Mark Townsend

  • Rangers moving on after appearing to miss on Jonathan Lucroy

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 20 mins ago

    We’re getting down to crunch time now with the non-waiver trade deadline set to expire Monday at 3:00 p.m. ET. Several notable trades have already gone down, but several more are sure to follow as teams look to get those final key pieces into place.

    One team that’s been active and is expected to remain active is the Texas Rangers. So far, they’ve been connected at one time or another to just about every intriguing name on the block, but still haven’t finalized a blockbuster deal. The biggest name they were connected to was Jonathan Lucroy, but it appears he’s headed to the Cleveland Indians. pending his approval. The biggest name they’ve landed is journeyman starter Lucas Harrell, so it hasn’t been an overwhelming deadline just yet.

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    Time will tell, but it’s running out fast.

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  • Blue Jays surge into first place thanks to unstoppable July run

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 2 hrs ago

    Welcome to The Walk Off, the nightly MLB recap from Big League Stew. Here we’ll look at the top performers of the night, show you a must-see highlight and rundown the scoreboard. First, we start with a game you need to know about.

    For the first time since April 4, the Toronto Blue Jays are in first place in the AL East. This time though, they own it alone after leapfrogging the Baltimore Orioles by defeating them 9-1 at Rogers Centre on Saturday afternoon.

    The win was the Blue Jays 16th in 22 games since July 1, when they were 5 1/2 games out of first place. In other words, they’ve gained a lot of ground in a short amount of time, and it’s not entirely because Baltimore has been bad.  Granted, the Orioles are currently on a five-game losing streak, but we’ll give Toronto its due for taking it right too them on Friday and Saturday.   

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  • Padres dump Hector Olivera quickly after acquiring him for Matt Kemp

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 4 hrs ago

    The San Diego Padres and Atlanta Braves agreed to swap one regret for another on Saturday.

    According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the Padres have traded veteran outfielder Matt Kemp to Atlanta in exchange for infielder Hector Olivera. It’s also reported the Padres are set to designate Olivera for assignment on Tuesday as they delve into a full-on fire sale.

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    The Padres will pay the remaining $30M left on Olivera’s contract assuming he goes unclaimed. Right now, that’s about the safest bet you can make as Olivera finishes serving an 82-game suspension following a domestic violence charge. The 31-year-old infielder is eligible to return on Aug. 1, hence the reason is San Diego is waiting 72 hours to dump him, but he still faces charges that could complicate his baseball future.

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  • Andrew Cashner's beard consumed by Marlins' facial hair policy

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 4 hrs ago

    We’re guessing Andrew Cashner didn’t mind leaving San Diego for a contending baseball team in Miami.

    Then again, Cashner was also asked to leave behind his trademark beard, which had grown to become a legend on its own.

    As we learned in spring training, the Marlins have adopted a strict facial hair policy under new manager Don Mattingly. Ironically, Mattingly himself preferred to sport a mustache during his playing career. He also never promoted any type of facial hair rules while managing the Dodgers, but apparently that’s neither here nor there in terms of his role with the Marlins.

    Instead, Mattingly requires his players to be clean shaven, which means Andrew Cashner went from this…

    To this…

    OMG beardless Andrew Cashner. pic.twitter.com/SY8ZHmgiqs

    — Joe Davis (@Joe_Davis) July 30, 2016

    That’s just wrong Don Mattingly. And it’s not right either.

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  • MLB Trade Deadline Digest: Mets join pursuit of Jay Bruce

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 6 hrs ago

    The Stew’s Trade Deadline Digest recaps the day in news and rumors as MLB gets closer to the non-waiver trade deadline on Aug. 1. If you missed any of Thursday’s action, we’re here to help you catch up with all the important links and tidbits.

    OFFENSE NEEDED: With Jonathan Lucroy looking less likely for the Mets, they’ve now become “very involved” on Reds outfielder Jay Bruce. [@m_sheldon]

    DONE DEAL: The Nationals acquired three-time All-Star closer Mark Melancon from the Pirates. [Big League Stew]

    NATIONAL RELIEF: Yahoo Sports’ Tim Brown breaks down the Nationals bullpen situation and why Melancon was needed. [Yahoo Sports]

    MRI PENDING: Likely trade candidate Wade Davis is headed back to Kansas City for an MRI on his elbow. [@JeffPassan]

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  • Indians and A's meet in Free Game of the Day

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 8 hrs ago

    In a meeting of two teams with entirely different agendas, the Cleveland Indians will host the Oakland A’s Saturday night at Progressive Field.

