Posted on: December 16, 2011 7:39 am
Edited on: December 16, 2011 7:41 am
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What if players were only permitted to stay with the team that originally made them a professional?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.
Do the Dodgers do well in drafts and international signings? The answer is a resounding yes. What they do with those players could certainly be questioned, but as far as building a foundation, few have been better in recent years. See below.
1. Dee Gordon, SS
2. Shane Victorino, RF
3. Matt Kemp, LF
4. Paul Konerko, 1B
5. Adrian Beltre, 3B
6. Carlos Santana, C
7. Franklin Gutierrez, CF
8. Miguel Cairo, 2B
1. Clayton Kershaw
2. Edwin Jackson
3. Ted Lilly
4. Hiroki Kuroda
5. Chad Billingsley
If you don't like us using Kuroda -- some commenters have disagreed with including guys who were professional players in Japan in this series -- you can slide in James McDonald or the youngster Rubby De La Rosa.
Closer - Joakim Soria
Set up - Javy Guerra, Joel Hanrahan, Kenley Jansen, Takashi Saito, Jonathan Broxton, Pedro Feliciano, Cory Wade
Long - McDonald
Notable Bench Players
Russell Martin, Henry Blanco, James Loney, Blake DeWitt, Trayvon Robinson, Jerry Sands, Alex Cora
Spoiler Alert: This section is going to be much longer than "what's not." How about starting with the offensive firepower Victorino, Kemp, Konerko, Beltre and Santana bring in the 2-6 spots of the order? That is sick. Gordon has good potential and Gutierrez was a decent hitter before his stomach issues derailed him a few years ago. The starting rotation is good, deep, has a good lefty-righty mix and a true ace sitting at the top. The bullpen is so deep it's unimaginable. It's not as great as the Yankees' bullpen (Clippard-Robertson-Axford-Rivera) in this exercise, but this is definitely an elite unit. The bench is pretty damn good, too. Best of all, though, how about the defensive range? Gutierrez was widely considered the best center fielder in baseball before his stomach woes. Victorino is a three-time Gold Glover while he lost out to Kemp this season. I decided to shift Kemp to left because Victorino has a cannon that is an asset in right. Not that Kemp can't throw. This would be one insane defensive outfield. Beltre is the best defensive third baseman in baseball, too. That's a lot of help for an already-good pitching staff.
Anything would be a nitpick. Maybe that Dee Gordon might not yet be ready to lead off for this team? If that was the case, you could move up Victorino and then the bottom of the order becomes a bit weak. But, again, that's a nitpick.
Comparison to real 2011
I kind of chuckled during all the MVP arguments when people would say that Kemp played for a team that "sucks." The Dodgers finished 82-79. Yes, they were out of contention for pretty much all of the season, but they finished above .500, so they definitely don't suck. Of course, those real-life Dodgers couldn't hold a candle to this group. This is a World Series-caliber club, but the funny thing is, did you see Arizona's team? The D-Backs lineup is much better, but the Dodgers have the better defense and pitching. We'd have a nice battle for the NL West title and maybe even see a rematch in the NLCS. If only ...
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Tags: Adrian Beltre, Alex Cora, Blake DeWitt, Carlos Santana, Chad Billingsley, Clayton Kershaw, Cory Wade, Dee Gordon, Dodgers, Edwin Jackson, Franklin Gutierrez, Henry Blanco, Hiroki Kuroda, Homegrown, James Loney, James McDonald, Javy Guerra, Jerry Sands, Joakim Soria, Joel Hanrahan, Jonathan Broxton, Kenley Jansen, Matt Kemp, Matt Snyder, Miguel Cairo, NL West, Paul Konerko, Pedro Feliciano, Russell Martin, Shane Victorino, Takashi Saito, Ted Lilly, Trayvon Robinson
Posted on: August 14, 2011 1:38 am
By C. Trent Rosecrans
Jorge Posada, Yankees: For the first time since he'd been benched, Posada was in the Yankees' starting lineup on Saturday. He may have made manager Joe Girardi reconsider things, if only briefly. Posada was 3 for 5 with six RBI including a grand slam in the the fifth inning off of Rays reliever Brandon Gomes as part of the Yankees' 9-2 victory. It was Posada's fifth career six-RBI day and will be in the lineup as the DH again on Sunday.
