Tag:Jacoby Ellsbury
Posted on: April 29, 2011 10:49 am
Edited on: April 29, 2011 11:14 am
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Pepper: Radar-gun manipulation

By Evan Brunell

BASEBALL TODAY: How big of a surprise has Freddy Garcia been for the Yankees? Will Max Scherzer remain unbeaten? Danny Knobler joins Lauren Shehadi to answer those questions and more.

RADAR GUN SHENANIGANS: As pitch F/X takes hold across all of baseball, it's meant the decline of radar-gun manipulation, which used to be an asset to teams.

While radar guns still vary from stadium to stadium (the Angels and Rangers reportedly run a bit slow), it's become difficult for teams to jigger radar-gun readings on the scoreboard to their advantage.

Current Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers recalled situations in San Diego when the team would purposely reduce the velocity of Brad Penny's fastballs, causing the hurler to get upset that he wasn't throwing as hard as he thought. That made Penny -- with the Dodgers at the time -- start throwing harder, which in turn made his fastball elevate for the hitter's liking.

The pitch F/X system is automatic and feeds directly to the scoreboard, so the lack of a middleman cuts out shenanigans that could otherwise take place. However, some stadiums may still manipulate readings despite annual reminders from the league not to do so.

Radar-gun readings became an issue last week when Reds reliever Aroldis Chapman was registered as throwing 93-94 mph with his fastball. That led to much concern, with many wondering if Chapman was injured. He's back to 100-plus these days, so everything is fine, but one can't help but wonder if San Diego was gaming the system, given their current reputation as a stadium where radar-gun readings are low despite having switched over to the pitch F/X system. (Arizona Republic)

WHAT IT MEANS TO LEAD OFF: A leadoff man is responsible for getting on base. Period. Stolen bases can be a nice luxury, but too many teams act as if the flip's true. (New York Times)

THE STATE OF ELLSBURY: Jacoby Ellsbury is currently in the midst of a hot streak which has seen his return to the leadoff spot in the lineup. But it's still unclear what Ellsbury really is as a hitter. To stay as leadoff man, Ellsbury needs to get on base. (Boston Globe)

BACK TO O'MALLEY? Former Dodgers owner Peter O'Malley could be back to the rescue, as he may be gearing up for an eventual run at taking the team back. A Dodgers executive revealed that O'Malley has lined up two "big time" investors if -- or when -- Frank McCourt sells the club. (KLAC 570 AM)

DEFENSIVE WHIZ: Alcides Escobar doesn't even have a month's tenure with the team but is already being discussed as the best defensive Royals shortstop in franchise history. (FOX Sports Kansas City)

SLOW GOING: Chris Snyder now has the ignominious lable of slowest runner in the game now that Bengie Molina has retired (brother Jose and Yadier are, somehow, faster). In fact, Snyder has never stolen a base in a game and should end up in second place by the end of the season behind Russ Nixon, a catcher in the 60s, for most plate appearances without a steal. (Wall Street Journal)

ADJUSTING: Corey Hart has only just returned to the lineup for the Brewers, and he's not pleased with where he is swing is despite collecting two hits in his return. (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)

LAWN CARE: Former major leaguer and current minor-league manager Delino DeShields knows what its like to have a heralded prospect with his son, Delino Jr., in the Astros system. Funny thing, though -- his former landscaper does, too. Cecil Newton saw his son, Cam, go No. 1 overall in the NFL draft Thursday night. (Dayton Daily News)

HOME RUN! Only in this day and age can you read a story written by a fan -- also a ball-catcher who has over 4,000 baseballs caught -- on how he caught someone's first major-league home run and what it was like to meet the player. That's what happened here, and it's a nice behind-the-scenes telling of what happens when you catch such an important ball. Of course, it helps when the batter, Mike Nickeas, is "genuinely awesome." (MLBlogs.com)

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Posted on: April 28, 2011 1:38 am
 

3 up, 3 down: Bedard's back

Erik Bedard
By C. Trent Rosecrans

3UP

Erik Bedard, Mariners -- The left-hander picked up his first win since June 2009, as Seattle beat Detroit and Justin Verlander 10-1 on Wednesday. Bedard gave up a run on five hits with three strikeouts and no walks in seven innings. 

