Rocker Throws No Hitter for Vandy

June 9th, 2019

In a super regional match, freshman Kumar Rocker struck out 19 hitters in throwing a no hitter against Duke in an elimination game for Vanderbilt. Talk about coming through under pressure. Vanderbilt went on to win the game 3-0. It was the first no hitter thrown in a Super Regional game. The two teams will play the elimination game today to see who advances to Nebraska.

Rocker threw 131 pitches in the game. He was one of the highly rated pitchers in the 2018 draft and would have gone in the first round if not for his commitment to Vanderbilt. The Rockies selected him in the 38th round but he did not sign. He is the son of NFL defensive lineman Tracy Rocker.

Rocker broke the Vanderbilt record for strikeouts in an NCAA tournament game that had been held by David Price at 17. He will not be eligible for the major league draft for two more years. Meanwhile, there is an NCAA tournament he would like to win.

Status of 2018 First Round Picks

June 9th, 2019

It is still too early to measure the success or failures of the 2018 first round draft picks. Below myworld takes a look at what they are accomplishing during the 2019 season. Four players from that draft did not sign, honoring their commitment to college or in one case going to Japan to play professional baseball. Another first round pick was the number one pick in the NFL draft and will be playing football, putting his baseball career on hold.

1. Casey Mize RHP (Tigers) - Casey signed for a record $7.5 million. Everything he throws is hard. The fastball hits the mid-90s and his splitter substitutes for a lack of a change. He also throws a slider. Three quality pitches plus the command to throw strikes. The top Tigers prospect is dominating at AA (1.27 ERA). Minor leaguers have an opposition average of .159. With no playoffs in sight until 2021 don’t expect Mize to be promoted this year.

2. Joey Bart C (Giants) - Bart inked a bonus for $7.025 million. He should be a two way catcher that provides both offense and defense. Last year he slugged 13 homeruns in Rookie ball for a .982 OPS. Joey is now the Giants top prospect. An early season injury delayed his 2019 season but in 12 games he has three homeruns and a .915 OPS.

3. Alec Bohm 3B (Phillies) - At 6′5″ he has some big time power. He signed for $5.85 million. There is some question about whether he can stay at third. He is currently in the Florida State League where he is slugging .463 in 33 games. A move to first base would drop his value but currently the top prospect for the Phillies.

4. Nick Madrigal SS (White Sox) - He played second base in college but the tools are there to play short. At 5′8″ he has a small frame but the bat is potent, hitting .303 last year. He signed for $6.411 million. The White Sox promoted him to AA even though he was not dominating at High A. The White Sox farm system is loaded placing Nick within the top five on the prospect ladder.

5. Jonathan India 3B (Reds) - Signed for $6 million. The bat has the potential to hit for power and average. The defensive tools are there to play third. Hitting for a little bit of power (.429 slugging) in the Florida State League. With Nick Senzel promoted to the Reds only Taylor Trammell and Hunter Greene are considered better prospects.

6. Jarred Kelenic OF (Mets) - The Mets signed him for a franchise record $4.5 million. They then included him in a trade to acquire Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz. He has a mixture of speed and power, clubbing 13 homeruns this year and stealing 10 bases. Only Justus Sheffield is considered a better prospect in the Mariners system. The Mets could regret this trade in a couple years.

7. Ryan Weathers LHP (Padres) - Signed for $5.2 million. Not a hard thrower but has three quality pitches that he throws with excellent command. In his 8 starts at in Low A he has a 5/38 walk to whiff ratio in 33 innings. The Padres have some talented arms with four to five pitchers ahead of him in the prospect rankings.

8. Carter Stewart RHP (Braves) - Braves did not like his medicals and tried to reduce his bonus. He did not sign. Recently signed a six year $7 million contract with the Softbank Hawks in Japan.

9. Kyler Murray OF (Athletics) - The NFL made him the number one pick in their draft. Kyler said bye-bye to baseball, forfeiting much of his $4.66 million signing bonus. He did not play last year focusing on his quarterback duties for Oklahoma. The Athletics will not get a compensatory draft for losing him.

10. Travis Swaggerty OF (Pirates) - Shows the speed to play center and has some power in his bat. Despite his struggles in Low A last year (.129) the Pirates promoted him to High A where his struggles continue (.230). Falls a little short of being the top prospect for the Pirates.

