There’s a whole lot to take in from yesterday and today in the world of baseball, but we’ve got you covered here. We start, as always, at home, with the Mariners:
In Mariners news...
- Over at The Ringer, Jonathan Tjarks wonders about Robinson Canó’s return and the legacy of the age >30 mega-contract.
- Felix Hernandez ticked a few milestones in his first MLB relief appearance. The King passed Jamie Moyer for 41st in MLB history in strikeouts.
- Félix also became the 2nd-most prolific starter (398 starts) to ever debut in the bullpen, trailing only Mike Mussina and his 498 GS before a relief appearance.
- In less historic but more pressing news, in case you missed it, the news is NOT GREAT but NOT A DISASTER for James Paxton. The lefty is likely to miss a start or two with a left forearm contusion, but escaped without a broken bone.
- Paxton will likely hit the DL, with a reliever presumably inbound after Félix went 5.2 IP last night and the bullpen down to 7 already.
- The Tacoma Rainiers have a strong business model for a minor league team.
- Edwin Diaz is within striking distance of history with his saves, but one writer for The Athletic wants to know if we should care about that record. ($)
- Echoing Grant Bronsdon’s piece yesterday, Shannon Drayer discusses the flexibility Álex Colomé has brought the Mariners.
- Beyond the Box Score suggests players returning from PED suspensions like Robinson Canó don’t always see their numbers match the pre-suspension level. Age, of course, presumably plays a role.
- The Mariners have brought back the journeyest of journeyman relievers, LHP David Rollins, on a minor league deal.
Congratulations to #SCMiners ace David Rollins who will be joining the @Mariners organization! David is the second Miner today to have his contract purchased by an @MLB team. Story: https://t.co/ht5vPfdtNt#KeepDigging #DavidRollins #SeattleMariners— Sussex County Miners (@SCMiners) August 14, 2018
: @Photo_Torri pic.twitter.com/UsaLwh7kVK
- Daniel Vogelbach made his way onto Baseball Prospectus’ All-Quad-A team.
Around the league...
- Cleveland ace and Cy Young contender Trevor Bauer will spend an indeterminate amount of time on the DL with a stress fracture in his foot.
- The Pirates completed the deal for Chris Archer with a hefty PTBNL - Top-100 prospect RHP Shane Baz.
- If finding the next Shane Baz (who may one day be the next Trevor Bauer) is what you’re into, one of the most high-profile high school tournaments will take place later this August.
The best high school #MLBDraft prospects from California & Texas -- including leading 2019 top-pick candidate Bobby Witt Jr. -- will square off in the inaugural @MLB/@USABaseball ‘States Play' Tournament on Aug. 24-26: https://t.co/XAMODyEOjV pic.twitter.com/cWPq96oFrd— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) August 14, 2018
- The Oregonian and former umpire Jim Joyce note that the apathy between the Oakland A’s ownership and their fanbase makes them a perfect candidate to move up to Portland.
- Miguel Montero remembered his roots, returning to the same hallway 17 years later with a new batch of excited Dominican youths.
Miguel Montero regresó a Boca Chica, República Dominicana y se tomó la misma foto, en el mismo dormitorio donde solía soñar llegar a las Grandes Ligas con #LosDbacks hace 17 años. La gente cambió, pero los sueños siguen siendo los mismos pic.twitter.com/m5S5icrWcb— Arizona Diamondbacks (@LosDbacks) August 14, 2018
- Speaking of players who were intriguing in 2011, long-time Royals pitcher and the 1st pick in the 2006 MLB draft Luke Hochevar has officially retired.
- Derek Jeter is attempting to build on his legend in Miami. Despite a rocky start, Jerry Crasnick writes that the Marlins have reason for hope in No. 2.
- In less star-studded PTBNL news, the Rangers received 1B Alexander Ovalles to complete the Cole Hamels trade with the Cubs.
- The youth of baseball right now are honestly as exciting as they have been in 20 years, and I hope you all get a chance to see some non-Mariners baseball on occasion.
Ronald Acuña Jr. strikes again!— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) August 15, 2018
His leadoff HR today matches the Braves' franchise record of 5 straight games with a homer.
He's also the youngest to homer in 5 straight games. Acuña Jr. has a leadoff HR in 3 straight games, the longest streak since 1996.
h/t @EliasSports pic.twitter.com/CKDUnNlnjg
- Nate Freiman wrote a brilliant data-based exposé on the steady improvement of the strike zone as you progress through the minor leagues.
- Ben Zobrist got tossed from the game yesterday. He decided to stick a blow in favor of robot umpires as he left.
Ben Zobrist told Phil Cuzzi “that’s why we want an electronic strike zone” before getting tossed today. Wow.— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) August 14, 2018
- After a brawl in Los Angeles between the Dodgers and the Giants, Yasiel Puig and Nick Hundley may be in danger of suspensions, the former of which could impact Seattle’s series with LA this weekend. This... weird interaction appears to be the ignition point?
- The umpires on the scene had little interest in detailing the experience, unfortunately.
Home-plate umpire and crew chief Eric Cooper on what specifically warranted Yasiel Puig’s ejection:— Fabian Ardaya (@FabianArdaya) August 15, 2018
“Watch the tape. You’ll see why he had to be ejected.”
And for Nick Hundley:
“There was no delay. Watch the tape. You’ll see why he had to be ejected.”
- I know this was a bit of a beast, but a lot happened, and I’m sure we missed some gems. I’ll be brief - the thing I enjoyed going through the most yesterday was this - the 14th annual reader-submitted underwater photography competition from Scuba Diving magazine. The header photo alone is sensational, but the whole collection is a hoot. Tell me what you think!