Tag:C. Trent Rosecrans
Posted on: March 2, 2012 11:39 am
 

Former top pick arrested on drug charges

By C. Trent Rosecrans

The sad story of Brien Taylor took another turn on Thursday, as the former top overall pick was arrested on charges of cocaine trafficking, according to the Daily News in Jacksonville, N.C.

Taylor was the No. 1 pick in the 1991 draft by the Yankees and with agent Scott Boras, signed a $1.55 million contract, a record at the time.

Two years later, Taylor suffered a torn labrum in his throwing arm while defending his brother in a fight and was never the same. He was released by the Yankees after the 1998 season and then pitched in the minor-league systems of the Mariners and Indians before retiring in 2000. The left-hander was the second No. 1 overall pick to never play in the big leagues. The first was Steve Chilcott in 1966.

According to the Daily News, the 40-year-old Taylor was arrested after local police had purchased a "large quantity of cocaine and crack cocaine" from Taylor over the course of several months. He's charged with two counts each of trafficking in cocaine by possession, trafficking in cocaine by sell, trafficking in cocaine by deliver, trafficking in cocaine by manufacture, trafficking in cocaine by transport and felony maintaining a vehicle. He is also charged with one count each of possession with intent to manufacture, sell and deliver cocaine and sell and deliver cocaine. He was placed in the Carteret County Jail under a $275,000 bond.

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Posted on: March 2, 2012 11:09 am
Edited on: March 2, 2012 1:59 pm
 

Pirates' A.J. Burnett out 8-12 weeks

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Pirates pitcher A.J. Burnett will miss 8-12 weeks after suffering a broken orbital bone near his right eye, the team announced on Friday.

Burnett had surgery on Friday morning in Pittsburgh.

"A.J. will work through the three-step return to pitch progression," general manager Neal Huntington told reporters, including the Associated Press. "The initial step will be to heal from the surgery. Secondly, we will recondition his arm and body to where he was prior to the injury. Lastly, we will put A.J. through the same progression as he would have gone through here in spring training. The very rough timetable to complete this process and have A.J. prepared to compete without restrictions at the Major League level is 8-12 weeks."

Burnett will re-join the team before the end of spring training, but he won't break camp with the team.

With Burnett out, another new Pirate, Erik Bedard, seems ready to take over Burnett's spot as Pittsburgh's opening-day starter.

Burnett suffered the injury on Wednesday when he was working on bunting and he fouled off a ball that hit him in the face.



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Posted on: March 2, 2012 10:09 am
Edited on: March 2, 2012 10:20 am
 

Dodgers batboy gets big-league opportunity

By C. Trent Rosecrans

This story has a Hollywood dateline, and that's only fitting. Francisco "Chico" Herrera's story could be the next great baseball movie.

On Thursday, Herrera had a tryout with the Dodgers. What's the hook? Herrera is a Dodgers batboy and he was "discovered" by Los Angeles pitcher Jon Garland, who recommended the shortstop from Valley College in North Hollywood.

"Jon Garland and I were playing catch in the outfield," Herrera told ESPN.com's Ramona Shelburne. "He was hurting at the time, but he could still play catch and he's like, 'You really do have a good arm. When are you going to try out?'"

Garland told Herrera that he'd talk to assistant GM De Jon Watson and get him a tryout -- the only catch was that if Herrera signed, Garland wanted to be his agent.

"I thought he was kidding," Herrera told Shelburne.

Garland wasn't. Watson got in touch with Herrera and lined up his tryout. That tryout happened on Thursday. It's improbable that Herrera will get signed, but if he does? It could be one of the greatest baseball stories of all time, up there with former Devil Rays pitcher Jim Morris, who got a movie and stint in the big leagues out of his open tryout.

The 22-year-old Herrera has been a batboy the last four years and it's not just Garland who has noticed he has some legitimate baseball skills. Here's a catch he made last year while working:



Hat-tip: Big League Stew

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Posted on: March 2, 2012 9:36 am
 

Cubs players say they trust Braun's collector

Jeff BakerBy C. Trent Rosecrans

During his press conference following his successful appeal of a 50-game suspension, Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun tried to cast doubt on specimen collector Dino Laurenzi Jr. Laurenzi later released a statement defending himself, then Thursday, Braun's lawyer shot back.

