Mike Oz

  • Yoenis Cespedes powers red-hot Mets into sole possession of first place

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 11 hrs ago

    When the New York Mets traded for Yoenis Cespedes, the expectations were obvious: He'd invigorate the team's sluggish offense. He'd lead them back to first place. Well, that didn't take long.

    The Mets pounded the Miami Marlins on Monday night,winning 12-1 as Cespedes went 3-for-5 with three doubles and four RBIs. The win put the Mets in sole possession of first place in the NL East, a place they sat earlier in the season.

    "They've earned it. They belong there," said Collins, whose team showed no signs of a letdown. "And hopefully we stay there for a while ... Everybody goes through down times. We went through ours. We held together. And we're back."

     

    The Nats were down 6-0 in the ninth and tried to mount a comeback. They scored four and had Jayson Werth up as the tying run. He grounded out, Yunel Escobar fouled out and that was that. Final score: D-backs 6, Nats 4.

     

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  • A.J. Pierzynski tried to convince ump that this bounced pitch was a strike

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 12 hrs ago

    When Atlanta Braves pitcher David Aardsma hopped a ball to the plate in the eighth inning Monday night, Pierzynski turned in one of the most shameless sell jobs you'll ever see from a catcher. He framed up the pitch like it were a strike, held it there to show the ump and looked at him like, "come on, this is totally a strike."

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    Nevermind that the pitch bounced a few feet before the plate. Nope, A.J. tried to sell this sucker as a strike. Pierzynski is more jokester than bona fide pitch framer — in fact, he ranks as one of the worst catchers in MLB this season  at getting extra strikes, according to Baseball Prospectus — so we're guessing he found a moment to have fun and went with it.

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  • Adrian Beltre hits for the cycle in spectacular fashion

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 13 hrs ago

    Beltre tripled in the first inning against the Houston Astros, doubled in the second inning, singled in the third, took a breather in the fourth and homered in the fifth. Four at-bats, cycle complete. He became the first player to hit for the cycle in five innings since the erstwhile B.J. Upton in 2009.

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    Furthermore, Beltre put trivia on his résumé by completing that third cycle. He's only the fourth player in MLB history to hit for three cycles and you've got to go waaaay back in history to find the others. There's  John Reilly (completed in 1890), Bob Meusel (1928) and Babe Herman (1933) — then there's Beltre in 2015.

    "I didn't expect to hit a cycle around this age," said Beltre, 36, after the Rangers' 12-9 win over the Houston Astros.

  • The five longest homers of July, starring the ever-impressive Mike Trout

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 20 hrs ago

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    Topping the list, in fitting fashion, is Los Angeles Angels star Mike Trout, who also took over the WAR lead in MLB last month and was named the AL player of the month for July. With Giancarlo Stanton hurt, this month's list had a lot more flexibility too. So you'll notice some new names among the ranks.

    Here's the entire top five list with details and data from MLBAM's very precise Statcast tracking system:

    1. MIKE TROUT, JULY 8, 476.54 FEET The best player in baseball + Coors Field = dingers

    2. JUSTIN SMOAK, JULY 1, 473.71 FEET Yes, he really Smoaked that one. No one has ever used that pun before, I'm sure of it.

    3. J.D. MARTINEZ, JULY 21, 466.88 FEET Into the camera well! What a blast.

    4. ALEX RODRIGUEZ, JULY 25, 464.13 FEET A-Rod can't be stopped, he won't be stopped.

  • A.J. Burnett doesn't need elbow surgery, hopes to pitch this season

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 23 hrs ago

    With many people fearing the worst, Pittsburgh Pirates starter A.J. Burnett got good news from doctors Monday: He doesn't need elbow surgery and he could pitch again this season.

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    A 2015 return isn't guaranteed for Burnett, but it sure beats the alternative. Had he needed elbow surgery, his season was over and since Burnett, 38, has said this is final year, his career would be over too. Here's the diagnosis, via Fox Sports' Jon Morosi:

    A.J. Burnett has a strained flexor tendon. UCL is intact. He will undergo treatment in hopes of pitching again this year. #Pirates

    A.J. Burnett news is much better than it could have been. He's injured, yes, but he has a high pain tolerance and will try to come back.

