MLB Weekly Recap:
MLB Double Cut brings you unique and must-know stories from the previous week and takes a look ahead.
Check back each week.
The Starting Line-Up
With recent news the MLB has created a new diversity task force composed of representatives from multiple facets of the game, I would like to point you to the on-field performance and influx of Aruba & Curacao players on your teams and in their farm systems. Jonathan Schoop is ranked #3 in the Baltimore farm system. Jurickson Profar still has some developing to do in the Rangers system. The islands of Aruba & Curacao are crazy about baseball, and a Netherlands team composed of many players from their exclave had a pretty good showing at this years’ WBC.
2. Organizational Culture
James Shields is being pinned with more than Ace responsibility in Kansas City. Not only are they looking for 200+ IP and a sub-3 ERA from him, they also want him to build team chemistry like he did in Tampa Bay. Shields is a class act, but a cultural overhaul is tough for one player.
3. Enjoy the goat head
In 1945, the Cubs were cursed by a goat owner who was asked to leave a World Series game due to odors from the goat bothering other fans. Basically, the disgruntled fan declared the Cubs would never win a title again. Still paying for the goat curse with the public, a severed goat’s head was delivered to Cubs owner Tom Ricketts via a security checkpoint outside of Wrigley. The police are investigating it as an “intimidating incident”. It was probably a trolling ChiSox fan simply making fun of the curse.
4. Upton brothers
Justin and B.J. became the first brothers to hit game tying and walk off homers in the same inning. B.J. Upton has always played up to his potential only in a contract year. Luckily for Braves fans, combining with his brother Justin to make history might give B.J. some intrinsic motivation to succeed besides a big contract.
Audio call: Upton Homerun from Monday night.
5. Face matters
In a new study conducted by two scientists out of London links home run hitting ability to face size. In particular, face width. Over a two year study, scientists compared home run totals to face size. According to the study, players with wider faces hit more home runs. Bill James is now apparently asking his scouts to measure face width to go along with other statistics. All jokes aside, don’t expect a study like this to influence your teams’ draft at all.
6. For real this time
Major League Baseball may finally be for real about bring the designated hitter to the NL. We have been noticing the interleague series mixed in early and often this season, and with 15 teams now in each league, an interleauge game must happen at least once per day (assuming no off days). Pitchers with bats in their hands up at the plate looking like little leaguers, combined with economic/free-agent issues will eventually be the push that causes the MLB to leap on the DH issue
7. Matt Moore
Mass media seems to have forgotten Moore, who not too long ago was ranked the #2 top prospect, sandwiched between Bryce Harper and Mike Trout. Moore has been living up to that standard and more so far this season, 13 K’s and 0 runs in two starts. Despite the good numbers, his fastball location has been up a little bit for my liking so far. If he gets settled in and is consistently lower in the strike zone, the Tampa Bay Rays have a new ace.
8. Farewell tour
There were rumors during Spring Training that Mariano Rivera was going to take time to visit with fans in each visiting stadium, a “farewell tour”. Rivera, 42, is indeed taking time to shake hands, sign autographs, and answer questions. He is striving to do something different than others in announcing his retirement, a way of giving back to the fans who took part in his legend. Can’t sip any haterade on that.
9. Home run statues
We already know Marlins’ owner Jeffery Loria is a tool, but recent news about the cost of a home run statue that he has erected in center field is sure to further drop his abysmal %6 approval rating amongst fans. The $2.5 million statue costs more than all but 3 players on the Marlins’ 25 man roster. I am not sure what sort of twisted, wicked death threats Loria wants to receive, but I am sure he is getting close.
P : Hopefully Carlos Quentin doesn’t get any ideas vs. Rays pitcher Kyle Farnsworth when they meet this year. (0:16)
Batting average through ten games for Minnesota Twins player Aaron Hicks, the 3rd worst in history through ten games.
7th, 8th, 9th, 10th
Innings the Braves scored in, consecutively, against the the Nationals en route to a comeback victory.
Adam Wainwright’s batting line from Saturday night. He also pitched a shutout with 12 strikeouts, making him the first player to produce this stat line since Red Ruffing in 1932.
MLB Player Watch
Mentioned originally in the Ninja Sports MLB season preview for his unique journey, Gattis went yard for the first time this week, and is beginning to generate some serious questions in Atlanta about his role after adding three more homers. Remember, there isn’t much of an issue right now with star catcher Brian McCann and first baseman Freddy Freeman out with injuries. When those two come back, what to do with Gattis? Find him at bats? I’d hope so.
Each week, a World Series trophy to make you want it more.
2. White Sox