You may have Memorial Day off, but MLB Bullets is still working hard.
I find myself reading a lot of stories about what a wonderful person Meghan Markle is. I could not care less about royalty and even if the stories are a load of hooey, I desperately want for there to be some good news these days. But she does seem like a nice person from the articles.
- We have our first (sorta) major trade of the season as the Rays dealt closer Alex Colome and outfielder Denard Span to the Mariners for two minor-league right-handed pitchers.
- Jeff Sullivan analyzes the deal.
- Emma Baccellieri looked at the Mariners before the trade and concludes that while the team has been lucky so far this year, they are also good enough to contend all season.
- The Rays also made one lesser deal, sending reliever Wilmer Font to the Athletics. The Rays had earlier designated Font for assignment.
- Speaking of DFA’s, the Red Sox designated Hanley Ramirez for assignment on Friday. Team President Dave Dombrowski said it was manager Alex Cora’s decision to release Ramirez.
- David Schoenfield examines why the Red Sox came to this decision.
- Mark Townsend looks at which other teams might be interested in Ramirez.
- The Padres acquired pitcher Phil Hughes and a draft pick from the Twins for a minor league catcher. Hughes had also been designated for assignment.
- The Giants are facing a big issue about what to do with Hunter Pence as he approaches the end of his minor-league rehab assignment. Pence seems to have lost his starting job to Mac Williamson but he’s still owed the rest of his $18.5 million salary this season.
- Buster Olney thinks relief pitchers could be in big demand in trade talks this summer.
- Then there is this young Nationals fan who wants to trade his dad for a bat. A Bryce Harper bat? Yeah, I can see it. I’m not sure how many hits Harper would get swinging some middle-aged man around though. A Sean Doolittle bat would probably be better. It’s probably a light saber. And a never-used one at that.
- Something called the Vegas Golden Knights just made the Stanley Cup Finals, and I’m convinced that nothing of that name actually exists and it’s just a big prank that the NHL is playing on North America. But just in case you’re one of those gullible types who believes in Golden Knights, Grant Brisbee ranks the first season of every MLB expansion team and none of them came close to what the so-called “Golden Knights” are allegedly doing.
- Mark Townsend lists four things that have made the Phillies contenders in 2018.
- The Gerrit Cole/Trevor Bauer showdown finally happened on Sunday and both pitchers were very good, as we knew they were. Both pitchers got a no-decision because both the Astros and Indians have problems with their bullpens.
- The Indians scored five runs in the bottom of the ninth in that game and Cleveland would go on to win in extras. The Indians comeback was keyed by a 17-pitch at-bat by Jose Ramirez against Ken Giles.
- Angels outfielder Mike Trout went 5 for 5 for the first time in his career on Saturday. To follow up on a story I linked to earlier in the month:
Since @SamMillerBB wrote in mid-May about Mike Trout being on pace for the best season ever, Trout's pace has IMPROVED from 14.2 bWAR to 15.3. He's 1/3 of the way to beating Babe Ruth. In other news, the Angels' average odds of making the playoffs are 37%.https://t.co/w2HfBVLSHT— Ben Lindbergh (@BenLindbergh) May 27, 2018
- Craig Edwards looks at Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons’ historically-low strikeout rate.
- Astros second baseman Jose Altuve had ten straight hits. So kind of like the Bee Gees in the late-70s.
- Add Michael Baumann’s name to those who are demanding that the Blue Jays call up Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
- Rays reliever Austin Pruitt got a five-inning save, thanks to the team’s “bullpenning” strategy. (About 25 years ago, I remember reading in, I believe, The Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract, James coming across some players old historical record and noting that the player had been given credit for a five-inning save. James asked “How does someone get credit for a five-inning save?” That’s how.)
- John Fisher looks back at Clayton Kershaw’s career on the tenth anniversary of it’s debut.
- Braves outfielder Ronald Acuña left Sunday’s game with a knee injury. No report on the severity, but if you watch the video, it looks bad. Oh look! Meghan Markle is helping some sick child get better!
- The Cardinals put reliever Greg Holland on the disabled list with a hip injury.
- Kris Medlen has retired after a career derailed by injuries, including two Tommy John surgeries.
- Rangers outfielder Shin-Soo Choo hit a walk-off home run in Saturday that made him the all-time MLB home run leader among hitters born in Asia, surpassing Hideki Matsui.
- Blue Jays catcher Russell Martin finally got to live his dream and he started a game at shortstop.
- Travis Sawchik notes that the two-seam fastball is falling out of fashion in MLB.
- Jeff Passan writes about a police dog in Tampa named Doc. He’s called Doc because he was purchased and trained with a donation from the late Roy Halladay.
- For those who are too young to remember the late-70s (and thus probably didn’t get my Bee Gees comment earlier), Chris Landers explains how infielder Mario Mendoza and the “Mendoza Line” became synonymous with futility.
- Rangers first baseman Ronald Guzman helped himself to a fan’s phone to make a call after attempting to make a play on a foul pop into the stands.
- This play by Eric Jenkins, an outfielder for the Rangers High-A affiliate the Down East Wood Ducks, is easily the play of the year so far. He somersaults over the side fencing, hangs onto the ball, lands on his feet and comes up throwing.
- And finally, retired Rays player John Jaso was in the stands at Tropicana Field and he wanted to say “hi” to his friends, but one diligent usher did everything she could to keep him from going to where he wasn’t supposed to be.
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster.