Tag:George Sherrill
Posted on: February 19, 2009 5:24 pm

Orioles workouts, Wednesday, Feb. 18

-- The Orioles won't play an intrasquad game this year, but they will play WBC team Italy at noon Tuesday, Feb. 24 in a "friendly." That should beat watching an intrasquad game anyway.

-- Manager Dave Trembley said Koji Uehara threw a lengthy bullpen session, something the Japanese imports are accustomed to. They are used to throwing a lot more on their offdays than American pitchers. It caused Dice-K Matsuzaka to wear down in Year 1, so if you are taking a flier on the 33-year-old Uehara, you might consider dealing him midseason.

-- Trembley has been impressed with Uehara thus far in camp. He was also impressed with back-end rotation candidate Brad Hennessey, who he said had command and movement.

-- George Sherrill (hamstring cramps) and Mark Hendrickson (chronic hip issues from his basketball days) are being brought along more slowly than the other pitching veterans in camp. It shouldn't keep them from competing for the closer's and No. 5 starter's jobs.

-- Matt Wieters was real, real impressive in the batter's box, hitting screaming gap shots in his first five swings. He also took his sixth swing for an opposite field homer. That is a big man with a great swing, especially from the left side. Look out.

-- Wieters wasn't as impressive from the right side, although he did homer from that side, too, during coach-pitch BP.

-- Gregg Zaun was not impressive in BP ... it is real night and day when those two alternate in the cage.


Posted on: July 24, 2008 10:28 am

Video notes for Pitching Planner

This week's video notes for the Pitching Planner:

-- I think Francisco Liriano arrives next week ...
-- The calendar is turning to August, so David Price might not be far behind. Clayton Kershaw is already back, don't sleep on him.
-- Trade deadline any pitchers going to get dealt? Yes, but the real impact ones A.J. Burnett and Erik Bedard might stay put -- Bedard certainly will
-- Which of these potentially on the move could get the biggest bump? Jarrod Washburn, Greg Maddux, Livan Hernandez, Bronson Arroyo
-- We saw Jon Rauch get dealt this week ... How about closers on the move? George Sherrill, Brian Fuentes, Huston Street

Must-start, two-start pitcher
Armando Galarraga DET
(07/29) @ CLE Aaron Laffey
(08/03) @ TB James Shields
73 percent owned 47 percent starting

Sit, two-start pitcher
Jered Weaver ANA
(07/28) @ BOS Daisuke Matsuzaka
(08/02) @ NYY Darrell Rasner
94 percent owned 66 percent starting

Two-start sleepers
Kenny Rogers DET
(07/28) @ CLE Paul Byrd
(08/02) @ TB Andy Sonnanstine
36 percent owned 25 percent starting

Anibal Sanchez FLA
(07/28) vs. NYM John Maine
(08/02) vs. COL TBA 
7 percent owned 2 percent starting


Posted on: March 13, 2008 4:05 pm

A day taking a look at the Twins

FORT LAUDERDALE -- The Twins make a rare appearance in Fort Lauderdale, with a matchup of No. 5 starter candidates Garrett Olson and Nick Blackburn starting.

-- Delmon Young swung through two pitches, which reminded me of how much he strikes out. It is not problematic, but he will have to improve his strikeout-to-walk ratio in order to become the elite Fantasy star we expect him to become. By the way, he didn't throw a bat at umpire Ed Rapuano, but Olson did saw him off. The bat head with a seriously sharp end went hurling toward Olson along with the ball. Give Olson his props for avoiding getting impaled and making the play on the comebacker. Young is not yet full grown. Look out once he is. He had a well struck drive to center that would have been an extra-base hit with a little bit more strength. He hit it on the nose.

-- Denard Span looks like a better bet than Carlos Gomez to open in center. Span came into the game hitting .278 with three steals, while Gomez is hitting just .148 in a team-high 27 at-bats. A good sign is Gomez has struck out just twice. Span struck out for the first time in 19 at-bats this spring, leading off the game. Having turned 22 this winter, Gomez is the youngest player in Twins camp. That might be the No. 1 reason he begins the year in Triple-A. I still see a player with .280-20-80-100-50 potential out of him long term.

-- Of the prospects the Twins got from the Mets in the Johan Santana trade, Phil Humber's numbers have been the most impressive. He has five Ks and allowed just three hits in six scoreless innings. Kevin Mulvey, who was stingy with the homers in Double-A, has given up one already this spring (five runs in six innings) and will most certainly spend most of the year in Triple-A. Deolis Guerra (two scoreless innings) is still a teenager and has already been reassigned to minor league camp. He will likely spend the year in Double-A.

-- Humber has been more impressive than all of the Twins' No. 5 candidates behind Francisco Liriano, Livan Hernandez, Boof Bonser and Scott Baker. Glen Perkins (six runs, 12 hits in eight innings) and Kevin Slowey (six runs, 15 hits in 6 2/3 innings) have been hit pretty hard.

