Results tagged ‘ Twins ’

Cuddyer back in lineup

Rockies right fielder Micahel Cuddyer returned to the lineup today, against the Mariners, for the first time since being hit in the hand with a pitch from the Rangers’ Yu Darvish on Friday night.

Cuddyer was originally scheduled to play Sunday against the Indians, but was scratched before the game.

“[Sunday] I picked up the bat and swung a little bit, and only took about five swings and was afraid this thing was going to blow up again,” Cuddyer said. “I wanted to take yesterday to see if I could do it. I hit, and there was no problem.”

Cuddyer said he is excited for Friday night’s opener at Houston, after playing all or parts of the last 11 seasons with the Twins.

“For Opening Day, I was always anxious, nervous, butterflies,” Cuddyer said. “I get butterflies for every game. Now, being with a new team, new fan base, new organization, new league, I almost feel like a rookie again. In Houston, I’ll be facing three pitchers and I’ve only faced one of them before — like, three at-bats.

“Feeling like a rookie again is fun.”

Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki was out for the second straight day after being hit on the left elbow by the Indians’ Ubaldo Jimenez — who was issued a five-game suspension and undisclosed fine after Major League Baseball determined that the act was intentional. Tulowitzki was to hit in the batting cage today.

Here is the Rockies’ lineup for today’s next-to-last Cactus League game:

Marco Scutaro, SS

Dexter Fowler, CF

Carlos Gonzalez, LF

Michael Cuddyer, RF

Todd Helton, 1B

Jason Giambi, DH

Ramon Hernandez, C

Jordan Pacheco, 3B

Jonathan Herrera, 2B

Rockies pitching for today:

Juan Nicasio, RHP

Matt Belisle, RHP

Rafael Betancourt, RHP

Rex Brothers, LHP

 

 

Publication believes age will hurt Rockies’ defense

The Rockies’ decision to go older this year was designed to increase the team’s savvy and improve situational hitting. But will it hurt the defense?

ACTA Sports, publishers of The Fielding Bible – Volume III, seems to think older is not necessarily better with the glove. The publication points to four moves hurting the defense, under its various formulas that rate players in a category called Defensive Runs Saved.

– The publication reported that right-handed pitcher Aaron Cook, who has signed a Minor League contract with the Red Sox, saved six runs last year and was the main reason the Rockies’ staff was rated best in baseball from a fielding standpoint.

– Mark Ellis, who signed with the Dodgers as a free agent, saved 17 runs last season, and bolstered the defense after arriving in a midseason trade. Marco Scutaro, who played last season for the Red Sox, replaces Ellis.

– The book ranks Michael Cuddyer, a free agent previously with the Twins, as a downgrade from Seth Smith, now with the Athletics, in right field.

– Also, catcher Chris Iannetta, who was traded to the Angels, saved eight runs in what the publication rated as a tremendous defensive year. This year’s publication predicts veteran Ramon Hernandez, who played for the Reds last season, will cost the Rockies four runs.

Overall, The Fielding Bible rated the Rockies fifth overall in the Majors defensively, and is predicting a drop to 14th.

Of course, the Rockies could beg to differ with the publication at two of the positions cited.

– When the Rockies signed Cuddyer, one of the attributes they mentioned was his throwing arm, which they felt was superior to Smith’s and the team has no doubt in Cuddyer’s ability to handle right. Right is roomy at Coors, but Dexter Fowler covers extreme ground in center, and left — where 2010 Rawlings Gold Glove Award winner Carlos Gonzalez plays — is considered more challenging than right because of the room that must be covered.

– The Rockies also have confidence in the range of Scutaro. Last season, Scutaro played in 109 games and started 103 at shortstop for the Red Sox. The Rockies want to rest shortstop Troy Tulowitzki more than in the past, and Scutaro’s range makes him a logical option to allow him to do so. The club would have to feel a second baseman with enough range to play short is not a defensive downgrade.

 

Blake reaches agreemernt with Rockies

Veteran third baseman and utility man Casey Blake has agreed to terms on a one-year contract, Rockies general manager Dan O’Dowd announced Tuesday, during outfielder Michael Cuddyer’s introductory press conference at Coors Field.

Blake, 38, appeared in just 63 games for the Dodgers last season (.252, 4 HR, 26 RBIs) because of various injuries — a back problem, an elbow infection and a neck nerve issue that led to surgery. O’Dowd said Blake checked out medically, but the contract will not become official until Blake passes a physical. The physical is not likely to occur until after the holidays.

“We think we added a culture-changer, just like we added in Michael Cuddyer,” O’Dowd said.

The contract calls for a non-guaranteed base salary of $2 million, with another $1 million available in performance bonuses.

Over 13 seasons with the Blue Jays, Twins, Orioles, Indians and Dodgers, Blake has hit .264 with 167 home runs and 616 RBIs.

Cuddyer honors Killebrew with number choice

New Rockies outfielder Michael Cuddyer annoucned that he will wear No. 3 to honor a friend and former Twins great, the late Hall-of-Famer Harmon Killebrew. His introductory press conference at Coors Field starts soon.

Cuddyer wore No. 5 with the Twins, for whom he played 11 seasons.

“Strictly as a human being, he’s one of the greatest human beings I’ve ever come in contact with,” Cuddyer said. “One of the first things I did was look at the roster, see if 3 was available and ask for it. I’m very happy to get it.”

Rox, Cuddyer reach three-year, $31.5 million agreement

The Rockies are putting the final touches on a three-year signing of outfielder Michael Cuddyer to a three-year, $31.5 million contract, a Major League source confirmed to MLB.com on Friday morning.

The right-handed hitting Cuddyer, 32, hit .284 with 20 home runs and 70 RBIs for the Twins last season. He has hit at least 20 homers three times in his career, including a career-high 32 in 2009. In 1,139 career games, all with the Twins, Cuddyer is a .272 hitter with 141 homers and 580 RBIs.

Cuddyer figures to fit in the lineup in left field, but also could move to first base on days Todd Helton is not in the lineup. The Rockies could use him in the No. 5 spot behind shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, or at No. 6 if the Rockies want the left-handed hitting Todd Helton to continue to bat behind Tulowitzki.

The Rockies also were looking to re-make the flavor of the clubhouse, after finishing 73-89 last season and not showing the toughness that had become a trademark of the club in recent seasons. The team has added a pair of veterans via free agency – catcher Ramon Hernandez for two years and $6.4 million, and Cuddyer.

The Rockies still aren’t likely to be done with building the 2012 roster. Left-handed hitting left fielder Seth Smith is the team’s main trading chip, who figures to be supplanted by Cuddyer, is the team’s main chip in attempts to deal to fill other holes. A key one is the need for a starting pitcher capable of 200 innings, with left-hander Jorge De La Rosa having to come back from Tommy John elbow surgery and out until sometime around June .

The Rockies rid themselves of $7 million in salary by dealing relief pitcher Huston Street to the Padres and further trimming the payroll of a projected $2.6 million when they sent arbitration-eligible third baseman Ian Stewart to the Cubs as part of a four-player trade, the Rockies achieved enough payroll relief to make an offer to an outfielder.

But signing Cuddyer means the Rockies will not be able to continue to pursue Hiroki Kuroda, a right-hander reportedly looking for a one-year deal in the $13 million range.

The Rockies began pursuing Cuddyer early in the free-agency period, but needed the market to fall into place. That occurred on Tuesday, when news surfaced that outfielder Josh Willingham moved toward accepting an offer from the Twins. The original thought Twins were not going to sign both players, but the Twins remained in the running.

According to reports, the Phillies and Mariners were still trying to sign Cuddyer as of Thursday.

Rockies talk to Cuddyer; Twins in the mix

Negotiations continued Thursday between the Rockies and free-agent outfielder Michael Cuddyer. The Mariners, Phillies and a somewhat unexpected suitor, the Twins, are also in the mix. It’s not clear how quickly the Rockies or anyone else can come to an agreement.

Cuddyer has spent his entire Major League career with the Twins, who made him a three-year offer. It was believed that the Twins were no longer a possibility when outfielder Josh Willingham signed for three years and $21 million. But multiple reports said the Twins had not dropped out of the running.

The Rockies’ prime focus is Cuddyer. The team has expressed interest in six-time All-Star outfielder Carlos Beltran, but he is considered a longshot for the Rockies, mainly because of health concerns. Beltran has dealt with serious knee issues, including arthroscopic surgeries on both of them before the 2007 season and a further surgery on the right knee in 2010. The Mets had to be careful with his playing time early last season. Beltran put up strong numbers after being traded to the Giants for their lat-season run. However, the Giants have not signed him even though they have a need in the outfield.

Cody Ross remains a possibility to be signed to work in a tandem in left field with Seth Smith. If Cuddyer is signed, expect the Rockies to attempt to trade Smith to fill other holes.

Cuddyer, Rox continue to talk

The Twitter universe says Michael Cuddyer will reach an agreement with the Rockies by the end of today. From what I’ve been told, the sides continue to negotiate but the end of today my not be feasible. Terms aren’t known, but it could be lucrative: Cuddyer was reported to have a three-year deal for around $25 million from the Twins on the table. I’m reading the Mariners and Reds also have approached Cuddyer, and the Phillies — an early suitor — are involved.

If or when it does happen, don’t be surprised if left-handed hitting Seth Smith isn’t dealt quickly. Such a deal woudl clear a crowded outfield, and it would be the best way for the Rockies to fill other holes, especially pitching. Whatever the Rockies cleared in trading pitcher Huston Street to the Padres and infielder Ian Stewart to the Cubs will be spent on Cuddyer, or another outfielder if the Rockies go in that direction (such as Carlos Beltran).

Smith ranks as the best hope for acquiring a pitcher capable of 200 innings to help the rotation along until Jorge De La Rosa completes his comeback from Tommy John left elbow surgery, which should be sometime around June. Lower-cost options such as Kevin Millwood, Jeff Francis or recently non-tendered Joe Saunders will come into play, also.

As for free-agent right-hander Hiroki Kuroda, the chances of such a signing are doubtful considering what the Rockies will spend on the outfielder.

Rockies agree to acquire Slowey from Twins

DALLAS — The Rockies have agreed to acquire right-handed pitcher Kevin Slowey from the Twins for a player to be named. The deal will be announced officially sometime Tuesday morning.

Slowey, 27, is coming off a difficult 2011 in which he struggled a switch to the bullpen early, battled forearm and abdominal injuries, and finished the year 0-6 with a 6.67 ERA in 14 appearances, including eight starts.

Slowey went 13-6 with a 4.45 ERA in 30 games, 28 starts, in 2010.

Rockies get backup backstop

The Rockies acquired backup catcher Jose Morales from the Twins on Thursday for Minor League left-handed pitcher Paul Bargas. Morales will be the primary backup to Chris Iannetta.

Morales, who turns 28 on Feb. 20, has hit .297 in 74 Major League games over three seasons for the Twins, who have star Joe Mauer as their regular catcher and Drew Butera as his primary backup.

By acquiring Morales, the Rockies also bought time for a deep group of catching prospects.

Before Morales arrived, Michael McKenry, who hit .265 in 99 games at Triple-A Colorado Springs and had eight at-bats in six Major League games, was in line for backup duty.
 
Wilin Rosario, who turns 22 on Feb. 23, was playing well at Double-A Tulsa — .285 with 19 homers and 52 RBIs — and had appeared in the Futures Game during All-Star Weekend before suffering a season-ending knee injury. After reconstructive surgery, Rosario is expected to be ready to play early in Spring Training, but the Rockies don’t want to pressure him to move quickly.
 
The Rockies also have Jordan Pacheco, who turns 25 on Jan. 30, is coming off a head-turning offensive season in which he hit a combined .323 at Class-A Modesto and Tulsa, and followed that up with a .317 season in the Arizona Fall League.
 
The Rockies have also signed former Cardinal Matt Pagnozzi for depth.

 

Bargas, 22, a 13th-rpound pick out of Cal-Riverside in 2009, went 5-4 with a 3.59 ERA in 58 relief appearances at Class A Asheville last season.

 

Rockies looking at SS Everett for Minor League deal

The Rockies, looking for protection in case shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is injured, say they are “kicking the tires” with free agent Adam Everett, a club source said Tuesday. The club is

The Tigers released Everett last June after he appeared in 51 games and hit .185. Everett played for the Astros 2001-07, the Twins in 2008 and the Tigers in 2008 and 2009.

By trading Clint Barmes to the Astros last month, the Rockies lost their most proven backup shortstop. Barmes started at second but played short when Tulowitzki was out with a fractured left wrist.

Jonathan Herrera and Chris Nelson have played short in the Minors, but Herrera played more second base in the Majors, and the Rockies began training Nelson as a multi-position infielder last year.

The team has acquired Jose Lopez in a trade with the Mariners, and on Tuesday was closing in on a two-year contract with Ty Wigginton. Both play multiple infield positions.

 

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