Play Fantasy The Most Award Winning Fantasy game with real time scoring, top expert analysis, custom settings, and more. Play Now
 
Tag:AL Central
Posted on: March 2, 2012 3:13 pm
Edited on: March 2, 2012 11:17 pm
 

Royals reliever sentenced to community service

Jeremy Jeffress

By C. Trent Rosecrans


Royals reliever Jeremy Jeffress was sentenced to 20 hours of community service and was required to attend a domestic-violence counseling class for a disorderly conduct charge on Jan. 4, the pitcher confirmed to the Kansas City Star.

Two other charges -- for assault and criminal damage, were dismissed on Jan. 24 in Surprise Municipal Court.

"There was an argument between myself and my girlfriend," Jeffress told the newspaper, "and I lost my temper, but I never put my hads on her. My mom and dad raised me to never do something like that.

"A call was placed to the authorities due to property damage and, in the state of Arizona, once the police are called, you have to go in for a booking."

The Royals said any discipline would be handled privately.

Jeffress, 24, was a piece of the trade that sent Zack Greinke to Milwaukee in December of 2009. He was the Brewers' first-round pick in 2006, 16th overall. He was suspended 50 games in 2007 for testing positive for a "drug of abuse," believed to be marijuana. That was his second positive test. He received a 100-game suspension in 2009 for another failed test. If he tests positive another time, he would receive a lifetime ban.

The right-hander has triple-digit velocity, but mixed results so far in his career. Jeffress appeared in 14 games for the Royals last season, going 1-1 with a 4.70 ERA, striking out 13 batters and walking 11 in 15 1/3 innings. He also appeared in 10 games in 2010 for the Brewers. He was 3-6 with a 5.50 ERA in 25 games at Double-A and Triple-A, last season. He struck out 44 batters and walked 40 in 55 2/3 innings.

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

Posted on: March 2, 2012 12:08 pm
 

Indians pick Masterson for opening day duty

Justin Masterson

By C. Trent Rosecrans


In somewhat of a surprise, the Indians have named right-hander Justin Masterson on opening day against the Blue Jays on April 5, instead of Ubaldo Jimenez, manager Manny Acta told reporters on Friday.

"It wasn't a tough call at all," Acta told reporters, including Paul Hoynes of the Plain Dealer. "Everyone knew this guy was our horse last year and Ubaldo wasn't on top of his game. Justin wasn't our opening-day starter last year and he eded up being our No. 1. That's just one date. After the season starts rolling over, everyone is No. 1 on their day."

Jimenez will be the second pitcher in the rotation, while the last three spots will be occupied by Josh Tomlin, Derek Lowe and another pitcher, with that order to be determined later in camp. Kevin Slowey, Jon Garland, David Huff, Jeanmar Gomez and Zach McAllister are battling for the fifth spot in the team's rotation.

The Indians acquired Jimenez from the Rockies at the trade deadline last year, but he didn't quite live up to expectations. After finishing third in the Cy Young voting in 2010, he went 10-13 with a 4.68 ERA overall in 2011, and 4-4 witha  5.10 ERA in 11 starts for the Indians.

Masterson, on the other hand, was 12-10 with a 3.21 ERA in 33 starts and 34 appearances for the Indians last season.

Last year Fausto Carmona (or, Roberto Hernandez) started the season for Cleveland, allowing 10 earned runs in three innings in a loss to the White Sox. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that was the most runs ever allowed by a starting pitcher who threw no more than three innings in his team's first game of the season.

"I hope I can do a little better than what Rob did last year," Masterson told reporters (again, via the Plain Dealer.) "It's an honor to be out there. I want to set the tone for the team, the game and 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: March 1, 2012 4:02 pm
Edited on: March 1, 2012 4:41 pm
 

Sizemore has surgery, out 8-12 weeks

By Matt Snyder

Just last week, it was revealed that oft-injured Indians center fielder Grady Sizemore had been shut down due to a lower-back injury. Unforunately the news got worse Thursday. The Indians have announced that he underwent a micro discectomy Thursday morning. The procedure was done by Dr. Barth Green in Miami. The timetable for recovery is eight to 12 weeks.

