Cardinals reliever Jordan Hicks became the second pitcher ever (after Aroldis Chapman) to hit the 105mph mark, tossing two fastballs at that epic speed during an appearance against the Phillies on Sunday. As The Athletic’s Mark Saxon writes in a subscription-only piece, Hicks’ feat may represent the virtual limit of how fast a human arm can throw a baseball. “The maximum can’t go up, because the ligaments can’t take it,” said Dr. Glenn Fleisig, research director of the American Sports Medicine Institute. “We’re at the limit, based upon what ligaments and tendons can take….What’s happening is more teams have more guys near the top of the limit, but the limit is just going up nominally. It really can’t go up. Maybe at the top it will go up one mph or so, but never will it be 10 mph faster. It’s just more crowded near the top now.”
While we wonder if Dr. Fleisig has ever heard of a former Mets phenom named Sidd Finch, let’s check in on some news from around the baseball world…
- The Red Sox have put a high price tag on Blake Swihart in trade negotiations with other teams, NBCSports.com’s Evan Drellich reports. “Hard to find a trade partner when you’re asking for some of teams’ best prospects,” one rival talent evaluator tells Drellich. Swihart has barely played at all this season coming off the Sox bench, and his previous two seasons also saw little MLB action (though injuries were a big factor in the lack of activity). While these factors have seemingly dimmed Swihart’s former top-prospect status, the Sox are still aiming for a big return for Swihart, with Drellich noting that some familiar with the trade talks have described Boston’s demands as “unreasonable.” The Sox may end up designating Swihart for assignment when Dustin Pedroia returns to ensure that a Swihart deal will happen, though this may or may not create the “bidding war” the Red Sox hope will then occur. MLBTR’s Steve Adams recently broke down the potential market for Swihart, and while there are several teams that could use catching help, it hardly seems like Boston will score multiple quality minor leaguers in exchange for Swihart.
- Jose Reyes had another tough game tonight, making two errors that contributed to a 5-1 Mets loss to the Marlins. Reyes now has a measly .145/.203/.200 slash line through 59 plate appearances this season, leading the New York Post’s Mike Puma to question whether Reyes’ time on the roster is coming to an end. Rookie Luis Guillorme may have more to offer in the utility infield role, leaving Reyes as the potential odd man out once Todd Frazier returns from the disabled list.
- Veteran right-hander Ricky Nolasco is hopeful of continuing his career, Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports (via Twitter). Nolasco was released from a minor league deal with the Royals during Spring Training and has yet to catch on with another team. A veteran of 12 Major League seasons, Nolasco posted a 4.92 ERA, 7.1 K/9, and 2.47 K/BB rate over 181 innings with the Angels in 2017. While his performance has generally dimmed in recent years, Nolasco is still an effective innings-eater and managed a 2.6 fWAR season as recently as 2016.