Majors

Arizona Diamondbacks Atlanta Braves Baltimore Orioles Boston Red Sox Chicago Cubs Chicago White Sox Cincinnati Reds Cleveland Indians Colorado Rockies Detroit Tigers Houston Astros Kansas City Royals Los Angeles Angels Los Angeles Dodgers Miami Marlins Milwaukee Brewers Minnesota Twins New York Mets New York Yankees Oakland Athletics Philadelphia Phillies Pittsburgh Pirates San Diego Padres San Francisco Giants Seattle Mariners St. Louis Cardinals Tampa Bay Rays Texas Rangers Toronto Blue Jays Washington Nationals

Browse Articles

AL Central Organization Reports

Premium Content

CHICAGO—Anderson Gomes is the White Sox' international man of mystery. With the chance to nab Javier Vazquez, the defending World Series champions reluctantly shipped Chris Young, a 22-year-old center fielder with 30/30 potential, to the Diamondbacks. The Sox hope they have replaced Young's potential with a little-noticed signing, plucking Gomes, a native of Brazil, from the Japanese minor leagues for about the cost of a third-round draft pick.

Majors | #2006#Chicago White Sox#Organization Reports

AL Central Organization Reports

Premium Content

CHICAGO—With two members of the big league rotation planning to pitch in the World Baseball Classic, the White Sox expect to get a better than usual read on some of their young pitchers in spring training. Knuckleballer Charles Haeger, a nowhere man in the organization a year ago, is expected to join Sean Tracey, a 14-game winner in Double-A in 2005, in getting some of the innings that might normally go to Freddy Garcia and Javier Vazquez.

Majors | #2006#Chicago White Sox#Organization Reports

AL Central Organization Reports

Premium Content

CHICAGO—Seldom have the White Sox had such stability in their starting rotation. That could force righthander Sean Tracey to find a different path to Chicago. A 14-game winner with Double-A Birmingham, Tracey tied for the Southern League lead in victories. But the Sox experimented with him out of the bullpen in the Arizona Fall League, and that could be his quickest path to the big leagues.

Majors | #2006#Chicago White Sox#Organization Reports

AL Central Organization Reports

Premium Content

CHICAGO—Give Brian Anderson credit for both his abilities and his perspective. He knows that nothing is owed him even though he's first in line to succeed departed center fielder Aaron Rowand. "Absolutely nothing in life is handed to you," said Anderson, who knows that Jerry Owens could also contend for the spot. "It's good to have people pushing you. A guy who is comfortable is a guy who is in trouble."

Majors | #2006#Chicago White Sox#Organization Reports

Going Deep: Cast Of Benchwarmers

Alan Schwarz -Premium Content

Baseball America is all about prospects, but that doesn't mean we don't have a soft spot for the scrubs. And now we have a movie for the guys at the end of a roster: "The Benchwarmers," in theaters April 7, features an eccentric billionaire (Jon Lovitz) who backs a three-man team of adult misfits (Rob Schneider, Jon Heder and David Spade) to take on young bullies in a Little League tournament. It's typical Adam Sandler slapstick—"If you build it, nerds will come," Lovitz's character declares—about the 99 percent of us who sit and watch as the stars get to play. I sat down with Schneider and Lovitz to talk about the movie, their own Little League days, and Reggie Jackson destroying federal property.

Majors | #2006#Column

Going Deep: Buck Martinez

Alan Schwarz -Premium Content

As the pieces of the upcoming World Baseball Classic gradually fall into place, one of the biggest appeared at the Winter Meetings: the Team USA manager will be Buck Martinez, the current ESPN analyst and former manager of the Blue Jays. The prospect of managing the greatest collection of talent in the history of baseball, with names like Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Derek Jeter and more, has left the garrulous Martinez anything but speechless. I sat down with Martinez to discuss his evolving juggernaut and any plans to bribe the Rocket out of retirement.

Majors | #2006#Column

Going Deep: George Brett

Alan Schwarz -Premium Content

The day when the Hall of Fame balloting gets announced is about phone calls: mainly, to the lucky former players who learn they'll be in Cooperstown forevermore. But this year the most notable phone call for me was the one to Hall of Famer George Brett, who after stepping off a plane in Boston wanted to know the voting results. I had the pleasure of getting his immediate and candid thoughts on Bruce Sutter's selection, his continuing vigil for Goose Gossage and Bert Blyleven, and whether his old pal John Schuerholz ever has a shot.

Majors | #2006#Column

Going Deep: Darrell Miller

Alan Schwarz -Premium Content

I've seen it. Really. While in Los Angeles on business, I stopped by Major League Baseball's new Urban Youth Academy in Compton, an immense (and long-overdue) step in revitalizing inner-city baseball. When it officially opens on Feb. 28, after more than five years of planning, the $10 million facility will allow thousands of youngsters a chance to learn baseball from former pros and play games on big league quality fields, complete with stands and lights. All for free. Its director is Darrell Miller, the former Angels catcher and farm director, who gave me a walking tour of the still under construction complex in late January. Among the dirt and cinderblocks lies the future of urban baseball.

