The After Game D.C. Metro Cluster F**K

May 27th, 2016

The Nationals won the game 2-1. Bryce Harper went deep with a solo shot to tie the game at 1-1. Danny Espinosa blasted a solo shot to give the Nats a 2-1 lead. Jonathan Papelbon came on in the ninth to retire the side in order. The game ended at 9:30 with the Nationals beating the Cardinals 2-1. Metro broke down and didn’t get myworld home until 1:30 AM. That is four hours. And for that we still paid them a fare.

It started innocent enough. We were waiting for an orange line train to take us to our final stop after transferring from a green line. A man in a uniform started coming up to passengers to ask them where they were going. When they told them he spit out some foreign language that they had to leave this platform to take a yellow to a blue to a whatever to get off at Rosslyn station to take an orange line. A number of people responded with a loud “F**k”. For me he spit out the instructions so fast he might as well have been communicating in Russian.

Myworld made the decision to walk up to the kiosk to get some clarity there. “How do I get to Dun Loring,” I ask the woman. She tells me to go down stairs to take the orange line. I inform her there was a uniformed officer down stairs telling people they had to leave the area and take multiple colored trains to get to Rosslyn. She didn’t know anything about that instructing me to go down stairs to take the Orange line if I want to go to Dun Loring.

I follow her instructions. The orange line train arrives. When I get on the train the operator mumbles through the garbled up intercom system that the train will only go three stops to Federal Triangle. From Federal Triangle passengers need to take a shuttle bus that will take them Farragat. All seems pretty simple so far. When the passengers get off at Federal Triangle there is no employee upstairs guiding people to where the shuttle buses will be and there are no shuttle buses along the street. People are wandering to the Pennsylvania side and others along the 13th street side. I try to call Metro to get information but all I get is an automated service. A police officer is on the 13th side of the street. He tells me there will be a shuttle bus that will stop at the 13th side but he doesn’t know when it will be. At this time I want to scream out “F**k” but I restrain myself and tell him there are about 50 people waiting by Pennsylvania Avenue thinking the shuttle bus will be there. Don’t know if they ever got home without having to take a taxi.

The shuttle bus finally arrives 15 minutes later. The driver does not allow any passengers on until he makes a phone call. There is some trepidation that he will not allow anyone on the bus until he has some understanding of what is going on. After talking on the phone for about five minutes he lets everyone on the bus. It fills up pretty quickly.

The bus stops off at Metro (red line only) and McPherson (no metro service) before stopping at Farragat. The driver is not sure the station is open. He tells us to stay on the bus until he comes back to confirm the station is open. There appears to be no communication anywhere. Again, myworld would like to yell a loud “F**K”. He does get confirmation that Farragat is still open. He lets the passengers off “but please use the crosswalk when crossing the street.” People just want to get home.

There we wait. From 11:00 to 12:15 the 111 passengers going to Vienna wait while two blue line trains going to Franconia/Springfield pass through. On the other side there is an orange and blue line that passes through to New Carrolton and Largo. There is no Vienna. It is a mystery why they could not find one train to take passengers to Vienna, the most popular stop after a Nationals game.

An announcement comes out over the garbled up loudspeaker that all trains will be single tracking on the Virginia side of the track. Myworld goes upstairs to ask the officers for a translation of that confusing message. Both sides are Virginia sides when you are in D.C. Or no side is. The officer tells me that no one really knows what is going on and it is best I wait upstairs because a train could come from anywhere. It takes great restraint for me not to want to scream “F**K”. I overhear a woman responsible for a kiosk telling some passengers no one has told her anything so she does not know what is going on. Myworld is certainly glad we didn’t approach her first or we would have screamed out that magical word.

All 111 of us tired and weary passengers wait for this mystery train that we hope comes to talk us home. Some fear that there will be some garbled up announcement that the Metro is closed so there is no longer any train service, especially after a blue line train drifts from the other direction and informs there passengers this is the last blue line train to Largo.

It gets pretty hot down in the tunnels. Metro should probably be thankful no one waiting for over an hour for an Orange line to Vienna did not pass out from heat exhaustion. Or at least I hope no one passed out. It certainly seemed quite unusual two trains for Franconia/Springfield passed by and none for Vienna. Again, there appeared to be no concern for the safety of the 111 passengers who had to make a decision to stay in the heated tunnels or join the homeless upstairs and hope a taxi driver or uber service is available that will not charge you $50 to get home.

