The Rays put up a winning week, taking two of three in Chicago from the Cubs, and two of three from the Red Sox at the Trop, improving to 9-7 overall, good for third place in the AL East. They are off today, before welcoming the Mariners and Twins for a pair of three game sets.
On to the news!
The Legend of Wander Franco continues to grow, after Xander Bogaerts called him “Ozzie Smith with the glove and Barry Bonds with the bat. A little hyperbole, but you can hardly blame him after Wander’s first multi-homer game on Friday as well a sensational catch (and this one and this one on Saturday). So maybe he is Ozzie in the streets, Barry in the sheets.
The Rays did a little roster juggling with the COVID list. Colin Poche was also recalled.
The Rays have placed LH Jeffrey Springs (close contact) on the COVID-19 Related IL and reinstated INF Yandy Díaz (symptoms) from the COVID-19 Related IL.— Rays Communications (@RaysPR) April 24, 2022
The Rays have placed RH Chris Mazza (low back spasm) on the 10-day IL, retroactive to April 18, and recalled LH Colin Poche from Triple-A Durham.— Rays Communications (@RaysPR) April 22, 2022
John Romano misses pitchers hitting.
Sometimes, a pitcher with a bat can be a marvelous thing https://t.co/j55WoUmWzg— Sports by Tampa Bay Times (@TBTimes_Sports) April 19, 2022
This plot of Josh Fleming’s 4/19 outing against the Cubs is an amazing donut.
I’ll be honest, I don’t even know what this is.
In a “bigger than baseball” moment, Tyler Zombro took the mound for the first time since taking a traumatic liner off the head last year. He worked a scoreless inning, giving up one hit.
Did Guyer call it?
In Team Champa Bay news, Steven Stamkos broke Marty St. Louis’ all time Bolts points record.
A cool video tribute featuring Marty.
Steven Stamkos tribute video, narrated by @mstlouis_26, after setting @TBLightning all time points record. St. Louis with a message at end. Standing ovation. His parents are in stands too. What a cool moment. pic.twitter.com/mNEBpixW3w— Joe Smith (@JoeSmithTB) April 22, 2022
This blistering article on the Oakland A’s attendance collapse places blame where it belongs: on ownership and MLB.
In deeds and words, the A's and MLB repelled fans from the Coliseum. So don't blame the fans when less than 4,000 show up for a regular season game.https://t.co/hKuHqG08W9— Gabe Lacques (@GabeLacques) April 20, 2022
The Yankee Letter is due to be released this week.
BREAKING: The Yankees Letter is expected to be released within 7 days. The Yankees’ appeal to keep the letter private has been denied by the 2nd Circuit. Absent a stay for cert to Supreme Court — which a source says Yankees do not plan to pursue — case becomes final in 7 days.— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) April 21, 2022
Ken Rosenthal on MLB adjusting some PED rules.
Player agents are unclear on the modifications, and officials from MLB and the MLBPA will not comment.— The Athletic (@TheAthletic) April 20, 2022
The players who received suspensions want exoneration.
The league and union might be reluctant to give it to them.
✍️ @Ken_Rosenthal https://t.co/lWMP8nBpj0
Jeff Passan on the pitch clock.
News: The implementation of a strict pitch clock in Minor League Baseball has shaved 20 minutes off game times. With its arrival in Major League Baseball next year a near-certainty, a look at ESPN at its effects, with high praise from a No. 1 overall pick: https://t.co/JGAjhYvRVe— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) April 19, 2022
Our own Brian Menéndez writes about Jalen Beeks over at Baseball Prospectus.
Back in 2020, I documented all of the changes Jalen Beeks made to his delivery to become one of the top strikeout getters in the game. This year, post surgery, he is at it again, but even better, and he's made some more changes -- albeit more subtle ones. https://t.co/3a5KEwrCnh— Brian Menéndez (@briantalksbsb) April 20, 2022
Daniel Epstein a BPro on the return of the sinker/slider guy.
Charlie Montoyo with a truth bomb about those poor opponents who won’t be able to play in Toronto because they are unvaccinated.
#Bluejays manager Charlie Montoyo on Covid 19 restrictions for ballplayers travelling to Canada: "Rules are rules and that’s why we couldn’t play in Toronto for two years. And from experience nobody gives a shit. Nobody cared about us when we were in Dunedin."— Rob Longley (@longleysunsport) April 19, 2022
This is really neat. The Mets have installed a Sensory Nook for fans who have issues with overstimulation.
Mets announced the following addition to Citi Field: pic.twitter.com/EvY1986RkR— Metsmerized Online (@Metsmerized) April 19, 2022
DRB alum Carl Gonzalez makes an appearance in this feel good piece on Cam Booser.
It’s possible that the Diamondbacks themselves played a small role. Analyst Carl Gonzalez saw the video and flagged pro scout Chris Carminucci, who knows the independent leagues better than anyone in the game. Carminucci sent an email to his wide Rolodex of indy ball contacts, suggesting Booser as a possible addition. If Booser hooked on with a team, the Diamondbacks would be better able to gauge his talent.