[Knobler: More bad news for Tribe]

For Sizemore, 29, it's just more of the same. He once appeared on the verge of superstardom, but hasn't been able to stay healthy.

From 2005-2008, he averaged 160 games played per season. Since then, he's only played in 210 total (an average of 70 per season). His performance has suffered when he's been on the field, too, as Sizemore's OPS from 2009-11 was .728. From 2005-08, it was .868.

Sizemore hit free agency this past offseason, but the Indians brought him back on a one-year, $5 million deal that could have grown to $9 million if he hit a certain number of plate appearances. That's going to be really tough now, as eight weeks from right now is April 26. Even if he's ready to go by then, he'd need a minor-league rehab assignment before being able to join the Indians. And if there are any setbacks, we're looking at a June return.

With Sizemore out of the lineup, the Indians can slide Michael Brantley to center and go with Shelley Duncan, Aaron Cunningham or even Matt LaPorta in left field.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.
Posted on: March 1, 2012 1:46 pm
Edited on: March 1, 2012 4:46 pm
 

Players, managers react to new playoff format

By Matt Snyder

MLB Playoff expansion
With the news spreading throughout baseball that playoff expansion is very likely for the 2012 season, some reactions from players and managers have started to trickle out of camps. As one would expect on a divisive issue, the reactions are all over the map.

For a very brief recap to those who haven't read about it yet, it's extremely likely that starting this season, MLB will have two wild card teams play one head-to-head game, with the winner advancing to face the division winner with the best record in the LDS. The second and third division winners will face each other. The new collective bargaining agreement established that this system would begin by 2013, but it's likely it will begin this season.

Anyway, here are some of the reactions we've gathered thus far:

Blue Jays manager John Farrell (CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler)

"I think it's great for baseball. Hopefully, we're in the mix to land one of those spots."

Mets third baseman David Wright (Andy McCullough via Twitter)

"That would have been nice five years ago."

Phillies manager Charlie Manuel (CSNPhilly.com)

“It’s hard to swallow sometimes if you play all year and win a lot of games and somebody who did not play as good as you consistently all year gets in and wins. But that’s the way it goes and that’s the process that we live with.

“I understand everything about that and I’m not knocking that. That’s what it is. But at the same time, I look at it as I’m not a second-place guy or third place or fourth place. Basically that’s the part – for me, personally, you shouldn’t get nothing for second or third. That’s the American system.”

Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen (MLB.com)

"Anytime you involve more people, it's good for the game. I think the Commissioner is doing a tremendous job adding people to have a chance to see playoff games, and I think that's great for the fans. This game, we play for them."

Red Sox DH David Ortiz (ESPN Boston)

“One game? That’s kind of crazy. You know how many things we’ve got to move around and pack for one game? It’d make more sense for two wild cards to play at least a two-out-of-three series while the other teams take a break for three days because they won their divisions.”

Rays third baseman Evan Longoria (TampaBay.com)

"I think it's exciting. It's exciting for all of us. ... I think the goal was to allow more teams to have a chance in the end, to hold on to those playoff hopes for longer.''

"I think it was pretty unanimous around the league that the more playoff spots the better. Once you get into the playoffs it's more revenue for the ballclub, it's more excitement for the players, so I think it would be a no-brainer for everybody.''

"I don't think anybody's 'comfortable' with [one-game playoff] -- it's an uncomfortable feeling going into any game that you know you could go home, your season could end. But at the same time, it's exciting -- you're in the playoffs now.''

Braves third baseman Chipper Jones (MLB.com)

"I'm not for it. I think the elite teams deserve to make it to the playoffs. Pretty soon, Major League Baseball is going to be like the NBA. There will be more teams that make it than don't. The season is too long as it is. Now you're going to give teams more travel. I don't agree with it, but we're just a piece of meat. We do what they tell us to."

