Big League Stew
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew7 hrs ago
New York Mets reliever Alex Torres was a pioneer of sorts when he became the first pitcher in MLB to wear a form of protective headgear in a regular season game. That significant moment in baseball's journey to better protect its pitchers happened last June 21, when Torres was still pitching for the San Diego Padres.
What's most notable here in 2015 is that the model Torres wore then is apparently already as outdated to him personally as the old Padres uniform in his closet, which seems to suggest a continued evolution and improvement with the product.Sun, Apr 192:20 PM EDTSan Diego at Chi CubsPreview Game
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew9 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.
Lost in the drama in Boston and Kansas City this weekend has been the excellent series that's playing out in Toronto. On Friday, the Braves topped the Blue Jays by one run despite being outhomered five to two. On Saturday, the Braves used the long ball early to build a four-run lead, but the Blue Jays ultimately prevailed 6-5 in 10 innings.
Josh Donaldson, who was acquired from the Oakland A's in one of the offseason's more surprising trades, landed the decisive blow with a walkoff solo homer off Sugar Ray Marimón in the 10th. The home run was Donaldson's third in two games, and his 11th hit overall in five games. He's absolutely sizzling.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew13 hrs ago
The hostilities that developed between the Oakland A's and Kansas City Royals on Friday night spilled over into Saturday's rematch.
After serving up a two-run home run to Oakland's Josh Reddick, which capped an A's five-run fourth-inning rally, Kansas City right-hander Yordano Ventura drilled Brett Lawrie with a 99 mph fastball in apparent retaliation for Friday's aggressive slide that left Alcides Escobar injured.
As a result of the beaning, Ventura was immediately ejected by home plate umpire Jim Joyce. It was actually very similar to a scenario that played out in Boston on Friday, when Ubaldo Jimenez was ejected for hitting Pablo Sandoval after an aggressive slide. There were no warnings beforehand in either game and both pitchers were ejected on the spot.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew15 hrs ago
Step aside, Kris Bryant, Starlin Castro and all other professional baseball players in attendance at Wrigley Field on Saturday afternoon, for you are not the star we wish to honor.
Instead, we'd like to turn everybody's attention to the fan seated second row in the upper deck along the third base line, as it was her ninth-inning catch of Yonder Alonso's foul ball that ended up stealing the entire afternoon.
Equipped with only a full beer cup to collect her souvenir, this fan made the best use possible of said cup under the circumstances. Without thinking twice, she extended her cup as the baseball quickly approached, and then watched as it dropped perfectly within its confines.
It was one of those plays you couldn't make twice if you tried it 200 times, but fortunately for her she was 1 for 1 at being awesome on Saturday. Well, actually, 2 for 2 if you count the celebration.
- Israel Fehr at Big League Stew17 hrs ago
The Kansas City Royals are going to have to make do without closer Greg Holland for at least a couple weeks.
Nothing from Holland's performance so far this season suggested he was hurt, he hasn't allowed a hit or a run in four innings of work, but Ned Yost told reporters the issue actually flared up last weekend. Even though he got the job done against the A's, he didn't have his best stuff and the team decided it was best to sit him down for a little bit and let him recover.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew17 hrs ago
While new MLB commissioner Rob Manfred contemplates Pete Rose's request for reinstatement, baseball's all-time hit king is taking his own step closer to the game after being hired by FOX Sports as a TV analyst.
FOX Sports Ken Rosenthal reported the news on Thursday, noting that Rose will serve as a guest analyst for the MLB on FOX pregame show on FOX and FOX Sports 1. He'll also make appearances on "MLB Whiparound," "America's Pregame" and "FOX Sports Live" on FOX Sports 1, which means we'll be chock full of Pete Rose analysis before this season ends.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew17 hrs ago
After a mostly unspectacular debut on Friday afternoon, Kris Bryant's second major-league game was basically been the inverse, and perhaps one that's more in line with the Cubs expectations.
The bounce back performance on Saturday afternoon saw Bryant reach base five times in six plate appearance, including his first major-league hit.
Granted, it wasn't necessarily the dramatic moment many people envisioned, but the Cubs will absolutely take the result. With one out and runners on the corners in the fifth inning, Bryant delivered a broken bat single that dropped just in front of San Diego center fielder Wil Myers and scored Dexter Fowler with the tying run. The Cubs ultimately won the game 7-6 in 11 innings.
A thing of beauty it was not, but it still counts.
Besides that, it had to be good for the Cubs to see Bryant finally handle a slider away. Padres' right-hander Tyson Ross typically has a good slider, too, but left this one up just enough for Bryant to extend his arms and get the ball into the outfield.
- Israel Fehr at Big League Stew19 hrs ago
Just as he was poised to take another big step in his development, Jonathan Schoop is going to have to make his way through a potentially lengthy spell on the sidelines.
The Orioles placed their starting second baseman on the 15-day disabled list on Saturday after an MRI revealed Schoop had a partially torn PCL and sprained MCL in his right knee .
The Orioles have placed INF Jonathan Schoop on the 15-day DL with a sprained right knee.Sun, Apr 191:35 PM EDTBaltimore at BostonPreview Game
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew20 hrs ago
The Los Angeles Angels and Josh Hamilton may be in the initial stages of settling their ongoing dispute, according to Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal.
In a series of interesting tweets sent out Saturday morning, Rosenthal reports that the two sides are in talks aimed directly at resolving their dispute stemming from Hamilton's recent admitted relapse involving drugs and alcohol, and there are several scenarios being explored that would allow both the Angels and Hamilton to move on.
Among the options would be a trade, which would obviously have to include the Angels picking up a good chunk of the $83 million owed to Hamilton over the next three seasons.
Another option would be a buyout. Though, according to Rosenthal, that might be difficult to swing if the MLBPA has a say in matters.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew22 hrs ago
Your browser does not support iframes.
We had to check the calendar a few times on Friday, because it sure seemed closer to the stretch run in September and or mid-October than mid-April.
A good example of the intensity and craziness played out in Boston, where an unusual set of circumstances led to an untimely ejection for Baltimore Orioles right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez, who was making an early bid to no-hit the Red Sox at Fenway Park.
Jimenez was cruising along into the fourth inning, having allowed three walks, when with two outs he nailed Boston third baseman Pablo Sandoval on the back of his right shoulder with a pitch. In the eyes of home plate umpire Jordan Baker, that pitch was considered retaliation for an incident earlier in the game that was reminiscent of the play that caused benches to clear later Friday night in Kansas City.