As the legendary Willie Mays celebrates his 87th birthday, here are some notes from around the baseball world…
- The Giants could be a potential fit as a suitor for Matt Harvey, as the former Mets ace’s arm intrigues some members of San Francisco organization, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reports (via Twitter). Rather than take on the extra salary that would come with claiming or trading for Harvey during his DFA period, Schulman figures the Giants will wait until he hits the open market before considering a pursuit. The Giants have little salary room to spare as they aim to stay under the $187MM luxury tax limit, so their obvious preference is to sign Harvey for a prorated minimum salary.
- While a Matt Harvey-for-Blake Swihart trade doesn’t seem to be in the cards, The Athletic’s Jen McCaffrey (subscription required) wonders if the Red Sox could still have interest in Harvey as a reclamation project given assistant pitching coach Brian Bannister’s recent success in reviving struggling veteran starters. The Sox also have some experience in dealing with pitchers returning from thoracic outlet syndrome surgery in the form of Tyler Thornburg, though Bannister notes that “we’re all kind of still learning about” how to best rehab pitchers after the TOS procedure.
- With an 8-26 record, it’s seemingly only a matter of time before the Orioles start making some necessary changes, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal writes (subscription required) in a follow-up to his piece last month about Baltimore’s evolving front office and ownership dynamic. Since executive VP of baseball operations Dan Duquette seems to be losing influence within the organization, Rosenthal asks “why would they keep Duquette at all?” as the team approaches some critical long-term decisions at the trade deadline. Duquette considered firing pitching coach Roger McDowell after last season in the wake of the poor performance of Baltimore’s arms, though it isn’t known whether moves like coaching changes are still under consideration, or if Buck Showalter could step in to prevent firing members of his coaching staff. Whatever changes are made, fans aren’t buying into the current (lack of) direction, as attendance is way down at Camden Yards.
- Braves pitching prospect Mike Soroka’s second career MLB start wasn’t nearly as impressive as his first, as Soroka allowed four earned runs over four innings today against the Giants. Manager Brian Snitker told MLB.com’s Mark Bowman (Twitter link) and other media that Soroka is scheduled to make his next start, with an implication being that Atlanta isn’t planning to demote the 20-year-old anytime soon. Anibal Sanchez is still sidelined with a hamstring injury, and will likely be moved to relief pitching when he returns so the Braves can give Soroka a fuller look in his first taste of the majors.
- Phillies hitting coach John Mallee “was totally surprised” at being replaced as the Cubs’ hitting coach after last season, he tells Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times. Though manager Joe Maddon praised Mallee’s work, the Cubs’ decision to part ways with Mallee and hire Chili Davis seemed due (as Maddon and Theo Epstein explain) to an organizational preference for more of a well-rounded hitting attack, as opposed to Mallee’s more launch angle-based philosophy. It seems like there could be a bit of a learning curve to the new approach for Cubs hitters, as the team’s offensive numbers are down over the first six weeks of the season.
Soroka was a victim of sign stealing. The kid has more pitching prowess compared to Folty, Teheran, and Newcomb. He will be good!
No movement on his slider had nothing to do with it.
If you Watched the Ballgame,you Would have Seen Soroka was being pinched on the Strike Zone,Yes he was hittable but He lost A lot of Strikes due to the Umpire.
You’re so hurt lol Your team got absolutely taxed for 3 straight games, it happens to everybody. Move on.
Damn right, let’s go gigantes baby !
Lol! Good luck with that.
the giants have quietly won their last 5 series.
Oh we will !! Just like those three wrongs last 8 years, how many your team have in that span ?
Excuse me … rings
3 whole rings. Congratulations.
Yea 3… okay. Again how many does your team have in let’s say the all of the 2000s ?
Ohhhhh. Rings don’t count before the year 2000. Got it. How’s that even year thing doing for you?
Well being my team has won 3 titles past 8 years I’d say we know what we are doing. I know we didn’t deserve those 3 were just a clueless old washed up team just like this year. Who’s your team? Don’t bother lol
You sound like a eagles fan talking bout cowboys.
Lol that’s as many as the Braves have in their 100 year history, and that’s just in the last decade
What position did you play, Cupcake?
Even year……98 losses.
<— Liked “wrongs” better!
2017 was an odd year if you can’t count.
I think he was referring to this year.
Phillies wanted to say Hi.
