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Saturday, June 25, 2022

Former No. 1 pick Mark Appel, 30, gets big league call-up from Philadelphia Phillies

Mark Appel, the 2013 No. 1 overall pick whose baseball career included a three-season absence from the sport, is getting his first major league call-up Saturday at the age of 30.

The Philadelphia Phillies are bringing in the right-handed Appel from Triple-A Lehigh Valley because reliever Connor Brogdon is on the COVID-19 injured list, interim manager Rob Thomson told reporters Friday night.

“Completely overwhelmed. I have so many thoughts I want to share but can’t find the words, so I’ll just say this: I’m thankful,” Appel tweeted Saturday morning. “Today, I get to play a game I love as a Major League Baseball player.”

Appel has spent the past two seasons pitching in Double- and Triple-A for the Phillies. He has a 5-0 record and 1.61 ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 25, 2022 at 10:39 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mark appel, phillies

Friday, June 24, 2022

Cole Hamels Targeting 2023 Comeback

Cole Hamels has made just one major league appearance since the end of the 2019 season, but the four-time All-Star continues to look for a return to the mound. Jon Heyman of the New York Post reports that the free agent southpaw is currently “feeling good” and targeting next spring for another comeback attempt.

The past few seasons have been trying for Hamels, who turns 39 years old in December. He tossed 141 2/3 innings of 3.81 ERA ball with the Cubs in 2019, earning an $18MM deal from the Braves in the process. That didn’t pan out, as Hamels was shut down during the July ramp-up for the shortened season due to a triceps issue. He returned in September, made one 3 1/3 inning start, then landed back on the IL with a shoulder injury ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 24, 2022 at 09:56 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: cole hamels

Texas Rangers trade Willie Calhoun to San Francisco Giants for Steven Duggar

The San Francisco Giants acquired Willie Calhoun on Thursday, sending outfielder Steven Duggar to Texas for the outfielder who was the main return for the Rangers when they traded pitcher Yu Darvish five years ago.

It will be a homecoming for Calhoun, and a move he requested after being sent to the minors on May 1. The 27-year-old was born in the East Bay city of Vallejo and attended Benicia High School.

“We wish Willie the best in his opportunity with San Francisco,’’ Rangers president Jon Daniels said. “It’s a fresh start for him, as well as being close to home.’‘

San Francisco also receives cash in the deal.

Calhoun has spent all five-plus years of his major league career with the Rangers, playing 253 games and hitting .241 overall. ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 24, 2022 at 07:05 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, rangers, steven duggar, willie calhoun

Weekend OMNICHATTER for June 24-26, 2022

Hombre Brotani Posted: June 24, 2022 at 01:58 PM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: omnichatter

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Shohei Ohtani follows up career-high 8-RBI night with career-high 13 Ks

It’s really important we don’t take Shohei Ohtani for granted.

The Los Angeles Angels pitcher is coming off the greatest two-way season in the history of MLB — yes, even better than Babe Ruth — and he may very well surpass it this year. He is a talented unprecedented in baseball, but he’s become so big it’s hard to even remember how impossible the idea of him seemed as a prospect.

So when he does something like, say, post a two-homer, eight-RBI performance, then strike out 13 batters across eight shutout innings, we should probably do our best to appreciate it. Therefore, let’s talk about the last two days.

Hombre Brotani Posted: June 23, 2022 at 05:26 AM | 51 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, royals, shohei ohtani, world's most special boy

OMNICHATTER for Thursday, June 23, 2022

Hombre Brotani Posted: June 23, 2022 at 05:25 AM | 44 comment(s)
  Beats: omnichatter

696 games later, he gets his 1st at-bat, and well ...

Cubs reliever David Robertson waited until the 696th game of his 14-season career for his first. So who can blame him for smiling after striking out?

In the ninth inning of the Cubs’ 14-5 rout of the Pirates on Wednesday, the veteran reliever, who pitched a scoreless eighth inning, grabbed Yan Gomes’ helmet and Christopher Morel’s bat to see how the other half lives. It’s an opportunity that, in Robertson’s words, “made my dream come true.”

“[Manager David Ross and I] talked about it before the position player got in,” Robertson said. “If the DH was up and I came in, he could pinch-hit me for the DH. So we talked about it. I just didn’t think it was going to happen. We had to go all the way through the order for me to get ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 23, 2022 at 12:35 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: david robertson

Outfielder Austin Hays becomes sixth player in Baltimore Orioles history to hit for cycle

Four at-bats, four hits, one unforgettable cycle in just six innings of work.

“Beyond unbelievable. An epic night,” Baltimore manager Brandon Hyde said after Austin Hays became the sixth player in Orioles history to hit for the cycle.

