Posted on: December 2, 2011 3:39 pm
Edited on: December 2, 2011 5:10 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
What if players were only permitted to stay with the team that originally made them a professional? No trades, no Rule-5 Draft, no minor or major league free agency ... once you are a professional baseball player, you stay in that organization. This series shows how all 30 teams would look. We give you: Homegrown teams. To view the schedule/past entries of this feature, click here.
The Braves have seemingly always believed in developing talent from within and occasionally supplementing from the outside. It's a formula that's worked for many years and has become a blueprint for most of baseball. However, that doesn't mean they don't make mistakes from time to time, and if you're a Braves fan, you probably already rue the date July 31, 2007, already. On that day, the Braves sent Elvis Andrus, Neftali Feliz, Matt Harrison, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Beau Jones to the Rangers for Mark Teixeira and Ron Mahay. The Rangers have been to two World Series since the trade and the Braves none.
1. Elvis Andrus, SS
2. Martin Prado, LF
3. Brian McCann, C
4. Chipper Jones, 3B
5. Jeff Francoeur, RF
6. Freddie Freeman, 1B
7. Jason Heyward, CF
8. Kelly Johnson, 2B
1. Adam Wainwright
2. Tommy Hanson
3. Brandon Beachy
4. Matt Harrison
5. Mike Minor
Closer - Craig Kimbrel
Set up - Neftali Feliz, Jonny Venters, Matt Belisle, Julio Teheran, Charlie Morton
Long - Bruce Chen
Notable Bench Players
Adam LaRoche, Mark DeRosa, Rafael Furcal, Yunel Escobar, Wilson Betemit, Andruw Jones, Jordan Schafer, Tyler Flowers, Brayan Pena and Garrett Jones give this team an acceptable backup at every spot on the diamond and more.
The depth is incredible -- in the pitching staff and the position players. Even if Wainwright weren't available because of his injury, the team has Chen, Morton or the rookie Teheran to step in, or they could move Feliz to the rotation without even having to look anywhere else for its closer.
Heyward is playing out of position in center -- it was between him and Francoeur, so I went with Heyward. Other than that? Well, Wainwright might still have been injured and the rotation is young, but talented.
Comparison to real 2011
There's no chance this team would have missed the playoffs, like their real-life counterparts did. The rotation is solid (even without Wainwright) and would have given first-year manager Fredi Gonzalez more innings, meaning he may not have run Kimbrel and Venters into the ground. The lineup has enough punch to aid that goal. Does this team win the World Series? Maybe. The rotation isn't a postseason killer -- yet, but there's certainly potential.
Next: Toronto Blue Jays
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Tags: Adam LaRoche, Adam Wainwright, Andruw Jones, Beau Jones, Brandon Beachy, Braves, Brayan Pena, Brian McCann, Bruce Chen, C. Trent Rosecrans, Charlie Morton, Chipper Jones, Craig Kimbrel, Elvis Andrus, Freddie Freeman, Garrett Jones, homegrown, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Jason Heyward, Jeff Francoeur, Jonny Venters, Jordan Schafer, Julio Teheran, Kelly Johnson, Mark DeRosa, Mark Teixeira, Martin PRado, Matt Belisle, Matt Harrison, Mike Minor, Neftali Feliz, Rafael Furcal, Rangers, Ron Mahay, Tommy Hanson, Tyler Flowers, Wilson Betemit, Yunel Escobar
Posted on: August 10, 2011 4:08 pm
By Evan Brunell
The Royals have added another piece to their future by promoting catcher Salvador Perez to assume the bulk of catching duties the remainder of the season.
Perez is the fourth homegrown prospect to be promoted this season, with first baseman Eric Hosmer, third baseman Mike Moustakas and second baseman Johnny Giavotella preceding him, the Kansas City Star notes. The 21-year-old is known for his defense, but has bumped up his offense the last two years and now projects as a long-term starter. Perez has split the year between Double- and Triple-A, amassing 309 PA in Double-A and 49 in Triple-A for a total line of .290/.331/.437.