Braves backup catcher David Ross (MLB.com)

"I like the one game for all of the marbles kind of thing because it's either put up or shut up," Braves backup catcher David Ross said. "It's going to be fun. The fans are going to be tuned in. It will get a lot of media attention. It will be a lot of fun."

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly (ESPN Los Angeles)

"I like it because it forces those two teams to use their best pitcher, so they have to use that guy to get in (to the next round). On paper, that gives the advantage to the team that wins the division because they can line up their rotation the way they want it. It seems fair to me that the team who wins the division gets that advantage.''

White Sox pitcher Chris Sale (ChicagoSports.com)

"Obviously, it’s exciting. Two more teams into the playoffs. At the same time, you want to be one of those teams for sure in there. You want to win the division. "They said it today, you are not playing for second place. It would be great if that did happen, but from here on out, we are going for that No. 1 spot."

White Sox manager Robin Ventura (ChicagoSports.com)

“In the past, when they added (the wild card), it created excitement and even last year, the last day of the season it added fun. You never know. It just depends on how the season goes. But it’s exciting for teams to get in. That’s for sure.”

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.
Posted on: February 27, 2012 7:13 pm
 

Royals sign Salvador Perez to long-term contract



By Matt Snyder


Royals general manager Dayton Moore has taken a page out of the Andrew Friedman playbook. Monday evening, the Royals announced that they have agreed to a five-year contract, that also has three club options, with young catcher Salvador Perez. That means that the Royals effectively have control over keeping Perez through the 2019 season.

Perez, 21, hit .331/.361/.473 with three homers, 21 RBI and 20 runs in his 39 games for the Royals last season. He began the season as a highly-touted prospect in Double-A, where he spent 79 games. He played in just 12 Triple-A games before getting his call to the bigs, where he spent the last six weeks of the season.

Like Friedman's masterpiece deals with Evan Longoria and Matt Moore in Tampa Bay, the risk for the Royals is minimal. If Perez hits all his incentives and the Royals pick up every option, Perez will make just $26.75 million, reports Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star. And if the Royals do pick up all three club options, one would expect Perez is playing at a level higher than just over $3 million per season.

Obviously, we can't paint Perez as the victim, either. This is a mutually beneficial deal. What if Perez flames out and never meets his potential? What if a series of injuries ends his career? Wel, the base of the contract is $7 million (per Dutton), money Perez would never sniff if not signing this deal.

Perez is part of an excellent young core of players the Royals hope will get them in pennant contention for the next several seasons. Along with Perez, Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas and Johnny Giavotella lead the movement for position players, complementing still-young veterans like Alex Gordon and Billy Butler.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.
Posted on: February 27, 2012 6:49 pm
 

Tigers still might trade for a starting pitcher



By Matt Snyder


The Tigers enter the 2012 season as the overwhelming favorites to win the AL Central division. But that doesn't mean the front office is planning on sitting back and taking it easy. In fact, the Tigers are going to be scouting starting pitchers from other clubs this spring, says assistant general manager Al Avila (Alex's father), per MLive.com.

“We’ll be looking at other pitchers in other camps throughout spring training to see if there’s anything that makes sense for us,” Avila said (MLive.com).

Tigers in spring training
The Tigers were turned down when they offered free agent starter Roy Oswalt a one-year, $10 million deal this winter, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com learned. They were also heavily connected to Matt Garza of the Cubs in trade rumors throughout December and January.

As things currently stand, prospect Jacob Turner is the most likely candidate to end up as the Tigers' fifth starter behind Justin Verlander, Doug Fister, Max Scherzer and Rick Porcello. It's just that the Tigers seem very eager to win the World Series this season, without being patient, and Turner is only 20 years old. Plus, he struggled in his small sample of three starts last season for the Tigers.

We know Oswalt won't accept an offer and is planning on only pitching around a half-season anyway, but it'll be interesting to see if a trade for Garza or anyone else comes to fruition. The Tigers have pretty much already gone all-in for the season, so why stop now?

