Posted on: February 28, 2012 7:39 pm
Edited on: February 28, 2012 9:26 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
Spring training always has its share of bumps and bruises, along with legitimate injuries, but it often takes a little time to figure out which is which.
Here's a brief roundup of some of Tuesday's injuries from around baseball.
• Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman could miss two weeks after his right knee popped out of place as he tried to scoop a low throw at first base.
"I was just doing pick drills and the knee gave out," Freeman told reporters (via MLB.com). "The kneecap went this way and I came back in. When I did this when I was playing in Triple-A, it took me two weeks. So that is what we are going on."
Freeman said he had a similar injury in 2010 and he could have come back after a week, but the team didn't want to push it.
• Speaking of the Braves,right-hander Tommy Hanson will retake his concussion test on Thursday and could throwing to live batters again that same day if he passes it. Hanson has been cleared for conditioning and throwing, but not for full workouts yet. He suffered a concussion in a car accident on Feb. 20. (MLB.com)
• Mariners outfielder Franklin Gutierrez, who has been dogged by injuries and illness each of the last two seasons, left Mariners camp on a cart Tuesday.
Seattle manager Eric Wedge told reporters Gutierrez hurt something in the pectoral region and had an MRI. The Mariners are still waiting on word of the results of the MRI. (Seattle Times)
• Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth was held out of Tuesday's workout due to back spasms.
"I'm not worried," Nationals manager Davey Johnson told reporters. "There's plenty of time."
Johnson said he didn't expect Werth to play in either of the Nationals' first two exhibition games, but he didn't plan on using too many of the Washington regulars in those games anyway. (NatsInsider.com)
• Rays rookie left-hander Matt Moore missed a second day with an abdomen strain, but Rays manager Joe Maddon told reporters the team isn't worried, they're just being cautious.
"It's an over-conservative thing we're doing right now," Maddon told reporters. "I really believe the next day or two, he should be fine." (St. Petersburg Times)
• Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard is expected back in camp on Wednesday after having his Achilles tendon examined in Baltimore on Monday. The Phillies said they wouldn't have word about his status until he returns. (CSNPhilly.com)
• Joba Chamberlain, who underwent Tommy John surgery last year, threw off the mound for the first time Tuesday since the surgery. He threw 16 pitches and said he felt good afterward. He hopes to return in June. (Star-Ledger)
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Posted on: January 26, 2012 8:35 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
In the end, lineup construction has been shown not to matter much, but this time of year it always becomes a topic of discussion, because, well, there are no games.
Since Ichiro Suzuki joined the Mariners, the Seattle skipper du jour has had an easy start when filling out his lineup -- writing Ichiro in first and then figuring out the rest from there. Ichiro's batted leadoff in 1,722 of the 1,749 games he's played with the Mariners in the last 11 years.
Eric Wedge said Wednesday night in a radio interview that he was considering moving Ichiro from the top spot and reiterated those comments on Thursday at the Mariners' spring training luncheon. Here's exactly what he said, from Larry Stone of the Seattle Times:
"It's as much to do about his teammates as it does with him -- in regard to the collective nine we're putting down on paper. I haven't made any firm decisions. I've made it very clear over the course of the winter I'm thinking about it. I'm even further down the road to where I'm leaning in that direction to have Ichi hit somewhere else.As for where Ichiro would hit? Wedge said he's thought about all three of the top three spots in the lineup, including leadoff. And who would lead off? The candidates, in addition to Ichiro, are Dustin Ackley, Chone Figgins and Franklin Gutierrez.
Suzuki is coming off a career-worst .272/.310/.335 season with 40 stolen bases. He has a career .370 on-base percentage. The problem may be that the candidates to replace Ichiro aren't going to be any better. Figgins has been an unmitigated disaster in Seattle and hit just .188/.241/.243 last season, but does have a career .352 OBP and even put up a .340 OBP in 2010, his first year in Seattle. Guiterrez was plagued by a mysterious stomach ailment the last two seasons and put up a .224/.261/.273 line last season and has just a career .308 OBP. Ackley hit .273/.348/.417 last season, but that was in his only 90 games in the big leagues.
As most lineup discussions this time of year, it's purely conjecture and subject to change once games starts, injuries happen and performance patterns take shape. But when it does happen, it will seem pretty odd for Ichiro not to lead off games for the Mariners -- but not as odd as seeing him in a different uniform. Ichiro is in his last year of his contract with the Mariners and could easily be in his last season in Seattle.
