Blogger at NBC Sport.com's HardballTalk. Recovering litigator. Rake. Scoundrel. Notorious Man-About-Town.
Relief pitcher Damien Magnifico was called up by the Milwaukee Brewers from Triple-A Colorado Springs today. He’ll soon make his major league debut.
On the baseball merits, Magnifico has a 3.18 ERA and his struck out 54 batters over 56.2 innings in 47 appearances in the PCL. He’s being called up to replace Michael Blazek who was placed on the disabled list.
We’re less interested in transactions involving middle relievers for losing teams, however, and far more interested in dudes with epic, professional wrestling-worthy names like “Damien Magnifico.” Especially when his Twitter account has a little ™ symbol next to his name and this is his profile pic:
Here’s a more conventional pic:
And here’s hoping he lives up to his name.
While professional baseball has come to treat its young pitchers’ arms like the valuable resources they are, imposing pitch count limits and innings limits and doing everything it can to limit the damage to developing hurlers, a whole lot of them are damaged goods when they arrive. Damaged by insane workloads in college and high school, often from coaches who have little interest in a pitcher’s well-being after his brief time at their school.
Now, reports Baseball America, state athletic associations are starting to impose pitch count limits, with The National High School Federation requiring all 50 state federations, which govern high school baseball, to create pitch limits of some sort before the 2017 season begins.
Baseball America details Georgia’s plan, which limits pitchers to 110 pitches and mandates a days rest requirement after outings in excess of 86 pitches or more. This against a backdrop where, historically, some teenagers are trotted out for 120+ pitch performances, sometimes far more, and then are put in games a day or two later.
College is still a place where arms are routinely abused, but the tide is turning against that too. Hopefully, eventually, all of this will lead to fewer pitchers seeing their careers end before they really begin.
Rob Bradford of WEEI.com reports that Jonathan Papelbon is likely to make a decision on where to sign in the next 24 hours. If you’re lucky, maybe he’ll be on your favorite team! Adding flavor to your local nine’s clubhouse!
Bradford says there are a lot of interested parties, and others have speculated on the Cubs and Marlins might be good fits. Assuming there is such a thing as a “good fit” when Papelbon is concerned.
Which is not to say that Papelbon, 35, can’t help a club on the field. He has a 4.37 ERA and 31/14 K/BB ratio over 35 innings this season, but was still effective in stretches this year.