MLBits: Vladito Homers Twice, Sale's 17K-Game, Replay Before the Play, Hiura, Nationals, More

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MLBits: Vladito Homers Twice, Sale’s 17K-Game, Replay Before the Play, Hiura, Nationals, More

MLB News and Rumors

Categorically, I know this level of Cubs dominance cannot continue forever. It might go on for now, and they might have other similarly hot stretches down the line, but I’ve been around long enough to know the good times only last as long as they last. And yet my heart is never prepared for it to come to an end.

Maybe this time it wont.

  • It had been a somewhat slow start for super-prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who was slashing just .191/.283/.234 (47 wRC+) with no homers through 53 plate appearances before yesterday’s game, but he officially arrived yesterday, with the first three-hit and two-homer game of his career. Here’s a cool/unique look at his first big league home run:

  • And at 20 years and 59 days, Vladito became the youngest Blue Jay to ever homer in a game. That’s pretty cool. But also only half of it. Vladito also became the third youngest player EVER to hit his first two career home runs in the same game (Manny Machado was one of the others) and we can go further, still:

  • And his slowly improving slash line thanks him: .235/.328/.393 (97 wRC+); 12.1% walk rate, 20.7% strikeout rate, 43.6% hard-hit rate. He’s still hitting too many ground balls, but I think anyone with those peripherals is on the right path. He’s going to be a monster.
  • Last night, Chris Sale was taken out after 108 pitches and 7.0 innings, which doesn’t seem like a big deal, until you realize … he had racked up 17Ks through that point. Which means he had 6 outs to match the single-game record of 20 strikeouts in a single game, set by Max Scherzer, Roger Clemens (twice), and, of course, Kerry Wood. Hell, he could’ve beaten it. Manager Alex Cora knows what he did: “You want him to go as deep as possible,” he said after the game. “In the tunnel [Sale] goes, ‘You’re not going to let me get 20?’ Sarcastic, but probably serious.”
  • I get why you have to take him out, I guess, but, I mean … give him the eighth. See if he can get three straight, man. Reminder: The Red Sox just signed him to a 5-year/$145M extension starting next season. So … yeah.
  • Julio Urias was arrested for domestic violence on Monday night. He’s been placed on administrative leave and there’s obviously an investigation on-going. Remember: MLB does not require a criminal conviction to suspend their players.
  • MLB is switching their in-stadium player and ball-tracking system from Trackman, installed five years ago, to “Hawk-Eye.” The latter is apparently well know by tennis fans as “the basis of the automated serve tracking system,” and is being installed as we speak. There’s going to be a two-month run-up at the end of this season, before going full-live in 2020. More at The Athletic.
  • The umpires at the Mariners and A’s on Monday night made use of the replay system … before anything actually happened. Apparently, they didn’t like the delivery of reliever Cory Gearrin and called New York for a rules check while he was warming up. Gearrin, who had made 19 appearances with the in-question toe-tap with no issue, was told he could no longer do it. What a weird situation.
  • Lol … the Marlins are bad in such creative ways:

  • The Brewers have placed infielder Travis Shaw on the 10-Day IL with a strained right wrist, which makes room for recently promoted top-prospect Keston Hiura, who debuted yesterday, to two hits and a walk in four plate appearances. Although I’m far from rooting for him, his description of reaching that first-hit milestone is pretty cool: “It is nice to get it out [of the way] with the first at-bat,” Hiura said. “My feet felt so heavy running to first base. I was like, ‘Oh my God, I’m so slow right now.’ Incredible feeling getting to first base.” Congrats, I hope the Brewers pay you millions of dollars and you’re really bad.
  • The Braves are also promoting a top prospect, Austin Riley, who ranked 22nd overall according to Baseball America before the year. The Braves are only a .500 team right now, so they could definitely use his bat: .299/.377/.681 through 162 PAs at Triple-A.
  • An MLB committee recently ruled that the Washington Nationals are owed nearly $100M by the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN) according to the Washington Post, “marking the latest twist in a years-old dispute between the Nationals and Baltimore Orioles TV rights fees.” In effect, that network broadcasts both Nationals and Orioles games, but the Orioles retain an 80% stake in the company, so they’re on-the-hook, one way or another. As you might expect, they’re planning to appeal the decision. You can get into the weeds of the deal here at The Washington Post.
  • George Springer knows how to run (home to home in 15.34 seconds!):


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Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami is the butler to a wealthy werewolf off the coast of Wales and a writer at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter at @Michael_Cerami