Finally after an hour and 15 minutes a Vienna Orange line train came to transport 111 passengers to their destinations. Or at least we hoped Metro could perform the simple task of getting those 111 passengers from Point A to Point B. They have had a number of miserable failures over the last couple months and it may be best to shut down the entire system until they can get it fixed.

A family from London bragged they have quite an efficient Metro system with trains coming every two minutes. They’ve been in D.C. for just three days and already they have been offloaded once and now stuck at a train stop for an hour and a half at midnight. Their comment “It doesn’t seem like a very efficient transport system you have in D.C.” That appeared to be a statement to the obvious.

Myworld finally got home at about 1:30. Once our smart card is used up we will start driving to the games. That appears more reliable. When Metro fails consistently to get you from point A to point B it is pointless to rely on it for transportation in the future.

KBO Update

May 25th, 2016

With the collection of players from Korea transferring to the major leagues, myworld will take a look at the KBO and see where it stands. Just an update on the few teams myworld is tracking. Again it is the year of the hitter with batting averages inflated and homeruns aplenty. Low scoring games are usually the result of two foreign pitchers on the mound.

Doosan Bears (31-12 -1) - They are the defending champs and have carried that over to 2016, sitting in first place by eight games. The big bat is Jae-Hwan Kim who leads the KBO in homeruns with 14. He is also hitting .368 with 38 RBIs. All this production in only 34 games and 126 plate appearances, not enough to qualify for the batting title, which would put him second in the KBO. A player ahead of him in average but also not eligible for a batting title because of too few at bats is Jae-Il Oh, who is hitting .394 in 121 plate appearances. Sitting at fourth and fifth in hitting is Byung-Hun Min (.376) and Eui-Ji Yang (.355). These two players have also combined for 10 and 9 homeruns and 31 and 30 runs driven in respectively. Needless to say Doosan is atop the KBO because of their bats. They lead the KBO in overall average at .313, the only team hitting above .300 in the KBO and they have scored 298 runs, 57 more runs than any other team in the league.

The pitching is not that bad. They are third in the KBO in ERA at 4.13, just behind the NC Dinos and SK Wyverns. Import Michael Bowden has turned into a nice ace (6-1, 2.43 ERA). The other import is Dustin Nippert (7-2, 3.91). These two starters have won 13 of the Bears 31 games. Won-Jun Chang (6-2, 3.86) and Hee-Kwan Yoo (5-0, 4.67) are the local starters who fill the back end of the rotation. Hyun-Seung Lee (2.95, 12 saves) is the closer with Jae-Hoon Jung (1.23, 13 holds) the top set-up man.

NC Dinos (23-17-1) - The Dinos were favored by many at the beginning of the year to win the division. The offense is led by MVP Eric Thames (.367, 14, 40). These numbers may look good, but when compared to last year when he came close to winning the Triple Crown, fall a bit short of what Dino fans expect. Talk about high expectations. One of myworld’s favorite players is 27 year old Sung-Bum Na (.337, 9, 36) who has the advantage of hitting in front of Thames. Na does not have the most attractive walk to whiff numbers (15/47), those 47 strikeouts tied for second most in the league.

Import Erik Hacker (6-1, 2.61) is the ace of the staff. They are not getting much from their other foreign import Zach Stewart (3-4, 5.60). They do have a lights out closer in Chang-Min Lim (0.48, 10 saves) who has 31 whiffs in just 18.2 innings of work.

Nexon Heroes (23-20-1) - They’ve lost two of their big power hitters in Kang and Park but are still battling, currently in third place in the KBO. They’ve replaced two of their biggest bats with 20 year old shortstop Ha-Seong Kim (.275, 8, 20), who may not have the power of Kang but plays a more fluid defense and foreign import Danny Dorn (.252, 8, 32). Those batting average numbers for Dorn are a bit of a disappointment. The two are tied with Dong-Won Park for the team homerun lead. Geon-Chang Seo became the first Korean to collect 200 hits in 2014, but missed most of last year because of injury. He is healthy again (.311, 2, 24) hitting atop of the order but the .370 average he had in 2014 may have been an outlier.

