- David Brown at Big League Stew6 hrs ago
Right-hander Phil Hughes of the Minnesota Twins evidently saw something nobody else at Kauffman Stadium did Wednesday night. As slugger Salvador Perez of the Kansas City Royals took a big swing and pulled a pitch to left-center for a double, Hughes reacted as though Perez had lined the ball back through the middle.
Hughes flinched and reached to his left, snapping his glove shut in an effort to catch something that wasn't there. Hughes continued to turn his body toward center field, perhaps to see if anyone on the Twins infield could catch up to Perez's BB. But they all had turned around to watch the ball short-hop the fence in left-center, before setting up for a relay throw from the outfield.
"But what about the line drive up the middle?" Hughes might have been saying to himself?
It was bi-ZARRE.
Perez's double tied the score, and Kansas City won 3-2. That's all secondary, though, to Hughes and the invisible liner (via @AaronGleenman on Twitter):
Hughes eventually caught on, but so did teammates like Glen Perkins:
- David Brown at Big League Stew6 hrs ago
Detroit, trying to stand on its feet after decades of decay, is an easy target for pot shots. Crime, urban blight, whatever, Detroit is low-hanging fruit when it comes to rusty jokes. Someone running the Twitter account for the Fox TV station in Tampa Bay thought it would be funny Thursday afternoon to give David Price an idea of what he was in for after being traded from the Tampa Bay Rays to the Detroit Tigers. He or she used Detroit's problems to marginalize Price's new surroundings.
Even though the tweet already has been deleted and apologized for, this is what it described to Fox 13's 40,000 followers plus others: It compares a white sandy beach of Tampa Bay (presumably) with a condemned block in Detroit (presumably). The captions read: "Take some comfort, Rays fans," along with "Good luck, David."Fri, Aug 14:08 PM PDTColorado at DetroitPreview Game
- David Brown at Big League Stew8 hrs ago
The most surreal moment of the trading deadline Thursday — not counting the MLB Network or Jim Bowden falling for fake transactions — happened at Comerica Park after it became known the Detroit Tigers were trading for ace left-hander David Price in a blockbuster three-way deal.
In the top of the seventh inning, the Tigers pulled outfielder Austin Jackson from their game against the White Sox, with manager Brad Ausmus literally waving Jackson off the field after a 2-2 pitch by Joakim Soria to Gordon Beckham with one out.
- David Brown at Big League Stew9 hrs ago
As of Thursday afternoon, left-hander Tommy Milone might be saying to himself, "Be careful what you wish for." Because he sure got it.
With the non-waiver trade deadline ticking down Thursday, the Oakland Athletics traded Milone to the Minnesota Twins for outfielder Sam Fuld. The deal came about 10 days after Milone asked the A's to trade him because they had sent him back to the minor leagues.
Sounds great for Milone, right? With top-tier left-hander Jon Lester coming to Oakland in another deal, there was little chance that the A's were going to get Milone any more starts this season. So he's better off elsewhere. Except:
Tommy Milone being assigned to Rochester for the time being, a Twins source says. Kennys Vargas will be in Kansas City tonight.
- David Brown at Big League Stew11 hrs ago
Before dealing for right-hander Justin Masterson on Wednesday, the St. Louis Cardinals were thought to be in the market for Jon Lester or another top-tier starting pitcher. Or possibly even some help on offense. Instead, with Lester going to the Athletics, and strong hitters appearing to a cost a premium amount, the Cardinals went after Boston's second-best starter, John Lackey.
Peter Gammons was the first to report that Lackey is heading to St. Louis for slugger Allen Craig and right-hander Joe Kelly. Lackey, 35, has been terrific for Boston since returning from Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery, posting a 3.55 ERA with 277 strikeouts in 326 2/3 innings in 2013 and 2014. He's also been tested in the playoffs, posting a 3.03 ERA in 104 career innings, including a 2.57 ERA in the 2013 World Series.