11. Grayson Rodriguez RHP (Orioles) - Signed a $4.3 million bonus. At 6′5″ he has good size grazing north of 95 with us fastball. He also has good secondary pitches and excellent control. Pitched well in rookie ball (1.40 ERA) in his minor league debut. Pitching well in Low A (12/66 walk to whiff ratio in 48 innings). Low A hitters are hitting .186 against him. A trio of Orioles prospects are rated ahead of him.

12. Jordan Groshans SS (Blue Jays) - Signed for $3.4 million. Lacks the range to play short but has the hit tool with plenty of wop to play third. Could move Guerrero to first. His average speed makes the outfield a possibility. Hitting .337 in Low A with a .909 OPS. Falls around the four or five spot in the Blue Jays prospect rankings.

13. Connor Scott OF (Marlins) - Signed for just over $4 million. Has the power and speed to play center. Struggled his first year with a .218 average at two levels. This year is still a struggle in the Midwest League (.216) with his power still absent (.332). Rated as one of the top five Marlins prospects, but if his bat doesn’t wake up his prospect ranking could drop.

14. Logan Gilbert RHP (Mariners) - Logan signed for just south of $3.9 million. Did not play last year because of health issues and foot problems. In 11 starts this year has a 2.01 ERA with a 12/76 walk to whiff ratio in 53.2 innings. Good assortment of pitches with a low to mid-90s fastball. As a college drafted pitcher he could rise quickly.

15. Cole Winn RHP (Rangers) - Signed for $3.15 million. The Rangers did not pitch him last year. The scouting report shows he has good control, but this year his 12/12 walk to whiff ratio raises his ERA to 8.44 in Low A. Listed as one of the top five prospects of the Rangers.

16. Matthew Liberatore LHP (Rays) - The Rays continue to hoard pitchers. At 6′5″ the height is there. Signed for a little south of $3.5 million. The fastball is in the low 90s but he has solid secondary pitches. A top five prospect with the Rays.

17. Jordyn Adams OF (Angels) - The Angels signed him for $4.1 million. Another athletic outfielder. Adams can fly. Centerfield could be his but a floppy arm makes left field a better fit with Jo Adell playing center. His bat has been quiet this year with a .232 average and a .338 slugging. Still a top five prospect with the Angels.

18. Brady Singer RHP (Royals) - Dropped in the draft with the Royals paying him an above slot $4.25 million. Voted by Baseball America as college player of the year. Dominated in High A (1.87 ERA) but struggled when promoted to AA (8.38 ERA in two starts). Top rated prospect for the Royals.

19. Nolan Gorman 3B (Cardinals) - Signed for $3.2 million bonus. Popped 17 homeruns last year in just 63 games. This year he has slugged 10 homeruns. Cardinals have a lot of depth at third but Gorman is considered the top prospect for the Cardinals.

20. Trevor Larnach OF (Twins) - A corner outfielder whose power needs to be developed. Lacks the speed to play center. Since his glove is suspect the bat needs to work. A top five prospect for the Twins.

21. Brice Turang SS (Brewers) - Signed a $3.4 million bonus. The tools are there to stick at short. Good speed and a solid bat that lacks power. Rated as one of the Brewers top five prospects.

22. Ryan Rolison LHP (Rockies) - The Rockies like to take their lefty starting pitchers in the first round. Ryan dominated last year limiting the opposition to a .149 average. His success continues this year with a promotion to High A. His curveball gets the swings and misses. A top five prospect for the Rockies.

23. Anthony Siegler C (Yankees) - The Yankees love their catchers. He signed for $2.8 million. Defense is his strength with the bat short of power. Still has not played in 2019. A top five prospect for the Yankees whose defense alone will make him a solid backup.

24. Nico Hoerner SS (Cubs) - Signed for $2.7 million. A good contact hitter who hovers around .300. Defense not spectacular. The top prospect with the Cubs.

25. Matt McLain SS (Diamondbacks) - Did not sign committing to his wish to play baseball for the UCLA Bruins

26. Triston Casas 3B (Red Sox) - Signed for $2.5 million. If he can stick at third he would be more valuable. Good power for a corner. The top prospect on a weak Red Sox farm team.

