Tag:Pat Burrell
Posted on: October 31, 2010 12:34 am
 

Giants have decision to make on slumping Burrell

ARLINGTON, Texas -- There already were questions surrounding whether the Giants had enough hitters to fill out a lineup that demanded a designated hitter in the AL park at the World Series.

Now, with Pat Burrell regressing back to his toothless Tampa Bay days, the Giants really are short.

Burrell, batting fifth in San Francisco's 4-2 Game 3 loss Saturday, struck out swinging in all four at-bats.

Worse, he now is 0-for-9 in this World Series with eight strikeouts.

Working on mysteries without any clues, Burrell looks like a player in need of a benching at the most inopportune time.

"He's a veteran guy that's been up and down before," Giants hitting coach Hensley Meulens said. "He knows what he needs to do to get back on track. He's a student of the game, and he's already looking at video.

"We're going to go over it tomorrow. It's not easy."

The World Series overall hasn't been kind to Burrell, who now has whiffed in 13 of his 23 Fall Classic at-bats in 2008 and 2010.

Saturday, he became the 13th player to whiff four times in a World Series game, and the first to do so since Philadelphia's Ryan Howard in Game 2 last year.

Manager Bruce Bochy said after Game 3 that he does not know whether he'll sit Burrell in Game 4 Sunday.

"I'll talk about it after I get back," Bochy said, referring to conversations he'll have with his coaching staff between Saturday night and Sunday's game. "Their guy [Colby Lewis] threw well. He threw a nice game for them, and we had a few guys who were off tonight a little bit.

"But give their pitcher credit. He pitched a nice ballgame."

Burrell's first three strikeouts were against Lewis. Then he whiffed against Rangers closer Neftali Feliz to start the ninth.

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 18, 2010 8:43 pm
 

Everything but a homecoming dance for Rollins

SAN FRANCISCO -- Usually, you schedule cupcake opponents for homecoming. But in the case of the San Francisco Giants, they might be getting Jimmy Rollins at just the wrong time.

Rollins, from across the bay in Oakland, will be coming home in a sense for Games 3, 4 and 5 of the NL Championship Series here. He grew up in Oakland, went to high school there (same one attended by pitcher Dontrelle Willis) and even became pals with MC "U Can't Touch This" Hammer (the Oakland native and former Athletics' batboy). His mother was a highly skilled fast-pitch softball player in the area.

Now, Rollins, the 2007 NL MVP, comes back just as he might be getting untracked in this postseason.

"That's going to be fun," Rollins said late Sunday night before the Phillies chartered West. "That's going to be fun. I've got quite a ticket list. And I love playing in front of my family, friends that I haven't got to see in awhile. And also, the fans.

"They're, like, on the fence. Do they boo me? Do they get on me? Do they cheer me? So I go over there and have conversations. They crack on me, I crack back. But it was never in a situation like this."

The Phillies and Giants are even at one game apiece in this NLCS. And while Rollins has scuffled more this season than he maybe ever has in the majors because of two different calf injuries and, in September, a strained quadriceps.

He was 1-for-15 in the postseason before Game 2, but there are indications that perhaps Rollins is snapping out of that funk. He worked a bases-loaded walk in Game 2 and belted a bases-loaded, three-run double. He also singled.

"I hope it gets real special for him," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said of Rollins' homecoming. "Jimmy's going to enjoy it.

"I hope he plays like he can. When he gets going, he's a very consistent player, and he can carry it for quite awhile."

Though this is the third consecutive NLCS for Rollins and the Phillies, the shortstop has never played a game in the Bay Area as important as this.

"I'll probably get some treatment along the lines that Pat [Burrell] got [in Philadelphia]," Rolline predicted. "Just because I'm from there and everybody knows it. But it makes the game fun. That's what you live for.

"If they don't boo you, you're probably not a good player."

 

Posted on: January 5, 2009 7:12 pm
 

Rays land Burrell; did Phillies blow it?

As wallets creaked shut and the dollars didn't flow nearly as freely as certain free agents hoped this winter, Pat Burrell wound up moving from one World Series team to another.

An "American League player" for, oh, roughly most of his career, Burrell now really is an AL player, having signed with Tampa Bay for two years and $16 million.

It's a noticeable cut from the $14 million he earned for the world champion Philadelphia Phillies last year.

What's also noticeable is that the Phillies long ago replaced Burrell with an older, more expensive left fielder.

Maybe Tampa Bay's gain will be Philadelphia's loss.

Burrell, his lifetime .083 batting average in Tropicana Field notwithstanding (he's 1-for-12 there with one homer and two RBI), is a significant upgrade for the Rays, a left-handed heavy team in need of a righty bat and designated hitter.

Over the past four seasons, he's averaged 31 homers, 99 RBI, 103 walks and 77 runs scored, and he is one of only six major-leaguers to hit 20 or more homers in each of the past eight seasons. Carlos Delgado, Chipper Jones, Vladimir Guerrero, Manny Ramirez and Alex Rodriguez are the other five.

Not bad for $8 million a season.

Meantime, the Phillies gave Raul Ibanez three years and $30 million.

Ibanez, over the past four seasons, has averaged 24 homers, 105 RBI, 63 walks and 90 runs scored. His lifetime OBP is .346.

Burrell is 32 (he won't turn 33 until next Oct. 10). Ibanez will turn 37 on June 2.

While Burrell routinely was removed for defensive purposes, Ibanez is a competent left fielder but is in no danger of winning a Gold Glove award anytime soon himself, either.

Burrell well could surpass the 536 at-bats he reached last summer in Philly because, in the AL, presumably spending most of his time as a DH, he will not be removed in the late innings.

There are never any guarantees in the winter, and if Burrell's weak Tropicana Field numbers continue, then the Phillies could look like geniuses for cutting bait and going with Ibanez.

But that's a really small sample, of course, and odds are that Burrell, in time, will rake at the Trop. And at five years younger than Ibanez and with a price tag that dropped below Ibanez, you have to wonder whether the Phillies, in the end, out-smarted themselves.


Posted on: November 17, 2008 2:40 pm
Edited on: November 17, 2008 2:49 pm
 

Pujols right choice for NL MVP

Because, in a perfect world, the Most Valuable Player award should be one part player-of-the-year and one part importance-to-team, Albert Pujols' claim to the National League award on Monday was right on the money.

Pujols was the MVP in the NL because, in addition to superior numbers, he was the most consistent best player from early April through late September. No, two of his numbers weren't superior -- Philadelphia's Ryan Howard out-homered Pujols 48-37, and out-RBI'd Pujols 146-116.

That's a whopping margin, particularly in the RBI department. Because of that and the fact that Howard helped push his team into the playoffs, no doubt there will be Phillies fans ranting and raving up and down Broad St. this week screaming that Howard was robbed.

He wasn't. Pujols' NL-leading .653 slugging percentage and .462 on-base percentage (second in the NL) tell only part of the story. An essential part of the story, to be sure, but there is more.

Pujols remains the most feared hitter in the league, and no, his Cardinals did not make the playoffs. But they were in contention into September, because of him. Ryan Ludwick had a career season, because of him. All those meaty pitches Pujols didn't get -- he was second in the league in walks at 110 -- Ludwick, usually hitting after Pujols, did get. To Ludwick's credit, like a kid turned loose in a 31-flavors ice cream shop, he took full advantage.

Do you know where Howard ranked in walks? Fourteenth, with 81. He was neither as selective as Pujols nor as feared by opposing pitchers (Pujols drew exactly twice as many intentional walks as Howard, 34- 17). Yes, many of Pujols' intentional walks were because he didn't have Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins and Pat Burrell in the lineup -- he was much easier to pitch around. That's why this isn't a cornerstone of Pujols' case for MVP. But it is part of it.

Yes, Howard's scorching hot August and September helped push the Phillies past the New York Mets and into the playoffs. But his 199 strikeouts (second in the NL) also were part of the reason the Phillies took so long to get going this season -- and his pre-All-Star Game numbers, .234 batting average and 129 strikeouts -- hurt, not helped, the Phillies' case.

Look, Howard still had a fantastic season. Micro-analyzing these numbers to a degree sounds like nitpicking, because to a degree, it is.

But you've got to break down the numbers and, almost every way you break them down -- save for the RBI and homer totals -- they fall strongly toward Pujols.

As for Manny Ramirez -- more on him, too, in the fleshed-out column I'll file here before the afternoon is out -- yes, he was outstanding for two months. But he wasn't in the NL in April, May, June and July. And while the argument that the Dodgers don't make the playoffs without Manny certainly is valid, so, too, is this: They were 30-24 with him.

That's simply not enough to warrant more than he got -- a fourth-place finish. And there's certainly no shame in that.

 
 
 
 
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