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Tag:Mike Scioscia
Posted on: February 29, 2012 8:48 pm
 

Mariners' Gutierrez to start season on DL

Franklin GutierrezBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Mariners center fielder Franklin Gutierrez will once again miss opening day, and he could miss all of April after the team announced he suffered a partially torn pectoral muscle.

The good news is he isn't expected to need surgery. He will need at least four weeks before he is able to participate in any baseball activities.

"At this point, we don't know," Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik told Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times. "Every body responds to things differently. We do't know wwhat he'll be able to do and at this point, we'll probably just ease him into things gradually."

Last season Gutierrez didn't play until May after being diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome during spring training.

Chone Figgins played center field in Wednesday's intrasquad game. Michael Suanders and Casper Wells, along with Figgins, are candidates to replace Gutierrez while he's gone.

Gutierrez played in just 92 games last season, hitting .224/.261/.273 with one home run.

He left Tuesday's workout with the pectoral injury and had an MRI the same day. He flew back to Seattle on Wednesday to see the team's doctor.

In other injury news from Wednesday:

• Pirates pitcher A.J. Burnett was scheduled to return to Pittsburgh on Wednesday to have his right eye examined by team doctors after his bunt attempt hit him in the face.

According to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Burnett joked, "Where did the bone go?" after the ball hit him in the face.

Burnett wasn't scheduled to throw on Wednesday.
 
• Braves right-hander Tommy Hanson threw his first bullpen session since suffering a concussion on Feb. 20. Hanson threw 30-pitches and told rpeorters he felt good.

"I think I threw a little better than I had expected," Hanson said (via MLB.com). "I've had some time to think about some mechanical stuff. I was surprised by how well I threw."

Hanson may throw live batting practice on Friday, but he still has to pass one more part of the concussion impact test.

•The Angels' Kendrys Morales is making progress from his 2010 ankle injury, hitting from both sides of the plate, something he didn't do last spring. He also added S-turns in his running -- another thing he never did last season.

"He's in a different position now because he's had nothing but a progression to the point where you can see that he'll progress to playing games in a couple of weeks," manager Mike Scioscia told reporters, including Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register.

• Keeping with the theme of Angels displaced by Albert Pujols, Mark Trumbo was cleared by doctors on Wednesday to return to the field.

Trumbo, who had a stress fracture in his right foot, is attempting to make the move to third base. [Orange County Register]

• Cubs catcher Geovany Soto will miss the start of the Cactus League with a sore groin, but told reporters it wasn't a big deal.

"It's spring training, and there's no hurry to get out there," Soto told reporters, including Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune. "I want to be there as much as I can, just to play. I've had four months off and you train hard all offseason, so you want to get every game possible to get ready for the season."

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.

Posted on: February 21, 2012 8:51 pm
 

Abreu says play him every day or trade him

Bobby AbreuBy C. Trent Rosecrans

The Angels apparently don't have a spot for outfielder Bobby Abreu and he's not real happy about it. Abreau told Enrique Rojas of ESPNdesportesLosAngeles.com that he'd rather be traded than be a platoon player.

"I'm an every-day player. I can still be in the lineup for a Major League team," Abreu, still in his native Venezuela, told Rojas on Tuesday. "I will not be on the bench knowing that I can play.

"If the Angels don't have a position for me, then the best thing is to trade me. It would be the correct [thing] to do. I won't be able to do nothing sitting on the bench."

Abreu is in the final year of his contract with the Angels and will make $9 million this season. He will turn 38 next month.

There seems to be the odd man out in the Angels' outfield, with Vernon Wells, Torii Hunter and Peter Bourjos as the probable lineup. There's also the case of Mike Trout, one of the top prospects in baseball, who also plays the outfielder. The team is also crowded at DH, with Kendrys Morales and Mark Trumbo having to play somewhere after the team signed Albert Pujols.

Abreu told Rojas that Angels manager Mike Scioscia told him he'd like to play him in both corner outfield spots and DH, still playing most every day. But Abreu said if he's strictly a bench player, he'd prefer a trade.

"I want to play, and I believe I can help this team," he told Rojas. "But if there's no spot for me, then I would prefer to play somewhere different."