27. Mason Denaburg RHP (Nationals) - Signed for $3 million and did not pitch last year. Still has not taken the mound this year. A good fastball in the mid-90s he falls in the top five of Nationals prospects.

28. Seth Beer 1B (Astros) - A man without a defensive position but his bat should play. Last year slugged 12 homeruns. This year he has matched the 12 homeruns in fewer games. His best position may be DH so the bat will have to play for him to get an opportunity. Slips into the Top ten.

29. Bo Naylor C (Indians) - The brother of Josh who is now doing his thing with the Padres. Bo has stayed behind the plate where he could develop into an offensive player with solid defensive tools behind the plate. Signed for just south of $2.6 million. A top five prospect for the Indians.

30. J.T. Ginn RHP (Dodgers) - The Dodgers failed to convince him to void his Mississippi commitment.

Second Major League Game Scheduled for London in 2020

June 8th, 2019

This month Londoners will see the Yankees and Red Sox in a two game series (June 29-30). About this time next year (June 13-14) Londoners will see one of the top National League rivalries, the St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs in a short two game series. This is the completion of the two year commitment major league baseball made to London to play two series there.

Mr Consistent

June 7th, 2019

Khris Davis went 2 for 5 yesterday. That put his average at .247. For the last four years his batting average at the end of the season has finished at .247. That is about as consistent as you can be. His lifetime batting average is .248 because of his first year when he hit an outlier .279.

Another thing Davis is consistent at is hitting 40 plus homeruns each season. The last three seasons he has hit over 40 homeruns, hitting 42 in 2016, 43 in 2017 and 48 in 2018.

Myworld will predict for the 2019 season Kris Davis will hit .247 with 42 homeruns. Those are numbers you can almost take to the bank.

Turner Walkoff Gives Nats the Sweep

June 6th, 2019

The bullpen yet again failed the Nationals, letting a 4-1 lead disintegrate. Trea Turner came to the rescue in the bottom of the ninth with a walkoff two run homerun in the bottom of the ninth to give the Nationals a 6-4 win over the Chicago White Sox and a sweep of their brief two game series. For Turner it was his second walk off homerun of the season as he replaces Ryan Zimmerman as Mr. Walkoff. Prior to the walkoff he was 0 for 4 with three whiffs.

The bullpen blowup denied a victory to Anibal Sanchez, who pitched an excellent game. He pitched 5.1 innings of shutout ball, until a Yoan Moncada solo blast ended his shutout and the day for Sanchez. It was his second solid outing since returning from the disabled list.

The Nationals were able to get to Dylan Covey early, but not all their hits resulted in scores. In the first inning they stranded runners on second and third with two outs after Howie Kendrick grounded out to end the threat. They did plate a run in the second after Matt Adams led off the inning with a double into the right field corner. Kurt Suzuki roped a broken bat single into right center to score Adams, who just beat the throw home for an early 1-0 lead.

The Nationals tacked on another run in the fourth after two infield hits, a Juan Soto bunt past the pitcher and a slow grounder up the middle that Yolmer Sanchez could not handle. The scorer ruled it an error but myworld thought it was a tough chance for Sanchez. Matt Adams hit a sinking liner to left. Eloy Jimenez attempted to make a sliding catch but the ball clanked off his glove. Soto should have scored but he was tagging up at second on a play. The ball bounded far enough from Jimenez that he probably would have scored if he had gone halfway. He would not have advanced to third if Jimenez had caught the ball. With the bases loaded Kurt Suzuki hit a slow grounder to third scoring Soto with the second run and giving the Nationals a 2-0 lead. With runners on first and third and one out Victor Robles struck out looking.

The Adams and Suzuki show again struck in the bottom of the sixth to give the Nationals a 4-1 lead. Adams led off the inning with a walk and Suzuki advanced him to third with a double. Robles drove in Suzuki with a sacrifice fly and Suzuki scored after a fielding error by Tim Anderson on a tough pop up hit by pinch hitter Gerrado Para.

The win looked secure but with the Nationals bullpen no lead is safe. Jose Abreu hit a two run homerun off Kyle Barraclough in the eighth, his second inning of work. He had not pitched in six days. Wander Suerro came on in relief, his second appearance in two days and Wellington Castillo took his first pitch deep to tie the game.

