Big League Stew
- Will Laws at Big League Stew16 mins ago
Last week, the Weekly Rotation marveled over David Ortiz and five other sluggers who left baseball with a bang. The vast majority of hitters can’t leave the sport on their own terms after excelling at the plate during their final season, however. Even Hall of Famers often stumble to the finish line of their careers.
Take Alex Rodriguez, for example. Though his Hall of Fame status is very much in doubt due to his alleged performance-enhancing drug use, A-Rod undoubtedly possesses Cooperstown-caliber career numbers. However, Rodriguez has been unproductive enough in 2016 to spark speculation that this could be his final year in pinstripes, $20 million paycheck for next season be damned.
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew54 mins ago
Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Brock Stewart started from the bottom, now he’s here. No, really. Just two months ago, Stewart was starting for the Single-A Rancho Cucamongo Quakes. On Wednesday, he’ll make his major-league debut.
That’s quite the rise for the 24-year-old. The Dodgers were aggressive with him this season, jumping him from Single-A to Double-A after just two starts, and from Double-A to Triple-A after just nine.
His performance probably had something to do with it. Stewart gave up just one run over 11 innings in Single-A, and then posted a 1.12 ERA in 56 1/3 innings in Double-A. Through three starts in Triple-A, he has a 2.89 ERA.
Whether that success can carry over to the majors is the focus of Yahoo Sports Free MLB Game of the Day on Wednesday. After a meteoric rise through the minors, Stewart will make his major-league debut against the Milwaukee Brewers.Wed, Jun 298:10 PM EDTLA Dodgers at MilwaukeePreview Game
- Liz Roscher at Big League Stew2 hrs ago
A hail storm over Denver, Colorado on Tuesday night made Coors Field look like it was in the middle of winter, even though it’s definitely summer.
— NortheastWeatherWx (@NEWeatherWx) June 29, 2016
Do not adjust your screen. That isn’t a picture from November, but from June 28. Still have doubts? The Rockies’ own Twitter account has more proof.
We are still in a weather delay.
We will keep you updated as more information becomes available. pic.twitter.com/Xq26wVQiQn
— #VoteRox (@Rockies) June 29, 2016
The hail that did that was part of a huge storm that also dumped buckets of rain on to the stadium, and together the rain and hail caused the Colorado Rockies’ game against the Toronto Blue Jays to start two hour and forty-one minutes late.
Wed, Jun 293:10 PM EDTToronto at ColoradoPreview Game
- Liz Roscher at Big League Stew3 hrs ago
Long baseball games can get weird. When a baseball games enters innings in the teens, you can almost always bet on seeing something very strange. Tuesday night’s marathon game between the Cincinnati Reds and the Chicago Cubs did not disappoint; it lasted 15 innings, and Cubs manager Joe Maddon provided a big dose of innovative weirdness.
One of the things that makes long games so tough, especially in the DH-free National League, is having enough guys on the bench to finish out the game. Both the Cubs and the Reds had used up their entire benches by the end of the 13th inning, and that’s when Maddon got really creative. Over two innings, he used three different pitchers in left field, switching two of them back and forth between left field and the mound.
Let’s break this down. In the bottom of the 14th inning, Spencer Patton came on to pitch. He faced Brandon Phillips, who flied out. Then Maddon moved Patton to left field and Travis Wood replaced him on the mound. Wood then pitched to Jay Bruce, who grounded out. Then, Wood and Patton switched places: Wood went to left field, and Patton came back to the mound to pitch. Patton got Adam Duvall for the third out, and the inning was over.LiveChi Cubs7 - 2CincinnatiFollow Game
- Kyle Ringo at Big League Stew11 hrs ago
Welcome to The Walk Off, the nightly MLB recap from Big League Stew. Here we’ll look the top performers of the night, show you a must-see highlight and rundown the scoreboard. First, we start with
On a night when the No. 1 prospect in baseball made his major league debut for the Washington Nationals, another ballyhooed young pitcher finally earned the first win of his career for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Julio Urias made his MLB debut for the Dodgers earlier this season with the same hype Lucas Giolito experienced Tuesday. Giolito pitched well for Washington through four innings but didn’t return to the mound after a rain delay. He left with a 1-0 lead over the New York Mets and the Nationals went on to win 5-0.
Meanwhile, in Milwaukee, Urias gave up two earned runs in six innings with six walks and six strikeouts in a 6-5 Dodgers win. His outing was even more of an adventure than that line suggests. He picked off Jonathan Villar at first base in the first inning, but an official review led to a safe call by the umpires. As soon as play resumed, Urias picked off Villar a second time and this one did not require a review.Wed, Jun 297:05 PM EDTNY Mets at WashingtonPreview Game
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew18 hrs 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.
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
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew19 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.Wed, Jun 293:35 PM EDTHouston at LA AngelsPreview Game
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew19 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.
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.Wed, Jun 298:15 PM EDTKansas City at St. LouisPreview Game
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew23 hrs ago
Alex Rodriguez surprised us all with his successful 2015 season. He hit 33 homers and drove in 86 runs. For a 39-year-old with two surgically replaced hips coming off his full-year PED suspension, that was pretty great.
As it turns out, maybe that was A-Rod’s last hurrah.
Rodriguez has struggled mightily this season, hitting just .229 with eight homers and an OPS that’s down nearly 200 points. So the Yankees, currently 37-38 and fighting for relevancy in the American League as the trade-deadline approaches, have decided to reduce his role.
According to general manager Brian Cashman, the Yanks will have A-Rod on the bench most days, like they have the past two games. Instead of being their full-time DH, he’s now their platoon DH, meaning he’ll only start against left-handed pitchers. The Yankees have faced right-handers in two-thirds of their games this season, so you can figure out what that means for A-Rod’s likelihood of at-bats.Wed, Jun 297:05 PM EDTTexas at NY YankeesPreview Game
- Liz Roscher at Big League Stew1 day ago
Baseball is a funny game. From play to play, anything can happen. Just because you make a heroic play doesn't mean you're immune to doing something embarrassing later in the game. Or, if you're Texas Rangers center fielder Ian Desmond, it doesn't mean you're immune to doing something embarrassing on the very next play.
This is a tale of two plays, both which happened in the bottom of the third inning of the Rangers' game against the New York Yankees on Monday night. In the first one, Desmond showed off his best outfield defense. Brett Gardner lined a pitch from Chi Chi Gonzalez directly to center field, and it was sinking fast. Desmond saw the ball coming and ran in, making a forward dive as he slid his glove between the ball and the grass right before it touched the ground. It was a fantastic play.