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Thursday, September 22, 2022

The 2022 Regular Season Has Lacked Intensity

To quantify what’s at stake in the regular season, we can look to Championship Leverage Index (cLI), a metric developed by Dave Studeman and Sky Andrecheck a little over 10 years ago and now hosted on Baseball Reference. cLI aims to measure the impact of a particular game on a team’s chances of winning the World Series by simulating season outcomes for each game outcome, with the baseline of 1.00 calibrated to represent an Opening Day game in the two Wild Card playoff format.

The more critical the game is to a team’s chances of winning the World Series, the higher the cLI value. When the Blue Jays hosted the Yankees in the final week of a Wild Card race last year, the September 30 series finale had a 2.74 cLI for Toronto and a ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 22, 2022 at 09:50 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: pennant race

Catcher Stephen Vogt retiring after 10 big league seasons

Veteran Oakland Athletics catcher Stephen Vogt will retire after 10 major league seasons and a long, patient road to break into the big leagues at age 27.

Not to mention a nearly 15-month wait to finally get his first hit.

Vogt endured an 0-for-32 hitless streak to start his career that began in Tampa Bay and ended in San Francisco’s East Bay.

“It was like a year-and-a-half wait in between my first at-bat and when I got the first hit,” said Vogt, who shared his future plans with The Associated Press. “I couldn’t believe it had happened. It had been 32 at-bats and I was in my 33rd at-bat, got a pitch to hit and fortunately I got my first hit.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 22, 2022 at 09:49 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: stephen vogt

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Royals fire Dayton Moore as president of baseball operations

Dayton Moore, the architect of the 2015 World Series champion Kansas City Royals but the steward of a franchise in the midst of its sixth consecutive losing season, has been relieved of his role as president of baseball operations. Royals owner John Sherman was expected to announce the firing at a news conference on Wednesday afternoon, in what could be the first in a series of sweeping changes for a team that fell far short of expectations in 2022.

Moore had overseen the Royals since 2006. J.J. Picollo, his longtime lieutenant, took over as general manager near the end of the 2021 season.

“I’m really thankful for the opportunity,” Moore told The Athletic. “I’m proud of our culture and what we accomplished in Kansas City. I’m ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 21, 2022 at 03:06 PM | 51 comment(s)
  Beats: dayton moore, royals

Great Britain qualifies for first World Baseball Classic

Fab!

The third time was the charm for Great Britain and the World Baseball Classic.

After failing to qualify for the 2013 and 2017 tournament, the British National Team made certain that would not be an issue. They scored a come from behind 10-9 victory in ten innings over Spain on Tuesday to punch their ticket to their first ever berth in the WBC.

Great Britain had needed a bit of magic to get the clinching win. Blue Jays minor league outfielder Jaden Rudd hit a game tying homer in the bottom of the ninth while Alex Crosby, who has spent the past eight years in the independent leagues, hit a walk-off sacrifice fly.

The British National Team has some intriguing players on the roster already. Mariners prospect Harry Ford made his ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 21, 2022 at 10:04 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: world baseball classic

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Canada reportedly set to lift vaccine requirements for people entering country, a move that would impact unvaccinated professional athletes

Canada likely will drop the vaccine requirement for people who enter the country by the end of September, according to multiple reports Tuesday, a move that impacts unvaccinated professional athletes who travel there for games.

To enter the country, the Canadian government currently requires a person to have received a second COVID-19 vaccine dose—or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine—at least 14 days before entry. But the government likely will be dropping the requirement, pending a final sign-off from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

In baseball, unvaccinated players have been placed on the restricted list during their teams’ games in Canada. They are not paid and do not accrue major league service time, according to a March ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 20, 2022 at 10:40 PM | 68 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, vaccines

No. 60! Judge sixth all time to reach HR plateau

This has been a historic, remarkable year for Aaron Judge, a year destined to be remembered among the greatest offensive performances in baseball history. And fans everywhere can “all rise” for this: the Yankees slugger isn’t even close to done yet.

Judge hit his Major League-leading 60th home run on Tuesday, launching a solo shot to deep left-center field in the bottom of the ninth inning. With the blast, Judge has closed within one big swing of equaling Roger Maris’ 61-year-old American League record for home runs in a single season.

