Archive for the 'MLB' Category

2017 Top Cuban Prospects - National League

Sunday, June 25th, 2017

Myworld only includes those Cubans signed prior to April so Luis Robert and Hector Mendoza would not be included on this list. They will probably appear on the 2018 list. The Dodgers seem to control the Cuban market in the National League, though they have not been getting their money’s worth yet as far as major league contribution. Alex Guerrero is leading the NPB in homeruns with 20, but that does not do the Dodgers much good.

1. Yadier Alvarez RHP (Dodgers) - His fastball has tweaked triple digits on the radar gun but sits in the mid-90s. That is something not common with Cuban pitchers. While he throws hard he struggles with command. He did not make the Cuban 18 and under team because of his inability to throw strikes. The potential exists for a plus curve and change, which would put him in the rotation. Last year he started 14 games in rookie ball and Low A. The Dodgers controlled his pitches limiting him to under five innings per start. This year he is pitching in the California League which can be tough on pitchers. For Yadier it has been tough on him with a .275 opposition average and a 5.32 ERA.

2. Adrian Morejon LHP (Padres) - He does not throw as hard as Yadier but he is more a complete pitcher. While Yadier did not make the 18 under team because of his lack of control Adrian won the MVP award in the 15 and under World Cup tournament. He sits in the low 90s, touching the mid 90s, pretty good for a lefthanded arm. His curve and change are a little more developed than Yadier and his command of the strike zone is better. The tools may not be as great but his potential to succeed is better. The two starts at Tri-City are his first as a professional. He did not walk any in his 11 innings but the opposition hit him at a .333 clip.

3. Yusniel Diaz OF (Dodgers) - Yusniel left Cuba after his first season in the Cuban Nacional Series. He has decent speed, but like many Cubans does not steal bases because of poor jumps. Power is lacking in his bat but he should hit the gaps and hit for average. His speed and a strong arm will make him a good fit defensively in center field. He signed with the Dodgers after the 2015 season for $15 million and hit .272 in the California League. He is repeating the California League and is showing slightly better numbers across the board. His stolen base success is still poor going from seven out of 15 to five out of 13.

4. Jorge Ona OF (Padres) - The Padres paid Jorge a $7 million bonus in July 2016. His tools are not as impressive as Yusniel. His lack of speed will restrict him to a corner outfield with an average arm pinning him to left. What he does have is the potential to hit for power. The Padres are being aggressive with the 20 year old starting him at Low A for his first season. The power has not shown yet with a .406 slugging, but he has hit six homeruns with a .283 average. He needs to reduce the strikeouts (55 in 55 games) to keep that average up at the higher levels. The Padres have played him mostly in right field, but he has also played 12 games in left.

5. Vladimir Gutierrez RHP (Reds) - The Reds signed him for $4.75 million in 2016. He left his Cuban national team prior to their tournament in the Caribbean Series in 2015. His curveball was considered the best in Cuba and his fastball sits in the low 90s but has hit the mid-90s. He needs to develop his change to make it in the starting rotation. In Cuba he pitched as a reliever, picking up 13 saves. In his first minor league season he shows an ability to get the whiff with 74 in 68 innings. He does give up too much of the barrel on bats (.268) which has driven up his ERA (4.63). A couple poor starts have accounted for his pedestrian numbers.

6. Jose Adolis Garcia OF (Cardinals) - His older brother is Adonis. He is bigger than his brother which allows him to carry more power. The NPB Yomiuri Giants signed him but he struggled with them, hitting only .234 with a .396 slugging average in the minor leagues. He went 0 for 7 with three K’s with the Giants. His outfield defense is more suited for the corner and at 23 years of age he needs to move quickly. His brother Adonis was 27 when he defected and did not make his major league debut until he was 30 years old. The Cardinals have started Jose in AA where he is hitting .284 with six homeruns and a .432 slugging.

7. Randy Arozarena OF (Cardinals) - Randy played on the same 18 and under team as Yoan Moncada in 2013. The Cardinals only paid $1.25 million for him, a good bargain for a player with good speed and outfield skills that could see center. His bat will not hit for power but it should pepper the gaps. He played last year in the Mexican League struggling with a .100 average in only 20 at bats. The Cardinals have started him in High A and he is doing better, with a .276 average and eight homeruns with a .480 slugging. Most of his time has been spent in left field but he has played some center and right. The Cardinals were hoping for a leadoff type hitter but with the power he is showing in High A they could have a middle of the order hitter.

8. Albert Almora OF (Cubs) - A superb defender, the Cubs made him a first round pick in the 2012 draft. He is probably the Cubs top centerfielder but his bat is a little too quiet and may limit him to being a fourth outfielder. Despite his Cuban background he has played on a number of youth United States national teams. His father played baseball in Cuba before he defected but Albert was born in Florida. Albert has stayed up with the Cubs for the 2017 season, mostly as a backup, hitting a decent .270.

9. Omar Esteves 2B (Dodgers) - The Dodgers paid $6 million to a player lacking in above average tools. His defense at second is below average, his speed is not great and his arm is weak. His bat could play but it will be limited to gap power. Omar made his debut in 2015 hitting .255 with a .389 slugging. He was an 18 year old playing in Low A. This year he is playing in High A hitting just .232. Myworld doesn’t believe the Dodgers will get much major league production from their $6 million investment.

10. Alfredo Rodriguez SS (Reds) - Alfredo has some defensive tools but his bat is lacking. The Reds signed him for $7 million at the same time they signed Vladimir Gutierrez. He hit .234 in the Dominican League absent any power (.299 slugging). He does have the speed to steal bases. While he hit his first minor league homerun in the Florida State League this year his slugging sits at .308 but his batting average has improved to .266. At best he could end up as a utility player or a number 8 hitter in a potent offense that can ignore his bat for his glove.

Nats Blow Up Reds with TnT Demolition

Sunday, June 25th, 2017

The Nationals brought out the TnT with Trea Turner stringing together five hits and a walk in a five for five day and Michael Turner going deep twice in a 4 for 5 afternoon, resulting in a 18-3 slaughter of the Cincinnati Reds. Joe Ross did his magic again. For the sixth time in his 10 starts the Nationals have scored 10 or more runs. Unfortunately for Joe he has only won three of the six starts when the Nats have scored more than 10 runs.

Homer Bailey got his first start of the year, trying to come back from bone spur surgery. It was not a promising start with the Nationals bats tagging him for eight runs before he could get the third out in the second inning. Ryan Zimmerman drove in the first two runs with a line drive double into the right field corner in the first inning. Daniel Murphy emptied the bases in the second inning with a three run double with the Nationals scoring six in the inning. Bailey had walked the two previous batters to load the bases for Murphy.