Laurenzi, though, doesn't just collect samples from the Brewers, according to the Chicago Sun-Times, Laurenzi also collects samples from the Cubs. And while Braun has called Laurenzi's motives into doubt, several Cubs told the Sun-Times that they trust Laurenzi.

"Just from knowing Dino the three years I've been here, he's been nothing but professional," Cubs infielder Jeff Baker told Gordon Wittenmyer of the Sun-Times. "He's been very, very thorough. I have no concerns and no qualms."

Alfonso Soriano also gave his thumbs up to Laurenzi.

"I'm not worried that it's the same guy," Soriano told the newspaper. "I'm not worried because I know what I take. It doesn't matter who takes the sample. If you don't take nothing, he can take [the specimen] home for a week, and nothing will come out."

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Posted on: February 29, 2012 9:54 pm
 

Spring primer: Arizona Diamondbacks

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By C. Trent Rosecrans

Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers didn't rest on the team's unexpected division title, adding Trevor Cahill to an already strong rotation, anchored by Ian Kennedy and Daniel Hudson. Arizona also added outfielder Jason Kubel to a two-year, $16 million deal to help out the offense. The Diamondbacks surprised everyone in 2011, but it's safe to say they won't sneak up on anyone in 2012.

Major additions: OF Jason Kubel, RHP Trevor Cahill, RHP Takashi Saito, LHP Craig Breslow
Major departures: RHP Jason Marquis

Probable lineup
1. Stephen Drew SS
2. Aaron Hill 2B
3. Justin Upton RF
4. Miguel Montero C
5. Chris Young CF
6. Jason Kubel LF
7. Paul Goldschmidt 1B
8. Ryan Roberts 3B

Probable rotation
1. Ian Kennedy
2. Daniel Hudson
3. Trevor Cahill
4. Joe Saunders
5. Josh Collmenter

Back-end bullpen
Closer: J.J. Putz
Set-up: David Hernandez, Brad Ziegler, Takashi Saito

Important bench players
OF Gerrardo Parra, UTIL Willie Bloomquist, 1B Lyle Overbay

Prospect to watch
The Diamondbacks traded right-handed starter Jarrod Parker, named the team's No. 1 prospect by Baseball America before the 2011 season, to Oakland in exchange for Cahill. While top-flight pitching prospects don't grow on trees, it may seem like it in Arizona. With two top-10 picks in last season's draft, Arizona took two right-handed power arms in Trevor Bauer and Archie Bradley. Those two, along with lefty Tyler Skaggs, give the Diamondbacks perhaps the best trio of pitching prospects in the game. Of the three, Bauer is the one expected to contribute the soonest. The right-hander was the second overall pick in the draft out of UCLA, won the Golden Spikes Award, given to the top amateur players in the country. While he can throw up to 98 mph, his curveball is his best pitch. The Diamondbacks thought about bringing him up for the stretch run last season, but he stayed in the minors, where he made seven starts. While his ERA wasn't pretty (5.96), he did strike out 43 batters in 25 2/3 innings.

Fantasy sleeper: Jason Kubel
"[The Diamondbacks] play in a hitter's park, much like the Metrodome, and recognize that a 29-year-old like Kubel is still young enough to salvage whatever he lost to expansive Target Field. Given his improvement against left-handed pitchers last year, a full season of at-bats could feasibly return Kubel to the 25-homer range. It's a reasonable enough possibility that he's worth a late-round flier in mixed leagues." -- Scott White [Full Diamondbacks fantasy preview]

Fantasy bust: Ryan Roberts
"You can't overlook the fact that his breakout season hinged on an unsustainably hot April in which he hit .313 with a 1.007 OPS. He hit .239 the rest of the way. Power and speed numbers aside, if his batting average is lagging right out of the gate, the Diamondbacks have little reason to give him the benefit of the doubt. He's already 31. It's not like he's any sort of building block. With higher-upside third basemen like Ryan Wheeler and Matt Davidson quickly rising through the minor-league system, Roberts is on a shorter leash than his ranking would have you believe." -- Scott White [Full Diamondbacks fantasy preview]

Optimistic outlook
After last season, how can you look at the Diamondbacks as anything other than a World Series contender? With Kennedy and Hudson continuing their development and solidifying themselves as legitimate top-of-the-rotation starters, plus Cahill and a Saunders that appears to have figured some things out, the pitching takes the Diamondbacks to an easy division title.

Pessimistic outlook
Last year proves to be an aberration, with all the pitchers taking a step back. Meanwhile, Drew never seems to recover from his injury, meaning a full season of Bloomquist and John McDonald at shortstop. It worked for a while last season, but it's unlikely to work again. Hill plays like he did in Toronto, as opposed to the way he played in the desert. With the offense and pitching struggling, the Diamondbacks could fall behind not just the Giants and Rockies, but also the Dodgers.

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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."

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Posted on: February 29, 2012 6:28 pm
 

A-Rod, Jeter take high road against Bobby V.

Alex RodriguezBy C. Trent Rosecrans

On Tuesday new Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine took two little barbs at the Yankees' Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez. Wednesday, the two Yankees took the high road when asked about Valentine's comments.

"I'm not going to win many battles here when it comes to words, especially against Bobby," Rodriguez told reporters, including the Associated Press.

Jeter said he was "indifferent" about Valentine's comments about his famous flip in the 2001 ALDS against the A's.

"Why are we talking about this, really?" Jeter told the AP. "He must be bored over there, huh? I don't understand."

He added what was a really good question -- "What do you want me to say? I mean, really. What am I supposed to say?"

Valentine did  back off of his statement that he dind't believe the Yankees practiced that play after talking to Red Sox bullpen coach Gary Tuck, who used to be a Yankees catching instructor.

"He said they do practice it. Total mistake on my part because they do practice it, that's for sure," Valentine told the AP. "It's hard to practice that because why are we going to practice a bad throw? That's not what we're doing here. But I get it. I get it. ... I want it on record that I love Derek Jeter as a player. It was not a slight towards him. I love him as a guy, too."

The Yankees actually practiced the play on Wednesday, which may or may not have been a coincidence.

"Ever since I've been here -- in 1996 -- we've asked our shortstops to kind of float in the infield," New York manager Joe Girardi said to the AP and other reporters. "We worked on it today. It happened to be cuts-and-relays day today."

And then there's Eric Chavez, the current Yankees and former Athletic, who had his own opinion about Jeter's famoous play to get Jeremy Giambi at the plate.

"I thought he was safe anyway," Chavez said, according to the AP.

As for Valentine, Jeter said he was "indifferent" and that he didn't know Valentine well enough to know what he was doing.

It should be noted that since Valentine started talking about the Yankees, he's not had to talk about the chicken and beer collapse of 2011, so maybe that had something to do with it.

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Posted on: February 29, 2012 5:22 pm
 

Luke Scott takes a swing at Red Sox fans

Luke Scott

By C. Trent Rosecrans


Luke Scott has never been one to shy away from his opinions, and Wednesday the former Oriole and current Ray took aim with his tongue, not his 7 1/2-foot spear.

Scott. who was injured and didn't play in the Orioles' victory over the Red Sox on the final day of the season, said his teammates were pulling for the Rays to take the final playoff spot from the Red Sox.

The reason, Scott's not a fan of the Red Sox fans. From MLB.com's Bill Chastain:
"Just their arrogance," Scott said. "The fans come in and they take over the city. They're ruthless. They're vulgar. They cause trouble. They talk about your family. Swear at you. Who likes that? When people do that, it just gives you more incentive to beat them. Then when things like [the last game of last season] happen, you celebrate even more. You go to St. Louis -- classiest fans in the game. You do well, there's no vulgarity. You know what? You don't wish them bad."
He added that the team's celebration went up a notch moments after the Orioles won when the Rays' Evan Longoria homered to knock the Red Sox out of the playoffs.
"Everybody's giving high-fives, then all of a sudden [Longoria] homers," Scott said. "Everybody's in the clubhouse and it's like, Bam! And we're like, 'Go home Boston! Pack your bags. See you next year.'"
Then on his way home, Scott even taunted Boston fans.
"It was like someone shot their dog. I rolled down the window and I'm like, 'Ah, hah, sucks doesn't it, when someone laughs or makes fun of you when things aren't going your way.'"
I'm guessing when the Rays and Red Sox play this year, the Sox fans may ratchet up their "ruthless" and "vulgar" ways.

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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