Posted on: December 15, 2011 11:14 am
Edited on: December 15, 2011 12:27 pm
By Matt Snyder
What if players were only permitted to stay with the team that originally made them a professional?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 most interesting thing about our latest installment in this series is that I believe this would have been one of the better teams in the majors had we done the exercise three or four years ago. How good would a Johan Santana, Roy Oswalt, Freddy Garcia top three in the rotation have been a handful of years ago -- along with Lance Berkman, Hunter Pence and Bobby Abreu leading the offense? Alas, we're doing it now and some of that sounds far less enticing. Still, let's check it out.
1. Hunter Pence, CF
2. Jose Altuve, 2B
3. Ben Zobrist, RF
4. Lance Berkman, LF
5. Bobby Abreu, 1B
6. Chris Johnson, 3B
7. John Buck, C
8. Aaron Miles, SS
1. Johan Santana
2. Roy Oswalt
3. Wandy Rodriguez
4. Bud Norris
5. Jordan Lyles
Closer - Brad Lidge
Set up - Chad Qualls, Matt Albers, Troy Patton, Fernando Abad,
Long - Felipe Paulino, Freddy Garcia
Notable Bench Players
Ramon Castro, Carlos Guillen, Drew Sutton, Brooks Conrad, Brian Bogusevic
The trio of Pence, Zobrist and Berkman makes the front part of the offense look really attractive and Abreu offers decent protection for the Puma. Fitting in that two-hole would also do wonders for the development of the young Altuve. Can we assume health in this exercise, considering it's for fun? Sure, I will. So the starting rotation looks pretty good -- albeit not dominant anymore -- with Johan as the ace and Oswalt a good number two (remember, back issues hampered him last year). If Lyles isn't ready yet, we can plug in Garcia or Paulino as the five.
Lidge and Qualls aren't bad, but there is nothing in front of them worth much except two starting pitchers -- and, again, we may need one of the two in the rotation. The bottom part of the batting order isn't very good either and the bench is thin. But let's focus on what is really bad: The defense. I fought back and forth with whether to put Abreu or Berkman in LF, but either one is a bad choice. I just feel like Berkman can move better at this point. I also had to shift Pence to center, even though he's better suited in right. Miles is much better used at second base and he's not even really good there.
Comparison to real 2011
Well, the 2011 Astros were the worst team in the majors and in franchise history. This team isn't particularly good, but it's better than that. With that rotation, a decent back-end of the bullpen and some offense, these Astros should be able to work close to the 75-win range. One thing is for sure, they wouldn't be the worst team in the NL Central. I also feel like the best news for Astros fans is there would actually be some name players here to root for, after having seen the likes of Oswalt, Berkman, Pence and Michael Bourn traded over the past two real seasons. Still, you can't help but think that there are enough pieces here that the Astros could have properly built a real-life team that was still in contention in 2011 -- had they made the right moves.
Next: Los Angeles Dodgers
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Tags: Aaron Miles, Astros, Ben Zobrist, Bobby Abreu, Brad Lidge, Brian Bogusevic, Brooks Conrad, Bud Norris, Carlos Guillen, Chad Qualls, Chris Johnson, Drew Sutton, Felipe Paulino, Fernando Abad, Freddy Garcia, Homegrown, Hunter Pence, Johan Santana, John Buck, Jordan Lyles, Jose Altuve, Lance Berkman, Matt Albers, Matt Snyder, NL Central, Ramon Castro, Roy Oswalt, Troy Patton, Wandy Rodriguez
Posted on: September 26, 2011 4:55 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
Another season gone, another disappointment for 29 teams as one is immortalized forever. Let’s take a look back at 2011 and forward in Eye on Baseball’s R.I.P. series...Team name: Kansas City Royals
Record: 70-89, 22 games back in AL Central
Manager: Ned Yost
Best hitter: Alex Gordon -- .303/.376/.502, 23 HR, 87 RBI, 101 R, 45 2B, 17 SB
Best pitcher: Aaron Crow -- 4-4, 2.80 ERA, 1.39 WHIP, 64 K, 61 IP
Few seasons that end with a team 22 games back will garner as much optimism as the 2011 Royals, a team with few expectations other than playing time for young players and giving a glimpse of the future. Even before 2011, that future was bright -- but with some of the performances by the Royals' youngsters and even its less-youngsters -- have made that future seem even brighter.
2011 SEASON RECAP
For the 2011 Royals, the wins and losses were never part of the proposition, it was progress by the likes of Eric Hosmer, Alcides Escobar, Mike Moustakas, Johnny Giavotella and Salvador Perez. What the Royals found was that Hosmer is an absolute stud, Escobar can contribute enough at the plate to keep his glove in the lineup and Moustakas, after a rough start, has shown the ability that had so many excited.
Not only were the new toys impressive, so were some of the other, slightly older types, such as Gordon, Billy Butler, Melky Cabrera and Jeff Francoeur (none of whom are older than 27). In all, the Royals were sixth in the American League in runs (719), fourth in batting average (.274) and fifth in OPS (.743) -- all marks better than league average.
The problem for the Royals was finding pitching, finishing 12th out of 14 AL teams in team ERA at 4.46, allowing the third-best OPS by opponent batters (.763) and their starters had a 4.83 ERA.
The rotation remains a mess, and without a significant trade or two in the offseason will likely stay that way. It's never a good sign when your best starter was Bruce Chen. There are, of course, good pitching prospects, but the arms the organization was banking on breaking through all took steps back in 2011, with lefty John Lamb undergoing Tommy John surgery, another lefty, Mike Montgomery, struggled in Triple-A, while yet another lefty, Chris Dwyer, struggled in Double-A.
Left-hander Danny Duffy had his ups and downs, going 4-8 with a 5.64 ERA in the big leagues, but his stuff was never in question. Many talented young pitchers have struggled in the big leagues before finding their control.
Former Astro Felipe Paulino (an actual right-hander) pitched relatively well this season for the Royals, going 3-6 with a 4.10 ERA for the Royals in 118 2/3 innings. Luke Hochevar, a former No. 1 overall pick, has teased with his talent -- but seems to do so every year. If this is the year he puts it all together…
The offseason focus is pitching, namely starting pitching. Of course, few teams aren't looking for starting pitching. The difference is the Royals still have some talented prospects to dangle.
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Tags: Aaron Crow, Alcides Escobar, Alex Gordon, Bruce Chen, Bruce Chen, C. Trent Rosecrans, Chris Dwyer, Danny Duffy, Eric Hosmer, Felipe Paulino, Jason Kendall, Jeff Francis, Jeff Francoeur, Joakim Soria, John Lamb, Johnny Giavotella, Kyle Davies, Like Hochevar, Melky Cabrera, Mike Montgomery, Mike Moustakas, Ned Yost, R.I.P. Royals, Ricky Nolasco, Salvador Perez
Posted on: September 15, 2011 7:50 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
After throwing a career-high 198 innings, the Royals are shutting down starter Luke Hochevar. The former top overall pick of the draft went 11-11 with a 4.68 ERA in 2011, the most innings he's thrown in his professional career.
Last year he threw 108 innings -- 103 for the Royals -- after throwing 191 innings in 2009 between the Royals (143) and Triple-A Omaha (48).
Hochevar picked up his 11th victory of the season on Wednesday, throwing six innings in his 31st start of the season. The 28-year-old went 6-3 with a 3.52 ERA in 12 starts after the All-Star break.
"Could he finish the year? Yeah. He wants to," manager Ned Yost told reporters (via the Kansas City Star). "But for me, it just doesn't make any sense to continue to push his innings when he's in a good spot. It gives us an opportunity to look at somebody else."
Hochevar would have made two more starts, on Tuesday and on Sept. 25. The Star's Bob Dutton speculates right-hander Luis Mendoza could take Hochevar's spot if the Triple-A Storm Chasers finish out the Pacific Coast League playoffs in a timely fashion. Omaha currently leads Sacramento 2-0 in the best-of-five championship series. Omaha plays at Sacramento on Friday with heralded left-hander Mike Montgomery scheduled to pitch in what could be the clinching game. Mendoza isn't on the team's 40-man roster, but the Royals currently have an open spot. Right-handers Vin Mazzaro and Sean O'Sullivan are on the 40-man and could also get the call, with at least one of them likely to make a start for Kansas City before the end of the season, if not both.