    “It’s just a matter of doing enough treatment and doing it where it’s tolerable again and building up some pain tolerance so I can stay on the mound in the stretch run,” he said.

  • Yoenis Cespedes and Citi Field, reunited and it feels so good

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 3 days ago

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    The New York Mets were laughed at and scolded this week, pointed to as the MLB contender that looked like it wouldn't get done the deal it most needed. Things fell apart — in spectacular fashion, we might add — when they tried to bring Carlos Gomez to town. They pursued Jay Bruce for a bit, but that didn't work out.

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    In the last few minutes of the MLB trade deadline, though, the Mets got the big bat they need. It's Yoenis Cespedes, the slugging outfielder traded from the Detroit Tigers in exchange for two minor-league pitchers — Michael Fulmer and Luis Cessa, ranked No. 7 and 16 in the Mets' farm system.

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  • Twins gets Kevin Jepsen from Rays as they try to keep up in the AL

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 3 days ago

    Coming into Friday, the Minnesota Twins were one of five teams that hadn't made a trade this week. Considering they're currently a wild-card team and the rest of the American League is racing to catch them, the Twins needed to do something .

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    Their first move is in the books: They've acquired relief pitcher Kevin Jepsen from the Tampa Bay Rays, according to Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal. The return for the Rays is two minor leaguers. SB Nation's Chris Cotillo is reporting they're pitchers  Chih-Wei Hu and Alexis Tapia.

    The Twins are chasing the Royals in the AL Central (they're eight games back) and trying to fend off the likes of the Toronto Blue Jays for a wild card. Those teams have gotten better in trade season, it was time the Twins did too. 

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  • Blue Jays get bullpen help by adding Mark Lowe in trade with Mariners

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 4 days ago

    With the aces already off the market, a lot of attention will be paid to relief pitching on MLB trade-deadline day.

    While we wait to see if the bigger names, such as Aroldis Chapman and Craig Kimbrel get moved, the Toronto Blue Jays got in on the action and acquired Mark Lowe in a trade with the Seattle Mariners.

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    The Jays are giving up three minor leaguers:  Nick Wells, Jacob Brentz and Rob Rasmussen.  None of them are considered a high-level prospect.

    Lowe isn't the biggest name in the relief-pitching world, but he's enjoying a revival this season in Seattle. And his numbers show he should help what's been a shaky bullpen in Toronto. The 32-year-old veteran has a 1.00 ERA in 34 appearances this season, giving up just four earned runs in 36 innings while working the seventh or eighth inning for the Mariners. His strikeout-per-nine-innings rate is a wowing 11.8. The Blue Jays will take that.

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  • Yahoo Sports' trade deadline tracker: Follow the latest MLB news and rumors

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 4 days ago

    We've reached the home stretch of the MLB Trade Deadline. Clubs can complete non-waiver trades until 4 p.m. ET Friday, and as the seconds tick toward that deadline, there will be no shortage of news and rumors.

    Check out our daily digest for all of Thursday's action you might have missed. Since we're getting closer to the deadline, The Stew's writers will be chatting live with users, answering questions and giving analysis as the news and rumors roll in.

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    The Twitter tracker gives you every bit of info from the Yahoo Sports crew and the industry's top reporters. So keep an eye on it for up-to-the-second news.

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  • Marcus Stroman found out about the David Price trade while in class and couldn't contain himself

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 4 days ago

    While many people in Toronto were happy that the Blue Jays made another big move and traded for ace David Price from the Detroit Tigers, the happiest guy might have been sitting in a classroom in North Carolina.

    Blue Jays pitcher Marcus Stroman is recovering from an ACL tear suffered in spring training and working toward his degree at Duke University while he's away from the baseball field. Even though he's not with the Jays, Stroman is still very much a cheerleader for his squad and the news that Price was coming aboard had Stroman quite stoked.

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    So stoked, in fact, that he couldn't contain himself while in class. He had to tweet about it. Here's the play-by-play from his perspective:

    Omg.

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