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Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Cardinals reverse Willson Contreras’ demotion from catcher after … 6 days

Willson Contreras must be the world’s fastest learner. Either that or the St. Louis Cardinals have lost the plot.

Per, Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol told reporters that the team has decided Contreras is ready to resume his normal catching duties, six days after demoting the prized free-agent acquisition due to the team’s struggles on the mound.

Contreras will get his next start behind the plate Monday against the Milwaukee Brewers, when he will catch starting pitcher Jack Flaherty. Marmol reportedly said Contreras has spent much of the past week working to get more in sync with the Cardinals’ game plan for attacking hitters and that Flaherty pushed for Contreras to be restored as catcher.


“We felt really good ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 16, 2023 at 09:16 AM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, willson contreras

How this one-time MVP found new life in Chicago

Six weeks into the season, the deal has paid off and then some. Bellinger is hitting .288/.360/.530, good for an OPS+ of 141 that makes him 41% above league average as a hitter. His April was so good that it was his best month in four years. Throw in the defense that’s been as advertised, and he rates as one of baseball’s dozen most valuable position players, at least so far as FanGraphs is concerned.

So he’s “back,” right? Well, no—not in the way you think. This version of Bellinger is a quality player, but one that in many ways hardly resembles the ascendant superstar who won the NL Rookie of the Year Award in 2017 and the NL MVP Award in 2019. As he nears his 28th birthday this summer, we’re seeing yet another of the ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 16, 2023 at 09:15 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: cody bellinger, cubs

Zack Greinke Becomes Fifth MLB Pitcher to Strike Out 1,000 Different Players

Zack Greinke is competing in his 20th Major League Baseball season, which means he has the opportunity to reach some rare career milestones. On Saturday, the Royals right-hander became part of an exclusive club that even some of the best pitchers ever couldn’t join.

By striking out Brewers rookie outfielder Joey Weimer, Greinke became the fifth pitcher ever to strikeout 1,000 different players, joining Nolan Ryan, Randy Johnson, Greg Maddux and Roger Clemens. After his most recent start, Greinke now has 2,914 total strikeouts, which ranks No. 20 in baseball history.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 16, 2023 at 09:14 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: zack greinke

Aaron Judge: Was looking at ‘chirping’ Yankees, not for signal

Aaron Judge said he was trying to identify which of his teammates was yelling at plate umpire Clint Vondrak when he peered at his own dugout before hitting a 462-foot home run in the New York Yankees’ 7-4 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday night.

The Yankees slugger looked sideways for a moment before driving a 114.9 mph scorcher off right-hander Jay Jackson.

“There was kind of a lot of chirping from our dugout, which I really didn’t like in the situation,” Judge said.

New York led 6-0 at the time, and three pitches earlier, Vondrak had ejected Yankees manager Aaron Boone for arguing a low strike call to Judge. Boone came out of the dugout to vent at Vondrak and crew chief James Hoye.

Toronto’s broadcasters noticed Judge peering ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 16, 2023 at 09:12 AM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: aaron judge, is it spring yet

Monday, May 15, 2023

Angels place surging Anthony Rendon on IL with groin strain

The Los Angeles Angels placed third baseman Anthony Rendon on the injured list with a left groin strain and recalled infielder Livan Soto from Double-A Rocket City on Monday.
Rendon, 32, first felt discomfort after fielding a ground ball during Saturday’s game against the Cleveland Guardians and did not play Sunday. He had been much improved after a slow start, batting .368 since April 24 to improve his overall batting average to .301 with 20 RBIs, but he still has just one home run.

Hombre Brotani Posted: May 15, 2023 at 06:56 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, anthony rendon, injury

Saturday, May 13, 2023

Twins’ Tyler Mahle to undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery

MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota Twins pitcher Tyler Mahle will undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery after an MRI showed issues with the ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow.

He said the elbow reconstruction surgery will be done in the next two weeks. He plans to do rehab back home in Orange, California.

