Welcome to your Wednesday edition of Outside The Confines. It’s hard to believe we’re already almost three weeks into the season. The Rays’ win streak is over, but they’ve won something: they don’t currently have the lowest attendance in baseball, as you’ll see later in the links.
The Padres lineup is about to get more stacked. Mookie Betts is about to try a new position. The Tigers have made club history (and not for something bad!), and the Atlantic League is previewing what might be the next big MLB rule changes.
Let’s get into today’s links!
- The Guardians certainly have a type when it comes to outfielders, notes Davy Andrews.
- Taj Bradley made his MLB debut with the Rays last week, and this week he’s proving why the club has such high hopes for the young rookie. Story by Adam Berry.
- Just as you’re getting used to these rule changes, MLB is testing out new ones in the Atlantic League. Story by Nick Selbe.
- Buster Olney looks at how stacked the Padres lineup is going to be later this week with the return of Fernando Tatis Jr.
- The Athletic offer up worrying trends for all 30 clubs in the early days of the season. (The Athletic subscription required.)
#Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Mookie Betts will be back from paternity leave tomorrow. And it sure sounds like he’s going to start at shortstop.— Juan Toribio (@juanctoribio) April 18, 2023
- Michael Baumann spotlights Luis Arraez’s hot start to the season and makes a superb Pitbull pun while doing it. (Though you might have to go through the FanGraphs front page to see it).
- Stephanie Apstein looks at Juan Soto’s return to loving the game after some post-trade hiccups.
- Jacob deGrom is feeling better and likely to make his next start. (ESPN)
- Not feeling so great unfortunately is Rays’ pitcher Jeffrey Springs who will need to get Tommy John surgery. (ESPN)
- Erik Neander spoke about the Rays’ red-hot start and the incredible talent he’s managed to assemble on a low budget. Story by Jayson Stark. (The Athletic subscription required)
Last night the Reds had the lowest announced attendance in GABP history. 11 minutes before first pitch, tonight it looks a little more sparse. pic.twitter.com/eLqp46A6wK— C. Trent Rosecrans (@ctrent) April 18, 2023
- Could Salt Lake City have a real shot at an expansion team? They certainly hope so. Story by Jay Jaffe.
- One unexpected side effect of the new rules (no, it’s not about beer sales): stolen bases are on the rise. Tom Verducci looks at the new kind of thievery we’re seeing on the field.
- Dan Holmes explains why we’ll never see another 300-game winner again.
- Eno Sarris and Fabian Ardaya explain the “sweeper” and why this “new” pitch is suddenly everywhere. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- The Tigers made club history with three consecutive walk-off games. Story by Jason Beck.
- The walk-off wasn’t the only great thing about the day’s doubleheader as the Tigers managed this feat in game two!
Eduardo Rodriguez is first Tiger to toss 8+ scoreless innings with no walks and 10+ K's since Max Scherzer vs. Rockies on June 17, 2012. Last Tiger before that was Bill Donovan on June 27, 1908.— Jason Beck (@beckjason) April 18, 2023
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster. Make it so.