Tag:Brett Anderson
Posted on: April 16, 2010 10:05 am

3 to watch: The 'In trouble already?' edition

The headline in the New York Daily News reads, "Mets may have to call Bobby," as in Valentine. The Baltimore Sun says, "Listless Orioles lose 7th straight" and "Too early to panic?"

The season isn't even two weeks old. On this day a year ago, the Angels were in last place (as they are today). And the Blue Jays were in first place (as they are today).

With those thoughts in mind, here's the weekend edition of 3 to watch, focusing on teams with trouble (and maybe teams in trouble):

1. When Johan Santana lost to Livan Hernandez last Sunday, Jerry Manuel called his Mets "unprepared," setting off the latest frenzy about his future as manager. So imagine what happens if Santana loses to 23-year-old Jaime Garcia, in Mets at Cardinals, Saturday afternoon (3:10 EDT) at Busch Stadium.  One thing to watch: While Santana is undoubtedly the Mets ace and sole dependable starter, scouts say he isn't the pitcher he once was. The velocity on the fastball just hasn't been there. "If you took away the [uniform] number, he looks like just another pitcher," one scout said after watching Santana last week.

2. The Orioles had signs of trouble in spring training, when Brian Roberts got hurt, closer Mike Gonzalez looked terrible and observers complained that too few of the Oriole players approached the game with a professional attitude. Now both Roberts and Gonzalez are on the disabled list, the O's have one win, and general manager Andy MacPhail is answering questions about manager Dave Trembley's future. One scout who spent last week in Baltimore came away convinced that this team is certain to finish in last place. The one bright spot? Young starter Brian Matusz, and in Orioles at Athletics, Sunday afternoon (4:05 EDT) at the Coliseum , Matusz meets up with Brett Anderson in a matchup of two of the most exciting young lefties in the game. As we told you this spring, A's people believe that Anderson is going to throw a no-hitter some day. The way the O's are going, is this the day?

3. We're cheating here, because the Rays and Red Sox aren't in trouble. But the Yankees have looked good enough out of the gate that it's fair to wonder if Tampa Bay and Boston will eventually be fighting over one playoff spot. The Rays and Red Sox meet for the first four of 18 times this weekend, and we'll pick Rays at Red Sox, Sunday afternoon (1:35 EDT) at Fenway Park , because of the matchup of Jon Lester and Matt Garza. They met twice in the 2008 ALCS, with Garza besting Lester both times. But Garza had an advantage then, with David Price available out of the bullpen to close Game 7. Now Price is in the rotation, Rafael Soriano is Tampa Bay's closer, and one scout who watched Soriano last week said, "Terrible. I'd love to hit against him. He's fastball-slider, and he's guaranteed to make a mistake with the slider."
Posted on: November 16, 2009 4:13 pm

20-game winner or batting champ? Take your pick

There’s nothing wrong with Chris Coghlan and Andrew Bailey as Rookie of the Year winners.

But in a year with so many outstanding rookies, my question was different. And, as it turns out, so was the answer.

Taking all six players who received Rookie of the Year votes in the American League and all five who received first-place votes in the National League, I polled a group of scouts who watched each league and asked them which player they would most like to have for the future. Put another way, if all these players were available in a draft today, who’s the first pick?

The answers: Tommy Hanson of the Braves in the NL, Brett Anderson of the A’s in the AL.

Neither vote was unanimous. All the voters agreed that this is the best class of rookies baseball has seen in years.

“If you had all 11, you’d have a pretty good team,” one scout said.

The choice in the NL, another said, came down to “one guy who has a chance to be a 20-game winner [Hanson], and one who has a chance to lead the league in hitting [Coghlan].”

And in the AL, it came down to two potential top-of-the-rotation starters (Anderson and Detroit’s Rick Porcello), an infielder with real offensive potential (Gordon Beckham of the White Sox) and a shortstop with great defensive skills who shows signs of being able to hit (Elvis Andrus of the Rangers).

Oh, and don’t forget Bailey, the guy who actually won.

“He has a closer mentality, and closer stuff,” one scout said.

The choices here were Hanson, in a close vote over Coghlan and Pittsburgh’s Andrew McCutchen, and Anderson, over Porcello, Andrus and Beckham.

Why Anderson, who finished fifth in the actual Rookie of the Year voting?

“This guy is a special left-handed starter, with a breaking ball like Steve Carlton,” one of the scouts said. “Every time out, he has a chance to throw a no-hitter. That’s how good his stuff is. His breaking ball is unhittable at times.”

And yet, he wasn’t even a unanimous pick.

“If Andrus learns how to hit,” one of the scouts said, “he might be better than all of them.”

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com