Mike Oz

  • The five longest homers of June, with twice the Joc and Giancarlo

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 9 hrs ago

    They're also the two guys who ruled baseball's home-run distance game in June. We're talking, of course, about Joc Pederson of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins. And now that the calendar has flipped to July, it's time for The Stew, like we always do, to look at the longest homers from the month that just ended. 

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    Unlike May, when it was four Stanton homers and one other dude, June is a little more of a party. We've got two Stanton blasts, two Pederson blasts (from the same day!) and a somewhat surprising overall leader — Hanley Ramirez, who has been injured and whose name isn't quite as fun to say as the others.

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  • Next up? Miguel Sano reportedly gets called up to the Twins

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 10 hrs ago

    At this rate, we're going to run out of high-profile prospects! OK, not really, but baseball's year of prospect continues with another big bat headed to the big leagues.

    Miguel Sano, the freakish third baseman in the Minnesota Twins organization, is the latest to get the call, reports MLB.com's Rhett Bollinger. After losing 2-1 to the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday, the Twins sent Kennys Vargas to Double-A, a move that had some mouths in Minnesota watering for Sano. And it will be so, reportedly.

    Just heard from a well-placed source that Miguel Sano will be getting the call up to the Twins.

    Sano is a 22-year-old from the Dominican Republic who swings a big stick. He stands 6-foot-5 and weighs 240 pounds, so he's very much an imposing physical specimen. Sano had been crushing the ball in Double-A lately, hitting .329 in June with a 1.090 OPS and six homers.

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  • StewPod #7: David Price talks Tigers, social media and baseball brotherhood

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 11 hrs ago

    This is The StewPod, our weekly baseball podcast with a dash of pop culture. If you dig us, please subscribe on iTunes.

    One of the best things about Detroit Tigers pitcher David Price is that he's just as much of a baseball fan as anybody. He truly enjoys the game, his fellow players and the opportunities baseball affords him. That's not just money, either, that's a front-row seat to watch Miguel Cabrera do Miguel Cabrera things every day.

    "This is a brotherhood," Price tells The Stew. "The coolest part for me is just to get to meet different people, to have different relationships, to get to know people on a personal level that you see on ESPN on an everyday basis doing really cool stuff in their sport. To me, that's what I'm always going to take away from this game, the relationships that I've been able to make."

      [Music: "Straighten It Out" and "I Got a Love" by Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth]

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  • At this year's MLB All-Star game, you can get pizza delivered to your seat

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    The MLB All-Star game is full of wonder. You get to see things like Clayton Kershaw and Max Scherzer playing for the same team. You can imagine a world where Mike Trout and Miguel Cabrera are in the same lineup. And in another mind-blowing new development, you, the fan, can have pizza delivered right to your seat after a few pecks at your smartphone.

    Yes, this is true. The Cincinnati Reds, their concession company Delaware North and MLB Advanced Media have partnered to bring pizza delivery to the baseball-watching masses at Great American Ballpark, home of next month's All-Star game.

    [On this week's StewPod: Looking back at a fun week in baseball with Jeff Passan]

    Delaware North reps confirm to The Stew that the delivery service is being soft launched this week, so that it's ready for the All-Star festivities in mid-July. Fans use their MLB.com Ballpark app to order. Like so:

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  • Josh Hamilton is back with the Rangers and things could get really interesting

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    The start-and-stop, up-and-down season of Josh Hamilton starts up again Tuesday night, as he's been activated by the Texas Rangers and will start in left field against the Baltimore Orioles.

    Hamilton, 34, was on the disabled list for a month with an injured hamstring, but that hasn't been the biggest issue surrounding the former MVP this season. He admitted a drug relapse to MLB, which resultedin a high-profile non-suspension. The Los Angeles Angels, though, weren't happy about this and shipped Hamilton back to the Texas Rangers.

    [On this week's StewPod: Looking back at a fun week in baseball with Jeff Passan]

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  • The five most intriguing races in the final days of MLB All-Star voting

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    We're in the final days of MLB All-Star voting, which is good news if you're tired of hearing about the onslaught of votes from Kansas City Royals fans, who have been trying to stack the American League team with their players. It's almost over. We promise.

