Tag:Justin Verlander
Posted on: July 3, 2011 4:57 pm
Edited on: July 3, 2011 5:02 pm
 

Tigers fire pitching coach Knapp

By C. Trent Rosecrans

The Tigers have fired pitching coach Rick Knapp and replaced him with Jeff Jones, the team announced after its victory over San Francisco on Sunday.

Knapp had served as the Tigers' pitching coach since the 2009 season. Jones has been the team's bullpen coach since the 2007 season. Mike Rojas will join the team as bullpen coach.

This is Jones' first job as a big-league pitching coach. 

The Tigers entered Sunday's game 12th out of 14 American League teams with a 4.41 ERA, which was helped by Justin Verlander's 2.32 ERA. Beyond Verlander, no other Tigers starter owns an ERA better than Brad Penny's 4.43.

This is the third pitching coach change of the season. Houston fired Brad Arnsberg and Mark Connor resigned in Baltimore because of health reasons.

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Posted on: July 3, 2011 12:24 pm
Edited on: July 3, 2011 1:24 pm
 

American League pitchers and reserves

By C. Trent Rosecrans

The biggest notable name that's not on the list is Yankees' starter CC Sabathia, who is scheduled to start next Sunday, so he wouldn't be eligible to pitch in the game anyway. He also said he was happy not to go, instead using his time off to take a mini-vacation.

American League

Pitchers

Chris Perez, Indians (players' pick)

Jose Valverde, Tigers (manager's pick)

Aaron Crow, Royals (manager's pick)

Josh Beckett, Red Sox (players' pick)

Mariano Rivera, Yankees (players' pick)

Gio Gonzalez, Athletics (manager's pick)

Felix Hernandez, Mariners (players' pick)

Justin Verlander, Tigers (players' pick)

Brandon League, Mariners (player's pick)

David Price, Rays (managers' pick)

James Shields, Rays (players' pick)

Jered Weaver, Angels (players' pick)

C.J. Wilson, Rangers (managers' pick)

Reserves

C Matt Wieters, Orioles (manager's pick)

OF Jacoby Ellsbury, Red Sox (players' pick)

OF Carlos Quentin, White Sox (players' pick)

SS Asdrubal Cabrera, Indians (players' pick)

1B Miguel Cabrera, Tigers (players' pick)

2B Howie Kendrick, Angels (players' pick)

OF Michael Cuddyer, Twins (manager's pick)

C Russell Martin, Yankees (players' pick)

OF Matt Joyce, Rays (players' pick)

3B Adrian Beltre, Rangers (players' pick)

IF Michael Young, Rangers (players' pick)

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Posted on: July 1, 2011 12:32 pm
Edited on: July 1, 2011 1:23 pm
 

Players of the Month: Reyes edges Kemp, Lee rolls

Lee

By Evan Brunell


Baseball is at the halfway point in the season, and the man getting all the attention lately is Cliff Lee, the runaway pitcher of the month for June as voted by CBSSports.com experts. With a 5-1 advantage, Lee took home the honors after posting a sparkling 0.21 ERA (no, the period is not transposed) and running up a 5-0 record.

June's Best
Expert Batter Pitcher
Knobler Reyes Lee
Miller Reyes Lee
Brunell Kemp Lee
Rosecrans Fielder Lee
Snyder Kemp Lee
Fantasy Reyes Verlander

Lee didn't pitch the most innings in the month -- the prize goes to Justin Verlander there ... or even whiff the most (Zack Greinke); or walk the least batters (Josh Tomlin). But when you put the whole package together, it's hard to deny Lee's month as one for the ages, allowing just one earned run in the month and it's not as if he was pitching against the Mariners of the world. He shut down the Dodgers and Matt Kemp, who finished second in batter of the month balloting. He handcuffed the Cubs for eight innings and then kicked off his three-straight complete-game shutouts by stifling the skidding Marlins. There was nothing skidding about his next two opponents, though, as he baffled the Cardinals and baseball's best offense in the Red Sox.

Kemp, meanwhile, fell to Jose Reyes to be named batter of the month although Kemp was one of the best offensive hitters in the game during June along with Prince Fielder.

Why Reyes, then?