The Reds showed a little sloppiness in the fourth. Ryan Zimmerman had struck out for what appeared to be the second out but the pitch went to the back stop allowing Ryan to reach first. After two were out Lisalverto Bonilla walked Anthony Rendon. Matt Wieters singled to right field scoring Zimmerman. Right fielder Scott Schebler threw to third but the ball skipped past Suarez and into the dugout to allow Murphy to score the second run of the inning. It was the third error of the game for the Reds. Michael Taylor followed with his first of two homeruns.

Patrick Kivlehan came in to pinch hit for Joey Votto to lead off the sixth with the score 13-0. He drove a ball into the left field bleachers to put the Reds on the score board. Joe Blanton would give up the other two Red runs. He came on to pitch in the eighth entering the game with a 9.19 ERA. He gave up hits to the first three hitters he faced and left the game with a 9.72 ERA.

Both Turner and Taylor scored four runs. Daniel Murphy drove in four.

Game Notes: Brian Goodwin and Bryce Harper were heroes in the game the day before. Goodwin hit two homeruns and Bryce had the walkoff single. In this game Goodwin walked twice but also struck out twice. He got his only hit in the eighth inning. Bryce struck out his first three times up, getting his only hit in his fourth at bat. Ryan Raburn batted for him in the sixth. This offense can provide different heroes every night…Adam Duvall showed a strong arm in left field…Joe Blanton lacked command and velocity in the one inning he pitched…For Michael Taylor it was the first four hit game of his career.

Shooting Da Bull in Durham

Saturday, June 24th, 2017

Myworld was in Durham for a four game series with the Norfolk Tides. It has been a couple years since we’ve been in Durham. For this trip we noticed some real development and construction happening in the city. Even with the textile and tobacco industry decimated Durham is able to survive. The stadium is probably the best in baseball with its blue wall reminding me of Fenway. No one hit the bull that stands next to the left field foul pole promising steaks to those players who hit the bull and salads to players who strike the grass below the bull. When a Durham player hits a homerun or after a Bull win the bulls eyes turn red and smoke billows from its nose. It is a beautiful ball park worth visiting.

The Norfolk Tides and Durham Bulls split the series. The Tides won the first and last games in routs when the Bull starting pitching faltered. The Bulls won the second and third games. Some of my thoughts on the series:

There was a little bit of rain that fell for all four games. The first game was delayed five minutes while they put on the tarp, only to be removed shortly afterward when the rain stopped after the tarp was put on the field. There was a five minute delay as they rolled the tarp back off the field. There is a covering in the upper decks where fans can go to escape to watch the games, provided there are seats available. In Durham it can get hot and humid so fans are on the ceiling ready to spin to keep you cool.

Brent Honeywell was not effective in his one start. He hit 94 on the radar but he did not last past the third inning giving up six runs.

Willy Adames is a smooth fielding shortstop. He made a number of quantity defensive plays. His one error was on a throw. His bat did not impress in the four games we watched.

Wilson Ramos started all four games, one of them at DH. He went deep once in the last game, the only Bull homerun in the four game series. He may be one of the slowest runners in major league baseball. Expect him to be with the Rays soon.

Johnny Field is another defensive specialist. He makes the diving catch look routine. The big question for him is whether he will have enough bat to play. His legs do not have stolen base speed so his bat needs to hit .270 or plus to be a starter. Myworld did not see a lot of power, but he does have six homeruns. Fields reminded me of Kevin Kiermaier. With the improvements of defensive analytics his glove will play.

Jesus Montero is a big boy that needs to watch his weight. He does not do a lot of running in pregame warmups, but does talk a lot. He is battling to stay over .100. The Braves released him and his bat is not producing with the Orioles. In his two games with the Tides he was 0 for 8 though one of those hits was a diving catch by Johnny Field. If his bat does not play there is not a lot he can offer a major league team.

Chance Sisco is about the only Tide prospect with a chance to make a major impact with the Orioles. The Orioles like to have a bunch of optionable relievers on their AAA staff that they can bring up and down to give the major league team a 10 man bullpen, but none of the arms impressed myworld. What we saw were a bevy of back end or middle relievers.

Ryan Yarbrough pitched well. His fastball doesn’t get past 92 but for a lefty he gets a lot of swings and misses. The Rays acquired him in the Drew Smyly trade from the Mariners. At 6′5″ he does provide a big plane when coming down on the hitters.

Mike Yastrzemski forgot the number of outs after one catch, pausing to run into the dugout as if he had made the third out and allowing a runner to tag and advance to third. His grandfather Carl never would have done that. His lack of tools will make him a fourth outfielder at best in the major leagues.

Blake Snell looked sharp in his outing hitting 95 on the gun and getting lots of swings and misses, especially with his breaking pitch. In his six innings of work the only run he allowed was a solo homerun by Francisco Pena in the sixth.

Brad Boxberger did not look sharp in a rehab relief appearance. He walked four batters in one inning retiring only two hitters.

2017 Top Cuban Prospects - American League

Saturday, June 24th, 2017

Not included in his list are any players signed after April, which include players like Luis Robert, who may have topped this list and Hector Mendoza. They will qualify for the 2018 list. Last year myworld put together a top 20 list. Seven of our top 10 were not on a major league roster. All of those players have signed now with Yulieski Gurriel the only player on a major league roster. Aledmys Diaz is the only other player on this top 20 from last year that played in the major leagues. He was rated number 16 in this top 20 list and had a nice rookie season.

1. Yoan Moncada 2B (White Sox) - Last year he was the number one rated prospect on our top 20 list. He has all the tools. Speed, power and the ability to hit for average. With all those tools it is interesting he plays second base and not shortstop. The Red Sox paid $62 million to sign him, $31.5 million bonus and a $31.5 million penalty for going over there salary cap. They traded him a year later to the White Sox as one of the players for Chris Sale. He has had some major league opportunities but struggled, striking out 12 times in 19 at bats with a .211 average. This year he is hitting .282 showing a little bit of power (.432 slugging). Don’t be surprised if the White Sox promote him after the All Star break. Only Yolmer (ex-Carlos) Sanchez stands in his way.

