By: Noah Wright
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
The Red Sox have struck a deal with The Blue Jays to acquire utility man Steve Pearce in exchange for minor leaguer Santiago Espinal. After releasing Hanley Ramirez, The Red Sox could use a platoon mate for Mitch Moreland. Pearce can also provide some innings at second base if need be, but hasn’t seen an extended amount of time there since 2016.
Pearce, now 35 years of age, has had an average season last year, as he batted .252/.319/.438 with 13 homers, 37 RBI’s, and 99 wRC+ in 348 PA’s. Pearce has had a decent season this year. So far, he’s batted .291/.349/.519 with 4 homers, and 16 RBI’s, along with 137 wRC+, in a limited 86 PA’s (mainly because he missed time with an injury). His increase in production could be from a career high 43.1% hard hit rate. Pearce has also just seen time mainly at DH, the corner outfield spots, and first base. This is also Pearce’s last season under contract, and is owed a total of $6.25 million on the year. On the other end of the deal, The Jays acquire middle infield minor leaguer Santiago Espinal. The 23 year old was originally drafted by The Sox in the 10th round in 2016 amature draft. This season, Espinal has spent the entire season in High-A ball, while batting .314/.364/.478 with 7 homers and 32 RBI’s in 280 PA’s. He’s also shown good speed, as he stole 20 bags last season.
(interesting fact: With this trade, Pearce will have played with every AL East team)d
By: Noah Wright
AP Photo/John Bazemore
Earlier today, it was announced that The Boston Red Sox signed veteran second baseman Brandon Phillips to a minor league deal. With Dustin Pedroia having been on the DL most of the season, and current replacement Eduardo Nunez only batting .253/.284/.350, The Red Sox could use the middle infield depth.
While he’s been on a decline the past few years, with not having a slugging % above .420 since 2012, and not having a positive defensive WAR since 2015, Phillips has still been a solid contributor. Last season, one of the few remaining players that was in The Expos system, he produced a .285/.319/.416 line, along with reaching double digits in homers and stolen bases (13/11) for the 10th time in his career, and recording 60 RBI’s with 93 wRC+ in 604 PA’s split between The Braves and Angels. Like stated earlier, Phillips’ glove has been on a decline, as he had -7 DRS, .6 UZR, and -.5 defensive WAR. Phillips also saw 218 innings at the hot corner last season with The Braves, which could help widen his utility with The Red Sox.
By: Noah Wright
John Cordes/Icon Sportswire
The Angels’ injury woes continue as another large cog in their line-up will be out for a good period of time. It was announced today that third baseman/shortstop Zack Cozart is required to undergo surgery in his left shoulder to repair a torn labrum. Though it has not been announced yet how much time he will miss, Cozart will likely miss the rest of the season.
Cozart’s first season with The Halos will come to a slow close. The 2017 all-star was signed by The Angels to play third base. While he produced career highs in every offensive category last season, Cozart has had a dismal season this year. He’ll end the season with just a .219/.296/.362 batting line, along with 5 homers, 18 RBI’s and 85 wRC+ in 253 PA’s. While he was known as a quality defender at short, the same cannot be said this season. At third base, Cozart has -5 DRS, -2.8 UZR, and -3 defensive WAR.
By: Noah Wright
The Milwaukee Brewers entered the day 45-36. Good for first place in The NL Central. They’ve gotten here because of their great bullpen, and excellent outfield consisting mainly of Lorenzo Cain, Christian Yelich, along with Ryan Braun, Hernan Perez, Eric Thames, and Domingo Santana (before he was optioned). However, there’s been one standout guy in their line-up. Who’s really brought the big bat The Brew Crew needs. That’s where first baseman Jesus Aguilar steps in. But it wasn’t easy to get to being a potential 2018 All-Star. Let’s look at Jesus Aguilar’s trip on how he became roster filler for The Indians, to slugging first baseman for The Brewers.
Aguilar was originally signed by The Cleveland Indians out of Venezuela as an amature free agent. In the minors, Aguilar showed a good amount of power. In 2011, Aguilar hit 23 home runs, and had a .506 slugging % in 2011 split between low and high single-A in The Indians organization. However, Aguilar wasn’t an all power guy. He also had a decent average (.284), and on base skills (.359 OBP) in 521 PA’s. His performance earned him a MILB all-star call. He would receive another all-star call in 2013, when the big first baseman hit 16 homers, had a .427 slugging %, and continued to show good contact and on base skills (.275/.349) in 567 PA’s. Aguilar made another MILB all-star appearance in 2014. Now in triple-A, Aguilar raised his average and OBP to another level, when he hit .304 and had a .395 OBP, while keeping the good power (19 homers, .515 slugging %) in 499 PA’s. Early in the 2014 season, Aguilar received his first major league call-up, and made his debut on May 15th. However, he only played 19 games, and would start the next year in the minors, but made The Indians’ top 30 prospect list. In 2015, Aguilar had a career low .332 OBP, and a below career average .439 slugging % in 570 PA’s. Aguilar would only play 7 games with The Indians that season, and was sent back down to the minors for most of the 2016 season. Still in Triple-A, Aguilar’s on base skills, and contact continued to diminish, with just a .319 OBP, and .247 average in 578 PA’s. However, he kept his power, blasting 30 homers, and kept a .427 slugging %. But in January 2017, The Cleveland Indians signed big free-agent slugger Edwin Encarnacion. With Encarnacion and Carlos Santana likely sharing first base and DH duties, Aguilar became expendable. By January 27th, Jesus Aguilar was DFA’ed.
On February 2nd, 2017, exactly on groundhog day, The Milwaukee Brewers claimed Aguilar off waivers from The Indians. At the end of the 2016 season, The Brewers signed big slugger Eric Thames. Thames had just come off of a successful stint in the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO), and was ready to takeover first base duties for The Milwaukee Brewers. As a platoon, Thames and Aguilar shared first base throughout the season. Aguilar did his end of the job. He crushed left handed pitching, and had a .302/.370/.531 overall line against them. Plus, his fielding wasn’t bad either, as he had 2 DRS, 1.4 UZR, and -.2 defensive WAR. Overall, Aguilar hit a decent .265/.331/.505 with 16 homers and 52 RBI’s in 311 PA’s, showing the OBP and slugging skills he did in the minors.
Entering 2018, Aguilar was behind Eric Thames, and now Ryan Braun on the first base depth chart, after The Brewers acquired Christian Yelich, and signed Lorenzo Cain. But that didn’t stop him from being good. In April, Aguilar hit a tremendous .378/.423/.533 in 52 PA’s. Then, injuries struck. In mid-May, Ryan Braun was placed in the 10-day, and Thames was already on The DL after having to undergo foot surgery in late April. This gave Jesus Aguilar a chance, a chance he never had at regular playing time, and he capitalized on it. Since May 1st, Aguilar owns a .276/.339/.615 batting line, along with 15 homers in 177 PA’s. Even though Thames and Braun have been activated from The DL, Aguilar’s amazing performance has given The Brewers enough reason to let Aguilar be the regular first baseman. Now, Braun and Thames platoon one of the corner outfield spots. On the season, Aguilar has a .299/.358/.597 batting line, to go with 16 homers, 50 RBI’s and 150 wRC+ in 229 PA’s. His OPS of .955 is higher than that of Joey Votto, Aaron Judge, and Manny Machado.