Pitching is the Heroes strength with Jae-Young Shin (6-2, 3.38) their ace and imports Ryan Feierabend (3-4, 4.81) and Robert Coello (4-4, 4.34) also pitching decent outings. Se-Hyun Kim (2.37, 12 saves) is their closer and Sang-Su Kim (2.42, 8 holds) is their top set-up man.

Samsung Lions (21-23) - After winning four championships and five divisions the Lions are a big disappointment, sitting near the bottom of the league. A gambling scandal forced them to sit out three of their pitchers in their championship with the Doosan Bears and they lost. This string of bad luck seems to have carried into the 2016 season. Hyoung-Woo Choi (.333, 10, 44) still carries a big bat and second in the KBO in RBIs. Ja-Wook Koo (.371, 5, 28) sits atop the KBO in runs scored with 43 and sits third in batting average. The 40 year old Seung-Yeop Lee (.282, 5, 29) still produces from the DH spot. He is the all time Korean homerun leader. They have not gotten a lot of production from foreign import Aaron Baldiris (.271, 1, 13) who found more success in Japan.

Samsung is second in the league in runs so that tells you that pitching has been their big problem this year. Their 5.60 ERA sits only above the last place Hanwha Eagles. Foreign imports Allen Webster (3-4, 6.56) and Collin Balester (0-3, 8.03) have contributed to that high ERA. Sung-Hwan Yun (6-1, 3.34) has been the only pitcher to answer the call.

Weekend Hot Prospects May 20 - 23

May 24th, 2016

It was a busy weekend for myworld so to catch up we will identify those minor league players who made an impact over the weekend.

Jeimer Candelario 3B (Cubs) - In his last five games Jeimer has multiple hits in four of them to raise his average from .188 to .233. He was 11 for 21 over this five game streak with three doubles, one homerun and 10 RBIs. Seven of those RBIs came in a game on Friday.

J.D. Davis 3B (Astros) - J.D. had a big three homerun game on Thursday. That upped his total to seven on the year. J.D. is ripping along on an 11 game hitting streak that has upped his average to .271. He has hit five homeruns during that streak with 12 RBIs. The Astros will need some help at third and they have a number of alternatives, with J.D. putting himself on the map for the position.

Hunter Dozier 3B (Royals) - The first round draft pick for the Royals is also ripping with a 12 game hitting streak. He is 19 for 53 during that streak to put his average at .302. The streak started three games after his promotion to AAA when the injury to Mike Moustakas resulted in a promotion of AAA third baseman Cheslor Cuthbert. During that streak he had a RBI streak for five consecutive games resulting in 9 of his 13 AAA RBIs.

Adam Brett Walker OF (Twins) - Another player with a three homerun game. Adam has one of the big power bats in the minor leagues but was restricted to just two long balls into mid-May. He hit five in three days to up his season total to seven. The strikeouts are still a problem with 63 in just 36 games.

Chris Shaw 1B (Giants) - The Giants will have some roster problems in a couple years. Chris is tearing it up in High A, driving in at least one run in his last four consecutive games. His three homeruns and eight RBIs during that streak gives him 10 homeruns and 37 RBIs for the year.

Brandon Nimmo CF (Mets) - The Wyoming cowboy is in the middle of a nine game hitting streak going 7 for 10 with four doubles and a triple in his last two games. All four of his triples have come in his last six games.

Pitching

Jackson Stephens RHP (Reds) and Fernando Romero RHP (Twins) - Two pitchers who threw five innings of no hit ball. For Romero it was his first start of the 2016 season after missing all of last year because of injury. Romero faced the minimum 15 hitters. The bullpens of both teams could not complete the no hitters.

Julio Urias LHP (Dodgers) - Urias is dominating AAA with his fifth straight appearance covering 26 innings in which he has not give up a run. His ERA slithers at a 1.10 with right handed bats having the most trouble hitting against him (.167). It is only a matter of time before the Dodgers call him up.

Blake Snell LHP (Rays) - Snell made one major league start allowing just one run in five innings. He is bucking for another after throwing six shutout innings, allowing just three hits. He struck out 9 for the second consecutive game. His walk numbers still need to be reduced.

