April 19, 2014

The Secret Service Threatened to Kill Mr. Met

DUCKING MASS?Mr. Met, the mascot for baseball’s saddest franchise, received a stern warning from the Secret Service in 1997, when President Clinton visited Shea Stadium: “Approach the president, and we go for the kill shot.” Former Mr. Met AJ Mass recounted the death threat in his new book, Yes, It’s Hot in Here: Adventures in the Weird, Woolly World of Sports Mascots..... “We have snipers all around the stadium, just in case something were to happen. Like I said, do whatever it is you normally do. But approach the President, and we go for the kill shot. Are we clear?” the agent reportedly said, while looking into Mr. Met’s “very soul with his blank, unblinking stare.” The agent then repeated himself. “Approach the president, and we go for the kill shot,” the agent told Mass. “ARE–WE–CLEAR?” Mass wrote that agents first grew suspicious when he failed to get Mr. Met’s giant head through security without setting off the metal detectors.

April 18, 2014

Pirates Acquire Ike Davis From Mets

I had to make sure Zack Thornton wasn’t Zach Stewart, but does it matter?A long-awaited deal has finally been struck, as the Mets officially dealt first baseman Ike Davis to the Pirates in exchange for minor league righty Zack Thornton and a player to be named later… For New York, the departure of Davis means that the club will move ahead with Lucas Duda as its regular first baseman, a role that he had taken on early in 2014. It also marks the end to an ultimately disappointing tenure in New York for the 27-year-old, left-handed hitting slugger. Meanwhile, the Pirates will take on the $3.14MM left on Davis’s 2014 salary, and will control his rights via arbitration through 2016. Davis will presumably work in some form of platoon with the right-handed hitting Gaby Sanchez… Thornton is a 25-year-old reliever who was working in Triple-A this season after reaching that level late last year for the first time.

A’s, Doolittle agree to 4-year extension

OAKLAND—The Athletics have agreed to terms with left-handed pitcher Sean Doolittle on a new five-year contract for the 2014 through 2018 seasons. The agreement also includes club options for both the ‘19 and ‘20 seasons. The A’s have always gone for these long-term contracts for young pitchers, but I think this is the first time they’ve done it with a reliever. Along with Johnson’s $10M signing the A’s seem to be shifting away from “relievers are fungible”. Who knows what the terms are, of course. (This is really a 4-year extension since as stated it includes this year).

Game 16: On the road again in Colorado

Get ready for some late nights. The Phillies hit the road on their first West Coast road trip of the season. First stop: Colorado, for a three-game series against the Rockies (8-9). Chase Utley's hot bat, against three right-handed starters, at Coors Field -- what a combination that could prove to be for the Phillies (7-8) in the next three games. Utley, who leads the league in hitting, OBP and slugging -- and is 17 for 34 in his last...

Minor League Ball Gameday: Friday, April 18

A pair of Top 100 players made solid 2014 debuts after overcoming injury - Diamondbacks right handed pitcher Braden Shipley and Indians center fielder Clint Frazier.

Welcome to the Gameday everyone! A pair of 2013 first round picks and members of the Top 100 prospects made their season debuts. Clint Frazier and his bright red hair debuted with the Lake County Captains. The 5th overall pick last year was 1-5 with a single, run scored, and a run batted in. Diamondbacks righty Braden Shipley made his first appearance with South Bend, throwing five scoreless innings. He allowed six base runners - five on hits and one walk, with four strike outs, five ground outs and one fly out.

The top performances came from the bat of Joey Gallo and the arm of Shipley. Gallo reached base three times, though at one point he just rounded them all at once. He finished 1-3 with a solo home run, two walks, three runs scored, and the obligatory two strike outs. He also made a throwing error with his cannon arm, his third of the season. Red Sox short stop Xander Bogaerts knocked his second career bomb and first of the season.

In an interesting piece by Bill Shaikin for the LA Times, he talks about the return of recently graduated southpaw Tyler Skaggs' velocity. Angels GM Jerry DiPoto noticed a change in Skaggs' delivery. He had shortened his stride in his delivery. Pitching coach Mike Butcher said to Shaikin, "...a choppy stride could minimize the power of the legs in driving toward home plate, alter the spot at which the pitcher releases the ball, and accelerate the [tempo of the] delivery."

Enjoy the rest of the results along with today's match ups.


The Top 100

Position Players

Rank (Ovr) Level Name, Pos Team AB R H RBI HR SB Notes
1 (1) A+ Byron Buxton, CF MIN - - - - - - Wrist injury
2 (2) MLB Xander Bogaerts, SS BOS 3 1 1 1 1 0 HR (1), 2 K
3 (3) AAA Oscar Taveras, RF STL 5 0 1 0 0 0
4 (5) AAA Javier Baez, SS CHC - - - - - - Ankle sprain
6 (7) A+ Carlos Correa, SS HOU 4 1 0 0 0 0 BB, K
Rank (Ovr) Level Name, Pos Team AB R H RBI HR SB Notes
7 (8) AA Kris Bryant, 3B CHC 3 0 0 0 0 1 DH – SB (3), HBP, 2 BB, 3 K
8 (10) AAA Gregory Polanco, CF PIT 5 1 2 1 0 0 K
9 (13) AA Francisco Lindor, SS CLE 3 1 0 0 0 0 BB
10 (14) AA Addison Russell, SS OAK - - - - - - Right hamstring injury
11 (17) AAA Maikel Franco, 3B PHI 5 0 0 0 0 0 HBP, 3 K
Rank (Ovr) Level Name, Pos Team AB R H RBI HR SB Notes
12 (18) MLB George Springer, CF HOU 4 0 1 0 0 0 2 K, E (1 – F)
13 (25) MLB Nick Castellanos, 3B DET 3 0 1 0 0 0 BB, E (1 – F), OF Assist (Home)
14 (27) AA Austin Hedges, C SD 4 0 0 0 0 0 K
15 (29) MLB Jose Abreu, 1B CWS 1 0 0 0 0 0
16 (34) AAA Joc Pederson, CF LAD 4 1 2 0 0 1 SB (5), BB, 2 K
Rank (Ovr) Level Name, Pos Team AB R H RBI HR SB Notes
17 (35) AA Gary Sanchez, C NYY 4 1 0 0 0 0 PB
18 (36) A+ Albert Almora, CF CHC 5 1 1 0 0 0 2 K
19 (37) A+ Corey Seager, SS LAD 4 0 0 0 0 0 2 K
20 (38) MLB Travis d'Arnaud, C NYM





DNP
21 (41) AA Jorge Soler, RF CHC - - - - - - Leg injury
Rank (Ovr) Level Name, Pos Team AB R H RBI HR SB Notes
22 (42) AA Rougned Odor, 2B TEX 2 0 1 0 0 0 BB, SAC
23 (43) MLB Billy Hamilton, CF CIN





DNP
24 (47) A+ Raul Mondesi, SS KC 5 1 1 2 0 0 3B (2), K, E (2 – T)
25 (48) A Clint Frazier, CF CLE 5 1 1 1 0 0
26 (49) A Austin Meadows, CF PIT - - - - - - Hamstring injury
Rank (Ovr) Level Name, Pos Team AB R H RBI HR SB Notes
27 (50) MLB Jackie Bradley, CF BOS 3 0 0 0 0 0 BB, 2 K
28 (54) A+ Jorge Alfaro, C TEX 4 0 1 2 0 0 HBP, K
29 (58) MLB Kolten Wong, 2B STL 6 1 2 1 0 0 2 K
30 (60) A+ Joey Gallo, 3B TEX 3 3 1 1 1 0 HR (6), 2 BB, 2 K, E (3 – T)
31 (61) A Colin Moran, 3B MIA - - - - - - Minor knee injury
Rank (Ovr) Level Name, Pos Team AB R H RBI HR SB Notes
32 (66) MLB Chris Owings, SS AZ





DNP
33 (69) AAA Christian Bethancourt, C ATL 2 0 0 0 0 0 BB
34 (70) AAA Stephen Piscotty, RF STL 3 1 1 1 1 0 HR (1), K
35 (72) AAA Matt Davidson, 3B CWS 4 0 0 0 0 0 K, E (2 – T)
36 (73) AA Blake Swihart, C BOS





PPD
Rank (Ovr) Level Name, Pos Team AB R H RBI HR SB Notes
37 (74) AAA Garin Cecchini, 3B BOS 8 1 3 0 0 0 DH
38 (75) AA Mookie Betts, 2B BOS





PPD
39 (76) AA Alen Hanson, SS PIT 3 0 1 0 0 0 BB, E (2 – T)
40 (78) A JP Crawford, SS PHI 5 0 1 0 0 0 K
41 (79) AAA Jake Marisnick, CF MIA 5 0 1 2 0 0 K
Rank (Ovr) Level Name, Pos Team AB R H RBI HR SB Notes
42 (80) A+ Hunter Renfroe, RF SD 4 0 0 0 0 0 2 K
43 (81) A Reese McGuire, C PIT 4 0 1 0 0 0 PO
44 (82) AAA Jon Singleton, 1B HOU 5 0 0 0 0 0 K
45 (84) AA Devon Travis, 2B DET - - - - - - Right oblique strain
46 (85) A+ DJ Peterson, 3B SEA 5 0 1 1 0 0 2 K
Rank (Ovr) Level Name, Pos Team AB R H RBI HR SB Notes
47 (86) A+ Rosell Herrera, 3B COL 4 1 2 0 0 0 K
48 (90) AA Jorge Bonifacio, RF KC 5 0 1 2 0 0 3B (1), 2 K
49 (91) MLB Marcus Semien, 2B CWS 4 0 1 0 0 0 K
50 (92) A Dominic Smith, 1B NYM 3 0 0 0 0 0 2 K
51 (93) AAA Taylor Lindsey, 2B LAA





PPD
Rank (Ovr) Level Name, Pos Team AB R H RBI HR SB Notes
52 (94) A David Dahl, CF COL 4 0 1 0 0 0 OF Assist (3B)
53 (97) A+ Nick Williams, LF TEX 5 1 2 2 0 0 2B (4),
54 (98) MLB Michael Choice, CF TEX





DNP
55 (100) AAA Arismendy Alcantara, 2B CHC 5 1 1 1 0 0 3B (2), K

Pitchers

Rank (Ovr) Level Name, Pos Team IP H R ER BB K Notes
1 (4) MLB Masahiro Tanaka, RHP NYY






2 (9) AAA Archie Bradley, RHP AZ






3 (11) MLB Taijuan Walker, RHP SEA






4 (12) AA Jon Gray, RHP COL






5 (15) MLB Dylan Bundy, RHP BAL - - - - - - TJ recovery
Rank (Ovr) Level Name, Pos Team IP H R ER BB K Notes
6 (16) AAA Noah Syndergaard, RHP NYM






7 (19) AA Robert Stephenson, RHP CIN






8 (20) AAA Kevin Gausman, RHP BAL






9 (21) A Lucas Giolito, RHP WAS






10 (22) EST Jameson Taillon, RHP PIT - - - - - - TJS
Rank (Ovr) Level Name, Pos Team IP H R ER BB K Notes
11 (23) AA Kyle Zimmer, RHP KC - - - - - - Will begin 5/20
12 (24) AA Eddie Butler, RHP COL






13 (26) MLB Yordano Ventura, RHP KC






14 (28) AA CJ Edwards, RHP CHC






15 (30) AA Andrew Heaney, LHP MIA






Rank (Ovr) Level Name, Pos Team IP H R ER BB K Notes
16 (31) MLB Carlos Martinez, RHP STL






17 (32) AA Aaron Sanchez, RHP TOR






18 (33) AA Kyle Crick, RHP SF






19 (39) A+ Mark Appel, RHP HOU






20 (40) AA Henry Owens, LHP BOS






Rank (Ovr) Level Name, Pos Team IP H R ER BB K Notes
21 (44) AA Matt Wisler, RHP SD






22 (45) AAA Alex Meyer, RHP MIN






23 (46) A+ Tyler Glasnow, RHP PIT - - - - - - Back stiffness
24 (51) A+ Julio Urias, LHP LAD






25 (52) A Kohl Stewart, RHP MIN






Rank (Ovr) Level Name, Pos Team IP H R ER BB K Notes
26 (53) EST Max Fried, LHP SD - - - - - - Left forarm soreness
27 (55) AAA Marcus Stroman, RHP TOR






28 (56) AAA Edwin Escobar, LHP SF






29 (57) A+ Lucas Sims, RHP ATL






30 (59) AAA Mike Foltynewicz, RHP HOU






Rank (Ovr) Level Name, Pos Team IP H R ER BB K Notes
31 (62) A Braden Shipley, RHP AZ 5 5 0 0 1 4 5 GO, 1 FO, W (1-0)
32 (63) MLB Erik Johnson RHP CWS






33 (64) AA Nick Kingham, RHP PIT 5 5 2 0 3 3 48 S, 35 B, 6 GO, 4 FO, 2 E (2 – T x2), L (1-1)
34 (65) AA Eduardo Rodriguez, LHP BAL






35 (67) MLB Jake Odorizzi, RHP TB






Rank (Ovr) Level Name, Pos Team IP H R ER BB K Notes
36 (68) AAA Rafael Montero, RHP NYM






37 (71) AA Jesse Biddle, LHP PHI






38 (77) A+ Lance McCullers, RHP HOU






39 (83) AAA Trevor Bauer, RHP CLE






40 (87) EST Pierce Johnson, RHP CHC - - - - - - Minor leg injury
Rank (Ovr) Level Name, Pos Team IP H R ER BB K Notes
41 (88) AAA Allen Webster, RHP BOS






42 (89) EST Trey Ball, LHP BOS - - - - - - Awaiting assignment
43 (95) AAA Zach Lee, RHP LAD






44 (96) AAA Jimmy Nelson, RHP MIL






45 (99) MLB James Paxton, LHP SEA - - - - - - Left lat strain

Duel of the Day

Org Rank BA (JS) Level Name, Pos Team IP H R ER BB K Notes
10 (6) AA Clayton Blackburn, RHP SF 6.1 4 0 0 2 3 47 S, 41 B, 10 GO, 3 FO, W (1-1)
5 (5) AA Nick Kingham, RHP PIT 5 5 2 0 3 3 48 S, 35 B, 6 GO, 4 FO, 2 E (2 – T x2), L (1-1)

Probable Starters

AAA - IL

  • Brandon Cumpton (RHP - PIT) vs David Holmberg (LHP - CIN) *****Co DotD*****
  • Alex Meyer (RHP - MIN) vs TBD (WAS)
  • Nate Karns (RHP - TB) vs Suk-min Yoon (RHP - BAL)
  • Liam Hendricks (RHP - TOR) vs TBD (BOS)
  • Derek Hankins (RHP - DET) vs Josh Tomlin (RHP - CLE)
  • TBD (ATL) vs Scott Carroll (RHP - CWS)
  • Barry Enright (RHP - PHI) vs TBD (NYY)

AAA - PCL

  • Rafael Montero (RHP - NYM) vs Alex Sanabia (RHP - AZ)
  • Brian Flynn (LHP - MIA) vs Tsuyoshi Wada (LHP - CHC)
  • Boone Whiting (RHP - STL) vs Brad Mills (LHP - MIL)
  • Branch Kloess (RHP - SD) vs Red Patterson (RHP - LAD)
  • Bobby Doran (RHP - HOU) vs Pedro Hernandez (LHP - COL)
  • Justin Germano (RHP - TEX) vs Brett Tomko (RHP - KC)
  • Wade LeBlanc (LHP - SD) vs Chance Ruffin (RHP - SEA)
  • Mike Kickham (LHP - SF) vs TBD (LAA)

AA - EL

  • Aaron Sanchez (RHP - TOR) vs Darin Gorski (LHP - NYM)
  • Robert Gilliam (RHP - WAS) vs Jesse Biddle (LHP - PHI)
  • Adalberto Mejia (LHP - SF) vs Tyler Sample (RHP - PIT)
  • Kyle Ryan (LHP - DET) vs TBD (NYY)
  • Miguel Pena (LHP - BOS) vs Taylor Rogers (LHP - MIN)
  • Kyle Davies (RHP - CLE) vs TBD (BAL)

AA - SL

  • Grayson Garvin (LHP - TB) vs Michael Lorenzen (RHP - CIN) *****Co DotD*****
  • Jose Urena (RHP - MIA) vs Garrett Gould (RHP - LAD)
  • Cam Hobson (LHP - SEA) vs Ivan Pineyro (RHP - CHC)
  • Tyler Cravy (RHP - MIL) vs Gavin Floyd (RHP - ATL)
  • Terry Doyle (RHP - CWS) vs Bryan Woodall (RHP - AZ)


AA - TL

  • Justin Hancock (RHP - SD) vs Raul Alcantara (RHP - OAK)
  • TBD (LAA) vs Sam Gaviglio (RHP - STL)
  • Andy Ferguson (RHP - KC) vs Richard Castillo (RHP - COL)
  • Aaron West (RHP - HOU) vs Alec Asher (RHP - TEX)


A+ - CAL

  • Dylan Unsworth (RHP - SEA) vs Mark Appel (RHP - HOU)
  • TBD (LAD) vs Andrew Barbosa (LHP - AZ)
  • Ben Alsup (RHP - COL) vs Joe Ross (RHP - SD)
  • Pat Young (RHP - SF) vs TBD (CIN)
  • Josh Bowman (RHP - OAK) vs TBD (LAA)


A+ - CAR

  • Christian Binford (RHP - KC) vs Luis Parra (LHP - TEX)
  • Brian Johnson (LHP - BOS) vs Braulio Ortiz (RHP - CWS)
  • Branden Kline (RHP - BAL) vs TBD (CLE)
  • TBD (WAS) vs Andrew Waszak (RHP - ATL)

A+ - FSL

  • Daniel Norris (LHP - TOR) vs Hobbs Johnson (LHP - MIL) *****Co DotD*****
  • Austin Brice (RHP - MIA) vs Jason Creasy (RHP - PIT)
  • Michael Fulmer (RHP - NYM) vs TBD (MIN)
  • Austin Pruitt (RHP - TB) vs Kyle Hald (LHP - STL)
  • Yorfrank Lopez (RHP - DET) vs Colin Kleven (RHP - PHI)
  • TBD (NYY) vs Yao-Lin Wang (RHP - CHC)


A - MWL

  • Buck Farmer (RHP - DET) vs Kohl Stewart (RHP - MIN) *****Co DotD*****
  • Kendall Graveman (RHP - TOR) vs Dylan Covey (RHP - OAK)
  • Juan Paniagua (RHP - CHC) vs Nick Travieso (RHP - CIN)
  • TBD (LAA) vs Mitch Brown (RHP - CLE)
  • Luis Chirinos (RHP - LAD) vs Preston Gainey (RHP - MIL)
  • Blake Perry (RHP - AZ) vs Andrew Thurman (RHP - HOU)
  • TBD (SEA) vs Chris Kirsch (LHP - TB)
  • Silfredo Garcia (RHP - STL) vs Jimmy Brasoban (RHP - SD)


A - SAL

  • Yohander Mendez (LHP - TEX) vs Alex Balog (RHP - COL)
  • TBD (ATL) vs Caleb Smith (LHP - NYY)
  • Mario Alcantara (RHP - BOS) vs John Gant (RHP - NYM)
  • Dovydas Neverauskas (RHP - PIT) vs Andrew Mitchell (RHP - HOU)
  • Ranfi Casimiro (RHP - PHI) vs Dixon Anderson (RHP - WAS)
  • TBD (SF) vs Luke Farrell (RHP - DET)
  • TBD (BAL) vs TBD (MIA)

Duel of the Day

With no real stand out match ups, lets take the shotgun approach and go with one at each level and see if one of these hits.

RHP Brandon Cumpton (PIT - AAA) vs LHP David Holmberg (CIN - AAA)

LHP Grayson Garvin (TB - AA) vs RHP Michael Lorenzen (CIN - AA)

LHP Daniel Norris (TOR - A+) vs LHP Hobbs Johnson (MIL - A+)

RHP Buck Farmer (DET - A) vs Kohl Stewart (MIN - A)

Injuries

  • Cubs SS Javier Baez (7 day DL; left ankle sprain) - 4/11
  • Tigers 2B Devon Travis (7 day DL; right oblique strain) - 4/10
  • Mariners LHP James Paxton (15 day DL; left lat strain) - 4/8
  • Athletics SS Addison Russell (7 day DL; torn right hamstring) - 4/6
  • Cubs RF Jorge Soler (7 day DL; leg injury) - 4/4
  • Pirates CF Austin Meadows (7 day DL; right hamstring strain) - 4/3
  • Marlins 3B Colin Moran (7 day DL: minor knee injury) - 4/3
  • Orioles RHP Dylan Bundy (60 day DL; TJS recovery) - 4/3
  • Padres LHP Max Fried (7 day DL; left forearm soreness) - 4/3
  • Cubs RHP Pierce Johnson (7 day DL; minor leg injury) - 4/3
  • Rays SS Hak-Ju Lee (three to four weeks; left calf strain) - 3/24
  • Pirates RHP Tyler Glasnow (7 day DL; tight lower back) - 3/23
  • Mariners RHP Taijuan Walker (15 day DL; right shoulder impingement) - 3/21
  • Twins CF Byron Buxton ("a couple of weeks"; left wrist sprain) - 3/16
  • Rays 2B Tim Beckham (season; torn right ACL) - 3/30
  • Pirates RHP Jameson Taillon (season; right elbow - TJS) - 3/23
  • Tigers RHP Bruce Rondon (season; right elbow - TJS) - 3/21
  • Dodgers RHP Ross Stripling (season; right elbow - TJS) - 3/14
  • Twins 3B Miguel Sano (season; right elbow - TJS) - 3/12

Previous Gameday threads -

Best Sports Sunglasses

Athletes and people who actively participate in sports should invest in a good pair of sunglasses to keep eyes healthy and free from injuries. A number of eye injuries can occur without sufficient, protective eyewear. Over 90% of eye injuries can be prevented through wearing high-quality sunglasses.

Impact and blunt trauma eye injuries are the most common injuries suffered in sports. This occurs in contact sports when the eye is hit with force. Piercing injuries can occur during fishing when a fish hook accidentally pierces the eye. Radiation eye injuries can lead to cataracts, muscular degeneration and eventually the loss of vision. Eye injuries caused by radiation are most common among snowboarders, mountaineers and skiers, where the effects of reflected sun are intense.

Wearing fashion sunglasses during sports training are not recommended as they are not strong enough to withstand the stress of sports. However, there are a number of stylish, sports sunglasses made with impact-resistant lenses and high UV protection to protect your eyes from harm. Here are 5 recommended sports sunglasses:

1)  Bolle Sunglasses

Bolle sunglasses are favored by athletes for their lightweight, shatterproof lenses and virtually indestructible hydralon frames. Advanced lens technology is used by Bolle to create sunglasses perfect for playing tennis and golf. Bolle’s polarized sunglasses eliminate glare and reflected light, and are ideal for water sports.

2)   Nike Sunglasses

Nike has long been associated with sports. Nike sunglasses feature Nike Max Optics to ensure athletes have a clear, all-round vision. Special features such as interchangeable lenses are great for the multi-sportsman and woman, as well as a ventilated nose bridge allowing air to flow, reduce fogging and to ensure the frame stays in place. Various tints are used for different sports to guarantee you receive accurate vision. To enhance comfort, Nike sunglasses use flexon memory metal that is 25% lighter than standard metal frames. 

3)   Adidas Sunglasses

Adidas is synonymous with running, but Adidas sunglasses are also great for other outdoor sports including skiing and biking. If you normally wear contact lenses with sunglasses, Adidas eyewear makes your life easier as it is designed to help athletes needing optical correction. Adidas sunglasses are also made to be comfortable, pressure free, and to suit different head shapes.

4)   Arnette Sunglasses

Arnette sunglasses are great for those who enjoy alternative sports such as skateboarding, surfing, wakeboarding, snowboarding and motorcycling. They come in a range of trendy, laid back styles, but also undergo rigorous laboratory testing to ensure they are impact-resistant, anti-corrosive, thermal stress

-resistant and offer precise vision.

5) Carrera Sunglasses

Carrera has over 50 years experience in the sports eye wear industry and focuses on creating sunglasses for skiing and cycling. Made for athletes, Carrera sunglasses are also tested by top athletes in order to refine lens and frame technology. Other features include interchangeable lenses that adapt to different weather conditions, a thermoplastic rubber that grips to the head, and customizable nose bridges and temple tips to give the wearer total comfort.

All these sunglasses brands are sleek and modern in style, but are carefully designed to reduce eye injuries and to optimize vision during active sports. With a huge array of sports sunglasses on the market, there’s no excuse not to find one that suits your taste.

Li-Sa Lim
Internet Marketing
SmartBuyGlasses

More Sport Articles

Related Posts

Minor League Prospect Notes: Mikie Mahtook, Jesus Aguilar

Outfielder Mikie Mahtook of the Tampa Bay Rays and first baseman Jesus Aguilar of the Cleveland Indians are tearing up the Triple-A International League.

Mikie Mahtook: A first round pick in 2011 out of Louisiana State University, Mahtook had a disappointing 2012 season for Double-A Montgomery in the Southern League, hitting .254/.322/.386 with seven homers. He did knock 30 doubles and swipe 25 bases, but scouts wanted to see more offense from him and he wasn't ranked particularly highly on most Rays prospect lists entering spring training.

However, 2014 looks much different: he's hitting .386/.435/.526 for the Durham Bulls with two doubles and three triples thus far and has been especially hot lately, hitting .500 in his last nine games. He's crushed left-handed pitching in particular, 9-for-17 (.529) thus far. The sample sizes are very small of course and his 4/17 BB/K ratio through 14 games is unappealing.

Mahtook's physical tools are rated as average to slightly above. He can play all three outfield positions although his tools likely fit best in left field in the long run. If he remains hot at Durham, a trial in Tampa could occur later this year given that David DeJesus and Brandon Guyer as his main competitors. Mahtook is a right-handed hitter, born November 30, 1989.

Jesus Aguilar: Another fast starter in the International League is Columbus Clippers first baseman Jesus Aguilar, hitting .372/.449/.667 with three homers, four doubles, six walks, and 10 strikeouts through 43 at-bats. He currently ranks fourth in the league in OPS and his hot start follows a successful winter league campaign in Venezuela.

Aguilar is a 6-3, 250 pound right-handed hitter born June 30, 1990. He had a decent '13 season for Double-A Akron in the Eastern League (.275/.349/.427 with 16 homers, 105 RBI) but his winter in Venezuela and his spring so far are even more dominant. Aguilar's physical strength has never been doubted, though it took him some time to craft a swing that would turn that strength into true home run power. His plate discipline has improved as well. He is limited to first base or DH defensively but his bat should get him a big league trial later this year.

Umpire ‘with a personality’ gets the call to the big leagues

Tom Woodring has experience in several leagues, including the Pacific Coast, Gulf Coast, California, Eastern and Arizona Fall League.

From Omaha, Neb. to Yankee Stadium in 24 hours - that's what happened to former Pacific Coast League umpire Tom Woodring this week.

Woodring was scheduled to work the Omaha-Round Rock series in Omaha, but after his plane landed he got the call to the big leagues. He umpired his first game in Yankee Stadium in the Yankees-Cubs game on April 16.

Not a bad way to make your debut.

According to CloseCallSports.com, Woodring began his MiLB umpiring career in the Gulf Coast League and worked the California and Eastern Leagues before his promotion to Triple-A. The site says he also worked the 2012 All-Star Futures Game and 2012 Arizona Fall League.

When I tweeted the news about Woodring's promotion - Ryan Verdugo, a pitcher in the Royals farm system - responded.

"Good for him," Verdugo said. "He's a good guy. I had him back in the CAL league also ... he's actually an ump with a personality."

That's not to say other umpires lack personality, but Verdugo was saying Woodring shows his on the field. So I asked him what that looks like.

"He actually jokes with players and you can ask him stuff without him getting mad or defensive," Verdugo said.

Mariners promote sleeper outfield prospect James Jones

It has been a rough week for Seattle Mariners prospect watchers: top pitching prospect Taijuan Walker has been placed on the Triple-A Tacoma disabled list with a "shoulder impingement," while first base prospect Ji-Man Choi was suspended for 50 games yesterday after failing a urine test and testing positive for PED. If you're looking for the different kind of positive, one player to track is rookie outfielder James Jones, promoted to the major league roster on Wednesday to replace injured pitcher Blake Beavan.

Jones is something of a unique talent. Drafted in the fourth round in 2009 from Long Island University, he was a two-way player in college and a prospect as both a left-handed pitcher and an outfielder. The Mariners liked his physical tools so they made him a full time position player. The results have been inconsistent but intriguing.

Jones offers all five physical tools, with wiry strength, a very strong throwing arm, and slightly above average speed. A 6-4, 200 pound left-handed hitter born September 24, 1988, he has a mixed track record but performed decently last year for Double-A Jackson, hitting .275/.347/.419 with 14 doubles,10 triples, and 28 steals. His overall production was solid for the Southern League with a 123 wRC+. So far in 2014 he was 13-for-42 (.310) in 11 games for Tacoma with two doubles, a triple, and two steals.

At this best, Jones will show decent plate discipline with flashes of power and speed. He can play all three outfield positions, with right field being the best fit for his tool set. He projects best as a fourth outfielder at the major league level, lacking the bat to play regularly for a first-division team but providing enough secondary contributions to be a useful role player.

2013 Community Mock Draft Update - NL East

Remember the Mock Draft of the first four rounds last June? Lets take a look at how everyone has panned out so far.

With the start of 2014 in the rear-view mirror, the next big landmark of the season is the upcoming Rule IV draft in June. The closer we get, the heavier the coverage will be but for now, lets take a look back at how the community's picks fared. We'll go division-by-division with a poll to see who looks best almost a year out.

We start with the NL East and work our way across the states then to the American League.

Atlanta Braves - Nick Melotte

Rd Pick Name Position Actual Round Acutal Pick Actual Team 2013 Level 2013 Stats
1 31 Marco Gonzales LHP 1 19 STL R/A+ 2.70 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 23.1 IP, 18 H (6.9/9), 8 BB (3.1/9), 23 K (8.9/9), 2.88 K/BB, 2.81 FIP
2 65 Josh Hart CF 1S 37 BAL R/A- 218/302/286/588, 29-133, 5 2B, 2 3B, 0 HR, 14 R, 9 RBI, 11-14 SB, 14-27 BB-K, 81 wRC+
3 102 Rob Zastryzny LHP 2 41 CHC A-/A 2.25 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 24 IP, 24 H (9.0/9), 8 BB (3.0/9), 22 K (8.2/9), 2.75 K/BB, 2.62 FIP
4 133 Chandler Eden RHP 36 1072 MIA - Went to Oregon State

Miami Marlins - Gaulie

Rd Pick Name Position Actual Round Acutal Pick Actual Team 2013 Level 2013 Stats
1 6 Clint Frazier CF 1 5 CLE R 297/362/506/868, 51-172, 11 2B, 5 3B, 5 HR, 32 R, 28 RBI, 3-5 SB, 17-61 BB-K, 137 wRC+
1 35 Jonathon Crawford RHP 1 20 DET A- 1.89 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 19 IP, 15 H (7.1/9), 9 BB (4.3/9), 21 K (9.9/9), 2.33 K/BB, 2.57 FIP
2 44 Trey Williams 3B 7 211 PHI R 208/306/304/610, 26-125, 3 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR, 20 R, 9 RBI, 0-0 SB, 13-27 BB-K, 88 wRC+
2 73 Jan Hernandez 3B 3 96 PHI R 210/291/347/638, 26-124, 6 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 16 R, 14 RBI, 7-9 SB, 12-50 BB-K, 91 wRC+
3 80 Harrison Cooney RHP 6 187 LAA R+ 5.10 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 30 IP, 28 H (8.4/9), 11 BB (3.3/9), 18 K (5.4/9), 1.64 K/BB, 4.13 FIP
4 112 Brian Navarreto C 6 170 MIN R 226/318/365/683, 31-137, 10 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR, 15 R, 16 RBI, 3-4 SB, 15-35 BB-K, 106 wRC+

New York Mets - mtk52983

Rd Pick Name Position Actual Round Acutal Pick Actual Team 2013 Level 2013 Stats
1 11 Dominic Smith 1B 1 11 NYM R/R+ 301/398/439/837, 52-173, 13 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 25 R, 26 RBI, 2-6 SB, 26-37 BB-K, 144 wRC+
2 48 Andrew Thurman RHP 2 40 HOU A- 3.86 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 39.2 IP, 43 H (9.8/9), 11 BB (2.5/9), 43 K (9.8/9), 3.91 K/BB, 3.73 FIP
3 76 Ivan Wilson CF 3 76 NYM R 219/321/300/621, 35-160, 4 2B, 3 3B, 1 HR, 16 R, 15 RBI, 13-15 SB, 22-65 BB-K, 92 wRC+
3 84 AJ Vanegas RHP 19 581 OAK - Stayed at Stanford
4 116 Victor Caratini 3B/C 2 65 ATL R+ 290/415/430/845, 58-200, 23 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 29 R, 25 RBI, 0-2 SB, 39-49 BB-K, 148 wRC+

Philadelphia Phillies - chuck.andrews.752

Rd Pick Name Position Actual Round Acutal Pick Actual Team 2013 Level 2013 Stats
1 16 JP Crawford SS 1 16 PHI R/A 308/405/400/805, 60-195, 9 2B, 3 3B, 1 HR, 34 R, 21 RBI, 14-20 SB, 32-35 BB-K, 142 wRC+
2 53 Justin Williams LF 2 52 AZ R/R+/A 351/397/452/849, 73-208, 18 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 32 R, 37 RBI, 0-1 SB, 11-44 BB-K, 135 wRC+
3 89 Dom Nunez 2B/SS 6 169 COL R+ 200/269/323/592, 39-195, 13 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 24 R, 23 RBI, 11-19 SB, 18-34 BB-K, 54 wRC+
3 96 Mike Shawaryn RHP 32 954 KC - Went to Maryland
4 121 Adam Plutko RHP 11 321 CLE - Did Not Play

Washington Nationals - what Juneau about that?

Rd Pick Name Position Actual Round Acutal Pick Actual Team 2013 Level 2013 Stats
2 68 Corey Knebel RHP 1S 39 DET A 0.87 ERA, 0.77 WHIP, 31 IP, 14 H (4.1/9), 10 BB (2.9/9), 41 K (11.9/9), 4.10 K/BB, 1.89 FIP
3 105 Clinton Hollon RHP 2 47 TOR R/R+ 3.12 ERA, 0.81 WHIP, 17.1 IP, 8 H (4.2/9), 6 BB (3.1/9), 15 K (7.8/9), 2.50 K/BB, 3.26 FIP
4 136 Tyler Danish RHP 2 55 CWS R+/A 1.20 ERA, 0.73 WHIP, 30 IP, 17 H (5.1/9), 5 BB (1.5/9), 28 K (8.4/9), 5.60 K/BB, 2.27 FIP

RB: Carlos Beltran: more of a center fielder than Mickey Mantle, Ty Cobb or Duke Snider. So what?

Well, a-beat the drum and hold the phone call from Jack O’Connell. Brain Kenny led a panel discussion on MLB Network yesterday about whether Carlos Beltran has a shot at the Hall of Fame.  The consensus was yes.  My immediate reaction was that Beltran was benefiting from having his hitting compared to center fielders, that if he were compared to right fielders like Hank Aaron then Beltran would have more difficulty. While Beltran have may a few years to go, right now he is included among players who played at least 75% of their games in center.  Review the two lists above.  The number of center fielders shrinks from 25 to 15 when the criteria changes from 50% to 75%. Who are dropped? Mickey Mantle Ty Cobb Duke Snider Ellis Burks Cesar Cedeno Torii Hunter Vada Pinson Max Carey Johnny Damon Willie McGee Wow.  Mickey Mantle, Ty Cobb, Duke Snider.  Mantle and Cobb don’t need the extra credit of playing center field to be considered all time great players.  It turns out that Aaron did not play 75% of his games in right.  Among right fielders using the 50% criteria, Snider would have the same ranking OPS+: number six.  Babe Ruth is not included because he split his outfield games between right and left. Carlos Beltran ranked 13 out of 25 on the first center field list and 9 of 15 on the second list.  For some perspective Bernie Williams ranked 11 and 7.  Jim Edmonds missed the 2,000 hit cut with 1,949; he hit 393 homers and had OPS+ 132.  That would have ranked Edmonds 9 and 6, above both Beltran and Williams.  Among those three I would pick Edmonds number one, Williams three.  Bernie was not nearly as good a fielder and Betran was a great base stealer and outstanding tournament hitter. ...What if Kaline, Aaron, Bonds, Clemente, and Henderson had played center for at least half their careers?  How much more value would they seem to have had? And what if Beltran, Williams and Edmonds had played corner outfield positions instead of center?  Would there be any serious discussion of them as Hall of Fame players, especially Williams who was erratic in center and had a weak arm?  In the corners they’d be mixed in with the big boppers: Ruth, Williams, Bonds, Musial, Aaron.  Stolen bases and flashy fielding would add only so much.

Mitchell: Now Playing First Base for the Yankees

With nary an Ex-Ray Barker on the horizon. This all raises the question of why nobody on the Yankees in spring training looked around and saw an injury prone first baseman, three veteran outfielders vying for time in right and DH—center field and left field are occupied by Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury, two of the Yankees best players—and thought to give one of the veterans a first baseman’s glove. First base is generally considered the least demanding defensive position to play, but it is not easy to play any position competently at the big league level. Nonetheless, Suzuki, Beltran and Soriano, although older and slower than they were a few years ago, are all still relatively athletic and have proven themselves to be decent defenders in the past. With a little work it is likely that any of those three could have learned a decent enough first base. On many teams the failure to take this step would have been less significant because after Teixeira went down with an injury, the team would have called up a decent hitting first baseman from the minors. The Yankees, however, have one of the weakest farm systems in baseball so were unable to do this. The combined lack of a decent minor league system and unwillingness to make a somewhat obvious move in spring training, put the Yankees in a potentially tough situation less than two weeks into the season. Fortunately, solid starting pitching, particularly from Masahiro Tanaka, one of the Yankees most expensive off-season acquisitions, and Michael Pineda who appears to be healthy and ready to be a good big league pitcher again, and good offense from people like Ellsbury, Beltran and 26 year old heretofore minor league journeyman Yangervis Solarte, have helped get the Yankees off to a good start. While the Yankees have an unusual situation as they, for reasons not altogether clear, seem to be stockpiling veteran outfielders who could potentially play first base, the absence of outfield to first base conversions is reasonably widespread. This used to be relatively common. Hall of Famer outfielders such as Al Kaline, Mickey Mantle and Henry Aaron spent significant time at first base at the end of their careers, as did players like Cesar Cedeno, Frank Howard and Dwight Evans, all very good players but not quite Hall of Famers. This has been much less common in the last 20-30 years. This is partially due to the designated hitter rule which has provided a place other than first base to put an aging slugger in need of a rest, but that does not explain the unwillingness of teams to innovate, or more accurately go back to an old and smart way of doing things.

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-18-2014

El Paso Herald, April 18, 1914:The worst luck in the world follows the sight of a cross eyed person, according to the ball players. However this “jinx” may be broken by spitting in your hat immediately. In procuring bat boys to carry the clubs from the home plate back to the bench and kepe them neatly piled in order, baseball managers, as a rule pick out the worst looking youth to be found. He is retained as long as things go well, but when the time arrives that the team hits a slump another homely boy is taken on. Slumpbusting, 1914-style.

Fletcher: Foes have slowed Trout in one category so far - steals

But..but..Miguel Cabrera has none. Of all the elements of the young Angels season that have not gone according to expectations, there might be nothing as surprising as this: It took Mike Trout 14 games to even attempt a stolen base. This is a guy, after all, who stole 49 bases as a rookie, a guy whose value is accentuated by his combination of power and speed. Stealing bases, however, is about more than speed. It’s about opportunity, and that has been the obstacle for Trout since the start of last season. “I think every team and every pitcher knows when he gets on he’s a threat to steal, and they have made adjustments,” said Angels bench coach Dino Ebel, the third-base coach for Trout’s first two full seasons. Although Trout has the green light most of the time, he has not been running as much over the past season-plus. Trout’s stolen base total dropped from 49 in 2012 to 33 in 2013, and this season he has just one through 15 games. “Pitchers have been giving me a lot of different looks,” Trout said. “You don’t want to run into outs, but we’re going to stay aggressive for sure.” The low total this season has been about a combination of pitchers holding him close and a surprisingly low number of opportunities. After 71 plate appearances, Trout has found himself on first base, with second unoccupied, only 10 times. In six of those instances, a left-handed pitcher has been on the mound. In one of the other four, the game was 11-1.

OMNICHATTER FOR APRIL 18, 2014

The OMNICHATTER has never walked 8 batters in an inning….

NY Daily News: Secret Service Threatened To Shoot Mr. Met

A Secret Service agent threatened to put some high heat in the Mets mascot’s oversized dome if he ventured too close to former President Bill Clinton during a 1997 game at Shea Stadium. “We have snipers all around the stadium, just in case something were to happen,” the agent warned. “Like I said, do whatever it is you normally do. But approach the President, and we go for the kill shot. Are we clear?” AJ Mass, the man inside the Mr. Met outfit from 1994-97, recounted his brush with mortality (and perhaps immortality) in his new memoir “Yes, It’s Hot in Here — Adventures in the Weird, Wooly World of Sports Mascots.” Aim for the head!

Mariners prospect Ji-Man Choi suspended 50 games

Major League Baseball announced Thursday that Seattle Mariners first base prospect Ji-Man Choi has been suspended 50 games after testing positive for methandienone, a banned performance-enhancing substance. Choi denies taking the substance knowingly but will not contest the suspension.

According to the Tacoma News Tribune, Choi released a statement: "A banned substance was detected in my urine sample. I do not know what I could have taken that caused me to test positive. I have not and never would knowingly use anything illegal to enhance my performance. However, I also understand that without an explanation I must serve a suspension and I accept that. I look forward to putting this behind me and to returning to help the Mariners ballclub once my suspension has ended."

Choi was off to an excellent start for the Triple-A Tacoma Rainiers of the Pacific Coast League, hitting .394/.500/.545 through 10 games, with seven walks and six strikeouts. The 22-year-old first baseman was signed by the Mariners out of South Korea in 2009.

ANALYSIS: Well this obviously isn't good short-term news for Mariners fans or any fantasy owners who invested in Choi. However, although scouts are not wild about his physical tools, he has always been a very effective hitter with an intriguing mix of sharp strike zone judgment and decent power. We won't see him for 50 games but he still has a chance to see big league action later this year if he continues to hit well on his return. I think he remains an interesting sleeper prospect even if his stock takes a short-term hit.

April 17, 2014

Robothal: What a relief! A’s could use bullpen differently than other teams

The natural question, now that Jim Johnson has thrown five consecutive scoreless innings, is whether the $10 million reliever soon will return to the closer’s role. Well, what if the Athletics refuse to entertain the notion? What if they take a wrecking ball to traditional bullpen roles and use their best relievers in the highest-leverage situations, regardless of inning? If ever there was a general manager who would be willing to defy baseball’s conventional wisdom, it’s Billy Beane. And if ever there was a team deep enough in dominant relievers to attempt an unorthodox but potentially optimal usage pattern, it’™s the A’s. I’m not saying it’s going to happen. I’m not saying it should happen. I’m just saying that it wouldn’t surprise me if the A’s declined to re-establish Johnson as their closer, alternating him with other relievers in the role instead. ... To be sure, a one-inning closer who pitches mostly in save situations is not conducive to an optimal bullpen. On the other hand, the creation of an entirely new usage pattern would require not just a strong manager, but also strong-minded relievers. Melvin might very well be that kind of manager. Gregerson, Doolittle and Johnson might very well be those kinds of relievers. Still, the concept works better in a vacuum. And teams don’t play in a vacuum, not in an age of multi-million-dol relievers who crave predictability and managers who face immediate 140-character second-guessing after every blown save. Would the competitive advantage gained from a non-traditional bullpen be worth the potential disruption to so many in uniform? That is a question that not even the most gifted sabermetrician could answer, unless he or she could get inside the head of every reliever and every manager. It would be easy if they all were robots. But they’re not. Managers get second-guessed plenty as it is—by fans, by reporters and yes, by their GMs. If I were a manager, I’d strive to be less rigid with my bullpen than most. But that’s easy for me to say as I sit here musing at my laptop. It’s a lot more difficult sitting in a dugout, making heat-of-the-m decisions. Even free thinkers such as Joe Maddon seem to prefer traditional bullpen management; the Rays invent new closers almost every season, but they do not try to reinvent the role. The Athletics, to this point, have operated in similar fashion. And if they returned to a typical setup—say, Otero and lefty Fernando Abad in the sixth; Doolittle, Gregerson and Cook in the seventh and eighth; Johnson in the ninth—they almost certainly would be quite good (assuming, of course, that Johnson was pitching well enough to reclaim his job). Indeed, the debate might be more fun in theory than meaningful in reality; Epstein once told Baseball Prospectus that optimal bullpen usage would create only a “small” competitive edge. The Athletics, to be sure, are in a commanding position no matter which approach they take. All of their relievers—even the long man, lefty Drew Pomeranz—are quite good.

Design Room: Top 10 Logos in MLB History.

