The only saving grace the Angels had was Mike Trout and now he will be hitting the DL for the first time in his career. The Angels with Trout this season were only 26-27, good for second place in the AL West, but they'd be a stretch to make the playoffs with the Astros already running away with the division and a tough wildcard race. Now, with him missing close to two months of baseball the Angels record is going to tank badly. Don't be surprised if the Angels are at the bottom of the AL West when Trout returns to the lineup sometime in late July.
Trout was marching to his 3rd MVP before he was hit with this freak injury. Trout was actually having his best season yet, and now the good fans of baseball are robbed of it. I'm sure no one is more upset than Trout about this, but it sucks for all fans that we're losing the best player in baseball for a third of the season.
Trout will still hit 30+ bombs rack up a ton of RBI's, runs, hits, and stolen bases, although I think his MVP hopes are done for. Who knows this guy is such a machine he really doesn't need as many games as everyone else to put up the same stats. I mean just look at what he had done in just two months this season, Trout was on pace to hit 48 home runs, 108 RBIs, and score 108 runs. Throw that in with a .330 average and .450 OBP, Trout was about to have one of the best seasons since Miggy won the triple crown.
I doubt the Angels will be able to stay a float without the greatest player in baseball, but if they can for 6 weeks I'm certain Trout will elevate them to the playoffs. However, that's not going to happen, so I shouldn't have even bothered saying it. RIP to the Angels season and Mike Trout winning the MVP because he somehow tore a ligament in his hand sliding into second base. Damn that's so ass.
Love him or hate him, Bryce Harper is a great baseball player. Typically, in order to be great at anything in life you need a competitive drive that pushes you to be great. The difference in the feeling after a win and loss is what leads that competitive drive. As a competitor there's no better feeling than winning and no worse feeling than losing. Well, as many of you know in this day and age leaders of youth sport organizations believe it's more important to "just have fun." Bryce Harper set the record straight with kids that it's not just about showing up and participating, but that it's about winning. He had a moment like Ricky Bobby's dad from 'Talledega Nights' when he told a young Ricky Bobby "you're either first or last." That saying is what drove Ricky Bobby to be one of the greatest driving champions ever. Obviously it's a movie, but it applies to real life 100%.
Bryce Harper, sat in front of a group of little leaguers and essentially said you're either first or last kids. What Harper actually said was, " no participation trophies, first place only." The way he said it and the way crowd responded lead me to believe it was apart of a joke, but I think he just delivered it so on point that he just got it to come across that way. If my favorite athlete came up to me when I was a kid and said some shit like this I would've been working day and night to not let them down. Unfortunately, the soft parents of this generation were handing me participation trophies, telling me I'm not a loser even though my team lost every game. I love this attitude by Bryce and the initiative he has to set the record straight that sports are about winning. Winning is fun, so if you wanna just have fun, just win, pretty simple. Hyped Bryce had the cojones to just tell it how it is unlike the majority of today's stars.
Jacoby Ellsbury, will miss the next 7 games at the bare minimum after being placed on the 7-day concussion DL. On the first pitch of last night's Yankees-Royals game, Alcides Escobar ripped a shot to deep centerfield, Ellsbury made an outstanding catch while running full speed into the wall. He collapsed to the ground after the catch and took quite awhile to rise up to his feet afterwards. It looked as if he were going to remain in the game, then Joe Girardi and the trainer came out, and figured the best thing to do was to remove him from the game to further evaluate him. After further evaluation it was determined that Ellsbury suffered a concussion. Since that was the case by the MLB rules he is forced to take at least a week off, thus why he's on a special 7-day DL.
This isn't the worst thing that could've happened, so I'm not stressing it whatsoever. The Yankees have 4 outfielders that can start everyday, the fact one went down just makes it that much easier for Girardi to fill out the lineup card. Ellsbury was probably doing the worst out of Hicks, Gardner, and Judge, so if anyone had to go down at least it was our least productive bat. Ellsbury has been playing much better, though, and his glove in centerfield will truly be missed. I mean no ones making that play in this outfield like him last night, so that's the only downside. Hicks will play centerfield for the next week or so, which I'm very excited for since he's been off to a great start this season. With that being said, I love having depth for scenarions like these, so hopefully this isn't one of those concussions that take forever to come back from.
