Posted on: December 14, 2011 10:38 am
Edited on: December 15, 2011 7:15 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What if players were only permitted to stay with the team that originally made them a professional?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.
For today's installment of the Homegrown series, I can't stop thinking about a certain trade. Earlier this week, I was reminded of the deal anyway. In a pretty minor move, the Rays traded for relief pitcher Burke Badenhop. That's worth discussing here because he was the last standing of six players Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski sent to the Marlins for Miguel Cabrera (and Dontrelle Willis, for that matter). To acquire one of the biggest superstars in baseball -- and a now-washed up pitcher -- Dombrowski dealt Badenhop, Cameron Maybin, Andrew Miller, Eulogio De La Cruz, Dallas Trahern and Mike Rabelo. Upon Badenhop being dealt, the Marlins now have nothing left to show for the 28-year-old Cabrera. Trahern is stuck in Double-A and appears unlikely to help the big-league club, either.
So, yeah, this homegrown club is missing a huge bat in the middle of the order. But this is also an opportunity to praise Dombrowski for one hell of a trade.
1. Omar Infante, SS
2. Matt Joyce, RF
3. Curtis Granderson, CF
4. Brennan Boesch, 1B
5. Alex Avila, C
6. Cody Ross, DH
7. Jack Hannahan, 3B
8. Cameron Maybin, LF
9. Ramon Santiago, 2B
1. Justin Verlander
2. Jair Jurrjens
3. Rick Porcello
4. Guillermo Moscoso
5. Charlie Furbush
Closer - Francisco Cordero
Set up - Fernando Rodney, Joel Zumaya, Jason Frasor, Burke Badenhop, Ryan Perry
Long - Andrew Miller
Notable Bench Players
Will Rhymes, Ryan Raburn, Scott Sizemore, Danny Worth, Brandon Inge, Andy Dirks, Don Kelly, Casper Wells, Andres Torres
That guy sitting atop the starting rotation is pretty decent, no? Getting 34 or so starts out of Justin Verlander gives this ballclub a great chance to win plenty of low-scoring games. Jurrjens is a fine number two as well. I love Avila behind the plate and Maybin in left field would be a defensive force -- most metrics showed Maybin as a far superior defender in center to Granderson this past season, but I went with the logic that Granderson would stay in center as the star of the team. If he wanted to pull a Cal Ripken and move, OK, the defense gets even better. Finally, the bench depth is pretty good, as there are several guys capable of providing good spot starts.
While it's definitely not awful, that batting order leaves a lot to be desired. Joyce is really good and Granderson is great. Otherwise? I'll channel my inner Larry David and just say "eh." There would be an awful lot of pressure on Boesch and Avila in those run producing spots, that's for sure. Also, while it's not horrible, that bullpen bridge to Cordero isn't exactly one that eases the mind. Can you imagine how many cigarettes Jim Leyland would have to choke down to stomach a night with Badenhop, Frasor and Rodney tasked with putting up zeroes? They can do it, but they'll just about give you a heart attack in the process.
Comparison to real 2011
I'll go out on a limb here (please note sarcasm) and say winning 95 games and cruising to the AL Central title is about as realistic with this group as this exercise. A winning record might be possible, as this team feels just mediocre. The likes of Verlander, Granderson, Avila, Joyce and Jurrjens keep them away from "suck" territory. I'd go high-70s in wins with a ceiling of 83 victories.
Next: Houston Astros
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Tags: AL Central, Alex Avila, Andres Torres, Andrew Miller, Andy Dirks, Brandon Inge, Brennan Boesch, Burke Badenhop, Cameron Maybin, Casper Wells, Charlie Furbush, Cody Ross, Curtis Granderson, Danny Worth, Dave Dombrowski, Don Kelly, Fernando Rodney, Francisco Cordero, Guillermo Moscoso, Homegrown, Jack Hannahan, Jair Jurrjens, Jason Frasor, Joel Zumaya, Justin Verlander, Matt Joyce, Matt Snyder, Miguel Cabrera, Omar Infante, Ramon Santiago, Rick Porcello, Ryan Perry, Ryan Raburn, Scott Sizemore, Tigers, Will Rhymes
Posted on: October 1, 2011 8:29 pm
Edited on: October 1, 2011 10:45 pm
By Evan Brunell
Last season, Derek Holland was asked to play an important part of the Rangers' run to the World Series, but gave up three runs in 4 2/3 relief innings against the Rays before stymieing the Yankees in the ALCS, then getting crushed against the Giants in two appearances. You could tell that while Holland had loads of potential, he was having trouble putting it all together on a national stage.