The 28-year-old Mahle, was pulled from his start on April 27 after showing diminished velocity. He expressed optimism after the game and said he didn’t expect to miss time, but he was later diagnosed with a posterior impingement and flexor pronator strain before more testing.

Hombre Brotani Posted: May 13, 2023 at 06:26 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: injury, tommy john surgery, twins, tyler mahle

Rays’ Drew Rasmussen placed on injured list with flexor strain in elbow

Having already had two Tommy John elbow surgeries, Rasmussen, 27, knew enough to be concerned — “anything dealing with the forearm/elbow is is terrifying for me” — and had a Friday morning MRI.

The result was another staggering blow to the Rays’ pitching staff: a strain of the flexor muscles near the elbow that will sideline Rasmussen at least into August. He could be out for the full season-plus if surgery is needed, which he and the team are hopeful it isn’t.

Hombre Brotani Posted: May 13, 2023 at 06:22 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: drew rasmussen, injury, tampa bay rays

Friday, May 12, 2023

Kenley Jansen becomes 7th pitcher in MLB history to record 400 saves

Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Kenley Jansen briefly raised his arms while walking off the mound Wednesday, just after striking out Atlanta Braves catcher Travis d’Arnaud to end the game. It didn’t look like much of a celebration, but Jansen had just done something only six other pitchers in MLB history did before him: record his 400th career save.

Jansen, 35 and on his third team in three years, was overjoyed by his accomplishment, calling it “a moment I won’t ever forget.” Following the game, he was gifted a bass guitar, and the team played him a celebratory video featuring many of his previous teammates from the Los Angeles Dodgers.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 12, 2023 at 11:10 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: kenley jansen

Longtime AL ump Denkinger passes away at 86

Longtime American League umpire Don Denkinger, whose MLB career spanned 30 seasons from 1969-98, has passed away. He was 86.

Denkinger was selected to work four World Series in his career (1974, 1980, 1985, 1991) and notably was behind home plate for the iconic pitchers’ duel between future Hall of Famers Jack Morris and John Smoltz in Game 7 of the 1991 Fall Classic.

Denkinger was, unfortunately, most widely known for his infamous call in Game 6 of the 1985 World Series, when, in the ninth inning of a 1-0 game, with the Cardinals just three outs away from clinching what would have been their ninth championship, he incorrectly ruled the Royals’ Jorge Orta safe on a close play at first base. Kansas City would seal a comeback win on Dane ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 12, 2023 at 11:04 PM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: obituaries

Orioles’ Cedric Mullins hits for the cycle against Pirates

Cedric Mullins hit for the cycle for the Baltimore Orioles against Pittsburgh on Friday night.

Mullins hit a single in the third inning, a triple in the fifth, a double in the seventh and a three-run homer in the eighth. He became the seventh Oriole to accomplish the feat since the team moved to Baltimore in 1954 and first since Austin Hays on June 22, 2022, against the Washington Nationals.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 12, 2023 at 10:34 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: cedric mullins

Atlantic Cape baseball coach resigns after illegal communications devices found in helmets

Atlantic Cape Community College baseball coach Rodney Velardi resigned after 13 years leading the program on May 4, almost two weeks after the Buccaneers were found to have illegal communication devices in two of their players’ batting helmets during an 11-4 loss to Rowan College Gloucester County on April 22….

That’s when Valli went to the umpire and asked him to check two Atlantic Cape helmets. There was one out in the bottom of the third inning.

“(He was) as surprised as I was,” Valli said of the umpire. “The reaction was I went out and said they have headsets in their helmets, and he seemed surprised. … He’s like how do you know? I explained our first baseman has been hearing this now and we just confirmed it the second ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 12, 2023 at 10:32 AM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: college baseball

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Marlins To Promote Eury Pérez

Hombre Brotani Posted: May 10, 2023 at 05:51 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: eury perez, marlins

Gary Sánchez, Mets agree to Minors deal

Catcher Gary Sánchez has agreed to a Minor League deal with the Mets, the team announced Tuesday. Sánchez will report to Triple-A Syracuse.

