Tag:Matt Snyder
Posted on: February 27, 2012 5:14 pm
 

Report: Bourjos needs hip surgery next offseason

By Matt Snyder

Though he said he's good to go for this season, Angels center fielder Peter Bourjos is "probably" going to have to undergo surgery next offseason to repair "some fraying of the labrum in the joint" of his right hip (LATimes.com).

The Times report says that Bourjos would have had the procedure this past winter, but he didn't have the MRI until the week before Thanksgiving and the surgery has a six- to 12-week recovery period. He didn't want to cut things too closely to spring training and the regular season, so he held off.

If the issue becomes a problem during the season, the Angels could turn to one of baseball's top prospects, Mike Trout. Trout is only 20 and spent 91 games in Double-A last season, where he hit .326/.414/.544. He got 135 major-league plate appearances, hitting just .220/.281/.390. But he only turned 20 in August.

Bourjos, however, sounds like he doesn't think Trout will be needed to spell him this season.

"As long as I keep it strong and loose, it should be all right," said Bourjos (LATimes.com). "Once I get going, it's fine. It's usually after games that it's sore. That's why I soak in an ice bath."

Bourjos, 24, hit .271/.327/.438 with 26 doubles, 11 triples, 12 homers and 22 stolen bases last season.

Hat-tip: Hardball Talk

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Posted on: February 26, 2012 11:50 pm
Edited on: February 26, 2012 11:59 pm
 

Moneyball swept on Oscar night

By Matt Snyder

"Moneyball" entered Sunday night with six Oscar nominations. It went home with zero wins. Call it the postseason after a glowing regular season, if you will, with the movie came up empty-handed.

It was only fitting. Billy Beane's Athletics made the playoffs five times in a seven-year span, yet never won a single game in the ALCS. Four times they lost three games to two in the ALDS and they were swept in their only ALCS appearance (2006).

Complete CBSNews.com coverage of the Oscars

The nominations were for best picture, best actor (Brad Pitt as Beane), best supporting actor (Jonah Hill as "Peter Brand" aka Paul DePodesta), best screenplay, best achievement in editing and best achievement in sound mixing.

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Posted on: February 26, 2012 10:19 pm
Edited on: February 27, 2012 9:31 pm
 

Spring primer: Milwaukee Brewers



By Matt Snyder


The 2011 NL Central champions likely knew they were going to lose one of their superstars heading into the offseason, so it wasn't huge news to Milwaukee when Prince Fielder signed with the Tigers. But when news broke in December that Ryan Braun was facing a 50-game suspension, it was a disaster. And then just a few days ago, Braun was exonerated and Brewer Nation could breathe a sigh of collective relief. The net result has to be momentum heading into spring, so maybe the Braun test was a blessing in disguise? Otherwise they're just reeling from losing Prince. Anyway, let's dive in.

Scott Miller's camp report: Gamel to replace Prince? | Likes, dislikes

Major additions: 3B Aramis Ramirez, SS Alex Gonzalez, OF Norichika Aoki
Major departures: 1B Prince Fielder, SS Yuniesky Betancourt, RHP LaTroy Hawkins, RHP Takashi Saito, IF/OF Jerry Hairston

Probable lineup
1. Rickie Weeks, 2B
2. Nyjer Morgan, CF
3. Ryan Braun, LF
4. Aramis Ramirez, 3B
5. Corey Hart, RF
6. Mat Gamel, 1B
7. Alex Gonzalez, SS
8. Jonathan Lucroy, C

Probable rotation
1. Yovani Gallardo
2. Zack Greinke
3. Shaun Marcum
4. Randy Wolf
5. Chris Narveson

Back-end bullpen
Closer: John Axford
Set-up: Francisco Rodriguez

Important bench players

OF Aoki, OF Carlos Gomez, IF Brooks Conrad

Prospect to watch
It's gotta be Wily Peralta, a 22-year-old starting pitcher in Triple-A. He only made five Triple-A starts last season, but he was impressive -- going 2-0 with a 2.03 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and 40 strikeouts in 31 innings. Peralta will obviously begin the season in Triple-A, but if we get into June or July and Peralta is dominating while Narveson is struggling -- or, obviously, injury strikes to any member of the rotation -- we could well see the right-hander at the back-end of the rotation.

Fantasy sleeper: Mat Gamel
"Why isn't there more hype in Fantasy? For one thing, Gamel is already 26, so he doesn't exactly qualify as a prospect anymore. For another, he hasn't impressed in his brief major-league opportunities so far. To be fair, though, the Brewers haven't cared to give him the benefit of the doubt, unwilling to live through his defensive lapses at third base for no more than prospective production. With him at first that's not an issue anymore. He'll have all the time he needs to get comfortable and if his minor-league numbers are any indication he'll be an impact player as a result." - Scott White [Full Brewers team fantasy preview]

Fantasy bust: Aramis Ramirez
"He turns 34 this year. A player that age with that injury history will get hurt at some point and if his numbers begin to decline along with it he could easily drop out of the top 12 at the position. It's coming sooner than later. Why take the risk when you can land a Pablo Sandoval at about the same point in the draft?" - Scott White [Full Brewers team fantasy preview]

Optimistic outlook
Ramirez and Gamel thrive in the lineup while Gonzalez is a marked upgrade over Betancourt. Greinke and Gallardo both pitch like aces throughout the season while Marcum holds strong as one of the better middle-of-the-rotation pitchers in baseball. K-Rod and Axford form the most dominant eighth and ninth inning combo in the league, too. All this would have the Brewers winning their second consecutive division title and making a run at their first World Series title in history.

Pessimistic outlook
Ramirez starts slow and never recovers, as he's booed consistently by the hometown fans who miss Fielder. Gamel flops at first base, too, leaving the Brewers with a very lackluster bottom-third of the lineup. Greinke falters, Wolf ages quickly and no one can really nail down the fifth spot in the rotation. The best the Brewers can do to overcome these woes is finish fourth, as the Reds and Cardinals compete for the NL Central while the Pirates move into third.

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Posted on: February 26, 2012 10:07 pm
 

Report: Reds, Marshall close to extension

By Matt Snyder

The Cincinnati Reds and relief pitcher Sean Marshall are close to a contract extension, reports John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer.

“That’s one of the things we said we wanted to do when he traded for him,” Jocketty said (Cincinnati.com). “We want to get it done sooner than later. We’d like to get it done before games start.”

Marshall seems to believe it's even closer than that.

“We’re talking about it,” Marshall said (Cincinnati.com). “We might have something [Monday].”

 This makes too much sense from the Reds' point of view. Marshall is set to be a free agent after the 2012 season. They traded Travis Wood, Dave Sappelt and prospect Ronald Torreyes for Marshall, so having him for only one year didn't seem like a great deal. If they extend him a few seasons, it could very well end up being a big win for the Reds.

Marshall, 29, is one of the better left-handed relievers in baseball. He was had a 2.26 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and 79 strikeouts in 75 2/3 innings last season. He had 34 holds, five saves and only four blown saves.

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Posted on: February 26, 2012 7:14 pm
 

Johan Santana throws 72 pitches from mound

By Matt Snyder

As he continues his recovery from surgery on a torn anterior capsule in his throwing shoulder, Mets ace Johan Santana took his most significant step forward Sunday. The left-hander threw his fourth bullpen session of the spring, but this time he threw 72 pitches off the mound, simulating a game.

Justin Turner stood in the batter's box for a bit of the session and was impressed.

“The ball looked like it was coming out of his hand good,” Turner said (ESPN New York). “It had late movement. The biggest thing for me was how excited he looked on the mound after throwing every pitch and how he was bouncing around. Obviously he felt pretty good about it too. And from standing in the box, from my angle, it looked pretty good as well.”

According to the ESPN New York report -- assuming no setbacks, of course -- Santana will long toss Wednesday, throw batting practice Friday and then pitch March 6 in a spring training game against the Cardinals.

Santana, who turns 33 in March, didn't pitch at all for the Mets in 2011. In 2010, he was 11-9 with a 2.98 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and 144 strikeouts in 199 innings. The four-time All-Star and two-time Cy Young winner was obviously one of baseball's best prior to his arm issues.

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Category: MLB
Posted on: February 26, 2012 6:54 pm
 

Bengie Molina officially retires with a party

By Matt Snyder

What, you didn't know that Bengie Molina wasn't retired yet? Hard to blame anyone who didn't, because he did not play at all in 2011. He just had never offically announced his retirement. Saturday night (via CSNBayArea.com), in the form of a retirement party with former Giants teammates, it happened. So he's now off the free agency market.

Molina, 37, retires with a career line of .274/.307/.411 with 144 home runs and 711 RBI in 1,362 regular-season games. He has two World Series rings (he got a ring from the 2010 Giants, even though he was traded July 1 of that season), just like his two brothers, Yadier and Jose. Bengie Molina played for the Angels, Blue Jays, Giants and Rangers. He won the AL Gold Glove in 2002 and 2003, when he was the Angels' starting catcher.

Up next for Molina? Take it away, CSNBayArea.com:
Next up for Molina is some traveling, fishing and enjoying time with his wife and two daughters. He wants to take a trip to see the Olympics in London. Then, in a year or two, he plans to look for a coaching position where he can make an impact. His late father, Benjamin, was deeply invested in youth baseball in Puerto Rico until the day he died of a heart attack in 2008. He was crossing the street with boxes of baseballs in his hands when he collapsed.

“I want to dedicate myself to do what my dad did: teaching kids how to play, and also how to be a better person and how to love their families,” Bengie said. “I’m going to try to pass it on.”

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Posted on: February 26, 2012 6:30 pm
 

Report: Craig ahead of schedule in recovery

By Matt Snyder

Cardinals utility man extraordinaire Allen Craig is ahead of schedule in his recovery from knee surgery, reports MLB.com.

Craig had the surgery in November and was said to be down for four to six months, meaning missing a large chunk of the early part of the 2012 season was a very real possibility. It still is, but the MLB.com report says Craig has the goal of being ready opening day. His new manager, Mike Matheny, won't go that far just yet.

"The job of the medical staff is to hold him back," Matheny said (MLB.com). "Once they start releasing him more, we're going to have more to work with. As far as what that lines out to [be], there are still other peaks to get to. I don't know if he's going to make that next one. He's where he's supposed to be and actually a little bit ahead. I'm listening to what they're telling me, and I'm not jumping too far ahead with my own conclusions that yes, he's going to be here. It's still too early to tell."

Craig, 27, hit .315/.362/.555 with 11 home runs in just 219 plate appearances last season. He appeared in game action at first base, second base, third base and all three outfield positions.

Though he's not a starter, Craig is one of the most important bench players in the majors. Not only did he show what he can do in the World Series -- when he came through in the clutch several times -- but he can play almost anywhere on the diamond. Considering the age of Carlos Beltran and Lance Berkman, and injuries bound to occur throughout a 162-game season, one would expect Craig to have plenty of opportunities to fill in this season.

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Posted on: February 26, 2012 6:13 pm
 

Hanson suits up for first time since concussion

By Matt Snyder

Braves starting pitcher Tommy Hanson returned to the field Sunday in Florida, marking the first time he's suited up since suffering a concussion in a car accident Monday. Hanson ran and played catch (AJC.com), but what he did wasn't near as important as the next step.

Either Monday or Tuesday, Hanson will take an ImPact concussion test, and if he passes it, the Braves are targeting Thursday to get Hanson back on the mound. Hanson took the ImPact test Thursday, but his results reportedly weren't all the way back to normal, so he hasn't been able to get back on the hill yet.

The right-hander, who may very well be the Braves opening-day starter if he's ready, says he isn't worried about falling behind.

“After I start throwing for a couple of days, I think I’ll be back where I would have been last week," he said (AJC.com). "Most of the time at the end of spring training, that last week is kind of extra anyway. So I don’t think it’ll be a problem. I feel like I’ll be ready.”

Hanson, 25, was 11-7 with a 3.60 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 142 strikeouts in 130 innings last season. A balky shoulder prevented him from making a start after August 6.

The Braves need Hanson to get well soon. With Tim Hudson set to miss about a month of the season, only Jair Jurrjens, Brandon Beachy and Mike Minor are completely healthy from the planned starting rotation. Kris Medlan along with prospects Julio Teheran and Randall Delgado would be in the mix to pick up any slack needed.

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Category: MLB
 
 
 
 
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