the ball for Game 3 in Atlanta on Sunday looks pretty darned good.

After they scored zero runs in their first 14 innings against the Giants, the Braves finished Friday with five in the last six innings.

They get a couple more Sunday, Hudson steps up and the Turner Field magic kicks in (the Braves' 56 home victories led the majors), who knows? The Giants -- and baseball -- might have a fight on their hands yet.

 
 
 
 
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