It’s the last Friday before the halfway mark of the season hits. With that in mind, and so-called experts predicting the award winners already, let’s have a little fun and try to predict some of the biggest stories of the second half.
I think the Luis Arraez .400 story will go on until at least early September, and I honestly hope he achieves it. Shohei Ohtani currently has 31 home runs this season. Aaron Judge didn’t get to the 31 mark until AFTER the All-Star break last year. I anticipate we start seeing some real heat over those homers in the second half. Could Ohtani surpass Judge? Will the Orioles surpass the Rays and stage one of the best underdog season coups in AL East history? Which manager will get fired first and why will it be someone completely unexpected like Bud Black? Does Shohei Ohtani get traded at the deadline?
We have a lot to look forward to in the second half, friends, give me your best pitch for the big story that we’ll be linking to in the later half of the season.
Let’s get into today’s links!
- I appreciate this type of pettiness.
Nats had the umpires check Elly De La Cruz’s bat to make sure it was legal, in the 5th inning he homered and told them to check it again pic.twitter.com/45qGkmCTMA— Calico Joe (@CalicoJoeMLB) July 6, 2023
- Eric Longenhagen has FanGraphs’ mock draft.
- Jonathan Mayo is doing the mock draft coverage over at MLB dot com.
- Let’s watch Phil Nevin get ejected by the most nonplussed umpire of all time. Story by Dan Gartland.
- Let’s check in on Luis Arraez’s efforts to get to .400. Story by Christina De Nicola.
- Jay Jaffe explains why Patrick Bailey is the Giants’ catcher of the future.
- Which pitchers might be available at the trade deadline? (MLB)
- Tom Verducci offers up some first-half player awards in a look ahead to who might be the best of the best this season.
- The Athletic’s Jayson Stark has done his own mid-year awards. (The Atheltic subscription required.)
- Netting might protect the crowds, but it was no help to a cameraman who suffered an orbital fracture after being hit by a ball. Story by Frankie Taddeo.
- Esteban Rivera doesn’t think it’s a fluke that Evan Longoria is suddenly hot again.
- Brian Murphy looks at why the Phillies are seemingly unbeatable right now.
- Who is Jim Bowden most excited to see at the MLB Futures Game? (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Terry Francona honored Larry Doby by adding a 14 to his cap. (AP)
- Yankees’ Jimmy Cordero has been suspended for the remainder of the season. Story by Brendan Kuty and Chris Kirschner. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Here’s a quick overview of that if you don’t have a subscription.
Major League Baseball has announced Yankees relief pitcher Jimmy Cordero has been suspended for the rest of the season for violating the league’s joint domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse policy. pic.twitter.com/SfKNZiLWo2— Chris Kirschner (@ChrisKirschner) July 5, 2023
- The Blue Jays accomplished a very interesting feat in their game last night. Story by Keegan Matheson.
- The Angels have some of the best players in baseball history on their roster. So why do they keep losing? Story by Tom Verducci.
- Speaking of those players, Jeff Passan wonders if Shohei Ohtani might have just had the best MONTH in baseball history.
- Huh, this kid might be pretty good...
most HR in age-21 season or younger, AL/NL catchers:— Sarah Langs (@SlangsOnSports) July 7, 2023
1969 Johnny Bench: 26
2023 Francisco Alvarez: 16
1973 Darrell Porter: 16
1968 Johnny Bench: 15
(min 50% games at C) https://t.co/zCYTsG6ilH
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster. Make it so.