2. Lourdes Gurriel LF/3B (Blue Jays) - He was the number two rated prospect last year but had yet to sign with a team. He waited until he turned 23 to sign with the Blue Jays, maximizing his financial opportunities. His seven year $22 million contract appears to be a bargain when compared to Moncada. Lourdes doesn’t really have a position. Myworld thinks he will fit best in the outfield. As a shortstop and third baseman in the Cuban League he made numerous errors. His older brother Yulieski was considered an excellent fielding third baseman but is now playing first for the Astros. Lourdes started hitting in his last season in the Cuban League. Once he develops he could be a .300 hitter with 20 plus homerun pop. The Blue Jays began his career in the Florida State League but he got injured after his first game and was placed on the disabled list. He only was activated a couple days ago and in four games is hitting .267. Only one of his four hits has gone for extra bases. Lourdes could advance quickly and be ready for the major leagues by mid 2018 once he finds a position. So far Lourdes has played four games at shortstop committing seven errors for a .611 fielding percentage. That is not going to cut it.

3. Lazaro Armentares OF (Athletics) - He created a little hype with his brash personality trying to achieve a Yoan Moncada sized contract. The Athletics signed him for a relatively modest $3 million. At 17 years of age he has a lot of development in his future. In the United States he would still be playing high school. The reports are that he will hit for power and steal bases. His speed should translate to centerfield capability. Playing in the 15 and under World Cup he dominated with a .462 average. The Athletics have started him in the Dominican Summer League. He has only played in six games there but is struggling with a .167 average and 9 whiffs in 18 at bats. He has not played since June 12 so he may be back at extended spring training or injured.

4. Yandy Diaz OF/3B (Indians) - Myworld did not have him rated in our top 20 list last year and then he went out and hit .325 in AAA with a .461 slugging, winning the International League batting title. At 26 years of age he is already pretty well developed. There will be a lot of contact in his game but his power will be soft if he doesn’t learn to elevate his hits more. His defense is excellent at third but he can also play second base and the outfield, making a utility role an ideal fit for him. This year at Columbus he is hitting .318 with 28 walks to his 22 whiffs. The power is still soft (.439 slugging). The Indians gave him a major league callup and he was a bit overmatched (.203 average and .219 slugging). His main positions this year are third base and left field.

5. Andy Ibanez 2B (Rangers) - Ibanez signed for $1.6 million in 2015. Last year he was number 15 on our list. He could end up like Carlos Baerga, with a thick lower half eliminating his range at second base, meaning his bat will have to justify his staying at the position. The power is not really there to play the hot corner. Last year he did hit 13 homeruns skipping High A to move to AA. It will be tough with his skill set to usurp Rougned Odor from the second base position. This year he missed a month in the season because of injury but now healthy he is hitting .261 with a .405 slugging. Most of his game has been at second base. The tools could be there if he could master a utility role but myworld thinks he is a bit short to make it as a starter.

6. Yanio Perez OF (Rangers) - The Rangers signed him in 2016 for $1.1 million. He played for the 18 and under World Cup team in 2015, sharing the outfield with Luis Robert. There is power in his bat but his foot speed appears to destine him for a corner spot. His minor league debut in A ball this year has seemed to justify the bonus payment. He hit nine homeruns in just 49 games at Low A resulting in a promotion to High A. In nine games in the Carolina League he has yet to get an extra base hit.

7. Yordan Alvarez LF/1B (Astros) - Yordan will turn 20 in a couple days. He is another new comer, not appearing on our Top 20 list last year. The Dodgers initially signed Yordan for $2 million then traded him to the Astros for Josh Fields before even playing a game in a Dodgers minor league uniform. The Astros had him play in the Dominican Summer League where he hit .341. Yordan will hit for average. As a 17 year old he hit .351 in the Cuban Nacional Series. His big challenge is to develop the power expected for the first base position. His lack of speed makes a move to the outfield a poor alternative. He dominated at Low A hitting .357 with 10 homeruns (.670 slugging) which led to a promotion to High A yesterday. With his 33 RBIs in 32 games he has shown he can be a run producer. The Astros have been using him mostly in left field this year.

8. Guillermo Heredia OF (Mariners) - With his success in the major leagues myworld should move him up on this list on general principal. He is a plus defender with the ability to cover a lot of ground in centerfield. The big concern for my world was his bat. There is no power there. To be effective he needs to hit for a higher average. During his 45 game major league debut last year he hit .250. This year he has won the starting centerfield job for the Mariners, hitting .279 and showing enough pop for five homeruns. The power will still be short but if he can keep his average above .270 he should be effective for his defensive ability. Despite pretty decent speed he is not a stolen base threat.

9. Yulieski Gurriel 1B (Astros) - The Astros went out on a limb to sign him to a five year $47.5 million contract despite his age of 33. When he was younger scouts considered him the best player in Cuba. His main position then were third and second base. The Astros have moved him to first where his power may be a bit short. The bat will provide a lot of doubles power and his international experience should provide some leadership qualities to a young team. With A.J. Reed ready to take over the position next year Yulieski could move to a utility role, a spot currently filled by Marwin Gonzalez.

10. Norge Ruiz RHP (Athletics) - The Athletics signed Norge for $2 million in 2016. Interesting he is the only pitcher to make this list, though there will be a couple to make the National League list. Norge is not overpowering, with a fastball that sits in the high 80s to low 90s. At 5′10″ he is also not a tall pitcher making his lack of velocity an impediment for a starting role. He does throw a lot of junk with a change and slider being his best pitches. He gets hitters to hit the ball on the ground resulting in a number of double play grounders. Pitching at the lower level it is not surprising that he is dominating hitters with his breaking pitches. In four starts he has only allowed one run for a 0.47 ERA, a .141 opposition average and 14 whiffs in 19 innings.

Ubaldo Gives O’s Big Start Versus Cards

Sunday, June 18th, 2017

If there is one thing the Orioles need it is starting pitching. Only Dylan Bundy is pitching well of their big three with Chris Tillman and Kevin Gausman struggling. This puts a strain on the bullpen. Ubaldo Jimenez gave the O’s seven innings allowing just two runs, both bombs by Stephen Piscotty in the O’s 8-5 win and could find himself back in the rotation.

Jimenez fastball is not what it used to be. He sits in the high 80s to low 90s. When he throws strikes he can still be effective. While he walked four none of them hurt him. The defense played well behind him and giving up just four hits did not allow the walks to advance the bases or cross the plate. The two runs he did allow were on balls that cleared the fence, both by Stephen Piscotty. The first homerun just cleared the fence in right center in the second inning, Adam Jones making a valiant leap to keep it from going over the wall. The second homerun by Piscotty came in the fourth with a ball that just cleared the fence in centerfield.

On the other side Lance Lynn was not sharp. The O’s got some good wood on the bat with many of his pitches. Seth Smith led off the first inning with a line drive homerun over the centerfield wall. In the second inning Trey Mancini led off the inning with a blast over the right field scoreboard. That blast gave the Orioles a 2-1 lead, which they would never relinquish.

