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Tag:Chris Davis
Posted on: September 21, 2011 11:41 am
Edited on: September 21, 2011 11:43 am
 

R.I.P.: 2011 Baltimore Orioles

By Matt Snyder

Another season gone, another disappointment for 29 teams as one is immortalized forever. Let’s take a look back at 2011 and forward in Eye on Baseball’s R.I.P. series...

Team name: Baltimore Orioles
Record: 64-90, 29.5 games back in AL East
Manager: Buck Showalter
Best hitter: Adam Jones -- .283/.324/.466, 23 HR, 80 RBI, 63 R, 25 2B, 11 SB
Best pitcher: Jeremy Guthrie -- 9-17, 4.28 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 128 K, 202 IP

The more things change, the more they stay the same. The Orioles haven't been in playoff contention since 1997. Following that season, they finished fourth nine times and third once. They're now headed for their fourth consecutive last-place finish.

2011 SEASON RECAP

Things appeared to be looking up early in the season for the Orioles. They started off 6-1, and this wasn't against pushovers. They swept the Rays, took two of three from the Tigers and then beat the Rangers. Of course, it was too good to be true. They proceeded to lose eight straight. They did battle back to .500 twice and lingered close to .500 until being buried by an awful stretch, when they went 6-23 from June 11-July 15. That would end any hope of breaking through, as the Orioles wouldn't be closer than 20 games in the AL East after July 22.

The Orioles did get younger in trading Derrek Lee, Koji Uehara and Mike Gonzalez, and there were some positive signs. They now have a decent offensive core of catcher Matt Wieters, third baseman Mark Reynolds, shortstop J.J. Hardy and outfielders Nick Markakis and Adam Jones (any of the four could have been picked as the "best hitter" above). None of those players are older than 28. Of course, none are younger than 25, nor do any appear to be superstar material. On the mound, the Orioles saw enough from rookie Zach Britton to believe he's one of the pieces of the future, but Brian Matusz had a disaster of a season. Jim Johnson is showing himself the answer at closer and Pedro Strop -- who was acquired from the Rangers in the Gonzalez deal -- is throwing the ball very well in front of him.

2012 AUDIT

The outlook would be a lot more sunny in a different division. The fact of the matter is that the Orioles are set up to improve their on-field product, but probably not be drastic enough to translate into more wins next season -- because the AL East is so good. The Yankees, Red Sox or Rays don't appear to be getting much worse any time soon and the Blue Jays are pretty well set up to take some significant steps forward. That means that even if the Orioles get better, they're still behind the 8-ball, so to speak.

One area where they can improve is from simple progression from all the young players. Matusz can't possibly be worse, so long as he stays mentally balanced, healthy and works hard in the offseason. Tommy Hunter has good enough stuff to be a part of the rotation, too, just as Jake Arrieta does. Chris Tillman is still too young to give up on. Shifting to the position players: Brian Roberts will still only be 34 and should be healthy, so there's hope he comes back with a productive season. Luke Scott and Nolan Reimold are fine pieces of a supporting cast and we already mentioned the offensive core. Also of note: Wieters is becoming a great defensive catcher. That matters.

FREE AGENTS

Cesar Izturis, SS
Vladimir Guerrero, DH

OFFSEASON FOCUS

They need to quit trying to make a patchwork lineup (Lee, Guerrero) for the short-term and instead use some money looking long-term. You aren't competing in the AL East by filling holes with washed-up vets. Here are five big things I'd do to improve the Orioles with the eyes on the future.
  • Sign Prince Fielder. Whatever it takes. I mentioned above the offensive core is good, but lacking a centerpiece. Prince ties it all together. The top seven in the lineup would go something like: Roberts, Markakis, Fielder, Jones, Hardy, Reynolds, Wieters. That looks pretty good, no? Fielder might not want to head to the worst team in the AL East, but money talks. Blow him away. Worried about his durability due to weight? He's only 27 and hasn't played less than 157 games in a season until this year (and he's at 155 and primed to surpass that mark again). He just doesn't miss games. After the big splash signing, try to keep everything else in-house and see what other holes definitely need to be filled after '12.
  • Move Mark Reynolds to DH permanently. He's an absolute butcher at third, but his power and on-base abilities are helpful to the offense.
  • Let Josh Bell and Chris Davis compete for the third base job. Both players have upside, so the Orioles could strike gold here and make the lineup even stronger.
  • Trade Jeremy Guthrie. He's going to be 33 next season and -- as long as you can ignore the high-loss totals his Orioles have saddled him with -- isn't a bad pitcher. He could give a contender 200 decent innings as their fifth starter. Thus, he'll get something like a mid-level prospect back, but the main reason is the Orioles need to see what they have by giving extended looks to the young pitchers who have already seen time in the bigs. Go into the season with a rotation of Britton, Matusz, Hunter, Arrieta and Tillman and give it an extended look. By midseason, if one or two aren't working out, it's time to dip into the minors for others. If three or four aren't working out, more drastic measures will have to be taken in the offseason.
  • Stick with the Strop-Johnson duo at the end of games. There's no reason to go out and grab another retread like Kevin Gregg again. Trade Gregg if they could, but it's doubtful much comes back. Whatever, let him pitch in non-save situations.
This wouldn't make them a contender in 2012, but they'd be better and would have the chance to evaluate where everything stands with the young players after the 2012 season. You have to take babysteps to get back to respectability after finishing fifth four straight times.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: August 22, 2011 6:57 pm
 

Rangers reach out to O's about Davis' injury

Chris DavisBy C. Trent Rosecrans

The Rangers and Orioles could "revisit" the trade that sent Koji Uehara to Texas in exchange for Chris Davis and Tommy Hunter last month.

Davis, a 25-year-old first baseman, is currently on the disabled list and could be done for the season with a small tear on his labrum. He has met with doctors and hopes to get back before the end of the season, but that's uncertain. While he initially said he slept on his shoulder wrong while the Orioles were in Kansas City, he's recently revealed that it had been bothering him before the trade, but didn't tell the Rangers or ask for treatment.

Rangers general manager Jon Daniles told T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com that he'd talked to the Orioles' Andy MacPhail about the situation.

"Andy was very clear he didn't have any issues with us and the way things were handled," Daniels told Sullivan. "We'll stay in touch. It might be something we revisit, but there are no plans at this point."

Davis played in just 10 games for the Orioles after being traded, but by all accounts Baltimore likes him and plan on him to be in the mix at first base. So, really, it's unlikely anything will happen. Even if the Orioles were upset, there would have to be real evidence of malfeasance on the part of the Rangers -- and that doesn't appear to be the issue. In all likelihood, this is the last we'll hear of it.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: July 30, 2011 5:26 pm
Edited on: July 30, 2011 5:43 pm
 

Rangers acquire Uehara for Davis, Hunter

By Matt Snyder

The Rangers have been looking far and wide for a relief pitcher and it appears they have landed one -- just not Heath Bell or Mike Adams. Right-hander Koji Uehara of the Orioles have reportedly been traded to the Rangers in exchange for corner infielder Chris Davis and pitcher Tommy Hunter (Baltimore Sun via Twitter).

It will be interesting to see if this move takes the Rangers out of the running for the services of Bell and/or Adams -- if so, several teams would be quite pleased.

Uehara, 36, is pretty underrated -- likely due to playing for the non-contending Orioles. He has a 1.72 ERA, 0.70 WHIP and 62 strikeouts in 47 innings this season. He'll fit quite nicely in Texas as an eighth-inning bridge to Neftali Feliz.

Davis, 25, has shown signs in the past of being a prolific power hitter, but strikeout woes have plagued him. This season, however, he's hitting .250 with three home runs and six RBI in 72 at-bats. So it hasn't been a horrible effort since his recall. Of note here, the Orioles could immediately slip Davis in at first base and trade Derrek Lee. There have been reports that Lee is on the Pirates' radar.

Hunter, 24, is 1-1 with a 2.93 ERA and 1.11 WHIP in limited time this season for the Rangers.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: July 28, 2011 5:31 pm
Edited on: July 28, 2011 5:38 pm
 

Thursday afternoon rumor roundup

By C. Trent Rosecrans

It appears the Padres' Heath Bell may be the next big name off the trade board. CBSSports.com senior writer Scott Miller writes the talks are heating up, but there's still plenty of other trade rumors out there, so here we go:

• The Red Sox are looking at starting pitching, but they are telling team's they're focused on a right-handed-hitting outfielder, CBSSports.com senior writer Danny Knobler tweeted.

• Knobler also reports the Tigers are down to three options for a starter -- Hiroki Kuroda, Aaron Harang and Jeremy Guthrie.

• Have the Red Sox and Mariners matched up for a deal? FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal reports the Mariners had two scouts watching the Red Sox's Triple-A team on Wednesday and another eyeing the Double-A team. The Red Sox are "all over" left-hander Erik Bedard, a source told Rosenthal. Boston could also be interested in right-hander Doug Fister or closer Brandon League, too.