The Nationals had to use Sean Doolittle in the ninth, his fourth appearance in five days. He gave up two hits but kept the White Sox off the scoreboard, striking out the final two hitters with runners on first and second.

Game Notes: The walkoff gives the Nationals a four game winning streak and victories in nine of their last 11. They still are chasing the Phillies, Braves and Mets in the standings…The Nationals bullpen ERA is still an ugly 6.68, last in the National League…The White Sox loaded the bases with no outs in the second inning. Tim Anderson struck out and Yolmer Sanchez lined out to third. Wellington Castillo found himself too far off the bag and Rendon stepped on third to double him off…Myworld likes the smooth actions of Tim Anderson at shortstop. If his bat continues to play he could be one of the best shortstops in the American League.

Top Cuban Prospects in National League

June 4th, 2019

The list from last year had a player traded to the American League (Yusniel Diaz) and three drop from the list. No player from the list from last year graduated to the major leagues. We expect that to change after this year with Yoan Lopez providing the Diamondbacks with good bullpen work.

1. Adrian Morejon LHP (Padres) - Since pitching for the 15 and under gold medal team and winning the MVP, Adrian has added some meat on his bones. That has upped his velocity to a steady diet of 93-95 mile per hour fastballs with an occasional helping of 97-98. His curve ball is also a high quality pitch. The Padres signed him for $11 million as a 17 year old. The pitches are all there, the command of those pitches can be a little spotty. This year he is pitching at AA as a 20 year old. He is struggling a bit with 11 walks in 20.2 innings, resulting in a 5.66 ERA. Unless he improves his command he will probably pitch all season in AA and will not see the major leagues until late next year. One of the strengths of the Padres is their depth in starting pitching.

2. Victor Victor Mesa OF (Marlins) - The Marlins season is not going well and the attendance is lagging. They did pull a coup signing one of the top international prospects and his brother in 2018. The father, Victor Mesa was a star of many international tournaments and played with Lourdes Gurriel, whose youngest son Lourdes Jr. appeared on this list last year. The big tool for Mesa is his speed, which will allow him to cover a lot of ground in center field with a strong arm. There is some question whether his bat will be one that will have an impact. Victor Victor signed for $5.25 million with his younger brother Victor signing for $1 million. The older brother had some up and down seasons in the Nacional Series, but felt the pressure of being the son of a legend. He is not making much of an impact in the Florida State League, hitting just .224 with a .274 OBA and a .260 slugging. All the defense in the world will not support that offense.

3. Michel Baez RHP (Padres) - The Padres signed Baez for $3 million, the same year they signed Morejon (2016). He is an imposing figure at 6′8″ 220 pounds. His fastball splits the plate in the mid-90s. His secondary pitches are promising but with his long limbs a consistent delivery is difficult resulting in poor command. If he fails to make it as a starter he has the velocity and intimidating presence to make it as a closer. He got a late start to the season but in AA he has made four relief appearances, striking out 13 in 8.2 innings, but giving up 10 hits. If he can show dominance in the bullpen he could see some time with the Padres as a September callup.

4. Malcom Nunez 3B (Cardinals) - The Cardinals signed Malcom in 2018 for just $300,000, the maximum salary they could sign international players because of penalties. They stuck him in the Dominican Summer League where he crashed the party, hitting .415 with 13 homeruns. The bat carries some big time power, with the potential to hit for 30 plus homeruns once he reaches the major leagues. He led Cuba to the gold medal in the 15 and under World Cup in Japan in 2016. His defense needs improvement, otherwise a move to first may be necessary, chipping away at his value. He is finding the Midwest League a little tougher than the Dominican Summer League, hitting just .183 in 21 games. Currently only one of his 13 hits has gone for extra bases, resulting in a paltry .197 slugging average.

5. Yadier Alvarez RHP (Dodgers) - The Dodgers spent a rich $16 million in 2015 to sign Yadier. His high 90s fastball convinced the Dodgers to give him his suitcase full of cash. His breaking ball pitches show promise but his change needs more work. His control is poor and he will need to improve on that if he hopes to stay in the rotation. This is his fourth year of pitching in the minors and the results have been mixed. Last year he walked 43 hitters in just 48 innings in AA, leading to a inflated 4.66 ERA. This year has not looked any better with a 14.73 ERA in two starts. Yadier needs to harness his command to get an opportunity to pitch for the Dodgers sometime in 2020.

