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.
Give Ricky 7 or 8 runs and he will win 70% of the time
I feel he would do better in the NL due to only facing 8 hitters. Most of the games he pitched well were against the NL teams for an example the Dodgers and Nationals
For those wondering like me and don’t want to read an eight volume epic from sports illustrated, Wikipedia says that Sidd Finch is a fictional character that could pitch 168 mph.
i read through alot of the article, and then decided i would just look him up and found the same. the whole story was an april fools hoax. pretty funny though
No kidding…I clicked the article and scrolled down to see how long it was. They literally wrote a dictionary or something.
It’s George Plimpton, one of the greatest sports writers in history, and it’s never a waste to read him. He was tremendous and elevated sports writing from generic sound-bite stuff into literature. Be glad we still have access to his stuff.
For a real life and unfortunately sad story look up Steve Dalkowski. While I don’t buy into the guess-timated 120-125 mph, his story is amazing but sad. When he finally learned control (instead of striking out 262 while walking 262) he blew his elbow out the last ST game before making the O’s roster.
Highly recommend the documentary “Fastball” (I think Netflix has it and there are some poor quality copies on YouTube from time to time). It will change minds about the fastest pitch.
Just watched for 4th time this week.
Adds a bit of perspective in regards to historical pitchers doesn’t it?
He was also featured in a book, and it was very entertaining. The other players were real Mets players.
Red Sox should trade Swihart to the Rangers for Cole Hamels.
The Royals should trade Drew Butera to the Astros for Justin Verlander.
The Orioles should just give Machado to the Braves for nothing out of the goodness of their collective heart.
The Nationals should just give Bryce Harper to the Marlins for the
home run sculpture
Red Sox should trade Swihart to the Mets for José Reyes. Or to the Twins for Phil Hughes. Or to the Blue Jays for Osuna. …
Blake Swihart to the Cleburne Railroaders of the independent league for Rafael Palmeiro.
Throw in the fish tank and its a deal.
There is no way they give up Butera for just Verlander. Houston has to throw in a prospect.
They should trade that Victor Victor guy for Swihart.
Swihart to the Mets for Sidd Finch.
Trade Swihart for Rick Vaughn
Swihart to San Fran for Sandoval
Swihart to the Rangers for Prince Fielder
They could trade him to the Phillies for Hamels if someone would invent time travel.
Sure Casey…only the Rangers are not the soft target that you think that they are. Hammels is valuable. Swihart is worthless. Trader Dave will see. He is likely to add the best AAA player in their system to sweeten the offer. You know he hates young player development, right?
Didn’t Henry Rowengardner hit 110?
Funky butt lovin
I thought Nolan Ryan hit 107 before? I saw Ryan pitch in the old Astrodome
Actually 108.5 when you adjust for the difference in distance of where the ball was clocked compared to today and the drag on the ball. Ryan’s was clocked at 100.8 but that was taken 10 feet from home plate. Now they measure 50 feet from home or almost when the ball leaves the hand.
Same can be done with Bob Feller. He was measured using an Army ballistic measuring device set at home plate. When adjusting for distance his FB is 107, not 98.6.
Walter Johnson was measured by throwing in a ballistics lab, on a flat concrete floor in his Sunday church clothes. He threw the ball through a set of thin wire filaments set at 60’6″. When the filaments broke it started a clock and when it hit a steel plate 15′ away the clock stopped. They came up with 122fps or 83.2mph. When adjusted to todays standard of 50 feet from home you get 93.8mph.
Thanks Cat! Always nice to learn something from a good baseball mind . Also, I thought I had read a long time ago about Johnson throwing 110! I guess that’s just an old legend as well !
Red Sox being unreasonable in an expected return for Swihart is due to the Svengali effect the Boston media has on the fans. If this supposed phenom doesn’t return at least two of another teams top prospects or at least a #3 starter, they’ll be pitchforks and torches at the gates of Fenway.
All teams rate their prospects the same. Big market clubs have the press that puts it over the top. If you publicly put a low value on them, you ensure a minimal return.
You and I both know no one does it to the extent of the Sox and Yanks.
Not sure where you live. I’m in NY and if the Mets had real prospects. they’d be in the same boat. My belief is it’s magnified due to the number of outlets in major Cities. If I was in LA or Philly, would I not be hearing of their talent? Sox have had a great run. Yankees too. Because many were called up earlier than expected, we have the Bill Goldberg syndrome. “Who’s next?”
Wow I just wasted too much time reading that April Fools article on Sidd Finch…too bad, seemed like a cool guy.
Time spent enjoying great writing is not time wasted.
The Red Sox are crazy if they think they can get an organization’s best prospect out of Swihart.
Boston has little to lose by making huge demands for Swihart. Maybe someone is going to be foolish and pay up. I can’t imagine there being a bidding war on a DFA.
But the Swihart thing reminds me of this suit I have in my closet. High quality material, well cut, and I must have been sleeping when I bought it. I’m absolutely sure the salesman and his buddies must have been laughing at the bar later that day “You got rid of that?”
How about Swihart and Hembree
for Hamels and cash?
If Texas is dealing JBJ and a prospect for Choo and some salary relief.