Because he's been a wrecking ball no matter what aspect of the game. Fielding? He ranks positive in that mark for the month, continuing a yearlong trend of reversing the perception he had slipped in the field. His .385/.425/.598 slash line proves that he can hit for average and power just fine and knows how to wait for his pitch, while his 11 stolen bases were second in baseball to Michael Bourn's blistering pace of 14. Fangraphs' new baserunning metric shows him excelling in that mark as well, his 0.8 mark tying for 16th in baseball.

Even Kemp's sublime .375/.472/.795 line with nine home runs, 23 RBI and 18 runs can't outstrip Reyes. Prince Fielder himself was no slouch, with a .337/.491/.747 line and 10 blasts, driving in 27 and scoring 19.

Past players of the month: April | May

Batter of the Month
Danny Knobler Scott Miller
Jose Reyes Jose Reyes
Three guys hit 10 home runs in June. But only one guy had seven triples, only one guy scored 29 runs, and only one guy made the Mets watchable, all by himself. That's enough to win my vote, and it should be enough to get Sandy Alderson's cell phone buzzing with trade offers.
Jose Reyes Jose Reyes
Nobody in the game is more exciting and fun to watch right now. Reyes scored 29 runs in the month of June, the most he's ever scored in one month and the second-most of any month in team history (Edgardo Alfonzo scored 31 in August 1999). He runs, he hits, he fields ... doubles, triples, steals ... take your pick. This is the Jose Reyes the Mets thought they could get if he could stay healthy. Sit back and enjoy.
Evan Brunell C. Trent Rosecrans
Matt Kemp Matt Kemp
Let's bust out some advanced metrics to try and figure out just how good Kemp was this month. wOBA is basically OPS, just jiggered a bit to correct flaws present in OPS and is scaled to OBP. Kemp's wOBA was a jaw-dropping .537, best among mortal men. (Jose Bautista, far from mortal, topped Kemp in April.) Put another way, Kemp created 151 percent more runs than the average player in June. Even below-average fielding can't obscure how damaging Kemp was at the plate.
Fielder Prince Fielder
It's not just that he hit 10 homers this month while batting .337/.491/.747, it's that he's done it when his team has needed him the most. In the thick of a pennant race, Fielder's delivering, with a 1.76 win probability added -- dwarfing every other player in baseball during the month. In a 10-game stretch earlier in the month that saw the Brewers go from 2 1/2 games back to first place in the NL Central, Fielder clubbed eight homers and had an OPS of 1.828.
Matt Snyder Fantasy -- Scott White
Matt KempMatt Kemp
Very similar numbers to Fielder, but Kemp gets the nod with a bit higher average (.375), slugging percentage (.795) and eight stolen bases. As everything else with the Dodgers seems to be falling apart around him -- both on and off the field -- Kemp has been a steady force.
Jose ReyesJose Reyes
In June, Reyes boosted his MVP candidacy by making the Mets actually look like a contender with a 16-11 record. He had an MLB-leading 45 hits, putting him on pace for 248 this season, and once again showed the value of healthy legs with 11 steals and an astounding seven triples. He led all hitters in fantasy points and did it at arguably the weakest position.
Pitcher of the Month
Knobler Miller
Cliff Lee Cliff Lee
I almost made Luis Montanez of the Cubs the player of the month, because of the 147 batters who came to the plate against Lee in June, he was the one -- the only one -- who drove in a run. Not that it mattered. Lee won that game, 7-1. And he followed that Montanez hit with 32 consecutive scoreless innings -- and counting.
Cliff LeeCliff Lee
As pitching has re-emerged over these past two seasons, Lee right now is changing our thinking from staying on no-hitter alert to hawking shutouts. Three in a row and counting, Lee has been untouchable. And he's showing why these Phillies are the best in the NL: With their rotation, it's like that old game of Whack-A-Mole. You knock one or two of their starters down, another ace pops up somewhere else. Good luck, opposing hitters.
Brunell Rosecrans
Cliff Lee Cliff Lee
Lee or Verlander? Verlander actually outpitched Lee in peripherals, besting Lee in strikeout and walk metrics, but the bottom line is that Lee allowed exactly one run to cross the plate, induced over half of his batted balls allowed as groundballs and looked like he was playing catch the whole time.
Cliff LeeCliff Lee
The only thing more ridiculous than Verlander seeing his June ERA rise after allowing just one run in seven innings in his sixth win of the month on Thursday is that Verlander with a 6-0 record and 0.88 ERA for the month wasn't the best pitcher in June. With all due respect to Verlander, it was Lee, who went 5-0 with an 0.21 ERA, allowing just one run in five starts and 42 innings this month. Unreal.
Snyder Fantasy -- Al Melchior
Cliff Lee Cliff Lee
It's a toss up between Lee and Verlander, but I'm going Lee due to going an entire month only allowing one run and having pitched in all but three possible innings (42 IP in five starts) when he took the hill. That's just absurd. Verlander's been the top pitcher for the entire season, but in looking only at June, Lee's month was slightly better for me.
Justin Verlander Justin Verlander
In the world of real baseball, Cliff Lee would be my choice for pitcher of the month. In Fantasy, though, strikeouts count, and Verlander delivered them in much greater quantities. Like Lee, Verlander limited his walks, and he also remained one of the best pitchers in the majors at getting batters to pop out.

