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Tag:Clay Hensley
Posted on: February 29, 2012 1:11 pm
Edited on: February 29, 2012 1:39 pm
 

A unique perspective on Posey-Cousins collision



By Matt Snyder


Last May 25, Marlins bench player Scott Cousins bowled over star Giants catcher Buster Posey. The immediate result was a run scored that led to an extra-innings victory for the Marlins. In the process, however, Posey was injured and it turned out to be season-ending. He broke his fibula and tore three ligaments in his ankle.

The aftermath brought lots of backlash in Cousins' direction. At first, Posey wouldn't return his phone calls. Giants fans all over Twitter and message boards called the play dirty and threw taunts and insults Cousins' way. Those will all surely be rekindled when the Giants and Marlins face each other this season, too.

But new Giants reliever Clay Hensley has a unique perspective. He was on the Marlins when the play happened and is now playing for the Giants, so there's no worry of bias in standing up for a teammate. He was Cousins' teammate and now he's Posey's. Andrew Baggerly of CSNBayArea.com collected some really good quotes on the situation from Hensley.

On Cousins' perspective: “Awful,” Hensley said (CSNBayArea). “You’ve got a player, Scott Cousins, who plays hard and he’s a good guy and a good kid. He just wanted to make a play to help win a game. He’s in his home town, trying to cut a groove for himself with the ballclub. He personally felt he had no room (to slide). Nobody can say one way or the other besides him ... It was tough to watch. I know for his part of things, nobody felt worse than he did. You play the game hard, but you don’t want to hurt anybody.”

On the Marlins' locker room after the win: “It was quiet. Nobody was celebrating,” Hensley said (CSNBayArea). “I can guarantee you there wasn’t any, `Yeah, we got his ass!’ Nothing like that. Everybody was trying to figure out how bad it was. At the same time, Cousins was pretty distraught – wrecked, really – by it as well ... You’re playing to win every time you take the field, but baseball is like one big family. You don’t want anyone to get hurt.”

On Cousins' mindset the rest of the season: “(The collision) is something that affected him for a long time,” Hensley said (CSNBayArea). “We’d try. We'd say things. I remember I told him, `Hey, all you can do is keep your head up, keep working hard.’ That’s easy to say. I mean, this happened to him in his home city. Now we get home (to Miami) and he’s getting hate mail. It was really, really tough for him. He was definitely, really upset about the whole situation.”

Obviously Posey had a worse time last season than Cousins did, as the catcher had to rehab from a broken leg. I don't think Hensley is suggesting otherwise. But the hate in Cousins' direction is definitely unfair. Home-plate collisions are part of baseball. Just because Posey was injured on the play doesn't make it dirty. Hopefully by now all Giants fans have turned the page.

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Posted on: January 26, 2012 9:43 pm
Edited on: January 26, 2012 9:45 pm
 

Report: Giants agree to deal with Clay Hensley

Clay HensleyBy C. Trent Rosecrans

The Giants have added right-hander Clay Hensley to the bullpen, Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reports. The one-year, major-league deal is worth $750,000 with another $300,000 in incentives and awards, pending a physical, according to Crasnick.

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The 32-year-old Hensley was originally drafted by the Giants in 2002, but was traded to San Diego when he was still a minor-leaguer. He's pitched six seasons for the Padres and Marlins, going 6-7 with a 5.19 ERA for the Marlins last season, striking out 46 in 67 2/3 innings, starting nine games among his 37 starts.

Hensley had seven saves in 2010 when he put up a 2.16 ERA in 68 appearances -- all in relief -- for the Marlins. Overall he's 24-26 with a 3.94 ERA in 211 games and 49 starts.

With the Giants, Hensley will at the front of the team's bullpen, behind the likes of closer Brian Wilson and set-up men Sergio Romo, Santiago Casilla, Jeremy Affeldt and Javier Lopez.

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Posted on: August 9, 2011 9:46 pm
Edited on: August 10, 2011 1:50 am
 

Uggla's streak hits 30 games

Dan UgglaBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Dan Uggla extended his hitting streak to 30 games on Tuesday, tying the Dodgers' Andre Ethier for the season's longest. 