The Brewers have had good production from guys like Lorenzo Cain, Christian Yelich, and Travis Shaw. But none of their offense can compare to what their now first baseman Jesus Aguilar has done. His production at the plate is one of the biggest reasons of why The Brewers are in first place of The NL Central.
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By: Noah Wright
John Wilcox/Boston Herald
It’s the greatest rivalry in all North American sports. The New York Yankees vs The Boston Red Sox. And that it’s no different this year. Right now, The Red Sox are a half game back of The Yankees for The East.Both teams have a handful of players that could be all-stars, and unlike some divisions, there is no clear winner. So between these 2 juggernaut teams, who wins?
To start, let’s look at each team’s starting 5. The Red Sox get the edge here, if you ask me. Chris Sale is as dominant as ever right now. He currently has a 2.56 ERA, .927 WHIP, and 2.48 FIP. Plus his 12.6 K/9 and 153 strikeouts lead The AL. David Price is having a nice year as well. His numbers would also look better, if it wasn’t for one start in where he gave up 7 earned runs in 3 and 2 thirds innings, and would make his ERA 3.23 instead of 3.81. After struggling last season, Rick Porcello has showed the control he showed in his 2016 Cy Young year. Their 4th pitcher, Eduardo Rodriguez is also having a nice season. Drew Pomeranz started out in the 5th spot, but was placed on The DL. Since then, knuckelballer Steven Wright and Hector Velazquez have filled that spot nicely (In the middle of writing this article, Steven Wright was placed on the 10-day DL). As for The Yankees, their rotation has been very inconsistent beyond young ace Luis Severino, and veteran CC Sabathia. Sonny Gray and Masahiro Tanaka have each had their fair share of struggles this season. Each have an ERA and FIP over 4. To add on to problems, Jordan Montgomery, who started the year on a good note, was forced to undergo TJ surgery. Since then, The Yankees have used patch work consisting of Jonathan Loaisiga and Domingo German. While Loaisiga has done well in his first 14 innings of the season, the same cannot be said about German, who has a 5.40 ERA, 4.21 FIP, and 1.232 WHIP.
Now let’s look at The Red Sox and Yankees bullpen arms. This was a tough one. Each team has one of the best closers in The MLB in Craig Kimbrel and Aroldis Chapman. They also have some shutdown set-up guys in Joe Kelly and Matt Barnes for The Red Sox, and Dellin Betances and David Robertson for The Yankees. However, I have to give the edge to The Yankees, because of their quality depth. While Chapman, Betances, and Robertson are the big 3 in the bullpen, they are not the only 3. Chad Green has had a very good season, and Adam Warren has done well since coming off The DL. After a slow start to the season, Betances and Robertson have done well in their last handful of games, with Betances having a .56 ERA in his last 15 games, and Robertson having a 2.40 ERA in his last 15. In his first full season with The Yankees, Jonathan Holder has done very well, and has a 1.84 ERA, 2.08 FIP, and .682 WHIP. With The Red Sox, past Kimbrel, Kelly, and Barnes, they do not have as much quality depth. Heath Hembree has had an ok year, but nothing amazing. The same can be said about long relief guy Brian Johnson. Carson Smith has also only played in 14 and a third innings, and has been injured for most of the year. With The Yankees’ bullpen depth, their starters do not have to go deep into games as often as some Red Sox pitchers might.
Similary has hard to give the edge to is their line-up. Each team has some very good sluggers. On The Red Sox, you have JD Martinez, Mitch Moreland, Mookie Betts, Andrew Benintendi, Xander Bogaerts, and have Dustin Pedroia on The DL. However on The Yankees side, there’s Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Didi Gregorius, and slugging rookies Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar. Plus when he’s healthy, you can add Gary Sanchez to that list. Both also have guys who can play just about anywhere in Brock Holt and Eduardo Nunez on The Sox, and The Yankees having Ronald Torreyes on the 25-man roster, and Brandon Drury in the minors. It’s really a tie here, if you look at it. The Yankees may be #1 in home runs right now, but The Red Sox aren’t far behind and sit at the #3 spot. The Red Sox have the 2nd most RBI’s right now in The MLB, but The Yankees are #3, and both teams have similar team OPS’s (.787 Yankees, .780 Red Sox). However on the defensive side, The Yankees have the better overall defense. The Yankees have 7 DRS, as opposed to The Red Sox -29 DRS. The Yankees’ outfielders have also been a bit better at throwing runners out, with 15 outfielder assists, while The Sox’s outfielders have only had 14 outfielder assists. While their offenses may be very very good, I have to give the edge to The Yankees for better line-up.
So which team wins The AL East? As things are right now, I have to lean slightly towards The Yankees. The Yankees’ deep bullpen and roster gives them more utility. Plus with enough utility on the team, The Bronx Bombers can move their line-up and positions around to fit their needs. In the end, I think The Yankees take The East by 3 games at the most. However, I would not be surprised if The Red Sox won the division in the end. The Sox still have a team with a quality rotation, and enough sluggers that it wouldn’t be surprising if they outslugged The Yanks for the #1 spot.
By: Noah Wright
Justin Berl/Getty Images
The Orioles currently 23-53, and currently have the second worst record of all MLB teams. It also doesn’t help that many players on their pitching staff, and line-up are getting older, and declining. The rest are either at the end of their contract. Their only players that they can rely on somewhat are Jonathan Schoop, Trey Mancini, Dylan Bundy, Chance Sisco, and Kevin Gausman, and half of them have not had a good season this season. So with The Orioles future looking bleak right now, what’s next for The Orioles?
Well first, they need to assess their situation. Like I said, they have a ton of underperforming players, and the rest are on the last year of their contract. Their farm system is also fairly shallow. According to mlb.com, The Orioles have just 1 prospect in the top 100. Austin Hayes has done underwhelming this season, and so has Hunter Harvey.
Next they need to trade off some of their players. I’d first trade off guys in the last inning of their contract. This includes likely top sought after trade target Manny Machado. Brad Brach, Zach Britton, along with Adam Jones are all on the last year of their contract, and will also be on the trading block too. I think they should also look to trade some players like Schoop and Mancini, since they’re young, and though aren’t doing well this season, had very good seasons last season. Trading off some young players could really help kick start a rebuild.
Right now, The Orioles are in a tough spot. They’re in no shape to contend, and are in a tough division headlined by The Red Sox, and Yankees, along with The Blue Jays who could be ready to compete by next season. To add on, they have a weak farm system. They have no other choice than to enter a rebuild. If they start to trade off players in the end of their contract, along with some younger players with control left, The O’s could kickoff their rebuild with a good start.