Danny Knobler and Scott Miller are Senior MLB Writers; Evan Brunell, C. Trent Rosecrans and Matt Snyder are Eye on Baseball Bloggers; Al Melchior is a Fantasy Data Analyst; and Scott White is a Fantasy Writer.


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Posted on: June 30, 2011 11:25 am
Edited on: June 30, 2011 11:41 am
 

On Deck: Another episode of the Verlander show

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Six of today's nine games are afternoon tilts, so we'll be checking the on-deck circle a little earlier today.

Justin VerlanderVERLANDER SHOW: It's gotten to the point that any time Justin Verlander is on the mound, he's a must-watch. In his last six starts, he's 6-0 with a 0.72 ERA; in his last 10, he's 8-0 with a 1.56 ERA. In winning his last six starts, Verlander has pitched 49 2/3 innings with two complete games and given up just 26 hits, walking six and striking out 51. Overall, he's 10-3 with a 2.38 ERA and 124 strikeouts, second most to James Shields (127) in the American League and tied for third overall behind Clayton Kershaw, who has 128 strikeouts this season. It's likely he'll be the leader after today's game against the Mets. Mets at Tigers, 1:05 p.m. ET (Follow live)

Jon LesterCole HamelsLEFTY SHOWDOWN: Both Boston's Jon Lester and Philadelphia's Cole Hamels are are making their third bid for their 10th victory of the season. Both have had a little bit of hard luck in their quest for No. 10. Lester allowed five earned runs (and seven total) in his last two outings, finishing with losses to the Brewers and Pirates, while Hamels has had worse luck -- allowing two earned runs in each of his last outings only to get one run in support. One team has to win today, but the way things have gone for these two pitchers since winning their ninth game, there's no guarantee either of them will get the elusive 10th win. Red Sox at Phillies, 1:05 p.m. ET (Follow live)

MarlinsTURN THE PAGE: No team can be happier to see June end than the Florida Marlins. Florida has had just two more wins than managers this month (and one more win than the Nationals have had managers) and search for their fifth win of the month against Oakland's Trevor Cahill. So far this month, the Marlins are hitting just .223/.282/.338 and have scored 76 runs -- 35 fewer than the team scored in May. Its 18 homers are 10 fewer than May's totals. Florida pitchers have a 4.21 ERA this month and its starters have a 4.97 ERA. With the win, Florida could reach Cliff Lee's win total of the month and by the time their game starts, Verlander may have his sixth win of the month. Marlins at Athletics, 3:35 p.m. ET (Follow live)

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Posted on: June 25, 2011 11:43 am
Edited on: June 25, 2011 5:36 pm
 

On Deck: Unlikely excitement

OD

By Matt Snyder


It's the middle of June and we have a full Saturday slate. Think back to March. What if we said the Pirates, Nationals and Diamondbacks would be involved in significant games at this point in the season?

