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Tag:Wade LeBlanc
Posted on: March 1, 2012 10:33 pm
 

Spring primer: Miami Marlins



By Matt Snyder


All of a sudden, in just one offseason, the Miami Marlins have undergone a complete makeover. They have a new name, logo and stadium. New, more colorful uniforms are part of the deal as well. Still, that's all window-dressing if the on-field product resembles the 72-90 one from 2011. And it doesn't. Not only did the Marlins bring in three highly-coveted and high-priced free agents, but they traded for fiery Carlos Zambrano and brought in one of the most outspoken -- and, at times, effective -- managers in baseball. How Ozzie Guillen's new-look troops fare in the 2012 season remains to be seen, but two things are certain: More people will be in attendance to find out and it's not going to be boring.

Major additions: SS Jose Reyes, LHP Mark Buehrle, RHP Carlos Zambrano, RHP Heath Bell, LHP Wade LeBlanc
Major departures: RHP Javier Vazquez, C John Baker, RHP Burke Badenhop, RHP Chris Volstad

Probable lineup
1. Jose Reyes, SS
2. Emilio Bonifacio, CF
3. Hanley Ramirez, 3B
4. Giancarlo Stanton, RF (a.k.a. Mike Stanton)
5. Logan Morrison, LF
6. Gaby Sanchez, 1B
7. John Buck, C
8. Omar Infante, 2B

Probable rotation
1. Josh Johnson
2. Mark Buehrle
3. Anibal Sanchez
4. Ricky Nolasco
5. Carlos Zambrano

Wade LeBlanc is the injury replacement.

Back-end bullpen
Closer: Heath Bell
Set-up: Edward Mujica, Mike Dunn

Important bench players

C Brett Hayes, IF Greg Dobbs, OF Scott Cousins, OF Bryan Petersen

Prospect to watch
For this year, there really aren't many guys on the radar ready to jump in and immediately help. Third base prospect Matt Dominguez is in Triple-A, but he's now blocked by one of the team leaders in Hanley Ramirez. All the other highly-ranked Marlins prospects are in the lower-levels of the minors. So we'll go with Dominguez here for this reason: Should he have a big first three months in Triple-A while the Marlins are in the thick of the pennant race, he makes for good trade bait at the deadline. Maybe they could use him to upgrade the bridge to Heath Bell or even as part of a package to landing a really good center fielder.

Fantasy breakout: Logan Morrison
"Morrison's track record suggests both his walk rate and BABIP should rebound, and in fact, his .268 BABIP from a year ago looks like the result of some horrendously bad luck. He is a strong bet to improve on his OBP and, at worst, maintain the home run power he displayed in 2011. Add in some improvement and subtract out his minor league demotion and DL time from last season, and Morrison suddenly profiles as a No. 3 mixed league OF." - Al Melchior [Full Marlins team fantasy preview]

Fantasy bounce-back: Hanley Ramirez
"Ramirez had a miserable first half last season, and just when he started to get untracked, he suffered a shoulder injury that led to season-ending surgery. As the season progressed, Ramirez adjusted and started hitting more line drives and flyballs, and his batting average and power numbers rose accordingly. Even though his overall stats were pale compared to his norms, a good sign for Ramirez was that his home run per flyball rate was not much lower than usual." - Al Melchior [Full Marlins team fantasy preview]

Optimistic outlook
Everyone behaves, Ramirez and Johnson stay healthy and have big seasons while the youngsters (Stanton, Morrison) develop into stars. Especially now that there are two wild cards, the Marlins have a great shot at the playoffs with this group. And once you get there, anything can happen, so I'd say an optimistic outlook has them winning the third World Series in franchise history. If you look at the upside in the offense and rotation in particular, it's hard to argue against a best-case scenario being a championship. Then again ...

Pessimistic outlook
Utter disaster. The club doesn't respond to Guillen, Johnson injures his arm again, Zambrano melts down, Morrison quibbles with management over Twitter, Ramirez starts slow and demands a trade due to wanting to play shortstop again ... you get it. I can't think of another club with such high-peak and low-valley potential entering the 2012 season. This group of personalities could be the new Bronx Zoo champion or a catastrophic mix on the field that finishes last. Almost literally, anything could happen. As I said in the intro, it certainly won't be boring. Just sit back, relax and enjoy the show.

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Posted on: November 24, 2011 2:15 pm
Edited on: November 26, 2011 1:38 pm
 

Homegrown Team: San Diego Padres



By C. Trent Rosecrans


What if players were only permitted to stay with the team that originally made them a professional? No trades, no Rule-5 Draft, no waivers, 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. 

On one end of this spectrum is the team with baseball's highest payroll, the Yankees, and now we'll look at the other end, the San Diego Padres. The Padres have just $16.9 allocated toward its 2012 payroll at the end of the 2011 season, versus the Yankees' $171.5 million. The Padres weren't just at the opposite end of the payroll spectrum as the Yankees, they're also in the other league, the opposite coast and on the other end of the standings, finsihing last in the NL West with a 71-91 record.