It's much the same Saturday in ALDS Game 2, as Holland has coughed up three runs to the Rays through four innings. Only one of those runs was earned, but Holland is still to blame for the other two runs scoring.
Holland started the game by loading the bases in the first inning and issuing a bases-loaded walk, coming unglued after B.J. Upton followed Desmond Jennings with a double. You could actually see Holland's body language change, and his pitches changed from crisp and around the zone to someone trying to force-feed the ball into a small space and instead throwing obvious balls. The skittishness continued into the second when Jennings doubled to left field with two out, hitting the chalk. A dejected Holland unfurled a wild pitch to send Jennings to second, then threw three straight balls to B.J. Upton on a 0-2 count before finally inducing a flyout. Through two innings, the lefty threw 51 pitches.
The third finally saw Holland's first clean inning of the game, but his inconsistency reared his head again in the fourth. After seemingly finding a groove and recording the first two outs, Holland pounced on a dribbler by Casey Kotchman and threw to first. Seeing how Holland didn't set his feet and how he tried to gear up the throw, it was no surprise to see the ball fly low and skip under first baseman Mitch Moreland's glove. Matt Joyce then made Holland pay with a towering shot to right field to lift Tampa to a 3-0 score after the top fourth.
As mentioned earlier, Holland has loads of potential. In 32 starts, he posted a 2.95 ERA on the season over 198 innings, punching out 162 and walking 67. In his last 15 starts, his ERA was 2.77. The 24-year-old was clearly on the rise, delivering the potential many saw in him for years. Unfortunately, Holland seems to wilt under pressure, but does show signs of eventually putting it all together.
The Rangers may yet be able to bail Holland out, as the club has loaded the bases with no out against James Shields. One run has already come in on a hit by pitch, Shields' second of the inning.
Click here to follow the action live on CBSSports.com's GameTracker.
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Posted on: September 29, 2011 4:05 pm
Edited on: September 30, 2011 2:57 pm
By Evan Brunell
Game 1: TB @ TEX, Sept. 30, 5:07 p.m. -- Matt Moore (1-0, 2.89 ERA) vs. C.J. Wilson (16-7, 2.94)**
Evan's take: The Rangers are a fearsome club, there's no doubt about that. The offense is awe-inspiring and the pitching has the ability to hang tough with Tampa Bay. The Rangers basically cruised to the division title in September, so it's easy to overlook the club because of lack of press, but those who overlook the club are making a mistake. I selected the Rays in four because in the postseason, I believe far more in pitching than offense. I also give credence to how teams played down the stretch. Tampa went 17-10 in September (of course, Texas went 19-8, so there's that) and was in playoff mode for two weeks, constantly playing must-win games then seeing it all pay off when Evan Longoria's second homer of the night went over the fence to give T.B. the wild card. The combination of pitching and the hot hand tilt me toward predicting the Rays to advance.
Tags: 2011 playoffs, Adrian Beltre, AL East, AL West, ALDS, B.J. Upton, Ben Zobrist, C.J. Wilson, Casey Kotchman, Colby Lewis, David Murphy, David Price, Derek Holland, Desmond Jennings, Elvis Andrus, Evan Brunell, Evan Longoria, Ian Kinsler, James Shields, Jeff Niemann, Jeremy Hellickson, Joe Maddon, John Jaso, Johnny Damon, Josh Hamilton, Kelly Shoppach, Kyle Farnsworth, Matt Harrison, Matt Joyce, Michael Young, Mike Napoli, Mitch Moreland, Neftali Feliz, Nelson Cruz, Rangers, Rangers-Rays, Rays, Ron Washington, Sean Rodriguez, Yorvit Torrealba
Posted on: September 28, 2011 1:35 am
By Matt Snyder
Red Sox offense. They really, really needed this one. And you have to give the Red Sox credit, they came through when it mattered. They fell behind 1-0 in the first inning, but then Jacoby Ellsbury hit a two-run homer. Marco Scutaro would also hit a 2-run homer later in the game. Still, the Red Sox pitching staff allowed seven runs against the Orioles and a huge effort was needed from someone offensively. It was provided by an unlikely source, as emergency catcher Ryan Lavarnway hit two home runs and drove home four in the Red Sox's 8-4 victory. The two blasts were the first two of his career and he became the youngest Red Sox player to homer twice in the same game since Nomar Garciaparra did it in 1997 -- and they were the exact same ago to the day (Ian Browne via Twitter).