Hays completed the feat with a sixth-inning double in the midst of a steady shower and shortly before play was halted for good in Baltimore’s 7-0 victory over the Washington Nationals on Wednesday night.

Hays pulled it off while batting leadoff in place of Cedric Mullins, who was given the night off. Facing Nationals lefty Patrick Corbin, Hays got an infield single in the first inning, hit a solo shot in the third and tripled in the fourth.

That seemingly left the 26-year-old outfielder plenty of time to ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 23, 2022 at 12:31 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: austin hays, orioles

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

OMNICHATTER for Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Hombre Brotani Posted: June 22, 2022 at 01:20 PM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: omnichatter

Kansas City Royals overcome Shohei Ohtani’s 2 HRs, 8 RBIs to edge Los Angeles Angels

Shohei Ohtani hit two three-run homers, including a dramatic tying drive in the bottom of the ninth inning. He drove in a career-high eight runs, the most by a Japanese-born player in major league history.

And somehow, it still was not enough for his Los Angeles Angels to beat the Kansas City Royals.

Whit Merrifield led off the 11th inning with an RBI double, and the Royals overcame Ohtani’s historic performance for a 12-11 victory Tuesday night.

Ohtani crushed a 423-foot homer in the sixth and a tying, 438-foot shot in the ninth, giving him the biggest RBI game of his five-year stateside career. The American League MVP then set the single-game record for RBIs by a Japanese-born player with a sacrifice fly in the 11th inning.

Although ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 22, 2022 at 08:29 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, shohei ohtani

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Memo: MLB to require all teams to ‘muddy’ ball using exact same technique

Major League Baseball is now requiring teams to “muddy” baseballs before games using the exact same technique, according to a league memo sent to all 30 teams on Tuesday and obtained by ESPN.

Muddying is the process of removing gloss from new baseballs to give pitchers a better grip. It’s been used in the game for decades and is as important as ever considering the league’s crackdown on the use of foreign substances over the past 12 months.

In past years, muddying involved clubhouse attendants preparing baseballs by rubbing Delaware River mud—which comes in a can—days before each game. Moving forward, they’ll be required to continue to muddy balls on game day only and all with the same technique.

After reviewing videos of clubhouse ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 21, 2022 at 04:41 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: balls

OMNICHATTER for Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Hombre Brotani Posted: June 21, 2022 at 04:39 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: omnichatter

Why Manny Ramirez says Derek Jeter would have been ‘just a regular player’ in Kansas City

Ramirez was discussing the pressure that comes with playing in a city like Boston or New York. The way Ramirez sees it, you’re not playing on a big stage unless you’re in Boston or New York. If you’re somewhere else, people won’t care as much.

“You gotta understand this. If you haven’t played in Boston or New York, you’re not in the big leagues,” Ramirez said. “It’s like if you put Jeter in Kansas City in those years, he was just a regular player.

But in New York? Jeter was a legend because he consistently stepped up on baseball’s biggest stage with the Yankees in the postseason.

“You put him on that big stage, you hit .400 in the postseason for many, many years, he’s the greatest in the history,” Millar ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 21, 2022 at 03:41 PM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: derek jeter, manny ramirez, yankees

MLB should consider adopting a mercy rule

There have been some people around baseball, mainly on baseball broadcasts, who have floated the idea of using a “mercy rule” in MLB games, similar to what’s used in international competition.

To wit: If a team is trailing by 10 or more runs after seven innings, by mutual agreement of the managers the game could be stopped.

I’m coming around. This might actually be a good idea.

Let’s have a look at how many games might be affected by this sort of rule change. I looked at games from 2021 and thus far in 2022, so that’s 2,429 total games from last year and 999 games so far in 2022, a fairly large sample size.

There were 98 games decided by 10 or more runs in 2021 (plus three games that had that large a run differential that ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 21, 2022 at 02:22 PM | 48 comment(s)
  Beats: mercy rule, position players pitching

Here are the All-Star Ballot standings so far

Right now, the leading vote-getters are Yankees slugger Aaron Judge in the AL (1,512,368 votes) and Dodgers star Mookie Betts in the NL (1,446,050 votes).

There are close races across the ballot at positions like AL third base (Rafael Devers leading José Ramírez), AL shortstop (Bo Bichette leading Tim Anderson and Xander Bogaerts), NL second base (Jazz Chisholm Jr. leading Ozzie Albies and Jeff McNeil) and the outfield in both leagues (Judge leading Mike Trout, Betts leading Ronald Acuña Jr.).

