Buster Posey and Tim Lincecum are the big names in Giants territory. Newcomers Jose Guillen and Cody Ross are the new fan favorites.
However, the man right now red hot in San Francisco with his bat is Andres Torres.
Even in his own Puerto Rico many baseball followers are starting to listen and know about Torres.
In the U.S. territory the biggest names are Carlos Beltran, Mike Lowell, Yadier Molina, Ivan Rodriguez, and lately newcomer Angel Pagan. Even rookie Florida Marlins Mike Stanton is well known due his publicized Puerto Rican heritage last June during the San Juan series between the Marlins and the New York Mets.
It is time to know him because probably he should be contemplated by the national sports writers to be the National League Comeback Player of the Year.
Torres, 32, before this 2010 season was a true journeyman.
He made his major league debut back in 2002 with the Detroit Tigers where he only played 81 games in three seasons.
In 2005 Torres signed as a free agent with the Texas Rangers where he only played eight games in their major league uniform.
Thereafter, until 2009 he spent a lot of time in the minors with the Tigers, Minnesota Twins and the Chicago Cubs.
However, his luck finally changed when he signed last year as a free agent with the Giants.
Moreover, he is validating right now that he deserves to be in the bigs. Equable a good candidate for National League Player of the Month of August.
Torres is hitting .310 with 14 doubles, one triple, fve home runs, 25 RBI, and six stolen bases over his last 35 games.
To be more accurate on his hotness, he has gone 9-for-24 with one home run and 10 RBI over the last six games.
Last Sunday, Torres set a new record at San Francisco AT&T Park with 25 doubles in a season in a game against the Arizona D’Backs. By the way, that two-bagger was his 42nd this season, which tied him as doubles leader in the National League with Phillies’ Jayson Werth.
Torres if he continues his doubles pace he could record 51 this season and could set a new team record for a single campaign. Jeff Kent currently holds the franchise mark with 49 doubles in 2001.
Maybe he will not win a Silver Slugger award at the end of the season but watch out he could be a winner of a Golden Glove.
Torres is errorless this season in 119 games and his seven outfield assists are tied for seventh most in the National League. In fact, Torres has committed just two errors in his entire major league career.
Torres is errorless since 2003 and in his last 197 games in the majors.
Perhaps finally his time has arrived to be known.
Una temporada más en una nueva década y 29 conjuntos con las ansias de destronar a los Yankees de Nueva York que andarán buscando su titulo 28 en su historia.
La campaña es larga pero ahora la mirilla está en el arranque en el mes de abril y todos los seguidores beisboleros de América Latina están pendientes a los suyos.
Esta temporada calculamos llegará el número de latinos a un 24 por ciento en los rosters finales y estos son los que proyectamos serán las caras regulares, lanzadores en sus rotaciones abridoras y cerradores en esta venidera campaña 2010.
Orioles de Baltimore: Miguel Tejada, 3B; Cesar Izturis,SS
Medias Rojas de Boston: Victor Martinez, C; David Ortiz, DH; Adrian Beltre, 3B; Marco Scutaro, SS
Medias Blancas de Chicago: Alexis Rios, CF; Alexei Ramirez,SS; Freddy Garcia (Abridor)
Indios de Cleveland: Asdrubal Cabrera, SS; Jhonny Peralta, 3B; Luis Valbuena, 2B; Fausto Carmona (Abridor)
Tigres de Detroit: Magglio Ordoñez, RF; Miguel Cabrera, 1B; Carlos Guillen, DH; Jose Valverde (Cerrador)