Ellsbury got up pretty slowly after it happened, but he didn't seem like he was in any pain whatsoever, so I don't expect him to miss more than the standard 7 days. Although, it's impossible to tell these kinda things, meaning we'll just have to wait for more information to come out. Until then, the Yankees will just fine with Hicks replacing Ellsbury for the time being.
Dallas Keuchel, ace of the Houston Astros pitching staff, will miss his next two starts at the very least, with a pinched nerve in his neck. Now, I don't want to overreact, but I'm not going to downplay this either like the Astros manager did. A pinched nerve is usually caused by repetitive motion in areas such as ligament and tendons that don't allow much access for nerves to move around causing them to "pinch". A pinched nerve is a compressed nerve, meaning he feels a constant pain in his neck, thus the continuous discomfort Keuchel is having. It's not debilitating, although it is painful, exactly why they're trying to nip this in the butt as quickly as possible.
Here's my only true concern, sometimes a pinched nerve in the neck typically leads to symptoms in other places such as the elbow. Something a pitcher definitely doesn't want. This can lead to bigger problems within the elbow that'll force the Astros ace to miss even more time. That shouldn't happen if they took the right precautions, but it's still a possibility.
Keuchel didn't have his best stuff in 2016, however in 2017 it looks like he has returned to his 2015 AL Cy Young form as he is 7-0 with a 1.84 ERA. Safe to say the Astros want him back as soon as possible, which should be after just two missed starts, if there's no major setbacks. Hopefully for Astros fans this doesn't become a bigger issue because it'd suck to lose Keuchel after the incredible start to the season he has had.
Since breaking into the league in 2012 Mike Trout has been on an absolute tear through the MLB. The fact in 2017 that we are still being surprised that he continues to improve and put distance between himself and the next best player in baseball. Trout should be a 5x time MVP already, well maybe a 4x MVP, but still you get the point. He's only got 2 right now, still at 25 years old I'm sure any baseball player would be happy with that. When you see someone putting up numbers like Trout, winning awards like Trout has, it should start becoming quite clear that Mike Trout is going to a very special player. I don't mean a special player in the league just for this generation, I mean a special player in the all-time history of baseball. We are currently watching a modern day Mickey Mantle, dare I even say it, a modern day Mickey Mantle that might actually be better.
Trout is going to be in the conversation when it's all said and done for the greatest baseball player ever. Trout has played 7 seasons in the big leagues, not a long time at all since he's got another 10-15 more years in this league. In just 7 seasons Trout has been able to rack up a 51.4 WAR. That's good for 9th among active players, a ridiculous feat since everyone ahead of him has played at least 5 more seasons than Trout, pretty absurd. To put things in perspective he's already got a higher WAR than Evan Longoria, Dustin Pedroia, Joe Mauer, David Wright, Joey Votto, and Matt Holiday, that's great company. If Trout continues this pace for the rest of his career he'll finish up with a higher WAR than Ricky Henderson, Lou Gehrig, Stan Musial, Hank Aaron, Mickey Mantle, and Ty Cobb in less seasons. That just goes to show how legendary Mike Trout has been to this point.
The crazy part is Trout is only 25, which means we haven't seen the best of him yet. If you think he's peaked, you obviously don't know how the game of baseball works. The more AB's, the more games, the better he will get. It's hard to imagine he can get better, although I can guarantee he will. This season will be his best yet, there's not a part of the plate that he can get too, you thought Pujols was a machine back in the day, well his teammate Trout might just be more of machine, and I'm sure he'd admit that. He makes play after play in the outfield, he's a nightmare on the base paths, and at the plate he's light years ahead of any other batter on the planet. He's also playing on a horrible team, imagine he had some protection in the lineup, and actually had runners on base to drive in, then Trout's numbers would be even crazier. Baseball needs to get this star in a bigger market than Anaheim before one of the greatest baseball players ever goes unnoticed for the majority of his career.