By: Noah Wright
Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire
Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia has been a staple to their line-up, almost as much as David Ortiz was before he retired. Pedroia has had a long career that’s been highlighted by many awards, and milestones. However, he could be on the fringe when he retires, and becomes eligible for The Hall Of Fame. So let’s take a look at Dustin Pedroia’s case for The Hall Of Fame.
To start, lets see why Pedroia should make The Hall Of Fame. The short (5’8) secondbasemen came up in 2006, but played his first full season in 2007. As a rookie, Pedroia batted a .317/.380/.442 line in 581 PA’s. His effort with the bat, and glove gave him The AL Rookie Of The Year. In 2008, Pedroia stepped up his game, as he batted for a .326/.376/.493. The Laser Show also added some pop, with 17 homers, and speed with 20 stolen bases. His defense was also amazing, with 13 DRS, 9.7 UZR, and 1.9 defensive WAR. His amazing season rewarded him with The AL MVP, Gold Glove, and Silver Slugger. Overall, Pedroia’s career rewards include The MVP and Rookie Of The Year award I had previously mentioned, along with 4 All Star appearances, a Silver Slugger, 4 Gold Gloves, and 2 World Series Rings. Pedroia’s career WAR of 52.1 (tied for 174th All Time) puts him in the middle of Bid McPhee, and Bobby Doerr in all time second basemen WAR, both are Hall Of Fame Players. Pedroia is mostly known for his glove as well. His current 15.5 career defensive WAR puts him above Hall Of Fame second baseman Ryne Sandberg who has 13.5 defensive WAR, and has the most Gold Gloves of all NL Secondbasemen. Pedroia's career .806 OPS ranks 17th among second basemen all time, who’ve played at least 1000 games, and is .10 points higher than that of Craig Biggio, another Hall Of Fame player. Pedroia’s skill with his bat, and glove should really help him get some HOF votes when he arrives on the ballot, but he isn’t a lock for the Hall.
Now let's look at why Pedroia may not make The Hall. Pedroia hasn’t been consistently healthy the past few seasons. It’s kind of a situation like Felix Hernandez. Since 2015, Pedroia has had just one season where he’s played at least 150 games (2016). Pedroia is on pace again to not play more than 100, as he’s been on The DL twice this season, and has only played 3 whole games. This could really impact his chances of making The Hall Of Fame. Pedroia also has just 1803 hits. That doesn’t even put him in the top 300 in all time-hits, and for a guy who’s batting average is .300, and has played this long, you’d think he’d have more hits.
If you ask me, I think Pedroia’s Hall Of Fame Case is still strong. Even when he’s been inconsistent with health, his performance has not. In 2015 when he only played 93 games, Pedroia still had a good .291 average, and .356 OBP. In 2017 when he played just 105 games, Pedroia still had a .293 average, and .369 OBP. This has been the only season where he did not start out with a strong average or OBP, but you have to remember he only has seen 13 PA’s. At the end, if Pedroia can keep up a solid performance, even when he isn’t fully healthy, I do think Pedroia makes The HOF, but not on his first ballot. I’m predicting sometime between his 3rd, and 6th ballot.
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By: Noah Wright
Mitchell Layton/Getty Images
Entering the season, The Nationals seemed to be sho-ins for The NL East. Though The Braves and Phillies were getting better, they were still in their rebuild phase, even if they were nearing the end of it. Plus The Mets looked like a .500 team at best entering the season, and then there was The Marlins, who weren't gonna be close to competitive. But now that we’re nearly half way through the season. This isn’t the case. Currently, The Braves are first The NL East, and with a 3.5 game lead. The Nationals are in second place, but The Phillies are just one game behind The Nats, who are currently just barely hanging on to the second wildcard spot.
I want to first start out with why The Nats will make The Playoffs. The Nats still have a Cy Young Caliber starter in Max Scherzer, who is continuing to dominate this season with a 2.06 ERA, 1.94 FIP, .844 WHIP in 100.2 innings, and has a possibility to reach the 300 strikeout plateau. Gio Gonzalez has also been very good with a 3.01 ERA, 3.55 FIP, and 1.351 WHIP in 80.2 innings. Though he’s on the DL right now, Jeremy Hellickson has been a pleasant surprise this season. He currently has a 2.28 ERA, 3.28 FIP, and .923 WHIP in 43 and a third innings. To add on, Hellickson has a career low 1.2 BB/9 rate. The rotation holds the 3rd best ERA in the entire MLB (3.38). Their closer, Sean Doolittle has been lights out. The lefty has only given up 5 earned runs in 30.2 innings, while only walking 3, and striking out 43 batters. To help their bullpen cause, The Nats just acquired Kelvin Herrera, who’s also been dominant (1.05 ERA, 2.62 FIP, .818 WHIP .7 BB/9 in 25.2 innings). On the offensive side, The Nationals just got back Daniel Murphy, who’s been a big bat in their line-up the past few seasons. They also got back another injured cog with Adam Eaton not long ago. Third basemen Anthony Rendon has been solid this season, with a .272/.350/.450 line in 217 PA’s. Top prospect Juan Soto has arrived on the scene with a bang. The 19 year old outfielder has batted an impressive .325/.411/.602 in his first 95 PA’s. This performance at the plate is capped off with 6 home runs and 14 RBI’s. Another bat that has done well is minor league signee Mark Reynolds, who’s hit .268/.321/.535 with 6 homers and 10 RBI’s in 78 PA’s.
Now let’s go over why they won’t make The Playoffs. All-Star outfielder Bryce Harper has been underwhelming this season. So far, he has a career low .212 batting average. While his OBP/Slugging % have been ok (.351/.469), and the left handed batter has 19 home runs, his underperformance is seriously hurting The Nats’ lineup since he was supposed to be the largest contributor in it. Their biggest contributor with the bat is arguably 1B/LF Matt Adams. Adams was batting a good .275/.351/.575 (OBP and slugging % would be a career high), but that was before he hit the 10-Day with a fractured left index finger today. Another off-season signee, Howie Kendrick got off to a hot start, batting .303/.331/.474 before hitting the 60-day with a torn achilles. Catching was a big problem for The Nats’ the last season, but it’s really apparent this season. Their current catcher, Pedro Severino is batting just .190/.291/.241 in 158 PA’s (however, he has done good defensively with 4 DRS, .5 defensive WAR, and has thrown out 37% of runners trying to run on him), and injured catcher Matt Wieters has batted a low .231/.342/.385 (but the OBP would be a career high). Kendrick got off to a hot start, batting .303/.331/.474 before hitting the 60-day with a torn achilles. The bullpen has been lackluster as well. Before adding Herrera, The Nats were relying on Brandon Kintzler and Ryan Madson to deliver the 9th to Doolittle. So far, Madson has pitched to a 4.38 ERA and 1.5 WHIP in 24.2 innings, (but does have a good FIP (3.13), K/9 rate (9.5) and BB/9 rate (2.9), and Kintzler had a 4.45 ERA, and 1.482 WHIP in 28.1 innings before hitting the 10-day. The Nats also lost a big rotation piece when Stephen Strasburg was suffering from right shoulder inflammation.