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Posted on: January 3, 2012 3:22 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
When it comes to baseball facial hair, all the glory seems to go to the closers -- from Rollie Fingers to Rod Beck to the modern-day duo of Brian Wilson and John Axford. Wilson's beard has made him baseball's version of Peyton Manning -- appearing in more commercials than games. And then there's Axford, the Brewers' closer won the title of Mustached American of the Year from the American Mustache Institute, despite the fact he's Canadian.
Well, why should closers have all the fun? We need to get back to the glory days of the 70s and 80s when mustaches weren't just for the closers, they were for everyone in baseball. So, with that in mind, here is some of baseball's best mustaches, beards and other facial hair variations that are sported by players other than closers.
The outfielder -- Toronto's Eric Thames
Thames gets bonus points for versatility, changing his facial hair throughout the season, from simple stubble to some fantastic sideburn-mustache combos. Kudos to Thames for several of his combinations and his sheer willingness to experiment. A true All-Star in terms of facial hair.
The infielder -- Seattle's Brendan Ryan
Ryan finished the season clean-shaven, but hopefully he's using the offseason to get this glorious 'stache back in shape for spring training. Ryan also knows how to sport some awesome stirrups, so the man knows his style.
The starter -- Minnesota's Carl Pavano
Pavano's 'stache has its own Facebook page, as well it should.
The middle reliever -- Cincinnati's Sam LeCure
LeCure used his mustache to raise money for prostate cancer as part of the Movember movement. While a native of Missouri, LeCure went to college at Texas, so he's taken note of the great gunslingers of the old west for inspiration for his 'stache.
The manager -- Seattle's Eric Wedge
Like Ryan, Wedge shaved late in the 2011 season. Let's hope Wedge brings back the mustache -- which just commands respect.
The bench coach -- Tampa Bay's Dave Martinez
Martinez didn't shave his beard, but he did give it a good trim late in the season. But you've got to give the guy credit for keeping that glorious monster alive during a Florida spring and summer. Sure, Tropicana Field is air conditioned, but you've got to leave the ballpark sometimes and that humidity is deadly.
The umpire -- Jim Joyce
The mascot -- Mr. Redlegs
Mr. Met is probably the best mascot in the game, but the Reds took the Mr. Met template and one-upped him with a handlebar mustache -- which is like the bacon of facial hair, it makes everything better.For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.
Posted on: September 30, 2011 11:31 am
Edited on: September 30, 2011 5:32 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
So, Terry Francona is out in Boston… who's next?
Here's several ideas:
Bobby Valentine: For the first time in a long time, he's not the heir apparent in Miami, as Ozzie Guillen has become the latest manager Jeffrey Loria is itching to fire. Valentine, 61, is currently an ESPN announcer, but he's managed the Rangers and Mets, as well as two stints as the manager for Japan's Chiba Lotte Marines. In MLB, Valentine has a record of 1,117-1,072 and appeared in one World Series, losing to the Yankees as the Mets skipper in 2000.
DeMarlo Hale: It wouldn't be sexy, but it would be a link to the recent regime in Boston. Hale has served as Francona's bench coach the last two seasons and was previously the team's third-base coach. Last year he interviewed for the Blue Jays job, which went to then-Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell. However, he could be seen as too close to the former regime and not enough of a change.
Joe Torre: If you want a big name, there are few bigger in managerial circles. However, there's questions whether the 71-year-old would want to manage again and even as well as he put up with the madness that is managing the Yankees, why would he want to enter another circus? He also didn't exactly light the world on fire as the Dodgers' manager.
Dave Martinez: The Rays bench coach is going to be one of the hottest names in potential managerial searches until he gets a gig. He's served as Joe Maddon's bench coach since 2008. Martinez retired in 2001 after 16 seasons in the big leagues.
Pete Mackanin: The Phillies bench coach has been an interim manager twice, in Pittsburgh in 2005 and in Cincinnati in 2007. He's been the Phillies' bench coach the last three seasons. Mackanin may not be seen as a big enough name for the Red Sox.
Don Wakamatsu: The former Mariners manager was the Blue Jays' bench coach last season. Wakamatsu had a strange exit in Seattle after what seemed like a players' revolt. He failed to get along with some of his players in Seattle, and with talk of problems in the Red Sox clubhouse during the last month of the season, Wakamatsu's past could be a red flag.
Eric Wedge: The current Mariners manager has been mentioned, but he's under contract and the Mariners seem happy with him. It doesn't make sense for the Mariners to let him go to Boston.For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: August 1, 2011 9:44 am
By Evan Brunell
SINKING: Mike Pelfrey thinks he has his sinker back and is hoping to reclaims some optimism during a season where Pelfrey crumbled under the weight of being considered an ace, regressing from a 3.66 ERA in 204 innings last night to a 4.55 mark to date.
