There was no baseball yesterday. There is no baseball today. There will be baseball tomorrow, but not until 7:05 PM, so it’s basically three days without anyone throwing a pitch in anger. Let’s kill the time, then, by arguing about who, if the season ended today, would be your award winners. Next up: Rookie of the Year
We are men of action. Lies do not become us. So I am not going to sit here and pretend that anyone other than Aaron Judge and Cody Bellinger had a shot at the Rookie of the Year Award. Judge was covered in the MVP post. Bellinger was not called up until the end of April, and in his 68 games, he’s hit .259 with a .948 OPS, has 14 doubles, a triple, 24 homers and 56 RBI.
Judge would have to be hit by a bus next week to take himself out of contention, and would likely still be the Rookie of the Year favorite unless someone else emerged to put up a historic partial rookie season. Heck, that may not even be enough. Gary Sanchez did it last year and he came in second. Bellinger has a closer pursuer in pitcher Kyle Freeland of the Rockies, but he’s a distant, distant second. He’s tossed 107.1 innings and has a 3.77 ERA. He pitches in Coors Field, however, so that works out to a 133 ERA+. I doubt that’s terribly sustainable, though, as his he has a pretty low strikeout rate and a pretty high walk rate. Also: he’s pitched better in Denver than on the road which is . . . not expected and, again, likely not sustainable.
The Rookie of the Year Awards, barring serious injuries to Judge and Bellinger, will be a coronation, not a contest.
Jaime Garcia has been at the center of trade talks for several days now, but on Friday night, he commanded center stage for an entirely different reason. The Braves’ southpaw went head-to-head with Dodgers’ lefty Alex Wood and mashed his first career grand slam: a two-out, 399-foot blast that cleared the wall in right field and put the Braves up 9-0 in the fifth inning.
The bases-loaded knock was the third career home run for Garcia, whose contributions at the plate have been few and far between over his nine-year track in the major leagues. Not only did the homer mark an impressive career first for the 30-year-old, but it was just the second pitcher grand slam in Braves’ history and the first since 1966.
Garcia looked almost as impressive on the mound during Friday’s series opener, issuing one run, four hits and three strikeouts through his first six innings. The Braves currently lead the Dodgers 12-1 in the top of the seventh inning.
As for whether the slam will affect negotiations between the Braves and Twins? MLB.com’s Mike Petriello put it best:
Athletics’ first baseman Ryon Healy had a scary moment during Friday’s loss to the Mets. Lucas Duda smacked a single to the first base side, where the ball took a high hop and caught Healy in the left temple. He crumpled to the ground after getting struck by the one-hopper, but was eventually able to stand and walk off the field with assistance from a trainer.
Prior to the injury, Healy went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI single in the first inning. He was replaced by Yonder Alonso, who finished off the rest of the night’s 7-5 loss with a walk in two plate appearances.
Following the game, manager Bob Melvin told reporters that Healy did not appear to have sustained a concussion as a result of the hit. Healy said he thinks he’ll be good to go for Saturday’s game, though a final decision likely won’t be made until tomorrow.