Adam LaRoche and Andy LaRoche both homered last night against the Twins, becoming the first brothers to do so in the same game for the Pirates since Hall of Famers Lloyd and Paul Waner in 1938.
The Waner boys
are among the best brother combos in baseball history, combining for
5,611 hits and two of my favorite nicknames. Paul was “Big Poison” and
Lloyd was “Little Poison” because a fan in New York one day decided to
heckle them as “Big and Little Person” with an accent too thick to
completely understand. Seriously.
In other brother news, Jered Weaver of the Angels and Jeff Weaver of the Dodgers are scheduled to face off Saturday for the first time. MLB.com notes
that 20 pairs of pitching brothers have matched up against each other
throughout baseball history, with the most recent coming in 2002 with
Andy Benes and Alan Benes.
Jered is obviously the superior Weaver right now, ranking second in
the AL with a 2.08 ERA while his brother is merely making a spot start
in place of the injured Eric Milton, but once upon a time Jeff was
nearly as promising. Here are the Weaver’s respective numbers through
the age of 25:
IP ERA SO9 BB9
Jered 461 3.71 7.3 2.6
Jeff 793 4.30 6.1 2.5
Jeff fell apart in his age-26 season by going 7-9 with a 5.99 ERA
following a trade to the Yankees and has posted a 5.03 ERA overall
after the age of 25, whereas Jered is currently 7-2 with a 2.08 ERA as
a 26-year-old and appears destined for a much more successful career.
It was assumed already, but Mike Scioscia made it official during Monday’s press conference for new general manager Billy Eppler that he will return as Angels manager in 2016.
Scioscia, the longest-tenured manager in the majors, has been at the helm with the Angels since 2000. There was a clause in his contract which allowed him to opt out after the 2015 season, but he has decided to stay put. He still has three years and $15 million on his contract, which runs through 2018.
Jerry Dipoto resigned as Angels general manager in July amid tension with Scioscia, so there were naturally questions today about what to expect with first-time GM Eppler in the fold. According to David Adler of MLB.com, Scioscia isn’t concerned.
“I think we’re going to mesh very well,” Scioscia said. “If we adjust, or maybe he adjusts to some of the things, there’s going to be collaboration that’s going to make us better.”
Eppler is the fourth general manager during Scioscia’s tenure with the team.
After winning the AL West last season, the Angels finished 85-77 this season and narrowly missed the playoffs. The team hasn’t won a postseason game since 2009.
Astros center fielder Carlos Gomez sat out the final series of the regular season in order to rest a strained left intercostal muscle, but there was good news coming out of a workout today in advance of Tuesday’s Wild Card game vs. the Yankees.
This has been a lingering issue for Gomez, who missed 13 straight games with the injury last month. He aggravated the strain on a throw to home plate last Wednesday and was forced to sit while the Astros fought to keep their season alive. Astros manager A.J. Hinch told reporters last week that Gomez’s injury would typically take 45-50 days to recover from, so it’s fair to wonder how productive he can be during the postseason.
Gomez mostly struggled after coming over from the Brewers at the trade deadline, batting .242 with four home runs and a .670 OPS over 41 games.