Tag: Ryan Howard

Dana Eveland

Braves designate Nick Masset and Dana Eveland for assignment


Relievers Nick Masset and Dana Eveland were part of the reason why the Phillies were able to score four runs in the top of the 10th inning on Sunday, breaking a scoreless tie and ultimately resulting in a Braves loss. Their performances resulted in tickets out of town, as both players were designated for assignment, per MLB.com’s Mark Bowman. David Carpenter and Arodys Vizcaino will be recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett.

Masset allowed the Phillies to load the bases with no outs on two singles and a walk. Eveland came in and allowed a sacrifice fly to Ryan Howard for the Phillies’ first run. Jake Brigham then came in and allowed three more runners to cross  home plate, two of which were charged to Masset.

In 15 1/3 innings with the Braves, Masset posted a 4.68 ERA with a 12/8 K/BB ratio. Eveland, in 3 1/3 innings, allowed two runs with a 4/3 K/BB ratio.

In the wake of the Miguel Cabrera injury the Tigers have few good options

Miguel Cabrera

DETROIT — It may be the Fourth of July, but Miguel Cabrera’s calf strain has sapped Comerica Park of its festive spirit. Indeed, despite sunny summer skies and red white and blue everywhere you look, it’s the gloomiest I’ve ever seen it.

When Cabrera came out of last night’s game with a calf strain you knew it had to be serious. Cabrera has played hurt in the past. He’s played injured in the past. He’s played when he probably shouldn’t have more times than I can count. But short of him literally missing a limb you never expect him to come out of a game.

That’s when Brad Ausmus knew it was bad, well before the MRI results showing a grade-3 calf strain came back.

“When Miggy says he can’t play, it’s serious, because Miggy plays through anything,” Ausmus said this morning. But he won’t be playing though this. Ausmus said he’s still waiting on a second opinion, but he doesn’t expect it to be any better. “I looked at the MRI. You can ask me about it,” Ausmus said. But even Dr. Ausmus is resigned to the fact that the best hitter in baseball will be out six weeks. And as he sat and spoke to the media this morning, he made it clear that the Tigers’ options are limited.

Alex Avilia will get the start today, but he has played only three career games at first base. And, Ausmus reminded us, he was just activated from the disabled list himself. He’s worried enough about Avila playing back-to-back games at the position he knows, let alone one that’s mostly unfamiliar.

Jefry Marte taks grounders the morning after being called up. — photo Craig Calcaterra

The Tigers called up Jefry Marte from Toledo to take Caberea’s spot on the roster. Marte is 24 and is an eight-year minor league veteran. He’s hitting a respectable .271/.337/.497 at Toledo this year, but he is a third baseman, having only played a handful of games at first base in the Texas League and the Arizona Fall League. The system is devoid of anyone at first with major league experience. “Minor league free agent first basemen don’t want to sign with the Tigers,” Ausmus said “knowing that the best hitter in the game is here on a long term deal.” The 37-year-old Mike Hessman, just a few homers shy of the all-time minor league record, has played over 450 games at first between the majors and minors, but no one considers him an option.

What say you about Victor Martinez, Brad Ausmus? He’s played nearly 200 games at first.

“Victor in my mind is not an option,” Ausmus said. “He’s not on the radar.” The reason is simple: health. And, Ausmus added, “if you play him at first base and he gets hurt, then you’ve lost two bats.”

That leaves the trade market, but the pickings for a solid first baseman look slim. Ryan Howard is out there, but given how he’s hitting this year you can’t bet on him being a better option than Marte, at many, many times the price, either in salary or trade. And what do the Tigers trade anyway? Their most obvious trade chit may be Yoenis Cespedes, but you have to think the Tigers were hoping to hold him for a trade for a pitcher. Or two. And if you deal him now, the lineup will have only one serious power threat in J.D. Martinez.

One option, which I presume no one associated with the Tigers is eager to consider let alone speak about in public, is to make the best of a bad situation and use the Cabrera injury as an excuse to punt on 2015 and reposition for 2016. Be willing to go without that power in the second half if you can get someone who helps next year. Move some other pieces or even engage in an on-the-fly rebuild. After all, the Tigers are six games out in the AL Central. Maybe it’s time to get creative.

Or, maybe, when your owner is 90-years-old and has poured serious, serious money into this club, “rebuild” is a four-letter word.

Where does that leave the Tigers?

“Sometimes you find out more about a team when a player like Miggy goes down,” Ausmus said. “We’ll see what type of fight we have.”

We’ll find out right along with him.


And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

Walkoff Balk

Dodgers 1, Rangers 0: One run in the game and it came via a walkoff balk. It was caused by pinch runner Enrique Hernandez faking out Rangers reliever Keone Kela, making him think he was pulling a straight steal of home. No need to steal a base, I guess, when the pitcher is gonna give it to you. A no-decision for Zack Greinke despite seven shutout innings. He’s 0-2 with a 1.99 ERA in his past eight starts. That takes some serious doing.

Yankees 9, Marlins 4: Down 3-1 heading into the bottom of the sixth, the Yankees put up eight runs over the next three innings, thanks in part to Brett Gardner and Carlos Beltran each hitting two-run homers.  A-Rod had two hits and an RBI and now stands one hit away from 3,000. He was cheered wildly throughout the game. He had one more plate appearance after 2,999 but Marlins pitcher Sam Dyson didn’t give him anything to hit, causing the crowd to boo and jeer Dyson. A-Rod, as things currently stands, is the most popular and, possibly, the best-loved current Yankees player. This has to drive the folks up in the press box absolutely bonkers.

Royals 3, Brewers 2: Ned Yost becomes the Royals’ all-time winningest manager and did so by beating his old employer. Behind him on the list: Whitey Herzog and Dick Howser. Which, man, baseball is weird when two of the best managers in the past couple of decades are behind a guy like Yost. Who I’m sure is a nice man, but he ain’t no Herzog or Howser. And that’s not me hating. Yost agrees:

“It’s nice, but again I don’t look at it as an individual achievement,” Yost said “First of all, I don’t feel like I’m in the same class as Whitey Herzog and Dick Howser, one. Two, this is an organizational-wide achievement and I’m proud to be part of that. Everybody is involved.”

Giants 7, Mariners 0: Ryan Vogelsong and three relievers combined on a five-hit shutout. He got good run support two and talked about it afterward:

“It’s always nice to have some points on the board,” said Vogelsong,

“Runs,” Ryan. We call them “runs” in baseball.

Blue Jays 7, Mets 1: The battle of the ancients, with R.A. Dickey facing Bartolo Colon. It was the first time in seven years that two 40-year-old+ pitchers faced off. Back in 2008 it was Greg Maddux and Jamie Moyer. Here it was Dickey certainly getting the better of Colon, allowing one run on three hits and somehow surviving five walks.

Rays 5, Nationals 3: The loss stinks for the Nats, but the hamstring injury to Bryce Harper is way worse news. All the worse because it appeared to happen due to Harper slipping on wet grass. As for the Rays, Chris Archer has been Cy Young-worthy all year. Last night he wasn’t — he allowed three runs over five innings — but he was still good enough to get the win. Yunel Escobar notched five hits.

Indians 4, Cubs 3: Giovanny Urshela drove in the go-ahead run in the seventh and Terry Francona got creative with the pen, using Cody Allen to get out of a bases-loaded jam in the fifth inning following a rain delay. Imagine: using your best reliever in the toughest spot your club might face all game long.

Phillies 2, Orioles 1: Ryan Howard hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in the sixth, which represented the first time the Phillies held a lead in the whole series. And the lead held up, allowing Philly to snap their nine-game losing streak. Wonder of wonder, miracle of miracles.

