Author: Aaron Gleeman

Tyler Flowers

Tyler Flowers’ walk-off homer deflates the free-falling A’s


I was watching the 12th inning of the A’s-White Sox game late last night when Chicago catcher Tyler Flowers hit a walk-off homer against Oakland right-hander Jesse Chavez, who literally walked off the field as soon as the pitch was hit.

Here’s the video from, which unfortunately only has the White Sox announcing feed available:

I was listening to the A’s announcers and their reaction was like if you were at a funeral for your grandmother and someone told you your grandfather had just died.

Sad on sad on sad. And nine losses in eleven games for the A’s.

Wily Mo Pena, now starring in Japan, wants to return to America

Wily Mo Pena

Wily Mo Pena, the former top prospect who washed out of the big leagues in 2011, wants to return to America after playing in Japan for the past three seasons.

Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors reports that Pena is looking for an MLB contract and there are already at least three interested teams.

He hit .270 with 29 homers and an .896 OPS in 119 games this season in Japan, cutting his strikeout rate and upping his walk rate compared to his old days in America, but last season Pena missed most of the year with injuries while hitting just .233 with a .628 OPS.

Pena always had big-time power, but as a big leaguer he’s a career .250 hitter with a below-league average OPS and a strikeout in more than 30 percent of his plate appearances. At age 33 he seems unlikely to get a chance as more than a part-time player.

Editor’s Note: Hardball Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $40,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Tuesday night’s MLB games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $5,500. Starts at 7:05pm ET on TuesdayHere’s the FanDuel link.

Rockies activate Michael Cuddyer from the disabled list

Michael Cuddyer

Michael Cuddyer is off the disabled list and back on the Rockies’ active roster after missing the past two weeks with a strained hamstring.

Cuddyer won the NL batting title last season and has posted an identical .331 batting average this year, but he’s been limited to just 34 games by injuries and at age 35 could be facing a modest market as a free agent this winter.

Dating back to 2011, which was his final season with the Twins, Cuddyer has missed more than one-third of his team’s games, playing just 404 of a possible 629.

Evan Gattis has strep throat, out at least three games

Evan Gattis Getty

Braves catcher Evan Gattis will miss at least the next three games with step throat, according to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Gattis has struggled since returning from a three-week disabled list stint for a bulging disk in his back, hitting just .237 with a .720 OPS in 39 games dating back to mid-July after carrying a .900 OPS to the DL.

I can sympathize with Gattis, because I recently had strep throat for the first time at age 31 and it was a nightmare. The initial antibiotics didn’t work, so a trip to the emergency room and a stronger batch of medicine was required. And even then it took about a week before I was feeling somewhat human. It’s also potentially contagious, so the Braves probably want Gattis as far away from the clubhouse as possible.

Joakim Soria nears return to the Tigers’ bullpen

Joakim Soria Tigers
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Tigers reliever Joakim Soria threw a simulated game this morning and felt good enough that he could be cleared to come off the disabled list as soon as Wednesday, according to Jason Beck of

Soria has been out for a month with a strained oblique muscle, but threw 27 pitches today and previously avoided setbacks during multiple bullpen sessions last week. He called today “a big step” and with Tigers closer Joe Nathan sidelined by an elbow injury it’s possible that Soria could see some ninth-inning duties pretty quickly upon returning.

Soria appeared in just six games for the Tigers after they acquired him from the Rangers, for whom he had a 2.70 ERA and 42/4 K/BB ratio in 33 innings.