Big League Stew
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew1 hr ago
When Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw is able to return from the disabled list, he might find an unfamiliar face behind the plate. The Dodgers decided to swap backup catchers with the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday, acquiring Carlos Ruiz in exchange for A.J. Ellis.
From an on-field standpoint, the deal isn’t all that interesting. Ruiz should be an upgrade over Ellis at the plate. The 37-year-old Ruiz has hit .261/.368/.352 over 193 plate appearances this season. That’s a significant upgrade over Ellis’ .194/.285/.161 slash line. It’s assumed Ruiz will slot in behind Yasmani Grandal on the depth chart in L.A. Ellis will likely assume a backup role behind Cameron Rupp.
In this case, the off-the-field ramifications of the deal are far more intriguing. While Ellis wasn’t a strong contributor over the past few seasons, he was viewed as a clubhouse leader in Los Angeles.
Couldn’t ask for a better teammate or person in general than @AJEllis17. I’m genuinely happy to have had the opportunity to play with him.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew5 hrs ago
Not even the red-hot Kansas City Royals could beat strikeout machine Jose Fernandez on Wednesday night, and thus Kansas City’s nine-game winning streak endedwith a 3-0 loss to the Miami Marlins.
While there are surely some people in K.C. bummed that the win streak didn’t reach double digits, the bigger picture is far more favorable: The Royals are back in it.
The Royals are now 65-61, a solid third place in the AL Central, within reasonable reach of a wild-card spot (five games) and maybe even the division lead (7.5 games) if they get right back to their winning ways. Before the winning streak, the Royals were 56-60, tied with the White Sox, 11 back in the division and 7.5 back for the wild card.LiveKansas City0 - 0MiamiFollow Game
- Liz Roscher at Big League Stew7 hrs ago
Just two days after making what could be the catch of the season, Red Sox left fielder Andrew Benintendi suffered a gruesome knee injury that could end his season. In the top of the seventh inning of Wednesday night’s Red Sox game, Benintendi was at second base and started running to third when Dustin Pedroia hit a grounder to the shortstop. But the runner at third base, Travis Shaw, didn’t advance, so Benintendi had to scamper back to second. That’s when he took a very bad step and went down to the ground, clearly in a lot of pain.
- Liz Roscher at Big League Stew10 hrs ago
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There are some minor league outfielders doing work out there this week. This catch from Arkansas Travelers right fielder Zach Welz is phenomenal, insane, and hilarious all at the same time.
It was the bottom of the eighth inning in Wednesday’s game, and the Travelers had an 8-4 lead over the Tulsa Drillers. But Drillers first baseman Cody Bellinger wanted to change that. With a man on first, he, uh, drilled the ball to deep right field. Off the bat, Bellinger thought it was gone and he’d singlehandedly cut his team’s deficit by two.
That ball would have been a home run. It should have been a home run. Bellinger should feel robbed, becuase Zach Welz is a straight-up thief. He ran toward the outfield wall with his eye on the ball the entire time, jumped up, an was simultaneously rewarded and punished: he made the catch, but he ran right into the short outfield wall.
His jump was so high that instead of thwumping into the wall, he flipped over it, his legs pinwheeling in the air. If someone was staging a catch in a baseball comedy movie, that is exactly what it would look like.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew17 hrs ago
Welcome to The Walk Off, the nightly MLB recap from Big League Stew. Here we’ll look at the top performers of the night, show you a must-see highlight and rundown the scoreboard. First, we start with a game you need to know about.
There were many notable moments on a wild Wednesday night around Major League Baseball. However, we’d say the three biggest belonged to three legends who at some point down the road will likely rent space in Cooperstown.
Those men are Albert Pujols, David Ortiz and Adrian Beltre.
In one night, all three reached a milestone worthy of its own headline. That they did it on the same night though seems pretty significant in its own right, so we’ll honor them together.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew19 hrs ago
The New York Yankees were going about their business in impressive fashion on Wednesday when an unexpected and unwelcomed visitor dropped into their dugout.
According to New York Daily News, a fan tumbled into the Yankees dugout during the eighth inning of their 5-0 win against the Mariners. Fortunately, the Yankees were in the field at the time of the incident. Otherwise there would have been a greater chance of the fan landing on and perhaps injuring a player or coach.
Instead, it seems he only rung his own bell.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew21 hrs ago
In one of the most shocking moments this season, Texas Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish did something that no other Japanese-born pitcher had ever done while wearing the uniform of an American League team.
In his second plate appearance of the game, which was only the 14th of his MLB career, the 30-year-old hurler launched his first career home run.
#Rangers Yu Darvish is the first ever Japanese-born pitcher to homer for an American League team.
— Ryan M. Spaeder (@theaceofspaeder) August 25, 2016
That alone is pretty cool.
There’s also this tidbit.
#Rangers Yu Darvish is the first pitcher born in the eastern hemisphere to homer for an AL team since Moe Drabowsky on Aug 14, 1963.Thu, 25 Aug8:05 PM EDTCleveland at TexasPreview Game
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew23 hrs ago
Olympic swimmer Katie Ledecky proved she’s more than a one-sport star on Wednesday night at Nationals Park. Ledecky, who won four gold medals and one silver at the Rio Olympics, fired a perfect strike for the ceremonial first pitch before Washington’s game against the rival Baltimore Orioles.
The Bethesda, Mary. native was also joined by Nationals superstar Bryce Harper, who accompanied her on the field and proudly held her Olympic medals while she brought the heat.
Hilarious moment as Katie Ledecky throws out ceremonial 1st pitch. Removes all her medals 1st and hands them 1 at a time to Bryce Harper.
— Roch Kubatko (@masnRoch) August 24, 2016
Katie Ledecky asked Bryce Harper to hold her medals, then threw a strike. Multi-sport athlete. pic.twitter.com/ocB1nXKlsd
— Alex Putterman (@AlexPutterman) August 24, 2016
1. Momentarily remove bling 2. Throw strike 3. Grab a pic with the gang pic.twitter.com/gOeGpke7XbLiveBaltimore0 - 0WashingtonFollow Game
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew23 hrs ago
The New York Mets somehow finding a way to bring back outfielder Yoenis Cespedes this past winter was one of the biggest stories of the offseason. After singlehandedly taking the Mets to the playoffs with a spectacular second half, it was assumed Cespedes’ price range on the market would exceed what the Mets were willing to pay. He was more than likely off to join a new club.
In order to bring back Cespedes, the Mets needed to get creative with their deal. To do so, the club offered him a three-year, $75 million. The catch: Cespedes could opt out after just one season.
Once fans saw that, the writing was pretty much on the wall. Cespedes clearly wanted to remain in New York following a special second half, but wanted to make sure he still had a chance at getting a massive free-agent deal in the near future. He would give the club one more shot at a World Series run in 2016, but the pull of free agency would probably lead to his exit.
That might not be the case. Cespedes told the Bergen Record he won’t opt out of the deal at the end of the season.LiveNY Mets1 - 0St. LouisFollow Game
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew1 day ago
A weird month for the Oakland A’s got even weirder last Friday in Chicago when Billy Butler and Danny Valencia were involved in a clubhouse scuffle over the latter’s cleat endorsement deal. The physical altercation resulted in Billy Butler sustaining a concussion, which landed him on MLB’s seven-day concussion list earlier this week.
Speaking for the first time since the incident on Wednesday, Butler said he’s progressing well and hopes to return as soon as he possibly can. He also apologized for his role in the incident, stating that he regrets his actions and takes equal blame for escalating the situation.