- David Brown at Big League Stew15 hrs ago
The New York Post reports that New York Yankees right-hander Masahiro Tanaka has left the team to get an MRI on his right arm. An All-Star in his first season after coming from Japan as a free agent and signing for $155 million, Tanaka has performed better than most other pitchers in the majors. Tanaka, 25, dominated from April through June, but his past two starts yielded disappointing results — a combined nine runs and 19 hits — numbers that now appear alarming.
The Yanks put him on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday with elbow inflammation. Tanaka's numbers overall: 2.51 ERA with with 135 strikeouts in 129 1/3 innings. He's pitched a league-leading three complete games with one shutout. The Yankees have a 13-5 record in his starts.
Kojii Uehara of the Red Sox reportedly is first on a list of replacements to take Tanaka's spot on the American League's All-Star roster.Thu, Jul 104:05 PM PDTNY Yankees at ClevelandPreview Game
- David Brown at Big League Stew17 hrs ago
The Chicago Cubs organization raised some eyebrows in June when it hired Manny Ramirez to be a player-coach for its Class AAA teamin Iowa. Team president Theo Epstein earnestly believes, with good reason, that Ramirez will be a positive influence on the kids — despite Manny's reputation for being, well, Manny.
But did it ever occur to Epstein that Ramirez might have to act as the team's manager if an unlikely series of events happened? Minor-league coaching staffs are much smaller than those in the majors. Usually, it's a manager, a pitching coach and a batting coach. Iowa having Manny as a coach is a luxury, relatively speaking.
But Manny being manager?! Well, he came darned close to managing on Tuesday night.Thu, Jul 109:35 AM PDTChi Cubs at CincinnatiPreview Game
- David Brown at Big League Stew19 hrs ago
No other umpire in the major leagues gets more complaints, or so it seems, than Angel Hernandez. The San Francisco Giants collectively took issue with Hernandez on Tuesday night during a 6-1 loss to the Oakland Athletics. They didn't like how Hernandez called balls and strikes for Madison Bumgarner of the Giants compared to how he called them for Sonny Gray of the A's. Nor did they likethe balk call Hernandez made against San Francisco's Jean Machi in the eighth inning.
The events culminated with Giants broadcaster Duane Kuiper of KNBR-AM making this direct and pointed comment after the game:
Duane Kuiper: "Angel Hernandez is not a good umpire and in my opinion, he does not belong in the big leagues."
Duane Kuiper on Angel Hernandez: "And I think Major League Baseball knows this, they just don't know how to get rid of him." (2/2)Thu, Jul 1012:45 PM PDTOakland at San FranciscoPreview Game
- David Brown at Big League Stew1 day ago
Graffiti artists are painting a mural on a wall in San Diego to help ensure the remembrance of Hall of Fame ballplayer Tony Gwynn, who died in June at 54 years old after having cancer. The mural is being painted on the Undisputed Downtown gymnasium facing 16th and J streets, and the project requires at least 50 bottles of black spray paint just to prime the 40-foot wall. The gym, run in part by Joel Rocco, is about three blocks from Petco Park in the East Village, a gentrifying neighborhood.
ABC-10 TV in San Diego got a preview of the mural (that's a computer graphic you see in the video) and talked to the creators. The work is personal to the artists belonging to a group called the Wildstyle Technicians because all of them loved Gwynn and are fans of the San Diego Padres. Another is a cancer survivor.Thu, Jul 107:10 PM PDTSan Diego at LA DodgersPreview Game
In the old days, before anyone cared about rotator cuffs and Tommy John surgeries, they would have let Charlie Morton and Adam Wainwright keep pitching until dawn, if need be. But in these sensitive times, each was removed after seven scoreless innings Monday night, and both had prime dugout views to watch slugger Matt Adams of the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 2-0 by virtue of a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth.
Adams came in slugging well overall, but was hitting just .190 against left-handers. Of his blast against lefty Justin Wilson, he said (via the Associated Press):
"This is unbelievable. I don't even know what to say. I don't think I touched the dirt the whole way around the bases."