In the third inning Seth Smith lined a single into centerfield. Seth would finish the day a triple short of the cycle. Manny Machado walked. Adam Jones appeared to spoil the rally grounding into a double play. With a runner on third and a 1-2 count Mark Trumbo stuck his bat out and lined a soft single into left field to plate Smith for a 3-1 lead.

The Orioles put the game away in the fifth. Five straight hitters blasted the ball to the warning track or farther. It started with a blast from Adam Jones that went over the head of Dexter Fowler and one hopped the wall. Fowler appeared a little casual retrieving the ball and Jones made a triple out of it, his first since 2015. Trumbo followed with a shot that just reached the left field bleachers. A fan with a glove had it bounce out of the glove and fall back into the field. Trey Mancini lined a pitch into left centerfield that hit the wall and caromed past Pham and Fowler. Mancini was able to scamper to third for his first career triple. Jonathan Schoop followed with a shot into right center that would have travelled over the fence, but Fowler made a nice leap over the wall and brought the ball back in. Mancini scored to give Schoop a SF. Wellington Castillo finished the day for Lynn by driving one into the Orioles bullpen to give the Orioles a 7-2 lead. Five batters and five blasts in a row. It was amazing Lynn was left in that long.

The Orioles made it 8-2 in the sixth. Seth Smith hit a hustle double to right center field, beating the throw from Piscotty. He advanced to third on a wild pitch. Manny Machado took advantage of a drawn in infield by bouncing one past the shortstop. Smith crossed the plate for his third run of the game.

The call went to Vidal Nuno to pitch the eighth. With an 8-2 lead he walked the leadoff hitter Matt Carpenter. He got ahead of Dexter Fowler with a 1-2 count but Fowler hit the next pitch deep over the center field wall. For Fowler it was the fourth consecutive game in which he has hit a homerun. For Buck he had seen enough for Nuno and placed call on Miguel Castro to finish the inning. Castro got the first two hitters but then gave up a homerun to Yadier Molina deep into the left field bleachers.

With the score 8-5 Brad Brach was called on to finish the ninth. He retired the side in order to give the O’s the rubber match against the Cardinals and earn himself a cheap save.

Game Notes: Both teams abandoned their colors for this game to wear blue to honor Father’s day. The Cardinals blue was darker and they wore gray jerseys…The Cardinal outfield arms are not strong. The O’s took advantage of Tommy Pham, Dexter Fowler and Stephen Piscotty to advance an extra base on three hits, turning two doubles into triples and a single into a double…Trevor Rosenthal is hitting 100 consistently with his fastball. The last time we saw him pitch he was struggling with his fastball down to 96-97…Speaking of velocity myworld was in Bowie last night and watched Jesus Liranzo make his first start. He was hitting 100-101 on almost every pitch. Jesus has been working out of the pen because he only has two pitches. The fastball is hot but an average curve or slider with not a lot of break and a change he threw once that went for a ball gives him a lot to work on if he wants to convert to a starter. The Orioles need starting pitchers and they have two possibilities in Bowie who have high 90s to triple digit fastballs (Tanner Scott is the other pitcher). Tanner has not gone past the third inning in any of his starts…The defense was making some excellent plays behind Ubaldo. A leaping catch by Schoop in the sixth, an unassisted double play by Trey Mancini in the fifth and a nice running catch to the warning track by Jones in the seventh…Can’t see Hyun-Soo Kim getting many starts if he doesn’t start showing some offense. His defense is not strong and he only has one homerun with a .267 average. Those are numbers of a fourth outfielder, but they usually are kept on the bench because of their defense or speed. Kim has neither attribute…The fans gave Ubaldo a standing O after he retired the side in the seventh. They knew his day was done…J.J. Hardy was hit by a pitch in the fourth inning. He was replaced by Ruben Tejeda when the team went on defense in the fifth inning.

MyWorld’s Top Eastern League Prospects

Friday, June 16th, 2017

Myworld watched the Bay Sox blow a 6-2 lead, giving up five runs in the ninth. The Bay Sox were able to rally for one in the bottom of the ninth to send the game into extra innings. The Reading Phillies went on to win the game in 13 innings 7-6 but needless to say we were long gone before the game ended. Instead of recapping the game we thought we’d list our top ten players who are impressing us in the Eastern League. These may not be the top ten prospects but they are the ten we like.

1. Francisco Mejia C (Akron/Indians) - This guy has an arm to discourage base runners. Usually those type of catchers come with weak bats. Not Francisco. He may have the best bat and the best arm of all the catchers in the minor leagues. A couple four hit games has given him a .447 average in his last 10 games, raising his average for the year to an Eastern League leading .363. That is more than 30 points better than the hitter closest to him. Francisco also has hit 8 homeruns to put his slugging average at .625 and his OPS at 1.026. This guy is a beast with all the tools but his legs.

2. Scott Kingery 2b (Reading/Phillies) - When you look at him you don’t see a big guy. Myworld had that same impression when we looked at Brian Dozier. Like Dozier, Kingery is flying balls over the fence with great regularity, blasting an Eastern League leading 18 homeruns. Some would argue the small park at Reading is responsible for a lot of his power, but only 10 of those homeruns have been hit at Reading. Power is not the only tool in his game. Kingery is second in the Eastern League in stolen bases with 16 out of 18 attempts. If he isn’t promoted to the Phillies he has a chance to be a 30/30 player. Myworld has also been impressed by what we saw of his defense. The power has come as a surprise since he has only hit 8 homeruns in his first two years. In 2016 he had a .388 slugging average, this year it is .609.

3. Ryan McMahon 3B (Hartford/Rockies) - Ryan was not long for the Eastern League. After hitting .326 with 6 homeruns he was promoted to AAA. In 13 AAA games he is hitting .404 with three homeruns. McMahon has the unfortunate luck of playing the same position as Nolan Arenado. To ease that dilemma the Rockies have had him play 19 games at second base. The good thing is the Rockies are in a pennant race so Ryan could get traded to acquire veterans quickening his pace to the major leagues at his regular position. The surprise stat for Ryan this year is his 9 for 9 success rate in stolen bases. Prior to that he was below 50 percent in his stolen base success rate.

4. Yefry Ramirez RHP (Trenton/Yankees) - Trenton has the top pitching staff in the Eastern League. Ramirez does not lead the league in ERA but his 61 whiffs in 57 innings puts him tied for first in the Eastern League in strikeouts. His fastball has good velocity, hitting the mid-90s and freezing Eastern League hitters to a .193 average. Yefry was placed on the disabled list to begin June otherwise he may have been called up by the Yankees. He only worked 3.2 innings in his last outing giving up one run. Yefry began his career as a position player but after one year moved to the mound.