Perez drags down the average age of the starting lineup on Wednesday to 24, a big change from 2010 when only one position player was 24 or younger, Derek Larson writes on Twitter. That would be DH Billy Butler, who played first last season.
As Eye on Baseball scribe C. Trent Rosecrans observed, 24-year-old Alcides Escobar will be the oldest person in the infield on Wednesday, which makes the outfield of Melky Cabrera (26), Alex Gordon (27) and Jeff Francouer (27) old by comparison. And Jeff Francis, the starting pitcher, is ancient at 30.
Perez is replacing Brayan Pena, who was placed on paternity leave, as the starting catcher. When Pena returns, it will be to assume a backup role after hitting .257/.298/.361 in 208 plate appearances, sharing time with Matt Treanor, who is sidelined with a concussion.
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Posted on: May 29, 2011 10:02 pm
Edited on: May 29, 2011 10:05 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
Royals catcher Brayan Pena said he made a mistake at the end of Sunday's loss to the Rangers, but it had nothing to do with fear or Buster Posey or anything like that, it was a simple mistake of not knowing exactly where he was.
"I know you have to ask that question, but no," Pena told reporters, including the Kansas City Star's Bob Dutton, when asked if he had tried to avoid contact on the play. "That's part of my job -- to go out there and get hit. I just really thought I had home plate blocked. But I guess not."
After Nelson Cruz led off the ninth inning with a homer to tie the game, Napoli singled. And with two outs and Napoli still on first, Elvis Andrus singled to right and Rangers third base coach Dave Anderson waved him home.
First baseman Eric Hosmer's relay throw was in plenty of time to get Napoli, who was barreling in on Pena, who then took a step back off the plate, appearing to brace for impact. Napoli slid and Pena tagged him on the chest after his foot touched the plate -- and give a ton of credit to home plate umpire Mike Eastbrook, who made a difficult call correctly at the plate.
Pena slammed the ball down after the call and argued he made the tag -- and it was obvious he thought he did at the time. But then, after the game, he saw the video. See the video here.
"I could tell he was safe," Pena said. "Everything was perfect, too. The guys did a great relay. Hosmer threw a perfect strike. It was on me."
The question, even with hindsight, was there a decision on a subconscious level to take a step back, to brace himself for contact or to try to avoid being injured like Posey? If so, it's natural, but still one that's sure to be frowned up by teammates and fans alike.
As for the Rangers side of the story, remember Anderson was criticized for his decision to send Josh Hamilton home on a pop up last month, which resulted not only in an out, but in an injury to the reigning American League MVP.
"Sometimes you have to be aggressive out there and take chances," Anderson told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "How the game was going on, something crazy was going to happen to have this game over with. With two outs, you take a chance."For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: August 12, 2010 5:06 pm
Edited on: August 12, 2010 5:45 pm
With 105 games to his name, Jason Kendall has played in 92 percent of Kansas City's games -- near-unheard of for a catcher. Yadier Molina has played in 103, Brian McCann (99), Russell Martin (97) and A.J. Pierzynski (92). Mike Napoli has played an even 100, but he has also seen a lot of time at DH and first. Joe Mauer has 99, but has seen time at DH.
Kendall hit for a .271/.333/.320 line in 340 plate appearances prior to the first half, which is in line with his previous years. However, in the second half, he's slipped to .222/.293/.247 in 93 PAs. For a 36-year-old playing this often, that's a rather predictable falloff.
That's why backup Brayan Pena (pictured) is going to start getting some time, manager Ned Yost tells the Kansas City Star . Pena has just 59 plate appearances on the season, hitting for a lousy .173/.254/.212 as a 28-year-old. Last season, he hit .273/.318/.442 in 183 trips to the plate.
"I want to give Brayan a better look than we’ve given him," Yost said. "He’s really worked his tail off. He’s done a great job. He’s had eight starts [at catcher before Wednesday], and I’m going to try to give him 15 between now and the end of the year at least."If it's exactly 15, that means Kendall will play in about 74 percent of Royals games the rest of the way.
-- Evan Brunell
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.