The Montreal Expos (French: Expos de Montréal) team started in 1969 and never changed their logo.  For almost 40 years the team held on to this awesome mark because it was smart and looked great. Expos de Montreal Baseball. That is the secret behind this logo. Interwoven script pieces all come together to abbreviate the full name of the team. This logo is a little dated looking, but I can imagine this being modernized and still looking amazing without significant change. That is how you know this is a good logo. The line work is smooth, it is creative and clever and I commend the designer for coming up with a mark that doesn’t rely on a baseball to remind the viewer that it is a team logo. This is easily one of the smartest logos in baseball history. I literally went, “Oh wow,” when I read this bit. I’d never understood this about the Expos logo.

Dumb Sports Injuries

Obviously, injuries are not something that people should laugh about. Injuries threaten the health of the player, their livelihood, and even their future. It can bring down an entire sports team along with the hopes and dreams of countless other people. It is definitely not a laughing matter. But sometimes, one can’t help but to laugh (or at least giggle) at how these players manage to get themselves hurt. Sometimes, it is just so ridiculous, so unbelievable; the only reaction one can give is laughter. Below are 3 examples of some of the dumbest ways these athletes injure themselves on or off the field.

Sammy Sosa’s Sneeze

Sammy Sosa is one of the hardest hitters baseball has ever seen. In his 18 years in the MLB, he has 609 homeruns, 1,667 RBIs and a batting average of .273. He has a physique as big as any player in the league with the strength to match. But on a fateful day in 2004, while giving an interview to reporters inside the locker room Sammy Sosa sneezed twice and immediately complained of back pains. It turns out that Sosa had sprained a ligament in his back on his second sneeze. He had back spasms and was forced to sit out a few games. When he came back, Sosa had one of the weakest years of his career and it ended with him leaving for another team.

Paulo Diogo’s Ring

Paolo Diogo, a Portuguese soccer player, had just assisted in a goal for the Swiss soccer club, Servette FC. To celebrate the goal, he decided to climb up a fence that surrounded the pitch. While on the fence, his ring accidentally got stuck. Still preoccupied with the celebration, Diogo did not notice this happening. He kept on screaming and shouting and when he was done, he jumped off the fence; his finger however, continued to cling on to the fence.

His finger was ripped off from his hand. As he was on the ground, still feeling the pain of having his finger ripped right off, match officials frantically searched for his finger, which had finally fallen from the fence. The referee however, did not feel any pity on the player and gave him a yellow card while he was still on the ground.

Barkley’s Hug

Kevin Johnson, a former Phoenix Suns point guard had spent years and years playing with Charles Barkley. He knew his weaknesses and he knew his strengths. Unfortunately for Kevin Johnson, Charles Barkley didn’t. In 2007, after Johnson had hit a game-winning shot, an overexcited Barkley ran over and gave Johnson a big hug. Actually, a bear hug. A really, really tight bear hug. So tight in fact, that that Kevin Johnson’s shoulder had popped out and got dislocated. Johnson just shot a winning basket, and his prize, an over excited bear hug from one of the strongest players in the league.

Joel “Guitar Hero” Zumaya

In 2006, Joel Zumaya was a rookie for the Detroit Tigers. He had become known for his fiery pitches, which were as consistent as they were fast. His blazing arm had set fire to the league. Unfortunately for the pitcher, he missed three games of the American League Championship Series because of some inflammation in his arm. His blazing fastballs had finally burned out his pitching arm, right? well, not quite. The injury turned out to be caused by an overdose of Guitar Hero, the video game. He may have been a guitar hero for a few hours, but he was a zero for three days. GP

FSupplement Centre are one of the UK’s leading suppliers of Bodybuilding Supplements providing products such as Weight Gain Powers and Whey Powder.

Related Sport Articles

Related Posts

Minor League Ball Gameday: Thursday, April 17

Five of the top eight pitching prospects in baseball toed the rubber. Who was best?

Hello everyone. Yesterday may have featured the first pitching match-up between the Beltline's best hurlers. There is no way to overstate the excitement yesterday's duel between Lucas Giolito and Hunter Harvey caused. Giolito, Washington's top prospect, shined through five innings while limited to 66 pitches (43 strikes, 23 balls). He struck out six while walking two, allowing two hits and no runs with four ground outs and two fly outs.

On the other side of the diamond, Hunter Harvey was on a longer leash with his pitch count, throwing 89 pitches (54 strikes, 35 balls) over six sparkling, scoreless innings. He allowed only one hit with seven strike outs, one walk, and he hit two batters. Four outs came via the ground with two in the air, and he also committed a balk.

Other than the marquee match up, Masahiro Tanaka struck out 10 in eight scoreless innings, allowing just two hits and one walk. Jon Gray threw 5.2 scoreless innings, Marcus Stroman turned in 5.1 scoreless, Trevor Bauer and Zach Lee each went six scoreless, and and Lance McCullers tossed four clean frames as the back end of a piggy back start. Robert Stephenson and Archie Bradley struggled, and Jake Odorizzi turned in a so-so performance for Tampa

On the hitting side of things, George Springer made his Major League debut while also picking up his first Major League hit. Two players finished one step shy of the cycle. Former teammate and heart of the Oklahoma City lineup Jon Singleton continued his tear; going 3-5 with his fifth home run, sixth double, and first triple to come up a single short of the cycle. He struck out once, drove in two and scored twice as well. Cubs second baseman Arismendy Alcantara finished a homer shy, also knocking his sixth double and first triple to go with an eerily similar strikeout, two runs and two RBI. In a double dip, Raul Mondesi finished 4-8 with a triple, two runs scored and one punch out.

Check out the rest below along with today;s Duel of the Day and the running list of the gimps.

The Top 100

Position Players

Rank (Ovr) Level Name, Pos Team AB R H RBI HR SB Notes
1 (1) A+ Byron Buxton, CF MIN - - - - - - Wrist injury
2 (2) MLB Xander Bogaerts, SS BOS 3 0 1 1 0 1 SB (1), 2 BB, 2 HBP
3 (3) AAA Oscar Taveras, RF STL 5 1 1 2 0 0
4 (5) AAA Javier Baez, SS CHC - - - - - - Ankle sprain
6 (7) A+ Carlos Correa, SS HOU 4 1 2 2 1 0 HR (2)
Rank (Ovr) Level Name, Pos Team AB R H RBI HR SB Notes
7 (8) AA Kris Bryant, 3B CHC 2 1 1 0 0 0 2B (3), BB, HBP
8 (10) AAA Gregory Polanco, CF PIT 4 0 0 1 0 0
9 (13) AA Francisco Lindor, SS CLE 6 1 1 1 0 0 DH – BB, K
10 (14) AA Addison Russell, SS OAK - - - - - - Right hamstring injury
11 (17) AAA Maikel Franco, 3B PHI 4 1 2 0 0 0 BB
Rank (Ovr) Level Name, Pos Team AB R H RBI HR SB Notes
12 (18) MLB George Springer, CF HOU 5 1 1 0 0 0 BB, 2 K, PO
13 (25) MLB Nick Castellanos, 3B DET 4 0 0 0 0 0
14 (27) AA Austin Hedges, C SD





DNP
15 (29) MLB Jose Abreu, 1B CWS 6 0 0 0 0 0 K
16 (34) AAA Joc Pederson, CF LAD 3 0 0 0 0 0 BB
Rank (Ovr) Level Name, Pos Team AB R H RBI HR SB Notes
17 (35) AA Gary Sanchez, C NYY 3 0 1 0 0 0 HBP, E (2 – F)
18 (36) A+ Albert Almora, CF CHC





DNP
19 (37) A+ Corey Seager, SS LAD 4 2 2 1 0 1 2B (5), SB (4), BB
20 (38) MLB Travis d'Arnaud, C NYM





DNP
21 (41) AA Jorge Soler, RF CHC - - - - - - Leg injury
Rank (Ovr) Level Name, Pos Team AB R H RBI HR SB Notes
22 (42) AA Rougned Odor, 2B TEX





DNP
23 (43) MLB Billy Hamilton, CF CIN 3 2 1 0 0 2 2 SB (4), BB, K
24 (47) A+ Raul Mondesi, SS KC 8 2 4 0 0 0 3B (1), K
25 (48) A Clint Frazier, CF CLE - - - - - - Hamstring injury
26 (49) A Austin Meadows, CF PIT - - - - - - Hamstring injury
Rank (Ovr) Level Name, Pos Team AB R H RBI HR SB Notes
27 (50) MLB Jackie Bradley, CF BOS 6 0 1 2 0 0 2B (3), BB, K
28 (54) A+ Jorge Alfaro, C TEX 7 0 1 0 0 0 DH – 3 K, PO (3B)
29 (58) MLB Kolten Wong, 2B STL 3 0 0 0 0 0 K
30 (60) A+ Joey Gallo, 3B TEX 7 0 1 0 0 0 DH – BB, 2 K, E (2 – F)
31 (61) A Colin Moran, 3B MIA - - - - - - Minor knee injury
Rank (Ovr) Level Name, Pos Team AB R H RBI HR SB Notes
32 (66) MLB Chris Owings, SS AZ





DNP
33 (69) AAA Christian Bethancourt, C ATL





DNP
34 (70) AAA Stephen Piscotty, RF STL 4 1 0 0 0 0 K
35 (72) AAA Matt Davidson, 3B CWS 4 0 1 0 0 0 2 K
36 (73) AA Blake Swihart, C BOS





PPD
Rank (Ovr) Level Name, Pos Team AB R H RBI HR SB Notes
37 (74) AAA Garin Cecchini, 3B BOS





DNP
38 (75) AA Mookie Betts, 2B BOS





PPD
39 (76) AA Alen Hanson, SS PIT 5 0 0 0 0 0 2 K
40 (78) A JP Crawford, SS PHI 3 0 0 0 0 1 SB (4), BB, K
41 (79) AAA Jake Marisnick, CF MIA 4 0 0 0 0 0 2 K
Rank (Ovr) Level Name, Pos Team AB R H RBI HR SB Notes
42 (80) A+ Hunter Renfroe, RF SD 5 1 3 2 0 0 K
43 (81) A Reese McGuire, C PIT 2 0 0 0 0 0 BB, 2 PO, E (1 – F)
44 (82) AAA Jon Singleton, 1B HOU 5 2 3 2 1 0 HR (5), 2B (6), 3B (1), K
45 (84) AA Devon Travis, 2B DET - - - - - - Right oblique strain
46 (85) A+ DJ Peterson, 3B SEA 4 0 0 0 0 0 2 K, E (8 – T)
Rank (Ovr) Level Name, Pos Team AB R H RBI HR SB Notes
47 (86) A+ Rosell Herrera, 3B COL 4 0 1 0 0 0 E (2 – T)
48 (90) AA Jorge Bonifacio, RF KC 4 0 0 0 0 0 K
49 (91) MLB Marcus Semien, 2B CWS 7 0 1 0 0 0 3 K
50 (92) A Dominic Smith, 1B NYM 4 0 0 0 0 0 K
51 (93) AAA Taylor Lindsey, 2B LAA 4 2 1 0 0 0 2B (3), BB, 2 K
Rank (Ovr) Level Name, Pos Team AB R H RBI HR SB Notes
52 (94) A David Dahl, CF COL 6 1 1 0 0 0 DH – BB, K, 2 OF Assist (1B, 3B)
53 (97) A+ Nick Williams, LF TEX 3 0 2 1 0 0 CS
54 (98) MLB Michael Choice, CF TEX 0 0 0 1 0 0 SF
55 (100) AAA Arismendy Alcantara, 2B CHC 5 2 3 2 0 0 2B (6), 3B (1), K