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 21, 2022 at 12:22 PM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: all-star voting

The Yankees Are Keeping Pace With Their 1998 Powerhouse

The current Yankees may not have the top spot on either of those lists, but they’ve matched the 1998 Yankees to this point. Their .742 winning percentage puts them on pace to win 120 games, which would surpass the 2001 Mariners and 1906 Cubs for the single-season record. Some other hypotheticals:

If the Yankees go 48-48 (.500) the rest of the way, they would finish 97-65 (.599).

If they go 55-41 (.573) the rest of the way, they would finish 104-58 (.642), their best record since 1998. This is one win ahead of the record that we have them forecast for via our Projected Standings.

If they go 60-36 (.625) the rest of the way, they would finish 109-53 (.673), surpassing the 2018 Red Sox (108-54) for the best record for any team since the ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 21, 2022 at 09:09 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: yankees

Inside the closed-door meeting that got the Braves playing like champs again

“I was getting texts, ‘Are you going to blow these guys up?’ No. Players don’t respond to that.”

So Snitker consulted with his bench coach, Walt Weiss, and decided they needed to act now, calling a closed-door meeting in the visitor’s clubhouse when his players entered Phoenix’s Chase Field facing a potential sweep.

“Snit is not going to get in front of a club and rant and rave,” Weiss said. “It was a very simple message.”

The message: relax. The aftermath: 14 straight wins.

By the time the Braves finally lost for the first time this month Friday, they had cut the Mets’ NL East lead from 10½ games to 5½. They had gone from 4½ games out of a wild-card spot to owning the National League’s fourth-best record.

“One event doesn’t make ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 21, 2022 at 09:08 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: braves

Pirates shortstop Oneil Cruz showcases all his skills in impressive season debut

It was a Statcast showcase. We already pointed out he has the hardest infielder throw of the season. He also hit the hardest ball any Pirates player has hit all season (the 112.9 miles per hour double above) and had the three highest sprint speeds recorded this season by a Pirates player (via MLB Pipeline).

All this from the tallest regular shortstop—assuming he stays put—in MLB history.

This wasn’t Cruz’s MLB debut. He played the final two games last season, going 3 for 9 with a home run, three RBI and two runs. He was sent to the minors to start the season and remained there until his callup for Monday’s game. To this point, the Pirates had been one of the worst teams in baseball in terms of shortstop production. That’ll change now ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 21, 2022 at 09:07 AM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: oneil cruz, pirates

Monday, June 20, 2022

Dave Wickersham dies at age 86

Wickersham had his best season in the majors with the Tigers in 1964, going 19-12 with a 3.44 ERA. He missed out on a 20-win season in agonizing fashion in his final start.

The Tigers were tied 1-1 in the seventh inning at Yankee Stadium, but New York had runners on first and second with two outs. Phil Linz bunted toward Detroit first baseman Norm Cash, who bobbled the ball but secured it as he stood on the bag, as Vintage Detroit recalled. First base umpire Bill Valentine called Linz safe, and Cash followed Valentine down the right-field line, arguing the decision. The runner on second scored, and Wickersham pleaded for play to stop, only to have Valentine eject him.

As The Star reported in 2004, Valentine realized days later that ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 20, 2022 at 05:47 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: dave wickersham, obituatries

Experts predict MLB’s next great superstar

Mark Feinsand, executive reporter: I know it might sound crazy to say this given that he plays in Tampa Bay, but I feel like Wander Franco is the guy. The hype around him has been crazy, he’s on a team that contends annually, and he has that superstar aura we look for in these guys. Now he just needs to stay healthy.

Andrew Simon, editor/writer/researcher: I’ll go with Julio Rodríguez. The talent is obviously there, the production is getting there, and if we’re considering star power, he also has the sort of magnetic personality that could make him one of the faces of the game.

David Adler, researcher/reporter: Bobby Witt Jr. And it won’t even take five years. I’m all in on him. Love the swing, love the tools, love everything.

...Read More...

MLB moving forward with long-delayed 13-pitcher limit

Come Monday, there is going to be a little more room in big league bullpens, from Seattle to Tampa Bay, and plenty of places in between.
Major League Baseball is moving forward with its oft-delayed plan for a 13-pitcher limit on active rosters. The move could affect the game in a variety of ways, from more position players taking the mound to a few more trips to the minors for pitchers with options.

“I don’t know that I understand it. And it is OK because we follow the rules,” Cleveland manager Terry Francona said. “But it’s just one of those where it is a little hard when they’re telling you how to compete. I feel like sometimes, especially with our doubleheaders coming up, I think it can put teams at a disadvantage.”

The ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 20, 2022 at 01:40 PM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: roster limits

Amy’s story: After escaping domestic violence, sportswriter’s ex-wife speaks out to help others

In text messages from that period, Keri’s emotions shifted so unpredictably that Kaufman said the texts left her “completely destabilized.” In one text string, Keri wrote the word “sorry” 17 consecutive times.

