It was on this day in 1925 that the legendary Lou Gehrig replaced Wally Pipp in the Yankees’ lineup, beginning Gehrig’s then-record streak of 2130 consecutive games played. While both Pipp and the Yankees themselves were slumping at the time, Gehrig’s insertion into the lineup wasn’t only meant as a way to give a promising youngster some at-bats. Pipp was given a day off due to a headache, which according to some reports was suffered after being hit in the head with a pitch from a teammate during batting practice. Since that fateful day, Pipp’s name has become synonymous with being replaced — whenever a player goes on a hot streak replacing an injured teammate, you can count on an announcer mentioning that the injured player might “be Wally Pipp’ed” out of a job. This unusual legacy has overshadowed a very solid career from Pipp, who hit .281/.341/.408 over 7838 plate appearances with the Yankees, Reds, and Tigers from 1913-28, including serving as the starting first baseman on the Yankees’ first World Series championship team, in 1923.
The latest from around the AL East…
- The Red Sox re-signed Steve Pearce on a one-year, $6.25MM contract last November in the wake of Pearce’s epic performance as the World Series MVP. The deal looked like a solid move at the time, though as the Boston Globe’s Peter Abraham notes, now looks like a misstep given Pearce’s rough 2019 season. Pearce has slashed just .180/.245/.258 over 99 plate appearances, and is currently on the IL with back spasms. Considering that many comparable first base/DH types of free agents signed for considerably less than Pearce’s $6.5MM guarantee last offseason, the contract now looks like an overpay in hindsight. A few million dollars normally wouldn’t be a big issue for a wealthy team like the Red Sox, though with the Sox wanting to stay under the $246MM maximum penalty luxury tax threshold, Abraham notes that signing Pearce to a smaller deal (or letting him go altogether) would have freed up more money for Boston to pursue some needed bullpen help, either in the offseason or at the deadline.
- Could Justin Smoak go from trade candidate to extension candidate? As Ken Rosenthal opines in his latest FOX Sports video update, the Blue Jays’ efforts to deal Smoak at the deadline could be hampered by the fact that teams have been increasingly hesitant to give much up for veteran first base/DH players. Smoak’s age (32) and status as a rental player could also work against the Jays in netting any significant return for the first baseman. With this in mind, Rosenthal suggests that Toronto could explore retaining Smoak as a veteran leader to help the club through its rebuild, perhaps on a one- or two-year extension to split first base and DH duties with Rowdy Tellez. Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s ability to stick at third base will factor into such a decision, of course, and I’d also add that the Blue Jays might not want to return to a fairly inflexible first base/DH situation so soon after parting ways with Kendrys Morales.
- While the Orioles have suffered from disastrous pitching, their everyday lineup has featured some unexpected bright spots, the Baltimore Sun’s Peter Schmuck writes. Names like Renato Nunez, Dwight Smith Jr., Pedro Severino, and Hanser Alberto were all acquired in unheralded fashion over the last year, yet all four have delivered decent to above-average production at the plate. Some of this could stem from a simple increase in playing time, as all four players are getting the chance at regular at-bats for the first time. Severino, whose .268/.351/.474 slash line through 112 PA dwarfs his previous output as a member of the Nationals, noted that “My job over there [in Washington] was to have the mentality to win the game and call a good game and not think about my offense….It was tough to play once a week and take one at-bat in the ninth inning against a good closer. That’s really tough.” It remains to be seen if any of this quartet will develop into long-term pieces for the rebuilding Orioles, though if nothing else, the O’s could have some extra trade chips to consider for the July 31st deadline.
Renato Nunez, good grief, that guy is on a tear.
bosox bench is getting thin they can’t afford to lose anyone else – mngt wud be wise to get ahead and look for infield utility/speedster
Rio Ruiz is another example for the Orioles too; he’s not on par with the other ones listed, but they pretty much got him for free too
I believe that the Blue Jays should trade Smoak while his value is still neutral or trending. Cleveland would love his services. A long shot here but what about SF? They love taking older aging veterans and they need some power in that lineup. Swap out Belt and his contract for Smoak and maybe a decent prospect?
I made that suggestion weeks ago, regarding a deal with San Fran. Didn’t go over well. However, Jays need to stop thinking about signing a guy who will be 34 or 35 by the time Toronto is ready to contend.
Hmm I really can’t think of another team that might want Smoak then. Maybe Arizona? Maybe Miami? That’s really the only teams hat I can think off the top of my head.
1B is a tough spot. Most teams have one. Houston is a reach. Same with NYY. Same with Milwaukee. Same with Tampa. Miami has no interest, and Arizona has to stay in the hunt to be players for Smoak.
There needs to be a significant injury for Smoak to gain leverage. Top teams have that position pretty much covered.
I agree with all of this. I really couldn’t think of a team that would need Smoak to help them over the top. I think a modest two year deal would be enough to entice him to stay. I’m surprised a SH with a .383 OBP and good defense isn’t highly regarded on trade market like he should be. I wonder if Milwaukee gets tired of Aguilar and sends him packing up north?
the biggest differences between Smoak and Morales is that Smoak is a gold glove caliber defender. Morales was brutal. There is value in defense and it helps any regression in defense
And he can actually hit above average…
for now… I was think that as an extension candidate with offensive regression expected.
If you are going to keep a vet or two during a rebuild, Smoak isn’t a bad choice. He’s not going to cost elite money and his defensive value to a club that is very young in the infield won’t hurt.
Laughable that Smoak is being discussed as an extension candidate. Right player, wrong team. This is not the time for a rebuilding team to sign a First Baseman turning 33 next year to offer an extension. As good as Smoak can be, the Jays need to allocate money to areas of need 1-2 years down the road (Pitching, OF, potentially a SS).