    Voting ends Thursday at 11:59 p.m. ET and between then and now the Royals aren't the only drama on the ballot. In fact, now that the Royals are down to a non-obscene five starters, we should be able to sit back and enjoy the intriguing races before us. 

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  • Indians rookie Cody Anderson takes perfecto into seventh in second start

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 2 days ago

    So far, so good for Cleveland Indians rookie pitcher Cody Anderson.

    Anderson, a 24-year-old who the Indians chose in the 14th round of the 2011 draft, made his second career start Monday night against the Tampa Bay Rays and if taking a perfect game into the seventh inning is good, then give Anderson a round of applause.

    Grady Sizemore — the erstwhile Indian — broke up Anderson's bid for perfection with a seventh-inning homer. But Anderson's final line was just fine: eight innings, two hits, one run, no walks, two strikeouts and exactly 100 pitches inthe Indians' 7-1 win. And then there's this:

    Cody Anderson is 1st pitcher to take perfect game bid into 7th inning within first 2 career games since Juan Marichal in 1960. @EliasSports

    If Anderson can face the Rays for the rest of his career, he might just be a legend. His first start came against Tampa Bay too and in that one he pitched 7.2 scoreless innings.

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  • Chris Young is tired of Mike Trout being so darn good at baseball (Video)

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 2 days ago

    On two very similar plays, Trout sprinted toward the wall, jumped and caught what might be a double in a centerfield manned by a lesser player. The first one came in the third inning, the next happened in the fourth. Both times, they could have brought home a run for the Yankees had they fallen. And since the Angels beat the Yankees 4-1, Trout's catches were very important.

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    After the second one, Young was visibly upset and it produced this wonderful GIF.

    After the game, he was more complimentary of the reigning AL MVP.

    Chris Young: "I thought they were both hits. And then you remember Trout is out there. He’s been known to make quite a few web gems."

    Because this is Mike Trout we're talking about, he wasn't done there. He also launched his 20th homer of the season in the time between those two catches, further proving himself crucial to the Angels' win.

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  • Pablo Sandoval swings at a pitch nearly over his head — and he hits it

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 2 days ago

    What you see above is an R.A. Dickey knuckleball that crossed the plate at about the same height as Sandoval's head. Conventional wisdom might say "don't swing at that, this isn't a video game." But Sandoval's eyes got big and he took a cut at it. Not only that, but he put it in play. It wasn't a hit. Just your typical head-high groundout.

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    Because this is baseball and there are stats about everything , we learned that Sandoval's almost-over-his-head hack was something special. Take it away, ESPN Stats & Info:

    Pablo Sandoval grounded out in 2nd inn on a pitch that was 5.1 ft above the ground -- highest pitch put in play by any player in last 5 yrs.

    Congrats, Panda. Somewhere when this was happening, Vlad Guerrero smiled real big but didn't know why. The brethren of bad-ball hitters is strong. 

    Here's another look at the pitch with some context, because LOL, geez:

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    Say what you want about Sandoval, but the dude always entertains.

  • When an intentional walk goes awry, starring Ronald Belisario (Video)

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 2 days ago

    A counterpoint to that argument: Tampa Bay Rays reliever Ronald Belisario.

    Let us explain. Belisario was pitching for the Rays in the ninth inning Monday night against the Cleveland Indians. He had runners stationed at second and third with one out, so walking Michael Brantley to load the bases and set up a double play made sense. 

    [On this week's StewPod: Looking back at a fun week in baseball with Jeff Passan]

    As you can see in the highlight above, things didn't go as planned. Instead of an easy toss out of the zone,  Belisario skyed a ball toward the backstop, allowing Jason Kipnis to score from third base. Oops. Most intentional walk attempts don't go this wrong, oh but every once in a while. 

    The Indians would score four runs in the inning and turn a 3-1 lead into a 7-1 win

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