Baseball

#21 Torres time will have to wait

Today I want to write about how the Yankees top prospect (and currently MLB’s number 2 overall) Gleyber Torres got injured and will be out the rest of the year. It’s really too bad, before the injury I thought the 20 year old shortstop would be making his debut in the Bronx fairly soon. He was working on third base, where the Yankees struggle, so I thought it was coming a lot sooner than most expected. Before I get into Torres I want to mention a couple things, not really much to say so I guess you can consider them “notes.”

What was with that slide Rizzo? Last night Anthony Rizzo slid/ran over the catcher at home plate trying to score on a sac fly. And honestly I don’t care, that’s how the game use to be played until they changed the rules to protect the catcher. Usually Joe Maddon is considered a genius (this year not so much) but his comments last night were incredibly dumb and ill informed. I know he was just defending his player but Rizzo had a clean lane to slide he went out of his way to initiate contact. Go back and watch the tape if you don’t believe me.

Don’t you hate it when some players get more attention than others? Last year (and the beginning of this year) people would not shut up about Gary Sanchez and his power, “so fast to 20 homers” “among the best ever.” And then there’s Cody Bellinger who’s literally THE fastest ever to 21 homers in MLB history, and yet nobody is really talking about him. What’s up with that?

At just 19 years old he won the Arizona fall league MVP just last year, Gleyber Torres certainly has great potential. He has very quick feet and an excellent arm looking a lot older in the field, he simply knows where to be. He’s just one of those players where it just looks like everything comes super easy to him, especially on defense. I was in Arizona and witnessed him with my own two eyes and it still surprises me he was only 19. I personally believe in his power potential right now he’s more of a gap to gap doubles kind of hitter, but I think as he grows up a little more he can transition that to homerun power. The reason why I’m talking about him is because he injured himself sliding head first into home (always a bad idea) and needs Tommy john surgery which will unfortunately cut his season short. But the silver lining it’s his non throwing elbow so it shouldn’t effect his future arm strength any. It’s still funny the Cubs gave up Torres in the Aroldis Chapman trade last years and then the Yankees sign Chapman back in the offseason anyway, I think it’s safe to say the Yankees won that trade.

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Baseball

#17 congrats to all

There have been a few note worthy things that have happened in baseball recently, so today I’m going to write a post that highlights them all instead of a long post about just one subject. I’ve been pretty good at keeping them about one subject so far this year but there is plenty I could write about today so I figured I’ll just write a paragraph about each subject.

First and foremost I’ve got to congratulate Albert Pujols for joining the 600 homerun club. More people have walked on the moon than hit 600 homers in the majors, that is such an interesting fact. Even though he has to share the club with obvious juicers, Sammy Sosa and Alex Rodriguez, it is still an incredible feat. The machine is 37 years young, the future hall of famer would only need to hit 20 homers a year for the next 5 years to join the even more exclusive 700 homerun club. It’s possible.

Another career feat to congratulate, Clayton Kershaw has joined the 2,000 strikeout club. It’s not too exclusive of a club but it’s impressive because of what it means for the future, in my opinion at least. Kershaw is still only 29 years old, he isn’t even over the hump yet he has a lot of pitches left in that left arm of his. Pitchers are more of an injury risk than position players, they can just hurt something very small and it can derail the rest of their career, just look at Mark Prior’s career. So if Kershaw can stay healthy there is a good chance he can reach 3,000 strikeouts. Knock on wood.

And of course I have to mention the no-hitter that happened over the weekend. Edinson Volquez fired the first no-no of 2017 against a good hitting Diamondbacks team, and only needed 98 pitches to do it. Throughout Volquez’s entire career he’s either been hot or cold, you know he’s either an above average pitcher or someone that makes you wonder why he’s still in the rotation no real in between. He’s 2-7 this year but yet he has the only no-hitter this year, that makes my point. It’s still impressive to throw a no-hitter no matter who you are so congratulations Edinson.

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#8 Cody Bellinger

I know, I’m a couple days late but how can I not write about a top prospect getting the call? That’s my area of expertise. The Dodgers called up the 10th ranked prospect in baseball on Tuesday, Cody Bellinger. He’s a first baseman/outfielder, but due to the fact LA already has Adrian Gonzalez at first he will mostly be an outfielder for the time being. He’s really athletic so it’s not like the Dodgers are calling up some big first baseman and just deciding to throw him out in left field.

Before I mention Bellinger’s hitting ability I have to talk about his glove first. He has gold glove potential at first base, like I said athletic enough to play outfield but his primary and best defensive position is first base. Now let’s talk about what everyone cares about, what he can do at the plate. He has a crazy quick swing which translates to good power. But he’s not an all or nothing type hitter, I believe he was hitting .338 at AAA before his call up. His quick swing also has a massive uppercut, up until a couple years ago he was just hitting for average then he incorporated this huge uppercut and his power jumped way up and so did his prospect status. Now he’s widely known as one of the better hitting prospects in baseball. I saw him with my own eyes in the Arizona fall league just last year, and you notice the huge uppercut right away but when he makes contact you definitely know it. He creates loud contact but with such an uppercut it also creates plenty of strikeouts. But with his good contact ability he should be able to offset the strikeouts.

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#46 NLCS

Before I start I should say I haven’t been as emotionally invested in baseball as usual. Happens every year when the Nats get knocked out (usually around this time because they lose every year in the NLDS) so I’m sorry if I’m not my usual know everything self. The ALCS is going on as well but that’s kind of a blowout with the Indians up 3 games to none against the Blue Jays. It’s a little bit of a surprise to me because I thought the Jays were the better team but the playoffs are weird. I know plenty of Cub fans and the Cubs-Dodgers series just seems more interesting to me.

