Happy Saturday! Today’s links will be brief as there’s breakfast baseball right around the corner, but we have to cover a few key things...
In Mariners news:
- Mariners prospect Julio Rodríguez shone on the worldwide stage last night. Team Dominican Republic beat South Korea in the bronze medal game to earn their first-ever Olympic medal in baseball. Julio had a monster day, with a two-run home run in the first inning, another run scored on a hit by pitch (on his hand, which we do not love to see, but he stayed in the game), and a double.
A Julio double and a dance! Team DR wants that medal and Julio is having himself a great bronze medal game. Arriba DR! Arriba Julio! pic.twitter.com/eMXrHW6tjq— Lookout Landing (@LookoutLanding) August 7, 2021
The homer (sound up with the Spanish-language announcers, obvs):
Julio Rodríguez conecta cuadrangular con Emilio Bonifacio en la tercera base y coloca a República Dominicana ganando 2 por 0 en el mismo primer episodio.#diazdeprotivos #rnndeportes #noticiasrnn #Tokyo2020 #Tokio2020 #olimpiadastokio2021 #OlimpiadeTokyo2020 pic.twitter.com/8qPCfVK7V9— Noticias RNN (@NoticiasRNN) August 7, 2021
And the reaction to Olympic Medalist Julio Rodríguez! Reader, I wept. I’m just so HAPPY for him (and for the whole DR team, finally getting a medal...the emotion was strong!).
The USA is also playing in the gold medal game tonight, but I will be asleep when that’s on, so we’ll have to catch up with how Eric Filia and crew did in tomorrow’s links.
Around the league:
- As COVID cases are on the rise again, Evan Drelich with the Athletic reports that MLB might look at tightening their protocols again. MLB, which now controls MiLB, has already tightened protocols at that level, requiring all team employees at the Arizona and Florida complexes to mask up once again.
- In case you missed it in the game thread yesterday, Oakland’s Ramón Laureano has been hit with an 80-game PED suspension. Laureano will not appeal, but did issue this statement. The Mariners will play the Athletics for basically the entire back half of September, although Oakland had preemptively moved to replace Laureano on the roster, bringing in Starling Marte (this now puts the heavy prospect cost paid by Oakland—LHP Jesús Luzardo, ranked #4 last year in ESPN’s Top 100—in some starker relief, as well).
- Sticking with the AL West, the Astros will be without Yuli Gurriel for a bit, who hit the IL with neck stiffness. Before you go feeling too badly for them, though, Alex Bregman is out on a rehab assignment and should be rejoining the team shortly.
- Pirates prospect Will Matthiessen made his pro debut with the Greensboro Grasshoppers yesterday, and it was, well...it was something.