Judge is now one of only three Yankees ever to slug 60 homers in a single season. Babe Ruth established a then-Major League record with 60 home runs in 1927, a mark that stood until Maris surpassed ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 20, 2022 at 10:39 PM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: aaron judge

MLB, NBA and NHL may buy biggest owner of regional sports TV networks: sources

MLB, the NBA and the NHL may orchestrate a buyout of the nation’s dominant owner of regional sports TV networks, whose shaky finances pose an increasing threat to their teams, The Post has learned.

The trio of pro-sports leagues are expected to soon begin talks with Diamond Sports, which operates 21 regional Bally Sports networks that account for more than half the local broadcast markets around the country, sources close to the situation said.

A prospective deal is looming as Diamond — owned by Baltimore-based Sinclair Broadcast Group — has been hemorrhaging cash and could be headed for a possible bankruptcy filing if it doesn’t find a white knight in the coming months, the sources claimed.

Sinclair in early 2019 won an auction ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 20, 2022 at 08:43 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: regional sports networks, sinclair

David Price to Retire After 2022 Season

I am not sure why I feel sad for David Price and his >$270 million in career earnings,  but somehow I do. A great career, with a lot of outstanding seasons, but still the sense that there could have been something more.

jobu Posted: September 20, 2022 at 02:56 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: david price, dodgers, rays, red sox, tigers

Los Angeles Dodgers great Maury Wills, NL MVP in 1962, dies at age 89

Maury Wills, who intimidated pitchers with his base-stealing prowess as a shortstop for the Los Angeles Dodgers on three World Series championship teams, has died. He was 89.

Wills died Monday night at home in Sedona, Arizona, the team said Tuesday after being informed by family members. No cause of death was given.

Wills played on World Series title teams in 1959, 1963 and 1965 during his first eight seasons with the Dodgers. He also played for Pittsburgh and Montreal before returning to the Dodgers from 1969 to 1972, when he retired.

During his 14-year career, Wills batted .281 with 2,134 hits and 586 stolen bases in 1,942 games.

He was the National League MVP in 1962, led the NL in stolen bases 1960-65, was a seven-time All-Star ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 20, 2022 at 01:50 PM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: maury wills, obituaries

Mets pull Max Scherzer after 6 perfect innings in his return from injured list

The New York Mets starter returned to the mound Monday after a brief stint on the injured list with an oblique injury. He proceeded to pitch six perfect innings against the Milwaukee Brewers in a tidy 68 pitches.

Alas, history was not in the cards for the three-time Cy Young winner. Manager Buck Showalter pulled him after the sixth, presumably not wanting to extend Scherzer fresh off a trip to the injured list. The Mets led 5-0 when Scherzer left the game.

Were it not for his recent injury, Scherzer’s night on an otherwise low pitch count looked like a prime candidate to secure the 24th perfect game in MLB history. Scherzer didn’t appear to be upset with the decision when his night was done.

The Mets are in a battle with the Atlanta ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 20, 2022 at 12:13 PM | 69 comment(s)
  Beats: max scherzer, mets

Bill James: How Reliable are Won-Lost Records, Part I

  Somebody replied to this “With all of the pitcher’s stats available, why did you choose to show won-lost records?”  I blocked him immediately.

        Why would you block somebody for that? I can hear people asking.  It was a rude question…..

        The answer I gave him was, “The won-lost record is the easiest way to describe the shape and size or a starting pitcher’s career. You don’t RELY on it; you don’t assume it is an accurate reflection of his value, although it is probably 80% accurate over the course of a career.”

        The first part of that answer (the won-lost record is the easiest way to describe the shape and size and shape of a starting pitcher’s career”. . . .I think that is clearly and obviously ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 20, 2022 at 12:12 PM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: pitcher wins

Wait, MLB tiebreaker games are gone? Here’s what the rule change means for this season

With an expanded playoff format launching this October, MLB decided there wasn’t enough room on the calendar to break ties in that extra-game manner anymore. Instead, a set of tiebreaking rules will now decide not only seeding but also who gets into the postseason altogether if 162 games aren’t enough to determine the 12-team field. This means that the series your favorite team played way back in the first half could have a huge impact on its playoff hopes.

“It’s going to become a big deal when everyone [the fans] wakes up and realizes what’s going on,” Milwaukee Brewers manager Craig Counsell said last month….

Though the postseason format is spelled out in the recently signed collective bargaining agreement, there is discretion when it ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 20, 2022 at 12:08 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: tiebreaking game

Best hitting season ever? Here’s the case for Judge

Judge’s OPS+ is 213. It makes him more than twice as good as a league average 2022 batter. It is one of the 25 best seasons in Major League history;...

But it’s more than that, too. Just look at the 22 seasons superior to Judge’s on the OPS+ list. Realize there’s a “yeah-but” attached to almost all of them, a reason to raise at least an eyebrow or two. ...

ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 20, 2022 at 07:31 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: aaron judge, home runs

Monday, September 19, 2022

Sources: Detroit Tigers hiring San Francisco Giants GM Scott Harris as president of baseball operations

The Detroit Tigers are hiring San Francisco Giants general manager Scott Harris as their new president of baseball operations, sources told ESPN on Monday.

Harris’ rise in the industry has been meteoric and he’s been seen as a future front-office star.

The Tigers have a lot of good young pitching and some star-level positional talent. Their lack of a step forward this year led to the firing of longtime general manager Al Avila last month.

Harris joins manager A.J. Hinch and assistant general managers Sam Menzin, Jay Sartori and David Chadd to form the new Tigers’ brain trust.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 19, 2022 at 03:32 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: scott harris, tigers

New York Mets have top payroll; record six teams set to pay luxury tax

The Mets are in line for a tax of $29.9 million, Midseason trades boosted their tax payroll from an opening-day projection of $289.3 million and past the new $290 million threshold in the March agreement that ended a 99-day lockout.

The Dodgers opened this season with a $310 million tax payroll, on track to pay a record penalty of $47 million. Their tax payroll dropped to $289.96 million by Aug. 31, leaving them just under the Cohen Tax. With higher tax rates as a repeat offender, the Dodgers are on track to pay $29.4 million.

The Yankees have a tax payroll of $267 million and a projected tax of $9.4 million, and the Phillies at $243 million would owe $2.6 million.

Boston, just over the first threshold at $234.5 million, would owe about ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 19, 2022 at 02:52 PM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: luxury tax, mets

Major League Baseball acquires Twins.com domain name

Several top-flight sports leagues in the US have made domain names a priority for their teams, often at great expense. These domain names, often single-word .coms,  allow fans easy access to content associated with their teams.

The league with the most success is Major League Baseball.

Rangers.com cost MLB a hefty $375,000, with a 2015 DomainNameWire article reporting that Rangers.com was the 28th team name the league had acquired in .com. Despite the proactive efforts to acquire domains, three names have eluded MLB for some time.

These include Giants.com, Rays.com, and Twins.com.

Recently, MLB has managed to secure one of those domain names, Twins.com. Twins is the team name for the Minnesota Twins, named after the Twin Cities area ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 19, 2022 at 02:45 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: twins

‘Electric’ Strider breaks Big Unit’s strikeout record

Even though Spencer Strider had just playfully jabbed him for not making what would have been a miraculous catch, Michael Harris II was willing to give his fellow Braves rookie one of the best compliments a pitcher could currently receive.

“I think he’s right under [Jacob] deGrom honestly,” Harris said. “I think he has the same kind of effect toward hitters that deGrom has.”

Harris was just one of the many Braves praising Strider after he helped them claim a 5-2 win over the Phillies on Sunday afternoon at Truist Park. The young hurler notched his sixth double-digit strikeout performance and became the franchise’s first rookie in the Modern Era (since 1900) to record a 200-strikeout season.

“The fastball he has is ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 19, 2022 at 08:49 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: spencer strider

Houston Astros’ Framber Valdez sets MLB single-season record with 25th straight quality start

Working closely with Framber Valdez, Houston Astros catcher Martin Maldonado has enjoyed a front-row seat for the journey that has turned the left-hander into one of baseball’s top pitchers in his fifth season.

“It is a lot of calm, a lot of confidence and a lot of maturity from him,” Maldonado said. “He knows what he can do good. Listening more and taking pride in the work, less emotional on the mound. So I’ve seen a lot of stuff going into (his growth).``

Valdez set a major league single-season record with his 25th straight quality start, and Yordan Alvarez and Maldonado had four RBIs apiece in the Astros’ 11-2 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Sunday.

Valdez’s streak is tied for the third-longest all time across multiple seasons, ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 19, 2022 at 08:48 AM | 40 comment(s)
  Beats: framber valdez


Friday, September 16, 2022

How MLB’s Most Confounding Team Is (Mostly) Overcoming Decades of Dysfunction

Standing at his locker at Nationals Park on the afternoon of the trade deadline, Lindor rolls his eyes remembering last season’s absurdities. “There were so many different things last year,” he says. “It wasn’t a professional organization, I felt like.”

Lindor played 2021 under the weight of a 10-year, $341 million contract signed before he stepped onto the field in Queens. He had spent his entire career to that point in Cleveland, and he says he struggled to adapt to the expectations of New York.

This year’s group is different, he says: “Guys go about their business the right way—you ain’t gotta worry about it—and then once they’re done, they turn the page. Professional. I like that.” He adds, “A lot of guys ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 16, 2022 at 03:28 PM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: mets

Here are the ‘22 Arizona Fall League rosters

Sixteen of MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 prospects are included on those rosters, including four of the Top 20. Cardinals outfielder Jordan Walker (No. 6) and D-backs shortstop Jordan Lawlar (No. 13) will team up for Salt River, while Reds shortstop Noelvi Marte (No. 18) suits up for Glendale and Pirates catcher Henry Davis (No. 20) for Surprise.

Here are all 16 Top 100 representatives:
6. Jordan Walker, OF, Cardinals (Salt River)
13. Jordan Lawlar, SS, D-backs (Salt River)
18. Noelvi Marte, SS, Reds (Glendale)
20. Henry Davis, C, Pirates (Surprise)
23. Robert Hassell III, OF, Nationals (Peoria)
24. Zac Veen, OF, Rockies (Salt River)
42. Jasson Domínguez, OF, Yankees (Mesa)
47. Quinn Priester, RHP, Pirates (Surprise)
51. Brennen Davis, OF, ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 16, 2022 at 02:36 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: arizona fall league

John Stearns, ex-Mets All-Star catcher, dead at 71

Former Mets catcher John Stearns died at the age of 71 on Thursday.

A four-time All-Star, Stearns played 10 MLB seasons, coming to the Mets in a 1975 in a six-player trade that send Tug McGraw to the Phillies.

No cause of death was immediately available, though he was battling prostate cancer.

“If the word is out that I’ve got cancer, and that people are concerned about me passing away right away, it’s incredibly amazing that they would reach out to me,” Stearns told The Denver Post in July. “And it gives me the incentive to fight even harder.”

Despite his condition, Stearns made an appearance at the Mets Old Timers’ Day in May.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 16, 2022 at 11:12 AM | 49 comment(s)
  Beats: john stearns, mets, obituaries

New York Mets president Sandy Alderson to step down, become special advisor

Sandy Alderson will step down as president of the New York Mets when the team finds his replacement.

The 74-year-old Alderson, a cancer survivor who has served two stints as New York’s general manager, will move to a new role as special advisor to owners Steve and Alex Cohen and the senior leadership team.

The first-place Mets announced the plans Thursday evening before hosting the Pittsburgh Pirates on Roberto Clemente Day in Major League Baseball.

“For me personally and for the organization, it’s the right time for this transition,’’ Alderson said in a statement. “We are having a successful season, we have made several key additions to our senior leadership team and we have built a strong and forward-thinking culture. When the time ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 16, 2022 at 10:26 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, sandy alderson

Demolition planned for Derek Jeter’s former $22.5M Tampa mansion

Jeter sold the home for $22.5 million last year, earning it the title of Tampa Bay’s most expensive home, according to Smith & Associates, the realty firm that handled the sale. Coming in at 21,796 square feet, it is also one of the largest homes in Tampa.

The 7-bedroom, 16-bathroom waterfront property sits on 1.25 acres with 345 feet of open bay. The inside is decked out with a wine cellar, a movie theater, a gym, an in-law suite, an au-pair wing, an air-conditioned six-car garage, a scullery and a full-home generator. There’s also 9,000 square feet of covered porches and balconies, a dock with two boat lifts, a heated spa and an 80-foot saltwater lap pool.

Built in 2011, Jeter and his family lived in the home for some time before ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 16, 2022 at 10:25 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: derek jeter

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Donning Clemente’s No. 21, Rays field MLB’s first all-Latino lineup

The number 21 was seemingly everywhere you looked on the field at Rogers Centre on Thursday afternoon. Specifically, it was everywhere up and down the Rays’ starting lineup.