Daniel Murphy, Mets -- As a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning, Murphy tied the game with his second homer of the year and then in the ninth he added a two-run double to help extend the Mets' winning streak to six games with a 6-3 victory over the Nationals.

James McDonald, Pirates and Madison Bumgarner, Giants -- This afternoon I called it the worst pitching matchup of the day and it was anything but -- I just wanted to give credit where credit was due here. Both pitchers went six innings, with Bumgarner giving up just one run on five hits, while striking out seven. McDonald allowed just four hits in his six scoreless innings, earning the win.

3DOWN

Jacoby Ellsbury, Red Sox -- Boston's center fielder let a ball drop in front of him for a double with two outs. Two outs later, Luke Scott, hit a three-run homer for a 3-0 Baltimore lead. The Red Sox went on to lose, 5-4.

Carlos Lee, Astros -- Back-to-back Cardinals singled in runs from second by hitting grounders past the third baseman into left field, where just about any other left fielder in the game (well, maybe not Johnny Damon) throws out the runners at the plate. Instead, with Lee, the two runners score easily and St. Louis adds to its lead, which was 6-0 going into the eighth. Houston scored three in the eighth and two in the ninth, falling 6-5. That's not to mention his offensive woes -- Lee was 0 for 4 on Thursday and is hitless in his last 15 at-bats.

Vernon Wells, Angels -- Much of the preseason there was talk of the great outfield defense the Angles would have this season, but Wells hasn't been able to live up to the billing. He misplayed a ball in the 10th inning, giving Oakland's Cliff Pennington a triple with no outs. Conor Jackson then drove in Pennington with the winning run, And, like Lee, that's not even talking about his offensive offense -- Wells is hitting just .178/.224/.257 so far this season.

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Posted on: April 21, 2011 1:35 am
Edited on: April 21, 2011 1:37 am
 

3 up, 3 down for 4/20: Garland goes the distance

By Evan Brunell

Garland3 UP

Jon Garland, Dodgers -- In Jon Garland's second start of the season on the day MLB announced it was taking over the team, he twirled a beauty by going the distance, allowing just four hits, one earned run and two walks while punching out four. That made it a splended 50th birthday for Don Mattingly, as his Dodgers moved one game under .500. Juan Uribe was the hitting star of the game, driving in four runs in three hits for a 6-1 final score.

Ryan Ludwick, Padres -- Ryan Ludwick has been a piss-poor Padre ever since being acquired at the trade deadline last season. Ludwick was acquired both to be a middle-of-the-order bat en route to a postseason berth, then was supposed to make San Diego forget about trading Adrian Gonzalez. Instead, he had a .195/.293/.307 line for S.D. in 300 plate appearances split across two years. Not good, but he woke up in Wednesday's doubleheader. In the afternoon game, he collected two hits and a walk, but the real damage came in the night game. His 2 RBI were instrumental in the 6-5 takedown of Chicago, tacking on two runs and three hits while cranking his second home run of the year. Entering the day hitting .135/.262/.212, Ludwick is now up to .200/.314/.350. Hey, progress.

Shane Victorino, Phillies -- Shane Victorino wasn't supposed to be the leadoff hitter, but has stepped up big time with the loss of Chase Utley and moving of Jimmy Rollins to the No. 3 spot. The Flyin' Hawaiian knocked two hits against the Brewers in three trips to the plate, scoring two runs, driving in one with a homer and walking once. Victorino is now hitting .324/.370/.515 on the year and is certainly the star on offense in the early going for Philadelphia.

3 DOWN

Jason Heyward, Braves -- Jason Heyward has entered a bit of a slump, as his three strikeouts Wednesday dropped his average to .190 even as he's only struck out 11 times this year against 11 walks. Manager Fredi Gonzalez believes Heyward needs to be more patient at the plate as he only has three walks in his past 11 games after walking at least once in the first eight games of the year. "It seems like he’s been making outs and swinging at balls early in counts [and out of the strike zone]," Gonzalez told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Heyward didn't seem to take that advice Wednesday, but no worries -- he's too good to dail.