In another message, he wrote: “I’m an abuser. If I’m nice for 3 weeks or 3 years you will always jump on me the second I’m not syrupy sweet to you. It’s too much pressure. Find someone else. I wish you all the happiness in the world.”

In a separate message, he wrote: “F— you for making me feel like garbage every day. F— you for ruining me.”

All the while, Keri kept up with his work, at times walking down the hall and into a room, literally flipping a switch and cheerily welcoming listeners to his ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 20, 2022 at 01:39 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: jonah keri

Batter Up: Sinclair’s Bally Sports Plus Streaming App To Launch June 23

Sinclair Broadcast Group’s long-awaited direct-to-consumer regional sports streaming service will emerge from the dugout on June 23.

Bally Sports Plus will initially be available in five markets where the company’s Diamond Sports Group’s regional Bally Sports networks carry Major League Baseball’s Kansas City Royals, Detroit Tigers, Miami Marlins, Milwaukee Brewers and Tampa Bay Rays.

The app will cost $19.99 a month, or $189.99 a year, and enable fans to watch games without subscribing to a multichannel pay TV cable, satellite or streaming service.

Rob Weisbord, Sinclair’s COO and president of broadcast, told Broadcasting+Cable that Bally Sports Plus would have a soft roll out at first, with additional marketing support ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 20, 2022 at 12:48 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: streaming

Pittsburgh Pirates’ Jack Suwinski becomes 1st rookie in MLB history with 3-homer game that includes walk-off blast

Jack Suwinski hit his third homer of the game in the ninth inning, giving the Pittsburgh Pirates a 4-3, walk-off victory over the San Francisco Giants on Sunday to avoid a three-game sweep.

The rookie drove a slider from sidearming Tyler Rogers (0-3) to right for his second game-ending home run of the season after connecting for one June 4 against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Suwinski became the first rookie in major league history to have a three-homer game that included a walk-off home run, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. He also became the first Pirates player with multiple walk-off home runs in a single month since Wally Westlake in September of 1947, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.

“I was just like, ‘No way, ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 20, 2022 at 09:18 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: jack suwinski, pirates

OMNICHATTER, for Monday, June 20, 2021

Hombre Brotani Posted: June 20, 2022 at 04:40 AM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: omnichatter

Sunday, June 19, 2022

Manny Machado leaves loss with left ankle sprain | ESPN

DENVER—San Diego Padres star third baseman Manny Machado left Sunday’s 8-3 loss to the Colorado Rockies after injuring his left ankle while taking a tumble at first base trying to beat out an infield grounder.

Machado’s leg appeared to turn awkwardly while he was running to first base in the top of the first inning. He struggled to put weight on the ankle as he was helped off the field. Machado was later diagnosed with an ankle sprain after X-rays came back negative.

Hombre Brotani Posted: June 19, 2022 at 10:27 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: injuries, manny machado, padres

Saturday, June 18, 2022

Milwaukee Brewers designate outfielder Lorenzo Cain, 36, for assignment after ‘a great career’

Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Lorenzo Cain was designated for assignment on Saturday, the team announced before its game against the Cincinnati Reds.

Cain, 36, was hitting .179 in 145 at-bats while the Brewers’ offense struggled throughout June. The veteran was 4-for-26 this month with no walks and seven strikeouts. As a team, the Brewers rank 14th in OPS in the National League in June while falling out of first place after a strong start.

Cain broke in with the Brewers in 2010, then spent the next seven seasons in Kansas City before returning to Milwaukee as a free agent in 2018. He’s in the final season of a five-year, $80 million deal. The move comes on the same date that Cain reached 10 years of major league service.

“It just got to ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 18, 2022 at 06:56 PM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, lorenzo cain

Friday, June 17, 2022

Anthony Rendon is done for the season | Twitter

Last night:

Today:

Hombre Brotani Posted: June 17, 2022 at 05:06 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, anthony rendon


From Tommy John to Cy Young form at 39? Inside Justin Verlander’s unprecedented return to dominance [$]

ESPN Insider Sub required.

His return in 2021 a nonstarter, Verlander began watching games again during the playoffs and lived vicariously through the Astros’ run to the World Series, which they lost to Atlanta. The day after the season ended, Verlander hit free agency for the first time in his career. Houston tagged him with the qualifying offer, and he decided to sign within the next 10 days.

“Houston was at the top of the list,” Verlander said. “As negotiations started going, they kind of fell off. Some other teams really started to show a lot of interest. I would say that the leader was probably Toronto. They were great. And I talked to George (Springer, his former Astros teammate now with the Blue Jays) a bunch. They were very ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 17, 2022 at 11:39 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: justin verlander

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