Terms of the agreement weren’t released, but according to a report from MLB Network insider Jon Heyman, Sánchez would earn $1.5 million if he makes the Majors and the deal includes $1.2 million in incentives.

The 30-year-old backstop opted out of his deal with the Giants last week when he was not promoted to the big league roster. In 16 games with Triple-A Sacramento, Sánchez batted .164 with no homers and eight RBIs, along with 19 strikeouts.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 10, 2023 at 04:19 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: gary sanchez, mets

The long, strange history of the baseball cap

Though the New York Knickerbockers were baseball’s first “official” team, forming in 1845, it would take them four more years before the team began to wear baseball hats. Presumably, at some point the team figured out they’d catch more fly balls if they didn’t lose them in the sun. But rather than resembling what you see on the field today, the Knickerbockers wore “chip” or straw hats….

It wouldn’t take long for the teams and sporting goods companies to realize that there was probably something that fit better on a baseball field than a barbershop-quartet-ready chip straw hat. So, a few years later, the first lid that resembled today’s ballcaps was worn: Teams like the New York Mutuals and Brooklyn Excelsiors switched to a ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 10, 2023 at 11:02 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: hats

Tuesday, May 09, 2023

Orlando Magic’s co-founder hopes to lure Tampa Bay Rays with $1.7 billion stadium

Orlando Magic co-founder Pat Williams is expected to unveil plans for a new 45,000-seat, domed baseball stadium Tuesday afternoon. It’s part of a plan, now four years in the making, to lure a Major League Baseball franchise to Central Florida.

Williams’ scouting group, the Orlando City Baseball Dreamers, shared one rendering of the proposed stadium with the Orlando Sentinel over the weekend ahead of today’s press conference.

The pitch to the Rays, or any other MLB team interested in relocating to the Sunshine State, is to build a brand-new stadium complex on a 35-acre plot in the heart of Orlando’s tourist district. The new stadium would be located on I-Drive, just across from SeaWorld. The development would also include retail ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 09, 2023 at 11:19 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: orlando, rays

A’s revisit other Vegas stadium sites as legislative process lags

Three weeks after confirming they had a “binding agreement” on a 49-acre site west of the Strip for a $1.5 billion baseball stadium, the Oakland A’s have reached out to owners of Southern Nevada sites the team previously considered as a potential backup plan should the team fail to secure legislative support for a $500 million tax package, property representatives told The Nevada Independent.

Sources connected to the A’s and close to the negotiations said Monday that the A’s are still focused on acquiring the former Wild West Casino site bordered by Tropicana Avenue and Dean Martin Drive from Red Rock Resorts for an undisclosed price for the 35,000-seat retractable roof stadium and a surrounding entertainment district.

However, ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 09, 2023 at 11:18 AM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, las vegas

Monday, May 08, 2023

The Athletic: Meet the 56-year-old rookie: His big break in The Show took 30 years

Feel like A’s fans could use a feel-good story.

There are 90 miles between the Triple-A ballpark in Sacramento and the major-league stadium in Oakland. Traffic can be brutal, especially on Fridays.

Still, there’s no way the trip should take 30 years.

But when Johnny Doskow pressed his foot on the gas pedal on a mid-April morning, having turned the keys of his gray Infiniti a little before 10 a.m., he was embarking on the final leg of an epic baseball journey.

He started his broadcasting career in 1993 as the radio voice for the Cedar Rapids Kernels. That Low-A team was so cash-strapped it had to make a hard decision about whether to splurge on a fax machine or a mascot costume. (Behold, Mr. Shucks was born.)

Doskow was good in that ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 08, 2023 at 06:52 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics

OMNICHATTER for May 2023

A month Chatter will hold ya.

Hombre Brotani Posted: May 08, 2023 at 02:34 AM | 562 comment(s)
  Beats: omnichatter

Angels’ Jared Walsh opens up about neurological issues: ‘It’s been hell’ | The Athletic

It had been more than a full year of misery for Jared Walsh. A year that not only robbed him of the ability to play baseball at his highest level. But it was also a year that robbed him of sleep. It robbed him of his ability to simply move his body without tremors.