Jacoby Ellsbury, Red Sox -- Ellsbury struck out three times in four plate appearances, tying for the day's second-most strikeouts. Dexter Fowler won that honor with four, but at least added a hit. What Ellsbury's been up to this season is concerning, as Peter Gammons noted on WEEI. Hitting .182/.262/.418 with four homers, Gammons says:

I think one of the things that’s killed them is that Jacoby Ellsbury has forgotten what his job is in baseball, which is to get on base and run. His four home runs, to me, are one of the worst things that’s happened to this team early in the season, because I think it’s encouraged him to get wider and wider with his swing.

They need him hitting leadoff. They need him to get on base 37 percent of the time or 38 percent of the time. I think he’s kind of gotten away from that. I appreciate he didn’t play for a year, and I understand how difficult it is to come back, but I think that’s sort of been overlooked. The guy who’s supposed to hit leadoff isn’t getting on base.

Something to watch.

Charlie Morton, Pirates -- Morton looked like he was onto something as he completely revamped his windup to become a Roy Halladay clone. The problem, however, is that he started relying on one pitch in one location with his sinker. Morton got away with it until Wednesday when he was pounded for six runs in five innings against the Marlins, walking three and whiffing six. Morton's main issues here are trusting his other pitches and cutting down on the walks. He looks promising enough that if he starts mixing in more pitches, he really could be a find. But until he realizes that hs start to the season was the aberration and not the new normal, he'll have more nights like this.

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Posted on: April 17, 2011 12:30 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 12:10 pm
 

Pepper: Dangerous game for fans, too

Jose Salazar

By C. Trent Rosecrans


When I went to Class A game the other day, I sat in the front row just to film from that angle and I was shocked at just how close I was sitting -- and how little the fans around me were paying attention.

Of course, it's worse at the minor-league level and in spring training where the stadiums are smaller, but it's still dangerous at the big-league level. Last night in Los Angeles, a fan at the Dodgers game was hit by a foul ball from Matt Holliday and carried off on a stretcher and taken to the hospital. [Associated Press ]

This spring, of course, Braves minor league manager Luis Salazar was struck in the face by a foul ball and lost an eye.

On Friday, Salazar returned to manage the Lynchburg Hillcats.

This weekend, it was a feel-good story to see Salazar back in uniform, but it was so close to being different. [Lynchburg News Advance ]

STRANGE BALK -- Take a minute to watch this -- last night Justin Verlander tried to pick off Daric Barton at first, but caught a cleat in the dirt, so instead of making a bad throw to first, he threw home and hit David DeJesus. Home plate umpire John Hirschbeck ruled it a balk, awarding Barton second base. DeJesus later walked. Verlander said afterward, even he laughed at how it looked. [MLB.com ]

BRADEN LEAVES EARLY -- A's starter Dallas Braden left Saturday's game with shoulder stiffness after five innings. There's no update yet, but it could be bad news for the A's. [San Francisco Chronicle ]

AFRICAN-AMERICAN PARTICIPATION DECLINES
-- As teams honored Jackie Robinson this weekend, the Mets' Willie Harris finds the lack of African-Americans in the game "sad." Only 9.1 percent of major leaguers on opening day 2010 were African-American, while 20 percent were in 1995. Harris said he doesn't think MLB markets its top African-American stars, such as Torii Hunter, Carl Crawford and CC Sabathia, well enough. [New York Daily News

Rockies STARTER FALLS - - For the first time this season, a Rockies starter picked up a loss in the game. Jason Hamel was the first Rockies starter to earn an L, falling 8-3 to the Cubs and ending the Rockies' seven-game winning streak. [Associated Press ]

AND THERE'S THAT
--The other day White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said he has the league's best bullpen, despite his relievers blowing six saves and converting just one. On Saturday, he said he knows he has a good defensive team, despite its 15 errors this season, 13 in the last 10 games. [Chicago Tribune ]
 
SPEAKING OF -- The A's lead the majors with 17 errors, including one more on Saturday. First baseman Daric Barton -- widely viewed as one of the best defensive first basemen in the game -- is tied for the team-lead with three errors. Third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff has three, as well. [MLB.com ]

EARNING HIS KEEP -- Could this be the year Alfonso Soriano lives up to his promise and salary? Soriano leads the Cubs with five home runs and 12 RBI. [Chicago Tribune ]

NO LEFTY -- The Dodgers don't have a left-handed reliever in their bullpen after Hong-Chih Kuo was place don the disabled list and replaced on the roster by right-hander Ramon Troncoso. [Los Angeles Times ]

ROYAL PEN -- One of the reasons the Royals are leading in the American League Central is their bullpen, well, almost all of their bullpen. In a reversal of expectations, only closer Joakim Soria, one of the best closers in baseball the last couple of years, has struggled. Manager Ned Yost said his closer is just "human" and should be fine. Still, the likes of Tim Collins, Jeremy Jeffress and Aaron Crow have impressed. [Kansas City Star ]

NEW PITCH -- Giants closer Brian Wilson is playing coy about a new pitch in his arsenal. Wilson, who will talk about most subjects, isn't discussing a new pitch he's throwing to right-handed batters. It may be a two-seam fastball, a cutter or even a screwball. [San Jose Mercury News ]

ATTENDANCE WOES -- This month six teams have set records for their lowest attendance since their current park opened -- the Braves, Indians, Mariners, Cardinals, Yankees and Twins. Overall attendance is down just two percent this year, which is less than I expected. [USA Today ]

HOW LOW CAN IT GO? -- Seattle is being hit particularly hard at the turnstiles. [Seattle Times ]

UBIQUITOUS OBLUQUE -- I missed this earlier this week, but heard Tim McCarver bring it up during yesterday's Mets-Braves games -- Michael S. Schmidt of the New York Times wrote a great article about the oblique injury, noting 14 players had gone on the DL this year with an oblique injury. Also, before MRI technology improved to its current point, the injury had been called rib cage or abdominal injuries, the diagnosis is just better nowadays.

BIG DRAFT -- What if you had to pick from Troy Tulowitzki, Ryan Zimmerman, Ryan Braun, Justin Upton, Ricky Romero, Andrew McCutchen, Jay Bruce, Mike Pelfrey, Wade Townsend, Chris Volstad, John Mayberry Jr., Jacoby Ellsbury, Colby Rasmus or Clay Buchholz? The 2005 draft offered those choices. [Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel ]

WRIGLEY GRIDIRON -- The Cubs and Northwestern want to continue playing football games at Wrigley Field, despite the challenges they faced this season. In the end, money wins. [Chicago Tribune ]

TUCSON HOME -- Padres owner Jeff Moorad said Tucson will be the Triple-A home for the Padres for at least another year and could be an option if the team isn't able to get funding for a park in Escondido, Calif. [Arizona Daily Star ]

A DIFFERENT MANNY -- Manny Ramirez changed when he went to Boston. [Akron Beacon-Journal ]

HOT DOGGIN' -- A look at the best and craziest hot dogs at ballparks this season. I'm thinking about getting that Meat Lovers Dog at Great American Ball Park later today. I'll take pictures. In the name of "journalism" of course. I'm also curious about the Bahn Mi Dog at Nationals Stadium and [SeriousEats.com ]

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Posted on: March 31, 2011 4:32 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 12:09 pm
 

Wilson not that impressed with Red Sox

By C. Trent Rosecrans

C.J. Wilson The Red Sox seem to be the consensus pick to win the World Series, or at least they are here at CBSSports.com.

Color Rangers starter C.J. Wilson unimpressed by Boston's offseason additions of Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez.

"I mean, it's pretty much the same lineup they had last year with two additions, right? And I've faced both those guys before," Wilson said on Thursday, according to the Boston Herald . "It's not like all of a sudden they have the ghost of Ted Williams playing for them or something."