If an extension is done, we’d have to say JimmerTree was right. He said a prominent exec in the Jays organization is fighting to keep Smoak.
Smoak needs to be traded or packaged in a trade. Open the DH position for every young guy to get at bats.
the $$$ would be relatively insignificant. Veteran leadership is helpful… especially given how young these guys are going to be. most are not going to be able to drink on roadtrips
Hey, how’s Urena hitting these days?
1. Jays won’t contend until 2022. Smoak will be 35 years old and on a steep decline.
2. Jays need pitching and outfield. Vets can be brought in on 1-year deals
3. Keep DH open to give Vlad, Bo, Biggio, Gurriel, Grichuk, maybe Teoscar and others a chance to hit and sit.
4. All $$$ is significant so long as there’s a luxury tax threshold.
5. Never give an extension to a player just to be a veteran leader.
6. More needs than wants on the Blue Jays. The need is to deal assets. They do not need to keep another infielder.
7 Guys will drink, as per your weird comment. Vets drink, managers drink, kids drink. That’s inevitable. Justin Smoak nor anyone will stop a player from doing dumb things.
urena is hitting about as well as Galvis.. not much at all
yes they do need those. Bit extending Smoak, st at reasonable price is ok
with position versatility time off is not an issue
they are so far under cap it has no bearing
he hits, is a great defender AS WELL AS a leader
yes lots of needs… lots of $$ for free agents and develop from within
. they have a ton of infielders to deal.
Drink? I think you’re drunk?
By your writing I’d say you should have been cut off a couple hours ago.
comes from a guy without a clue.
formatting is an app issue. sorry
try this again…
1. Urena is hitting about as well as Galvis- not much st all.
2. Yes they do need those. But extending Smoak, at a reasonable is okay.
3. Position versatility makes time off not an issue.
4. They are so far under the cap that signing Smosk is no problem. He hits well, defends very well as well as being a leader.
5. yes lots of needs. Signing him to an extension does not mean they cant trade him eventually.
Drinking? Nah, but I think you’re drunk…
Your second attempt was as bad as the first attempt, only this time you gave a half-hearted attempt at proofreading. So for the record:
– You can’t write
– Reading is questionable
– You know nothing about baseball
Should we add “can’t hold alcohol” to the list?
this coming from a guy who said the Jay’s picked up Galvis… for his BAT,?
Never said that. I said Urena’s bat was too weak, in Toronto’s mind, to be the starting SS. I never wanted the team to sign Galvis, ever. Clearly reading is a problem for you.
Don’t you just wish you had a crystal ball?
You had a World Series MVP. Resigning him seemed an easy decision.
You had Eovaldi, a World Series and playoff hero. Resigning him was a harder decision since they could have signed Kimbrel with the money.
Hindsight is always 20/20.
The Red Sox are having a bizarre season and the NYY are having an amazing season.
Injuries aren’t always the answer or the NYY would be doing terrible?
Why does Seattle come out of the gate on fire and then fall flat on their face?
Why does Tampa play better than Boston with a $60M payroll vs. $236 for Boston?
Wonder if anyone can really explain why teams go cold and teams get hot?
It seems to frequently be the managers that pay the price of under performance..
One thing seems to be worth thinking about.
It’s better to spend less if you play poorly.
You’re screwed if you over spend and do poorly.
It’s better to draft and develop talent more often than not rather then buying it.
Mookie Betts was offered $200M for 10 years and turned it down. He presumably wants $400M? Does anyone wonder why he would turn that down?
If the big spending teams stop buying and instead draft and develop better then small spending teams will have less inexpensive talent to work with.
There are players that get $100,000 every day 365 day a year for the next 10 years. Doesn’t that seem expensive. Maybe crazy?
We pay for launch angle, hitting into shifts and not only try for 350 ft home runs but go for 500 ft ones. Because singles aren’t the best way to raise your total bases.
Thus players get paid for OPS now and not OBP like they used to.
There are numerous players near the top of the league in home runs and are flirting with a 200 BA a.k.a. Jay Bruce.
The MLB just set a 1 month record for home runs in May.
Pitchers now routinely throw over 95 mph. Innings pitched are going down and yet arm issues seems as high as ever.
Once people get the big contracts it seems they often get injured in odd ways.
Teams don’t want to risk further injury with the big contract and players have nothing to lose by not playing if they have the big contract.
And often aging players with big contracts do poorly.
Wonder if a salary cap makes sense like they have in the NFL?
Wonder if a base salary makes sense for everybody and then add performance to the base. That would protect then cost and the ticket prices.
Perhaps a disability insurance policy could be purchased to add so layer of protection for the player that gets injured?
Attendance seems to be going down in baseball. Major League Baseball’s attendance problem is not going away, as a significant dip in 2018 has endured into the new season – even with better weather and a boost from some big-name stars on the move.
I suspect changes are coming.
I keep hearing homeruns and scoring equals ratings.
Over 100+ years of baseball and still people neglect their history; aces vs aces always, ALWAYS brings people to the yard.
If you’re looking for changes, it won’t be to benefit or protect pitchers. Tommy John is baseball’s greatest job creator.
Yep it is
6.25 million for Pearce is only a move Dumbroski would make. Nobody would of gave him 2 million more less 6.25
Check out Trade Rumors. Pearce got $6.5 from Toronto in 17 & 18.
The guy did win the World Series MVP so it’s understandable he got $6.5M again. It’s a drop in the bucket compared to the numbers below. But it all adds up.
The bigger issue is why is Tampa’s ahead of Boston when their payroll is $60M and Boston’s is $236M?
Time to rethink how they spend money in Boston …. don’t you think?