Reales de Kansas City: Alberto Callaspo, 2B; Yuniesky Betancourt, SS; David de Jesus,RF; Jose Guillen, DH; Joakim Soria (Cerrador)
Angelinos de Los Angeles: Erick Aybar, SS; Bobby Abreu,RF; Kendry Morales, 1B; Juan Rivera, LF; Ervin Santana (Abridor); Joel Piñeiro (Abridor)
Gemelos de Minnesota: Francisco Liriano (Abridor)
Yankees de Nueva York: Robinson Cano, 2B; Alex Rodriguez, 3B; Jorge Posada, C; Javier Vazquez (Abridor); Mariano Rivera (Cerrador)
Marineros de Seattle: Jose Lopez, 3B; Franklin Gutierrez, CF; Felix Hernandez (Abridor); Ian Snell (Abridor)
Rays de Tampa Bay: Carlos Peña, 1B; Dioner Navarro, C: Rafael Soriano (Cerrador)
Rangers de Texas: Julio Borbon, CF; Vladimir Guerrero, DH; Nelson Cruz, RF; Elvis Andrus,SS; Frank Francisco (Cerrador)
Azulejos de Toronto: Jose Bautista, RF; Edwin Encarnacion, 3B; Alex Gonzalez, SS
Cascabeles de Arizona: Miguel Montero, C
Bravos de Atlanta: Yunel Escobar, SS; Martin Prado, 2B
Cachorros de Chicago: Aramis Ramirez,3B; Alfonso Soriano, LF, Geovany Soto, C; Carlos Zambrano (Abridor); Carlos Silva (Abridor); Carlos Marmol (Cerrador)
Rojos de Cincinnati: Orlando Cabrera, SS; Ramón Hernandez, C; Johnny Cueto (Abridor); Aroldis Chapman (Abridor); Francisco Cordero (Cerrador)
Rockies de Colorado: Carlos Gonzalez, LF; Jorge de la Rosa (Abridor); Ubaldo Jimenez (Abridor)
Marlins de Florida: Jorge Cantu, 3B; Hanley Ramirez, SS; Anibal Sanchez (Abridor); Leo Nuñez (Cerrador)
Astros de Houston: Pedro Feliz, 3B; Carlos Lee, LF; Wandy Rodriguez (Abridor)
Dodgers de Los Angeles: Rafael Furcal, SS; Manny Ramirez, LF; Ronnie Belliard, 2B; Vicente Padilla (Abridor)
Cerveceros de Milwaukee: Alcides Escobar, SS; Carlos Gomez, CF; Yovani Gallardo (Abridor)
Mets de Nueva York: Luis Castillo, 2B; Alex Cora, SS; Angel Pagan, CF; Johan Santana (Abridor); Oliver Perez (Abridor); Francisco Rodriguez (Cerrador)
Phillies de Philadelphia: Placido Polanco, 3B; Carlos Ruiz, C
Piratas de Pittsburgh: Ronny Cedeño, SS
Cardenales de San Luis: Yadier Molina, C; Albert Pujols, 1B
Padres de San Diego: Everth Cabrera, SS; Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Gigantes de San Francisco: Bengie Molina, C; Edgar Renteria, SS; Pablo Sandoval, 3B; Juan Uribe, 2B; Jonathan Sanchez (Abridor)
Nacionales de Washington: Cristian Guzman, SS; Ivan Rodriguez, C
No hay duda que el Todo-Estrella dominicano a obtenido una campaña de ensueño y una vez más no hay que poner a prueba que debe ser el hombre a ser escogido este año como Jugador Más Valioso de la Liga Nacional.
A estas fechas Pujols se encuentra entre lideres en alrededor de nueve categorias ofensivas y con buena oportunidad de obtener su primera corona de jonrones en su carrera.
Sí no fuese por la tan excelente campaña del inicialista de los Cardenales de San Luis a mi entender hubieran dado una buena carrera por ese galardón Adrian González de los Padres de San Diego, Hanley Ramírez de los Marlins de Florida y Pablo Sandoval de los Gigantes de San Francisco.
Por otro lado, en la Liga Americana sín hacer mucho ruido un candidato fuerte a su Más Valioso lo es Miguel Cabrera de los Tigres de Detroit.
El inicialista venezolano ha cargado practicamente la campaña entera con la ofensiva de un conjunto muchos criticos no los dieron para cualificar este año a las series post-temporada. Sí bien buscan las predicciones hechas atras en la primavera muchos entendian que esta temporada los Indios de Cleveland o los Medias Blancas de Chicago iban a dominar la División Central.
Al presente Cabrera esta entre lideres en cinco categorias ofensivas en el más joven de ambos circuitos.
Ademas de los antes mencionados, otros latinoamericanos se han destacado para bien esta campaña.
