Big League Stew
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew9 hrs ago
Baseball is back. As we get closer to the regular season, be sure to stop by The Stew each morning for your get your daily helping of spring storylines.
Livan Hernandez is ready to call it a career, according to Bill Ladson of MLB.com. The 39-year-old right-hander is set to file his retirement papers on Thursday and officially leave behind a notable 17 years in MLB.
Hernandez's biggest moments came early, as he helped lead the Marlins to a World Series championship in 1997. After pitching well in 17 regular season starts, Hernandez posted a 4-0 record and 3.18 ERA over three starts and two relief appearances in the postseason. That included his incredible 15-strikeout performance against the Atlanta Braves in Game 5 of the NLCS. The Marlins went on to the clinch the series in Game 6 and defeated the Cleveland Indians in a memorable seven game World Series.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew10 hrs ago
Minnesota Twins fans received discouraging news last week when it was announced third base prospect Miguel Sano would be forced to undergo Tommy John surgery on his right elbow.
Though not as devastating on a position player as it is a pitcher, Sano will still require at least six months of rehab and recovery after doctors found the ligament to be completely torn. That’s a big blow for Minnesota, not so much because they were counting on Baseball America’s No. 6 ranked prospect to contribute this season — he was probably a good year away from competing seriously for a roster spot — but a season lost is a lost season. It sets back his development, and it also creates a little bit of doubt about whether he'll return with the same arm strength and immense power he's displayed in the minor leagues.
- Big League Stew10 hrs ago
Among the consequences of slugger Ryan Braun admitting he lied about taking performance-enhancing drugs was a lost of trust, and some of it vanished in a very material sense. Braun lost about $3.3 million in salary from the Milwaukee Brewers because of his 65-game suspension from Major League Baseball related to Biogenesis, but his side income was effected as well. He lost business partnerships, even with good friends. Restaurants took his name off the establishment. Product endorsement deals dried up. Nobody wanted to be associated with someone who lied about cheating.
While it's still not like the old days when Braun was a walking billboard for Nike baseball cleats — and was paid handsomely to strut his stuff — he has resurfaced this spring with a small company called 3N2. Something to think about the next time Braun steps in with a full count.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew12 hrs ago
New York Mets pitching coach Dan Warthen was apologetic on Wednesday following an inappropriate exchange with Daisuke Matsuzaka's translator Jeff Cutler on Sunday that reportedly included an ethnic slur.
"I apologize for the thoughtless remarks that I made yesterday in the clubhouse," Warthen's statement read. "They were a poor attempt at humor, but were wrong and inappropriate in any setting. I am very sorry."
According to Stu Woo of the Wallstreet Journal, Warthen personally apologized to Cutler in the Mets clubhouse on Monday after admittedly referring to the 30-year-old Japanese American as a ‘Chinaman’ during an exchange that took place on Sunday.
“I’m sorry I called you a ‘Chinaman’ yesterday,” Warthen told Cutler.
“It’s OK,” Cutler replied.
“I didn’t mean to insinuate –- I know you’re not Chinese,” Warthen said. He paused. “I thought it was a pretty good joke, though.”
“It was,” Cutler said, with a small laugh.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew14 hrs ago
Finding the right words and the right time to ask that special girl to prom can be an agonizing task for teenagers. Sometimes just mustering the courage is a hard fought battle within our own minds that can lead us to self doubt and eventually making different plans for that special occasion without finding the answer we initially sought.
None of that was a problem for Evan Stitt though. He had the planning, the timing, the confidence and the right words all down pat, and it turns out he also had an indirect assist from Pittsburgh Pirates All-Star and National League MVP Andrew McCutchen.
— Evan Stitt (@EStitt7) March 12, 2014
According to Stitt, McCutchen tossed him the baseball used in his prom request at PNC Park two years ago.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew16 hrs ago
It seems Ellen's "selfie retweeted around the world" at this year's Oscars has inspired a uniform unlike any other in the history of baseball. According to the website of Kalamazoo Growlers, the independent baseball team from the Northwoods League it set to unveil the first ever "selfie jersey" during their game on July 24.
You read that correctly. A selfie jersey, which essentially means the team will be collecting a series of selfies — or self taken photos, for those who may not be caught up on the lingo — from fans over the next few weeks and many of the photos will be included on the team's jerseys for that selected game.
- Big League Stew17 hrs ago
Philadelphia Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg might be trying to send a message to the club's longtime shortstop, Jimmy Rollins. Despite checking out as healthy, Rollins has not played the past two days and is not scheduled to play Thursday in Grapefruit League action. Instead, the Phillies are going with Freddy Galvis at shortstop.
Rollins was supposed to be in the lineup Tuesday for a game at Orlando, but he stayed back at the team's spring headquarters in Clearwater, Fla. The same thing happened Wednesday when Philly made an hour-long trek to Sarasota. Sometimes a team's veterans don't make road trips in spring training, which can be relatively long days. But that's not what seems to be going on with Rollins.
Chris Branch of Delaware Online writes:
Galvis played well Wednesday, going 1 for 2 with a triple and a RBI. Asked about Galvis afterward, Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg gushed.
Immediately after, Sandberg was asked about Rollins in that regard.
"No comment," Sandberg said.
- Big League Stew18 hrs ago
They call it the Cactus League for a reason. Right-hander Francisco Rodriguez probably knew why already, but he got reminded in a most prickly way Tuesday after he stepped on a cactus.
Ow, ow, OWWWWWW!
To repeat: Ow, ow, OWWWWW!
That means, apparently, that Rodriguez didn't go the emergency room on Tuesday , when he stepped on a cactus . He was sitting around for hours with spines in his foot. Sleeping with spines in his foot. It's likely we won't learn the circumstances of how cactus spines ended up in K-Rod's foot until Thursday, the next time he'll probably speak to reporters. However, Milwaukee Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said it wouldn't shock him to see Rodriguez try and pitch Wednesday. No kidding, with that pain threshold.
- Big League Stew20 hrs ago
"He who gambles lives in a shambles" — famous bettor
People who gamble figure it's time for Los Angeles Angels slugger Mike Trout to win AL MVP after he finished as runner-up in the voting the past two seasons to Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers. This time, they say, Cabrera will be the bridesmaid.
Wagerers also figure that Andrew McCutchen of the Pittsburgh Pirates will win the NL MVP again, with Joey Votto of the Reds finishing second and Paul Goldschmidt, McCutchen's runner-up in 2013, finishing third.
Bovada.lv released its MVP odds for both leagues Wednesday, along with some fun proposition bets. For the AL, Trout is listed at 5 to 1, with Cabrera 6 to 1 and Jacoby Ellsbury and Albert Pujols (interesting!) at 12 to 1. On the NL side, McCutchen is 6 to 1, with Votto a second choice at 7 to 1 and Goldschmidt 9 to 1.
- Big League Stew22 hrs ago
The emotions right-hander Kris Medlen must be feeling are hard to fathom. He had come so far after undergoing Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery in August 2010. All of the rehab for 12 months. All of the training to get his strength back, and all of the repetitions on the mound to get himself right again as a pitcher. The stint in the bullpen until the Atlanta Braves thought it safe for him to join the starting rotation in July 2012. The 2.47 ERA he posted in 43 starts, establishing himself as one of the better pitchers in the National League in that span.
He must to do it all over again at age 28.
Medlen is preparing himself to have Tommy John surgery again after an MRI revealed damage to the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. The sight of Medlen clutching his arm in the fourth inning Sunday was awful, but it was just the start.