Twins 2, Cardinals 1: Kennys Vargas hit a walkoff solo shot an inning after Joe Mauer hit a solo shot to tie it. That was the first time in 35 games that the Cardinals lost when leading after seven. And the first time in 25 games the Twins won when trailing after seven. The baseball season is long. Everything happens eventually.

Astros 8, Rockies 4: Houston is the first team to 40 wins in the American League, just as everyone expected. Domingo Santana hit a three run homer to put this one out of reach late. He was just called up this week. The Astros don’t lack for reinforcements from the minors, do they?

Padres 3, Athletics 1: For the first time since 2006 someone besides Bud Black notches a win as manager of the Padres, with interim manager Pat Murphy finally getting a W. The last guy to do it was Bruce Bochy. Well, maybe there was some fill-in manager at some point over the years because Bud Black, I dunno, had his wisdom teeth out or something, but you get the idea. Matt Kemp and Derek Norris each went deep.

Angels 7, Diamondbacks 1: C.J. Wilson struck out nine over eight scoreless innings while allowing only one run and not walking a batter. He also did this:


Kind of funny? Also kind of the thing Mike Scioscia should really yell at Wilson for doing because, jeez, dude, he’s a pitcher.

Red Sox 5, Braves 2: The Red Sox split with the Braves, thanks to Clay Buchholz allowing only two runs — neither earned — in seven innings of work. He also had a tough, 10-pitch at bat against his counterpart, Shelby Miller, which caused Miller to have to throw a lot more pitches than he would have otherwise and which Miller said was his toughest out of the game. The next inning Miller was touched for three runs.

Pirates 3, White Sox 2: Gerrit Cole continues to make a case for the Cy Young Award, winning his 11th game and allowing only two runs over seven innings. His ERA actually went up from 1.71 to 1.78 after this game.

Tigers vs. Reds: POSTPONED: Send us a blindfold, send us a blade

Tell the survivors help is on the way

I was a blindfold, never complained
All the survivors singing in the rain
I was the one with the world at my feet

Got us a battle, leave it up to me

Prince Fielder and Ryan Howard are back

Prince Fielder

Rangers DH Prince Fielder hit two home runs in Friday night’s win against the Yankees and he homered again in a blowout win on Saturday. The slugger, who missed most of the 2014 season after undergoing neck surgery, now has eight home runs on the year with 30 RBI and a .351/.407/.544 triple-slash line.

Meanwhile, Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard homered again in a rout of the Nationals on Saturday, giving him three in his last four games and 10 on the season along with 23 RBI and a .270/.316/.554 triple-slash line. Howard suffered a torn Achilles at the end of the 2011 NLDS and tore his meniscus in 2013. He hasn’t shown power at this level since 2009, when he hit 45 home runs.

Fielder and Howard represent two of baseball’s worst contracts, so their respective teams are happy they’re seeing at least some positive return on their investments. Fielder was signed as a free agent to a nine-year, $214 million deal by the Tigers in January 2012. He joined the Rangers along with $30 million in a swap for Ian Kinsler. $144 million over six years remains, including his 2015 salary. Howard signed a five-year, $125 million contract extension with the Phillies in April 2010, two years before he was eligible for free agency. $60 million over two years ($25 million annually in ’15 and ’16 plus a $10 million buyout for ’17) remains on Howard’s deal.

And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

Bumgarner Kershaw

source: Getty Images

Giants 4, Dodgers 0: It’s hard to have as good of a series against your rivals than the Giants just had. In addition to your pitcher hitting a homer off the reigning Cy Young and MVP award winner, you shut them out for three straight games, outscoring them 10-0. That’s 34-straight scoreless innings for the Dodgers in AT&T Park dating back to their series there a month ago.


Braves 10, Brewers 1: Will Smith getting ejected for a foreign substance “That thing you’re doing is against the rules and we’re gonna get you run out of the game for it and you’ll get suspended but thank goodness you’re doing it because it’s to ensure the safety of our guys but Jesus, man, you have to hide that good/illegal thing you’re doing!” In other news, the whole “that guy is doing something technically illegal and ultimately it actually helps at mitigating injuries but, dude, don’t be so obvious about it” is the human growth hormone story too.


Orioles 5, Mariners 4: Steve Pearce hit a grand slam and the teams used 13 pitchers and sat at the park for hours and hours on end thanks to a lengthy rain delay. This sort of game makes me wonder why no baseball TV show — either a drama or a sitcom — has ever taken off. If you treated it like “M*A*S*H” or something episodic but character-driven you could totally do it. One whole episode would just be guys killing time during a rain delay. Some weird personal drama with the manager and his bench coach — maybe musings on old mens’ mortality — is your A-story. A running thing about guys playing cards is your b-story. The whole episode is about how ill-equipped these guys are to function outside of baseball and how, when you have three hours to do NOTHING but think about non-baseball things, they’re all at a loss. Jesus, Hollywood. Give me my development deal already. Got a head full of ideas on this.

Blue Jays 8, Angels 4: R.A. Dickey allowed four runs and five hits, walked two and struck out seven while tossing a complete game. In that baseball “M*A*S*H”-up, you have to go light on actual game action because, unless MLB Network produces it, game action footage is going to be expensive and if you try to DIY your way through it it’s gonna look hokey. But at some point you have a one-off episode in which the team picks up a knuckleballer and he totally messes up the rhythms of everything from the clubhouse and on the field and personal relationships and all around. The overall theme of that episode is baseball’s comfort of conformity and the inability of these odd and often damaged people to confront change and unconventionality in their lives.

Tigers 6, Astros 5: James McCann hit a homer in the 11th inning to put the Tigers up for good. This guy has two career homers. An inside-the-parker and an extra-inning game-winning job. All of the rest of his homers will be relatively anti-climatic now. Congratulations, McCann. Best case scenario now is that you’re Orson Welles or Norman Mailer and you spend the rest of your life trying to convince people you’re really as good as your earliest work. There are way worse problems to have, but that has to be kind of annoying.

Mets 5, Cardinals 0: More like Jacob deGREAT, amirite? Oh, God. I’m sorry. That’s maybe the worst thing I’ve said in, well, maybe a day or two. deGrom strikes out 11 in eight one-hit shutout innings. Lucas Duda hits two bombs.

Rockies 7, Phillies 3: These two teams have played each other for 125 straight nights. I didn’t check that to be sure, but I am almost positive that is the case. Ryan Howard homered again. Is he back? Back just long enough to create a little trade value bubble for him? Who knows. The Rockies’ had more offense, though, as Michael McKenry hit a two-run homer Troy Tulowitzki hit a two-run single and Brandon Barnes, had four hits. Jorge De La Rosa passed Ubaldo Jimenez to become the Rockies’ all-time strikeout leader with 774 in a black, white and sometimes purple uniform. David Nied has 127.

Rangers 3, Red Sox 1: Wandy Rodriguez shut the Sox down and Mitch Moreland hit a solo homer and drove in two. The Sox’ offense is stank on a stick. They’re 23rd in runs per game, 18th in OBP, 25th in slugging, 27th in batting average and 25th in extra-base hits.

Rays 3, Athletics 0: Alex Colome and four relievers combined on a six-hit shutout. The Rays have had some damn good pitching for a team which had, like, every single good pitcher get injured, get traded or come down with ebola or something in the past year.

Indians 5, White Sox 2: Three in a row for Cleveland who got six scoreless from Danny Salazar and homers from Nick Swisher — still alive apparently? Who knew? — and Mike Aviles.

Cubs 3, Padres 0: Kyle Hendricks with the five-hit shuout. Not over x innings with “x” defined as <9. Like, a legit, old school big boy shutout. Kris Bryant hit a two-run homer.

Diamondbacks 7, Marlins 6: A four-game sweep as the Marlins’ freefall continues. Keep in mind, this is a Dbacks team which came into this series having just been swept by the Phillies. The Flounders have lost seven straight.