Results tagged ‘ Joey Gathright ’
Alot of interesting things happened last night during the tender, non-tender deadline at midnight. Players got that realistic nudge of if they are considered a positive piece of the roster puzzle in 2009, or if they are totally expendable to the franchise. Some names came across the board that you thought would be offered a contract, but ended up on the scrap heap with the rest of them.
There were a few names circulating who teams were trying frantically to try and trade before midnight to get some kind of value off the player before he left his old teams clutchs. Up until the witching hour, the Orioles tried to trade Daniel Cabrera and in the same breath sign Lance Cromier to a reduced salary. Neither player was offered a contract in the end, and that leaves the Orioles with an interesting starting pitching arrangement as of midnight. As of right now, only Jeremy Guthrie is penciled in the O’s rotation in 2009, but they do have options in the minor league system.
But some other names popped up on the radar after midnight that were suppose to be key pieces in their teams puzzles, but were discarded like old soda cups at the stadium when the clock struck midnight. Some have already re-signed with their old clubs, while a majority of the non-tenders are re-evaluating their careers and taking a breath before jumping back into the fire.
Philadelphia Philles Pitcher Scott Mathieson and Cincinnati Reds outfielder Norris Hopper resigned with their old squads during the night hours under a minor league contract. What was so wild about the Hopper non-tender is that it left the Reds, who also had their Fan Fest last night, with only 2 outfielders on their roster until Hopper inked his name on a contract.
But some of the veterans that were left off of rosters last night will find solace today and will not be out of work long. Several have had discussion already with clubs and it might be a minimal amount of time before they are signed, sealed and delivered to their new bosses’. But some names last night did not make sense on the syrface. Several of the names on the non-tendered list had great seasons and seemed to be in the plans before December 12th.
Take former Astro Ty Wiggington, not only is he a super utility guy who can seriously play any position under the sun, but he left his old team with decisions to make no at third base. Wiggington was the Astros strongest candidate at third, and no it will escalade into a full blown battle for a successor at the position in the Spring. The 31 year-old hit a strong .285/.350/.526 in 429 plate appearances. He probably doesn’t mind reaching free agency early in a weak third baseman market. The Indians and Twins still have vacancies.
Then you have the relievers who seemd to put up excellent numbers and be on the teams’ radars for 2009, and got put out to pasture fast and without remorse. Such was the case of Florida Marlins’ reliever, Joe Nelson. Wow…a 2.00 ERA still gets you non-tendered in Broward County. He’s not effective as a close down reliever good, but he had a huge strikeout rate and is definitely a useful reliever in early innings.
The you have the case for my favorite whipping boy of 2009, Daniel Cabrera had been in the Oriole system for 10 years before finally getting the heave ho last night. Let’s think about that again…………10 years. This guy has always been the ackwardly potent Orioles pitcher to face during a series. But his Dr Jeckle and Mr Hyde pitching style might have finally out stayed its welcome in Camden Yards. Many a hitter will tell you about pitches grazing the strikezone like a surgeon, then the next one is coming at your head without a want or reason. At times Cabrera posted very big strikeout numbers and had impressive groundball rates. With a fresh start, who knows.
Now here is a non-tender that made sense due to a earlier trade, but why do you give up speed and youth and keep an older outfield that will get older as the year progresses in 2009. I truly feel that former Kansas City Royal Joey Gathright was a victim of the inside rebuilding of the team, but they are giving no consideration to speed and upgrades. Gathright is one of the fastest men in baseball, and that can wreck havoc on a pitching staff if used correctly. Gathright will have a uniform in 2009, and will be dirt and clay-stained by the 5th inning after stealing a few bases.
Then there is the case of former Colorado Rockies outfielder, Willy Taveras. Like Gathright, Taveras is a speed demon, but his recent plus/minus ratings in center field are poor. And you can’t steal first base. And there is the mystery still humming around on why he was not considered healthy enough to complete a trade with the Mets for Tim Redding earlier in the week. This one might take a few months to really get to the heart of the problem, then we can move on and let Willy play baseball again…somewhere.
This next one is pretty personal to me, because I have known this guy for some time and know the BS and the challenges he has faced in 2008. His former team the Tampa Bay Rays considered him a valuable member of the roster before the first half break in the season. From that moment on, Jonny Gomes was relegated to the bench and had minimum chances and outfield starts.
Gomes is the type of player who needs to play every day. He lives and breathes off the emotions and the enrgies of the game. To put him on the bench without a sense of the games pace, you take him mentally and emotionally out of the contest. Gomes got pop, and destroyed lefties outside of this year. That’s about it though. But sometimes, things like this are done for a reason. Maybe a change of scenery will do wonders for him, and finding a team who might need a power fourth outfielder or D H might be his calling in baseball.
When the Los Angeles Dodger let closer Takashi Saito go last night, there was a sigh of relief around baseball. Here is a bona fide closer who might not cost and arm or a leg, who can effectively close out a game without incident. Saito posted some dominant big league numbers for the Dodgers, but he’s a huge question mark after having platelet-rich plasma injected into his elbow in an experimental procedure. Sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie, but without all the Godzilla and Mothra figures.
I think we all know where former Washington Nationals pitcher Tim Redding will be throwing in 2009. Now that he is free and clear, the Colorado rockies will be knocking on his door and frantically calling his agent to get him signed quickly to the Rockies starting rotation. In the high alititude of Denver, he might be good for a sub 5.00 ERA as a back of the rotation starter. Tim, I hear the Rockie Mountain oysters are great at the Buckhorn.
What did not surprise anyone in baseball is the non tendering of former Milwaukee Brewers starter, Chris Capuano. Because of his last 2 injuries there might be a small question of the ability for him to throw effectively in 2009. Considering the Brewers are in need of a extra pitcher now, you might see him resigned to a lower deal with a few health incentives thrown in for good measures.
People seem to forget that Capuano has his second Tommy John surgery in May 2008. But his past exploits from 2005-2006 might get him a Spring Training invite and a possible rotation spot out it all if he is shown to be healthy and productive for the team.
But then you have players like former Red Sox catcher Kevin Cash, who was Tim Wakefield’s personal catcher in 2008. You have to think that the Red Sox are using thisa to get a reduced salary for the part-time catcher. But can catching Wakefield and watching your errors and passed ball totals skyrocket into space be worht the reduced cash flow.
But then you have guys like Aaron Miles of the St. Louis Cardinals, who was also non-tendered in 2007 before signing again for 2008 at a reduced salary. Could the team be again trying to use this as a measure to instill costs with a player who has come back one after being slapped in the face by his team. Hopefully someone like the Cincinnati Reds might find him a better liking to their team and he move on over without giving the Cardinals the satisfaction of another stay on their roster.
In all, Major League Baseball saw about 36 players who recieve non tendered offers last night. Some of these players will resign for a small contract or even a minor league deal with some organization, while other are currently seeking and wanting another chance at starting and helping a team to the next level.
But for people like former Royals infielder, Jason Smith, the non-tendering was not as bad as the designated for assignment he recieved earlier in the day from the team to make a roster spot for newly signed relief pitcher Horacio Ramirez before the non-tender deadline.
I have to admit, I now know that some of our Rays fans are probably Red Sox fans in disguise.
That is the only excuse I can come with for some of the offensive and really petty things that came out of some of our young and misguided fans’ mouths tonight. How can you yell something like, “The Yankees S*&$”, when you are losing a game 2-1?
And then after the contest, in the tunnels, I heard the banter of a few Rays and Yankees’ fans tossing out blue-collar words in front of young kids. Nice move guys, kill the respect we fought for for 11 games with one middle finger salute.
I am never glad for a loss, but this one might have put the wild Rays fans’ world back in order. For both sets of fans, there is a sense of enlightenment that from now on, on any given night……………..you might not win.
Trivia Fact of the Night:
Numbers on jerseys did not become mandatory until the 1930’s
The Good,The Bad,and The Ugly
Rays starter James Shields (4-3) was the losing pitcher tonight, but he pitched a good game
The opposition came out really fired up after the comments made by Yankee head honcho Hank Steinbrenner about career changes and future unemployment of slackers
Shields pitched 7.1 innings of 6 hit ball and gave up two runs. His ERA is at 3.05, and he struck out 6 Yanks tonight. He was in command tonight of all his pitches, but Robinson Cano had his number going 3-3 against Sheilds tonight.
Honorable Mention “Good Guys”:
*** Rays slumping slugger Carlos Pena hit two nice hits tonight that could be a great indicator that he is about to come out of his hitting funk. Carlos hit a screaming liner up the middle in the 4th inning, and got a dying quail hit to left in the second inning.
Pena is now hitting .218 for the year and is still stuck in a 5-way tie for second place in the AL with 8 homers. You have to remember, Pena hit 6 homers before April 14th of this season.
**Rays DH Cliff Floyd came off the DL a few days ago, and has come out swinging the bat. Tonight Cliff got two hits and tested his knee in a first to third baserunning play. Unfortunately, Cliff was out at third on a bullet from Melky Cabrera. Floyd ran strong and made excellient cuts to the bag.
* If you can believe this, Dioner Navarro started at catcher again tonight. I am not sure how many nights in a row it has been, because I can not remember the last time Shawn Riggans got a chance to catch.
Dioner again went 2-3 tonight and helped plate the Rays lone score. Dioner hit a single to center that scored Evan Longoria. Navarro also threw out Robinson Cano at second to end the top of the 9th inning for the Yankees.
I have two bads tonight, one that is just a error and just an adjustment for the fielder. The second one is a deja vu replay of an event that happened in Sunday’s Angels game between two players.
Carlos Pena committed his first error of the seson on a throw to Jason Bartlett at second base. Pena threw a soft throw that sailed a foot over Bartlett’s head into shallow centerfield.
Second, A pop fly behind short/third base put both Carl Crawford and Jason Bartlett in a holding pattern on who was going to go for the ball. The ball fell to the turf, and Morgan Ensberg strolled into home with the winning run of the night. Bad judgement, no communication between either of them on the play.
My ugly is the fact that James Shields is now 0 for-ever against the New York Yankees. That is both home and away 0-for-ever.
James is a smart guy, and he knows that a victory against these guys can set up the team for more glory. He was making mhis 7th career start against the Yankees tonight. He is 0-5 against then with an 7.83 ERA.
Shields has given up 29 earned runs in 33 innings against the Yankees. Hideki Matsui is now batting .500 against Shields ( 7-14 lifetime).
Former Rays Player of the Night:
Tonight’s former Rays is speedster Joey Gathright of the Kansas City Royals.
Joey came up with the bases loaded in the bottom of the second tonight and hit a opposite field single that scored the Royals two runs. Gathright went 1-2 and the two RBI’s lift his season total to 5.
He is currently hitting .255 for the Royals and has 10 stolen bases.