• Bell expects to be a Ranger by Friday. Why? His parents are flying in from Texas on Thursday to spend 10 days with his family in San Diego, Bell joked to reporters after Wednesday night's game. Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune also says the Braves, Indians and Reds are the most interested in Ryan Ludwick, but you may want to cross the Indians off the list after they acquired Kosuke Fukudome from the Cubs on Thursday. Sports Illustrated's Jon Heyman tweets that the Philles are also interested.

• After Wednesday's loss to the Rockies, Kuroda -- who has a no-trade clause -- told reporters, "My honest feeling is that I can't fathom wearing another uniform [other] than the Dodgers uniform right now." Still, MLB.com's Ken Gurick writes the Indians, Yankees, Red Sox, Rangers and Tigers are still making a push for the right-hander. 

• The Brewers are interested in the Dodgers' Rafael Furcal and Jamey Carroll, but the Dodgers will only trade one of the two, Rosenthal writes. ESPN.com's Jayson Stark said the Giants have talked to Los Angeles about Furcal.

• La Valle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune says the Twins aren't looking to deal Denard Span, but notes the Nationals may be interested in Ben Revere or prospects Joe Benson and Aaron Hicks.

The rumor on Wednesday was that the teams were considering a Span for Drew Storen trade, but MLB.com's Bill Ladson cites a "baseball source" as saying the Nationals wouldn't do that deal.

• The Twins are looking for bullpen help, FoxSports.com's Tracy Ringolsby writes, and could be targeting the Rockies. Colorado could deal right-handers Rafael Betancourt, Matt Lindstrom and Matt Belisle, and could even give up closer Huston Street for the right price. The Rockies would be interested in Minnesota's Kevin Slowey.

• Rangers manager Ron Washington reiterates his call for bullpen help. The team is apparently interested in Bell and Leo Nunez, with Robbie Erlin and Chris Davis being dangled.

• The Phillies have given up on getting Houston's Hunter Pence, Heyman tweets. The Braves are the last team in on Pence, he said.

• The Mariners will be busy selling off pieces between now and Sunday's deadline, Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times writes.

• The Cardinals are focusing on middle-infield help, Rosenthal tweets, as shortstop Ryan Theriot struggles.

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

Posted on: July 1, 2011 9:48 am
Edited on: July 1, 2011 12:36 pm
 

Pepper: Royals gearing up for trades


With interleague play heading into the last week, is it still a good idea? What can you expect from the return of Rich Harden? Danny Knobler joins Adam Aizer with the latest.

By Evan Brunell


The Royals are preparing for trade season, but caution that they won't just start dealing players if it doesn't make sense.

"We won’t move forward in any direction that doesn’t fit long term with what we’re trying to do,” GM Dayton Moore said. "We’ll always look for ways to improve our baseball team and be open-minded. There are a lot of potentially creative ideas that could exist"

Moore is expected to listen to trade offers for veteran players such as Jeff Francouer, Bruce Chen and the like, plus bigger pieces like Joakim Soria and Billy Butler. While K.C. would charge a high price for Soria, scouts are intrigued by Billy Butler and believe the DH could play in the NL.

“Have you watched Prince Fielder or Ryan Howard play defense?” one scout asked. “I don’t think they’re any better [defensively] than Butler. The bigger concern is he’s not driving the ball like he did in the past.”

Scouts also believe that the most interest will likely come for Wilson Betemit, Melky Cabrera and Mike Aviles. Betemit is being squeezed out but has still put up productive numbers that any team could use in the infield, while Cabrera is hitting for significantly more power than in his forgettable 2010. Aviles, meanwhile, is at Triple-A after being optioned recently, but that may only serve to boost his value.

“Teams love those guys with options,” one scout said. “You stash them away until you need them, and Aviles is one of those guys who has shown he can hit. He’s the type of guy who can really help a good team.” (Kansas City Star)

ON THE HUNT: The Tigers are looking around for starting pitching, as behind Justin Verlander there hasn't been much production in the rotation. Phil Coke just lost his spot to Charlie Furbush, but that appears to be nothing more than a Band-Aid. The problem is that many teams are still in the postseason hunt, shrinking the available candidates. Detroit could use a left-handed starter, which plays well in their park. That could lead to the Royals' Bruce Chen or Astros' Wandy Rodriguez being moved to the Motor City. (Fox Sports)

