While holding the first pick in the MLB Draft is a somewhat dubious honor, to quote Crash Davis from Bull Durham, it does provide a team ’ the Twins this year ’ the opportunity to help turn around their organization’s fortunes.
So far this spring, three names have been linked with the Twins’ top-pick: Hunter Greene, Kyle Wright, and Brendan McKay. The first two would be solid choices; the third would not. More on that in a bit.
He made seven All-Star teams with the Tigers before being traded to the Phillies following the 1963 season. He crafted a perfect game Father’s Day in 1964, the first perfect game for a National League pitcher in 84 years.
Or there’s the option for Harper to shine more brightly and end his career more spectacularly. Kevin Mitchell comes to mind, the bombastic star who won an MVP at 27 but played just 264 games in the majors after his 30th birthday. For peak value Hall of Fame candidates, Mitchell ranks among the best offensive ones in baseball history, though seemingly few people are making his case.
Similar things can be said about Fred Lynn, who had a .308 batting average through his age-28 season, but averaged 114 games thereafter. Every year where I (got) to 140 games, I had really good years, Lynn recently told Sporting News. I just needed to play more games. That’s all. I’ve never in my life done poorly if I played a lot, just never have.
Harper’s logged just 140 games in a season just twice so far, though he was an MVP one of those years.
Pillar issued an apology for his actions after the game, although he didn’t say specifically what he said.
Despite the club suspension, Pillar could be facing more punishment from Major League Baseball, which saw enough to open an investigation, according to Sportsnet. The report says MLB’s look into the issue isn’t just for the fight, but specifically whether Pillar used a slur in his exchange with Motte.
Pillar’s suspension will force him to miss Thursday’s series finale with the Braves in Atlanta, a game which many expect fallout to occur from Wednesday in which Braves star Freddie Freeman broke his wrist on a HBP and Jose Bautista flipped his bat after a homer even though Atlanta was up five runs.
The Red Sox and David Price will huddle Thursday to determine the next step for the rehabbing left-hander, the day after a mixed-bag outing at Triple-A.
For the second straight start in his comeback from a forearm injury sustained in spring training, Price struggled with his control, although he did show a 92- to 96-mph fastball.
Price said he felt good after his outing. I would say [he] burnt through his pitch count, PawSox manager Kevin Boles said (via the Boston Globe). I thought the stuff was actually pretty good. It was just command and location, which is to be expected when he’s coming off an injury.
His line against Louisville: six runs (three earned) on seven hits, four strikeouts, a walk and a wild pitch through only 3 2/3 innings on 89 pitches.
Wright, a 6-4, 220-pound right-handed pitcher from Vanderbilt University, possesses some serious zip on his fastball as well, usually sitting in the 93-95 mph range, but showcases more refined secondary pitches than Greene. He is widely thought to be the safest pick near the top of the draft given his body of work. Either prospect would be a nice selection for the Twins, Greene for his age and enormous upside, or Wright for his track record and pedigree coming from an institution that has produced current MLB pitchers David Price, Sonny Gray and Mike Minor.
And then there’s McKay, the most intriguing prospect in the draft whose two-way stardom has situated him at the top of most analysts’ draft boards. The Darlington, Pa., native pairs a .333 career batting average and 25 home runs (15 this season and counting) with a 2.10 career-ERA in 291.1 innings pitched during his time at the University of Louisville.
McKay was the 2015 John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Award winner and was a standout this past summer with Team USA and will likely receive unanimous All-America honors when those teams are announced. However, even though most scouts’ only question regarding McKay is whether to draft him as a first baseman or as a left-handed pitcher, the Twins would be wise to pass on him altogether when the draft begins June 12.
The Giants activated closer Mark Melancon from the 10-day disabled list Wednesday ahead of the team’s clash against the Dodgers.
San Francisco originally planned on holding Melancon out until Friday, but the 32-year-old fared well after a 22-pitch bullpen session on Monday.
Prior to today’s game the #SFGiants have activated RHP Mark Melancon off the 10-day DL’IF Kelby Tomlinson was optioned to triple-A Sac.
Melancon will immediately resume his role as closer, which will force Derek Law back into a setup position.