I don’t think that makes any sense at all for Texas. They’re going to want guys who can actually help win down the road. They don’t need a crappy utility player and a reliever when they are entering a rebuild.
Unless Texas has a flip deal ready, there is no way they do that for the reasons mentioned by JD.
Marlins should sign Nolasco and Reyes. Nostalgic value at least
If the Red Sox truly believe Swihart holds any value, why aren’t they playing him? It’s pretty easy to look up and see that their catchers have been the worst in baseball this year. DD might be saying one thing, but his actions speak the truth and that is Swihart looks to be another busted prospect.
Good to see the Red Sox are still completely delusional in regards to Swihart.
As far as I know, Swihart is out of options, so DFA’ing him subjects him to a sure waiver pickup by another team. What do the Red Sox get out of that ?
He’s got little trade value after the team’s shameful mismanagement of his career. We all know his potential; so I say keep him (and play him) and send JBJ back to the Minors so he can make some mechanical adjustments to his swing at Pawtucket’s expense.
Swihart is the new Profar. Just held on to a prospect way to long and to high of demands for him. Even sox fans knows their GM is high to think they will get a top prospect back for him.
Swihart is out of options and I am sick of throwing up every time JBJ swings through a fastball-excellent idea-Swihart really does not have any real value and may just clear waivers-the best hope would be to get a bullpen arm to eat innings if Thornburg does not come back strong-Carson Smith has most likely pitched his last game as a Sox , so there is a need-Matt Barnes has numbers but makes me SO nervous
Haha, hilarious, Red Sox! “Here’s a 26 y/o who is out of options, isn’t good enough to be either our starting C or even our backup C (and we’re not exactly having a playing time battle between Bench & Berra over here), and isn’t really good enough to keep as our top PH…give us your best prospect & more! Why? Because…remember 5 years ago when everyone thought he was a sure thing?” Well, I guess they only need to find one dummy.
Swihart for Sandoval……now THAT’S a good trade……Swihart’s the perfect example of why prospects are suspects…….they’ll wind up taking a 32nd round draft pick whose organizational filler for him, just to say they got something……
Does it really matter now? The team is in first and if Swihart was to be traded, it was in the off season just passed.
It does matter now because they will have a roster crunch when Pedie returns and he is out of options-they tried to peddle him this winter with no luck-chances are, he will clear waivers.-.150 hitters don’t get much notice and he really is not an every day catcher
He’ll be traded before he clears waivers, even for a box of doughnuts – provided they can be sent down. An exception is if there is another DL move. Sox must have felt with Pedroia and Nunez’s knees, hanging onto Swihart was their best option. They overplayed their hand especially with Lin available for infield duty.
How about Curly Howard straight up for Swihart ?
Moe had a better FB and could hit
The Red Sox missed the boat on moving Swihart for anything close to something of value by not trading him towards the end of ST. His numbers were out of sight in spring training and probably good enough to peak at least or 2 GM’s interest. Not now in my opinion he’s nothing more than a throw in in a trade package or he’s waiting to get DFA as the piece says.
I read somewhere once that it was scientifically proved that a human cannot run a mile in less than four minutes.
looks like harvey is ok in cincinnati..
There is absolutely no chance that Swihart clears waivers. Someone will pick him up. The real question is if DD can get something of value back for Swihart. It may happen if there are multiple teams that value him. There is no chance that he clears waivers.
There’s a lot of mismanaging players going on with the Sox lately, including Swihart. But what bothers me most is…..
Why in the world is Ramirez playing 1B again tonight ? Moreland is batting .276 so far in May, while Hanley is slumping at .169 during the same period?
The Sox must really want to spend that ridiculous $22 million vesting option, because they are not limiting Ramirez’ plate appearances even when he’s batting poorly.
I guess I just don’t get it.
If the Sox wanted to showcase Swihart for a trade they should at least try to use him behind the plate for once. Give him at least one start per week.
I agree; the Sox should showcase Swihart if they intend to trade him. Even better, how about keeping him and play him. What an enlightening idea that should be to management !
First off that rival talent evaluator can go look fat somewhere else in pinstripes…Evan, RELAX! Leon is 29 and Vasquez is 27, they are essentially the same player (average, defensively and calling games) minus Sandy is a switch hitter with a tad more pop which really neither have. The utility guys Nunez 31 and Holt 30 are here along with Swihart who’s a switch hitter and 26! He’s arguably more versatile and athletic than all of those players and has show averages over .300 in consecutive ABs like spring training a few times. Has a way higher power ceiling in my opinion and we would be foolish to trade him before we did one of the other options below.
A) Sent Holt to AAA keeping our depth in tact in case of injuries. Why would we reduce our team depth when an option remains open on other players who can fill the needs as bench guys.
B) Trade Sandy Leon! We have a 27 year old version and need production on offense at Catcher…it gives Swihart 26 reps and ABs to continue to grow.
C) Trade Nunez 31 and give his duties to Swihart and Keep Leon & Holt.
D) Trade Holt 30 and give his duties to either Swihart or Nunez.
E) is the worst option unless we get a serious prospect in return (Trade Swihart) I’m telling you…this would be a huge mistake!