MLBits: Jared Jones Made Brice Turang Look Ridiculous, Dylan Cease Dazzles at Coors, More

Jared Jones Pirates NL Rookie of the Year
Jared Jones Pirates NL Rookie of the Year

If you’re familiar with me/my writing, you know how much I love good pitching. To that end, Jared Jones has been one of my favorite stories of the young season. And on Monday, he gave us one of the best pitching highlights of the season.

Jared Jones made Brice Turang (and everyone else) look ridiculous!

What happens when you step in the batter’s box against a pitcher who’s mixing his 100 mph fastball and his 90 mph slider with a ridiculous break like a well-made cocktail? This …

For context, Jones started the at-bat with a waste curveball down and in on Turang and then went to work with two four-seamers (97.8, 98.1 mph) at the top of the zone that Turang was only able to foul off before deploying that devastating slider that buckled Turang for a swinging strike three.

“I was laughing on the inside,” Jones said of the strikeout after the game.

The Turang masterpiece was one of seven strikeouts for Jones as the Pirates topped the Brewers 4-2. Jones generated 25 whiffs from Milwaukee hitters on Tuesday, good for a 51 percent whiff rate. His four-seamer had 13 whiffs, and the slider had 11, good for 46 and 58 percent, respectively.

Jones owns a 2.79 ERA and a 0.83 WHIP with 39 strikeouts in 29 innings of work for the Pirates this season. His 34.8 percent strikeout rate is within the top eight percent of the league, and he’s generating whiffs on 51.1 percent of his sliders (which he throws 40 percent of the time) and 36.4 percent on his four-seamer, which he throws 50 percent of the time.

Living on two pitches isn’t going to be a long-term strategy for Jones, and we can already see some loud contact by opposing hitters when they can get a bat on those pitches, but for now, Jones’ stuff is fun to watch. It will be interesting to see how he evolves throughout the year.

Jared Jones Pirates

Dylan Cease dazzles against the Rockies at Coors Field

“That was probably my best game so far,” Cease said after he dominated the Rockies in a 3-1 victory for San Diego on Monday. “I really had a good feel for pretty much all my pitches. It’s very fun when it’s like that.”

Beating the Rockies in dominating fashion isn’t incredibly rare, but dominating on the bump at Coors Field is impressive, and Dylan Cease did just that on Monday when he held the Rockies to one run on one hit while striking out eight and walking none in seven innings of work.

Cease’s strong start against the Rockies lowered his ERA on the season to 1.82 and was his fourth straight start of six innings or more and two runs or fewer. Believe it or not, Cease is the only pitcher ever to pitch that many innings with one or fewer hits and now walks at Coors Field.

Cease’s only mistake on the day was a Charlie Blackmon double, with Blackmon advancing to third base on a sacrifice bunt and scoring on a sacrifice fly.

The Padres’ trade for Cease is paying off for San Deigo and probably ruffling some feathers in Baltimore, where they read too much into an unlucky 2023 and didn’t pull the trigger on a Cease trade that was heavily speculated all winter long.

Extra Innings

  • Let’s get into some injury notes around the league. We’ll start in Atlanta, where Ozzie Albies (fractured right toe) was cleared for batting practice on Monday. He could be back in the Braves lineup as soon as Friday.
  • The Baltimore Orioles will be without Austin Hays and Ryan Mountcastle for a bit. Hays is dealing with a left calf strain and was placed on the IL on Monday. Mountcastle is dealing with left knee soreness and was held out of Monday’s game. However, he’s not expected to hit the injured list.
  • The Phillies could be getting Taijuan Walker back soon. Walker was dealing with right shoulder soreness. Although, Philly’s starting rotation has been so good lately that Walker doesn’t need to rush back. Philadelphia starting pitchers own a 0.70 ERA in their last seven games. The combination of Ranger Suárez, Aaron Nola, Zack Wheeler, Spencer Turnbull, and Christopher Sánchez has allowed four earned runs in 51 and two-thirds innings while striking out 53 and walking nine.
  • The Red Sox injury report is ridiculous right now, but they’re getting some good news this week. Rafael Devers’ MRI for his left knee soreness was clean, and he could be back as soon as tonight. Tyler O’Neill (concussion) took BP at PNC Park on Sunday. He could be back any day now. Vaughn Grissom (right hamstring strain) has begun a rehab assignment with Triple-A Worcester.
  • Cubs ace Justin Steele is set to throw an extended Spring Training game on Friday in Arizona. So, Steele’s return seems like it could be somewhere in the first week of May.
  • Monday’s MLB scoreboard:
  • written by

    Patrick grew up in Chicago's Bridgeport and Garfield Ridge neighborhoods before moving to the Western Suburbs of Chicago before eventually relocating to the Las Vegas area with his family in 2023. He started with Bleacher Nation in 2021 and has spent time as a Staff Writer and on the Chicago Blackhawks beat. He is currently a writer and editor at Bleacher Nation covering the Chicago Bears and the NFL at large and the author of the Bleacher Nation Newsletter. Patrick is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA).

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