Marcus Stroman of the Blue Jays, like a lot of pitchers, is super frustrated by blisters. His teammate, Aaron Sanchez is on the disabled list because of them. Stroman himself had one form on his finger last night, in fact, that ended his night early, so he knows what he’s talking about and he’s understandably upset. When your hands and fingers are your living, you get really mad when something is wrong with them.
Stroman is a bit beyond the “this sucks” phase of blisters, however. He believes that there is an epidemic of them. And that Major League Baseball is to blame:
“I feel like it’s an epidemic that’s happening across the big leagues now, a bunch of pitchers getting blisters, guys who have never had blisters before. So for MLB to turn their back to it, I think that’s kind of crazy. I have no theory. But obviously, I mean, it’s not a coincidence that it’s happening to so many guys all of a sudden. It’s not a coincidence.”
Stroman says he doesn’t have a theory, but a reporter asked him if he thought the baseballs — which two recent studies found had lower seams than they used to have, thus leading to our current home run boom — were to blame. Stroman simply repeated “it’s not a coincidence.” Which suggests that, yeah, he thinks the ball is causing it. Stroman again:
“I’ve never had a blister ever in my life. Nothing even remotely close. It’s crazy. It’s extremely frustrating. Extremely frustrating.”
Don’t expect Major League Baseball to respond to Stroman on this. They seem to be pretty sensitive about anyone saying that the ball is different. So sensitive, in fact, that they’re spewing silliness in response to it.
Newly acquired third baseman Todd Frazier spent his first five games with the Yankees on the road, playing once in Minnesota and four games in Seattle. He was set to take his first at-bat as a Yankee at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday night against the Reds. Unfortunately, things didn’t quite go how he likely expected them.
The Yankees quickly loaded the bases on consecutive singles from Matt Holliday, Didi Gregorius, and Chase Headley to lead off the bottom of the second inning. That brought up Frazier in his first at-bat at Yankee Stadium. He got ahead in the count 3-1 against Luis Castillo before hitting a sharp grounder to shortstop Jose Peraza. Gregorius went back to second base because he thought the ball had a chance to be caught on a line. Peraza stepped on the second base bag, then fired to first base for the double play. Votto then threw across the diamond to Eugenio Suarez at third base, catching Gregorius out in no man’s land. Holliday scored in the meantime, breaking a 0-0 tie, but Gregorius was eventually called out for running out of the base line in a run down.
Frazier entered the evening with just two hits (both singles) and one walk in 18 plate appearances as a Yankee.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Brewers have agreed to a deal with the White Sox for reliever Anthony Swarzak. The White Sox will receive 3B/OF Ryan Cordell in return.
It’s no secret that the 53-48 first-place Brewers are on the hunt for relief help. While closer Corey Knebel has been great, the Brewers have been shaky leading up to the ninth inning as Carlos Torres owns a 4.65 ERA and Oliver Drake 5.05.
Swarzak, 31, has posted a 2.23 ERA with a 52/13 K/BB ratio in 48 1/3 innings this season. He can become a free agent after the season.
Cordell, 25, hit .284/.349/.506 with 10 home runs and 45 RBI in 292 plate appearances at Triple-A Colorado Springs. He’s the Brewers’ No. 17 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline.