Clearing The Bases
Clearing The Bases May 7, 2013
by George Kurtz
Baltimore Orioles: For those of you dying for a 2B Brian Roberts update, it’s not good, he’s still having problems with his knee and is visiting a specialist to find out what’s wrong…..How on Earth did SP Freddy Garcia almost throw a no-hitter over the Angels last weekend, really how, I have no idea, find it even more shocking that with all the depth on the O’s pitching staff that they even needed him…..We don’t talk about 3B Manny Machado enough, but outside of OF Bryce Harper of the Nationals and OF Mike Trout of the Angels, he may be the best young player in the game.
Boston Red Sox: The Red Sox are getting their first taste of adversity as they deal with rosin gate regarding SP Clay Buccholz and injuries to both closers, Andrew Bailey and Joel Hanrahan. First Buccholz, yeah he probably was cheating to some degree, but so do many pitchers. Didn’t buy his excuse that it was rosin and water/sweat, I’m sure there was a little extra in there but what I find more curious than anything is that it wasn’t the Toronto team that complained but rather announcer Jack Morris. Have no problem with Morris talking about his suspicions on the air during the game but to make a spectacle of it after the game caught me as a bit odd. Why weren’t Jays players, coaches, or management up in arms? Back to the injuries, can’t be surprised about Bailey, he’s hurt every year and it looks like they dodged a bullet with Hanrahan as well, he could be back by the end of the month.
Chicago White Sox: The Sox were almost no-hit by the Mets Matt Harvey on Tuesday, and while that’s nothing to feel bad about, they are also last in the American League and second to last in all of MLB in runs scored, and that is something to feel bad about…..It looks like Jake Peavy will make the start Wednesday versus the Mets, wouldn’t write this in pen, but have to think he will do all he can to get in a game versus the offensively challenged Mets.
Cleveland Indians: Been a few questions asked about 1B Mark Reynolds and how he took his time leaving home plate after his monster HR off of the A’s Jarrod Parker on Monday. I’m old school and generally I’d assume he would be brushed back or throw at in his next AB, but we tend to forget that Parker hit Reynolds up high in his first AB, Reynolds didn’t say or do anything, just walked to first base, he got the ultimate revenge in that HR at-bat, really don’t have any problem with what he did.
Detroit Tigers: I have to think the happiest person on the planet besides Astros 1B Carlos Pena on Sunday when he broke up Justin Verlander’s no-hitter was Tigers manager Jim Leyland. Verlander was already over 100 pitches and probably would’ve needed 130-140 to complete the no no, Leyland had to be happy not to have to make that decision…..With all due respect to the Brewers Ryan Braun and several other players, 3B Miguel Cabrera is the best hitter in the game and I’m not even sure it’s all that close.
Houston Astros: Astros have made a slew of moves this week. They sent IF Brandon Laird and a pair of OFs, Rick Ankiel and Fernando Martinez packing, activated J.D. Martinez off the DL and called up Trevor Crowe and Jimmy Paredes from AAA. As for Laird, Martinez, and Ankiel, if you can’t make it on Houston, it may be time to give it up, remember when Martinez was the next big thing supposedly for the Mets, yeah, me neither. Really have to wonder how good a career Ankiel might have had as a pitcher if he had stuck with it or as a batter if he had been a hitter from the beginning of his career.
Kansas City Royals: Manager Ned Yost is taking some heat for removing James Shields from the game Monday after he had pitched eight scoreless innings and only thrown 102 pitches. Doesn’t Yost know that Shields has thrown a ton of complete games in his career, not to mention he is the best pitcher on your staff, leave him in the game Ned…..One of the young Royals players that we don’t talk about near enough is OF Lorenzo Cain, and he is playing great right now, certainly better than his much ballyhooed teammate, 1B Eric Hosmer.
Los Angeles Angels: The Angels are struggling, there is no two ways around this and SP Jared Weaver is still at least a couple of weeks away from being able to help…..Some good news is that RP Ryan Madson could be back in the bullpen next week, but it’s really hard to see him turn things around…..Outfielder Mike Trout is certainly starting to look like the player he was last year once again and even Mark Trumbo has been pounding the ball of late, in the end however, if you don’t have starting pitching, you just can’t win on a consistent basis.
Minnesota Twins: Have to wonder what the Twins are going to do with young OFs Aaron Hicks and Oswaldo Garcia, they seem to have to many OF/DH types. Not enough lineup spots to go around and these two guys have to play, either at the MLB level or back in AAA. Not sure if the Twins would deal OF Josh Willingham to open up some room, but Ryan Doumit would certainly be on the trade block. He won’t bring back what Willingham would, but could get you another piece to your rebuild.
New York Yankees: At Colorado on Tuesday the Yankees started a backup 1B (Lyle Overbay), the backup to the backup at SS and 3B (Jason Nix/Chris Nelson), their fifth or sixth string outfielder (Ben Francisco), backup catcher (Chris Stewart), and were without their seventh and eighth inning setup men (Joba Chamberlain and David Robertson). Is it any wonder they were shutout and only had four hits, they never even came close to scoring…..As for injury updates, OF Curtis Granderson could be back this weekend or early next week, and this team needs the help as the injuries are starting to take their toll.
Oakland Athletics: Oakland’s best pitcher, Brett Anderson, is already on the DL, no big shock there, he always is, but now we are hearing that Jarrod Parker may have to join him with neck pain. Perhaps this would explain his extremely slow start to the season…..Was talking earlier in this column about great young hitters, and if you put OF Yoenis Cespedes in that category (he was a professional in Cuba) than he is right there with anyone, a superstar in the making, just has to stay healthy and play 150+ games.
Seattle Mariners: The Mariners are another team with quite a few OF/DH types. Now Raul Ibanez won’t bring back much in a trade, but 1B Kendrys Morales could, doubt you could get a box of donuts for Jason Bay, certainly not ones with those rainbow sprinkles…..Seattle has Joe Saunders and Aaron Harang in their starting rotation, it’s like they’re playing slow pitch softball…..Might be time to admit you made a mistake with 1B Justin Smoak.
Tampa Bay Rays: Have to admit I chuckle every time I see closer Fernando Rodney struggle. I hate the shooting arrow thing he does after a save, don’t like showing up the other team, act like you have done it before. Tuesday night IF Ryan Roberts even did the same thing after driving in a run with a single. Back in the good old days Bob Gibson or Don Drysdale would throw at you for digging into the batter’s box and getting to comfortable, imagine what they would do today after seeing these clowns.
Texas Rangers: Prospect Mike Olt was put on the AAA DL with an eye problem. He wasn’t all that close to a call-up anyway but the Rangers and Olt don’t really know when this problem will go away…..Catcher A.J. Pierzynski was scratched once again Tuesday with a sore right oblique, these injuries are scary for a hitter as you constantly aggravate it with swings, really think the Rangers should just play it safe and put A.J. on the DL, better to lose him for two weeks and get him back to 100% than to see him lost for 6-8 weeks.
Toronto Blue Jays: If you haven’t seen it or haven’t heard, SP J.A. Happ was hit in the head by a comebacker off the bat of Rays OF Desmond Jennings on Tuesday. Happ never lost consciousness, but was bleeding from his ear and was taken away on a stretcher. Here’s hoping everything turns out well for Happ and he’s able to return to the team in a timely fashion…..All of the tests on SP Josh Johnson’s arm came back negative and he was eligible to return Tuesday, but it looks like the Jays are going to give him a couple of rehab starts to try and build up some arm strength.
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