And quietly lost 4 in a row to the Phillies. Lol!
Pirates say Hi!
Folty and newcomb tossing up sub 4 ERA with the peripherals to support it. Lot of teams would be thrilled to have two guys like that in the rotation.
Newcomb is going to be the ace of that staff. That team is going to be really really good very very soon.
Newcomb could be the ace. Control is the only thing that is going to set him back. If he can consistently pound the zone he could reach that next level.
More likely that he was so successful in his first start because the Mets offense is anemic
Hanson made 2 errors yesterday. Reminiscent of Brooks Conrad. Except for the fact that Conrad’s team lost.
The Giants for some reason, always beat us. They seem to catch all the breaks and we don’t. Not blaming the umps, it’s just all the good karma we had going went the other way this time. That’s why they play 162. Tip your hat, be glad they’re gone and move on to the Rays.
Cubs hitters like who they be..
hitting like champs a yr ago now ZERO Cubs are hitting .300 avg
Give Davis time. Same pitching coach when the Sox in Ortiz’s last year were at the top of many categories and last year when they were last in HRs. Sometimes the players have to look in the mirror.
Batting average as a stand alone metric is irrelevant for the most part. But so is any suggestion or expectation that hitting coaches matter. Davis could sleep in the dugout all game long and he wouldn’t be any worse than he’s been so far.
Give me .300 hitters one through nine and things will work out just fine (even one through eight in the NL).
I have to disagree somewhat. Although hitting coaches tend to have a minimal effect with veteran hitters, they are quite useful with young prospects who are actually willing to accept advice and change their approach to hitting. Experienced hitting coaches like Davis and Long can help young players adjust to MLB pitching better than trying to do it alone. They are also useful in helping veterans who are willing to put their egos aside, work their way out of slumps.
Say what you want about batting average but I would take Wade Boggs and Mark Grace over Moustakas and Hosmer any day.
Which is absolutely crazy, because the Braves line-up currently has SEVEN players hitting .285 or better!!
Not to mention six of those seven are hitting at or above .300, AND the player that is hitting .285 is current 21 year old, super stud and future all-star, Ozzie Albies…
Ohhh, and that little Albies guy is ONLY near the top 5 of the vast majority of just about every single major offensive stats in the NL, including HR’s..
Albies is averaging better than a Home Run once every FIFTEEN AT-BATS!! He leads with 10 HR’s, 24 XBH, leads in runs, hits, has 13 doubles, and he still has yet to really unleash his blazing fast speed on the basepaths, only swiping 3 bags, with only one triple…
The future is blindingly bright for Albies, his overall game is remarkably similar to another vertically challenged all-star…The Tuve!!..Honestly, Albies is quite a bit further along than Altuve was at 21. It took Altuve a couple of seasons to really discover his power stroke, yet apparently Albies has already found a way to maximize his bat speed, core strength, lower body strength, and he has improved his launch angle to square up the ball on a MUCH more consistent level… !!
This is all just absolutely incredible for the 5’9″, 21 year-old, second year youngster!! Albies, and 20 year old, Ronald Acuña Jr. are going to wreak havoc on their opposing division rivals for MANY YEARS TO COME!! Barring injuries, Albies, Acuña Jr., and Freeman, will most likely combine to form one of the best all-around top, one through three hitters in the NL, if not THE BEST!!
Next, the NL East better watch out for the Braves future third baseman, 21 year old Austin Riley!! Riley just absolutely cruised through Double-A, crushing his opponents game after game, at-bat after at-bat…
Riley is more than capable of hitting for a solid average, plus power, reaching base at a high clip, and all the while playing a very solid third base for the Braves…He is prone to striking out a bit, but that’s the give and take the Braves will happily trade off for his serious in-game power at a serious position of need!!
His ops plus is great too. The only thing that’s a little concerning is that his obp is pretty average, but like you said, he’s only 21.
It’s not really the content that is annoying or all that wrong it’s just the way you present it that is very annoying. All you did was comp albies to altuve in a drawn out amped up 3+ paragraph post frequently using caps and exclamation points.
Agreed. Talk about a man crush.
Remind me again how many Cubs regular hitters finished above .300 last year. Or in their WS-winning 2016? Both years in which they finished second in the NL in runs scored.
Cubs didn’t hit in the first half last year either.
The rest of the division isn’t going to let Chicago hang around for half the year while they’re underperforming this year.
Oh really? What are the lottery numbers this week Nostradamus?
Fun fact: no full-time Cubs player has hit .300 since Starlin Castro did it in 2011. Not one.
No Cubs player has hit .300 since 2011 is true but Bryant has hit in the high .290’s since he has become a full time player and Rizzo is also a solid .290+ hitter. So, technically they have not hit .300 but they have had multiple players that were just a couple of hits away from a .300 season. It’s not like all of their players are hitting .260. Players have been dealing with the shift by taking walks this last decade. Without the shift and the modern approach to hitting it would be safe to say the Cubs would have definitely had several .300 hitters. Maddon is also one of those managers that stresses OBP over AVG. There is no doubt in my mind that he would happily start a player with a .150 AVG if he had a .365 OBP.
There shouldn’t be a doubt in anyone’s mind. Didn’t he pretty much already do that with Schwarber last year?
Not even the Mets want Swihart.
He’s gotta be better than what they’re running out there now though
I don’t know about that. Sure if you ask a Red Sox he’s really valuable, but the guys a AAAA player.
Red Sox fan agrees
The Mets are trotting out Jose Lobaton, who at 33 years old has a career mlb line of .216/.294/.320 and Tomas Nido, who has absolutely, positively no business being above AA. Why should they have any interest in Swihart, or indeed any catcher? Oh, I forgot: d’Arnaud will return next year. NOW I understand the Mind of Sandy Alderson. And speaking of combining a “great” baseball mind with players who have no business being above AA, isn’t it time for the Mets to promote Tebow?
Clown organization Bro…
If the Sox offered Swihart straight up for Harvey, I think the Mets would accept. It’s the Sox who don’t want Harvey. He’s overpaid – why would the Sox want to add close to $5M in salary for a questionable player, when they have better options currently in AAA?
It doesn’t matter how good your pitching coach is, Matt Harvey won’t listen. He still thinks he’s The Dark Knight.
This is why he won’t listen to good advice. This is why he won’t alter his approach. This is why he’s still leaving his team for high profile parties while his career is on the line.
He’s a clueless arrogant tool whose physical talent is no longer good enough to make up for the fact that he’s a clueless arrogant tool.
But he is the Dark Knight
well I guess we’ll see what being DFA’d does to the attitude.
I’m surprised the Red Sox would have any interest in Harvey. They have a full rotation and some decent depth starters in Johnson and Velasquez. Doesn’t seem to be a road they need to go down.
They don’t…..it’s a fabricated dream that a journalist came up with to get attention in the media. There’s no rumor to be had, just supposition.
Even if I knew for a fact Harvey could go out there and win 15 games for my team this year, as a GM I’d still take a pass due to his potential to disrupt team chemistry and the Clubhouse.
Anytime I’m feeling down about my team (Mets) and how poorly it is managed, a story about the Orioles always cheers me up.
BAL even makes the Miami organization (current regime AND previous) look like a well-oiled machine.
I don’t have a problem with the Giants taking a flyer on Harvey for the minimum. Suarez, Stratton, and Blach have been doing a pretty good job, but they are maxed out depth wise right now. A change of scenery might help, and if not just cut him again.
Matt Harvey Matt Cain. At this point there’s no difference except one guy is still clinging on to something that isn’t there
I think as a pen piece it would be worth a flyer on the league minimum. Right now because of the SP injuries, the giants don’t have a swing man – at the end of spring training it seems like the idea was to get stratton in the rotation and use either holland or blach as the longman but now all three of those guys and suraez are in the rotation.
When is the last time you saw a top pitching prospect come out of the Orioles farm system? What have they been building on?
Madden wanted his own guys as coaches so the old ones including Bosio got tossed. Eventually it will be Maddon who is shown the door. The guy is a egomaniac who wants to be the center of attention all the time. The Cubs had a 6 game winning streak with Almora leading off and Baez battling 2nd. So why would you change anything during a winning streak? Maddon did and now they have lost I believe 6 of 7 since.
Trust me on this Theo ain’t really sold on Maddon and that’s why he hasn’t had a extension yet.
Weather Report of Atlanta
I wouldn’t fire Maddon unless he crashes and burns completely. Cubs just got out of a championship drought with this man. I say let the ship sink with the Captain, if it does. Considering the Cubs’ history, I don’t think they have the luxury of letting a championship-winning manager go.