Archie Bradley RHP and Braden Shipley RHP (Diamondbacks) - Another pitcher trying to get back into the major leagues, but his two starts were not quite as effective, giving up nine runs in 10 innings. He threw eight innings of three hit shutout ball to lower his AAA ERA to 1.99. Throwing strikes has always been his big problem when pitching in the major leagues. AAA hitters are batting below .200 off him but major league hitters are hitting over .300. Two days later teammate Braden Shipley pitched six innings of three hit shutout ball. Shipley still needs to do a better job of retiring righthanded hitters (.295).

Alex Reyes RHP (Cardinals) - Coming off an 80 game suspension after almost being guaranteed a spot on the major league rotation Alex Reyes had a good opening start in AAA, tossing four shutout innings and striking out eight. It won’t be long before the Cardinals squeeze his triple digit fastball into their rotation.

Jon Harris RHP (Blue Jays) - Another dominating performance for Harris with back to back 11 K games. In his last five appearances he has not given up a run in 28 innings. Back to back seven inning games have allowed him to get two 11 K games.

Jose Adolis Garcia Joins the Yomiuri Giants

May 24th, 2016

Jose Adolis Garcia has joined the minor league team of the Yomiuri Giants. He is the younger brother of Braves third baseman Adonis Garcia, who was recently demoted to the minor leagues. The Cuban Nacional Series contracted out the services of Garcia to the Giants. The Giants have to hope Garcia does better than the last hitter they contracted out Frederich Cepeda, who struggled to hit Japanese pitching.

The one bright spot is Garcia is younger than Cepeda at 23 years of age, so there is a lot of future in his game. He also led the Nacional Series in RBIs with 71, batting .314 with 14 homeruns. He will be another player to watch to see how he does against the sophisticated Japanese pitching. Against Cuban pitching he had a somewhat poor 34/59 walk to whiff ratio. Most contact hitters will walk more than they strikeout against Cuban pitching.

Mets Rain Down Hits Against Gio

May 24th, 2016

If the line drives off the bats of the Mets were rain this game would have been called. Instead the skies only allowed a light mist to postpone the game for one hour. Gio would have rather the game not have been played. The Mets rained on Gio Gonzalez for 10 hits in his five innings of work, including three balls that went over the fence in their 7-1 win. Coming into the game Gio had only given up three homeruns in his first eight starts.

The Nationals got on the board first against Bartolo Colon, the Mets fifth starter. Singles by Jayson Werth, Daniel Murphy and Ryan Zimmerman gave the Nationals an early 1-0 lead. After those three first inning hits the Nats bats could only find two more hits in the next six innings for Colon. His wide girth became more Thor like.

Gio survived the first two innings with just sprinkles of hits, a line drive single into right field that a sliding Bryce Harper should have caught and a slow roller to third for an infield single to open the game. Gio was able to get out of the first inning with two strikeouts and retired the side in order in the second inning. The downpour occurred in the third. It was almost as if someone noticed something in his delivery that told the Mets what was coming and they slapped him hard.

With one out Curtis Granderson was hit on the wrists by an inside fastball. Juan Lagares took a swing at the first pitch he saw and laced a single into right field. On the next pitch Gio threw David Wright connected, launching one just over the fence in left field, hitting the flower pots and bouncing back into left field. Yoenis Cespedes and Neil Walker ripped singles, Gio only throwing four pitches, three of them to Cespedes. Asdrubal Cabrera bounced a hard grounder past the diving Dan Murphy on the second pitch he saw to drive in Cespedes with the fourth run. Eric Campbell swung at the first strike he saw and ripped a line drive to Ben Revere in center, deep enough to score Walker with the fifth run.

The fifth inning was another disaster for Gio. Yoenis Cespedes lifted one into centerfield that carried into the right centerfield bleachers on a 3-1 count. Neil Walker sent the next pitch from Gio high into left field, almost landing in the same spot as the first homerun hit by David Wright. The Nats were down 7-1 and with the anemic state of their bats there was not a lot of hope in a comeback.

The Nats did not mount much of a rally after the first inning. Ben Revere continues to try to pull the ball, hitting grounders to the second baseman. Bryce Harper spent much of his evening trying to go the other way to beat the shift, lifting weak popups to the left fielder and shortstop.