"Mike takes such pride in what he does," pitching coach Warthen told the New York Daily News. "I see a guy who was forcing his pitches instead of throwing them."
Pelfrey, for his part, believes that mechanics were an issue. The right-hander's bread and butter has been his sinker, but that lost effectiveness when he altered his arm slot to make his secondary pitches more effective. While Pelfrey isn't scrapping his arm slot, he did say he has to make sure to get his arm out in front of his body more when he throws the sinker. Perhaps then, Pelfrey thinks, he can start racking up the numbers he produced last season even though his peripherals in both 2010 and 2011 are rather similar.
"... I've never seen anybody that can command a baseball as well as he can," Warthen added. "So when he goes out and walks three, four, five guys, I'm just baffled. It's beyond my belief that that can happen with a guy who can do the things he can with the baseball."Pelfrey will face the Marlins on Monday night and has long struggled against Florida with a career 1-7 record and 5.25 ERA in 15 starts. He'll look to use his sinker, which pushed him to a complete-game victory last time out, to walk away with a win. (New York Daily News)
TOP GMS: You usually see a winners or losers list come out of the trade deadline, but what about a list of best GMs for those who focused on the short-term and then long-term? Unsurprisingly, contending teams dominate the first list, rebuilding the latter. (ESPN's Jim Bowden)
BAD BACK: Clay Buchholz appears to have a stress fracture in his back, which will shut him down for the rest of the season and most likely the postseason as well. David Wright recently missed two months with a stress fracture. (CSNNE.com)
BELL EXTENSION: Now that Heath Bell is staying in San Diego, the talk can turn toward the Padres potentially signing him to a contract extension. Bell, for his part, continues to stand by his proclamation that he will accept a three-year deal with a hometown discount to stay with the Pads. (North County Times)
Dodgers DEAL: The Dodgers are considered one of the biggest losers of the trade deadline, dealing a blue-chip prospect for three organizational players. Steve Dilbeck pens a defense, saying the blue-chipper in Trayvon Robinson clearly didn't fit in Los Angeles' plans, plus they finally got the prospect catcher they coveted in Tim Federowicz. GM Ned Coletti says Federowicz could make the roster next spring training. (Los Angeles Times)
Cubs DON'T DEAL: Carlos Pena, who is expected to resign with the Cubs should Chicago miss out on Prince Fielder in free agency, was thrilled the Cubs stood pat at the trade deadline.
"I'd rather have someone really working toward our common goal, instead of (trading players) just for show," Pena said. "Our GM is not like that. He's not trying to 'look' like he's working. He's working. It's totally different than [thinking] 'I can fool the world by switching a couple pieces here,' and it really looks like he's making moves, making changes. When in reality it's just all for show.
"He's not like that. He's doing something that's going to mean something at the end of it all, something substantial, and we're going to reap the benefits. I'd rather have that. We put all our heads together, all our energy together, and personally, I'm excited about the possibility of me being part of that team. Even with our record at this point, with our difficulties, I can say the same thing. I'm excited about what's coming."
Sorry, Carlos. Hendry still messed up. (Chicago Tribune)
THAT'S NICE: That's the reaction of columnist Dejan Kovacevic on the Pirates' haul at the trade deadline, bringing in Derrek Lee and Ryan Ludwick. Unfortunately, they may be arriving aboard a sinking ship as Pittsburgh's pitching regresses. (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)
BEHIND THE SCENES: Here's a quick look behind the scenes of the Francisco Rodriguez trade that sent the Mets closer to Milwaukee. K-Rod requested that his vesting option for 2012 be waived so the Mets were free to make baseball decisions about Rodriguez's usage. Alderson used that information to convince other teams the closer would void the option, which is exactly what happened once the righty moved to Milwaukee. (New York Times)
LOOKING FORWARD: Manager Eric Wedge won't let the Mariners get complacent the rest of the way, even if the trades made at the deadline deleted two strong pitchers from the staff and clearly set Seattle back this season. "What we're not going to do is spin our wheels," Wedge said. (MLB.com)
TOP DH: One of the best DHs in baseball history is Frank Thomas, who wasn't afraid to proclaim David Ortiz an all-time great at the position. Also, Thomas is a believer that DH gets a bum rap when it comes to Hall of Fame voting and perception of the position. "You ask any DH in the league how tough it is to sit there and pinch hit four times a day and put up monster numbers,” he said. (Boston Herald)
OPTION VESTS: Bobby Abreu's option for 2011 vested with his 433rd plate appearance of the season, reaching the milestone in the ninth inning Sunday against the Tigers. Abreu is now tied to Los Angeles for one more season at $9 million.