You might not have noticed, but the Reds have had a pretty good start to the season, and it might have been even better if Finnegan had stayed healthy. The Reds were 8-4 when he hit the DL and are still only two games under .500, which puts them 2.5 out in the NL Central. The lefty tossed seven shutout innings in his season debut ’ striking out nine and allowing just one hit ’ but left each of his next two starts early. He had control issues in the second one, then came out with shoulder soreness after just one inning in his third start. The club originally hoped for a quick return, but that hope disappeared when he was shifted to the 60-day DL. He’s in the rehab process, and the best-case scenario is a late June return.
Unless Steven Souza is Michael Jordan in Space Jam, he had no shot getting to this ball on Friday.
In the fourth inning of the Rays’ showdown against the Twins at Target Field, Souza attempted a diving play that certainly would have been the greatest catch of all time ’ if he were to haul it in.
Only about five Steven Souzas too short, and from another zip code. A run scored on the play.
MORE: AL East rival Yankees struggling to sell tickets
I’m pretty sure this kind of catch worked in Angels in the Outfield, but this is real life, unfortunately. Still, it’s nice to see teammates Souza and Kevin Kiermaier shared a chuckle over the flub on the field.
No one laughed when Souza made up for it with a monster bomb in the eight inning to give the Rays an insurance run late.
The Astros have placed catcher Brian McCann on the 7-day concussion disabled list, retroactive to May 20.
The team did not specify when McCann’s injury occured. He played Friday against the Indians, but sat out yesterday’s game.
Evan Gattis will help fill the catcher’s role in McCann’s absence, and the team called up catcher Juan Centeno from Triple-A Fresno.
McCann, a seven-time All Star, has six home runs, 25 RBIs and an OPS of .819 in 30 games during his first season with the Astros.
I’m not saying this only to be critical. Hunter Pence reminds us every day you don’t have to be smooth to be a major-league baseball player. It’s just to say Tebow is a work in progress, and I want to emphasize the trying extremely hard part of the equation.
He’s putting the work in, and you can see he’s getting comfortable in the outfield, Leger said after the game the first time I watched Tebow play, on May 2. It’s good to see him making plays, taking the right routes. Arm is getting stronger. His at-bats are getting better. You see consistency. Sometimes when he gets out of rhythm, we try and get him back in rhythm. He knows, and we know, it’s going to be a process. It’s going to take some time to get that rhythm at the plate. He’s already had it, it just goes on and off, just like every other player. Once he finds it, he’s got the right tools to be a good player.
FBI director James Comey has had his hands full after President Donald Trump claimed the Obama administration wire-tapped his phones during the election.
Comey has come out and said he he has no information or evidence on those allegations during a hearing in front of Congress Monday. He also provided some insight on why the Russians were so supportive of Trump during the election, by way of an odd Patriots metaphor.
Patterson, drafted 29th by Minnesota in 2013, hasn’t developed into the polished pass-catcher the Vikings hoped for when they traded four draft picks to the Patriots to move up to make the selection, but he’s carved out a niche as one of the NFL’s better return men.
The 25-year-old has averaged 30.4 yards per kickoff return in his career and was selected to his second Pro Bowl in 2016. He also turned in a career-high 52 receptions for 453 yards and two touchdowns to renew his stock as a receiver.
Patterson has led the NFL in kickoff return average in three of four seasons.
Oakland, which already boasts a pair of 1,000-yard wide receivers, has long struggled in that department, ranking 20th in the NFL in kick return average last season.
In fact, the last time the Raiders returned a kickoff return for a touchdown was 2011.
Hall of Fame defensive linemen, it seems, are not impressed with Myles Garrett, who the Browns selected with the No. 1 overall pick in last month’s NFL Draft.
About a week before the draft, Warren Sapp called Garrett lazy. Then, while watching film with Garrett on the day of the draft, Smith called him slow.
Garrett, though, is taking Smith’s criticism as constructive and said he’ll use it to try to improve.
Most people wouldn’t say that, but he’s one of the greatest if not the greatest pass-rusher, Garrett said. If he thinks so and I want to be at his level one day, I got to take his advice and run with it.