Uggla singled off of Florida's Clay Hensley in the fifth inning to extend his streak. Uggla hit a bouncer into the hole between short and third and Emilio Bonifacio was able to field the ball, but his throw was nowhere close. It was the second night in a  row he extended his hitting streak with an infield single. 

He's now owner of the second-longest hitting streak in Atlanta history behind Rico Carty's 31-game hitting streak in 1970.

Uggla finished the game 1 for 6 in the Braves' 4-3 victory in 11 innings.

"We're talking about a lot of games, so there's going to be times where you don't feel as good as other times," Uggla told Dave O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "You've just got to battle and take what you can get."

Uggla has a home run in three plate appearances against Wednesday's starter, Anibal Sanchez.

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Posted on: August 5, 2011 2:00 pm
 

Did La Russa's inaction send the wrong message?

Tony La RussaBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Now don't get me wrong, Albert Pujols is the best player in baseball, the biggest cog in the Cardinals' machine and the best thing to happen to Tony La Russa since Jose Canseco discovered syringes -- but did La Russa's actions -- and non-actions -- this week send the wrong signal to Cardinal players not named Albert?

You may remember there was a little brouhaha earlier this week after Pujols was hit in the hand (admittedly unintentionally by everyone from Pujols to La Russa) by Brewers reliever Takashi Saito. La Russa went nuts, called Brewers fans "idiots," and had his pitcher, Jason Motte throw at the Brewres' Ryan Braun. Not only did Motte (who laughably denied intent afterward) throw inside and miss Braun with his first pitch, he then drilled him in the back with his second pitch.

"I don't want to even hear about Braun getting a little pop in the back when we almost lose [Pujols] in several ways," La Russa said after the game with the Brewers.

So fast forward to Thursday night: bases loaded, one out and Marlins right-hander Clay Hensley on the mound with David Freese at the plate. Hensley, who had struggled with control all night (and had already hit Matt Holliday up and in on the hand) hits Freese not in the hand, but in the head.

It was frightening and sickening. You never want to see a player hit in the head. It's an awful sight nobody wants to see -- least of all the man responsible, Hensley. But wasn't the principle the same? You don't throw at one of Tony's guys inside or high? Does the judge and jury in sunglasses need to make his verdict and dole out retribution? That's the message that was loud and clear on Tuesday.

Or was it?

The first pitch to the next Marlins batter after Freese went down? An 81 mph changeup low and slightly in from Kyle Lohse to Logan Morrison. No retaliation, no "stinger," no nothing. The second pitch? A sinker called for a strike. Morrison then singled on Lohse's fourth pitch, another changeup.

Is the lesson learned hear that a shot to the head is less dangerous to one at the hand? Or is it that Pujols is more valuable not just on the field but as a person than a 28-year-old with 144 big-league games under his belt? Hit Albert and your team will pay. Hit one of the other guys? It's OK, just don't hit Albert. If I'm one of the other guys, I first worry about my fallen teammate and then wonder if I'm important enough for my manager to care about.

But hey, La Russa sure sent a message against the Brewers -- Saito won't ever hit another guy because Motte twice threw at Braun. So since La Russa didn't go all outlaw justice on the Marlins, Hensley doesn't have any idea that it's bad to hit a player in the head, right? He needs La Russa's guidance to understand hitting someone in the head with a baseball is a bad idea.

Maybe not.

"It's unacceptable," Hensley told reporters after the game (via the St. Louis Post-Dispatch). "I could have seriously hurt somebody. You never want to go out there and hit people, much less hit them in the head."

Maybe, just maybe, having your pitcher hit another player doesn't teach a lesson -- they can figure it out on their own without help from the other team's manager. Could it be that teaching a lesson via a "stinger" only escalates the problem? Nope, that's not La Russa's code -- and he's apparently the keeper of the code, so only he can decide that. 

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Posted on: July 29, 2011 4:34 pm
Edited on: July 29, 2011 4:35 pm
 

On Deck: 2 hitting streaks on the line

OD

By C. Trent Rosecrans


Follow all games live with CBSSports.com's GameTracker.