It robbed him of his depth perception. He’d walk into walls, unable to properly understand where his body was in relation to everything else.

Walsh believes that COVID-19 could have played a role in his issues. He tested positive for the virus on three separate occasions, beginning in mid-2020. He said he felt as though the virus didn’t affect him much at the time, but acknowledged these long-term impacts could have a direct correlation.

He’s been told by doctors that ...

Hombre Brotani Posted: May 08, 2023 at 02:28 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, covid-19, injuries, jared walsh

Sunday, May 07, 2023

Dodgers, Padres expected to open 2024 in South Korea, source says

The Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres are expected to open the 2024 season with a pair of games in South Korea, a source familiar with the process told ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez on Sunday.

The games will be the first MLB contests played in South Korea and will mark the eighth time since 1999 that Major League Baseball has played its first regular-season games outside the United States or Canada.

The source said the Padres and Dodgers likely would play early enough to return to the United States and get settled before the rest of the 28 teams start their seasons.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 07, 2023 at 06:39 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: korea

Red Sox pitcher was ejected, received ‘big’ fine for standoff after anthem

Red Sox’s Kutter Crawford and Phillies’ Matt Strahm took part in an intense standoff right after the national anthem before Saturday’s game at Citizens Bank Park.

The two are friends as Strahm pitched for the Red Sox last season.

“(The umpire) gave them a warning and they stayed there and they got thrown out of the game,” manager Alex Cora said Sunday morning. “Both of them.”

Both players were fined. All players and coaches are fined when they receive an ejection.

“If you get thrown out and you’re on the IL, you get crushed,” Cora said.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 07, 2023 at 04:23 PM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: anthem standoff

When It Comes to Balls in Play, MLB Is Striking Out

When Epstein laid out the changes fans said they wanted, however, the wish list led with “a lot more balls in play.” That type of time travel hasn’t happened. Players may be fielding more like Ozzie and running more like Rickey, as one of the league’s promos this spring promised, but they sure as heck aren’t making contact like those ’80s and ’90s icons did. Despite this season’s revamped rule book, strikeouts are as common as they were last year. The best we can say about MLB’s attempts to corral the K rate and the combined rate of “three true outcomes”—strikeouts, walks, and home runs—is that those figures are no more inflated than they were five years ago. K rates did decline a little in 2021 and 2022, when ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 07, 2023 at 04:08 PM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: strikeouts

All of the team home run celebrations, ranked

1. The Trident, Mariners
It’s important that your home run celebration be fun, but what is most important is that the person who just hit the homer feels awesome. This is why the trident, which is held like the home run hitter is Aquaman himself, is our favorite celebration. You just look cool posing with that thing, as if you have vanquished some grand sea beast and showing off your victory to the villagers you have just saved from its terrors. Julio Rodríguez is obviously the perfect model for this one, but honesty, it is impossible not to look like a conquering hero when you’re holding a trident.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 07, 2023 at 03:53 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: home run celebrations

Home plate umpires are getting better. Will that hold off the robots?

Boston University business school professor Mark Williams maintains an umpiring database, which grades ball- and strike-calling accuracy. Williams, a lifelong baseball fan, decided to start grading umps after getting frustrated by missed calls during the Red Sox’ 2018 World Series run and became skeptical of MLB’s accuracy claims. His data goes back to 2010, early in the pitch-tracking era.

Ball-strike accuracy was 7% better in April compared to April 2022. Williams’ bad call ratio metric - the percentage of strikes called outside of the strike zone’s confines and balls called within it - was 6.7% for the month. If it held, it would represent a record, bettering last year’s 7.2% for April, which was also the mark for the entire season.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 07, 2023 at 03:52 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: umpiring

Statcast Lab: What should a pitcher do, once they reach two prior disengagements?

There have been 378 events (pitch or pickoff attempt) after a pitcher has reached two prior disengagements.