Vale la pena en estos momentos antes de que termine la temporada reconocer a todos los latinos que se destacaron con sus respectivas franquicias y aplaudir aquellos que hicieron bien su trabajo y ellos son:
Orioles de Baltimore: OF-Felix Pie
Medias Rojas de Boston: C-Victor Martínez; 3B-Mike Lowell
Medias Blancas de Chicago: 2B-Alexei Ramírez
Indios de Cleveland: 2B-Asdrubal Cabrera
Tigres de Detroit: 1B-Miguel Cabrera
Reales de Kansas City: 2B-Alberto Callapso
Angelinos de Los Angeles: 1B-Kendry Morales; IF-Erick Aybar; OF-Bobby Abreu;OF-Juan Rivera
Yankees de Nueva York: 2B-Robinson Cano; C-Jorge Posada; P-Mariano Rivera
Marineros de Seattle: OF-Franklin Gutierrez; P-Felix Hernández
Rays de Tampa Bay: 1B-Carlos Peña
Rangers de Texas: OF-Nelson Cruz
Azulejos de Toronto: SS-Marco Scutaro
Bravos de Atlanta: SS-Yunel Escobar; P-Javier Vázquez
Cachorros de Chicago: 3B-Aramis Ramírez
Rojos de Cincinnati: P-Francisco Cordero
Rockies de Colorado: P- Jorge de la Rosa; P-Ubaldo Jimenez
Marlins de Florida: SS-Hanley Ramírez: 3B-Jorge Cantu
Astros de Houston: OF-Carlos Lee; P-Wandy Rodríguez; SS-Miguel Tejada
Dodgers de Los Angeles; OF-Manny Ramírez
Cerveceros de Milwaukee: 2B-Felipe López; P-Yovani Gallardo
Mets de Nueva York: 2B-Luis Castillo; OF-Carlos Beltrán; OF-Angel Pagán; P-Johan Santana
Phillies de Philadelphia: 3B-Pedro Feliz
Cardenales de San Luis: 1B-Albert Pujols; C-Yadier Molina; P-Joel Piñeiro
Padres de San Diego: 1B-Adrian Gonzalez
Gigantes de San Francisco: 3B-Pablo Sandoval; C-Bengie Molina
Nacionales de Washington: SS-Cristian Guzmán
This is the time of the year that many players are thinking October. It is the time to step up en route to the World Series.
Every franchise in the post-season race is looking closely at their so-called “super nine”, but there is always one or two players that can make the difference.
These are the Latino players that their franchises need, and count on as key factors.
These are the Latinos that can be their key master to this year 2009 Fall Classic.
New York Yankees: 3B-Alex Rodriguez; P-Mariano Rivera
Boston Red Sox: 3B-Mike Lowell
Tampa Bay Rays: 1B-Carlos Peña
Detroit Tigers: IB-Miguel Cabrera; OF-Magglio Ordoñez
Minnesota Twins: SS-Orlando Cabrera
Chicago White Sox: Ozzie Guillen (Yes! The Manager)
Los Angeles Angels: OF-Vladimir Guerrero
Texas Rangers: P-Neftali Perez; C-Ivan Rodriguez
Philadelphia Phillies: 3B-Pedro Feliz; C-Carlos Ruiz
Florida Marlins: SS-Hanley Ramirez; 3B-Jorge Cantu
Atlanta Braves: SS-Yunel Escobar; P-Javier Vazquez
St.Louis Cardinals: 1B-Albert Pujols; C-Yadier Molina
Los Angeles Dodgers: OF-Manny Ramirez; SS-Rafael Furcal
Colorado Rockies : P-Ubaldo Jimenez; P-Jorge de la Rosa
San Francisco Giants: C-Bengie Molina; 3B-Pablo Sandoval
The All-Star Game is almost here and the 2009 season have reached its historically midway point of its schedule, making the perfect moment for this year Midseason Awards.
Disregard the predictions written back in April. Both The Sporting News and Sports Illustrated had the Yankees, Twins, Angels and Red Sox making October . Both publications went Phillies, Cubs, Dodgers and Mets in the National League.
