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Tag:Dexter Fowler
Posted on: December 4, 2011 11:30 am
Edited on: December 4, 2011 7:25 pm
 

Homegrown Team: Colorado Rockies

Troy Tulowitzki

By C. Trent Rosecrans


What if players were only permitted to stay with the team that originally made them a professional? No trades, no Rule-5 Draft, no minor or major league free agency ... once you are a professional baseball player, you stay in that organization. This series shows how all 30 teams would look. We give you: Homegrown teams. To view the schedule/past entries of this feature, click here.

Building a team in Colorado has been a bit of a conundrum throughout the Rockies' brief history -- the offensive numbers will come in the elevation, while pitchers have to be homegrown because free agent pitchers aren't exactly lining up to play in the high altitude.

Lineup

1. Dexter Fowler, CF
2. Seth Smith, RF
3. Troy Tulowitzki, SS
4. Matt Holliday, LF
5. Todd Helton, 1B
6. Juan Uribe, 3B
7. Chris Iannetta, C
8. Clint Barmes, 2B

Starting Rotation

1. Ubaldo Jimenez
2. Jhoulys Chacin
3. Jake Westbrook
4. Aaron Cook
5. Jeff Francis

Bullpen

Closer - Franklin Morales
Set up - Luis Ayala, Jamey Wright, Pedro Strop, Edgmer Escalona, Rex Brothers, Matt Reynolds
Long - Juan Nicasio

Notable Bench Players

Wilin Rosario and Josh Bard give this team a good stable of catchers, while Everth Cabrera, Chone Figgins, Ian Stewart, Juan Pierre and Ryan Spilborghs give the team some veratile players in the field, with Brad Hawpe perhaps the best bat off the bench.

What's Good?

The lineup's going to score some runs, that's for sure. Especially in Colorado, having a 3-4 of Tulowitzki and Holliday is going to be impressive. Of course, there's not Carlos Gonzalez, so it's pretty much even compared to the regular team. The team is strong up the middle defensively, which it will need...

What's Not?

The pitching staff is similar to what we saw in real life in 2011, with Chacin leading the way and Jimenez struggling before being traded. Westbrook helps, but you have to remember he wasn't even on the Cardinals' playoff roster for the first two rounds and pitched two innings in the World Series. The bullpen is deep, but not overpowering.

Comparison to real 2011

The wheels fell off the Rockies in 2011, with the team going a disappointing 73-89. The offense on this team is similar, while the pitching (especially the bullpen) is not as good -- that formula adds up to another losing season and probably a 90-loss season.

Next: Arizona Diamondbacks

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: August 11, 2011 12:22 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Kipnis a big hit in Cleveland



By Matt Snyder


Jason Kipnis, Indians. On the night when Ubaldo Jimenez made a sparkling home debut for the Tribe, rookie second baseman Kipnis -- who the Indians feel can be their Utley or Pedroia -- torched the Tigers. He ended 5-for-5 with a double, home run, four runs and three RBI. He became the first Indians rookie since 1952 to accrue five hits and four runs in the same game (MLB.com). The Indians won and moved within two games of the Tigers in the AL Central.

Brett Lawrie, Blue Jays. The heavily-hyped rookie third baseman came to the plate in the bottom of the sixth inning with the bases loaded and his team trailing 3-2. He sent a 2-0 pitch into the left-field seats for his first career grand slam to put the Blue Jays on top for good. He later doubled and scored to end the day 2-for-4 with six total bases, two runs and four RBI. He's hitting .389 with two homers and six RBI in just five games since his promotion.

Curtis Granderson, Yankees. He connected for home runs twice, driving in four on the two blasts, in a 9-3 Yankees win. It was a win that brought the Yankees to within 1 1/2 games of the Red Sox in the AL East, but we're listing Granderson here for a different reason. It was his 113th game of the season, and he set a new career high with 31 homers. He averaged 24 per season in the last five -- his only five full years in the bigs. The surge is a testament to the hard work in improving against left-handers, which came last August. Oh, and for those who want to complain about the ballpark, Granderson has 14 road home runs.



Jonathan Sanchez, Giants. When Ryan Vogelsong unexpectedly emerged as a solid starter, the Giants appeared to have a nice problem on their hands: Six viable starters. Then again, Barry Zito isn't very viable for the most part, and now Sanchez is falling out of favor as well. He only made it through 4 1/3 innings Wednesday afternoon against the Pirates, allowing four earned runs and, yes, four walks. Control continues to plague him. This was against a Pirates team that entered having lost 11 of their past 12 games. It's going to be interesting to see what the Giants do when Zito gets off the DL. Oh, and while we're here, the Diamondbacks won Wednesday night and took over first place in the NL West. The defending champs are certainly in danger of missing the postseason.

Aaron Crow/Joakim Soria, Royals. The Royals were in great position to win with their seemingly-adolescent offense -- in terms of age -- putting up seven runs, including three ninth-inning insurance runs. Instead, the bullpen unraveled. Crow and Soria combined to allow five runs on five hits while only recording two outs. The last run was unearned, as Sam Fuld hit a game-tying triple -- only to come home as the winning run on a throwing error. Just a miserable ninth for the Royals.

Dexter Fowler, Rockies. Don't just look at the box score here. Remember, we watch games. Those who played in college and maybe even high school will remember the Cardinal Rule of baserunning, which is to never, ever make the third out at third base. Well, Fowler did it Wednesday night. In the ninth inning. To end the game. And he was the tying run. He is absolutely fast enough to score on a single, so there was no reason for the blunder.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: July 24, 2011 3:19 pm
Edited on: July 24, 2011 4:03 pm
 

Fowler adds leg kick, starts hitting

FowlerBy Evan Brunell

Has Dexter Fowler finally figured things out?

Fowler has been up and down with the Rockies over the last three years, given every chance possible to stick as the long-term center fielder in Colorado. He looked well on his way toward that goal, hitting .266/.363/.406 in his first extended big-league stint, but has been sliding backward ever since.

Fowler was demoted to the minors in early June with a disappointing .238/.340/.348 line and continued his poor season down in Triple-A.

"I wasn't really looking over my shoulder as much as looking inside myself like, 'What's going on?' " Fowler said of his struggles, according to the Denver Post. "It's just a matter of trusting in what God has given me and going on from there. If I do that, everything will take care of itself."

But even a Carlos Gonzalez injury that resulted in a return to Colorado didn't help Fowler get going -- until a suggestion by hitting coach Carney Lansford, who suggested Fowler start using a leg kick.

"What he was doing, he had no chance," Lansford said. "He was having trouble getting the ball out of the infield. I asked [bench coach] Tommy Runnells, 'What can we do with this guy?' and he said, 'Let's try a leg kick. Let's see if it gets him back to where he can attack the ball.' And it just clicked with him right away."

Since incorporating a leg kick, Fowler has registered nine hits in 16 at-bats, delivering two doubles and three triples. Obviously, it's way too early to tell whether Fowler has re-invented himself, but the early prognosis is good.

"I was in the second group of early BP and [Lansford] said, 'Hey, try this,' so I tried it," Fowler said. "It's kind of gone on from there. Spilly [Ryan Spilborghs] was joking with me. He said, 'I've been doing a leg kick for four years and you just pick it up and start raking?' "

Fowler also credits a more relaxed approach with his new success, saying the demotion helped him focus.

"I'm relaxing more, just seeing the ball and hitting it," Fowler said. "I was thinking in the box too much, putting too much pressure on myself. I know I can hit. It was just a matter of seeing the ball and clearing my mind."

Fowler's resurgence is great news, but let's keep in mind we're only talking about 16 at-bats. Even baseball's worst hitter -- whether that be Chone Figgins, Alcides Escobar or someone else of your choosing -- can put together a respectable 16 at-bats together. More important is what he contributes moving forward.

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

Category: MLB
Posted on: June 20, 2011 4:59 pm
Edited on: June 20, 2011 5:08 pm
 

Rockies activate, option Fowler

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Dexter FowlerAs expected, the Rockies have activated center-fielder Dexter Fowler from the disabled list and optioned him to Triple-A Colorado Springs.

Fowler had been on the DL with a left abdominal strain, but the Rockies got good production from his replacement, Charlie Blackmon. Had Fowler returned to the Rockies, it's unlikely he would have been any more than a backup or pinch-runner. Blackmon is hitting .378/.391/.400 so far this season, stealing five bases.

The team wants Fowler to work on his left-handed swing, Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports. The Rockies don't want Fowler to abandon switch-hitting but would like him to improve from the left side.

That seems odd, since he's been pretty bad as both a left-handed batter and right-handed batter. He has a higher batting average and on-base percentage as a left-handed hitter than as a right-hander. As a lefty, he's hitting .242/.341/.338 and is hitting (or not hitting) .226/.339/.377 as a right-handed hitter.

In his career, however, he's been better as a right-handed batter, hitting .282/.369/.414 right-handed vs. .243/.338/.380 left-handed.

It's possible this season's stats are skewed by smaller sample sizes, and scouts have seen holes in his swing left-handed. Fowler has benefited from a little bit of luck left-handed with a .365 batting average on balls in play as a lefty and a .293 BABiP as a right-hander.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: June 15, 2011 3:45 pm
Edited on: June 16, 2011 9:17 am
 

Fowler's stay in Triple-A may be extended

Dexter Fowler

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Dexter Fowler's Triple-A rehab stint could turn into a demotion, Jim Armstrong of the Denver Post writes

The Rockies have told Fowler he may be staying in Triple-A when his rehab assignment is done later this week to work on his swing.

"We told Dexter that there was the possibility that once the 72-hour rehab is up there are no guaranteed that you'll go from rehab right to recall," Rockies manager Jim Tracy told Armstrong. "He's aware of that. There are some things that obviously all of us have had a lot of discussions about … There are some things that obviously have to be ironed out."

With Fowler on the DL because of a left abdominal strain, rookie Charlie Blackmon (right) has taken over left field and Carlos Gonzalez has been shifted to center. In his eight games, Blackmon, the Rockies' second-round pick in 2008, is hitting .290/.290/.323 in eight games since being called up, he's also stolen four bases without being caught.

Fowler was struggling this season, hitting .238/.340/.348 in 247 plate appearances and had been caught stealing six times in eight attempts. He went hitless in four at-bats Tuesday for Triple-A Colorado Springs. 

Fowler is one of those incredible athletes who's fun to watch, but his speed has yet to be turned into an offensive weapon. He has a total of 42 stolen bases in his three seasons as a regular and a success rate of 64 percent.  

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: June 8, 2011 5:41 pm
Edited on: June 8, 2011 6:05 pm
 

Dexter Fowler could abandon switch-hitting

By Evan Brunell

FowlerDexter Fowler has been in danger of losing his starting job in center field for some time now but avoided a demotion when he injured his left abdomen.

That opened the door for hot prospect Charlie Blackmon to receive a promotion, and it's questionable if Fowler will return to being a starter once he's healthy. After impressing in each of the last two seasons, he's taken a major step back this year with a .238/.340/.348 line, which has the Rockies thinking about removing Fowler's switch-hitting abilities, the Denver Post reports.

Batting as a lefty, Fowler has a career .243/.338/.380 line against right-handers. When he switches sides to face lefties, he hits at a .282/.369/.414 clip. The Post writes that Fowler's struggles come from a long swing path, exposing him to hard pitches down and in that he can't square up.

It's not clear how long Fowler will be out as he's letting his injury heal before beginning baseball activities.

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

Category: MLB
Posted on: March 29, 2011 5:56 pm
Edited on: March 29, 2011 9:35 pm
 

Five teams to improve, five to decline in 2011

By Matt Snyder

Finally, spring training is concluding. Now we have a day or two before your favorite team begins play. In the meantime, I'm here to bring you the top five teams to decline and the top five to improve upon their 2010 performances. In return, you accuse me of bias and call me names. It's fun for everyone, really. One thing to keep in mind is that improving or declining by more than 10 games is pretty drastic. On some of these, I'm looking at something like a seven-game swing.

TOP FIVE TEAMS TO IMPROVE

1. Boston Red Sox. Well, let's see ... Last season Kevin Youkilis only played 102 games, Dustin Pedroia saw action in 75 and Jacoby Ellsbury just 18. Josh Beckett was either injured or ineffective all season. Meanwhile the Red Sox added Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez to a team that won 89 games, despite all those injury woes -- and some underachieving from people like John Lackey. Easiest call on the board here, and even Yankees fans would have to concede this team is loaded.

2. Oakland A's. The pitching staff is stellar, even including the bullpen. The starting rotation is already really good and only getting better. The A's won 81 with one of the worst offenses in baseball last season. A full season of Coco Crisp, Kurt Suzuki bouncing back and the additions of Hideki Matsui and Josh Willingham don't exactly sound like adding Gonzalez and Crawford, but small improvements will do wonders for the pitching staff. Slugger Chris Carter is waiting in the wings, too, and don't be surprised if Billy Beane adds a bat at the deadline.

3. Colorado Rockies. Troy Tulowitzki needs to stay healthy and Dexter Fowler needs to get closer to his ceiling. I'm going out on a limb that both happen, along with steps forward from Chris Iannetta and Ian Stewart. Watch Jhoulys Chacin's development in the starting rotation, too. He's got big potential.

4. Milwaukee Brewers. This is contingent upon the big names staying healthy and Zack Greinke getting healthy as soon as possible, because this team is paper-thin. But the top line is very impressive. Plus, the division is not very good at all. The Brewers are going to score runs, get good starting pitching (again, assuming the health thing) and have a good back-end of the bullpen. If they can overcome defense and depth deficiencies, they'll win the Central.

5. Florida Marlins. Call it a bit of a gut call, but I really like the Marlins. The rotation really has great potential with Javier Vazquez returning to a pitcher's park in the NL East (he's apparently too intimidated by being a Yankee) and Ricky Nolasco having the ability to be a true No. 2 if he can ever stay consistent. Anibal Sanchez and Chris Volstad have -- again, this word -- potential to be solid at the end, with stud Josh Johnson leading the five-some. I love the outfield potential of Logan Morrison, Chris Coghlan and Mike Stanton, so long as all three can stay healthy. Hanley Ramirez is primed to have a big season, too.

TOP FIVE TEAMS TO DECLINE

1. San Diego Padres. Removing Gonzalez from the middle of the batting order changes the complexion of everything. And Mat Latos is already hurt, which does nothing to alleviate the concern of the huge workload increase he's experienced over the past two seasons. Most of all, the Padres just seem outmanned by the Giants and Rockies. Winning close to 90 games seems outlandish. Of course, many people said that last year, too.

2. Houston Astros. They overachieved in a big way last season according to run differential (the 'Stros allowed 118 more runs than they scored) and aren't any better. Other than Hunter Pence, the position players are either getting old (Carlos Lee), still unproven (Brett Wallace) or just not that good (Jason Michaels, Bill Hall, Michael Bourn). I'm not a huge fan of the rotation, but it's going to have to carry the team. Good luck with that.

3. Tampa Bay Rays. This is difficult. It's hard to not love the Rays for being so good at sticking with the Yankees and Red Sox in the mighty AL East on that paltry payroll. The loss of Crawford hurts. Carlos Pena wasn't overly productive -- though he was much better than his batting average said -- last season, but his presence helps everyone else see better pitches. That goes away with Dan Johnson at first. The loss of Matt Garza isn't a big deal, so long as Jeremy Hellickson does his thing and James Shields returns to form. The bullpen is worse, though. Look, I'd pick the Rays to win the NL Central if they were in it, but the Yankees aren't any worse and the Red Sox are way better. The Orioles should be better as well. I think the Rays win in the ballpark of 86 games, but that's 10 worse than last year and good for third place.

4. Toronto Blue Jays. They're still building and are moving in the right direction, but winning 85 games again in that division is a very tall order. Any offensive bounce-back from the likes of Aaron Hill and Adam Lind is negated by Jose Bautista's return to this planet.

5. St. Louis Cardinals. If anyone can pull this off, it's Dave Duncan, but losing Adam Wainwright was a death blow. Chris Carpenter is old and injury-prone. Jaime Garcia is due a massive regression. Kyle Lohse was awful last year and Jake Westbrook doesn't have good stuff. Kyle McClellan could very well prove a solid No. 5 starter, but he hasn't exceeded 75 2/3 innings the past three seasons in the bullpen. Can he really double that and remain effective? The outfield defense won't do the staff any favors, either. The Pujols/Holliday/Rasmus combo -- and even Lance Berkman in a best-case scenario -- is very solid, but there's only going to be so much they can do on some nights. I feel like mid-to-high 70s in wins, but Duncan and Tony La Russa find ways to make people wrong often.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: March 4, 2011 10:00 pm
Edited on: March 4, 2011 10:02 pm
 

3 up, 3 down for 3/4: The return of Peavy

Peavy
By Evan Brunell

It feels like the days are dragging now that spring training games are started. Craving relevance, it's important to take the performances of players -- especially day-to-day ones -- this early into spring training with a grain of salt. That said, there's still plenty news of note...

3 UP

1. SP Jake Peavy, CHW: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K. Scott Miller has more on Peavy, but here's the gist: the White Sox starter pitched in a game for the first time since injuring his shoulder in July. While the road to pitching in the regular season is still long, the fact Peavy made it through a game and had no issues during and after the game is a milestone.

2. SP Bartolo Colon, NYY: 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K. Who saw this coming from Colon? He flat out dominated the Red Sox and turned enough heads that one has to wonder if Colon really might claim that No. 5 spot. It's way, way too early to proclaim Colon the front-runner, but Colon was an afterthought before this start. No longer.

3. LF Nolan Reimold, BAL: 3 AB, 2 R, 1 H, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HR. Reimold is battling for a spot on Baltimore's bench and is doing everything he can to avoid a demotion. Unfortunately, his inability to play center puts him behind the eight-ball. It's possible the O's could deal Reimold at the end of spring training, but that's hard to imagine given Derrek Lee and Vladimir Guerrero are temporary. Baltimore needs to keep its depth and young players, even if that means more seasoning down on the farm.

3 DOWN

1. SP Ryan Rowland-Smith, HOU: 2 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 1 K. Not good for "Hyphen," who is battling for the No. 5 spot in the Astros rotation. He has no shortage of challengers, including Nelson Figueroa, Aneury Rodriguez and Jordan Lyles, plus a few others. If he fails in his quest, he will be shuttled off to the bullpen.

2. RP Juan Gutierrez, ARI: 2/3 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 1 K. Gutierrez gave up 13 home runs last season but somehow managed to save 15 games with a 5.08 ERA. That won't repeat itself this season, and if the 27-year-old wants to be an important part of the bullpen, he can't have outings like this with plenty of competition around him.

3. CF Dexter Fowler, COL: 4 AB, 0 R, 0 H, 0 RBI, 1 K. Now with the center field job his free and clear, Fowler needs to take another step forward this year after two years of over 500 plate appearances. Fowler was good enough those seasons, but he needs to take the next step forward if he wants to be considered an integral piece of the club. A .182 average to start spring training isn't helping.

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

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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