Now the question is, will The Nats make The Playoffs? I think The Nationals do, but not the division unless The Braves really, really cool off, or The Nationals go on a hot streak. However, they do have plenty of time left, and enough farm to fix their catching problem, and add some more pieces that could help them go deep in the playoffs. It could be easy for players like Bryce Harper, or Trea Turner to turn their seasons around completely, and be very very good producers at the plate. If The Nats' big bats can find their grove, it's very possible they could make The Playoffs.
By: Noah Wright
AP Photo/Matt Slocum
After blowing a save, and eventually losing the game last night against The Miami Marlins, Giants’ closer Hunter Strickland punched a door after the game, which resulted in his throwing hand to be fractured. The righty will now miss up to 8 weeks after receiving surgery on the injured hand.
Strickland had gotten off to a good start to the season as The Giants’ closer, with a 2.84 ERA, 1.232 WHIP, and a 3.31 FIP in 31 and 2 thirds. He also had a good 8.2 K/9 rate, to go along with an ok 3.7 BB/9 rate. Strickland took over the closers role entering the year because Mark Melancon started the year on The DL. With this injury, Mark Melancon could retake the closer role, but since he’s only seen 5 and a third innings this year so far, it’s likely The Giants would want him to get more playing time in before taking over the role. Sam Dyson also has had closer experience, and has had a decent season so far. Dyson has a 2.51 ERA, .990 WHIP and 3.71 FIP, to go along with a career high 7.2 K/9 rate, and career low 2.8 walks per 9 rate in 32.1. Dyson seems to be the best option right now, but lefty Tony Watson could also be given a look at the role. However, Watson struggled badly in the role last year, which would likely play into The Giants’ decision on who takes over the 9th inning role.
By: Ethan Cushman
Orlin Wagner / Associated Press
On Monday June 18 the Nationals made a move to bolster their bullpen by traded for Royals closer Kelvin Herrera. Last year the Nationals also added to the bullpen in the middle of the year by adding Brandon Kintzler Ryan Madson and Sean Doolittle. But this year Madson and Kintzler have struggled as Madsen has posted a 4.56 ERA but has a decent 1.49 FIP. Kinzler has a 4.45 ERA. Herrera has been as good as it gets this year with a miniscule 1.08 era. It also helps that Herrera has world series experience. He is a winning player which will help a team who has been meemed about not being able to do anything in the playoffs.
Who did the Nats give up? They gave up solid prospects but nothing spectacular. They gave up infielder Kelvin gutierrez and outfielder Blake Perkins there 10 and 11 best prospects according to mlb.com as well as RHP Yohanse Morel. But, Herrera is on the last year of his contract, and is a rental for The Nats, which diminishes his value.
By: Noah Wright
Mark Alberti/Icon Sportswire
The Pirates are currently 35-36 on the season. They started the season very strong, but have fallen off the last month or so. After this fall-off, some fans have called for a rebuild, while others have called for The Bucs to be buyers at this upcoming deadline. I’m here to discuss why they should rebuild, should not rebuild, and what I think they should do.
First, I want to bring up points on why they should rebuild. The Pirates are currently 7 games out of the division. They still have a shot at the division, but it is a very outside shot, as things stand right now. Plus The Bucs have a handful of controllable players that could bring back some decent young pieces. This includes Francisco Cervelli, and Ivan Nova, both who are controlled for the rest of this season, and next season. Corey Dickerson will also be controllable through 2019 with an arbitration year. Josh Harrison has the most club control, as he has club options for the 2019 and 2020 seasons. Harrison and Dickerson would likely bring back the most in a trade, because of the amount of control they have, and their performance this season. With a rebuild, The Pirates could be competitive again in a year or so.
Next I want to bring up why they shouldn’t rebuild. As I stated before, some of The Pirates biggest names still have a few years of club control left. They’re also just 3 and a half games out of a WC spot. Most of their core is fairly young, and talented as well. Colin Moran has had a decent season so far, and so has young pitchers Nick Kingham, and Joe Musgrove. Chad Kuhl and Jameson Taillon have been somewhat inconsistent, but both have been much better their last 4 games. Though newly extended closer Felipe Vazquez (formerly Felipe Rivero) has been inconsistent this year, but was amazing last year. Though first baseman Josh Bell seems to be suffering a sophomore slump this year, he performed very well last year as a rookie, and even finishing third place in ROY voting, showing he can handle himself at the major league level. While Gregory Polanco has struggled this year, top prospect Austin Meadows has been amazing this year. The team’s offense all together has been very good this year. Right now, they have the 8th most runs scored per game on average in The MLB, and 4th in The NL. Plus The Pirates aren’t in a situation like The Baltimore Orioles, who’s best players (Manny Machado, and Adam Jones) are on the last year of their contracts, so there shouldn’t be a rush to get players out the door yet. To add on, The Pirates still have an ok farm system. Mitch Keller is a season or so away to being major league ready. Kevin Kramer and Kevin Newman will likely receive a major league call-up very soon, as both have done very well in triple-A. With enough control over their best players to be competitive this year, depth in the farm right now, and showing some offensive promise, The Pirates should not be in a hurry to trade players, and completely tear down.
So what do I think? I don’t think The Pirates should go into full rebuild mode yet. At the deadline, I think they should trade from the lower end of their prospects to acquire some cheap relief pitching. At the most, The Pirates should trade off some of their veteran players like Jordy Mercer, who’s on the last year of his contract, and get whatever they can out of David Freese. This could help get some of the younger guys in the minors, Newman, Kramer and Jose Osuna (though Osuna already has some experience) get some/more major league experience this year. If and when they do decide to rebuild, I think it should be either during this off season, or early next season, around the time The Rays’ traded Alex Colome to The Mariners.
By: noah Wright
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren
Former Mariners ace, Felix Hernandez, has had a very good career. This includes 6 all-star games, a Cy Young, 4 top 5 Cy Young voting finishes, 2 ERA titles in 2010 (2.27) and 2014 (2.18), and a no hitter. But with a recent decline in performance the last few years, the once sure fire hall of fame pitcher could be on the line, if he continues this decline at only 32. So let’s look at Hernandez’s Hall Of Fame case.
