Big League Stew
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew20 mins 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…
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.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew2 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]
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew3 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, which subtracts one bad contract from each team’s payroll while adding another in its place.
Kemp, 31, is still owed $21.5M in each of the next three seasons. The Padres were paying $18M of that money owed each season, while the Dodgers remain on the hook for the other $3.5M. According to Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribute, the Padres are expected to kick an extra $10-$12M in on the deal to ease Atlanta’s financial burden.
Any way you slice it though, there’s still a lot of money to be covered.LiveCincinnati1 - 0San DiegoFollow Game
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew3 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.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew4 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.
“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.”LivePittsburgh2 - 5MilwaukeeFollow Game
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew7 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.
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.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew9 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.
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.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew19 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.
— 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.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew20 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.
Despite a mostly encouraging debut on June 18, Tim Lincecum’s comeback bid with the Los Angeles Angels has devolved into a disaster.
The once dominant right-hander looks like a shell of himself from his Cy Young seasons in 2008 and 2009, or even just excellent years in 2010 and 2011. Honestly, he just doesn’t look like a pitcher who belongs at the big league level, but that’s exactly where the Angels are likely to keep him.
Lincecum has struggled to find consistency with any of his pitches. His command seemingly abandons him at a moment’s notice. Friday’s outing against the Red Sox was a good example of how far away Lincecum is from making any type of impact. In five excruciating innings, he allowed four runs on five hits.LiveBoston2 - 3LA AngelsFollow Game
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew22 hrs ago
Cincinnati Reds outfielder Jay Bruce has seemingly been on the trading block for two straight seasons. With Cincinnati now fully committed to rebuilding though, it’s only a matter of time, perhaps even hours, before the veteran slugger dons a new uniform.
Though the Reds said Bruce’s market was slow on Friday, it’s become clear that Bruce is a hot commodity among teams searching for offense. The rumor mill centered around his name quite a bit during the evening hours, with a deal being almost certain before Monday.
Interest in Bruce has a lot to do with how he’s been performing this season, and especially recently. Entering Friday’s game in San Diego, Bruce was hitting .271 with 25 home runs and 79 RBIs through 95 games. Over the last two seasons, he hit just .222 while averaging 22 homers and 76 RBIs.
Currently, Bruce is enjoying a nine-game hitting streak. During that time he’s hit seven homers and driven in 15.
Needless to say, he’s taken several steps forward to again become one of baseball’s most productive left-handed hitters. Now we wait to see where he lands, but while we do let’s also examine where he best fits.
Here are four landing spots that seem to make a lot of sense.