    As we know, the AL Central-leading Indians are approaching the trade deadline as buyers looking for the final piece(s) to what they hope will be a championship puzzle. Meanwhile, the struggling A’s would need a miracle run to make up the necessary ground in the AL West and wild-card races, meaning it’s time to sell their valuable assets to restock the ranks.

    If you’re curious to see these teams in the current form perhaps one final time, they will be featured in the MLB Free Game of the Day on Yahoo Sports. You can stream the game at Yahoo’s Sports Home, MLB index and video home beginning at 7:10 p.m. ET.

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  • Brewers holding out Jonathan Lucroy as trade talks progress

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 8 hrs ago

    There’s a growing feeling that Jonathan Lucroy has played his final game for the Milwaukee Brewers.

    That feeling was enhanced on Saturday when the Brewers elected to hold Lucroy out of their starting lineup for the second time in three days. On Thursday, it was a routine off day. On Saturday, it is clearly related to Lucroy’s trade status as the Brewers are at least protecting their asset from getting injured.

    In fact, Brewers manager Craig Counsell has acknowledged that Lucroy’s off day was requested by general manager David Stearns, which supports the protect the asset theory.

    From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: 

    “David stopped down and said he’s progressing on something and we just thought it best (Lucroy) not be in the lineup today,” Counsell said. “He has not been traded. He is available for us today and I’ll use him if something comes up and I have to use him.

    “But (Stearns) is making progress so we thought it best not to play him.”

    Stay tuned.

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  • Nationals fill bullpen need by acquiring Pirates closer Mark Melancon

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 11 hrs ago

    The Washington Nationals have landed the late-inning reliever they’ve been searching for at this year’s trade deadline.

    According to Fox Sports Ken Rosenthal, Washington struck a deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday afternoon, acquiring three-time All-Star closer Mark Melancon. In return, Pittsburgh will receive major-league left-hander Felipe Rivero, according to Rosenthal. Jon Heyman of Fan Rag adds that left-handed pitching prospect Taylor Hearn will also be included.

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    The addition of Melancon is a big acquisition for Washington after they missed out on prime deadline target Aroldis Chapman. With incumbent closer Jonathan Papelbon struggling, it’s clear they wanted a more dependable arm in the ninth inning, and that’s how they view Melancon.

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  • Ichiro reminds us he still possesses a strong right arm

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 14 hrs ago

    Ichiro Suzuki fell short of making history on Friday night, going 0-for-4 in the Marlins 11-6 loss to the Cardinals. That means he’s still two hits shy of becoming the 30th player in MLB history to reach 3,000 hits.

    However, he did remind us of one key element that helped make him one of baseball’s most well-rounded talents in the last 20 years. He has an absolute cannon for a right arm, and even at 42 years old he can fire that cannon with incredible power and precision.

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    Just ask the Cardinals Kolten Wong.

    During the third inning, Wong attempted to challenge Ichiro’s arm on a fly ball to medium left field. Unimpressed and possibly insulted, Ichiro unleashed a missile that covered 238 feet and traveled at 91.6 mph, according to MLB.com’s Statcast technology.

    — #Statcast (@statcast) July 30, 2016

  • Nationals turn first-of-its-kind triple play in win against Giants

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 23 hrs ago

    The 707th triple play in baseball history marked a series of firsts that are almost impossible to believe.

    The Washington Nationals were responsible for turning this historic triple play during Friday’s 4-1 win against the Giants. With the game on the line in the eighth inning, they executed a 3-5 triple play to escape the jam and leave the scuffling Giants absolutely stunned.

    What makes it historic though? Well, perhaps the most improbable reason it marked the first time this specific combination of fielders contributed to a triple play.

    According to @sabr that is the first ((3)-3)-5 triple play in history. https://t.co/bWEiJecIMR

    — Doug Kern (@dakern74) July 30, 2016

    The SABR Triple Play Datebase is the real deal and is worth checking out. Every triple play is there, with every situation and every combination record.