6. Yoan Lopez RHP (Diamondbacks) - Yoan signed for $8 million in 2015. His indoctrination to United States baseball was rough as he quit his minor league teams his first two seasons in baseball. After his first year the D-Backs moved Yoan from the rotation to the bullpen. There his fastball hits in the high 90s. His persistence has paid off with his major league debut being made last year. This year he has been one of the better bullpen arms for the D-Backs major league team with a 1.52 ERA. The swings and misses are not prevalent but the opposition average is just .223.

7. Adolis Garcia OF (Cardinals) - The Cardinals paid him $2.5 million to leave Cuba. In the Nacional Series back in 2016 he was voted the MVP. Adonis is his older brother, who played briefly with the Braves before leaving for Korea to play in the KBO. Adolis is bigger than his brother and carries a bit more power. Last year he slugged 22 homeruns, leading to a promotion to the major leagues where he could only muster a .118 average. This year he has slugged 12 homeruns but is only hitting .224 in AAA. Strikeouts have been a big problem with 74 in 56 games.

8. Vladimir Gutierrez RHP (Reds) - At 6′0″ and throwing right handed, Vladimir is not a big presence. The Reds still shelled out $4.7 million to sign him in 2016. He does not throw hard, with his fastball sitting in the low 90s, but he can dial it up to the high 90s. His big swing and miss pitch is a quality curveball. His first two seasons Vladimir has been kind of vanilla, with ERAs above 4 and strikeouts to innings pitched just a shade under 9 per 9 innings pitched. This year he is struggling even more with a 7.64 ERA in 11 starts in AAA. He has been a victim of the new AAA balls, where 9 have left the park in just 74 innings. Vladimir needs to turn his 2019 season around if he hopes to reach the Reds this year.

9. Jose Israel Garcia SS (Reds) - The Reds paid $5 million to sign Jose to a contract in 2017. He is a defensive oriented player with a questionable bat. Last year the Reds placed him in Low A where he hit .245 with a .290 OBA. His walk to whiff ratio was 19/112. This year the Reds promoted Garcia to the Florida State League where he shows more of the same (.252, 9/31 walk to whiff). He is still a few years away from impacting the Reds.

10. Miguel Vargas 3B (Dodgers) - Miguel is the son of another Cuban legend, two time gold medalist Lazaro Vargas. Miguel starred on the Cuban youth teams before leaving with his father for the States. The Dodgers signed Miguel for $300,000 in 2017. Defensively he may lack the tools to play third so he will have to develop the power to fit at first. His slow foot speed rules out the outfield. Last year he dominated at the rookie levels, hitting .400. He struggled a little at Low A, hitting just .213 in 75 at bats. Another year in the Midwest League and he is hitting .316. The power is lacking but a 29/30 walk to whiff is evidence that he could hit for average.

Stat of the Week - Speed

June 3rd, 2019

Who is the fastest player in major league baseball? Some would say Byron Buxton. Others could argue Billy Hamilton. The fastest player will surprise you. Below is the top ten fastest players in the major leagues according to baseballsavant. It measures feet per second travelled by the player.

1. Tim Locastro (Diamondbacks) - 30.4. He was drafted in the 13th round by the Blue Jays in 2013. The Blue Jays traded him to the Dodgers in 2015 for two international bonus slots and Chase DeJong. He got into 21 major league games for the Dodgers in 2017 and 2018, hitting less than .200. The Dodgers traded him to the Yankees at the end of the 2018 season for Drew Finley and cash. In January 2019 the Yankees traded Locastro to the Diamondbacks for Ronald Roman and cash. A couple nights ago he hit a walk off single for the Diamondbacks and is hitting .275 while playing the outfield. He has yet to hit a homerun, but is 4 for 4 in stolen bases making him 9 for 9 in the major leagues. What is even more amazing is he has been hit 8 times in just 20 games this year.