Honestly, not bad at all. Except in both Central Division, the Tigers and the Cardinals at the moment are changing the spring prognosis. Also, the Angels have to be careful with the surprising Rangers in the American League West. Moreover, in the National League wild-card race unless the Mets get a miracle as the famous New York expression “Forget About It!”. At the moment the Giants, Marlins and Brewers look best for the coveted prize in the old circuit.
I will not give any forecasts. After all, who said back in 2007 the Colorado Rockies would make it to the World Series. Nobody crystal ball predicted the Phillies and the Rays last season in the October Classic.
Let’s have fun. Here are my midseason award winners:
Best Team: Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees (tie)
Surprise Team: Texas Rangers
Disappointing Team: Cleveland Indians
Best Latino Player: Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers
Best Latino Pitcher: Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners
Best Latino Rookie: Elvis Andrus, Texas Rangers
Best Boricua: Mike Lowell, Boston Red Sox
Best Latino Surprise Player: Nelson Cruz, Texas Rangers
Dissapointment Latino Player: Magglio Ordoñez, Detroit Tigers
Forget About Him!: Alex Rodriguez, New York Yankees
Best Team: Los Angeles Dodgers
Surprise Team: San Francisco Giants
Disappointing Team: Chicago Cubs
Best Latino Player: Albert Pujols, St. Louis Cardinals
Best Latino Pitcher: Yovani Gallardo, Milwaukee Brewers
Best Latino Rookie: Omir Santos, New York Mets
Best Boricua: Carlos Beltrán, New York Mets
Best Latino Surprise Player: Joel Piñeiro, St. Louis Cardinals
Dissapointment Latino Player: Alfonso Soriano, Chicago Cubs
Forget About Him!: Manny Ramirez, Los Angeles Dodgers
My Midseason Latino All-Star Team:
C Victor Martinez (Indians); 1B Albert Pujols (Cardinals); 2B Robinson Cano (Yankees); 3B Mike Lowell (Boston); SS Hanley Ramirez(Marlins); OF Carlos Beltran (Mets); Carlos Lee (Astros); Juan Rivera (Angels); P Felix Hernandez (Mariners); PR Mariano Rivera (Yankees).
This column was also published by The Puerto Rico Daily Sun / MLB Notebook
This upcoming 2009 Major League Baseball All-Star Game, Yadier Molina will be the lone boricua shining with the best of the best .
There is no doubt, the younger of the Molina brothers deserved the accolade from the fans to be the starting catcher in the National League lineup. Not because the fans wanted to award him with his first All-Star experience playing at home. The 2009 All-Star Game will be played at Busch Stadium in his Cardinal nest in St. Louis on July 14. Neither a gift because he will be celebrating his 27th birthday the night before the big mid-summer classic game.
Yadier is validating he is the best defensive catcher in the National League. At midway point of this season he has thrown out 44 percent of would-be basestealers and picked off four baserunners as well. He’s second in the league in innings caught. Numbers that are in pace to help him win his second career Gold Glove Award.
Do not misremember either his batting. The Bayamon native is hitting for a .284 average with 5 homers and 28 RBI’s.
Of course, we can not forget that Carlos Beltran was also selected to be a starter outfielder in the National League. However, the Manati native at present is receiving a second treatment in his ailing right knee and would be re-evaluated during the All-Star break.
At this moment, the New York Mets have informed if doctors cleared him, he could resume baseball-related activates, like hitting and running after the All-Star Game break. For now, he is exercising on a bike and in a pool. Beltran publicly have acknowledged he does not have a timetable how long it would take to return to the Mets.
For the rest, after 85 games, I keep asking que pasa boricua ? Besides Molina and Beltran whom this season deserve to be an All-Star. Possibly in the National League older Yadier’s brother Bengie and in the American League Mike Lowell before getting re-injured again with hip problems. That’s it !
No longer are the hey-days of full of boricuas All-Star Games. See the accompanied chart below this decade. Make your own conclusions. I know we can do better again. Hopefully soon.
