Mark Townsend

  • Kris Bryant's first big-league hit is a broken bat RBI single

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 36 mins ago

    After a mostly unspectacular debut on Friday afternoon, Kris Bryant's second major-league game has basically been the inverse, and perhaps one that's more in line with the Cubs expectations. 

    The bounce back performance on Saturday afternoon included Bryant's first major-league hit, which wasn't necessarily the dramatic moment many people envisioned, but the Cubs will absolutely take the result.

    With one out and runners on the corners in the fifth inning, Bryant delivered a broken bat single that dropped just in front of San Diego center fielder Wil Myers and scored Dexter Fowler with the tying run.  

    A thing of beauty it was not, but it still counts.

    Besides that, it had to be good for the Cubs to see Bryant finally handle a slider away. Padres' right-hander Tyson Ross typically has a good slider, too, but left this one up just enough for Bryant to extend his arms and get the ball into the outfield.  

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  • Report: Angels and Josh Hamilton in talks to settle dispute

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 3 hrs ago

    The Los Angeles Angels and Josh Hamilton may be in the initial stages of settling their ongoing dispute, according to Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal. 

    In a series of interesting tweets sent out Saturday morning, Rosenthal reports that the two sides are in talks aimed directly at resolving their dispute stemming from Hamilton's recent admitted relapse involving drugs and alcohol, and there are several scenarios being explored that would allow both the Angels and Hamilton to move on. 

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    Among the options would be a trade, which would obviously have to include the Angels picking up a good chunk of the $83 million owed to Hamilton over the next three seasons. 

    Another option would be a buyout. Though, according to Rosenthal, that might be difficult to swing if the MLBPA has a say in matters. 

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  • Ubaldo Jimenez was ejected from no-hit bid after plunking Pablo Sandoval

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 4 hrs ago

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    We had to check the calendar a few times on Friday, because it sure seemed closer to the stretch run in September and or mid-October than mid-April.

    A good example of the intensity and craziness played out in Boston, where an unusual set of circumstances led to an untimely ejection for Baltimore Orioles right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez, who was making an early bid to no-hit the Red Sox at Fenway Park.

    Jimenez was cruising along into the fourth inning, having allowed three walks, when with two outs he nailed Boston third baseman Pablo Sandoval on the back of his right shoulder with a pitch. In the eyes of home plate umpire Jordan Baker, that pitch was considered retaliation for an incident earlier in the game that was reminiscent of the play that caused benches to clear later Friday night in Kansas City.

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  • Alcides Escobar suffers knee sprain on aggressive slide from Brett Lawrie

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 14 hrs ago

    The Oakland A's and Kansas City Royals played some good old fashioned hardball in their first regular season matchup since last season's wild AL wild-card game.

    The intensity and energy inside Kauffman Stadium truly made it feel like another do-or-die matchup in October, rather than a regular Friday night in April, and one play in particular exemplified that intensity and energy.

    Unfortunately, it also resulted in an injury to Kansas City Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar. According to reports, Escobar sustained a mild sprain and contusion to his left knee, which was the result of an aggressive slide by Oakland's Brett Lawrie, who was attempting to break up a double play that had very little chance of happening regardless of his actions.

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    At almost the same time the ball and Escobar arrived to second base, Lawrie arrived too with a late, aggressive slide and his cleats in the air. The slide caught Escobar right on the left knee and spun him around in his tracks.

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  • Mets winning streak reaches six as Bartolo Colon improves to 3-0

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 15 hrs ago

    Take a look around the league with Big League Stew's daily wrap up. We'll hit on all of the biggest moments from the day that you may have missed, while providing highlights, photos and interesting stats.

    It's not surprising that the New York Mets are an improved team in 2015. It is, however, quite surprising that they've taken to winning so quickly.

    With a 4-1 victory over the Miami Marlins on Friday night, the Mets have run their early season winning streak to six and their overall record to 8-3, which is good enough for first place in the NL East.

    Starting pitcher Bartolo Colon has been a catalyst for New York's fast start, and if you're at all familiar with his history, you'll be shocked to hear his contributions haven't been limited to just pitching. After going 10 seasons without an RBI, Colon has driven in a run in each of his last two starts, including a game-tying sacrifice fly on Friday.