2. Byron Buxton (Twins) - 30.3. The Twins keep waiting for him to have his breakout season after drafting him in the first round of the 2012 draft, the second player selected in the draft. Injuries have kept him harboring in the minor leagues for too long. Currently the starting centerfielder for the Twins.

3. Trea Turner (Nationals) - 30.2. Led the league in stolen bases last year with 43. The Padres drafted him in the first round in 2014 then traded him to the Nationals in 2015 for basically Will Myers. Injuries have kept from making a larger impact in the major leagues.

4. Terrance Gore (Royals) - 30.2. A player whose only worth so far in the major leagues is as a pinch runner. Drafted in 2011 by the Royals in the 20th round he has appeared in more games (86) than at bats (46). He has also stolen more bases (33) than he has gotten base hits (11). The 2019 season has been his first year where he has actually gotten an opportunity to play going 10 for 30 for a .333 average, racing for a double and triple, the first extra base hits of his career.

5. Isaac Galloway (Marlins) - 30.1. Drafted in the 8th round way back in 2008. Finally got a major league opportunity in 2018 only to be designated by the Marlins to the minors this year. A career .186 major league average. You can’t steal first base.

6. Adalberto Mondesi (Royals) - 30.0. The second Royal on this list and the first international player, signed in 2011 and making his major league debut in 2014. The son of slugger Raul Mondesi. Leads the majors in stolen bases this year with 20.

7. Jon Berti (Marlins) - 30.0. The second Marlin on this list, but those teams accentuating speed are at the bottom of the standings. Berti has bounced around, drafted by the Blue Jays in the 18th round in 2011 and being released and signed by teams throughout his career. He signed with the Marlins after the 2018 season. This season has been his biggest major league opportunity with 22 games.

8. Socrates Brito (Blue Jays) - 29.8. Once a top prospect for the Diamondbacks but injuries set him back. Signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2010 and released by the Diamondbacks in spring training this year. The Padres picked him up on waivers and traded him to the Blue Jays where he was hitting .077 in 43 at bats. Despite his speed he has not stolen a base in the major leagues since 2016.

9. Keon Broxton (Orioles) - 29.6. The Diamondbacks drafted him in the third round of the 2009 draft. Traded a couple times, most recently by the Mets to the Orioles in May 2019 for international bonus slot money.

10. Garrett Hampson (Rockies) - 29.6. Recently called up by the Rockies and played centerfield. Only hitting .194 this year, and is just 1 for 3 in stolen bases. Drafted in the third round of the 2016 draft.

To date, only two of the top ten speed players are impact players in the major leagues (Turner and Mondesi). Two others have a chance (Hampson and Buxton). The others appear to be disappointments, though teams continue to pick them up via free agency based on the current stat metrics.

Giants Stomp on Birds

June 2nd, 2019

The Orioles defense let them down as the Giants took advantage of mental and physical errors to down the O’s 8-1. The game epitomizes why baseball is struggling with attendance. The Orioles are in severe tank mode while the Giants failure to sign Bryce Harper have set themselves up for tank mode. The losing has also eliminated the Giants sellout crowds at their park. If you look at the two rosters, who on those rosters would attract someone to come out to the ballpark to watch?

The game got off to a promising start for the Orioles. Trey Mancini lined a 2-2 pitch in the first inning off Jeff Samardzija just shy of the right centerfield bleachers, striking the wall in front of the bleachers. Renato Nunez also doubled in the inning, hitting the base of the left centerfield wall. The Oriole bats would go silent after that, with Samardzija retiring 16 of the last 17 hitters he faced, striking out six. Dwight Smith and Steve Wilkerson were retired all five times they faced him on 4-3 ground outs, hitting into the shift.

Gabriel Ynoa breezed through the first three innings in his second major league start. In the fourth Even Longoria tagged him for a solo shot deep into the left field bleachers. Later in the inning a two out walk to Brandon Belt created trouble for Ynoa. Belt broke for second and it appeared Ynoa turned and threw the ball to second without stepping off the rubber. The umpires called a balk, putting Belt on second. Kevin Pillar drove him in with a double to give the Giants a 2-1 lead.

