The Blue Jays were +330 favorites over the patchwork Royals on the money line last night, and somehow, Kansas City found a way to beat them with eight minor leaguers added to the roster for the game (here’s why, in case you missed it). I also somehow forgot to bet the Royals just for the heck of it, and now I’m very salty this morning.
Unconventional MLB Debut Leads to First MLB Home Run
The Kansas City Royals were without 10 players for their trip to Toronto last night due to border restrictions in Canada for those who have not received their COVID-19 vaccination and boosters. So, the Royals had to add eight minor league players to their roster ahead of the opener of a four-game series with the Blue Jays on Thursday night.
One of those players was Nate Eaton, a 25-year-old who has spent the past five years (four seasons due to the minor league season being canceled in 2020) in the Kansas City farm system after being drafted by the Royals in the 21st round of the 2018 MLB Draft.
Royals president Dayton Moore said on Wednesday that he was excited for the opportunity that this situation would provide the eight minor leaguers called up for the four-game series, so Moore must have been grinning ear-to-ear the moment that Eaton hit his first major league home run last night.
Eaton isn’t one of the Royals’ top-ranked prospects, but he did earn a promotion to Triple-A this season and is tearing it up down there in 29 games with a slash line of .329/.388/.591, nine home runs, 25 RBI, and a .979 OPS.
Still, to get called up to the big leagues in this particular fashion and then hit a 416-foot bomb for your first major league hit is unique nonetheless. Eaton’s mom, brother, and sister-in-law were in attendance for his debut last night, making it even more special. Eaton said as he rounded the bases in the ninth inning at the Rogers Centre, the only voice he could hear was his mom’s.
“The only voice I could hear was my mom’s,” said Eaton. “These are the people that have been there my entire life and they sacrificed so much for me to get to this point because, without them, I wouldn’t have been here. So to make them proud is really awesome.”
Wholesome baseball content is really the best baseball content. The short-handed Royals beat the Jays 3-1 in last night’s series opener in Toronto.
Tyler Wade Heading Back to The Bronx
The Angels and Yankees have pulled off a trade for everyone’s favorite trade return, cash considerations. Infielder Tyler Wade is heading to the Yankees in exchange for some cash or a player to be named later.
Wade was hitting .218 with one home run in 147 at-bats for the Angels after signing there this offseason, but the Yankees and Wade are plenty familiar with each other, with Wade having spent his first five seasons in The Bronx. Wade slashed .268/.354/.323 in 103 games with the Yankees last season and posted a 92 wRC+ in limited action. Wade provides the Yankees with some infield depth for the second half of the season.
Shohei Ohtani is Otherworldly
I quit baseball if Shohei doesn’t win the American League MVP award again this season. Aside from his statistics being otherworldly on the mound and at the dish, he’s literally carrying the Angels. The Angels are 3-12 in their last 15 games. All three wins were games started by Shohei Ohtani on the mound.
Over his last six starts on the mound, Ohtani is 6-0 with a 0.46 ERA, 58 strikeouts, and 11 walks. Sprinkle in the 19 home runs and 56 RBIs Ohtani has at the dish, and you’ve got a literal PlayStation cheat code living and breathing in Anaheim.
Aaron Judge will be a fierce competitor for the honor this year, but there’s no way Ohtani (on the current pace) shouldn’t win this award again this year. Or every year, for that matter. Let’s just change the name of the award to the Shohei award.
Odds and Ends …
- The Mariners scored five runs in the seventh and eighth innings to top the Texas Rangers and notch their 11th straight victory. The Mariners are now six games above .500 and in the American League Wild Card race with days remaining before the All-Star break.
- Kyle Freeland was, uh, not happy last night. Freeland allowed five runs on six hits and walked three in four innings of work, and watched his ERA climb to 4.96. Despite Freeland’s struggles and questionable interior decorating skills, the Rockies found a way to beat the Padres last night.
- Michael Harris took a run away from the Nationals last night with an absolute dart from center field to nail Luis Garcia at the dish in the bottom of the fifth inning.
- Max Meyer – the Marlins’ No. 2 prospect – will make his MLB debut against the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday. Meyer was a first-rounder in 2020 and is MLB Pipelines No. 21 prospect.
- The Tampa Bay Rays wrapped up a four-game sweep of the Boston Red Sox on Thursday night with a 5-4 victory. The Rays will host the Baltimore Orioles to close the first half with the O’s riding a 10-game winning streak into Tropicana Field.
- On this day in MLB (alleged) history …
- Have a great weekend, everyone! 😘