All-Star notes: Bochy tabs Halladay as NL starter

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All-Star notes: Bochy tabs Halladay as NL starter

July 11, 2011

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CSNBayArea.com staff

What's happening in Arizona, site of the 2011 Major League Baseball All-Star Game? To get you set for first pitch, we collected some of the best reporting from the Comcast Regional Sports Network family. Stay with us for comprehensive coverage from the desert featuring the Comcast SportsNet team of Mychael Urban, Kate Longworth and Jaymee Sire.

CSNPhilly: Bochy turns to Halladay to start for NL
John R. Finger
CSNPhilly.com

With the best record in the majors and five players at the All-Star Game, it seems only logical that a Phillie should start in the game. However, with elected starter Placido Polanco out because of an injury, National League manager Bruce Bochy had one guy he could turn to.

With that, Bochy named Roy Halladay as his starting pitcher for Tuesday nights midsummer classic.

"I couldn't have a better guy to start the All-Star Game for us," Bochy said. "You talk about the elite pitchers in the game and you look at his numbers this year, and it's obvious he's very deserving.
READ MORE AT CSNPHILLY.COM.

CSNChicago: Ramirez tells Bochy, 'thanks but no'Patrick Mooney
CSNChicago.com

Aramis Ramirez got hot late, putting together a few good weeks to become the most productive third baseman in the National League. But his invitation to the All-Star Game didnt come soon enough.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy reached out on Sunday to see if Ramirez wanted to be an injury replacement. But the Cubs third baseman had plans to go back home to the Dominican Republic, and his family had already traveled there.

Its just too late, Ramirez said. No chance I could make it.
READ MORE AT CSNCHICAGO.COM.

Nats' Harper soaks in All-Star scene
Mark Zuckerman
CSNWashington.com
Bryce Harper has been "playing up" against older, more experienced competition since ... well, pretty much since the day he first picked up a baseball bat and homered off his father.

Sunday evening, though, brought a whole new challenge for the Nationals' uber-prospect: Four at-bats against four different flamethrowers from four different farm systems in the All-Star Futures Game, all of them shown on national television.

The end result was perhaps predictable: Harper went 0-for-4, striking out twice and grounding out twice. The happy-go-lucky 18-year-old's reaction, too, was perhaps predictable.

"I don't even care what I did today, actually. I really don't," he said. "I could've went 4-for-4 and: Hallelujah. 0-for-4? Hallelujah, too. I'm just happy to be here, to be around the guys I am."
READ MORE AT CSNWASHINGTON.COM.

CSNBaltimore: All-Star ethics have changed
Stan "The Fan" CharlesCSNBaltimore.com
For some folks who may be too young to remember, fans actually lost the right to vote on the All-Star game after a ballot stuffing scandal took place -- in Cincinnati, of all places. That's right, back in 1957, the Reds' fans stuffed the ballot box to the extent that they made a mockery of the vote.

Believe me, I get that this isn't exactly as important as voting for our congressman or president, or even dog catcher.READ MORE AT CSNBALTIMORE.COM.

A's spring training Day 8: Top pick AJ Puk attracts a crowd

A's spring training Day 8: Top pick AJ Puk attracts a crowd

MESA, Ariz. — The A’s are excited about 2016 top pick A.J. Puk, that much was apparent by the crowd the lefty attracted for his first “live” bullpen session Tuesday.

Among those watching closely were executive vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane, general manager David Forst, manager Bob Melvin and pitching coach Curt Young.

Puk, who shaved about 20 pounds off his 6-foot-7 frame over the winter, looked strong against a group of hitters that included touted infield prospects Franklin Barreto and Yairo Munoz.

Melvin in particular liked the way Puk, the No. 6 overall pick out of the University of Florida, worked his curve ball into the mix. That’s a pitch he hadn’t used since high school, but he dusted it off back in the fall instructional league with some encouragement from minor league pitching coordinator Gil Patterson, and he’s working to sharpen it this spring as a complement to his fastball, slider and changeup.