Of course, Wilson fails to note the Red Sox also add healthy versions of Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis and Jacoby Ellsbury. It's not like adding Crawford and Gonzalez to the 2010 Red Sox, it more like adding those two to the 2009 edition.

"I'm not really too worried about it," Wilson said. "If I make my pitches, then that's really all I can control."

Wilson does have an advantage against the heavily left-handed lineup of the Red Sox, who will have four lefties in the lineup even with J.D. Drew on the bench tomorrow. Wilson held lefties to a .144/.224/176 last season and didn't allow a home run to a left-handed hitter. Lefties hit .181/.272/.255 against him in his career. He was 3-0 with a 0.86 ERA against the Red Sox last season.

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Posted on: March 29, 2011 5:56 pm
Edited on: March 29, 2011 9:35 pm
 

Five teams to improve, five to decline in 2011

By Matt Snyder

Finally, spring training is concluding. Now we have a day or two before your favorite team begins play. In the meantime, I'm here to bring you the top five teams to decline and the top five to improve upon their 2010 performances. In return, you accuse me of bias and call me names. It's fun for everyone, really. One thing to keep in mind is that improving or declining by more than 10 games is pretty drastic. On some of these, I'm looking at something like a seven-game swing.

TOP FIVE TEAMS TO IMPROVE

1. Boston Red Sox. Well, let's see ... Last season Kevin Youkilis only played 102 games, Dustin Pedroia saw action in 75 and Jacoby Ellsbury just 18. Josh Beckett was either injured or ineffective all season. Meanwhile the Red Sox added Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez to a team that won 89 games, despite all those injury woes -- and some underachieving from people like John Lackey. Easiest call on the board here, and even Yankees fans would have to concede this team is loaded.

2. Oakland A's. The pitching staff is stellar, even including the bullpen. The starting rotation is already really good and only getting better. The A's won 81 with one of the worst offenses in baseball last season. A full season of Coco Crisp, Kurt Suzuki bouncing back and the additions of Hideki Matsui and Josh Willingham don't exactly sound like adding Gonzalez and Crawford, but small improvements will do wonders for the pitching staff. Slugger Chris Carter is waiting in the wings, too, and don't be surprised if Billy Beane adds a bat at the deadline.

3. Colorado Rockies. Troy Tulowitzki needs to stay healthy and Dexter Fowler needs to get closer to his ceiling. I'm going out on a limb that both happen, along with steps forward from Chris Iannetta and Ian Stewart. Watch Jhoulys Chacin's development in the starting rotation, too. He's got big potential.

4. Milwaukee Brewers. This is contingent upon the big names staying healthy and Zack Greinke getting healthy as soon as possible, because this team is paper-thin. But the top line is very impressive. Plus, the division is not very good at all. The Brewers are going to score runs, get good starting pitching (again, assuming the health thing) and have a good back-end of the bullpen. If they can overcome defense and depth deficiencies, they'll win the Central.

5. Florida Marlins. Call it a bit of a gut call, but I really like the Marlins. The rotation really has great potential with Javier Vazquez returning to a pitcher's park in the NL East (he's apparently too intimidated by being a Yankee) and Ricky Nolasco having the ability to be a true No. 2 if he can ever stay consistent. Anibal Sanchez and Chris Volstad have -- again, this word -- potential to be solid at the end, with stud Josh Johnson leading the five-some. I love the outfield potential of Logan Morrison, Chris Coghlan and Mike Stanton, so long as all three can stay healthy. Hanley Ramirez is primed to have a big season, too.

TOP FIVE TEAMS TO DECLINE

1. San Diego Padres. Removing Gonzalez from the middle of the batting order changes the complexion of everything. And Mat Latos is already hurt, which does nothing to alleviate the concern of the huge workload increase he's experienced over the past two seasons. Most of all, the Padres just seem outmanned by the Giants and Rockies. Winning close to 90 games seems outlandish. Of course, many people said that last year, too.