In the fifth a walk and an error by Stevie Wilkerson on a possible double play grounder put runners on first and second with no outs. Joe Panik lined to right. Rookie D.J. Stewart tried to show off his arm with a throw to third, too high to hit the cutoff man, Stephen Duggar advancing to second and catcher Stephen Vogt gliding into third. Evan Longoria hit a ground rule two out double on a ball that bounced over the left centerfield fence. If Stewart had hit the cutoff man the runner on first would not have scored in the inning. If Wilkerson had made the play at second neither run would have scored.

The Giants kept tacking on the runs. Brandon Crawford hit the first of his two solo shots in the sixth inning off Brandon Kline. He hit his second solo shot leading off the eighth inning off Dan Straily.

Straily was released by the Marlins and picked up by the Orioles to fit into a terrible starting rotation. Straily was moved to the bullpen after failing in the rotation. The bullpen does not look too promising either. He gave up a run in the seventh after issuing a leadoff walk that later scored on a Pablo Sandoval sacrifice fly. After the Crawford homerun in the eighth Stephen Duggar doubled and a Joe Panik single drove him in. With runners on first and second with one out Keon Broxton made a nice catch in centerfield, slamming into the fence and then appearing to forget how many outs there were. The runners tagged to advance one base as Stewart shouted at him to get rid of the ball. Fortunately, they did not score after a ground out to third ended the inning.

The Orioles did have an opportunity to mount a comeback in the seventh. They loaded the bases off Reyes Moronta on two walks and a single. Keon Broxton came up with two outs and struck out looking. It was his third strikeout of the game in an 0 for 3 day. He is batting less than .200 and does not look like the long term answer in centerfield.

Game Notes: It was the last visit at Camden Yards for Bruce Bochy. Managing in the National League with the Padres and Giants did not give him many opportunities to visit the park. The win today gave him 999 victories as a Giant manager. Only ex-Oriole player John McGraw has won over 1,000 games managing the Giant franchise (2,583)…The Orioles sent down Stevie Wilkerson and Austin Wynns and the talk is that Chris Davis will be activated and Chance Sisco will be called up to catch. Wilkerson saw a lot of outfield time when he was hitting, but once his bat became quiet and Keon Broxton and D.J. Stewart filled the roster’s outfield spot, his playing time got limited. With Chris Davis promoted Trey Mancini could see a lot of outfield time leaving little room for Wilkerson…Ryan Mountcastle hit a walkoff homerun on Saturday night and followed that up with a three homerun Sunday. Ryan is a man without a position on the Orioles roster with first base and DH his best spots. Both of those positions are the most crowded on the major league roster.

Swallows End 16 Game Losing Streak

June 2nd, 2019

On May 12 the Yakult Swallows were in second place in the Central League. Three weeks later and after 16 losses in a row the Swallows found themselves in last place, 12 games out of first. The Central League record for most consecutive losses is held by the Swallows with 16 back in 1970. The Japanese record is held by the Chiba Lotte Marines, who lost 18 in a row in 1988.

The Swallows ended the losing streak on June 1 with a 5-2 win over the Yokohama Bay Stars. Keiji Obiki was instrumental in breaking the losing streak, driving in three early runs with a bases loaded, bases clearing three run double in the first inning. The Swallows added on another run in the second on an RBI triple by Yasutaka Shiomi and Wladimir Balentien blasted a solo shot in the third for the fifth run.

Another record was also broken in the game. Jose Lopez committed an error in the first inning for the Bay Stars to load the bases in the first inning. The error was his first error at first base since August 31, 2017. That was 1,632 chances at first base without an error.

Orioles Sign International Player

May 30th, 2019

The Orioles are not noted for going out and signing international players. Their budget is small and the players they sign are not well rated as far as international signings are concerned. They prefer to trade their international salary cap for minor league players from other teams that usually never make a big impact. Some would argue it is why they are where they are, because they are playing in the major leagues with one hand behind their back, focusing on players from the domestic draft only while virtually ignoring the international market.

They did go out and sign a Cuban infielder Yorkislandy Alvarez that was good enough to play for the Cuban under 18 national team in Montreal in 2017. He bolted to Costa Rica after that tournament and then to the Dominican Republic. The Orioles have signed Cuban players in the past that have not panned out, Dariel Alvarez being one of them. They can only hope this player provides some level of contribution to the major league team, though it is not a headline international signing.