Pitchers

Rank (Ovr) Level Name, Pos Team IP H R ER BB K Notes
1 (4) MLB Masahiro Tanaka, RHP NYY 8 2 0 0 1 10 76 S, 31 B, 7 GO, 7 FO, W (2-0)
2 (9) AAA Archie Bradley, RHP AZ 4.1 7 4 4 2 4 2 WP, 2 HBP, 50 S, 42 B, 7 GO, 1 FO, L (1-2)
3 (11) MLB Taijuan Walker, RHP SEA






4 (12) AA Jon Gray, RHP COL 5.2 2 0 0 2 5 WP, 59 S, 27 B, 6 GO, 2 FO, W (1-1)
5 (15) MLB Dylan Bundy, RHP BAL - - - - - - TJ recovery
Rank (Ovr) Level Name, Pos Team IP H R ER BB K Notes
6 (16) AAA Noah Syndergaard, RHP NYM






7 (19) AA Robert Stephenson, RHP CIN 4.1 3 5 4 7 3 HR (Jeff Malm), 48 S, 48 B, 4 GO, 3 FO, L (1-1)
8 (20) AAA Kevin Gausman, RHP BAL






9 (21) A Lucas Giolito, RHP WAS 5 2 0 0 2 6 43 S, 23 B, 4 GO, 2 FO
10 (22) EST Jameson Taillon, RHP PIT - - - - - - TJS
Rank (Ovr) Level Name, Pos Team IP H R ER BB K Notes
11 (23) AA Kyle Zimmer, RHP KC - - - - - - Will begin 5/20
12 (24) AA Eddie Butler, RHP COL






13 (26) MLB Yordano Ventura, RHP KC






14 (28) AA CJ Edwards, RHP CHC






15 (30) AA Andrew Heaney, LHP MIA






Rank (Ovr) Level Name, Pos Team IP H R ER BB K Notes
16 (31) MLB Carlos Martinez, RHP STL






17 (32) AA Aaron Sanchez, RHP TOR






18 (33) AA Kyle Crick, RHP SF






19 (39) A+ Mark Appel, RHP HOU






20 (40) AA Henry Owens, LHP BOS






Rank (Ovr) Level Name, Pos Team IP H R ER BB K Notes
21 (44) AA Matt Wisler, RHP SD






22 (45) AAA Alex Meyer, RHP MIN






23 (46) A+ Tyler Glasnow, RHP PIT - - - - - - Back stiffness
24 (51) A+ Julio Urias, LHP LAD






25 (52) A Kohl Stewart, RHP MIN






Rank (Ovr) Level Name, Pos Team IP H R ER BB K Notes
26 (53) EST Max Fried, LHP SD - - - - - - Left forarm soreness
27 (55) AAA Marcus Stroman, RHP TOR 5.1 5 0 0 0 9 67 S, 27 B, 5 GO, 1 FO, W (1-1)
28 (56) AAA Edwin Escobar, LHP SF






29 (57) A+ Lucas Sims, RHP ATL






30 (59) AAA Mike Foltynewicz, RHP HOU






Rank (Ovr) Level Name, Pos Team IP H R ER BB K Notes
31 (62) A Braden Shipley, RHP AZ - - - - - - Right bicep tendinitis
32 (63) MLB Erik Johnson RHP CWS






33 (64) AA Nick Kingham, RHP PIT






34 (65) AA Eduardo Rodriguez, LHP BAL






35 (67) MLB Jake Odorizzi, RHP TB 5 5 3 3 3 4 59 S, 36 B, 2 GO, 9 FO, L (1-2)
Rank (Ovr) Level Name, Pos Team IP H R ER BB K Notes
36 (68) AAA Rafael Montero, RHP NYM






37 (71) AA Jesse Biddle, LHP PHI






38 (77) A+ Lance McCullers, RHP HOU 4 1 0 0 2 2 7 GO, 1 FO, SV (1)
39 (83) AAA Trevor Bauer, RHP CLE 6 5 0 0 1 9 WP, 61 S, 38 B, 1 GO, 4 FO, W (1-0)
40 (87) EST Pierce Johnson, RHP CHC - - - - - - Minor leg injury
Rank (Ovr) Level Name, Pos Team IP H R ER BB K Notes
41 (88) AAA Allen Webster, RHP BOS






42 (89) EST Trey Ball, LHP BOS - - - - - - Awaiting assignment
43 (95) AAA Zach Lee, RHP LAD 6 3 0 0 2 3 WP, 53 S, 36 B, 8 GO, 4 FO, W (2-0)
44 (96) AAA Jimmy Nelson, RHP MIL 6 3 1 1 2 6 64 S, 37 B, 7 GO, 2 FO
45 (99) MLB James Paxton, LHP SEA - - - - - - Left lat strain

Duel of the Day

Org Rank BA (JS) Level Name, Pos Team IP H R ER BB K Notes
1 (1) A Lucas Giolito, RHP WAS 5 2 0 0 2 6 43 S, 23 B, 4 GO, 2 FO
4 (4) A Hunter Harvey, RHP BAL 6 1 0 0 1 7 2 HBP, Balk, 54 S, 35 B, 4 GO, 2 FO

Probable Starters

AAA - IL

  • Rubby De La Rosa (RHP - BOS) vs Logan Darnell (LHP - MIN) GAME 1
  • Casey Sadler (RHP - PIT) vs Chien-Ming Wang (RHP - CIN)
  • Brian Gordon (RHP - NYY) vs Ricky Romero (LHP - TOR) GAME 1
  • Chase Whitley (RHP - NYY) vs Kyle Drabek (RHP - TOR) GAME 2
  • Mitch Atkins (RHP - ATL) vs Charlie Leesman (LHP - CWS)
  • Chris Hernandez (LHP - BOS) vs Yohan Pino (RHP - MIN) GAME 2
  • TJ McFarland (LHP - BAL) vs Merrill Kelly (RHP - TB)
  • TJ House (LHP - CLE) vs TBD (DET)
  • Brad Lincoln (RHP - PHI) vs TBD (WAS) GAME 2
  • Greg Smith (LHP - PHI) vs TBD (WAS) GAME 1


AAA - PCL

  • Burch Smith (RHP - SD) vs Henry Sosa (RHP - LAD)
  • Collin McHugh (RHP - HOU) vs Tyler Matzek (LHP - COL)
  • Chris Heston (RHP - SF) vs TBD (OAK)
  • Jared Rogers (RHP - MIA) vs Eric Jokisch (LHP - CHC)
  • Michael Kirkman (LHP - TEX) vs Sugar Ray Marimon (RHP - KC)
  • Scott McGregor (RHP - STL) vs Hiram Burgos (RHP - MIL)
  • TBD (NYM) vs Bo Schultz (RHP - AZ)
  • Justin Thomas (LHP - LAA) vs Andrew Carraway (RHP - SEA)


AA - EL

  • Clayton Blackburn (RHP - SF) v Nick Kingham (RHP - PIT) *****DotD*****
  • Will Roberts (RHP- CLE) vs Tim Berry (LHP - BAL)
  • Keith Couch (RHP - BOS) vs DJ Baxendale (RHP - MIN)
  • Warwick Saupold (RHP - DET) vs Joel De La Cruz (RHP - NYY)
  • Austin Bibens-Dirkx (RHP - TOR) vs Matthew Bowman (RHP - NYM)


AA - SL

  • Brent Suter (LHP - MIL) vs JR Graham (RHP - ATL)
  • Justin Nicolino (LHP - MIA) vs TBD (LAD)
  • Stephen Landazuri (RHP - SEA) vs Corey Black (RHP - CHC) GAME 1
  • Mike Colla (RHP - TB) vs Jon Moscot (RHP - CIN)
  • Moises Hernandez (RHP - SEA) vs Dae-Eun Rhee (RHP - CHC) GAME 2
  • Scott Snodgress (LHP - CWS) vs Michael Lee (RHP - AZ)


AA - TL

  • Devin Jones (RHP - BAL) vs Tanner Peters (RHP - OAK)
  • Drew Rucinski (RHP - LAA) vs Seth Blair (RHP - STL)
  • Colton Cain (LHP - HOU) vs Nick Martinez (RHP - TEX)
  • Greg Billo (RHP - KC) vs Tyler Anderson (LHP - COL)


A+ - CAL

  • Martin Agosta (RHP - SF) vs TBD (CIN)
  • Tyler Pike (LHP - SEA) vs Chris Devenski (RHP - HOU)
  • Matt Flemer (RHP - COL) vs Bryan Rodriguez (RHP - SD)
  • TBD (LAD) vs Jesse Darrah (RHP - AZ)
  • TBD (OAK) vs TBD (LAA)


A+ - CAR

  • Jonathan Dziedzic (LHP - KC) vs Jarrett Miller (RHP - ATL)
  • Corey Littrell (RHP - BOS) vs Cole Sulser (RHP - CLE)
  • Pedro Encarnacion (RHP - WAS) vs TBD (TEX)
  • Brady Wager (RHP - BAL) vs Tony Bucciferro (RHP - CWS)

A+ - FSL

  • Endrys Briceno (RHP - DET) vs Cole Hamels (LHP - PHI)
  • Steven Matz (LHP - NYM) vs Brett Lee (LHP - MIN)
  • Bruedlin Suero (LHP - TB) vs Joe Cuda (SRHP - TL)
  • Jesse Hernandez (RHP - TOR) vs Jorge Lopez (RHP - MIL)
  • Scott Lyman (RHP - MIA) vs Orlando Castro (LHP - PIT)
  • TBD (NYY) vs TBD (CHC)

A - MWL

  • Braden Shipley vs Gonzalo Sanudo ()
  • Jeremy Gabryszwski vs Kyle Finnegan ()
  • Jimmy Reed vs Pete Kelich ()
  • TBD vs Victor Diaz ()
  • Daury Torrez vs Amir Garrett ()
  • TBD vs Randy Rosario ()
  • TBD vs Adam Plutko ()
  • Carlos Misell vs Jordan Harrison ()


A - SAL



Duel of the Day

Injuries

  • Cubs SS Javier Baez (7 day DL; left ankle sprain) - 4/11
  • Tigers 2B Devon Travis (7 day DL; right oblique strain) - 4/10
  • Mariners LHP James Paxton (15 day DL; left lat strain) - 4/8
  • Athletics SS Addison Russell (7 day DL; torn right hamstring) - 4/6
  • Cubs RF Jorge Soler (7 day DL; leg injury) - 4/4
  • Indians CF Clint Frazier (7 day DL; right hamstring strain) - 4/3
  • Pirates CF Austin Meadows (7 day DL; right hamstring strain) - 4/3
  • Marlins 3B Colin Moran (7 day DL: minor knee injury) - 4/3
  • Orioles RHP Dylan Bundy (60 day DL; TJS recovery) - 4/3
  • Padres LHP Max Fried (7 day DL; left forearm soreness) - 4/3
  • Diamondbacks RHP Braden Shipley (7 day DL; right bicep tendinitis) - 4/3
  • Cubs RHP Pierce Johnson (7 day DL; minor leg injury) - 4/3
  • Rays SS Hak-Ju Lee (three to four weeks; left calf strain) - 3/24
  • Pirates RHP Tyler Glasnow (7 day DL; tight lower back) - 3/23
  • Twins CF Byron Buxton ("a couple of weeks"; left wrist sprain) - 3/16
  • Rays 2B Tim Beckham (season; torn right ACL) - 3/30
  • Pirates RHP Jameson Taillon (season; right elbow - TJS) - 3/23
  • Tigers RHP Bruce Rondon (season; right elbow - TJS) - 3/21
  • Dodgers RHP Ross Stripling (season; right elbow - TJS) - 3/14
  • Twins 3B Miguel Sano (season; right elbow - TJS) - 3/12

Previous Gameday threads -

Escape from Cuba: Yasiel Puig’s Untold Journey to the Dodgers

Fascinating look into Puig’s journey from Cuba to the Dodgers: In a no-tell motel on Isla Mujeres, eight miles off the coast of Cancún, Yasiel Puig’s escape had come to a halt. Confined to a corner room at the end of a shabby horseshoe-shaped courtyard, he could only wait and hope, for his value to be appraised, his freedom to be bought. There was nothing personal about it, no loved one vowing to pay any price, only the calculus of a crude business. What was this gladiator-size man, with the Popeye forearms and the XXL chest, actually worth—to the people bankrolling his defection from Cuba, to the smugglers now holding him in Mexico, to the agents and scouts who would determine the U.S. market for his talents, to the baseball team that might ultimately write the check? For close to a year Puig had been trying to force an answer, to extract himself from Fidel Castro’s state-run sports machine, which paid him $17 a month, and sneak across the tropics to a mythical north, where even benchwarmers lived like kings. Two, three, four times, maybe more, he had risked everything and fled, only to be detained by the Cuban authorities or intercepted by the U.S. Coast Guard—each failure making the next attempt more urgent. Finally, in June 2012, the 21-year-old outfielder left his home in Cienfuegos, on Cuba’s southern shore, and set off by car for the northern province of Matanzas, just 90 miles from Florida. He was traveling with three companions: a boxer, a pinup girl, and a Santeria priest, the latter of whom blessed their expedition with a splash of rum and a sprinkle of chicken blood.