WAITING: Chris Davis has torn apart Triple-A and is proving he has nothing left at that level to prove. Davis has 19 home runs and a .363 batting average in just 24 games. Both manager Ron Washington and GM Jon Daniels admit that Davis is ready for the majors, but the slugger will have to wait for a spot to open. (ESPN Dallas)

SLUMP-BUSTER
: The White Sox are headed to Wrigley Field for a weekend series and Adam Dunn has to be hoping a return to friendly grounds will spark his season. Dunn's 1.061 OPS is the highest mark he's registered in any stadium with at least 25 at-bats, an OPS he can only dream of given his current .619 showing. (Baseball-Reference's Dunn page)

HEAD-FIRST: Elvis Andrus will not be diving head-first into bases for some time after spraining the wrist last week on such a slide. "I have to," Andrus said. "I don't want to be in between on that play again. For now I feel comfortable if I go feet first. I used to do it a lot last year every time so it won't be that hard. I just mentally focus and try to protect my wrist for a little while and then when I feel comfortable I will [slide head first] for sure." (Ft. Worth Star-Telegram)

DREW BOOED: J.D. Drew was roundly booed Thursday when he entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the seventh, marking the first time he played in the Philadelphia series. He would go on to knock a single in the ninth, which he mentioned was his "only source of revenge." Drew also noted he is not booed when out of uniform and doesn't think he is recognized. In the same story, several Red Sox react to the news of Mike Cameron's designation for assignment. (Boston Herald)

THANKS FOR THE HELP: Marcos Mateo shut out the Giants for five innings Thursday, but Chicago needs fresh arms thanks to a makeup game Monday, doubleheader Tuesday and 13-inning gamer Thursday. While Mateo may deserve to stay in the bigs, he could be jettisoned to make room for a fresh arm, which could end up being Kerry Wood, who is ready to come off the DL. (Chicago Tribune)

REHAB SET: Dustin McGowan hasn't pitched in a big-league game since 2008 and already saw his rehab bid set back with forearm stiffness. But now, McGowan will graduate from extended spring training to Class A. He will have 30 days before he must be activated from the DL or put him back on. (MLB.com)

FIRST PITCH: Carlos Zambrano left Thursday's game with lower back soreness in the second, but threw out the first pitch for the National Pro Fastpitch Bandits' softball game later that night. Outrage or no big deal? You decide. (@CSNBoyle)

BEER DROPPING: A combination of both the Cubs and White Sox playing poorly along with less than optimal weather has seen what Rich Harris, a vendor for both teams, says is a 30 percent less load. That's a lot of money for beer vendors, who get paid on commission, to miss out on.  "The best thing baseball-wise that could happen from here on out on both sides of town is win, win, win," Harris said. "That would make everyone happy -- the teams, the fans and us." (Chicago Tribune)

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: June 6, 2011 5:58 pm
Edited on: June 6, 2011 6:24 pm
 

Rangers interested in Coffey, could deal Borbon

CoffeyBy Evan Brunell

In Ken Rosenthal's latest column for Fox Sports, he writes about the trade market as it relates to the Rangers, saying the team could deal Julio Borbon, Taylor Teagarden or Chris Davis.

Texas has been hunting for relievers, and Nationals righty Todd Coffey (pictured) has grabbed its attention. In his first year with the club, he punched out 23 batters in 22 1/3 innings, walked a manageable eight and allowed just one home run. Given Coffey's run of being with the Reds, Brewers and now the Nationals, he's not a well-known name but has quietly emerged as one of the game's best middle relievers.

The Rangers have also been heavily linked to the Padres' Heath Bell, although that appears to be more of a function of people thinking he would be a good fit. Bell would allow the Rangers to move Neftali Feliz into the rotation, but for now Feliz is the closer and that's not changing. And why would Texas pay a premium for Bell when they can turn to what will be a robust free-agent market that could include Bell?

That aside, Rosenthal names Chris Davis as a potential fit for the Padres, a fit that doesn't quite make sense. Yes, San Diego could use Davis's punch, but the Pads will not block Anthony Rizzo at first base. The 21-year-old is tearing Triple-A apart and is already pressuring incumbent Brad Hawpe to hit the majors. Nor would Davis be a fit at third, as Chase Headley has that position on lockdown. GM Jed Hoyer could ask Davis to learn left or even move Headley back to that spot, but it's tough to see that coming about.

