Tag:Jayson Werth
Posted on: September 24, 2011 6:46 pm
Edited on: September 24, 2011 7:12 pm
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Nats' Werth stages a coup in presidents race

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Sometimes you wonder if baseball players take any notice of the other things going on around the ballpark during the game. Well, with 162 games, they're bound to take notice of somethings, especially in a team's home park.

In Washington D.C., the team holds the President's Race during each game with large-headed mascots of ex-Presidents racing from the bullpen down the right-field line. The joke, of course, is that Teddy Roosevelt has never won the race. Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth is on a crusade to change that.

Saturday, Werth, center fielder Rick Ankiel and the Nationals' bullpen took out all the presidents in an attempt to win the race. However, Roosevelt also fell down and all the mascots went back into the stadium through the bullpen before finsihing the race, so Werth crossed the finish line himself.

Here's the video of the incident:

"Well, if Teddy can't win, then no one wins in my book," Werrth told reporters after the team's 4-1 victory over the Braves (via CSNWashington.com). "I'm the last remaining member of the Bull Moose Party, I guess. I don't really know what else to say."

Werth was asked if he and his teammates had warned the presidents what was coming, he didn't exactly answer the question.

"I can't really comment," Werth said. "When you stage a coup, it's better to keep it quiet."

Friday night, Werth  tried to hold up Abraham Lincoln and George Washington in order to give Roosevelt the win. He slowed them down, but he couldn't get to Thomas Jefferson, who finished ahead of Roosevelt.

Here's the video of Friday's shenanigans:

Werth wouldn't say if he had any plans for Sunday's presidents race, the final one of the season at Nationals Park. Lincoln currently leads Jefferson 30-29 in the season series.

The genesis of Werth's membership in the Bull Moose Party goes back to May when Werth said "things need to change" after a loss to the Brewers.

Later when asked to expand on his statement, he joked, "Why doesn't Teddy get to win?" as a way of saying what kind of change the team needed to make.  

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Posted on: August 30, 2011 5:03 pm
Edited on: August 30, 2011 5:06 pm
 

September Storylines: Reyes readies for payday

Jose Reyes

By C. Trent Rosecrans

It only takes one to like you to hit the jackpot -- I'm the living proof. My wife, she's great. Me? Eh. I'm probably not even a replacement player -- I'm guessing my Win Against Replacement husband is roughly somewhere around negative-1.2. I'm certainly no Jose Reyes, I can tell you that.

Reyes has a lot of things I don't -- youth, speed, a great arm and he can hit. He also has really cool hair. Me? I'm left-handed, so there's that. Beyond that? I type pretty quickly and I'm not too shabby at a grill (and I smoke a mean pork butt). 

So what does this have to do with anything? Reyes will enter the offseason as the biggest free agent on the market and beauty is in the eye of the beholder. 

Last night Reyes came off the disabled list between games of a doubleheader after missing three weeks with a strained left hamstring, singling in the seventh inning as well as making a nice play in the field (along with an error earlier in the game). There will be plenty of eyes on Reyes down the stretch, despite his Mets being well out of the pennant race, but not for what exactly he does on the field, just that he stays on it. What those watching will see with Reyes in the last month of the season? It's kind of a glass half-empty or half-full thing...

September Storylines
To come:
      • Can Jose Reyes stay healthy?
      • Which minor-leaguers can make an impact?
    • A look at the postseason races

Some general managers could see a guy who put up MVP numbers for the Mets this season. He's in line to win the batting title, has a .376 on-base percentage and is slugging .505. Put that a premium position and you're talking a pricey player for any team wanting to make an offseason splash -- and this would be as big of a splash as me doing a cannonball off the high dive. Reyes is the best shortstop in baseball not named Troy Tulowitzki -- and Tulowitzki isn't going anywhere soon. Reyes also just turned 28 in June, so he'll likely still be younger than New York's other starting shortstop when this contract is over (assuming it's not a crazy 10-year deal or anything).