Miguel Cairo, Reds: For the first time in his 16-year career, Cairo hit more than one homer in a game, blasting two homers against the Padres in the Reds' 13-1 victory. The 37-year-old now has a career-best seven homers on the season, besting his 2004 total of six with the Yankees. The Reds clubbed seven homers in all, with Cairo and Ryan Hanigan hitting two each. Joey Votto, Jay Bruce and Todd Frazier also homered. The first five homers of the game came off starter Tim Stauffer, who last just three innings, and Cairo's second homer was off reliever Anthony Bass and Hanigan hit his second off of Joe Thatcher.
Asdrubal Cabrera, Indians: Cabrera's third inning three-run homer was the Indians' only offense of the day, but it was enough for Cleveland's 3-1 victory over the Twins. It was Cabrera's 20th homer of the season, making him just the third Indians shortstop to hit that many home runs in a season. Jhonny Peralta and Woodie Held each accomplished the feat three times, with Peralta's 24-homer season in 2005 setting the team mark for homers by a shortstop. While that doesn't sound like much, Cabrera entered the season with just 18 homers in his career. He also reached a career-high with 71 RBI.
Jered Weaver, Angels: In his first game back from a six-game suspension, the Blue Jays hit Weaver harder than Carlos Guillen. The Angels' ace lasted just 4 2/3 innings, allowing eight runs on eight hits. His eight runs were as many as he'd allowed in his previous seven starts and the three homers were as many as he'd allowed in his last 80 1/3 innings. Adam Lind's grand slam coped a five-run fifth, marking the first time Weaver had allowed mor ethan four runs in a start since Aug. 17, 2010. Edwin Encarnacion and Mark Teahen also homered off of Weaver, whose ERA jumped from 1.78 to 2.13.
Oakland Athletics: The A's committed four errors and had two wild pitches in a 7-1 loss to the Rangers, but A's manager Bob Melvin said, "Really, we played worse than that" (via the San Francisco Chronicle). Oakland starter Trevor Cahill took a no-hitter into the sixth inning before Yorvit Torrealba broke it up with a one-out single. That same inning, Jemile Weeks committed two errors on one play, setting up Ian Kinsler's RBI double for the game's first run. Shortstop Eric Sogard had an error in the fifth and third baseman Scott Sizemore's eight-inning error led to an unearned run in the three-run Rangers' eighth. The A's lead the big leagues with 98 errors in 119 games.
Jeremy Guthrie, Orioles: With a 5-1 lead, Guthrie allowed six consecutive two-out hits and five runs in the sixth inning, leading to a 6-5 loss to the Tigers. In his first 5 2/3 innings, the right-hander had allowed just two hits and a run but then fell apart. Guthrie fell to 5-16 on the season and the Orioles have lost nine of 11.For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: August 8, 2011 6:51 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
The moment Yonder Alonso was drafted by the Reds in the first round of the 2008 draft, the questions about where he'd play began. Alonso played first base at Miami and looked like he'd be limited to first base.
That's fine and good, except for when you have the reigning MVP at first base already and that player's just 27.
Last spring the Reds started trying Alonso in left field and he played 30 games there in 2010 between Double-A Carolina and Triple-A Louisville, but still played the bulk of his time at first base, logging 96 games there. This season with his bat ready for the big leagues, he was given more time in the left field, where he played 62 games in left compared to 21 at first base.
Since the left-handed hitting prospect was called up to the big leagues when Jonny Gomes was traded, he's started three games in left and none at first. The first part is going to change, the second may not.
Alonso's latest position may be third base after he struggled in two games in left at Wrigley Field this past weekend, playing one ball into an inside-the-park home run for Cubs rookie Tony Campana and then misplaying another ball for a crucial error in Saturday's loss.