Cardinals' offense. Starting pitcher Jake Westbrook was awful, and the Cardinals trailed 5-0 after three innings. It was of no matter in the end, though, because they'd piece together 13 runs in the final six frames to win the game. On the whole, the Cardinals pounded out 17 hits, including four doubles, a triple and two home runs. The biggest hits were Skip Schumaker's three-run double in the fourth, Ryan Theriot's go-ahead, two-run triple in the seventh and Allen Craig's three-run homer in the eighth to put the game out of reach.
Matt Joyce, Rays. Ben Zobrist hit a two-run homer earlier in the game and the Rays bailed themselves out with a huge triple play, but neither would have mattered if Joyce didn't come through with a pivotal three-run bomb in the bottom of the seventh to put the Rays on top 5-3. That was the eventual final score.
Bonus Up No. 1, Prince Fielder: Three home runs is a pretty decent night, don't you think? He hits home runs a lot (230 in his career now and he's only 27), but this was the first three-homer game of his big-league career.
Bonus Up No. 2, Jose Reyes: He went deep twice and maintained his percentage-point lead for the batting title.
Bonus Up No. 3, Jarrod Parker: The 22-year-old Diamondbacks' prospect made his major-league debut against the Dodgers. He went 5 2/3 shutout innings and allowed just four hits. If you don't take the D-Backs seriously yet, imagine them with Ian Kennedy, Daniel Hudson, Parker, Trevor Bauer (third overall pick this past June) and Archie Bradley (seventh overall pick this past June) in the rotation a few years from now. Oh, and Justin Upton's only 24. That's a strong foundation. And while we're here ... a walk-off grand slam after trailing 6-1 in the 10th? C'mon. Big ups to Ryan Roberts for imitating Kirk Gibson as he rounded the bases, too.
Derek Lowe, Braves. Four innings, six hits, five earned runs, a loss and the Braves are now tied in the NL wild-card race. Oh, and Lowe makes over $15 million a year.
Bronson Arroyo, Reds. How about this one? According to Elias Sports Bureau -- via a Reds' press release -- Arroyo is now the second pitcher in major-league history to have allowed at least 40 home runs and less than 50 walks in the same season. We've all heard the phrase "trust your stuff" when pitchers walk too many hitters. Maybe Arroyo should trust his stuff a bit less. Trade some of the bombs for free passes.
Russell Martin, Yankees. He hit into a huge triple play, but that's just a ground ball with bad timing. My issue came when he tried to beat the throw by diving into first base. See last night's 3 Up 3 Down -- the Nick Punto entry -- for the rant relating to that. (What, is it spreading?)
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Tags: 3 up 3 down, AL East, Allen Craig, Ben Zobrist, Braves, Brewers, Bronson Arroyo, Cardinals, Derek Lowe, Diamondbacks, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jake Westbrook, Jarrod Parker, Jose Reyes, Marco Scutaro, Matt Joyce, Matt Snyder, Mets, NL Central, NL West, Prince Fielder, Rays, Red Sox, Reds, Russell Martin, Ryan Lavarnway, Ryan Roberts, Ryan Theriot, Skip Schumaker, Yankees
Posted on: July 3, 2011 12:24 pm
Edited on: July 3, 2011 1:24 pm
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.
Mariano Rivera, Yankees (players' pick)
Justin Verlander, Tigers (players' pick)
Brandon League, Mariners (player's pick)
James Shields, Rays (players' pick)
OF Jacoby Ellsbury, Red Sox (players' pick)
SS Asdrubal Cabrera, Indians (players' pick)
1B Miguel Cabrera, Tigers (players' pick)
2B Howie Kendrick, Angels (players' 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)For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Tags: Aaron Crow, Adrian Beltre, All-Star Game, Angels, Asdrubal Cabrera, Athletics, Brandon League, C.J. Wilson, Carlos Quentin, CC Sabathia, Chris Perez, David Price, Felix Hernandez, Gio Gonzalez, Howie Kendrick, Indians, Jacoby Ellsbury, James SHields, Jered Weaver, Jose Valverde, Josh Beckett, Justin Verlander, Mariano Rivera, Mariners, Matt Joyce, Matt Wieters, Michael Cuddyer, Michael Young, Miguel Cabrea, Orioles, Rays, Red Sox, Red Sox, Royals, Russell Martin, Tigers, Twins, White Sox, Yankees
Posted on: June 22, 2011 1:41 pm
Edited on: June 22, 2011 2:23 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
Rays manager Joe Maddon is known to buck the old managerial book, but today's is a little different.
That means the team is keeping Matt Joyce, Johnny Damon, John Jaso and Reid Brignac on the bench. That means Ben Zobrist in right for Joyce, Sean Rodriguez at second, Elliot Johnson at shortstop and Kelly Shoppach behind the plate. Johnson and Zobrist are the switch hitters.