Abreu hit .253/.353/.365 last season with eight home runs in 585 plate appearances. His batting average and on-base percentage were similar to his 2010 performance (.253 batting average, .353 on-base), but his power dropped considerably, with his slugging percentage dipping to .365 and failing to reach double-digit home runs for the first time as a full-time player.

Abreu is the only left-handed hitter among the team's outfielders, which could help his case. Trumbo is also a right-hadned hitter, while Morales is a switch-hitter. Last season, Abreu hit all eight of his homers off of right handers, and hit .259/.366/.400 against right-handers and .238/.319/.279 against left-handers and he's always hit right-handers better.

Of course, Abreu can want a trade, he has very little leverage when it comes to forcing it to happen.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.

Posted on: December 15, 2011 6:37 pm
 

Dodgers to have promotion for Angels manager

By Matt Snyder

The Dodgers are going to be handing out bobbleheads of the opposing manager -- in Dodgers garb -- on June 12. The Angels will be in Dodgers stadium for their annual interleague series there, and the Dodgers giveaway is a bobblehead doll of former catcher/Angels current manager Mike Scioscia. Obviously there's nothing wrong with honoring a Dodgers great, it's just really rare that it is happening when he's guiding the enemy on that particular day.

(And, yes, it's a slow news day. You don't have to ask in the comments section, I'll confirm it here.)

Scioscia, 53, was a two-time All-Star in his 13-year Dodgers career. He never played for another big-league club and is the franchise's all-time leader in games behind the plate (1,394). He was the starting catcher for the 1981 and 1988 World Series championship teams as well.

The Scioscia bobblehead is part of a promotion called the Dodger Stadium Greats Bobblehead Series. It includes bobbleheads "of the most unforgettable Dodgers in Dodger Stadium history." The others: Maury Wills, Don Drysdale, Orel Hershisher, Steve Garvey, Davey Lopes, Bill Russell, Ron Cey, Tommy Lasorda, Walter Alston, Fernando Valenzuela and Sandy Koufax.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.
Posted on: December 10, 2011 6:50 pm
 

Angels will tender Kendrys Morales

Kendrys MoralesBy C. Trent Rosecrans

You might have heard, but the Angels signed a first baseman. So the question was what they may do with their other first basemen, Mark Trumbo and Kendrys Morales.

While it has been mentioned that Trumbo could be moved to third base or a corner outfield spot (which is still to be seen), the team could non-tender Morales, who will be eligible for arbitration. He made $2.975 million in 2011, but hasn't played since breaking his left leg in 2010. The Angels, however, will tender him a contract, Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto said during Saturday's press conference for Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson.

Angels manager Mike Scioscia said he expected Morales to not only return to the Angels' lineup, but also bat cleanup, presumably as the team's designated hitter.

"The one thing that sets us up really well if Kendrys Morales is coming back; just his presence, being from the left side," Scioscia said (via MLB.com). "Right now, a player like Albert, there's really only one way to protect him. One is get guys on base in front of him, and the other is to have some depth behind him that will take advantage when they walk him, or he gets on base a lot, too. So I think we're going to get guys in front that hopefully are not going to set the table, but be able to run and get in scoring position and do things that you want for the middle of your lineup."

Of course, last spring training there was hope Morales would be able to return early in the season and he never played. I'll wait to see him on the field before I put him in any lineup.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: December 3, 2011 12:11 pm
Edited on: December 3, 2011 5:03 pm
 

Angels send C Mathis to Jays for LHP Mills

Jeff MathisBy C. Trent Rosecrans

After acquiring Chris Iannetta earlier this week, the Angels have traded catcher Jeff Mathis to the Blue Jays in return for left-hander Brad Mills.

Brad MillsMills, 26, started four games for the Blue Jays last season and appeared in relief in one more game, going 1-2 with a 9.82 ERA with 18 strikeouts and 12 walks in 18 1/3 innings. In 14 career games and nine starts, he's 2-3 with an 8.57 ERA. He was 11-9 with a 4.00 ERA in 24 starts at Triple-A, striking out 136 batters in 157 1/3 innings. 

Mathis, 28, hit .174/.225/.259 with three homers in 93 games for the Angels last season and is a career .194/.225/.259. He was expendable after the acquisition of Iannetta, who will team with Hank Conger as the Angels' catching tandem.