Half of Tampa Bay’s roster, including all nine hitters who started the series finale against the Blue Jays, donned the number that famously belonged to Roberto Clemente. It was a fitting day for a historic moment.

According to the Rays, it was the first time in Major League history that a team’s lineup was made up entirely of Latino hitters. Their starting lineup included players from Cuba (Yandy Díaz and Randy Arozarena), the Dominican Republic (Wander Franco, Manuel Margot and Jose Siri), Colombia (Harold Ramírez), Venezuela (David Peralta and René Pinto) ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 15, 2022 at 05:36 PM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: rays, roberto clemente

Is WAR really capturing Ohtani’s full value?

3) What about the extra roster spots he’s saving?

This is the tricky part. He’s theoretically allowing the Angels to get two players (a DH and a pitcher) out of one roster spot. That probably should have some value. But how much?

Here, it gets complicated too. The larger the roster, the less value this seems like it would have, and rosters have been larger. This year, rosters were 28 players for the first month. Then, in May, they shrunk to 26 players, but teams could still roster 14 pitchers. Only in June did we get back to to 26 players/max 13 pitchers, but for only three months, because in September, rosters went back up to 28 again.

It’s almost certainly worth something. It’s just not exactly clear how to say how much.

As Russell ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 15, 2022 at 12:31 PM | 96 comment(s)
  Beats: shohei ohtani

The Athletic: The inside dirt on infield dirt: MLB addressing its ‘dirty little secret’ in wake of new shift rule [$]

It turns out that all big-league infields are not created equally. In fact, they’ve never been created equally. This sounds crazy, right? But multiple sources have confirmed it’s true.

There is an obscure rule in baseball’s official rulebook that mentions what those infields are supposed to look like and where you’re supposed to find — and not find — the infield dirt. But guess what?

According to sources familiar with all of this, that rule has never been thought about much, let alone enforced. So in some major-league parks, the infield dirt extends deeper than in other parks. We promise we’re not making this up.

And there is no rule in the books dictating where the inner edge of the infield dirt should be located. So in ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 15, 2022 at 12:05 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: infield dirt

The Athletic: The most meaningful moments of the Seattle Mariners’ rebuild [$]

“We had the type of roster where we weren’t young and we weren’t old, we weren’t good and we weren’t bad,” Dipoto said. “We were kind of caught in the middle.”

They also still had 36-year-old veteran second baseman Robinson Canó, who had served an 80-game suspension in 2018 after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs. Canó, with five years and $120 million remaining on his contract, was, essentially, untradeable.

Or was he?

It was over breakfast at the GM meetings where Dipoto pulled up a chair next to then-Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen, who had been on the job for one week.

“I sort of casually said, ‘Do you have any interest in an All-Star second baseman?’” Dipoto told The Athletic in ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 15, 2022 at 12:02 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners

The Athletic: The Royals’ rebuild was supposed to be built on pitching. What has gone wrong? [$]

In Kansas City, much of the ire has been directed at pitching coach Cal Eldred, who, aside from the shortened 2020 season, has not had a pitching staff finish better than 11th in the American League in ERA since his 2018 hiring. The Royals will make decisions on their major-league staff this winter, but a survey of rival executives, coaches, player development coordinators, scouts and former Royals pitchers reveals a fuller picture of the club’s struggles to develop pitching — particularly homegrown starters. Rival executives wonder about the speed at which prospects reached the majors. Scouts question pitch usage and the implementation of data. Former pitchers lament development methods that felt too rigid.

“If these stud pitchers ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 15, 2022 at 11:34 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: royals

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Seattle Mariners’ Julio Rodriguez bolsters Rookie of the Year bid, joins rare company in 25-25 club

Julio Rodriguez continued to strengthen his rookie of the year campaign with another big accomplishment Wednesday, stealing his 25th stolen base of the season to lead the Seattle Mariners to a 6-1 victory over the San Diego Padres, securing a key two-game split.

Rodríguez was hit by a pitch by San Diego starter Mike Clevinger and increased his season’s stolen base total to 25 in the fifth inning, making him the third rookie in league history to have at least 25 steals and 25 homers in their first season. But unlike Chris Young in 2007 and Mike Trout in 2012, Rodriguez reached the 25/25 plateau in his debut season. Both Young and Trout reached in the majors late in the previous season, but were still considered rookies.

“I don’t see ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 14, 2022 at 10:40 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: julio rodriguez

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