Author: Aaron Gleeman

Wilin Rosario

Wilin Rosario hit the longest walk-off homer of the season


Rockies catcher Wilin Rosario has struggled this year after back-to-back 20-homer campaigns, but he did deliver the longest walk-off home run of the season last night to beat the Diamondbacks.

Here it is, 449 feet off Addison Reed:

Based on Rosario’s reaction I think maybe he knew he got it pretty good.

Why are so many people acting like Bryce Harper is a bum?

Bryce Harper Getty

Lots of people are acting like Bryce Harper has been terrible this season and it’s confusing me.

Sure, he’s had prolonged slumps and he’s also had some injuries, but Harper has been on fire for the past few weeks and overall he’s hit .274 with 13 homers and a .776 OPS in 92 games for the Nationals as a 21-year-old and the youngest player in the league with at least 250 plate appearances.

There’s a stat called OPS+ that adjusts a player’s raw numbers for the league, home ballpark, and offensive era he’s in. An average OPS+ is 100 and Harper is currently at 114.

Here’s a list of every 21-year-old outfielder with an OPS+ above 110 during the past 25 seasons:

Bryce Harper, 2014
Mike Trout, 2013
Giancarlo Stanton, 2011
Justin Upton, 2009
Miguel Cabrera, 2004
Andruw Jones, 1998
Juan Gonzalez, 1991
Ken Griffey Jr., 1991

That’s it. That’s the entire list.

Harper’s season isn’t as strong as some of those other 21-year-olds on the above list, but the main point is that it’s really, really rare for a 21-year-old outfielder to be a solidly above-average hitter and Harper has been that this season.

I get that the hype he arrived with and his personality both rub lots of people the wrong way and I get that comparing anyone to Mike Trout is going to make them look bad, but don’t let that mask the fact that Harper is doing things 21-year-olds rarely do in what I’m sure even he’d admit has been a difficult season.

Ryan Zimmerman goes 1-for-7, runs at 85 percent speed

Miami Marlins v Washington Nationals

Making his way back from a hamstring injury, Ryan Zimmerman went 1-for-7 while serving as the designated hitter in an intrasquad game at the Nationals’ spring training complex in Florida today.

Nationals manager Matt Williams got a positive report on how Zimmerman looked, telling James Wagner of the Washington Post:

He ran down the line and took some grounders, which is good and went down the line hard. … He hit a couple balls to short and had to kinda go, which is a good thing for him. We all want him to get a million hits but those are probably more important to test the leg. He played good.

Williams indicated that Zimmerman is still running at around 85 percent after being out since July 22. It’s possible he could be activated from the disabled list as soon as this weekend, but the Nationals haven’t said exactly how they plan to use Zimmerman during the final week and into the playoffs.

Josh Hamilton had “sharp stabbing pains” in his chest

billy hamilton getty

Josh Hamilton rejoined the Angels’ lineup Tuesday after sitting out 10 games with a right shoulder injury, but he missed last night’s game and is out of the lineup again tonight with more shoulder problems.

Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that Hamilton’s current soreness is in a “different spot” than his initial soreness, and “flared up” before Wednesday’s game.

It’s possible that Hamilton wouldn’t have played tonight anyway because the Angels basically benched all of their regulars–and scratched Jered Weaver from his scheduled start–after clinching the division title last night.

UPDATE: Hamilton told DiGiovanna that he had “sharp stabbing pains” in his chest and had “trouble taking deep breaths” last night. Suddenly his status for the playoffs could be in question.

Brock Holt not cleared to return from concussion

brock holt getty

Red Sox infielder/outfielder Brock Holt has not been cleared to return from a concussion suffered during a collision with Dustin Pedroia on August 25.

Holt told Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe that his condition has improved, but after meeting with doctors he received “good news, but not as good as it could have been.”

It’s unfortunate that Holt’s season is ending on a sour note, because at age 26 he got his first extended playing time in the majors and hit .281 with four homers and a .711 OPS in 106 games.