Let’s start with why King Felix should make The Hall Of Fame. Hernandez currently lands 43rd in all time strikeouts with 2412 K’s and counting. Let’s assume he stays healthy the entire year, and pitches about 180 innings, and keeps the same, 7.5 K/9 rate he has now. He will finish with 150 K’s, and 2492 total K’s. That will move him to #34 in all time K’s. Just below Christy Mathewson, and right above Don Drysdale. His career ERA is also a very low 3.27. That’s currently 131 best of all time, and 3 thousandths of a point lower than all time great, Randy Johnson. In a more modern stat, King Felix has a 3.39 FIP. That’s right below Justin Verlander in FIP who holds a 3.43 FIP. Hernandez has always been good with control as well. He has a career 2.62 BB/9 rate, which ranks 374 all time. This is Hall Of Fame pitcher, John Smoltz, but just below another Hall Of Famer, Tom Seaver. Another thing Hernandez has going for him is his pitcher’s WAR. The righty has a 51.8 WAR and counting, a top 100 WAR and 94th overall. That ranks him about .2 above Orel Hershiser, and about 1.4 below Dodger HOF’er, Sandy Koufax. With him being above a handful of Hall Of Fame pitchers in statistics, it’s easy to see why could be a Hall Of Fame guy.
Now let’s look at why he may not make The Hall Of Fame. Felix has been in a decline the last few years. This started in the second half of 2016, when he had a 4.48 ERA, while his K rate went down significantly. Since then, it has only gotten worse. In 2017, Hernandez only pitched in 86.2 innings, and was sidelined for a good portion of the year with injuries. But when he was healthy, he looked like his second half 2016 self, with a similar 4.36 ERA, and with a career high 5.02 FIP, and 1.8 HR/9. While he did have a good 8.1 K/9 all his other number aren’t King Felix like. This year, he’s been just as bad, if not worse. In 84.1 innings of work, Felix has a 5.44 ERA, which would be a career high right now. His FIP did lower, but is still at a high 4.46, and his WHIP is at a near career high at 1.375. His walk rate is also up at 3.3 BB/9. Now you’re probably thinking; “So what? It’s just a decline. It’s normal”. Here’s the thing. His decline started when he was 29. Most players start their decline when they’re in their mid 30’s, but Hernandez’s started in his late 20’s, and now is in his early 30’s. Hernandez is also under contract until 2020 when he’s 34. If he continues to decline at the rate he is, it’s possible he could miss The Hall Of Fame.
So what do I think. If he continues to decline at the rate he is, I wouldn’t be surprised if he misses The Hall. However, if he has some OK years, maybe not vintage King Felix, Cy Young years, but years where he’s a serviceable starter, then I think he can be a sure fire Hall Of Fame player.
By: Ethan Cushman
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images
The Twins made headlines when they sent 2017 all star third baseman to Single-A Fort Myers in hopes for him to find his swing. Yeah single a you saw that right. Miguel Sano has been thought of as a top young player in the game but a little inconsistent. Back in 2014 he was the number 4 prospect in the game. Sano has had some injury problems including Tommy John surgery, so that may be part of his struggles. In 148 at bats Sano has a not half bad 7 home runs but a abysmal .203 batting average and 66 strikeouts. He also hasn't helped his case by getting on base with a .270 on base %. The poor stats equated to a -0.3 war. The Twins have struggled so far this year with a 29-36 record in a year were they were expecting to at least be in the running for a playoff spot. If the Twins turn it around but Sano doesn't I could see them taking a rental on Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas at the deadline.
By: Noah Wright
Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images
Tigers’ first baseman Miguel Cabrera ruptured a bicep tendon in his left arm. The surgery will require him to miss the entire season. Cabrera, 35, had struggled in 2017, with personal, and injury struggles throughout the year, and batted an abnormal .249/.329/.399 with 16 homers, 60 RBI’s, and a career low 91 wRC+ in 529 PA’s. However, he was rebounding this year with a nice .299/.395/.448 batting line with 3 homers, 22 RBI’s, and 128 wRC+.
The injury could threaten the former Triple-Crown winners career, which started in 2003 with the then Florida Marlins. He would play from 2003 to 2007, and finish with a .313/.388/.542 batting line with 138 homeruns, 523 RBI’s and 4 all star game appearances with The Marlins until he was traded in the 07’-08’ off season. Cabrera was sent to The Detroit Tigers in a blockbuster deal that sent him, and all-star Dontrelle Willis, along with a minor leaguer to The Tigers in exchange for then top prospects Andrew Miller and Cameron Maybin. It would be with Detroit where Cabrera would thrive. With The Tigers, Miggy won 2 MVP awards in 2012 and 2013, and sent to 7 all-star games. The biggest milestone in his career came in 2012, when he won a Triple-Crown (leading the league in average, home runs, and RBIs) with an outstanding .330/.393/.606 batting line, 44 home runs, 139 RBI’s, and 166 wRC+. With his feat, he joined Carl Yastrzemski, Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams, and Ty Cobb and the few other players to reach a Triple Crown.
If this is the end for Miguel Cabrera’s career, he will still likely make The Hall Of Fame, as he currently has a 11 all star game appearances, 7 Silver Sluggers, 4 batting titles, 2 MVP awards, a Triple Crown, and a 2003 World Series Ring. To go along with a handful of awards, Miggy currently has a .316/.395/.448 batting line, along with 465 homeruns, 1635 RBI’s, and 2676 hits.
BY: Zane miller
PHOTO Credit: Jamie Sabau/Getty Images
The Reds beat the Royals in the first game of their series against the Kansas City Royals 5-1 in ten innings on Tuesday night.
The game started with most of the first half going scoreless until the Royals came through in the fifth inning, when first baseman Hunter Dozier hit a solo homer to put them ahead 1-0. The score would stay that way until the ninth inning came around, when Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart tied it up as he had a solo home run of his own. The Royals were unable to get the winning run in the bottom of the inning, sending the game into extra innings.
It didn’t take long for the Reds offense to get going in extra innings, as designated hitter Joey Votto hit a three RBI triple, followed by third baseman Eugenio Suarez tacking on an RBI single as well. The Royals were unable to make a comeback in the bottom of the inning, as the Reds went on to win 5-1.
Reds starting pitcher Sal Romano had a strong effort, going eight innings and giving up just one earned run with four hits and one walk in the no decision. Royals starter Ian Kennedy gave up no earned runs but three hits and three walks over eight innings in his no decision, as Reds reliever David Hernandez earned the win while Royals relievers Kelvin Herrera and Kevin McCarthy had the blown save and loss respectively.
The teams will next play on Wednesday night.
By: Noah Wright
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Many teams have built of their farm systems, and cleared enough payroll space, that they could be in playoff talk for years to come. Teams mainly do this through the rebuilding process. Some teams do this better than others, and set themselves up for long term success. Let’s take a look at teams that are best set-up to be in contention for many years.