5. Ronald Herrera RHP (Trenton/Yankees) - Ronald got the callup to the Yankees after leading the Eastern League in ERA (1.07) and going 7-0 in his first 8 starts. His secondary numbers are not as dominating as Yefry with only 41 whiffs in 50.1 innings. The soft contact is still there with the opposition hitting him at a lackluster .166 average. One thing you have to like about Ronald is he throws strikes with just 9 walks. He did get one two inning appearance with the Yankees and struggled, giving up two runs. At 5/11″ he is a couple inches smaller than Yefry and his fastball is a couple ticks slower sitting in the low 90s. Ronald could be due for a promotion since he had 24 starts last year in the Eastern League.

6. Miguel Andujar 3B (Trenton/Yankees) - It will either be Gleyber Torres or Miguel replacing Chase Headley at third base. Miguel is leading the Eastern League in RBIs with 47. He makes good contact with the ball which allows him to hit for average (.308). There is also a little pop in his bat with 7 homeruns. His defense is solid but not as flashy as Gleyber so if Greg Bird continues to have injury issues a move to first base may be in the future. The errors need to be reduced with 22 last year and 10 so far this year. Most of his errors are on bad throws.

7. Andrew Pullin LF (Reading/Phillies) - The bat has been solid (.310) with lots of pop (13 homeruns, .559 slugging). Most of his homeruns have been on the road so he has not been helped by the small Reading ball park (9 homeruns away with a .689 slugging). Coming into this season he was not on the Phillies prospect list but that will change after this year. He is tied with Kingery for the Eastern League lead in extra base hits with 34. Not noted for his speed, left field will probably be his best position.

8. Tanner Scott RHP (Bowie/Orioles) - We saw him pitch last night. His fastball is consistently in the high 90s. His breaking ball is a little inconsistent and he has trouble finding the plate. Tanner is not on the league leader boards because the Orioles pull him from his starts after three innings. The opposition is hitting him at a .150 clip and he has struck out 48 in 39 innings. His 26 walks put him a bit short of the 2 for 1 whiff to walk ratio you would like to see. Tanner has not allowed a run in his last four outings covering 12 innings to lower his ERA to 1.38.

9. Erick Fedde RHP (Harrisburg/Nationals) - The Nationals have moved him to the pen and promoted him to AAA. While in the Eastern League he got seven starts and 10 relief appearances. The first round pick could have his mid-90s fastball in the major leagues before the year is out. In the Eastern League he limited the opposition to a .215 average with 54 whiffs in 56 innings. His 3.04 ERA put him tenth in the Eastern League.

10. Rafael Devers 3B (Portland/Red Sox) - The bat can play and if Pablo Sandoval does not get his act together the Red Sox may promote Rafael to the major leagues. His .308 average just misses the top ten but his 12 homeruns and .561 slugging averages are career highs. He has hit homeruns in his last two games. With the Red Sox having a black hole at third base there is no longer any talk of moving Rafael to first base. Speed is not part of his game.

Honorable Mentions

Adam Brett Walker OF (Bowie/Orioles) - He was recently released by the Braves and picked up by the Orioles. At one point he was considered a top ten prospect. He is trying to get scouts to talk about him again with a .444 average, four doubles and two homeruns in his first four games. When he was with the Braves in the Southern League he hit only .122, striking out 23 times in his 49 at bats. The strikeouts will always be there but if the power reappears he could be a player to watch. Last night he went 5 for 6.

Christin Stewart OF (Erie/Tigers) - The one Erie game we watched Stewart did not start. He pinch hit with the bases loaded and two outs, striking out on a high fastball. The bat has some thunder with 16 homeruns, second in the Eastern League but his prevalence for the whiff will keep his average down (.257). Stewart does not have a lot of speed and his defense will limit him to left field.

Chance Adams RHP (Trenton/Yankees) - Chance would be the highest rated pitcher on this list if he spent some time in the Eastern League. He only got six starts but dominated with a 4-0 record and 1.03 ERA. The opposition hit him at a .183 average. Chance is also pitching well at AAA with a 2.52 ERA and a .151 opposition average. At 6′1″ he is not intimidating on the mound but he has a mid-90s fastball and a slider that he uses as his strikeout pitch.

Braves Roast Roark

Thursday, June 15th, 2017

The Tanner Roark fastball is down a couple ticks. The balls seem to be hit harder off his deliveries, especially the Braves bats seemed to have their way with the Roark pitches. The first three hitters in the lineup combined for 10 hits in their 13-2 rout of the Nationals. If this had been an international competition this game would have been over after the seventh inning when the beleaguered Nats bullpen gave up six runs.

The top three in the Braves batting order, Ender Inciarte, Brandon Phillips and Nick Markakis all started the game with hits, Brandon Phillips gapping a double into left center to score Inciarte and Markakis driving in Phillips with a single. Matt Adams, another bat that has been destroying Nats pitchers drove in the third run of the inning with a single.

For a brief period the Nationals attempted to make a game of it. Brian Goodwin hit a ball over the Nats bullpen into the second deck for a two run homer in the second inning to close the lead to 3-2. After that Julio Tehran quieted the Nats bats for three hits in the next five innings. By the time he departed the Braves were ahead 13-2.

Roark gave the runs back in the top of the third, plus one. Nick Markakis got the inning started with a single into right field. Matt Kemp followed with a hit and run single up the middle that went past a diving Murphy. A lot of hits this day were scooting past the glove of a diving Murphy. Ryan Zimmerman was not looking when Jose Lobaton threw a ball to first base in an attempt to pick off Kemp. The ball went untouched into right field. Bryce Harper was able to retrieve the ball and throw out Matt Kemp at third for the second out. Kemp came up hobbling, holding his hamstring and was replaced by Danny Santana in the bottom of the third.

The Braves did not stop scoring in the inning. Roark walked Matt Adams. Kurt Suzuki struck a 1-1 pitch from Roark and sent it into the Braves bullpen for a 6-2 lead. For Nationals fans the only hope was for the rains to come to avoid another loss.

The fifth inning saw more of the same ineffectiveness of Roark. Back to back singles by Phillips and Markakis and a walk to Danny Santana loaded the bases with no outs. Matt Adams hit a sacrifice fly to left to score a run. Fortunately for the Nationals it was the only run the Braves would score.

It appeared Dusty was trying to save his bench. Michael Taylor, Matt Wieters and Anthony Rendon were not in the starting lineup. In the bottom of the fifth he let Tanner Roark hit despite being down 7-2 and Roark at 102 pitches. In the top of the sixth Trevor Gott went in to pitch. In the ninth inning, down 13-2 Joe Ross would pinch hit.

