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Entries in Pablo Sandoval (3)


David Wright plans on playing opening day plus more

"David Wright is refusing to make a public decree about Opening Day, but his words to his manager yesterday upon returning to the Mets revealed the third baseman’s mindset.

“He reassured me he’ll be ready,” Terry Collins said after the Mets’ 2-1 exhibition loss to the Braves at Tradition Field. “I’m not doubting him, but we certainly have to have a contingency plan in case he’s not. But he said, ‘I’ll be out there.’ ”

Wright was still sore after receiving a cortisone shot in his left rib cage area two days earlier, and physical activity remains off limits. It likely won’t be until the middle of this week that Wright will receive an idea of what activities he can resume after team doctors diagnosed him with a “moderate” intercostal strain on Friday."


Dice-K, Matt Capps wont make Indians opening day roster

"Not long after five players were sent back to the minor-league camp this morning, manager Terry Francona and General Manager Chris Antonetti had more player personnel news.

Catchers Brian Jeroloman and Omir Santos, infielder Luis Hernandez, outfielder Matt Carson, plus reliever Matt Capps and starter Daisuke Matsuzaka were informed they would not make the team out of spring training but were being kept in major-league camp.

""We talked to all those guys and told them that as of now they will not be breaking camp with us and going to Cleveland, but that they're staying in our camp,'' Francona said. ""We didn't want raise unrealistic expectations, and we thought it was respectful to tell them.''


Teixeira's injury more serious

"The injury that will keep New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira out of the lineup until May at the earliest is not a wrist strain, as originally reported, but a partially torn tendon sheath that could potentially require season-ending surgery.

As of now, the Yankees are still expecting Teixeira to heal without needing an operation and to rejoin the club after about 8-10 weeks of healing time. 

But Teixeira, who arrived at spring camp Sunday morning with his right wrist in a cast-like splint and will rehab there for the rest of the spring, raised the possibility that his absence could be longer than that."


Farrell still searching for DH

"David Ortiz did not take batting practice on Monday, at one point a hope for the Red Sox designated hitter who's battling right heel inflammation.

"I haven't been able to play and do what I'm supposed to do. It's not fun," Ortiz told reporters in Fort Myers. "Just trying to deal with it. The setback is what pretty much frustrates me the most, because you think you're doing the right thing to get better. It's like walking backwards. That's the part of this game I don't like. We're approaching it different and hopefully we get to the point we don't have to worry about it anymore."


Kershaw has smooth but painful outing

"To Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly,Clayton Kershaw looks ready for his opening-day assignment — that is, unless his leg swells up overnight.

Kershaw was struck on his left Achilles tendon by a batted ball during what were otherwise six near-perfect innings Saturday against the Texas RangersDavid Murphy's fourth-inning line drive accounted for one of only two hits Kershaw gave up.

"It might be a little sore tomorrow," Kershaw said. "I'll ice it tonight. It should be fine."

Kershaw didn't give up any runs or walks in the Dodgers' 4-0 defeat, lowering his spring earned-run average to 3.79. His pitch count was set at 90, but he completed his six allotted innings in only 70. He finished his workday with some extra throws off the bullpen mound."


Yu Darvish scratched from start

"Right-hander Yu Darvish will not start on Monday night as scheduled for the Texas Rangers because of neck stiffness.

Darvish strained a neck muscle during workouts on Sunday. In a statement issued by the club, Darvish said the strain was “very minor,” and he would have started if this were a regular-season game. With nearly two weeks remaining before the start of the regular season, the club and Darvish decided to take the conservative route.

“This is precautionary on my part,” Darvish said.

Manager Ron Washington said the club is not concerned about the injury. Darvish, who joined the club for pre-game work, probably will have a bullpen throwing session before his next start."


As Stephen Drew recovers, Red Sox need to pick starter

"The Red Sox didn’t think anything was wrong when Stephen Drew was hit in the head by a pitch from Minnesota’s Caleb Thielbar March 7.

The ball seemed to glance off his helmet and Drew went to first base without any delay. He later scored and stayed in the game for another two innings.

“That? It was nothing,” Drew said that day as he left the park."


Sandoval doesn't think elbow injury is serious

"Pablo Sandoval moments ago said of his elbow injury, “I don’t think it’s something serious.”  It was serious enough for hi, m to be scratched from today’s lineup, and he said he’s sore when throwing and batting left-handed.

He said he’ll have tests tomorrow and wouldn’t give a possible timetable for his return. He felt something in the elbow, he said, when making a throw to second base on Saturday."


Chris Carpenter still unlikely to pitch again

"It took his wife and young son to convince Chris Carpenter to do what his Cardinals teammates could not.

On his way back from a family vacation in Puerto Rico, Carpenter stopped by this afternoon for the game and he plans to spend the rest of the week in the Jupiter area and around the Cardinals' spring training facility. He was resistant to visit — this is first spring without a training to attend since he was 18 — and text messages and invitations from teammates and coaches wouldn't lure him into town.

But his wife suggested the stop on the way home."


Headley out a month with fractured thumb

"Padres third baseman Chase Headley, coming off one of the best seasons in franchise history, will miss the first month of the season after fracturing the tip of his left thumb on Sunday.

Headley, who won National League Silver Slugger and Gold Glove Awards in 2012, sustained what the Padres' medical staff initially termed a jammed thumb trying to break up a double play Sunday against the Angels in Tempe.

After an X-ray on Sunday, Headley visited a hand specialist in San Diego on Monday.

"You hate to see it happen," Padres manager Bud Black said. "It's unfortunate for Chase and the Padres."

The Padres open the regular season on April 1 against the Mets at Citi Field."



Nine to Know: World Series Game 1, 8-3 Giants

1. Justin Verlander is human - Verlander went just four innings and allowed five runs on six hits , walking one and whiffing four. He hadn't left a game before his 5th inning since June 22, 2010 against the Mets, when he lasted two innings and allowed five runs. It should also be noted that in last season's ALCS, Verlander lasted just four innings against Texas and allowing three runs.

The Tigers showed great discipline at the plate, not chasing pitches out of the zone. Angel Pagan saw 22 pitches and Marco Scutaro had an eight-pitch at bat before ripping a single.

2. Pablo Sandoval is a Giant panda - Sandoval's three-homer game was only the fifth in World Series history. Albert Pujols hit three home runs in Game 5 last year for the St. Louis Cardinals, Reggie Jackson did it for the Yankees in 1977 and Babe Ruth did it in both 1926 and 1928.

3. 0-2? Oh no! - During the regular season, Verlander went 0-2 on 96 batters. He allowed 18 hits (.188) including three doubles, while striking out 40. In the ALDS, Oakland batters went 1-8 on 0-2 pitches with five strikeouts. The Yankees were 0-1 against Verlander on 0-2 counts in the ALCS. Last night, Verlander went 0-2 on Sandoval who took him deep on a 95 MPH fastball that was up in the zone.

4. What's the deal with Barry Zito? Zito threw 81 pitches and yet his average speed of his pitches didn't even reach that number. Zito's average velocity was 79.8 mph and his peak speed was 86.1. It's not that the Tigers could have been surprised, Zito's avg. speed during the regular season was 78.8 hitting a top speed of 87.3. But what was the deal with Zito who seemed to be having a full-fledged conversation with himself following his strikeout against Verlander? Whatever he said must have worked because he had an RBI single his next time up.

Zito worked the diagonal, pitching from corner-to-corner

5. What's the deal with Tim Lincecum? The Freak faced seven Tigers batters and whiffed five of them. Lincecum quickly got ready last night as Zito started to struggle and proved to be a great contrast to his felow Cy Young Award winning alum. Lincecum's average velocity was 88.5 mph and his peak speed was 92.2. The abrupt change of speeds was brutal for the rusty Tigers batters.

Five strikeouts: 2 on sliders, 2 on change-ups, one on a fastball

6. Cy Young Awards aplenty - I bet this was a World Series record for the most Cy Young Awards in one game: Verlander (2011),  Zito (2002) and Lincecum (2008, 2009). This was the  first time one Cy Young Award winner relieved another in the World Series since 1983 when Jim Palmer came in for Baltimore’s Mike Flanagan against the Phillies.

7. No way Jose - Jose Valverde did nothing to help his cause to regain his closer's role in the Detroit bullpen. After a 10-day layoff Valverde came on in relief for the Tigers, and in the words of Detroit manager Jim Leyland, "He wasn't terrible. He just wasn't good."  Valverde entered in the 8th with his team trailing, 6-1, 18 pitches later Valverde was done and the Tigers were down 8-1. In four postseason appearances this year, Valverde has thrown 2.2 innings allowing nine runs on 11 hits for a 30.38 ERA.

Valverde is getting no one out with 18 pitches, high in the zone, averaging 90.8 mph

8. Pablo goes all Elster on the Tigers - The only other player to hit three homers in a game at AT&T Park was the Dodgers shortstop Kevin Elster who did it on April 11, 2000 in the first game ever at Pac Bell, as it was called back then. Elster only hit 88-homers in his career (including 24 in 1996, hmm the same season Brady Anderson hit 50 homers).

9. I left my heart on the warning track in San Francisco - Only 84 homers were hit this regular season in San Francisco, the fewest of any ballpark in the majors. There have now been 28 games in which four or more homers have been hit at AT&T Park since Jhonny Peralta joined the Sandovalian procedings by hitting a two-run homer for the Tigers in the 9th. Of the 28 games, there have bee two five-homer games and one six-homer game (9/5/2000 against the Phillies, with the Giants going deep five times)

Here are the 84 AT&T Park homers by team:

Rk HR ▾
1 SFG 31
2 ATL 7
3 SDP 6
4 ARI 5
5 TEX 4
6 LAD 4
7 COL 4
8 NYM 3
9 STL 3
10 CIN 3
11 HOU 3
12 WSN 2
13 MIA 2
14 OAK 2
15 CHC 2
16 MIL 1
17 PHI 1
18 PIT 1
  TOT 84
Provided by Baseball-Reference.comView Original Table
Generated 10/25/2012.

Verlander's Postseason record (note the 0-3 in the World Series):

3 Yrs (8 Series) 6 4 .600 4.22 12 1 1 70.1 61 36 33 11 26 77 1.237
3 ALDS 3 0 1.000 2.67 5 1 1 30.1 20 9 9 2 14 39 1.121
3 ALCS 3 1 .750 4.32 4 0 0 25.0 23 12 12 5 6 22 1.160
2 WS 0 3 .000 7.20 3 0 0 15.0 18 15 12 4 6 16 1.600
Provided by Baseball-Reference.comView Original Table
Generated 10/25/2012.

Baseball's Best, Worst Strike Zone Fishermen

Mark Simon at ESPN's SweetSpot Blog popped the hood on Ichiro's down 2011 season, pointing out that the longtime hitting Jedi didn't get as many hits as usual on pitches thrown outside of the strike zone. Ichiro has been one of the game's better batters on out-of-zone pitches, posting a .262 Weighted On-Base Average (wOBA) when he has gone fishing over the past three years (the league average wOBA when swinging at pitches off the plate is .191).

Ichiro didn't crack the top 10, however. Who did? Here's a look at baseball's best strike zone fishermen:

Highest wOBA when swinging at out-of-zone pitches, 2009-11

Pablo Sandoval .319
Troy Tulowitzki .299
Michael Young .294
Ryan Zimmerman .287
Victor Martinez .287
Albert Pujols .286
Marco Scutaro .285
Jose Bautista .281
Miguel Cabrera .280
Dustin Pedroia .273


San Francisco's Pablo Sandoval has a full twenty point lead on Troy Tulowitzki for the top spot, and he doesn't get a Rocky Mountain boost like Tulo. Panda has popped a major league-best 24 home runs on outside pitches since '09, besting Miguel Cabrera by four. Check out Sandoval's in-play slugging percentage by pitch location on outside pitches, compared to the league average. He's primarily a high-pitch hacker:

Sandoval's in-play slugging percentage on out-of-zone pitches, 2009-11Average in-play slugging percentage on out-of-zone pitches, 2009-11So, who are the game's worst strike zone fisherman? Here are the batters with the lowest wOBA from 2009-11 when chasing pitches off the plate:

Juan Uribe .136
Brandon Inge .140
Alex Gonzalez .140
Andrew McCutchen .143
Miguel Olivo .145
Franklin Gutierrez .145
Jason Bay .146
Nick Swisher .147
Lyle Overbay .147
Kosuke Fukudome .150


Uribe, Inge and Gonzalez have been among the worst overall hitters in the majors, but you might be surprised to find Andrew McCutchen and Nick Swisher on this list. Happily, neither 'Cutch nor Swish goes fishing often: both are in the bottom ten in the majors in chase percentage over the past three seasons.