The Rangers have their own outfield conundrum. Rosenthal thinks the Nationals could be interested in center fielder Julio Borbon and could possibly send Coffey and another piece to Texas for the speedster. Borbon has attempted to claim the center field job in Texas for the last two seasons, but he still hasn't run away with the job and just earned a demotion to Triple-A. Meanwhile, Texas also has Cuban defector Leonys Martin, who signed a big deal and is currently laying waste to pitchers in Double-A. Martin could earn a promotion to Triple-A shortly and fully supplant Borbon as the team's center fielder of the future by the end of the season.

If Coffey isn't viable, Rosenthal wonders if the Giants could trade for catcher Taylor Teagarden -- another player who has struggled to produce in Texas and has fallen out of favor -- and offer up one of their right-handed relievers as bait.

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




Posted on: May 16, 2011 3:46 pm
 

Davis comes through in clutch for Rangers

By Evan Brunell

DavisChris Davis is largely an afterthought in Texas these days. The slugger has found the going in the majors hard, striking out far too much and frustrating the Rangers with potential that just won't come through.

They seem to have largely given up and stashed Davis at Triple-A, moving him back to third base to increase his versatility and rewarded him with a callup once injuries struck. But even then, Davis barely played -- until both Nelson Cruz and Julio Borbon went down with injuries not long after Josh Hamilton. Now, simply by virtue of being on the roster, Davis is getting more time at the plate to show what he's capable of.

One such chance came Sunday when he was at the plate with the bases loaded and no out, the Rangers and Angels deadlocked at four apiece.

"[Rangers manager Ron Washington] told me right before I came up when I was standing on deck to just do what the situation asks you to do," Davis told ESPN Dallas. "He told me that [Saturday, when Davis popped out to short in a crucial situation]. It’s frustrating when you’re given opportunities to do a job and you come up short."

He wouldn't Sunday, rapping a single and driving home the eventual winning run on an 0-2 count, another major milestone for Davis. That hit pulled him to 6-for-12 during 0-2 counts, while last season saw futility in that scenario, with an 0-22 mark and 21 strikeouts.

"I feel like today was a great shot of redemption and I was able to get it done," Davis said. "That’s one of things we’re constantly talking about in this clubhouse is you can’t change what’s happened in the past. The only thing you can control is what’s right in front of you. We played great today, our pitching staff was huge for us and we’re glad to get the win."

Davis has been slowly but steadily getting better, lifting his overall line to .256/.326/.462 with two home runs in 39 at-bats. Is that what Davis is capable of? No, but it's certainly the line of a player who will have a solid career. And yet, the strikeouts continue to plague him with 14 on the year. As long as he makes contact to the level of a .250 batting average, though, not the combined .227 line in 555 plate appearances from 2009-10.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Category: MLB
Posted on: March 27, 2011 7:59 pm
 

3 up, 3 down for 3/27: McClellan's super spring

By Matt Snyder

3 UP

Kyle McClellan, Cardinals. He can't make the Cardinals forget about Adam Wainwright, but he's doing his damnedest to try. The Cards' No. 5 starter -- who only got a shot at the rotation when Wainwright was lost for the season -- went six strong innings Sunday. He did allow an earned run, just the second of the spring, to shoot his ERA all the way up to 0.78. He struck out five while allowing only five baserunners.

Rajai Davis, Blue Jays. Man, what a day. Davis went 5-5 with two doubles, a triple and three runs scored. Oh yeah, he stole a base, too, for good measure.

Chris Coghlan, Marlins. He's had a shortened spring due to some injuries, but Sunday should prove he's on track to begin the season on a good note. The outfielder went 2-3 with a triple -- which was bases-loaded clearing -- two runs and three RBI. With Mike Stanton back in full effect and the presence of Logan Morrison, the Marlins have a strong young outfield.

3 DOWN

Chris Davis, Rangers. He only got one at-bat, but made it count with a strikeout. This is notable because, as blogger Scott Lucas points out , Davis struck out in eight of his last 11 at-bats. In fairness to Davis, we should point out he's got an OPS of over 1.100 with five home runs and 17 RBI this spring.

Carl Pavano, Twins. He was treated poorly by his former 'mates, as the Yankees touched Pavano up in six innings -- to the tune of 11 hits and five runs. His spring ERA is still a sweet 2.16, though.

Ricky Romero, Blue Jays. In 5 1/3 innings, Romero gave up eight hits and five earned runs. Even worse, the outing came against the Orioles, who had zero projected starters in the lineup. So he essentially allowed a run per inning to backup players on a team that finished in last place last season. On the bright side, he did strikeout six and walk none.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com