Kansas City has already shut down lefty Danny Duffy. Duffy went 4-8 with a 5.64 ERA in 20 starts this season. Left-hander Jeff Francis will also be shut down after his start on Thursday against the White Sox. Francis entered the night 5-16 with a 4.88 ERA.@eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: August 20, 2011 11:24 am
By Evan Brunell
Follow all games live with CBSSports.com's GameTracker.
Time to debut: Fortunately for Arizona, the Giants have dropped two in a row, so the three-game losing streak the Diamondbacks are on hasn't hurt too much. Still, it's not helping, and rookie Wade Miley will be assigned with a tall task in his debut: defeat Atlanta and Brandon Beachy. The 24-year-old Miley was snagged in the compensation section of the first round back in 2009 and is making his career debut after splitting the season with Double- and Triple-A. Cumulatively, Miley posted a 4.30 ERA in 22 starts, punching out 102 and walking 44. Diamondbacks vs. Braves, 7:10 p.m. ET
Still chasing 200: For those counting, this will be the fifth start for Tim Wakefield in his pursuit of his 200th victory. Wakefield has actually pitched rather strongly over these outings, but nothing's broken his way. While 200 will be on many a person's mind on Saturday, Wakefield has more important things to worry about, such as winning the game. Boston is an half-game behind the Yankees for the division and with New York beating up on Minnesota, the Red Sox need to do the same to the Royals, who will offer up Felipe Paulino. Paulino left Houston an erratic starter for Colorado where he was converted to relief with poor results. The Royals picked him up off the scrap heap, and he's delivered with a 3.76 ERA in 13 starts and one relief apearance. Red Sox vs. Royals, 7:10 p.m. ET
Pulling away: The Rangers, fresh off taking 3 of 4 from the Angels, beat Chicago in the series opener on Friday. Chicago is suddenly five games behind first place, losers of three straight, after threatening to move into second place and give Detroit a run for their money mere days ago. Texas, meanwhile, would love to continue driving a stake through the heart of the Angels by keeping up their winning ways while Los Angeles battles the Orioles. John Danks will go up against Alexi Ogando in an intriguing matchup. Rangers vs. White Sox, 7:10 p.m. ET
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeonBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: June 23, 2011 11:02 am
By C. Trent Rosecrans
Slow day in baseball today, with just five games on the schedule, three of those taking place during the day.
START ANOTHER STREAK: The Twins lost their first game in more than a week on Wednesday, falling to the defending World Series champs. Things don't get much easier for Minnesota, facing Tim Lincecum on Thursday. Twins starter Brian Duensing is having a June himself, going 2-1 with a 2.81 ERA this month. The lefty is 1-1 with a 3.98 ERA in 10 interleague starts of his career. The Twins have won 15 of their last 18 games and seven of their last nine on the road. Twins at Giants, 3:45 p.m. ET (Follow live)
ROAD WARRIORS: Your first-place Diamondbacks (yes, you read that right) are more than happy to be on the road and in interleague play. After starting the season 5-13 on the road, the Diamondbacks have won 14 of their last 18 in the road grays. The team is also 6-2 in interleague play so far this season and have Daniel Hudson (8-5, 3.56 ERA) on the mound against a winless Felipe Paulino (0-4, 4.10) in Kansas City as the Diamondbacks seek a sweep over the Royals. Diamondbacks at Royals, 8:10 p.m. ET (Follow live)
STRUGGLING STARTERS: A Roy Oswalt-Chris Carpenter showdown should be a premier pitching matchup. Instead, the two have combined for just one win in their last 15 starts. Oswalt picked up his fourth victory of the season on June 12, snapping a seven-start winless streak, only to start another winless streak in his last outing, last Friday at Seattle. Carpenter's lone victory of the season came more than a month ago on May 10. Like Oswalt, it came against the Cubs, so maybe neither really count. Phillies at Cardinals, 8:15 p.m. ET (Follow live)For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: May 26, 2011 11:11 pm
Edited on: May 26, 2011 11:24 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
Felipe Paulino, the hard-throwing right-hander last seen giving up a massive walk-off homer to Prince Fielder, has been traded to the Royals for cash, the Rockies announced on their Twitter account.