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  • Mike Trout becomes youngest player to hit 100 home runs, steal 100 bases

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 17 hrs ago

    Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout may rewrite the entire baseball history book before he walks away from baseball, but for now he'll have to settle on joining baseball's most notable triple digit club younger than any other player in history.  

    With his sixth-inning two-run home run off Houston Astros starter Roberto Hernandez, Trout reached 100 home runs for his career. That alone is actually pretty remarkable considering he's just  23 years and 253 days old. However, Trout had already surpassed the 100 stolen base mark — he's at 104 to be exact — which officially makes him the youngest player ever to join the 100 home run and 100 stolen base club.  

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    The previous mark, by the way, was held by another famous player who had a noteworthy night on Friday. He would be none other than New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez, who reached the 100/100 club at 23 years old and 309 days old. 

    The ultimate game-changer, Mike Trout is. 

  • Alex Rodriguez mashes 477-foot home run at Tropicana Field

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 20 hrs ago

    As Alex Rodriguez closes in on another home run milestone, he's leaving very little doubt that he's still among the most powerful and productive hitters in MLB. 

    On Friday night at Tropicana Field, the New York Yankees slugger connected for career home runs No. 657 and 658, which moved him to within two of Willie Mays for fourth place on the all-time home run list. If that wasn't enough, he also came through in the eighth inning with a go-ahead RBI single, which held up as the difference in New York's 5-4 victory.  

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    It was a breakthrough game for A-Rod on several levels. But purely from a power perspective, it proved that he can still change a game at any time with one swing.

    ESPN Stats and Info adds that A-Rod's home run is the longest hit by any Yankees player over the past 10 seasons, and it's the longest at Tropicana Field over that same span. 

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  • Josh Hamilton meets with Angels' teammates and manager Mike Scioscia

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 21 hrs ago

    With the Los Angeles Angels traveling to Houston for a weekend series against the Astros, many Angels players were finally able to touch base with teammate Josh Hamilton, who's been staying in Houston since undergoing surgery on his right shoulder on Feb. 4. 

    Of course, it's well known that Hamilton has been kept separated from his teammates since admitting to a drug and alcohol relapse just prior to the operation. Hamilton was not brought in to spring training to continue his rehab. He doesn't even have his own locker at Angel Stadium, which is notable considering he's on the disabled list but not suspended. It's also reported he won't be making any appearances at Minute Maid Park.  

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    Here's more from MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez

    Added Freese: 

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  • Justin Verlander pain free but fatigued during simulated game

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 2 days ago

    Justin Verlander is in unfamiliar territory as he attempts to work through a triceps strain. 

    The injury, which Verlander suffered late in spring training. caused the 32-year-old right-hander to land on the disabled list for the first time in his 10-year MLB career. It also raised some red flags about the short term and long term prospects of Detroit's dominant and durable leader, who some believed might be due for a breakdown after eight straight seasons of well over 200 innings pitched. 

    Breathe easy, Tigers fans. At least for now. It's believed that Wednesday's simulated game at PNC Park in Pittsburgh signifies a step in the right direction for Verlander's recovery, despite the fact his session was cut short by fatigue in his right shoulder. 

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    "The bullpen went pretty well. I got out into the game and just felt a little bit fatigued after the first inning. But all in all, in talking to the trainers, it should be a big positive step."

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  • Undefeated no more: Royals finally stumble in Minnesota

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 2 days ago

    Take a look around the league with Big League Stew's daily wrap up. We'll hit on all of the biggest moments from the day that you may have missed, while providing highlights, photos and interesting stats.

    There will be no undefeated team in MLB again this season (or ever, but play along if you don't mind). The last of the undefeated teams, the defending American League champions Kansas City Royals, finally fell on Wednesday dropping a 3-1 decision to the Minnesota Twins.

    The Royals came in winners of their first seven, having swept the Chicago White Sox and Los Angeles Angels before winning the series opener in Minnesota on Monday. They had outscored their opponents by a combined score of 52-19, but they were stymied by right-hander Kyle Gibson, who held them to one run on eight hits over 6 2/3 innings.

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    For a little perspective on the Rockies hot start, consider this.

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