Big League Stew
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew22 mins ago
The most anticipated pitching performance of the season will take place Friday. Shockingly, it doesn't involve Jake Arrieta, Clayton Kershaw or Noah Syndergaard. In fact, it involves a player who has posted a 4.68 ERA over the past four seasons. Former San Francisco Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum will hold his showcase Friday, and scouts from at least 20 teams are expected to attend.
Looking at his numbers, it might seem somewhat surprising that Lincecum is drawing so much interest. The former two-time Cy Young winner has produced more like a back-end starter in recent seasons, even losing his starting role occasionally with the Giants. His strikeout rate and fastball velocity have tumbled, while his ERA continues to rise. Injuries have played a role in his decline, but Lincecum is believed to be healthy now.Tue, May 37:10 PM EDTSan Francisco at CincinnatiPreview Game
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew3 hrs ago
A month into the Major League Baseball regular season the Chicago Cubs are still World Series favorites. This shouldn't come as a big surprise. The Cubs have lived up to expectations with an 18-6 record, and have outscored opponents by a league-leading 83 runs thus far this season. A month into the season, the've retained their 5/1 World Series odds according to Bovada. Everything is going to according to plan on the North Side.
It's the South Side where things are completely off the rails. Following their hot start, the Chicago White Sox are one of the biggest risers in the Bovada odds. The site listed the White Sox at 33/1 to win the World Series on April 4, but now have the club at 12/1, making them co-favorites in the American League with both the Boston Red Sox and the Toronto Blue Jays.
If the Cubs find a way to falter, Bovada likes both the New York Mets and the Washington Nationals in the National League. Both teams are going off at 10/1 now.Tue, May 38:10 PM EDTBoston at Chi White SoxPreview Game
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew4 hrs ago
It should come as no surprise that the fastball is Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander's most important pitch. His blazing heater is what made him a standout prospect in the minors, and in his first couple seasons in the majors, Verlander was near the top of the league in fastball velocity.
Things have changed now. The days of Verlander being in the top-10 in fastball velocity have passed. Some of that is due to the fact that every starter is suddenly averaging 95 mph these days, some of it is due to diminished stuff that comes with age.
Verlander's fastball velocity has been slowly declining since 2009, when he averaged 95.6 mph with the pitch. Outside of a poor 2014, he's mostly been able to compensate for the loss in velocity.
- Liz Roscher at Big League Stew4 hrs ago
The New York Yankees have had a pretty putrid start to their 2016 season. They’re seven games below .500, and their record of 8-15 has them in last place in the AL East. When a team does this badly, it’s not usually just one thing. So what's failing the Yankees?
On the hitting side, things are fairly bleak. Aside from Starlin Castro, who is having a blistering start to the season (he’s currently hitting .314/.352/.500), most of the Yankees’ lineup is underperforming. Catcher Brian McCann’s overall numbers look decent (.262/.360/.415), but he’s currently mired in a 3-for-19 slump over his last six games. First baseman Mark Teixeira showed a spark during the Yankees’ series with the Tampa Bay Rays and the Texas Rangers a few weeks ago, hitting .391 over six games, but he’s cooled right back down. Shortstop Didi Gregorius hasn’t been able to find any consistency either, his average plummeting to .221 after an impressive first week.
Tue, May 37:05 PM EDTNY Yankees at BaltimorePreview Game
- Liz Roscher at Big League Stew8 hrs ago
Every major leaguer knows how important it is to stay fit during the long baseball season. But Monday night during the Philadelphia Phillies-St. Louis Cardinals series opener, Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina took that to a whole new level.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, the Cardinals had a man at first with Molina at the plate. Phillies reliever Brett Oberholtzer fired a 1-2 pitch to Molina that was extra close to his knees and calves, which made Molina scoot back from the plate. Except his little jump caused him to tip forward toward the ground.
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew15 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.
There's little 42-year-old New York Mets pitcher Bartolo Colon can do to surprise us anymore. He's outlasted so many players from his era, completely reinvented himself as a pitcher and is still effective despite his age. When someone says "hey, did you see Bartolo did X," we usually respond with "of course he did."
But Colon's latest accomplishment deserves a fair amount of recognition. With his win Monday night against the Atlanta Braves, Colon passed Hall of Fame pitcher Pedro Martinez on the all-time wins list.Tue, May 37:10 PM EDTAtlanta at NY MetsPreview Game
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew17 hrs ago
St Louis Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright has carved out a pretty good career as a pitcher. The 34-year-old owns a 3.05 ERA over 11 years in the majors. He's been elected to three All-Star games, been a finalist for both the Cy Young and MVP award and has won two World Series rings.
So, yeah, the whole pitching thing has worked out for him. But in an alternate universe where Wainwright opted for offense, he probably could have made it as a power-hitting outfielder.
Wainwright proved as much Monday against the Philadelphia Phillies. While he struggled on the mound early, surrendering three runs in the third inning, Wainwright had a chance at revenge in the bottom of the fourth.Tue, May 38:15 PM EDTPhiladelphia at St. LouisPreview Game
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew20 hrs ago
Baseball's favorite real-life couple is ready to say "I do." Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander and model Kate Upton are engaged, according to E! News.
Upton was spotted on the red carpet at the 2016 Met Gala rocking a giant engagement ring on her finger. She told E! News that Verlander proposed before the start of the season, but that the two had been keeping things quiet.
"I'm really excited, he asked me right before season started so we've been keeping it on the down low for quite a while," she told E! News exclusively. "So I'm excited to finally be able to share it with the world!"Tue, May 36:10 PM EDTDetroit at ClevelandPreview Game
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew21 hrs ago
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The Pablo Sandoval era with the Boston Red Sox just took another hit. The team announced Monday that the 29-year-old would undergo surgery on his injured left shoulder.
Sandoval has been in limbo since going on the disabled list in mid-April, but this news clears a few things up. When it was initially announced that Sandoval would be going on the DL, some wondered whether the Red Sox used the DL in order to avoid playing him regularly.
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew23 hrs ago
If New York Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard ever has to skip out on making a start, the Mets may have just stumbled on the perfect replacement. Five-year-old Ashtin G. not only has Sydergaard's impressive flowing locks, but he has the stuff and the demeanor on the mound that is a perfect match for Thor.
Don't believe us, take a look at the evidence.
Mini Thor is the most adorable, but intimidating thing you are going to see all day. Check out 5 year old Ashtin G.https://t.co/D6KsBn0erG
It's like looking into a time machine or mirror or something.
There's a lot to love here. Ashtin is adorable, and definitely has the look down, but he's also serious about his craft. Look at the way he gets pumped up about starting off his imaginary batter with a strike, and the way he celebrates his eventual strikeout. Ashtin has the tenacity and competitiveness scouts rave about when discussing top flight starters.