Tag:Matt Snyder
Posted on: July 16, 2011 11:13 am
Edited on: July 16, 2011 11:22 am

On Deck: All eyes on Phillips


By Matt Snyder

Saturday brings us the usual full slate of games, which you can follow on CBSSports.com's live scoreboard. The biggest story of the day has to be St. Louis' Public Enemy No. 1.

DatDudeBP vs. Saint Louie: Brandon Phillips is not especially liked in St. Louis, and that's putting it mildly. Last season he called the Cardinals "little bitches" and then incited a brawl when he tapped Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina on the shin guards. This season he's been quiet in terms of not starting any fights, but he found a way Friday night to best the Cardinals with a walk-off homer. Despite being a game under .500, the Reds are only three games out in the dreadful NL Central. The Cardinals are tied for first with the Pirates (feels weird to type, but also kind of cool). The Brewers trail by just a half-game. So the Reds-Cardinals matchup is a big one again Saturday. Chris Carpenter (4-7, 3.85) for the Cards squares off against the Reds' Bronson Arroyo (7-7, 5.58). St. Louis at Cincinnati, 7:10 p.m. ET.

CC looks to turn tide: The Yankees have come out of the break and lost two at Toronto. Meanwhile, the Blue Jays have now won five in a row. It's a trend the Bronx Bombers would certainly love to stop, as they trail the Red Sox by 1 1/2 games in the AL East. Saturday marks a pretty good shot for the Yanks to reverse things, as CC Sabathia (13-4, 2.72) gets the ball. It won't be easy for the New York offense, however, because All-Star Ricky Romero (7-8, 3.09) is the Blue Jays starter. Romero is 1-0 with a 2.08 ERA in two starts this season against the Yankees. New York (AL) at Toronto, 1:07 p.m. ET.

King Felix's tall task: The Mariners were in the thick of the AL West race for a bit. Losing seven games in a row doesn't help, nor does the fact that the Rangers have all of a sudden won nine straight. That means in just over a week's worth of games, the Mariners have fallen all the way down to 9 1/2 games out of first. They were 2 1/2 back before this stretch, which is the kind of thing that effectively moves teams from buyers to sellers in July. Fortunately for Seattle, it sends its best pitcher, Felix Hernandez (8-7, 3.19), to the mound. Unfortunately for Seattle, the opponent is the red-hot Rangers and All-Star pitcher C.J. Wilson (9-3, 3.20). Texas at Seattle, 10:10 p.m. ET.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: July 15, 2011 5:24 pm
Edited on: July 15, 2011 6:06 pm

Report: K-Rod vesting option waived

By Matt Snyder

Francisco Rodriguez is now likely the Brewers full-time closer. When the Brewers traded for K-Rod earlier this week, the obvious notion was that he was unable to be the full-time closer due to his contract. Rodriguez had an option that would vest for $17.5 million for next season if he finished 55 games in 2010. There's no way the Brewers were going to have that burden, but now it doesn't matter. K-Rod has waived the vesting option for additional compensation, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.

CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler had noted this could happen, as K-Rod's new agent Scott Boras likes the idea of having the best available closer on the free agent market.

Rodriguez, 29, has converted 23 of 26 saves this season and has a 3.16 ERA. It's very probable he'll take over as the full-time closer for the Brewers now that the vesting option is off the table. He'll replace John Axford. Axford has converted 23 of 25 save chances and has a 2.83 ERA. The duo gives the Brewers a pretty formidable 1-2 punch at the back-end of the bullpen.

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

Posted on: July 15, 2011 3:53 pm
Edited on: July 15, 2011 4:23 pm

Beckett good to go for Sunday

By Matt Snyder

Red Sox All-Star pitcher Josh Beckett threw a side session Friday to test his mildly injured knee and everything reportedly felt fine. He's been named the starter for Sunday (Boston Herald via Twitter). The start was in question after Beckett was unable to get ready to pitch Tuesday in the All-Star Game. It's worth noting Beckett promised his manager, Terry Francona, that if he felt anything at all he wouldn't throw in the game. He even said he would have pitched that night if he was playing for the Red Sox, not the AL All-Stars. Considering he's ready to start Sunday, he must have felt something very minor in Phoenix Tuesday.

The news has to come as a huge relief for the Red Sox. Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz and Daisuke Matsuzaka are on the disabled list and John Lackey is still struggling. If Beckett was forced to hit the disabled list, the Red Sox would have been moving forward with a pretty patchwork rotation. At least with Beckett around, they have an ace starting every fifth day.