Mathis was a favorite of manager Mike Scioscia, who kept him in the lineup despite his horrendous numbers at the plate. The move could show a weakening of Scioscia's influence over roster moves under new general manager Jerry DiPoto. The Angels chose Mathis over Mike Napoli last offseason and we all saw how that worked out for the Angels and (ultimately) the Rangers.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: October 9, 2011 4:47 pm
Edited on: October 10, 2011 3:52 pm
 

R.I.P. 2011 L.A. Angels of Anaheim

By Matt Snyder

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: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Record: 86-76, second place in AL West, 10 games back.
Manager: Mike Scioscia
Best hitter: Howard Kendrick -- .285/.338/.464, 18 HR, 63 RBI, 86 R, 14 SB, 30 2B
Best pitcher: Jered Weaver -- 18-8, 2.41 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 198 K, 235.2 IP

2011 SEASON RECAP

The Angels hung in the race all season, eventually missing out on the AL wild card by five games. They were in first place as late as July 5, and didn't really fall out of the AL West race until the middle of September. They exceeded the expectations, according to many preseason predictions, but the failure to make the postseason for the second year in a row was evidently not acceptable for owner Arte Moreno. He absolutely cleaned house in the front office. The Angels did win the AL West five out of six seasons before 2010, so the bar has been set. Moreno seemingly wants division titles or else.

R.I.P. series
2012 AUDIT

The Angles already have over $102 million committed to next season in player contracts, and that's without including the salaries of arbitration players like Howie Kendrick, Erick Aybar and Alberto Callaspo, who are certainly going to have raises. Basically, the Angles are going to have somewhere around $125 million in payroll before even looking at possible free agents. Thus, if they want to make a big splash, the new general manager, whoever it is, will probably have to back-load contracts. The more likely path is to look for internal improvement from the young players like Tyler Chatwood, Jordan Walden, Mark Trumbo and uber-prospect Mike Trout. Getting Kendrys Morales back healthy would be a huge boost as well. The Angels do have a strong minor-league system, but most of the help is a few years away.

FREE AGENTS

Russell Branyan, 1B
Joel Pineiro, SP
Fernando Rodney, RP

OFFSEASON FOCUS

If any big contracts are handed out, it needs to be a younger free agent that has proven durable and consistent. Huge contracts to veterans past their prime are stifling the organization right now.
  • Hire a general manager who stops trying to fill short-term holes with huge salary veterans. High-salary players are OK for a large market team like the Angels, but that's seemingly been the only answer in recent seasons.
  • Let Trout play everyday. Torii Hunter, Peter Bourjos, Vernon Wells and Bobby Abreu can share two spots in some fashion while occasionally filling the designated hitter spot (but I have a different plan for that). The Wells trade was a disaster and Abreu makes far too much money for his current level of production, but what's done is done. You can't let salaries dictate playing time.
  • Keep Morales at designated hitter for the entire season. Trumbo can play first and Kendrick can fill in when Trumbo gets days off. Morales' leg injury was obviously devastating, so the Angels should do everything possible to keep his bat in the lineup. One of the offense's biggest problems was that -- while there are several really good hitters -- the lack of one big bat hurts. Trumbo hit 29 homers, but his OBP was a horrible .291. Until Trout is ready to be a superstar, and remember, he's only 20, Morales has to be "the guy" for the Angels. So protect his health.
  • Hank Conger is only 23 and was a good hitter in the minors. Jeff Mathis is an awful hitter, but Scioscia keeps him as the primary catcher because he's in love with his defense -- it's why the Angels traded Mike Napoli. Conger should at least get a lot more of a look behind the plate, but who knows if Scioscia will let that happen.
  • What money the Angels do have will probably be spent on a one-year starting pitcher. They won't be breaking the bank or anything, but they don't need a front-line ace. They have two, and Ervin Santana is a fine No. 3. Pineiro coming back would be an option. Otherwise you're looking at Jason Marquis or Jeff Francis types. At that point, it's possible the new GM just saves the money and goes with Jerome Williams again. There's no reason to spend more money on a marginal upgrade. Garrett Richards, 23, could probably use some seasoning in Triple-A, so there is only a need for one year. Maybe they start the year with Williams and keep him there until Richards is deemed ready.
  • Overall, it's tough to tell what's going to happen, because the entire front office has been cleaned out and there are several large -- and probably untradeable -- contracts. They may just have to tread water for a season. The good news is the low levels of the minors are stocked with good talent and the bad contracts will all be cleared in a few years. Whoever takes the GM job is walking into a situation to thrive within the next three seasons, with a combination of a strong, youthful foundation and being able to spend big dollars on free agents starting in 2012.
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: September 9, 2011 3:05 pm
Edited on: September 9, 2011 4:18 pm
 