MLB: Offense’s performance vs. Brewers favors Matheny’s interpretation of stats

Matheny Math: Minimal polynomial (Busch field theory). Matheny studies the individual splits closely. His interpretation of those numbers might be typical in some cases, but it might also be surprising in others. What works for Matheny in either case is his essential belief in his players. “You know, when I see a guy who’s had even just a couple of at-bats against a pitcher, but has had success, there’s usually knowledge on both sides,” the manager said. “I don’t use the opposite side very well. When a guy has had two at-bats against a pitcher and he’s struck out a couple of times, I’m thinking, ‘He’s going to get him.’ “But if he’s had two at-bats and he’s had two hits, I’m thinking, ‘He owns him.’ A lot of it is just how confident our offensive guy would be walking into the box.” So if a St. Louis player is, for instance, 2-for-2 against a particular pitcher, this indicates that the hitter clearly has the pitcher’s number. On the other hand, if a St. Louis player is 0-for-2 against a pitcher, this primarily indicates that the hitter is due. Matheny’s view of these small samples appears to be a no-lose proposition for the Cardinals. On the other hand, look what the Cardinals have done in his two years as their manager. They were one game away from the World Series in 2012. In 2013, they had a division title, the best record in the National League and went to the World Series. Expecting success might be the one logical response to any given Cardinal situation. And there will be numerous occasions when the sample sizes just won’t be suitably large, anyway. “I don’t think there is too much of a sample size, or else we’d be waiting around forever,” Matheny said. “Every once in a while you see some guys with some larger at-bats, but in general you just take the information that you have and hope that confidence is a big part of that, one way or the other.”

George Brett, Inspiration for the Song “Royals”, Meets Lorde

Last year [the New Zealand pop singer Lorde] told VHI that she saw a photo in National Geographic “of this dude just signing baseballs. He was a baseball player and his shirt said, ‘Royals.’ It was just that word. It’s really cool.”

Orioles launch D.C. invasion with billboard near Nationals Park

Hey, at least they’re not the Baltimore Rabbits. Have you heard?! Have you heard?! There’s a billboard promoting Orioles tickets near the D.C.-Maryland border and it’s rubbing some Nationals fans the wrong way. ...Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier spent a segment discussing the billboard, which is located seven miles from Nationals Park, yesterday on 106.7 The Fan. On the LaVar and Dukes Show, Chad Dukes conceded that the billboard makes good business sense before going on a rant against the Orioles and their D.C.-based fans.   “If you’re from Baltimore, fine, I don’t care, root for them until your lungs turn orange,” he said. “It doesn’t make no nevermind to me.” LaVar then interrupted to ask about fans who live outside of Baltimore but still root for the Orioles because there was no team in the District. Fans like me. I grew up a Redskins and Orioles fan while living in Cheverly and Arlington. I still root for the Orioles. I also root for the Nationals. I don’t root for the Ravens, despite John Harbaugh’s best efforts. Direct your ire here. Back to Dukes:   “That’s fine, you have a team now. My family has a lot of family in Illinois. I was a Cubs fan because we didn’t have a team. I still check in on them. I like to see them. I went to see them in spring training this year. I am a Nationals fan, because now we finally have a team, and I’m going to support that team because it was a long, arduous process, and many failed attempts, to make it happen. You’re spitting in the face of your own market here, so as a fan, this irritates the hell out of me. And it irritates the hell out of me when I tune into our midday show, and I hear people calling in saying, ‘Well, I’m from Reston, should I just turn my back on my team?’ They’re not your team. They’re Baltimore’s team. They’re not yours. They’re Baltimore, Maryland’s team.

Hartlaub: For the love of the snot rocket: Why Bumgarner’s Farmer John is good for baseball

Dobbs…get some. Madison Bumgarner’s grand slam in his last start against the Colorado Rockies was a hell of a statement. But the exclamation point came at the end of his trip around the bases – when the pitcher placed his left index finger on his nose, and emptied the contents of his right nostril near home plate. As the lefty gets ready to take the mound again tonight, I have a hard time explaining why the Bumgarner snot rocket is pretty much my favorite thing in Bay Area sports right now. In theory, I think it’s disgusting. I would punish one of my children if they did the same thing in front of a single neighbor, much less 43,000 fans. I see the Kleenex stock I’m planning to retire on plummeting like a Tim Hudson sinker ball … And yet, in a backwards way, I think every time Bumgarner executes a Farmer John, it purifies the game. ...By the time Bumgarner hit the grand slam last Saturday, I knew with 100 percent certainty what was coming at the end. No fist pump. No arms in the air praising God. No secret hand signal to his wife or dad or second grade teacher. Cross the plate. Finger on the nostril. Blow. I suspect there are people in Bumgarner’s life who have expressed their displeasure with his tradition. His wife, his parents, maybe the Giants organization. It must drive his agent crazy. (I wonder if anyone on the Bumgarner team has tried to turn this into a positive. I’ve got Mucinex on the line! They want to put you on the front of the bottle!) I hope he never changes. Celebrate your first no-hitter with a double Farmer John before hugging Buster Posey. Fire a snot rocket on ESPN when they announce your retirement. Evacuate the nostrils on the podium at the Baseball Hall of Fame. Baseball is a little more disgusting, and so much better, for your efforts.

Chris Resop - The Most Interesting Reliever in the World

As some of you may know, I am quite fond of ridiculously lopsided batter-pitcher match-ups. The match-up that everyone’s been freaking out about lately is Paul Goldschmidt vs. Tim Lincecum, and rightfully so. It’s completely ridiculous. Anyway, I was recently checking out Starlin Castro’s most lopsided match-ups. Sure enough, there was Resop. Castro is 6-8 with three home runs, zero walks, zero strikeouts, and one hit-by-pitch against Mr. Resop. Interesting! Sorta. Using our buddy Daren Willman‘s amazing Media tab on Chris Resop’s player page over on baseballsavant.com, I went back and found video of the three dingers he gave up to Starlin. Wait. What? I went looking for these videos in search of a pattern; maybe a pattern of pitch location, or pitch type. What I found was something far more fascinating.

Minor League Ball upcoming schedule

Here's a look at what is going on here at Minor League Ball.

***My main goal right now is editing and preparing the 2014 Baseball Prospect Book for publication. As noted yesterday, we will be emailing the .pdf to everyone who ordered the .pdf AND everyone who ordered the print copy, as soon as possible. I do not have an exact date, but it IS a matter of days now, not weeks or months. The guts of the book are done but it has to be made ready.

After that's finally done, I will turn my attention to the following projects:

***Minor League Ball's Top 150 prospects for 2014. This will integrate and expand the Top 50 Pitchers and Top 50 Hitters list in the book.

***A look at Sleeper Prospects. This will be a semi-regular feature here at Minor League Ball.

***Return of Minor League Prospect Notes. This will complement but not replace Nick Melotte's outstanding daily work with the Minor League Ball Gameday threads.

***Return of Prospect of the Day.

***Return of Prospect Retrospective.

***An update on my Shadow Twins farm system.

***2014 MLB Draft preparation and research. I have been completely ignoring the '14 draft due to the book and I need to get myself up to speed.

***Finally, to celebrate George Springer Day, here is the rough draft of my report for him in the book.

George Springer is an awful lot of fun to watch. Few players possess his combination of speed, power, and arm strength. His defensive tools work very well in center field and he has the instincts for the position as well. He’s an excellent baserunner. He has excellent power. He even works counts and can draw walks. He can also air-condition all of Houston with his swing when he goes on a strikeout tear, and there’s a chance that his batting average will never be more than tolerable due to contact issues. But even if his batting average is low, he should provide enough in all the other departments to rate as a productive regular at the very least and possibly a major star. You can’t knock his minor league numbers, with the high strikeout rate being the only note of caution. Although I suspect his batting average at the big league level is going to be erratic, his secondary average is going to be quite strong. He’ll provide both fantasy and real-life value in multiple ways. Grade A-.

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-17-2014

Hugh Fullerton via Toledo News-Bee, April 17, 1914:Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis, the man who soaked Standard Oil $29,000,000 for violating the balk rule, has been named to decide the most important part of the baseball war. Whether or not they know it, Judge Landis is the most eminently qualified man in the world to decide any question that may arise in the damage suit that has been brought by the Philadelphia National league team against the Federal league leaders. Fortunately for the question of prejudice being raised against him, Judge Landis never has declared himself as to the Federal league, and he is both an American and a National league fan. Oh, sure, totally. Landis can’t possibly be prejudiced in favor of the existing major leagues because…he’s a fan of the existing major leagues? I guess? Right?

Game 15: Can Phils avoid another sweep?

A lousy bullpen on Monday and lousy bats on Wednesday resulted in a pair of gut-wrenching losses to the NL East-rival Braves. So can A.J. Burnett give a gutsy performance Thursday pitching with a hernia to avoid a demoralizing series sweep to Atlanta? Burnett (0-1, 3.94 ERA) left his last start against the Marlins with discomfort and was diagnosed with a hernia soon thereafter. No matter, he's going to try to pitch through it. Unfortunately for him, his history against...

OMNICHATTER for April 17, 2014

I will never be mistaken for Cal Ripken, or Lou Gehrig, or even Prince Fielder. Still, here’s the Omnichatter. 12 games, including appearances by SALE, VERLANDER, PRICE, WAINWRIGHT and so on.