The Nats lineup is filled with poor OBAs. Jayson Werth (.294), Ben Revere (.216), Danny Espinosa (.306) and Ryan Zimmerman (.310) do not give a lot of RBI opportunities for Harper and Murphy in the middle of the lineup. Revere and Werth are the first two hitters in the order so it is critical they get on base. The combined walk to whiff ratio of the four players is 46/123. Those numbers will have to improve if the Nationals do not want to repeat the anemic bats of last year.

Game Notes: Bartolo Colon saw 14 pitches. He did not swing at one, striking out three times in the game. A stiff lower back made Bartolo decide not to swing at any pitches…Ryan Zimmerman also stole a base on Bartolo while he was standing on the mound in his stretch. He made no attempt to step off the mound to throw to second. By that time the Mets were up 7-1. With two outs Colon focused on Anthony Rendon and struck him out to negate the steal…It was another rainy day in D.C. with rain delaying the game by one hour. Myworld is in a softball league and we have not played since April 27 because of rain…Neil Walker had a number of grounders scoot past him into right field. It seems his range is a bit limited in getting to balls hit to his right, though all the grounders got through the infield quickly…A replay review negated an error by Anthony Rendon. The umpire had initially ruled that the throw from Rendon had pulled Zimmerman off the base. A review by the umpires indicated that was not the case and reversed the call. The reviews made available to myworld did not seem to show enough evidence to confirm Zimmerman kept his foot on the base.

Hot Prospects for May 19

May 21st, 2016

Matt Davidson 3B (White Sox) - Matt has been getting his name mentioned regularly in our hot prospects list. He had his second four RBI game for the month of May to give him 17 for the month. Matt finished the day 3 for 5 with two doubles to raise his average to .277.

J.D. Davis 3B (Astros) - The Astros called up Colin Moran to fill the third base hole in an attempt to get the team over .500. After his three homerun day they may want to look at J.D. He drove in five runs with the three dingers. The day before he hit a solo shot to give him four homeruns in two days. For the season to date J.D. has smoked seven homeruns.

Hunter Dozier 3B (Royals) - Hunter blasted a couple balls over the fence in a 3 for 5 day. Recently promoted to AAA he has yanked four over the fence in just 12 games after hitting eight in AA. Hunter currently has driven in a run in five consecutive games to give him 13 for AAA. In more than twice the number of games he drove in only 21 in AA.

Cody Bellinger 1B (Dodgers) - On the other side of the diamond Cody is struggling a bit with the bat. A perfect 4 for 4 day could only raise his average to .224. His two doubles, homerun and single put him a triple short of the cycle.

Max Kepler OF (Twins) - After hitting just .167 in a brief major league callup, Max is back assaulting pitchers in AAA. On Thursday he was a single short of the cycle, going 3 for 5. Kepler has not had any problems hitting triples this year with six. Max should get another callup to the majors later on this year, but he needs to put a little more thunder in his bat.

Chad Pinder SS (Athletics) - Pinder had his second 4 for 4 day within a five game period to raise his average to .250.

Pitching

Jameson Taillon RHP (Pirates) - Seems like every day there is a Pirates starter in AAA mentioned in this blog. After a two year absence Jameson has been getting it done for the Pirates with his third shutout start in eight. On Thursday he worked six innings and struck out eight. In his previous two outings he had given up three runs in each game, raising his ERA to 2.08. The six shutout innings brought his ERA down to 1.82. Jameson has been especially tough against lefthanded pitchers, limiting them to a .119 average and a .239 slugging average.

Hot Prospects for May 18

May 20th, 2016

A couple Cubs and another Astros catcher makes this list.

Eloy Jimenez OF (Cubs) - He won’t turn 20 until November so the Cubs can show patience with him. Down in Low A Eloy has strung together a six game hitting streak which has put his average at .326. A 4 for 5 day on Wednesday with all his hits singles was followed by a 2 for 4 day in which both his hits cleared the fence. During this six game hitting streak Eloy is 13 for 26. The Dominican still must cut down on his 40 whiffs in just 36 games to keep from being exploited by higher ranked pitchers.

Mark Zagunis OF (Cubs) - Down at AA fellow Cub outfielder Zagunis had a quiet 4 for 4 day in which he did not cross the plate or drive in a run, but Tennessee was shutout by Birmingham 5-0. His power is beginning to show with doubles in three consecutive games and four doubles in five games.

