Did you see that Pablo Sandoval/Brandon Crawford catch against the Astros last night? Humorous and awesome all at once.

  • Darwin Barney tied David Eckstein’s NL record 113-game errorless streak at second base (in a single season) last night. He’ll go for the record tonight. The AL record is 141 by Placido Polanco in 2007, so Barney could take the MLB record this year if he keeps going like this. The overall record is 186 straight games without an error at second base, by Polanco in 2007 and 2008.
  • With the tied record, Barney is now officially as scrappy as Eckstein. And that’s a whole lot of scrappy.
  • David Schoenfield says Starlin Castro is good, but he’s not a franchise player. The primary reason given is Castro’s failure to improve at the plate this year.
  • Anthony Rizzo on Castro’s big extension: “I guess if you work hard and accomplish some things, you will be rewarded around here.” Gotta love it if that’s the message the young guys are getting.
  • Speaking of young guys, it’s easy to see Josh Vitters’ struggles at the plate when you look at his numbers. But an NL scout tells Doug Padilla that you can see the struggles in the field, too, in the way that Vitters tries to guide his throws over to first base with two outs (suggesting he isn’t relaxed and comfortable about there, letting his instincts take over). Dale Sveum, too, suggested that the mental side of the game is the problem for Vitters right now. “Some people take on a little more than they can bite off sometimes and right now he’s got a lot going on at the plate and defensively,” Sveum said. “He’s done an OK job defensively, but he needs to develop on an everyday basis in at-bats and understand the sequences of a pitcher and what he is trying to do with situational hitting. There’s a long way to go yet.”
  • Vitters seems to agree. “Obviously, the pitchers here are better than minor league pitching,” he said, according to the Tribune. “It’s not like the talent is better, just the skills are better and they know how to use it better. It takes a little bit of getting used to. It’s just kind of learning their mindset and having [an idea] of what they’re going to do to you. I’m trying to wait pitches out a little bit and get a good pitch to hit.”
  • A couple of top prospects – 2010 Rays first rounder Josh Sale and 2012 Blue Jays first rounder Marcus Stroman – have been suspended 50 games for testing positive for banned substances (not steroids in this case, but stimulant/amphetamine-type stuff).
  • The MLBullets at BCB look at the Yadier Molina/Josh Harrison collision from last night. Clean? Dirty? Unfortunate play? Just one of those things that happens?
  • BD

    I guess you can only be a franchise player if you improve every year, even at 22 when 99% of players are still in the minors.

  • Andy

    I’m sick of hearing about how Castro hasn’t improved this year. Since the all-star break he has a BB% of 7.7% and an ISO of .161.

    Yes, it’s a small sample but they’re encouraging signs that aren’t brought up enough.

    • BD

      His ISO was better in July than August, and his OBP, OPS, wOBA (take your pick) were lower each month until August. Overall, I think his overall offensive performance clearly hasn’t been any better than the last 2 years (i.e. “no improvement”). What I don’t understand is the seemingly ignorant mindset of some writers that a 22-year old isn’t allowed to struggle, or have what some might consider an “off year.” I really didn’t know that the best players never struggle or have off years.

  • Quintz

    That is a confusing article. He doesn’t think Castro is a franchise guy and then spends time detailing another great player who followed almost the exact same path, in fact Castro is might be a little better than Yount at same age. He made some nice points but didn’t really hammer his point home.

    • ssckelley

      I agree, I think Castro is better than Yount at the same age. Yount struggled with patience at the plate early in his career just like Castro but I think Castro is further along than Yount with his power numbers. Yount really did not take off at the plate until his 7th year (he was 24) and in a couple of years Castro may have similar results, if not better. I also think Castro is further along than Yount defensively but I would not be surprised if Castro gets moved to another position like Yount did later in his career.

  • jstraw

    Eckstein didn’t win the Gold Glove either.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Yeah. Then again, he played in only 116 games that year.

  • Rich

    I would prefer a 2nd baseman that can hit.
    But let’s give a really bad nickname like

    The dandy little glove man

    • cas-castro

      That was Micki Morandini’s nickname when he was with the Cubs

  • Leroy

    So proud of you Darwin! Keep up the great work!!!

  • JulioZuleta

    A friend is trying to argue with me that he would rather have Ryan Braun going forward than Mike Trout. One of his arguments is that they are equally valuable as defenders and that LF is just as important as CF. This is a guy who has played and been around basebal his whole life and who I thought was knowledgeable. Sorry, just needed somewhere to vent to some educated minds.

    He may not be a friend of mine anymore.

    • Scotti

      Perhaps he’s drunk…

    • Richard Nose

      I’d unfriend a friend who claime that as well. I don’t give a damn about the angels but I’m trying to find a Mike Trout comforter for my bed.

    • JR

      Your friend is an idiot. Trout is way more dynamic, much more upside, and waaaaay younger. It’s really not even close..

    • BD

      You don’t even have to get into value or anything like that, Mike Trout is just better at baseball. End of discussion.

      • JulioZuleta

        Yeah, his argument was mostly the perceived difference in power. Trout has a higher OPS in a WAYYYY tougher league.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          I’m not even sure I could participate in that argument rationally, because the difference between their value is so extreme that it’s hard to even articulate without just going, “um, like, duh.”

          • hansman1982

            Braun does lead Trout in the DCHNZL+, wDCHNZL, DCHNZLAR, DCHNZLpDMBASS, MORAN+ categories

        • JR

          And since when is Braun considered as good in the outfield as Trout? Your friend is reaching big time..

        • SirCub

          Hell, I’ll play devil’s advocate. Seeing how a large portion of his value comes his speed (+ defense, baserunning skillz, and elevated BABIP), and that trait is known to decline rapidly with age, its very possible that he may be peaking at age 21. The real question about Trout, to me, is whether or not his power is for real. He’s hit for a lot more power this year than anyone expected, but when you consider that the dude has 30 ML home runs for his career, well, it’s not a given that he’s an established big league slugger. Which Braun absolutely is.

          But, yea, I’d totally take Trout.

        • Picklenose

          I wonder how much of that power difference comes from a ped.

  • Internet Random

    My two cents: Josh Harrison did the right thing.

    And that the Cardinals don’t like it means nothing. These are the guys who that that this crap was okay.

    • Internet Random

      “Edit” button, where are you when we need you most?

      “who *thought* that”

    • SirCub

      Yea. They’re dbags.

    • hardtop

      hyposcrites, the lot of them.

      molina is a thug. karma is a bitch (and karma chameleon is a masterpiece)
      i couldnt be more happy about the ass-whippin’ harrison issued last night; actually, if it had involved an elbow to the face, i guess i could be happier.

      i love how, in the picture, harrison’s in a three point stance, like he’s about to drive another shoulder into that bag-a-douche. awesome!

      • hardtop

        damn it… *hypocrites*

      • Internet Random

        Agreed, on all counts.