Gott gave up two hits in the sixth but still prevented the Braves from scoring a run. In the seventh he was not so lucky, his issue with throwing strikes got the best of him. With the bases loaded and two outs he walked Julio Teheran for a run after getting ahead of him in the count 0-2. Ender Inciarte finished his day with a two run single. Blake Treinen replaced Gott and could not stop the bleeding, giving up a two run double down the third base line to Brandon Phillips and an RBI single to Danny Santana to put the score at 13-2. It was an inning you had to wonder had an end to it.

Fortunately, it did and the game mercifully was finished with the Nationals suffering a big beat down 13-2, finishing the home stand 2-5 after doing so well on a west coast road trip.

Nats Notes: Odd occurrences in the top of the eighth when Ryan Raburn was announced as the left fielder. Before the inning was started he walked back to the dugout and Adam Lind returned to left field. Blake Treinen pitched to one hitter and retired him. Raburn then trotted back out to left field, Lind went to first base and Zimmerman left the game with Joe Blanton coming in to pitch. The explanation given was after Jose Lobaton grounded into a double play Blanton was not sufficiently warmed up so Treinen was left in to pitch to one more hitter. Raburn obviously did not get that message…Lobaton is an anchor in the Nats offense. After an 0 for 3 performance his average dropped to .127. if he was a superior defender who managed a pitching staff well myworld would have a bit more patience, but he appears to have no qualities in his game to put him in the lineup. Roark and Lobaton seemed to require a lot of mound communication about what pitches Roark wanted to throw..Trea Turner had stolen second base in the first inning but was called out after popping up after the slide and being tagged by Swanson, who kept his glove on Turner. In the eighth Trea hit a ground ball to Phillips at second with the team down 13-2. He did not run to first with the speed he did in the first inning when he hit a ground ball to Phillips and beat it out. Tough to stay motivated when you’re down 13-2…Matt Kemp hurt his hamstring sliding into third and had to be taken out of the game…Daniel Murphy seemed to be spending a lot of his time diving at balls that skipped past him for hits…Nats pitchers threw 196 pitches in the game, 124 of them for strikes…Joe West was umpiring at second base. At one point he was seen talking to Murphy asking him if this was the spot he should stand. In the game yesterday the second base umpire argued with Murphy after Murphy asked him to move because he was in his sight line. Some umpires think they are above the game…The Braves had lost 23 of their last 25 games in Nats park. Winning two out of three in this series had to feel good. It was their first series victory in Washington since April 2014.

2017 Top Asian Prospects

Tuesday, June 13th, 2017

Not a great exodus of Korean players, which bulked up this list last year. This made the 2017 list tough to put together. Almost all the players who made the list last year are no longer eligible after playing in the major leagues. Kenta Maeda was the top prospect, but his second year has not gone so well. Byung-Ho Park struggled to make contact and has been sent to the minor leagues to get his swing back. Hyun Sun Kim was in a platoon role for the Orioles. His power has not translated to the major leagues and it would surprise myworld if the Orioles resign him. Dae-Ho Lee, the sixth rated prospect is back playing in Korea after one season in the major leagues. The seventh rated prospect Seung-Hwan Ho took over the closer job for the Cardinals but the 2017 season isn’t going as well even though he maintains the closer position.

This whittles the prospect list to five. Rob Refsnyder did not return to the list because of his paucity of tools. Sean-Reid Foley, who was born in Guam jumped up to be the number one rated Asian prospect. Most of the other players are fringe prospects.

1. Sean Reid Foley (RHP) Guam/Blue Jays - Sean was born in Guam to American parents. His brother, who was a catcher in the Dodgers system taught him a curveball, which he broke out last year. That, along with a fastball that sits in the low 90s but can hit the mid-90s and a slider gives him a good selection of pitches to choose from. Last year he had a break out season at Low and High A with 21 starts and ERAs below 3.00. The opposition hit him at less than .200. This year a promotion to AA has not been kind to him. Hitters are slaying him at a .272 pace, his command is off with a walk every two innings pitched which leaves his ERA at a ugly 5.40. It appeared he had turned things around when he pitched six innings of shutout ball on his 11th start, but his last start he was smacked around for 6 runs in three innings. A September call up may have to wait until he turns his season around.

2. Chih-Wei Hu (RHP) Taiwan/Rays - It is rare to see Taiwan pitchers hit the upper 90s with their fastball, but Hu has that ability. He stands only 6′1″ but he mixes his change with his fastball well to stymie AA hitters last year. There are not a lot of strikeouts to his game but an improvement in a breaking pitch could change that. The Rays have moved him to the bullpen after three early starts to begin the season. They called him up for four bullpen sessions with the major league club where he only gave up three hits in his eight innings of work. Expect a return to the major leagues if he continues with his success in the bullpen in 2017. His fastball shows mid to high 90s velocity in the pen.

3. Jae-Gyun Hwang (3B) Giants/Korea - In his last two years in the KBO he hit 26 and 27 homeruns. Prior to that the power did not show. His career average in the KBO was only.286, which is below average for a hitter’s league where almost everyone shoots for .300. His last year he did hit .335. The Giants signed him, but despite their weakness at third base Hwang was sent to the minor leagues. The Giants needs have not really been addressed at the position and Hwang is hitting .291 at AAA. The power is not there with only 6 homeruns and a .478 slugging average. Christian Arroyo struggled in his major league opportunity, hitting just .192. He is hitting better than Hwang in AAA with a .417 average and a .643 slugging. At some point the Giants have to give him an opportunity.

4. Yu-Cheng Chang (SS) Taiwan/Indians - In 2016 Chang made the Carolina League All star team, hitting .259 and showing some pop for the middle infield position with 13 homeruns. This year he is struggling with a .211 average. The power is there with 11 homeruns and a .464 slugging but there are too many whiffs in his game (66 in 54 games). He is also committing too many errors for the shortstop position (12 in 51 games) but a move to third has not reduced those errors (5 in 16 games). Chang needs to improve his contact, become more consistent with the glove and find a position where his power bat can benefit a lineup before he can sniff the major leagues.

5. Hoy-Jun Park (SS) Yankees/Korea - The Yankees are very crowded at short. Park has the glove for the position but his bat is a little too quiet. He has also had trouble with the glove this year with a fielding percentage less than .900. They have played him a little at second base. Unless they trade Gleyber Torres or Didi Gregorius the best spot for Park looks to be second base. His power is not there to play third. This is his second season in Low A. His bat appears to be improved (.250/.349/.370) but his fielding has been more inconsistent and his stolen base percentage has dropped from 32 of 35 last year to just 8 of 12 this year. While his homerun numbers have increased his triple numbers have dropped.

