We’re talking a whole lot of pitching this week, as we dive into the top arms in the 2018 MLB draft. We start the show off with a little Juan Soto and Austin Meadows talk, before jumping into this week’s 5×5, where we profile 10 top performers over the last week of minor league play. After that it’s a pitching free for all, breaking down the mechanics and arsenals of Casey Mize, Brady Singer, Shane McClanahan, Carter Stewart, Matt Liberatore, and many more. What could be better than Lance breaking down mechanics? Ice cream, but that’s it. Finally, please make sure to support our sponsor by heading over to RotoWear.com and entering promo code “SAGNOF” for 20% off the highest quality t-shirts in the fantasy sports game. It’s the latest edition of the Razzball Fantasy Baseball Prospect Podcast:
Giancarlo Stanton ‘s early-season slump incited some boos from the Bronx faithful in April, but the New York Yankees designated hitter made an effort to smooth things over on Friday…
Yankees rookie Gleyber Torres homered to right in the seventh, providing the winning run over the Angels and giving Torres a place in American League history. He’s the youngest AL player ever to homer in four consecutive games.
It seems that Marlins infielder Martin Prado has suffered a rather significant left hamstring injury, as Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports. The 34-year-old has endured a run of significant problems with his hamstring muscles in the past year or so. Details aren’t yet known, but it certainly sounds as if Prado will be sidelined for a lengthy stretch. He’s owed $13.5MM this year and $15MM for the 2019 campaign. The long-productive infielder has struggled to a .169/.221/.180 batting line in 95 plate appearances on the season.
Here’s more on the injury front:
- The Nationals finally got some promising injury news, as they’ll send both Daniel Murphy and Brian Goodwin on rehab assignments beginning tomorrow. Jon Heyman of Fan Rag tweeted the news with regard to the former; Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post tweeted manager Davey Martinez’s announcement on both players. Murphy has yet to appear in the 2018 campaign after offseason microfracture surgery, while Goodwin has been slow to return from a wrist injury.
- It’s still unclear just how long the Cardinals will go without shortstop Paul DeJong, but he says he has been given a four-to-eight week estimate by the medical professionals, as Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. More than anything, it seems that broad range indicates that there’s not a lot of clarity at this point as to how long it’ll take to heal. All involved will obviously hope that it hues toward the earlier estimate, as the replacement options all have their warts as semi-regular shortstops.
- It seems the Athletics will go without reliever Santiago Casilla for a stretch. He has been diagnosed with a shoulder strain, as MLB.com’s Jane Lee reports on Twitter. Details of his anticipated absence are not yet available, but it’s said to be likely that Casilla will end up on the DL. The veteran entered play today with an ugly 14:13 K/BB ratio, but had allowed eight runs on only 11 hits in his 21 innings of action.
- Though he seemingly avoided a more concerning fate, Orioles slugger Mark Trumbo will likely head to the DL to rest his ailing right knee, as Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com was among those to report (Twitter links). Trumbo was diagnosed with a fairly significant case of arthritis, which won’t necessarily put him on the shelf for long but also probably isn’t the best news for a defensively limited player who’s owed $12.5MM this year and $13.5MM next. He has been productive thus far in 2018, though, with a .309/.317/.469 slash through 82 plate appearances. On the other hand, it’s somewhat worrisome that he has managed only a pair of home runs and a single walk in that span.
- In other AL East news … so long as there are no surprises in the interim, Nate Eovaldi will finally start for the Rays on Tuesday, as Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times tweets. The Yankees announced that reliever Tommy Kahnle is back from the DL, which represents a promising development given the uncertainty that surrounded him when he went on the shelf. And while the Blue Jays still aren’t planning on a near-term return from Troy Tulowitzki, skipper John Gibbons says the veteran shortstop is at least ready to begin running, as Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca tweets.
- While the Padres had hoped to welcome back catcher Austin Hedges in relatively short order, he’s now halting his rehab after his problematic right elbow flared up, as MLB.com’s AJ Cassavell writes. It still seems there’s little reason to fear that Hedges is dealing with a real structural problem, though surely it’s frustrating for the organization that he hasn’t yet fully turned the corner.
- Meanwhile, the Angels provided an update on hurler Matt Shoemaker, though it mostly suggests ongoing uncertainty with regard to the root of his arm issues. As the club announced, and MLB.com’s Maria Guardado tweets, the latest examination “ruled out peripheral nerve involvement” but “showed mild edema in the forearm.” Shoemaker is also said to have undergone a bone scan. The results of that weren’t specifically cited, but it seems to suggest that the organization is looking at quite a lot of possibilities to figure out what’s really causing problems for the starter.
The Dodgers’ ace appears to be one successful simulated game away from his next start.
The Twins have released first baseman/outfielder Brock Stassi, per Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer-Press (via Twitter). His roster spot at Triple-A Rochester will got to just-acquired slugger Chris Carter.
Stassi, 28, crafted a nice story when he earned a roster spot out of camp with the Phillies last year. But he failed to succeed in his first crack at the big leagues, slashing just .167/.278/.295 in his ninety plate appearances. On the positive side, Stassi drew a dozen walks to go with his 22 strikeouts.
The left-handed hitter had wielded quite a productive bat in the upper minors prior to his first taste of the majors. But he fell off badly upon returning to Triple-A last year and has carried that poor performance into 2018. Since signing on with the Minnesota organization, Stassi carries only a .211/.316/.316 slash in 133 plate appearances at the highest level of the minors.
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw is set to throw a four-inning simulated game on Saturday at Dodger Stadium, the next step in his recovery from left biceps tendinitis. The three-time Cy Young winner hasn’t pitched in a game since May 1.
Prado was lifted from Friday’s game after injuring his left leg while running out a ground ball.
Hot-hitting rookie Gleyber Torres homered for the fourth consecutive game on Friday night, his fifth homer in his last six contests.
Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images
Don’t run on Judge.
Aaron Judge can hit, sure. And he can make incredible jumping plays at the wall because he’s so dang tall, of course. But have you witnessed his cannon of an arm in action? Really witnessed it?
Judge put on a show during the Yankees’ Friday night game against the Angels, whistling a baseball farther and more accurately than it seems entirely possible multiple times during the game to take out an emboldened runner that realized too late they never stood a chance against Judge’s arm.
The first one was the more astonishing one because of its distance and speed. Judge threw the ball more than 100 mph straight to home plate to literally trip up Kole Calhoun as he crossed the plate, thrown out unexpectedly.
Sure it came from shallow left field, but it was a rocket.
— YES Network (@YESNetwork) May 26, 2018
But his second outfield assist, from deeper in the outfield and to second base, was almost more impressive. Not for how hard it was obviously thrown like the first instance but for how casual he looked doing it.
Aaron Judge with the casually dead on accurate assist at 2nd pic.twitter.com/hdJ2VcUY6r
— That Dude (@cjzer0) May 26, 2018
“Guess I’ll just toss this here ball a very long way like I’m tossing an apple core into the trash. 100 miles per hour and pinpoint accurate? That’s before I’ve even had my mid-game energy drink and power bar. No big deal.”
Almost any other player in the league would have had to work a lot harder or pray for a lot more luck to make these plays. Judge is a baseball god, and this is his pair of warnings for anyone who thinks they can take a chance when a ball is hit to left field.