Mike Oz

  • Clayton Kershaw is hurt and things could get ugly for the Dodgers

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 1 hr ago

    There hasn’t been a pitcher in baseball this season more valuable to his team than Clayton Kershaw is to the Los Angeles Dodgers. And we may see soon just how much better he’s made the mostly unspectacular Dodgers this season.

    The club announced Tuesday that Kershaw would be leaving its current road trip in Milwaukee and traveling back to the Los Angeles to see the team’s back specialist.

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    This, as you might imagine for a Dodgers team that’s trying to make the best of a depleted rotation, is not good news. Here’s what skipper Dave Roberts relayed to the press, via Andy McCullough of the L.A. Times:

    Dave Roberts said the team is "hopeful" Kershaw can make his next start. But his back condition has not improved.

    — Andy McCullough (@McCulloughTimes) June 28, 2016

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  • Roundtable: This year’s biggest All-Star frauds

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 2 hrs ago

    Sometimes you get frauds. This is the kind of thing that happens when you let the public decide. It’s the downside of any popularity contest. Because getting the most votes doesn’t actually mean you’re the best.

    And that’s especially true in Major League Baseball the past couple years, where the shift to online-only voting has led to some serious ballot-box-stuffing.

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    Remember Omar Infante nearly becoming the starting second baseman last season even though he was one of the worst hitters in the AL? Fun fact: Infante was released by the Kansas City Royals recently, but he’s still No. 4 at his position this season.

    — Big League Stew (@bigleaguestew) June 27, 2016

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  • Tim Lincecum trying to be a smarter pitcher in comeback with Angels

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 4 hrs ago

    Tim Lincecum’s first start in his MLB comeback with the Los Angeles Angels was quite a sight. He pitched well,  fending off the Oakland Athletics and allowing just one run in six innings. Tim Lincecum 2.0, hey, it could be a thing.

    But then came the second start. There wasn’t as much fending and instead of Timmy 2.0 there were the four runs scored in the second inning. Lincecum lasted three, throwing 83 pitches and looking more like the downtrodden ex-ace we saw with the San Francisco Giants.

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    But sometimes it’s actually true. In Lincecum’s case, one game at a time is all anyone can ask.

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  • The five closest races on the MLB All-Star ballot

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    If you haven't already used your personal allotment of 35 votes, head over to the All-Star site to make your choices before the clocks strikes midnight and Omar Infante turns back into a pumpkin.

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    Truth be told, a few races look all but decided. For example: Salvador Perez is up by 2.7 million votes as the starting AL catcher; David Ortiz is leading by 2.3 million and Anthony Rizzo about 1.4 million. But there are still some places where you can have an impact. Here's the latest tally of votes that MLB released Monday:

    Several close races remain with just four days left to vote for 2016 All-Star starters. Here are the latest totals: pic.twitter.com/0AGzE2j6MR

    To help you digest that, we've focused on the five closest races where your vote could actually mean something:

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  • Nats call up top prospect Lucas Giolito to replace Stephen Strasburg

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    Giolito, 21, has been one of the most-hyped pitching prospects in baseball for the past two seasons, ranking at No. 5 on Baseball America's preseason Top 100 list. That's one notch behind Julio Urias, the Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher who debuted last month.

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    This sets up an intriguing pitching matchup in D.C. on Tuesday, where Giolito will face Matt Harvey. Fun fact: This is the third top pitching prospect the Mets have faced this season. Urias faced the Mets in his debut, as did Jameson Taillon of the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Mets won both of those games.

    The Nats aren't saying what their long-term plans are for Giolito — whether he'll fill a hole in the rotation and get sent back down or if there's a chance for him to stick around. Of course, much of that may depend on his performance. From Chelsea Janes of The Washington Post:

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  • Yankees president rips media for asking if they'll sell at trade deadline

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    The Yankees are 37-37. They're eighth in the AL wild-card standings and 2.5 games out of the postseason going into play Monday. So, they're not horrible but not great. And selling? Well, it's at least a possibility at this point.

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    In Yankee-land, it's at least an interesting topic, mostly because they're the Yankees and the Yankees don't sell all that often. So on Monday, when the New York media got some face time with team president Randy Levine, the question was asked: "What do you think of the suggestion that the Yankees should become sellers?"

    To say Levine was not pleased would be an understatement. He ripped into the media while flaunting the Yankees' tradition of success. Here Levine's response, via Brendan Kuty of NJ.com:

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  • Q&A: Noah Syndergaard on his elbow, being Thor and his 'idol' Bartolo

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 4 days ago

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    Anyone who considers themselves a New York Mets fan, had a pearl-clutching moment earlier this week when the team announced Noah Syndergaard left Wednesday’s game because his “elbow flared up.”

    Tommy John surgery has claimed enough stars in recent years, that when baseball fans hear about elbow issues, they turn into the eye-popping emoji and start expecting the worst. That might be especially true for Mets fans, who have lost Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler to Tommy John in recent years.

    Luckily for everyone involved, Syndergaard’s elbow got a clean bill of health, which means he’ll make his next start and in all likelihood return to what he’s been doing this season — striking people out and becoming one of the hottest new stars in MLB.

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  • Video: Could the Cubs end up like the Dubs?

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 5 days ago

    Sorry, Cleveland, but if the Chicago Cubs win the World Series this season it will be the best sports story of 2016. Don't get me wrong, the Cleveland Cavaliers bringing a title back to Cleveland after 52 years was fantastic, but as sad a sports town as Cleveland is, the Chicago Cubs have been even sadder the past 108 years.

    Baseball is cruel, though. So even though the Cubs are far and away the best team right now — they've got a 9.5 game lead in the NL Central and that's after getting swept by the second-place St. Louis Cardinals this week —baseball has a way of reality-checking the best regular-season teams when the playoffs roll around.

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    That's tough. Especially in baseball, where the postseason regularly swats away the best regular-season team like LeBron did Andre Iguodala.

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  • This MLB All-Star is upset that he's injured and still getting paid

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 5 days ago

    If Minnesota Twins closer Glen Perkins never did another thing to endear himself to the hometown fans, they'd still love him. How could they not? He's from Minnesota. He grew up a Twins fan and now he's represented them three times in the All-Star game.

    Beyond that, he's one of the most down-to-earth players in the game. He brews his own beer and once bought beer for a group of Twins bloggers during a rain delay. 

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    But then this happened: As he prepared for shoulder surgery that would cut his season short, Perkins penned a note to Twins fans expressing his dismay for getting paid a "ton of money" and not doing anything for the team. "It makes me sick," he wrote. How could you not love that attitude?

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  • Cubs host rival Cardinals in MLB Free Game of the Day

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 7 days ago

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    The Cubs are 47-21. They've got the most wins in baseball, the highest run differential (by a lot) and the biggest gap of any division leader. That lead, actually, should be viewed in historical context rather than against the best teams of 2016. Consider this factoid, which was true before the Cardinals won Monday:

    The @Cubs are the 4th team with division lead of 10+ games through June 19th in divisional era (since 1969) pic.twitter.com/2Ri2DcMXwP

    You can stream Tuesday's game right here on Yahoo Sports. It's our MLB Free Game of the Day with first pitch at 8:05 p.m. ET. You can watch the game on Yahoo's Sports Home, MLB indexvideo home and right here in this very post. Local blackouts apply, per MLB rules.

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