-- Blackburn, who is in the mix too, looks like he needs time in Triple-A. He is a decent-looking prospect and perhaps even an ace in a prospect-laden rotation for the Rochester Red Wings. I grew up 20 minutes south of Rochester, so I had to drop that reference in there.

-- Melvin Mora, having an awesome spring, smoked one off Blackburn into the left center gap for a double, scoring Brian Roberts from first. It was a team-leading ninth RBI for Mora.

-- Jay Payton went back to that same gap to score Ramon Hernandez from first. Hernandez was on after getting hit on the hand by Blackburn. The trainers checked him out for awhile, but he appeared fine. He stayed in the game, but they might do an X-ray just in case.

-- After Payton's double, Adam Jones grounded out to second. He couldn't beat it out running from the right side of the box, but the important thing was the situational hitting. He got the ball to the right side and moved Payton along to third with no out. That won't show up on the box score and does nothing for Fantasy, but it is good baseball and shows Jones' level of acumen for the game. Not bad for a player his age or a talent of his ilk. Think Delmon Young would have done that? Hm.

-- Nick Punto fits in a lot better at second than he ever did at third. He will likely open the year as the starter over speedy Alexei Casilla, who has stolen four bases in four tries. Casilla is an intriguing flier in AL-only leagues, but he might have to open in Triple-A. Punto made a nice turn on a double play while be taken out by Mora. Punto has a pretty strong arm to go with range, which is probably why he spent so much time at third. Adam Everett, who is here today and hitting ninth, is the everyday shortstop.

-- Brendan Harris and Mike Lamb might platoon at third. They didn't make the trip. Tommy Watkins, a minor league journeyman played third Thursday.

-- No Motley Crue/Vince Neil Kick Start My Heart for George Sherrill's entry into the game today. Darn. Was looking forward to that. Sherrill did throw some chin music to Garrett Jones on a 2-2 count. He came back with a slider in the dirt to strike him out. Good closers need attitude. Sherrill looks like he has it. After I type that, Craig Monroe slashes a double down the left-field line and Jason Kubel follows with a run-scoring single.

-- Kubel has now played outfield in both of the Twins spring games I have seen, left and right. He is not a candidate for center and he won't start over Michael Cuddyer in right or Delmon Young in left, but it is good to see the probable DH proving healthy enough with his knees to play the field. Kubel slapped a single to center to score Monroe from second off Sherrill. Kubel was once an elite outfield prospect for his OPS potential before a collision in the Arizona Fall League derailed him. He needed a complete knee reconstruction and has yet to be the same. Kubel is a guy who relies on his swing and not his legs, so he could still become a .300-30-100-100 guy. Perhaps after he turns 27.

-- The Orioles made some more cuts Thursday, optioning potential No. 5 starter Hayden Penn to Triple-A, along with relief prospect Fredy Deza and Bob McCrory. C Zach Dillon was also reassigned to the minor leagues. Penn is very surprising, considering he was a candidate for the rotation years ago before an emergency appendectomy put off his call-up before a trip to Seattle. The team said Penn was ready for the big leagues to stay back then. He hasn't proven that since. Consider him nothing more than a prospect flier in deeper AL-only or long-term keeper leagues now. He should arrive in midseason, but the lowly O's don't give him much of a chance to be a .500 pitcher.

-- O's catcher Hernandez is back up. It just occurred to me Sherrill's chin music to Jones might have been an attempt at retaliation for Hernandez being hit. Save for Markakis or Roberts, if he is still around, Hernandez has the potential to be the O's one All-Star. Hernandez had lost his luster some as a Fantasy backstop, but he is still a potential top 10 option at the thin position.

-- Did the Anita Marks Show, a radio broadcast out of Baltimore at 3:20 today. She was in attendance in Orioles camp this week. Not sure if it was broadcast on MASN.


Posted on: March 5, 2008 3:04 pm

Sherrill is a closer and Trachsel is just a loser

FORT LAUDERDALE -- Marlins-O's, two of the worst teams in baseball but ones with plenty of opportunities for new talent, face off today. Steve Trachsel vs. Rick VandenHurk, capital H and no space. Curious to see VandenHurk in his bid for the fifth starter's spot.

-- Could do without seeing Trachsel. It took too pitches to confirm his status. Light-hitting Robert Andino launched a double to left that one-hopped the fence. A few batters later prospect Brett Carroll rolled the gap.

-- Carroll hit 22 homers in Triple-A last year and will head back there, but he is a guy you can see developing into a solid big leaguer -- perhaps at the age of 27 -- a la Cody Ross. Ross and Carroll have pop, although Carroll is much bigger, thicker and more upside long term. A check of the stat check: Carroll came into the day 5-for-8 with four RBI.

-- Luis Gonzalez, who once was slugging it out with Barry Bonds in 2001, is here today for the Marlins. He is now the veteran reserve role. Coincidentally, he blooped a single to center that reminded me of his '01 Series-winner off Mariano Rivera. Wow, that was a long time ago.

-- No Brian Roberts today. Saw him walking out of the clubhouse and heading home before the start of the game. No trade -- just a planned day off.

-- Nick Markakis is in the lineup -- a day after being angry about a minimum contract (much like Cole Hamels and Prince Fielder this spring). The 'Cake has a case. He is worth more in his pre-arbitration years. But I under the O's not wanting to pay him now, because they know they will have to overpay to keep him later.

-- Three flyouts for VandenHurk in the first. He is a flyball/strikeout pitcher, which works in roomy Dolphins Stadium. He is a guy I keep thinking more and more of this spring. He could be a sleeper in deeper NL-only leagues.

-- Jose Castillo is playing third today, a day after Dallas McPherson made his spring debut. McPherson is my pick to surprise this spring, but Castillo shouldn't be far behind. He has some pop for NL-only leagues, too, albeit far less than D-Mac. Castillo, whose only two hits thus far this spring are a homer and a double, is still young and the Pirates once thought he could develop into a 20-plus homer second baseman. Defense and Freddy Sanchez got in the way of him starting there. If the season started today, Castillo would probably start at third, but McPherson has some serious potential to make up ground in a hurry.

-- Melvin Mora robbed Castillo of a hit in the hole. Mora might not be a top 15 Fantasy third baseman anymore, but he still plays hard and plays every day. He crushed an Anthony Reyes pitch for a homer Tuesday. There will be worse third baseman than Mora picked in your league on Draft Day, but I wouldn't use anything more than a stopgap-type pick on him.

-- Mike Rabelo is catching for the Marlins today. When the Tigers dealt him to Florida, some thought it meant he might start. He is not fit to start. Matt Treanor likely will have that job. As I type that, Rabelo smacks a clean single to center. I only feel better amid my poor scouting skills because Trachsel is on the mound.

-- Aubrey Huff (sports hernia) is making his spring debut at DH. What happened to that guy? He once had so much potential. It is the curse of the Rays. Past and present players from that organization seem to be cursed.

-- VandenHurk picked Kevin Millar off first. What was Millar doing? Practicing his rundowns?

-- Dan Uggla walked! Stop the presses. If Uggla could make better contact and draw more walks, he would be the top Fantasy second baseman his power numbers suggest he should be.

-- Like Mora yesterday... I just thought: Carroll is going to run into one of these Trachsel offerings right here. If I am right, I am going to do this a lot more often. ... Damn. He tried... Just got under it. Flyout to center.

-- Adam Jones is sitting today with Tike Redman in center. The O's are even less watchable without the energy of Roberts and Jones.

-- Here's that Ross guy. If not for the elite talent of Cameron Maybin (idle today), I'd pick Ross to be the Marlins starting center fielder. He has a nice compact swing and power to go with it. If you are looking for an extra outfielder in deeper NL-only leagues, Ross is a nice pick. He forced Markakis to make a basket catch in deep right-center with two men on. With a more sluggish veteran in right, that would have been a two-run triple. The 'Cake can run.

-- VandenHurk is a tall, slender guy with good leverage. The Marlins could do a lot worse with him as their No. 5 starter. He allowed just one hit and a walk in three sharp innings. He pitched to just nine batters, picking Millar and Eider Torres off. Methinks he has a good pickoff move.

-- George Sherrill, potential closer, is in the game in the fourth for the O's. Closers pitch right after starters early in spring training, because they want to face the big league batters. Back in Black played over the PA when he came in. That must be his adopted schtick. It's a copycat league. Sherrill is a portly lefty, but he warmed up like his pants were on fire. He looked like a closer. Works from the stretch, standing turned toward right field instead of toward first base -- unorthodox. Popped the mitt pretty well and threw a big slow one to Castillo, who fouled it off. When he missed, it looked purposeful -- up and away. He got Castillo to fan on a fastball. He was popping the mitt with hard strikes early in the count. Closers have to do that. Flyout to right by Jason Wood. Two down. Rabelo, groundout. Hm.

-- Far more impressive than Jamie Walker and clearly has the edge on untested James Hoey. Dave Trembley is right. Sherrill is their closer. I have to update my projections on the O's relievers this afternoon. I had it split 50-50 between Sherrill and Walker. Downgrading Walker and bumping Sherrill up over 20 saves. Right now, my guess is Hoey sets up for Sherrill, with Walker serving a left-handed role in any innings needed. Chad Bradford is still around to submarine hitters in the latter innings, too.

-- One significant issue I noticed with Sherrill. His body type is not quite svelte. He could be an injury risk, capable of pulling any of his unshaped muscles at any time. If Hoey develops as the setup man, it could be likely we see him getting the save chances when Sherrill goes down. It will be a lot harder to take Walker out of a specialized lefty role.

-- Markakis is not a real big guy, but he sure can swing the bat. Of course, we all knew that already.

-- Jeremy Hermida, a Georgia prospect just like Markakis, looks similar in the box to Markakis. Hermida is bigger in the upper body -- very broad shoulders -- and has a more patient approach at the plate. The 'Cake is a sweeter swing, though.

-- Uggla swings hard. He almost separated both shoulders on a cut at a Bradford offering. Kidding about the injury. It just looked painfully hard. He queued one to right in the at-bat.


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