The Rockies acquired Paulino this offseason in the trade of shortstop Clint Barmes, but designated him for assignment on Saturday. Paulino appeared in 18 games for the Rockies, going 0-4 with a 7.36 ERA. He struck out nearly a battert an inning (14 strikeouts in 14 2/3 innings), while walking seven batters. Hitters were hitting .377 against him, although a .455 batting average on balls in play and a 3.36 xFIP (fielding independent pitching, normalized for park values), suggest he was extremely unlucky.
Despite the bad luck, Paulino hasn't proven to anyone he can be a decent pitcher in the big leagues. The Astros used him as a starter, giving him 34 starts over three seasons, going 5-20 with a 5.12 ERA.
Paulino may benefit from leaving the hitter-friendly parks he has pitched in -- Coors Field and Minute Maid Park -- to the more pitcher-friendly Kauffman Stadium. Even if it doesn't lead to results, it's a low-risk move for Kansas City, with some possible upside if he gets it together -- even though that's something that's been said about Paulino, 27, for years now.For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: May 22, 2011 12:18 am
By Evan Brunell
The Rockies have designated Felipe Paulino for assignment and recalled starter Greg Reynolds, the Denver Post reports via Twitter.
Paulino was acquired in the offseason from Houston in exchange for shortstop Clint Barmes. While Barmes isn't quite hitting (nice OBP, though), he's doing just fine with his glove in Houston, so the Rockies can be deemed losers of this trade. Paulino predominantly started for Houston over the course of three seasons from 2007-2010, with 2008 skipped. But his career 5.83 ERA ushered him out the door, as Paulino could strike players out but gave up too many walks.
And much like the Rockies just jettisoned another player like that in Franklin Morales (traded to Red Sox), Colorado has quickly given up on these players. So Paulino only pitched 14 2/3 innings in Colorado, but they were bad innings, with a 7.36 ERA and the same stuff and lack of control of it. However, 45.5 percent of Paulino's batted balls allowed fell for hits - way over the pitching standard of 30 percent. That means Paulino was unlucky, which leads to a 3.37 xFIP. Ahh, that's much better.
All that to say that Paulino will get picked up somewhere. Either he'll be claimed on waivers, traded by Colorado and released, only to quickly latch on to another club. Oakland jumps to mind here, as they're currently trying to find the right mix in the bullpen and need temporary starters quickly? Paulino could fill the breach in the rotation in the interim, and always move back to the bullpen. In a pitcher's park, Paulino could both regress to the mean plus go past it, to his benefit. That would make Paulino a real find -- but there's no guarantee it happens, as Paulino's been hit very hard with a high line-drive rate and home run per flyball rate that could negate the issue with Paulino's BABIP.
Paulino's replacement in Reynolds made two starts earlier this year, giving up four runs in 11 innings. Down on the farm, he's made six starts with a 6.29 ERA, although he's terribly unlucky as he has a 3.70 FIP. The Post speculates that Reynolds will probably start one of the games Tuesday then be sent down for a reliever or start Saturday. It's also possible that he could fill the long man's role in Colorado. We don't know quite yet what the Rockies have in mind.
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Posted on: November 18, 2010 1:48 pm
Edited on: November 18, 2010 6:31 pm
The Astros announced they have acquired second baseman/shortstop Clint Barmes from the Rockies in exchange for right-hander Felipe Paulino.
Houston was looking to upgrade at both positions, and Barmes will, as it stands now, share playing time with Jeff Keppinger and Tommy Manzella. Barmes, 31, put up a .235/.305/.351 line last season.
Paulino, 27, started 14 games for the Astros last season, going 1-9 with a 5.11 ERA and 4.5 walks per nine innings.
"We're excited to add Clint to our club," Astros general manager Ed Wade said. "He's a plus defensive player at two positions, has gap and some home run power and has great makeup. It's tough to give up a power arm like Felipe's, but Clint fits a need that we had to address."
-- David Andriesen
UPDATE: Barmes has been told he will play shortstop by Wade and manager Brad Mills, according to Brian McTaggart of MLB.com -- and he couldn't be more excited.
"I looked at myself as a shortstop playing second base," Barmes said of his last couple of years in Colorado. "I'm very excited to get the opportunity to play on that side of the field."
With Barmes headed to short, his new double play partner figures to be Jeff Keppinger. That will push either Tommy Manzella or Angel Sanchez into a reserve role or off the team completely.
-- Evan Brunell
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