Ten times, they attempted a pickoff attempt.  Once they were successful, once the runner stole the base anyway, and the other 8 times, they were unsuccessful, and so led to an automatic balk, aka Stolen Balk.  In other words, 9 bases gained, versus 1 out.  That is of course a terrible tradeoff.

And what happens when they did NOT try to pickoff the runner with two prior disengagements?  Well, 340 times, the runner did not attempt to steal.  The runners simply have not been as aggressive as you might think.  And of the 28 times they did attempt to steal, they were only successful 21 times: so, 21 SB and 7 CS, for a clean 75% success ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 07, 2023 at 03:51 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: pitch clock

Vida Blue, former AL MVP and 3-time World Series champ, dies

Vida Blue, a hard-throwing left-hander who became one of baseball’s biggest draws in the early 1970s and helped lead the brash Oakland Athletics to three straight World Series titles before his career was derailed by drug problems, has died. He was 73.

The A’s said Blue died Saturday but they didn’t give a cause of death.

“There are few players with a more decorated career than Vida Blue,” the team said in a statement Sunday. “Vida will always be a franchise legend and a friend.”

Blue was voted the 1971 American League Cy Young Award and Most Valuable Player after going 24-8 with a 1.82 ERA, 301 strikeouts and 24 complete games, eight of them shutouts. He remains among just 11 pitchers to win both honors in the same year.

...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 07, 2023 at 03:47 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: obituaries, vida blue

Saturday, May 06, 2023

Cardinals’ Willson Contreras shifting to DH, outfielder: What it means for his playing time - The Athletic

This is crazy. The team already has a thousand outfielders and has sometimes struggled to fit Nolan Gorman into the lineup. The last thing they need is to force another square peg into their lineup. Whoever was the decision-maker for the Contreras signing needs to be relieved of that responsibility.

When the Cardinals signed Contreras this offseason, they did so under the pretense that he would be their primary catcher. However, with the Cardinals reeling and the pitching staff struggling, manager Oli Marmol and the front office came to the conclusion that the rotation could benefit from some familiarity. Knizner will now catch the bulk of the starts, with Barrera serving as the reserve catcher.

jimfurtado Posted: May 06, 2023 at 05:04 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, pay site, willson contreras

A’s broadcaster Glen Kuiper apologizes for appearing to use racial slur on-air

Oakland Athletics play-by-play broadcaster Glen Kuiper apologized after appearing to say a racial slur in a slip up on-air during Friday night’s game against the Royals.

During the pregame coverage, Kuiper along with broadcast partner Dallas Braden told the audience what the pair did in Kansas City prior to the game.

That included a visit to the city’s Negro League Museum, which Kuiper appeared to trip over and used a racial-slur instead.

“A little bit earlier in the show, I said something, didn’t come out quite the way I wanted it to and I just wanted to apologize if it sounded different than I meant it to be said. I just wanted to apologize for that,” Kuiper said in the top of the sixth inning.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 06, 2023 at 12:14 PM | 173 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, glen kuiper

Friday, May 05, 2023

Astros’ Luis Garcia needs Tommy John surgery on right elbow

Houston right-hander Luis Garcia needs Tommy John surgery and will miss the rest of the season, another major blow to the Astros’ starting rotation.

A date for Garcia’s surgery has not been set, and the Astros said that he is expected to return at some point during the 2024 season.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 05, 2023 at 11:53 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, luis garcia

Former Mets star pitcher Matt Harvey announces retirement

Veteran pitcher Matt Harvey, who lit up New York under his “Dark Knight” moniker while briefly shining for the Mets, announced his retirement from baseball Friday.

Harvey addressed his decision in an Instagram post, sharing a photo from an April 2013 appearance with the Mets and discussing how he “pitched to win. To fire up my team and more importantly, to fire up the fans in a city that I’ve always loved.”

“With all the amazing memories came a lot of injuries and tough times,” Harvey wrote. “The realization that those amazingly powerful moments that make me thrive as a pitcher and help my teammates and city win are no longer possible.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 05, 2023 at 02:20 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: matt harvey

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