Others could see him as injury-prone and a gamble. Despite great talent, they can look back on Carl Crawford and his injury-plagued first season in Boston as a cautionary tale. Even his own owner, Fred Wilpon said earlier this year that he didn't think Reyes would get a "Carl Crawford contract" -- which for the record was seven years and $142 million -- and that was before his two stints on the disabled list this season. And given that the Mets are one of the prime suspects for handing out that kind of contract, it certainly raises some eyebrows. When Reyes went on the disabled list earlier this month, an anonymous teammate told a reporter that his injury might cost him $100,000 for every day he's on the disabled list. So, that could cost him $2,150,000 -- that's more money than I can imagine, but just small percentage of what Reyes could earn on the open market.

And that's just the point -- no matter what Reyes does over the final month of the season, he's going to get paid. He's going to be paid handsomely -- and he may just get a "Carl Crawford contract" -- because in the end, it only takes one team to fall in love and overpay. Just like my wife… and Jayson Werth with the Nationals.

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Posted on: August 23, 2011 9:53 am
 

Pepper: Moustakas on hot streak

Moustakas

By Evan Brunell

GETTING HOT: Mike Moustakas didn't find the major leagues much to his liking in the early going, but things have turned around thanks to a recent tear that's lifted Moose's batting average to .206.

That's an accomplishment when it was at .182 mere days ago. Over the last five games, the third baseman has collected eight hits in 16 trips to the plate, doing much of his damage against the Red Sox who just completed a four-game series with Kansas City.

“Whenever you’re going bad,” Moustakas told the Kansas City Star, “you need those little things here and there to pick you back up, and this homestand kind of helped me out.”

Also encouraging from the 22-year-old is the three doubles collected during his five-game hot streak, a display of power that hasn't been around this year. It's taken quite some time for Moustakas to get used to the majors, but the Royals have proven to be very patient. Working in Moustakas' favor is that he's struggled at every single new level he's risen, so if history is any indication, he will snap out of his slump in due time.

Moustakas credits his turnaround with working alongside hitting coach Kevin Seitzer to close up his front shoulder more when at the plate. He needed some time to get into a groove with the new stance, but results are starting to show.

“Anytime you change something, it’s gonna feel uncomfortable,” Moustakas said. “But Seitz told me just stick with it, it’s gonna work out. And it ended up working out right now. I’m hitting the ball harder, squaring a little more balls up, so it’s paying off.”

BEAST MODE
: The Brewers have started up a tradition, making hand gestures after a big play that translates to "beast mode." The inspiration came from the movie Monsters Inc. and describes what Milwaukee has been up to lately with a 22-3 record in its last 25 games.

"I don't want it getting carried away," manager Ron Roenicke said of the new trend to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. "Do I like it? Not particularly. But I don't think I'll say, 'Don't do it.' If I see it getting worse, I'll say no. I didn't like when the Rangers did the 'antlers' thing [last year]. If you're old school, you're not going to get along in the game these days."

BEST DRAFT: It's been a week since the deadline for drafted players to sign has passed. With a few days to digest, Jim Callis came up with the top five drafts, with the Nationals heading the list. Also ranking among the top five are the Diamondbacks, Red Sox, Pirates and Rays. (Baseball America)

COMPLETE PACKAGE: The New York Times ran a profile on Miguel Cabrera, who is one of the best young players in the game. Seriously -- he doesn't seem to be considered a superstar, but maybe he should be, as this factoid suggests: "Only five players in major-league history have had 1,500 hits and 250 homers, while hitting .310 or better, through their age-28 season. They are Jimmie Foxx, Mel Ott, Hank Aaron, Albert Pujols and Cabrera."