I have said this since the beginning, and I obviously still believe it, the Dodgers can spoil this postseason. The series is only tied 1-1 so it’s not like they’re already World Series bound it’s just I think it’s possible. They already beat the second best team in the NL and they match up very well with the Cubs. Even though the 3 games they won against the Nats they beat them by a total of 3 runs obviously barely enough to pull it out. I have had a couple days to process it and you have to hand it to the Dodgers. Their offense wasn’t at all better than the Nats, especially RISP the Dodgers were horrid, but they kept up with the Nats pitching wise. The Nats were obviously a great pitching team and so are the Cubs. Just like the NLDS against the Nats if the Dodgers can keep up with the Cubs on the pitching side maybe they can claw up enough runs to win the series. With the left handed starters the Dodgers have the Cubs are in for a battle. The Cubs have not been great against lefties all year, I know I’ve said that before, the Dodgers have Kershaw (whose already won), Hill, and Urias to potentially start. The Cubs are without a doubt a good hitting team but the highest era of those three pitchers is 3.39 and because they’re lefties I would give the Dodgers the advantage in those 3 games. If the Cubs decide to hit those lefties they could easily win beside Kershaw the other two aren’t as reliable. Like I said playoffs are weird the Cubs could easily change the trend of them being weak against lefty starters. Just my two cents on the NLCS.

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#45 game 5 tonight

There’s basically only one thing to write about today so obviously I’m going to write about game 5 of the NLDS in Washington. I knew the Dodgers could be potential spoilers for the Nationals going into the postseason so I can’t say I’m surprised it went all the way to game 5 but I was hoping the Nats could pull it off on Tuesday. But unfortunately they did not.

Granted the Dodgers had Kershaw on the mound Tuesday but I was still pretty confident the Nats could pull it out. The Dodgers bullpen is extremely taxed Dave Roberts has not been letting his starters go too deep into games so far in the series. And during the first inning I thought that trend would continue, Kershaw didn’t have his A+ stuff and he was forced to throw 27 pitches. I thought ok the Nats will either get to him early or work the count and force him out early. Either way I’ll be good for the Nats. But after the first inning it was vintage Kershaw and he completely dominated the Nats until the 7th that is. He let the first two batters reach then it was Bryce Harper as the tying run in a 5-2 game. The last 2 MVP’s, Kershaw in 2014 and Harper in 2015, if you like baseball then this postseason matchup with the game on the line should really excite you. Well Kershaw walked Harper to load the bases and then before you know it the game was tied at 5. So then it was the Nats bullpen, been very good all year, vs the Dodgers bullpen, been over used this series. But then the old guy Chase Utley drives in the game winning run in the bottom of the 8th for the Dodgers so they won by 1. Tonight it’ll be Max Scherzer for the Nats against Rich Hill of the Dodgers on 3 days rest. I know Scherzer gave up 4 runs early in game 1 but after that he really settled down so I hope he’ll settle down earlier this go around. Rich Hill isn’t Clayton Kershaw I don’t think he can throw as good as Kersh on 3 days rest. Pitching Hill is a risky move if you ask me. But if that’s what gives the Nats the advantage I’ll take it.

His name is Javier Baez. The hero for the Cubs and the reason they’re advancing to the NLCS.

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#37 the surprising Dodgers

Well Dodger fans probably aren’t too surprised that they’re in first place but I sure am. With the team they put together I wouldn’t of guessed they’d be in first place in September, and by 4 games none the less. A lot has to do with the Giants absolute collapse in the second half but still first place is first place. Clayton Kershaw is due to return on Friday so I feel like writing a little about the first place Dodgers.

So when Clayton Kershaw injured his back I for one thought the Dodgers were done for. But somehow they did better without Kershaw, they started hitting better and the bullpen picked up a sub par rotation. It goes without saying that Kershaw is the best pitcher in baseball. So I thought when they lost him they didn’t have enough to make a serious push. When I look at the Dodgers I think Clayton Kershaw and Corey Seager, but not much besides those two. I honestly believe that when Kershaw got injured it was a wake up call to the rest of the team. They thought “we lost our horse who can beat anyone we’ve got to pick him up.” You look at every player on the Dodgers and their stats are better since Kershaw was shelved. That’s what good teams can do and now they’re getting their ace back. Dave Roberts deserves some serious consideration for manager of the year.

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#15 great to see Yu

I’ve been planning to write about Yu Darvish’s season debut since the season started. We haven’t seen the Rangers ace in over a year because of Tommy John and I’m pretty excited about it. Now his first start won’t come until Saturday but this is my last post before then so I’m going to dedicate this post to him.

Before I get to Darvish I have to mention a top prospect who got the call this morning. I found out at about 9:30 this morning that the Dodgers have called up their top prospect Julio Urias. The left hander got the call to “debut” Friday vs the Mets, I put debut in quotations because all I’ve heard is that he’ll pitch Friday haven’t heard that he’ll start however I assume that he will start after all he is a starting pitcher. The lefty is 4-1 with a 1.10 era at AAA this year and he has a 44 to 8 strikeout to walk ratio. He has never thrown over 87 innings in his minor league career and he’s already at 41 innings this year so just keep that in mind. Oh yeah he’s only 19.

There isn’t too much to say about Yu Darvish except that he will be starting on Saturday. During his rehab starts he was sitting easy in the mid 90’s touching 97. For somebody coming off Tommy John surgery that is actually a terrific sign. When you look at Darvish with one of the best k/9 ratios in history and if his fastball (and everything else) is back watch out because he’ll be back to his “striking everybody out” self in no time. He’ll probably only make around 22-23 starts the rest of the season so there more than likely won’t be a strict innings limit on him like most Tommy John patients.

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