BoSox Losing Streak, Wake's Old Home: The Red Sox just finished a stretch where they went 14-2, one that included a nine-game winning streak. Seeing the Padres and Pirates on the schedule next for a team riding so high looked quite enticing -- on paper anyway. Instead, the Red Sox have lost three straight and face a Pirates team Saturday that is not only above .500, but is also only three games out in the NL Central. We're just about a week away from the season's halfway point, too, so it's high time the Pirates be taken seriously. Tim Wakefield (4-2, 4.26), who was a member of the last Pirates' team to break .500 as a rookie -- and he's 44 now, by the way -- takes the hill for the Red Sox. Jeff Karstens (4-4, 2.54) is the starter for Pittsburgh, and he's been dealing of late -- sporting a 0.65 ERA in 27 2/3 innings in June. Any way you slice it, this game is a must-watch. Boston at Pittsburgh, 7:05 p.m. ET.

Something's Gotta Give: It doesn't seem to matter who is managing, as the Nationals got the job done Friday night with an interim manager for their interim manager. They've now won 12 of 13 and are only 3 1/2 games behind the Braves for second place in the NL East -- which is more significant because the Braves are the wild card leader. They have a tough task Saturday against John Danks (3-8, 4.29), so long as you look deeper than the season-long numbers. Danks started the season 0-8, a stretch that included several really good starts with really bad support from his teammates -- be it the offense, the defense or the bullpen. Since then, he's 3-0 with a 1.23 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and 17 strikeouts in 22 innings. The White Sox still haven't been able to sustain a good stretch for an extended period of time, but they're only 4 1/2 games out in the wild AL Central. Tom Gorzelanny (2-5, 4.53) takes the hill for the surging Nats. Washington at Chicago (AL), 4:10 p.m. ET.

D-Backs Tested: Unlike the Pirates and Nationals, the Diamondbacks aren't simply threatening. They are in first place in the NL West, holding a half-game lead in the NL West over the defending champion Giants. The Snakes have won four straight after a 6-8 stretch, bringing them to nine games above .500, their high water mark for the season. Rookie sensation Josh Collmenter (4-3, 2.09) takes the ball for Arizona, though he's far from the draw in this one. Justin Verlander (9-3, 2.54) gets the nod for the Tigers. The ace right-hander is arguably the most dominant pitcher in baseball at this point. The Tigers haven't lost a game he's pitched since May 19 and he hasn't taken a loss since April 27. In his last five starts, Verlander is 5-0 with a 0.86 ERA, 0.65 WHIP and 37 strikeouts in 41 2/3 innings. In that span, he has two complete games and his shortest outing was 7 2/3 innings. The Tigers trail the Indians by one game in the AL Central. The test here is definitely the D-Backs' offense against Verlander. Arizona at Detroit, 7:05 p.m. ET.

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Posted on: June 21, 2011 9:54 am
Edited on: June 21, 2011 6:53 pm
 

Pepper: Pujols' injury keeping him in St. Louis?

By C. Trent Rosecrans

BASEBALL TODAY: Well, just who is that handsome man joining Lauren Shehadi today? Why, it's me. Hear me ramble about Josh Outman, Dillon Gee and the Marlins in today's Baseball Today.

Cubs TO PASS ON PUJOLS: There are questions about whether the Cubs can even afford to go after Albert Pujols, but the Chicago Sun-Times' Gordon Wittenmyer speculates that Pujols' wrist injury could keep the Cubs from even entering the sweepstakes for the three-time MVP.

Although Pujols has been incredibly durable throughout his career, the injury he suffered Sunday could send red flags to teams considering the long-term investment that Pujols will require. Pujols will likely be looking for the security of a long deal, one that could be the final contract of his career. With concerns about his health, the Ricketts family may just have the excuse they were looking for as to why the Cubs can't lure Pujols from St. Louis.
It could also be nothing; it could be a blip on Pujols' career -- but at this age, you have to consider how long you can be saddled with a declining player. The Cubs have been hamstrung by contracts in the past (see Alfonso Soriano, Carlos Zambrano, Milton Bradley) and a decline triggered by injuries and aided by age can even happen to the game's best players (Ken Griffey Jr.).

There'll still be a market for Pujols after the season, that's for sure. But it'll be interesting to see what kind of markdown there will be following Sunday's injury.

