Michael Blazek is the PTBNL in the John Axford trade

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The Cardinals acquired right-handed reliever John Axford from the Brewers on Friday for a player to be named later. And that player has now been named.

As first reported by beat writer Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Cards have sent right-hander Michael Blazek to Milwaukee to complete the one-for-one swap. Blazek is going to join the Brewers’ bullpen immediately and will presumably pitch out of a middle relief role down the stretch.

The 24-year-old has some experience as a starter in the minors, but he’s been much more effective as a reliever. Blazek had a promising 1.97 ERA with 52 strikeouts through 45 2/3 innings this year in the Cardinals’ minor league system.

Axford made his debut for St. Louis on Saturday night with an eight-pitch scoreless frame.

Didi Gregorius continues to be ridiculous

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Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius had another fantastic night last night. He went 3-for-3, hitting a home run for the fourth game in a row, had an RBI single and reached base safely in all five of his plate appearances in New York’s 7-4 win over Minnesota.

For the year that gives Gregorius a line of .372/.470/.833, putting him atop the American League in average, slugging, OPS, and OPS+. He also leads the league in total bases (65) and RBI (29). He leads all of baseball in fWAR at 2.2, edging out Mike Trout despite the fact that Trout has played in two more games. He’s second behind Trout in homers with nine.

After last night’s game he insisted that he is not a home run hitter:

“I do have a lot of home runs, but it’s not like I am going out there to try to hit them . . . I’m not a power guy like Judge and Stanton, who hit 50 to 60 and up. Those are the guys who actually hit home runs. One year, let’s say, I hit five — then you ask me where that part went . . . if they go out, they go out. I’m just mostly trying to barrel it up and get a good swing . . . I try to hit line drives and if you check most of my home runs they were line drives,” he said. “It’s not like I am going up to hit deep fly balls.”

Given that he hit 25 homers last year and 20 the year before, he’s being a bit modest, even if he’s not likely to keep up this torrid pace. That modesty is not stopping some people from getting a bit carried away, of course:

 

We’ll forgive Bob for the hyperbole. Didi has been fun to watch.