1.) Atlanta Braves
The Braves entered the season, nearing the end of their rebuilding process. While they weren't expected to compete in The NL East this year, they’ve surprised many with a 37-28 record, which leads The NL East. They’ve done this by building a very young core. Youthful middle infielders Dansby Swanson and Ozzie Albies have both showed a lot of promise at the big league level, as well as top prospect Ronald Acuna. After some mediocre years, 26 year old Mike Foltynewicz has had a very good break out year with an outstanding 2.31 ERA, 1.189 WHIP, and 2.98 FIP with a career high 10.7 K/9 rate in 74 innings. Former top prospect Sean Newcomb has also done well with a 2.92 ERA, 1.230 WHIP, and 3.40 FIP in 74 innings as well. Their bullpen is also fairly young, with closer Arodys Vizcaino in his age 27 season, set-up man A.J. Winker in his age 24 season, and Shane Carel in his age 28 season. Already proven stars like Freddie Freeman and Ender Inciarte are under contract until 2022. The Braves also have an elite farm system. Currently, they have 8 prospects listed as top 100 prospects (according to mlb.com). With The Braves young core, and amazing farm, The Braves are likely going to be in contention for a long period of time.
2.) Toronto Blue Jays
If you ask me, The Blue Jays are in a very good place right now. Veterans Josh Donaldson, J.A. Happ, and Curtis Granderson are at the end of their contracts, and The Blue Jays could capitalize on that, and trade them for whatever they can get back at the deadline. But they don’t need to go into full rebuild mode. Their rotation will be headlined by young starters Aaron Sanchez, and Marcus Stroman. While both have seen their fair share of struggles this year, both have shown that they can be ace level potential. Like The Braves, The Jays have a very good farm system. Vlad Guerrero Jr. is on the cusp of being MLB ready, and so is Anthony Alford. Middle infield top prospect Bo Bichette is also nearly ready for MLB action as well. Catching prospect Danny Jansen has also shown promise in Triple-A this season. If they can add some starting pitchers, and a decent first base bat to the line-up after Justin Smoak leaves, The Blue Jays could be up there with The Red Sox and Yankees if prospects turn out well.
3.) Philadelphia Phillies
Like The Braves, The Phillies were not NL East Contenders, as they were nearing the end of the rebuilding process, but currently have a somewhat surprising 33-30 record, good for 3rd place in The NL East and 3 games out of the division. While former top prospect, Rhys Hoskins has not been fantastic this season, Hoskins broke onto the scene last year with a .259/.296/.618 line with a whopping 18 home runs, 48 RBI’s, and 155 wRC+ showing he can more than handle the bat at the major league level. Another former prospect who’s best known for being a part of the Cole Hamels deal back in 2015, Jorge Alfaro also showed a lot of promise last year with a .318/.360/.514 batting line with 5 home runs, 14 RBI’s and 127 wRC+. 25 year old starter Aaron Nola looks like a Cy Young candidate with a 2.35 ERA, .960 WHIP, 2.79 FIP, with a good 8.5 K/9 opposing just 2.3 walks/9 in 84.1 innings of work. They’ve also have proven veterans, first baseman Carlos Santana, and starting pitcher Jake Arrieta also have a handful of years of control after this year. While youngster J.P. Crawford and newly extended Scott Kingery have yet to find their footing in The Bigs, they were once highly touted prospects. They’re farm system is also decent, with young starter Sixto Sanchez leading the way. With many young players under control, many showing much promise, and with money to spend, it’s hard not to see The Phillies big contenders in The East for a long time.
4.) San Diego Padres
While The Padres don’t have much decent major league talent currently, it’s their farm that really sets them up. Right now, they have 6 prospects in the top 100 list according to mlb.com. With the major league talent they do have, former prospect Manuel Margot has shown he can handle Major League pitching, because he did last year. Eric Hosmer (who’s under contract until 2025 but with an opt out in 2022) has continued to be a good contact hitter, with a .287 average and a career high 39.2% hard hit rate. Wil Myers, who is controlled up until 2023, can also be a good bat when he’s not on the DL. Austin Hedges, another former top prospect, while he can’t make consistent contact yet in The MLB, he’s shown he can be a good power hitter, and a very defensively skilled catcher. If prospects turn out as expected, The Padres could really give The Dodgers, D-Backs, and Rockies a run for their money in the near future.
5.) NY Yankees
While The Yankees never went through a full rebuilding process, they have many homegrown players on their team, who aren’t free agents for a long time. This includes slugger Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, and rookies who’ve been very good at The Major League Level, Gleyber Torres, and Miguel Andujar. When he’s consistently healthy, Greg Bird can also be a producer at the plate. Giancarlo Stanton will be a Yankee for the foreseeable future, and Didi Gregorius will be under control until 2020. While they have tons of control and good players on the surface, it’s their farm system that really shines. MLB.com currently gives The Yankees 4 top 100 prospects. With the good farm system, and money to spend, The Yankees should be contenders for a long time, and go deep into the playoffs, but then again, who’s ever seen them not be contenders?
6.) Chicago White Sox
The White Sox started their rebuilding process back in the 2016-2017 off-season. Because of trading Chris Sale, and Adam Eaton, The White Sox completely restocked their farm, by adding Yoan Moncada, Michael Kopech, Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez to highlight the big names. So far, Moncada has shown power and speed, but not contact, but he still is only 23. Reynaldo Lopez has had a decent season so far, with a 3.26 ERA, 1.216 WHIP and 4.40 FIP in 77.1 innings. While Giolito has struggled this season, he had a good year in 2017. All-Star first baseman Jose Abreu is still a very productive line-up piece. Matt Davidson has also improved, now with a .350 OBP on the season. The farm system is also one of the best in The AL, with 7 prospects in the top 100. The White Sox are in a very similar position as The Padres. If they’re prospects develop as expected, they could easily overtake a fairly weak AL Central within the next year or two.
By: Ethan Cushman
Adam Hunger/Getty Images
Miguel Andujar has become one of the best hitters on one of the best lineups in baseball. But what if would tell you that at many different points including the beginning of the year it appeared that his future with the team looked uncertain. People thought he might be traded before he ever stepped up in pinstrips again. To break it down it starts on June 28 2017 at this point Andujar was highly thought of by scouts but wasn't yet a consensus top 100 prospect yet much less a lock to be a star (disclaimer, I'm not saying hes a lock to be a star yet either but it looks very likely). The consensus was he can hit yeah but his defense is no were near major league ready yet. People were saying that despite his cannon arm his foot work would possibly either make him a future dh or 1st baseman. But this brings us to June 28th the day at the time Yankees dh Matt Holliday was but on the dl the Yankees called up Andujar despite only 7 games in triple a under his belt. It was unknown whether how long he'd stay but many thought at the time that this was the Yankees way of saying “we want him for the future”. But the Yankees made their intentions very clear when despite a 3-4 performance at the plate with a franchise high 4 RBI’s for a debut he was optioned the next day to triple a for another top prospect Dustin Fowler. After the tragic Fowler injury the Yankees recalled Andujar but again optioned him the next day for a another top prospect Clint Frazier. Andujar despite tearing it up in triple a with a 317 batting average Andujar still wasn't getting the call till late September when not only did the rosters expand a while back in September but the triple a season had ended. At this point Andujar was a consensus top 100 prospect due to his triple a performance but still he wouldn't play till the last game of the season as an early game defensive replacement only to allow Starlin Castro to keep his batting average at 300 he would only get three at bats and go 1-3 that game.