Or, perhaps, this spurs the Cardinals and Pujols to reconsider signing an extension during the season, as Jeff Passan of Yahoo! urges both sides to consider.

Either way, the injury may hurt the Cardinals in the short term but help keep Pujols in St. Louis for the rest of his career.

M'S LEADER: In St. Louis, Brendan Ryan's energy and personality was seen as an annoyance to Tony La Russa. In Seattle, it's a positive, as the shortstop has emerged as a team leader for the surprising Mariners. [Seattle Times]

HOLD FOR FULD: And yet another chapter in the legend of Sam Fuld. While Fuld's numbers have dropped from his hot start, he helped out the Rays in another way Monday -- on the mound. Really, Fuld warming up for the eighth inning isn't as much a testament to Fuld as it is manager Joe Maddon. The Rays needed more time to warm up lefty Cesar Ramos and since Fuld had already entered the game in the pitcher's spot, he didn't have to throw a pitch in the eighth but did take up enough time to allow Ramos to get ready to pitch. [St. Petersburg Times]

NEXT PROSPECT UP: 'Tis the season for prospect call-ups, and the next one may be the Pirates' Alex Presley, the team's 2010 Minor Leaguer Player of the Year who's hitting .332/.382/.506 with eight home runs in Triple-A. Pirates GM Neal Huntington said if the Pirates weren't in the stretch of games in American League parks, Presley would already be with the big club. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

PASSING OVERBAY: Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said first baseman Lyle Overbay won't start during the team's series with the Orioles to work on his hitting. Garrett Jones started at first in Overbay's place Monday. Overbay is 4-for-30 in his last 11 games, dropping his season line to .228/.307/.353. Hurdle said Overbay may still be used to pinch-hit or as part of a double switch, but Jones will start the next two games. [MLB.com]


NL CATCHES A BREAK: While the National League gets pounded by the American League in interleague play, the senior circuit may catch a break in the All-Star Game. The way the Tigers' rotation shakes out, Justin Verlander would pitch on the Sunday before the July 12 game in Phoenix, making him ineligible to pitch in the All-Star Game two days later. [MLB.com]

INSIDE THE BASEBALL STUDIO: In one of the great, "I wish I would have thought of that" features of recent years, Patrick Cain of FanGraphs.com asks baseball players actual questions from James Lipton on Inside the Actor's Studio. His first one is with Reds starter Bronson Arroyo -- I will say, it'll be interesting to see how many guys go along with this. Bronson's one of those who will answer any question -- and give you great answers. Anyway, bravo Patrick, bravo. 

JOEY BALLGAME?: Had the Reds not taken Joey Votto in the second round of the 2002 draft, the Yankees were ready to snap up the reigning National League MVP. Former Yankee scout Dick Groch was in Votto's living room on draft day waiting for the Yankees to take him. It wasn't quite that close, though (not like, say, the Reds skipping Derek Jeter to take Chad Mottola in 1992), as the Reds selected Votto with the 44th overall pick. The Yankees didn't have a pick until 71 after losing their first-round pick by signing Jason Giambi as a free agent in 2001. So, even if the Reds had passed on Votto, we might be saying the same thing about whatever team picked him up between picks 45 and 70. [ESPNNewYork]

RAYS WOES: There was some positive baseball attendance news from this past weekend, but it wasn't coming from Tampa Bay. The Rays are second-to-last in attendance, yet have the most affordable tickets in professional sports, according to an ESPN the Magazine. [Tampa Tribune]

COFFEY RUN: Nationals reliever Todd Coffey has sprinted in from the bullpen his entire career. At the Nationals' annual Dream Foundation gala on Saturday night, Coffey made his entrance at a full-on sprint -- in a tuxedo. [Washington Post]

RICKEY A LINK TO THE A'S PAST: Rickey Henderson is working as a roving instructor in the Oakland minor league system. San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy remembers how beloved an older Rickey was in San Diego, while the San Francisco Chronicle's Gwynn Knapp says Rickey is a link to the team's successful past. Rickey being Rickey can't but help Rickie's brother, Jemile Weeks, and the rest of the A's. 