Puerto Ricans in All-Star Games (2001-2009)
2001 (Seattle): Roberto Alomar, Juan González, Edgar Martínez, Jorge Posada, Iván Rodríguez, Bernie Williams
2002 (Milwaukee): José Hernández, Mike Lowell, Jorge Posada, Benito Santiago, José Vidró
2003 (Chicago): Carlos Delgado, Javier López, Mike Lowell, Edgar Martínez, Jorge Posada, Jose Vidró
2004 (Houston): Carlos Beltrán, Mike Lowell, Iván Rodríguez, Javier Vázquez
2005 (Detroit): Carlos Beltrán, Felipe López, Iván Rodríguez
2006 (Pittsburgh): Carlos Beltrán, Alexis Rios, Iván Rodríguez
2007 (San Francisco): Carlos Beltrán, Mike Lowell, Jorge Posada, Alexis Rios, Iván Rodríguez
2008 (New York): Geovany Soto
2009 (St. Louis): Yadier Molina
This column was published by The Puerto Rico Daily Sun / MLB Notebook
When thinking about Puerto Rican catchers, it first comes to mind such names as future hall-of-famer Iván Rodriguez, veteran Yankee Jorge Posada and the new wave kids Geovany Soto and Omir Santos. Often forgotten and they shouldn’t be there are Bayamon’ Molina brothers. Hopefully one month from now Yadier and Bengie will receive the attention they deserve.
“We all are quiet. We come to the ballpark to do our work and with God blessing we do the best job we can,” Yadier said at Landshark Stadium in Miami.
The Molina brothers younger to older Yadier (Cardinals), José (Yankees) and Bengie (Giants) they all debuted in the same season in 2004. They are the only trio of brothers in Major League history to win World Series ring. However, no matter what, there are often left out of the favourite boricuas fan list.
That probably could change in few weeks as both the junior and the senior can be select it to their first All-Star Game in their careers.
“Yadier is like the kid everybody loves in the neighborhood,” St.Louis’ Manager Tony LaRussa said. “He deserves it same as his brother (Bengie).”
At this moment, Yadier, 26, is the leading vote-getter among National League catchers for the upcoming All-Star Game. And he is very happy about it moreover this year Summer Classic is at his Redbird nest at Busch Stadium in St. Louis July 14.
“It means a lot to me. A lot of people doubted I could do it,” Yadier said. “I’m proud of what I have done so far. It feels very good.”
Of course, he should feel good. Defensively he is probing once more he was not just lucky last season when he won his fisrt Gold Glove. At present, Yadier leads all Major League catchers in throwing percentage (41.8) and leads the majors in pick-offs since 2005. He admitted is slumping offensively a bit but he knows he can do better as similar to last year career-best .304.
In the other side of the country, all west, Bengie, 34, is finally getting the attention he deserves. Not only because he is only 1 of 3 active catchers —Pudge Rodriguez (13) and Brad Ausmus (3)– to have won multiple Gold Gloves (American League 2002 and 2003) or owns as a catcher a career .994 fielding percentage. As a backstopper, he is second in the majors in putouts and have logged fourth-most innings played behind the plate. Also, he can hit too. He leads his San Francisco uniform in homers and RBI since 2007 and he is the leader again in both departments in 2009 (9 HR-37 RBI).
“(Pitcher) Matt McCain should be our All-Star this year. If I’m select it then it will be a great honor.” Bengie said. “Of course, that will be great to play in the same All-Star Game with my brother”.
Last Puerto-Rican duo of brothers to play in All-Star Games together were Roberto And Sandy Alomar Jr. in the 90’s.
Even though he is satisfied with the Giants—were he have been its franchise MVP the last two seasons— he stated he sometimes feels unrecognized as in his days with the Anaheim Angels. However, he said that given the right oppportunity he wants to stay in the Bay Area with San Francisco and be the starting catcher for the next two or three years.
Bengie is a free agent at the end of the season but he does not want to discuss with the Giants management a return to the team and any kind of deal anytime after the All-Star break.
On José, the other forgotten, is at the moment in the Yankees minor league complex in Tampa in a rehablitation assignment (strained left quadriceps muscle).
José, 33, went on the disabled list last May 10. No word from the Yankees management how soon he will called up.
This column was also published by The Puerto Rico Daily Sun / MLB Commentary