MLBits: Gun Violence at The Coliseum, Top Prospect Turns it WAY Up, Sox Get Tripled Up, HR Derby X, More

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MLBits: Gun Violence at The Coliseum, Top Prospect Turns it WAY Up, Sox Get Tripled Up, HR Derby X, More

Chicago Cubs

Just hours after the senseless killings in Highland Park, fans attending a post-game firework show in Oakland were hit with bullet fragments, once again proving that the gun violence epidemic in America is out of control.

Gun Shot Victims at the Coliseum

The Oakland Athletics and the Oakland Police Department released a statement today (shared below) regarding multiple victims hit with bullet fragments while watching a 4th of July firework celebration inside the Coliseum after the A’s beat the Toronto Blue Jays 4-1.

The A’s statement states that the Oakland Police Department is investigating the incident that occurred around 9:30 pm local time at the Oakland Coliseum. Three victims were located inside the ballpark, and a fourth victim later walked into a local hospital.

OPD’s preliminary investigation has the bullet fragments coming from outside of the ballpark, likely from “celebratory gunfire” within the city of Oakland. None of the four victims suffered life-threatening injuries on Monday night.

Here’s the A’s press release:

Thankfully the victims in Oakland will all survive, but the gun violence in America is out of control. Liam Hendriks, who spent five seasons in Oakland, had to field questions about another mass shooting on Monday afternoon in suburban Highland Park, where seven people were tragically murdered and dozens of others were injured when Robert E. Crimo III opened fire on the crowd at a 4th of July parade.

Hendriks had a blunt response for reporters on the senseless killings in America:

Julio Rodríguez

Hitting the Western Metal Supply Co. building with a home run is one of my favorite things to see in baseball. Julio Rodríguez drilled in on Monday, providing the 4th of July fireworks early for the M’s en route to an 8-2 victory over the Padres.

After struggling mightily in April, it looked like Julio Rodríguez was destined for a demotion. Baseball’s No. 3 prospect heading into the season, according to ESPN‘s Kiley McDaniel, slashed .205/.284/.260 with zero home runs, a 37 percent strikeout rate, and 62 wRC+ in his first month in the majors.

Rodríguez has been piping hot the last two months and is now gone from appearing destined for a demotion to deserving of a trip to Los Angeles for the MLB All-Star Game. The 21-year-old rookie hit .309 in May with a .866 OPS. After not hitting a single home run in his first month in the majors, Rodríguez hit six in May. The strikeout rate dropped from 37 percent to 25 percent as well.

Rodríguez followed up his stellar May with an equally impressive June, slugged seven home runs, and posted a .903 OPS and 162 wRC+. On the season, Rodríguez is up to 15 home runs and slashing .275/.335/.489 with a 140 wRC+ and 2.9 fWAR.

Rodríguez isn’t one of the finalists for the American League All-Star roster, so his candidacy will have to wait until next year, but his numbers in the last two months have been off the charts. J-Rod is pacing all rookies in baseball in nearly every category and making Mariners’ franchise history along the way.

Rodríguez surpassed Ellis Burks (82 games) and Barry Bonds (90 games) to become the fastest player since at least 1900 to reach 15 home runs and 20 stolen bases in his first 81 games.

Wild Triple Play!

A base running blunder by the White Sox allowed the Twins to turn a triple play that began with a fly ball caught by Byron Buxton in the seventh inning of Monday night’s Minnesota victory.

The 8-5 triple play was the first of its kind in baseball history and was made possible by White Sox outfielder Adam Engel not getting his foot back on the bag at second base before he attempted to tag up and advance to third base. Engel told reporters after the game that the triple play was on him and that he misread Buxton’s body language during the pursuit of the ball and began running to third base without retouching at second because he thought the ball hit the wall. Engel admitted that Yoán Moncada, who was tagged out between second and third base likely reacted to Engel taking off and followed.

Whether to not Adam Engel wants to take the blame for the blunder, it’s yet another mistake in a long line of them this season by the White Sox that cost them a chance to take the lead over the Twins late last night.

Luis Arraez did miss his opportunity in the ninth when he drilled a base hit up the middle to give the Twins a 3-2.

Arraez is having a heck of a season for the Twins, but his on-field performance isn’t the only place he’s making his mark. Dan Hayes tells a fantastic story about Arraez paying it forward to Twins minor leaguers thanks to a strong relationship with their Double-A coach Luis Borrego that they formed when a young Arraez lived with Borrego.

Odds and Ends …

  • Kumar Rocker’s medicals have long been a question mark, and we recently learned that Rocker underwent right shoulder surgery in September. Despite the “minor scope” in September, Rocker has looked good during his time in the Frontier League this summer. Kiley McDaniel has more on the former Vandy standout in his latest column at ESPN:
  • Still, Buster Olney reports that one insider questions just how minor the surgery was and notes that while the fastball has been lighting up the radar gun this summer, it’s lacking movement that would make it an effective weapon at the pro level.
  • The first Home Run Derby X event is this weekend. I’m not sure how I feel about the new event yet, especially since there are no active major leaguers involved in the event. It honestly sounds like the “Extreme Home Run Derby” in the old Triple Play Baseball games on PlayStation, which were pretty fun, but again, there were actual active major leaguers playable in that mode.
  • This really cracks me up.
  • The newest power rankings have been dropped over at MLB.com, and the Yankees (no surprise) are still in the top spot on the list.
  • Only a few more days to cast your vote for the starters in the 2022 MLB All-Star Game!
  • Larry Doby made his major league debut 75 years ago today. Read about the life and journey of Doby:
  • A great story on the under appreciated legacy of Larry Doby:


Author: Patrick K. Flowers

Patrick is a Staff Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @PatrickKFlowers.