This brings us to this offseason. After the massive acquisition of reigning nl mvp Giancarlo Stanton. The Yankees intentions were clear. They were going for it all. And the Yankees had to say to themselves. They traded away Chase Headley which opened up a hole at third that Andujar could fill. But all along it didn't seem like a plan. They were linked to Todd Frazier, Mike Moustakas especially on one year deals and next year it seemed like Machado to the Yankees was a no brainer and inevitable. But the Yankees despite there being no clear place with Andujar kept attached to him. Despite the Pittsburgh Pirates wanting Andjar to headline a package the Yankees were hesitant to do so and tried to headline Fraizer in the deal. Ultimately the deal fell through but this lead hope to Andujar that the Yankees saw a future for him. But that would again be refuted with the acquisition of a young controllable third baseman in Drury which apparently Cashman thought he had untapped potential and had been trying to get him for the last 4 years sorta the the Didi Gregorius and Aaron Hicks deals. But Casman still said that there was a battle at third with Andujar and Drury. But then that was refuted as Andujar had a strong spring and was still sent to the minors. It seemed like a Andujar headlining package for someone was going to happen.
But this bring us to this year. And long story short Andujar has proven the haters wrong. He was first called up when Aaron Hicks replacement Billy Mckinney who was only up when Hicks got hurt because Frazier and Ellsbury were on the DL Billy Mckinney got hurt forcing Andujar to play dh and have the normal dh Giancarlo stanton play left and Gardner play center. Then with the Drury injury it forces Andujar to play 3rd base the one thing all the scouts hated on him for. Andujar got off to a great start and despite cooling down when Drury came back they decided to option Drury instead of Andujar and he has only gotten better since then.
From hard work and determination Miggy was able to not only make himself the current third baseman of the future for the yanks but has likely cemented himself in that roll for many years to come. I could go on more and more about other obstacles in his road that he had to overcome. The one thing that we should take away from this story is to seize the moment. Injuries piled up allowing him to get his shot and instead of just “accepting the truth” that he was gonna get traded he worked hard to prove he belonged. No one likes to see injuries but ultimately it gave Andujar the opportunities for success.
By: Noah Wright
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
MLB just released an update on NL All-Star voting, and a few things seem off. There are right now, a few players that should not make the ASG roster, but will anyway, some players with way more votes than they should, and the rest are players that do deserve and all-star nod, but still are on the fringe. This is because of fan voting. When they let the fans vote, balloting turns into a popularity contest, and we can see this in the voting.
I first want to start with Bryce Harper. Right now, Harper has an underwhelming .228 batting average, but a pretty good .360/.590 OBP and slugging % in 278 PA’s. He also has been spotty with the glove with -5 DRS, -.7 dWAR, and -4 UZR in right field. While he may deserve an all-star nod, does he really deserve nearly 500K votes? His vote total eclipses Matt Kemp’s total by nearly 150K votes, even though Kemp currently has a .338/.368/.564 line in 220 PA’s, with his OPS leading all NL outfielders, and he’s been actually not bad with the glove (0 DRS, 1 UZR, -.3 DRS).
Next, why does Eugenio Suarez not have just as many, if not more votes than Kris Bryant. Suarez and Bryant both have similar batting lines, with Suarez batting .301/.386/.568 with 154 wRC+ in 215 PA’s, and Bryant batting .293/.402/.500 with 144 wRC+ in 264 PA’s. Both have also been good enough with the glove, with Bryant having 0 DRS, -.1 dWAR, -.1 UZR, and Suarez having 1 DRS, .2 dWAR, -1 UZR. But what does Bryant have that Suarez doesn’t? About 217.4 thousand more votes. The deficit puts Suarez in 3rd place for thirdbase voting. I’m not saying that Bryant doesn’t deserve an all-star nod, I’m just saying that Suarez deserves it just as much.
The last position I want to point out is second base. Cubs’ second basemen Javier Baez has had an ok season so far. Right now, he’s batting .250/.279/.522 with 14 homers and 46 RBI’s, but comes with a lowly 107 wRC+ in 240 PA’s. He’s been pretty good with the leather at 2B as well, with 3 DRS, .2 dWAR, and -.3 UZR. He currently sits second in second base all-star voting with 360K votes, and is in shooting distance of taking over Ozzie Albies for the #1 spot who currently has 398K votes. But do you know who’s been much better than Javier Baez? Scooter Gennett. Gennett has done nothing but rake this season. He’s currently batting .340/.376/.556 (his average leads The NL) with 12 homers, 47 RBI’s, and 151 wRC+. While his defense hasn’t been as good as Baez’s, with -1 DRS, 0 dWAR, and -2 UZR, it’s not been terrible. But Scooter Gennett isn’t guaranteed an ASG roster spot right now. The recent update says that Gennett has 309.5K votes, compared to Javier Baez’s 360.3 votes.
So why are some players who deserve the votes not getting them? Because fan All-Star Voting is really a popularity contest. If you go out and ask 12 casual MLB fans (assuming they are neither huge Cub or Red fans) who Kris Bryant is, I guarantee you more than half will say they know who they are. If you go out and ask those same 12 fans, you’ll be lucky to have half of them know who Eugenio Suarez and Scooter Gennett is. But this isn’t the fan’s fault, it’s part MLB’s. Right now, The Cubs are popular, so they get tons of attention and fans. The Reds, not so much.So MLB advertises The Cubs much more than smaller teams. This can cause casual fans to sway their votes away from players that deserve it just as much, if not more than the players that they are voting for.
By: Noah Wright
Ross D. Franklin / Associated Press
After losing Shohei Ohtani to a grade 2 UCL injury, and placing Andrelton Simmons on the 10-Day, The Angels have lost 2 major pieces of their major league roster. While it would have been hard for them to compete for The AL West with The Astros, and The Mariners doing better than expectations, many fans have started to question; will The Angels even make a wild card spot? I’m here to answer that question, and explain why.
First, I’ll make a case of why they will make the playoffs. Even without Ohtani and Simmons, The Angels still have a line-up that holds Mike Trout. Trout is backed by Justin Upton, who’s had a good year so far. Simmons’ DL stint will likely be shorter than Ohtani because Simmons was only diagnosed with a sprained ankle. Outside of Ohtani, the starting pitching has been solid to say the least. Tyler Skaggs, Garrett Richards, and Andrew Heaney all have ERA’s under 3.50, and FIP’s under 4. Rookie Jaime Barria has also been excellent, but was optioned a on June 2nd. The bullpen has been decent as well. Blake Parker has been really good since taking back the closer’s role. Noe Ramirez, and Jose Alvarez both have been solid this year as well.