Oh yeah, and please stop being surprised that a 25 year old continues to improve at his craft, Lebron James is 32 and has never been better. I can see Trout following the same type of career path as Lebron, so when he's still getting better in 5 years don't be shocked. Trout is more than special, let's not act like we're surprised he's having the best start to a season in his already great career. Just enjoy the sight that is Mike Trout, let him build up his resume, and once it's all said and done we can talk about his place in baseball history. Let's not act like we're shocked he's improving that's just stupid, I'd hope he was improving, or else I'd be concerned that his mental approach to the game isn't quite as sharp as his physical approach. Fortunately for all us it seems his mental approach is just as good as his physical, so we got nothing to worry about.
The Mets struggles continue to get worse, no end is in sight, and there seems to be no plan for fixing this sinking ship. Good thing I'm here to convince you Mets fans that there still might be some hope for the 2017 season that you already think is lost. Mets are currently sitting 7 games under .500, definitely not good, but not a big enough hole that they can't climb out of. Here's a few reasons why I believe the Mets still have chance.
Reason #1, Steven Matz and Seth Lugo are throwing to Travis d'Arnaud in the minors. Great sign as the Mets could be adding two good arms back to a rotation that is slowly dying right now. Two big arms coming back and being consistent for the Mets is exactly what they need right now since all there depth in the pitching staff is gone.
Reason #2, the Mets have Yoenis Cespedes and Travis d'Arnaud coming back soon. Cespedes is a production machine, so when he comes back the Mets lineup will be a whole lot scarier. D'Arnaud hasn't been good in the past, however before his injury this year he seemed to finally be coming around for the Mets. Getting these two bats back in the lineup will be a nice boost a couple weeks from now.
Reason 3, Mets have a lot of easy wins of their schedule. I know there's no such thing as an easy win for the Mets, but they play in probably the worst division in baseball, and the next couple weeks they have Angels, Pirates, Padres, and Brewers all teams they should be able to win series against. By the time that stretch is over some of the reinforcements should have arrived to help save the Mets. They just need to survive these next 5 series with hopefully a winning record, then I'll consider them to be in decent shape going forward.
Reason #4, Rosario is coming Rosario is coming. The Mets top prospect is ready to be in New York providing for the team that raised him. Rosario has put up great numbers in triple A, his slash line is outstanding, and the Mets need to bring him up, so maybe the Mets can get some production at the shortstop position for once. This may happen sooner than we think, look what Rosario tweeted out today:
The kid is ready, why not bring him up to see if he can revive this team. It'll be a few weeks before he's called up because they gotta wait for some arbitration deadline thing to pass, so they can control him longer. It's a bunch of confusing bullshit that I don't have the time to get into.
All I'm trying to say is the Mets may look dead right now, however baseball is a long season man, shit hit the fan early, and now they're trying to regroup midseason. That shit ain't easy. In about 3 weeks things should be looking a lot brighter for the Mets, might be hard to see now, but I promise all you miserable fans will be rejoicing soon enough once your team gets it's second wind. Only real concern is the bullpen, that needs to be addressed ASAP. No reinforcements are coming to save them, A"derson needs to add some pieces there now. Other than that, I believe the Mets will just fine, and somehow someway they'll sneak their way into the playoffs.
Anyone that was against interleague play, I hope this series changed your mind. I haven't seen hate like this between two that have no history in forever. A random rivalry to make a meaningless series in mid-May is what baseball needs more of. If it wasn't for batters getting plugged, pitchers calling out batters, and catchers for getting in people's faces this series would've been boring as all hell. Instead, the Blue Jays and Braves went to war, leading to this series becoming a must watch event next year.
In this 4 game series, the Braves got two home games and the Blue Jays got two home games. A lot of travel in a short amount of time, but with the way these guys get paid I'm not really interested in the players complaints about convenience and comfort. This series put all hate to bed about the AL going up against the NL more frequently. Marcus Stroman hit a home run last night, Bautista got throw at, and in the days prior the drama was packed to the brim. That would've never happened if this series didn't happen, so that's just another added bonus of getting to see a series we normally wouldn't of..
