Big League Stew
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew2 hrs ago
Major League Baseball worked overtime this weekend to hand down discipline following the wild brawl involving the Kansas City Royals and Chicago White Sox on Thursday.
In a press release issued Saturday morning, the league announced six players have been suspended for their role in the brawl. Kansas City Royals starter Yordano Ventura, who has been involved in multiple incidents already this season, got hit the hardest. He received a seven-game suspension for his role in escalating tensions after getting into a heated exchange with Chicago's Adam Eaton.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew2 hrs ago
Before the on field hostilities kicked in between the Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays Tuesday night at Rogers Centre, it's reported the Orioles were already displeased by the ballpark's new artificial turf, which early in the season has played very soft and thick. That's led to several unusual hops and baseballs slowing down much quicker than on normal grass or typical turf surface.
In fact, according to Eduardo Encina of the Baltimore Sun, the Orioles may have been one step out the door, at one point even considering boycotting or flat out forfeiting Tuesday's game after infielder Jimmy Paredes was shaken up after taking a bad hop ground ball to the face.
Paredes was fine, but there were concerns about another bad hop, or worse yet, the turf potentially giving way leading to a season-changing knee or ankle injury.Sat, Apr 257:05 PM EDTBoston at BaltimorePreview Game
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew11 hrs ago
The Houston Astros and Oakland A's cornered the market on crazy on Friday night, so it would have been appropriate for Josh Reddick to dash home in the 10th inning with the game-winning run, which also would have doubled as a walk-off Little League home run.
The thing is, this game was so crazy, a crazy A's victory wasn't good enough. It needed to go another inning, where the first-place Astros — crazy, isn't it? — could prove their resilience before holding off another wild A's rally.
Now we'll continue.Sat, Apr 254:05 PM EDTHouston at OaklandPreview Game
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew12 hrs ago
The previously red hot Atlanta Braves were cooled off in New York to begin the week. Now it would appear they're frozen after dropping their weekend series opener 1-0 to the Philadelphia Phillies.
The fact the game ended 1-0 is painful enough for Atlanta. That they only mustered two hits against Aaron Harang, who was in their rotation last season, adds some salt to the wound. But the kicker has to be their defense, which committed four errors on the evening. The final one led directly to the game's only run, as Freddie Freeman was unable to handle Ben Revere's ninth-inning chopper.
Freeman and the entire infield were drawn in on the play to cut down the winning run at home. It might have worked, but the ball squirted away before Freeman could corral it, which allowed Freddy Galvis to sprint home. It goes down as a game-winning RBI for Revere, and a walk-off error for Freeman, who committed only five errors all last season.Sat, Apr 257:05 PM EDTAtlanta at PhiladelphiaPreview Game
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew14 hrs ago
If the New York Mets are to make history this season, it will have to wait, because the New York Yankees weren't having any part of it on Friday night.
In the first-ever Subway Series battle that featured both teams entering play in first place, the Yankees dismissed the Mets bid for a franchise record 12th straight win with a 6-1 victory.
The victory was the Yankees seventh in their last eight games, which includes a sweep in Tampa Bay and taking three of four in Detroit. That officially makes them the hottest team in the American League. It also snapped the Mets 11-game winning streak, which matched the franchise record set in 1990.
The Yankees rode the hot bat of Mark Teixeira, who launched a pair of two-run home runs off Mets' starter Jacob deGrom, and the right arm of Michael Pineda, who improved to 3-0 with 7 2/3 innings of one-run ball.Sat, Apr 254:05 PM EDTNY Mets at NY YankeesPreview Game
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew16 hrs ago
Addison Russell's first week with the Chicago Cubs hasn't been nearly as buzzy as that of fellow top prospect Kris Bryant. But don't worry, baseball fans, he's still showing us flashes of the brilliance we expect to witness for the next 15 years
That includes this remarkable webgem from Friday night, which robbed Reds speedster Billy Hamilton of a sure hit.
With Hamilton batting in the fifth inning, Russell, who's a shortstop by trade and a second baseman by necessity in Chicago, was playing pretty much straight up. That seemed to put him out of position when Hamilton laced a ground ball toward the middle that was ticketed for center field.
Honestly, with Hamilton's crazy speed, the placement of the ball looked like a sure hit regardless of whether it actually squirted through the infield, but Russell had other ideas.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew19 hrs ago
Noah Syndergaard, the New York Mets' top pitching prospect, got an earful from David Wright after he was spotted eating lunch in the clubhouse during a spring training game. And Friday, Syndergaard found himself getting an earful again — this time from the Mets after he got into a spat with a Twitter troll.
Syndergaard was scratched from his scheduled start Friday with the Triple-A Las Vegas 51s because he was sick. And, of course, some rabble-rouser on Twitter called out Syndergaard. This sort of thing happens quite often — an online troll is looking for attention from an athlete or celebrity and starts mouthing off.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew22 hrs ago
A year ago at this time, when baseball fans heard the name Yordano Ventura, we thought of the fire-balling Kansas City Royals pitcher, one of the top young arms in the game, the guy they'd already started calling "Ace Ventura" in his rookie season.
Today, when baseball fans hear Ventura's name, we think of his fiery personality, one of the main troublemakers of the young 2015 MLB season, the guy they've already started calling a "thug," a "hothead" and various other not-so-endearing names.
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew1 day ago
Sample size can be a dangerous thing. Most analysts will caution against reading into early season stats due to sample size. Any player can perform well, or poorly, over 50 at-bats. Any pitcher can look fantastic, or awful, over three starts.
That makes it incredibly difficult to make a judgment during the season's first month. Is Jake Odorizzi really an ace now? Has Mike Moustakas finally put it all together? We can look at the numbers, but we won't truly know until we have more data.
There are some stats that stabilize early, however. Baseball Prospectus' Russell Carleton has done research on the subject, and concluded that strikeout rates for pitchers tend to stabilize around 70 batters faced.
Many pitchers have already reached that threshold, and those who are performing way above their established strikeout rates could be in line for a breakout.
The above chart shows the 17 pitchers who have posted strikeout rates that are 5 percent better than their rates last season.
- Ian Denomme at Big League Stew1 day ago
It appears the 70 percent of Los Angeles natives who don’t get to watch their Dodgers on television will have to continue to wait. According to the Orange County Register, a proposed merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable is collapsing.
Time Warner owns and distributes SportsNetLA, which carries Dodgers games in the local market. But the other major television providers don’t carry the station, leaving Dodgers fans without access to the games. More from the Register:
“TWC and the Dodgers agreed to a 25-year, $8.35 billion deal in January 2013 and launched SNLA in February of last year – with Time Warner as the only major distributor. Time Warner is the largest provider in the L.A. market, but represents only about 30 percent of cable and satellite customers. All the other major players, including No. 2 provider DirecTV, balked at the monthly asking price for the new regional sports network – reported to be between $3.84 and $5 per subscriber.”Sat, Apr 258:40 PM EDTLA Dodgers at San DiegoPreview Game