6. Tzu-Wei Lin (SS) Red Sox/Taiwan - The Red Sox shelled out just over $2 million for Lin. His glove is solid and he has some speed, but that is what they said about Hak-Ju Lee who was last seen playing in Japan in the Independent Leagues. The bat needs to start showing some spark if he is to separate himself from some of the other Red Sox shortstops. After hitting just .223 with a .580 OPS in AA last year Lin is back there for the 2017 season. His bat seems to have found some life with a .306 average and a .866 OPS. The Red Sox have also played him a few games in centerfield. If he can keep his offense at this level some team will find a spot for his glove if the Red Sox lack the room.

7. Wei-Chieh Huang (RHP) Taiwan/Diamondbacks - Durability concerns have moved Huang to the bullpen. It could improve the velocity on his fastball, which sits in the low 90s and allow Huang to survive on a fastball/change repertoire. So far so good. In 14 relief appearances his ERA sits at 1.71 with a .177 opposition average. He recently returned from a one month stay on the disabled list.

8. Jin-De Jhang (C) Taiwan/Pirates - Jhang is a defensive catcher who the Pirates hope will develop with the bat. There is some pop in his swing, but that has not showed in games. His big year for the homerun was in 2013 and 2015 when he hit five. He makes good contact and can spray balls into the gap. This year he is struggling with a .197 average with only one extra base hit in his 16 games. The best Jhang can hope for if his bat does not develop is as a back up catcher. Or he can return to Taiwan and play in the CPBL.

9. Daniel Missaki (RHP) Japan/Brewers - He was born in Japan but he pitched in Brazil, playing for the 2013 World Baseball Classic team as the youngest player in the tournament. The Mariners signed him in 2013 after the WBC. He was traded last year to the Brewers in the Adam Lind trade even though Tommy John surgery had ended his 2015 season. Prior to that he had combined with two other pitchers to throw a no hitter. His fastball is not overpowering, sitting in the high 80s but his curveball and change are decent pitches. Daniel has not pitched since 2015 and will probably begin his comeback in the rookie league.

10.Shao-Ching Chiang (RHP) Taiwan/Indians - Durability issues have also plagued Chiang. He signed with the Indians in 2011 and saw a delay in the start of his career after Tommy John surgery limited him to two appearances in two games. Last year he did start 27 games, but he is a contact type pitcher with a fastball that can hit the mid-90s but mostly sits in the low 90s. He pitched for Taiwan in the 2017 World Baseball Classic. This year he has started strong with a 7-3, 2.57 ERA in 11 starts. The opposition is hitting him at a .238 clip, which would be the lowest in his career. He still doesn’t get a lot of swings and misses.

2016 Asian Prospects

Another Nats Bullpen Meltdown

Tuesday, June 13th, 2017

They say closing can be a different animal. Matt Albers found that out as he struggled to find the strike zone in the ninth inning in an 11-10 loss to the Atlanta Braves. He had to groove a 2-0 pitch to Tyler Flowers, who had struck out in his first three at bats against Stephen Strasburg, but drove Albers pitch into the Nationals bullpen for a three run homerun. That drove up his ERA.

Both starters got assaulted for homeruns in five or less innings of work. For Mike Foltynewicz he had perhaps his worst outing of the year. He gave up a lead off homerun to Trea Turner in the first, a ball that just eluded the leaping Ender Inciarte in centerfield. A walk to Bryce Harper and back to back singles by Adam Lind and Matt Wieters scored Harper. The Braves were still up 3-2 when he got Micahel Taylor to hit a hard grounder to second.

In the second Brian Goodwin took a Folty pitch down the right field line with the ball not stopping until it had reached the Nationals bullpen. Two singles and a walk would load the bases. Anthony Rendon hit a fairly shallow fly to right field with Trea Turner challenging the gun of Nick Markakis. That gun does not appear so lethal anymore with Turner easily beating what appeared to be a loopy throw from Markakis.

The Nationals added another run in the fourth on a single by Matt Wieters and a double into the left field corner by Brian Goodwin. Stephen Strasburg hit a hard grounder to second with Brandon Phillips choosing to get the out at first rather than throw it home. Despite the run the Nationals were still down by one, 6-5.

In the fourth the Nationals chased Folty. Bryce Harper led the inning off with a rocket line drive that barreled into the right field bleachers to tie the game. Daniel Murphy singled and Adam Lind hit a high, routine fly ball to Inciarte in center. Murphy seemed to put on a burst of speed as he rounded second and raced to third with only one out. Did he forget how many outs there were? Inciarte lost the ball and it bounced behind him for a double with Murphy scoring easily. Perhaps Murphy recognized Inciarte had lost the ball? That was the end for Folty. Michael Taylor singled into left center with the dive by Matt Kemp not being caught and bouncing the ball away far enough to allow Lind to score from second. Brian Goodwin lined a single to right with Markakis diving and bouncing the ball away enough for Michael Taylor to score from first on a single. The four runs gave the Nationals a 9-6 lead.

Strasburg had his troubles as well. He gave up a two run homer to Nick Markakis in the first inning, only the second homerun of the year by Markakis. Matt Kemp followed with a solo homerun off a 97 mile per hour fastball into centerfield reaching the first two rows of the Red Porch. The Nationals were quickly down 3-0.

After the Nationals had strafed Folty for four runs to take a 4-3 lead Strasburg got lit up again. Brandon Phillips singled and Nick Markakis walked to put two runners on. With two out Matt Adams connected into a pitch and hit it over the 402 marker in centerfield to give the Braves a 6-4 lead.

When Strasburg departed after the fifth inning he was still in good shape to be the winning pitcher. The Nationals were up 9-6. Strasburg had given up three long balls but he had whiffed 10 hitters, many of them swinging and missing at his curveball. At close to 100 pitches and clearly not sharp Dusty Baker chose to go the bullpen.

Oh that bullpen. It is turning into a nasty word in D.C. From Drew Storen to Jonathan Papelbon to now Blake Treinen the fans have not seen a closer they have liked in a few years now. Jacob Turner worked two scoreless innings, but the signs should have come in the seventh inning when his outs were hard hit. Perhaps there is not an arm in the pen Dusty can trust except for maybe Matt Albers, but he wanted to get to the ninth inning before using Matt.

Matt Adams hit the first pitch thrown by Jacob Turner in the eighth inning for a homerun into the right field bleachers. Rio Ruiz doubled and a four pitch walk to Dansby Swanson ended the day for Jacob Turner.