A total of 9 batters got plugged in this series, the fact more ejection didn't occur really surprised me. I think Kevin Pillar was the only one, he didn't even get ejected, although he did get suspended 2 games for using homophobic slurs towards the Braves pitcher. I get we live in a day and age where that kind of profanity is completely unacceptable, but shit talking on the field is a part of the game, no fans heard it, and that kinda stuff should stay between the players. Don't be that guy that snitches because your feelings got hurt. Pillar admitted what he said was dumb and that he was just frustrated that Jason Motte quick pitched him like that. That was just a fraction of the drama in this series.
The two biggest headlines of this series are Freddie Freeman getting hit by a pitch and then it led to his wrist being fractured causing him to miss 8 weeks. That's fucked, I'm all for the unwritten rules and plugging guys, but don't hurt them, hit em in the ass or thigh, not the wrist. Braves are going to pay the price big time for this war they went through with the Blue Jays, which sucks because they were playing well this season. After that happened , Joey Bautista jacked a home run, starred down the pitcher after, and then did his classic bat flip. Everyone hates Joey Bats, he's a cocky asshole, but he produces. If you don't wanna get shown up, it's simple, don't give him the chance to. Anyways, once Bautista reached home plate he and the catcher exchanged words, benches began to clear, unfortunately no punches were thrown. After the game, the pitcher was asked about it and he said he's sick of Bautista showing people up and what not, really acting soft. Then, he says I don't know why he still does it after what happened last time referring to Bautista getting snuffed by Roughen Odor. Everyone thought this was a great comeback, however if he's so tough why didn't he snuff Bautista once he bat flipped in his face. Safe to say this Braves pitcher is about talk, not action.
Bautista is clearly hated around the league and I kinda love it. We need villains just like we need heroes, it's just what makes the world work. This is the kinda stuff baseball needs to be interesting to get those fans that don't necessarily love the game to start watching again. Storylines, rivalries, moments that can go viral are what the fans want to see and this series delivered a ton of that action packed into a Monday-Thursday series. The rematch of the 1992 World Series was legendary, maybe even better than the original matchup, probably for all the wrong reasons, but still. All I know is I'm all for interleague play, who said these games have no substance behind them.
ESPN- "Near the end of the 2014 season, a few weeks after he was traded from the St. Louis Cardinals to the Boston Red Sox, right-hander Joe Kelly came up with a nickname for his new favorite catcher.
"Mini Yadi," Kelly said then. "I call him that."
Three years later, the sentiment still applies to Christian Vazquez, even though the moniker hasn't caught on for general consumption.
Even after Tommy John elbow surgery erased Vazquez's 2015 season and slowed his projected maturation into the second coming of Cardinals star Yadier Molina, Vazquez, 26, continues to draw rave reviews from pitchers who adore throwing to him."
I don't care what the reason is for calling him "Mini Yadi", you don't disrespect one of the games greats by comparing him to some mid-level prospect. Vazquez is 26 going on 27 and he's yet to play more than 60 games in a season. Matter of fact, he's not even the real starting catcher on his own team, Sandy Leon has appeared in more games than Vazquez this season. Yeah he might be a good defensive catcher, but still comparing him to Yadi is just disrespectful. This is an 8x Gold Glover that we're talking about, not some Joe Shmoe. Vazquez is yet to play a full season and we're just handing out some of the greatest compliments ever to this guy, it's quite absurd.
Letting Joe Kelly make outrageous comparisons for his teammates is a honorable move on his part, he's just trying to build the guys confidence, but for any non Red Sox fan to believe it, though, that'd be outrageous. Let's stop comparing guys that haven't played a full season to legends of the game, it's ridiculous. It's not just the Red Sox either, Yankees have been doing same shit with Judge and Jeter. It's completely outrageous and needs to stop because it comes off as unappreciative of what those legends were to the sport. If a guy who played 150 MLB games can be called "Mini Yadi" how much can you really respect what Yadier Molina has done. I think Christian Vazquez is more like a mini Jose Molina at this point, a much more fair assessment in my opinion.
