Mark Townsend

  • Blue Jays reliever Todd Redmond sports MLB's new protective hats

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew16 hrs ago

    The recent focus on head injuries in sports coupled with traumatic injuries suffered by pitchers Brandon McCarthy, Juan Nicasio, Alex Cobb and, most recently, Aroldis Chapman, who were all struck on the mound by line drive come backers, has led Major League Baseball to ramp up efforts to better protect pitchers.

    One such invention that received MLB's seal of approval in January were bulky caps designed with extra padding to help absorb the impact. The caps are currently available to all pitchers, and at this point are optional. However, we've yet to hear a pitcher express any serious interest in wearing one during a game.

    However, just as a reminder that they are indeed available in the clubhouse, Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Todd Redmond was spotted wearing one in the Blue Jays dugout prior to their game against the Cleveland Indians on Friday night.

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  • Billy Hamilton takes very feeble hack at Jeff Samardzija fastball

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew1 day ago

    Billy Hamilton may be the fastest man in MLB and a base stealing threat every time he reaches base, but his problem so far has been just that — getting on base. His offensive game is a work in progress to put it gently, and, at times, a sight for sore eyes to put it bluntly.

    His .176/.222/.255 slash line entering play on Saturday just about covers it.

    With that in mind, his matchup on Friday against Chicago Cubs ace Jeff Samardzija was not a pretty one on paper for Hamilton, and in his plate appearance leading off the ballgame we saw why.

    To his credit, Hamilton did work the count to 3-2, but the second it ended you almost wondered if Samardzija was toying with him. That's how badly the Reds rookie was fooled by the pitch selection on a 91 mph fastball. Hamilton was obviously looking and perhaps hoping against all hope for something offspeed. When he didn't get it, he wasn't ready to adjust, because he gave one of the worst flails disguised as a swing you'll ever see.

    It was a simply feeble attempt to slap the ball foul at the last second like longtime Dodgers outfielder Brett Butler used to do so expertly.

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