2. Houston Astros. They overachieved in a big way last season according to run differential (the 'Stros allowed 118 more runs than they scored) and aren't any better. Other than Hunter Pence, the position players are either getting old (Carlos Lee), still unproven (Brett Wallace) or just not that good (Jason Michaels, Bill Hall, Michael Bourn). I'm not a huge fan of the rotation, but it's going to have to carry the team. Good luck with that.

3. Tampa Bay Rays. This is difficult. It's hard to not love the Rays for being so good at sticking with the Yankees and Red Sox in the mighty AL East on that paltry payroll. The loss of Crawford hurts. Carlos Pena wasn't overly productive -- though he was much better than his batting average said -- last season, but his presence helps everyone else see better pitches. That goes away with Dan Johnson at first. The loss of Matt Garza isn't a big deal, so long as Jeremy Hellickson does his thing and James Shields returns to form. The bullpen is worse, though. Look, I'd pick the Rays to win the NL Central if they were in it, but the Yankees aren't any worse and the Red Sox are way better. The Orioles should be better as well. I think the Rays win in the ballpark of 86 games, but that's 10 worse than last year and good for third place.

4. Toronto Blue Jays. They're still building and are moving in the right direction, but winning 85 games again in that division is a very tall order. Any offensive bounce-back from the likes of Aaron Hill and Adam Lind is negated by Jose Bautista's return to this planet.

5. St. Louis Cardinals. If anyone can pull this off, it's Dave Duncan, but losing Adam Wainwright was a death blow. Chris Carpenter is old and injury-prone. Jaime Garcia is due a massive regression. Kyle Lohse was awful last year and Jake Westbrook doesn't have good stuff. Kyle McClellan could very well prove a solid No. 5 starter, but he hasn't exceeded 75 2/3 innings the past three seasons in the bullpen. Can he really double that and remain effective? The outfield defense won't do the staff any favors, either. The Pujols/Holliday/Rasmus combo -- and even Lance Berkman in a best-case scenario -- is very solid, but there's only going to be so much they can do on some nights. I feel like mid-to-high 70s in wins, but Duncan and Tony La Russa find ways to make people wrong often.

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Posted on: March 20, 2011 4:41 pm
Edited on: March 20, 2011 4:58 pm
 

Ellsbury, Crawford's speed could affect hitters

By Evan Brunell

EllsburyThe Red Sox revealed what may be the Opening Day lineup on Sunday, putting Jacoby Ellsbury at leadoff, Dustin Pedroia in the familiar No. 2 hole and back-to-back lefties in the power spots with Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez.

That freed up Kevin Youkilis to break up the lefty-heavy order at No. 5, with David Ortiz and J.D. Drew continuing the lefty parade in the Nos. 6 and 7 spots, respectively, before Jason Varitek (who will platoon with Jarrod Saltalamacchia) and Marco Scutaro finished out the order.

Given Ellsbury (pictured) and Crawford will be atop the order in the first three spots should this lineup hold (and even if it doesn't, it's far more likely Crawford moves up to No. 2 rather than him or Ellsbury moving down) that should present a lot of frustration for opposing pitchers. The two could be primed for well over 60 bases apiece, with a good chunk on double steals.

But manager Terry Francona spoke more about problems the speed demons on their own team Sunday, and how important it is for the hitters to communicate with each other on preferences.

"If you got a guy on second and it's bugging the hitter, then they need to be still, and that's their responsibility to know each other," manager Terry Francona told MLB.com. "I get aggravated when somebody comes back in July and says [I'm bothered] -- well, you should've talked to him about that two months ago. Because we encourage guys to be aggressive, they're fast. But we also encourage them to communicate with each other."

In particular, Pedroia figures to be most affected by hitting in between the two speed demons, and Francona for one doesn't want Pedroia altering his approach at the plate just because Ellsbury is revving up at first.

"I've talked to Pedey, because Pedey's right in the smack of the middle of those guys," Francona said. "I don't want him just to sit there and take pitches either. If Pedey's a little bit aggressive when they're running, and Jacoby steals 65 instead of 70 ... you know what I'm saying? What a weapon to have -- a guy who's fast, the hole open and a good hitter up." 

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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.

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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