Big League Stew
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew52 mins 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.Tue, Jun 308:10 PM EDTKansas City at HoustonPreview Game
- Israel Fehr at Big League Stew3 hrs ago
Cincinnati Reds speedster Billy Hamilton was at it again Monday, swiping four bags in Cincinnati's 11-7 win over Minnesota to raise his stolen base total to 40 this season.
Unsurprisingly, that puts Hamilton in the league lead for steals and no one is particularly close. Miami Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon is second with 26, 14 back of Hamilton. Gordon led baseball in stolen bases last season with 64 while Hamilton was tied for second with 56.Tue, Jun 307:10 PM EDTSan Francisco at MiamiPreview Game
- Israel Fehr at Big League Stew4 hrs ago
With the Los Angeles Angels four games back of the first-place Houston Astros in the AL West as the season nears the All-Star break, it appears manager Mike Scioscia and GM Jerry Dipoto are at odds again.
This latest report from Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal states that the disconnect between the old-school Scioscia and more progressive Dipoto is being caused by, you guessed it, analytics:
The rift between the two in 2012 stemmed in part from Scioscia’s resistance to data prepared by Dipoto and his staff. The current problems are rooted in a similar issue.Tue, Jun 3010:05 PM EDTNY Yankees at LA AngelsPreview Game
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew12 hrs ago
Take a look around the league with Big League Stew's daily wrap up. We'll hit on all of the biggest moments from the day that you may have missed, while providing highlights, photos and interesting stats.
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. @EliasSportsTue, Jun 307:10 PM EDTCleveland at Tampa BayPreview Game
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew12 hrs ago
Twice on Monday night, New York Yankees outfielder Chris Young thought he had an extra-base hit after a well-struck ball to deep centerfield. And twice on Monday night, Mike Trout was there to say, "Nope."
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.
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."
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew13 hrs ago
No one's ever going to accuse Pablo Sandoval of having the most self control in baseball. His Instagram-in-the-bathroom stunt a couple weeks ago proves that. As does what Sandoval did Monday night in the Boston Red Sox's 3-1 win over the Toronto Blue Jays.
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.Tue, Jun 307:07 PM EDTBoston at TorontoPreview Game
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew14 hrs ago
There are some folks in baseball who believe you can speed up by the game by issuing automatic intentional walks. Throwing four balls high and wide is a waste of time, they say, so just forego the four pitches and send the batter to first. In fact, this was one of six pace-of-play ideas tested last year in the Arizona Fall League.
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.
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew20 hrs ago
Since he's been in the majors, Los Angeles Angels reliever Huston Street has always been used as a closer. When the ninth inning comes around, he knows it's time to perform.
Traditionally, the best reliever in a team's bullpen gets designated the closer. In recent years, though, there's been an argument that using your best reliever in high-leverage situations is more valuable than saving your closer for a save opportunity that may never materialize.
Huston Street is not a fan of that thinking, according to David Alder of MLB.com.
"I'll retire if that ever happens," Street said. "If they ever tell me, 'Oh, we're gonna start using you in these high-leverage situations.' … All right, good. You now can go find someone else to do that, because I'm going home."
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew22 hrs ago
A change is coming to the Philadelphia Phillies, who are in last place, ready for a fire sale and without a long-term manager after Ryne Sandberg up and quit Friday because he was tired of losing.
Andy MacPhail was announced Monday as the team's president-to-be and he says he's brining a culture change with him when he takes the reigns. MacPhail — a former GM of the Minnesota Twins and president of the Chicago Cubs and Baltimore Orioles — will take over at team president after the season. He's joining the club immediately as a special assistant to team president Pat Gillick and will take the post when Gillick re-retires once the 2015 season takes mercy on the Phillies and ends.Tue, Jun 307:05 PM EDTMilwaukee at PhiladelphiaPreview Game
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew23 hrs ago
A few weeks ago, everything was coming up Kansas City Royals in the All-Star voting. Fast forward to the present, and things still look pretty favorable despite some slippage.
In the final American League voting update, the Royals still lead the charge.
The team's grasp on their starting spots, however, is slipping considerably. The Royals are down to just five starters now. A few weeks ago, they had eight players set to start the contest. Last week, the team still had seven starters.
Josh Donaldson and Nelson Cruz became the latest non-Royals to lead their positions in voting. Miguel Cabrera maintained his lead over Eric Hosmer, and Mike Trout continues to dominate in the outfield.