“It’s just nice to have another pitch that’s slower than my other three pitches,” Puk said before Tuesday’s workout.

“It’s a four-pitch mix,” Melvin said. “He’s really starting to distinguish between this slider and curve ball. It was quite a crowd around his cage too. When you’re a young kid you tend to notice that, but I thought he responded really well.”

Puk, 21, is rooming with shortstop Richie Martin, a teammate at Florida whom the A’s made their top pick in 2015. They also lived near each other in Tampa this offseason and worked out together.

Puk comes off very quiet upon meeting him, but Martin warns against being fooled.

“It takes him a while, but once he feels comfortable he’ll break out. You’ll see.”

Melvin was impressed with Puk’s physical shape, saying he’s fielded his position well in pitchers’ fielding drills.

CAMP BATTLE Jesse Hahn will start the A’s Cactus League opener Saturday against the defending World Series champion Chicago Cubs. It’ll be a chance for Hahn to make an early impression in his bid for the fifth starter spot.

“After the year he had (in 2016), it’s important for him this year. We have to show some faith in him,” Melvin said. “He performed well for us the year before. Last year wasn’t really consistent. We’ll try to get him out there and get him off to a good start.”

Kendall Graveman will take the ball in Sunday’s spring home opener against the Angels. Sonny Gray and Sean Manaea both will pitch Monday against the Giants and Jharel Cotton and Andrew Triggs will be among the group throwing Tuesday against the Indians.

PROSPECT WATCH: Sean Murphy, the A’s third-round pick in June, has shown a very strong throwing arm early in camp. Is it any wonder Melvin, an ex-catcher, was impressed?

“The kid can throw, it’s special,” Melvin said. “We really like him.”

NOTEWORTHY: Still no word on when reliever Santiago Casilla will arrive at camp from the Dominican Republic. Melvin said he isn’t concerned at this stage, and noted that Casilla has been working out at the team’s complex in the Dominican Republic and gave a motivational talk to the younger players there.

Cousins thanks Sacramento: 'Wouldn't trade it for anything'

Cousins thanks Sacramento: 'Wouldn't trade it for anything'

The Kings traded DeMarcus Cousins to the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday, prompting the All-Star big man to post a heartfelt message on his Instagram account.

Words can't even express how hard it is for me to have to leave the city of Sacramento and all of the amazing people that I have met while out here. I gave it my all for you and you gave it right back. The most amazing fans on the planet and I just want you to know that your support has meant everything to me. It's hard to believe that it was seven years ago that this young kid from Alabama showed up in Sacramento scared and not knowing a soul. As I look back upon my time here, I wouldn't trade it for anything. I have met so many amazing people, many of whom went out of their way to make me feel right at home from day one. Each and every one of you have played such an important part in my life and helping me become the person I am today. I don't just consider you all as fans, you all are my family...and a couple thousand miles aren't going to change a thing. Thank you Sacramento. 
#LoyaltyisLove #sactownkingforever

Cousins, 26, averaged 27.8 points, 10.7 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 1.4 steals, 1.3 blocks and 34.4 minutes per game for the Kings this year.

Words can't even express how hard it is for me to have to leave the city of Sacramento and all of the amazing people that I have met while out here. I gave it my all for you and you gave it right back. The most amazing fans on the planet and I just want you to know that your support has meant everything to me. It's hard to believe that it was seven years ago that this young kid from Alabama showed up in Sacramento scared and not knowing a soul. As I look back upon my time here, I wouldn't trade it for anything. I have met so many amazing people, many of whom went out of their way to make me feel right at home from day one. Each and every one of you have played such an important part in my life and helping me become the person I am today. I don't just consider you all as fans, you all are my family...and a couple thousand miles aren't going to change a thing. Thank you Sacramento. #LoyaltyisLove

A post shared by DeMarcus Cousins (@boogiecousins) on