HUGHES' ROAD BACK: Coming off an impressive start for short-season Staten Island on Sunday, Yankees right-hander Phil Hughes will make another start Friday for Double-A Trenton. [Trentonian]

Mets MESS: The Mets owners fired back at Irving Picard, the trustee overseeing the Bernie Madoff bankruptcy case, in their motion to dismiss the $1 billion lawsuit filed against them. [New York Daily News]

CANADIAN HALL: One of my all-time favorite baseball cards was the Topps Tom Henke All-Star card from 1988. I'm not sure why it always amused me so much, but I'm sure it had to do with the glasses. Still, the glasses often overshadowed one of the best pitchers of the 80s. Henke was inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame this past weekend. [National Post]

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Posted on: June 19, 2011 10:57 am
Edited on: June 19, 2011 5:15 pm
 

On Deck: Founding Father's Day

OD

By Matt Snyder


Streaking Nats: Don't look now, but the team playing in our nation's capital might actually matter. In 2011. The Washington Nationals have won eight in a row and are within a game of .500. It's probably too early to look at such things, but they're only 3 1/2 games out of the Wild Card in the NL. If you haven't yet taken notice of first baseman Mike Morse, it's high time you did. Since the beginning of May, Morse is hitting .364 with 12 home runs, 33 RBI and a 1.147 OPS in 39 games. That's not just a short hot streak. That's a guy coming into his own. Morse and the Nats look to sweep the Orioles Sunday in Nationals Park. Chris Jakubauskas (1-0, 5.09) will take the hill for the Orioles while Tom Gorzelanny (2-4, 4.25) gets the nod for the home team. Baltimore at Washington, 1:35 p.m. ET. Watch Live Scoring

Verlander Time: Maybe I should start on "No-Hitter Watch" now? Justin Verlander (8-3, 2.66) is starting Sunday, after all. The flame-throwing right-hander might have the best stuff in all of baseball, and he's locked in right now. He's gone 4-0 with a 0.83 ERA and 32 strikeouts in his last four outings. Verlander's Tigers face the Rockies on Sunday afternoon, and Verlander is needed to stop a two-game losing streak -- one that has dropped the Tigers back to second place in the AL Central. Is the thin air of Coors Field any match for Verlander? We'll soon find out. Aaron Cook (0-1, 3.97) gets the ball for the Rockies. Detroit at Colorado, 3:10 p.m. ET. Watch Live Scoring

Reversal of Fortunes: Through Tuesday, the Oakland A's had lost 13 of 14 and had fallen eight games back in the AL West. Through Wednesday, the San Francisco Giants had won four of five and opened up a 2 1/2 game lead in the NL West, their largest since May 22. It looked as if the Bay Series could be a sweep. And it might be, only for the A's, not the Giants. The A's have now won four in a row and crept to within six games of first in the AL West, while the Giants have lost three straight and seen their lead dwindle to a half game in the NL West. Trevor Cahill (6-5, 3.42) could use a serious reversal of fortunes himself. The A's ace started the season 6-0 with a 1.72 ERA. Since then, he's been horrible, going 0-5 with a 5.67 ERA and more walks (25) than strikeouts (22). He'll get the chance to turn things around Sunday. For the Giants, Matt Cain (6-4, 3.61) gets the start. San Francisco at Oakland, 4:05 p.m. ET. Watch Live Scoring

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Posted on: June 14, 2011 8:40 pm
Edited on: June 15, 2011 12:04 am
 

Verlander loses no-hit bid with one out in eighth

By Matt Snyder

Well, we've seen this movie before. Tigers ace Justin Verlander took a no-hitter into the eighth inning. He got through 7 1/3 innings before Indians second baseman Orlando Cabrera broke it up with a single to center field. Verlander struck out 12 while walking just one and putting another man aboard with a hit by pitch. He ended with a two-hit shutout and garnered the victory.

The win for the Tigers gave them sole possession of first place for the first time this season. The Indians dropped out of first for the first time since the first week of the season.

Click here to watch live scoring on CBSSports.com

This would have marked the third no-no of Verlander's career and second of the 2011 season. He also threw a no-hitter May 7 and previously threw one in 2007.

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Category: MLB
 
 
 
 
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