The Baltimore Orioles had been 9 video games underneath. 500 after I talked to Jordan Lyles in late Might, they usually had been solely a smattering of video games higher when the veteran right-hander was featured here in Sunday Notes on June 26. Not a lot modified over a month’s time. Furthermore, most indicators pointed to the rebuilding Birds’ happening to have a sixth straight dropping season.
A revisiting of what I wrote seven weeks in the past is so as. Not solely has Baltimore morphed into certainly one of baseball’s hottest groups, the crux of that column was Lyles’s bad-club background. Now in his twelfth big-league season, the journeyman hurler got here into the present marketing campaign having by no means performed a full 12 months with a group that completed above .500.
That could be about to alter. With 24 wins of their final 33 video games, the Orioles went into final night time with a file of 59-53, in third place within the American League East and in possession of the ultimate wildcard slot. Earlier this week, I requested Lyles in regards to the group’s surprising ascent within the standings.
“After we talked, there was a special environment round our ball membership, our clubhouse,” mentioned Lyles. “Issues positively rotated and acquired transferring in a greater course for us. It’s been a joyful trip. It’s been enjoyable to see these younger guys begin to develop, and to develop rapidly.”
Amid that progress, the Orioles entrance workplace noticed match to take one step backward in hopes of taking two steps ahead. In strikes that weren’t well-received by a lot of the fan base, Baltimore traded Trey Mancini and Jorge Lopez. On back-to-back days, an impression bat and a better departed city in trade for an extra inflow of promising, but mostly-unproven, expertise.
“We had somewhat hiccup on the deadline,” acknowledged Lyles. “Two of our higher gamers went to totally different groups. It was a in all probability a tricky week or so main as much as that deadline for [General Manager] Mike Elias, deciding what course can be greatest for the group. I assumed it was up within the air, that it may go both method.”
Lyles is kind of conscious that he too may have modified addresses. At age 31, and with a pitching pipeline that features then likes of DL Hall and Grayson Rodriguez, he doesn’t profile as an enormous a part of the group’s future. That he’s nonetheless in Baltimore comes as a aid.
“I’ve been on ball golf equipment that had no probability of constructing it to the playoffs, however this 12 months is totally different,” mentioned Lyles, who’s 9-8 with a 4.35 ERA and a 4.43 FIP over a team-high 130-and-one-third innings. “Within the weeks previous to the deadline we simply type of hit a change and turned it on. It was enjoyable exhibiting up each day, so I used to be greater than OK to stay an Oriole. Our youthful guys have stepped up for the reason that trades, too. I’m excited to proceed to be an Oriole previous the deadline.”
As for the group’s postseason prospects, let’s simply say that Lyles is equal components pragmatic and optimistic.
“Now we have a tricky schedule transferring ahead,” reasoned Lyles. “Everyone knows that. Actually, it’s not a lot about considering playoffs, however somewhat extra of making an attempt to win every collection. Each time we present up we really feel that we are able to take two out of three from an excellent group. Confidence sensible… we’ve got lots of it proper now.”
RANDOM HITTER-PITCHER MATCHUPS
Honus Wagner went 29 for 74 in opposition to Noodles Hahn.
Derek Jeter went 12 for 20 in opposition to Hideo Nomo.
Jimmy Rollins went 12 for 19 in opposition to Nate Snell.
Julio Franco went 9 for 14 in opposition to Bobby Thigpen.
Pablo Sandoval went 7 for 12 in opposition to Johan Santana.
Jeff Francoeur is aware of his method round a batter’s field. Now a TV analyst for the Atlanta Braves (and infrequently for TBS), he logged 5,700-plus plate appearances in a big-league profession that spanned the 2005-2016 seasons. A free-swinger throughout his taking part in days, Francoeur spent six of his 12 years with the group he presently broadcasts for.
Which present Atlanta Braves pitcher would the erstwhile outfielder have least appreciated to face throughout his taking part in profession?
Charlie Morton,” was Francoeur’s response after I posed that query earlier this week. “If I had been a left-handed hitter, it might be Max Fried. It’s due to the curveball. Charlie’s is so dynamic. He can actually throw it three or 4 alternative ways. After which Max, he does such an excellent job of coming in with the heater. He’ll pound you in, in, in, after which drop the curve. To me, these two can be the hardest pitchers.”