Hamilton is entering the final season of his disastrous five-year, $125 million contract and will be paid $28 million this season, the vast majority of it by the Angels. He’s in Rangers camp on a minor-league deal, and though he expressed confidence before the latest injury that he would be able to break camp with the MLB team, the odds on him becoming a contributor in 2017 have been long from the outset.
Hamilton apparently doesn’t intend to simply walk away after his latest setback, but he’ll have plenty to prove to the Rangers before they devote a 25-man roster spot to him later this season.
Baseball doesn’t require exclusivity. It offers an open relationship. Taking advantage doesn’t make you an adulterous fan, just a shrewd one.
And let’s be honest: Baseball isn’t always spellbinding. It’s OK to admit this, dear fans.
Baseball doesn’t require our complete attention 100 percent of the time. There are plenty of stretches when nothing of note happens: A pitcher doesn’t like the ball, so he tosses it in for a new one. A batter breaks his bat, so the bat boy brings him another one. The pitcher and catcher can’t get together on signs, so they call time out to talk about it.
Not to mention pitching changes, replay reviews and 14-pitch at-bats in the fourth inning that produce 10 foul balls and end with a grounder to second. Add it all up and you’ve got a lot of dead time. But. That’s. OK. If nothing else, it makes exciting plays that explode out of that dead time all the more thrilling: a standup triple, an inside-the-park home run, a diving catch.
In the span of four pitches, the Dodgers gave themselves a chance to win at home again as they tallied back-to-back-to-back home runs.
Down 5-2 entering the ninth inning, Yasiel Puig homered on a 3-2 pitch to get the streak started. Then, on the next pitch, Cody Bellinger followed with his second home run of the game, and finally Justin Turner tied it in his at-bat with a homer of his own on an 0-1 count.
Newly-acquired quarterback Brock Osweiler does not have a future with the Browns, according to Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot.
Kay Cabot reported Saturday the Browns are seeking a third-round pick in exchange for Osweiler and a fifth rounder. If the Browns can’t find a suitor, the team will release him.
The Browns already cut Robert Griffin III Friday. If they get rid of Osweiler, it would leave Cody Kessler and Kevin Hogan as the lone quarterbacks on their roster.
Myers, 26, is coming off a season in which he hit .259/.336/.461 with 28 home runs and 94 RBIs to go with 28 stolen bases.
The deal, Fox Sports noted, will cover three years of arbitration eligibility and buy out at least three years of Myers’ free agency.
Despite his obvious talent, Myers’ inconsistency — in part due to injuries — contributed to the 2013 AL Rookie of the Year with the Rays being dealt to the Padres in 2014 and his struggling in his first season in San Diego.
He hit only .222 in 2014 with the Rays, and had almost as many homers in his rookie year (13) as he did in the next two seasons combined (six in 2014 and eight in 2015).
His bounce-back 2016 season clearly affirmed him as a key part of the Padres’ future.
Sale denied he was trying to hit Machado: “Whatever, man. Not losing sleep tonight,” he told reporters after the 5-2 win.
The Orioles-Red Sox rivalry has been full of tension since Machado’s controversial spikes-high slide into second base that injured Dustin Pedroia in April. Add in a fastball to Mookie Betts, a slow home run jog from Machado and racial epithets directed at Adam Jones on Monday, it’s easy to see the growing despise between the two sides.
Trea Turner made the most of the thin mountain air Tuesday to post a gaudy stat line, including the second cycle of the 2017 MLB season.
The Nationals’ sophomore speedster, assuming his rightful place as leadoff hitter, clobbered the Rockies to the tune of four hits and seven RBIs in a 15-12 win at Coors Field. Three of those runs came in the top of the seventh inning when Turner roped a line drive down the right field line for a bases-clearing triple, completing the first cycle of his young career and ninth in Nats franchise history.
The 23-year-old was off to a slow start to his second MLB season, in part due to a trip to the disabled list that cost him 10 games. He had been batting second in the Nats’ potent lineup in four games since his return, but Dusty Baker moved him back to the No. 1 slot to set off a spark.
It worked. Turner raised his average from .219 to .297 with the 4-for-6 performance.