Big League Stew
- David Brown at Big League Stew2 hrs ago
Cincinnati Reds broadcaster Chris Welsh said it perfectly: Rookie Kristopher Negron "wasted no time at all" in getting around the bases after clearing the fence for his second career home run Monday night. Negron's solo shot at Miller Park was a line drive to right against Milwaukee's Will Smith, and Negron was a line drive in making the circuit in 16.12 seconds in the eighth inning for the quickest home-run trot of 2014, as recorded by Tater Trot Tracker. It's also the fifth-quickest trot overall since TTT started keeping track in 2010.
Negron beat Carlos Gomez's pace of 16.18, which also happened at Miller Park, on April 1.
The Milwaukee Brewers still beat the Reds 5-2, but Cincinnati is the quicker franchise when it comes to home-run trots. Speedy homers are becoming a recurring franchise tradition there. As Reds fans remember, Adam Rosales came into the league hustling around the bases on home runs starting in 2009:
Your browser does not support iframes.Tue, Jul 225:10 PM PDTCincinnati at MilwaukeePreview Game
- David Brown at Big League Stew3 hrs ago
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The best gas Cliff Lee displayed all night in his return to the Philadelphia Phillies rotation didn't materialize until he signed off from a postgame interview.
In his first start since May 18 because of a sore elbow, Lee allowed six runs and 12 hits in a 7-4 loss to the San Francisco Giants — not exactly the stuff of a pitcher expected to be in demand during trading season. He figures to pitch better next time, though his $25 million annual salary might make Lee hard to deal no matter what. The Phillies have said that Cole Hamels isn't being shopped, so that would leave Lee and A.J. Burnett as big names who are available.
"I want this team to win and I'm going to do everything I can to help that happen," Lee said in a postgame interview captured by CSN Philly. "And that's really it."
Except for one final comment. A fart. Or, since it was in Philly, a phart.
"Did y'all get that on tape?" Lee can be heard asking in his Arkansas accent.Tue, Jul 224:05 PM PDTSan Francisco at PhiladelphiaPreview Game
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew10 hrs ago
You'll excuse Dustin Ackley if he's not as graceful as some of the outfielders who often get associated with great leaping catches.
Ackley, the Seattle Mariners left fielder these days, was a second baseman until mid 2013. But his impressive leaping grab Monday night to steal a home run from Travis d'Arnaud of the New York Mets, proved that Ackley is a real outfielder now.
This didn't have the elegance of Mike Trout stealing a homer. Also, Ackley's landing could use some work, but there's no arguing with the results — he sized up the homer, jumped, caught the ball over the fence and brought it back with him. Ackley also had three hits and an RBI to contribute to Seattle's 5-2 win.
''I knew I felt something. I didn't know if I felt it hit off my glove or go in the web, but when I came down is when I knew I had it,'' Ackley said. ''I was like, 'Well something is in there.'''Tue, Jul 227:10 PM PDTNY Mets at SeattlePreview Game
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew11 hrs ago
Matt Shoemaker almost had the Baltimore Orioles figured out. Almost.
Shoemaker, the Los Angeles Angels rookie starting pitcher, struck out 10 Orioles in 5 2/3 innings Monday night and he only gave up three hits to Baltimore batters not named Adam Jones.
Oh, but Adam Jones.
Jones launched a pair of two-run homers off Shoemaker, one in the first and one in the sixth. The second one ended Shoemaker's night and was also the difference in the O's 4-2 victory. Said Jones about Shoemaker after the game:
''I didn't know anything about him, but that's what scouting reports are for,'' Jones said. ''We had an idea of what he throws, but nobody had seen him. So when you go up there, the best way to figure things out is trial and error. He gave up two home runs, but overall, his plan worked. He had a lot of strikeouts.''Tue, Jul 227:05 PM PDTBaltimore at LA AngelsPreview Game
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew11 hrs ago
The good news, we suppose, is that New York Yankees rookie pitcher Shane Greene didn't finish Monday night's game on the disabled list. Given the Yankees luck with starting pitchers this season, that's something.
So that's the silver lining, here's the reality: Greene had a really rough night fielding his position during the Yankees' 4-2 loss to the Texas Rangers. He made three errors, and none on plays that were especially hard.