Who is frontrunner for AL Manager of the Year?

Leyland
By Evan Brunell

During the week, Eye on Baseball will be profiling candidates to win baseball's major awards after the season. Today: the AL Manager of the Year

View contenders for the: AL MVP | NL MVP | AL Cy Young | NL Cy Young | AL Rookie of the Year | NL Rookie of the Year

Manager of the Year voting is fairly unique in all of baseball's modern awards. Winning a lot of games gets you immense credit, but not if you've been on a winning streak for some time. That's why Terry Francona has yet to win the award despite already ranking as Boston's best skipper in franchise history -- unless you consider it Joe Cronin, who never won a ring. Manager of the Year voting is largely awarded to those who succeeded with teams that weren't thought to be contenders. That influences the list of five skippers below, listed alphabetically. (Only three names can be listed on a ballot.)

Manny Acta, Indians
Current record through Sept. 8: 70-71
2010 Indians record: 69-93

Acta is certainly a prime candidate for the award, as no one expected the Indians to get this relevant quickly. After trading one losing situation for another when being fired in Washington, Acta's stature is on the rise. Known as a skipper who studies sabermetric concepts, Acta is also known for his enthusiasm and has many fans in the game. Acta has seen an Indians team survive no shortage of injuries that cut its Cinderella season short, but put baseball on notice that the Indians are a team to take seriously.

Terry Francona, Red Sox
Current record: 85-58
2010 Red Sox record: 89-73

As mentioned above, Francona has never won an Manager of the Year award. At this point, Boston's success is expected, which sets Francona back in his chances to win the award, especially when the offseason saw two high-flight acquisitions join the offense after missing the postseason in 2010. But Francona's work so far this year should be commended, as the team weathered a 2-10 start to sit atop the division for periods at a time. The team has been hit hard by injuries in the pitching staff, but the team has been able to keep it together. It can't be easy to manage a team as loaded as the Red Sox, weighed down by all expectations, but Francona has been able to keep the team free of controversy and focused on the prize.

Jim Leyland, Tigers
Current record: 81-62
2010 Tigers record: 81-81

Unlike the Red Sox, the Tigers had fairly minimal turnover aside from the blockbuster signing of Victor Martinez. Yet, the team has already matched its wins total from 2010 and has the division in hand, setting the team up for just its second playoff appearance since 1987. The other time making the playoffs was Leyland's first year in Detroit, when the team won the AL pennant before falling to the Cardinals. Leyland's done all this despite having to put a fire out in spring training when Miguel Cabrera was arrested for a DUI. The resulting effects could have torn the team apart, but it didn't. When you combine the Tigers' success plus Leyland's stature in the game, you get the mix of someone who should be considered the frontrunner for the award.

Joe Maddon, Rays
Current record: 78-64
2010 Rays record: 96-66

Yes, Maddon's team has taken a clear step back. Just a year after winning the division title, the Rays are slated to miss the playoffs by a fairly significant margin. And yet, this year has to be considered a success. Tampa Bay was clearly out of the race from Opening Day thanks to the presence of the Yankees, a beefed-up Sox team and a Rays club that saw the subtraction of Carl Crawford, Matt Garza and nearly the entire bullpen. Yet, here the Rays are, 14 games above .500 and with an outside shot at the wild card.