Paine: Advanced Stats Love Jackie Robinson

Only four position players in MLB history — Willie Mays, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner and Lou Gehrig — had more WAR between the ages of 29 and 34. Numbers like that are why, despite Robinson’s short career, James ranked Robinson as the fourth-best second baseman ever in “New Historical Baseball Abstract.” So much for sabermetrics underappreciating Robinson’s skills. WAR can measure Robinson’s terrifying impact on the basepaths (he generated 31 more runs than an average player). WAR also takes into account his defensive value — total zone data estimates that Robinson saved 81 more runs than an average defender (primarily at second base, but with a little third base, first base and outfield mixed in). According to defensive WAR, Robinson saved the Brooklyn Dodgers 10 wins with his defense, combining his contributions relative to position and the importance of those positions in the overall structure of the defense. Most importantly, though, WAR accounts for the fact that Robinson was 261 runs better than average with his bat. Because of the highlight-reel baserunning plays, people often forget that Robinson was also an incredible hitter. He topped a .295 batting average eight times, winning the NL batting crown in 1949 with a .342 average. He also had the majors’ seventh-highest on-base percentage during the course of his career (1947-56), drawing a walk on 12.8 percent of his plate appearances in addition to his outstanding ability to hit for average. And his isolated power was 19 points better than the league average, so Robinson had some pop (even if his slugging percentage was driven in part by 54 career triples). In sum, Robinson was an all-around sabermetric star. There isn’t an area of the game where the advanced stats don’t consider him very good, if not one of the best ever. The notion that somehow Robinson has lost his luster as we learn more about what makes for winning baseball couldn’t be further from the truth. If anything, sabermetric stats help us appreciate Robinson’s greatness even more. Thanks to Jake.

April 16, 2014

Gleeman: Mets minor league team is hosting “Seinfeld night”

Commenter: “I hear the Mets are going to have a related promotion at Citi Field where they score about nothing.”To celebrate the 25th anniversary of “Seinfeld” starting on NBC the Mets’ Single-A affiliate, the Brooklyn Cyclones of the New York-Penn League, are hosting a “Seinfeld Night” at the ballpark on July 5. Darren Rovell of ESPN.com reports that the first 2,500 fans will get a Keith Hernandez bobblehead depicting him from the “Magic Loogie” episode of the show. Some other details of the festivities, via Rovell:During the game, the team will become Vandelay Industries Park, named for the latex company George Costanza tells the unemployment office he might work for. The Cyclones say that anyone who can present a legitimate business card that shows they are a latex salesman will get in for free. Thanks to Newman, mailmen in uniform will throw out the first pitch. Fans will have a chance to take part in an eating contest featuring cereal, Jerry’s favorite food, and there will be a dancing contest where fans will try to dance just like Elaine. To commemorate one of Jerry’s most awkward moments, the Cyclones will wear puffy shirts during batting practice.

Promoting Your Favorite Sport

When it comes to any kind of sport or occupation, promotion becomes an inalienable part of the whole deal. This is because without a little bit of brand-promotion, most of the companies in today’s competitive world fail to leave a mark in the broad horizon of business management. Promotional travel gifts include products that would prove useful to a traveler embarking on a journey. These gifts may include books/guides, business card cases, luggage locks / tags, cell phone cases, wallets, phone cards and various travel accessories like a handbag – all with the gifting company’s logo embroidered on it. This as we can see is clearly a marketing strategy that never fails with clients. This is because not only do people enjoy the benefits of the promotional travel gifts but also enjoy the privileges of the good service provided by the company. For the owners of the company, this is a cost efficient program where they pitch in less money for a higher rate of result in the future. Promotional travel products may be distributed by travel agents, hotels, airline offices, train service and even organizations from tourist spots for promoting each of their companies. All organizations, big and small, invest a portion of their income on the promotions of the company. It is not just the companies in the business world that strife for betterment through promotion schemes, but also sports organizations, like golf. Golf, a famous game, is played by thousands of people across the world. Some are even professional players who play for their clubs or personal teams. It is for them that sports organizations create promotional golf items like: golf balls, polo t-shirts, ball markers, bags to carry golf clubs and customized hats. Several sports organizations give out these promotional items to their frequent players as a part of a bonus or even as a gift on special occasions. Such a distribution of customized items with the organizations’ logo on it brings about team spirit as well as a sense of belonging to the players. For a professional day out, golfers can use the personalized t-shirts, golf balls and ball markers on the field. Thus, it’s not just a cult figure but also a very helpful group of gifts. Another promotional golf item is that of a golf umbrella that is used by the players during a sunny day out on the field and is considered to be quite a useful gift. Golf umbrella is a cost effective product used by sports organizations to promote one’s company. They are available in various shapes, forms and colors. A company’s logo is usually imprinted on these golf umbrellas as an act of promotion and this usually offers a great deal of help to the players while they are out on the field.

Thus, we see how promoting one’s sport while using the company’s brand name is an easy affair. It is cost effective and crowd friendly as it attracts more and more clients, popularizing its company name, far and wide.

Related Posts

Daniel Bryan’s ‘YES!’ chant has spread to the Pirates’ dugout

I once started an “Unpredictable! Unpredictable! Unpredictable!” Johnny Rodz chant after Clay Bellinger’s first career HR. Just never caught on. The Pirates and Reds grappled in an absolute homerfest Monday in Cincinnati, launching an absurdly entertaining 10 long balls before rain halted the game after six innings. A half-dozen of those long balls came courtesy of Pittsburgh batters, leading the Bucs to adopt a new team celebration. After years of the Dude, Where’s My Car-inspired Zoltan, the Pirates unveiled their homage to Daniel Bryan’s “YES! YES! YES!” chant following Neil Walker’s second home run of the evening.  

Astros To Promote George Springer

Good couple of weeks for UConn! (Astros also demote the hapless Lucas Harrell.)Top outfield prospect George Springer will join the Astros tomorrow, reports Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle (via Twitter)... Springer climbed up prospect rating boards after a monster 2013 campaign in which he hit a combined .303/.411/.600, and posted 37 home runs and 45 stolen bases, in 589 plate appearances split between Double-A and Triple-A. Entering the 2014 season, analysts rated Springer between 18th (Baseball America) to 21st (MLB.com) among all MLB prospects. The 2011 first-round pick looked well on his way to a repeat of that performance in the season’s early going… Though he is a tall and powerful ballplayer, Springer profiles as a center fielder. But with that position occupied in Houston by offseason acquisition Dexter Fowler, Springer will presumably take over in left field for the optioned Robbie Grossman.

Exposition:The Jonah Keri Mega Q&A

INSTREAM: Going back to the 1969 Staub trade, on Page 27 you talk about how Manager Gene Mauch “Went to meet with the Astros, leveraging contacts he had within the organization.” How difficult do you think it is for a GM or president to trade with other ballclubs in the absence of deep relationships? From 1976 to 1991, the Expos and Cincinnati Reds exchanged a total of 32 players. I know it’s 15 years and there’s a few GMs in there, but that’s a lot of trades. JONAH KERI: That practice was rampant then, since we were years away from scouting staffs becoming more sophisticated, and particularly far away from using technology (both by generating reports on players via computers, or even having ease of communication like text). Thing is, though, teams STILL make more trades with other teams/GMs with whom they feel most comfortable. It’s just human nature.

Nightengale: Pujols nears 500 home runs…and no one seems to care

Could always ask Brad Lidge. It’s sure getting harder and harder to impress us these days. Here we are, on the brink of one of the most magnificent milestones in all of sports, and it seems nobody cares. Just 25 men in Major League Baseball history have ever hit 500 homers in their lifetime, and here’s Los Angeles Angels first baseman Albert Pujols ready to join them after hitting No. 496 on Monday night. Yet it’s getting all of the acclaim of an NBA triple-double. What has happened to us? “I don’t know what has happened.’’ Hall of Fame president Jeff Idelson tells USA TODAY Sports. “It should be front and center. There have almost been 18,000 players who have played our game, and only 25 have hit 500 homers. “We’ve had a string of power hitters achieve the mark in the past decade, but that shouldn’t diminish how big of a mark it really is.’‘ The trouble, of course, is that the steroid era has dulled our senses and watered down the excitement. Just four players hit 500 home runs by 1965, but in the last 15 years, 10 new members joined the 500 club. We’ve seen the likes of Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Manny Ramirez, Rafael Palmeiro and Gary Sheffield all eclipse 500 home runs since 1999, and in some cases, 600 and 700 home runs. We’ve also seen each of them test positive, or at least be strongly linked to performance-enhancing drugs. The only players in the last seven years to eclipse 500 home runs with no links to PEDs are Frank Thomas and Jim Thome. Does anyone remember the moment Thomas hit his 500th homer? How about Thome’s 600th?

April 15, 2014

How To Become A Sport Tester

Stipulation you are researching used for video entertainment tester career essentials, next you have hit the jackpot. This piece of writing strength of character give you an consideration of what you call for that live able that make a career of games testing, as well as what is the paramount way with the aim of get underway.

1- Owning A Job

I got involved in games testing by means of friends I had in addition to a friend who worked because a sport programmer. At present there are far easier ways with the purpose of land sport testing jobs. There are some legitimate diversion tester guides accessible that spirit connect you as well as the best jobs presented by the side of gaming companies. You accomplish need with the purpose of be present wary, given that there as as well a quantity of scam products absent there.

2 – Diversion Testing Is A Career Not A Hobby

Obviously you are sense this editorial given that you are great with character reference to making video sport testing into a career. It’s moderately extreme as despite the fact getting paid that play video games is wholly a lot a dream job, you want so as to take it seriously – and gaming companies determination reward you pro doing so.

3 – Yet Meet Deadlines

What time you get you first job, complete sure so when to you deliver on the topic of moment in time. You force the largest part expected survive to be expected with the intention of fill away a survey form in relation that the bugs with issues you discover along with the unreleased entertainment. Do clear in your mind you get a be the owner of of the job completed on the theme of time, as well as gaming companies motivation reward you along with additional jobs. Trust me, it is usually critical video diversion tester career information.

4 – Exist Specific After Describing Bugs Along with Considerations

You need so as soon as to live able with the aim of exist as specific as possible after describing potential concerns plus games. A pastime programmer willpower be present dealing with your feedback, so there is certainly no require to simplify or else summarise the concerns you come across. Again, I be knowledgeable about meant for a fact the more essentials along with the other specific you can be there, the new you self-control live rewarded.

Conclusion

Hopefully this item has given you particular video game tester career essentials, along with most likely a direction in on or after your journey to becoming a video diversion tester. Be alive persistent and show with the aim of you are thorough, plus you will be the owner of no problem making a career away on or after home of it.

Now you can locate exactly how you can now try plus a How To Become A Game Tester

Find More Sport World Articles

Related Posts

April 14, 2014

Mental Focus in Sports

Mental focus has to do with how they talk internally within their own mind. Athletes are constantly asking themselves questions and then answering those questions within a second. They either ask the wrong question or answer the wrong answers.

When the above thinking process is done in a negative way then athletes will experience a vicious cycle that will prevent them from attaining the results or level that they want in sports.

Athletes must learn to ask or think of positive questions along with answering those questions in positive ways in order to eliminate negatives, fears, doubt, self-sabotage and nervousness. All of these are experienced because you don’t have the answer and information that will allow you to achieve the desired results that you might want in training or in competition. Athletes usually will only pay attention to mental focus at the elite levels in their sport because the natural athletes have natural talents and abilities that seem to allow them to overcome the majority of mental focus problems.

This action will work to a certain extent for the elite or champions but it will show up from time to time and you won’t be able to solve the mental focus problems and this is where the panic, nervousness, fears, self-doubt and negatives will show up.

Here are the steps to achieve peak mental focus in sports:
1. You have to know if you are an athletes who is visual, auditory or kinesthetic because you need to know which type your are in order to know how you communicate either with yourself or other people.

2. You have to learn how to associate yourself to the good or positives things that will support the desired outcome.

3. You have to learn how to dis-associate yourself from the negative thought perterns in order to eliminate these from your mind.

4. You need to know how to anchor new thought patterns in order to support the exact desired outcome that you want in training and during competition.

5. You need to pinpoint, diagnose and solve the mental focus in your sport because it will prevent you from achieve peak performance to the level that you want.

For more information and to download your Free Report called: “Why Athletes Fail & What To Do About It” click this link now: http://www.VictorCormier.com

Related Sport Articles

Related Posts