When asked on Monday when Alonso would play left again, Reds manager Dusty Baker told reporters, "not in the near future," according to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Alonso took ground balls at third base -- his main position growing up, he's said -- but Baker said he doesn't expect Alonso there anytime soon.
"You don't want to do it in the big leagues," Baker said, according to Fay. "But that's the position he started at. It's a mirror image of first base, really. You get more plays. Most first baseman are at first because they're left-handed or they don't have the arm to play third.
"We'll see. We're trying to find the best place to get his bat in the lineup."
While Alonso's looked shaky in the field, he's been locked in at the plate, where he's started the season 8 for 16 with two doubles and a homer. The Reds called up another prospect, Dave Sappelt, on Sunday when Chris Heisey went on the disabled list and Sappelt will likely get a chance to play quite a bit in left and center. Sappelt had a hit leading off in his major-league debut on Sunday. Fred Lewis is starting in left on Monday.
Finding a spot for Alonso is tricky. The Reds thought he was the best hitter available when they took him with the seventh overall pick in the 2008 draft and he's shown it in the minors, where he's combined to hit .293/.370/.466. He was hitting .296/.374/.486 with 12 homers when he was called up. Although he's 4 for 7 as a pinch-hitter so far this season, going forward he's going to be too valuable for filling just that role.
The Reds and Blue Jays reportedly talked about a blockbuster sending Joey Votto to his native Toronto in exchange for Jose Bautista, opening a spot for Alonso. Although that deal didn't go down, it does show how much the team values Alonso and feels he can be an impact player in the big leagues.
Votto is under contract through 2013, so he's in the team's immediate future but could be too expensive when he reaches free agency. Alonso would be a lower-cost alternative.
Alonso could also finish the season strong and be a more valuable trade piece in the offseason because of his early success in the big leagues.
Physically, Alonso looks more like a first baseman -- or DH -- than third baseman, but he says he feels comfortable there. He didn't play third at Miami because current Twin Danny Valencia was at third base when he got there. The Reds have a need at third base. With Scott Rolen on the disabled list (and at 36), the Reds are using a combination of rookie Todd Frazier and veteran Miguel Cairo to man the position. Rolen is under contract through next season and the team's top prospect at the position, Juan Francisco, has been hurt this season and unproductive in a couple of big-league stints.For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: July 25, 2011 7:26 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
Reds third baseman Miguel Cairo was charged with a fielding error in the sixth inning on a grounder that Cairo attempted to field off the side.
Uggla's been a disappointment so far in his first year with the Braves, despite heating up recently. During his 15-game hitting streak, he's hitting .346/.443/.769 with six homers. Even with that streak, he's still below the Mendoza Line, hitting .197/.271/.389 overall.For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: July 22, 2011 6:31 pm
Edited on: July 22, 2011 6:38 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
Rolen, 36, started Wednesday in the Reds' victory over the Pirates but had missed the previous three games. Although he started the All-Star Game for an injured Placido Polanco of the Phillies, Rolen has struggled this season, hitting .242/.279/.397 with five home runs and 36 RBI.
This is the second trip to the DL for Rolen this season because of the same injury. He was on the DL from April 24 to May 12.
The Reds called up Todd Frazier from Triple-A to take Rolen's place on the roster. Rolen, formerly the team's top prospect, can play third -- as well as shortstop and the corner outfield spots. This is Frazier's second stint with the team. He got a pinch-hit appearance on May 23 in Philadelphia.@cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: May 4, 2011 1:27 pm
By Evan Brunell
Scott Rolen won't be coming off the disabled list on Friday, the first day he is eligible, as he still has yet to start baseball-related activities -- with one exception.