Lineup

1. Chase Headley, LF
2. Jason Bartlett, SS
3. David Freese, 3B
4. Derrek Lee, 1B
5. Kyle Blanks, RF
6. Will Venable, CF
7. Nick Hundley, C
8. Logan Forsyth, 2B

Starting Rotation

1. Jake Peavy
2. Mat Latos
3. Tim Stauffer
4. Wade LeBlanc
5. Cory Luebke

Bullpen

Closer - Shawn Camp
Set up - Brandon Gomes, Cesar Ramos, Ryan Webb, Josh Spence, Ernesto Frieri
Long - David Pauley, Anthony Bass

Notable Bench Players

Xavier Nady, George Kottaras

What's Good?

The bullpen may not have a guy that comes in and records a ton of saves, but there are some decent arms to get between the starters to the closer. The rotation isn't terrible -- it's not great, but it's not terrible, and pitching at Petco just about any rotation is going to be at least OK.

What's Not?

Like the real Padres, that lineup isn't going to put up a whole lot of runs. The Padres haven't had an easy time figuring out how to score runs at Petco, no matter where the players come from. Lee would have helped much more in the past than in 2011, and playing at Petco wouldn't have helped him, either. While Bartlett and Lee are good defenders, the rest of this group could struggle, especially with Headley back in the outfield and Veneble in center.  

Comparison to real 2011

Finishing 71-91, the Padres weren't great, but they were probably better than this product. The rotation would hinge on Peavy's health. Peavy managed 18 starts for the White Sox, going 7-7 with a 4.92 ERA. There's no telling what his record would be with the Padres, considering the team's offensive woes, but his ERA would have been lower. Overall, this team isn't scaring anyone and while the record may be different with this team, its place in the standings would likely be the same.

Up next: Minnesota Twins

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: November 22, 2011 6:41 pm
Edited on: November 22, 2011 6:47 pm
 

Marlins, Padres agree to swap Baker, LeBlanc

By Matt Snyder

The Miami Marlins and San Diego Padres have agreed to trade catcher John Baker and pitcher Wade LeBlanc, the two teams announced Tuesday night.

The Padres acquire Baker, a 30-year-old catcher who missed the overwhelming majority of the 2011 season as he recovered from Tommy John surgery. The only time he's gotten close to regular playing time was in 2009, when Baker hit .271/.349/.410 with nine homers, 50 RBI and 25 doubles. He could serve as a backup to Nick Hundley, though a straight platoon is possible, as Baker hits left-handed while Hundley is right-handed.

The Marlins land LeBlanc, a 27-year-old left-handed starting pitcher. He made just 14 starts in 2011, going 5-6 with a 4.63 ERA and 1.41 WHIP. He closed the season on a strong note, putting up a 2.25 ERA with 17 strikeouts in 20 innings during his last three starts. The Marlins have been rumored to be looking to trade both Ricky Nolasco and Chris Volstad, while also reportedly pursuing free agent starting pitchers C.J. Wilson and Mark Buehrle. Thus, it's unclear right now exactly what LeBlanc's role will be for the ballclub.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: June 21, 2011 7:03 pm
Edited on: June 21, 2011 7:41 pm
 

In flurry of moves, Padres put Luebke in rotation

By Evan Brunell

LuebkeThe Padres optioned Wade LeBlanc to the minor leagues on Tuesday in a series of roster moves, clearing the way for rookie reliever Cory Luebke to join the starting rotation, MLB.com reports.

Luebke tossed 50 pitches in relief of LeBlanc on Monday, quieting the Red Sox for two runs over 3 1/3 innings. The lefty has posted a strong 3.23 ERA and 1.00 WHIP over 39 2/3 innings, striking out 43 and walking 15, so he deserves an extended look in the rotation. Assuming he fills LeBlanc's spot, he will oppose Tim Hudson on Sunday in Atlanta. Luebke had four starts down the stretch last season with a 4.08 ERA and also boasts a career minor-league ERA of 3.49, so he's a promising player.

In other moves, first baseman turned right fielder Brad Hawpe was placed on the disabled list, with outfielder Luis Durango designated for assignment. With two open spots, the team added rookie reliever Josh Spence and catcher Kyle Phillips, giving San Diego three catchers. The team also officially released Jorge Cantu.

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

Posted on: June 21, 2011 1:28 am
Edited on: June 21, 2011 1:31 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Hudson pitches, hits way to victory

Hudson

By Evan Brunell

3 UpTim Hudson, Braves -- Tim Hudson was brilliant Monday in his second-best outing of the season, blanking the Blue Jays for eight innings and allowing just three baserunners on two hits and a walk. He punched out eight. Two of those baserunners came in the ninth inning, but closer Craig Kimbrel whiffed the heart of the Jays' order to finish the game off. But Hudson wasn't done. He also provided the margin of victory, taking Ricky Romero deep in the seventh inning for a two-run home run, which was the final score of the game. "It's hard to say there's anything better," Hudson told the Associated Press. "Obviously, you [nearly] throw a shutout and hit a homer, you win the game. It was fun, man, It was a lot of fun."

Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers -- Kershaw did what Hudson couldn't, slamming the door for nine innings against the Tigers, punching out 11 and walking just one, allowing two hits. Kershaw tossed 112 pitches, 73 for strikes in utterly baffling the Tigers, who appeared to have no idea what to do. The strong lefty is one of the few pitchers in the game classified as a True Ace. Kershaw now boasts of a 3.01 ERA on the season in 107 2/3 innings, but can be even better. His ERAs in the two seasons previous were 2.91 and 2.79. Oh, and Kershaw also stroked a two-run single in the eighth.

Starlin Castro, Cubs -- The Cubs finally got on the board in the third inning after the White Sox staked a 3-0 lead on a two-run single by Starlin Castro, plating Geovany Soto and Kosuke Fukudome. Castro came up in the sixth and ripped a 392-footer to left field to tie the game at three-all. Carlos Pena would follow later in the sixth with a three-run shot. That's a 2-for-4 night for Castro with a run scored, a home run and three RBI. He also swiped base, his ninth of the season. It's becoming increasingly obvious that the 21-year-old is going to be a superstar.


3 DownPadres bullpen -- Wade LeBlanc lasted just three innings, giving up three runs. But Cory Luebke, going into the seventh, had tossed three shutout innings to keep things honest in a game that had just been tied up in the top of the sixth inning. But in the bottom seventh, Luebke, Ernesto Frieri and Evan Scribner all imploded in a meltdown of the best bullpen in baseball. Luebke started the inning by walking Jacoby Ellsbury and seeing him erased at second base on a fielder's choice. Adrian Gonzalez tormented his former team by doubling in Dustin Pedroia, and that was it for Luebke. But Frieri would come in to get just one out, allow no hits and give up four runs. He did so by immediately inducing Kevin Youkilis into a flyout, then intentionally walking David Ortiz. J.D. Drew then walked to the load the bases, and then promptly hit two straight batters. Evan Scribner came in to continue the hilarity, giving up a pinch-hit, 2-run RBI single by Josh Reddick, with another single by Ellsbury loading the bases again. A walk, two-run single and bases-clearing double finished up the 10-run inning for the Red Sox, who were retired when Pat Neshek got Big Papi swinging.

Charlie Morton, Pirates -- That's the sound of regression. Morton is backsliding, giving up six earned runs in his third straight poor start to spike his ERA to 3.77, still a quality mark and more in line with what Morton has done this season. Imitating Roy Halladay's windup has allowed Morton to induce a ton of groundballs but at the expense of striking anyone out, and not being stingy enough with walks. Morton is still a far better pitcher than he was, especially the debacle he resembled last season, but this loss dropped him to 7-4 and the Pirates to two games under .500.

Jeff Mathis, Angels -- And the worst hitting performance goes to Jeff Mathis, who punched out three times in four hitless at-bats against the Marlins. Jered Weaver and Anibal Sanchez had a great duel, with the Angels winning the battle of the bullpens for a 2-1 final. Jack McKeon's triumphant return, replete with smoking a cigar on the bench, had a rain delay precede the loss. Mathis, meanwhile, sinks to .191/.229/.282 on the year. When does his failings at the plate outweigh his defense, skipper Mike Scioscia?

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

Posted on: March 15, 2011 11:01 pm
Edited on: March 15, 2011 11:02 pm
 

3 up, 3 down for 3/15: Ellsbury's back

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Jacoby Ellsbury3 UP

1. Jacoby Ellsbury, Red Sox -- The Red Sox center fielder certainly appears recovered from the broken ribs that limited to just 18 games last season. This spring, he's hitting .414/.452/.724. His second homer of the spring came Tuesday off of Detroit's Justin Verlander, who allowed only one other hit in his start.

2. Brett Wallace, Astros -- The guy the Astros got for Roy Oswalt struggled last season, but is having a pretty decent spring -- buoyed by his performance on Tuesday, when he went 4 for 5 with two doubles, a grand slam and seven RBIs.

3. Jordan Lyles, Astros -- The Astros' top pitching prospect retired all six batters he faced against the Orioles, striking out three, including Luke Scott and Vladimir Guerrero. The 20-year old is expected to start the season at Triple-A Round Rock, but could make the Astros' choice for fifth starter difficult.

3 DOWN

1. Brad Bergesen and Kevin Gregg, Orioles -- Bergesen gave up three run on four hits and two walks, and only half of his 52 pitches went for strikes. In his last three starts, Bergesen's allowed 10 earned runs on 16 hits and five walks. He was "relieved" by Gregg, who got just one out, but gave up three hits and a walk, while giving up five runs, including a grand slam.

2. Alfonso Soriano, Cubs -- In the fifth inning of the Cubs' game against the Rockies, Soriano caught Esmil Rogers' sacrifice fly in shallow left field and unleashed a throw into the visitors' dugout, allowing another run to score. Soriano is under contract until 2014, so Cubs fans have four more years of his attempts at defense. But hey, he's owed just $72 million for those four years.

3. Wade LeBlanc, Padres -- The lefty gave up seven hits, six runs and a walk in five  innings against the Angels. Torii Hunter, Vernon Wells and Mark Trumbo homered off of him the fourth. Battling for the fifth spot in the team's rotation, LeBlanc has a 9.22 ERA this spring.

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

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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