Cam Booser had two elbow surgeries, knee surgery, a labrum repair and twice broke his back. In 2017, he retired to work construction, another baseball dream dashed. The end?— Zach Buchanan (@ZHBuchanan) April 19, 2022
Nope. Now he's back, and he's throwing 100 miles an hour. For @TheAthleticMLB:https://t.co/eANac37S9j
This week in “things no one asked for,” Joe West is getting a podcast.
You probably saw the viral video of the JUCO pitcher spearing his opponent after a home run. The pitcher, Owen Woodward, has been dismissed for the team.
Josh Phillips, the junior college hitter who got speared by the pitcher after he hit a home run Wednesday, has been suspended for taunting. Owen Woodward, the pitcher, has been kicked off the Weatherford College team. https://t.co/08b3ks3U3p via @chron— Matt Young (@Chron_MattYoung) April 22, 2022
In more brawl news, the Portland Sea Dogs and the Binghamton Rumble Ponies got in a — well, a rumble.
This is like a REAL baseball fight pic.twitter.com/zG0DfRxti7— Jomboy Media (@JomboyMedia) April 21, 2022
In the eighth inning of a one run Tigers/Yankees game this past Thursday, Miguel Cabrera came to the plate against lefty Lucas Luetge with first base open. After a short discussion, the Yankees walked Miggy to get the platoon advantage against left handed hitter Austin Meadows. And nobody cared.
Oh, wait, yes they did, because Miggy was one hit away from 3000 hits. Which meant that the internet had OPINIONS. Chief opinion haver was the normally level headed Joe Posnanski.
Here's my problem with what happened at the Yankees game -- nobody, and I mean nobody, is looking out for the fans. You have Dave Roberts pulling Kershaw with a perfect game. You have Aaron Boone IBBing Miggy with 3,000 hits on the line for a tiny strategic edge. 2/3— Joe Posnanski (@JPosnanski) April 21, 2022
There’s more, but y’all know how to click. Tom Tango actually brought some numbers to the table instead of just emotion.
Cabrera's IBB turned the chances of winning for the Tigers from .874 to .881, assuming Cabrera and Matthews are similar quality batters, using win expectancy.https://t.co/iSSIRwznKG— Tangotiger (@tangotiger) April 21, 2022
If we use actual data: .913 to .911.https://t.co/JclaHohOC1https://t.co/MvRX9j2CjG pic.twitter.com/psv9TNufTO
The 7th player in Major League history with 500 home runs and 3,000 hits. pic.twitter.com/7RtGWyl3Xv— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) April 23, 2022
Never change, Bob.
What a moment! Miguel Cabrera with his 3,00th hit!— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) April 23, 2022
Manny Randhawa at MLB.com on who else has a shot at 3000. Apparently not Wander, but maybe Hosmer? Le sigh.
Okay, this one is better. Stephen J. Nesbitt at The Athletic on why there might be a long wait.
Orioles ace John Means is getting TJS.
Free agent Michael Conforno will have season ending surgery. Shoulda signed that QO, buddy.
Jay Jaffe on the rise of no-hit bids.
Bob Nightengale notes that offense is down, and wonders if the baseball is to blame?
Sunday Notebook: Is MLB using two different baseballs? Players want transparency with offense down to historic lows. https://t.co/MMafOkUPJ5— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) April 24, 2022
Candace Buckner thinks the unwritten rules gotta go.
An oldie but a goody: Phil Mushnick thinks analytics are killing the game.
On Saturday, the Yankees walked it off against the Guardians, prompting Yankee fans to throw trash on the field and at the Guardian outfielders. Which makes no sense, until you remember that, oh yeah, these are Yankees fans.
woof, this will certainly improve the way that Yankees fans are perceived https://t.co/Zx7LpVlEbW— Jay Jaffe (@jay_jaffe) April 23, 2022
In response, the Yankees increased security in the stands.
In Japan, Rōki Sasaki finally gave up a hit.
After 17 consecutive perfect innings and 52 straight outs, Rōki Sasaki gave up a hit in his first NPB inning today— Farm To Fame (@FarmToFame_) April 24, 2022
Kyle Schwarber has had quite enough of Angel Hernandez’s bullshit. To me, here are the best parts of this clip: 1) The violent yet safe equipment throw 2) Josh Hader trying not to laugh 3) Andrew McCutchen trying not to laugh and failing 4) Schwarber getting his money’s worth without staying too long 5) The hand/arm/body motions! 6) The entire Brewer’s bench looking on in agreement.
Kyle Schwarber was not happy with this called third strike. pic.twitter.com/WSjs5LyYDQ— ESPN (@espn) April 25, 2022
In case you were wondering, yes, it was that bad.
Umpire Angel Hernandez was the lowest rated umpire on the day, missing 19 calls for a correct percentage of 85.3%.— Umpire Auditor (@UmpireAuditor) April 25, 2022
He rang up 6 batters on pitches that were outside the zone and called a strike to Jean Segura that missed inside by a season high 6.47 inches.#Brewers #Phillies pic.twitter.com/pmmt1ELJJ6
Finally, this shot of KK and Tricia after his walk off has got to be photo of the year.