Morton came in with a horrible and luckless record against the Cardinals, but he allowed just one hit and two walks, striking out five. He pitched better than Wainwright, a top candidate to start the All-Star Game next week, who scattered seven hits with three walks and five K's.Thu, Jul 104:15 PM PDTPittsburgh at St. LouisPreview Game
The explanations by umpires of a disputed play at second base in the ninth inning Monday night, along with the video replay ruling that followed, did not satisfy Atlanta Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez.
“It’s one of the worst calls I’ve ever seen,” Gonzalez said after his team fell 4-3 to the New York Mets in 11 innings.
The disputed call did not lead to a run in the ninth with the score tied 3-all — otherwise Gonzalez still might be fuming on the field. He was thrown out for arguing after replay overlords overturned a call on the field, saying that Braves infielder Andrelton Simmons came off the second-base bag too quickly on a throw by Chris Johnson following a sacrifice bunt attempt by Juan Lagares of the Mets. New York's Eric Campbell was called out at second, but Simmons' relay to first wasn't in time.Thu, Jul 104:10 PM PDTAtlanta at NY MetsPreview Game
The Texas Rangers just might need to become the first team in major league history (probably) to add a voice coach to their staff. The high-pitched tones of center fielder Leonys Martin make it hard for him to be heard by other players on defense — no, really — and confusion sometimes results.
Take what happened Monday night at Globe Life Park, when infielder Rougned Odor impressively raced into medium center field on a blooper by Jose Altuve of the Houston Astros. Martin appeared to be playing relatively deep and had to run a long way, himself, just to get into position, when Odor came streaking into his path to make a fine leaping catch.
Replays appeared to show that Martin could have gotten there if needed, but Odor's instincts told him to run out there anyway. Martin did not appear to be calling him off, but even if he did — would Odor have heard him?
Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram covers the Rangers every day and says, maybe not:
It's not often that we see one Major League Baseball player express displeasure with a teammate in front of the entire world. But after infielder Carlos Triunfel made a curious decision that appeared to cost the Los Angeles Dodgers a run Sunday afternoon, right-hander Brian Wilson couldn't help himself. He literally threw up his hands at Triunfel after he failed to even attempt to turn a double play when one was in order in the bottom of the eighth inning against the Colorado Rockies.
It's not considered proper teammate etiquette to react like Wilson did, even non-verbally. But sometimes, you've just got to say, "What the heck?"
For one brief moment Sunday afternoon, the phrase "Johnny on the spot" was renamed to "Mikey on the spot" in honor of right-hander Mike Morin of the Los Angeles Angels.
Morin, like any other pitcher, is considered almost a nuisance on defense. He was taught to stay out of the way on pop ups like the one Jason Castro of the Houston Astros hit in the top of the eighth inning. Watch the video and notice that Morin has more or less recused himself and gotten clear of catcher Hank Conger as he settled under Castro's pop. Morin is squatting in front of the pitcher's mound when apparent disaster strikes, and first baseman C.J. Cron bumps Conger as he's squeezing the ball, which pops loose.Thu, Jul 105:05 PM PDTLA Angels at TexasPreview Game
Your browser does not support iframes.
Mike Matheny gathered the St. Louis Cardinals in the team's clubhouse Sunday and announced that four of them had made the National League's roster for the upcoming All-Star game in Minnesota. The group got excited for Yadier Molina, Adam Wainwright and Matt Carpenter, but the players seemed especially happy for right-hander Pat Neshek, who was heading back to his hometown for his first All-Star game.
What a year it has been so far for Neshek, whose wife Stephanee gave birth to the couple's second son, Hoyt, during spring training. Earlier in the offseason, when Neshek was unemployed and nobody but the Cardinals were offering him a chance, he was wondering if his career was over. Now at 33 years old and with parts of eight seasons played in the majors, Neshek is an All-Star.