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Tags: AL Central, AL East, AL West, Angels, Bobby Abreu, Brewers, Carlos Pena, Clay Buchholz, Cubs, David Ortiz, Dodgers, Eric Wedge, Evan Brunell, Francisco Rodriguez, Frank Thomas, Heath Bell, Mariners, Mets, Mets, Mike Pelfrey, MLB Rumors, NL Central, NL East, NL West, Padres, Pepper, Pirates, Red Sox, White Sox
Posted on: June 27, 2011 9:54 am
Edited on: June 27, 2011 10:31 am
By C. Trent Rosecrans
BASEBALL TODAY: Are the Nationals headed in the right direction with Davey Johnson? MLB.com's Tom Bororstein joins Lauren Shihadi to discuss the Nationals, as well as the upcoming Reds-Rays series, the Indians-Diamondbacks and more.
PUSH IT BACK: In a month, we here at Eye On Baseball will be churning out rumors and speculation left and right -- who has interest in whom, which team is a buyer and which is a seller and what backup second baseman has some trade value. It's part of the baseball calendar, the last weekend of July. But is that too early?
Tim Sullivan of the San Diego Union-Tribune says it is, and I'm not sure he's wrong.
The nonwaiver trade deadline is at the two-thirds mark of the season, and that may be too soon for teams to decide just exactly what their chances are to make the best decision about folding or going all in on a postseason run.
The best reason to change it is that it forces too many teams -- especially those without a high payroll flexibility -- to give up too soon. Who wants to pay to see 25 games or so to see a team that has given up hope? Push the trade deadline back and lie to us a little longer, we like that.
NEW YORK TRADE TIME?: Could this be the year the Mets and Yankees make a big trade with each other? The two teams have only made nine trades with each other in their history. It's unlikely Jose Reyes will go across town, but Francisco Rodriguez, Carlos Beltran, Jason Isringhausen and Tim Byrdak could help the Yankees. [Wall Street Journal]
STRETCHING PINEDA: While nobody gave it any consideration when Michael Pineda broke the Mariners' camp in the rotation, it's now going to become an issue -- will the Mariners allow the rookie starter to add innings to his arm if the Mariners stick in the American League West race?
Seattle manager Eric Wedge says the team has a plan, not just for Pineda but the team's other pitchers as well, to try to limit innings, but still have his starters ready for September. The biggest thing is not limiting innings, but his game-to-game pitch count, Wedge said. [Seattle Times]
BARNEY SAYS IT GETS BETTER: Cubs rookie Darwin Barney not only participated in the "It Gets Better" project aimed at gay teens, but also said he was "honored" to ask. A cool deal for both Barney and an ever better deal for the campaign started by Cubs fan Dan Savage. The Giants have also shot a spot for the project. [Chicago Tribune]
HARANG STILL OUT: Padres starter Aaron Harang is unlikely to return from a stress fracture in his right foot until after the All-Star break. Harang leads the Padres' staff with a 7-2 record and 3.71 ERA. He's been on the DL since June 13. [San Diego Union-Tribune]
SORIA BACK: Since being reinstated as the Royals' closer, Joakim Soria hasn't allowed a run in 10 games (12 innings). He's only allowed four hits and two walks while striking out 12 and notching six saves. [Kansas City Star]
WE'RE GOING STREAKING!: Who is the streakiest team in baseball? Beyondtheboxscore.com has done the math and it's the Boston Red Sox. The least streaky? Well, that would be the consistently bad Chicago Cubs. The Cubs, amazingly enough, haven't won three games in a row all season.
Marlins STILL WOOING BIG NAMES: Nobody expects Jack McKeon to manager the Marlins next season. Florida hired its interim manager after last season and look at how that turned out. Apparently owner Jeffrey Loria wants a big-name manager, and that's likely Bobby Valentine or Ozzie Guillen. [Palm Beach Post]
BYRD'S FACEMASK: Bringing flashbacks of Terry Steinbach, Cubs outfielder Marlon Byrd will wear a helmet with extra protection in his rehab start at Triple-A Iowa. Byrd was hit in the face last month and suffered facial fractures. [Chicago Tribune]
FINDING NIMMO: The Mets made Brandon Nimmo the first-ever first-round draft pick from the state of Wyoming. Wyoming hasn't had a first-rounder before because of its combination of low population and harsh climate. Nimmo's dad, Ron, has helped on both causes, raising his sons there and building a barn where they could hone their baseball skills year-round. [New York Post]
CHANGEUP PITCHES: The Brewers want right-hander Yovani Gallardo to throw more changeups. Gallardo is 9-4 with a 3.92 ERA this season, but is throwing the changeup just 1.6 percent of the time and none in his last two starts. The Brewers believe the pitch could help him lower his pitch counts and go deeper into games. [MLB.com]
HANLEY TO STAY AT CLEANUP: The Marlins new regime is going to continue using shortstop Hanley Ramirez as the team's cleanup hitter. Ramirez was hitting .200/.298/.295 overall when he was put in the fourth spot by new manager Jack McKeon and in five games in that spot, he's hitting .400/.429/.450 with four RBI, raising his overall line to .218/.309/.309. [Palm Beach Post]
SMALL GESTURE, BIG DEAL: Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune writes a really neat tale of Curt Schilling and a World War II veteran who recently passed away.