BEST BALLPARK: Four teenagers went on a trip, taking in games at all 30 stadiums in 54 days. The best stadium according to the four? Cincinnati's Great American Ballpark -- a quality park, but not one you usually hear as the best. It may have helped that they witnessed a walkoff in the Reds game. (Cincinnati Enquirer)

LOSING CUBA: A wave of defections across Cuban sports have recently left a void in Cuba, where sports is not a lucrative field. That's caused many athletes to defect in the aim to compete against higher competition and make more money. To help address the problem, Cuba is finally considering allowing its athletes to play abroad. (Associated Press, via The Globe and Mail)

LOOKING BACK: A year ago this week, Cody Ross was claimed off waivers by the Giants. The Padres were also interested in Ross, but the division leaders at that point declined to put in a claim while San Francisco won his rights. Of course, Ross ended up a postseason hero, while the Padres were frozen out -- but to hear GM Jed Hoyer say it, he would make the same move again. (Tom Krasovic, Inside the Padres)

MAKING FUN OF WERTH: Phillies fans have a new favorite pastime, which is making fun of Jayson Werth. Still roundly booed for taking a lucrative deal to play for the Nationals, the ex-Phillie felt the "love" during a homestand in which Phillies fans virtually took over Nationals Park. A Philadelphia car dealer got in on the fun, running an anti-Werth ad on Philadelphia sites. (Washington Post)

TWEETING TICKETS
: Jesse Litsch challenged fans to find him in Wonderland, an amusement park near Toronto. The winner received two tickets to Tuesday's game, but it took until Litsch winning a gigantic Spongebob prize and tweeting about it for him to be spotted. (Toronto Star)

MOST HANDSOME SOPHOMORE: SI.com has photos from high school of 28 athletes, and Nolan Ryan and Barry Bonds are among the stars. One one came away with the designation of most handsome sophomore, though -- that being Ryan, who was among the 1965 class.

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Posted on: August 8, 2011 12:49 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Reddick, Red Sox walk-off winners

Josh Reddick

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Josh Reddick, Red Sox: In his first four at-bats of Sunday's game against the Yankees, Reddick went hitless and left six men on base. But he came up big in the 10th inning, singling in the game-winning run, for the first walk-off hit of his career. With the win, Boston moved back into sole possession of first place in the American League East, a game ahead of the Yankees. Reddick got his shot because Carl Crawford had three hits in his first four at-bats of the game, so after David Ortiz doubled with one out in the 10th off of Phil Hughes, the Yankees elected to intentionally walk Crawford and take their chances against Reddick. Reddick swung at Hughes' first offering, lining it the other way and just inside the left-field line, easily scoring pinch-runner Darnell McDonald from second.

Jake Peavy, White Sox: Peavy picked up his first victory since June 25 -- and his first win in a start since June 22 -- with eight shutout innings against the Twins. Peavy scattered three hits and struck out six batters without a walk to improve to 5-5 on the season. The White Sox picked up their first sweep of the Twins in Minnesota in more than seven years.

Johnny Giavotella, Royals: In just his third game in the big leagues, Ned Yost put the rookie second baseman in the No. 3 spot in the lineup. The result? A double and a solo homer. In three games this season, he's 5 for 11 and slugging .909. Giavotella started a rally in the fourth inning, leading the inning off with a double, moving to third on a wild pitch and scoring on Billy Butler's groundout. The Royals scored two more runs in the inning and his homer off of starter Max Scherzer in the next inning gave Kansas City a 4-0 victory, a lead they'd hold on to for a 4-3 victory over the Tigers.


Kevin Correia, Pirates: Correia wasn't awful -- but he needed to be better than that to put the stops to the Pirates' losing streak. He lasted 5 2/3 innings, allowing five hits and four runs on four walks and three strikeouts. Correia has 10 wins away from PNC Park, but is 2-7 with a 7.71 ERA at home, as the Pirates lost 7-3 to the Padres to drop their 10th in a row. With the loss and Milwaukee's win, the Pirates fell to 10 games out of first place in the National League Central and into fourth place, a half-game behind the Reds. Pittsburgh is now five games under .500 on the season at 54-59.

Rockies resting on the sabbath: Colorado lost its 16th consecutive Sunday game, falling 3-2 to the Nationals at Coors Field. The Rockies won their first two Sunday games of the season and haven't won since. Colorado came back to tie the game in the seventh, but Jayson Werth's RBI single in the eighth gave the Nationals the lead and ultimately the victory.

Marlins defense: Logan Morrison and shortstop Emilio Bonifacio ran into each other trying to catch Corey Patterson's sixth-inning popup, allowing Patterson to reach second. After getting two outs, the Marlins intentionally walked Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday singled to right, where Mike Stanton let the ball bounce off his glove. Patterson would have scored anyway, but it allowed Pujols to go to third and Holliday to advance to third (not to mention tie the game). After an intentional walk to Lance Berkman, Jon Jay singled in two runs on a blooper. After Florida tied the game in the bottom of the inning, Bonifacio's throwing error on a Patterson grounder led to three unearned runs in the seventh and a 8-4 Cardinals victory.

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Posted on: July 29, 2011 9:10 pm
Edited on: July 29, 2011 10:06 pm
 

Phillies to get Pence from Astros

By Danny Knobler

The Phillies have acquired outfielder Hunter Pence from the Astros, sources told CBSSports.com Friday night.

The deal was described by two sources as "very close," and was expected to be announced later in the evening.

Pence, a 28-year-old two-time All-Star, gives the Phillies the strong outfield bat that manager Charlie Manuel has been asking for. Pence hit .308 with 62 RBI in 100 games this year for the Astros.

While Pence isn't as dynamic a player as Carlos Beltran, the outfielder the Giants got this week from the Mets, he fits the Phillies' pattern of acquiring players they can control past the end of the year. Pence can't become a free agent until the end of the 2013 season. That's why the Phillies were willing to pay a bigger price for him than they would have for Beltran.

Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro also has a history of being able to make deals with Astros GM Ed Wade. The two worked together when Wade was with the Phillies, and last year they engineered the trade that sent Roy Oswalt to Philadelphia.

First baseman Jonathan Singleton, who was pulled out of Friday night's game at Class A Clearwater in the eighth inning, is thought to be one of the players going to Houston in the trade. Pitcher Jarred Cosart, who starred in the All-Star Futures Game, was also thought to be in it. CSN Philadelphia reported that minor-league pitcher Josh Zeid and a player to be named will complete the four-player package.

Pence started for the Astros Friday night, but was pulled out of the game in the fifth inning.

The Braves had also tried to get Pence, but they weren't willing to surrender any of their top pitching prospects. The Phillies, who valued Pence more, were willing to come up with the players to convince the Astros to make the deal.

The Phillies originally expected that Domonic Brown could take over in right field this year, after they allowed Jayson Werth to leave for Washington as a free agent. But Brown got hurt in spring training and has struggled since then, and Manuel told reporters Friday afternoon that he would be better off developing in the minor leagues.

Earlier this week, the Phillies were still trying to decide whether to prioritize an outfielder or bullpen help. They decided to make Pence their top target, in part because they believe the bullpen will be strengthened in the playoffs by the addition of whichever starter they don't use in their postseason rotation (either Vance Worley or Oswalt).

The big question then was whether the Astros would truly consider dealing Pence, who is a favorite of outgoing Houston owner Drayton McLane. At one point this week, Astros officials were telling friends with other teams that they were much more likely to trade Pence this winter.

Once Beltran was dealt to the Giants on Wednesday, however, the Astros realized that the time to maximize Pence's value was now. Incoming owner Jim Crane intends to start a complete rebuild in Houston, likely dropping the Astros' payroll to around $60 million next year. So moving Pence, who makes $6.9 million this year and will be due for an arbitration raise, began to make more sense.

The Astros have also shopped center fielder Michael Bourn (the Reds are interested), and starting pitchers Wandy Rodriguez and Brett Myers. But Pence was always the one who would bring the biggest return.

The Braves move on to other targets. They could try to make a deal for White Sox outfielder Carlos Quentin, but the Sox are believed to be asking for the same high-end pitching prospects that the Braves refused to deal for Pence. Atlanta could also step up efforts to get Ryan Ludwick from the Padres, or potentially try to get B.J. Upton from the Rays.

Ken Rosenthal of Foxsports.com first reported that the Phillies and Astros were close to a deal.

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Posted on: July 18, 2011 2:04 am
Edited on: July 18, 2011 4:12 pm
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Hudson does it with arm, bat

Daniel Hudson

By C. Trent Rosecrans

There was no shootout in Tampa Bay, but maybe it would have been better than 16 innings -- but Dustin Pedroia finally ended the marathon in Florida with a 16th-inning single to drive in the game's only run. More on that later...

Daniel Hudson, DiamondbacksNot only did Daniel Hudson allow just one run and five hits in his second career complete game, he also homered and knocked in two more with a two-out single in the seventh inning. Hudson clubbed his first career homer in the sixth inning off of the Dodgers' Ted Lilly and is now hitting .383/.396/.511. Hudson improved to 10-5 on the season and has won his last seven decisions.

Emmanuel Burriss, Giants: Burris didn't get into Sunday's game until the ninth inning when he replaced San Francisco catcher Eli Whiteside in the top of the ninth inning against San Diego closer Heath Bell. He did exactly what Bruce Bochy had hoped -- stealing second. After moving to third on a sacrifice bunt, neither Andres Torres nor Pablo Sandoval could get him. No worries, Burriss singled off of Chad Qualls with one out in the 11th and then he stole second on a pitchout, with Kyle Phillips' throw going into center field, allowing him to move to third. He scored the winning run on Chris Stewart's perfect squeeze bunt. 

Josh Beckett, Red Sox and Jeff Niemann, Rays: These two again showed how silly the win statistic is are judging a pitching performance -- are you going to say neither pitched well just because they didn't get the win? In the Sunday night game, we saw two excellent pitchers at their best. Both went eight innings, neither factored in the decision. Beckett allowed just a first-inning infield single to Evan Longoria that deflected off of Beckett, while Niemann allowed a single in the first and another in the fourth. Neither allowed a run. Beckett didn't walk a batter and struck out six. Niemann walked two and struck out 10. It wasn't just Beckett and Niemann, though -- five more Red Sox pitchers and seven Rays combined throw up 15 more zeroes on the board, with Adam Russel allowing the only run of the night on two hits and a walk in the top of the 16th.


Ryan Theriot, Cardinals: It's one thing to get mad about a bad call and argue with the umpires and even bump them, but it's another to do it when the umpire makes the right call, as Mike Muchlinski did when Theriot failed to touch second on a force play at second in the sixth inning. (After the game, Theriot stood his ground, saying he had position -- but hedged noting that even if he hadn't, he'd gotten that call before.) The play let Zack Cozart stay on second and he later came around to score the Reds' first run of the game, tying the game at 1. Theriot bumped Muchlinski before he was tossed and then tried to pull away first base umpire Chris Guccione who got between the two. Theriot can expect a suspension.

Joel Pineiro, Angels: Or maybe this should go Kurt Suzuki who was the only one of 10 Athletics batters to go to the plate against Pineiro and record an out, The Angels' starter walked the bases loaded to start the game before giving up a two-run single to Hideki Matsui. After another walk and an error, Conor Jackson hit a grand slam. After leadoff man Jemile Weeks hit a run-scoring single to make it 8-0, Piniero was given the hook. In all, he allowed eight runs (seven earned) on four hits and four walks. His ERA went from 3.90 to 4.58 on the season.

Jayson Werth, Nationals: Werth recorded his fifth 0-for-5 performance of the season and is now hitting .213/.318/.355. Werth hit .154/.291/.286 in June and is hitting .157/.271/.157 this month. He is still searching for his first extra-base hit of the month. Werth left four Nationals runners on base in Sunday's 9-8 loss to the Braves that saw Washington blow a 6-2 lead and an 8-7 lead. Not too bad for $126 million.

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Posted on: July 7, 2011 10:34 am
Edited on: July 7, 2011 1:43 pm
 

Pepper: Hurdle responds to Bochy comments



Barry Zito seeks his third straight win since coming off the DL while Jered Weaver looks to keep his hot streak going. Eye on Baseball Blogger Matt Snyder joins Lauren Shehadi to discuss those storylines and more in this edition of Baseball Today.

By Evan Brunell


ALL-STAR CRITICISM: Giants manager Bruce Bochy wasn't happy about criticism that Pirates manager Clint Hurdle and Marlins manager Jack McKeon leveled about his choices on who made the All-Star roster. Hurdle was annoyed that Andrew McCutchen hadn't made the team while McKeon questioned the selection of Bochy's player in Tim Lincecum.

Well, Hurdle fired back after hearing Bochy's comments, specifically that Hurdle and McKeon never lobbied for their players while other managers did, so how can they speak out against the selections?

"I don't think lobbying is a part of what you do in that position," said Hurdle, who has experience with the All-Star Game, managing it in 2008 when he represented the Rockies. "He's earned that opportunity by winning the National League championship. I just have never lobbied, and I never got any calls from any other managers lobbying the year I did it."

Hurdle did apologize if his comments were hurtful to Bochy.

"I have the most professional respect for Boch," Hurdle said. "He's a better manager than I'll ever be. My feelings came from the heart. Diplomacy, I guess, wasn't at the top of my list that day, and I can understand that as well.

"I've been on the other end of that. I just know that I took it with a grain of salt, and he felt he made the best decision for the National League because that's his job to represent. I wish the National League nothing but the most success that we go out and win the game.

"We've known each other back to when we were 16 years old. I can understand he's disappointed in what I had to say. I can deal with that."

McCutchen still has a chance to get on the roster as Ryan Braun from Milwaukee is hobbled by an inflamed tendon, and if he cannot play this weekend, will pull out of the game. (MLB.com)

ALL-STAR INVITE: Albert Pujols says he would be honored to go to the All-Star Game should he be selected as a replacement. Pujols missed his chance at going to the game thanks to his wrist injury, but could still squeak in as players pull out because of injuries or other reasons. It's possible Pujols could replace Braun. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

DODGER DEBACLE: More information in the saga that just won't go away. MLB has filed a motion that Dodgers owner Frank McCourt should not have the right to see various documents that McCourt is requesting, alleging that releasing the documents would turn the bankruptcy court hearing into "a multi-ringed sideshow of mini-trials on his personal disputes." (Los Angeles Times)

FIRST TIME FOR EVERYTHING: Davey Johnson has never ordered a suicide squeeze, per his own recollections. That changed Wednesday night for the Nationals. Wilson Ramos dropped a successful bunt, allowing Mike Morse to cross the plate with what turned out to be the winning run. (CSN Washington)

WHAT EYE PROBLEM? Mike Stanton visited an ophthalmologist Wednesday and received eye drops to combat an eye infection that has sent him spiraling into a slump. He's received eye drops and apparently they worked as he slammed a walk-off home run against the Phillies on Wednesday night to give the Marlins a victory. (MLB.com)

YOU'RE NO PUJOLS: Apparently Cleveland's Shin-Soo Choo is hoping to pull an Albert Pujols and get back on the field earlier than expected. After breaking his left thumb and staring at a diagnosis of eight-to-10 weeks out, Choo is telling friends he believes he can be back in early August. Given how fast Pujols returned, I suppose you can't rule it out, but ... well, don't go wagering on an early Choo return. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

YEAH AND NO: That was the Dodgers' Andre Ethier's answer when asked if he was pleased with his performance so far. Hitting a career-high .317 is great, but Ethier's seven home runs are a sudden loss of power for someone who slammed 31 two seasons ago. (Los Angeles Times)

WORKHORSE: Justin Verlander has made 37 consecutive starts of 100-plus pitches, which is tops in baseball all the way back to 1999, and probably a bit farther back, too. Second place boasts Felix Hernandez at 32 consecutive games from 2009-10, while Randy Johnson pops up multiple times. (Baseball-Reference)

UNSAVORY COMPARISON: Just three months into Jayson Werth's massive seven-year deal with Washington, and he's already being compared to another player who was a colossal bust on his own big deal, not that it was his fault for the team throwing ill-advised money at him. "Him" is Alfonso Soriano, and that's definitely company Werth does not want to be associated with. (Washington Post)

JONES HURTING: Chipper Jones admitted he shouldn't have played Tuesday after he received a cortisone shot for a meniscus tear as he is trying to avoid surgery. “I just didn’t feel right [Tuesday]," he said. "Not having that first step quickness, you favor it. It’s hard to stay on back of it right-handed, swinging the bat. Just one of those things we’ve got to continue to monitor and deal with.” For his part, Jones says he was perfectly fine for Wednesday's game. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

FIGGINS BENCHED: Finally. Chone Figgins has been benched and has easily become one of the largest albatrosses in the game. Figgin's replacement is Kyle Seager, who was promoted from the minors and will stay at third for the foreseeable future. (Seattle Times)

BARGAIN: Who were the best bargains signed as free agents in the winter? There are some worthy candidates in Bartolo Colon, Erik Bedard, Ryan Vogelsong and Brandon McCarthy. Fine seasons, all. But the best bargain is another pitcher, Phil Humber. Hard to disagree. (MLB Daily Dish)

CRAWFORD EN ROUTE: The Red Sox can't wait to get Carl Crawford back, and it looks as if that will happen after the first series back, which is in Tropicana Field. The Sox want to avoid Crawford playing on artificial turf right away, so a July 18 return in Baltimore appears likely (Providence Journal)

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Posted on: June 25, 2011 2:05 am
Edited on: June 25, 2011 5:31 pm
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Shields notches third straight CG

Shields

By Evan Brunell


3 UpJames Shields, Rays -- At this point, I'm wondering if the Denzel Washington movie, Unstoppable, about a speeding train, applies to James Shields. The righty notched his third straight complete game, punching out nine batters and dropping his ERA to an eye-popping 2.29, alliowing just three hits and a home run. Shields now has six complete games on the season. "I definitely didn't think it was going to be this many," Shields told the Associated Press. "I thought I was going to get three or four or something like that [on the season]. It's unbelievable. This is not how I expected to start, but it's exactly how I want to start. So I'm going to try to keep it going."

Starlin Castro, Cubs -- The 21-year-old is on fire, hitting .348 in June and registering nine multi-hit games in his last 11. And pray tell, what are you doing with your life? Anyways, Castro's overall line is now .327/.356/.446 and he batted out of the two-hole Friday. The Cubs' present is pretty dim and another rebuilding effort is underway, but as long as Castro's at short for Chicago, the future is bright.

Erick Aybar, Angels -- Here's a name you don't usually see often. Aybar, the Angels' shortstop, went 3-for-5 against the Dodgers, scoring two runs and driving in two to account for half of the Angels' runs in an 8-3 victory. His two ribbies came on a two-run blast off of Rubby De La Rosa. Aybar's line is now .287/.323/.418, and that's why you usually don't see his name. He's not a superstar, but the 27-year-old is a solid player.



3 DownJayson Werth, Nationals -- Werth had a putrid game in a 14-inning loss to the White Sox, striking out four times in seven trips to the plate, notching just one hit. Werth was returned to the leadoff spot after ex-manager Jim Riggleman moved him to the No. 2 spot recently. That puts Werth's line at .234/.340/.409. How much money is he owed again?

Zach Duke, Diamondbacks -- Neither Duke nor Phil Coke pitched particularly well, but Duke gets the prize here. It's not a good prize, obviously. He gave up six earned runs in four innings, allowing seven hits, three walks and punched three out. His ERA is now 5.73. Duke is still Duke, no matter what uniform he wears.

Jairo Asencio, Braves -- Asencio isn't exactly a vital cog in the Braves bullpen as the 28-year-old has just 10 1/3 innings for the Braves this season and 12 1/3 career innings. Still, that doesn't excuse a 2/3-inning performance in which he coughed up six runs (three earned) on four hits and two walks while striking out just one.

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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