Beckett, 31, is 8-3 with a 2.27 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and 94 strikeouts in 111 innings. He's on pace for the best season of his career.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Category: MLB
Posted on: July 15, 2011 3:31 pm
Edited on: July 15, 2011 4:25 pm

Peavy's start pushed back to Tuesday

By Matt Snyder

White Sox starting pitcher Jake Peavy was originally slated to start Sunday against the Tigers. Instead he's been pushed back to Tuesday. Philip Humber will get the nod Sunday for the White Sox. Peavy has reportedly admitted he hasn't bounced back as quickly as he'd like from injury (ESPN Chicago).

The move might be cause for a bit of alarm for Peavy, as he had a rare surgery in the offseason to reattach his lat muscle. He was expected to be ready much earlier than he was, but, again, this type of surgery is very rare. Peavy is 4-3 with a 5.27 ERA. He's been stellar a few times but unable to maintain consistency. One thing is for sure, if Peavy is a bulldog on the hill: If he could will himself to stay healthy, he would.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: July 15, 2011 3:12 pm
Edited on: July 16, 2011 9:32 am

Strasburg's manager expects him back in 2011

By Matt Snyder

Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg underwent Tommy John surgery last Aug. 27, and recovery time from the procedure is typically 12-18 months. Apparently, the Nats expect their star to fall on the low end of the spectrum, because manager Davey Johnson said on the radio Friday that he expects Strasburg back before the end of the season.

"We're optimistic he'll come back and give us a few innings this year," Johnson said (Holden Radio on Twitter).

Now, before everyone freaks out and thinks the Nationals are rushing Strasburg back, we have no evidence of this. He's obviously progressing well, and it's entirely possible for pitchers to come back just a year after the procedure. Some guys even get back a bit sooner.

We also know the Nationals are handling Jordan Zimmermann (who had Tommy John surgery himself) with kid gloves this season, so they have a track record of being careful with players returning from major surgery. While there's no hurry to get Strasburg back for this season, if he's ready to pitch, there's no reason to avoid it.

Strasburg, the top overall pick in the 2009 MLB Draft, was 5-3 with a 2.91 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and 92 strikeouts in 68 innings as a rookie last season. He figures to be an elite starting pitcher for years if he can stay healthy and regain his form.

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

Posted on: July 15, 2011 2:02 pm
Edited on: July 15, 2011 5:26 pm

McKeon could return for 2012

By Matt Snyder

At 80 years old, Jack McKeon was thought to be a temporary manager for the Marlins and would be replaced before the 2012 season. But that may not be the case.

“We’ll see where we are at the end of the year," Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria told reporters Friday in Chicago (Fish Tank blog). "There could be a number of candidates but right now Jack is the manager and we’ll see where it goes at the end of the year. There is a chance, of course. I’m not ruling anything out. But it will have to be somebody with experience. I’m not gonna allow a repeat of what happened this year.

McKeon took over as Marlins manager in late June, while the franchise was enduring a historically bad month. The Marlins ended up going 5-23 in the month, but four those wins came after McKeon took over. They have now won six in a row and are 12-8 under McKeon's guidance. They're 10-3 in their last 13 games and are playing as well as anyone at present.

Loria wasn't shy in pointing out that McKeon is a far better manager than the now-departed Edwin Rodriguez. Reportedly, the owner basically blamed the June woes completely on Rodriguez and the now-fired hitting coach John Mallee, saying he noticed problems with the coaching all the way back in spring training.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Category: MLB
Posted on: July 15, 2011 1:29 pm
Edited on: July 15, 2011 1:40 pm

Burrell hits disabled list

By Matt Snyder

Giants outfielder Pat Burrell has been placed on the 15-day disabled list because of a bone spur in his foot. As a corresponding move, the Giants have recalled Hector Sanchez, not hyped prospect Brandon Belt (Extra Baggs on Twitter).

Upon casual glance, Burrell going down wouldn't seem like a big deal. With the Giants, though, this matters. Only the Padres have a worse slugging percentage in the National League, so the Giants need all the offensive punch they can find. Burrell has nine homers, seven doubles and is slugging .419. Of the Giants' regulars, only Pablo Sandoval and Nate Schierholtz have better slugging percentages.

Sanchez, 21, is a catcher who swings a good bat. He was hitting .305 with a .370 on-base percentage in 25 Triple-A games. Since Buster Posey was lost for the season, the Giants have gotten basically no production on offense from their catchers.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Category: MLB
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com