In comes the fireballing Enny Romero. He is lefthanded and throws bbs that consistently hit 100 plus miles per hour. His first bb was fired into the arm of pinch hitter Danny Santana. The problem with Romero is he has no control where his bbs are going. With the bases loaded Ender Inciarte hits the next pitch deep enough into left field to score Ruiz. That made it 9-8. With two out it was enough to bring in Matt Albers.

Matt got Brandon Phillips to ground to short to end the inning. The Nats went down meekly in the bottom frame and Albers came on to protect the one run lead in the ninth. The animal began to roar in the head of Albers. He couldn’t find the plate. After getting ahead of Nick Markakis 0-2 he threw four balls to walk the leadoff hitter. A called third strike to Matt Albers gave the fans something to cheer about, but then Matt Adams walked on a 3-2 count. That brought up the hitless Tyler Flowers who had struck out three times and grounded to second. Albers threw two balls to Flowers. Not wanting to walk him to load the bases and put the tying run on third with just one out Albers next pitch was grooved and Flowers blasted the pitch into the right field bullpen. Bryce could only turn and watch it sail into the arena that has been the bane of the Nationals season.

Bakers trusted reliever was tarnished as all the other bullpen arms. His 1.06 ERA climbed to 2.10. Shawn Kelley came on to pitch and made fans moan even more with a two base throwing error. Fortunately he got out of the inning without another run scoring. Kelley has only given up 8 homeruns in 16 innings. That lost him the closer job.

The Nat bats finally perked up against the Braves bullpen, realizing they were behind and had to score some runs. After scoring in four consecutive innings to start the game they were shutout by the Braves bullpen in the next four innings. A Michael Taylor double and Trea Turner single had given the Nationals one run. Bryce Harper failed to provide the walkoff, lining to center for the third out.

Game Notes: Overall the Nationals are hitting .274. After the sixth inning their batting average drops to .249. That means that in addition to having a poor bullpen, the Nationals have trouble hitting against the opponents bullpen, a double edged sword…The Nationals 11 blown saves are still two behind the Mets and Rays who lead the majors with 13. But only Minnesota has a worse OPS (.812) than the Nationals (.810) bullpen. The Nationals 5.11 ERA is third worst in the major leagues with the Detroit Tigers (5.14) and Minnesota Twins (5.55) falling behind them. Surprisingly the 63 walks by the Nationals bullpen is tied with Cleveland for the least walks by a bullpen. Perhaps the bullpen should think about throwing more balls…Stephen Strasburg had his curveball working. Most of his strikeouts were swings and misses at his curveball. His fastball was hit hard…Nick Markakis arm is no longer a threat. There is too much loop in what used to be a cannon for an arm…People in the stands refer to Matt Albers as Fat Albers in reference to Bill Cosby and his Fat Albert character. Let’s just say Albers does not have a svelte figure…It was $1 ice cream night. In order to get the ice cream you had to use an app from MLB. Myworld still uses a flip phone which does not take kindly to apps. So much for our $1 ice cream…Brian Goodwin was a triple shy of the cycle. He was intentionally walked in his fourth at bat and struck out in the ninth in his final at bat to miss hitting for they cycle.

Rangers Rip Roark on His Bobblehead Day

Sunday, June 11th, 2017

It was Tanner Roark bobblehead day. It was also an opportunity to face his original team who drafted him in the 25th round of the 2008 draft. The Nationals traded Christian Guzman to acquire Roark. Neither of those facts helped Roark Friday night.

The biggest statement of the night was the two run homer hit by Jonathan Lucroy in the fifth inning to turn a 1-0 game into a 3-0 game. The Rangers would go on to beat a listless Nationals team 5-1. Roark gave up 11 hits in his six innings of work. He was gone after giving up a leadoff homerun in the sixth to Rougnod Odor. The Nationals committed two errors behind him, three in the game, that made two of the five runs Roark gave up unearned.

It was a rough day for Roark. He had only one inning in which he retired the side in order, the fourth. All the other innings Roark put at least two runners on base. Even the outs were hit hard.

On the other side, the Nationals could not get to Andrew Cashner. He only retired the side in order in the third inning, but he was less charitable in putting runners on base. The Nationals wasted a scoring opportunity in the fourth when back to back singles by Ryan Zimmerman and Daniel Murphy put runners on first and third with one out. Anthony Rendon popped out to short and Matt Wieters grounded out to end the threat.

The Nationals scored their first run in the sixth, but even that was a let down. Ryan Zimmerman doubled off the left field wall and barely beat the throw into second. With two out Anthony Rendon came through with a single to left field. Zimmerman raced home and when the throw was off line Andrew Cashner cut it off and threw Rendon out trying to advance to second. Zimmerman scored but the third out was made.

The Nationals committed three errors on the day, two by Trea Turner. Trea committed his first error in the sixth when he was playing on the right side of the infield for Joey Gallo. He cut in front of Murphy to field the ball, but bobbled it. A single by Delino Deshields followed, a bunt by Cashner moved them over. Roark walked Shin-Soo Choo to load the bases with one out. He struck out Elvis Andrus but then threw four straight balls to Nomar Mazara to force in a run.

The Nationals appeared to rally in the ninth to get back into the game. Singles by Daniel Murphy and Matt Wieters put runners on first and third. Michael Taylor grounded into a force play with a run scoring to make the score 5-2. Pinch hitter Stephen Drew hit a lazy fly to left center. Centerfielder Jared Hoying and left fielder Nomar Mazara each watched the other watch the ball hit the grass between them. That brought up Trea Turner as the tying run, but he grounded back to the pitcher to end the game.

Game Notes: It was a sold out 38,000 plus for Tanner Roark bobble head day…Alex Claudio had both Ryan Raburn and Bryce Harper swinging and missing at his 72 mile per hour changeup in the eighth inning on back to back whiffs…Joey Gallo had no problem pulling a Enny Romero 100 mile per hour fastball into the right field corner for a double. Romero was still able to strike out the side after an error and walk loaded the bases…Joey Gallo seems to like to get the ball high into the air, hitting a lot of popups or high flyball outs. A little less arc when he makes contact could result in more distance…A Ryan Zimmerman error in the fifth inning led to an unearned run. The three Nationals errors resulted in two unearned runs scoring…Jurickson Profar was playing for the injured Adrian Beltre. He went 0 for 5 in the game to drop his average to .119. Hard to believe he was at one time considered the top prospect in baseball a few years ago. A couple shoulder injuries stalled his career…Adrian Beltre returned the next day in the Rangers extra inning win. Myworld was at that game for the first six innings but left after the Nats built a 3-1 lead. Koda Glover blew a save giving up two in the ninth to send the game into extra innings where they eventually lost 5-3. Myworld had an end of the season volleyball banquet to attend.