ROSE BRINGS 'EM IN: There's apparently not a whole lot going on in the greater Bristol area of Virginia and Tennessee, because Pete Rose is bringing in the fans. No, not the Hit King, but Pete Rose Jr., manager of the Bristol White Sox of the short-season Class A Appalachian League. Still, it's cool Rose is chasing his dream. If there's one thing when you look at his career path, he may not have his father's talent, but he does have his drive. [Bristol Herald Courier]@cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Tags: Aaron Harang, AL Central, AL East, AL West, Bobby Jenks, Bobby Valentine, Brandon Nimmo, Brewers, Carlos Beltran, Cubs, Curt Schilling, Darwin Barney, Davey Johnson, Diamondbacks, Eric Wedge, Francisco Rodriguez, Hanley Ramirez, Indians, Jack McKeon, Jason Isringhausen, Joakim Soria, Joe Mauer, Mariners, Marlins, Mets, Michael Pineda, Nationals, NL Central, NL East, NL West, Ozzie Guillen. Marlon Byrd, Padres, Pete Rose Jr., Rays, Red Sox, Reds, Royals, Tim Byrdak, Twins, Yankees, Yovani Gallardo
Posted on: April 16, 2011 6:05 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
Mariners manager Eric Wedge isn't too happy with his team. At 4-11 and losers of 11 of their last 13, there's little for him to be happy about.
"That's the problem, it's the same thing, different day and it's unacceptable," Wedge said after the game, according to Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times. "We're not going to keep watching this. We're going to get better and we're going to address it, obviously, as we've been doing as a team and individually, but we're going to get better. We're not going to keep doing what we've bending here."
Wedge, in his first year with the Mariners, was asked what he could say to the players.
"You're doing the work, but ultimately you've got to take it into the game," he said. "I want them to have the mindset that's aggressive and such to where we're up there ready for anything. Anything and everything. Whether it be at home plate or out in the field or wherever it may be. I don't what to be in-between. In-between doesn't win ballgames."
Neither does averaging nearly an error a game (13 in 15 games), including two on Saturday, nor does going 0 for 9 with runners in scoring position as Seattle did against the Royals.
Wedge said we wouldn't share exactly what he said to his players, but it's fair to say it wouldn't be found on a greeting card.
"I had a few choice words for them," Wedge said. "I'm not real happy right now. I made it real clear how we're going to go about our business here."
The Mariners are last in the American League in team batting average (.214), next-to-last in slugging (.312) and 10th in OBP (.299). They're also next-to-last in the American League in team ERA at 4.89 and have allowed a league-high 82 runs and also have a league-high 13 unearned runs. Only two American League teams have committed more errors than the Mariners' 13.
In short, they're not very good.
Speeches are nice and they're fun, but it's not going to change much for the Mariners this season, there's just not enough talent on the team to be competitive. But at least Wedge has an awesome mustache. Maybe he should give his team Ron Swanson's Pyramid of Greatness.
Posted on: April 16, 2011 3:00 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
The long, confusing case of Franklin Gutierrez's stomach illness continues.
After the Mariners' center fielder was scratched from a rehab start on Friday, the team is still looking for answers and could send him to the Mayo Clinic or another major, national facility to seek further treatment for his stomach problems, Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times writes.
The team will announce more after Saturday's game in Kansas City.
"I think we're probably going to end up sending him somewhere to get further evaluation," manager Eric Wedge said.
The Mariners have been searching for an answer to Gutierrez's problems for more than a year. They thought they had it figured out this spring, but the problems persist.
After a career-year in 2009, Guiterrez saw a drop in all his offensive numbers last season, although he did win his first Gold Glove.
For his career, the 28-year-old has hit .261/.316/.400 in parts of six seasons with the Mariners and Indians.