Majors | #2006#Column

Going Deep: Mike Marshall

Alan Schwarz -Premium Content

ike Marshall fashions himself a baseball pariah. The 63-year-old former ironman pitcher—who in 1974 pitched in 208 innings over 106 games to set records for a major league reliever—now coaches amateur pitchers at his facility in Zephyrhills, Fla., using such unconventional methods and criticizing other pitching experts so vehemently that he claims his students are blackballed by major league organizations. Few dispute that Marshall, who owns a doctorate in exercise physiology from Michigan State and has done tremendous other research on pitching arms and injuries, has some interesting ideas. I spoke with Marshall about those ideas, the contentiousness with which he shares them, and his vow to change pitching forever.

Majors | #2006#Column

Going Deep: Dontrelle Willis

Alan Schwarz -Premium Content

If the World Baseball Classic has a face, it is not the anticipatory gaze of the baseball beancounters, or the worried mug of general managers everywhere. It is that of Dontrelle Willis. No player from any country has expressed more unbridled joy for participating in the upcoming extravaganza. (His "I just hope I make the team!" at last year's all-star press conference pierced the hearts of even the most cynical scribes.) With the event finally at hand, I talked with Willis about pitching for his country, his role on Team USA and the revamped Marlins, and scoring freebies from HBO.

Majors | #2006#Column

AL East Organization Reports

Premium Content

FORT LAUDERDALE—After missing all of 2005, outfielder Val Majewski is back in action. And he is even taking some ground balls at first base. Majewski, a third-round selection in the 2002 draft, is no stranger to the position. It just took a while to get reacquainted. He played there in high school and for two seasons at Rutgers before moving to the outfield.

Majors | #2006#Baltimore Orioles#Organization Reports

AL East Organization Reports

Premium Content

BALTIMORE—Most batters prefer to stay in one spot in the order, the better to grow comfortable and to understand their role. Rene Aqueron not only did his share of moving around at Rookie-level Bluefield, but he also refused to play favorites. Aqueron, a second baseman and outfielder, hit in all nine spots in the lineup, and he batted over .300 at each position in his pro debut. No wonder he led the Appalachian League in batting, finishing at .405-4-32 in 163 at-bats, and on-base percentage at .468. He also placed third in slugging at .583. There was no way to rattle him.

Majors | #2006#Baltimore Orioles#Organization Reports

AL East Organization Reports

Premium Content

BALTIMORE—Maybe it's the natural development of a young pitcher's body, or maybe it's the extra innings he's thrown. Whatever the reason, Ryan Keefer's velocity increased from the upper 80s to the mid-90s during the 2005 season. When your velocity goes up, so does your stock. Keefer went 7-3, 3.20 in 84 innings at Double-A Bowie last year. Moved into a set-up role, he posted a 0.42 ERA over a 13-game span. In his last nine outings covering 11 innings, Keefer permitted only one earned run.

Majors | #2006#Baltimore Orioles#Organization Reports

AL East Organization Reports

Premium Content

BALTIMORE—Once touted as the top power-hitting prospect in the Orioles' organization, Walter Young was designated for assignment to clear room on the 40-man roster for newly signed free agent Kevin Millar. He was claimed off waivers by the Padres. Young, believed to be the heaviest player in major league history at his listed weight of 322 pounds, showed tremendous promise at Double-A Bowie in 2004, hitting 33 home runs. But his power declined last year in the International League, where he hit .288-13-81 in 466 at-bats at Triple-A Ottawa.

Majors | #2006#Baltimore Orioles#Organization Reports

AL East Organization Reports

Premium Content

BALTIMORE—With his 25th birthday approaching, Jason Fransz will need to quicken the pace if he's going to move through the Orioles' farm system after spending last season at low Class A Delmarva. To his credit, he is trying his best. Fransz hit .308-22-111 in 2005 and led the South Atlantic League in RBIs and the Shorebirds in home runs and doubles.

Majors | #2006#Baltimore Orioles#Organization Reports

AL East Organization Reports

Premium Content

he Orioles gave a full critique of their minor league system prior to the winter meetings and decided that minimal changes were necessary. The managers from their top five affiliates will return in 2006, though the organization still hasn't named the two coaches at Class A Frederick. Dave Trembley remains as manager at Triple-A Ottawa, Don Werner at Double-A Bowie, Bien Figueroa at Frederick, Gary Kendall at Class A Delmarva and Andy Etchebarren at Class A short season Aberdeen.

Majors | #2006#Baltimore Orioles#Organization Reports