Francoeur swung the bat from the appropriate facet. Morton would thus be the more durable of the 2. Appropriate?
“100%,” agreed Francoeur. “That curveball would screw me up. I may all the time deal with the fastball. It was the curveball that gave me issues.”
The identical pitcher is the Kansas Metropolis Royals franchise chief in full video games, shutouts, and residential runs allowed. Who’s it?
The reply may be discovered under.
Ian Kinsler and John Blake had been inducted into the Texas Rangers Corridor of Fame yesterday. Kinsler performed eight of his 14 big-league seasons, and logged 1,145 of his 1,999 profession hits, with the Rangers. At the moment the membership’s Government Vice President of Public Affairs, Blake has spent 34 of his 44 years in skilled baseball with the Rangers.
The championship sport of Baseball Canada’s 22U Nationals had been held final Sunday in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Newmarket, Ontario took dwelling the title, beating the host group 3-1.
The spouse of Arizona Diamondbacks GM Mike Hazen died earlier this month after a battle with mind most cancers. Data on donate to The Nicole Hazen Fund For Hope, which endeavors to struggle aggressive mind tumors, may be discovered here.
Mike Bordick has been added as a featured speaker for subsequent week’s Nationwide SABR Convention, which will probably be held in Baltimore from August 17-21. Data may be discovered here.
The reply to the quiz is Dennis Leonard, who pitched for the Royals from 1974-1986. Paul Splittorff ranks second in all three classes.
Sandy Alcantara has arguably been the perfect pitcher in baseball this season. The Miami Marlins right-hander has a 2.01 ERA and a 2.85 FIP over an MLB-high 166 innings, and his 4.4 pitcher WAR is tied with Kevin Gausman and Carlos Rodón for essentially the most in majors.
In accordance with Louis Head, his former teammate’s dedication to his craft ranks second to none.
“I’ve performed skilled baseball for awhile, and I’ve performed with some actually good gamers,” mentioned Head, who spent the primary three months of this season with Miami earlier than being claimed off waivers by the Orioles. “I’d put few of them right into a class with Sandy Alcantara relating to work ethic. He’s laser-focused. Even the day after his begin, he’s acquired a plan, and he does it, and he sticks to it. Whether or not it’s within the weight room, his catch play… he’s one of many hardest employees I’ve ever seen.”
And there may be Alcantara’s arsenal.
“The stuff he has is unbelievable,” exclaimed Head. “I imply, if you’ve acquired three high quality pitches that you would be able to throw for a strike anytime you need… and I shouldn’t even say ‘high quality,’ it’s three elite pitches that he can put wherever he desires. I believe that goes to indicate the work ethic in creating these pitches. So much goes on behind the scenes that enables him to do what he does.”
Munetaka Murakami turned the youngest participant in NPB historical past to succeed in 40 dwelling runs in a season when he went deep on Thursday on the age of twenty-two. The Yakult Swallows slugger broke the file co-held by Sadaharu Oh (1963) and Koji Akiyama (1985), each of whom had been 23 years previous.
Edwin Escobar is 4-0 with two saves and a 1.75 ERA over 46-and-two-thirds innings with the Yokohama BayStars. The 30-year-old former Boston Crimson Sox and Arizona Diamondbacks southpaw has been pitching in NPB since 2017.
Juan Lagares has 11 hits, together with a house run, in 42 at bats for SSG Landers. The previous New York Mets and Los Angeles Angels outfielder signed with the KBO membership final month after being DFA’d by the Halos.
Mexican League batters are slashing a strong .304/.380/.488 this season. The very best beginning pitchers within the hitter-friendly circuit have been former Texas Rangers right-hander Yohander Méndez, who’s 7-0 with a 2.78 ERA, and Cuban left-hander Yoennis Yera, who’s 8-2 with a 3.01 ERA.
The Australian Baseball League introduced its schedule for the 2022-2023 season, which will get underway on the second weekend of November. The ABL is returning after a two-year hiatus and can comprise eight groups.
