The post-Christmas come-down. Harder for kids than adults, I reckon, but that probably depends in part on your work situation and what the rest of the week looks like for you. Around here, it’s basically back to normal, though I wonder whether MLB front offices will treat it that way …
- Is there a single pitch/match-up combination that can make a batter look more silly than a really good righty changeup to a lefty batter? I love this, and of course, Kyle Hendricks makes multiple appearances:
104 Seconds of 2018's Best Changeups (compilation). 👀 pic.twitter.com/XXUsQ0vUCd
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) December 26, 2018
- Kyle Hendricks, as you should absolutely expect, had the most valuable changeup in baseball last year, and he had it by a country mile:
- Since 2014, which was only a half-year for Hendricks as he made his big league debut, only Zack Greinke is in Hendricks’ league, and that duo – plus Chris Sale – are crushing everyone else:
- Also: hey there, Cole Hamels. Also also: holy crap, Chris Sale.
- This is how Hendricks does it, by the way:
- Some of the most incredible plays – with a Statcast assist – at MLB.com, including my personal favorite non-Cubs play of the year:
- That’s one of those plays that requires multiple viewings to truly appreciate how insane it was that he did that. Ramon Laureano, 24, is an outfielder that many of us knew absolutely nothing about until that throw, but he’s actually “a guy” – he came up as a decent prospect in the Astros’ system, and was swapped to the A’s in a rare good-prospect-for-good-prospect trade (Brandon Bailey) last year, as Laureano was going to be Rule 5 eligible. Laureano raked at AAA for half a year, and then got a 48-game taste of the big leagues: .288/.358/.474, 129 wRC+, with quality defense.
- Given the over-crowded ballot, this is about as good as it gets. I’d probably swap Sammy for Andruw Jones, which, I know, is sacrilegious. Can’t complain about this one, though:
Ballot #95 is from first-time voter Christina Kahrl. Bonds, Clemens, Halladay, Edgar, Mussina, and Rivera are 5-for-5 among first-timers. In the Tracker: https://t.co/8ISx82oWgM pic.twitter.com/tz42J0G3DM
— Ryan Thibodaux (@NotMrTibbs) December 26, 2018
- If you’re wondering why I wouldn’t have Sammy Sosa in my first ten votes, no, obviously it’s not the PED stuff. I just don’t think Sosa is quite there.
- Ah, the post-holiday clear-out deals at Amazon – like a Fire tablet for 50 bucks.
- And the MLB Shop is clearing stuff out:
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) December 26, 2018