Very concerned, you should be very fucking concerned. I am not happy at all, mostly because I saw this coming from a mile away, and now it's happening way sooner than I ever expected. Aroldis Chapman is done, very soon he'll be headed to the DL, then soon after that surgery will be announced. Yankees are keeping everything under wraps right now, but anybody watching the baseball games Aroldis Chapman has pitched in this season can clearly see, just how wrong something is with him. It started in Boston when he almost blew the save in that game, then it looked worst in Chicago when he did blow the save when he had a 3 run lead, and then last night he looked awful yet again in a meaningless inning. Not only did he look ineffective and awful, his body language didn't look great as he was grimacing after a pitch, which ultimately lead to Girardi removing him from the game.
I've said it since we were trying to sign him this offseason to a long term deal, how long can a guy throw 100-105 MPH, apparently we have our answer. Chapman has been barely touching 100 when he takes the mound, when he usually cruises at 102. He's also been relying on his slider a lot more showing just how little confidence he has in his fastball. Velocity is down, command is no where to be found, and yes I'm beginning to fear the worst for our normally lights out closer.
Nothing has been made official yet, just don't be surprised if you see Chapman heading to the 10-day DL within the next couple days. I don't know why we continue sending him out there when there's clearly something wrong. These guys know baseball a lot better than I do, so I don't know what they're waiting for. I'd like to avoid the part where we all watch him blow out his arm in the middle of the 9th inning. One way or another this has to be figured out because we need Chapman returning to dominate form if we are going to make a run. He's got a long deal worth a ton of money, since that's the case we better figure this out soon, a huge investment for our future seems to be falling apart, yet no one has answers. Very concerning to say the least
Never, have I ever, seen a team get derailed by injuries like the Mets have this season. It's impossible not to feel bad for this franchise because they aren't even given a fair chance. If they were healthy and were falling apart that's one thing, but when half their projected lineup is out with injury, obviously the team is going to struggle quite a bit. Well, right on time Jeurys Familia, who joined the team like two weeks ago after serving a 15 game suspension, will probably miss the rest of the season due to a blood clot in his shoulder. Crazy stuff.
That now makes an already ridiculously long list of injured Mets players a little bit longer. Now the Mets are missing or have missed all these players at some point: Jeurys Familia, Yoenis Cespedes, Steven Matz, Seth Lugo, Noah Syndergaard, Lucas Duda, Juan Lagares, Travis d'Arnaud, Asdrubal Cabrera, Brandon Nimmo, and David Wright. I honestly probably missed someone too. It's Mid-May and they've had 10+ key pieces miss time with injury. That's absurd, any team facing that many injuries isn't going to be really competitive, yet despite all the injuries the Mets have managed to hang on. The Mets are only 2 games under .500, with that being said with competition in the NL this year is crazy, they'll have to be a lot better if they wanna play in October.
With Familia done for the year, Addison Reed will take the role as closer. Reed is a very good pitcher and is more than capable of getting the 3 outs. As we've seen so many times, though, the closer role is basically all mental and some guys just aren't cut out for it. Reed has had some experience in the role due to the Familia's suspension to start the year, but now it'll be for an extended period of time. For the next month the Mets are really going to have to grind out baseball games, trying to stay in the hunt until the reinforcements come. Matz and Lugo should be back in early June, that'll be a huge boost to a starting rotation that is quite depleted right now. Cespedes should be back in late May or early June, so hopefully the Mets lineup can continue to manufacture runs until their big bat comes bat. Those three guys will be a big help, will it be enough, I guess we will have to wait and see. Honestly sucks not being able to see what this Mets team is really capable of with all the injuries that crush their squad every single season. They've fought through adversity well so far, let's see if Terry Collins can keep up his ability to control this dumpster fire, and get the Mets to their third straight postseason. Something that's never been done before by this franchise.
Djack- Chief editor