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.
Posted on: February 27, 2012 10:06 am
 

Joel Zumaya unsure about his future

Joel Zumaya

By C. Trent Rosecrans


One of baseball's saddest stories of recent vintage may be coming to a close. Joel Zumaya, who suffered a torn ulnar collateral ligament this weekend, is out for the season and sounds like a man who may retire.

Zumaya spoke to reporters on Monday morning and said he was considering not having another surgery on his seemingly cursed right arm. From La Velle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune:

"I know I'm young, but I'm going to probably be going on six surgery if I get another one," Zumaya said. "I'm only 27 years old and I've taken a lot of wear and tear on my body, especially my arm, and then rehab -- it's a lot out of you. So I have a little two-and-a-half-year-old; maybe it's time to move on. I'm a pretty dang good fisherman, so I might pursue professional fishing…"

Zumaya said he hasn't made a decision yet, but he expects to do so soon.

"I went home, tried to make a decision -- I've got family here with me -- but it's a tough decision, so I'm going to go on within the next day or two and make a decision," Zumaya told reporters (again, via the Star Tribune). "I spoke to [Twins general manager] Terry [Ryan] and told him that I'll probably give him a call within the next 24 hours to determine if I'm going to get cut up or not."

I'm not sure you use the term "get cut up" if you're planning on having surgery. And at this point, who can blame Zumaya for not wanting to go through another surgery and rehab.

That said, Zumaya has said this before. In November of 2010, Zumaya told MLB.com's Jason Beck, "If I get hurt again, I'm basically going to be done with baseball. I'm going to have to find another job."

Of course, with that, the guy who called himself "china doll" go to have another surgery on his right elbow last May after making it through just one spring training outing last season. Zumaya then signed a one-year deal with the Twins. He will still be paid $400,000 this season, but it's unlikely he'll get another big-league deal even if he does try to come back again.

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

Posted on: February 26, 2012 1:39 pm
Edited on: February 26, 2012 5:18 pm
 

Joel Zumaya has torn UCL, is out for season



By Matt Snyder


Saturday, oft-injured Twins relief pitcher Joel Zumaya had a bullpen session cut short when he felt something in his elbow. Unfortunately, it appears the news is as bad as it could be. An MRI revealed that Zumaya has torn the ulnar-collateral ligament in his throwing elbow, CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman has confirmed. For those unaware what this means, tearing the UCL means the pitcher will need Tommy John surgery in order to recover.

"He feels bad, I feel bad. Not the news I wanted to hear on Sunday morning," said Twins GM Terry Ryan (Dustin Morse on Twitter). "This is a 12 month thing."

So Zumaya's 2012 season is already over. In fact, one has to wonder how much more he can take before calling it a career. Since the 2007 season began, Zumaya has suffered a ruptured hand tendon, separated shoulder, a fracture in his elbow area and more. He only appeared in an average of 27 games from 2007-10 and missed all of 2011 after exploratory surgery in his elbow.

“He’s distraught, as you’d expect,” Ryan said (Associated Press). “He’s going to come in here in the next day or so and we’re going to talk about the immediate future for him.”

Zumaya stormed onto the scene as a rookie in 2006 for the Tigers when he was just 21 years old. He lit up the radar gun in triple-digit fashion with ease, even getting clocked up in the 104 miles per hour range. He had a 1.94 ERA and 97 strikeouts in 83 1/3 innings that season. He appeared ready to be one of the league's elite bullpen pitchers for the foreseeable future. Unfortunately, he's never been able to stay healthy since.

The Twins signed Zumaya to a one-year, $850,000 contract this past offseason for bullpen depth. They will, however, only be on the hook for $400,000 since he won't be on the opening day roster. In a very short time, he already made a strong impression in the Twins' clubhouse.

“He looks like some monster out there pitching against you,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said (AP). “But you get him in your clubhouse and you realize there’s special people and he’s a special person and it’s a really sad day for him and his family and our baseball team, too, because we were all hoping this guy would be able to get back on this thing and make it through. Unfortunately it didn’t work out.”

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com