Spencer Strider was featured here at FanGraphs earlier this week, with the topics at hand being a pair of his earlier outings, and the effectiveness of elevated fastballs. Left on the reducing room flooring from my dialog with the Atlanta Braves right-hander had been his ideas on two different topics: BABIP, and a group that’s performed a frustratingly-good job of shedding his excessive heaters.
“I don’t take a look at my BABIP over small samples, as a result of that’s one thing that tends to right,” the analytically-savvy hurler instructed me. “However I do over bigger ones. I’ve a really low FIP (1.97). If I’ve a really low batting-average-against, I need to know if I’m incomes these these outs or if I’m getting fortunate. If I’m getting fortunate, that’s a development I can anticipate to alter. I have to know that, To date, my BABIP and my batting-average-against have been fairly correlated. My (.299) BABIP isn’t decrease than the league common by a major margin.”
The group that almost all stands out for its skill to not chase his high-riders is identical one which tagged him for 4 runs over two-and-two-thirds innings on August 7. Of the six hits Strider allowed that day, half had been effectively struck, whereas the others had xBAs of .060, .170, and .220.
“The Mets put collectively phenomenal at bats,” mentioned Strider. “Once they fall behind, they’re each affected person and foul off lots of balls. You may can solely throw so many pitches in a sequence earlier than one thing unfavorable can occur. BABIP goes to be round .300, so you possibly can solely get so many balls in play earlier than a few of them find yourself falling for hits. That’s what makes them actually good; they put balls in play and are capable of make the most of that.
“They’re clearly very conscious that groups battle with shedding my fastball,” continued Strider. “That’s been their strategy. It’s one thing I’ll have to determine.”
Logan O’Hoppe has 4 dwelling runs in six video games since becoming a member of the Double-A Rocket Metropolis Trash Pandas final weekend. Acquired by the Los Angeles Angels from the Philadelphia Phillies on the commerce deadline, the 22-year-catcher has a 147 wRC+ and has gone deep 19 instances on the season.
Chandler Redmond left the yard 4 instances for the Double-A Springfield Cardinals on Wednesday night time. The 25-year-old first baseman’s round-trippers included a solo shot, two- and three-run homers, and a grand slam. St. Louis’s Thirty second-round decide within the 2019 draft has a 102 wRC+ and 17 dwelling runs on the season.
Sandro Gaston leads all Dominican Summer time League hitters with 11 dwelling runs. The 19-year-old Cuban-born catcher/first baseman within the Houston Astros system is slashing .328/.427/.702 with a 185 wRC+ in 157 plate appearances.
Bryan Woo has fanned 48 batters and issued simply six walks in 34 innings between three ranges within the Seattle Mariners system. At the moment with Excessive-A Everett, the 22-year-old right-hander — a sixth-round decide in final 12 months’s draft out of Cal Poly — has a 2.91 ERA and a 3.09 FIP.
Mitch Bratt has a 2.35 ERA and a 3.21 FIP to go along with 76 strikeouts and 20 walks in 61-and-a-third innings for the Low-A Down East Wooden Geese. The 19-year-old left-hander from Newmarket, Ontario, Canada was drafted within the fifth spherical final 12 months by the Texas Rangers.
The Athletic’s Kaitlyn McGrath was the featured visitor on Friday’s episode of FanGraphs Audio, and among the many topics addressed by the Toronto-based author was the difficulty of non-vaccinated gamers’ not being allowed into Canada. I requested McGrath for a north-of-the-border perspective on the obviously-not-understood-by-all dynamic.
“I believe the Toronto media is somewhat bit uninterested in that storyline to some extent,” mentioned McGrath. “It occurs each collection the place a brand new group is available in and there are some guys that may’t play. Then among the US media go on about how the Blue Jays are at such a bonus… [and] it doesn’t fully seize the whole image. On the one hand, sure, generally groups will not be sending 100% of their group to Toronto. However, the Blue Jays have needed to additionally make sure that everybody on their group is vaccinated. That was an endeavor they needed to take over the offseason, over spring coaching, ensuring that each single participant on their 40-man — in the event that they wished to be a part of the group — was vaccinated.
“I’m a Canadian citizen and to journey to the US, I’ve to show that I’m vaccinated in an effort to journey there,” McGrath went on to say.” Loads of gamers who will not be Americans have needed to take care of that… There was this storyline of ‘I don’t need Canada telling me what I can do,’ however the US has the identical guidelines. It’s not only a Canadian factor. So there’s that hamster-wheel of a storyline as effectively.”
LINKS YOU’LL LIKE
SportsNet Canada’s Shi Davidi took a detailed look at Blue Jays supervisor John Schneider, whose message has been resonating with Toronto’s gamers.
The Rating’s Travis Sawchik theorized that the brand new left-field dimensions at Camden Yards could be serving to to gasoline the Orioles’ surprising success this season.
Sports activities Illustrated’s Emma Baccellieri wonders if Washington Nationals left-hander Patrick Corbin is having the worst pitching season ever.
At MiLB.com, John Liepa offered us with a brief history of the Blue Sox and Bunnies, groups that performed important roles in Iowa’s baseball previous.
At The Kyodo Information, Jim Allen chronicled the 150-year journey of transformation for Japanese baseball.
Solomon Bates signed with the impartial American Affiliation’s Sioux Metropolis Explorers on Thursday, two days after the 25-year-old former San Francisco Giants pitching prospect publicly got here out as homosexual. Alex Reimer has the story at Out Sports activities.
RANDOM FACTS AND STATS
The Cleveland Guardians (initially the Cleveland Blues) and Detroit Tigers have performed one another 2,284 instances for the reason that franchises had been shaped in 1901. Detroit has gained 1,142 of these video games. Cleveland has additionally gained 1,142.
The Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers and New York/San Francisco Giants have performed one another 2,531 instances. The Giants have 1,273 wins, the Dodgers 1,258 wins.
Derek Jeter had 3,465 hits, 97 sacrifice bunts, and 58 sacrifice flies.
Mike Bordick had 1,500 hits, 97 sacrifice bunts, and 54 sacrifice flies.
Luis Arraez has 11 profession sacrifice flies and no sacrifice bunts.
Travis Jankowski has 11 profession sacrifice bunts and no sacrifice flies.
The Detroit Tigers have hit an MLB-low 66 dwelling runs this 12 months, with solely Javier Báez (11) and Jeimer Candelario (10) in double figures. In 2004, a Tigers group that completed 72-90 went deep 201 instances and had 11 gamers end with 10 or extra.
Xander Bogaerts hit his three hundredth profession double on Thursday, changing into the eleventh participant to succeed in that mark with the Crimson Sox. Bogaerts is the simply the second to take action earlier than his thirtieth birthday, Carl Yastrzemski having notched 312 on his solution to a franchise-best 646. Bogaerts turns 30 on October 1.
The Detroit Tigers swept a doubleheader from the St. Louis Browns on at the moment’s date in 1937, profitable by scores of 16-1 and 20-7. Gee Walker, Pete Fox, and Charlie Gehringer — the primary three batters within the Tigers’ batting order — went a mixed 21-for-29 over the 2 video games.
On at the moment’s date in 2000, Rico Brogna hit a walk-off grand slam to provide the Boston Crimson Sox a 7-3 win over the Tampa Bay Satan Rays. Brogna’s blast — his lone dwelling run in a Crimson Sox uniform — adopted intentional walks to Carl Everett and Nomar Garciaparra.
On at the moment’s date in 1954, pinch-hitter Hobie Landrith singled dwelling Ted Kluszewski within the backside of the tenth inning to carry the Cincinnati Reds to a 6-5 win over the St. Louis Cardinals. Corky Valentine, a right-hander who Hank Aaron as soon as referred to as essentially the most ornery character within the league — “I’m not saying he was a racist; I believe Corky Valentine simply hated all people” — acquired the win in aid.
Gamers born on at the moment’s date embrace David Manning, whose big-league profession comprised two pitching appearances for the Milwaukee Brewers in 2003. The proper-hander had a 16.20 ERA and was charged with a loss in every of his begins.
Additionally born on at the moment’s date was Tommy Shields, whose big-league profession comprised two video games with the Baltimore Orioles in 1992 and 20 with the Chicago Cubs in 1993. An infielder who earned an undergraduate diploma on the College of Notre Dame and a grasp’s diploma in sports activities administration from the College of Massachusetts, Shields is now the bench coach for the Omaha Storm Chasers, the Triple-A affiliate of the Kansas Metropolis Royals.