Tag: George Sherrill

Atlanta Braves Baseball: Preparing for a Season of Greatness

The Atlanta Braves look like they are headed in a good direction after the signing of Dan Uggla, a scrappy power hitting right-handed second baseman.  The Braves definitely need some right-handed power in the middle of their order.  Someone like Uggla will increase production and also provide some protection for a youngster like Jason Heyward.

It looks like Uggla will bat fourth or fifth in the batting order, probably behind Brian McCann and Chipper Jones.  He’s also been told that he will play second base this season despite Martin Prado’s excellent year last season.  More than likely Prado will move to left field where last year the Braves needed some stability.

They have also acquired veteran pitchers Scott Linebrink and George Sherrill.  These signings will sure up their bullpen after the departure of Billy Wagner.  These veterans are going to have to be leaders in their bullpen and help lead young pitchers like Jonny Venters, Kris Medlen and Craig Kimbrel in the right direction.

It looks like the Braves won’t need to go out and get a fifth starter by the way Mike Minor pitched to finish the season, but if he struggles to produce in spring training, they also have a young pitcher by the name of Brandon Beachy that could steal the starting spot or could become a long reliever.  The pitcher they need to cut ties with is Kenshin Kawakami who has been trouble for the Atlanta Braves and has a substantial contract for the upcoming season.  They could use him to lure in a potential buyer willing to give up a good young outfielder in return.

The Braves need another outfielder to go along with Eric Hinske, Nate McLouth, Jason Heyward and Martin Prado.  There is a slight possibility that Prado will have to play first base if Freddie Freeman doesn’t excel in spring training.  There is a chance that the wrist he injured a while back may cut into the power production he had in the minors.  So with that in mind, the Braves could send Freeman back to the minors for another season to sharpen his skills.  If this happens, the Braves might be in the market for a first baseman but not as strongly as they will be for a fifth outfielder.

Also this off season the Braves hired former Marlins‘ coach Fredi Gonzalez to replace the great coach Bobby Cox after his retirement.  This move will hopefully continue the success Cox had for several years in Atlanta.  General Manager Frank Wren has expressed confidence in his new additions and new coach and feels the Braves should be able to compete not only with the Phillies but with other great teams.  He feels that these additions will boost the Braves right to the World Series.

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MLB Rumors: The Top 10 NL East Moves So Far and More Potential Deals

The five teams in the National League East, the Phillies, Braves,  Marlins, Mets and Nationals, have all had busy off-seasons trying to improve their clubs. Some have been more successful than others. And some, like the Phillies and Mets, are moving very slowly through the free agent and trade possibilities.

Here is a countdown of the top 10 moves so far within the division and a breakdown of potential future moves for each team.

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Weakest Links: Five Pitchers the Los Angeles Dodgers Should Lose

It’s that time of year when it becomes apparent certain teams have players remaining on their rosters that don’t really belong.

The Los Angeles Dodgers are no exception, and they have several pitchers that should be on their own, or at the very least in the minor league system. 

Here are five pitchers the Dodgers could do without, and why.

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MLB Trade Deadline: Five Players Dodgers Should Have Dealt

This season’s trade deadline held no surprises for the Dodgers and General Manager Ned Colletti.

As per usual, the tenacious GM pulled off some big moves in the 11th hour, acquiring best-of-the-remaining starters Ted Lilly, a reliable infielder and everyday starter in Ryan Theriot, a seasoned veteran fireballer in Octavio Dotel, and stability and speed in the outfield with Scott Podsednik.

However, there are still several players on the Dodgers’ roster that should have been shipped out in the process.

It is certainly considered a victory when a team can pick up established stars for little more than prospects and cash, but Los Angeles has expendable players to move to make room for the regular starters to have a place on the active 25-man roster.

Here are five players squatting on the Dodgers’ roster that should have found new homes.

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MLB Trade Rumors: Los Angeles Dodgers Hope Roster Moves Pay Dividends

In a few surprising roster shuffles surrounding the MLB All-Star break, the Los Angeles Dodgers made several efforts to upgrade their pitching—at least until they seal a deal before the trade deadline.

In an unexpected move on Sunday, the Dodgers optioned RHP John Ely to Triple-A Albuquerque and replaced him on the roster with reliever Jon Link.

Ely is 4-7 with a 4.63 ERA in 14 starts overall this season; however, he has failed to pitch three complete innings in his last two outings.

Link, who has already been recalled three times this year by Los Angeles, has a 3.86 ERA in five appearances and just over four innings of work.

In a more anticipated decision on Wednesday, Los Angeles placed struggling left-handed reliever George Sherrill on outright waivers.

Sherrill has a 7.32 ERA in 34 appearances for the Dodgers this season. He is expected to clear waivers on Monday, at which time he would have the opportunity to accept a minor league roster position. In the meantime, he will retain his roster spot with Los Angeles unless he is claimed by another Major League squad.

One possibility for replacing Sherrill in the bullpen is Jack Taschner, who was signed as a free agent by the Dodgers in June.

In seven appearances with Albuquerque, the 32-year-old lefty is currently 0-0 with one save and a 3.52 ERA in just over seven innings pitched.

However, the immediate priority is to fill the fifth spot in the starting pitching rotation vacated by Ely, and all signs are pointing to James McDonald being called up on Monday to start the home series vs. the San Francisco Giants.

McDonald, who recently added a hard slider to his pitching repertoire, is 6-1 with a 4.41 ERA in 12 games started with the Isotopes.

If all else fails, among other pitchers, Carlos Monasterios could be utilized in a starter-by-committee scenario, at least until Los Angeles decides whether a trade will be made or a deal with a free agent pitcher will be signed before the deadline.

Citizens of Dodgertown still have high hopes of acquiring a big market starter to complete the pitching staff, however all indicators are suggesting that team finances will limit Los Angeles in terms of making a deal.

In yet another move to make room for Manny Ramirez returning from the 15-day disabled list, the Dodgers placed utility outfielder Reed Johnson on the DL with an injured back.

Manny’s return was expected to prompt Los Angeles to make a decision on whether to retain rookie outfielder Xavier Paul, or contemplate the future of veteran outfielder Garret Anderson.

So far this season, Paul is batting .259 with 22 hits in 85 at-bats with the Dodgers while compiling a .308 on-base percentage and a .341 slugging percentage. Paul is also highly valued for his speed, both in defense and on the bases, as well as his strong arm in the outfield.

Anderson, on the other hand, is batting just .178 with 24 hits in 135 at-bats, while registering a .193 OBP and a .274 slugging percentage.

It has been suggested that Anderson may be considered as a potential trade commodity, however it’s unclear whether or not any teams around the Majors would have interest in the veteran outfielder.

Nevertheless, with cash at a minimum, General Manager Ned Colletti will be exploring every possible angle to acquire much needed pitching help.

The MLB trade deadline is July 31.

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Should The Yankees Make a Deal For George Sherrill?

The second half of the Yankees 2010 season begins tonight.

The run towards another playoff appearance for the defending World Series Champions also begins tonight too.

While the offense and the starting pitching have been outstanding, the bullpen of the Yankees hasn’t been very good (outside of Mariano Rivera, of course).

I made a suggestion for the Yankees to trade for Octavio Dotel. A lot of you didn’t really agree or want to go for it. I have seen other teams interested in Dotel, but not the Yankees.

George King of the New York Post suggested that the Yankees could take a look at left-handed reliever George Sherrill, who was just waived by the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Now, I know you’re all going to look at Sherrill’s numbers, see that he has the 7.08 ERA, the 2.21 WHIP, the 16 walks and 16 runs in just 20 innings pitched so far in 2010. I know you’re also going to see that he is due the rest of his $4.5 million from his one year contract with the Dodgers.

So why would the Yankees want to take a chance on this guy when he’s been pitching this badly?

It’s because he’s been a better pitcher than this, especially over the last two seasons.

In 2008, he was an American League All-Star with the Orioles, saving 31 games.

In 2009, he saved 20 games with a 2.40 before being traded to the Dodgers at the deadline, then posted a 0.65 ERA in 27.2 innings.

When Sherrill is pitching well, he’s a good reliever. What makes him a possibly attractive candidate for a struggling bullpen is that he’s a left-hander.

Anyone can get a right-handed reliever; they’re considered a dime a dozen. But lefties are considered more valuable, which in Sherrill’s case, might get him onto another major league team and not in the Dodgers minor league system.

Sherrill was placed on outright waivers, so any team can claim him with the Dodgers not being able to pull him back.

The Yankees need bullpen help, especially when trying to get the ball to Rivera late in close games.

We’ve seen Joba Chamberlain fail multiple times in 2010 as the setup man. He took a shut-out performance by Javier Vazquez and squandered it into a 4-1 loss to the Mariners. He’s also blown two games that could have been wins for CC Sabathia (Boston, Cleveland). Joba’s command isn’t there and his demeanor on the mound, at times, is flat out terrible.

It could be time to take Joba out of the setup role. If the Yankees were to make a waiver claim and sign Sherrill, they could put him in the setup role, like the Dodgers did last year with him and Jonathan Broxton.

I know a lot of you might get turned away from Sherrill’s lousy 2010 in L.A., but sometimes a fresh start could be what a player needs, and in this case, being put in the middle of a pennant race.

Last season, Sherrill got to experience his first taste of being a playoff pitcher with the Dodgers, posting a 3.86 and a 1-0 record in the NLDS against the Cardinals, but struggled against the Phillies with a 13.50 ERA.

There was talk about bringing in players from AAA Scranton/Wilks-Barre to try and help the Yankees bullpen and build the bridge to Rivera. However, minor league numbers are just that: In the minors and not in the majors. In the minors, Marc Melancon and Jonathan Albaladejo look like dominators, but when called up to the big leagues, they get figured out and hit around.

Not too many options have been thrown around for the Yankees to add to the bullpen—the team needs to add some arms for the second half, especially if they look to defend and repeat as champions.

The Yankees have 15 days left until the trading deadline; if they want to make a move and get someone who they can throw in now to help, Sherrill can very likely be that man.

The only question is, does Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman have interest in Sherrill?

The clock is ticking for the Yankees to make moves. This could, potentially be a move that will make or break their season.


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