Tyler Stephenson C (Reds) - The Reds are rebuilding and the 2015 number one pick will be part of that rebuilding process, especially after his 3 for 6 day in which he drove in five runs, one of those hits being his first homerun of the season. Coming into the game Tyler was struggling with a .148 average. The five RBIs eclipsed the amount he had accumulated during the first 18 games of the season (3) and his three hits elevated his average to .179.

Garrett Stubbs C (Astros) - Garrett blasted two homeruns on Wednesday and then followed with another homer the next day to give him four for the year. In a three game span he has driven in nine runs and the two game homer barrage extended his hitting streak to 16 games. The Astros selected Garrett in the eighth round of the 2015 draft.

Pitchers

Zach Eflin RHP (Phillies) - Zach improved his AAA record to 5-0 tossing seven innings of two hit shutout ball on Wednesday. Two stinker starts in which he gave up five runs keeps his ERA at a 2.36. In his five starts in which he has picked up a victory he has only given up two runs in 35.1 innings. Zach has an impressive 7/39 walk to whiff ratio.

Jon Harris RHP (Blue Jays) - The Blue Jays 2015 first round pick got a lot of swings and misses, with 11 strikeouts on the day in seven innings of shutout baseball. Jon has not given up a run in his last four outings covering 21 innings and has not given up an earned run in his last five outings covering 25 innings placing his ERA at 1.05. The 11 strikeout game almost equaled the amount he accumulated in his first five starts of the year (12).

Chase de Jong RHP (Dodgers) - Chase threw his second seven inning shutout game in three starts, this time giving up two hits. In his other seven inning shutout Chase only allowed one hit.

Brad Keller RHP (Diamondbacks) - The 2016 season has been a bit of a struggle for Brad. He came into the game with a 4.19 ERA but after 7.2 shutout innings that dropped to 3.55. His strikeout numbers for the month of May (20) have eclipsed what he produced in April (9) in the same amount of innings (25), giving the team hope his success will continue as the season progresses.

Hot Prospects for May 17

May 20th, 2016

Not a lot of big names on this list.

Josh Naylor 1B (Marlins) - He may not be as tall as Giancarlo Stanton but he hits the ball as hard and as far. He walloped his fourth homerun of the year on Tuesday to drive in five runs. His contact rate is improving in the month of May with a 6/7 walk to whiff ratio in 15 games. One of the down sides for Josh his inability to make contact. The other is a large frame (6′0″, 225) that limits his speed to playing the outfield.

Hunter Renfroe OF (Padres) - Hunter extended his five game multiple hit streak and a homer streak that sits at three games. During that streak he is 12 for 27 with three homeruns and eight RBIs. Hunter is batting .318 but until the Padres can trade Matt Kemp he will have to continue to bide his time in AAA.

Jose Azocar CF (Tigers) - The Venezuelan had a perfect 4 for 4 day to raise his average to .310. Power is absent from his game so his 5/36 walk to whiff ratio needs to improve for him to occupy the lead off spot and take advantage of his speed. This is his first season in a full season league so there is plenty of time to improve the hit tool.

Matt Chapman SS/3B (Athletics) - Matt has been playing mostly third, but Tuesday he was at short. He raked on a 4 for 8 day, his other four at bats resulting in strikeouts. The 2014 first round pick has yet to play in more than 100 games in his first two seasons. Last year wrist surgery limited him to 80 games but he still smoked 23 homeruns. This year he has nine.

Pitchers

Adam Plutko RHP (Indians), Sandy Baez RHP (Tigers), Nick Pivetta RHP (Phillies) and Nick Traveiso RHP (Reds) - All four pitchers tossed seven innings of shutout ball. Plutko was a Bruin star. His five hitter was his second straight outing without allowing a run covering 13 innings. Traveiso had the gem with a one hitter ending a streak of three starts where he gave up three or more runs in less than six innings. Pivetta and Baez each gave up two hits.

Jordan Kipper RHP (Angels) - The Angels need some good news regarding their starting pitching. Jordan gave them some good news with a nine inning no hitter in AA. He faced the minimum 27 batters but walked one, striking out eight. Two of his last three starts he was banged around for 10 hits so this no hitter was a bit unexpected.