"I took about five unauthorized swings," Rolen said as he relayed a story of trying to sneak in some swings with the bat lately. During a recent game, Rolen snuck into the batting cage behind the home dugout in the middle of the game. "It was a covert operation," Rolen explained to MLB.com. "I snuck in, looked around -- nobody. I went around the back way and had a bat in there, dragged it with me, no batting gloves, nothing, and a ball was already on the tee. [I heard] 'I thought we weren't going to do that.' It was [Dr. Tim] Kremchek of all people. I haven't even swung yet. I told him this place is bugged."
And that's been the extent of Rolen's rehab from a strained left shoulder. His slow going has pushed Rolen toward pursuing acupuncture as a potential relief method at the suggestion of Kremchek. Rolen had been struggling with tight muscles in his neck and back as a result of the strained shoulder, but that appears to be letting up.
"I'm feeling better," Rolen said." I have more motion in my shoulders. I can feel this stuff [between his neck and back] letting go a little bit. It's giving me some range of motion and some relief."
Miguel Cairo has been Rolen's primary fill-in, but has received some rest lately as age and general soreness is catching up to the utility infielder. Shortstop Paul Janish has shifted over to third to help fill the breach, but manager Dusty Baker is hoping to give Edgar Renteria some starts at third. Renteria has no career games at third and just three games at second and one at first -- no starts -- in his career. The rest of his games, all 2,038 of them, have come at short. Renteria was supposed to start at third Monday, but Baker reversed course and slotted him at short before the game was rained out. Tuesday, Renteria manned shortstop, so his third base debut has yet to come.
"I know I don't feel comfortable there yet," Renteria said Tuesday. "It's different between playing and taking ground balls. Maybe I will like it when I play there."For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: April 24, 2011 10:58 pm
Edited on: April 25, 2011 1:06 am
By C. Trent Rosecrans
Albert Pujols is optimistic about the tight left hamstring that forced him from Sunday's game.
"I think it depends on how I wake up tomorrow," Pujols told reporters, including the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Tom Timmermann. "The tests were pretty good. They don't think it's too bad. When I wake up tomorrow, I can sense a little more about how I feel. Hopefully it's not as bad as I feel right now. I'll be glad we have an off day tomorrow."
The Cardinals are off on Monday before starting a three-game series at Houston on Tuesday. Pujols said he'll go to Busch Stadium early Monday to get treatment.
Pujols left the game after grounding out to end the seventh inning. Pujols hit a weak grounder to third baseman Miguel Cairo, whose throw was high, but first baseman Joey Votto was able to leap to catch the ball and come down on the bag. Pujols had already started slowing down before Votto caught the ball. Lance Berkman replaced him at first, with Jon Jay going to right field.
"I tried to get an infield hit, which I don't get too many of," Pujols said. "And after three or four steps, it felt a little tight. I pulled up because obviously I think I prefer tightness to a blown out hamstring. It's something that I have to deal with. It's been rough the last week or so with the rain. Our body takes a little beating."
Pujols said the constant rain and wet fields caused fatigue in his legs.For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: December 8, 2010 5:06 pm
Edited on: December 8, 2010 5:57 pm
It's no surprise the Reds re-signed utility man Miguel Cairo on Wednesday, what's curious is that it was a two-year deal for the 36-year old.
Financial terms aren't out there yet, but Cairo went from what most -- including some inside the organization -- thought was just a warm body for spring training into a valuable member of the National League Central champs.
Cairo appeared in 90 games for the Reds, starting 38 games at four different positions (26 at third base, nine at first base, two at shortstop and one in right field). He hit .290/.353/.410 with four home runs and 28 RBI in 226 plate appeances.
In addition to his role as a pinch-hitter and utility man, he was also nearly a coach for some of the team's younger players, such as Chris Heisey and Paul Janish in learning how to play off the bench.
Cairo debuted with the Blue Jays in 1996 and has also played for the Cubs, (Devil) Rays, Cardinals, Yankees, Mets, Mariners and Phillies.
Cairo appeared in his fifth division series with his fourth different team.
UPDATE: Buster Olney of ESPN.com tweets Cairo will get $1 million in both 2011 and 2012.
-- C. Trent RosecransFor more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .