Tag: Jerry Hairston Jr.

San Diego Spotlight: Miguel Tejada Reviving His Career with the Padres

Miguel Tejada is playing grown man baseball at a grown-up time for the San Diego Padres.

Tejada became the 129th player in MLB history to reach 300 homers Wednesday evening against the Los Angeles Dodgers. But that isn’t the only milestone the 36-year-old veteran is looking to accomplish this season. 

It has been seven years since Tejada has played in the postseason. Both he and the Padres are in search of their first World Series ring.

Acquired the day before the July 31st trade deadline, the Padres’ acquisition of Tejada didn’t resonate throughout the MLB headlines for long.  Yet, it is tough to argue in favor of any other deadline pickup having more of an impact.

Tejada has eight homers in 194 at-bats for the Padres after hitting just seven in 401 at-bats for Baltimore earlier this season. He is also batting .273 with 28 RBI in just 49 games.

The Padres initially acquired Tejada for his veteran bat and presence. While he has surprised Padres management with his glove, he hasn’t surprised himself.

“We discussed the options [when Tejada was acquired]: left field, third base, second,” manager Bud Black told the San Diego Union-Tribune.  “Then we put him at shortstop and we watched just to see what we had.”

What the Padres saw was a 14-year veteran, six-time All-Star, and 2002 MVP with serviceable range that has committed just two errors in 49 games.

“I feel like I can get to any ball that anybody hits.” Tejada told the Union-Tribune. “I really had it in my mind I could still play short, my natural position. I was training in the off season to keep my legs really strong, to keep in good shape just in case somebody needs me to play short.”

Eligible for free agency at season’s end, Tejada would prefer to stay put. Given the uncertain future of Everth Cabrera and the free agency of David Eckstein and Jerry Hairston Jr., the Padres may be in need of multiple middle infielders next season.

“He’s been valuable,” Bud Black said of Tejada. “I think (keeping him) is definitely worth discussion as we move into the winter.”

“I would love to stay here,” Tejada said. “I love to play with the young guys. I love this team. Right now, I’m enjoying the moment. I enjoy the situation right now and I try to take it one day at a time.”

Tejada has a negative image in the court of public opinion due to previous alleged steroid allegations and pleading guilty to one count of perjury on Feb. 11, 2009 for lying to Congress.

Those will be interesting facts in building a Cooperstown Hall of Fame case for Tejada someday.

By the time he’s eligible, he’ll likely rank second or third all-time for homers by a shortstop and somewhere between fifth and seventh in RBI. He also won an MVP award and amassed a very impressive consecutive games streak—162 games in six straight seasons from 2001-2006.

It’s safe to say a World Series ring in 2010 would bolster his Cooperstown resume. 

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

MLB: Fantasy Baseball Box Score Breakouts for 8/8/10

Brandon Morrow, Toronto Blue Jays (pictured)
Morrow had to settle for a one-hit shutout as his no-no was broken up by Evan Longoria in the ninth. Morrow had 17 Ks as he improved to 9-6 with a 4.45 ERA.



Matt LaPorta & Trevor Crowe, Cleveland Indians
LaPorta went 3 for 4 with a HR (7) and two RBIs (27) to raise his average to .259. Crowe went 3 for 4 with a run to raise his average to .255.



Jeremy Guthrie, Baltimore Orioles
Guthrie gave up one run in eight innings to improve to 6-11 with a 4.04 ERA. He’s 3-1 in his last five starts with a 1.77 ERA.



Jerry Hairston, Jr. & Chris Denorfia, San Diego Padres
Jerry went 3 for 4 with four runs (46), a HR (9), and two RBIs (45) to raise his average to .255. Denorfia went 2 for 4 with three runs, a HR (8) and two RBIs to raise his average to .266.



Potent Middle Relievers
Randy Choate, TB       2/3 IP, 0 Runs, 2 Ks (29 Ks, 30 IP)
Ramon Ramirez, SF    1 IP, 0 Runs, 2 Ks (35 Ks, 45 IP)
Takashi Saito, ATL     Save, 1 IP, 0 Runs, 3 Ks (53 Ks, 43 IP)
Doug Slaten, WAS      1 IP, 0 Runs, 2 Ks (22 Ks, 25-2/3 IP)
Tyler Clippard, WAS   1-1/3 IP, 0 Runs, 2 Ks (75 Ks, 65-1/3 IP)
Kenley Jansen, LAD    1  IP, 0 Runs, 2 Ks (9 Ks, 6 IP)
Octavio Dotel, LAD    1 IP, 0 Runs, 2 Ks (50 Ks, 43 IP)

Originally published at LestersLegends.com.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Versatility Personified: MLB’s Premier Super-Utility Players

Fans in every city throughout the league know full well who the stars in baseball are. They’re instantly recognizable with their gaudy stats, household names, and exorbitant contracts. As if immortals descended from Mount Olympus to thrill us with their power, grace, and athletic prowess, these men sell the jerseys and pack the stadiums.

Teams aren’t just constructed of high-profile stars however. Players possessing a variety of skill sets are vital to a well-balanced team. Of course, a general manager would love to fill his 25-man roster with five-tool players at every position, but that’s not realistic. All baseball players have their own unique strengths and weaknesses that they bring to the team, and the manager must strike the perfect balance in order to achieve success.

Enter the super-utility player. Often possessing a vast range of fundamental baseball talents, these ultra-versatile players help to bridge the gaps in the team and offer their manager increased roster flexibility, while also providing cover for injuries and the ability to make important personnel decisions as unique situations may dictate.

There are plenty of players who are athletic and coordinated enough to play a few different positions. These are professional baseball players after all. Many guys grew up playing in various spots throughout their youth, and since they usually aren’t very far removed from those days, they can often recall the necessary skills to at least cover a position or two somewhat adequately.

Super-utility players are more than that though. They’re not simply a guy you can move from third over to first, or a corner infielder with the ability to play left field if called upon. These ultra-versatile performers possess the skills necessary to play a multitude of positions, and often one of the more specialized, premium spots such as short-stop, center-field or even in a pinch, catcher.

Often, these super-utility players shine in this versatile role for only a limited time, as the best of them usually graduate to full-time status at a particular position at some point in their careers.

Over the last several years, we have seen a slew of fantastic super-utility guys who provided so much value to their teams, that management found it increasingly difficult to keep their names out of the lineup on an everyday basis.

Players such as Chone Figgins, Marco Scutaro, Mark DeRosa, Brandon Inge, and Mark Loretta have all excelled over the last decade in a super-utility role for their respective teams. Loretta is now retired, but the remaining guys have all gone on to varying degrees of success as regular players with mostly one clearly defined position.

Another type of versatile player, guys like Darin Erstad, Mark Kotsay, Nick Swisher, and Lance Berkman, have all bounced around the entire outfield, while also putting in time at first-base, before generally settling on one position after several seasons of the nomadic lifestyle.

Increasingly, those in the game have begun to appreciate the role that these unique players bring to their teams. We even witnessed one of these guys named to the National League All-Star team.

Let’s examine a few of baseball’s top super-utility players while they still hold that title, before they settle down in one position and we have an entirely new generation of versatile ball players emerge.

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