LG Sponsors National Team in India

May 19th, 2016

LG Electronics in Korea owns a baseball team named the LG Twins. A subsidiary of theirs, LG Electronics India will help sponsor baseball in India by supporting India’s national baseball team in preparation for the Women’s Baseball World Cup which will be played in Gijang, Korea this September. The women’s national baseball team from India is ranked around 47 just behind China. The men’s national baseball team is rated number 59.

LG has been named the title sponsor for the Women’s World Cup. The number of teams for the world Cup has been expanded from eight to twelve.

Hot Prospects for May 16

May 18th, 2016

The hot prospects from Monday, May 16.

Alex Bregman 3B/SS (Astros) - The Astros continue to struggle and one of their holes is third base where they have been getting minimal production. Alex has been seeing more time at third base at AA. A 3 for 4 day raised his average to .330. He issues out extra base hits like soccer moms hand out cupcakes, with two doubles and a homerun to drive in four runs to add to his 16 extra base hit totals for the season, 8 doubles and 8 homeruns. Luis Valbuena has 10 extra base hits and is hitting .205. There is a big jump from AA to the major leagues, but if the Astros keep losing they will have to make changes somewhere.

Travis Demeritte 2B and Josh Morgan 3B (Rangers) - It has been awhile since we talked about Travis, but his homerun production has fallen off. He hit two solo bombs on Monday to lead High Desert to a 4-3 win over Visalia. The two homeruns give him 12 for the year, which is one less than the minor league leader Christin Stewart. Teammate Josh Morgan went a quiet 4 for 4, lacking any runs scored or RBIs. But his 2 for 4 the next day upped his hitting streak to four with three of those days involving multiple hits. The 10 for 15 run has elevated his average to .270.

Jackson Reetz C (Nationals) - Jackson had back to back three hit games to raise his average over the Mendoza line (.222). The 6 for 6 run included three doubles and a homerun with three walks. That is nine consecutive times on base. That streak ended with an 0 for 4 Tuesday.

Alex Dickerson LF (Padres) - Alex is looking for another taste of major league pitching. After getting promoted to the big club and hitting only .200 the Padres returned him to AAA. He has been raking since his demotion, going 4 for 4 Monday with two homeruns and a double then following that up with a 3 for 4 Tuesday with another homerun. He has scored six runs and driven in six in his last two games and is 8 for 9 in his three games to up his average to .413.

Jamie Ritchie C (Astros) - Jamie had a career day going 4 for 5 with a grand slam homerun, giving him six RBIs for the day. Lancaster jumped out to a 19-0 lead after four innings then coasted the rest of the way to win by the same score. The grand slam was hit in the 11 run fourth inning.

Pitching

Trey Ball LHP (Red Sox), Tyler alexander LHP (Tigers), Vicente Campos RHP (Yankees) - A trio of seven inning shutouts. For Ball and Alexander their ERA was reduced to 1.96. The six whiffs by Ball were a high for the year and lefthanded hitters are hitting him at a .083 clip, the only hit a homerun. For Tyler it was his fourth straight start in which he has not given up an earned run, but two of those starts he has given up five unearned runs. Vicente was the throwin pitcher acquired in the Jesus Montero trade. He has battled injuries and inconsistency with the seven shutout innings thrown on Monday lowering his ERA to 4.11.

Chad Kuhl RHP (Pirates) - Get him while he is hot. He threw some more shutout ball, seven innings of one hit ball to lower his ERA to 0.91. In four of his seven starts Chad has thrown shutout ball. His last two starts covering 13 innings he has not given up a run.

Josh Hader LHP (Brewers) - The Orioles and Astros will ultimately regret trading Josh. The Orioles got Bud Norris in their deal for a 2014 playoff run and the Astros acquired the disappointing Carlos Gomez and pitcher Mike Fiers by dealing Josh and a number of other prospects for their 2015 playoff run. Josh threw six innings of shutout ball and has yet to give up more than two runs in eight of his appearances to keep his ERA down at 0.89. He has a 13/54 walk to whiff ratio in his 40.2 innings.

Kohl Stewart RHP (Twins) - Jose Berrios failed in his audition with the Twins. Kohl is still a year away, toiling in High A, but he is due for a promotion after tossing six innings of shutout ball to lower his ERA to 1.77. His walk to whiff ratio for May (7/11) needs to resemble more of April (6/26) before the Twins can be convinced of a promotion.