Maddon's one of baseball's best managers, and if I had the No. 1 pick in a managerial draft, he'd be my choice. That said, I'm not sure about this one. The rationale is likely that right-handers will have a better chance against Marcum's excellent changeup.
The numbers, however, don't exactly reflect that.
Posted on: June 10, 2011 6:42 pm
Edited on: June 10, 2011 7:10 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
Joyce had a cortisone shot in his left shoulder in Los Angeles on Thursday after the shoulder had bothered him for two weeks. If you've never had a cortisone shot, you may not know it's a pretty big (as in diameter) needle and it burns for awhile after you get it. It can hurt for a couple of days, even though it feels like magic after that.
"We figured we had an off day and tried to take advantage of it," Joyce told reporters, including the Tampa Tribune's Roger Mooney. "Came in today and it was still really sore. It was sore from the shot, not from the injury. I don't know if you can call it an injury."
He said he could still pinch-hit on Friday and could be back in the lineup on Saturday.
Joyce had a cortisone shot in the shoulder in January.
Posted on: June 1, 2011 3:45 pm
Edited on: June 1, 2011 4:03 pm
By Matt Snyder
Tuesday, Major League Baseball unveiled the first update on the All-Star balloting for the National League, so Wednesday we found out the American League update. Needless to say, non-Yankees fans won't be happy, but we'll get to that in a second. The big story is that the fans nailed the top overall vote-getter (that goes for both leagues). Jose Bautista of the Blue Jays leads the majors in runs, home runs, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, OPS, OPS-plus and total bases. You can add top vote-getter to the list for now, because he's gathered 1,261,659 votes. If this holds, he'd become the first Blue Jays player ever to receive the most votes and the first to start the game since Carlos Delgado in 2003.
As things stand now, here are the would-be AL starters: Russell Martin, Mark Teixeira, Robinson Cano, Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Curtis Granderson -- yes, those are actually the leaders in votes; I didn't accidentally start listing the Yankees' starters -- Jose Bautista, Josh Hamilton and Michael Young (DH).
So, yeah. Six Yankees starters if this was the final version. Here are some observations:
- Asdrubal Cabrera trails Jeter by about 260,000 votes at short. I guess I'm not shocked for several reasons. First of all, the voting began pretty early in the season and Cabrera was a relative unknown when it started. Secondly, you have Jeter and the whole chase for 3,000 hits thing going on. Third, it's the Yankees. If this is a lifetime achievement thing, OK, but if we're looking at just 2011, it's egregious. Cabrera's been the big offensive force for the most surprising team in baseball -- one that has the best record in the AL.
- Teixeira's having a big power year and him starting the game wouldn't be completely undeserved, but I'd rather go with Adrian Gonzalez or Miguel Cabrera there. If you have a problem with Cabrera's off-field issues in the spring, well, vote for Gonzalez or Tex.
- Third could shape up to be a real good battle between A-Rod, Adrian Beltre and Kevin Youkilis -- who were all probably helped by the injury to Evan Longoria.
- Martin is the correct selection behind the plate. Oh, and Joe Mauer's second in voting (tsk, tsk).
- Granderson certainly deserves to start and Cano probably does as well. So Yankees haters need to lay off these guys.
- The outfield voting isn't awesome, that's for sure. Hamilton has been hurt most of the season and sits third. Matt Joyce isn't even in the top 15, nor are Carlos Quentin, Adam Jones, Michael Brantley or Alex Gordon. But Ichiro Suzuki, Nelson Cruz and Carl Crawford are all in contention.
View the full voting results by clicking here.
There are obviously a lot more issues, but it's the initial ballot release and many of the votes were cast when it was released without having a good grasp of how the 2011 season would turn out. Fortunately, there's still time to support your guys and rectify any problems you might have. Voting doesn't end until the end of June.
Click here to cast an online ballot.
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Tags: Adam Jones, Adrian Beltre, Adrian Gonzalez, AL Central, AL Central, AL Central, AL East, AL East, AL West, Alex Gordon, Alex Rodriguez, Asdrubal Cabrera, Blue Jays, Carl Crawford, Carlos Quentin, Curtis Granderson, Derek Jeter, Ichiro Suzuki, Indians, Joe Mauer, Jose Bautista, Josh Hamilton, Kevin Youkilis, Mark Teixeira, Matt Joyce, Michael Brantley, Michael Young, Miguel Cabrera, Nelson Cruz, Rangers, Rays, Red Sox, Robinson Cano, Russell Martin, Tigers, Twins, Yankees