Emilio BonifacioHitting streak, Part 1:
Emilio Bonifacio heads into tonight's game in Atlanta with a  26-game hitting streak, four games shy of the longest of the season, set by Andre Ethier. Bonifacio is hitting .390/.479/.430 during the streak and not only has 39 hits, but also 17 walks. He was hitting .259 when the streak started and is now hitting .299. Bonifacio has never faced Braves right-hander Brandon Beachy (3-2, 3.58 ERA). Right-hander Clay Hensley (1-2, 2.88) starts for the Marlins. Marlins at Braves, 7:35 p.m. ET

Dustin PedroiaHitting streak, Part 2: Dustin Pedroia an eighth-inning homer to extended his streak in a loss to the Royals on Thursday and has nine homers during his 25-game hitting streak. He's hitting .404/.459//752 during the streak with 19 of his 44 hits going for extra bases. He's walked 12 times and struck out just seven times. Pedroia is 5 for 18 (.278) in his career against White Sox starter Gavin Floyd (8-9, 4.11). Boston starter Tim Wakefield is going for his 200th career victory on Friday. He's 2-1 over his last five starts despite a 7.06 ERA. Red Sox at White Sox, 8:10 p.m. ET

Erik BedardLast start in Seattle?: It won't just be Rays fans and Mariners fans watching Friday's game at Safeco Field closely, scouts and front-office folks will certainly be tuning in or showing up to see how Seattle left-hander Erik Bedard pitches. The 32-year-old left-hander is making what is probably his last start as a Mariner, but tonight's start could determine how much Jack Zduriencik gets in return for Bedard. He missed his last four starts with a sprained left knee. Bedard is 4-6 with a 3.00 ERA in 15 starts this season, including 4-2 with a 1.77 ERA in his last 11 starts. Boston is said to be the most interested in Bedard, along with the Yankees and Tigers. Rays at Mariners, 10:10 p.m. ET

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: July 27, 2011 10:53 am
 

When Insects Attack: MLB Edition

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Maybe the folks at CBS headquarters in New York need new show ideas -- so I give them, When Insects Attack: MLB Edition:



Afterward, Logan Morrison tweeted about the attack

Logan Morrison

The bug found a friendlier companion in pitcher Clay Hensley, Joe Frisaro of MLB.com tweeted.

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Posted on: July 27, 2011 10:30 am
Edited on: July 27, 2011 1:02 pm
 

Pepper: Is it Rasmus or La Russa in St. Louis?

Colby Rasmus

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Soap operas are being taken off network TV, but at least we still have baseball.

By the way he's portrayed, you'd expect St. Louis center fielder Colby Rasmus to be the guy with the badly dyed goatee and have ominous music every time he appears on screen. That's at least the way Cardinals manager Tony La Russa (speaking of bad dye jobs) keeps playing it.

The latest barb? Speaking to KSDK-TV in St. Louis, La Russa said Rasmus doesn't listen to the team's coaches.

"No, he doesn't listen to the Cardinal coaches much now, and that's why he gets in these funks, in my opinion," La Russa said, according to MLB.com. "If he would just stay with [basically] what they teach, he would have … but I actually feel concern for him, because he hears it from so many places, he's got to be confused."

That, of course, is a swipe at Rasmus' dad, who has been critical of La Russa publically. 

The Cardinals are actively shopping Rasmus, CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler tweeted yesterday, and if they do deal him, it's got to be a sign that the 66-year-old La Russa will stick around a couple of more years in St. Louis. Dealing Rasmus doesn't make much sense (unless there's a huge return) in a baseball-sense, but it does placate La Russa. La Russa is signed to a one-year deal with a mutual option for 2012. It may come down to a decision for general manager John Mozeliak whether he wants to tie his future to a talented 24-year-old or a manager who has managed more than 5,000 games. What happens before Sunday could tell us quite a bit about the future of the Cardinals.

No platoon: Sticking with the Cardinals and La Russa, Daniel Descalso has started at shortstop in five of the 11 games since the All-Star break, but La Russa denies there's a platoon with Descalso and Ryan Theriot. [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

Contentious in Chicago: Cubs outfielder Marlon Byrd got into a shouting match with a fan before Tuesday's game in Milwaukee. The fan yelled "you guys suck," according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Byrd responded, "We may suck, but you're pathetic." 

Chipper out again: Braves third baseman Chipper Jones returned to the Braves' lineup from a knee injury on Monday, but then miss Tuesday's game and will miss the next few with a right quad injury. The 39-year-old has played in 78 games this season. [Atlanta Journal Constitution]

Conspiracy theory: Phillies fans got on Giants manager Bruce Bochy for how he used Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay in the All-Star Game. Several fans at the team's hotel heckled Bochy saying he tried to overuse both Philadelphia pitchers -- though Bochy notes he used both for fewer than 25 pitches. [San Jose Mercury News]

Throwing Trout back: The Angels are expected to send heralded prospect Mike Trout back to the minor leagues soon. [Orange County Register]

'Cool cat': That's how Giants reliever Sergio Romo described President Barak Obama after the Giants' visit to the White House. I'm sure plenty of people said that about Chester A. Arthur, too. [San Francisco Chronicle]

Reds return: Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com takes a closer look at the two minor league players the Reds received in return for Jonny Gomes.

Perfect in minors: Former Padre Justin Germano threw a perfect game for the Triple-A Columbus Clippers on Tuesday. It was just the fifth perfect game in the history of the International League. The Clippers are the Triple-A affiliate of the Indians. [Columbus Dispatch]

Barton hurt: There's nothing we here at Eye On Baseball like more than making fun of our fellow team member's bad calls -- like my call of Manny Ramirez as the AL Comeback Player of the Year -- so it never fails that any mention of Daric Barton gets Evan Brunell some good-nature ribbing. Brunell said he'd take Barton over Prince Fielder, Mark Teixeira or Ryan Howard -- so yeah. (Of course, I had some questionable picks, too -- Rasmus No. 1 in center?) But the point other than making fun of Evan? Well, it's that Barton, now in Triple-A, has a tear in his labrum and will see a doctor today. [San Francisco Chronicle]

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Posted on: July 19, 2011 1:13 am
Edited on: July 19, 2011 9:17 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Collmenter's gem

Josh Collmenter

By C. Trent Rosecrans


Josh Collmenter, Diamondbacks: The Arizona right-hander has one of the most unusual deliveries in the game -- a straight over-the-top motion he says comes from throwing axes growing up in Michigan. The conventional wisdom had been that once a team got a second look at his funky delivery, they'd have more success. That seemed to be the case early as Colorado and San Francisco saw him as a reliever (and had little success) and then both teams put up five runs against him in his starts. On Monday, he made his first start against a team that had already seen him start before -- and not only that, it was the last team he faced, the Brewers. On July 6 he threw six shutout innings at Miller Park. Monday he threw eight shutout innings, allowing just three runs against the Brewers, striking out seven with no walks, earning his first win in six weeks.

Clay Hensley, Marlins: Florida's right-hander came off the disabled list to make his first start since 2008 and limited the Mets to just one hit in five innings. Hensley had been on the DL since June 1 with a sprained shoulder. He had appeared in 20 games as a reliever this season before his injury. The win was Florida's ninth in its last 10 games.

Dan Wheeler, Red Sox: The right-hander not only earned the win in Monday's 15-10 victory over the Orioles, he also picked up a save of the team's bullpen. A day after (well, actually later in the same day as the end of the game) Sunday's 16-inning victory in Tampa Bay, Boston starter Tim Wakefield couldn't make it out of the fifth. Wheeler went 2 1/3 innings to help shorten the bullpen. 


Roy Halladay, Phillies: I just wanted to see if his name would actually fit below the line in this space. Halladay left in the fifth inning on Monday with a heat-related illness. In four-plus innings, he gave up seven hits and three runs in his shortest outing since June 12, 2009 when he went just three innings before going on the disabled list with a groin injury. He had a streak of 63 consecutive starts of at least six innings snapped. Halladay said he'd be fine for his next start.

Alexander Torres, Rays: Coming into a tie game against the Yankees in the ninth inning isn't exactly the easiest big league debut, but it was one to forget for the left-hander. With two outs he had three straight walks (one intentional) to force in the winning run. The Rays sent him back to Triple-A Durham after the game.

Minnesota Twins: With a chance to get right back in the thick of the American League Central race, Minnesota dropped seven games behind the division-leading Indians. The Twins couldn't even blame their two fill-in starters, Scott Diamond and Anthony Swarzak -- each went at least six innings and gave up just three earned runs (and one unearned run for both, as well). Twins hitters went 1 for 12 in the doubleheader with runners in scoring position.

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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