Mike Scioscia, Angels
Current record: 78-65
2010 Angels record: 80-82

Scioscia has already won the award twice -- 2002 and 2009 -- but could be adding a third. Despite having to contend with another season without Kendrys Morales and GM Tony Reagins foisting Vernon Wells onto him, Scioscia has the Angels threatening to take away the Rangers' division hopes. Scioscia isn't without his warts, as his insistence on playing catchers who couldn't hit the broad side of a barn with a bat shows, but he's clearly doing something right. The Angels have long overperformed with Scioscia at the help and this year is no different with a below-average offense being shored up by a trio of pitchers in Jered Weaver, Dan Haren and Ervin Santana.

Let us know in the comments who your AL manager of the year is.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeonBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: September 7, 2011 11:01 am
Edited on: September 7, 2011 11:04 am
 

Pepper: Crane's purchase of Astros in doubt

Crane
By Evan Brunell

Limbo: The saga of Jim Crane as Astros owner continues to take a strange path, and that path may be headed toward a rejection.

BizofBaseball.com outlines the reasons behind why the deal has stalled... and why approval may be a pipe dream at this point. You'll have to click through to get the full breakdown, but the main takeaway is that Crane shares some sobering similarities with Dodgers owner Frank McCourt, and we all know how that turned out.

For one, Crane had a contentious divorce himself that ended up in the papers back in 2000, where he reportedly came to blows with his son. Crane's history in court is also checkered, as allegations of racism and war-profiteering are very real concerns, and baseball understandably may not be interested in being affiliated with such a person, especially one whose companies were in federal court 130 times in 15 years.

Current Houston owner Drayton McLane expects a vote to be passed at any minute. But it won't come this week, and might not come at all unless commissioner Bud Selig and all 29 current owners can get on board. But even that might be rendered moot, as Crane is reportedly having a hard time keeping his investment group together, which is large and has investments as low as $25 million committed. Eventually, these investors may tire of having their money tied up in a venture that looks less and less ideal.

Time for a four-man: For a few years now, I've strongly believed that the best rotation would be that of four men plus a fifth starter who could start every now and then. I've blogged on it before, and now Jeff Passan comes out in favor of a four-and-swing rotation, even as teams move to six-man rotations these days. (Yahoo! Sports)

Managers of the year: You know it's September when you start seeing articles on who should win certain awards. Today, two candidates for manager of the year are discussed: The Angels' Mike Scioscia by the Orange County Times while Ron Roenicke of the Brewers gets love from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

Return of Strasburg: The return of Stephen Strasburg was highly anticipated, and the phenom delivered Tuesday night with a dazzling performance. Here's a pitch F/X review of the outing. The biggest takeaway? Strasburg is throwing a new changeup. (Fangraphs)

Finally: It took three years, but Dustin McGowan has finally moved past all his injuries, surgeries and rehab. For the first time since July 2008, McGowan pitched in a game when he threw four innings Tuesday night. He wasn't lights out, but that's besides the point. (Toronto Star)

Done in Pittsburgh? Paul Maholm is shut down for the year due to injury, which may bring an end to his Pirates career. The club holds a club option, but it's anyone's guess if the option is exercised. (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)

Venable a Bear: Wil Venable's brother has made the Chicago Bears football team. Winston was an undrafted free agent, but made the squad on special teams. (North County Times)

Beer me: If you're looking for a good beer, give AT&T Park in San Francisco a try, a destination that received a glowing beer review. (Fangraphs)

Montero wants to return: 'Zona catcher Miguel Montero will be in his final year of arbitration next season before becoming a free agent. The backstop has indicated his desire to stay, and the team has reciprocated, with both sides likely to discuss an extension after the season. (Arizona Republic)
 
Team USA
: Brett Jackson won't be called up to the Cubs this season, as he will instead play for Team USA in the Pan American Games. With a solid spring training, Jackson should cement himself as the Cubs' center fielder. (Chicago Sun-Times)

Back in L.A.: Rod Barajas has found a home in Los Angeles and is interested in returning. The Dodgers may disagree, though, and may prefer to go young at the position next year. (Los Angeles Times)

Social day: Speaking of L.A., it's hard to argue against the fact that the Dodgers have taken the biggest step back in public relations this year. As an attempt to reconnect with fans, the team is holding a Social September campaign, a month-long campaign that will give fans the ability to win prizes and interact with the team. (MLB.com)

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com