Lackey gives the Cardinals a great supplement to Adam Wainwright and Lance Lynn, especially with Michael Wacha questionable for the rest of the season, and Masterson a bit of a project.Fri, Aug 15:15 PM PDTMilwaukee at St. LouisPreview Game
- David Brown at Big League Stew12 hrs ago
With the trading deadline counting down Thursday, the MLB Network briefly fell for a fake story published on Twitter about the Tampa Bay Rays trading David Price and Ben Zobrist to the Detroit Tigers. The worst part: Ken Rosenthal, the reporter being used in the fake tweet, was in the studio as host Matt Yallof read the bogus trade on the air.
There's a line in "Anchorman" befitting of this moment: "Ron Burgundy will read anything that is put on that teleprompter. Anything!"
As the network went to commercial, the tweet was dismissed as fake, and the real Ken Rosenthal (who also reports for Fox Sports), took to Twitter to stop the disinformation from spreading:
- David Brown at Big League Stew22 hrs ago
He could have been joking — and kudos, if so — but it appeared Wednesday afternoon as if left-hander David Price thought the trade deadline had come and gone already. Price's name has been featured prominently in rumors for months, though the Tampa Bay Rays might be inclined to keep him for the pennant race and deal him in the offseason, instead of by 4 p.m. ET on Thursday.
Regardless, the topic has been constant and, perhaps, Price is looking forward to not having to answer questions about it. So, after the Rays fell 5-0 to the Brewers at Tropicana Field with Price pitching, someone asked:
Reporter: "Considering the trade deadline, do you have plans tomorrow to do something fun, to get away from it?"
Price: "No, I didn’t; I thought it ended today at 4. So… oh, is it [tomorrow]? All right. Well, that’s fine. Um… No. I’m playing golf. And I put my phone in my bag when I play, so… I won’t even know, honestly."
A year ago, Justin Masterson played for the American League All-Stars and was a big reason the Cleveland Indians reached the postseason, if only for a game. This season, with free agency pending after contract extension talks fizzled, he finds himself traded to the other league with the non-waiver deadline looming.
The St. Louis Cardinals acquired Masterson on Wednesday afternoon for minor-league outfielder James Ramsey, rated the No. 8 prospect in the Cards system by Baseball America. The trading deadline is 4 p.m. ET on Thursday.
Peter Gammons, who covered Masterson when he played for Boston, first reported the deal.
Masterson, 29, has posted a 5.51 ERA with 93 strikeouts in 98 innings while being extremely vulnerable to left-handed batters. As Dave Cameron of Fangraphs points out, he'll be a great situational relief pitcher if nothing else. And if the Cardinals can "fix him" — which is their reputation — Masterson is a shade below elite as a starter. He posted a 3.45 ERA with three shutouts and 195 strikeouts in 2013, and a 3.21 ERA in 33 starts in 2011.
A lot like they did in 2012, the Baltimore Orioles are winning once they get to extra innings. They improved to 12-3 and won their seventh straight in extras by beating the Los Angeles Angels 7-6 on Tuesday night. Manny Machado, seemingly a much more focused hitter since returning from a disciplinary suspension for throwing his bat in June, hit a walk-off home run in the 12th inning against Cory Rasmus.
The O's were 16-2 in extra innings in 2012, when they won 93 games overall and surprised many by making the playoffs. They lead the American League East with a 59-46 record so far in 2014.
''We have good chemistry in the clubhouse like we did back then and obviously we have a good bullpen as well,'' Machado said.
Catcher John Baker performed as a pitcher and a history maker Tuesday night for the Chicago Cubs.
Baker, usually the team's backup behind home plate, was pressed into pitching duties in the 16th inning because the Cubs otherwise had run short of arms. He came through with a scoreless frame, and later scored the winning run in the bottom half, leading the way in a 4-3 victory against the Colorado Rockies at Wrigley Field.
In celebration, teammates showered Baker with beer, chocolate milk, hair gel, shampoo, body wash and more beer, he said via MLB.com:
"Best shower I've ever taken," Baker said.