Next, let's make a case why they won’t make the playoffs. Shohei Ohtani’s injury is a grade 2 UCL injury. Anytime there’s a UCL injury, it’s never good. Ohtani will likely be out an extended amount of time with his injury, who’s been a large cog in their rotation, and line-up this season. Their new infienders haven’t performed the way they wanted to. In the off-season, The Angels acquired Ian Kinsler to try and solve their 2nd base problem. Though his glove is still good (7 DRS, 1 dWAR, 5.3 UZR), his bat has continued to decline, as he’s only batting .219/.281/.393 with 8 homers, and 17 RBI’s in 221 PA’s. Their other major off-season acquisition was Zack Cozart. While he was signed to play third, he’s seen time at his original position shortstop, and second base. But he’s not been what they were expecting, especially with the bat. Cozart is only batting .230/.301/.380 with 5 home runs, and 18 RBI’s in 239 PA’s. Though he’s usually known for his shortstop defense, his third base defense has been underwhelming, with -4 DRS, -.1 dWAR, and -1.8 UZR. Entering the season, The Angels had one of the best outfields in The AL, if not MLB. While Trout and Upton have been good, Kole Calhoun has not. He’s having the worst season of his career, and probably worst season by any position player, offensively. Currently, Calhoun is batting an awful .145/.195/.179 with just 1 homerun, and 11 RBI’s in 185 PA’s. He was recently placed on the DL with a right oblique strain, to add another player to The Angels’ DL.
So what do I think? I think The Angels still have a shot at the playoffs. Granted, a very, very outside shot of making the playoffs as things stand right now. You still have to remember, they have Mike Trout, and a good rotation. Plus, they have time on their side, as they played their 66th game today, and still could make some moves to help bolster areas of need.
BY: Zane Miller
Photo Credit: Frank Victores/USA Today
The Reds took the last game of their series against the St. Louis Cardinals 6-3 on Sunday afternoon.
The game started with a third inning RBI single by Cardinals left fielder Marcell Ozuna, followed by an RBI sacrifice fly from catcher Yadier Molina to put them ahead 2-0, but the Reds responded in the bottom of the inning as right fielder Scott Schebler had an RBI groundout to cut the lead in half. In the fourth, the Reds got on a rally as catcher Tucker Barnhart tied it with an RBI single and second baseman Scooter Gennett had a two RBI single, followed by third baseman Eugenio Suarez hitting another RBI single to put the Reds ahead 5-2. In the sixth, Cardinals shortstop Yairo Munoz had an RBI sacrifice fly, but the Reds came back in the seventh with left fielder Adam Duvall hitting an RBI single. The Cardinals would be unable to make a comeback as the Reds won 6-3.
Reds starting pitcher Anthony DeSclafani went five innings, allowing two earned runs with 10 hits and a pair of walks in the win. Cardinals starter Carlos Martinez pitched three and two-thirds innings, allowing five earned runs with four hits and seven walks while taking the loss.
The Reds will next play on Tuesday night on the road against the Kansas City Royals.
BY: Zane Miller
Photo Credit: Jamie Sabau/Getty Images
The Reds lost their second game of their series against the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday afternoon 6-4, as the team will face another series loss.
The Cardinals had a strong first inning, as first baseman Jose Martinez smacked a solo home run and left fielder Marcell Ozuna also had a solo homer, followed by a third inning that saw catcher Yadier Molina hit a three RBI double. In the fourth, Reds third baseman Eugenio Suarez hit a two run homer, but the Cardinals responded in the seventh as third baseman Matt Carpenter hit a solo home run of his own. In the bottom of the inning, Reds center fielder Scott Schebler hit an RBI double and Reds right fielder Jesse Winker further closed the gap in the eighth with a solo shot, but they wouldn’t be able to catch up as the Cardinals took it 6-4.
Cardinals starting pitcher Michael Wacha went five and two-thirds innings in the win, allowing two earned runs with four hits and three walks, while Reds starter Luis Castillo gave up five earned runs on four hits and three walks over six innings in the loss. Cardinals reliever Jordan Hicks earned the save.
The teams will finish up the series on Sunday afternoon.
By: Dawson Wright
Probably some of the most depressing news of the season, Ohtani is no longer on the DL just because of a blister.
On Friday it was announced that dual threat Shohei Ohtani has a Grade 2 ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) sprain in his right (throwing) elbow; which if you couldn’t tell, is bad.
And how Mike Trout put it:
“We’re all bummed.”
Bummed especially are the Angels. With Ohtani being arguably their best pitcher and one of their best hitters to replace him, trying to find players to fill in those spots will be a seemingly impossible challenge. And losing their slight boost in attendance (boost was likely due to Ohtani) will make this injury sting even more.
The severity of Ohtani’s injury is not yet known, as he will be re-evaluated in three weeks. However, we do know that Ohtani did receive a PRP & stem cell injection, and 16 of the 33 pitchers that received a PRP stem cell injection eventually got Tommy John. There was a concern with Ohtani’s arm at the beginning of the season, but now it seems that concern has become reality.
Besides the Angels, another loser here is Major League Baseball. Before and during the season, Shohei Ohtani has become one of the biggest stories of the season here in the states and overseas in Japan.
The amount of press that Shohei has received on well...everywhere, will be missed. Practically the only time ESPN would mention baseball on Sports Center would be if Shohei Ohtani was there.
This is an extremely sad day for baseball fans around the world, but hopefully Shohei will get healthy soon, and be able to return to the field for some more Shotime.
By: Zane Miller
Photo Credit: Jamie Sabau/Getty Images
The Reds fell in the first game of their series against the St. Louis Cardinals 7-6 in 10 innings on Friday night.
The game started out with the Cardinals scoring a run in the first inning on a solo homer from first baseman Jose Martinez, followed by another solo shot in the second inning by shortstop Yairo Munoz. However, the Reds cut the lead in half in the bottom of the inning with shortstop Jose Peraza getting an RBI groundout, but the Cardinals responded with a big third inning as Martinez hit a three run home run. Once again the Reds began to chip away at the lead in the bottom of the inning as second baseman Scooter Gennett hit an RBI double to make it 5-2. In the fifth, left fielder Jesse Winker drew a bases loaded walk, while in the sixth first baseman Joey Votto hit an RBI single to cut the lead down to one run. The seventh saw the Cardinals add an important insurance run with third baseman Matt Carpenter hitting an RBI single, but the Reds came back in the ninth as Votto got an RBI single and Winker came through again with another RBI single, sending the game into extra innings. It didn’t take long for the Cardinals to score the go ahead run as in the tenth, third baseman Jedd Gyorko hit an RBI single, which eventually became the game winning run as the Reds were unable to score again and the Cardinals took the 7-6 win.
Cardinals starting pitcher Luke Weaver pitched five innings, allowing four earned runs on seven hits and five walks in the no decision, while Matt Harvey gave up five earned runs on four hits and three walks in six innings, also getting the no decision. Cardinals reliever Bud Norris took the win, while fellow reliever John Brebbia earned the save.
The teams will next play on Saturday afternoon.