• Greene dropped a ball in the second inning while running to cover first.
• He fielded a comebacker later that inning, a rather routine play. He did the right thing by running toward first base a bit, but his underhand toss would have needed Manute Bol at first base to catch it. It was comically (and maybe even historically) bad.Tue, Jul 224:05 PM PDTTexas at NY YankeesPreview Game
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew12 hrs ago
Look at what Simmons did Monday night against the Miami Marlins. It was the top of the fourth inning and the Marlins had leadoff man Christian Yelich at first base. He took off running on the pitch, a hit-and-run attempt that sent Simmons to cover second base. Jordany Valdespin hit the ball to the left of Simmons, which generally would make for a successful hit-and-run. But not with Simmons on patrol.
He hit the brakes, dove the other direction and grabbed the ball. He then jumped to his feet for a split second and changed directions again to tag second base for the force out. He had very little time to do all this, of course, because Yelich was nearly to second when Simmons fielded the ball.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew21 hrs ago
This is Eric Brooks. This is Eric Brooks rendering all other baseball beards mundane.
Sorry, Brian Wilson. You're old news too, 2013 Boston Red Sox. Dare we say that even the Washington Nationals' Jayson Werth, who from the looks of things Brooks would clap for, isn't even on this level. Until someone else turns his beard into an MLB team logo, they're all in second place.
Brooks, a Nats fan and artist, posted this photo of his beard Monday on Instagram. He describes himself on social media as an "avid beardsman" and seems to subscribe to the art of freestyle bearding. Brooks wrote that he's attending Wednesday's game and this was a practice attempt at a beard to wear to the game. Looks like he nailed it.Tue, Jul 224:07 PM PDTBoston at TorontoPreview Game
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew22 hrs ago
Five Big Things is Big League Stew's look at the week ahead in MLB action, examining storylines and matchups you should keep an eye on.
1. THE RETURN (AND DEPARTURE?) OF CLIFF LEE Cliff Lee, welcome to back to the Philadelphia Phillies' starting rotation. Now, don't get too comfortable.
Lee, the veteran ace of the Phillies, makes his first start since May 8 on Monday night, and many eyes around baseball will be on Lee as teams prepare for the July 31 trade deadline. A contender needing another arm could do a lot worse than Lee. Since 2008, when he won the AL Cy Young, Lee has an ERA of 2.90.
He's coming off an injury, of course, a strained tendon in his elbow, so the buyers in MLB have every right to beware. This season he's 4-4 with a 3.18 ERA, but has the potential to be a frontline starter if he's healthy and those aren't easy to come by.
The New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays are reportedly among the teams that have been scouting Lee. Acquiring him will bring with it considerable cost, however. He's due $25 million next season.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew1 day ago
Dan Uggla wasn't unemployed too long. When the Atlanta Braves released the slumping second baseman Friday, there were a few likely destinations for the powerful but batting average-challenged Uggla.
The San Francisco Giants, who have been relying on inexperienced and/or injured players at second all season, were one of Uggla's suitors. The two sides didn't waste any time. Uggla has agreed to a minor-league deal to join the Giants, a roster move first reported by Ken Rosenthal at Fox Sports.
Giants beat writer Hank Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle adds the following details:
- David Brown at Big League Stew1 day ago
A man standing in the lower deck and holding who appeared to be his young son made a nice catch at the Miami Marlins game Sunday afternoon of a foul ball hit by Adeiny Hechavarria. Some fans in the ball's path flinched, and others ducked, when the ball came zipping by, but Marlins Dad showed no fear reflex and caught the ball as he reached with his bare right hand while holding on tight to junior in his left arm.
This guy is what every man should want to be in a father. Sturdy, steady and fearless (on the outside). Marlins Dad also got a nice high five from a worker at Marlins Park. The club also should think about offering him a Ball Dad gig, but only if he works in pairs and feels like he can repeat the trick.
The kid had a big smile on his face, though probably won't remember the incident in 10 years, but he'll always have the video and the ball.
More MLB coverage at Yahoo Sports:
- - - - - - -Tue, Jul 224:10 PM PDTMiami at AtlantaPreview Game