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Tag:Matt Kemp
Posted on: August 22, 2011 11:00 pm
Edited on: August 23, 2011 12:47 am
 

Holliday leaves game after bug flies in his ear

Matt HollidayBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday abruptly left the team's game against the Dodgers in the eighth inning and as Corey Patterson readied to enter the game in his place, it appeared second baseman Skip Schumaker told the bench a moth flew in Holliday's ear.

Holliday was seen holding his right ear.

"He had a moth fly into his ear, deep into his ear. I don't even know what happened to it," St. Louis manager Tony La Russa told the Associated Press.

According to the team, Holliday was then taken into a dark room and trainers put a light by his ear in an attempt to lure the moth out of his ear. That didn't work, so they used a tool to get the moth -- that was still alive -- out of his ear. 

Holliday was not in the clubhouse for comment after the game, according to the AP. 

It's been a strange year for Holliday, who underwent an emergency appendectomy the first week of the season and has dealt with several other injuries, going on the disabled list once for a quad injury. However, between injuries he's been as good as ever, hitting .306/.406/.542 with 18 homers. He was 0 for 3 on Monday.

The first pitch after Holliday left was hit into left by Matt Kemp, but Patterson made the easy catch.

Patterson was then batting in Holliday's fourth slot in the order and second in the ninth after the Dodgers scored two in the inning to take the lead. With one out, Patterson grounded out for the second out of the inning. The Cardinals lost, 2-1.

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Posted on: August 2, 2011 10:22 am
Edited on: August 2, 2011 2:10 pm
 

Pepper: Cubs stumble with Colvin benching

Colvin
By Evan Brunell

TO PLAY OR NOT TO PLAY: OK, let me get this straight.

First, GM Jim Hendry somehow avoids making any trade of significance to help the Cubs moving forward in a futile attempt to keep the team relevant. Now, he and manager Mike Quade are not even playing one such person that could have a big impact next season?

The only Cubs deal at the deadline saw outfielder Kosuke Fukudome head to the Indians, freeing up right field for Tyler Colvin. Colvin hasn't impressed in the majors this season, but has been coming off the bench for the most part, also struggling in Triple-A. Still, he's a year removed from 20 home runs.

"The most important thing was that Tyler had to play," Hendry said of the Fukudome trade. "We saw the Tyler last year, and the Tyler this year wasn't quite the same. He went down to Iowa and worked hard, and it looks like he's made some progress and he deserves to play the rest of the way.

"And we need to find out whether he's an everyday guy or not by the end of this year. No matter how you slice it, the outfield situation, just like a few other (positions) will have to be addressed in the offseason."

Great. Except Colvin hasn't been in the lineup for two straight games. Quade seems to believe Colvin will get plenty of playing time the rest of the way, but if he's benching the 25-year-old to get Reed Johnson -- an aging, backup player -- more at-bats, Quade has the wrong idea here. (Chicago Tribune)

STAYING IN SAN DIEGO: Heath Bell says that he will take an offer of arbitration if the Padres offer it after the season, as that's how important it is to him to stay in town. This could complicate things for San Diego, who didn't deal the closer at the deadline for two reasons -- the possibility of signing Bell to a hometown-discount extension, as well as the chance to get two compensatory picks should the two sides be unable to agree on a new contract. Now, it seems San Diego may have erred in keeping Bell if they will have no choice but to retain him. (San Diego Union-Tribune)

SPELLING BEE CHAMPIONS: The Giants definitely are not spelling bee champions, even if they remain the reigning World Series champions. Check out this amusing photo snapped that shows the spelling prowess of those on the team. (BayBridgeBaseball.com)

NEW AGENT: When Japanese pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma was posted last offseason, the A's won the bidding but talks quickly broke down when Iwakuma's agent asked for an exorbitant amount to sign and accused the A's of not showing any respect. Well, Iwakuma's taking no chances this time around and has hired Paul Cobbe of Sosnick-Cobbe Sports to be his new agent. Expect him stateside in 2012. (ESPN)

KEMP DOMINATION: How amazing has Matt Kemp been this year? How important is he to the Dodgers? Let Anthony Jackson tell you: "Kemp has hit 36 percent of Dodgers HRs, has 22 percent of their RBIs and 35 percent of their stolen bases. Only other player in past 100 years to have 30/20/30 percent of his team's total in those three categories over a full season was Hank Aaron, '63 Braves." Lofty company. (ESPN Los Angeles on Twitter)

COWBOYS FAN: When Mike Adams was traded to the Rangers, everyone knew that he was a Texas homeboy. But what people didn't know is he had a Cowboys jersey ready to go in the Padres clubhouse as he had worn it earlier in the week. Miles Austin, the player's jersey that Adams is wearing, said he will go out and purchase an Adams jersey. "It's a great feeling when anyone from any profession, especially baseball, [wears your jersey]," Austin said. "That's America's pastime. I used to play baseball, but I ended up not being able to hit the curveball when I hit the eighth grade." (Ft. Worth Star-Telegram)

STEWART ALMOST DEALT: The Rockies thought they had a deal for third baseman Ian Stewart with another National League team (the Pirates, I'm guessing) but talks fell apart with a half-hour to go. (Denver Post)

INJURIES ON THE RISE: Major League Baseball injuries are on the rise, the American Journal of Sports Medicine details in its latest study. You would think this is odd given how treatment of injuries and physical conditioning have improved over the years. Is there a concerning trend? Maybe, but you can't draw conclusions from this as Hardball Talk notes. After all, these days players aren't asked to, for the most part, play through their injuries. Plus, the advent of technology has improved diagnosing injuries. (Hardball Talk)

DONUT: Hey Hunter, you're supposed to take the donut off the bat before you step to the plate. (Mocksession GIF)

SMALL STEPS: Former Red Sox top prospect Ryan Westmoreland is gearing up to face live pitching for the first time since his brain surgery over a year ago. It's a major step forward, and Westmoreland doesn't care how he performs. Just that he's finally facing a pitcher. (Providence Journal)

MAJOR-LEAGUE EXPERIENCE: The Nationals have the right idea, promoting Ross Detwiler to the rotation on Thursday. The club wants to give all their young starting pitchers as much experience as possible. Brad Peacock and Tom Milone will also get long looks. Some room in the rotation will be made by the exiting Jordan Zimmermann, who has about four starts left before he reaches his innings limit. (Washington Post)

HITS PER NINE INNINGS: Here's an interesting look in the leaders in hits per nine innings. Obviously, the leaders in this category are all solid pitchers, anchored by Nolan Ryan in the top spot. (Beyond the Boxscore)

TORN: Freddy Sanchez will have surgery on Tuesday to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder. You won't see him again this season. (Comcast Sportsnet Bay Area)

KISS CAM: At the Reds game, a fan got down on one knee and proposed to his girlfriend on the kiss cam. Problem: he fished the ring out from his fanny pack. So many comments to make... (MLB.com)

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Posted on: July 26, 2011 10:46 am
Edited on: July 27, 2011 8:43 am
 

Forget it: Players not going anywhere at deadline



By Matt Snyder


Ah, late July. The perfect time of the year for people who love to talk trade rumors. What if Team X traded (insert huge name) to Team Y for (insert two or three middling prospects)? Man, Team X would win it all! While it's all in good fun, many of the rumors swirling aren't overly realistic. So, with that in mind, here's a handful of names that have come up that won't be on the move before next Monday.

1. James Sheilds, Rays. Last week, reports indicated the All-Star was being made available by the Rays, which instantly put Shields up there with Ubaldo Jimenez as the two most attractive starting pitching options on the market. In fact, you could argue Shields was more attractive, especially if he escaped the AL East and headed some place more pitcher-friendly. Monday, however, CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler reported that the Rays will not deal Shields. While he's arbitration eligible after this season, Shields doesn't hit free agency until 2013 and he's been the Rays' best pitcher this season. They are obviously planning on competing in 2012, so he's staying put.

MLB Trade Deadline
2. Aramis Ramirez, Cubs. If Ramirez was available, he'd snag a pretty penny in return, as third base has become a pretty anemic offensive position. And he likely would be available, if it wasn't for his refusal to be traded -- at least before the non-waiver deadline. Ramirez has repeatedly, almost emphatically, told the media both personally and through his agent, that he will not waive his no-trade clause for any reason until August. He's done so enough, I believe him. He's going to be in a Cubs uniform come August 1.

3. Hunter Pence, Astros. He doesn't hit free agency until 2014 and the Astros reportedly believe him to be the face of the franchise. Someone would really have to bowl them over to get him -- think the haul the Rangers got for Mark Teixeira from the Braves. While Pence is good, is he really good enough to pay such a high price? At age 28, he's already in his prime and we're seeing what he can. He's a really, really good player. He's All-Star caliber, but not a superstar. The feeling here is there's no match and Pence stays in Houston.

4. Wandy Rodriguez, Astros. Rodriguez is owed $10.5 million next season and $13.5 million in 2013, with a club option for 2014 meaning the Astros would be asking a potential trade partner to take over $30 million in future salary along with Rodriguez, while coughing up a prospect package in return. Is Rodriguez worth it? He has a 3.60 ERA and 1.30 WHIP in 2010 and 2011 combined. He's also 32 years old. Several reports last week said the Astros wanted as much for Rodriguez as the Rockies did for Jimenez -- who is 27 and much cheaper. A major-league general manager recently told Jon Heyman of SI.com that "nobody's touching Wandy." I agree.

5. Keep Dreaming Tri-Entries: Matt Kemp, Dodgers; Jose Reyes, Mets and Felix Hernandez, Mariners. Apparently every season the Mariners aren't in contention, there will always be a group of people who can't let go of the Felix-to-Yankees talk. It ain't happening this year. Also, we've received a bevy of trade predictions and questions about Kemp on Twitter. While it's true the Dodgers are having financial troubles at this juncture, Kemp is an MVP candidate, part of the future nucleus and under team control through 2012. Dream on, people. He's staying in L.A. As for Reyes, it's been quite the whirlwind season. He went from being a sure thing to be traded to absolutely off the market to pretty likely to be retained. Having an MVP season will do that sort of thing. Hey, at least we were given the priceless "Carl Crawford money" line earlier this season by Mets owner Fred Wilpon.

It's funny, though, how fluid things can be around the deadline. Had we written this a week ago, Ubaldo Jimenez would have been on the list. Since then, however, it appears a few teams -- possibly the Reds and/or Yankees -- have chipped away at the Rockies, because reports now indicate it's a "50-50 chance" that Jimenez gets traded. So stay tuned. This post may have the shelf life of a Betamax -- at least in terms of Ramirez, Pence and Rodriguez. I don't not expect things to even come close to changing with Reyes, Kemp or Hernandez. Shields seems like a firm bet to stick as well.

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

Posted on: July 12, 2011 12:34 am
Edited on: July 12, 2011 12:32 pm
 

D-Backs fans boo Brewers during Derby



By C. Trent Rosecrans

Prince FielderPHOENIX -- Prince Fielder's son was ready to throw down -- he wanted a fight.

"I had to tell them to calm down, it was nothing personal" Fielder joked afterwards. The boos didn't get to him -- but they did get to his son. And his teammate, Rickie Weeks.

As soon as Weeks was introduced, the boos started for the Brewer who was picked by Fielder to represent the National League. Instead, the crowd at Arizona's Chase Field made it perfectly clear who they had hoped to see in Monday's Home Run Derby.

"We want Upton," half the crowd chanted.

The other half of the crowd chanted, "Jus-tin, Up-ton," making it perfectly clear the hometown fans wanted to see their All-Star representative, Justin Upton, in the Home Run Derby.

Weeks responded with just two home runs and was eliminated after the first round. But he noted he knew why the fans booed him, but couldn't understand them actually doing it.

"I could care less, but of course you don't want anyone booing you at the All-Star Game," Weeks said. 

Upton, for the record, supported Weeks, tweeting during the derby:

Justin Upton 

The crowd reserved the loudest boos for Fielder, who was the team captain and selected Weeks, along with the Cardinals' Matt Holliday and the Dodgers' Matt Kemp. Fielder's three selections went into the game with a combined 53 home runs, but managed just 10 combined in the first round (not counting Holliday's two in a swing-off loss to Fielder and David Ortiz).

Fielder won some of the fans over when he hit five homers in five swings during the swing-off round, but then managed just four in the second round to finish the day for the National League.

Despite the loss, Fielder said he wouldn't have done anything different in picking his squad: "No, it was cool. I picked the guys I wanted to pick," Fielder said. "If they have a problem, tell them another person should have been captain."

For complete All-Star Game coverage, keep up with Eye on Baseball in Phoenix

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Posted on: July 11, 2011 6:20 pm
Edited on: July 12, 2011 2:03 am
 

Kemp talks winning, working with autism charity

By Matt Snyder

PHOENIX -- Dodgers center-fielder Matt Kemp is having an MVP-caliber season, and he's been rewarded with a trip to his first All-Star Game.

Below is a video of Kemp answering questions at media day, including why his takedown of teammate Tony Gwynn Jr. after a game-winning hit. I also made mention of Kemp's work with Talk About Curing Autism now (aka TACA), as we each have a family member with autism (my daughter, Kemp's brother). Check it out.



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Category: MLB
Posted on: July 11, 2011 5:26 pm
Edited on: July 11, 2011 7:15 pm
 

Home Run Derby set to dazzle

Ortiz

By Evan Brunell


The 2011 Home Run Derby will pit the American League captain David Ortiz against NL captain Prince Fielder of the Brewers in a new format that still holds true to the rules of previous derbies in a battle set to air at 8 p.m. ET.

Ortiz, who won the 2010 Home Run Derby (pictured), selected three players to join him in a battle of league superiority and elected to bring Red Sox teammate Adrian Gonzalez, Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano and the Blue Jays star Jose Bautista, who leads all of baseball with 31 home runs.

Fielder, meanwhile, will see teammate Rickie Weeks, Matt Holliday of the Cardinals and Matt Kemp of the Dodgers try to stave off what certainly looks like an AL whitewash on paper. Weeks and Holliday aren't exactly vaunted home-run hitters, but they can hold their own. It's an entirely different thing to bang a home run in a game as opposed to batting practice.

Chase Field, the Diamondbacks' home, is a hitter's haven that will prove conducive to homers although the stadium is expected to keep its retractable roof closed to keep temperatures down as Arizona heat can skyrocket past 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

If yesterday's batting practice before the Futures Game held by minor-league stars was any indication, fans are in store for a treat, given Dayan Viciedo blasted a mammoth home run that had to have traveled at least 500 feet. But there's always potential for a bust, as there tends to be at least one player each year who struggles to launch balls out of the park.

Here are some predictions made by the CBSSports.com staff, and check out previous Home Run Derby results:

BIGGEST BUST
Evan Brunell: Matt Holliday
Danny Knobler: New format (just as impossible to understand as old one)
Scott Miller: Matt Kemp
C. Trent Rosecrans: Robinson Cano
Matt Snyder: Rickie Weeks

LONGEST HOME RUN
Evan Brunell: Adrian Gonzalez, 491 ft.
Danny Knobler: Prince Fielder, 459 ft., one foot longer than Cecil Fielder's home run into the SkyDome (now Rogers Centre in Toronto) restaurant in 1991
Scott Miller: Jose Bautista, 489 ft.
C. Trent Rosecrans: Prince Fielder, 497 ft.
Matt Snyder: Prince Fielder, 478 ft.

HOME RUN DERBY CHAMPION
Evan Brunell: Jose Bautista
Danny Knobler: Scott Boras (Prince Fielder's agent)
Scott Miller: Adrian Gonzalez
C. Trent Rosecrans: Jose Bautista
Matt Snyder: Jose Bautista

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

Posted on: July 7, 2011 4:24 pm
Edited on: July 11, 2011 1:06 pm
 

Introducing your 2011 NL West All-Star team

By Evan Brunell

2011 All-Star Game
SEE THE OTHER DIVISION ALL-STARS: AL East | AL Central | AL West | NL East | NL Central
For a number of years, the NL West has been fairly balanced. Every team except the Rockies has a division title in the past five years, and the Rockies advanced to the World Series as a wild-card team back in 2007. That balance is clearly seen in the representatives of the NL West All-Star team, which you can see below.

MonteroC Miguel Montero, Diamondbacks: Poor Buster Posey. He had this on lockdown until... well, no need to rehash it, but he's out for the year. Montero's a great consolation prize. He has ripped 10 home runs and has a .275/.346/.468 mark. Montero was actually in a close race with Chris Iannetta of Colorado for this gig, but Montero outstrips Iannetta in caught stealing, nabbing 12 of 37 baserunners.

Helton1B Todd Helton, Rockies: It's quite the renaissance year for the aging first baseman who was once known for his ability to hit for average and power while drawing walks. Now, it's just average and home-run power, but it's plenty enough to outpace any other first baseman in the division -- although, with all due respect to Helton, that says much more about first basemen in the division than it does Helton. Anyway, he's cranking to the tune of a .315/.394/.481 mark, with much of his power coming from an affinity for doubles.

Lineup
No. Name Team Pos
1 Chase Headley SD 3B
2 Justin Upton ARI RF
3 Troy Tulowitzki COL SS
4 Matt Kemp LAD DH
5 Chris Young ARI CF
6 Carlos Gonzalez COL LF
7 Miguel Montero ARI C
8 Todd Helton COL 1B
9 Kelly Johnson ARI 2B
Johnson2B Kelly Johnson, Diamondbacks: What, you'd prefer Aaron Miles? In a case of having to take the best option, Johnson edges Miles despite the latter hitting .320 and Johnson a meager .217. So why does Johnson get the edge? Because he's a better fielder and boasts more power, and he has also swiped eight bases to Miles' three. That's how someone hitting .217/.298/.431 can post a higher Wins Above Replacement mark (1.5) than Miles at .320/.339/.377, who has a 1.0 WAR. (It should be noted that Johnson has about 100 more plate appearances, but even adding those 100 PA would probably not be enough to bump Johnson.)

Headley3B Chase Headley, Padres: Not usually a name you see at the top of leaderboards, but Headley is enjoying a career year -- and is taking advantage of injuries to notable third basemen in the game to put his name in the conversation. Due to playing in cavernous Petco Park, his slugging percentage this season is a meager .404, but it's an impressive .465 on the road. His value comes from taking a walk, which is why he leads off this All-Star team despite just eight stolen bases. He boasts a .302 batting average along with a .392 OBP. If Pablo Sandoval hadn't missed so much time due to injury, he probably would have claimed this spot.

TulowitzkiSS Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies: What is there left to say about Tulo, who right now can lay claim to being the best shortstop in the game? While he hasn't performed up to snuff compared to his last two seasons, he's still plenty valuable and easily the best shortstop in the division, hitting to the tune of a .271/.339/.495 line and 37 extra bases. Oh, and he can pick it on defense.

GonzalezLF Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies: CarGo hasn't hit as well as his awe-inspiring 2010, but he can be forgiven for that as he set impossibly high standards. Colorado will take a .296/.363/.497 line, and so will we to honor him with the left-field starting job on the NL West All-Star team. He still has a remarkable home/away split, but no other left fielder truly threatened for this spot.

YoungCF Chris Young, Diamondbacks: Let's get this out of the way first. For those wondering where Matt Kemp is, hold your horses. We'll get to him in a minute. Young snags the center field job thanks to his strong defense and a power display that we haven't seen from him since 2007, when he slammed 32 home runs. He has exactly half that total (16) in 88 games so far, so he stands a shot of cracking the 30 HR barrier. He's currently hitting .255/.324/.478.

UptonRF Justin Upton, Diamondbacks: Anyone else think Kevin Towers is relieved he didn't trade the 23-year-old in the offseason? Upton's walk rate is less than last season but not out of whack with the league, and he is striking out much less. That increased contact has lifted his batting average to .295 (.377 OBP, .502 slugging percentage), the second-highest of his career. (He hit .300 in 2009.) He's hammered 14 homers on the year, just three off his 2010 total.

KempDH Matt Kemp, Dodgers: And here Kemp is, occupying the DH spot. Yes, the DH doesn't exist in the NL West, but regardless of what team, league or stadium holds the All-Star Game, the DH is used. So there. Kemp earns this spot with a season that's already given him a 20 HR, 20 SB season -- and with three more home runs, he'll reach 25/25. So yeah, he'll definitely hit 30/30 this year, and 40/40 is not out of the question if he hits a hot streak. He DH's with a .324/.408/.603 line because the dude simply cannot field and needs to be moved to left soon.

KershawSP Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers: Kershaw is one of the best pitchers in the entire game, never mind one of the best lefties or youngsters. One of the best, period. The 23-year-old has already tossed 122 2/3 innings on the season and posted a 3.23 ERA. That ERA would actually be the highest of his full seasons in the majors. But his third year actually boasts stronger peripherals, leading to a 2.66 xFIP that is currently a career best. He has punched out 138 and walked just 33.

RomoRP Sergio Romo, Giants: Romo or Mike Adams was a very, very difficult choice to make. So why did Romo get the spot over Adams? Simple: K/BB numbers. Romo has punched out 12.87 batters per nine innings and walked 1.26, good enough for a 2.20 ERA and 1.65 xFIP in 28 2/3 innings. Adams actually beats the ERA (1.35) and innings-pitched (40), but his K.9 is 9.23 and BB/9 at 1.13, with an xFIP of 2.59.

BellCL Health Bell, Padres: Bell won't be a Padre for much longer, I'm guessing, so better get him on here while we still can. He has had quite an impressive career so far as a closer, and this year is no exception. He has 26 saves, but his strikeout numbers are way down and would actually be a career-worst. Who knows why, but he's not having trouble getting by as his 2.55 ERA and 3.78 xFIP indicate.

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Posted on: July 5, 2011 5:50 pm
Edited on: July 6, 2011 12:09 pm
 

Fielder rounds out NL HR-Derby field

By Evan Brunell

FielderDavid Ortiz now knows what he's up against.

The AL Home-Run Derby captain has teammate Adrian Gonzalez, the Blue Jays's Jose Bautista and Robinson Cano from the Yankees on his team, and now NL captain Prince Fielder has selected his own squad.

Fielder will be joined by teammate Rickie Weeks, Matt Kemp from the Dodgers and the Cardinals' Matt Holliday as they attempt to take down the AL, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports.

Fielder has 21 bombs on the year, just one behind the co-leaders in Kemp and the Cardinals' Lance Berkman. That gives the NL a great shot at beating the AL, because only Bautista ranks in the top five for home run leaders in the AL with 27. Fielder and Kemp combined give the NL 43 from the top five lists. Rickie Weeks himself is no slouch, having banged 15 home runs. With 20 doubles too, plenty more could fly out now that he'll be swinging for the fences. Holliday is more known for his batting average, checking in at .316 with 10 home runs and 17 doubles?

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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